Thoughtful Thursday: Know
December 3, 2009
Wiseguy from Woman Anyone? comes through yet again with an unprecedented 11 Intelligentsia appearances.
Kristen from Dragondreamer’s Lair is back for #8.
Photogrl from Not the Path I Chose returns for lucky #7.
Jill from All Aboard the Pity Boat makes her sixth appearance.
Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV is back for #5.
Mel from Stirrup Queens three-peats.
A from Are You Kidding Me? makes her first Intelligentsia appearance.
People who have read my birth story know that it ended well, but that it got pretty dodgy for a while. Until recently, I thought I knew everything there was to know about that dodginess.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to a close friend of DH’s, who is also my close friend, about the whole birth experience. He said something about the babies having been in danger.
Me: They were never in danger. I was the only one in danger. They were always fine.
Friend: That’s not what DH said.
Friend: He said the doctors pulled him aside and said that he could lose you and the babies. They didn’t want to upset you so they only told him.
Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t think that’s true.
Friend: Oh. I guess you weren’t supposed to know. Don’t tell him I said anything.
When I finally asked DH about it, he said the friend was totally mistaken, and that nothing like that happened. My memory accurately reflected the events of the birth. Phew.
This game of broken telephone raised a question in my mind. If we had all been in danger, would I have wanted to know?
I’ve had general anesthesia three times in my life: when my wisdom teeth were removed, IVF #1, and IVF #2. When you’re unconscious, you have no idea what is going on until everything is over. Good or bad, you are oblivious.
With the spinal anesthesia during my C-section, I was completely awake and alert. I couldn’t see what they were doing, but I could hear — and feel! — plenty. Before the “we need to talk” conversation, I could sense that something was going on. But, never having had a C-section before, who was I to say what was normal. Anyway, I was quite distracted trying to catch glimpses of my babies. By the time I sensed a shift in the tone of the room, Burrito and Tamale were out of my body and reportedly doing fine.
Until I saw the babies and was told they were healthy, I didn’t fully believe that I’d end up with two real live babies. I was prepared for all sorts of contingencies, but I never anticipated a scenario in which information could be withheld from me.
Given how I dealt with the “we need to do a hysterectomy to stop your hemorrhaging” talk, I think I would have handled any negative information about the babies reasonably well. I am certainly the kind of person who wants to know everything that’s going on. Presumably there are times when it seems medically indicated to withhold information: for example, if raising your blood pressure would compromise your health at that moment. Otherwise, personally I’d rather know everything that’s going on. False alarm? No problem. True alarm? I certainly don’t want to be the last to know.
What about you?
Would you rather know that something bad might possibly happen, or would you rather get information only when there’s certainty of a good or bad outcome?