~ Chats With Baby Katelyn!
This pregnancy has been such a roller coaster ride! I have been quite down the past few weeks but was starting to rise out of that emotional rut at the start of this week. Now I'm not so sure though! I guess it helps that I now really am close to my due date (rather than just close to the stage when I had Thomas) so I feel like it really could be any day now. I have started having some little chats with Katelyn about the birth! I have been telling her how much I love her (have been telling her that all the way along of course), how I am eager to hold her, kiss her, breastfeed her and so on, and that I would really like it if she would come out soon! So far she seems to be taking her time deciding though! LOL!
I have been having lots of false alarms about going into labour. Almost every night I am awoken by STRONG painful contractions, that come close together but then eventually peter out and I fall back asleep (after a few hours). During the day I get lots of them as well, and all I can say is that this is ANNOYING! I wish that I would either go into labour properly or these pains would stop, because it is very hard to get through the days in this kind of pain and uncertainty. Oh well, at least my uterus must be getting a good workout and I do get to practise breathing through the pains and using the birth ball. That thing is GREAT by the way. I don't need to take mine to the hospital though, as they have them there, plus beanbags and all sorts of other goodies!
Thomas has settled right into preschool now, and has had two very happy weeks there. When discussing what to do if he is there when I need to go to the hospital, I was telling him that either we could pick him up on our way there or perhaps Pa (my Dad) might be able to pick him up at the end of the day. He said that he would prefer the "Pa option" (his words) because he really didn't want to miss out on preschool! Talk about a good sign! My Dad has agreed to the plan, and let's face it, it would save him several hours of "Thomas minding".
My OB appointment on Monday went okay, except that I am slightly worried now. I have had this awful swelling for ages now, and the past few weeks it has been particularly bad, called "pitting oedema". Well, this week, there was protein in my urine and my BP was up from 110/70 to 125/80 (which is the highest my BP has ever been). Now the OB isn't too worried, as he says my BP still counts as normal. I, on the other hand, am a bit concerned because a couple of weeks ago he listed the three main signs of pre-eclampsia as being: 1) protein in urine 2) high BP and 3) pitting oedema. I know that at the moment I hardly qualify as number 2, but given the rise in the past week I am worried it will continue to rise and that by my next appointment I will need to be induced. I guess that if he were worried, he would have asked to see me again later this week, but he seemed quite happy to wait.
He said that if I haven't had Katelyn by my next appointment he might do an internal to see if my cervix is ripe yet or not. He explained that it being ripe wouldn't necessarily mean I was going to have her soon, nor would it not being ripe mean there was a lot of time left, but that it might give us SOME idea of likelihoods. This might sound silly, but I am actually a bit nervous at the prospect of him examining me like that. I never had an internal as many women tend to at the beginning of the pregnancy. I even feel nervous about him being at the birth! Yikes - I guess I will have to get over that, and I do imagine that when I am in the throes of labour, I won't care who sees me "down there".
Two amusing things happened while Thomas and I were at the appointment. One involved a model of the female reproductive organs that the OB has sitting on a bench. Thomas is always fascinated by it and likes to look at it and touch it. This week he ran his finger down the vagina and exclaimed, "Wow - a slippery slide!" The OB and I laughed and I said, "Yeah, if only it were that easy!". Then Thomas noticed some contraceptive pill demonstrator packs on the desk and said, "Mummy, maybe you want some of these tablets." I laughed and said that no thanks, what I want is sterilisation thanks very much! The OB couldn't stop laughing!! (By the way, I am actually serious about wanting either Andrew or me, or even both of us sterilised after Katelyn is born. There is no way I can ever go through another pregnancy and anyway, our family will be complete.)
I have been feeling a bit stressed about the timing of everything. Andrew has had three weeks of leave approved, starting when I go into labour; the problem is that whilst in theory that plan sounds great, in practice he is the only one at his company who can do a lot of things and they are incredibly busy at the moment. I worry that even though of course he would come to be with me during the labour, I will almost feel rushed because he needs to head straight back to work as soon as she is out! He has also been working incredibly long hours, sometimes only getting one hour's sleep before heading off again for another day's work. I worry so much that I will go into labour one day when he is already exhausted and I will feel like I can't lean on him at all (instead will be worrying about him). On top of that, my mother is still in hospital for at least another week or two, and Andrew's father is starting another round of chemotherapy every afternoon next week (he has chronic leukemia). The only visiting hours at the maternity ward allowed for those other than husbands and siblings are at the times when my in-laws will be across town at another hospital, and I can just bet that they will NOT be amused and will kick up quite a fuss about it. It all just feels sometimes like I am just being so darned inconvenient to be pregnant right now! It would be great to feel that anytime I go into labour would be just fine, but I don't feel that way at all. I feel like it will cause problems for people no matter when it happens.
I have had mixed feelings about social contact lately. On the one hand, I feel quite hurt and disappointed that some people, including my own brother and sister and some friends, have shown little or no interest in me or the pregnancy. I feel like I could have Katelyn and not tell them for weeks before they would even think to ask! (Well, my parents would no doubt inform my siblings though!) On the other hand, I get SO annoyed when people greet me with comments like, "What? Are you STILL here?", or when my parents keep asking me all the time if there is any indication it will be soon etc. By still being pregnant, I feel like I am disappointing them, like I have failed to give them what they want! I also feel so incredibly huge that I don't even want anyone to see me. I hate going out in public but even more so hate having to see anyone that I actually know, if that makes any sense at all. I feel like I would like to go into hiding until after the birth.
Today is Thomas's firth birthday! I was kind of hoping I might have Katelyn today but so far there are no signs other than the usual pains I have been having for weeks now. Never in a million years did I think I would make it to 39 weeks. It is GREAT as far as Katelyn is concerned no doubt. By now she would be a very decent weight and her little lungs should work just beautifully! I do have this irrational fear though that even though she is fine now, if she stays in there too much longer something could go wrong. It's like I am tempting fate to still be pregnant. I also worry that now I am 39 weeks with no baby, I will go overdue and need to be induced a few weeks down the track. I don't want that at all, nor do I think I will handle being pregnant for that long! I am in SO much pain - walking is awful. Every step I take, my pelvis aches and so do both of my knees now too. Man, this pregnancy stuff is hard work!
I just have to be patient and trust that God will let me go into labour when the time is right. I guess there must be an absolute maximum of three weeks left (yikes though at that thought!), so I will keep on hanging in there as best I can. I will also keep up my little chats with Katelyn I think!