A Mommy Milestone

An unexpected side effect of a difficult delivery is that watching TV can sometimes send you into a tailspin. All those adorable birth scenes in movies and TV are suddenly less so and more like instruments of torture. That great couple banter? Imagine complete silence as you and your partner realize that something is very wrong with your baby. Mom’s look of pure joy as she looks at her little one for the first time? Replace that with tears as baby is whisked away for treatment.

After an experience like Charlie’s birth, a movie like Knocked Up is a lot more like a punch a in the gut. I remember watching it with my husband and in the end he got up, cursed at the TV, and walked out. You can be handling things fairly well, and then BAM! something like that can remind you of what you didn’t get to have.

The other night, though, Hubby and I were watching the season finale of Bones–last season when Angela had her baby–and we found ourselves chuckling at this improbable TV delivery. The chatting, the complimenting. I mean, I wasn’t in labor for long, but GOOD LORD was that business painful. Like any strong, brave woman, I spent the time up until my epidural for the twins crying. I was thrilled to have them stick a needle in my spine.

It probably took me twenty-four hours to realize we’d made it through our first birth scene without wanting to kick someone. It’s really interesting because a lot of people would not consider the twin’s birth ideal. There was the whole six weeks too early thing, and the NICU stay, but they let us examine each boy when they were born and even gave a minute with each before they took them over to the NI. Seriously, when they presented us with August we weren’t even sure what to do. It was all so. . . foreign.

But it’s good too. We got to have a positive birth experience. It doesn’t erase the first, but it softens it. Provides us with another perspective.

I must say, I think it’s a Mommy Milestone.

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  1. Great post! 15 months later and I still can’t watch a birth scene in a movie or tv show without getting emotional!

  2. thatmandygrrr says:

    It is a wonderful mommy milestone. And absolutrly deserves noting. I’ve lost babies up into the 2nd trimester and I still get very nervous when people announce their pregnancies. And when complications in movies always turn out to be nothing me shaking my head is a reserved reaction. I have not made it to that milestone yet. And I think it is wonderful that you have… gives me hope I will too.

  3. I don’t want you to relive Charlie’s birth, but I missed that blogpost. Will research.

    I carried twins for 26 weeks when I discovered one had not made it. My now 23 year old college graduate (chef with 4 degrees) has made my life so full. I know you can get thru all that you have ahead of you because you seem to have the sense of humor to do so. That is what helps to get you thru this. I will follow you as long as you post. Bless you.

  4. I know what you mean!
    I’ve never left a comment before, but I have been reading this blog since you were pregnant with the boys.
    I’ve had two dramatic, traumatic, premature births (one of them a catastrophic c-section (meaning it took less than 10 minutes from the alarm to the baby was out)).
    And then I had a fantastic birth now in february. It was absolutely amazing. A vbac. And a dream birth. All natural, no meds, I was in the tub, and it was quick and easy (1.5 hours active labour), not even that painful.
    It sure healed something. It did a lot for me. I’m not terrified of birth anymore. I have experienced how wonderful it can be. Not just awful. I didn’t believe it until I did it. It’s kinda like a band-aid. It doesn’t take the wound away, but it does put a little cover over it, so to speak.

    And that got long.

  5. I am the same way with movies. It’s not always tea and sunshine. I watched that Brad Pitt movie, Benjamin Buttons. I will never watch it again! The baby dies. Of All THINGS!! It was hard. I can’t watch Steel Magnolias when Shelby dies with her mom at her side. Well for that matter I can’t watch very many mother-daughter movies… You know I have mother issues.

    I would love to say it all gets easier to deal with but I have my moments still. I guess the best thing though, it’s just not as often.

    • I haven’t seen Benjamin Buttons, but my understanding is that the end features some scenes that are like Hurricane Katrina. My mom says some of her friends pretty much suffered PTSD just watching it. Never know where a movie is going to take you.

  6. I can relate to this so much, Katy. Watching a woman give birth on TV or in movies is not a pleasant experience for me at all. I remember Andy and I watched Knocked Up when Elijah was less than a year old. It was seriously traumatizing and I referred to it as a horror movie from that point forward. I don’t know if I’ve had my mommy milestone yet, but it has gotten somewhat easier for me to watch scenes of birth without turning into a mess.

    I’m pregnant with baby #2 and I’m hoping that some healing will take place for me. It’d be nice if I were actually able to see my baby on the day of his or her birth (yep, still bitter about not even seeing Elijah the day he was born…four years later).

    Oh, and I never congratulated you on your pregnancy! How wonderful! :)

    • Thank you. I wish you much peace on this next pregnancy and hope very much that you are able to get some healing from this experience. I must say that I didn’t feel anything magical when I had the twins, but now I can see how things are, in fact, just a tiny bit different.

  7. Yes television and the movies can be heart wrenching. For years I refused to watch any autism related movies. now I may watch parts though never the whole of it.
    My heart hurts then I am depressed for days I still 8 years later shy away from hot topic shows.

  8. Oh man, you’ve knocked the words right out of me! This very much so hits home to me! That’s how the story goes in my little world too!

  9. Is it bad that TV birth scenes make me cringe & I don’t even have kids? (Nor have I witnessed an actual birth). It makes me wonder if the writer has actually given birth (or done any research). Whatever the case is even the fiction versions make me uneasy.

  10. Yes, definitely a great milestone.

    It’s’ funny though, none of my births went down that way either. It’s makes me sad sometimes but then I know I’m blessed to have healthy kids. The way they show it on movies and t.v. cracks me up most of the time!!

  11. OMG I know what you mean. I was so hopting birth number two would heal me, but it was a scheduled c-section (the VBAC fairy didn’t come my way) and then right after I thought everything was right and well with the world, I got an illeus and thought I would vomit out my intestines then my baby crashed and they couldn’t give a diagnosis for days, and when they did, still didn’t think she had stroled or had CP. I can’t even drive in the part of town where the hospital is located. Sucks!!

  12. Nice post. Please add my e-mail address to get y our blog. Susan

  13. I can’t say that I’ve been in your shoes–I can’t imagine how you felt during that experience, but I do hate the way labors/births are done in tv shows and movies–absolutely ridiculously unrealistic. Ug. What about the girl that never knows when real contractions are starting and goes to the hospital 18 times? What about the early baby or the overdue baby? And what’s with the banter? I never know what to say to my newly born children or my husband–if I say anything at all, I just sit there and babble unintelligably. In fact, I’m usually so drugged up I don’t even know where I’m at or what just happened. Stupid Hollywood.