Monday, November 5, 2012

38 Weeks & 6 Days - L&D Thoughts

Yes, I could have waited one more day to post a 39 week update, but in all likelihood, I will forget tomorrow and then you won't get another update for a week or more and who knows if I'll be able to update then?  So, today it is!

We're still on baby watch.  So far, I am dilated 1-2 cm and I am 70% effaced (this is as of last week's appt so who knows what tomorrow will hold for us) at a -2 station!  The doctor said I could have Easton at any point,  and honestly, I wish she hadn't said that.  What I've managed to convince myself she said was, "Easton will be born today and you will be holding him by the end of the afternoon!"....NOT the case at all, but when you're excited, well, you're just excited.  I've been doing my level best not to put too much pressure on the situation because I really do want him to come whenever he is most ready but the last week has been one of those crazy weeks where all we do is walk around the house cleaning things up, moving things from one place to another, stocking diapers in every corner of the house and looking rather expectantly at each other all day long.  I am assuming everyone that makes it "full term" goes through this and so far, we've done really well.  Hurry up and wait.

Everyone is so excited for us that we're getting texts all day that say things like, "You need to hurry up!" or "You need to tell that baby to get a move on!  I'm excited to meet him!"  or "Tell him not to come until XYZ day!" and so...I am feeling the stress a bit more.  Silly, huh?  :)  It's nerves, obviously.   It's not like I can control his arrival so I might as well not feel the pressure, but I do.  I had a friend who would literally CRY daily after she hit 35 weeks because she felt like she was failing everyone for not having her daughter sooner.  I remember thinking she was NUTS b/c after all, she has no control over any part of it!  I chalked it up to her age b/c she was "young".  I sort of understand her now, though.  I don't feel like a failure by any means, but I definitely feel like people are sitting around waiting on me to have this baby and are just as antsy as we are about it (which is pretty freakin' antsy).  I know they aren't but you know how it is when you're excited and nervous about something so huge....Which leads me to my next point!

The labor and delivery portion of the show.  Oh what a topic!  We have chosen a birthing location here in town that is less hospital, more birthing center.  It's a women's center that caters more to the birthing experience than your standard hospital does.  The accommodations are awesome, they supply you with birthing balls, squatting bars, more freedom to move about, etc.   My biggest disappointment was finding out they recently have gotten rid of their birthing tubs which I was extremely excited to use.  Argh.  Anyway, because I have decided to go as natural as possible for as long as I can handle it (I know, I know) I don't want any "extra" distractions, visitors, pressures, etc.  I know me and I know I need to be able to focus 100% of my concentration on every part of my L&D just so I give us the best chance of success.  It's so important to me.  Obviously, if I'm feeling pressure from text messages about having this little guy, knowing there are 13 people in the waiting room WAITING on us to get the job done so they can meet our son, well, that's a huge distraction for me.

Originally, we were going to labor as long as possible at home, head to the center whenever we felt ready and send out a baby alert when we were about 7-8 cm dilated.  That way, family could come out then and would not be out there for hours and hours just pacing the halls and waiting on us to deliver.  There is also the fact that we plan on having an hour or more with just us and the baby after he is born and cleaned up and returned to us to bond, try our hand at breastfeeding, enjoy meeting our son, rest a bit and then have visitors.  We neither one wanted to feel rushed through this special time.  We've waited a long time for this and we really do want to enjoy those first moments as a family so that we don't "forget" what it was like before the room was filled up with people and he was passed from one eager, loving person to another for a while.

This information (our plan) was handled pretty well by most people, but there were a few family members and friends who protested and have been so adamant about being in the waiting room while we labor that we've finally relented b/c it's just too exhausting trying to explain my heart and to continue arguing about it is not how I want to spend my last week or two.  My mom's argument is that she wants to be there in case something goes wrong or we have an emergency.  She says she'd never be able to live with NOT being there if something horrible happened to me.  (Let's hope and pray THAT isn't an issue, shall we?)    She just keeps saying I don't understand and one day, if I have a daughter I will understand.  Maybe I will, but I also would like to think that I'd try to understand where she's coming from, who she is as a person and why her wishes are so important to her.  It's not that I'm being selfish or overly independent - it's that a natural birth is important to me and if I know something is going to jeopardize that (b/c I know me), then I want to try and prevent that from happening.

I may not make it three hours naturally, but dangit, I wanna give myself the best chance possible.  I want to limit the chance for a c-section, I want L&D to go as quickly as possible, and I want to do it the way we've hoped for.  I know I have NO control over what happens to an extent, but some of it, I can.  (Side note-Don't you love when people say, "I can't wait to see how long it takes you to ask for an epidural!" - Some folks just don't get it!  Support, not hope for failure is what is needed here!)

Anyway, we've heard it from several folks and honestly, it's not about everyone else's interpretation of the situation or their intentions, it's about cause and effect for ME.  It doesn't matter how or why from everyone else's perspective, it matters how it impacts me at that very important time in my life.  I just wish I could convey that without being interrupted with the "Just wait, you'll see one day" or, "You're being ridiculous, no one is pressuring you by being there!" and so forth.  Oh well...some things are just too hard to explain to everyone.  Especially if they don't really understand the reasons behind your wishes.

We've decided we'll just address the situation in another way.  We'll let our family and close friends know when we're headed to the hospital and then once there, Rik is managing the phones/texts and the nurses will be instructed NOT to mention who is in the waiting room or what they are doing.  I don't want to know if Rik's dad is pacing the halls or trying to get in to see us.  I don't want to know if my mom is a nervous wreck (she will be - she is just so excited).  I don't want to know if there are 6 people there or 16.  I don't want to know if the British are coming!  We're just gonna pretend no one is there and I'll focus all my energy on getting this little boy here safe and sound with as little medical assistance as possible.  :)  Problem solved.  Rik won't go out and visit or update, I won't be checking my phone for texts, etc.  I won't have to worry about people wanting to come in for a visit.  If we change our minds, that's our choice to make then.  No pressure, no distractions.  Everyone's happy!

There is only one exception to all this.  My best friend, Keesha, is a nurse and we have a very special relationship.  We've been best friends since we were 15 years old.  She's been one of the only people I have ever depended on for emotional support and she's never let me down or disappointed me.  When I didn't have anyone else during those tough, late teenage years, she was there for me in all her brutal honesty.  :)  When I went through rough times in my early twenties, she helped me through them like a sister would.  She always understands where I'm coming from and if she doesn't, she tries her best to.  That girl is the most supportive person I've ever met.  She's also very practical and level-headed about these types of things - she's a nurse.  Our sons very well may be born on the same day and if her baby boy isn't here yet, I have a feeling she'll be there for me if I need her support or her guidance - in house or otherwise.    It's funny how some people just have a calming effect on you - that's my Kiki.  If we have any medical questions, she'll be our go-to for sure.

Well, this post turned out to be a long post about L&D, not really an update of any kind.  I guess that means I will just have to post again tomorrow assuming Baby E isn't here by then.  I hope this doesn't come across like I'm being unreasonable or anything.  I love all the support I've gotten from my closest buddies and our family.  They are amazing and have never done anything to make me think they'll be banging the door down to get into our room, it's just ME and my anxiety.  HA!  I wish I could explain it better, but I guess I can't.  I'm usually pretty good with words but I guess this time, I am struggling.  What are your thoughts on the subject?  Am I being unreasonable?  Selfish?  I really don't want to hurt anyone - especially people I love so very much!  Who knows, I may go into labor and beg 8 different people to meet me at the entrance to the hospital to hold my hand.  :)  That's how unpredictable I feel labor and delivery might be!  I just want to be IN the moment.

Until next time,


  1. No you are definitely not being selfish! Actually, I went to text you the other night to see if baby boy was here, but then I'm like "Chill out Sarah, she'll let people know when she's ready!" haha We didn't go full term (or even close) as you know so I didn't have to deal with all the calls/texts asking if baby was here etc. I can imagine it is a lot of pressure! "I don't want to know if the British are coming!" LOL Cracked me up. Well I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you all and wishing you the best experience!! xoxo

  2. Not selfish at all!
    Your L&D will be perfect no matter if some things don't go according to plan because in the end you will have your amazing baby boy in your arms... everything else won't matter (not much anyway)

  3. First off, you are NOT being selfish. We had friends and family who said the same thing, and honestly, I told my husband that (1) if we were in the hospital for a long time during the birthing process, he could let his mom know, but that she would be in the waiting room and NOT be getting updates. I was hoping for situation #2 (which is what happened) where we just never told anyone anything... and AFTER Stella was born, we called family and then they got to come. That gave us 2 SOLID HOURS alone with Stella (which is the typical alert/awake time a newborn has right away before they sleep for weeks *grin*), and I am so glad we had every minute of that together. It's not about your parents or your friends or anyone else (unless you want it to be). It's about that new family of 3 that is being LITERALLY born. You get to be selfish about this, b/c it's YOUR body and YOUR baby and YOUR birthing time.

    Also, I'll never understand why people feel the need to share horror stories or wish for you to "fail" in regards to your hopes for your birthing experience. What happened to love and support and respect?! It's an intense time, for sure, but you are stronger than you know, and you will do great!! Keep reminding yourself that it's intense pressure, and that the pressure is DOING something (getting your baby closer to you), and that it WILL end, and once your baby is in your arms, the pressure will immediately be gone and HOLY SHIT you'll have a baby in your arms. It will all be worth it, and you will do great. :)

    1. I just reread your post, and EEEEK!!!!!!!! You are so close. :) How amazing that be it 3 hours or 3 weeks from now, within the 3 weeks you WILL have your baby in your arms. Wow. It's such a magical, wondrous time in life. Enjoy every minute of it, and try not to let OTHER people's "wants" stress you out right now. It's not about them. You deserve to be truly relishing in every minute of this, and they can all take a chill pill and let you BE. Hang in there Shannon!

  4. I'm so behind in my blogging that you might be reading this from the hospital and it won't make any difference to you at all. LOL. You are so close!!! Also, you are definitely NOT being selfish at all! That's one of the hardest things for extended family to realize, once you get married and start having babies... your new little family trumps everything else. You have to always think FIRST about what is best for your little family... and the bigger extended family will have to suck it up. Putting pressure on yourself (especially during natural labor!!!) is not selfless, it makes the whole situation more likely to be ... not the outcome you'd like. You do what you need to for you, and your baby.

    Also, I totally get the freaking out about not going into labor yet. My first child, I was 2 weeks late. 2 freaking weeks!!! That's 42 weeks gestation. I was crying every day past my due date. LOL. And then my second child, I wanted a VBAC (cause my first was an emergency c-section), but my OB said only if I went into labor on my own before my due date (because my baby was measuring big, and other complications)... so from about 36 weeks on, I tried SO HARD to go into labor on my own, so that I could try for a VBAC. Again, I cried and cried... and ended up with my scheduled section. But both babies are here now, safe and healthy and beautiful. And I kind of miss being pregnant and having that cute little baby moving in me all the time. Anyway, I don't really have a point, more just rambling and saying that I get it. LOL.

    Good luck! And my BEST advice for you during labor... is that every pain, and every contraction that you get through is one that you'll never have to feel again. Take them one at a time, and know that as each one is gone, that it won't be coming back. You may have others, but that one is gone. And it got you that much closer to holding your precious baby. You will do great Mama!!!