So, as of today, I have exactly THREE weeks before I get induced. Three. Weeks. That’s it.
I gotta be honest, I don’t feel ready. Don’t get me wrong…I have all my baby stuff.
Car seat, check.
Blankets, swaddles, soothers, bottles, burp clothes, etc, etc, etc, check!
What I don’t have is a CLUE as to how it’s all going to go down, and how I’m going to get through it.
No clue, brah.
Should I, uhm…do stuff?
By this time the first time around, I had:
- taken a birthing class
- taken a Lamaze class
- done a workshop to sew my own nursing pillow (successfully, I might add)
- gotten my breathing techniques down to a fine art
- even put together a very basic birth plan (Pain meds, yes please. Husband in the room. Get her out as safely as possible. Please bring me tea and toast when all is said and done.)
Three weeks out the first time around, I was making a list of which freezer meals to prepare, and was putting the finishing touches on the conclusion to my frickin’ MSc dissertation (true story — and passed!)
This time… well… uhm… well this morning it took me almost 3 hours to waddle around the local outlet mall picking up last minute bits for Little Potato’s birthday party, and now I’m in so much pain I cannot physically get off the couch without a forklift. I had every intention of putting all the goody bags together but instead ended up watching Stranger Things 2 while eating a
pot plate of Kraft Dinner.
Poor Bob the Brain, he was the hero Hawkins needed but didn’t deserve.
I should probably do stuff
I gotta be honest. I’m exhausted. Like existentially exhausted. My hips are so sore all the time that walking is painful.
I’ve been having incredibly intense Braxton Hicks contractions for the last 3 days… the kind that take your breath away a bit, and make your tummy feel like you’ve just done a massive upside-down loop on a killer roller coaster (and not in a good way).
Add to that intense pressure downstairs and I feel like moving from the bed to the couch is enough to earn me a Mom of the Year award.
I done good.
So I’m not doing as much I had planned to do when starting my leave.
However, I’ve been getting a lot of articles to my email about the impending labour / birth and all the things I should know. I should know how to breathe. I should know what my pain relief options are. I should go for a tour of the delivery ward. I should pack my hospital bag (well, at least that is 90% done).
The reality is I DID all of this the first time around. And NOTHING went to plan.
My painkillers didn’t take. They tried 3 times to give me morphine and fentanyl. My body was like “NOPE!”
The tried two epidurals. Neither one took properly.
My birth plan was left at the bottom of my hospital bag.
I was in labour for almost 3 days total, before they just ended up having to intervene and pull her out. Because she wasn’t interested in being born just then. Yo, she was comfy.
“No thanks, I’m good right here,” she said.
I ended up staying in hospital for 5 days because, even full term, my Little Potato was a smurf (4 lbs 9 oz — the delivery nurse said I “cooked small babies”. Charming.)
Because I ultimately ended up giving birth on gas and air, some of the breathing came in handy but let’s be honest:
- when it hurts like a mo-fo and there are 17 other people in the delivery room telling you what to do
- people keep shunting your husband out of the way while he’s trying to do HIS job
- several of them are trying to get a read on your baby’s stress levels while you’re contracting
- the doctors can’t seem to figure out why the baby isn’t progressing despite nearly 60 hours of labour
- and you’re trying not to shout at them to “just get her the <bleep> OUT already!”
… mindful breathing becomes a distant memory.
Maybe I don’t need to do stuff
I’ve been reminiscing about that time a lot lately. Obviously. And while a part of me thinks that I should really get my ass in gear and brush up on some things, this time my whole pregnancy has been a series of unexpecteds. And I’ve learned at this stage in life that no amount of preparation can really prepare you for what’s ahead. The most important thing is to remain calm and open to anything.
This whole thing is going to go down exactly how it’s going to go down and no amount of me fretting about it will make it easier, shorter, or “better”.
I had a few friends the first time around who were so bitterly disappointed their birth experience didn’t go as planned. It really tarnished what was supposed to be an amazing time. I didn’t really know what to expect so didn’t have too many expectations back then, to be honest.
This time around, I feel like going in with no expectations other than getting her out safely is probably the best plan. And spending the next 3 weeks in relaxation mode rather than stressing is probably a better use of my time.
So I’ll finish watching Stranger Things 2. Then I’ll move on to Riverdale. After that… maybe I’ll eat some real pasta.
Yeah. I got this.