decisions decisions

So if you haven't already read my last blog post, birth daydream: radio silence edition, please do so now.

To sum it up, Ryan has an interview in New Jersey on June 13, for which he will depart June 12. Bing is due tomorrow. We had a midwife appointment this morning to discuss.

Basically, it boils down to this:

Doing an induction before my body/the baby is ready will, frankly, suck.

Ryan missing the birth will also, really, frankly, suck.

So either:

We prioritize keeping our family together for this experience, and accept that we're not going to have a natural birth experience.

Pros: We were 100% planning to have an epidural anyway, so natural birth is kind of already out the window. Our family is together for this once-in-a-lifetime event. We know when it's going down so we can plan child care for Chicken, take out the four bags of recycling that we have to step over on our way to the kitchen table, and make sure the bed has fresh sheets.

Cons: Perceived judgment, sense of personal failure for being unable to just "roll with" the uncertainty of the situation. We lose the chance to experience the chaos and thrill of spontaneous labor. It's less exciting. No excuse for not having your shit in order because you have a date and time on the fucking calendar, man. We have to take responsibility for the way the birth goes, because now it's not an "if it's meant to be" situation; it's a "we engineered it this way" situation. Higher chance of multiple interventions, higher chance of cesarean.


We remain committed to the most natural birth possible, on its own time, and accept the chance that Ryan might not be there for the first day of the kid's life. 

Pros: We get to be proud of ourselves for how committed we are to natural birth. Lower chance of stressful interventions, lower chance of cesarean. It's exciting. I get to feel like a boss. Also, there's a chance I won't go into labor when Ryan's in New Jersey.

Cons: Mommy's sadness that Daddy isn't there for the birth. Daddy's stress of interviewing while his life is fundamentally changing 3,000 miles away, and Daddy's sense of loss and guilt at missing this big moment. And our helplessness to ameliorate that loss; the birth is not a moment we can get back for him. Also, who are we kidding... there is zero fucking chance I won't go into labor when Ryan's in New Jersey.

You know what decided it for me? Three things.

1. Ryan is my baby daddy. He is, depending on the day, anywhere from 30-90% of the parents in this family. He is a spectacularly engaged, loving, tremendously joyful daddy. Bing deserves to know this wonderful daddy from minute one of his life. And this wonderful daddy deserves to experience bringing Bing, for the first time, into the light of the world.

2. I thought about how many times Ryan and I have told Chicken's birth story. I thought about our patter, the rhythm, the unspoken divvying-up of the narrative in dialogue.

I imagined telling Bing's birth story that many times. I imagined Ryan, quiet, his hand on my shoulder as I monologued. I thought he might get a joke in there - "and while this was happening, I was having an Entenmann's blueberry muffin at the hotel continental breakfast in Newark. It was a little dry."

I imagined how great a role Ryan's absence would play in the telling - how the only details he could contribute would be how it felt to miss his son's birth. How it would be impossible NOT to shut him out of the Legend of Bing's Birth, because of the incontrovertible fact that he was. not. there.

I'm not ABOUT to let my man get shut out. Not in MY house.

3. All births are stressful. All births are unpredictable. All births are exciting. Whether we jump-start the process or not, this is still going to be the BIRTH of our BABY.


We are choosing an elective induction.
Sunday morning we are poppin' it.
Poppin' the waters.
And if that doesn't work, we will start pitocin.
And if the pitocin doesn't work, I'll be having a cesarean.
And no, I'm not looking forward to any of those interventions.

But I am looking forward to sailing through whatever lies ahead, holding the same hand I've been holding for ten years. I'm looking forward to having Ryan's face there, looking back at me, with shock or joy or relief, when they toss that squalling, gooey little squid on my chest.

I'm looking forward to telling and retelling this story, whatever it turns out to be, with Ryan as my scene partner. I wouldn't have it any other way.


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