The shower is officially over and I’m working my last night at my second job before my due date, so as soon as 7 am comes and this shift is behind me, I’ll have nothing to focus on except waiting for the baby to come.
I’ve still got 12 shifts at my full time job scheduled because I, like most nurses, do not believe in taking any extra time off and am planning on working right up to my due date. I contemplated scheduling myself a few days after it, too, but decided not to push my luck. I’m already assuming my paycheck this week will be my last full time one and that I’ll go into labor before the end of the next pay period, so I spent most of Sunday clipping coupons and figuring out where all the cheap diapers are on sale this week (Dollar General).
And there’s labor to think about, of course. My birth plan is to take it one contraction at a time and see how it goes. Am I open to an epidural? Of course. Do I want one? Not at the moment, but if my labor is excruciating, I’ll do it.
(About that – I had a L&D rotation in school and have seen about a dozen live births. I also worked in an ICU for 3 years and have seen many, many spinal taps, nerve blocks, and epidurals. I know exactly what goes on back there. I’ve seen doctors miss and jab around in spinal space many times. It actually makes me more nervous than the pain does, so I’m all for trying to do it natural.)
What I can’t shake, though, is the fear of my water breaking at the most embarrassing time. For example, if it goes tonight when I’m at work, sitting in a leather chair that’s placed on someone-I-know-relatively-well’s newish carpet. Or when I’m at my full time job, rocking a preemie in a chair shared by all the staff and family. Or helping a family with a trach change on their toddler and all of the sudden, the flood gates open and my coworkers have to clean up the floor while I sit on several diapers and drive myself home to wake my husband to go to the hospital.
I would be mortified if this is a public event.
The not knowing when this is going to go down is driving me insane. Yes, I know not everyone has a water explosion. Someone I know with multiple children told me she had “two trickles and a gusher”, and I know it doesn’t always happen naturally.
But this is what I worry about now. Now that I know he’s safe, healthy, active, and in position, there’s not much else to focus my nerves on. It’s a much better place to be than where I was for my first trimester, when I was so afraid he was going to have any number of congenital problems I have seen way too many of and my blood pressure was so high, I had to monitor it at work and keep records for my doctor.
Soon, this will all be behind me and I’m pretty sure one day I’ll be at home alone with him and it will hit me that, holy shit, I have a baby and when did that happen? And it’s simple – it happened when I was so busy just worrying about everything else.
He’ll take all that away from me when he’s born. And then a lifetime of worrying about my son will begin. But just as seeing him at my first ultrasound immediately calmed me down and my blood pressure returned to normal, I think that having him here and watching him grow up will calm me enough to get through the worrying.
If nothing else, I’ll be able to stop wondering about ruining this leather chair.