Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The haps: leaking water, twiddling thumbs

"Every labor is different."

So far, my labor is made up of leaking amniotic fluid into an unending supply of white washcloths.  Monday, when this started off, the leaking thing seemed like it was for the best: the alternatives were a) nothing happening and b) a gush that might mean a speedy, scary labor.  We were definitely ready for something to happen and not ready to rush to the hospital when my body drained itself.  A slow leak is supposed to lead to a steady labor, and, since your body can replenish amniotic fluid for a while, you're not stuck in an emergency scenario either where your couch or the baby's immediate health is concerned.

That's immediate health, though.  You can't just leak forever.  When the fluid can get out, bacteria and other nasty shit can get in, and that puts a bit of a clock on it.  I mean, hopefully nobody's putting half-eaten popsicles up their vaginas, but my guess is that they feel pretty tempted to poke and prod to see what's up.  This afternoon, about 30 hours since I started leaking, Midwife Amy came by the house to check the baby's heart-rate and assuage her parents' fears, and she was firm about skipping any vaginal exam.  I was okay with that.

What I am not okay with is my iPhone, which has brought together the concerns of our loved ones with my intensely unstable hormones.  Once people who love you and/or your baby get the idea that the baby is forthcoming, they find it difficult to go 12+ hours without news.  That's adorable, except that there is nothing to stress out a lady in stalled labor like being asked about her labor, and I really thought I'd make it to active labor before telling nice people to go to hell.

The guidelines vary by practitioner.  Obviously, home-birthers are more of the "let it happen naturally" type.  The midwife's office has a big poster that says "My body is not a lemon" in the front room, and that's the general outlook: women's bodies are designed to give birth, and most women's bodies will do that safely, without medical interventions.  Most women will begin contractions within 72 hours of their water leaking, and Amy's inclination is to let my body start labor on its own.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Skipping the castor oil

So I'm cramping and slowly leaking fluids from my vajay.  The leaking has been going on since about 11:30 on Monday morning, with the cramping coming and going since Monday afternoon.  Yet... not a damn contraction to be had.

Initially, Midwife Amy was enthusiastic (per my comment that there was some blood on the toilet paper, she replied, "AWESOME") but emphatic about my need to sleep in advance of the blessed event. 

Since I'd had no contractions yet, we've got a ways to go, leaving me the opportunity to clean the kitchen, do some laundry, and watch TV.  Heather stayed late at work to finish up some final tasks (including what I would call an ill-advised email across the company to tell them my water had broken), went to the grocery store for provisions, then came home and started cleaning.  I'm not sure if it's more because people are going to be in the house or because the baby is going to be in the house, but, listen, folks, it's clean.

Bear in mind, I'm not stupid enough to tell a lot of people, but it only takes a few texts and phone calls to f*ck up a solid snooze.  I've learned that Heather is not okay with me missing a call or text at any time during the third trimester, and I was pretty sure that after I told her my water seemed to have broken I was not going to get any nap-time exemptions.  Combine that with the animal-control company calling to confirm our appointment for raccoon investigation tomorrow...  I figured I'd catch up on my sleep when Heather was in the house and I could ignore the phone.

No news: 40 weeks and 2 days

For lack of any other resident, yes, the cat's in the cradle.
Saturday night I thought finishing the last of my book would do it, and then Sunday night I thought that the thunderstorm would do it.  Now it's Monday morning and I know that the baby will never come, because I woke up before 9am, ate a healthy breakfast, and haven't gone back to bed yet.  I believe that my maternity-leave sleep schedule has come full circle as a sign that this is no longer a precious liminal state but simply my new lifestyle.  I will be pregnant forever.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tips & Tricks for Inducing Labor: Crap or Not?

Let's just say this: they don't even know what causes labor to start.  One story is Mom's hormones, and another is Baby's secretion of surfactant in the lungs.  Could be something in the baby's brain.  Given that doctors can't figure out what element you're aiming to kickstart in the first place, they sure can't make any promises about what's going to make it happen.  Like many other uncomfortable pregnant ladies, I am willing to try, and Snopes be damned.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

There is a birthing stool in our living room.

There are handles so you can hang tight as you labor.  What a nice thought!
So our beloved midwife Amy told me a few weeks ago that I should feel good about the slow sloughing of my mucus plug starting around 37 weeks.  It's a good sign you won't go past your due date, she said.  Awesome, I said.  Then we had an appointment a few days ago, at 38.5 weeks, during which she told me she suspected we had another two (weekly) appointments to go before I popped.  WTF, lady?

Granted, the new estimate gives me a little more time to finish up with fence-repair estimates and vet trips.  I went for a massage on Thursday, saw a movie Friday, did some laundry on Saturday...  But, yeah, the other thing Amy said was that she was going out of town for the weekend on some obligatory family road trip, so, should her estimate fail, we'd be reliant on pinch-hitting hippies to bring our baby into the world.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rookie Moms' Newest Contributor: Me!

Oh, lord, I am so famous!

So here it is, folks!  I'm a guest contributor to the oh-so-fabulous Rookie Moms website, and the screenshot to the left there is their Facebook post marking the occasion.

Hopefully this is the first of several guest posts: founding Rookie Moms Heather and Whitney graciously invited me to contribute to their 2014 series of new-mom challenges with a crew of other wise & witty ladies, and we've only got to wait on Miss Evie to appear before things get going.

Anyway, hit up my post on their site, comment generously, and browse around!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Prenatal Insanity

I've always hated the stupid ways people use the word "insane," like my high school friend getting all, "Oh, I'm totally insane.  I ate, like, three bowls of cereal that night.  I'm crazy."  Dude, no, that does not count.  Of course, my other powerful pet peeve from those years is the canonization of Winnie the Pooh, et al, by my middle school friends.  "I'm a Tigger girl!" said the one who wore Tigger sweatshirts every day, and the whole crew of them were giddy about visiting the Disney store at the mall for even more Pooh paraphernalia.  Oh, and going to the mall was dumb, too.  I feel really bad that my kids will someday have to survive the teen years.

Which is to day, I feel like an asshole for using the word "insanity" against long-standing principle, but the last few days have been fucking rough.