39 Weeks

Today marks the “supposed” last full week of my pregnancy.


My plan this week is just to take it easy but to also continue to get in some good exercise, mainly long walks and squatting to keep my legs strong.  I may go into town and see a movie.  The house is clean, the nursery is organized, I really don’t have much else to do but wait on this baby.

A lot of people have been asking me to text or call them on the way to the hospital.  What’s ironic about this is that before I got pregnant, I always imagined I’d ask mine and Oatmeal’s immediate family and siblings to be at the hospital when I delivered (if their location and schedules allowed, of course).  I also imagined myself sitting in the hospital bed with my phone or computer nearby, excitedly texting my friends and updating Facebook along the way.  “Just got checked into the hospital – so glad for the epidural!”  “Can’t believe I’m not 10cm yet – this is taking forever!  So excited to meet the baby!”  It never occurred to me until after I was pregnant that I’d actually want privacy (and maybe even secrecy…) when I was having the baby instead.

Yep, since becoming pregnant, Oatmeal and I have actually talked in length and decided that we would like to be the only ones at the hospital during the delivery.  And rather than alerting all of our loved ones on the way to the hospital and having everyone waiting on their ear for the final word, we have just decided to have the baby and then make our big announcement after the fact.  I don’t know many other people who have done or wished for this, and explaining our reasons why is kind of difficult.  It’s especially difficult to explain because we DO have such supportive and respectful friends and family members.  We don’t feel like any of our loved ones are pushing their boundaries or would be intrusive if they were to be notified earlier.  Yet still, we just want to wait until that baby is on my chest before we alert anyone.

This is kind of silly reasoning, but imagine dogs, cats, horses or any other pet you may have had in your lifetime that had babies.  Typically, when an animal goes into labor, it tends to  hide from the rest of the crowd.  Dogs crawl under the house in the middle of the night and secretly have their litter.  Horses disappear from the rest of the pack and lie down in a quiet place to give birth.  If you try and sneak up on the mother in the process of the birth, sometimes she will notice and get distressed, or else she will try to move to a new secret area.  I know this sounds really dumb, but I can kind of relate to this feeling of wanting a lot of privacy.

My sister had her first baby about 10 years ago.  She really wanted my dad and stepmom to be at her delivery, so they scheduled a flight to be with her on her due date.  Dad and Lil showed up and they all excitedly waited on my sister to go into labor.  They took my sister shopping, for pedicures, cooked for her, and just otherwise sat around and were very supportive while everyone patiently waited.  The days ticked by slowly but nothing happened.  My dad kept calling his office and pushing back surgeries so that he could stay an extra day… another extra day… another extra day.  Eventually though he and my stepmom made plans to fly back home just for a few days and come right back.  My sister recalls feeling strong contractions come on the second that she knew they were on their way to the airport.  One may wonder if she felt so much pressure to have the baby while they were there that her body froze up and held onto the baby instead.  It’s not that she didn’t want her family to be there for the big moment, but for some reason her body just did not cooperate.  The same thing happened with her third baby.  My mom and I traveled to be with her on her due date.  Days passed and she finally decided to schedule an induction.  She ended up sitting on the pitocin drip for 30-something hours (and nearly starving in the process) before she finally dilated and had the baby.  Maybe the baby truly wasn’t ready to come out.   Or maybe the pressure of having your little sister stare at you for a week, on top of knowing your mom traveled cross-country in a wheelchair to be nearby, was just enough to make her freeze up.

The instructors that teach our baby/hospital class believe that this is logical.  They say that often times a laboring mother comes into the hospital accompanied by not only her husband but also her loved ones.  She stops dilating completely, but everyone patiently waits, plays cards, chit-chats, etc.  Eventually the doctor or nurse mentions that she is just laboring very slowly and it will most likely be all day or night before she will be ready to give birth.  Since now it seems like there is plenty of time to waste, the parents, in-laws, siblings and friends disperse for rest or food.  Ironically, the minute the room is cleared out and the mother knows that the waiting room is empty, she rapidly dilates and has the baby pushed out before the family even returns from their quick fast food run.

So if I were to be sitting in Labor & Delivery, knowing that dozens of people were waiting by the phone and that another handful of people were just outside in the waiting room, I worry that I’d feel just as nervous and on the spot.  I don’t think I’d be able to focus, and I think it would just make the whole situation more nerve-wracking than it needs to be.   Luckily, our friends and family are all nearby and will be able to get to the hospital fairly soon after we deliver.  So we will still be able to see loved ones a few hours after the birth, except for those from out of town who will be welcome to come and visit just as soon as they are willing and able.

That was a really long way of explaining Reason #1 why we dont’ want anyone at the hospital.

Reason #2 is pretty brief, and this has nothing to do with Oatmeal.  If something does go in an odd direction, and I have to have a C-section, I don’t want anyone around other than Oatmeal and the baby until I’m back in my normal frame of mind.  I expect I may be a bit emotional and groggy, so it would be nice to have some recovery time before visitors.  I don’t like people around me when I am sick or just had surgery.  Just ask my mom – I had knee surgery and then told her about it AFTER the fact.  I did not even tell her I was going under the knife because I knew she’d just worry!  So instead I had the surgery, rested a day, and then hobbled over to visit her.  She’s forgiven me since then.  I dunno, I get that from my dad.  He isn’t much for being swarmed on when he isn’t at the top of his game, either!

And Reason #3…. this is the biggest reason.  You only become a parent once.  Just once.  When I married Oatmeal, I knew I wanted to become a parent with him.  And maybe I’m selfish, but I honestly don’t want to share those first moments with anyone.   I may want to sit there and snuggle that baby for an hour or more, with Oatmeal right next to me, and just take in those overwhelming, amazing feelings.

Man!  I’m kind of a pill!  I’m picky and high maintenance, right?

Who knows?  Maybe I’m just antsy because I have time to be antsy.  Maybe when the time comes, I won’t give a shit who is around and who isn’t.  If that’s the case, our second baby’s birth can be a party and I’ll stream a live video feed onto Facebook.

Okay maybe not the part about the live video feed.

Guess I’ll figure it out sooner or later, right?  Hope it’s sooner…. 🙂


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  1. Jessica Nelson says:

    i’m with you. I recently read ina may’s guide to childbirth and she talks a lot about this. Don’t know what we will do yet, but i think my mom would be devestated if i didn’t call her. ahh. i feel the pressure already!

    • I know! It can be very weird for the parents. Luckily ours are close by and will get the green light asap – just giving us a few hours of “new parent” time.

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