Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Sometimes I wonder if it is better to have high expectations, low expectations or no expectations.

When you have high expectations of an event, most of the time you will be terribly disappointed. However, there are the few times when an event will actually live up to your dreams. And on the upside, you generally spend the time leading up to the event in good spirits because you are looking forward to it so much. Even if the event sucks, at least you had the time proceeding it to savor.

When you have low expectations, you are almost certain to be pleasantly surprised. I generally approach most situations this way. I was a High Expectations kid, so somewhere around college time (probably after I studied abroad for a year), I learned to change my position to protect my heart a little. The downside to this is that people tend to think of you as a pessimist, or at least unexcitable about life. And you also miss out on some of the giddiness that High Expectation people seem to experience. However, Low Expectations people are easier to deal with than High Expectations people...maybe because they expect less out of others. High Expectation brides are the worst. They spend months planning every tiny detail of their wedding, and expect everyone to perform up to task. When the cake leans too far to the right or the lingerie shower is lame, everyone pays the price.

And then there are the no expectation events. I am learning that these are perhaps the scariest. This is how I am feeling about childbirth and impending motherhood. I just don't know what it's going to be like or what the circumstances will be. I have a few "plans"-- good hospital, comforting husband, favorite doctor, epidural, vaginal delivery, healthy baby. But you never know. I might have the baby in the car, or my doctor might be stuck in Cleveland, or my husband might hyperventilate, or I might have a c-section, or my epidural might only work on the right half of my body. And still, even if everything goes according to plan, I still don't really know what it's going to be like. I have found myself envying my c-section friends, Stephanie and Mindy. Stephanie has a small pelvis and a huge husband. She will always have c-sections. She's had one, she knows what it's like. Mindy has a weird uterus resulting in breech babies. She's had two c-sections, and will always have them. They know the drill.

Not that I want a planned c-section, but at least then I'd KNOW.

And actually, for motherhood, I think I'm in the low expectations camp. No sleep, sore boobs, crying baby, crazy hormones. I'm not expecting much, at least for the first few months.

And I feel kind of alone in all of this. When I tell people how I honestly feel (i.e. fearful), I get a nice pat on the back and a "Oh, you'll do just fine." The shower I attended on Saturday was full of newly registered nurses, two of them the guests of honor. I am due before both of them, and everyone asked how I felt. I said, "Physically fine, but really scared of pushing a baby out of my vagina." Most of them had just finished an OB rotation. More back pats. "Oh, you'll do just fine." But there's another bit that all the nurses added:

"Get the epidural."


Post a Comment

<< Home