The Waiting Game

Still pregnant….

Last Thursday we had our 39-week doctor’s appointment which, for those of you who haven’t gone through this rigamarole, consists of peeing in a cup, getting weighed and measured, listening to baby’s heart, and having gloved fingers stuck up inside you for a let’s-see. I was essentially unchanged from the previous Thursday: 2 cm dilated, 80% effaced, “very soft”. Baby heartrate 120bpm, fundal height 40cm. Blood pressure still “perfect” and weight holding steady. Carrying on my hereditary tradition of defying “what most people do,” I haven’t gained any weight in this last month of pregnancy despite eating fairly high-calorie food pretty heartily. Like my mom before me, I gained whatever weight I was going to gain in the first part of pregnancy and then pretty much stalled out. Baby is gaining weight appropriately, but sans baby I am, if anything, losing a little.

On Thursday, the doctor mentioned inducement (induction?) for the first time. He said that if we went a week past the due date — which, btw, he randomly changed to April 24 and says has always been the 24th, despite having said it was the 25th for the past nine months, weird — that we might induce, and that he could postpone that up until two weeks overdue with heavy monitoring. I really, really, really don’t want to go down that road if it’s possible to avoid it, so if nothing else, I hope the little guy — or my body, or whomever/whatever it is that is ultimately responsible for this sort of thing — takes care of business the old-fashioned way, and on the doctor’s timeline.

So if I’m due the 24th, we’re at T-minus 48 hours. No contractions, no broken water, no apparent plug loss. Old wives’ tales would be encouraged by the fact that I had a few days of high energy, and that my digestive system has gone a bit haywire. Other than really beginning to feel the muscle strain of lugging around GigantoBelly, and the associated discomfort at night (and hourly trips to the bathroom), I don’t feel much different than I did a week ago.

I think, in general, I could be okay with playing the waiting game for a little bit longer, if it were just up to me. These are my last few days as Not-Mom, of being able to (hypothetically) sleep when I want to, or get into the car and go somewhere without worrying about car seats and diaper bags and breast milk. Even though I’m not entirely “just me” — The Bump certainly qualifies as a separate entity at this point, if only in terms of sheer square footage — I can still sit here in the house, in near perfect quiet, and be something akin to alone. At this point in time, no one and nothing is so dependent on me that I couldn’t walk away for several hours.

It is hard to patiently wait, though, when surrounded by impatience! ๐Ÿ™‚ Ryan, in particular, is very eager to get this show on the road. He keeps threatening to start at the top of my torso and squeeze me like a tube of toothpaste to get the little guy to come out. I become anxious for the baby to arrive more for R’s sake than for mine….

There’s a certain amount of… well, I’m not sure what to call it. It’s a variation on dread, I guess, although nothing so very bleak and scary. Everything is going to be very different, and I don’t know what that’s all going to be like. There is certainly a very loud and confident part of me that embraces the impending change, knowing that this is exactly what I wanted and how important it all is to me. This part of me says that it will be tough but good, that I will figure it all out, that I will transition into my new life just fine.

But there are quieter voices, too: voices who have doubts, voices who wonder what in the world I’ve gotten myself into, even selfish little voices that want to keep leading a carefree child-free life.

I am not afraid of what will happen at the hospital. But part of me is afraid of what happens when we come back home.

I suppose that’s probably normal.

On a sillier note, I do wish [REDACTED] would go ahead and show up, because I have several things on the calendar that I’m bound to miss if he keeps dragging his feet! I’ve got two events next weekend, and things the following weekend as well, that I’d really like to be able to attend if only momentarily… I mean, obviously I’m being goofy here, but I stand a chance of being able to swing by (for example) a baby shower if I’m several days post-partum, whereas if I’m in labor I am probably going to miss that one! ๐Ÿ˜‰



Yesterday, remarkably, marked the day when I was 39 weeks pregnant. (!!!) It was also my last day at work for the school year, which was very odd. It is hard to relinquish control, but I know that once [REDACTED] is here I should fully “find my zen” about letting go of work for a while. Or, y’know, just be too tired and overwhelmed to think about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday was my last day with students — Wednesday was set aside for SATs — and it was a tough one in some ways, because I just started feeling significantly less comfortable on that day. Nothing that says “you’re in labor” or anything, but everything was just so much more difficult — especially standing and walking. Many more Braxton-Hicks on Tuesday, and I found myself getting out of breath and needing to go to the restroom more frequently than before. I am glad that I made the decision to bug out a week before my due date; I think I am physically done, even if my mind is still plugged in (which, let’s face it, it isn’t really).

According to R, my belly has also changed shape and seems bigger. Probably [REDACTED] is getting all settled and everything. He’s definitely head-down and spends most of his time with his back to my left side and at least one leg stretched out as far to my right side as he can get it. I feel toes pretty regularly under my right breast, and sometimes all the way over to my side. Sometimes he flips around and I can feel what seems to be his bottom below my sternum.

Every day for the past few days, I am half-convinced that I’ll be having a baby within 24 hours. The other half-convincedment is that he’ll stick around in there until May, just to use up as much of my sick leave as possible. ๐Ÿ˜› This afternoon I have another doctor’s appointment, so maybe the dilation/effacement news will shed some light on that — probably not, though. R keeps wishing there was a more concrete calendar for this sort of thing, but it just doesn’t work that way…

So, Sunday evening, I went out in our front yard with our dog, Paisley. Paisley has very good yard boundaries, is reasonably good about obeying even when she’s caught up in the moment, and knows/likes cats. But waaaaay down the block, some cat walks across someone’s yard and somehow ticked Paisley off, and off she went like a rocket. I obviously had no chance of catching her, and neither did the 10-year-old boy she shot past who took off after her. I’ve never seen her go after a cat like that. She vanished around the block, but I’m guessing she came to a street (she’s VERY well trained about not going into roads) because after a second, she came back with her tail between her legs.

Then Sunday night, our cat d’Artagnan suddenly discovered that his new favorite place to hide (i.e., under the crib) had a second story. Up until that point, he had shown no interest in the actual crib itself — just the dust-ruffled “cave” underneath it. d’Artagnan is a very timid “scaredy-cat” and doesn’t know that he’s physically capable of jumping very high (seriously) so he just stood there for a few minutes, captivated… he stood up on his hind legs so he could peer in (not propped against the crib, mind you, just meerkat-ing it) and then made a very half-hearted attempt to jump in that ended up with him running into the side of the crib about halfway up.

Thing is, he’s not only timid and sheltered — he’s also a strictly indoors cat without the foggiest idea how to take care of himself. But naturally, the Night of the Crazy Animals wasn’t over yet… so when I wake up the next morning and d’Artagnan doesn’t follow any of his unbreakable morning routines (following the dog downstairs for a morning treat, chasing me into the bathroom to put in my contacts) I knew something was wrong. Turns out he’d somehow slipped out the front door the night before. I won’t go into the details of the panicked bathrobe-clad 5 AM search of the neighborhood, except to say that we found him trapped in our neighbor’s side yard, yowling, and had to dig him out underneath the fence because it was locked up. It had been well below 30 degrees that night and rainy… and we live near bad roads, in coyote country… I am so glad he found someplace nearby and safe to be. R and I were just sick after that but both had to go to work anyway… d’Artagnan, meanwhile, spent the next couple of days strutting around the house looking smug…

Anyway, everyone told me that our animals were acting crazy because I was going to go into labor that day. But I didn’t. And then that evening, our district’s substitute coordinator made an error and called my long-term substitute to let him know that I had had the baby. Apparently she knew something I didn’t know…? Being slightly superstitious, I thought maybe I’d end up having the kiddo on Tuesday after all of that, but it didn’t happen.

[REDACTED] can definitely hear things (Paisley just started barking at some neighbor kids and the baby — well, let’s just say I can visualize him doing a miniature version of his father flinching and trying to get the dog to shut up) and reacts to food and drink pretty quickly, especially if the drink is very cold and/or sugary. Like, a Coke doesn’t do anything, but a fruit smoothie does. He’s surprisingly active given how little room he has in there. Lots of very visible rolling and shifting, although I have yet to experience the “discernable outline of body part” thing that some people see.

I guess that, for all that I feel quite pregnant, I don’t look quite as big as people expect me to — and frankly, I always thought I’d be the “big all over” type, so I’m smaller than I anticipated as well. When people ask me when I’m due, and I say the 25th, they keep thinking I mean the 25th of May! Then they’re shocked when I clarify that I’m due next week. Funny, because we’re pretty certain that [REDACTED] is going to be a pretty long baby. I guess he just tucks up well.

Okay, I have some things to do around the house, including finishing thank you notes, so I had best get off the computer and get to work… plus, it’s cold in here (programmable thermostat hasn’t yet been told that I’m not at work) so I need to get moving to get warm. ๐Ÿ™‚ Will keep y’all posted… who knows, next post might have baby pictures…