Doc appointment. My first internal exam. I pretty much expect to be dilated - and dilated for a while. I guess I think of my friend's birth stories as mine at this point. I am relating to their pain and anxiety so it seems natural to take on their stories as well. Well, nothing. No dilation. We'll see if anything changes next week.
5/1/11 (One week, 4 days to due date)
I'm buying milk which has a later due date stamped on the jug than my own... odd!
5/3/11 (One week, 2 days to due date)
I can't help but have an internal countdown clock to my due date. It is such an arbitrary date that is decided upon between your last menstrual cycle and how big the baby is during the first ultrasound, but May 12th has now become THE DATE I tell everyone, not my usual Mid-May answer to people's burning question, "When are you due?" Everyone asks now - the hair dresser, the dry cleaner (who cleaned and preserved my wedding dress says to me this morning, "Looks like your marriage is going good!" in his thick Eastern European accent), the mail lady, the lady walking past me down the street, the neighbor, EVERYONE!
It's strange that now I think of May 12th at this big day because for the most part during the last 9 months I forgot how many weeks along I was until my weekly email showed up on Saturdays.
5/5/11 (One week to due date)
Dear little Baby,
Happy Cinco de Mayo - one day you'll celebrate this day with too much tequila and beer margaritas that you'll no doubt learn how to make from your Auntie Jackie. Yep, she'll show you all the stuff I won't. She might even clue you in to how cool I was back in the day! How I used to spend my days... well maybe I shouldn't divulge too much yet. You'll hear stories about your father and me from time to time straight from those who witnessed the events. May I suggest that you still don't believe them?!
5/6/11 (6 days to due date)
Yesterday Nolan and I went to my weekly appointment. Dr. Kim said everything is normal but still NO DILATION! ARG!!! We were discussing my size because I feel like I am smaller than most 9 month pregnant women. Yes, I know I am tall but should I be bigger? The doc tells me I have the room to hold more baby than most women so that's good. Not that I want to be bigger if I don't have to be but I'd like to know if I should be worried. So after a short discussion, we scheduled an ultrasound an hour later.
Julie, the tech lady measured the baby, all the measurements were right on track, the machine even guestimates (give or take a pound) the current weight of the baby - 8lbs 2oz! It could gain up to a 1/2 lb a week right now! YIKES! So it, theoretically could be 9lbs RIGHT NOW and could be 10(!!!!!!) by the time I deliver... 10! 10! Did you hear me? 10lbs. C-Section sounds pretty nice right about now. I'd like to get this show on the road now, because if it bakes any more - well, I don't know what, I'll pass out? give up? go home? decide not to have the baby? Hm, I guess I don't really have a choice... Mr. Internet, How may I induce labor? Otherwise, I might birth a 1-year-old?
5/8/11 (4 days to due date)
Mother's Day is fun for a VERY pregnant woman. It's pretty obvious that your pregnant therefore people aren't as hesitant to wish you a happy mother's day or even ask when you're due. Nolan and I have been walking the last few mornings to try and kick start this labor thing we've been anticipating! Every walk I feel new sensations but nothing drastic happens. In the back of my mind I see my water breaking like Charlotte in the Sex in the City movie, on the street in front of everyone.
I encountered a lady on my walk this morning who enlightened me to the phenomena that when you're about to go into labor your lips swell, both sets! Hm? It's amazing what perfect strangers will share. The munchkin has been doing some big adjustments lately - some feel like I was just sucker punched from the inside. Nolan leaps into action with any move these days. He's ready!
We also took a trip to Walmart today to finally pick up a crib and mattress!!!! It went straight into the storage unit since we will just be using the pack-n-play's bassinet until the babe gets a bit bigger! On a side note, Nolan and I decided that we never want to work at a Walmart and if we don't have to, go to one anytime in the near future, especially on a Sunday, especially when I am 9 months pregnant!
5/10/11 (2 days to due date)
I get a kick out of people's faces when I tell people I am due on Thursday! Saying a date in the future is completely different than saying "Thursday." Some people don't know how to react, but most just stare in confusion and ask why I am doing what I am doing (walking, shopping, standing, breathing) - like yesterday at the grocery store. The Indian checkout lady and Nolan were waiting for me b/c I went back to grab another bag of carrots, her look of surprise as I rounded the corner turned into reprimanding Nolan for allowing me to get them instead of him. I shrugged my shoulders and asked why not. I also just threw in something about how I am trying to walk the baby out!!!!
Nolan returns to the boat tomorrow - it makes me nervous. I want him to be closer but an hours drive is pretty close, I guess. He can leave when I say "GO," so that makes me feel better. I just don't know how things are going to work out and for someone who makes vacation time lines is having some issues not having an idea of how things are going to unfold.
Mom, Vince and I Skyped last night for 40 minutes. How did older generations live without email and Skype? It was nice to touch base and I think Mom's feeling a bit like I am - hoping she could plan more, especially sense her planning involves a 4 hour plane ride!
5/10/11 (5 hours since my comments above)
Dear Sweet Baby,
Please come soon, everyone is waiting for you! Your Aunt Ric among others have been bugging me in every way possible; texts, Facebook, emails, phone calls, smoke signals. Since last week the communication has exponentially increased!
5/11/11 (1 day to due date)
Well last night as I lye in bed I was reading Annie Lamott's Operating Instructions and experiencing some sensations I wasn't used to. I had 3 intense cramp-like feelings. So I asked Nolan about when he had to call in. He got pretty excited with the thought that it might be time, he said, "Good Luck" with an accompanying thumbs up. I fell asleep not long after our conversation and his thumbs up but never felt the sensation again. A fleeing moment of "this might be it."
I am working from home today so we'll see if anything happens today - I hope it doesn't happen today though because Nolan's work sent him 100 miles South when he was supposed to stay in the harbor so we have to wait a bit so when it does happen, he can get home quickly!
5/11/11 (just a few hours since the last post)
The mirror just showed me stretch marks. They were hiding under the belly, I was happy thinking I had gotten away with minimal skin marks but then today - the bastards just appeared, so sad!
5/13/11 (1 day past due date!)
Well, Mr. Due Date has come and gone without any signs of change. I visited the doc yesterday and without any dilation we devised a plan of what we'll do. I would LOVE for my little buddy to come on its own but I will be delighted to just get it out soon!
Tuesday, if I don't go into labor before that, I scheduled a couple tests - a stress test and an ultrasound to make sure that an adequate amount of fluid is surrounding the baby. If either of those tests show any negative signs I will be induced that day. If not, Thursday I will be induced no matter what. Oh - I hope it wants to make it's grand entrance on it's own! I really fear the thought of being induced. Mainly because the strong correlation of having a c-section with induction.
I chatted with my childhood friend, Rachel this morning, she was heading into her classroom and we shared some pre-labor feelings (her son was born March, 2010). I can't tell you how good it feels to share anxieties, truthful fears, and stories with someone who is so open about her experience. She rarely holds back which makes our conversations full of laughter and gratitude knowing my thoughts and feelings are not alone or unusual!
5/16/11 (4 days past due date!)
Induction is seemingly closer now, along with all its complications I was hoping to avoid. Maybe that mind set has me scared and the babe!? So scared it thinks my uterus is much safer place than the big bad world.
Last night Nolan came home for the night after he dropped a coworker off at the Greyhound Station. He tried to coerce the baby to make its grand entrance soon. It seems like it was playing with Nolan as I tried to drift off to never never land; kicking his hand as he rubbed and poked the belly. "We just want to play with you," Nolan begged!
So, my dear baby - I am at work this morning because you didn't show up this weekend. I'm not sure if I'm mad or sad or too exhausted to have just one feeling, all I know is that I am so ready for you to be here and so is everyone else! We got lots of calls this weekend from your grandparents, aunts, and uncles wondering where you are!
It amazes me how in tune to my body I am. I notice all the squirms, kicks of the little buddy in my belly but I also notice each muscle, organ, nerve, and bone's twitch or cramp that my body produces. It is really miraculous. I've never paid attention to my body this much. With every movement my mind asks, "Is this it?!!!!?" So far, I can only answer NO!
5/17/11 (5 days past due, 8AM)
A few more trips to the bathroom than usual got my head spinning last night - thinking labor was closer. My intuition was correct by 5am I was experiencing my first set of contractions. I experienced 4 while lying down and thought, "is this real or fake?" Enter my trusty iPhone on the night stand (something I never keep close but have lately knowing I'd want to call Nolan at anytime). Mr. Google told me the slight differences between false and real labor and what contractions will generally feel like. I was well on my way to having the wave-like, cramp-like reverberations from back to front. The one distinction from false to real labor was that contractions would subside if you move positions so I headed to the front room to sit on the couch. As I felt the same thing - I made the call to Nolan. He packed his things and headed home. Mom got my second call and lucky enough she made her flight reservation for today!
With a bowl of grape nuts I felt I could last the morning, I sat on the couch listening to the news/traffic report thinking of this day; knowing I'd want to remember everything. I want to remember making the bed, the contraction that made me double over in pain as I ended the call with my mom, getting in my clothes that I set out for myself a month ago - clothes that I'll wear to the hospital to go have my first child. I want to remember how Nolan came home and we hugged and remember how he told me he loved me and was so glad that I married him and so glad we were having a child together.