(This was the bump about a month ago. Yeah, I'm a lot bigger than that now.)
As most of you know, my labor and delivery with Gwen was quite an adventure. For the first few hours it seemed to be a pretty normal labor - then within the span of 45 minutes or so I went from having contractions 12 minutes apart to being ready to push. We live about an hour away from our hospital, and I ended up giving birth in the back of an ambulance! You can read the full birth story here.
In general I'm not too concerned about not making it to the hospital again. My whole labor was about 5 hours or so, and that would have been plenty of time to get to the hospital if I had left at the first contractions - the problem was that I waited until they were about 7 minutes apart to call my doctor, and by then it was too late. If I just leave at the very start of my labor this time, I'm pretty sure I'll be fine.
(I'm still planning on keeping some old towels and a blanket in my car for the last few weeks of my pregnancy, just in case, but I'm fairly confident that I won't have to use them.)
I've never felt overly anxious about labor and delivery in my past pregnancies. Mostly because I was of the mindset that I'll just deal with whatever happens at the time, and I don't think about it too much. That has been a pretty successful strategy for me, and in a lot of ways I'm doing the same thing this time. I'm not particularly anxious about how things will go, mostly because of the push-it-to-the-back-of-my-mind technique I've perfected.
However, occasionally I'll be surprised by a little anxiety when I think back to my delivery with Gwen. It wasn't because my experience last time was particularly painful - it was more because it was a bit traumatic in an emotional way. When things started progressing so fast, I was scared. When I got in the car and felt blood and got that urge to push, I was terrified. I didn't want to have my baby in the car! In the ambulance I was still afraid, until I decided (by necessity) that this baby just wasn't going to wait until the hospital and I pushed.
When we came home after having Gwen, I had ever-so-slight anxiety for the first couple days just walking through my house, because I was remembering. Remembering how I fell down on my hands and knees for a contraction at the top of the stairs and realized they were down to 3 minutes apart. Remembering going through transition while I was sitting in our room. Remembering kneeling beside my bed and freaking out because I felt so much pressure and my mom hadn't arrived to watch Wyatt yet. It didn't last longer than a day or two, but it was a weird experience.
This past Christmas I had anxiety because I kept having these labor flashbacks. I really wasn't remembering the pain - I was more just remembering my emotions.
But whenever I start to feel anxious about it, other things come to mind as well.
Such as how nice it was to have such a fast labor. Such as how amazing Derek was through everything.
Such as how I screamed out my prayers for the Lord to help me, and how I know He was with me then. How He let me know when to push. How He took care of Gwen and me so that there were no complications in the ambulance. How we are both okay (and have a great story to tell to boot!).
And then I don't feel anxious anymore, I just feel thankful. I know that if labor doesn't go like I expect this time (which, from past experience, it probably won't), we'll be okay - because the Lord will be with us, just as He always is. Whatever happens.
More on specific concerns with this baby's labor and delivery, and our plan, coming up!