This pregnancy has been different in the fact that I want to be more relaxed, less "google-ed" in my need to know everything that's going on, and am headed toward a hospital birth this time. When people ask me how far along I am, I have a rough estimate- "Um, like 23ish weeks? 24?" I only gave up caffeine the first trimester and have enjoyed the occasional glass of wine. A pickle may or may not count as a vegetable for me at this point. Looking back, I think these differences should have clued me in to the fact that we will have a son. The physical pregnancy feels just about the same- maybe a little more nausea- but I just often blamed the mental differences on 2nd pregnancy versus 1st (which could be the biggest piece of the puzzle). I enjoyed my first pregnancy a lot, and my June's birth was medically really great. But I'm also enjoying this pregnancy a lot, and looking forward to a birth with a big shot to kill the pain too.
Many have wanted to know what made me completely change my birth choices this time around. I really believe in all the choices I made the first time- I know why I wanted to avoid the hospital, the epidural, the higher risk of C-Section, etc. And now I can weigh all those factors against the pain of labor and pushing out a baby. Knowing all I know, I am going for the pain relief. I really support natural birth and want women to know "You can do it!" but, now I KNOW what is coming. When I found out I was pregnant, this decision was easy. Rather than deal with anxiety about it for the next 9 months, I found a great doctor and will go to the hospital. With peace. And the knowledge that the hospital here has a great supportive staff of nurses that I've heard nothing but great birth stories from my friends. And a doctor who is really great and laid back about things like not inducing, no IV's, and no internal fetal monitoring. I know the cycle of drugs that can start when you opt for the epidural, so I have a very specific prayer that I can have the epidural without side effects that warrant other interventions or drugs. It's still a risk, I know. The other reason I want to go to the hospital is to have better rest after the birth. After June's birth, I was home within 4 hours and never felt like I got to catch my breath. I remember thinking, "Can I just lie here in this bed and close my eyes for a few hours?" But that's not how things work at a birth center- you have your baby and you go home. And most women who choose a birth center want it that way. I wanted a nap. And maybe a stiff drink ;). So I will bring my earplugs and my sleep mask and lay in that hospital bed for a long time.
It still seems strange when we talk about our son, who will inevitably have the name Nash. We are hoping this is the last miracle God chooses to bless us with, and we are so grateful that this child will have a great purpose and will complete our family.