Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Beach ball

When I dropped Adam off at daycare yesterday, his 2-year-old friend, Morgan, walked up to me, pointed at my gigantic pregnant belly, and announced, "BALL!"
"She was up north at her cabin this weekend, and I bet she was playing with a beach ball," my daycare provider Mary laughed.
"BALL!" she announced again, this time lifting my dress to get a better look.
I laughed and Mary laughed and even Morgan started laughing.
"No, this is a baby," I told her.
"Baby BALL!" she announced.
If you can't laugh, you might cry, so I try to keep on laughing.

I am a patient girl ...

I am still pregnant. It's been draining for me mentally & physically. At my 40-week apppointment yesterday, my doctor said I was 3 cm dilated - an extra centimeter from my last appointment (we went to Stillwater with friends on Memorial Day and did a ton of walking. Maybe that helped?), nearly 100 percent effaced/thinned (my cervix is ready), and Baby is head down and ready to launch.
The doc stripped my membranes, which was more uncomfortable than painful. Basically she used her fingers to 'sweep' my cervix and separate the cervix from the amniotic sac. This is supposed to help speed things up as far as labor, but I think it only works when Baby is ready to arrive. I know people who had their membranes stripped three times with no results, and others who had it done once and said they went into labor less than 24 hours later.
"I'd be surprised if you weren't in labor within the next 24 to 48 hours," Dr. S. told me. "And if, by some chance, you're not, come back in Friday and I'll strip your membranes again, but I really don't think I'll be seeing you Friday."
"What happens if it doesn't work on Friday?" I asked, hoping she would say something about inducing me.
"I don't think that will be an issue. Your body is ready and something will happen after stripping your membranes twice in one week," she told me.
I was in a state of euphoria all afternoon. The end was near!
I went back home and worked for a little bit, got Adam from daycare, went grocery shopping, and made dinner. Bring on this baby!!
Last night, Aaron skipped his softball game because I started having sporadic contractions. They weren't quite Braxton Hicks, they weren't quite like I had with Adam (an intense tightening of the uterus), they were more of a cramping/pelvic pinching pressure and they were coming about every 40 minutes. Could this be it?
We made arrangements for a friend to come over in the middle of the night should I go into active labor at, say, 3 a.m. We put my parents on "high alert." (In other words, answer your damn cell phone if we call!!) We put our hospital bags in the kitchen. I did the dishes and swept the floor (who wants to come home to a dirty house?) and read Adam some books before bed. It was the first time it hit me that this could be our last time together, just Adam and I, before he was no longer our only child. It made me feel sort of sad in a way. He knows Button is coming, he knows he's going to be a big brother, but he doesn't fully comprehend just how much life is going to change. I stared into his big green eyes as I was tucking him in and he giggled and said, "You're looking at me and I'm looking at you."
"I love you," I told him, feeling sentimental.
"I love you," he replied. "Will you read me another book? A little one? I want another book! READ ME ANOTHER BOOK, MOM! I WANT ANOTHER BOOK!! DON'T LEAVE MY ROOM! I WANT ANOTHER BOOK!" (So much for an emotional moment.)
I went downstairs to watch the news with Aaron, then went to bed around 10 p.m. Just like that, my contractions fizzled out. I had a few in the middle of the night but nothing consistent enough to be the 'real deal.'
And so Aaron got up and went to work as usual this morning, I brought Adam to daycare, I came home and worked - very similar to yesterday's routine only this time I wasn't feeling euphoric. I was feeling deflated. When will this little one arrive?!
It's been nice working from home this week, even though I miss the social interaction. I just didn't think I could handle the well-intentioned "STILL no baby?!?" comments in the office. Plus I'm not feeling 100 percent (why am I SO wiped out?), I didn't want to drive downtown and deal with parking, I didn't want to take the bus, and I didn't want to worry about going into labor while at work. Also? I didn't want strangers in the skyway staring at me like I'm some exotic zoo animal. (Haven't they ever seen a really, really pregnant woman before?)
So I made my appointment for Friday morning, all the while hoping that I won't need to keep it. I am grateful that Button will be full-term when I know so many babies are born prematurely — with moderate to severe health issues — but it's incredibly hard not to feel manic depressive when your due date comes (yeah! the magical day has arrived!) and goes (boo! the magical day has gone!)
In the (somewhat modified words) of Fugazi: "I am a patient girl, I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait ..."