There had been no warning, and no real reason why Conlan came early. Thankfully he wasn’t that early – his health was never really in question – but it was early enough that when I was discharged the day after delivery, I got in the car and had to leave this new little piece of my heart at the hospital.
While we haven’t really expected another early baby as there wasn’t a real medical reason for Conlan’s surprise arrival, it’s been nearly impossible to not watch that day creep closer and closer on the calendar, fingers crossed that we would see it come and go uneventfully.
Now that it’s passed I can’t help but notice that my eyes wander to the 37-week mark. Will I make it? In all likelihood, yes…and realistically I’ll probably go well past that. Still, I can’t help but psych myself out.
I wonder if the near-constant Braxton Hicks are ramping up to the real thing this time. I wonder if Tuesday’s excruciating backache was dilation pain or just plain pregnancy discomfort. I hold my breath every time I get out of bed and say a silent prayer that my water doesn’t break.
Frankly, it’s getting ridiculous.
I didn’t plan my last birth and, quite honestly, I didn’t need to. My nurse was amazing and walked us through the whole process. Though they prepared me for not being allowed to hold him immediately after birth, Conlan came out strong and rowdy enough that they did put him straight onto my chest – however briefly before he was whisked away.
So this time, probably subconsciously to manage my own expectations, I haven’t done any planning either. Other things are prepared. The nursery is finished. I have quick-to-the-table meals ready. Baby’s clothes & sheets are washed and organized. I have burp rags. I have an overly adequate supply of breast pads. (Seriously, why didn’t anyone tell me I would need those last time?) I have a childcare plan for Conlan. I have step-by-step labor notification procedures on the fridge.
But I haven’t got a clue about the birth. I haven’t given any thought to packing a bag – I didn’t have one last time so do I need one this time? I haven’t even decided if I want an epidural. I don’t really care either way. I had one last time, the experience was great, so maybe I’ll do it again. Maybe I won’t. We’ll see. I don’t think I’ll even make a plan, because then if it doesn’t go “as planned” I’ll have to deal with disappointment.
My greatest desire this time is just to have our daughter without complications, and all go home together the next day. That plan sounds perfect to me. However we get there is fine.