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?

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Dear womb,

June 5, 2008

To my uterus,

First of all, thank you for carrying my two children for me and for holding on to this little one now.  Thank you for keeping them safe and warm and not rejecting them or doing anything silly like falling out of me like cow’s wombs sometimes do.  I imagine it would be uncomfortable for both you and me.  Thank you for putting up with all my poking and prodding (as well as that of my doctor) and times when I haven’t been so nice to you (going nuts with the housework and taking long walks that make you tense up so badly). 

Really, I am thankful, but I have one small request to make.

Could you maybe settle down a bit and not bug me so much until you’re actually ready to release the child inside you?  I mean, I thought maybe we were headed somewhere Tuesday night when you were contracting every three minutes and making me stop eating my supper to focus on breathing right.  I thought maybe it was the real thing when I was almost groaning in discomfort for two hours on Wednesday afternoon.  I know we’ve been here before and I know that my mind likes to try to trick me sometimes, too, but I’m a little bit confused as to why you persist in torturing me so.  I mean, do I really need four months of Braxton Hicks?  Do I need a month of double me over false contractions?  I don’t really think so.  I guess that’s your call, though, and since I can’t exactly do anything to make you change, all I can do is to beg you to let up a little bit.  Or get on with it and get the kid out of me.  Whatever.  That’s up to you.  Thanks for considering my request.  I’ll be waiting for a response – or a lack of response.

Katie

The home stretch

June 3, 2008

Mike mentioned the other day that even though I’m sick of being pregnant, I will have the baby this month.  It’s one nice thing about being due when I am – I can only really go two weeks late, and that’s still June, so there you have it.  I had my appointment today and found out something pretty shocking – I have gained about six pounds in the last week.  Yeah, no kidding.  I have noticed more back pain and feeling like I’m suddenly huge, so my suspicion is that the baby and the boobs have grown.  At least that’s what I’m hoping.  I’m also hoping that I have the baby soon, because I did the math, and I’ve now gained about thirty-three pounds during my pregnancy.  My doctor actually made the first weight related comment today when she said that I was on target for how much I could gain during pregnancy, if I had the baby today.  And then she told me not to have the baby today, because the whole hospital, maternity ward included, is packed.  When I went for my first appointment in October, the nurse told me that June was a busy month.  I mentioned this to my doctor and she said that she has thirteen!maternity patients due this month.  Yikes!!  And I’ll remind you that this is not a big city.  This is Fort St. John, population 18,000-ish.  If I remember correctly, the year Jenny was born, someone told me that we have the highest birth rate per capita in British Columbia.  For our population, we were having about 250 babies per year, while Metro Vancouver, population around 2 million, was having 1000 babies per year.  Yeah, our population is a fraction of the size of theirs and we are having a quarter of the number of babies they are.  I’m sure my statistics aren’t perfect and are somewhat out of date, but still.  That’s crazy.  Add to that the fact that our hospital is ancient and sucks in a lot of ways, and well, it’s just a lovely place to have a baby. 

Anyway, she said, “Don’t have the baby today.”  I wonder if tomorrow would be okay.  It would help me keep up with the Wednesday, first ten days of the month thing

Regardless of all that, I have an appointment scheduled for next Tuesday to have my membranes stripped, which I would really love to avoid.  If it doesn’t work then, she’ll do it again the next Tuesday, and then if it still doesn’t work, I’ll be induced between the 18th and 20th.  I finally got the nerve to ask her what the hospital policy was on induction and she said that it’s more up to her and that she will give two weeks if everything appears to be going well for the baby.  It’s very common here to induce after eight days, but she was previously practicing in the UK, where it is never done before twelve days overdue.  I was relieved to hear this, because as much as I don’t want to be pregnant for another minute, I also do not want to be induced, so I’ll go as long as I can before putting myself through that again. 

As for self-induction, I’ve been doing a bit of boob groping (I don’t know, that just sounds better to me than “nipple stimulation”) in hopes that it might help, but I haven’t noticed anything yet.  I’m also planning to do some walking tonight, hopefully after the kids are in bed and things have cooled down a bit outside. 

On the kid front, something pretty funny happened this morning, albeit something that required a good deal of clean up afterwards.  I put the kids in their room to play for at least an hour and at some point, I remember hearing Jenny say, “Here, I have to change you.”  I figured she was talking to one of her dolls or something and didn’t bother checking.  Finally, I heard Elias crying and not stopping, so I thought it might be time to go in and rescue him.  I found him, completely naked, sitting on Jenny’s bed.  She had taken off her shirt and shorts and was pretending to sleep in her bed, ignoring her poor brother.  A very dirty diaper was wrapped pretty nicely on the bed.  As in, she took it off of him and wrapped it up just like we do.  The only problem is that she gave no thought to the fact that he had some of the contents of that diaper still on him.  So the sheets were stripped and the poor boy had to endure a good wipe down because it had all dried on by then.  Ah, the joy.  At least Jenny is trying to help.  I told her that this is one thing she can’t help with unless I’m there.  And I learned my lesson – don’t ever leave them alone with Elias in only a diaper.  It was really warm in the house, he got breakfast all over his pajamas, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to wait to get him dressed.  I was wrong. 

Well, once again, I sincerely hope that the next time I write, I will no longer be pregnant.  I seriously doubt that will be the case, but you never know. 

Tick tock…

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 :)):

 

Jenny\'s pink candy cake