Oh this is going to be a brain dump, just warning you.
This little blog of mine has been such a comfort over the last few years - it's been my private journal and my public therapy all in one place and truth be told, I'm not sure what to do with it right now. I know I get a lot of my traffic from women in really hard times in their lives - women dealing with loss and infertility, women who don't yet have "a rainbow baby" on the way - and I've wanted to keep this as a safe place for those visitors. Though I'm happy to be able to share our joys with you, I know a lot of what I've had to share will be hitting more than a few readers right where it hurts. I know, I've been there - another miscarriage survivor with a growing baby bump, another infertility survivor who has beaten the odds - it's hard and it hurts. I've wanted to keep this space safe for them, and I hope I have.
If you follow along at Instagram, I've used that as my space to share pictures and the like. It's a space I did inhabit so strongly through the previous years, and has felt like the better place to go to when I need to share something baby related.
But yet, this is still my space, and nothing is perfect and there is still "a long, grey road" (I just finished listen to The Return of the King today, sorry) yet to go. It has been, in general, a very lovely road this time. I've passed by three of my little saints due dates without sorrow for the first time - only one more to go. I've been given a gift of an easy pregnancy, allowing me to experience and enjoy this in a way I've never been able to before. With Henry every bump and stretch and kick was just a reminder that I felt invaded and outside of myself. I hated just about every minute of it. This time is different.
There's still a long ways to go and the next big hurdle I face is labor and delivery and to be quite honest, it scares me more than I can really say. My experience with Henry was not traumatic, but it was far from normal and as I approach this second go-round all my mind can do is gather it's information from the past - the sheer ignorance of what to do and how to cope, the immediate escalation that comes with an induction, the mind numbing pain that comes from the type of back labor I experience, etc. I both know what could await me and at the same time am totally ignorant of what's to come.
I'm lucky in many regards - unless this little lady decides to stay breech - our chances are pretty good. I've only made one request to my OB - no inductions. I'm holding my ground firmly that I either want to go into labor naturally or opt for surgery. Choosing an induction and the work of labor then followed by surgery is not something I want to volunteer for again.
I'm actually quite at peace with the idea of another c-section (particularly a voluntary one). I'm not gung-ho about creating a blissful natural labor experience. I just want my baby, I don't care how really. I'm at peace with opting for pain-killers. I'm not yet at peace with labor before that point. I do know what to do or how to do it. It's the double-edged knife of pregnancy after loss - your chart thinks you should know what you're doing by now, and even you think you should know what to expect, but you don't and your other experiences have slowly eroded any confidence you've ever had in your body. The phrase "your body knows what to do" is laughable and the phrase "you were made to do this" makes you want to throw things at people's heads. My body is not that body. My body cannot even miscarry right on its own.
Then there's my own aversions to get over - knowing that my body and mind's response to pain is a strong desire to be left alone; the one thing I hated with Henry's birth was the number of eyes on me - my husband, the nurse, our visitors. I felt like a roadside attraction that was failing to live up to its billboard. I don't want to be coached or assisted or even touched. I have no lovely dreams of a shared experience with my husband or a doula. I want to be left alone. Kind of hard to take birth classes and learn exercises when this is your go to. I have, sadly, yet to find a birth method that caters to incredibly stubborn women who don't like to be touched or looked at when they're dealing with pain.
My bag of tricks feels pretty limited and I'm not very confident about it all because of it. And I feel like I should. I like I should know what I'm doing; like I should just forget it all and trust everyone's advice that this birth needs to be the blissful bonding time free of all the things (i.e. painkillers and interventions) the options of which are the only things that make me feel confident I can even give this a shot.
As I was telling a friend not to long ago. I like having options in this situation - tubs, beds, lights, painkillers, medical professionals, interventions and a door I secure shut on just about everyone all included. I'm a bit of an oddity because this I realize. All my super natural birth experience mama's are probably shedding tears for me right now and I've probably made at least one doula I know faint.
The thing is you can't tell me not worry or not to rely on my past experiences - it's all I know. All I know about what's coming is the experience of a severely depressed woman having a very atypical first birth experience (induction, rolling contractions and back labor that can only properly be described with vice-grips and cinderblocks... and that was the first 3 hours only) followed by three years of my body not doing what it was supposed to.
I don't know what's going to happen in July though I'm thankful I'm in a better place mentally than I was the first time around to prepare for it all. I'm both okay with this, and my plan for all my options to be in place and at the same time struggling with it all in small ways. I feel quite at ease with "the plan" until I realize just how strange I am about it all and that makes me worry I'm doing it all wrong all over again.
Sorry, I warned you this was a braindump.....