Where things start getting real

I am 30 weeks pregnant.

(Just wanted to let that sit there for a minute).

J and I went to our all day birthing class yesterday, and I came home and thought a lot about this whole pregnancy thing. In the early months it was more about getting used to the idea that we, in fact, are going to become parents. We started registering for gifts, toying around with name ideas, collecting things for the nursery, looking at doctors, hospitals and courses available, etc. I remember thinking that we still had 9 long months to get used to all of this and we'd think more about the labor process after we went to birthing class.

Fast forward 7.5 months and here we are. Things are getting REAL. I'm starting to transition some of my work duties to the people that will be handling them for me while I'm on leave, doctor's appointments are picking up frequency, and I'm feeling PREGNANT. Even on cue this week, the wee bean's movements have started feeling a lot more like big rollovers and crowded maneuvers when compared to those early "popcorn kicks" and tiny jabs. I used to see one little spot on my belly moving as baby kicked in it's favorite spot, and now I'm feeling 4 body parts move at once from my pelvis to my ribs- seeing whole sections of my belly move and become positively lopsided looking. It is such an adventure!

I've gotten to the last few chapters of all of my pregnancy books, and am starting to read a lot more on the process in which this baby actually makes it's exit from the womb and entrance into the world. All of the information I've been reading and from birthing class yesterday is swimming around in my head, and I'm starting to realize that it's just about time to pack the hospital bag and get ready for the big show. I'm getting so anxious and excited to meet our little one, but am starting to get pretty nervous about the labor.    My goal is natural child birth which I'd expect is what a lot of first time mom's want. You always hear about people wanting to avoid the epidural because of the associated risks on your body and the effects it has on the baby. After class yesterday, I realized that even more importantly your options for staying comfortable and getting into positions to get through contractions are so much more limited after that epidural - you get stuck on your back like a turtle and sometimes labor progression can even slow down as a result. Top this all off with some complications my doctor discovered this past week, and it makes me nervous that natural birth won't be an option. I'm hearing a lot about the potential to need a c-section in cases like mine, and am trying to come to terms with that reality. I know that they've come a long way with delivering via c-section in recent years and that the end result is always getting to meet your baby, but it is just not what I pictured when I think of having a baby for the first time. I want to be able to have that baby put on my chest right away, and don't want to be strapped to a hospital bed being stitched up for 45 minutes while my baby is off in the corner or in someone else's hands. I know some people don't agree with me and that the birth experience is no less thrilling via c-section (me and my two siblings were all c-sections, so I have my mom's personal account of this after all) but my goal and dream is to get through this without needing one. While I know I have no idea of the pain that labor has me in for, I am praying every day that I find the strength in myself and it is God's will to let labor happen naturally for us. Still, I'm working each day to get used to the idea that a c-section might be necessary so it's not a shock or disappointment if the time comes for it. Only 10 more weeks, and we'll find out, won't we?

On a lighter note, our baby showers are coming up the next couple of weekends and the nursery is just about done! I plan to make one last trip to Ikea when I head to my hometown next weekend to look for a bookshelf and some other small accessories (and hope that a friendly salesperson will help the pregnant lady load it into her car!). I'll do the final reveal once we get all the gear in place. It's looking so cute! It is my favorite room in the house, and I already like to go in and just sit there looking at everything and imagining a little baby in the crib.

Any of you moms out there have similar "reality checks" about labor at this point or am I late in the game?

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