Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Due Dates, Prodromal Labor, and Expectations

Where is baby? Her due date is tomorrow!

Still hiding out!

(I swear, I start mentally composing blog posts about non-baby topics, but never have the energy to actually type them up. So here's a baby update for the curious, and for the non-baby-interested crowd...thanks for your patience. Go check out the new Padme Amidala book "Queen's Shadow" by E.K. Johnston. Slow start, but awesome read for anyone who wants a story about Leia's mom without any Anakin in it. It's the novel I waited 20 years for, and worth the wait.)

We've been going through something called Prodromal labor, which seems to have a few different definitions depending on whom you talk to. Basically I've been having real contractions for the past three weeks, but they never get close enough together for long enough to turn into active labor. I'll have the daytime hours where I'm achey and crampy and sore with plenty of braxton hicks, but not really contracting , and then at night it'll get painful and intense and close to the real thing and I'll wonder "should I wake up Nathan and start timing them..."

...aaaaaand then they stop.

Yes, things like "spinning babies" and "red raspberry leaf tea" and "chiropractic adjustment" and "acupuncture/acupressure" have all been part of our common vocabulary and toolkit...but baby's not ready yet.

Every day things change a little bit and I can tell that we are getting a little closer to the real thing...but not there yet. (Midwife told me that baby was so low that most women have already gone into labor at this point. HAHA.)

Everyone keeps saying that maybe all this progress will make for a quicker labor, which is very possible, but I'm trying not to dwell too much on that because then I have visions of not making it to the birth center on time!!! (Not really a realistic fear, since this is my first baby, but I have a vivid imagination. That's part of being an author!)

The psychological drain is the most difficult. It's been a real lesson in patience (again!) and trust as I try to remain at peace with God's timing and accept that my body is going to keep doing this and I just have to work through it and believe that at some point this child WILL actually emerge.

(I mean, everyone is promising me that. They'd better be right.)

On the plus side, I FINALLY gained some decent weight. The first half of pregnancy was so difficult with the nausea that I only lost weight, and it was really hard to gain anything even after the nausea went away. Everyone would say "you look so cute!" and I'd just think "if I wasn't pregnant, I'd look like a starving woman, SERIOUSLY." Thankfully my nutritionist was very confident that baby was getting what she needed, and everything medically backed that up, so I was never too stressed about it, but honestly I was at a point where I almost cried from happiness when someone actually said "you are so BIG" because I needed that validation at that point!!!

Also, huzzah, Minnesota finally embraced spring. About four days ago we actually got green grass. I can go outside and not freeze!!! And on the days it rains I try to go shopping or something so I can keep moving. Baby's movements hurt me these days, but she doesn't move when I'm moving, so that's something!!!

Mateo has been on high alert since the prodromal labor started. Seriously, the days I'm the worst off he is the sweetest, and will just lay around watching me anxiously.

Nathan manages to maintain an extraordinary level of energy and cheerfulness, which is extra laudatory considering that he just saw the release of his first game as lead designer (FFG's "The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth") and is also seeing a period of high activity on the next project.

Tomorrow is my due date. I can't believe it. It seems like it's taken a lifetime to get here. Which I suppose it HAS...my baby's lifetime! ;) I was SO SURE that this child was coming early that I don't know quite how to wrap my mind around her being late. She certainly could still come sometime before midnight tomorrow (pleasepleaseplease), but at this point I'm not predicting anything. I was sure she was going to be skinny too and now I feel her solid little limbs moving and realize I could have quite a chunky little lass and WOW. Now I should explain, all of my other predictions/suspicions about this baby have been correct during this pregnancy. So while it may sound so silly to be thrown by these two things not manifesting the way I imagined, I have had a perfect track record until now so I feel like I did have good evidence to back myself up! Although the coming early thing really COULD have just been wishful thinking. Most moms are more than ready to be done being pregnant by the time they hit their due date.

(I'm giving birth at a freestanding birth center with midwives, and can deliver there until 42 weeks. There won't be any induction at the center unless the increased monitoring indicates a medical need to move things along.)

Readers, I would apologize for the high number of ALL CAPS in this post, but, really, this is about capturing an emotional picture, not writing a scholarly article. Those of you who have had children may comiserate, and those who haven't may find it useful for future reference (either in life or art!).

PROBABLY, HOPEFULLY, my next post will be introducing baby. But alas, it could totally be another two weeks of waiting and maybe I'll get some energy/inspiration to write about something else...