June 13, 2008
I said I wouldn’t post again until I had the baby, but that is because I thought I would have the baby on Wednesday or Thursday. It’s Friday now. No baby. Well, I’m still carrying it around with me, but on the inside. Wednesday night I had pretty bad contractions, enough to convince me that I must be in labour. I was able to sleep through the night, although I woke up nearly every hour. In the morning, I kept having contractions and a bit more pink mucous. I finally decided that it was bad enough to go to the hospital. I couldn’t imagine going through the day like that and trying to take care of the kids. So we packed them up, drove them to Mike’s parents’ house and went to the hospital. I was put on the monitor for a good half hour and my contractions chose that half hour to stop being intense. A nurse felt around to find the baby’s position and then had another nurse come in to confirm what she thought she felt – that the baby was not head down. That’s just the news I was wanting to hear. So she called my doctor and had some sort of argument with her on the phone (my doctor was sure the baby was head down on Tuesday), but convinced her to come in at noon to check me herself. So I packed up, sent Mike to work and went to pick the kids up. We went to Bible study for almost two hours and then I left and went back to the hospital by myself. My doctor came in and checked things out and said that the head was down. The nurse that had checked me earlier said that it now felt like it was and was significantly different than what she felt in the morning. She did an internal exam as well, said the head was high and didn’t say a word about whether I was dilated or anything. The only thing she said was “it’s nice and long” which I assume means my cervix is long. In other words, not dilated or effaced. So off I went again, picked the kids up and went home to try to have a decent afternoon. Another disappointing thing heard while in the hospital is that I probably lost my mucous plug and was bleeding a bit because of the exam on Tuesday.
So now I go back to waiting again. With the addition of really nasty Braxton Hicks contractions. Hooray. My only hope is to stay distracted until next week. And to hope that my cervix is ripe enough for my doctor to strip my membranes on Monday. If not, I have to hold onto hope that I’ll go into labour before Friday morning, when I’ll go in to be induced. I hate waiting. I’m very impatient.
June 11, 2008
I had a dream last night that I lost my mucous plug and I was bleeding. I woke up, went to the bathroom and there was nothing. Drat. I went back to bed, slept for another hour or so and went to the bathroom again. Nothing. Then I ate breakfast, went through my routine with the kids and checking email, etc. and went to the bathroom again (gotta love a pregnant bladder) and what do you know? Something! A nice bit of mucous that had to be my mucous plug and blood – red blood. I’m being descriptive again. Just you wait, after this kid is born, you’ll all be cringing at my descriptions of labour. The thing is, if it’s false labour and there is bleeding, it is usually brown. This is definitely not brown. And yes, it can mean that labour is still a day or more away, but still – this means that I should have the baby by the end of the week, rather than having to go through having my membranes stripped or being induced. I literally just prayed for this specific thing moments before I went to the bathroom and made my discovery – God is listening! So here’s hoping that today will be the day. Apparently, my child decided that coming during the first ten days of the month wasn’t going to happen, but if it’s born today, all three of my kids will have been born on Wednesdays, which I think is pretty cool. You know me, I get joy out of silly things like that.
Now the hard part is knowing when to go to the hospital. I’m not having regular contractions, but rather lots of cramps. I guess I just wait it out at this point. I called Mike and let him know something was happening, and called my mother-in-law to put her on alert for the day. So now I just hope it wasn’t in vain and I don’t have to wait until tomorrow. Oooooh, there’s a nice crampy contraction. Yikes. Let’s just hope I don’t wait too long and end up delivering on the floor in my living room (or..my bed or couch, etc.).
Other than updating this post, I think I won’t be writing again until the labour story that will come in all its gruesome glory sometime after the birth of my baby. Hooray!
Update: 4:00 pm
A whole bunch of nothing. Well, so far anyway. I feel sort of silly now for calling Mike and his mom since I haven’t had any indication that anything is going to happen today. I did some work around the house, kept the kids entertained, called my sister, made lunch and went for a walk and still not much of anything. Including more bleeding. The thing is, it seems that if I lost my mucous plug weeks before having the baby, it wouldn’t be so red, it would be brown-ish. Maybe I’m wrong, but I sincerely hope that I’m not. It’s okay if this kid doesn’t come until tomorrow or Friday…or sometime before Monday, but if it waits that long, I’m pretty sure my doctor won’t have any trouble stripping my membranes, and that was something I wasn’t looking forward to. Maybe I’ll have the baby tonight and look back on this and laugh later. I totally did this when I was pregnant with Elias, actually. On the 5th of September, I had some bleeding and then contractions in the evening. When I went in to the hospital, I wasn’t effaced or dilated at all. The next morning, I was giving up and deciding that I’d just stay pregnant until I was overdue (since that was still two and a half weeks before my due date). Elias was born before seven that night. One of the reasons I’m waiting to go into the hospital is that when I went in with him, I was six centimetres dilated and they put me on pitocin to get things moving. I was then stuck in a bed for six hours. I really really don’t want that to happen again. Sorry if I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel pretty strongly about it. So I’m waiting for something drastic to happen – my water to break or my contractions to get really bad. Half of the things I read about losing your mucous plug say that if it’s tinged with red blood, or if you have show that is red or pink (rather than brown), labour will start within twenty-four hours. Other sources have said that it could mean labour is still weeks away. At least I know that’s not right. If this kid isn’t out on its own by the 20th, it will be forced out of residence by the power of prostaglandin gel (gulp). But really, I was thinking how awesome is this that I’m just going to have the baby on my own and not have to have any of that happen again. Oh, please. I really hope that I didn’t jump the gun getting so excited about it.
June 10, 2008
Well, it might be. I’m not making any promises either way. Today I am two days late and having my membranes stripped. I’m not looking forward to this procedure, but I am seriously hoping that it works to get my labour started. There are lots of different ways to look at it, and it’s not my ideal start to labour, but if it works and helps me to avoid being induced when I’m ten or twelve days late, I’ll be happy. If it doesn’t work today, we’ll try again in a week. My hope is that if it doesn’t work, I’ll have the baby before we have to try it again.
The best way to describe it, making conclusions from what I’ve read, is that it feels like a very very thorough cervical exam. For those of you who have been nine months pregnant and had a cervical exam (during labour or not), it’s not very comfortable anyway. Rather than just reaching in there to see if you’re dilated, though, the doctor reaches in there and spends a few minutes pushing things around. Ouch. I’m thinking of taking some tylenol pre-appointment, although I’m not sure if it would do any good. I actually have this hope that my labour will start before my appointment and that when she goes to do it, she’ll find that I’m four centimetres dilated or something. I’m pretty certain that this isn’t going to happen, but a girl can hope.
The other thing I wanted to share is a picture. I recently put up pictures of myself on Facebook and MySpace that made me look gigantic. My sister-in-law said that they weren’t very true to life, but exaggerated by the shirt I was wearing. So I had Mike take more last night, hopefully for the last time in this pregnancy. There’s one I’m particularly proud of that I took of just my belly. You can actually see the curve of my back and the wall behind me, so I don’t actually look so huge for once. Anyway, I think that’s what I’ll end on. Hopefully my next entry will include a picture of a baby outside of the womb.
Update, post doctor’s appointment:
My cervix is not ripe. This basically means that my membranes could not be stripped, because my doctor couldn’t get a finger into my cervix (I know, descriptive, but I happen to know that the majority of my readers are women who have had children, so I don’t care). She’ll try again next week, on Monday afternoon, and if that doesn’t work, my induction is scheduled for Friday, June 20th at 8:00 in the morning. Woohoo. I desperately hope that I have this kid before I have to be induced. Meanwhile, when I dropped the kids off to my mother-in-law, she said I could just leave them there and she’d bring them home around four. So they’re having lunch and napping over at her house which leaves me the rest of the day to do whatever. I’m thinking I’ll go nuts on the nesting (is it nesting if you know you’re doing it and would rather be taking a nap?) in the hopes that I’ll make myself go into labour. At this point, I think I’d do almost anything.
June 6, 2008
Apparently my uterus was offended at the letter I wrote and it decided to get me back last night. I had the usual hour or so of contractions after supper when I started feeling cooped up and decided to take a walk. Mike was watching Jumanji with the kids, so it was a good opportunity to go out by myself and see if I could get something happening. I made it half a block when I was already feeling mighty uncomfortable and by the time I got halfway into my walk, I was stopping pretty frequently to bend over or squat to relieve some of the pain. I sat down on a bus stop bench about a block from home to rest and then dragged myself the rest of the way. Mind you, this was not a terribly long walk – I didn’t walk miles or anything, just a few blocks (okay, I don’t really know how far I walked and I lost track of time, so I can’t even relate that information). I got home, collapsed into the rocking chair and spent the next half hour or forty-five minutes breathing and groaning and complaining about my pain. We put the kids to bed in the middle of all that and I still felt pretty bad. Mike went out to mow the lawn and I sat at the computer most of the time he was outside. Little by little, my ridiculously painful Braxton Hicks contractions went away. We went to bed somewhat early, although it took me ages to fall asleep because of my ribs.
Today, I’m tired, nauseated, still having contractions and absolutely no signs that they are “real” contractions. My half hearted joke from yesterday is still floating in my head: “Let’s get on with the bloody show!” Yeah, Mike didn’t even really laugh, but he’s the one who asked if I was having any yet.
I’m starting to look forward to Tuesday, when I may very well give birth almost on my own. I would still love to have the baby before then, but I’m having doubts.
Meanwhile, the kids decided today would be a good day to be clingy, argumentative (in the way that a three year old and twenty-one month old can be) and demanding. At the moment, they’re quietly eating lunch and watching Rugrats for the second time today (yeah, I’m weak; movies are too easy). When they’re done, they’ll have a nap and I can lay down or manically clean things, depending on what mood strikes me. What I would really like is one of two things: to go into labour right now or to let someone else deal with the kids for the rest of the day while I climb into bed and feel sorry for myself. And maybe sleep. It seems that I’m more likely to go into labour than for someone to magically show up at my house just begging to watch my kids. Maybe after the baby is born, but not now. Poor me. Poor pregnant me.
Am I pitiful or what?
June 2, 2008
I was going to say something about counting the days, now that I’m down to less than a week before my due date. Then I realized that due dates don’t mean much and the less I think about it, the better off I’ll be. I really, really don’t want to be overdue, but I was with Jenny and it doesn’t seem like this kid is making any effort to move out yet, so I may very well go past my due date. I made it through Jenny’s birthday without giving birth, so one goal has been accomplished. Not that I would have minded having the baby a few days before her birthday, but I was a little afraid that I would have it on her birthday and then my poor kids would have to share a birthday forever. I never have thought that was very fair – it’s similar in my mind to kids born on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It becomes very hard to celebrate one without the other and people often end up combining the two to save time and/or money. I know, Jenny’s birthday will be quite close to the baby’s, but at least it won’t be on the same day.
My goal right now is to also make it through today without going into labour, since my sister-in-law’s baby shower is tonight. However, after it’s over, I’m starting in on the self-induction stuff big time. The baby is head down and I think pretty low, I’m full term and healthy – there’s no reason that I can see not to try to get things going myself. Number one on the list of things to try – nipple stimulation. (I bet that phrase will get me some unintentional links from search engines.) I have never used this method in past pregnancies, but a friend of mine said that the one OBGYN we have in town recommended it to her, so I figure it’s a safe bet. It can bring on really strong contractions, so women are supposed to be careful, but I’m not too worried. It will either work or it won’t. The What to Expect book has a brief blurb in it that says women who started doing it at 39 weeks were much less likely to go past their due dates. That’s enough motivation for me. There are lots of other things I can try, but I’ve done most of them and none of them have worked for me in the past. I do want to try to go walking a bit more often as I know it’s good for me, but I’m not expecting that to push me into labour. And castor oil – something one of my friends swears by and has used, I believe, in all four of her pregnancies – is just way too gross for me. Not only do I hate the thought of swallowing oil, but the effects of it are just not what I want to start labour with. Yeah, let’s spend hours on the toilet emptying out our insides while having strong contractions. Um, no thanks.
Meanwhile, the ribs still hurt, but I’m getting used to it. They are making sleep a bit more difficult, as I think I wake up a bit every time I roll onto my left side. Of course, at this point, I’m waking up nearly every two hours to pee anyway, so what difference does it make? I still hurt pretty bad when I sneeze, but I think the cold is going away, so it’s not happening all that often now. I haven’t iced them in a few days and I stopped taking Tylenol, so things must be better.
Yesterday was a huge day, but somehow we got through it and didn’t feel totally awful at the end of it. Church in the morning, lunch on the way home, a short nap for the kids, I made a cake and then we had Jenny’s party. We quickly cleaned up after everyone left and ran over to Mike’s company barbeque, where at least we were fed and I didn’t have to be on my feet much at all. Most people are pretty sympathetic to hugely pregnant women, and the hostess actually recruited one of her daughters to keep the kids entertained for some of the time. I expected that we might be there for some time, but by twenty after six, things were wrapped up and the kids were acting pretty grumpy, so we decided to go to a communion service at church. Friends of ours were doing childcare, so I at least was assured that bringing the kids wouldn’t be a bad idea. They got to play with their friends (who were at the birthday party, too) and we got to sit in one place for awhile. After that, Mike’s parents were going to McDonald’s, and while we do not buy things or eat things there as a rule, they do have a nice play area, so we headed over after getting drinks for ourselves elsewhere. The kids got to play some more and by the time we got home at nearly nine o’clock, they were quite obviously in need of sleep. Jenny just had to play with her new toys first, but after fifteen minutes, we got them to bed. I then had some cleaning up to do and Mike took the time to remove all the junk from our room and put it back in the laundry room (that was how he cleaned it up so that people could come from the backyard into the house…our room was full of laundry room mess). I put in some laundry, made Mike a lunch and then read and slept until Mike came to bed. I got a foot massage out of him before we went to sleep, which was a nice treat. It must have been the shoes I was wearing, but my right foot hurt so bad I was walking funny before bed.
Anyway, today is my day “off”. So far, I have folded laundry and cleaned up a few things in the kitchen, but I’m not planning to be terribly productive, just because I wore myself out so badly yesterday. I have movies and books from the library and the kids have new toys and a clean room to play in, so they’re likely to stay entertained pretty easily today. Tomorrow, when I feel like going into labour would be nice, I can start back on things around the house, with hope that cleaning might get things going for me.
My big triumph of the day yesterday was the cake I made for Jenny. It was a boxed cake mix (I had to compromise somewhere) but with homemade filling and icing. I did a layer of raspberry puree with some sugar and cornstarch to thicken it and a layer of whipped cream in the middle of two layers of chocolate cake. I iced it with pink butter cream frosting and decorated with candy. I have made Jenny’s cakes in the past few years, but this one is definitely my favourite so far. I did some piping on it and really enjoyed that part – it may be something I do more often. Here’s a picture (yes, I’m showing off :)):
May 28, 2008
Okay, so literally, doing this hurts, but figuratively, I think it’s what I need to do. I had a decent morning, really. I woke up at nine, which is nice – not too early and had some snuggle time with Jenny before we got up to have breakfast. I started to make her breakfast when the phone rang, which usually throws me when it happens so early. However, it was a good phone call – from the lady who has been more or less running the show at our Thursday morning Bible studies. She is a great-grandmother and I won’t guess at her age, but obviously, having that status does generally make you “elderly”. She defies that title, though, as she is full of perk and incredibly easy to talk to. It seems that once a week now for a few weeks, she has been calling to check up on things with me and to talk about the Bible study and what our plans are for it. I feel priveleged – she’s a fountain of wisdom and a breath of fresh air when I need it. Anyway, I talked to her for some time, made breakfast for Jenny and then for Elias when he woke up, and picked at my cereal while I talked. Just after I hung up the phone with her, close to ten o’clock, my mother-in-law called and asked if we would come over for coffee on the deck at eleven. I had not even started reading my Bible and had just poured myself a new bowl of cereal (as the kids ate most of the first one). I figured I could probably do it, though, so I said we’d be there and got on my routine right away. Really, things seemed to go very smoothly until we left the house. The kids got dressed without a hassle, I had a shower that wasn’t even rushed and we got to my in-laws right around eleven. The rest was not quite as nice. Elias decided that getting into things and doing things he wasn’t supposed to be doing would be lots of fun and so instead of enjoying myself and relaxing in the sun, I kept jumping up to stop him from doing one thing or another. My sister-in-law was there with her son and she was asking my mother-in-law about breastfeeding and when she started giving solids. This is where it got fun. I have opinions about all of this and they are based on research and the facts about babies and what is best for them. It’s just like car seats – maybe we didn’t ride in proper car seats when we were babies, and maybe we’re just fine now, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do all we can for our kids now that we have more knowledge. The same thing goes for breastfeeding and giving solid foods. Breastfeeding is good for babies. This has been proven. Long term breastfeeding is good for them as they get older, and feeding any form of solid food before six months of age is not a good idea. Their digestive systems are not mature enough yet to handle more than formula or breastmilk, and in reality, they do not need more than either of these. There is a mentality with some people that if your baby cries more than you like or demands to be fed or doesn’t sleep through the night often enough, you should give them infant cereals to get them to behave. Well, Jenny was easy – she slept through the night at two months and was a content baby. I did nurse her a lot – often forty-five minutes on each side per feeding. However, she hardly had to get upset when I would know to nurse her, so I never had any temptation to give her anything else. Elias was a different story. He was on the breast every two or three hours until he was six months old and still not sleeping through the night. I persisted in waiting until then to give him solids and guess what – he still didn’t sleep through the night! The fact is, we have more information now that will benefit our children’s health and well being. Our mothers had other information, their mothers had other information. Our daughters, when they are having children, will have new information and we will have to respect that. Shouldn’t we want the best for our kids and someday, our grandkids? I should hope so.
The point it, my mother-in-law started giving my husband solid foods at three months and stopped nursing at five months. She stopped nursing both her daughters around three months. She has made comments to my sister-in-law about nursing that indicate that she doesn’t expect her to nurse any longer than she did. My sister-in-law said today, “How am I going to nurse for a year like my husband wants me to if my mother didn’t do that with me?” The logic stumped both my mother-in-law and myself, and yet she said, more or less, that it wouldn’t hurt her grandson to have solid foods earlier if he needed it. I explained my thinking and that it is based on research and what is now advised by the medical community and it felt like she was shooting it down and calling me stupid. My kids are doing just fine now and they breastfed for a year or more each, did not have solid foods until they were six months and did not have any dairy products until they were over a year old. I never gave them formula, I never gave them bottles – we went straight to cow’s milk in sippy cups when they were not nursing anymore. Yes, I know other families who have gone in the opposite direction from this and their kids appear to be just fine as well. And yes, my husband and his sisters are healthy adults now. But if our kids could be heartier and healthier because of the differences in how we do things now, why wouldn’t we want them to be?
Anyway, after this mental upset – it’s not like we actually had an argument, it just felt like we were on the edge of one – I brought the kids home and fed them lunch. Jenny wanted applesauce and there wasn’t much left, so I split it between both kids and then made them sandwiches. Jenny first had to throw a small fit because she wanted applesauce and not a sandwich, and then when she was over that, she ate two or three bites of her sandwich and said she was done. I then had to do a great deal of forceful speaking to her to get her to go to the bathroom and to bed. Elias made a gigantic mess with his lunch, so much that I had to just take his overalls off before putting him to bed. And then, as I finally sat down to check my email and have some lunch myself, I can still hear them talking in their room. In fact, right now, forty minutes later, I think I can hear Jenny humming. This does not fare well for the rest of the day, because we are supposed to be going to the lake with the family for supper at four. Some days.
So, I’m going to try to take a deep breath and keep hoping and praying that I’ll go into labour today and at least get the physical pains taken care of. Who knows, it could happen.
May 27, 2008
I have had a few weird days physically. Yesterday I was concerned that I might have something serious, but fortunately, the worst of it went away. On Sunday, I felt fine all day and then after supper, my ribs started to hurt. I felt strange and kept getting hot flashes (not those kind, but I imagine they aren’t that different) so I went for a long walk from my in-laws while Mike stayed with the kids. I felt somewhat better when I got back and happily spent almost an hour holding my two week old nephew, who was wide awake. I still had pain in my ribs when I went to bed, and throughout the night, every time I woke up, I had something new bothering me. My head and neck on my right side started to ache and the glands on the right side of my neck were swollen. Most of that is gone now, although it lasted most of the day yesterday. My ribs just keep feeling worse, though. The strange thing is that nothing happened on Sunday that could have injured me. I feel like this is what broken or bruised ribs must feel like, though. Fortunately, I have a doctor’s appointment today and should be able to find out why I’m in pain.
On a different subject, I was filling out a passport application for Elias and they asked for weight and height. I haven’t weighed or measured Elias in a few months, so I did both today, and did both for Jenny as well. I then punched the amounts in on a growth percentile calculator online and found that while Jenny is just about where she has been since she was six months old – around the 50th percentile for weight and height – Elias is still a tiny little munchkin below the 3rd percentile for both. At birth, Elias was around the 40th percentile for weight and the 75th for length, but he has persisted in being tiny ever since. Jenny, on the other hand, was a monster baby until she hit six months – she was above the 97th percentile until then.
A little off topic regarding pregnancy, I suppose, but it is making me wonder how this baby will compare with them for weight and length at birth. I know that most of it is when the baby is born – Elias was early and 7 lb 4 oz, while Jenny was late and 9 lb 6 oz. Three and a half weeks of extra in-womb growth makes quite a difference. My guess is that if this baby was born now, it would be around eight pounds, but I could be off by quite a bit, I suppose. And, if it isn’t born now, I won’t really know what it would have been.
I think as my pregnancy progresses, my writing gets worse. I was terrible at keeping up on my journal with Jenny and Elias, so at least I have a record for this baby. I suppose one reason that my writing suffers is that my son never wants to leave me alone when I’m writing. I end up getting up two or three times to re-locate him or change his diaper or break up a fight between him and his sister or some inanimate object.
Of course, this entry is no different – I have so far left to change his diaper and keep him from dumping Jenny’s water on his head. I suppose this means I had better end this for now, although I will probably write again later after my doctor’s appointment. Hopefully I’ll have some answer about the rib thing by then.
I have costal chondritis. Doesn’t that sound nice? Basically, it happens when the uterus grows to the point that it starts pushing the ribs outward. It can happen to non-pregnant people, but when it happens to pregnant women, there is only one cure: delivery. So now my desire to give birth has skyrocketed. If I’m going to have to put up with this pain and pregnancy any longer, I’d like it to be less than twenty-four hours more. But we’ll see…
Aside from that, everything seems to be ship-shape. Baby’s heart rate is staying around 150 bpm and my weight is up just a bit from last week. At this point, I think my total gain is probably around twenty-eight pounds, but I didn’t check my chart this time, so I’m not totally certain of that.
Okay, this is the end for now. Even though the kids are now sleeping, I’ve had a phone call that has thrown me off just as badly as my kids do. Not a bad phone call, just a distraction. Until next time.