Is ignorance bliss?

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.

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3 Comments

Filed under Pregnancy, Reminiscing, Secret society of twin moms

3 responses to “Is ignorance bliss?

  1. Well said … I wanted info when I was pregnant, too. I have a friend who just had her baby, who felt kind of freaked out by all the information available these days. She didn’t want to know that at 20 weeks, her baby was developing lungs or whatever, or that her mucus plug might fall out shortly before labor. I, on the other hand, lapped up all the information I could at each stage and I wanted to know all of the worst-case scenarios (to a certain extent), so I could be better prepared.

    In fact, one of the few regrets I have about my pregnancy (besides Jack being breech, but that’s out of my control) is that I didn’t have enough info about what it’s REALLY like postpartum. I knew everything about what to expect in terms of lochia, engorgement and newborn development, but I had NO IDEA the emotional tidal wave that would sweep over me, or how hard breastfeeding would be. I just had in my mind that if I did it “right,” breastfeeding would be painless and smooth, and that I would be a perfect, emotionally controlled mom. Ha! Ha! Ha! Next time, I know.

  2. I wish I could have been there but was at Game 6 instead (it was that or work or dinner with clients so I made the right choice).

    I enjoy the labor stories but to be honest it makes me more set on wanting to have a scheduled C-Section. I have so much to do and plan and I don’t think I want to have to plan with how to deal with hours of labor, etc. (like your prior post on music to bring). I’m sure when I blog about my decision (which I still haven’t fully made nor discussed with my doctor) it will be as electrifying for my readers as breastfeeding was.

    I’ll see you at the next COPE meeting, promise!

  3. That was a great post!

    I wanted to know all about EVERYTHING i’d experience when i was pregnant with twins. I joined our club when i was only 16 weeks prego and i almost felt weird b/c people kept staring like they couldn’t belive i was so small for having twins. It was FUNNY! Then the next meeting at 20 weeks…i was a GIANT! Anyway, my experience was very stressful, as one of my best friends and sorrority sisters was actually prego with twins and we were 6 weeks apart. We called each other our twin pregnancy buddy…went to lunch all the time, bragged about having twins to everyone wondering why we were soo big and planning what it was going to be like to have playdates with 5 babies(i had already had a 2 year old) and 2 mothers! She was due dec 6th and i was due jan 20. She had her babies sept 1st. It was one day of my life i will never forget…the call where she said..”brenda, it’s melody, i had the babies!” My house cleaner was at my house at the time and i literally fell to the ground crying as Melody was totally composed on the other end of the phone. From her, i learned about every aspect of a micro preemie. I was ready…just in case. After that i became more appreciative of making it one more week. At 24 weeks i celebrated viability and each week i felt more blessed. During all of this….i was there for her…but she was soo strong. It was amazing. By the grace of God, i never ended up having to deal with the NICU, but i felt if i had…i would have been prepared. Anyway, i’m just going on and on..sorry!

    Thanks for that post..it was great! It’s so nice meeting people that are going through what you went through…i remember being bombarded by mothers of new babies…filling me full of info at the meetings. Now, 18 months later, i’m one of those moms! It’s great to be on the other side of the spectrum. Plus, it’s always nice to get a bit more sleep than i did those first 6 months of my babies no sleeping through the night!

    Have a great week!
    Brenda

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