The Waiting Is The Hardest Part…

13 Jul

Oh yes I did just quote Tom Petty.  But, seriously.  I’ve been on maternity leave for three weeks now.  The whole two story townhouse is clean.  All laundry has been washed – that’s including baby clothes and sheets.  I’ve cooked and frozen several healthy meals for after.  The hospital bags are packed.  Carseat installed.  People lined up with spare keys to check on the cats.  I’ve finished the novel I was reading, re-read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth and Marie Mongan’s HypnoBirthing, practiced my hypnosis and relaxation and affirmations to the point where I can recite them from memory, and made arrangements with the lady who’ll be dehydrating and making capsules from my placenta.  (I know, can you get more primal than ingesting your own placenta…?)

I’m bouncing on my ball, taking my borage oil, and I know where the café is in Studio City that serves “The Salad” – I don’t know if I believe a salad can make you go into labor, but I’m not above trying it since my doctor has already mentioned the “i” word and my estimated due date is only tomorrow.  Induction.  Ugh.  I’m not even in the hospital yet, and already I’m on their clock.  So it’s just a waiting game now.  It’s made me realize that I wish I had more hobbies, which in turn made me realize that once upon a time I used to write a blog.  Oh yeah…!  So here I am, looking for a way to tie my waiting for “go time” ennui to the primal and natural lifestyle theme of this website.

Whose clock are we watching?

As soon as I entered my last month of pregnancy the subject of being induced started coming up a lot.  It’s a conversation I don’t really like getting into, because it can make me feel like I’m being condescending when I really don’t intend to be.  When people ask why I don’t want to be induced, I hate explaining that due dates are just estimates based on whether you can accurately recall the first day of your last period.  That those estimates can be wrong.  That a lot of research shows that babies shouldn’t be considered overdue until 42 weeks.  That accepting that first intervention can put you on a slippery slope of pitocin causing stronger contractions, which can make an epidural inevitable, then the epidural slows labor, which requires more pitocin, and before you know it you’re being prepped for an unwanted c-section.  I know that’s a worst-case-scenario, but still.

The biggest reason I don’t like talking about it is because it usually leads to the conversation I hate even more – the “natural birth doesn’t make you a hero” conversation.  Which kinda makes me want to punch whoever I’m talking to in the head.  And if you’re reading this and realizing that you and I have actually had that conversation, I’m sorry.  But yeah, while I was smiling and nodding and saying “Well, we’ll see what happens!” with sort of a fakey laugh, I might have wanted to punch you just a little bit.  I still love you, but…yeah.

I’ve heard all the clichés – the aforementioned “natural birth doesn’t make you a hero”, “they don’t give out medals for doing it without drugs”, “doing it naturally doesn’t make you a better mom” and so on.  I get it, I do.  Childbirth is that thing that all of society has agreed upon as the most painful experience in the whole wide world.  Even men, who will never even go through it, agree on this.  And who doesn’t like painkillers, right?  Before finding out I was pregnant, I had never put any thought into what kind of “birth experience” I would want.  Thanks to Hollywood, I naturally assumed it would involve a lot of pain, and screaming, and telling Brad how much I hate him, and demanding drugs, and then after many hours of the same, groggily having my picture taken with an equally groggy looking newborn.  But what if it didn’t have to be that way?  I won’t go into all the details of HypnoBirthing, because if you really want to know more about it, you can find out here.  But I will say that I don’t think it’s unrealistic to believe that the fear of giving birth is what causes pain.  We’re taught all our lives to dread this experience, so women fight it – clenching up, closing off, tightening up, and resisting what’s occurring naturally.  And if I’m wrong…?  Then I’ll scream, tell Brad how much I hate him, demand drugs, the whole nine yards.  But what gives anyone the right to tell me that I’m wrong?  To tell me that I won’t be able to do it?  That I’m crazy to try?  That I’ll be begging for an epidural – and try to scare me into it with the warning that by that point it’ll be too late?

Who knows, maybe I won’t have a choice.  As I said earlier, my doctor (who seemed to be on the same page with me up until this point…I mean, she’s the one who suggested HypnoBirthing!) is already talking about scheduling an induction if I haven’t made progress by my appointment next week.  Nothing to stress out over…yet.  I just don’t appreciate feeling like a timer has been set when my estimated due date hasn’t even come and gone yet.  Both my wonderful doula, Jaquelin, and HypnoBirthing instructor, Alisha, are sending me suggestions for natural ways of possibly “moving things along”.  And I plan to go in next week armed with a lot of questions and research and won’t agree to anything without a good, sound, medical reason behind it.  Until then…

Not bad for 39, going on 40 weeks!

You don’t feel like working out? Oh, that’s OK, I’ll just finish this drag at 8 months pregnant. (OK, so it was only about 40 pounds, but still…)

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10 Responses to “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part…”

  1. Vicki Braquet July 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    I had Lori natural and was even induced. I do not consider myself a hero, nor did anyone else I don’t think. If I can do it, so can you! It was painful, but not for long. The pain was truly gone the second she came out. I do not remember if we discussed this, but go for it!!

    • Shannon July 14, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      No, we didn’t talk about it when I saw you! And I love hearing positive stories, so thanks for letting me know – especially that you were able to avoid more interventions after being induced. :) I hope that strength runs in the Neil genes!

  2. Angela July 14, 2012 at 5:33 am #

    I totally agree Shannon!! I delivered both boys drug free and I believe it’s the best thing ever for you and the baby!! Zach was premature and I was able to understand and be a part of his care decision making. With Alex within an hour after he was born I had showered, had a sandwich and was loving on my precious baby. There were times I wanted to shout scream and curse dewayne but I was able to handle my emotions more because I wasn’t “wondering aimlessly in la-la land”. God never gives more than we can handle!! Go for it… You’ve got a cheerleader here to cheer you on!!

    • Shannon July 14, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      That’s awesome, Angela, I didn’t know that! I’m glad I wrote this post – with a little feedback I’m feeling better already!

  3. Julie July 14, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Make that 8 readers! The only reason I’m here is that I Googled asparagus recipes this morning and ended up watching your video. (Loved the recipe and hope to be munching on it for dinner tonight.) I couldn’t resist taking a peek at your website and ended up reading today’s blog entry. It took me back about 20 years ago to when I was waiting for the birth of my one and only child. She ended up being a week and a half over due! Believe me, it was the longest week and a half of my life. I remember going into a store and the clerk, seeing my enormous belly, asked when I was due. When I said, “a week ago” I thought her eyes were going to pop out and I could tell she wanted me to leave for fear I would drop the kid in the middle of her store. I wasn’t Primal back then, hadn’t even heard of it, but I was a rebel because I had the baby at home with a midwife even though I was actually a mother/baby nurse at the time. (I saw what goes on with a hospital birth and there was no way in hell I was going to put myself or my baby through that.) All went well with the home birth …. sort of. I was in active labor for over 12 hours and spent 3 hours in the pushing stage. I know without a doubt if I had been in the hospital I would have ended up with a c-section because the docs hate to wait even 30 minutes for you to push the baby out. So I am here to applaud you and encourage you to stick to your guns. You are 100% right about the due date and if you end up going to your next doctor’s appointment and the baby’s heart rate etc are fine, go ahead and wait. Good luck and enjoy the rest you’re getting. It’ll be the last rest you’ll get for the next 20 years!

    • Shannon July 14, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      Hi Julie! I’m so glad you stumbled onto the blog! And thanks for sharing your story, it’s so good to hear. As you probably noticed, I’ve been a little distracted the past several months and haven’t been posting much, but I still get around to it when something strikes me. I want to start writing more often again – not that I’ll be getting any extra spare time once the baby comes! ;)

  4. Jillian Leigh July 14, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I’m (sadly) having to get induced at 39 weeks. I’m hoping I don’t have a csection!! That’s one of my biggest fears! This will be my 2nd baby. Man, I’m ready to go! I wish my house was up to par with the clean. Everytime I clean, my toddler comes in behind me like a tornado! haha!! Good luck!!

    • Jillian Leigh July 14, 2012 at 8:48 am #

      only four days for me to go! July babies rock!! :D (just had to add that, hehe)

      • Shannon July 16, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

        Best of luck to you too, Jillian! Thanks for reading and commenting. :) I’m sure if I had a toddler following along behind me, our place wouldn’t be nearly as clean as it is – I just have our 3 cats chasing each other around!

  5. Adam May 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Jeez…did you have the baby yet? ;)

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