I am in labor.
Let me qualify that statement. I am not in active labor, where I am tapping keys in between incredibly painful contractions, but what is apparently called “early labor.” I’ve been having contractions (mostly not bad ones, although Saturday and Monday got hairy enough that I was pretty sure the big day had arrived, and made it as far as the triage room at the Birthplace at Mercy) since at least last Tuesday, when I went for a weekly checkup and had it confirmed that I was three centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. Now we’re in a waiting game.
Last Wednesday I went for an ultrasound, and the technician said it looked like they may have incorrectly guessed my due date, which happens — particularly when they go by an ultrasound late in the pregnancy, and I was about six months pregnant when we learned our daughter was even there. They estimated her weight a week ago at nearly eight pounds, so she’s ready and champing at the bit, it seems, but she just can’t get out of the starting gate yet! It was still stuck at 4 centimeters, as of Monday evening.
In spite of my best Google research, and the well-meaning suggestions of various friends and family members (which led to at least one rather uncomfortable conversation I never imagined I would find myself having with my mother, at any age) there’s really not a whole lot we can do at this point in the game but wait, unless something happens that requires drastic action.
And while I’m on the subject of drastic action, the one type of advice that I’m not loving is the “don’t let them (insert medical intervention practice here)” kind. My birth plan is probably the most lax you’ve ever seen; in this day and age, where people plan everything from their pain control to the music and lighting in the delivery room, my plan is basically, “have a (healthy) baby.” I don’t begrudge those who have detailed plans for their fantasy birth experience, and I hope it works out for them — I just know that, basically, this is going to go down how it goes down, and ultimately, I have very little say in it. If I have to be induced, or have my water broken, if I change my mind about the epidural that freaks me out right now or, god forbid, need to have a c-section, I don’t need or want the judgement or scorn of those who advised me against them. All I need and want is my baby, safely delivered to my arms, by whatever means necessary.
And I really hope it happens soon.