The Calm Before the Storm by Heather Bowles

Good Saturday evening, ladies!  I hope everything is well with you. This week, I came to the sudden realization I have very little time left to prepare for the maelstrom that a newborn brings. Luckily, I kept all Tabitha’s newborn clothes and toy-like lookieloos and thingamajigs, so other than a couple of big ticket items: a second car seat and a second crib, there really is no more preparing that needs to be done.

Except for one. A big one. Childcare.

We live too far from our extended family to expect anyone to drop what they are doing and come to our rescue when I go into labor. At first, that was REALLY distressing. I mean… I’ve never left Tabi in the care of anyone except her father for longer than 3 hours, and that one incident was the result of an extremely overbooked afternoon at the OBGYN’s office that coincided with my parents showing up unannounced. “Awesome! Here, Mother. Take Tabi. I’ll be home from my ultrasound in a bit.”

I really can’t dare hope for that to happen again. So this week, I’ve been touring local drop in spots for her care. Naturally, I expect all this research to be for nothing. I anticipate, somewhat fatalistically, to go into labor and deliver in the middle of the night, thereby bypassing the possibility of dropping her anywhere. Tulsa, America rolls it’s streets up no later than midnight, and that is on the weekends. During the week, we’re expected to have picked our children up from daycare by 10 PM, and not to return with them before 7:30 the following morning.

As a result, I’m somewhat debating the possibility of scheduling my delivery, which is something I never would have contemplated before. As you may have gathered, I’m something of a naturalist… a hippie, as it were, with religious underpinnings to my motives. With my first delivery, I was induced with pitocin, and even after repeated suggestions from the medical personnel around me, I declined to take an epidural. This was largely based out of said religious beliefs, and a fear of several complications. One, I have a mild spinal curvature, which in my mind increased the likelihood that my spine could be damaged by the needle. Two, I have a childhood history of epilepsy. I read many independent articles prior to giving birth that illustrated that while a seizure from the epidural is rare, it is more common in people with a known history or sensitivity. The LAST thing I wanted at the time Tabi was born was to lose my driver’s license and become dependent on local public transportation, which is spotty at best. 

I fully believe there is a certain experience that women are supposed to have with childbirth and to break from it, while it is sometimes necessary, should be avoided when possible. To that end, I’m going to do the best I can, and God/nature can just forgive me if and when I have to opt for a more modern medical miracle birth process.

Yes, I’m giving myself permission to be flexible this time. Who knows? I may not even breastfeed. Yeah, right.

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