It is hard to believe that our little boy is already 8 weeks old. You hear everyone say "enjoy them while they're little. It goes by fast" and know they're right, but have no idea how much so until you see it before your very eyes. I am enjoying every day with our wee one and am loving this mommy thing! Before time gets away from me, I wanted to reflect on those last days of pregnancy and the adventures of bringing this baby into the world. Our birth story was not exactly what I pictured it would be like, but it is ours and perfect in it's own way. Here goes...
My due date was Monday, August 8th. I tried to work as long as I could up to the due date. I started to get the stares from co-workers and the comments like "you're STILL here?" when I would show up for work every morning, and it started to wear on me. I finally got the okay to work from home for week 39 of my pregnancy, but wasn't getting much done because I just could not focus. I had an OB appointment on the 2nd, and my doctor said I was slightly effaced, but not dilated a single bit. She did say that the baby's head was "right there" and that the late ultrasounds I had were probably right- this was going to be a big baby. Because of the size (they estimated baby was 8 lbs. 10 oz. at almost 39 weeks), she talked to me about the need to schedule an induction. This was a topic I really wanted to avoid, but due to some minor complications I had during pregnancy I knew that an induction would probably be likely. The doctor took a look at the calendar, her on call schedule, and went to her office to call the hospital. She came back in the room and announced "August 10th at 5:00 pm. Unless baby comes before that, we'll see you at the hospital at that time." She was hopeful that things would change over the course of the next few days and told me to stay at home and take it easy.
I went home and sent out a few final e-mails, activating the official "out of office" notice. I got busy nesting. I cleaned each nook and cranny of this house, and then cleaned them again. I finished up some projects that had been on my to do list for awhile, and even did some leftover wedding scrapbooking from our wedding almost 3 years ago! I was ready for the 8th and for this baby to come. I went for long walks every morning while the August temps weren't TOO bad, and caught up on the DVR. J and I went out for what we thought might be our last weekend dinner out as a twosome, and just enjoyed the quiet before the storm.
Monday, August 8th came and went. I woke up that morning and thought "well, baby will either be born on it's due date or officially late." I had been having some minor crampinng and tightening across my belly, but wondered if it was just Braxton-Hicks contractions and nothing to speak of. I waited for some new sensations to come over me, got excited with each trip to the potty that a sign of my mucous plug would indicate some dilation, etc. But as you may have guessed... nothing.
I started to really get nervous that week about the possibility of an induction. I heard lots of things about Pitocin making contractions unbearable, complicating breastfeeding, and leading to a higher chance of c-sections in the case of a failed induction. Each day that week I woke up in the morning feeling a little disappointed that nothing had happened overnight. I was getting more and more worried when baby wasn't showing any signs of showing up and that probably didn't help things. I felt as though scheduling an induction for 2 days after the due date wasn't giving Baby enough chance to come on his/her own, and felt that he/she would show up when it was "time." Aren't due dates just a best guess anyway?! I ended up calling the doctor and telling them that I would need to schedule another weekly appointment because I wanted to give the baby another week, and that I did not plan on showing up for the induction on the 10th. I was met with a bit of resistance from the nurse who answered the phone, but I didn't care. It's my body, my baby and my decision and something was telling me to wait.
I had an OB appointment the next morning and happily climbed up onto the table expecting my doctor to tell me that I was at least 1 cm. dilated. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. My doctor told me I was still at zero, and we talked about my wanting to hold off on the induction. What I learned that day was that she would have to induce me no later than the start of my 41 week mark. Because of the complications I was having, it was safer to induce me than to leave the baby in there- not to mention this baby was just going to keep growing. I really wanted to try for a normal delivery, and that probably wouldn't be possible if the baby got much bigger. So, I left the office with a new induction date, Sunday, 8/14, with my doctor and I hoping that baby would come well before that.
That is when the days started running together and my life started to feel a bit like "Groundhog Day." I continued my walks around the neighborhood, drank my red raspberry leaf tea, and watched a lot of crappy daytime tv. I'd go to bed hoping to feel something overnight, and wake up in the morning only to start the cycle over again. By Friday, I had it. I got in the shower that morning and cried my eyes out in frustration. I just had a feeling that the baby wasn't going to show up before Sunday, and that an induction (and likely a c-section) might be in the cards for me. I let that idea sink in a bit, and tried to make peace with the possibility deciding that maybe it was meant to be. I tried to let go of the disappointment I felt that I wouldn't be able to call my husband at work or wake him up to tell him "it's time." I wouldn't have to use those towels or extra pair of shorts I had put in the car on the 4th of July in case my water broke while I was out somewhere. There would be no calls to my parents telling them to hurry up and pack the car, and I wouldn't feel those twinges of pain across my belly realizing that I might actually be in labor. I figured if baby was to come on his/her own, than so it would be and if not I'd just pack my bag and show up on Sunday.
Saturday came and went...Nothing.
Sunday morning I woke up, got showered and dressed for the day, went to one last breakfast out at my favorite little creperie, and came home to pack up the car. Later that afternoon, my parents pulled in the driveway (a perk to scheduling an induction is that out of town relatives have plenty of time to get here), and we reviewed a few housekeeping items before heading out the door to grab one last bite to eat before it was time. After a quick bowl of soup at the restaurant, J and I got in the car and were on our way to Fairview Hospital. It was official - I would not go into labor on my own but the joy and anticipation that I would soon meet this little baby inside me was all I could feel...