When one thinks of having a baby, there are most certainly two words that you would never think of side by side: Labor and Games. For most women labor is the FURTHEST thing from fun and games. While my experience wasn’t horrific, (actually, it was pretty downright smooth), I still wouldn’t call it a walk in the park and I still wouldn’t categorize it under “Fun.” Miraculous, yes. Fun, ehhh. Not so much.
Somehow though, TLC has managed to create a show that gives a little levity to the act of labor with a new game show called “Labor Games.” It basically goes like this: A lovely host barges into a hospital and gives couples already in labor the chance to answer trivia questions in order to win life-changing prizes for their child — all before the baby is even born. The room literally lights up and becomes a game show stage, all while the mom works through her contractions and the desire to not kill those around her… ( Wait, that’s how you guys felt too right?)
See when I was pregnant with Jonah, I had this full-blown labor plan– a predetermined map of how everything would go. While medical professionals and veteran moms laughed at my little pipe dream, Jonah’s dad remained very supportive: “Whatever you want.” Amen. SO, I carried on, determined to control as much as I could. I’d been doing prenatal yoga religiously, I’d read every book there was about pregnancy and labor, and I even had a doula (birth coach) that would be my side (because I WAS NOT GOING TO HAVE AN EPIDURAL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE).
Well, after 24 hours of back labor (not one contraction felt in my actual uterus), the plan went out the window. I had labored at home as long as I could, so by the time we got to the hospital I was about 5cm dilated. For the next few hours, I cried, moaned, and yoga-balled my way through the pain, all while T-Ko and the rest of our family looked on silently (jaws dropped I think), wishing they could help. But you see, according to Section 4B, Code 8A2 of my “plan,” family members may be present during labor, but they must not speak, intervene, or “suggest” a FUCKING THING.”
Fortunately for them, they obliged.
But, after several hours of the most horrific pain I can think of and our sweet family looking on like spectators of an elephant in heat at the zoo, it was time for me to call for mercy. At 7cm, I got the epidural. Within an hour, I progressed to 10cm and it was go time. 30 maybe 40 minutes later, I had a baby and he was perfect (some things do go according to plan, of course).
I’m wise enough to know now that for this pregnancy/ labor, you can only prepare and plan so much. Will I labor at home as much as possible? Probably. Will I get an epidural? Not sure. Will I want to kill everyone around me? Probably. The point is: Labor is actually a big guessing game. It can go so many different ways…. Including, turning into a game show. I mean, that is how unpredictable it is. (Insert, elbow nudge and wink here).
Be sure to catch a sneak peek of Labor Games tomorrow, Wednesday 5/6, at 10p/9c on TLC. Check out the fun trailer below!
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with TLC and the producers of “Labor Games.” Opinions are my own.