I’m writing this at 9pm on Tuesday 31st May 2016. 11 days overdue and no longer under the illusion that Pickle will be a May-baby. I could throttle all those people who have said to me over the past however many months ‘Oh May, what a lovely time to have a baby.’ I’m about to enter the world of labour induction.
On Wednesday 1st June, at 8am, I’ll be ringing the Antenatal Ward at Worcester Royal Hospital to see what time they want me in for a labour induction. The one and only thing I always said I wanted to avoid.
As with all things pregnancy and baby-related, there’s no one way that this could go. And just because I’m in ‘the diary’, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. I could ring up tomorrow and be told one of many things:
- “Yes, lovely – come straight in and we’ll see you right away.”
- “We’re a bit busy at the moment, could you call back later and see what the situation is?”
- “We’re a bit busy at the moment, but could you come and see us at X o’ clock?”
And then when I do get to the hospital, whenever that is, the situation isn’t straight forward either. I’ve made it very clear that my preference is to labour in the Meadow Suite, the midwife led unit, but this isn’t possible if I have to be induced and constantly monitored. The midwife I spoke to on Monday seemed to think there might possibly be some wriggle room depending what the ‘situation’ is when they examine me tomorrow. But she also said there was a good chance I’d go into labour before then anyway… I will literally have no idea what they’ll suggest until I’m in that antenatal ward. Glorious.
Never have I felt so out of control and useless. I’m really having to confront all my fears and anxieties about an induced labour and whilst I really can’t wait for this long, long journey to finally be over, I’m absolutely terrified of how I’ll feel afterwards.
Because here’s the weird thing… I’m not worried about the physical implications. I always knew childbirth would be painful and horrible and whilst I’ve been warned an induced labour can sometimes be worse than one naturally occurring, that’s okay. I’m more worried about looking back at the experience and how I’ll feel about it.
It’s not something I’ve directly addressed on this blog so far although I’m sure you may have picked up on it if you’re good at reading between the lines, but this pregnancy has really taken it’s toll on me mentally. I’ve been lucky to have had access to the most incredible support from health professionals, family and friends which has undoubtedly helped me through, but more than ever, I now know that for me, pregnancy has been a psychological battle more than anything else.
I want to come home from the hospital with Pickle and feel proud. I want to be amazed that I was able to bring this little (or maybe large at this rate) baby into the world. And I know it sounds stupid because I’d NEVER think this of other women in the same situation, but I feel like every act of labour induction or intervention takes away some of that achievement. Why can’t I do what other women can do naturally? Why do I need medical help?
If anyone else said this to me, I’d of course tell them to shut up and stop being so ridiculous. You’ve carried your baby for over nine months, doing all you can to keep them safe and you’ve done all you can to bring them safely into the world too. You do whatever you have to as a mother. And sometimes that means doing the things you hadn’t planned or would rather avoid in order to do what is ultimately best for baby. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed – it means you’ve put baby first. And that’s 100% the opposite of failing.
I’m really hoping I prove myself wrong. I hope whatever happens over the next few days, I’ll come home with Pickle and feel like it was all worth it, having forgotten about all my anxieties. I’m hoping pregnancy will feel like a distant memory as life becomes consumed with feeds, dirty nappies and baby cuddles. I hope I’ll be excited to introduce Pickle to family and friends, and feel sociable again! (I’ve literally cocooned myself in the house these past few days… partly because I no longer own any pair of shoes that are comfortable to wear but also because I can’t face any more conversations about when baby might be here and hearing about oh-how-comfortable-they-must-be-in-there).
Time will tell. If I’m quiet for the next few days: you know why.