Yesterday was my due date and nothing yet. I had a prenatal appointment today and I was measuring between 1-2 cm and about 70% effaced. The baby is lower in my pelvis now and my cervix is a bit softer and further forward. All of that really means nothing though since things could progress very rapidly or slowly.
At this point, the plan is that if I’m still pregnant at 41 weeks, I’ll be booked for an ultrasound to check on the baby and then meet with the doctor to discuss the results and our options. The general rule is that I’d be induced at 41 weeks + 3 days (November 7). I am afraid of being induced because it’s supposed to make contractions more intense and it will increase the likelihood that I’ll get an epidural and/or need forceps, vacuum, and/or a c-section. There is another part of me that fears waiting, as our little one is already on the larger size (75th percentile) and growing by the day. And I just learned that J had extra large shoulders at birth. Ultimately, the safe arrival of our little girl is what really matters.
I was nominated for a Sunshine Award by Kim from Infertile Myrtle. I hadn’t heard of this award until very recently, but it is a way of recognizing bloggers who brighten your day. Knowing that other people read and enjoy my blog brightens my day, so to be nominated by someone is humbling. Here are the rules:
1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
2. Link to the person who nominated you
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award
5. Link your nominees and let them know they’ve been nominated
And it seems that each nominee also poses 10 questions for their own nominees, although apparently it’s not an official rule.
Here are Kim’s questions:
What do you do for work?
I am a school psychologist. So the vast majority of my work involves psycho-educational assessment (IQ, achievement, social-emotional, and behavioral testing and interviewing). Learning disabilities and ADHD are my specialties.
What made you want to start a blog & what motivates you to write?
I was a handful of months into TTC (5 I think) and I was getting frustrated. I know that 5 months of trying is nothing, but I had a feeling that something was wrong. In reality it was probably more my anxious nature than a premonition, but it did turn out that I have Diminished Ovarian Reserve. The blog was an outlet for all my frustration and emotional pain and it was such a help because I connected with others who understood and read the stories of many other women who were at various stages in their journey toward motherhood. Their strength and vulnerability were inspiring and helped me not to feel so alone.
I also enjoy writing. I used to write fiction when I was much younger. Mainly short stories and poetry. But I had gotten out of the habit when the responsibilities and routines of adult life got in the way. Even though I write lengthy reports for my clients, it’s not exactly the creative outlet I once enjoyed. Writing the blog provided some of that.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have to admit that I am a TV junkie. I like WAY too many shows. J and I also really enjoy movies, so we often spend our weekend evenings doing that. I love reading as well and sometimes get into baking moods. I enjoy scrapbooking, but I don’t have the patience to make the super elaborate layouts that hard core scrapbookers do. Hanging out with friends and games nights are also great!
What is the last movie you saw in the theaters? Did you like it?
To celebrate my birthday, we saw Elysium. I liked it, but not as much as I had expected to. It was a really fun day though.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Rudeness and cruelty. When you’re out in public and someone is being rude to the cashier or server or they act like the world owes them everything. I especially hate when they are obviously passing these traits on to their children (I once saw a mother encouraging her young son to pluck a peacock’s feather off its body at the zoo). I have caught myself feeling entitled in certain ways or at certain times, but I believe in treating people (and animals) politely and compassionately.
If you could create a holiday, when would it be and what would it signify/celebrate?
Oh god, I’ve never thought of this before. After wracking my brain, everything I came up with had to do with some sort of minority or “special interest” group, so as cheesy as it may sound: Diversity Day – a day to celebrate the strengths in people’s differences.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Probably all the young adult TV shows and books I enjoy (CW shows, Degrassi, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.). I feel that I should be beyond these shows and books by my age, but I get wrapped up in the teen drama and romance.
What is the strangest talent you possess?
I’ve always felt like my feet have good dexterity – I have often used my toes to pick up things or push the buttons on the family tv (not the remote) when I was growing up which was positioned pretty low.
What is your favorite meal to order at a diner?
Chicken fingers and fries, hands down. They are my go to more often than not.
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you buy?
A beautiful dream home on the waterfront in Halifax so we could be much closer to family and close friends, but without the worries of finding work or comparable salaries (both of which are much harder in the Maritimes). And a Mercedes GLK :)
Two of the blogs I read have already been nominated, and several of the blogs I used to read are pretty dormant these days. So my nominees are:
- Made in Toronto
- One Percent Chance
- Cirque de Baby
- Mommy Odyssey
Here are my questions:
- Why do you blog, and do you think you’ll keep blogging for a while?
- What is your favorite quote?
- What is your favorite way to de-stress?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- What are some characteristics that are important to you in a good friend?
- Who is your celebrity crush?
- What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned this year?
- What’s the best show on TV right now?
- What unusual celebrity baby name do you secretly love?
- If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you buy?
I thought I was going to have my baby yesterday and I was crushed when I realized that wasn’t going to happen. At 2 am, I woke up with contractions that were painful enough to get my attention. I think I was actually waking up every 20-30 minutes for a couple hours before with them, but from 2 am on they were frequent enough that I couldn’t sleep and I started wondering, “Is this it?!” and I was hoping it was. A stark contrast to the nerves and, I’ll admit, full on fear I was experiencing in the last week or so. The contractions quickly went from every 12 minutes, to every 6-7 minutes, to every 2-4 minutes. I still wasn’t in that much pain. I could breathe through them and even talk through most. I knew that was not the norm for active labor, but having just read several birth stories, I also knew that everyone is different and some people said that labor didn’t feel like anything other than bad menstrual cramps and they were able to joke with their husbands in between contractions all the way through. I have always had bad cramps and these contractions just felt like the worst of them, so I thought just maybe. And the frequency of them, plus the fact that they were lasting 60-90 seconds and had done so for over an hour, made me think we might need to get to the hospital (I was keeping the 5-1-1 rule we learned at prenatal class in mind). We have this service here called HealthLink where you can call and speak to a nurse at any time to get some basic health advice. I find they air on the side of caution and more often than not advise you to see the doctor. Keep in mind I’ve only called twice now, but I expect this is the norm because they can only do so much over the phone and they would never want to advise someone against medical care when they might need it. Anyway, I called and the nurse told me that my contractions met the criteria for going to the hospital, even though there wasn’t much pain. Off we went, at about 5 am, into the very foggy morning. For once, the roads were almost empty (seems they never are regardless of the hour here). We made our way to Labor and Delivery and were put in triage so baby could have a non-stress test (NST) and I could have a cervical check.
Our little girl is often quite active, but she tends to be resting whenever we start an NST (we’ve done 2 now) and the nurses seem worried as they ask if she’s been moving ok. The first time they gave me juice and she turned into a ninja and this time the nurse shook my belly and either got what she wanted (I didn’t feel much movement) or took my word for it that she has been making at least the requisite 6 movements per 2 hours.
Then the nurse did a cervical check. This was my third because my curiosity got to me at my last prenatal and I hoped I’d handle it better than the first one I had. Checks 2 and 3 were both uncomfortable, but not nearly as painful or traumatizing as the first. At check 2, I was told my cervix is still high, but lower than it was, and I was a fingertip dilated. I did a google search and apparently that’s about .75 cm. In the hospital, I was measuring 1.5 cm and 50% effaced. Unfortunately this means nothing in terms of being able to predict when I’ll be in active labor or ready to deliver.
I was disappointed to find out I wasn’t anywhere near active labor, but not surprised. The lack of intense pain was too good to be true. So we were sent home and told to come back if I had much more painful contractions that followed the 5-1-1 rule of thumb. We tried to confirm that I was in fact in early labor. The nurse said likely, but it was possible that the contractions would stop.
We went back home and got there around 6:30. I was exhausted and I’m sure J was too, so I suggested we try to get some sleep, reserve our energy. Even though the contractions continued, I managed to fall asleep for a few hours. When we woke up, J and I decided to watch some movies to relax and wait, hoping the contractions would get stronger. We watched Knocked Up, which definitely made me laugh but when the baby was born, I sobbed because I was thinking about how we’d get to meet our little girl soon. I was so very excited!
As the day wore on, the intensity didn’t really increase. There were a handful of contractions that made me stop in my tracks, moan, and cry out, but they were in no way regular and several happen after I got up from sitting, which probably had something to do with round ligament pain. Eventually even the milder contractions became irregular. I was afraid to admit to myself and J that I think it was a false alarm, but as time wore on (over 12 hours now) I couldn’t really deny it anymore. I sobbed again, but this time it was out of disappointment. I was so upset that we weren’t going to get to meet her as soon as I had expected. J reminded me that we would get to meet her soon. I also felt bad that he had used up a vacation day essentially for nothing, so I felt like I had taken a day away from his time with Lyla once she’s born. I just felt like I had gotten people’s hopes up – mine, J’s, and our doula’s (she kept texting periodically to see how I was doing and if there was any progress, and I had woken her in the middle of the night for nothing) – and now I (my body) was letting us all down. I think my fatigue was adding to the disappointment. I broke into tears a few times until my mom called and I filled her in. I sobbed on the phone but afterward I felt so much better. I spent the rest of the evening having accepted the fact that it wasn’t happening and I slept through the night (with several trips to the bathroom of course) without contractions. Today feels like a normal, very pregnant day. So, we wait and hopefully the next time won’t be a false alarm and things will progress as they should.
When I applied to grad school, I was accepted to a program where my research would have focused on sex. The researcher I would have been working with was focused on sex education at the time. I have always been someone who believes that knowledge is power, in all areas of life, including sex. (Abstinence only programs don’t work. Point blank.) Human sexuality is multidimensional – physical, biological, emotional, social, psychological . . . There’s so much to be explored and yet much of our society shies away from it as though it is something so taboo, a dirty, shameful secret, which only leads to unhealthy attitudes, expectations, and experiences.
On that note, I’d like to present the article that inspired me to post: 7 Things Sex Education Should Have Taught Us But Didn’t — The Good Men Project.
This morning when I was in the shower, J came upstairs to brush his teeth. He said hello to “his girls” and, completely out of the blue, asked if I was in labor. He is definitely excited for the baby to get here and I think he’s hoping I’ll go into labor ASAP. I am more patient than he is at the moment because tomorrow is my last day of work and I am hoping to enjoy a couple days to a week of mat leave before she makes her big debut. Of course, if she comes before then, I will welcome her with open arms and just be happy if she has a safe arrival. However, a bit of relaxation (luckily I prepped the meals I had planned for freezing already) and getting a couple errands done sounds great! I’m also a wee bit scared of labor. I thought I might have been going into labor on Monday because of some persistent back pain, intense cramping, and nausea, but I was wrong. During that time though, I became a bit nervous because I was really uncomfortable but expected it was pre-labor or really early labor and I wondered just how much worse it was going to feel. I could definitely handle the discomfort I was experiencing, but the unknown of just how much the increase in intensity from early labor to active labor will be is what is anxiety-provoking for me.
I’m also starting to worry a bit more about adjusting to the demands of motherhood. Not a minute goes by that I’m not 100% certain that this is a dream come true, but it doesn’t mean it will be easy or that I’ll be blissful all the time. Fatigue and hormones are bound to cause some meltdowns and feelings of being overwhelmed. Because I’m at higher risk for postpartum depression (PPD), I’m worried about how I’ll react to all the change and new demands. I know that mommy blues are very common, so I also wonder if I’ll attribute normal feelings and reactions to PPD and rush to the doctor to increase my meds. I consider myself proactive in treating my depression (which is extremely well-managed now), which is good, but I don’t want to over-medicate or pathologize what is normal. I’m hoping that self-reflection and open communication with my doctor (and my doctor parents) will help me determine what is and is not normal.