Home Stretch

Well, here I am, 39 weeks 5 days pregnant, and there’s no sign that this kid is preparing to exit my body. For the past three weeks the doctor has given me the same news upon checking my cervix: 50% effaced, no dilation, head down but not engaged in my pelvis. I know that not every woman dilates before she goes into labor but it is really discouraging to hear that there’s been no change in three weeks. Three weeks, mind you, that I’ve been taking Evening Primrose Oil, drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea, walking and rolling around on a yoga ball to try and get things moving along. I even spent Saturday pulling weeds in the garden, which I was hoping would open up my pelvis and make it easy for a certain someone to lock her head in. No luck.

Arlo doesn’t mind cuddling up to the belly a bit longer

I did have three timeable contractions on Saturday morning. They weren’t painful so I was pretty sure they weren’t going to lead to real labor but it was exciting to finally feel something happening! And it really motivated Zack and I, who’d been enjoying a lazy morning, to kick it into gear and get some stuff done around the house just in case it was Baby Time!

Surprisingly, it’s not so much that I am REALLY DONE being pregnant, which seems to be how many women feel at this point, that is making me anxious to get this show on the road. It’s that I am over anticipating labor and delivery. Not having any idea when I might go into labor is no longer a fun thing to think about and guess at – it is really beginning to stress me out! In part because I don’t know what to expect of myself and my body, but also because the thought of having to be induced if labor doesn’t happen on its own causes me some pretty severe anxiety. I’ve read so much about the increased odds of a c-section when a woman is induced and I DO NOT want a c-section if it’s at all avoidable.

I finished a short-term temporary office job last week and while it was a really good experience, I am thankful to be done working and to have these last couple days, weeks, whatever, to be able to finish preparing for Baby’s arrival. Today I finished sorting and laundering the hand-me-down clothes we’ve received and with the exception of a couple small things, baby prep is pretty much complete. I’m also pretty focused on trying to keep my house clean for after we bring her home from the hospital and have a stream of visitors who want to meet her…I’m guessing we won’t feel much like cleaning then! I would really love it if I’d stop finding the cats chilling in the Pack-n-Play the baby is going to sleep in at first in our bedroom. I’m guessing it’s pretty comfortable since I am constantly chasing one of them out of there!

Sappho would like to know why there was no mint on her pillow?

So, now that the end is [somewhat] in sight, here are my stats:

Weight gain: +23 lbs. Still all seems to be in the boobs and belly.

Stretch marks: Yep. Mostly over the lower part of my belly and extending to my sides. I’ve been smearing Vitamin E oil and Palmer’s Stretch Mark Reducing lotion on my skin for months, but this is something doctors and research say pretty much happens regardless if it’s in your genes. Bummer.

Most bothersome symptoms: Carpal tunnel in both hands; swelling in the feet, ankles and calves (SO MUCH SWELLING OMG); back paaaaaain (finally starting to strain the ol’ back with all the added weight in the front); peeing every 60-90 minutes or so at night; occasional insomnia.

Funniest thing about pregnancy so far: Well, pregnancy is just sort of weird and funny in general, but I am constantly amused by the fact that my belly button now resides slightly to the left of center on my stomach. I do have the linea nigra, or dark line, bisecting my belly from ribs to groin, but my belly button is too far to the left of center for the line to touch! My innie is also a slight outtie at the moment, though not a super prominent one.

My doctor has scheduled us an induction date, September 6, if I don’t go into labor on my own before then. She thinks it might help me relax and get my body going on its own to have an end date in sight, but so far I think the idea of induction being on the table as an absolute is stressing me out more than helping me calm down. If labor still doesn’t seem imminent at my 40 week appointment on 9/5 and the baby is doing well being stubborn and refusing to greet the world, I might decide to put off induction another week. Zack is pretty much on board with whatever I feel most comfortable with and I feel lucky to have such a supportive partner in all this craziness.

Here’s hoping I have some news to report in the next few days – I sure would love to tell you that she decided to come on her own!

 

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