Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On "have you had that baby yet?"

Welp, here we are...5 days beyond our due date. So now the question comes to mind even more...when is this baby making their appearance?

I was planning on being all hush hush about my symptoms, and journey through these days because I was ohsoconfident I would have a baby in my arms right now, that then I could just be like, "Look! We did it!" With no lead up. Unfortunately, that seems to not be in the cards, and this blog is my cathartic outlet, so I am just going to go for it and be super honest.

Signs of early labor can include:

  1. The baby settles into your pelvis. 
  2. Your cervix begins to thin and open.
  3. Braxton Hicks contractions become more frequent and stronger. 
  4. Period like cramping or an ache low in your back.
  5. Loss of mucous plug/changes in vaginal discharge. (Grossest phrase ever written on this blog.)
  6. Your water may break. In most cases, rupture of the membranes occurs after labor has already started. In some women, this happens before labor starts. Call your doctor immediately or go to the hospital if you think your membranes have ruptured.
  7. Some women experience feelings of diarrhea and/or nausea.
  8. Nesting instincts are in full gear.
  9. Feelings of restlessness and excitement.
  10. Contractions are mild to moderate (you can talk while they are happening) and last about 30 to 45 seconds.
  11. Contractions may be irregular (5 to 20 minutes apart) and may even stop for a while.
  12. Contractions open (dilate) the cervix to about 3 cm (1 in.). First-time mothers can experience many hours of early labor without the cervix dilating.
I am choosing not to source any of that, but Google "early labor" and you should find them all...

ANYWHO, I am experiencing.have experienced since last week about 10 of 12 of those things. I will give you a hint - I can't check my own dilation, so it's not #12 and my water has not broken...so not #6 either. Everything else you can just check off as having been part of the last week for me.

Because they have been a part of the last week, as each one has been added to the list I have been more and more sure that labor and arrival of baby is imminent. The roller coaster of emotions is insane y'all. Seriously.

I totally have the new mom syndrome of trying not to get too excited and tell everyone, but I get myself all ramped up and then when things stall out a few hours later I feel crestfallen. 

The scene tends to go like this - I wake up int he dead of night at about 2:30 am with period like cramping, and think "maybe..." a few minutes late a smallish contraction will hit, at that point all the adrenaline FLOODS into my body and I am so.excited. I refrain from waking my sleeping husband and clamber out of bed to my birth ball...sit on it and relax for a while, ready to embrace the experience... and then it all goes away. Back to normal with some pressure in my pelvis for sure, but no contractions anymore. But the adrenaline, that's still there, so then I try to go back to sleep and can't. Repeat cycle every night for the last 4 nights or so. 

I know, I know, it's not the end of the world and there is only one way for this whole thing to end (spoiler alert: giving birth!) but it is sooooo hard to get excited and mentally prepared and then go , "oh, jk."

Natural birth is definitely a mental preparation game and I am trying really hard not to exhaust all of my mental energy and preparation in advance of the actual birthing event. We have tried about every natural labor induction technique on the books (minus the whole castor oil thing - yet. Our midwives are willing to discuss this option if we make it to 41 weeks). But you name it and we have probably done it; I am walking like a champ, despite the heat and swollen ankles, adhering to both my 5-W regimens and my evening primrose oil tablets, and bouncing on birth balls and hip circles and dancing and everything else under the sun. I take the stairs everywhere. And yet, baby just isn't quite ready I suppose.

Which, I am actually fine with. I definitely want us both to be as prepared as possible for this experience. BUT, my little procrastinator brain is getting a hold of me here now that there is an impending deadline.  Baby is doing just fine, all the non stress tests indicate that they are happy as a clam up in-utero and they are moving around like no body's business. 

Ultimately I am fine with any decision that needs to be made to have my baby healthy and happy out here in the world, whether that involves induction, surgery or whatever. BUT, my preference is for a natural delivery because I do believe that my body knows what it is doing and knows best. So, we will continue to hope for that.

Until then, I am continuing to relax,relate and release (thank you Whitley Gilbert) and continuing to work (won't deny that it was a total bummer to have to come back to the office today!).

Whew, I feel better just typing all that out. 

And now for your enjoyment pleasure I will now share with you some of my favorite quotes from people I just met this weekend. If you weren't aware, it was a holiday weekend, which means that I got to attend no less than 4 social functions with new people to comment on the overdue pregnant lady!

Supervisee of Husband, passing us by in a line for food: "Oh, hey sir! Guess your wife 'ent popped that baby out yet, huh? Best get on that."

Random Person at Picnic Table: "Wow! You look like you could drop at any moment! When are you due?!"
Me: "Actually, 3 days ago"
RPAPT: "Wow. You should get signed up for that induction and c-section right now! That baby gets any bigger and it is going to tear you up on the way out!"
Me: "Oh you know what? I forgot to get myself some watermelon!" 

Man Who I Just Met: "Wow, you look totally relaxed and at ease for a 9 month pregnant lady! most women I know complain and complain, but you just look so at ease!"
Me: "Why thank you so much! I really can't complain..."
MWIJM: "You know, maybe that's the problem. You don't want it badly enough."
Me: "Uhhhh, nice to have met you."

MWIJM's Wife: "Wow, you are 4 days overdue, huh?"
Me: "Yup, but you know, first time babies and all..."
Wife: "You know, sometimes our bodies internalize fear of an experience so much it inhibits our body from actually doing what it needs to do. Do you feel that you have internalized fear about the birthing process?"
Me: "Um, what was your name again?"

40 weeks, 5 days along

...and I don't mind the comments from friends who love me, but in the words of a friend from grad school, apparently these strangers have "no home training."


  1. if early labor contractions start while you are sleeping please just ignore them and pretend they aren't happening. Get your sleep! A tired body doesn't birth as well. I shouldn't tell you what to do, but that is my soapbox. Sleep!

    You will be awesome! The average for a first time mom is 8 days past. Don't pay any attention to anyone. xoxoxo

  2. Courtney those comments are to make you laugh! Remember when they say kids say the darnedest things, they meant to say adults. Love you