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Friday, May 16, 2014

37 Weeks!! TERM

Okay guys, this week- and writing this post- have been crazy. You'll see what I mean soon!

I started writing it on Monday announcing that wow, I am TERM!! That basically means if the baby was born today he/she would not be premature. Regular readers know I haven't had an uncomplicated pregnancy, so that is super huge!

I then went on to write about how I was still hoping for another few weeks. Then I got up from the computer and was doing some stuff to get ready for the baby actually before returning to this post when something happened.

I was literally looking at my "what to pack in a hospital bag" checklist.. which I hadn't started packing.. and I
37 weeks. Yes, this is a terrible picture. Which
is why I snapped it on my phone a few days
 ago, looked at it and decided to take another
one later... only I haven't. And I'm in my
nightgown now. So I figured I'd post this
one for now and maybe snap a better one
later. If I do, I'll post it. 
get a contraction. A painful one.

I'd had what I assumed were Braxton Hicks contractions (practice contractions that tone your uterine muscles but don't progress labor for those who don't know) but they'd not been painful yet so far. They had simply felt like a tightening. I knew BH are supposed to get more intense as you get closer to labor, so I didn't know if this was my first intense BH or a mild regular contraction, starting the first stage of labor.

So as the contraction started I was like "Oh no! I need to pack this bag!" but I realized that the baby clothes hadn't been washed... my MP3 player's batteries weren't charged... my camera's SD card was full... I had no idea what clothes to pack for myself... (the latter is the main reason I hadn't packed it yet. Each time I thought about putting clothes that were somewhat comfortable to wear with a big belly out of the rotation I procrastinated, because I don't have that many.)

However, after the one painful contractions I didn't get anymore so I assumed it was just a Braxton Hicks and scurried around to complete these tasks. I didn't get the bag packed that night but I washed the baby clothes, picked a going home outfit for myself, charged the batteries and cleaned out the camera.

We had gotten a lot of baby items over the weekend, due to the generosity of friends (shout out to Anita and Ryan's mom) At this point we had a cradle, a diaper bag, a stroller, clothes I'd already had plus new ones Ryan's mom bought, and some other essentials and luxuries like some toys. A lot of it was Anita generously passing along things her three year old no longer needs. It was a huge relief that we at least had a place for the baby to sleep, though there was stuff on my list of stuff I needed still needed to be addressed and I had to sit down with Ryan later. God has been very good though, and I am very thankful feeling much more secure we have what we need.

When Ryan got home I told him about the contraction and we made immediate plans to book the hospital in the morning. Yes, we had finally picked one, after much prayer and discussion, just the day before. Ryan works nights, so he arrived home at 4:30am. He stayed up until the hospital information desk opened at 8am and found out what information we'd need. There was nothing that needed to be provided we couldn't delegate to my father-in-law so Ryan called his dad and asked him swing by before work and do it real quick and Ryan and I settled down to sleep. However, Ryan's dad called him back and said it was strange that they weren't doing pre-authorization for insurance and it'd be beneficial for us if we did that so even if the hospital didn't require it we should do that. So we didn't get that done Tuesday as hoped, but we set it up to do on Wednesday.

I woke up early on Tuesday because my friend was coming over. We only met a few months ago, but she's an American living here married to an Indian (well he's Canadian). She has a two year old and is also pregnant. They are also Christians and we've only hung out a few times but we have a lot in common. She's been here a few years longer than I have, so in many ways I can learn from her wisdom in adjusting to living in this culture.

Karisa generously brought me a carseat! It was the one her daughter had used, they'd gotten a new one for their baby. She also gave me a toy, two blankets and some disposable diapers as extras to use as back up for the cloth ones I have. As an American she can appreciate the nicety of having a carseat. We don't own a car and you can't use carseats when you go in an auto, but we ride in Ryan's parents cars and some friends a lot and it'll make me feel more secure to know that when we know we're going on a car ride we can take precautions. There's no laws about carseats here, so it would have been a luxury purchase for us, but as I'm sure my American readers can relate it did boggle my mind not to have one coming from my culture. (I told Ryan I needed to show him the safety manual and how to install and use it and he laughed at me incredulously. Indians don't understand...)

I did massive amounts of laundry and in the evening got another painful contraction. This one I felt in my back, which gave me pause. I remembered reading that Braxton Hicks aren't often felt in the back. But like the one on Monday, no more followed it so I dismissed it. I was still having the tightening, painless contractions that I had been assuming were Braxton Hicks, but nothing major.

Ryan got home from work and we both stayed up to go to the doctor's early and then book the hospital. It was my regular 37 week check-up but somehow in Ryan's head it had just become going in to get her to sign the insurance pre-authorization form that he and his dad had become determined was important. I laughed when he tried to dash ahead of me asking why he was hurrying when I slowly waddled behind him; I am the patient, so he can't do the appointment without me. He looked stunned and I realized he really wasn't thinking of it as a doctor's appointment. I assured him this was just a check-up and would be likely just vitals check and go...

Well our doctor was a bit late because she was coming from a birth... her third in the last 24 hours. She was euphoric and it was really cute and made me like her more. It's obviously she loves delivering babies.

As readers will know, I've been having infection issues. Last appointment I'd been put on antibiotics again. The worry was if the infection down there didn't clean up it wouldn't be safe to do a vaginal delivery. I also had concerns because there was a single loop around the baby's neck. Looking it up online half of all babies have loops, but still that worried me that I might be headed for a C-section which I do not want if all possible to avoid.

Our cradle. (We haven't gotten any sheets so far, but
upon my mom's suggestion I used an extra-long
pillowcase we had. Just so happens to be pink. Not
an indication we know anything about the gender yet!
Well guess what? My infection has cleared up! (Prayers appreciated it stays that way though, this has been a long battle.) And then the crazy part: while there she checked my cervix and I'm 1.5 centimeters dilated! Yes, those two painful contractions, maybe with the assistance of the painless ones had gotten me going. Moreover, my cervix is "beautiful and soft" and the baby is "perfectly" engaged.

Huh?

She was telling me that she wouldn't be surprised if I would start active labor at any time. I was stunned and Ryan was so surprised that he didn't process it at all. "How many more weeks?" he asked. My doctor just smiled with a happy gleam in her eye.

"Honey, she's saying it could be any day now."

"What? What about June 2nd?" he protested, referring to our due date.

She laughed. "Oh, there is no doubt this is going to be a May baby!" she responded cheerfully.

"What? You mean she's going to have the baby now? How many weeks?"

"Well I don't know exactly. I wouldn't be surprised if I got a call in the next two hours!" she said with a laugh. "However, it could be some more days. It really depends on how hard the baby's head bears down. It's in position, so as soon it applies pressure, well, there you go! Maybe up to ten days. The more active you are the more likely, so go on walks!" She was gleeful.

We left and Ryan turned to me and said, "You go home and rest and lay down and do nothing." I laughed at him and told him that we had too much to do to get ready for the baby left for me to do nothing, plus after being confined to bed rest for so long I wasn't going to lock myself away. However we agreed housework wise I would stick to only that which helps us get ready for the baby, as we both would prefer to not have this baby right then.

I'm just not one of those women yet who is like "get this baby out!" I guess I really thought I would get that to that stage before the baby comes-- and maybe I will-- but I think because I hadn't yet I thought I must not be that close to labor. But mainly I realized upon self analysis, I think my main reason for not feeling ready yet is the bed rest. It caused two things. For one, for months now my plea to the baby has been "just stay in there!" To suddenly change that to "come out now" seems incongruous. Secondly, because of the bed rest I haven't been as free as most women to prepare for the baby so I'm honestly just not as prepared. I'd only been off bed rest for a week and a half, and actually only had all restrictions lifted Monday, so I had been preparing to enjoy my last few weeks of freedom. Now I might not get them... and really, I likely won't get them at all because even though I have the doctor's permission to go out, Ryan's scared.

Ryan's reticence also comes from the fact that we're not that prepared. A lot of it is that he gets paid on the 25th of every month, so I think he was counting on the baby arriving any day from the 25th onward, but not before. This despite the fact that when we got last month's paycheck I told him to mentally consider it the last paycheck we're getting before the baby comes since the baby could arrive before then... but apparently he hadn't done that. Oh well. But also Ryan's just been procrastinating. I keep pushing checklists at him of stuff we have to do and he keeps saying "Okay baby, tomorrow." Maybe we'll get 10-20% of what I want done, then he pushes the rest off to "tomorrow." I actually had told him this past weekend we'd run out of tomorrows, and then had especially driven that home on Monday when I told him about the contraction. And that had lit a fire under us, but still the to do list was very long.

We went and booked the hospital... and the whole time I was having contractions. I didn't tell Ryan then because I could tell he was already scared. But the doctor checking the cervix had triggered things a bit, so I am sure I am a bit more than 1.5 cm now. But they were very mild and I could function through them. If I hadn't known now I was dilated I would just dismiss them as my BH intensifying. Ryan hashed out the booking of the hospital and I let him handle that (though the pre-authorization didn't get accepted in that the reason they don't do that is because they have to have the date of admission filled out on the form and unless you're having an elective C-section/induction done there's no way to do that in advance with a birth. But Ryan got them to fill everything but the date out so it'll be easier to do when we do go in.)

I got up to go to the bathroom while they were talking details and I stared at myself in the mirror and said,
"You're going to be someone's mom." It was such a crazy, but amazing thought. I stared at myself and smiled and hugged myself. I still don't really feel ready, but I am excited... but I also told my belly "baby give us a few more days to get ready!"

When I came out they gave me a "preferences" form to fill out. It made me laugh because it made me very aware I was in India! Some of questions: What religion do you follow? (We will put a picture of the diety in your room.); Would you like to hear chants during your labor?; Would you like aromatherapy?; What beverage would you like after your labor? (choices: lassi, lemonade, water, or vegetable soup.)
I shared this yesterday I know, but finishing this was one of
the small getting ready projects I've done. Some are small,
some are big.

We went home and went to bed, both in shock. When I woke up the contractions had eased away. I had a few of the painless tightening kind, but that was it. I got the rest of the stuff I could together and packed the hospital bag like 80%.

I also called my family and shared the news. It was crazy to talk about. My mom told me not to "get my hopes up" about the baby coming soon and I laughed really hard and told her that wasn't the case at all and if the baby stays in a while I'll be happy, not anxious. In a really special thing I got to talk to my two sisters together. My younger one was at the older one's house, so they got on speakerphone and all three of us got to visit together. I talk to both of them regularly, but talking to them both together like that made me feel more like I was getting to visit with them, especially as I heard my niece in the background and they both came and went from the conversation to handle things in real life. It reminded me of if I had gotten to stop by their house. They told me they've pooled their money with my grandparents to get me a present. I'll try to do a baby gear post soon actually and show you what I have (this present hasn't arrived yet though) and I'll tell you then. My older sister also was chiding me about getting my hopes up about having the baby too soon and again I laughed. However she had recent experience with that in that she'd mentally prepared herself to have the baby in her 39th week because my mom had all of us then and so Beth'd become convinced she would too... so when her due date came and gone, mentally it was hard (as well as obviously physically!) Hannah was born only 3 days after her due date though.

I do think it's quite likely I'll get super uncomfortable if my doctor is wrong and the baby's arrival isn't imminent. However, unlike Beth I've been telling myself the ideal time for this baby's arrival would be plus or minus 3 days from the due date... and also I've been aware that Ryan was a week and a half late, so there's that possibility. No, really the stunner for me was just the possiblity that the baby will be coming this early. Which seems funny since of course I was on bed rest to prevent an early arrival, so obviously that was a threat! But I guess part of me thought if I made it to 37 weeks, then I'd make it to 39.

Well, we'll see.

Yesterday I tried to get Ryan to order baby stuff. Well I did get him to, but it was a battle. He's driven me crazy because the whole last month or so he's been saying he will, but then telling me I had to find all the products in advance on one website, because he didn't want to do multiple orders I guess. After a few attempts I did tell him he was ridiculous. The thing I've found about the websites carrying baby products in India is they go through inventory fast. Like if you want it, buy it now, chances are it won't be there tomorrow. And finding stuff in advance? Not so much. Additionally, this makes it so what's available on different websites differs day to day so finding all we need on one site wasn't going to happen.

So I sat down and looked and found things on three different websites. Ryan was telling me only get what we need immediately. He wants to spend as little as possible so we have as much money in the bank as possible for the delivery, with the idea we can buy stuff we need for the second week of the baby's life and beyond after the 25th and his next paycheck. I respected this and kept it minimal. He still analyzed and questioned every choice until I was getting annoyed but trying to ignore it though. I've been researching and planning this for months and he's coming in saying "Why are we spending some much on that one?? What about this other cheaper product?" "Those are horrible quality. And we're not spending that much. Notice this one? Twice the price. We're being frugal." Huge sigh and then "Are you sure we need it?" GAH! I love that man, but seriously!

We spend forty-five minutes to an hour going over our purchases and securing a coupon code for one website and he places the order. There's still two websites to go but he starts looking at his facebook and such and I figure we need a break and I get up and get a snack... after another forty-five minutes or so though I'm like "Aren't you going to order the other stuff?"

"WHAT? We just ordered from that site!"

"YES and before we did, I showed you I'd pulled up stuff for three sites." Then he starts moaning and groaning again...

He got an order done from one site (sadly actually the item I picked out wouldn't ship until May 27th, I guess it was back ordered, so we had to get a less cute version. Same price, just would arrive sooner.) I asked him to do the last one (just two items) and he said it was too exhausting and he had to go to sleep.

Baby's grown a lot since this first view of him/her!
Huh? I do not understand. It takes like three minutes to go through an online checkout. He says he wants to research if there are any coupon codes online though so I sigh but make him promise he'll do it before he leaves for work and we both go to bed.

I'm having contractions though and can't get to sleep, and then I get hungry so I get up and eat. I fall asleep 2-3 hours after him. When he wakes up for work he wakes me up too (not on purpose.) While he's getting dressed I remind him to order those items and he says "yeah, yeah." He's in a hurry because he'd barely gotten up in time for work. I stay in bed and try to go back to sleep... but can't. I try for several hours, just fiddling on my phone before I realize I'm not going to sleep and get up.

I come out and see the website's shopping cart still up on the computer and realize he didn't order the stuff still. Sigh. (You might wonder why I didn't just order it myself. It's not that I don't have the authority, it's that Ryan's a techie with like ten different security verification processes on our cards. Including sending texts to his cell with "one time codes" and all that. I can never remember how to do it and I'd have to call Ryan up at work to complete it anyway, so I figured it was easier to just wait until he got home.) I did very little of a productive nature as I was trying to pull the cobwebs from my half asleep mind. I tried to write on this post, actually, and couldn't find the mental power to string stuff together. I started to doze off and so went and lied down and went to bed.

I woke up crying. I had a nightmare my mom died. I had only gotten an hour of sleep, and obviously it wasn't very refreshing. I tried to call my mom and found out that the app I use for that no longer works. So we facebook and I get up and this time I do a little bit of productive stuff, but not much. The whole day I've been having the small contractions, mainly the painless ones with a few that are uncomfortable. Not much but I'm realizing that they're still sapping me of energy. I also think they were the reason it was hard to sleep.

Ryan gets home and tries to place the order... and it's sold out. Yep. Well no big deal, I go to look for a similar item. Yesterday there were about 10 and I'd just picked the color I liked best... nope. All gone.

Sigh.

So yeah, Ryan has learned that what I told him about Indian websites and baby inventory is true. That doesn't however, help us with that. I told him we'll just continue to keep checking back and see if they get more in stock and this time act immediately. What else to do?

I go back to sleep when he goes to the grocery store.. and wake up half an hour to forty-five minutes later waking from a nightmare. This time monsters were chasing me and my dad was driving a school bus I was in trying to outrun them.

I stumble out of the bedroom just as Ryan comes home bearing bags. He's stunned to see me and asks why I'm not asleep and I tell him. He perks up and says that he was going to make himself an omelet but since I'm awake... Sigh. Yeah. So I make him an omelet and me some tea, figuring maybe caffeine will give me some energy since sleep obviously doesn't want to happen. He says if I feed him he will help me with the next items on my to do list... but first let's watch a tv show so he can unwind since he's worked all day. All right.

The show ends and he announces he's too tired and has to go to bed. Sigh.

I could look at him though and tell it was true. I made him do a few small tasks first and then he went to bed and I got in the shower.

I've read that during early labor one of the ways to ease pain from contractions is a hot shower. Actually we haven't really been using our hot water because here they store the water in tanks on the roof and in an Indian summer you don't generally need to heat it then. But I turn our hot water heater on but don't turn the knob for the hot water yet. I take a shower cleaning myself off in the lukewarm water while the geyser heats the water (for my American readers, we use geysers- hot water heaters- only when and where we need them instead of having a large one for the whole house. So in our case that means that only our master bathroom has the option of hot water.) After I was done with showering myself cleanliness wise I turned the knob for the hot water and let just run over my neck and back. And you know what? It does help! It worked well. I stayed in under the hot water ran out and got out feeling so much more human!

And that's basically where I am now. I'm still pretty exhausted and I'm not sure when or how much I'm going to sleep. The tea and shower pepped me up so I have mental clarity and while I'm sitting still, like right now at the computer desk writing this, I feel like I have some energy. However, each time I get up to actually do something productive my lack of sleep plus the sapped energy from the contractions is coming over me in a wave and I just don't have a lot in me. Still I did a few small tasks today and overall we're much more ready for the baby. We've got most everything we need and several luxuries. I'm mainly packed for the hospital and what I haven't packed is mainly because it's stuff we'd be using if I don't go into labor immediately, so probably best to just gather it up if active labor starts.

One thing I want to do is finish unpacking. We moved here the second week of March and we still have a few boxes we've not dealt with. I have tried but can't really do it alone in that it's a lot of bending over and that's something that's been beyond me for many weeks now-- basically probably around the same time I was put on modified bed rest bending over became nearly impossible, so I haven't really been in a place where I could it without assistance. Also I need some heavy lifting done. I really think we could tackle it in a single day though if he'd just help. And lest you think I'm annoyed with Ryan, I'm really not. Despite all I've said I'm mainly just fondly losing patience. I know he's tired and stressed and overwhelmed. He's got the financial burden on his back and he's working very hard and I know he's having more trouble than me processing this anyway. He's the first of his close friends to have a child, where as I have several friends with pre-schoolers. But I admit I kind of want to shake him and tell him "You realize we don't have time to delay anymore, don't you??" But in a loving way. Remember this is the internet so you can't hear my tone of voice if I were to be saying this out loud and truthfully, I'm not upset with Ryan. I completely understand him right now (except the ordering stuff online thing. But hopefully he's learned his lesson on that one?) I just don't think we have the luxury of letting him take his time anymore and I wish he'd realize that.

He was saying he promises we'll get it all done by Monday and I told him firmly we may not have until
this is my tired, been having contractions for several
days and need sleep face. Just took this right before
publishing this.
Monday. Not just because the doctor says it, but because I feel different today. Wednesday I was taken aback and shocked when she told me I was in early labor. But the past twenty-four hours I can definitely tell and feel it. I can feel a change. Now I've never done this before and I don't really have any idea if the baby will be here by Monday, but I do know for sure I am in early labor now. Which basically means at any moment it could transition into active labor. I told him he shouldn't count on having another day, and really he shouldn't count on having more than say six hours to do anything. (Being a first time mom, I do think my labor will take a while, so it's probably safe to assume that we may have up to six hours to scurry around if my contractions start in earnest. But really that'd be him scurrying around.) We really just need to be ready.

And I've told him that for me at least, I really want stuff ready now. Like today. It's early Friday afternoon for me. By Saturday morning I'd like to be done with everything. Ryan has to work though, so I don't think that will happen. Maybe by Saturday evening, but I'd really hoped we'd have it all done before the weekend really starts so I can try to relax. If this weekend we don't have the baby, it might be our very last before we're parents so I'd like to be to not have stuff hanging over my head. I was trying to explain to him that for weeks now whenever we've been relaxing I've enjoying it but in the back of my mind there's been a persistent voice asking me what I could be doing to get ready for the baby. I am very tired of that voice and I'd like to have a few days before the baby arrives where nothing is hanging over my head and I can relax and know we're as ready as first time parents can be... and I think we're very, very close to that. I just need Ryan to cooperate!

And then if the baby doesn't appear right away and I'm doing a 38 week post and a 39 week and maybe a 40 week? Great! We'll have the prep work done and just be enjoying our last time of freedom... and maybe I'll get to the point of "Get this baby out!"

But right now I just want to either be done with stuff or asleep. At least resting my body is a way to prepare for the delivery!

Wow. Maybe I'll have weeks.. or maybe my next post will be a birth announcement. Don't know!

3 comments:

  1. Congratulations on reaching term!! Was wondering if you had a list of baby items? I know you're keeping yourselves to only the minimum you need and I think we'd all love to see what your list looks like. Sounds like you have everything covered from you friends and family which is amazing - what a great support system!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What was the item that you couldn't get the cuter version of? Maybe if you order a plainer version, we can help think of ways to embellish it! :) I looooove baby stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rebecca: it was a cloth diaper cover. There was an adorable pattern I loved, but we ended up having to pick a solid color which is fine.

    GH: Thanks! I may do a baby stuff post, we'll see if I can find time!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for comments, they delight me! Please keep your comments civil and while I read every comment, I reserve the right to delete ones that are especially negative. Thanks!

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