Monday, October 11, 2010

Fear of Having Children

Last night I went to a Relief Society fireside.

Before that I was at my wonderful Gma Stewart's house and having a wonderful time chatting about olden-day Halloween costumes, pretzels, and childhood memories of getting in trouble. My confession was drawing on the kitchen table in permanent marker when I was 4 and not fessing up after extreme parental interrogation for 3 days. Mike's was dumpster diving at the age of 5, finding and treasuring a car battery, and throwing discarded steak knives into trees. I was having a really good time with Mike, my sister JayneAnn (lovingly called Beetz), and Gma. I was so tempted to just stay at Gma's and eat more of her crab salad and crackers with nacho cheese and ignore that the fireside was going to happen. However, I left only 5 minutes later that when I told myself I should.

So at this fireside, that I was only 6 minutes late for, a lot what was said was talking about how lucky we are to be sealed to our families forever through our wonderful temples. This is especially wonderful because I am sealed to Mike. The one problem = I have an extreme fear of having children. Really. Not the whole raising them thing. That sounds like a piece of cake. I am deathly afraid of the whole labor and delivery part. Nothing sounds worse in the world to me. I told Mike I'd rather swallow 20 living spiders than go through that. I don't know why I'm so afraid, I just am. How am I going to be sealed to my whole family if I'm too scared to bring them into this world physically? Please let the stork story be true! You know, I'm scared of lots of things:

1. Giving birth (obviously)
2. Running out of gas
3. Spiders/Snakes/Bug Things
4. I am Legend zombies
5. Burglars
6. Getting a really bad bang trim
7. An earthquake happening while I'm in the shower
8. Losing my eyeliner or mascara.

All in that order. Not even joking, going through labor tops all of those. You think I am kidding, but I am not.

Just last week I was at Centennial Middle School. Part of my job at Provo School District includes going to various events to check out the things kids are doing. I take pictures of them doing scholarly things, then post stories on PSD's web site. Cool, right? This particular event at Centennial was a healthcare career fair for high schoolers in Provo and Alpine districts. Lots of doctors and nurses from all sorts of hospitals and departments were there. Kids could pick two or three they wanted to hear about and listen to them talk about their field. By pretending to be a real photographer, I needed a decent photo op to put on the web. I heard the labor and delivery class was having kids touch placentas. Very gross, but better than some dude standing next to a boring Powerpoint. I thought that while I was there, I should learn more about this whole delivering process. If I know what happens, I won't be as scared, right? This sounded very logical to me. I was standing in the back of the classroom, waiting patiently for the placenta to be passed around. Since I was wearing a pair of my more uncomfortable heels, I thought I should sit down in a spot in the back. Things progressed and the nurse talked about more uncomfortable things. Dilating, how to tell when the unborn baby is stressed, umbilical cords, etc. These probably wouldn't gross out a normal person, but they sure made me feel weird. Due to my extreme fear of needles, I was a good girl and closed my eyes for the epidural part. However, I knew things were still going downhill. Since I tend to pass out when faced with strange, medically situations and all needle pokings, I had a good idea where all of this was going. I tried to do all the things my doctor told me to if I felt like passing out:

1. While sitting, put your head between your knees.
Didn't help.
2. Breathe slowly and deeply.
Not working.
3. Get as close as you can to the ground so you don't get a concussion when you drop.

The next thing I remember I was sweating all over the place and there were three or four nurses around me asking me my name, where I was, and if I felt like throwing up. Awesome.

Luckily I happened to be at a healthcare career fair, complete with EMTs. Two gentlemen promptly rolled a stretcher through the class, lifted me onto it, and wheeled me through the sea of gawking high school-aged eyes. As they wheeled me away, I tried to pretend I was dead on the stretcher because it would be easier not to cry of embarrassment if I was dead. That actually helped. I better not see any of these people ever again. Students included.

I had an EMT, who looked like a younger, and shall I say more handsome?, version of Antonio Banderas call Mike to retrieve me. These people proceeded to do all sorts of tests on me. I told them over and over that I pass out when medically things scare me. Not a big deal. Just really, really, really, really embarrassing.

Mike was at the school in record time. Everyone was exceptionally nice to me. The nurse put in charge of watching me ended up being the mother of a kid I went to high school with. It all turned out fine. This is for my mom: Don't worry. I went to the doctor after. He said I didn't have any heart or seizure problems. I just have a strangely strong reaction to medically things. My body is fine. In case you are wondering, passing out will not happen while I'm driving because I will not encounter gross medically things on the road. There is a country song I like that talks about all of the bad things that happen to a guy in a day, including a part about having to go to the dentist, but I always change the station when it gets to the numbing shot part. Promise. While I'm sure you will worry, there is no logical reason for you to do so.

So this experience did not help me in wanting to have children. It only made it worse, if that was even possible. Flashback to the fireside, where I'm lamenting that storks no longer bring children to moms and dads. As I was sitting there, sad about my amazing wimpiness, an extremely wonderful, glorious, divine and amazing thought came into my head,

"Laken, I know you're scared of giving birth, but it's going to be ok. I promise. It will turn out just fine and you will do great. I'll be with you every step of the way."

I know Heavenly Father was letting me know He cares about my weird concerns, and I know He wants to help me with them. I was so grateful I went to that fireside so I could be in a place where I could feel the spirit and be able to hear that really comforting message that I really needed.

While I know a little Cannon will not be running around any time too soon in the future, and I still feel a little scared about the whole process, I know that everything will be ok. I didn't know that before. Running out of gas can now move to the top of my scary list.


Alyse and Bob said...

I loved this post! I can't yet can believe you passed out. I can't wait for little Cannons running around, they can play with the little Barbers.

Anonymous said...

Loving your blog Laken!! My friend felt very much the same way. She had therapy through her whole pregnancy, got a weekly massage to feel good about herself, and other things I am sure. She did great and even said after the epidural, "Is this all?" She thought it was going to be a lot worse that it was. She has an adorable little girl and is ready to try again. I know you can do it and it is SO TRUE that Heavenly Father will be there every step of the way. =)

kara said...

So Laken, I had no idea that the nurse you were talking to is my mother-in-law! Holy cow, small world! I remember reading this post and then she started talking about it last weekend and I finally put it together. How funny!

Brianne said...

Laken, I'm sure you'll be just fine! I like the weekly massages idea from Stacie though! :) When you're ready, there will be a way! Good post! :)