...random experiences, observations and thoughts of my daily life as mommy...past journeys and dreams of journeys yet to be taken creating my life story as i go...


Saturday, February 16, 2008

38 weeks and waiting


this photo was actually taken on manuel's birthday (february 12) and i'm actually 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant today if you are in to specificity...but i wanted to post many of these details mainly for myself to remember this journey but i figure there are other mommies who are interested...for those of you who don't know what i mean by "effaced" for example and don't want to know, well this post may have way too much information so skip to the non-mommy version of later posts and learn about the arrival of peanut #2...

on february 13 around 3 i had loose stools for no reason...then back cramps...reasons to believe this could be leading to labor signs...i had more consistent contractions and they were rolling around in waves so by that night i called my cousin kate and told her i thought i might have the baby on her bday...valentines day...well that day came and went with much of the same but nothing new to report and of course not consistent or very painful contractions...

then yesterday (my birthday) i woke up feeling like the baby could come on this date but probably not...i had no intuition either way...just figured if i was going to commit to a date, that would have been it at some point...so i went in to my 11:40 dr's appt planning to accept whatever he had to tell me (including the fear my blood pressure is still too high and we would need to induce since this is the point where sea was forced out)...

i should throw in one disclaimer here...i had intended to mention to him "since you know i want to have as natural of a birth as possible, this probably isn't an issue and i figure we would have a conversation about this anyway, but i do NOT want my membranes swept or anything during the internal exam that might speed labor along..." but of course as i was working my mind around formulating this idea and the actual words to say without offending him or feeling paranoid, he was already engaged in the actual internal exam and telling me "i think you are having the baby tonight...the baby's head is super low, you have a very thin and soft cervix, 80% effaced, 2 cm dilated..." and i was thinking he was taking too long in there and might be helping this along (but it wasn't painful and i so didn't want to believe that was true so i decided to relax and just be grateful my blood pressure was normal and i might get to deliver on my own).

so then i was in his office and everything was moving way too fast and very surreal and he was saying "i know you'd like to have your baby on your birthday and i'm on call tonight until 8 a.m. tomorrow so if you are having a lot of cramping and contractions later this evening, come by, we will check you and with breaking your waters and a little pitocin i think we will have a quick and healthy baby..." and all i really heard of this was INDUCTION...and i had flashbacks to sea's birth and having so much of my control taken away and my ideals for a natural birth going out the window...so i just said something to wrap up the appointment and turned and walked out. actually i just felt shocked that he would even say this and maybe my face said that because he did modify this with "this wouldn't be like being induced...very little assistance to help things along" but again all i heard was that he was NOT hearing me and as understood and relaxed as i've felt in appointments, i apparently have not communicated my desires to him sufficiently or have been too trusting he was on board with them (he's a surfer...older...has lots of grandkids and has been so upbeat and optimistic about my whole pregnancy without saying anything too medical or doctor-like when i've told him my position on anything)...

so i called manuel in a semi-panic...i figured i could "solve" this problem temporarily by not going in if i wasn't completely in active labor on my own and then cross the non-induction hurdles after that...but manuel was my voice of reason who insisted i had to go back in there and tell my doctor my position...and of course i knew he was right and i wasn't sure why i was being so passive and letting my fate play out instead of embracing the birth i've been hoping for...

first i spoke with some nurses to see if any of them also worked at labor and delivery and if they knew how many people wanted natural births and if there were any medical people (midwives, nurses, whoever) who supported or encouraged this...unfortunately all three of the people i spoke with looked at me like i was crazy that i A) didn't want this baby out as soon as possible B) didn't want an epidural C) didn't trust my doctor to just do what he suggested and i'm sure there were many other judgments in those looks but those were the main that flashed to mind and again i felt so misunderstood and decided to wait and talk to my doctor directly.

at this point sea was with me...excited to "see mommy's doctor" and "go WITH mommy inside" so i was a little distracted chasing her around, keeping her out of rooms, trying to show her how much she weighed over and over, etc. while waiting for my doctor to come out...

once he did, i felt myself flush with embarrassment that i hadn't spoken up before, and also not wanting to offend him...but i too quickly said something like "i know you are on call tonight and i would love to have you deliver my baby...it would also be cool to have the baby on my birthday but i was induced with sea and it is really important to me this time to go in to labor as naturally as possible so i don't want to have my water broken or any pitocin even if that means i miss out on having you deliver the baby..." and he was already putting his hand on my shoulder and saying "of course...i remember you want a natural birth and we have a lot of great staff that can deliver the baby if i'm not there so just come by only if you are in active labor..." or something that i thought he probably thought all along and the way things would have worked out but i still couldn't figure out why he had mentioned any induction methods unless i had seemed too excited about it being both my birthday and that he was on call so he was trying to please me?

ok i'm spending too long on these things and they are pretty much a moot point now...i called as few people as possible to tell them "i might be having the baby tonight" because i've been saying that nearly every day based on my own predictions and decided i just wanted to wait for ACTIVE labor...i called my in-laws, missy and matt (m's siblings) to say "maybe" but don't jump in any cars yet...oh, but if you do decide to drive i would love to have you pick up a glider i saw on the sacramento craigslist...(mixed messages i know)...then of course they were all three calling all night for updates and other than a fair amount of cramping/contractions shortly after the appointment (where i was convinced he had for sure helped things a long and kept kicking myself) i had nothing regular...

so to recap the 15th after my doctor's appointment...i was emotionally terrified and not feeling relaxed and ready to have this baby...feeling weak for not communicating my desires up front right away...and overly concerned about the cramping i was feeling...so we got some last minute shopping done at costco and then off to a hippy baby gift store in south park: i bought sea a handmade organic doll with red pig tails for the baby to give her when they meet, an organic blanket that is super soft and also green, and a couple of onesies i've been eyeing...purple and white striped kimono style organic cotton and another organic cotton green shirt that may not be that practical by itself...but at that point i was just grabbing things i really "needed" or was afraid i wouldn't have more time to think about or buy before the baby arrives.

then i went home and insisted my mom and manuel watch sea or do whatever they needed to do but i was going to get in any last minute sleep until say 6 or so (when i had promised updates to the relatives)...so i was still having a lot of contractions and definitely didn't get restful sleep but was glad for any sleep at that point...

manuel was out on a walk with sea when i woke up and i was jealous he was walking by the bay (where my father passed away) but also didn't want to be walking anyway or doing anything to speed this labor along so i told him to hurry home and lay down with me for another hour and then we could pack up the car and go to dinner and drop my mom and sea off on our way to the hospital if that was what was going to happen. so manuel, sea and i slept together "for the last time just the 3 of us" i told myself in very dramatic fashion...and then when i woke up i felt fine...very few contractions and way more "normal" than i expected...i think the psychological side of this whole thing had worked me up more than actual symptoms...

we ate at fresh choice partly because manuel's mom said she wouldn't eat at all (with one of her children she had a c-section and had complications because she had eaten) and this would be a "light but healthy" meal...although in my head i am thinking positive expectations and although a c-section is always possible, i am not PLANNING for it, nor do i think eating would be a big deal at this point...like another mom said on some board, if i was in a car accident, would they wait until my food digested to do emergency surgery? anyway, that is just another example of feeling misunderstood but she was trying to be helpful and it may just be a generational thing so i have mostly let it go...

unfortunately sea's nap was from 6 until 8ish p.m. which meant she was going to be up for a very long time...this was going to be alright with me when i thought the baby would be arriving around 3 a.m. but now that all labor signs had slowed down i was worried....gratefully after driving around for 30+ minutes didn't get her to sleep (she kept singing the old school omd tracks playing in the car) my mom started reading her several books (quietly, without the usual animated voices! i told her) and allowed manuel and i both after hot baths to lay down for another hour from 11 to 12.

sea still fought sleeping until almost 1 but i got some GREAT sleep complete with deep dreams until 4 when i woke up to use the restroom and drink more water (obsessed with keeping hydrated for too many reasons i won't go in to here)...and then the obsession to write this all down before i forget and before i actually am in labor and don't get around to it...

so i've spent the last hour on this post and in the four remaining minutes of this hour before returning to what i hope is more great sleep and no more labor signs, i just wanted to bring up dr. seuss' book "oh the places you'll go" that i love and give as gifts to kids but more importantly for this post there is a section in there that i quoted in my thesis about people waiting:
"Even Dr. Seuss (1990), in his children’s book Oh, The Places You’ll Go, described how often people will avoid making choices and wait for their life to happen to them: “Waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake, or a pot to boil, or a Better Break, or string of pearls or a pair of pants, or a wig of curls or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting” (pp. 24–25). He encourages the young reader of this simple tale to move past this place of waiting, and choose to take responsibility for creating personal meaning through action and goals."

i am again embarrassed to read my writing but one more quick disclaimer is in order to finish this thesis that took me 7 years just because i was obsessed with the topics, i had to say "better done than perfect"...anyway, i know that i am actually waiting for the baby and so are a lot of other people but i wanted to be actively waiting...like i am responsible for what i do in these moments until the baby arrives and i don't have to just wait for my fate to happen to me.

i'm going to go get some sleep and will update with more when i can...

1 comment:

  1. Best wishes! I hope you have a beautiful birth.

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