~ A long week!
Oh boy! Every day seems like a year! I think that if I just knew when the big day would be, I would be able to wait, but it seems sometimes like I am never going to give birth. Someone recently invented the term "labour hypochondriac" and I think I would have to fit that description, wondering if every little thing could mean it's time. I have been getting LOTS of painful contractions, which doesn't help my anxiety, as I am in an almost constant state of being on tenterhooks. I guess that all those contractions must be doing SOMETHING useful though. Gee, maybe I might even get a shortish labour or something because I am already dilating. Well, I can dream can't I? LOL!
Physically I feel pretty awful unfortunately. I do recall feeling dreadful towards the end of my pregnancy with Thomas, but there were several differences: firstly, I finished teaching at around 26 weeks, had no other children to care for, and could basically spend as much of the day as I liked lying on my side in the air conditioning, just pottering around to do little bits of housework as necessary; secondly, the pregnancy didn't go on this long; thirdly, I was getting some relief from the sleep problems and pain due to some medications I was on. This time I have "Tornado Thomas" to care for (plus a dog who always seems to want to be outside when she's in or vice versa, just as I have sat down! LOL!). I am not on any medications either that give any relief from the almost constant rib pain and painful contractions or the sleep difficulties. I just hope that by the time the labour day eventually arrives I won't be so exhausted and fed up with the pain that I will have no coping mechanisms left!
Monday was a big day. My Mum went into hospital in the morning and I am hoping and praying that this will help her. Thomas started preschool as well. I was SO happy that he had a good day! Phew!! He was not the least bit upset when I left him, and when I picked him up at 2:30 that afternoon, he had so much happy news to tell me about his day and things to show me. The teachers seem to be great at putting the children at ease. Then we headed off for the hospital to see the obstetrician, and after that we went to a park near Andrew's work and then met him and had dinner at Sizzler. Oh boy - I was SO tired by the time we eventually made it home that I could hardly get out of the car!
The OB appointment went well as far as Katelyn is concerned. He commented that her head was "nice and low". This comes as no surprise to me, I can tell you! I am finding it increasingly hard to even walk these days as my whole pelvic area is so achy. (My left knee has also given up the ghost, probably due to all the extra weight I am lugging around.) Her heart rate was a little lower than usual at 130BPM, but apparently nothing to be concerned about as it was responding well to her movements. My BP was its usual 110/70 - this is great, because I have still been suffering from that awful pitting oedema, so having my BP remain nice and low is very reassuring.
I was a little disappointed in my OB visit this time though. Part of the problem I think is that the OB I had with Thomas was SO incredibly empathetic and kind that I guess no one could really measure up to him. It is such a shame that when he took on the work as head of the IVF clinic, that included the condition that he was no longer allowed to do obstetrics. I mentioned that I had been feeling really awful all day, with extreme dizziness even when lying down, and he basically just said I was probably tired (gee, you think??). I also mentioned how extremely stressed I had been feeling and that I was a little worried I was becoming depressed. I asked about the possibility of starting on some antidepressant now, but he said he really didn't want me to, and that we could think about that after the delivery. What if I am a total mess by then? I really want to be in a fit state to enjoy little Katelyn! PPD is NO fun at all, and I always thought that it was better to nip it in the bud sooner rather than later. The other thing that upset me about my visit was that he basically gave me no hope that things were going to happen at all soon. When I was leaving, he just said, "See you next week." If he had added "if not sooner", with maybe a smile, that would have given me some hope and excitement to hold onto. As it was, I left wanting to burst into tears but knowing that I couldn't as I was in a public place. Sigh . . .
On Tuesday, the cleaning lady came for the first time and it was great to have the house clean without me actually having to do it. LOL! It felt kind of weird having someone else do it, but I am NOT complaining. I have checked with her that she can come when I am in hospital if necessary to clean up before I get home and maybe do some ironing for Andrew and Thomas. That way, I will be able to come home to a clean house and no mountain of ironing without Andrew needing to worry about it.
My Dad had been driving me NUTS! If he ever rings me and gets the answering machine, he seems to assume that there is some major problem, and he rings my mobile phone frantically asking "Are you all right? Are you all right?" Sheesh! I know his number and if I was in labour or there was a problem, I know how to contact him. I should be allowed to leave the house without it being a national emergency! I just took Thomas to preschool on Monday morning and ended up with frantic messages on both my home and mobile phones! This sort of thing just adds to the stress I feel right now - I really find it hard to be calm and collected when my parents are acting like headless chooks! To top it off, my mother-in-law phoned to see how Thomas's first day at preschool went (which was nice of her), but just had to get in "You WILL ring us as soon as you are in labour won't you?" I'm afraid that actually we WON'T! LOL! I want to be able to labour in peace without having family members ringing the labour ward every half hour for an update!! We will let her know when Katelyn has arrived, and that will just have to do . . .
One good thing about my Dad is that he said he is still happy to mind Thomas even with Mum in the hospital. I wasn't even game to broach the subject with him but he says we are still using "plan A". LOL! Even with the way my Mum is, I would have preferred her to be there too, especially as she had said she would sleep next to him (I wouldn't ever leave him alone in her care of course, but with Dad in the very next room she would have been fine). On Wednesday though I was praying I DIDN'T go into labour, as Dad had to go to Newcastle for the day (a 1 1/2 hour plane trip south) for various meetings. On top of that, there was a snap bus strike called that day, and the roads were in chaos with people trying to get to work and get their kids off to school. I did NOT fancy the idea of a journey to the hospital stuck in such traffic - the usual trip there is long enough thanks very much! Wednesday was also an extremely busy day for Andrew at work, and even though he would have left if I was in labour, it really wouldn't have been the best timing.
Sorry I sound so whiny and negative this week! Things are just starting to get me down. I think that even though I didn't WANT Katelyn to be a 36-weeker (because I want her to be strong and well), I was kind of EXPECTING her to be. Having the pregnancy go on this long feels to me like I am overdue, if that makes any sense. I think I didn't prepare myself well enough for this possibility. Gee, I'm not even at my due date yet but it feels like an eternity! I think I "peaked" too early: by that, I mean that I think a few weeks back I was far better prepared physically, emotionally and mentally for the rigours of labour and birth and all the excitement/stress and so on of the post-partum period. I imagine though that when I do eventually go into labour I will be okay. I will be able to draw strength from God, from within (if there is anything there!) and from those around me.
Well, I've actually made it to 38 weeks! Even my own OB considers this term! (He didn't consider 37 weeks to be so.) It could happen anytime now, although I must admit that I am starting to think I am "never" going to have my baby, or at the very least will go quite overdue. That thought does NOT thrill me in the slightest of course! Oh well, I will keep plugging along.