Turning a corner

Today I am 25 weeks and 6 days, tomorrow as I click into week 26 I am ever closer to the third trimester and the end tape is in sight, which means our thoughts are naturally turning towards how Peanut will enter the world. Our classes at Waverley Private are every Monday night through May, and we’re both seriously thinking about our Birth Plan, although we’re calling it “Birth Intentions”, as let’s face it, you cannot plan a birth no matter how hard you try.

One of the main reasons we’re holding off on the intention document is that until our 30 week scan, we don’t know where my placenta is or more accurately, if it’s behaving. We know exactly where it is: if you imagine an upside down bottle, with the opening of the bottle the cervix, mine attached very low down almost in the neck of the bottle, and for good measure, on the side, so it’s both posterior and anterior. It had lifted from our scan at week 20, to the following week’s scan to get the remainder of Peanut’s heart measurements, so we’re all (OB included) hopeful it will lift enough for me not to have a c-section. As we get closer to finding out if this is the case, I’m trying to manage my expectation about this, but I know if I have a c-section, I will be bitterly disappointed. I can’t pretend to be otherwise.

I know we’ll be able to say ‘We’ll have him on that day’ when we’ve consulted with Dr Najjar, and we’ll end up with our boy safe and sound. But Hubs and I are only doing this once (we keep reminding people that Peanut will be our only child, they don’t seem to get it), and I wanted to work through and own the experience of birth. Being stretched flat on my back, out cold is not how I envisioned it. Why out cold? I am not having an epidural. Full stop, end of discussion.

Being pregnant is a journey that I’m travelling on at the moment; but I envisioned the birth as a journey we would both travel on. Hubs is a bit isolated from the whole process at the moment, even when he listens to my belly, or feels him move, he’s pretty much left to watch this going on, while I’m feeling it. While my gorgeous boy is endlessly supportive towards me, for most fathers the whole pregnancy and child thing only becomes truly real when they see their child.

One of the reasons I chose Dr Najjar (Hubs told me to find someone I was comfortable with, seeing as the OB is going to be peering pretty intently at my lady garden) is that he will only intervene if he thinks it is necessary. Dr Najjar listened to and respected my views on birth, and I listened to and respected his medical opinion that he is there to ensure that I am safe and more importantly, Peanut is safe. I am not so stupid, or obstinate, to argue with someone who does this for a living. But at the same time I know my body will be fine. I can feel it. I get these gut instincts every so often, and so far they’ve not let me down.

Knowing me as I do, I am amazed that I am so calm and serene about the whole thing. I can’t pretend that I am enjoying being pregnant all day, every day. But when he’s actually here, I am simply not being fazed by the prospect of it, I simply know we’ll all be fine. I’ve written before that we both find the whole ‘You must have this’ lists funny, we’ve got all the clothes Peanut will need for the first 3 months, bar a coat/jacket for him. When we get back from Queensland at the end of the month, we can assess what else we simply have to have in the house before he comes home from hospital, and what we can buy after he’s arrived – as you know, the baby shops are still going to be open! I really struggle with companies, websites and people putting pressure on new parents, intimidating them into buying more than they need or will use. It makes me more than a bit cross actually.

I also struggle with intervention towards labour and birth. I want Peanut to arrive in his own time, with no pitocin to get him going, then me being put on a monitor and a stopwatch because we’re now on a drug schedule, not our schedule. The list of things we don’t want to happen in the labour and birth is actually far longer than the things we do want, which is basically to be left alone to let my body do what it has evolved to do. We’re both reading Ina May Gaskin and other birthing books, we’re also looking forward both to the classes in May to help teach us further, and to meeting the midwives who are going to help coach us through the labour. But at the end of the day, Peanut’s arrival is out of our hands; we can plan, intend, hope and wish for many things. One thing is certain; he will be here in about 3 months, one way or another.

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