As in, expectations. Mine are, in order: squeezing out a live one, bringing said live one home.
While pregnant with E two years ago, I thought a great deal about "how I wanted my labor to go." You know those ladies in the childbirth classes, the ones who roll their eyes when the mere word "EPIDURAL" is mentioned? The glassy-eyed ones during the c-section talk? The very same ones earnestly rolling on the practice birthing ball, making sure their husbands or partners or cousins or whoevers are paying the utmost attention to the breathing and visualization techniques?
Yeah, that bitch was me two years ago. I could slap the "hoohooheehee-"ing smirk off her face right about now. La-di-dah I went through weeks 38, 39, 40, then--gulp--41 of pregnancy with E. No lie, I cried at my doctor's office when I was told I'd have to be induced a few days later. I sat through that NST, sonogram, practically WILLING my body to go into labor.
Oh, the delusions didn't end there.
The night I went in for my induction, I, unbeknownst to me, was already IN early labor. So, tra la la, they started the pitocin early. The lovely young resident discussed pain relief with me, and I, so SMUG, said, "Oh, no--I'm not HAVING an epidural." But, just in case--I don't know--the very SKY OVER MY HEAD began to fall, I signed the consent forms. This was at 11PM.
I'll spare you the rest, but suffice it to say by 5:30 AM I was BEGGING on the birthing ball for that effing epidural. My best friend still recalls the text I sent her at 3AM--she'd had her first baby a month before--where I ever so delicately wrote, "These bitches HURT!" Yes, yes they do, Virginia.
So now here we are. Or rather, there we were just a few short months ago. When faced with the very immediate reality of pushing out my dead little girl, I vacillated between not even caring how much pain I endured and wanting to be completely numb. Ironically, the dastardly epidural I'd so recently villified was unavailable to me. Finally, the natural birth I'd so wanted! Lucky me. Lucky, lucky me, complete with a 12+ hour second labor, back labor, and no live baby to snuggle as a reward.
Queen Understatement says: "Man, that sucked."
So, again, here I am. I am nowhere near labor--well, at least I hope not, as I'm only 12+ weeks. Who knows how far we'll get. But this time? I don't care what it takes. C-section? Epidural plus narcotics plus a sleeping pill? Stand on my hands and shove a flaming hot poker up my ass? Sounds unorthodox, but if I get a live baby out of the bargain, I'm in. It's amazing how our expectations change, how we view the risks, the statistics, the steps necessary. I'll walk through fire for a different outcome. I'll give a speech at the childbirth classes, get in the glassy-eyed women's faces, tell them to wipe that smirk off their faces.
I went in yesterday for the NFT test and the quad screen. A nurse called me that afternoon saying she didn't like how the blood dried, and would I mind coming in to do the test again today? I practically skipped into the office today. As long as that baby's alive in there, I'll do anything, won't mind anything you ask me to do.
Turns out there are things way worse than an epidural.