These days, it truly baffles me how there is any thing left to know about pregnancy, delivery and postpartum with all the resources at a mom-to-be’s fingertips. “Everything you ever wanted to know” is merely a click away.
But…my question remains, “HOW realistic is it, to read something called “everything you ever wanted to know” about anything that you are going to experience?
Now, I am not suggesting to be unprepared for labor and delivery, nor am I saying not to have information to read when you are pregnant …but something with the title “everything” should give any of us pause for thought.
No mom-to-be or parents-to-be need to know anywhere near “everything”.
In my professional opinion…depending upon what you choose to read, you could be driving yourself right into your first legitimate “panic attack“. Then you will have to start reading about “panic disorders” as well.
A few years ago, I had the unpleasant experience of open heart surgery…oh sure, I read, and prepared. I learned about the robotics approach and how that would prevent the need for the open chest incision…which was certainly an appealing idea.
As a nurse, who had taken care of patients after open-heart surgery I new the smaller, less invasive approach was certainly a great option, but I also knew the ultimate choice was not going to be entirely mine to make. So, I put myself in the hands of The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital here in Chicago and listened carefully to what the doctors had to tell me about the condition of my mitral valve. My surgeon told me robotics would not be the best approach. At that moment, I put my entire confidence and life in his skilled and capable hands.
No, he did describe all the details of what it would be like recovering from the scariest surgery of my life…but he was confident he could repair my valve without having to give me an artificial one…but that was not a guarantee until he was actually inside my chest looking at my heart.
I will not bore you with all I did not know about post-operative open heart recovery…but I will tell you that I am glad there was no book with the title, “Everything you want to know when you are having open-heart and valve repair surgery”.
As it was, from my own nursing experience… I knew and had seen entirely too much…I was scared, but fortunately blessed with an inner calm and peace. I had a supportive family to welcome me back from the hands of my surgeon.
I am happy that I did not know all the gory details about recovery from cardiovascular surgery, just as I was glad that I did not know all that I would experience after delivering my first child, 30+ years before. I knew enough. Professionals, friends and family helped me muddle through those six difficult post operative weeks after heart surgery just as they did as I muddled through those six blurry postpartum weeks as a young woman years ago.
A funny thing comes to mind about these so very different life experiences…I always tell my friends when they pack for a hospital stay to bring their own pillow…it will bring them much needed comfort.
As a new mom, when I left the hospital for the 2 hour trip home with my infant daughter I used my own pillow to sit on…after heart surgery, I was given a MENDED HEART pillow…on my way home, I used that pillow to hug .
For me…I guess all I really needed to know was have a pillow handy.