#Weeknotes 44 (19 Nov) — The curse of knowledge
This week I attended the second of three online antenatal courses offered by my hospital’s trust. Just like the first one, the two-hour session bled into two and half hours. There was a lot of information covered and all seem quite important and sensible to learn. At the same time, it can feel quite overwhelming to take in and retain.
I’ve always felt lucky to be alive in this time period where technology allows us to be superhumans. We can learn about any subject without leaving our seats, all the world’s information feels like just a few keystrokes away. It’s all instantaneous. The only downside is it’s not always easy to sift out the relevant info from the fluff and not all information we come across are reliable and it’s difficult to differentiate.
But even when we do get our hands on credible information that are trustworthy, they aren’t always helpful.
Once we learn something, it’s difficult to unlearn it. I can’t unlearn my ability to speak English nor can I unlearn established gender biases which makes me sensitive to sexist remarks. Same with having knowledge of something. I stopped following the news for years now because I know I’d feel helpless and agitated upon hearing the large portion of negative events happening around the globe that I can do nothing about.
We aren’t always better off knowing more.
This becomes more acute in my current pregnancy experience. I never realised how many things I need to be aware of as my body prepares itself to create another human. There are things that I can expect to happen: physical health checks; body changing; the stages of labour and items to prepare for the birth and baby; And there are things that could happen: miscarriage; high blood pressure; gestation diabetes; infections; preeclampsia; stillbirth; depression etc which feel just as important to learn about but can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. I know whenever I read about any complications or things that could go wrong, I imagine it happening to me and this fear and worry isn’t helpful in preparing my mind and body for labour.
Times like this one gotta weigh what’s more important. Keeping a positive mindset, focusing on recommended actions, trusting your body and worrying less OR being very well informed and coming up with contingencies for all possible complications (which is endless by the way) that may result in a very stressful 9 months experience.
I think I will go with the former. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Know what you absolutely need to know and let nature take its course. Understand that many things are out of your control and if complications do happen, trust that you’ll get through it. 💪 That’s my plan anyway!
Oh, and information that is neutral or positive doesn’t hurt either. For example, the Bounty app tells me that this week, my baby should be as big as a bunch of bananas! I think they’re running out of whole fruits…