In our childbirthing class, we had to do this activity. They gave each couple 15 or so index cards. Each index card had one thing written on the front and a different thing written on the back. For example: Go into labor at 10 am / Go into labor at 1 am; episotomy / no episiotomy; natural labor / epidural; etc.
After picking our preferences, we then had to take out four of the index cards – no longer could we choose one or the other; these were things we were willing to leave up to chance. After that, we had to limit it down to only five cards – the five things that, if we could have our say, would definitely go the way we’re hoping.
If I had to choose my top five hopes for the upcoming weeks, my guess is they would be similar to the hopes of lots of expecting women: healthy baby, healthy mommy, vaginal birth (no c-section), success at breastfeeding, and positive transitions into parenthood. But with only 16 days to go, my imagination has really started to take off – particularly when it comes to WISHFUL thinking. If I had five unrealistic wishes for the next few weeks, here are the ones that might top the list.
1. Baby will be born on Saturday, Oct. 27. Yes, I would be that specific if I could. That would get me through my volleyball end-of-season party (Tues), my breastfeeding class (Wed), Crystal’s birthday (Thurs) and the Big Boo at work (Fri). I would be at home when I went into labor, so good stuff there. We could watch the Vikings game during recovery on Sunday. And I would be able to give work two days notice that I would be missing one more week of work than we had anticipated – perfectly reasonable. So even though I technically have been told I have 16 days to go…boy, am I dreaming about this Saturday.
2. Since I'm already being unrealistic – not only do I not have to have an episiotomy (something my OB and I have talked about extensively – we’re going to avoid it if at all possible and opt for – gulp – tearing instead), I don’t even have a single tear. I simply stretch, let the baby out, and then recover naturally with zero damage to my female parts. That would be so freaking awesome.
3. No drugs needed until sometime towards the very end! I’m still hoping to be able to move around during labor as much as possible despite the need for an IV – gravity works, so anything to speed the labor along sounds good to me. Which means I want to be able to put off an epidural for as long as possible. I’m hoping to be able to cope with the pain until I get to that 7-8 cm mark and then get the epidural OR whatever form of pain control medication the doctor thinks will be most effective given my pain level at the time. I don’t care about “no drugs” – if they work, I’ll take ‘em! But I don’t want to feel like I need them right away.
4. Baby is super well-behaved. I mean, sure, she cries and stuff – of course she does. But no colic, not too much spazzing, just pretty content to be fed and changed and swaddled and bathed. And she likes the cats. And they don’t try to scratch her. Or jump in the crib with her. And no allergies. That all counts as one wish, right?
5. I have such a smooth recovery and adjust to motherhood so well that I’m actually able to make it into work for a few hours here and there. Of course I have no desire to push myself unnecessarily – if I’m exhausted, I will not even give this a second's thought. But if I can bring baby into work and show her around to people and maybe have an hour or two a week to check email and stay up-to-date during my leave – that just saves me a few hours of unpaid time off. Which would be nice.
So there you go. Top five hopes – not guaranteed, but I’m really, really, really wanting them to happen. Top five wishes – I guess I can wait 16 more days for baby if I have to. Every day I get a little closer to finding out the reality, so I'll let you know what happens!