I'm beginning to think that one of the best perks to having girlfriends is having people to gently push you in the right direction, even if it means pushing you to face something you may be afraid of facing. My best friend, my husband, has a much more fierce, in your face, there's no time for crying! approach to getting me to come out of my safe cocoon, and while I give him kudos for doing what he has to do to get through to me, it also makes me appreciate the more subtle approach my girlfriends have been taking lately. For the last week, my friends have been very calmly but seemingly systematically reminding me that this blog of mine hasn't been updated for over a month! Their sweet, encouraging voices were repeatedly telling me they wanted to hear about my life, my pregnancy, and the crazy things I've been keeping bottled up inside my head. I could be wrong, but I also kind of got the impression that their sweet, encouraging voices were also saying I might go straight to hell if I didn't update soon, and I thought it best not to disappoint this particular group of women.
So what have I been up to while blatantly ignoring my blog? Well, I'm 9 months pregnant, official due date in t-minus 9 days, and because of many factors--my sheer size being one of them--it's kind of hard to think about anything else. This precious little life growing inside of me is getting closer and closer to being on the outside and I've been hell bent on making sure my husband and I are prepared for it, or at least as much as we can be. I'm not naive enough to think one could ever be so prepared that they could endure the amount of sleepless nights we probably have in our near future but we can at least make sure that we start off with all of the necessary baby supplies, good spirits, and a large amount of comfort food stocked in our cupboards.
My discomfort in this last month of pregnancy has been great, but fortunately, my excitement and anticipation in meeting the new little man in my life has been greater. The not knowing when he's coming has been the hardest part of all. I'm the type of person who lives by schedules and to-do lists and this baby has already shown us that his pending arrival is sure to break me of that habit. I like to think that he believes he's setting me free from my schedules and to-do lists and teaching me how to live spontaneously, but I'm probably just crazy.
I graduated to weekly appointments with my midwife on February 1st and I think it surprised us both to find that I was already dilated to 3 centimeters and 55% effaced at 37 weeks. I went in there expecting no change and received the fantastic surprise that my baby could be arriving early. But despite the fact that I just wrote "could be arriving early" I left the office that afternoon thinking he would definitely be arriving early, like--you know--that night, and I didn't have to wait another grueling 22 days to become a mommy! I know now that the past 2 weeks of my life would have been much more calm and relaxed had there been no change and I'd just kept on thinking there was no way this kid was coming before February 22nd. Let me just say that Jon and I have spent far too many hours since then counting possible contractions only to find the time had been wasted because they stopped after an hour each time. Braxton Hicks will probably be the death of me.
My last appointment was on Thursday, and I was so sure I would be dilated far enough for them to send me straight to the hospital that I had Jon install the car seat and toss my bags into the back of his SUV the night before. Obviously, the clothes in my bag are now quite chilly for no reason because that's not exactly how the appointment went. What actually happened was my blood pressure suddenly decided to reach an all time high of 140 and sent everyone in the office into a panic. Suddenly the swelling I've been experiencing in my hands, feet, and ankles didn't appear so innocent and, even though they've yet to find protein in my urine, my midwife became very concerned about preeclampsia. The appointment from that point on is a blur as they rushed to get me out of there fast enough to make it to the lab for more tests. As if the threat of preeclampsia wasn't bad enough, I was also given the news that I had made absolutely no progress and was still dilated to 3 centimeters. The only good news was the baby is measuring at 40 weeks so even if the tests come back positive I can be induced without worrying if he's ready. For now, I'm on house arrest tomorrow since I have to do a 24 hour urine collection starting tomorrow morning and ending Monday morning at which point I will be walking into the lab with a large, orange jug full of pee and they will once again stick me with needles and take more blood. Pregnancy sure is glamorous, eh?
I was livid when I left the OBGYN office on Thursday, mostly because things hadn't gone according to my plan, but also because everyone was in such a hurry to get me to the lab before it closed that Jon and I didn't have much time to ask questions for reassurance. I needed to be told everything was going to be okay, but after a few phone calls, I felt better about the whole visit. Although I must admit, I'm still none too happy about this peeing in a jug thing.
So, in a nutshell, what you've missed in the last month while I was busy pretending this blog didn't exist was actually what it looks like when a woman who is crazy in love with pregnancy finally reaches the end of her rope and wants her baby in her arms already. I'm not good at relinquishing control and it feels kind of silly to only now realize that that's exactly what I have to do while I wait, however impatiently, for my son to be born.