Sunday, January 19, 2014

Why natural childbirth is like Splash Mountain

It's no secret that I LOVE Disney World - it's probably my favorite vacation destination. That place is so magical, and everyone gets to be a kid, and don't even get me started on how I can't wait to take our own kids there and see it through their eyes. I'll cry for sure! But, when it comes to thrill-seeking, I am admittedly and unapologetically vanilla. Space Mountain? Never been on it. The Tower of Terror? Terrified! But somehow, my mom always manages to drag me onto Splash Mountain - the log flume ride that ends with a 53 foot drop into the brier patch below. Thrill rides. Not a fan. But I got to thinking about it the other day and I realized that natural childbirth is pretty much the most intense thrill ride you can go on. Check it out:

If you're anything like me, perhaps you begin by thinking, "hm, do I really even want to go on this ride?" There you are, standing in front of the viewing area, watching log after log of shrieking riders go plummeting to their doom, and wondering, just why, exactly you would choose this particular ride over, say, the air-conditioned Hall of Presidents. The first time you rode the ride, you really didn't know what to expect, so, sure, you were game! You naively climbed into your hollowed-out log and off you went. But, faced with riding a second time, you remembered - ""hey, that was kind of scary," (or in laborland, "hey, that hurt like a son-of-a-pup") and I'm not totally sure I want to do that again." 

Regardless of why, you find yourself in a hollowed-out log again. And the ride starts and you think "this isn't so bad, look at all the cute little singing bunnies!" You encounter the first set of mini-rapids and you're all "I can totally handle this! Look ma, no hands!" But then Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear show up and the mood gets a little darker - uh oh! The Slippin' Falls are up ahead! That more daring drop-off rocks your confidence a bit, but you press onward, because there's no getting off the ride now. And then, then, you begin your ascent to the final descent, and again, if you're anything like me, you're starting to panic. Perhaps you curse your traveling companion* who got you on this ride in the first place as your log click-click-clicks its way up the huge hill. And your mind, and in all likelihood, your mouth as well, is screaming "I don't want to do this anymore! I want to get off, get me off this ride!" Your log crests the hill, with a dazzling view of the entire theme park - perhaps the person you rode with is saying something unintelligible like "Look, isn't it pretty? Look, I can see the carousel!" "OH MY GOD, GET ME OUT OF HERE, WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS ANYWAY???" but there's nothing left to do but shut your eyes, duck and yell your head off as you careen down a 53 foot drop in a matter of seconds. cautiously open one eye, then the other. You survived! You're a bit wet from the giant splash, but otherwise fine. 

And your first thought is: "I have GOT to do that again!"

*To my credit at no point did I curse my husband in the delivery room. Or my mom on Splash Mountain, for that matter.  

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