You know what they say about the best laid plans. I don’t know who “they” are or what their plans were, but MY plan was to have a completely natural, unmedicated birth like my last one. It went so much better that way. I felt great, it was over quickly, and I recovered much more easily. I wanted a similar experience with my third child. No inductions, no interventions. Just show up at the hospital, allow them to slap a heplock and some wrist bands on me and let me do my thing.
My doctor actually specializes in natural birth so she was as excited as I was about this plan.
|38 weeks, 1 day.|
Yesterday, when I went to my 38-week checkup, I learned that I tested positive for Group B Strep, which is something I knew nothing about … that is, before my doctor told me I have it and what that means and I started sweating profusely. It’s a fairly common bacterial infection that doesn’t affect my health, but could really make the baby sick if she comes in contact with it. Now, if this wasn’t my third child, I would have just brushed it off — the standard procedure is to administer antibiotics during labor, so I could still stick with my plan and just hurry to the hospital as soon as I felt like labor was underway. They would start the rounds of penicillin, and all would be well.
The problem is that in my previous delivery, Asher came really fast, and chances are this one will arrive even faster. I know it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen, because childbirth is capricious, but my doctor is concerned that she won’t have enough time to give me enough of the penicillin before it’s time to push — therefore putting the baby at risk. She suggested an induction.
I hate the medicalization of birth. I hated not being able to feel my legs when I got an epidural with my first child. I hated having a catheter and that feeling of helplessness that comes with being completely bedridden. Hospitals make me nervous. I am terrified of having a c-section. I don’t like feeling out of control. I was very puffy all over from all the fluid they pumped in me the first time. All of these factors make me an outstanding candidate for natural birth, in addition to the fact that I am confident that my body knows what it’s doing because I was made for this.
But after we talked for a long time, I asked all of my questions and got sufficient answers, I sweated through my clothes and all over the exam table (ew), and weighed my options, I chose the induction. The risk of medical intervention does not concern me as much as the potential risk of exposing my child to a bacteria that could make her really sick. People get induced every day. People also have home births every day. I am making my decision based on this particular situation, and trying to make the best of it.
Needless to say, I have some anxiety and sadness over the fact that my plans have changed, but I can roll with it. Now I know that my daughter will be born sometime on June 7th, and I can make arrangements for my older children and stop worrying about what will happen if I go into labor at an inopportune time. I am going to check into the hospital and let them hook me up and enjoy the fact that I will be completely numb. I briefly entertained the idea of moving forward with an unmedicated birth after they break my water, but after mulling that over, I decided not to.
When my appointment was over, I headed downstairs to finish the registration process so my check-in on Friday will go smoothly. The nice lady at the desk asked me to fill out some forms, and when I was done, she handed me a sheet with a phone number “So you can check on your anesthesiologist.”
“What do you mean, check on them? Like … make sure they are there? THEY BETTER BE THERE.”
She started laughing, like dying laughing. “No, sugar. I meant so you can check to make sure your insurance will cover the bill … oh lawdy, that’s so funny. You’re not looking to be a hero, are you?”
“No ma’am. Not this time … but I do seek to have a baby, which is pretty damn heroic in itself.”