Ryan was a surprise for our family. Life’s little way of showing us that we weren’t really in control and no matter what kind of plans we make, there is always something bigger and better around the corner.
After a few days of denial and worry, we decided that the best way to handle unexpected surprises is to laugh about it and make the best of the situation. We announced to our families and got an ultrasound to make sure everything was as it should be and that there was only one baby.
As the weeks went on, I was plagued with the task of choosing prenatal care. Having had our previous babies at home, my husband and I were no strangers to the idea of a natural home birth. There are options in South West Florida, but none of them were quite what we were looking for. It is hard to explain. We were in this place that even we can’t describe. I continued to count the weeks and milestones in pregnancy. I kept myself busy and tried to not think about the fact that I still had not chosen a care provider. In the meantime, I started doing all of the basic things that would have been done at prenatal visits. I could listen for heart tones. I could test my urine. I knew from previous pregnancies that I was no where near high risk, and that for me, delivering my own baby wasn’t inherently dangerous.
You see, of all the things in life that scare me, childbirth is not one of them. Sure, there is a lot of unknown. I think that the mystery surrounding it all is kind of nice. I know my body knows what it is doing. It is honestly the only time in my life where I feel like I know what I am doing. During birth, I close my eyes and let nature take over. There is no one telling me what to do and how to do it. I just listen to myself and move the way I need to help the baby come. My philosophy on it this time around was that it only took my husband and I to make this baby. Why did we need anyone else to help us bring it into the world?
I read and absorbed all of the information I could. Although I trusted myself and knew everything would be just fine, I was not naive enough to believe that there wasn’t a slight risk. My husband and I prepared for the what-ifs. We talked about what to do in case of an emergency. Where to transfer, what to do for bleeding, or cord prolapse. The more we talked about those things, the more nervous we got, but it was necessary conversation to ensure that we were covering all the bases.
Not many people knew what we were planning. I told only a handful of people, and those were only people who I knew would respect and support our decision. There were many people that I avoided the topic with, and a few that I lied to. Dishonesty is not in my nature and that was a hard thing to do. But it was easier at the time to tell them we were using midwife xyz, than to tell them we planned on going unassisted. If you guys are reading this, I sincerely apologize for that. I did not want anyone to worry about us, or question us on everything as I did not have the energy to defend our choices.
We made it to 41 weeks. All we had to do was wait on a baby…
Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon!
Photography credit goes to Naomi Stevens of http://www.freshsqueezedphotographyofnaples.com