41 Weeks…

San Clemente Family Photographer-3444I feel like every shower may be my last one before I give birth. Pregnancy hair has allowed me to push off washing my hair to every three days, which seriously is enough to make me want to get pregnant immediately again. I kid. Kinda. I’ve tried to increase the frequency back to the everyday or at least every other day rhythm. Point being, my legs are always shaved and lotion always applied because, well, you never know who may be holding your leg later in the day.

Before I call any loved one, I feel as though I need to shoot a text over that reads “I’m not in labor but I am about to call you”. I can’t stand hearing the anxious anticipation that comes with answering my call as if I’m on the way to the hospital. The other day my mom called me and asked, “did you just call? I heard the phone ring but couldn’t get to it in time”… I could hear the anxiousness in her voice and it makes me feel awkwardly disappointed every time I have to say “no, I’m not in labor” and “no, I didn’t call”.

I’ve started wearing deodorant to each of my OB appointments. That’s when you know shit’s getting serious… when someone who doesn’t normally break out in body odor has to prep for the pain that comes with membrane stripping or the uncomfortableness that comes with pleading for another week of waiting…

The last time I had my membranes stripped, my OB turned as he was walking out the door and said, “you know, I’ve never put someone into labor by stripping their membranes”. I wanted to respond with something smart ass like, “well you got to finger me anyway, so consider it a success” but I said something more polite like “maybe I’ll be your first”.

I’ve come to detest the comments that go a little something like this, “well, just remember it’s easier having them inside than it is outside, so enjoy the last few days or weeks because it’s going to get harder”. Sure, the statement is true. But worrying about going post term and the health of your placenta and the amount of fluid in your belly and  your baby aspirating on it’s own shit isn’t fun… I’d rather wake up in the middle of the night to a baby next to me, no matter how sleep deprived it makes me… because having the piece of mind of a healthy baby next to me is priceless. But ya, shit’s about to get harder. Duh.

When I went to my 39 week appointment, I remember the receptionist at the front desk telling me about a patient who had just left. She was kind of puffing her feathers when she said, “I could tell as soon as she walked in that she was ready to give birth”. According to her, and she sees pregnant women all day long, there is a “look” that we have when we’re at the end of our rope. I was practically gleaming when I walked into that appointment; knowing that the end is in sight. When I asked her if I had the same look (because hashtag: optimistic), she tilted her head to the side and said, “aw, this is your first pregnancy, isn’t it?”. I knew right then I didn’t have the “look” and felt like an idiot for asking when I knew I was way too jolly to be at the end of my rope. She went on to say that the woman who left the office was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced and said, “I’ll bet he’ll be seeing her in the hospital tonight”. I know now that when I walk through those doors for my next appointment that I need to put on my best dejected face. I do feel rather dejected and I’m basically hanging onto the frayed ends of my rope. Hoping that means I’ll walk out with the same hope. Or better yet, not make it to my next appointment.

My OB waited until my 40 week appointment to tell me he would not be on-call over the weekend. At the same appointment he told me I’m 3 cm and 70% effaced. It seems only fitting that I would be destined to go into labor when he’s not on-call and continue the trend of my babies being by delivered by anyone other than the person I have selected to do so. Buttttt… given the fact it’s Monday, that ship has sailed. This baby must have a thing for douche-bags.

Fortune cookies really blow these days, but the last one I opened made me smile. It read, “Be prepared to receive something special”. I’m prepared, dammit. Now come…

My breast pump is out because I gave the good ol’ nipple stimulation a try. Later in the evening I found the boys, each with the suction part of the pump connected to the bottle, pretending they were guns. Hashtag: signs of things to come.

I scheduled an induction date that I’m surprisingly comfortable with only because I have this weird confidence / feeling that I’ll be in labor before that dreaded date comes. And even if I do make it to the eviction date, I made my case of having my water broken – instead of using pitocin – to induce labor. While my OB didn’t seem to think my plan would necessarily work, he did agree to it.

My neighbor suggested I jump on a trampoline. I wanted to tell her that I struggle to hold my pee in when I blow my nose. And damn this cold because I’m blowing my nose a lot.

I’m in this weird limbo of wanting to have something to do everyday yet not having the energy to finish the few things that have been lingering on my to-do list for months; like updating my photo website, for example. In general, I would describe myself feeling “blah”. Really blahhhh. I imagine this is how dads feel most weekends… laying around, being unproductive, watching TV… Turns out, it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be… for me, anyway.

I’ve been sleeping way too good to be 41 weeks pregnant. Makes me feel like actual labor is even further away.

Timing contractions with two young children is nearly impossible. I’ve downloaded the app, which is something I initially told myself I wouldn’t do until my contractions became something that tore me away from whatever it was I was doing. As soon as I start to recognize a pattern and gain some hope, mama duty calls and the whole keeping track thing goes out the window. So basically I’ve had a lot of contractions, mostly in the 7-10 minute apart ballpark, but capturing any evidence of such has proved futile. And the frequency of said contractions has been occurring for daysssss… hashtag: nothing new.

I’m dying for a stranger to ask me when my due date is so I can say “last week” and get that look that makes me feel as though I should be in bed, twiddling my thumbs and waiting but the reality is most days I haven’t mustered up the energy to leave the house so I’m doing exactly that — twiddling my thumbs and waiting at home. Which is brutal, by the way. Given the fact I’m sleeping well, you’d think I’d have the energy… but scroll back up to that “blah” feeling and re-read. I did make it out over the weekend and when asked, “how far along?” my reply was simply “too far”.

I ventured out to buy some new underwear because daily tasks have become a necessity and new underwear is something I’ve put off for far too long. I ended up also buying two pairs of jeans to add to my post-pregnancy-prize-pack, which essentially breaks my own rule as now I have the dreaded worry of not fitting into them. But, they’re rather stretchy, they were on sale, and I have 180-some-odd days to return them if they don’t work. It’s funny how a few new articles of clothing can make you look so forward to not being pregnant. Oh wait, I didn’t need to buy clothes to feel that way… Hashtag: feelin’ that way anyway.

I’ve watched ‘Gilbert Grape, Lost Angels (a documentary on Skid Row), and Lost for Life (a documentary on juveniles serving terms of life in prison) which collectively amount to more time spent in front of the TV, for me, in the last week than in the last six months, at least. And sadly, it’s not even enjoyable. It feels like such a waste but at the same time I don’t have the energy to do anything else. The thought of even returning emails makes me want to puke. Back to that “blah” feeling.

I’ve succumbed to simply waiting. The day after I tried a combo of root bark cotton extract and nipple stimulation I woke up with sore nipples and swore it all off. I also burned Moxa sticks between my toes, per another friend’s suggestion, and following the smell that filled the house Willy put his foot down and said no more. This baby will come when it damn well pleases. I know this. What I don’t know is why I don’t accept it. Until now, that is. I’m done.

I made myself a cup of hot chocolate and thought the indigestion that followed would knock me out for the remainder of the day. I’m fragile physically as much as I am mentally at the moment. But really, I can handle the physical side effects that come with 41 weeks of pregnancy, it’s the emotional stuff that eats me alive and chops down my core.

Should this babe need to be evicted, it would be an Aires and I was kind of counting on a Pisces. Am I a prick for having a preference? San Clemente Family Photographer-3492

41 Weeks.

My sister left for a hiking trip in Yosemite a week ago. Knowing she’d be gone all week, she wished me luck. I teased that I could still be pregnant when she got back, but you could tell in our giggles that neither of us believed that to be true. Low and behold, here I am. Forty one weeks pregnant. That’s ten months and one week for those keeping a score card. And honestly, it feels like I could be pregnant indefinitely. I try my best to cling on any little change or cramp and am constantly re-evaluating the strength of my contractions (that I’ve had for months, mind you) but nothing seems to pan out. I go to the bathroom with the same excitement I had when I was 15, eagerly awaiting Aunt Flow to come visit (Yes, I was a late bloomer). My trust in my body to go into this thing called labor on it’s own is wavering.
I told my midwife that it feels like I have the laughing-weeping syndrome. As a side note, when I just googled “laughing-weeping syndrome”, wikipedia also co-named the disorder emotional incontinence which made me giggle, giving way to the laughing aspect of this syndrome I’ve diagnosed myself with. I’m being facetious, but in all seriousness, I’ve been a mood-swinging maniac. Mostly on the weeping end of the spectrum.
It can’t be that much longer, right? This baby will come out, right?
On Saturday we went to the Huntington Library in Pasadena to listen to some live music and have a picnic. After asking about my due date, one woman confessed she was “surprised” I was out and about. Maybe she thought I belonged in the hole I’ve been so eager to hide in. What I wanted to say was, “You know, babies don’t just fall out of the vagina. If I didn’t feel good, I wouldn’t be here”. Pregnancy sensitivity.
I stopped at the vintage market down the street from our house yesterday. There’s a point you get to in pregnancy where you just don’t want to hear people’s opinions anymore. Am I wrong? Everyone seems to be compelled to comment on your belly, guess the sex, guess how far along, yadda yadda yadda. It’s gotten draining to admit my due date was last week. I thought I had reached all I could handle until a rough-around-the-edges man came up to me and said, “WOAH! You are preg-nant”. Thanks for noticing, asshole, is what I felt like saying. But I said something better instead, I said, “I’m not sure whether to say ‘Thank You’ or “F&#% You’, frankly”. He quickly tried to redeem himself, feeding me the compliment that I’m “all belly”. Not but 20 minutes later another older man yelled across his booth, “twins?”. I couldn’t even muster anything up to say to him. I really just wanted to smack him clear across his wrinkly face. Pregnancy sensitivity. I’m telling you, it’s a real disorder. I got in my car and left after buying a few really cool things (will share soon) and confessed my new found hatred for the general public to Willy.
So yes, I’m still pregnant. I’ll be following up with my backup OB this week, which is something I clearly wanted to avoid. This path feels all too familiar. And so the anxiety builds…
On the bright side, my midwives are not at all concerned and are very trusting in my body’s ability to get their on it’s own. Van and I are both healthy thus far, so I’m trying my best to share in the same trust. 



Some additional pics from our weekend…

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