So here’s the update for my readers: I’m still pregnant. I’m 10 days overdue. Apparently, my little boy likes it where he is. He also likes moving constantly, which, I’m told, is a good thing, because it means he’s safe and healthy.
Tell that to my sore body.
But no, it is a good thing, and I’m glad that I don’t have to worry about that. Heaven knows there are plenty of other things to worry about at this point.
I’d like to share with you a couple things I’ve learned from this up to this point (as I’m sure I have many new lessons to learn quite soon).
Lesson 1: Try to avoid judging people for something I’ve never personally experienced. I used to think women who freaked out once they went past their due dates were ridiculous. Give it some time. Have some patience. Get over it, the baby’s coming.
Yeah, I had no idea what I was talking about.
This is one of the most psychologically challenging things I’ve ever gone through, and I can’t really explain why. It’s just extremely difficult. There’s all this anxiety that the baby could come any minute. Plans are all put on hold (which is terrible when you’re in the middle of closing on a house you’ve been trying to sell for 2+ years), I can’t go anywhere, my husband is trying to be as supportive as possible– but even he is trying to wrap work up every night with the anticipation that he won’t be back the next day…even though he is, time and time again. Relatives and friends are on standby to jump to my aid should they be needed, and of course, to visit with their love and support. I can’t call anyone without specifying first that no, the baby hasn’t come yet, and yes, I’m still pregnant.
I have to listen to my mom have the conversation on the phone constantly: “No, she’s still waiting. Poor thing.”
And I swear, if anyone asks me again if the baby has come yet, I might just snap. Because I’m very fragile, hormonal, anxious, scared, nervous, ridiculously impatient, and admittedly oversensitive at this point. Not really a good combination.
I’m sure there are other ways to explain this. I had a very fast labor last time (2 hours, tops), and barely made it to the hospital. I keep having false labor contractions that really give the impression that they’re real (at least to me). My in-laws, bless their hearts, are moving my stuff out of the house we’re selling three hours away because I can’t be there. But I really think it’s in a woman’s nature to freak out at this point. The baby is late. Period. And they’re now running tests to make sure he’s safe. I’m so tired of seeing my little boy on ultrasound screens–I want him in my arms, safe and sound, where I can see him and know that yes, everything is okay. This isn’t just about patience, so as I said before, I really should never have judged other women in this situation.
Lesson 2: They need to stop making TV shows about childbirth. That, or I should never, ever watch them. TV sensationalizes everything. They have to…that’s the point. The producers need to keep you interested, so they can’t present you with boring old normal. But the problem with childbirth is that there are so many different things that can happen, each birth is different, and it’s all packaged in this box you’re presented as an adolescent about how horrible it is. That last bit…terrible. Because it really is a wonderful thing too, but no one talks about that, allowing TV to play off our fears of the unknown.
Two weeks ago, I had to get an ECV (external cephalic version). My baby had turned upside down, meaning he was in a breeched position. Since I was already 39 weeks along, we had to do something about it, quick. So I balled my eyes out in the clinic (no one ever wants to hear there’s something wrong with their pregnancy), scheduled an ECV for the next day, then went home and tried flipping him with a few natural exercises (none of which worked).
So my husband and I headed into the hospital for the scheduled ECV a week before I was due, and all I could think about was what I had seen on TV. That’s such a horrible source of information, and I don’t care how many times people tell you it’s sensationalized– once those images are in your head, they stay there. I had seen an episode of Private Practice, where Taye Diggs did an ECV on a woman in labor in a convenience store. An ECV is when the doctor basically puts his hands on your belly and manually turns the baby around so it’s facing the correct direction. In the show, it was this painful, awful ordeal, and the woman was screaming like a banshee.
Such a lovely image to take with me to the hospital.
I’m not going to say that the ECV was a pleasant experience. It certainly wasn’t comfortable, and it did hurt a bit. Kind of like someone pushing on you hard enough to give you a slight bruise. It only lasted a couple of minutes though, and I was able to breath through it. I know I’ve got a relatively high tolerance for pain, but it was nothing like what I saw in that TV show. This is just one example of an over-dramatized child bearing issue that I’ve seen on TV and then personally experienced in a way completely unlike what I watched…and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Lesson 3: When the baby doesn’t want to come, the baby’s not coming. I’m sure there are exceptions to this, but I tell you what– I’ve tried everything. Walking, bouncing on an exercise ball, eating spicy food, eating pineapple, drinking raspberry leaf tea, dancing, pressure points, etc, etc. I’m guessing that those things typically work when someone is close, just not quite there. That makes sense to me. But after a couple weeks of this stuff, I’m convinced none of it really, really works. Or at least, that none of it works more than tipping the scale a little more in my favor.
So for today, anyway, I’m going to try to relax and breath. Hopefully I’ll be able to do the same tomorrow. I have good days when I’m much better at handling this, and then there are the bad days. Either way, no matter what, this will end soon. Just hopefully sooner than later.
I want to post a picture with this blog post, so here’s a photo of Jack. He was worth the wait! In fact, I think the wait really made a difference. He’s very, very healthy. We’re not worried about his weight. He doesn’t seem to have any digestive or colic issues. He doesn’t have a clogged eye duct. And he’s regularly pooping. That wait was insanely difficult. Far worse than I expected. But it seems, in the end, that it was worth it. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself all this, but hindsight is 20/20, and I can take this lesson and learn from it.