Waiting for the call

What’s worse than waiting to go into labour spontaneously?  Waiting to be called into the hospital for a planned induction!  Holy crap.  It’s now 6pm.  D and I have been waiting 12 hours for a call.  Ugh.  We got up bright and early, got Littleman off to daycare and got ourselves showered and ready.  Then we sat.  And waited.  And watched crappy TV.

I made sure I ate a healthy breakfast.  Then I got hungry again so I had to eat lunch.  I tried to nap.  Then I tried calling the hospital.  The receptionist in the birthing unit said the charge nurse would call me back with a status update.  That was about 3 hours ago and I haven’t heard a thing.  I had a snack and tried to nap again.  Then I got hungry.  D just went out picked up subs for dinner.

I’m sure the hospital is busy and I’d much prefer to be waiting at home than sitting in a hospital waiting room.  But it kind of sucks.  I barely slept last night and now I know I’ll be going into this labour and delivery exhausted.  I just hate not knowing what’s going on.  Will they call tonight?  Do I just go to bed as usual in case they don’t?  Could they call in the middle of the night or will they wait until morning?  What the eff?

Anyway, I think I’ll call back again after shift change and maybe I’ll have better luck getting an update.  If not, I’ll go to bed and hope to get at least a little bit of sleep today.

Taking stock of my feelings

The planner in me should be eating this up, but it’s actually kind of weird to know that, one way or another, our baby will be coming tomorrow.  I’m trying to wrap my head around all my feelings today.  It’s been such a crazy roller coaster ride to get to where we are today.

I’m feeling extra grateful to D for how supportive he’s been over the past year.  And to Littleman, for how resilient he’s been, even with a mommy who has been less-than-able for a lot of the time.

When we found out we were expecting baby number two early last January, we were both so excited.  Trying to get pregnant was not fun or easy for me, so it was nice to put that behind us.  Then, one year ago tomorrow (March 5) we had our NT scan.  Our baby looked perfect!  For us, that milestone is the one that really allowed us to believe we were pregnant and that is when we started to share the news with our family and friends.  We were so excited for Littleman to help us tell everyone and we started with my parents.

Two weeks later, our world came crashing down when we lost our little one to a missed miscarriage and had to figure out how to move forward.  We were devastated.  D and I grieved differently – as I imagine many couples do – but he was amazingly patient as I suffered through the emotions and pain that came along with the experience.

When we got pregnant again a couple of months later, neither of us were willing to believe or accept it fully for a long time.  I was so glad that I had this space to write in and share my feelings because we certainly weren’t telling anyone we knew that we were expecting again.

After some ups and downs during early pregnancy, things seemed to settle down and the pregnancy chugged along amazingly well.  OK, I felt like shit most of the time but the baby was good, which was all that mattered.  And D continued to support my shitty-feeling self every step of the way.

So now, after being pregnant for 12 of the last 14 months, here we are.  The day before the birth.   I realized today that I’ve been holding my breath for most of those 14 months.  Even when things are seemingly going just fine, there’s a constant layer of worry that clouds my mind.  I am so ready for this baby to arrive safely.

To D: I love you so much.  You are an incredible husband and the best father in the world.  Our boys and I are so lucky to have you to take care of us.  I know I haven’t been the easiest person to be around this past year but I promise to work hard to be the best wife and mother I can be.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our little family.

To Littleman: you are such a special boy.  You are smart, funny and mature.  You are caring and empathetic.  And, you will be a wonderful big brother.  I can’t wait to be able to get down on the floor with you again, to drive fire trucks, race cars and fly airplanes.  You have been such a patient boy while mommy has struggled physically.  I love you so much, sweet one.

To Baby Bo: we have been waiting for you for so long!  We love you and cannot wait to meet you tomorrow.  Stay strong, little boy.  We will see you soon!

We have a plan

I had my weekly OB appointment today and I don’t think anyone actually expected me to make it to this one.  It’s also my 36th birthday today and I just assumed my baby would be here to celebrate with me.

In terms of my body, there hasn’t been much change from last week.  The baby is in the same position and I’m dilated to almost 3 cm.  The doctor could feel his head when he examined me (weird, right?) and the heartbeat still sounds great.

I will be 41 weeks pregnant on Wednesday and my doctor recommends we move forward with inducing.

Induction is something I always wanted to avoid, if possible.  For the most part, I’ve only heard negative stories about it.  Most people I know who were induced had horribly long, miserable labours that ultimately ended in C-sections.

Of course, after going into labour naturally at 39 weeks with my first pregnancy, induction wasn’t something I had really considered this time around.  Now that I’m overdue, I’ve had to shift my thinking a bit.  But, surprisingly, I’m feeling OK about it.  At this point, I’m more than ready to have this baby.

So, we have a plan.

On Wednesday (assuming baby boy hasn’t arrived on his own before then!) I will be induced.  Since I’m already a bit dilated, they will start by breaking my water.  Dr. P thinks this should be enough to get things going.  If not, then they will put me on Pitocin.

Am I nervous?  A little bit.  Mainly because it’s different than last time and I don’t really know what to expect.  Am I excited?  Hell yes.  We’ve been waiting for this baby for a long, long time.  I can’t wait to meet him!

What’s wrong with February?

So, it turns out that my family has an aversion to February.  To be honest, it’s never been my favourite month.  Usually, by the time February rolls around, we’ve been dealing with winter for far too long and it still feels like spring is much too far away.  The only thing that made to the month of February bearable over the past few years (besides the fact that it’s a short month!) is that both my babies were due in February.

Littleman’s due date was February 7 but he decided to make his appearance on January 31, 2011.   Baby Bo was due February 26, 2014.  And here we are, March 1, and he’s still hiding out in there!

It is now entirely within the realm of possibility that I will share my birthday with this little one.  In two days, I will turn 36.  While I knew, logically, that I could still be pregnant in March, I honestly, truly believed this baby would be early so it never really crossed my mind that he could be born on my birthday.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I mean, it doesn’t devastate me, but I think I would prefer us to have our own birthdays.  I don’t find my own birthday particularly special or exciting now that I’m an adult and parent, but it’s still kind of nice to have your own day.  Plus, I can think of more enjoyable things to do on Monday than labouring and birthing a child!  But, if that is when he wants to come, it would be a pretty darn awesome birthday present.  Either way, I’ll be ok with it.

Anyway, each morning that I wake up still pregnant, I have to kind of laugh that we’ve made it another day.  We’re totally ready to go and are trying to stay patient.  I’ve done all my personal grooming this week including painting my toenails (quite the feat, I must say) and shaving my legs.  D even helped me groom down below, so I’m all set for my March baby boy!

(Another) false alarm

A couple of hours after I returned home from yesterday’s OB appointment, I started experiencing some mild contractions.  Although Dr. P had told me that he thought the membrane sweep would be successful and that I could go into labour as early as that night, I still didn’t really believe it.  This certainly wasn’t the first time I’d had contractions during this pregnancy so there wasn’t much point in getting too excited.

To make matters a bit more complicated, I had received a call from the daycare earlier in the day, telling me that Littleman had a fever.  That meant I had to pick him up and that he wasn’t allowed to return the next day (today).  Of course, when I brought him home, he had no fever and was totally fine.  But, it means that I can’t just worry about what my body is doing.  I have to make sure he’s taken care of too!

Anyway, D got home from work and I started timing the contractions.  We had dinner and hung out a bit.  Contractions were about 7 minutes apart.  I also noticed some pinkish mucus when I wiped, which was a first for me.  Dr. P had warned that I may get some spotting after the internal exam, so I knew this was nothing to get excited about.

Around 7:30ish, we decided to call my mom.  We figured it would make more sense to take Littleman over to her house to spend the night, rather than worrying about whether or not we would have to call her to come over to our place in the middle of the night.  We packed up some stuff for him and D drove him there.  I actually got a little emotional when they were leaving.  This could be the last time that he was our only child!

After that, I had a shower and then relaxed on the couch a bit.  Contractions continued but didn’t get any worse or closer together.  I decided to get into bed a read for a bit.  When things continued with no change, I finally turned off the light to try to rest between contractions.  This is where timing them got tricky.  I would relax and start to doze off.  Then a contraction would start.  I’d reach for my phone to start the timer on my app and then lie there through the contraction.  But after a while, I guess I would doze off when the contraction ended without stopping the timer.  The next contraction would come and my timer was all screwed up.  I gave up and decided that rest was more important.  I knew I wouldn’t sleep through any serious contractions and that I would certainly wake up if things were progressing.

After several hours of off and on contractions, lasting 7-10 minutes, things finally started to taper off.  Somewhere between 3 and 5am,they stopped all together.  Ugh.

I managed to get a couple of hours sleep after that.  My mom still has Littleman and will bring him back a bit later today.  If I’m feeling up for it, we may go somewhere to walk around for a bit.  It’s freezing outside so we’ll have to hit up a mall or large store.  We’ll see.

Needless to say, these false alarms are starting to frustrate me a bit.  I know my baby boy will come when he’s ready, but I also know how much harder the labour will be if I’m already totally exhausted from a bunch of sleepless nights caused by false labour.

As D left for work early this morning, he reminded me that “good things come to those who wait.”  I normally hate those kind of expressions, but he’s right.  A strong, healthy baby is certainly worth waiting for!

Ready and waiting

I’m an early person.  Or at least, I’m an on time person.  I’ve always been that way.  I’m no good at being late (fashionably or otherwise).  When I would meet my friends for dinner or drinks, I would have to try extra hard to be late, lest I end up sitting at a table for eight all alone.

A chip off the old block, my first baby arrived a full week earlier than expected.  It was kind of nice because I always just assumed that he would be late.  So, a week before my due date, I wasn’t really even waiting for him yet.

This time, things are bit different.  I am two days away from my due date and am already wondering where this kid is.  I think we all expected him to be here by now – even my doctor.  I know he’s not late yet – in fact it’s still early – but I can’t really believe he’s not here.

I saw my OB today and it looks like things have progressed a bit since last week.  I’m now 2cm dilated and 80% effaced.  The baby’s head is nice and low.  He “stretched my membranes” which hurt like a bitch.  He seems to think things are imminent and that I could even go into labour as soon as tonight.  I’m not so confident.

So, I guess we continue to wait and see.

Mixed feelings

All of a sudden, things seem to be moving along quickly and my mind and emotions are struggling to keep up. 

At my weekly OB appointment yesterday, everything looked great.  Heart rate is good.  Baby is the right position.  Head is nice and low.  Dr. P ended the visit by saying, “well, I’ll be sending your file downstairs now.”  By that, he meant that my file would be waiting in the birthing unit for whenever I show up there.  He even went as far as saying, “I’m on call Wednesday and Sunday, by the way.” 

Eek!  I knew that we were heading into the home stretch, but talk like that is a bit scary.

Not that I’m not ready.  The baby’s clothes and blankets are washed.  The bassinet is set up.  Littleman is firmly ensconced in his big boy room, freeing up the nursery for the new babe.  Diapers have been bought.  The car seat is ready to be installed.  I just need to make it through the rest of this work week and then I’m on maternity leave.  It seems that we’re just about as prepared as we can be.

On top of all that, I do not enjoy being pregnant.  For me, it is a means to an end.  I know there are some ladies out there who love being pregnant.  They are either extremely lucky or effing liars!  Because being pregnant is hard.  My body doesn’t tolerate it well.  This pregnancy has been particularly hard, with a new symptom seeming to appear almost every day.  The latest is carpal tunnel, which is adding to my already sleepless nights.

But I don’t want to complain about being pregnant.  I wanted this more than anything.  And, as much as I hate this discomfort, I feel sad when I think about the fact that this is the last time I’ll feel a little human inside of me.  We don’t plan to have any more children so I know this is the last time I’ll be pregnant. 

So, I guess what I’m saying is that yesterday’s appointment reminded me that I need to enjoy these last days or weeks of being pregnant, regardless of the challenges.  I am so excited to welcome my new little man into this world, but I don’t want to rush it.  I need to savour every jab in the ribs or head-butt in the bladder.  Instead of being annoyed by the insomnia, I will spend my sleepless nights with a hand on my swollen belly, sharing the final quiet moments with my little one inside of me.

Getting real

Although I am well aware that I am pregnant (I have the ever-expanding belly and sleepless nights to prove it!) I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around it.  Aside from on this blog, I didn’t talk about my pregnancy for a long time.  After experiencing the miscarriage in March, we waited a lot longer to tell people we were expecting again.  In fact, there are some people I just told by email over the Christmas holidays (out of towners who I haven’t seen in person).

Anyway, now that the due date is getting closer (five more weeks of work!), shit is starting to get real.  In an attempt not to jinx things, I’ve pretty much avoided buying anything for this baby.  But, of course, I received some new baby clothes for Christmas.  And then, on Friday, while putting away our Christmas ornaments, we pulled out some of the newborn gear: infant car seat, bouncy chairs, floor activity mat.  At the grocery store yesterday, we picked up some newborn and size one diapers. 

I’ve finally moved most of Littleman’s stuff into his big boy room to clear space for Baby Bo’s clothes in the nursery.  Littleman is still sleeping in the crib while we work on the finishing touches in his room, but we’re pretty much ready to go.

So, while I know that things could still go wrong and I’m never going to stop being nervous about that, I’m finally starting to pull myself together and get things ready for our new little guy.

This really can happen…

Have you ever watched the show I didn’t know I was pregnant?  I’ve seen it a few times but it always drives me nuts.  How can someone not know they are pregnant for an entire gestational period???  How could someone sit down on the toilet and push out a baby???

I was reading the newspaper yesterday and came across this article: Shocked Ottawa woman gives birth at home not realizing she was pregnant.

So, clearly, these things actually happen.  But, as someone who is pregnant for the third time, I find it really, really hard to imagine.  I know that some people have extremely irregular periods so may not notice the absence of a regular menstrual cycle.  I’ve read that some pregnant ladies spot throughout their pregnancy, so thinking you are getting a monthly period is plausible.  And I accept that many women don’t get any sort of morning sickness (myself included with my pregnancy that ended in miscarriage).

But how someone can carry an eight pound human inside them without knowing kind of blows my mind.  At 22 weeks pregnant (where I am right now) the average weight of a fetus is less than one pound.  And, even with a baby that tiny inside of me, there is no way I look anything but pregnant.

Perhaps (maybe?) I could convince myself that the movement I’m feeling inside my belly is gas or some other digestive disorder if I didn’t know any better.  And with an anterior placenta, it definitely takes longer to feel things.  But by the later days of my pregnancy with Littleman, I could actually see parts of his body popping out against my belly – an elbow, a heel, etc.  If I didn’t know I was pregnant, I would have completely freaked out, thinking that my organs were trying to escape or something.

My apologies to anyone who has been through this – I don’t mean to make light of it.  In fact, if you have been through this, I’d love to hear about it.  It is absolutely fascinating to me.  I suspect that most of us would absolutely love to stop by the bathroom and pop out a fully developed surprise baby.  If it meant not having to stress about heartbeats and ultrasounds and epidurals or dealing with fatigue and nausea and waddling, then it sounds pretty good to me!

That sweet, sweet sound

I didn’t have time to post an update after my OB appointment yesterday, but I’ll spare you the suspense: it went well!  We heard Bo/Janet’s heartbeat as soon as the doppler it hit my skin and it was a lovely 150 bpm.

Backing up to the beginning of the appointment, we started off with another student doctor.  He was a lovely young guy who did all the usual background stuff and went over my ultrasound and bloodwork results from last time.  Everything looked good.  Then he had me hop up onto the table so he could take my blood pressure.  Does anyone else wonder why they take our blood pressure before they listen for the heartbeat?  I mean, come on!  I’m totally stressed out and you expect my blood pressure to be normal?

Anyway, after that, he pulled out the tape measure for the first belly measurement of this pregnancy.  Apparently my “fundal height” is 15 cm, which is perfect for how far along I am. 

Then came the doppler.  I took a few deep breaths as he got ready to position the wand.  God, I hate this part.  Miraculously, the student doctor managed to place the wand in exactly the right the spot to find the heartbeat immediately.  Woohoo!  A+ buddy…. you should be top of your class!  D and I both felt extremely relieved.  My next appointment and anatomy scan are scheduled for a month from now, so that is our next big milestone to look forward to.

As I was getting dressed for work this morning, I realized that the time has come to tell some people.  I think I’ve been in denial about my growing bump but after trying and discarding a number of outfit options, I finally accepted the truth.  I can no longer hide my body.

15 weeks

15 weeks

So, I think I’ll be telling a few select colleagues today and then I’ll take it from there.  I know I’ll feel a bit sick as the words come out of my mouth, but I also know that a) they likely won’t be surprised at all and b) they will be nothing but happy and supportive.

Have a great weekend everyone!