What was I thinking? Up until last night, our “how to hatch” classes were fun, in an open-minded, lighthearted kind of way. We’d learned relaxation techniques, discussed support methods, and investigated positions meant to increase comfort both during pregnancy and labor. There was serious material mixed in — the baby’s position, phases of labor, possible procedures and interventions — but nothing that I wasn’t at least 75% prepared to handle.
As a preface to last night’s class, let me fill you in on my plan for labor. I was 95% sure I’d want a natural birth. I’ll spare you the specifics, but for several reasons, I knew I’d prefer to experience labor with as little intervention as possible.
Last night, however, was a whole new ballgame, and may have changed my take on things a bit. For last night’s class, I needed more than an open mind — I needed a serious cocktail, or perhaps a massive glass of wine. The discussion focused mostly on cesarean births, and OH … MY … GOSH. My new strategy? A natural birth is still very much preferred, but if things are slow-moving and pitocin will move things along (and an epidural becomes necessary), by all means, let’s avoid a c-section! I know sometimes they’re just plain necessary, and in that case, it is what it is. But in a situation where I can at all help avoid a procedure considered major surgery, you can count on me to be right there — ready and willing! I guess I just never thought of a cesarean birth as one of my possibilities. As it turns out, an estimated 31.1% of all births in the United States are cesarean (2006 estimate), and that’s a number worth figuring into my birth plan!
At this point, I’ve seen enough external and internal monitors, hooks, and catheters. I’ve heard enough about rupturing membranes, post-partum bleeding and sitz baths. And so much fear has been instilled that I’m convinced it can’t be as bad as I’m imagining it to be. I’d venture to guess that this is the “I can’t do this” stage, to be followed by the “get this baby out of me no matter what because I can’t take another day” stage. It was bound to happen at some point, right? I’ve been so laid back about this entire pregnancy, so it’s only appropriate that my day has come.
For now, I plan to take one day at a time and not think about what’s in store. I can’t change it, so why fear it? I’m not a worrier, and I vow to not start now. Instead, I’ll enjoy the daily acrobatics taking place in this bubble of a belly (She’s been SO active lately!). I’ll do my best to make memories out of these final 7 1/2 weeks. Life will never be the same once she’s here, so I’ll appreciate the peace and serenity while we’ve still got it. I’ll enjoy “dates” with my husband, because we may not have them for a while. I’ll nest and prepare for her arrival, and we’ll wait. However it happens, the outcome will be the most amazing miracle we’ve ever taken part in, and that’s what really matters in the end.