Friday, July 17, 2009

39 Weeks...

Labor didn't start, but the rain did, so our plan to go to Sherando Lake got cancelled. Instead, the boys and I passed the morning hours by running errands in town, including a stop at Dairy Queen to use the gift certificates for free Blizzards that Josiah and David earned through the library summer reading program and a fun visit to Jeff in the very busy barbershop.

(Baby just made some body part nearly protrude through my side--the right one, as always. That must have been a foot because, if Baby's position is the way I imagine and the way the midwives tell me, a hand couldn't have reached that far. Thanks for the kick, little buddy; that was a strong one. It's nice to know you're still having fun in there!) :)

So, time for pictures, which are slightly humiliating to me at this stage of pregnancy, but I'm keepin' it real...
~ at 39 weeks, 1 day, I tried to do this photography experiment with measuring my belly; but since no one else was available to actually take the picture, I found myself unable to take it and hold the measuring tape at the same time so that it could be read...anyway, I'll tell you what it said: 45 inches
~ Josiah took this one of me yesterday at 39 weeks, 5 days; that's why I look so tall in it...the thing I like about the picture is that it shows part of my bedroom which is one of my favorite rooms these days, a place of peace and sanctuary for me with its newly-painted walls and newly-organized contents...I don't have a thousand projects screaming "do me, do me!" when I walk into this space :)

Well, here I am, a mere 90 minutes or so from reaching my due date. To tell you the truth, I am beyond surprised that I made it this far. I didn't expect this AT ALL! So much for the "I always deliver early" spiel that I've been telling people (and myself) for months! It seems like this baby is determined to surprise us in every way, from conception to birth. :) I just can't believe I haven't had it yet. I'm in shock... :)

Fortunately, I actually feel pretty good physically, with nothing major to complain about and no new issues that make it truly important that this baby be born soon. My blood pressure continues to be very's heartbeat is strong and steady...I have no reason to believe that the amniotic fluid is getting low...I'm not having swelling in my legs and feet...things are going fine!

The mental game, however, is a horse of a different color. Did I mention my total surprise that I'm still pregnant?? :) I really had myself fooled, I guess; and now I'm finding that it takes a little while to adjust my expectations to this reality I didn't plan for! But why not still be pregnant? There's nothing wrong with that, right? What's the big deal? Why am I so impatient? Only because I REALLY WANT TO MEET THIS BABY!!! :)

I don't have any sense of impending labor, and so my mind goes to crazy thoughts like, "I'm really going to be pregnant forever. This is just how life will be for me--huge belly, 30 extra pounds, and all--for the rest of my life. This baby will never be born." Completely irrational, but I'm sure I'm not the only woman who's ever thought that in the last days of a pregnancy. :)

I keep reminding myself that with Tobin, when I was eating lunch on that warm-for-January beautiful Saturday, I had NO CLUE that he would be born around suppertime that day. I tell myself that this baby could be the same way. Any minute, things could change and in a matter of a relatively few hours, I could be holding this little one in my arms. I've been telling myself that for...oh, the past 17 days or so. :) I'm starting to not believe myself! :)

I feel like the legendary watched pot that never boils. I KNOW I'll boil one of these days, but when???

My dad has been very helpful in giving me suggestions to start labor. Here they are:
1. have Jeff take me for a very bumpy Jeep ride
2. go over and jump on the neighbor's trampoline
3. drink castor oil
4. wait for the next low pressure storm system to move through, and that will surely get my labor going! (except--wait--we just had one today, and it did much for that theory!)

Actually, despite my unmet expectations for an early baby, I've had a good week. The hardest day was Wednesday, particularly when the midwife (Tammy, whom I hadn't seen since very early in the pregnancy so was glad to see again) checked me and cheerfully said that I was 2-3 centimeters dilated. That wasn't good news to me! She then asked, "What were you at your last appointment?" and I told her, "3 centimeters." She said, "Yeah, that's about where you are." So much for my hope to at least be at 4! Although, really, what does it matter? It's still not a strong indicator of when labor will begin; it's not like each week brought progressive dilation when I was pregnant with the other boys so why should this one? It was just one of those silly emotional triggers that made me tear up when I came home and told Jeff about it...and made him kind of scratch his head as he tried, once again, to figure out the logic of female hormones. :) He did what any wise husband would do: let me go to bed and sleep off my emotions in a nice, peaceful nap while he took the older boys to town. :)

Also during my appointment, Tammy and I were talking about how my labor with Tobin started with my water breaking, specifically how that is definitely not the norm (only about 8-10 percent of births begin that way). She mentioned how the bag of waters is really a tough membrane, and my dad concurred later that evening when I was talking with him. In the early years of his medical practice, he used to deliver babies; and he remembered how it was actually kind of difficult to pierce the bag of waters when he needed to do so. Jeff remembered the same thing from watching the doctor use a "crochet hook" to break my waters before Josiah's birth. I, of course, didn't have a clue. :)

Speaking of Jeff...and this stage of pregnancy...he makes me laugh by asking me a zillion times a day, "How are you? Are you feeling OK?" One day from work, he sent me an email with nothing in the body of the text, but only this written in the subject: How are you? :) When I call him at work, I try to reassure him immediately that I'm not in labor, only calling about something else entirely, so that I don't leave him in suspense. As much as it amuses me, I find it very comforting and reassuring that he's so solicitous of my welfare these days! Not too long ago, when I was teasing him about all his "are you OK?" questions (as if I would NOT tell him if I wasn't OK!), he asked me if he should keep up this frequent questioning, even after the baby is born. Sure, why not? It will give me an opportunity to vent as I deal with crazy postpartum hormones!! :)

Tonight as I was praying with Josiah and David before bedtime, I realized anew that God is making such a special story for this child. He/she won't share the same date as anyone else in our family, when it comes to birthdays (for example, if the birth had happened today, the baby and David would both have had birthdays on the 17th--different months, but same date). He/she won't have the same story as the other boys as far as "I was born one day early" or whatever. God continues to remind us of the perfectly unique plan He has for this little one, and that's very exciting!

One more thing to note tonight: the blog poll, which has been in the sidebar for quite a while, is set to close in a matter of hours. The result so far, which I assume will be the final one, is 21 votes for boy, 44 for girl. Who will be right???


Valerie said...

Ahhh! I can't believe you didn't have that baby yet either! :) I have to say though it does give me hope that I could have my baby without being induced. If your #4 didn't come early like the others then my #4 could actually come on her own. Right? Right? Please tell me that this baby could maybe just possibly come on her own. :)
Ok, back to you. Maybe you will be one of those people that actually has the baby on their due date.
Here's to hopin' :)

Blessings to you as you wait

Jolanthe said...

As much as this pregnancy has been a surprise to you...maybe the sex of the baby will be too {grins}. It would only be in line with everything else! :)

Lisa said...

I can't believe you've lasted this long! Whoever is in there is going to be the most laid back kiddo of all time.

Thanks for updates...for those of us who are stalking you via the internet or the hospital parking lot.;-)

Sarah-Anne said...

I can't wait!! And I'm not even the one who is having the baby. If you knew me in real life, you'd know that I'm one of the most patient people in my family...Ironic, huh?
On a completly different note...
Have you picked out a name if it did happen to be a girl?? I know you mentioned something about having a boy's name, but it was something us readers would never guess in a million years. Sooo, have you? :-)

Davene said...

Sarah-Anne, yes, we do have a girl's name picked! We're ready, whether it happens to be a boy or a girl! :)

Carl8ta said...

I've been checking every day - maybe we will be labor buddies :)

Glad to hear that you are still feeling good!

Sarah-Anne said...

I can't wait to hear that Baby Fisher has arrived!! And, of course, I can't wait to hear the name...

Julie said...

Your dad left off one suggestion to get things moving, which, of course, as a dad might be awkward. But it has worked for me, and the "Italian Induction Method" is 3 doses in 24 hours (per the nurse when my sis went in thinking it was labor only to be sent home). Which is why I call my bro-in-law the "Italian Stallion" since it only took once...

Anyway, this is probably off color for your blog, but it's just me "keepin' it real" this time, so I'll take the heat (no pun intended!).

Hang in there, sweet friend. Your baby needs his/her own story. Thanks for giving him/her grace.

(and to be fair...castor oil worked for me 2 of the 3 times I tried it. The time it didn't work...let's just say I had to break into the Costco size Desitin before the baby even arrived ;-)