Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence
Lateefah took a stress test last week— and despite her litany of worries, it turned out normal.
Lateefah took a stress test last week— and despite her litany of worries, it turned out normal. Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence
As I was failing to settle into bed earlier this week, my husband Frank asked, "Want to share what's on your mind?" I told him that there were so many things flying around in my head that I didn't know where to start: "I need to write three blog posts, I'm anxious about our housing situation, I can't find a comfortable sleep position, we need to do a birth plan, and I just don't understand how the baby's head is going to come out of my birth canal."
He replied, "There's one post."
I knew there was a reason I snatched this guy up.
I honestly can't say what I don't worry about.
- Was my prenatal vitamin regimen sufficient?
- How will I know when it really is time to go to the hospital?
- Will I get the hospital bed by the window?
- How long before my hip sockets stop clicking and hurting?
- Is my baby safe inside of me?
- What's the deal with those pains you get while your uterus is shrinking back down and how come no one talks about them?
- Lochia – what the heck?
Lateefah Torrence, 38, is a writer who lives in New York, N.Y. She and her husband, Frank, welcomed Dalia Joule on July 17.
But most importantly: How is this baby's head going to come out of me?
I've chosen to use Hypnobabies self-hypnosis as a birthing tool and during one of the nightly guided meditations it is suggested that I envision my baby "coming down and out like a slide."
Slides are open and airy. I am not.
The logical part of my brain tells me that women have done this for 200,000 years. Frank has reminded me that a baby's skull is soft and pliable for just this exact purpose. But I have to be honest – I'm not buying it. And of course this leads me to worry that my lack of buy-in is exactly what is going to get me into trouble when my birthing time comes around. My fear will lead to a lack of progress, which will lead to the dreaded oxytocin induction, which will lead to fetal distress, which will lead to a C-section which will lead to postpartum depression and months of beating myself up for not being able to do naturally what untold billions of women have done before me.
Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence
The squiggly lines show Lateefah's baby's heart rate and the musical notes indicate where she pressed a clicker in response to feeling the baby move.
The squiggly lines show Lateefah's baby's heart rate and the musical notes indicate where she pressed a clicker in response to feeling the baby move. Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence
This is the part where I secretly wish it were the '50s again: Once my labor started I would simply get wheeled into a hospital room, have a cozy date with an anesthesiologist, and wake up with a mewling baby in a little bassinet next to me.
I'm nauseous. My feet are tight and swollen. And this new person inside of me has decided that it is really fun to push his or her feet into my ribcage. Shouldn't I look forward to the end? And what's so wrong with a C-section anyway? Yes, I've had emergency abdominal surgery before and recovery was awful, but it was better than the alternative. When did everyone start asking how your baby came into the world, anyway? No one asks for details about your appendectomy.
The only thing I can do is repeat what my wonderful OB said to us at our first appointment, "The baby is going to come out one way or the other."
I can only pray that she is right.