Week 27: Natural Woman

I daydream about giving birth naturally. About having contractions not brought on by pitocin; about my water breaking in my kitchen.

I know I’m getting some funny looks right now, virtually speaking.

I don’t really have a lot to complain about my induced labors with Flora and Kate. Well, maybe with Kate. Three-plus days is a long time to be in the hospital waiting for things to get moving.

I got healthy babies out of it, and I was relatively unscathed. (We won’t talk about 3+ hours of pushing or sleep deprivation because of ridiculously loud doors.) With Flora, I did not have an epidural, and I always say it’s a good thing because if I had gotten one, I would have ended up with a c-section. With Kate, I had an epidural, and it was, again, the right decision.

So far this pregnancy, things are progressing very well. (KNOCK ON WOOD.) The baby is growing well, so far there are no issues with low amniotic fluid. My weight gain has been steady. The second trimester has been good to me — feeling the baby move has alleviated the extreme anxiety that plagued my first trimester. Right now, my back hurts a lot, and I have to make chiropractic and massage appointments (as time and finances allow).

And it’s not that I am not without anxiety.

Some days I hope that in my 32nd or 34th week, they do discover low fluid. Not radically low — just like Flora had low fluid. (Kate, again, was such a special case when it came to things to worry us in utereo.) I could make arrangements about modified bed rest; we could monitor the low fluid; and come 37 or 38 weeks, we could just plan an inducement.

It’s what I know.

Other days, I think about being pregnant to 39 or 40 weeks. I think about going about my day wondering if I’m in labor or not. I think about waking up to contractions or — even more surprising — waking up to my water having broke (which probably would not bode well for our mattress). I wonder what it’s like to have to rush to the hospital to have the baby in the middle of the night.

Because, that, I don’t know.

We haven’t made any final decisions about inducement, and we don’t have to right now. As Dan says, “We’ll watch this baby like a hawk, and everything will be fine.” I think, regardless of natural labor or not, I would prefer to give birth at a hospital.

The big issue will be: once we get to 38 weeks, what will help any anxiety I might have? If the baby is fine and the fluid levels are normal and the placenta is healthy (yes, they can tell that on sonograms!), then my (hypothetical) anxiety is not enough reason to seek induction. I have to let nature take its course. I WANT to let nature take its course — it’s what I have wanted since I conceived Gabriel.

Nature has let me down. So I’m also a little concerned about letting nature take its course.

I don’t have to overcome that yet. But I will have to down the road. What are some strategies I can use?