Repeatedly, I’ve stressed the importance of being flexible and relaxed about the birth experience. You have probably noticed that this is as much advice for you as it is for myself.

I haven’t trained myself to be able to accomplish either of those tasks very effectively. Since high school, I’ve been on a fairly manic schedule and am probably more tense that I am relaxed. It would be a lie to say I’m always stressed out, but I am far from a chill dude. My rigidity comes about not because I’m stubborn, but because I tend to need to solve problems. It’s been my job for a long time. My day job as a help desk manager means that I am at all times focused on a multitude of problems and people unhappy about those problems and it’s my job to find solutions quickly and effectively. So, I like to come up with lists and schedules and methods to think about the problem that will help us get it done faster. It’s very tricky for me to just lean back and say, “It’ll be cool” because I believe for it to be cool, I need to make it be cool.

The chance of Janelle’s birth going entirely according to our plan is basically zero. Due to the gestational diabetes, she’s considered high risk. This means that a birth center that would honor our wishes would not take us. We’d be referred right back into the hospital system. And the hospital system has already told us how it’s going to go down.

Since babies in mothers with gestational diabetes tend to get enlarged shoulders, even if the rest of their size and weight are normal, hospitals do not screw around with timing. We’ve been told that they’re going to want to induce Janelle at 39 or 40 weeks. I know that ultimately this decision is made to ensure optimal health for both mother and child, but the drugs given to induce tend to be gateways for other parts of the birth process we’ve tried to avoid.

The plan is simply to, around 38 weeks, begin to try and get Janelle to induce naturally. There are a variety of ways to do this, and most are pretty basic things-you-do-anyway kind of tasks (take walks, light exercise, etc.). I need to work on remembering though that deviations from our plan and, for example, an inability to tease in a natural inducement are not failures. We didn’t do something wrong. In my world if something goes wrong it’s because you

A) Didn’t have a good enough system in place to handle the problem

B) Don’t know what you’re doing

C) Were lazy

It might seem defeatist, but I think I need to entertain the possibility that many of the things we were hoping to avoid in the baby’s birth will happen, and I think I need to stop focusing so hard on ensuring that it goes according to our relatively arbitrary plan. There are things we can affect and things we cannot affect. Things we can be assured we don’t need to have happen, and things that we can just tell everyone we’d only prefer to happen if totally necessary.

I believe I’ve written a couple posts on this topic now, and with the same point in the end. Repetition. That’s another system of mine. Ironic that I’m using a system to get myself to stop depending on other systems? Mmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaybe.

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  1. #1 by Jessica on April 21, 2010 - 11:22 AM

    I will go ahead and speak for Brandon and Madeleine and say that all six of our thumbs are up on this one. You guys are champs – go in with a clear picture of what you want, but keep your eye on the prize: Janelle and the baby. Whatever happens, be flexible and remember what’s most important…healthy baby, healthy mommy. You two could never fail in any way at this – you are going in as loving, wonderful parents who want only the best for your family. You will walk in as a family of 2, and walk out as a family of 3 – that’s amazing, no matter how you get there, ya know?

  2. #2 by Vic L on April 21, 2010 - 1:36 PM

    I know that N has the same basic tendencies that you do. She tends to get caught up in her carefully laid plans and flexibility tends to cause her more than her fair share of stress. She’s been working to be a bit more go with the flow as long as the end result meets her basic criteria (like you and having a healthy Janelle and baby at the end) but it’s a difficult process for someone that has it so ingrained into them. My best comment here is that I trust that as a problem solver you’ll go into as well prepared as you possibly can. Any hitches or missteps along the way you two will be able to deal with in stride. I’d suggest over-communicating your desires and concerns to the birthing staff when you’re at the hospital for the big event. It may not work out as you have planned but really I think you two can roll with the punches well enough to make everything work out. Best advice here is probably take a step back and breathe for you let the stress get you too amped up.

    I recall what you told us before our wedding actually. “Expect something to go wrong but don’t worry it will all end up ok.” Sage advice my friend.

  3. #3 by Vic L on April 21, 2010 - 1:39 PM

    ^ can’t edit entry:

    “Best advice here is probably take a step back and breathe BEfor you let the stress get you too amped up.”

  4. #4 by Vic L on April 21, 2010 - 1:39 PM

    ^ bloody hell


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