Last night was my twin club’s monthly Cope meeting, which I’ve mentioned a number of times before. As of this month, my friend and I are now the co-chairs of those meetings, so even though it wasn’t at my house this time, I was still sort of half-hosting it. I have really enjoyed them, and have probably only missed two since my first one a year ago. It was fun to see the three pregnant women there (at 20, 29, and 32 weeks), and remember that it was me on that side of the table (literally and figuratively) last year.
As often happens when there are moms of babies talking to pregnant women, birth stories started to be shared. Some were pretty standard, but everyone’s had a twist. And there were some crazy ones, including one friend whose twins were born seven hours apart (and on different days!), and another wild tale of breech babies, midwives, and an unpleasant c-section. I started to worry a little and hoped we weren’t scaring the bejesus out of the pregnant women.
Talking to the person next to me, I thought about how we all approach these things differently. As I said, I went to my first meeting when I was probably 29-30 weeks pregnant. There was a woman there with 7-week-olds, and she looked like death warmed over. It was her first meeting, too, and she was clearly desperate in that “please tell me it will get better” kind of way. But that didn’t totally freak me out. I actually didn’t mind seeing the insanity or hearing crazy birth stories. I kept watching all of the stuff on Discovery Health Channel during the day. Unless it was something really awful that hit close to home (like a woman who lost twins at 20 weeks… shudder), it didn’t really bother me. I even started to see those shows for what they were: a lot of worst-case-scenarios, and a lot of dramatic voice-overs. I almost laughed when they showed a woman who had delivered 34-week triplets. She had to leave the hospital with her kids still in the NICU, and the voiceover was all about the drama of having preemies. And yes, 34 weekers are preemies. But by then, I knew enough to say “damn, 34 weeks is good for triplets!” And so those things didn’t scare me so much.
And so the real-life stories of people I actually met didn’t tend to freak me out, either. Heck, by the time I met most of the twin moms I know, I had already made it to a pretty good gestation. And, frankly, however bad their stories were, they were sitting in front of me and telling them – they had made it.
And I know other people, two who I’ve talked to recently, who never went to one of these meetings or joined the twin club until well after their kids were born. And not necessarily by accident. There was definitely a sentiment that they would just as soon not know what was about to happen, because thinking about all of the crazy stuff would just make them more nervous. If they just stayed out of it and rolled with whatever happened, they were more able to be flexible and not stress out too much.
That’s just not me. I wanted to know it all, and I’m still glad that I was that way. I was glad that I knew about the NICU, and things that can go on there. Not only was I less shocked when my kids went there, but I was also aware of how well they were doing, because I could see how little intervention they were getting. Things like that.
So, I’m sure that for some, ignorance is indeed bliss. They’d rather just roll with it as it comes and not freak out ahead of time. I can respect that, and there are times that I take that attitude. That just wasn’t me when I was pregnant.