Total steps yesterday: 12,847
Exercise plans for today: attempt at a run
So this is going to be a lengthy and very pregnancy related post - feel free to skip out on it if you're not interested.
I've worried about a lot of things during the course of this pregnancy. Some are legitimate. Some are not. I've stressed about safe strength training and whether or not my body is ready to quit running. I've stressed about how James and I will provide for our baby. We've collectively stressed over whether it's more important to teach Lil W Latin or Spanish. And I've stressed again about whether or not my body is ready to quit running.
One thing I've kept waiting to stress about is my delivery. I've pretty meticulously researched every step in this pregnant journey, and have formed opinions and blogged about my feelings in regards to a lot of the life changes I've gone through in the last few months. And I've tried really hard to do the same thing in regards to forming a birth plan. In the end, though, is it such a bad thing if I just don't have one?
In my research, I've read a few stories of real labors. I've read a few articles on what to expect. I've talked to friends who have had terrible labor experiences, friends who have had amazing labor experiences, and friends who call their labor both terrible and amazing. I've had friends who have had C sections and felt like failures because of it. I've had friends who have had C sections and couldn't be any happier about the outcome. I've stopped short of watching videos of real labors, despite having that recommended to me, because that's frankly not really something I feel I need to see.
I have a few general guidelines / expectations, but even those are fairly limited.
1. Assuming the general health of me and the baby, I want to be lucid and have all decisions made / procedures started explained to me before they happen. I feel very blessed to have doctors who I trust, but I'm also a 29 year old about to be mother, and I feel like the least they can do is communicate to me what's going on. I'm not inclined to fight their recommendations, but I want to know about them as they happen.
2. I plan to labor at home for as long as comfortable, largely because I want the freedom to move around. I'm a big believer in walking out the pain, and I don't like the idea of not having the option because I'm strapped in to a bed and attached to an IV. That said, unless the pain is significantly less than I anticipate, I do plan to get an epidural. I've read stories from moms who were uncomfortable but the pain wasn't unbearable, and if that's me I'll skip out on the epidural. But most likely, I'll have them sticking that thing in me as soon as it gets too bad or the contractions become too frequent.
3. Oddly, this one is the most controversial birth decisions that I hear negative feedback on: James doesn't plan to be in the room for the labor and delivery, and I support him in that decision. If he changes his mind and wants to be there, I'll support that too. At this point, he wants nothing to do with it, and I'd rather he be home, taking care of our dog, doing any last minute cooking / cleaning, and otherwise keeping himself occupied until Lil W arrives. This decision has spurred some bizarre comments, mostly revolving around me needing to force him to be there. Honestly, I believe that if it comes down to it and I desperately want him there, James would do it in a heartbeat. But for now, I'm at peace with his desire to not be there, and I don't think either of us would benefit by me forcing him to be somewhere he doesn't want to be. It's a very short period of my life, and is basically just a transition from pregnancy to parenthood - James and I can live without each other for the hopefully not more than day it takes for Lil W to arrive.
4. Hopefully, though, my mom will be there, and one of my good local friends has also expressed a desire to be there if she can. Not sure how it will work out with my mom coming out - we've talked tentatively about her coming out around the due date, so as long as Lil W isn't super early, she should be there. And said good local friend will always be around, except for a trip from January 18-22. So as long as Lil W doesn't arrive in that 5 day span, I'll have at least one person to keep me company and sane during whatever the delivery holds. That's more than enough to get me through.
5. I really, really, really don't want a c-section, but that's exclusively related to me knowing that it will take me longer to recover from that / longer to return to running. If my health or the health of the baby is ever in question, I obviously wouldn't hesitate to go the c-section route, but I'll avoid it if it all possible.
Beyond those general thoughts about what labor will look like, I have zero preferences. I'm content to wait and see what happens. If we have a second child in the future, I might have stronger opinions based on my experience this time around. As is, I'm going in knowing that I'm pretty unprepared, and that there's not much else I'm going to do to more accurately prepare, and that it will all work out in the end. One way or another, and barring something extreme, I'll be coming home in 6-11 weeks with a newborn baby.
Now, thinking about what life will be like after that point is a whole different story / research project.