Week 38 ~ June 17, 2003
~ Things are moving along . . . Finally!
What a roller coaster ride this week. For the first time in four pregnancies, I went to labor and delivery before actually being in labor to be checked out. Wednesday was a fairly nice day around here for a change, although very hot and humid. I seized the opportunity and headed outside at 8am to plant my flowers . . . my obsession. I cleaned and raked and planted and seeded and weeded. Before I knew it, it was 11am and I needed more flowers. Of course I headed out to hot greenhouses to find some more. Then it was 1pm and I had to go and pick up my girl scouts to take them to the Appalachian Trail to hike. I had grabbed a salad at noon, but other than that had eaten nothing all day. When I got to school to pick up my troop, I noticed that I had not been feeling any baby movement. So I grabbed some water at school and started pushing on my stomach. Usually that gets this little girl moving away. Nothing today. I got a bit nervous. Walked the girls into the beginning of the trail with my co-leader and then headed home. I laid down for a few minutes with some juice and some more pushing. But still no movement. Now I am getting even more nervous. At 4:30, my co-leader calls to come and pick up the girls so away Brigid and I go. When I get back home, I call Michael and also L&D. The nurses at L&D decided that I have made some good attempts to get baby movement and would be more comfortable checking me out. Despite my request not to call Max, who happened to be on call, they do and he is pacing the floor waiting for me to get there. Having a doc in which you are secure and comfortable certainly does make a difference when you are feeling as fearful as I was. He hooks me up to the NST and grabs the sonogram machine and low and behold - all is fine. Her BPP was 8 out of 8 and we figured she was just dehydrated and tired from my lack of food and water all day. I sit on the monitor for another hour and head home much relieved. Silly me. That will not be happening to me again. The fear was just way too real and vivid.
Max still wanted to see me on Thursday as he didn't do an internal when I was there on Wednesday night. He was so funny as he helped me on the table and helped me lay back. "Please be dilated!" "Please be dilated!" "Please be dilated!" Just like a little kid begging for a toy. And I am! Two centimeters! We were both pretty excited. So we are back on for sure on the 25th although at my appointment this week he is going do a little membrane stripping and see if we can get things moving on their own. Both of us would rather do this naturally. I have reached a point where I am ok with an induction for so many reasons, but still can't help longing for the thrill of having contractions start and wondering if this is it! He was very rough on Thursday trying to see if there was a head any where within reach and I left there very sore. Boy, those internals can be tough!
Friday was another exciting day as I started having contractions that morning and continued all the way through Saturday morning. I had them pretty much every 20 minutes for about 24 hours straight. I woke up at about 2am on Saturday morning and stood up to go to the bathroom. When I looked down my stomach was gone and the feeling in my pelvis was definitely different. I can breathe so much more easily and when she moves now there is definite bladder action going on. There was no doubt in my mind that she was moving down and when I went to the bathroom, there was part of that infamous mucous plug. I have never lost one before and have never experienced that dropping feeling so I was pretty excited. Michael was up wandering around as well so I came down to tell him. When we got up Saturday morning we headed out to the garden to keep things cooking. Of course, the contractions stopped at about 10am and I didn't have another one for over 24 more hours. You know, these babies have minds of their own even before they are born.
Not much has gone on since then. My stroller and car seat have arrived and I have washed clothes and taken steps to get things organized and ready. I really don't have much time left. I am debating on buying a bassinet to use downstairs. I have a Pack and Play with a bassinet to use upstairs when I need a safe place for the baby, but it would be so luxurious to have one downstairs as well. I have a coupon for Toys-R-Us and may just have to do it. The more I think about these decisions, the more I realize how close things are and the more excited I get. She is going to be here so soon!
I am having horrible swelling, and it is painful. Fortunately my blood pressure is excellent and I have no ketones or protein in my urine. So this is just swelling, normal pregnancy swelling. I had a woman ask me what my doctor was proposing to do about it and I had to give her a strange look and being the tactful person that I am, asked what she suggested he do. I drink water; I put my feet up; I massage my feet. But I swell. Most women do and there isn't really anything unusual about it. Doesn't help that I spend so much time on my feet but I really do try to lie down for at least an hour every day. You can bet that I am scheduling one more pedicure before June 25 though!
In addition to the end of my pregnancy, the end of my journal is also approaching. I admit that I am feeling so very sad about this. I have enjoyed writing it so much and have used it as a way to celebrate every moment of this pregnancy. In addition it has given me the added bonus of some beautiful emails from many women who have read it; other women who have shared parts of their life with me just as I have shared mine with them; other women who have experienced losses; other women who are fearful about their future pregnancies; other women who are Christians and are turning to their faith to help them understand and appreciate their lives, their pregnancies, their children. I don't think I will ever be able to express the gratitude that I feel at the opportunity that was given to me when I was asked to do this. Every week I have sat down to write has helped to show me yet again all the blessings I have been given in this life . . . what more can I ask for but that.