My hospital bag is packed.
I’ve got the requisite comfy clothing, toiletries, snack food, possibly a beer… and the pre-birth order that was just approved, mandating that Vivianne and David be listed as the parents on the baby’s birth certificate. Those aren’t actually their real names, though. We agreed to use different ones for the purposes of this blog in order to protect their privacy. Despite their being wonderfully open and supportive of my writing publicly about this whole process, they’ve felt very private about sharing their names, photos, and personal details.
I’m 35 weeks pregnant now, and Vivianne and David will be in Boston in a little less than 2 weeks to wait for their little girl to make her arrival. Of course, the timing is always somewhat of an unknown, but since I went early with all three of my own kids, it was my strong preference not to take any chances. Seeing my babies come into the world and holding them just moments after birth were the most intense and wonderful feelings I’ve ever experienced and I don’t want them to miss that. And selfishly, I don’t want to miss watching that happen for them.
So here’s the plan: they’ll fly to America and will get a place to stay in the area. I’m sure they’ll sit, on edge, by the phone, until they get the call that I’m in labor. We’ll all make our way to the hospital in Boston as quickly as we can. Not only do I tend to go early, but I go fast too; with my youngest I went from 6cm dilated to baby in 15 minutes. With any luck that’s where I’ll deliver, instead of being one of those side-of-the-highway stories you hear about (puh, puh, puh). If I do stay pregnant long enough, at some point we’d likely plan to induce labor, since – see birthing details above – and because did I mention I live about an hour from the hospital?
God-willing David and Vivianne will be in the room during the delivery. David will cut the umbilical cord, and the baby will go immediately into their arms. I will try to stay as present and focused as I can, taking it all in, trying to capture the memory of the reason I’ve put so much of my life into this process over the past two years. You know, as much as is reasonably possible immediately following the exhaustion, pain, and upside-down-edness that is childbirth.
And then, I’ll sleep!
But first maybe, I’ll eat. I remember how ravenous I was after my most recent delivery, and how it took For.Ever. for the food to come. Pro-tip: this time I’m going to ask for the menu while still in labor so they can get my order going. Yes, I’ll eat, and I’ll sleep. No newborn waking me up to nurse, no meconium diapers to change (okay, so what if my other half tells me I’ve never changed one in my life?), no updates from the nurses at 3:00am about whatever the kid weighed at its most recent visit to the scale. Bliss.
Hopefully, the hospital will not be at capacity when the time comes and Vivianne and David will have an extra room where they can stay overnight too. I’ll get to visit with them and the baby. My kids will get to meet her too, and see them all together as a family.
I will stay in that recovery room every minute they’ll possibly let me, and I’ll binge on lots of Netflix with the spare time on my hands. Then I’ll come back home and do my fair share of lying around (and sleeping through the night!) while also trying not to do too much too fast, since I won’t have a newborn slowing me down. Assuming all goes smoothly and the delivery is uncomplicated, I’ll plan to be away from work for 2 or 3 weeks, maybe working from home for a week before returning.
Easy peasy, right?
The only curveball now is that despite thinking I was in the clear with the blood tests (we’re close enough – maybe we can just stop testing now, right?) it’s actually somewhat of the opposite. Although my OB said that she thinks it would be extremely unlikely for the antibody levels to rise this far along, their threshold for it increasing would be much lower than if it rose earlier in the pregnancy. So, “we’ll just test weekly,” she said! Being close enough to the due date means that if there were an increase, we’d go ahead and induce sooner.
I’m a planner by nature, so this is how I expect it may all go down. True: woman plans, God laughs, as they say. Even if when things deviate from the plan, I know I feel better just having had one in the first place. Not to worry… if anything changes, you’ll be the first to know.