It's September 28, 2014 and it feels historic because Little One is officially full term.
It's my due date, y'all!
Somehow we made it to forty full weeks of pregnancy. I'm sitting in my rocking chair near the open window covered in vines and I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Forty weeks is a long time. My entire 2014 has been "pregnancy" and goodness gracious, I am just ready to hold my baby.
I'm actually just a tad disappointed that I'm not already. Why? Storytime!
Rewind to Tuesday, September 24. I wake up feeling sick. This isn't abnormal; morning sickness decided the final month would be a good time to kick in with a vengeance again. Why did it feel like my first trimester again?! I went to work because I was trying to hold out until next week to take my maternity leave. Lunch rolls around and I just want to take a nap, so I find an unoccupied office, turn off the lights and shut the door, and sit in the chair with my feet up on the desk. This worked beautifully the day before resulting in more energy and a fresh outlook on life (just kidding, but it was refreshing!). However, on Tuesday, no dice. With my eyes closed and nothing moving, I suddenly feel seasick and have to force my eyes open to re-orient myself. I feel miserable. My lunch break isn't even over when I go into my boss' office and tell her I'm going home for the day -- BUT I'll be back tomorrow!!! She gives me a knowing look (no, you won't!), and tells me to go get some rest. Thankfully, Landon was downtown for a gig, so I just chilled in the car while waiting for him to pack up and we went home. Easy.
Fast forward a few hours. Contractions! What?? I thought I just wasn't feeling good! But contractions they were, and getting closer together. Landon downloaded an app to track them, and would run to hit "start" whenever I started waving my hand at him. Only 15-30 minutes apart, we decided I should just try to go to sleep between them because I would need my rest. Maybe tomorrow would be the big day!
I woke up on time to go to work, wondering if I should. The contractions had slowed down while I was sleeping, only waking me up once or twice. We sat in bed and debated and eventually decided, it's time to start my leave. It was a little disappointing that I was starting it a week early -- I'll be going back to work a week before Christmas now -- but we knew the wise thing was to be rested going into labor and delivery. I texted my boss (you gotta love modern communication) and informed her I was done. She was excited, to say the least, and understanding and told me to stop thinking about work (I kept texting her little things that I remembered, but my temp was/is fully prepared to take over, so it was unnecessary in reality but necessary to my over-working brain).
So we faced Wednesday with a wide open schedule. How lovely to be at home in the middle of the day! The contractions were occasional. Nothing major. It made me wonder if I had made the right choice to stay home. But late in the afternoon the contractions picked up. They hit 8-16 minutes apart and my mom started to find an early morning flight. We excitedly put the hospital bag near the front door and went to bed around 2am, again looking to charge up as much as we could.
I woke up on Thursday around 7 and nothing. No contractions. I realized I had slept through most of the night without feeling anything either. What was this?? I was pretty stressed, actually, and more than a little mad. Irrationally maybe, but don't argue with pregnant emotions. ;) My mom was on flight already, traveling across the country on her birthday with the anticipation that it might be her granddaughter's birthday, too. But I was just plain grumpy. "I'm just so ready to have this baby!!!!" I'm sure I said at least 68 times that morning. Landon talked me off the cliff and took me to Babies 'R' Us while we waited for my mom to arrive. I had a gift card, a $5 rewards coupon, and an incredibly coupon for 20% an item that came in the mail that day, and I felt like some retail therapy. Granted, we bought nothing exciting, but a protective, waterproof Boppy cover seemed necessary and I was happy to buy it finally.
And while walking around the store -- contraction! It was oddly encouraging because after all, who really wants to start labor only to have it stop a million times?? I just want my baby!!
It took a few more hours for another contraction to hit, but it did and then they started to pick up. Mom was here, so Little One was welcome to come. We went about our daily lives, threw the last few items in the hospital bag, and made sure everything was in order for us to go. They were getting close, long, and more intense. Surely, this was it! We played Mario Kart for while, each race ending with a contraction (odd how perfectly timed they were!), and hit that longed-for 5 minutes apart for at least an hour mark. They had been over 2 minutes long at this point, too, and I was ready. I called the doctor's answering service around 11:20 and received a call back from the on-call doctor within minutes. She said she'd let the hospital know I was on my way!
We took a few "last pregnant" pictures and got in the car, my mom following in another car so she'd have transportation later. We were excited and raring to go. We parked and walked over -- I was feeling energized and wanted to help this baby along any way possible. The ER staff was incredibly friendly and a little shocked: "You're like the 6th one tonight!!" We got settled in a room and waited to meet our nurse.
Lulu was her name and she was just lovely. Her full name was something Native American for "Happy" and she lived up to it. "Lulu is just easier to remember when you're delivering." Agreed. I still can't remember her full name! She strapped the monitor on and you would have thought Little One was a Rockette -- she kicked against that monitor so much!! You could barely hear her strong heart beat for all the static and movement sounds that overpowered it. We chatted for a few minutes about what I had been experiencing and how she was going to check my dilation and then what our options would be based on what that was. So she checked -- and it was the most uncomfortable, painful thing I've ever experienced so far. I knew it would be uncomfortable, but painful? Yep. Because 1) my cervix was still pointed backwards, so she had to move it forward, 2) it was still pretty high and hadn't lowered yet, 3) Little One was kicking against her making it hard to find the opening, and 4) I was only halfway effaced and not a bit dilated. She gave us two options: walk around for an hour to try to jumpstart it and then check again, or just go home and rest where I'd be more comfortable. She left so we could discuss and I burst into tears. Not just a little trickle, either. Full on weeping as if I was grieving. And I was to a certain extent. I was expecting to meet my little girl and here I was being told that that wasn't about to happen anytime soon.
Let me just say I have an amazing husband. I cried for a long time. I don't know how I would have handled someone's stormy grief, but he was amazing.
The nurse came back in, saw my tear-stained, reddened face and very kindly talked through our options again with us. She mentioned that this was totally normal for first-time moms, that my body was just getting in some good practice, and that it wasn't that "nothing" was happening -- it just wasn't time to go yet. I hadn't had a single contraction since we arrived. We signed our discharge papers before we were even processed through admission.
They needed to get a good 15 minute heart beat script for the baby before we could go. They could clearly see and hear that she was strong and healthy, but she was moving so much that it wasn't registering well and they needed to "prove" to the doctor that she was fine. After two different nurses adjusted the monitor, held it in place, and gave up, they brought in a resident with an ultrasound. So we did get to see our little girl, even if we didn't get to hold her. But true to form, she wouldn't show us her face, though we did get a very detailed look at her little fingers which was so precious. The ultrasound confirmed that she was strong and healthy, so we grabbed our stuff and left, still quite tearful and heavy hearted, not to mentioned extremely exhausted now that the adrenaline rush was over. It was 2am.
Meanwhile, during all the drama, we had texted family and close friends that we were headed to the hospital and it was baby time. About the same time we were getting the news that we should just go home, Landon's parents were texting that they were in the car and on their way to Denver. They hadn't gotten too far from Wichita when we told them to just go back because nothing was happening.
We got home and fell into bed, exhausted, weary, and disappointed, after shooting out another, "So sorry it's so late, but...false alarm." text. I woke up to lots of sympathy and encouragement, which was helpful, as I pretty much started crying again as soon as I woke up. Landon and I talked for a long time. There's something so helpful about just realizing that you're both feeling similarly. He was disappointed, too, and I don't think I was expecting that. He affirmed my grief over the "death of the moment" and reminded me that she is coming, one way or another. Again, there's something very helpful about feelings, however dramatic, being affirmed and comforted.
About an hour later it was time for my weekly doctor's appointment. As I checked in, I was told my doctor was at the hospital -- she had just delivered one baby and had FIVE more to deliver. They actually thought that I was one of them. I ended up just seeing the other doctor in the practice because there was no real chance of her coming back for a checkup and why reschedule for Tuesday when I needed to schedule an actual appointment on Tuesday anyway?? He was super nice and very quick. We talked through us going to the hospital the night before and how his bet was that anything I had already experienced would actually end up being doubled in pain amounts. He even quoted a 1930's supreme court justice: "I don't know how to define pornography, but I know it when I see it." which was his way of telling me I would know when I was actually in labor. Ha!
This weekend has been pretty uneventful, labor-wise. Very few contractions, which I tend to discount because they are so mild. Yesterday we went up to Boulder, met up with my uncle and cousin, wandered the farmer's market and Pearl Street, went to the tea tour at Celestial Seasonings, drove up to NCAR and saw amazing views, and finished up at a Chinese restaurant. It was so fun and relaxing. I loved being able to take a drive, see the changing colors, and be so close to the mountains. Today we plan on walking around the lake at Denver City Park and going to the free day at the Natural History and Science Museum. I figure any walking, bumpy car rides, spicy food, raspberry leaf tea, and, um, any other typical "get labor going" things can't hurt, right?? ;)
So, here I am on my due date, with a squirmy baby still inside, though much lower than she's ever been, hoping that my water will just break so that I will know without a doubt that I am for real in labor. More than anything I just don't want to be induced, and while I have 7-9 days before that's a reality, I'm trying not to just feel the clock ticking down. One thing IS certain -- I will meet my baby very soon. I would very much like that to be today. I keep thinking about the song from Shrek: The Musical - "I Know It's Today".....which she sang everyday for years. Haha. At least I DO have an "expiration date", so to speak. "Day number....two hundred and eighty...."
I'm ready. Have I mentioned that?? I'm hoping this little girl is just very punctual. Come today, baby!! We were joking that she has one grandmother who is always early, one who is always late, and a mother who is always right on time....and a wildcard father. ;) But who can predict when she will actually come? I think that's what drives me crazy. The doctor on Friday mentioned how it was like being a kid waiting for Christmas. I countered with, "Yeah, but in this case, you don't know when Christmas is!!" It's way more like waiting for a proposal you know is coming but don't know when! :)
While in our childbirth class, our instructor told us, "Every time you have a contraction, think or speak - "Come down, baby! Come down, baby!"" It cracked me up. Still does. But I find myself saying it, because that's what I want.
It's September 28th. COME DOWN, BABY!!!!!
Oh, and, just to drive you crazy...I think we have settled on a name. But you'll have to wait till her birth to find it out!! :D
|September 27, 2014 - Just about 40 weeks|