When I was pregnant with my first child, I had to wait until I was almost 42 weeks to deliver. At that point, my body simply wasn’t going to give him up on its own. My OB told me to drink some castor oil and see if we could induce labor. It didn’t really do much except give me some mild contractions and make me feel completely gross for a day or two.
My due date came and went. The winter dragged on outside, and an epic blizzard was forecast to hit our state. My OB decided if I didn’t deliver on my own, I’d go in for an induction. The process was scary to a first time mom, but from what I understand, it went by the book. There were a few minor bumps, but compared to what some women experience, I made out well.
When discussing my plans for this pregnancy with my OB, we reminisced briefly about how the previous one went. I mentioned how I’d like to repeat that experience because it worked out so well. She agreed, saying it was almost “miraculous.” The word gave me pause. I should have pressed it, but I didn’t want to read too much into it.
To me, the word “miraculous” implies that this event was somehow magical and unrepeatable. I wanted the exact same situation to play out for this pregnancy, and now that seemed like asking for a unicorn, when I already had one. No matter what people would tell me, the worry that I’d somehow have a more complicated experience the second time around seemed inevitable.
I worried about c-sections, NICU stays, infection, tearing, and all sorts of other things that happen. None of which are death sentences, but I worried about that too. I worried that I’d go into labor while my husband was out of town, and my son would have no one to pick him up from daycare. I worried that it would come so fast that I’d be alone in the bathroom trying to deliver my son alone. I worried about all the worrying making my son anxious and sick. My brain only needs a tiny margin for it to go off the rails and turn in on itself.
At the time I type this, I’m still very, very pregnant, with an active fetus kicking away, and hoping for the best and trying not to think about the worst. Stay tuned.