Size of the baby: Baby has gone from around 6lbs & 18.5 in at 36 weeks to 7lbs and 19.5 in at 38 weeks. However, Q was born at 37 weeks and she was 7lbs 1oz and 20.5in so at 38 weeks I’m guessing this baby is at least the same, if not larger.
Baby has flipped around a few times this past week going from butt on the left (where we want it) to butt on the right but it always ends up with butt on the left. Most of the moving around takes place while I’m lying down and then corrects itself when I’m up. For the past few weeks I’ve noticed that Baby is much higher up when I stand up after a nap or at night so I don’t think s/he is engaged yet. However, I’ve noticed that my belly is lower.
Emotional stuff: These past few weeks have been pretty intense. We had our final comfort measures classes and our final doula meeting. Both left us feeling very much ready to get this show on the road! We took an entire weekend to clean and organize (more on that in baby prep) and we’ve been mentally vocused on this labor and delivery.
The two key emotional experiences were our doula meeting and last week when I was pretty sure I was going into labor. During the doula meeting we spent nearly three hours discussing our fears and making plans and brainstorming ways to off set them. Some things that came out were that I’m very scared of being isolated in the winter time with a newborn and a busy toddler. I’m also afraid that my friends without kids will write me off after this because I’m going to be even more unavailable than I have been with just one kid. People have already stopped inviting us to parties and get togethers and I fear that I’m going to be left without good friends. I’m also anxious about having enough help and who I can ask for help. I’ve tried really hard over the past few years to make friends with other local moms but so far have only resulted in fairly superficial relationships. No one I can call up in the middle of the night or anything. I’m going to keep trying to grow the relationships I have but it’s freaking hard.
Talking about all of that had me absolutely sobbing for about 40 minutes that night. (Thanks hormones!) but it felt good to just get it all out in the open and it felt good to say all of that in front of S since his day to day isn’t going to be changing as dramatically as mine will.
And now the other thing. Goddam prodromal labor. Last Wednesday I was 37 weeks 2 days pregnant and I started having regular contractions in the early afternoon. I took a nap when Q napped and the contractions continued after I woke up. I decided to try the age old advice of “grab a glass of wine, sit in the bathtub and relax, and see if they stop”. Well, I was home alone with Q so we got in the tub together which was not relaxing at all. Plus our tub is really narrow and small so I couldn’t even get the water to cover the tops of my thighs, let alone my belly. S came home early from work to help with Q and we canceled our dinner plans. Contractions were 45 seconds long and 2-3 minutes apart. It wasn’t the stop and start contractions I always heard about. The intervals were regular and they were slowly getting stronger. It wasn’t strong to the point of being painful at that point but it was getting uncomfortable.
Dad & N came over and brought us some dinner from the restaurant they were all at and we decided that we should probably just send Q home with them so we wouldn’t have to worry about someone coming to be with her when we went to the hospital. She left with them around 8:30 and I sat on the birth ball and finished editing the wedding I was working on. I was in touch with our doula and photographer and at this point I was pretty sure I’d be calling them over around midnight.
I was feeling very focused. I was still able to talk through the contractions and nothing stopped me in my tracks but they were getting stronger, especially when I walked around. I just felt like being quiet and focusing on my body doing its work.
I finished the wedding around midnight and wanted to go for a walk but was very tired so I opted to go to bed instead. All told I slept from 2-4:30, maybe. I was just too uncomfortable. Around 5 I woke S up and we went for a walk through downtown Evanston and down to the lakefront. It was a 4 mile walk just like we took the night before my water broke with Q. I was feeling really good and had a lot of energy. If I swung my hips supermodel style I felt more pressure but it also made my hips really sore. I was still contracting but they weren’t getting much stronger even though the interval between contractions got smaller. We walked for about an hour and a half & nothing got stronger. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
~~ Birthy TMI Alert Ahead ~~
When we got home we decided to try a warm shower and some nipple stimulations, again in an attempt to pick up the contractions. Neither one really did anything and I just felt tired and frustrated. I stayed in the shower longer than S and just cried for awhile. When I got out I went to bed and slept for 3 hours from 8-11 then got up and made lunch.
~~ End TMI Alert ~~
I was still contracting that entire time, by the way. I felt much better after the nap but was still feeling grumpy and hopeless and like my body was somehow “broken” because it wasn’t progressing. It was starting to dawn on me that maybe this wasn’t the real deal and I was having the dreaded prodromal labor that I hear so much about.
Another thing our doula suggested was to call for acupuncture so we made an appointment for 1:30. The acupuncture didn’t work, obviously, but the main thing that it accomplished was to help me relax and let go of the negativity I was feeling. S says I was visibily different after only a few minutes of the session. I lay on the table, poked with about 25 needles and listened to the Hypnobabies Birth Track.
After the session we went and got Pho (YUM) and then went home and both napped. After the nap I tried pumping and sitting on the ball and we tried a few other things too. Our last resort was to go for a walk around 9:30 and I did curb walking for 25 minutes. Nothing changed.
At that point I called it a night because it was obvious nothing was happening. I was disappointed but not really surprised. I told S he should go to work the next day and told my dad to bring Q back the next day as well.
I’ve been having daily contractions for the week since then but none have been in such a rhythm as those first 36 hours. Hopefully this is all good news for preparing my cervix at least!
My midwife is back from vacation today so Operation Don’t Have A Baby is officially over! It’s Halloween and I’ve always said it would be fun to have one Halloween baby and one Fourth of July baby! I really would like to have the baby before the election if possible. It’s going to stress me out a lot and I think if Romney wins it will REALLY mess with my head and emotional state!
I really want to be excited and joyful during this birth and not be anxious or fearful. Right now my head is focused on the stress of caring for two kids every day because I have a hard time conceptualizing how much I’m going to be in love with this little person who is coming. It’s hard to imagine how wonderful it will be when Baby arrives so some reason.
Physical stuff: I felt like I was hit by a truck after all the contracting, walking, etc that I did so I got a prenatal massage on Friday evening. That helped a lot. My hip pain has actually lessened and so has my heartburn. I can only assume those are because Baby is sitting a bit lower.
I have a lot of pain in my pubic area. Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s contraction pain or just muscle pain but that area hurts the most. I’m going to talk to my midwife about it.
Besides that I’m feeling pretty good. Less hip pain means it’s easier and more comfortable to walk so I’m planning to get out as much as I can until the baby comes.
I can’t stop eating: Whatever is easy. I go from “maybe I should eat” to “If I don’t eat immediately I’m going to die!” so anything that takes more than 2 seconds to be ready is too inconvenient for me!
I can’t even look at: No food aversions right now except things that I threw up in first trimester.
Fitness: Just doing my best to get around these days. It’s hard to find a comfortable way to do much of anything so “fitness” is pretty low on my list!
Birth prep: I’m negative for Group B strep! Yay! My midwife is back in town so I don’t need to worry about delivering with a stranger. We finished our classes but should probably review and practice some of the labor positions we learned. Gotta keep those fresh!
I was feeling very focused and ready last week when I thought I was going into labor but in the week since then I’ve pysched myself out a little bit I think. I’ve had too much time to think about it and most of the things that were “ready” last week like having the house clean, etc are not ready anymore. So, I need to keep nesting. Too bad cleaning is the LAST thing I want to do (but what else is new?). I always hear about women getting a crazy urge to scrub floors on their hands & knees when they are about to go into labor. If that happens to me, take a picture because no one is going to believe it actually happened, including me!
Baby prep: We have pretty much everything set up now! The car seat is installed. The crib is sidecarred. All of the bags are packed and sitting in the front hallway. We have some clothes to put away. My friend generously gave us a BUNCH of boy clothes that I need to put away. The baby that only had summer clothes now has a TON of long sleeved stuff. Yay! And girls can wear blue too so I’m excited.
We still need to figure out where we’re going to put the swing and all of the other baby crap but I’m not in a rush. The last thing I need is to stare at the monstrosity of the swing and try to keep Q away from it for the next few weeks! We can set it up once the baby gets here.
Breastfeeding: Q breastfed her doll for the first time the other day and my heart exploded! Hopefully that’s something she can do while I nurse the baby.
Also, when I was pumping to try to stimulate contractions I got a bunch of colostrum so it was good to see that my boobs are ready!