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Jun 23, 2011


I'm being induced tomorrow.

I am to arrive at the hospital no later than 7am, at which point I will be admitted to the hospital, given an IV, and started on medicine to initiate contractions.

I have been told that all expected pain relief will be available to me as I wish, but that the contractions should be no more painful than those not caused medically. However, the contractions are often more intense and/or more frequent than natural contractions, often leading to an earlier epidural.

As a medical student, I have been a part of numerous induction procedures by a variety of methods. The one selected for (and by) me is one which has a high success rate with low complication rates. While labor is never fun, under any circumstance, there is no reason to believe that there is anything at all to be concerned about.

Which does not explain why I am completely frazzled, unreasonably anxious, and, if I'm being honest, a little terrified.

First, as has been the case lately, I have not been sleeping well, especially last night. There is so much to do. I've been orienting all week for residency, which has been fun and lovely and informative but not conducive to resting and nesting. The lack of sleep hit me hard this evening, when I was preparing Colin to spend the night with friends (so as to avoid the trauma of leaving the house at 6am) and I completely lost it saying goodbye.

I want to say it was the sleep, but I think it was more than that. Colin is two. Two little, short years, though full of love, are not enough to give him the capability to understand what is about to happen. His life is going to take a sharp left turn tomorrow, one that I do not think any amount of preparation would help keep his head from smashing into the window. I feel guilty, truly. He has led such a charmed life these last two years, receiving all the love that we could muster. It doesn't seem very nice to snatch it away.

Though I consider my sisters to be among the greatest gifts life has given me, I expect that I did not feel that way when my first sister was born. My first memory, in fact, is of preparing to go visit her in the hospital. My father helped me dress in a new navy blue velvet track suit with red piping, an outfit specially chosen to meet my new sister. We went to Wendy's before visiting the hospital, where I promptly spilled ketchup all down my front.

I distinctly remember watching the thick red ketchup drip onto my shoes and I blamed my sister. I was angry for caring at all that my outfit had been ruined, something that normally would not matter had it not meant so much to my family that I look sweet to meet my new sister. Stupid sister, who probably wouldn't even care about my navy blue track suit as she would be busy stealing my parents attention and affection.

This is entirely aside from my anxiety about being induced. I never published my birth story from Colin, largely because it was five pages long when I wrote it, but it was lovely. Though it was not a "natural" birth from a pain management standpoint, it felt organic and natural and beautiful (in retrospect). It was a lovely surprise to awake to find myself in labor and then to progress all on my own. And then to produce such a perfect, perfect little child...

Part of the problem here is that I have been praying to NOT go into labor for the last three months. I have spent an entire season worrying about going into labor and delivering entirely too early. I have been on medicine and received various medical interventions to keep me pregnant. Worrying so constantly has taken the joy out of the process and, combined with the pain of the constant contractions and the crippling joint issues, has made me look forward to Not Being Pregnant more than actually meeting my baby.

Dropping Colin off, leaving him with our good friends, I suddenly realized what was happening. THIS is happening, my life, my new child. My family is about to complete itself and I'm over here in the corner, a sopping mess of worry and sleep deprivation. I am not normally one to dwell on the details, but Patrick isn't packed yet and the car seat is in the kitchen instead of the car as well as missing the head stabilizer part. There are dishes in the sink that will be crawling with ants when we get back if I leave them there. I still can't find the power cord to the baby monitor and the swing is broken.

How did I let this happen? How is it that I am so unprepared, though I have been preparing for the birth of this child for more than three months? How could I be so short-sighted to think that having another baby was going to be an easy process?

Now that we're here, contracting away on the night before the induction, I am struck by the luck of it all. I didn't deliver early. The baby has been wonderful all along, never a problem or complaint. Colin will undoubtedly be the world's greatest big brother. Maybe life and parenthood is about learning to wing it, getting used to dealing with what comes at you, be it an army of ants in the sink or a squirming baby girl, full of life.

Here's looking at you, kids. Both of you.

1 Readers rock!:

XE said...

Best of luck today Katie! Wishing you good analgesia/anaesthesia and a rapid labour. With that baby working so hard to come out early a couple of months ago, hope she reverts to that behaviour and gives you a decent labour!