Tuesday, June 5, 2012

To Know or Not to Know

The day Mrs. Blackwell went into labor was the culmination of months of anticipation and some preparation for us. 

We read a fair amount. We went to a birthing class together. I successfully graduated from Daddy Bootcamp. (Hold your applause please.) All told, I'd say we were somewhere in the middle in terms of our level of preparation.

Incontrovertible proof that one is fully prepared to be a parent.
Now, our experience differed from most in that we required weekly doctors visits so, we learned a lot through them alone. In fact, Mrs. Blackwell can now perform her own ultrasounds. 

But there are those who read volumes of books, watch videos, go to multiple classes and then, when they're done, read some more books.

Then there are the folks who acknowledge they're pregnant and prepare for the arrival of their baby by doing little to nothing. 

Perhaps the knowledge seekers and preparers are trying to take some ownership of the situation and feel a measure of control. Perhaps the folks who don't bother  with these approaches simply acknowledge that there really is no controlling this situation. A baby will arrive when it arrives and you don't really know what the best course of action is until he or she gets here. 

Mrs. Blackwell and I felt the potential benefits to both sides of this equation. In the lead up to labor and even in the hours after her water broke, we were all set up for an old-fashioned child birth. 

Then we were informed by the doctor that things were getting complicated and they'd have to do a C-section. 

He likes sleeping in baskets. Yet more knowledge
we couldn't find in any of the books.
We were fortunate that we'd read a bit and were prepared for this possibility so, we had a good idea of what was going to happen. But, once we got in the delivery room and our little guy was born we were introduced to new, unforeseen complications

So, for a bit, we had a sliver of a clue what was going on and then we had none. And, quite frankly, I'm not sure that knowing was any better than not. 

Mrs. Blackwell and I have a friends who just welcomed their first child into the world too. In the lead up to delivery they did little in the way of preparation. Their labor began, they went into the hospital and just a couple hours later, they had a baby. No fuss, no muss. 

Perhaps not knowing made them less nervous than knowing. Maybe, for the knowledge junkies, being well versed helps lower their blood pressure by eliminating some of the fear of the unknown.

We've had our boy home for about three weeks now and, frankly, what we knew a week ago no longer applies. There is no way of knowing what's next  for any of us.

Ignorance had indeed better be bliss.

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