Posted by: Kate | February 17, 2010

Battening Down the Hatches

I’m not sure I would quite recognize a hatch if I saw one, and I’m certain I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to batten it down. But that’s the general sense I have, just lately: we’re moving into the end game of the pregnancy, doing stuff here and there to get prepared for the sleep deprivation and population increase and general chaos that will inevitably follow.

I’m not, actually, terribly nervous about having the baby… a little anxious about the actual method of birth, because I’m faced with two potentially risky options. I’m hoping for a VBAC, a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, because the recovery time would be significantly easier and it comes with a shorter hospital stay. I’m all for the abdication of responsibility associated with being checked into a hospital, but I know that the kids will be happier and calmer with me home. I’ll just have to schedule another appendectomy or something, for a few years down the road, right?

But on the flip side, there are some risks associated with VBAC, most of them to the tune of, “There’s a scar on your uterus from the C-section and scars are never good things to mess with… and the whole-body earthquake of childbirth certainly could mess with it.” I’ve been assured, repeatedly, that I’m an excellent candidate for a smooth and uncomplicated delivery, because that’s what happened when I had Emily and it’s been 5 1/2 years since I got my Jacob-scar, so that’s the outcome we’re all aiming for. And another C-section means longer recovery time, an über-painful incision site to lug around for a while, and a very clear target for unintentional elbows and knees and waistbands to pester as I go about my day. I’m really OK with avoiding that.

Once we get the kiddo home, though, I’m not terribly concerned about that. I’ve done the baby thing before, and I’ve done the more-than-one-child-in-the-house thing, so this is more of the same. My kids are as prepared as they can get, and I’ve got the luxury of remaining home with them all until it’s time not to be home anymore, whenever that might be.

I am still vaguely anxious about the fact that we still have not chosen a boy’s name. I’m hoping it will become obvious sometime between now and, say, kindergarten registration… or that it will just cooperatively be a girl. But we got lucky that way with Jacob – easy time choosing a boy’s name, impossible time choosing a girl’s – and he cooperated; I have no reason to imagine that I would get that kind of lucky twice.

Which all translates into: my life is pretty boring, at the moment. For which I am deeply, deeply grateful.


  1. And we all know how good boring can be sometimes. And well, your boring sounds pretty exciting to me! I will say a prayer when the time comes for your hopes of a VBAC.


  2. If it’s any comfort… Mom had an incredibly botched appendectomy where they left things in her, resulting in peritonitis. They had to go back in [AFTER Daddy found another surgeon, natch] and do a bowel resection and remove part of her liver. Back then there were no laparoscopic procedures yet so she was flayed open like a pig [hey, Mom’s words! lol]. They had to put drainage tubes into her and wires to be able to sew her back together. She lost her belly button. Anyway, you get the idea…

    SO six years later when she went back to the surgeon to have him confirm her “fluttering” he called me a miracle baby. Too bad I kept pulling on the wiring they’d used to sew her up. November rolled around and Mom had a very quick labor and had me easily.

    True, her uterus hadn’t been one of the things flayed open but just offering hope.

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