You are past your EDD (estimated due date). Nursery is decorated, car seat installed, tiniest baby clothes washed and folded. You are sick and tired of not being able to bend at the waist. There are no comfortable positions to sit, stand, lay down in. The amount of pillows you require to get any sleep is starting to take over the whole house.
You entertain the thought that maybe this is it. This is how life will be forever. You will always be pregnant. You will never be able to tie your own shoes again. You will forever read text messages from friends and family with some variation of “still pregnant?”. You wonder what role your doula will play in your labor that will NEVER HAPPEN. Maybe she will be there to tie your shoes that you cannot
reach…or even see…ever again.
And then…a shift. Your OB talks about an induction date, and an end is in sight…although you are thoroughly convinced that there is no induction method that will result in the birth of this baby. But there is a tiny glimmer of hope that this baby people keep talking about in the abstract and hypothetical seems like something that might actually be real.
Induction day arrives. Your car is packed, you say goodbye to your quiet grown-up home, and off you go to the hospital…only to wait. Wait for check-in. Wait for induction method to be administered. Wait for it to kick in.
At times it can feel like you are a pot of water waiting to boil. You can try distractions…watch some Netflix, play a game of cribbage…but the elephant in the room just stands there, staring, mocking.
It’s when the waiting ends. When the contractions come in waves. When the unexpected intensity barges in and the elephant does his happy dance. The waiting takes a seat, and the action takes over….and doesn’t stop…until the elephant disappears and in its place is a beautiful, tiny, wriggling new human. And the big wait has ended.
And when you gaze at the perfect tiny grasping fingers, sweet little pursing lips, and intricately curved ears, you realize that the wait was beyond worth it. The baby is no longer just a thought, no longer a hypothetical. The wait that felt so exhausting and unending dissipates into thin air and is replaced with love, uncertainty, awe, and relief. And every other possible emotion all jumbled into one big messy ball of postpartum hormones.