By now, a day before my due date, I’ve scoured the Internet for birth stories — stories of water breaking, of castor-oil-taking, of mad rushes to the hospital, of C-sections. I’m looking for clues of what to expect. Nine months ago, we started down the inexorable path to the baby’s birth. As the clock counted down, my tummy grew bigger, I began to feel movement, and I experienced a host of other symptoms. Now I’ve reached the last few days, and I look for portents of how it will end. What will this boy’s birth story be?
I know how it was with Callum. I never went into labor, having been induced the day before my due date after experiencing nothing resembling contractions. It was a Saturday. They started the Pitocin at around 8 a.m. and, after some serious pain, an epidural and a brief low-heart-rate scare, vacuum extracted him out at around 1 p.m. I was almost surprised he was actually with us, so focused had I been on the birth. What an amazing experience.
But what will the beginning look like for #2? Will I go into labor, as these on-and-off contractions I’ve been experiencing would seem to indicate? If so, will it be in the middle of the night? Early in the morning? Mid-day, as I sit here on maternity leave watching the TiVo-ed LOST season finale? Will I ride by myself over the Brooklyn Bridge to the Manhattan hospital on the subway, experiencing mild but regular contractions? Will Michael drive me in our car? Will I be overtaken, alone, by major contractions and have to call a car service while Michael is at work?
I’m not set to see my doctor again until next Thursday — several days past d-day. By that time, the discussion at the doctor’s office will probably be around induction, as I know the doctor’s office doesn’t think we should go as long as, or further than, 41 weeks, as they say the risk of problems grows greater then. By that time, no matter how serious my commitment to a natural process, I will probably be ready for a little help, perhaps in the form of Pitocin. I’ve already tried the spicy food. Not yet the castor oil.
But for now, I try to relax and wonder, every morning, will today be the day? Is this squirming little creature ready to join us on this blue-skies first day of June? What story will I be telling, here, a few days from now? What story will I be telling the little one, years down the line, on his birthday? I’m desperately looking forward to finding out.
Cross-posted from Free Range.