Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fashionably Late...

Well Monday July 23rd was my due date, but baby missed her big debut!

At least my doctor said that my baby girl and I are both very healthy. My blood pressure is good. The baby's heartbeat is good and strong. She's still dancing around in there. Her head is where it needs to be. The doctor told me  I have a "favourable cervix" (Why thank you! No one has ever told me that before. I bet you say that to all your patients!) I wasn't entirely sure what it meant but it's a good thing. It means my body is preparing itself to have the baby. Softening. Ripening. I guess I need to become much more pliable down there so baby can get out. Still, there was no sign that labour was imminent. So it looks like we'll be going for the induction on Monday (my doctor had promised that if my baby didn't come before then she'd induce on the 30th. At least the end is in sight...) She confirmed that that was OK with me. I said the sooner the better. She told me that it's best to let Nature takes its course if possible, so hopefully labour starts on its own before then but as a last resort we'll induce. I am just SOOOO ready for this to be over now. Enough is enough. Why do they call it nine months? It's actually ten months really! I've gone over 40 weeks now.

It definitely feels like something is happening. I've had a lot more pain, for longer intervals. At one point I actually thought "Is this it? Could this be labour?" So much pain and pressure. I felt twice as heavy. It was like the baby was pushing down, trying to come out. But there was no regularity, no intervals. Just solid pain. Nothing I'd read about labour contractions sounded like this. This must just be the body getting ready. I feel so much heavier. It's even harder to walk. My feet are even more swollen and sore. Even my hands and fingers are swelling up.

Most of the time my abdomen feels very firm. Hard. Tight as a drum. Sometimes though, usually when I get up in the morning, it's really soft at the bottom of my stomach. I had heard that your tummy gets soft when you're getting ready for labour. I don't know. Every woman has such a different story of how her labour began that it doesn't really help. Even one woman could have three very different stories of her experiences with her three kids. You just don't know. Until it happens, you don't know how it will be for you.

The due date is kind of a tease. All those months you count down and prepare for that day and then it comes and goes and nothing happens. It's a bit anti-climactic. No other life event would be like that. Then again it is just a guess, really. Not carved in stone. It's just meant to give you a vague idea. Some people have the baby sooner, some (lucky saps like me!) have the baby later. People kept telling me that it's common to go past your due date when it's your first child. How many people actually deliver on their due date I wonder? I like to plan and be prepared. But if this baby has taught me anything, it's that you can't plan and prepare! She is the biggest surprise of my life as it is. I just have to go with the flow and be grateful for this incredible gift, whenever she comes.

I asked the doctor at my last appointment if it was safe to make a long drive. She said go for it. So we went to Collingwood over the weekend to celebrate my niece Eve's birthday. I thought my baby  might end up having the same birthday (it seems to happen a lot in our family) but it didn't quite pan out that way. My Mom was worried about me making a long trip in case I went into labour (Mom worries about everything!) I thought, I should be so lucky! Besides from what I understand of labour, especially with your first child, even when it starts it's a long process, a whole day thing so we'd have more than enough time to get to the hospital. If worse came to worst, I could go to the hospital in town. Of course it didn't come to that. The car ride was a bit of an adventure though. My poor sister had hurt her back just before we left so she had a pillow behind her and some ibuprofen for the pain. I had my bum wrist (carpal tunnel in left arm) and big ole 10 month pregnant belly to contend with. It hurts to sit in a car for a long stretch these days and I swear someone needs to invent something to make seatbelts more comfortable for pregnant women because THEY ARE BRUTAL! The pressure on my already stretched out sore abdomen is no picnic. Between the baby camped out headfirst on my bladder/colon and the seatbelt crushing my stomach as well, the pressure to go to the bathroom was intense.

I had to go to the washroom really badly a couple of times during the trip and that proved to be a nightmare. The first time we stopped was at a seedy looking gas station which surprisingly had very accommodating facilities around the back. A toilet that flushed. A sink, soap, paper towels. I was in Heaven. What a relief! The weight of the baby on everything these days is a bit much. Plus it seems like my system is cleaning itself out. I have to run with the runs more often than usual now. (Having suffered from IBS for years, I was no stranger to bathroom blues but it is far worse now that a full sized baby is pushing on the area.) Unfortunately, the next time Nature called, there was nowhere convenient to answer it. We stopped at a convenience store/cafe and I waddled in asking to use their bathroom. The most unfriendly Korean woman on the planet barked at me "No bathroom!" Now I'm pretty sure they have an employee washroom because with nothing else around, she would have to squat behind the store. And I doubt she does that. You would think that seeing a 10 month pregnant woman frantically waddle into your store out of breath might elicit an ounce of compassion. You would be wrong. The next place we stopped was a restaurant with 20 signs posted saying that bathrooms were for customers only. I was willing to take my chances anyway but it was locked. Then we finally found somewhere with an available public bathroom unfortunately the ladies room had a toilet with a broken handle (wouldn't flush), no toilet paper or soap. There was no way I could do what I needed to do (a possibly volcanic #2) under those conditions. I had flashbacks to the scene in "Bridesmaids" where they are trying on dresses in an exclusive boutique and are overcome by the after-effects of food poisoning. Those sorts of things are hilarious (albeit disgusting) in a movie. It's not so funny when it's happening to you. I wasn't about to squat in the street or to leave my mark in an out of order toilet. So I went into the men's bathroom. What's the difference? Just a stick figure on the door not wearing a skirt. The toilet flushed, they had toilet paper and soap so I felt like I'd won the lottery.

We finally made it to my brother's place and had a very nice visit. Though I'm feeling a lot more pressure a lot lower (ironically they call it "lightening" but you feel heavier than ever) it doesn't look like the baby is any lower. My belly looks like it's still up in my ribs. It's very uncomfortable to sit, nearly impossible to walk. My feet are more swollen than ever. I look and feel like an absolute whale. The belly is like an entity. It has taken on a life of its own! I can barely even move with it now.

You have to love kids and their unabashed honesty. Eve informed me that I was "really big!" I had to agree. My precocious nephew James told me that a new baby was going to be a lot of work and that I was going to have to feed my baby "milk from my boobs!" I told him that yes I would. My youngest niece Kayla used me as a large (and I do mean gigantic!) sticker book, placing stickers on my massive belly and swollen legs. She found it quite amusing. I was feeling too weak to protest. I think letting kids walk all over me is good training for having my own little one. She's already completely taken me over and she hasn't even been born yet!

 







Dinner was great, but dessert bordered on a religious experience! My sister in law made the most delicious brownies I have ever tasted in my life. Now I know it's not ideal to be having sugar and all. It's not great for the baby etc. But Hell, at this point, I'm close to 200 lbs. I'm ready to explode. I'm uncomfortable 99% of the time. I think I deserve to indulge now and then. So I couldn't say no to a second helping!

The ride home proved to be quite an adventure as well. The sky darkened, peals of thunder began, bolts of lightning and then rain so thick you could barely see the road. Traffic was backed up and crawling. My Mom was suggesting we stop somewhere. My sister and I informed her why that was the worst possible idea. Why be stranded in some random town? We might as well be making our way home slowly rather than not at all. I suggested the rain might let up as we continued driving. Sometimes I've been caught in heavy rainstorms and drove right past them, the next town would be mysteriously dry without a single drop. Once again of course I did have to stop for a bathroom break. I just can't hold it anymore. There is far too much weight and pressure down there these days with the baby pushing down headfirst on all my plumbing. By the time we got to the highway, the rain had eased up. At least that would be the last long trip I'd ever have to make while pregnant.

People have been calling and emailing to ask about the baby and I've had to tell everyone that no, she hasn't shown up yet. I am anxiously awaiting her. I am also anxious to get my body back, at least to some degree. A few kind people have suggested that I'm carrying the weight well, that it's all baby and water weight and will most likely vanish instantly when I give birth. So here's hoping! One woman with slim little legs, tiny ankles in gold high heeled shoes nearly made me cry. I looked at my cankles and tree trunk legs and shook my head. I was 125 lbs this time last year. It's OK. I will get there again.

I can't even believe how heavy I feel right now. Even just since I left the doctor's office. It's like her examining me did something. Now baby is just hanging there, waiting to come out. My belly and legs and feet weigh a million pounds. I can barely move. Maybe I won't need to be induced. Maybe I'll have the baby tomorrow, or the next day. Sometime over the weekend. It's hard to know what to think or what to do. I just have to wait. And at least I know that if nothing else, I will be induced and have my baby on July 30th. I will be a Mommy before August hits!

I have been through a lot over the past nine months. There were many points where I wondered how I would get through. I always found that I was stronger than I thought and that everything would be OK.

As difficult as this late stage is, I know that I will get through it. I know that the end is in sight. And the most important beginning in my lifetime. A whole new adventure. A baby. I'm excited. I'm scared. At this point, I'm mostly just eager to get on with it!

2 comments:

  1. Hang in there...it won't be long now...

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  2. Thank you. Yes just a few more days til induction if not before then. Having a rough time though. It's getting really really difficult...Pain. Discomfort. Bathroom blues. Bloating. The works! But the end is in sight and I know once I get to hold my baby in my arms, none of this will matter anymore...

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