Saturday, June 12, 2010

One Month, More or Less


Would you believe I have to keep telling myself that, just because I’ve been “early” with the other three, I have no assurance that this baby will be early or even—ahem—“on time.”

One month from today, this baby is due. As I have wondered aloud at times, I have a hard time thinking I can possibly make it another month in my present condition. Another trimester, another 8 weeks, another 6 weeks . . . Yet, I am pregnant at this moment, and a couple months ago, I wondered how I could make it even this much farther. God is good and His grace is sufficient.

Between heartburn, strong and frequent contractions, pulling ligaments, sleep deprivation/physical exhaustion, pelvic pain (this chicken is split, baby) and the sheer weight of my growing self, (I weigh more than I ever have in my life at this moment and boy, can I feel it! Another few weeks of weight gain like my last couple prenatal visits and I’ll surpass my husband who usually outweighs me by 60+ pounds. . . EEK!) it is very difficult for me to believe I will actually survive until the due date.

But, by God’s grace, we’ll make it to July. I shake my head at how pitiful things may be by then, since I already have to take a rest after climbing the stairs (I’m talking an ACTUAL rest—where I go lay on my bed for a good two minutes, not just take a breather right there on the landing), I often sit on my kid’s stepstool to prepare meals, and doing laundry nowadays means I’m squatting or tailor-sitting to load or unload the machines. Standing has not been a usual or favored posture for the last few weeks now. Essentially, I have “stations” that I switch throughout the day, and usually don’t move from one to the other without a good 5-10 minute break. I hope I’m conveying the all-time low my energy level is at right now.

If I had to mark an actual start, prodromal labor began last Thursday (34 wks, 3 days), when contractions were strong, long (one minute+) and 5-10 minutes apart all day (except for the last several hours of the day, where they were 2 minutes apart) and accompanied by straining broad and round ligament pain (back and leg labor) that got worse during, but did not let up between contractions, which is pretty normal, in my experience. (By 5-10 minutes apart, I mean that for chunks of the day, ctx were about 5 min apart, and for chunks of the day, they were closer to 10. In whatever chunk I was in, the frequency was pretty regular.)

Thankfully, I have not had another day quite like that until today, over a week later, so the frequency at which I am experiencing “bouts” of prodromal labor is fairly doable. (Even though I didn’t exactly think that last Thursday, but that day, I was dragging myself along, thinking, “I can’t do this for 6 weeks!” . . . and what do you know? I wasn’t being asked to.). Today, I have not had the ligament pain, just the strong and frequent contractions (3-5 minutes apart), coupled with feeling puny and very achy in the tummy region. This morning, I mistook it for a stomach ache, till I realized my stomach was not where I felt the aching (i.e. all over my belly—but separate from the contractions which I also feel all over my belly). I’m guessing it is abdominal muscle fatigue, but not sure. It just hurts, contracting or not.

I should note that what makes me put these days into a “prodromal” category is that I have more and stronger ctx than on a usual day. A usual day for the last couple months has been some number of hours of ctx 10 min apart or less. It has been months since an hour has gone by where I have not had a contraction. In fact, I would venture to say that it has been over a month that a decent contraction hasn't caught my attention at least every 20-30 minutes. This is definitely true for waking hours, and may also be true for sleeping ones, since I am awakened many times at night by them.

So, as Monday marks the completion of my 36th week, I am putting together all the home birth supplies, and packing my “in-case-of-transfer” bag as well as finishing up my “I-C-o-T” birth plan. I have not done either of the latter two things before, but I have this feeling that I am going to end my personal birthing career with a bang, and want to be prepared for whatever that may be. The birth plan consists of mostly post-partum things (no pacifiers/bottles; no bath, eye ointment, vaccinations, etc.) but I will also include a few labor things, such as, “If baby needs to come out right away, please tell me this. Please do not yell at me to PUSH!!” as well as asking for the cord not to be cut until the placenta has been delivered, and that delivery being a natural one(no yanking!), since this seems to be so prevalent in hospital deliveries around here. Are there doctors out there who know how to manage the normal (non-pitocin-hastened) delivery of the placenta? I cannot count on having one, and I do not care to have an iatrogenic uterine prolapse, thank you.

That’s about it in the prego dept. And for those of you who couldn’t care less about the prego dept, I’ll leave you with a few recent pics.


The girls and their cousin, Savannah at the zoo on Tuesday.


My sis-in-law, Tiff (with Elijah), is my zoo-buddy. There is no way on earth I would have attempted a trip to the zoo 9 months prego in the heat of summer without her! (It got over 100 degrees several days this week.) We only made it to a few exhibits before eating our picnic and heading out. I was spent for the rest of the day.


As would make sense on a blazingly hot day during the seal/sea lion feedings, Haley took a rest on the concrete.


This afternoon, Haley got into the spice drawer. I was relieved that it was the paprika, not the cayenne pepper she’d opened!