Well, this weekend I moved up in the “pregnancy line-up” in our neighborhood from “in the hole” to “on deck.” Sharon had a beautiful little girl, and now I’m the next one in line. This has, understandably, got me thinking about labor and delivery and having a baby – despite being only 32 weeks.
I had a dream on Friday night/ Saturday morning that I went into labor while Jonathan was at work. I said, in my dream, “Oh. Jonathan’s at work. I’ll just hold off until he gets home.” Because labor totally works that way. . . in dreams.
When we were expecting our mackerdoodle, Jonathan’s fear was that I was going to leave things too late and he was going to have to deliver our daughter. I promised him that I wouldn’t, and it turned out that there really wasn’t any fear of it. We went in at 3:30 am with contractions 3 minutes apart, and had a baby 13 hours later. Not exactly cutting it close, were we? The cheesedoodle was a convenience induction – the OB’s convenience, not mine – but it was still 6 hours from start to finish. In both cases I was in hospital for more than 48 hours.
I really don’t have any wish to be in a hospital for that long this time. In fact, my ideal situation would be laboring at home until I just can’t take it any more, going to a medical facility to deliver the baby and coming home as soon as both of us are declared fit and healthy. I love the idea of bringing an hours old baby home while she’s still in her sleepy recovery hours, and snuggling up in my own pajamas, in my own bed, with my three (3!) children and read them stories until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. I love the idea of the children meeting their sister in our own home. I love the idea of getting home as soon as I can.
Unfortunately this is unlikely to happen. First, most hospitals don’t release women that early, and there are no birth centers in St. Louis. Second, a plan like that must be done without drugs and I am a big pain chicken. I am also a little cranky when I’m in pain, so while coming home after delivery is appealing, being at home and in labor pain isn’t. I’m afraid that I would be unfair to my children in those hours during which my body prepared to deliver a living human being into the world. Finally, my husband maintains a fear of delivering his own children, and would be very uncomfortable with the idea of staying at home for hours of contractions just in case things were moving faster than we thought.
I can hear some people hollering at me, “You can have that baby at home you know!”
Um. No thank you. I would really like medical professionals to look after the mess of actual childbirth, and frankly, the idea of having strangers traipsing into my home at short notice makes me shudder. Let’s just say that giving birth at home would be not be a restful experience for me. And let me say that emphatically, in case people feel the need to change my mind.
So, all of that being said, I’ll be going the hospital route. I’ll be making plans for my doodles and putting together contingency plans for middle of the night, or strange situations over the next month or so. We’ll make sure Jonathan’s at home for doodle bed times, and I’ll just emphasize to my doctor that I want to be in patient for as short a time as possible.
I mean, it’s not like I’m planning on ever doing this again. We can make this last time work out just fine.