One month ago I published my post detailing my 39th week of pregnancy and lamenting that I would surely see forty weeks pregnant for the first time, unless something drastic happened later that day.
That drastic something did happen at approximately 8:50 p.m. with my water breaking while eating chocolate chip cookies and watching Princess Mononoke with the kids.
Flannery was born two hours and fourteen minutes later.
Now she is one month old.[Read more…]
I turned 39 weeks on Sunday, April 24.
I have never, ever been 39 weeks pregnant.
I am not sure what the deal is.
Sometimes I worry that I’m doing something wrong.
So the time I thought I’d never see was here. I didn’t have very much to show for my being so far along. I wasn’t experiencing a lot of contractions. I had spent the last two mornings pulling Aurick and Beatrice around to yard sales in a wagon, and it hadn’t triggered anything at all.[Read more…]
Well, this is typically the week! 38 w 2 d is the furthest I’ve ever gone in any pregnancy. The breakdown is:
Ephraim—- 37 w 1 d (emergency induction)
Eldore—— 37 w 6 d
Clive——- 38 w 1 d
Anselm —- 38 w 2 d
Elvie ——- 38 w 2 d
Beatrice — 38 w 2 d
Aurick —– 38 w 2 d
So when they told me so many months ago that my due date was May 1st, I rolled back the calendar two weeks and said “so probably this time, then.” Right around Easter, if everything goes according to pattern. It’s the best one can do to try to schedule an unschedule-able event, just hazard a guess.
That guess was complicated by the fact that by the time I was 38 w 3 d my doctor would be out of town. I was really hoping I would have the baby before that happened.
Well, I didn’t.
what happened on 38 w 2 d
I woke up that morning with contractions. They were irregular when I timed them, varying from 10-20 minutes apart. This isn’t too shabby, really. The contractions I had with Eldore and Aurick were around 10-15 minutes apart. But they didn’t last more than a couple of hours. So I decided to forget about contractions and make a coverlet for our bed instead.
I’ve had the fabric for a year, so it this project was quite overdue. I was hoping that crawling around on the floor pinning things together might help kickstart some things. At the very least it gave me something to distract myself. But no contractions showed up again, unless they were disguised as irritable uterus nonsense (I really can’t explain how frustrating that is, to be trying to be tuned in to your body but your body just keeps making one big contraction that won’t go away.)
The good news is that the coverlet is the perfect weight for us for the warmer months, which is what I was hoping it would be.
After finishing that project, I headed into town to walk around the mall for a bit. Mom went with me in case something drastic happened. In the car on the way to town, though, I had two or three quite painful contractions, and by the time we got to the mall I actually just wanted to go home. I did try to get out of the car, but I couldn’t walk very well (dumb hip.) So we just went back home.
I felt better after lying down, and Jeremy and I went out to dinner that night as our ritual “last hurrah”. I didn’t seem to be feeling anything else, though the whole day was reminding me quite a bit of the day before Aurick was born, just in terms of pain and antsyness.
Nothing happened all night.
Nothing happened the next morning.
as pregnant as I’ve ever been
My attitude upon waking up at 38 w 3 d, as pregnant as I’ve ever been, with not even the sniff of a contraction was, to put it mildly, abysmal. I walked on the treadmill for almost an hour after getting up. Nothing. I cried all through making breakfast and through eating breakfast. Clive, the most sensitive of the kids, apologized to me over and over that it was so hard for me, and in returned I apologized over and over that I was such a mess.
Then Jeremy came to the table and told us all the truth
Here were his main points:
Having people in your life is inconvenient. The easiest thing to do is to isolate yourself so that you may always control things in your proximity.
Having children is inconvenient. They require many things from you, but most of all they require you to deny yourself and relinquish control.
Having a baby is very inconvenient: it hurts; you can’t control the process; you can’t predict its outcome, its timing.
Mommy is feeling all of this most acutely. That is why she is crying.
You other children have arrived in such-and-such way, in such-and-such time. But Flannery is her own person. She is not anyone else. She is not bound by any other expectation or pattern. The most beautiful thing about this trying time of waiting is that it is reminding us of her personhood, her uniqueness. We can rest assured that she will come when she needs to.
And if our regular doctor is not there, we’ll be fine. It won’t be the first time that a nurse has delivered us. (100% correct. Anselm and Eldore.)
the deadline has passed
After breakfast I called my doctor’s office to just make sure, before he left town, that there were some kind of notes in my records alerting whomever ended up delivering me that I have a history of fast labors and to please not send me home if I show up with irregular contractions 10 min. apart, etc.
It does say I have a history of “rapid delivery”. That’s good enough for me.
But I learned that, though I had thought he would be in that day, he was not coming into the office at all that day. I had already missed the deadline, basically.
I felt strangely relieved to know that. It was already too late. He’d be back the following week, when I was 39 w 2 d–if I was still pregnant by then.
Well, you can’t be worried about something when it’s already happened. I cleaned all our bedrooms that day. I didn’t pay any attention to irritable uterus or contractions or anything. It was a great day. And 3 p.m. rolled around, and I wasn’t anxious. We roasted hot dogs outside in celebration of Eldore’s having learned to ride his bicycle with no training wheels, even standing up while pedaling. We had storeboughten cupcakes with purple icing that turned everyone’s mouths violet.
Doctor’s appointment–with the APRN
Our weekly ultrasound was good as always. I got to see Flannery’s hair, which seems to be quite long–maybe as long as Eldore’s? The tech pushed gently on her and her hair waved back and forth in the amniotic fluid. So long! Everybody has had a full head of hair except for Elvie!
She is so cozy in there, squished up with her hand curled beside her face. Her feet have been curled up rather than stretched out these past two visits. I don’t think she has the space to keep them down by her head anymore.
She is anterior. That is nice to know.
Cervical check showed 3-4 cm and 90% effacement. Progress! That was very encouraging, and a bit more like I’m used to, though still about a week later than I’m used to it. Perhaps Flannery is not as far along as we think? At any rate, if she needs to stay in, she needs to stay in.
It’s still hard to get an idea of “when” just from the dilation. With Beatrice I was 4 cm for three weeks. With others, like Clive and Eldore, I was 4 cm for a week or so. Other times I’ve lasted at 4 cm for just a couple of days. And of course, with Anselm, I was 4 cm overnight while walking, walking, walking.
What the progress means to me is that I’m almost halfway there, dilation-wise. That is such a relief. I thought I may go into labor and just be a 2.
We went ahead and scheduled an appointment for next week, with the hopes that I will have to cancel it because she is already here.
trying to get things moving
On Friday and Saturday–38 w 5 d and 6 d–we went to neighborhood yard sales where we could get out and do a lot of walking. I hoped it would stir something up, but no luck. All it did was make my backside hurt. Oh well.
It’s not been that long ago, but I hope I can even remember what happened this week. It all seems something of a blur.
Now officially “early term”, we braced ourselves for Flannery’s imminent arrival. But everything was still too early for me to be very comfortable. I stopped the epsom salt baths as I mentioned in my previous update to see if that would have any effect, but I didn’t try to do very much to bring on labor or augment anything. If I felt any contractions (usually I was just duped by irritable uterus pains) I would try to rest and see if I could tell what they were up to. (Spoiler: usually nothing.) I don’t know how much stopping the baths did except allow a few more aches and pains to poke through my daily reality.[Read more…]
I wrote during Elvie’s pregnancy that the 36th week brought the Antisocial pregnant mother out in me. I certainly began to feel that this time. While for the 35th week I said I had the desire to slow down and just be with the kids, this week I felt like crawling in a hole and disappearing. I don’t have any explanation for these weird swings in mood. I can say though that hiding is simply not an option, so I did not indulge that particular desire. I felt it, though.[Read more…]
I had written earlier this week that I was feeling the pull to abandon the to-do list and just maintain things from here on out. But now that I look to link the post, it is gone–I’m not sure what happened there. So I will say it again: the nesting urges diminished considerably this week, and I have just been trying to keep the house reasonably clean while being present with the children as much as possible. I have also been trying to take more pictures.
I did make two more freezer meals this week. And I recovered my boppy pillow. Other than that, there’s been a lot of just existing.[Read more…]
To say things are starting to blur together is something of an understatement. I sat down to write this post and couldn’t remember what week I was in. Am I 33, or 34 weeks? I remember I had told the kids we have roughly four weeks to go. That would make me 34 weeks and some change at this point. Good grief! I am not sure if the fact I can’t remember is a good sign or not.
Four weeks is 28 days. 28 days sounds much sooner than four weeks to me, though. And of course she could always show up later than normal. Or earlier, for that matter. (Oh please, not earlier!) But six out of seven Kranslings have been born in the four days between 37w6d and 38w2d, so that’s what I’m planning for, even if I can’t say for certain.[Read more…]
Somewhere in my heart there is a folder of images of the perfect pregnancy. I can see them clearly: bad days are spent cozied in bed with a book and whatever hot beverage comforts without sickening. Mornings after bad nights are calm and relaxed, and we set aside the hurry of a normal day to accommodate the rest this body needs. Good days have boundless energy to accomplish all the tasks that have fallen by the wayside on the bad days. Things are uncluttered and the children are never excessively needy or quarrelsome. I can enjoy the process of pregnancy, take care of my own, and look forward peacefully to the day the new baby joins us.
I can see it all so clearly that it’s unacceptable to believe that the images could be false or impossible. Somewhere, somehow, this glorious tenth pregnancy of mine exists–it must–but I can’t grasp it. Our days are not always easy. I am in physical pain. I am emotionally fragile. The children are human. Things I want to accomplish are left undone, again and again.
When I can’t achieve that ideal good, I blame myself; I get angry and progressively more miserable with my body and my emotions and the fact I can’t make this process match the possibilities in my head. What am I doing? I wonder. Can I ever do it again?
This week I started trying to prepare for a postpartum period that may involve recovering from a c-section. I read articles, asked friends about their experiences, and tried to wrap my head around it all. I still had a lot of time–about eight weeks until when I typically go into labor–but I didn’t want to be caught off guard. Especially since those last three weeks or so before birth I am basically useless.
The clothes I wear in the hospital, the way our room is set up, what activities I can take on after birth and when…a lot of things had to be reconsidered. I wanted to be as prepared as possible.[Read more…]