i should get an award…
…for having the most contractions in a pregnancy without actually producing a baby.
We had our annual big to-do Pregnancy Care Center banquet last night…quite possibly the center’s biggest event of the year. The staff spent the morning setting up and decorating the banquet hall, during which I was on my feet most of the time. When I got home, I took a quick nap and Shawn and I got ready and headed downtown for the banquet. After we ate our dinner, I noticed that the light, inconsistent contractions I’d been having all day were getting stronger and a little bit more consistent. I started timing them and writing down the times (I’m sure everyone at our table thought I was strange since I was checking the time on my cell phone every few minutes). The contractions were coming at about every 2-5 minutes, lasting for about 50-60 seconds, and were getting stronger as time drew on. I knew we were supposed to time them for an hour, and I really wanted to stay until the end of the banquet, so we just stayed put and I kept timing.
At the end of the banquet, Shawn and I decided that we probably needed to not stay and help clean up like we would have normally done, but that we should head home…just in case. On our way to find my boss to let her know what was going on, I had to face several people with whom I needed to make small-talk…NOT an easy task when you’re having contractions and wondering if you might actually be in labor! So we headed home, changed clothes, got comfy on the couch, and I grabbed some chocolate (I was thinking, “If I do go into labor tonight, what would I really want to eat before I have to go to the hospital and not be able to eat until I deliver?” Chocolate. The answer is always chocolate.)
I was still having regular contractions, and Shawn started timing them using this cool website www.contractionmaster.com. I was having them about 3-6 minutes apart, and they were lasting anywhere from 16 seconds to 1 minute 50 seconds. I was ready to head to the hospital, but Shawn reminded me that I really wanted to do as much laboring as possible while we were at home. So, home we stayed. At around 10:30 (after about three hours of regular contractions), they slowed down to about every 10 minutes. I went to bed around 11:30…I woke up a couple of times with some strong contractions, but was able to go back to sleep fairly quickly. I had a couple of contractions this morning, but nothing more than usual.
So there you have it – lotsa contractions and no baby. So for you mammas who are reading this – does this mean anything? Am I close to labor, or are some women just more “contract-y” than others?
I hope this post doesn’t sound like I’m complaining, by the way. I actually get excited when I do start having regular contractions because I really am hoping that labor is just around the corner. I’m totally fine with having the contractions, it’s the “is this it? should we go to the hospital? should we stay? what do we need to grab if we do go to the hospital? should i try to sleep? are they getting stronger? was that one long contraction or two short ones?” kind of stuff that I’m growing weary of.
I installed our carseat last night (much easier than I thought it’d be, by the way), and the mirror-thing that lets you see the baby through the rearview mirror. I’m pretty sure I did that wrong…I don’t think the mirror is supposed to tilt…so I’ll have Shawn fix that, but other than that, we’re good to go! At 29 weeks, I made a list of baby things that I wanted to get done/have bought when I was in the “oh my gosh, he could come any day!” mode. The very last thing on that list was installing the carseat. It is SUCH a great feeling to just be ready. So we’re ready whenever he is!
no baby yet…
So our Doctor’s appointment yesterday was fairly undramatic (about time, huh?). No real changes going on, except that all of the contractions I’ve been having are softening my cervix. The Dr. said that I’m still 1-2 cm dialated, and that he could actually feel the baby’s head. Shawn asked him when they start talking about induction, and he said probably not until I’m 40 weeks along, at least. Because the standard of heading to the hospital when contractions are five minutes apart and lasting for 45 seconds just doesn’t seem to apply to us, I asked the Dr. how we know when it’s time for the hospital. He told us that we should base it on intensity, rather than frequency. So, I guess when the contractions have me doubling over is when we’ll head in again. Until then, it looks like I just get to have these fun pains in the comfort of my own home.
The Dr. did seem a little concerned about my swelling, and said that if my blood pressure went back up, we might have to discuss induction. However, I tend to think that my blood pressure started climbing because of all the stress I was feeling at that period. It’s completely stabalized since, so I don’t think it’ll be an issue. He also suggested putting books or blankets at the bottom of the bed in order to keep my feet elevated throughout the night. I had never heard of that – but we tried it last night – and it worked!! My ankles looked somewhat ankle-like this morning!!
So, it looks like things are progressing very normally for me right now, which is such a relief. I think I’ve been able to drop my guard a little bit and finally admit that it could very well be another two weeks before we have this baby. It’s almost like I’ve been afraid to seriously suggest that we could actually go to our due date…but it’s looking more and more like it’s a possibility. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally ready to hold this baby in my arms, but I don’t feel like I’m on high alert for any day now.
Okay, I know I say this every week, but seriously…can you believe it?! We’ve made it to 38 weeks!! I am just thrilled beyond belief. Along those same lines…remember me saying how much it freaked me out to hear on CNN that there are such-and-such days left in the election, because Baby is due just five days after that? As I’m typing this, I’m watching CNN and seeing that there are 9 days left of this election. 9 days? 9 days! Crazy.
So I’ve been feeling pretty good…both physically and emotionally. Probably my biggest complaint right now is that I gave up hopes of getting a full night’s sleep a few months ago. What with the peeing, the contractions, the pelvic pain, and the vivid dreams, it’s been quite the feat to get sleep at night. For those of you who have been pregnant, I realize this is nothing new and is a very common problem late in pregnancy. Thankfully, I’m able to sleep in a little bit later occasionally and take a nap every once in awhile to compensate…and seem to be functioning just fine! Beyond that, I’m feeling pretty good. The swelling has leveled off (seriously, putting books underneath the end of our bed helped a ton!), work has decreased in stress, and I’m just thrilled to be 38 weeks and in the clear.
We’re still slowly working on baby stuff (washing stuff, shopping for deals, etc.), but we finally don’t have any last minute pressing things to do before he gets here. While I’m getting more and more nervous about the labor, I’m also getting more and more excited to see this baby – to see who he looks like, what his personality is like, and how God has knit him together in my womb.
flower power, my friend. Flower power…
Our appointment this morning was finally an encouraging one! She said that it looks like we could go into labor within the next week. She said that we’d need to schedule our weekly appointment, but that she honestly didn’t think we’d make it until then. Of course, this was music to my ears – but I’m trying to not take those words as gospel truth. No need to set myself up for frustration in a week’s time!
And yet… I can’t help but be REALLY excited!
Really, really REALLY excited!
Baby is still dancing away in there. Shawn got to see him rolling around the other night, actually. He’s seen him moving before, but the baby rolled back and forth for several good minutes! I suppose I’m used to it because it does it a few times throughout the day, so it was funny to see Shawn’s amazed and slightly weirded out reaction. 🙂 I can’t blame him – it does make you wonder if maybe the baby will really come out as an alien or something. I’m still contracting away, but I don’t even bother looking at the clock unless they’re strong enough to make me sit down.
Sleeping is still frustratingly difficult for me. I’m getting about three or four hours of non-consecutive sleep a night. I know…it’s great practice…but I think I’d rather be using this time to bank sleep and be well-rested for the chaos of labor. Oh well, there’s not much I can do about it, so I’m just trying to be productive when I’m up in the wee hours of the night.
As somewhat of an aside, but still completely relative, I feel like I should warn you that I’m turning into a hippie…at least according to Shawn. Personally, I like to think I’m learning how to save money and be a wise steward of our finances…but it makes me laugh when Shawn calls me a hippie, nonetheless. 🙂 It all started with cloth diapering, my friends, and the slippery slope hasn’t stopped. We decided to cloth diaper primarily because of the financial savings, but also for the impact on the environment and the health of our baby (apparently babies are much less prone to diaper rash in cloth diapers). Then…I read that the best way to get a stain out of a cloth diaper is to put a little lemon juice on it and let it dry in the sun.
So of course, we needed a clothesline. Then I started thinking about how nice it would be to dry ALL of our clothes on the clothesline and to not have to run the dryer! I’ve only started doing this in the past two weeks, so I’m not sure how this is affecting our electricity bill, but hey…every penny counts! Not to mention again – great for the environment. For some reason, Shawn was really hung up (pun intended) on the thought of us having a clothesline in our backyard, so I was able to compromise and find one that retracts. Shawn installed it into the side of our house, and you just pull out this line and hook it into a hook that he drilled into a tree. Viola…instant clothesline! When you’re finished, the line just reels back into the holder thing and nobody is the wiser.
So then, I started doing some research on the best kind of laundry detergent to use on cloth diapers since most scented detergents aren’t good for babies. Guess what I found – a recipe to make your own laundry detergent. Completely toxin free, completely safe for babies, completely great for the environment (you don’t have to buy and then throw out those plastic containers), and best of all – it’s like 12 cents per load or something crazy cheap like that. I haven’t actually done this yet – we just bought a huge thing of detergent that I want to use up first. But I will. Maybe I’ll even wear a floor length skirt and a flower in my hair while I’m mixing it up.
So then I thought, “Woah. If you can make your own detergent that works as well as regular detergent, but is free of toxins…what other household products can you make?” I’ll bet you were wondering the same thing, huh? Well, let me tell you…lots! It turns out that vinegar works just as well as any other kind of cleaning substance (even bleach, I’ve found) at cleaning pretty much any surface (i.e. dusting, toilet bowl, shower, etc.). It actually disinfects at the same time as cleaning. If you add baking soda to vinegar, it fizzes…much like scrubbing bubbles, and works WAY better than the bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles I usually use. While I haven’t used it for this purpose, I’ve also read that vinegar can be used as a fabric softener, too. Oh yeah, and my Mom told me that it works better than bleach at whitening white laundry…from experience, that’s true.
So there you have it – my confessions. During early pregnancy, I did a lot of research into what cleaning chemicals I wasn’t supposed to be around, and it turned out that it was dangerous for me to inhale pretty much all of the cleaning agents we used. That fact, combined with doing research about caring for cloth diapers, led me to realize that there are a LOT of ways to clean and disinfect without toxins…especially important when having an infant around. The major bonus is that it really helps with our monthly budget, too!
I should also add that I still love me some Purell and we recently bought three large containers of Clorox disinfectant wipes to keep our diaper bag stocked. I’m absolutely not all about using ONLY “organic” cleaners. I just like learning new ways to do things just as well, but more cheaply. I promise, I wasn’t like this growing up…or even in our early marriage. I seriously get excited…REALLY excited….when I discover something (like homemade laundry detergent) new to try. I like to think God’s working in my heart and mind to transition me from being focused on convenience to being focused on frugality and health…
or I could just be a hippie.