Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Week 37

Week 37 is a magical time for every pregnant woman. It is the time when the prospect of labor becomes very real and very imminant. Its the special cutoff that marks the time when the doctor stops saying "stop" and starts saying, "go ahead, make my day". There were times when I thought I wasn't going to make it. There were moments of extreme despair when I felt like screaming "Why 40 weeks God? Why?" 40 weeks is, in my opinion (and I realize that I may sound somewhat sacriligous here), just too long.
Anyway, all that is behind me (almost) now. At most I have a month left to go. And believe me, it better not be a month. But even if it is, I think I might be able to do it. My bags are packed, the nursery (ie. my bedroom) is ready and there are several frozen dinners on hold in the freezer. I have an entire arsenal of baby girl clothes ready to go (leftover from Sofia of course) and one lonely newborn boy outfit for the child to wear home if it does indeed turn out to be a baby of the male variety. I'm sort of hoping for a boy, but that might just be because I know it will give me an excuse to go shopping right away if it is. Is that pathetic?
Yesterday Hugo asked me if I've been having any Alfred Hitchcock contractions. I think he meant Braxton-Hicks, but, having experienced a few contractions during Sofia's birth, I think Alfred Hitchcock would be a fine person to name them after. The Birds have nothing on a few good uterine squeezes for horror content. And if the definition of Braxton Hicks is indeed "painless practice contractions that get the uterus ready for labor" than the answer is no. Contractions hurt. All varieties that I have experienced hurt. I have never had one that felt "painless". Anyone who would dare to say that contractions are painless to a pregnant woman is either very brave or very stupid. Which leads me to believe that this Braxton Hicks character was probably a man.
My doctor told me that I looked like a ghost and I better take my iron pills and get my hematocrit up before the baby comes. I told him I was trying out for the new pregnant Twilight movie.
Every time I do any kind of housework, Hugo accuses me of nesting. Now, I realize that for most women, nesting would involve scrubbing floors with a toothbrush, reorganizing the closets and cleaning out the refrigerator. Should I be offended that my husband thinks my loading the dishwasher qualifies as nesting?
Irritability is a common, understandable side-effect of late pregancy. I don't remember being particularly irritable with Sofia, but this time around I sure am. Last week I brought Sofia to the pediatrician for her 15 month visit. There was a stocky little pest of a boy who was a good year older than Sofia who came over to the toy she was playing with and proceeded to begin slamming the little plastic doors on the toy alarmingly close to my darling one's fingers. "Jackson" his mother whined, "don't do that. Play nice with the little girl...". She looked at me with a simpering smile, as if I was supposed to be amused by this. Normally in this situation I would at least attempt to be civil, understanding that children at that age are not capable of exhibiting socially acceptable behavior at all times. But not that day. I got up and snatched Sofia away from the toy and the little boy and said, "Come on Sofia, let's play with a different toy" in a special tone with a stony glare at the other mom. She got the message. Don't mess with the pregnant momma.
And so, I begin this next and final phase of pregnancy with anticipation and a big question mark. When? How? Will my water break spontaneously like last time? Will I have to have a c-section? (I sincerely hope not). Will I get to the hospital in time for my epidural? (I better). Will the baby be born with a tan (ie, jaundice) this time, requiring several painful and emotionally scarring (for me) days under the bilirubin lights? Will I lose so much blood during the delivery that I will have to be intubated, transferred to the ICU, transfused with 20 units of blood products and ultimately rushed to emergency surgery for a hysterectomy? OK, I admit, this is a bizarre thing to wonder about, but ICU nurses only see the bad postpartum patients, so we tend to have a jaundiced (no pun intended) view of the birth process as a result. I've already let my doctor know ahead of time that I'm not that attached to my uterus, so if there's any shananigans after the baby is born, he'll skip the whole 20 units of blood products thing and just proceed directly to the hysterectomy. I need to be alive to take care of the babies I have thanks very much. I'm not one to cry over spilled reproductive organts. And if I wake up on a ventilator in the ICU with sore boobs and a swollen you-know-what, I'm NOT going to be amused.
And of course, the biggest question or blue?


Val said...

Ahhhh!! I can't wait! I freaking LOVE it when other people have babies.

I do expect to be notified when labor begins so that I can offer unsolicited advice and whatnot. Got it?

Lauren Ochoa said...

Unsolicited? you know you'remy L&D guru. I wouldn't think of twitching a cervix without your guidance...

Val said...