Ricki Lake is a total bitch and now I’m in the official freakout phase

I made an egregious error this weekend.

And for once, it didn’t involve stuffing an alarming amount of carbohydrates inside a tube of pizza dough, or putting my cat between two slices of bread and slathering him with BBQ sauce.

I watched The Business of Being Born, a 2008 documentary which explores the contemporary experience of childbirth in the US. The film was produced by 90s talk show sweetheart Ricki Lake– yes, the Ricki Lake. You may remember her from such intellectual powerhouses as, “Weave Wars”, “I Find Fat People Gross”, and “I’m proud to be a prostitute”.

ricki lake

So what’s the big deal?

It’s just a documentary.

A documentary based on the US system, even. Surely, it’s different here in Canada.

Seems pretty harmless.

Dwight_Schrute_False-s298x310-314578-580

The film–which aside from instilling feelings of abject failure and inadequacy into already-terrified pregnant women–argues that present-day hospital-based options for childbirth are often unnecessary, neglectful, and potentially life-threatening. For women with uncomplicated pregnancies, it strongly advocates for natural and/or home births with midwives, versus medicalized hospital births with obstetricians.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, god damn it, Ricki Lake, you’ve ruined my life!

While some of the information was irrelevant due to the fact that I am blessed to live in a country with socialized medicine, since the movie, I’ve found myself lying awake at night, asking the following questions:

  • Did I go about this all wrong?
  • What if everything doesn’t go as outlined in my birth plan?
  • Should I have gone with a midwife?
  • Would a natural and/or home birth without any drugs have been that bad?
  • Could I have at least chosen a hospital where the c-section rate wasn’t 1 in 3?
  • Won’t somebody please bring me a cheeseburger?

What’s worse, I’m beginning to question whether or not I was too complacent from the start.

Did I research my options enough?

Am I doomed to suffer a terrible hospital experience, only to be cut open at the end so the OB can make it home in time for dinner?

I feel like I’ve been tricked–much like that time in high school where they told us that the only way we were ever going to achieve success was if we went to university.

loans

I digress.

The documentary–as biased as it is–actually made me realize a few things:

  • I have more say in all of this than I think I do
  • It’s okay to ask questions
  • I have choices
  • It’s important to be informed of my rights and options, and advocate for myself
  • This is my body, my experience, and my baby

I guess you’re not so bad after all, Ricki.

Except for this unfortunate picture when she was on Dancing With The Stars

Except for this unfortunate picture taken when you were on Dancing With The Stars

I was all set to hit publish, when a perfectly-timed conversation with a friend who recently gave birth to a beautiful little girl made me realize I’ve actually been missing the most important thing.

You can go in with a perfect plan in mind of how you want things to go, but sometimes, life just doesn’t give a shit about your plans.

After sharing with me what sounded like the most complicated, frustrating, and quite frankly, terrifying labour experience, she said something incredibly beautiful. It’s something I hope I will fully understand when this process is all said and done.

“I have had my days of tears mourning what I thought was the perfect delivery. The truth is, the perfect delivery is the one that ends with your little bean in your arms.”

Eat your heart out, Ricki Lake.

I haven’t avoided a god damn thing and my fetus is a-ok

If my baby were to be born today, there’s a 99% chance he would survive without any major complications.

Is it because I’ve been a paragon of fierce avoidance? Aw, hecky naw. In fact, at the risk of sounding like an unfit mother, I’ve been pretty lenient as far as lifestyle changes go.

Most pregnant women want to do everything in their power to nurture and care for their baby. Some women take this very seriously, and some women are me.

calm-your-tits

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a monster.

When I fell pregnant last summer, out of sheer ignorance fear, I immediately threw out all cleaning products that contained words I didn’t recognize, swore off sushi and deli meat for fear of bacteria and/or listeria, and chucked all beauty essentials in case something happened to my fetus because my Oil of Olay face wash contained stearic acid.

And then I lost the baby.

something i did

This time around, I refused to live in fear. Risks are always going to exist, and I’m not going to put my life on hold just because there’s a minuscule chance that something might go wrong. I’ve spoken to my doctor. I’ve done my research. If he wasn’t going to make it, it most likely wouldn’t be because I didn’t boil my sliced turkey breast before eating it.

In fact, in the last eight months, I’ve:

  • Eaten sushi more times than I can count
  • Consumed raw cookie dough by the handful
  • Sipped wine here and there
  • Enjoyed several cans of coke and chocolate bars, sometimes at the same time
  • Seen a relatively frequent amount of pink in my steak
  • Came crawling back to Oil of Olay, and our relationship is stronger than ever
  • Eaten entire wheels of brie in various shapes and sizes; and of course
  • Rekindled my passionate love affair with deli meat sandwiches
sandwich

Artist’s rendition

And you know what? He’s doing just fine.

His dad, on the other hand, is still on litter duty.

Heh.

funny-litter-box-cat-pee

No one likes to talk about miscarriage, but I don’t give a crap

As I attempt to navigate my way through pregnancy and eventual parenthood, I thought starting a blog about it–specifically, one that didn’t involve naked belly photos and recipes to kick-start lactation–would be funny, therapeutic, and a great way to pass the time as I count down the working days until maternity leave starts (20, in case anyone was wondering).

blogging

As all three of my readers most of you know, I tend to not be too serious on here. I don’t want to treat this like a diary–I mean, nobody wants to read that garbage. The hits come when I am self-deprecating and sarcastic, anyway. And I’m cool with that.

So that’s why I’ve decided to switch gears (and forgo hits) to talk about something super depressing–miscarriage!

Don’t worry, this won’t be lengthy, explicit, or overly-personal. It’s just that nobody talks about it, ever. It’s almost as taboo as debating abortion and religion, and I’m not sure why.

evolution

I understand that death, pain and suffering aren’t exactly uplifting topics. But I learned the hard way that when you stuff your feelings deep down into the pit of your stomach and then pour alcohol on top of them, the result is a nightmarish existence of Biblical proportions.

I lost a baby this time last year. It was hell, and I couldn’t talk about it for a really long time. And I know this seems like another, oh great, Becca is talking about miscarriage again post, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that if you’re going through it, there are more people out there who understand than you realize–so say something. To anyone. If I do nothing else, I need to pass that on.

therapy

In 1988, then-president Ronald Reagan declared the month of October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in the US. In 2002, the states recognized October 15 as an official day of remembrance, and it caught on in Canada by 2004. Currently, there is a lobby to get it recognized in Australia as well.

I know no one likes to talk about miscarriage.

So here’s a cat licking a lollipop. Enjoy.

cat

ribbon