Well…here we go again. Today is February 18th, 2013. A date I have had circled on my calendar for over nine months. It is my future son’s computer predicted birthday, better know as the “due date.” As I’ve made clear in previous articles I don’t believe in due dates as they create a false sense of urgency around a natural happening event. Its like trying to predict the weather two weeks from now: technology has allowed us to make much better presumptions, but without a crystal ball or time machine you cannot predict it exactly. That said, my stomach is in knots today.
Friday Kate slipped a note into my briefcase getting me pumped up for today reminding me that it may be our last weekend as a family of three! Even though my wife and I understand how unreliable due dates are…here we are at our due date and we both feel that all signs point to a few more weeks of pregnancy. However, in two weeks we will cease to be “late” and considered “high risk” by the medical community thus bringing induction into play. Some women carry longer than others and if our last pregnancy is any proof as to which category Kate belongs to, I would say she’s a 44 week kind of gal. However we were bullied into inducing after 42 weeks with Max and had a birth where we felt completely out of control. So it was with a heavy heart that we began the induction conversation this weekend so we would know where we stand if it comes down to it.
It was almost 70 degrees in sunny Wichita this Sunday so we packed up the car and headed over to Chisholm Creek Park, a 280 acre wetlands wildlife preserve in the heart of NE Wichita. We strolled along the paths, over the bridges, along waving wheat fields, and down to the creek as we discussed induction, pregnancy, life, etc. Max rode in his stroller and sang songs as he took in the scenery. It was calming…relaxing. It was some lovely family time…the calm before the storm. We agreed that we felt lied to by our medical support team with Max’s birth and that we were bullied into an induction and C-Section that was unwarranted and not needed. We agreed that our new medical support team was more in tune with our beliefs and wouldn’t bully us. We also agreed that if it was decided and agreed upon by Kate, myself, our doula, and our midwife that inducing was the best and right option we would…but we would not be bullied into a decision again. We were mad that we had to discuss inducing the day before our due date but recognized, thanks to our doula, that we had put inducing completely out of our mind…meaning if we needed to induce we would have to face all those angry emotions in the setting of birth. No bueno. So we hashed it out slowly over prairie vistas as Max chased ducks down the boardwalk.
Now we have our induction plan as well as our birth and we’ve communicated to each other what our stance as a couple is. On Thursday we’ll communicate that with our midwife and ensure she is on the same page. We’ll communicate it with our doula who is on the same page and she’ll help us stick to it when we turn into deer in the headlights as time ticks by. Now is the part of the pregnancy where we wait, and wait, and wait. If there is one thing I learned this week it is that I need to spend more time in Chisholm Creek Park which is only one block from my office. I felt at home there. It reminded me of where I grew up before they cut a highway through the fields then built a strip mall, an auto plaza, gas stations, and a hotel. It reminded me of how I feel when I stand on the end of our dock in Bolton Landing and stare out at Lake George just before the sun goes down. It reminds me of waking up before the crickets to have coffee under the willow tree when Kate and I lived in a camper for one summer. It reminds me of the beauty and power of Kansas…not our entrepreneurship and engineering…our landscape.
As we walked, Max ran ahead, and Kate shifted her stride to a waddle. “Bfffff.” She said, which means the baby is rolling around inside. “You okay?” I asked. “Yeah, I can just feel him moving down,” she replied. Then I thought back to the birth class we went to three years ago and remembered one of the women in the training video going for a stroll with her husband in a park during early to active labor. Back then I thought, “What park would we go to? I wouldn’t want to be around people, I’d want to be in a hospital!” Now, weather permitting, I really hope we get to go to Chisholm Creek Park when labor begins. I want to breathe in that air, see Kate’s hair in the sunlight, and watch the milkweed sway in the breeze before we head to the hospital. The countdown has begun. Soon I’ll be slow dancing, rocking, and breathing with my wife as we welcome the newest member of our family to beautiful Kansas. I hope it happens soon.
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