Week 41: Babies ’R Not Us

After waiting in our basement for two weeks, my parents leave tomorrow. They will miss the delivery, assuming it ever happens. This bums me out, and I know they’re frustrated that their whole visit was for naught, though they’re far too diplomatic to say so. It was never clear to me what exactly their role would be during the delivery, though my wife continues to maintain—even after spending 11 days with them—that she wanted them in the room when she delivered. I just don’t see it…

After waiting in our basement for two weeks, my parents leave tomorrow. They will miss the delivery, assuming it ever happens. This bums me out, and I know they’re frustrated that their whole visit was for naught, though they’re far too diplomatic to say so. It was never clear to me what exactly their role would be during the delivery, though my wife continues to maintain—even after spending 11 days with them—that she wanted them in the room when she delivered. I just don’t see it.

She felt so strongly about this that she paid a visit the other day to our OB to get her membranes stripped. (Technically, not a violation of #6 on our birth plan.) Basically, Sarah consented to have Dr. Harth stick a finger in her uterus and separate it from the bag surrounding the amniotic fluid. It’s supposed to irritate the uterus, which I’m sure is already plenty annoyed, and ideally, contractions follow shortly afterwards. This is sort of the prenatal equivalent of someone whacking the TV to get it to work.

Of course, nothing happened. Sarah is now two weeks overdue. And now—cue the violins—we’ve got another deadline in addition to my parents’ flight tomorrow afternoon: Doctor Harth called to say she’s going to induce in two days. This announcement had Sarah moping around the house for hours. Induction! That’s the first push down a slippery slope that generally means a decidedly non-Bradley delivery, and the prospect makes Sarah miserable.

“I just need to accept the fact that I’m going to be induced,” she said. “And I’m going to need pitocin, and I’ll have to be on an IV, and I’ll probably have to have an epidural. I’m going to have to be strapped to a bed. This is not going to be the way we want it to be.”

I gave her one of my typically lame pep talks, full of platitudes like:

“Oh, well, we tried.”

“It’s not the end of the world.”

“I still love you.”

Sarah agreed. Then she put it all in perspective by saying it didn’t matter so long as the delivery was safe and we had a healthy child at the end. (Another platitude, yes. But a true one.)

So today we went to see a movie (Million Dollar Baby, hugely overrated) while my folks went to Whole Foods to buy Sarah some labor-inducing raspberry leaf tea. Kenn and Julie brought us over some dinner, which was incredibly nice, and Sarah has drank six cups of the raspberry leaf tea, even though she claims, “It tastes like shit, or plastic, or plastic shit.”

In bed now, watching Napoleon Dynamite on the laptop. I can hear my parents scurrying around a floor below us, packing their suitcases. Meanwhile, Sarah tried to watch the movie, but she’s constipated, so she gets up to go to the bathroom every few minutes with weird stomach cramps, and I have to keep pausing it. Finally, she told me to just keep the movie going, and disappeared into the bathroom for good. Sorry, Napoleon. I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open.

Funny how life doesn’t give a shit about your plans.

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