~ Stressed to the max!
Oh boy! I think if my tummy tries to grow anymore, I will burst! Even some of my maternity dresses are getting a little bit snug around my ample belly now, and you can see the skin is stretched about as tight as it can go. No stretch marks as yet thankfully - gotta be thankful for that! I don't recall being this big with Thomas, although it is possible I guess that I just blotted that from my memory. LOL! One day I might use selective memory for this as well!
I think I was mistaken when I said a week or so ago that it would be great to have the anticipation of waking up each morning wondering if this day will be "it". I am actually finding the uncertainty of it all to be quite stressful! On the one hand, I feel I need to be mentally prepared to go into labour at any moment, whilst on the other hand I have been trying not to let myself build up to the expectation that Katelyn will be early, in case I end up going overdue. Oh boy, if I DO go much overdue I think I will be a basket case!! The great thing though is that no matter what, I can tell myself I have a maximum of five weeks left (don't think there is any way I would be allowed to go more than two weeks overdue!), so the end is in sight! I do think it would be great though to have a crystal ball so that I could know when it will all be happening! I must admit that I have never been someone who loves the "surprise factor", always preferring to know as much as I can about something in advance.
I have been worrying about what will happen if I go into labour when Andrew is at work, what we will do if it happens in the middle of the night, what will happen if my own doctor isn't available . . . I kind of had the middle of the night thing sorted out, as Dad had said we could call him anytime. My parents had also said that if Thomas did need to sleep there, he could sleep in the big bed with my Mum, and Dad would go to the spare room. This is actually quite something, as they have been quite vocal against co-sleeping, saying that Thomas "should" be sleeping on his own and so on. Well, now my Mum is going into hospital for at least three weeks, and Dad is likely to be so busy with her that I am extremely loathe to call him when I go into labour.
My Mum has had problems with depression and alcohol for decades. She actually harmed herself late this week by taking a fall while under the influence and breaking her shoulder bone. She also vomited so much that she needed to be taken to the ER for rehydration. At this time in my life, I feel the need to be mothered, but my own mother isn't able to be there for me. I feel like *I* need to mother her actually. When she is in hospital, I am almost certain to have baby Katelyn, and she will be heartbroken that she can't see her in those first few days. It also breaks my heart, because even though she can't really talk much or understand normal conversation since her stroke four years ago, I just wanted her to BE THERE. She is still my mother, and I love her and need her.
Now I am even more concerned about Thomas when I go into labour! I really don't think there is anyone we would feel happy leaving him with. I guess we will probably just end up taking him to the hospital with us, and Andrew will take him for walks etc when necessary. It upsets me terribly that I won't be able to lean on Andrew during the labour, when I am bound to need him most. I just don't know what else to do though.
With all the pain I have been in, the tiredness and so on, I have found myself getting quite emotional about all sorts of things that normally I would take in my stride. I think I am a bundle of hormones, which probably isn't helping! The stress of not knowing when I am going to go into labour, worrying about Thomas and the pets, with Thomas starting preschool next week, etc, it all gets a bit much at times and I feel like these last days and weeks are unbearably long. I'm sure I'll get through though: one thing about time - it has a habit of passing no matter what and at some stage this pregnancy will end and I will hopefully have a beautiful, healthy little girl in my arms.
On Sunday, we took Thomas out to a playground for a while, which he really enjoyed. Andrew and I were able to sit in the shade and breeze next to it (the playground was also shaded) and read the papers. On the way home, my feet and ankles were feeling particularly sore, so I took a look at them and was a bit shocked to discover just how awful they looked (yes, even worse than they have been lately). I pushed on my left ankle with my finger to see just how far the swelling went, and found that there was an indentation left there for some time. By this stage, I was starting to get a bit scared! I had read that pitting oedema can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, and given that I had also been seeing spots before my eyes that day, I thought I should get my BP checked out. When we got home, we called an after-hours medical service that we belong to, where they send a GP out to your house (and bill Medicare, so you aren't even out of pocket at all). It took HOURS for the guy to come, but he was SO nice. He was very understanding about my need for reassurance, given my loss. My BP was 110/70, which was HUGE relief to me of course. That night I was SO tired though after all that worry!
My OB appointment went fine again, except that he was running VERY late due to a delivery earlier that morning. I talked with him about my level of stress and he did seem to have some understanding. It didn't exactly help though when he told me of a patient he had who delivered her first baby at 37 weeks and then didn't have her second until 42 weeks! Yikes - not exactly the sort of news I am looking for at the moment! My BP was fine. Katelyn was moving around as usual and had a good strong heartbeat of 140. The doctor confirmed that her head did seem a bit lower than last week, but as he doesn't do internals until labour is established, I have no idea as to how dilated, effaced or anything else I am. It probably doesn't make any difference anyway, as I know a woman can be 4cm for weeks before delivering whilst another woman can be closed tightly in the morning and be holding her baby by that evening! I do feel a bit discouraged though, as he said there really is no reason to suspect that I won't go until 40 weeks, except of course that I have had a previous early delivery (and that makes it slightly more likely it will happen again). (I should probably mention here that those were precisely the words of the OB I was seeing during Thomas's pregnancy and then my waters broke a few days later! LOL!) He said that if I do go to 40 weeks I wouldn't have any trouble in twisting his arm to intervene, but I really don't want to be induced. Let's just hope I have had her by then, because at this point I am finding it hard to imagine how I will last another three weeks feeling like this!
On Wednesday, I took Thomas to the enrollment day at his preschool. He was quite happy because I was there with him, and has already made some new little friends! I have been slightly concerned about next week, when the children start in earnest, without parents there. Kindy didn't go so well last year, with him getting too upset when I left him and us ending up pulling him out after a few weeks. I hope and pray that preschool will be better. It really is bad timing that he is starting right when things are uncertain about me being around. Thomas is still my precious little baby, and it would break my heart if he were faced with more than he could cope with. At least the teachers know I could be going into hospital at any time from now. The head teacher seemed pretty flexible and said that if Thomas does get very upset being away from us for the whole day, he can stay for shorter periods and build up. This is so much better than at kindy, where we were told that he either had to stay the whole day or not at all! The teacher reassured me that if he does get upset she will call me, so I am not nearly as anxious about it all now thankfully.
I had a bit of a scare early Thursday morning. I woke up feeling quite strange and my undies felt wet. I sat up in bed and felt a bit of a trickle. Andrew was still home, in fact in the middle of doing his exercise on the treadmill, so I went and told him. I have never seen anyone get off a treadmill so quickly before! LOL! There definitely was no gush, but I kept feeling like I was wetting myself a bit. Nothing eventuated, so I am guessing now that possibly Katelyn had moved lower down and pressed on the cervix. I certainly have felt ever since that walking has been almost impossible. It feels like I have a grapefruit stuck in my pelvis, and boy does it HURT!
Well, I have officially made it to 37 weeks now. In most people's books, that counts as "term". Yay!! I am not going to have another baby prematurely now, and almost certainly little Katelyn will never have to see the inside of the Special Care Nursery. I can be very thankful for that. I just wish things weren't so stressful right now with my Mum and so on. I had one day this week when I actually felt quite confident about Thomas's care during my labour, but that was eroded pretty quickly. I want to feel secure and safe at this time and quite frankly I feel anything but that. I guess all I can do is hang in there as best I can. Katelyn will arrive when she is ready and I will manage somehow.