Sunday, December 05, 2004

Life, the unedited version

I admit it. I'm a "TLC" addict.

For those of you in the non-cable world, TLC is The Learning Channel. And I've watched everything on TLC -- "Trading Spaces," "Clean Sweep," "A Makeover Story," and "What Not to Wear." Let's just say I've watched so many shows on TLC that I not only know all the designers on "Trading Spaces" but I've even had dreams in which my family members are part of the cast. Pathetic, I know.

During my pregnancy, there was one show on TLC that topped all the others, one I never missed -- "A Baby Story." Every morning at 9 a.m., TLC would follow an expecting couple and videotape their birth experience from right before their child's arrival until right after the baby came home. Some segments involved couples who had had struggles in their lives -- either infertility or premature babies in earlier pregnancies -- but most featured perfectly fine couples who would have perfectly fine babies and come home to their perfectly fine lives. Each segment always followed the same pattern -- a couple is introduced, they talk about how they met, they have a party of some sort before their baby is born, the baby is born without complications, and the couple is interviewed at the end with their new baby.

I learned a lot from "A Baby Story." I learned what drugs doctors use to induce birth (Pitocin), how often women ask for epidurals (a lot) and what a water birth is like. As my pregnancy progressed, I envisioned what my labor would be like, how I'd likely yell at Joel through all of it, and how happy I would be to hear my baby's cry for the first time in the delivery room.

In the end, nothing turned out as I envisioned. There was no labor, no water breaking, no screaming at Joel through the contractions. I didn't even hear Will's cry in the delivery room (I've since learned that babies with Cornelia de Lange syndrome have a very low cry so it's possible he was crying in the delivery room but I just couldn't hear him.)

But even if things didn't turn out as I planned, I still have a beautiful son. And I've learned that life isn't like TV shows. Life can't be edited so only the happy moments show. Life is what it is and all you can do is muddle through and try to make the most of it.

And today, my original due date, I did just that. I held Will for about three hours and looked into his beautiful blue eyes while he sucked on his binky and sang him "The Rainbow Connection." And I realized that even if things don't always happen as we plan, sometimes the happen they way they're supposed to. And for me, that's enough.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, Maureen...beautifully said.


9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Moe,

Were you dreaming about Mom going on Clean Sweep? I had that same dream too. Give Will a gentle kiss from Uncle Mike and Aunt Jamie.... We Love you lots. - your bro XOXO

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember you and your "Baby Story," and seeing the baby exhibit at the Boston Science Museum. You've learned a lot about life's vagaries since then and acquired wisdom most of us don't come to until later in life, or never.

This is going to sound incredibly sappy, but too bad; here it is anyway: your generosity in sharing your thoughts and feelings has enriched the rest of us.

Lotsa love from Grandma/Mom Kurth

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maureen & Joel: Your words are most uplifting and sincere. Keep the faith...We love you all. Grandma & Grandpa Feighan xox

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just talking with your Mom/Mother-in-law,Pat tonight and had said just about what Grandma Kurth said
how your sharing has enriched our lives, makes us all
stop and think about the really important things in life
and be grateful for those we love & pray for those who need our prayers. I am in awe of all three of you.
Kathy Greco

3:16 AM  

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