For the longest time my biggest fear was being separated from Arlo — not sickness or death but being physically separated from him. I chalk 95% of this up to him being exclusively breastfed (EBF) and 5% because we practice Attachment Parenting (AP). If he or I got sick, we’d still be together. If he died, I’d go with him. But as his sole source of sustenance, leaving him was out of the question.
As a result, I still have never spent a night away from Arlo. In fact the longest time he and I have been separated is about eight hours when I was in surgery and recovery for IVF. Things are obviously different now that he’s three years old but when you add living overseas and then moving someplace where you don’t know anyone into the mix, it’s just never happened. He is my velcro child.
Labor and birth are on my mind. You know where I’m headed with this.
I wish more than anything I was one of those Ricki Lake moms who just sing and moan and dance their way through labor. How I wish I could be at home for this birth, all of us together or each of us just going about our business as usual. But if this labor is anything like Arlo’s labor, we cannot be together. When I cried finding out I was pregnant, Arlo cried. He cannot tolerate my being upset in any way — in the slightest way. All my vomiting, screaming and weeping will have to be done elsewhere. Or he will have to be elsewhere. Without me or my husband. This is the single most worrisome and time-consuming thought around this birth.
I have two generous choices for care: my mother-in-law or our neighbors. I prefer to have my MIL fly out after the birth so Arlo will probably spend the duration (night?) with our neighbors. He will LOVE this because they are awesome and he thinks the sun rises and sets on their eldest daughter Nida. But for how long will this party last?
I want to labor at home as long as possible. But not so long that when we part, Arlo is worried or scared. But not so early that I get to the hospital and stall.
If it is in the middle of the night do they wake him and carry him to their house? Because that is not going to go well. Does Kris take him?
As the hours drag on and the hormones surge higher, I suspect worry will become anguish and anguish will become agony. Visions of me crying out his name in between contractions currently fill my head.
What if I can’t get simple discharge paperwork from the hospital because I’m waiting on someone who DOESN’T UNDERSTAND I CANNOT BE AWAY FROM MY CHILD THIS LONG? Hurry.the. $%&*. up.
If he is distressed in any way and I cannot comfort him I will lose my already dwindled shit.
There was an entire section on my Doula’s questionnaire about timing and logistics. I left the whole thing blank. My midwife today asked if I had completed my Birth Plan. Blank. Until I can figure out and be secure in how my velcro child will be cared for I am at a visualization and planning standstill. Well, that’s not entirely true. What I am visualizing is a serene Ricki Lake labor and birth where I never have to go to the hospital and Arlo never has to leave and I catch my own baby and we’re all snuggled in bed together waiting for the placenta to plop out. A wanna-be hippie can dream, can’t she?