It’s the final countdown. Just a couple of weeks left until baby #4 enters our lives and changes our family dynamic. For the better, but still it’s a shift of our normalcy and we would be completely blind to think a new baby won’t change everything.
Even as a 4th time mom, I’m scared. I think it’s okay to admit I’m scared. All three of my deliveries have been completely different. Here’s quick recap of each:
Luke: born on January 23rd. I was induced on my due date with him. I was not dilated at all when we checked into the hospital. Due to a life threatening car accident I had 11 months prior to his birth, the epidural only worked on one side of my body. So one side was completely numb while I felt everything on the other. I labored for 12 hours with him and pushed for 3 of those hours. The doctor had nurses prep an OR as I was just minutes away from a c-section. The doctor asked if I would be okay with him using forceps. Given the choice between the two, I chose the forceps and Luke Myers was finally born at 7:31 PM.
- Eden: born on June 15th. I was scheduled to be induced the very next day, but she decided to come on her due date…Father’s Day. I started having
contractions around midnight and labored at home for a couple of hours. When the pain simply became too much I woke everyone up and was rushed to the hospital. I remember thinking I was dying. The pain was so intense and it felt like the baby’s head was popping out. My water never broke, which was a Godsend in hindsight, as she probably would have been born in the car. We arrived at the hospital and I was 9.5 centimeters dilated, too far gone for an epidural. I was vomiting from the pain and fear. The nurses advised me not to push until a doctor could arrive. About 20 minutes after laying in a hospital bed, Eden Marie entered the world.
- Adam: born on November 4th. We checked into the hospital at 6 AM to be induced. As we were checking in, I told the nurses I was having terrible indigestion. I let them know I had devoured a spicy chicken sandwich the night before, so I was positive it was just that. They told me the hospital rooms were full, but since I was in discomfort they would
check me. Sure enough, I was in active labor and already 5 centimeters dilated. No induction was needed. The epidural worked like a charm and after three pushes, Adam William came into the world at a whopping 9 lbs. 8 oz and 22 inches long.
So, you see… every single birth story is completely different! As I waddle through the next 2-3 weeks, my anxiety is building for how our final baby’s birth story will be written. Even as a veteran mom, I’m scared.
Here are 8 fears that are real!
- Timing: I’m scared the baby will come too fast for an epidural, i.e. another Eden.
- Pain: I’m scared the epidural will not work, i.e. another Luke.
- Weight: I’m scared the baby will be 10 lbs. + This is a legit fear as my baby was already measuring 6 lbs at 32 weeks. Oy!
- Emergency: Something during delivery goes awry. I know you can’t predict exactly how delivery will go, but all we want easy and healthy at the end of the day.
- Quasimodo: The baby will come out with three eyes. Okay, I know that’s not going to happen, but I think you’d be lying to yourself if there wasn’t a little part of you that feared something would be completely abnormal.
- Breastfeeding: Need. I. Say. More??!? Y’all, I’m not a huge fan of it. I don’t even care to admit that. But I will try, and I will work my exhausted a** off to get baby to latch. I will suffer through the blood and cracked nips (sorry for the TMI) to breastfeed my baby. Luke, I lasted 2 weeks. I hated it. He hated it. So I threw in the towel. Homeboy is healthy. Eden, I lasted 6 weeks until I had to go back to work. My workplace was not breastfeeding friendly at all. Think about reporting on a house fire or a homicide and in the middle of an interview: “Excuse me, I need to go pump my boobs.” Adam, I lasted 18 months. 18 FRIGGIN MONTHS! I’m proud of that, but I’m not naive enough to think this last baby will be a slam dunk in the boob department. It is stressful, it is hard work, it is painful, it is exhausting. So, I fear it…. honestly, I loath it.
- Pooping: Any woman who’s birthed a watermelon understands how real the pain of using the restroom after delivering a baby. I feel like this is something they don’t tell you about, or if they do you kind of ignore it hoping that it won’t happen to you. Trust me, no matter what size child you have going to the restroom after having a baby is terrifying and painful.
- Sleeping: I have had three pretty crappy sleepers. Eden was my best, but even those first months she wasn’t a rockstar. I dread the sleepless nights, I dread the midnight, 2, 4, 6, 8 AM feedings. I know that is selfish of me and sounds horrible… but when you’re so sleep deprived that you vomit when you turn your head because the room is spinning (yes, that’s happened to me before) you’ll know what I mean.
- Postpartum: Any woman who has given birth before knows that the days after labor and delivery are rough. Oy. All I want to do is lay in bed with baby and rest, but with other children that’s not always an option! Sometimes we have to be a mom and wife while working hard on feeding and caring for a newborn. Sometimes we still have to get kids off to school and activities and make meals. I wish the option to just lay in bed for two weeks was possible for every postpartum woman.
Now, let’s not be all negative Nancys here.
There are 5 significant things I do not fear about bringing another baby into the world:
- My Birth Coach: I don’t brag on my husband much here, but he is amazing when it comes to labor and delivery. If you know Jeff, you know he’s the most mild tempered person. Nothing really excites him. He is a calming force, he talks to me in a monotone voice and calms me down. He’s all hands on deck, coaching me through the fear and pain. I’m so thankful for him, and know he’s ready. He’s an old pro by now.
- My Hospital and Doctor. I absolutely love my doctor and her partner. The two of them rotate their work schedules (they’re moms too!) so one of them will be delivering my baby. I trust both of them with my life and I trust the hospital to give us the very best care in the world. Luke was born in Alabama and Eden was born in Kentucky, neither compare to the care I received with Adam here in Columbus.
- Health: I know I am kind of contradicting fear #5, but truth be told, I know this child will be healthy. I’ve been praying for a healthy baby this entire pregnancy, and I have no doubt this baby will come into the world with no problems. (Talking it into existence is a real thing!)
- My Older Kids: I have no fear at all about my other three children adjusting to baby #4. I do not worry about jealousy or any of them lashing out in any way. They are so excited and they are old enough to understand what is happening. I’ve never experienced a shift in attitudes with any of them before, and I don’t worry it will happen with our youngest either.
- My Heart: suuuuper cliche, but there is always a part of you that wonders how your heart has room to love another baby. But God makes room in your heart! I know the moment that little girl or boy is placed in my arms, my heart will explode to boundaries I didn’t even know were possible.
I am counting down the days until we meet, little baby Ireland. I can’t wait to welcome you into our fun, loving, chaotic lives…