I had a minor meltdown on Saturday afternoon.
It happened after our second and final childbirth class - the one where they give you the hospital tour and talk about pain medication options and then explain what will happen post-partum, which is the part I was really interested in and I think also what put me over the edge.
The meltdown started internally, in class, but I kept it inside. I think it was primarily a "we have been here for four and a half hours and this chair is SUPER uncomfortable at this point and I have to pee and IT IS JUST TIME TO GO RIGHT NOW." I looked over at my husband, who was clearly no longer paying attention (admittedly, it was during the post-partum bit, which is naturally more interesting to me than to him, plus he has a hard time dealing with blood (I know, I know, labor, we'll figure it out) and sometimes his way of coping is to zone out and think about golf, or steaks, or something). So, naturally, I started by getting slightly pissed at him for not paying attention to this very crucial part of class filled with information he absolutely needs to know, even though I myself was barely able to get any more stuff into my head at that point.
Pregnancy: not the greatest friend to logic.
Anyway, I could feel myself wavering between, "WHAT is wrong with him?" and, "dude, I can't take any more either," and I think my brain just started to shut down. Trust me, I've thought before about what labor is going to be like, but there's nothing like six videos and a long discussion about peri bottles (take the class, I'm not explaining it to you) to make you realize that OHMYGOD I am going to have to push this actual baby out of my actual hoo-ha and that is going to HURT and it is happening real soon and there is no way of getting out of it oh shit.
Hence, meltdown. Mostly, I took a nap. I think my brain just needed to reset, like turning off your computer and then turning it back on, which fixes about 90% of the things I do to screw up my computer. And it worked pretty well. I cried for about 10 minutes when I first hit the pillow - not so much from fear (okay, a little fear) but mostly from information overload. Over the past few days, I've been able to take the class apart in my head and digest the information piece by piece, and it feels much better.
I'm glad we took the class. I feel more prepared. I know I can do this. I know I have a great hospital and great medical people to help me.
But there are a lot of unknowns out there. And it feels like they're rushing up to meet me awfully quickly these days. Because it's not just the unknowns of giving birth - how much will it hurt? how long will it take? what will it be like? - it's that those unknowns are just the beginning of a lifetime of unknowns, and they only get bigger from here.