Here we are, just past the 34 weeks mark. That means that in less than two weeks, this kid will be considered term. And by 38 weeks, I expect to be talking induction with the OB (assuming it doesn't happen at 37, etc.). We are in the home stretch.
Because of some stupidity in HR, I need to work to the end of 37 weeks or it will cost me extra $$$. I am displeased with that whole scenario, since I am a firm believer in the "if the baby is mature, then get it the heck out where it can't die for XYZ reason" philosophy. (blissfully ignoring all the ways a baby can die once it has been born... let's not talk about that, please).
I am surrounded by pregnant women and newborns in my circle of friends and acquaintances. I would guess that we are talking about 20-30 women who are pregnant or wrangling newborns. I know them from playgroup, which means the reason that we know each other is our kids. Which also means that the group spends a lot of time talking about pregnancy and childbirth.
It doesn't hurt the way it would have 3 years ago. Or even a year ago. I can quite contentedly sit by and listen to the naive things that they say. Like the classic I heard last week - "They wouldn't let me do a VBAC because they just like to cut". Ha, ha, ha, ha. Because a ripping uterus or placental abruption, etc. are things that we just shouldn't worry about. It is more important to give birth in a swimming pool with your husband chanting and feeding you granola.
However, I keep that opinion to myself. And in the process of keeping it to myself, and of doing this subsequent-subsequent pregnancy, I have learned something. I take a lot of pressure off of my brain when I think of a medicalized birth. If there are doctors and nurses and monitors and drugs involved, my brain thinks that things will be OK. It is good for me when I think things will be OK.
When I was expecting C, I wanted to deliver naturally in the hospital with no drugs, etc. I had my nice little typewritten birth plan all packed into my hospital bag. Next the the tennis balls in tube socks for pain relief. I would have hired a doula if there were such a thing in my town (there is now, btw). I was happy that the hospital had jet tubs that I could labour in. My biggest fear is that I might cave in and take drugs.
Then, when I showed up at the hospital in labour, 3 centimeters dilated and regular contractions, they told me my baby was already dead. For some reason, I stuck to the birth plan for a few hours - no drugs, tried the tub, etc. Really, that was quite silly. Then I took the drugs. I think this is when my perspective changed. Natural is bad. Babies can't trust my body to deliver them naturally. There has to be doctors and nurses and monitors and drugs. That's the only way to trust.
I think what scares me now is the idea that I could go into labour on my own. I don't like that idea. I want to have control over when this thing starts. I want drugs to start the process, I want someone to rupture my membranes for me, I want drugs to control the frequency and intensity of contractions, and I want my epidural. The only "natural" thing that I want is to deliver vaginally (because I have always recovered very quickly from vaginal delivery and I will have to chase a 3 year old...). But I have no fear of episiotomy - that's old hat, too.
Coming to realize that I don't trust my body and that I do trust medical interventions makes it a lot easier to sit through conversations about other people's views on this. I know why I don't trust my body. I know that I used to trust my body. I can see why other people might trust their bodies. I can even go so far as to understand why someone doesn't trust their doctor (um... maybe find one you can trust), even though I will always maintain that choosing to give birth without immediate access to an operating room is a poor choice. I can keep my mouth shut, and I don't feel like I am letting myself down.
2-4 more weeks. I hope time flies. God, I have a lot to do.