The Taboo of Labor Complications

“One day you’re going to wish you could still hug me.”

My wife playfully said this to me the other day, however it pierced right through me like a hot knife on cold, hard, butter. I mean, immediately as she said it I envisioned the pain of not having her around forever in my life. I actually can’t put into words how sad I literally got for the brief moment before I asked, “Why would you say that?”

The truth is, that this pregnancy has actually had me on edge. Every ache, every pain, every new symptom that my wife describes, becomes my reality and it makes me constantly worry if everything is ok. The newest one is that her pelvic area is extremely painful, and that she said she’d seen the symptom on the What to Expect mobile app in this week’s “Common Symptoms” area. The culprit could be SPD, otherwise known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, which is a $1000 term for “stretched ligaments that normally keep your pelvic joint aligned…” yada yada yada “causing pain…” blah blah blah… “if pain is severe, ask your practitioner.”

Well here’s the thing; I will usually downplay everything and joke around, but if I see her in some real pain, I melt. And this time, she had tears coming out.

I need to figure out why this is happening right now. Are you in pain? Where does it hurt? How long has it hurt? What’s it feel like? Do we need to go to a doctor? And I try not to stress out, so as to not stress her out… but in actuality, inside, I’m stressed. I’m worried.

See, this is the love of my life. I couldn’t imagine life without her, and thoughts of her having a troubled delivery have actually crossed my mind. It literally scares me. It’s one of those things that you can’t talk openly about… it’s Taboo. But with all the reading I’ve done about the chance of labor complications in The Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies, and other blog sites, the thought rattles around in my mind in it’s most annoying form, so much so that I have to take a moment out of my day whenever it happens and pray for Paps to have a healthy delivery.

… I’m crazy right…?

I have a tendency to plan for the worst-case scenario.  For instance, I have an emergency earthquake kit with first aid, stored food, and extra drinking water; I’ve invested in life insurance in case I die so Paps wouldn’t have to suffer financially while suffering emotionally.  I don’t know if that’s the Marine Corps side of me, or if that’s something I’ve always done; but complications while the love of my life is giving birth to my child, is one worst-case scenario I will never put more thought into because it already feeds on me like a parasitic tape worm on my mind.

Here’s a health update for you non-MD’s; SPD is not life threatening, but if she actually has it (and it turns out to not be just the baby stretching her belly out), it could possibly affect her for a year after the birth, and she’d be more likely to have it during the next pregnancy. But the SPD isn’t where it stops. The headaches, the back aches, the throbbing feet, the chills, the shoulder strains… even though I’ve read to expect most of this and I shouldn’t be surprised, the fact is I can’t take her suffering away; and believe me when I say, I would if I could.

So I can only watch helplessly and offer my “help,” knowing that I can’t permanently do anything but be empathetic to her pain.

I don’t want to lose my wife. Ever. Not now. Not in 90 years. And so when she said that to me… “One day you’re going to wish you could still hug me,” it really hit me in the gut, and took me to a place where I never want to go again…

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Posted in Dissapointment, Fearwith 2 comments.


  • Patrick says:

    My stressed out reaction during my first’s pregnancy was waking up in the middle of the night thinking someone was in my house and then stalking the place with a fire poker for ten minutes until I realized no one was there.

    I lived in a three room condo at the time. It was the silliest thing ever. The stress is normal. Laugh at it.

    And then hit it in the face with a fire poker.

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