In Kelly’s Words – How My Delivery Will Work

I’ll warn you in advance that this post may be TMI for some people!

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Me with my first child!

One of the questions that I get most frequently is “how are you going to deliver the baby? Will you need to have a C-section?” The simple answer is, no, I will not need a C-section and can deliver normally. But it gets a bit more complicated. Since I have no control of my abdominal muscles I likely won’t be able to “push”. While I’ve been told that my body knows what to do and will be able to complete most of labor on its own, I don’t believe my body could complete the entire labor unassisted.

At our last visit with our OB we asked if they could talk to us a bit more about how the actual delivery will go – it is coming up faster than we could have imagined (my due date is May 13)! We were told that my body will be able to do the first 2/3 of the labor process on its own but will need assistance at the end. They will likely use something called a vacuum, which is a device that does pretty much what it sounds like! Once the baby is down far enough that you can see the head (my body will be able to move the baby to this point just with contractions) they use a vacuum that attaches to the baby’s head and gently helps her out the rest of the way with each contraction. They assure us it is completely safe and not painful for the baby. I suspect it will give her a bit of a cone-head appearance – we’ll have to get some cute hats for her to wear after she is born!

The other concern regarding delivery is that I may not be able to feel when I go into labor. I may or may not feel contractions and, in theory, my water could break and I wouldn’t notice it for several hours. Because of this the plan is to induce labor at 39 weeks if I haven’t gone into labor already. They will be watching me closely leading up to this as well and if there are any changes then they may induce me even earlier. I already know that I’m going to be incredibly anxious as this time gets closer!

Zeke and I are started a “child birth” class this week, which I think is a good idea to learn all of the basic things that first time parents should know. There likely will be a lot that I already know (I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, after all!), but I know there will be helpful information for me about the labor and delivery process that I don’t know.

I’m hopeful that I go all the way to 39 weeks before having the baby but it is terrifying to think that I could have the baby at any time now! I guess we should start putting together the nursery!