Remember this horrible fashion trend from back in the 90's? It's my new motto. Actually, I've had a lot of people ask me lately if I'm scared or nervous about the upcoming labor and delivery experience. Oddly enough, my response is "not really." This is not because I'm super confident in my motherly strengths and abilities, but simply because I have this personality flaw that causes me to focus so intently on the facts and details of an event that I tend to neglect the overall emotional experience. This is probably why I didn't get nervous on my wedding day, why I hardly remember either of my graduation ceremonies, or why I was more concerned with the actual departure schedule and flight pattern of my trip to England instead of thinking about the next 3 months living there. Like the other major events in my short lifetime, Jack's birth isn't much different. At this point all the logistical aspects of preparing for the big day have completely crowded out any thoughts of fear or panic. Maybe I'll start to get scared when the contractions hit, but until then, these are the "major" things I'm worried about:
Stretch Marks - I'm happy to report that I don't have any ... yet. I've been assuming all along that they would inevitably show up at some point, but now that I'm 39 weeks, and almost at the end of this pregnancy, it would drive me crazy if I got them now. Several people I know told me their's didn't show up until the final two weeks, so I'm holding my breath and lathering on twice as much cocoa butter, despite the mixed reviews on its effectiveness, just in case it really does work.
Water Breaking - Now I know that it's not common to have your water break before starting labor, nor is it normal to have your water break in a huge gush like the movies, but I still can't help but worry that maybe, just maybe, I'm going to be one of those in that rare minority who's water breaks with a gush in public. Please, no. That's all I'm going to say.
Timing - I'm not afraid that this baby is going to come too fast, or that I won't make it to the hospital on time. Quite the opposite really. I'm worried that I'm going to labor at home for as long as possible, leave for the hospital when the contractions get strong and fast, only to get there and be told that I'm only 2 cm and nowhere near ready to be admitted. If only labor was an exact science!
No room in the inn - When we took a tour of the labor and delivery suite at the hospital, it was like a ghost town. There were a few nurses hanging at the front desk, and one lone baby crying in the background, and absolutely none of the excitement and energy I was expecting. But I'm sure many of us have also heard that women tend to go into labor all at the same time. When my friend Tricia had her baby in this same hospital back in May, she said it was so full that some women were forced to labor out in the waiting area until a delivery room opened up. I'm fully-intending to make good use of those walk-in showers we saw on the tour, so I'd really like to have a rooom when I get to the hospital.
The Doctor - I haven't met any of the doctors at the Navy hospital. I go to all my appointments at a clinic on a different base, and have only met with nurses and midwives. I have this image in my head of the ideal obstetrician - a grandfatherly-like fellow with a soft voice and years of experience. But if you've ever seen an episode of "Special Delivery" on Discovery Health that took place at a military hospital, you may have noticed that there are never any characters that resemble my favored image. So my big fear here is that the guy standing at the foot of my bed is going to be some Andy Baldwin type character that looks like he played football with my husband. It may have been these thoughts that led to my dream several months back about the Albert Einstein look-alike with GANGSTA ring ...
Birth announcement - Okay, this may seem silly but I really don't want to keep people in suspense any longer than they need to. My goal here is to have everyone in our circle of friends fully aware of the birth of Jack within a few hours. I've pretty much got my phone call and email lists all worked out, but you know how technology is. When it really comes down to it, I'm gonna have to pass the buck on this item. Let's hope hubby is able pull this one off without any major technical glitches so that all of our wonderful friends can get the facts, from the source, as soon as possible!
Sleep - I have always been an early to bed and typically early to rise kind of person. I get tired at night and I like my 8 hours of rest. I can recall only pulling one all-nighter in my life, and it was when flying to England. (We left late afternoon US time and arrived early morning England time and jet lag didn't hit until the next day.) I also don't take naps. It takes me a long time to fall asleep because I tend to use those final moments of the day to sort through my thoughts and plan out the next day. When I take naps I always get stuck in that in-between stage and never feel like I get any sleep. I've taken one nap this whole pregnancy and woke up feeling worse than before. And so, all that to say, I'm not sure how I'm going to handle having a newborn those first few weeks. Obviously I'm going to learn how to stay up at night and take naps during the day - FAST.
So now you have an idea of what's really going through my mind these final days of pregnancy. When it really comes down to it, these small details are really not that important, especially since so much of pregnancy, labor and delivery are out of our hands. Thankfully, Jack, Jon and I have had a supernatural God watching over us from the very beginning. While a pain-free, easy delivery would be nice, I'm pretty sure that no matter how things turn out, it won't be more than any of us can handle. There is definitely a sense of peace and security that comes with knowing that you're not the one in control. And since we've been pretty pleased with the way He's handled this pregnancy so far, I think we're going to go ahead and let God manage the rest of the details. I'll just write the story when it's all over.