Sunday, December 04, 2005

What Are the Odds?

I watch very little television. What I DO watch tends to be for kids (for Athena) or something somewhat educational (history, discovery, etc.) And on Sundays, I have a sort of tradition of folding laundry and watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition. It's one of the few shows on that I find regularly good and worthwhile. And, of course, it always makes me cry. Which I hate to do. Cry at television shows or movies, that is. Not cry in general.

So tonight, I had actually already folded the laundry and I was downstairs heating up a snack. Chris came down to watch his DVRed episodes of Lost, so I asked if he minded if I just catch the opening of Extreme Makeover while my snack finished heating so I wouldn't miss any of the back story. He happily agreed and settled down to watch with me.

Well, I didn't prepare for this episode by going online to see what the family's hardship was. I don't like to do that anyway because I feel the show is better if I just watch it. This week, a widower and his three daughters (ages 6, 2.5 and maybe 8 months... if that old) asked for help. Turns out his wife died ON MOTHER'S DAY, no less, from a heart problem that was related to the strain of pregnancy and delivery.

Now, this is the SECOND time I have done this to my husband. When I was about seven months pregnant with Athena, I dragged him to see Jersey Girl. Not having kept up with reviews, etc., I had no idea that the whole premise of the movie was that the mother dies just after delivering her first child because of a brain aneurism... again, linked to the strain of delivery. In this show, it was apparently several days (perhaps weeks) after the child was born, and this man's wife went to bed and within an hour, died in her sleep. He went to wake her, having no idea something was wrong, and she was gone.

My poor husband was clearly moved by this, and who wouldn't be? Here I am, 34 years old, six months pregnant with my second child, and constantly complaining of my aching back and how tired I am and how much of a strain this pregnancy seems to be putting on my body compared to the last one. Now, I have no idea how often women die secondary to labor and delivery, and I'm sure the numbers are relatively low, but holy crap! How terribly frightening is that to see something, especially in this case a true story, JUST BEFORE you are about to embark on that joyous journey called childbirth?! Yipes.

Sure, it scares me a bit, but honestly, I'm not really worried about it happening to me. However, if I were Chris, I would simply be beside myself. He watched the whole show with me. And he said that it was worse this time (as opposed to Jersey Girl) because he actually has a child now... and he can see better what it would be like. I think this time was also worse (certainly for me) because it wasn't J-Lo dying on a big screen while we were eating popcorn. This was a real woman with three beautiful children. It's a lot harder to put that from your mind.

So as little television as I see (I don't even watch every episode of Extreme Makeover), I managed to catch the most relevant and heart wrenching episode I could and I somehow did it on a night when Chris actually sat down to watch with me. We certainly thought and talked a lot about how fortunate we are. And he told me that if I did die soon after delivery, he would kick my ass. He would do it, too. So I think I'll stick around.


Chris said...

It would be a much deserved and impressive ass-kicking too.

A Girl From Texas said...

Home makeover is the ONLY program on tv that makes me cry.

But I worry about the people they help once they get their new home. Do they have to pay increased taxes? Does the house still belong to them? If they sell it down the road do they have to give money back to ABC? I want to know what the fine print says.

A Girl From Texas said...

You know, I posted my previous comment without having read your entire post.

Since I am single, I have only my imagination to fall back on when thinking about what it must be like to have children. I always thought that pregnancy would actually scare the hell out of me because I have so little control over what is happening to my body.