Waiting for Baby

Everything in our lives for the past year has been moving towards this point, like a staircase spiralling up a tower. We are in the last days now, waiting. Our kids are enjoying visits to friends and family, while we swing between home and hospital for daily checks. We’ve had a bumpy ride with hospital, some wonderful staff and some hostile and probably traumatised ones. We’ve worked hard to build relationships, normalise seeking consent, and collaborate on the approach.

Nightingale has had a bit of a rough pregnancy, very high hormone levels causing severe morning sickness and some difficulties with low blood pressure and gestational diabetes. As a result we’ve been put on the high supervision pathway, with frequent growth scans, twice weekly diabetes check-ins, and so many hospital appts that some weeks it’s felt like we live there. Every time we attend there’s a different doctor or midwife, and often different contradictory information and advice. It can be very stressful.

Now we’re approaching the due date with pre labour contractions making every day a possible birth day. It’s exciting and tiring. There’s a steady stream of enquiries from folks wondering if bubs has arrived and we somehow forgot to let people know. It’s impossible to make plans, and anytime we can we’re just catching up on sleep.

We went into hospital recently for a catheter induction which was very painful and unfortunately not effective. Nightingale has previously had a c-section so some options they might usually consider at this point are too risky. There’s no signs of distress for bubs or Nightingale so we’re just waiting at this stage. After meeting with the delightful head of the department we have collaborated on a plan to try again next week, and in the meantime go into hospital for a checkup every day. Being able to go home to proper food and good beds has been deeply appreciated and helps a lot with the fatigue. Now there’s a clear plan it’s been a much smoother process instead of each shift change exposing us to a new person’s ideas and values. We’ve denied contact from a couple of staff who’ve been aggressive and controlling, protecting our space and the precious sense of safety and trust needed to labour and bring a child home.

It’s incredibly hard making decisions and trying to weigh up different risks and approaches, often with very little quality evidence to go on. I don’t envy the doctors who have to try and do this for many people every day. Tailoring individual care on the basis of conflicting research, poor quality information, or massive cohort studies full of unmanageable variables is very challenging. Each protocol and policy has unintended consequences and theories and ideas that seem so intuitive, so obviously helpful turn out to be full of incorrect assumptions and focusing on the wrong indicators. There’s so much we don’t know and so much knowledge we lose.

We ride a roller coaster together, and our community along with us. There’s times of deep peace and connection, such hope and joy. We’re ready for them, everything is ready. There’s times of fear and sadness, afraid of loss and regret. We tumble up and down together, riding the waves and watching the stars. Come home littlest love. We’re waiting for you.

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