Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Due date

I finished work on Friday, which was both a wonderful and a very odd feeling. Wrapping up some of my projects before going, and making sure that everyone else in the office knew about things I was doing so that I didn't end up being the only one knowing what was supposed to happen or what was going on, felt strange. I know I'll be back, but I'm not even allowed to check my work email so I'm essentially cut off until I get back. (It's not technically allowed, but my coworker and I will text and communicate so that I don't come back totally not knowing what's going on.) The thing that I'm most proud of myself for, though? The fact that I walked to and from work the whole nine months. It didn't even feel all that impressive to me, but everyone else seems to be blown away by it. Even Shane said he was proud of me for keeping up with the walking. He knew that I wouldn't drive, but walking halfway and then taking a shuttle bus up the rest of the hill was an option, just not one I ever really considered. The 'trick', as I see it, is that I never told myself I couldn't do this. So it didn't seem like an unusual feat, or anything extraordinary, but just what I do. After all, we're not too far removed from the days when a pregnant woman would have had to move with her tribe and keep up. I am no delicate flower, I'm a capable woman who just happens to be pregnant.
Despite the fact that yesterday was only an estimated due date, everyone around me was on high alert. I got several "happy due date!" messages, and every time I've called someone for the past week or so I've started with something along the lines of, "Don't get excited, I'm not in labor." I even sent a text to one of my brothers just to say there was no news. (He thanked me, since his wife had apparently been scouring Facebook to see if I'd posted something about being in labor.) I even got one, "When is she going to pop out?? She sure does like staying in there!" And when I went to the doctor's yesterday morning the nurse said, "So, you're overdue? ...Oh, no, it's your due date, that's right." Um, wow people. Just wow. Since when did making it to your due date become "overdue"? (The doctor herself said, "Don't worry about going past today, that's perfectly normal.")
It honestly sort of feels like I'm the person who's put the least amount of awkward pressure on my due date. I know that it's an estimation, and only around 5% of babies are actually born on their due dates, which leaves the rest to scatter before and after. It would be so, so nice if they could, in fact, pinpoint one date and say, "Yes, your baby will be born on X date." But it doesn't work like that, and I know it.
What I half expected, and dreaded, was that I would end up like my mother and not actually go into labor. So far, that appears to be what's happening. Baby hasn't dropped, I haven't really effaced, and I'm not really dilated. 1 cm, which is basically nothing, especially since I haven't effaced, and I've been this way for about three weeks. It was so frustrating to go to the doctor's yesterday and hear that there'd been no change. Until then I could tell myself that at least all the achiness and pain and cramping I've been experiencing was doing something, it was getting my body ready for labor. Nope. I'm all kinds of hurting for no progress. Wouldn't you be just a bit insulted by that?
Technically speaking, this lack of progress doesn't mean very much as I could still go into labor at any minute, but my body just doesn't show signs of doing what it's supposed to. So, I've scheduled an induction for this weekend. And I'm really of two minds about it. On the one hand, yay! There's a definite end point, a time when I really will get to hold my baby! On the other hand, I was really, really hoping that I would just go into labor naturally. But it's seeming less and less likely that that will happen. So, an induction. It's the least invasive thing they can do, first a medicine to "ripen" my cervix, which could start labor all by itself, and then pitocin if I need it.
If nothing happens before Saturday, that is. I still have a little hope. I've been talking to Baby Girl and telling her that she'd really be doing her parents a solid favor if she could make an appearance soon. And yes, I've been walking a lot. And cleaning, and doing yoga, and just generally moving around. It hasn't helped.
I could have put off the induction until sometime next week. But I talked it over with Shane, and honestly it interrupts his schoolwork less to do it over a weekend, especially since the doctor warned that even starting it on Saturday could mean that it spills over into Sunday. Yes, we're those silly people who are trying to fit in a baby's birth to our schedule. But if we have to schedule it anyway, it might as well work for us. And his schoolwork will need to get done at some point, so why not interrupt it as little as possible from the start?
I'm sure there are natural birth advocates out there who would shake their heads and fists at what I'm doing. They'd tell me to go as late as possible before letting the doctors do any sort of intervention. (Or, even better, they'd tell me that it's not possible for a woman to not go into labor on her own. Uh, yeah. Tell that to my mom, whose oldest baby was over a month late, and who ended up having four C-sections. Just try it, see how well that goes over.) I do realize that being induced puts me at a slightly increased risk of needing a cesarean. However, the earlier they induce the less risk there is. So by doing the induction this weekend, rather than waiting one more, I was making a bet that this induction will lead to less needed intervention overall. We'll see how that works out.

I had to order more prenatal vitamins, since I'm planning to breastfeed and according to my doc it's actually arguably more important to take a vitamin while breastfeeding than while pregnant. (Except, of course, for the all-important folic acid in the very start of pregnancy.) I took a survey for someone's research at the U and got a $10 Amazon gift card, which I knew I'd be using for more vitamins. I love the logic of shipping to Alaska. When I went through most of the checkout process for just the vitamins, my order total was over $23, even with the gift card. They were going to charge me, at minimum, $10.55 for shipping. (Unless I tried Amazon Prime, but I don't feel that I order enough from them to justify that.) So, I looked around for something I wanted to get for one of my brothers for Christmas. When all was said and done, adding a nearly $20 item to my total actually only added about $6 ($29 rather than $23) because I was able to then get free shipping. The logic of shipping to Alaska.
At least I didn't get all the way through ordering only to then get the message, "We're sorry, we can't ship this item outside of the continental U.S." That's a fun one, and I love that they leave it for the very end of the process.

It is my second day as a hausfrau and I'm already worried that I'll run out of things to do. I mean, I don't do "sitting around waiting" very well. So even with my appointment yesterday I managed to go grocery shopping, take the dog for a walk to deliver Shane's thermos to him on campus, I re-potted a plant, thoroughly cleaned the kitchen, made bread, called my mom, cleaned the toilet, did four loads of laundry, and that was all just before Shane got home at 7. After he got home, the one thing we did (other than making dinner and, you know, relaxing) was move the baby's cradle into the closet finally. It fits even better than we thought it would! We can close the curtains and Shane joked, "It'll be like we don't even have a baby at all! We can totally ignore her." I laughed. It might sound like a terrible joke but, well, we're quite certain that any baby of ours won't let herself be ignored, ever. Besides, she's already being stubborn just about being born! When I put it that way Shane said, "That's my girl!"
On today's to-do list: tackle all floors (sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming), clean the bathroom, organize some of the baby stuff a bit more, dust, clean some of the window screens, clean off/out the stove, finish the laundry, take the dog for another walk, do yoga, finish sewing that nightgown I was making. And if I manage to get all of this done today, I'll be going crazy tomorrow because I'll have nothing left to do. Except maybe to clean off my desk....

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