The Best Laid Plans

Over the last few weeks I’ve had more questions about labor than I thought a girl could possibly get. When it became OK to publicly discuss the status of my cervix (nope, not dilated yet, not even a little), the position of the baby (don’t think he/she dropped yet, but not really sure) and my opinion on high-test pain medicine, I’m not sure. However… the following is what I want (or don’t want) as far as labor goes:

  • I want this to happen on or before September 23rd. I am not interested in going past my due date. I leased out my ute for 40 weeks, not 41, not 40 weeks and 3 days. When we hit the 40-week mark I’m signing eviction papers.
  • I don’t want to be induced. As much as I want to go on or before my due date, I also would much rather go into labor on my own, be able to spend the first few hours of it in my own house, in my own clothes, maybe my own bathtub or shower than to have to spend that entire amount of time in the hospital. Add to that the experiences of others that I know who were in labor for 20+ hours after being induced then by the time they got to push were exhausted from being awake for so long and not having anything to eat and it just doesn’t sound like a good time.
  • I don’t want a c-section. Self-explanatory, I think. I hear the recovery is longer, steps are tough etc. All things that will mean I will need to lean on others for help more after I come home and I don’ t want that either. And, with a c-section you can’t get out of bed for a longer period of time, you can’t eat solid foods for a day or so… I want to pop out this kid, get up and take a shower and eat a cheeseburger (with something chocolate for dessert.)
  • I don’t want to be in so much pain that I need an epidural. This one really makes people’s eyes go wide and then they get that look on their face like “uh-huh, good luck with that” and I can see them mentally making bets with themselves as to how far I’ll be before I ask for the needle in my back. Something about the epidural just freaks me out. Maybe it’s the side effects – the headaches, the maybe it only takes on one side, maybe it effects the baby’s heartbeat, the fact that it’s a big ass needle going into my spine, etc, but I just don’t like the idea of getting one. And I get that I don’t know what the pain of labor is going to be like, but I also know that a) it’s temporary, b) people used to do it without them all the time and c) if you have an epidural they give you a catheter. I’m pretty vain and it’ll take a lot of pain for me to be OK with having a catheter and my husband in the room.
  • I want our time at the hospital to go fast enough that we don’t need to call for reinforcements. Long shot I know. But my absolute hope is that Craig and I can do this on our own. I understand that if we’re there for a long time we may need to have someone come keep him company or bring him something to eat or someone to sit with me while he takes a break. Best case scenario, we make it to the hospital and have the baby before anyone misses us.
  • I want to remember everything about the first moments after the baby is born. I’m absolutely looking forward to that 45 minutes or so that we get with the baby before the nurses take him/her to the nursery for whatever it is they do (bath, weight, ear test, etc). I hope to be alert enough to remember the first cry, to know whether Craig cries or not, to commit to memory the look on his face when he holds his baby for the first time and the look in the baby’s eyes when he/she sees me for the first time. Those few precious moments when it’s just us (even if we have to lock the room down like Fort Knox to keep anxious grandparents at bay) are when we become a family and I don’t want to forget them.

So there you have it, my birth plan. I know other chicks whose plans include things like exercise balls to sit on, soft music, low lighting, focus points, etc… not me… I don’t know how that stuff is going to go. I’m willing to make all of those things game day decisions as will most of the other things I mentioned, I suppose. But Craig knows how I feel about most of these things and it will be his job to gently remind me of what I wanted weeks and months before delivery when I was calm, not in pain and not an emotional nutcase.

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