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40 weeks and 6 days and still pregnant!

Posted May 12 2009 6:16pm
Ha! It is funny how I was so much more excited to still be pregnant in the early days. I am still happily holding an active baby, but would very much like him/her to come out and meet us properly.

I have been actively attempting to induce with acupuncture since last Sunday. In fact, Sunday morning felt so hopeful (I had, for the first time, woken up in the night from some strong braxton-hicks contractions) that we actually washed some of the baby stuff we have. Ok, all of it because we don't have much. The night before I took some pictures which are posted below.

On the induction front, I am not sure if it is helping or not. During Sunday's treatment I think I felt a couple of actual, radiating contractions; but nothing happened afterwards. It may have been the poem the acupuncturist, let's call her Katie, read to me. It was a poem about a woman giving birth and talking to her baby in a motherly fashion during labor. I don't remember most of it, but part was about the mother saying that her contracting uterus was her caressing her baby. It was too much for me. I can be happy with a moving baby inside of me, I can visualize being a mom, but to be motherly to a baby not yet in my arms . . . well, it was so hard to try to let go as Katie suggested. I was literally sobbing and felt physically in pain. After the treatment, I worried that I wouldn't go into labor until I could feel motherly toward this baby now, but the thought of opening my heart to that extent is terrifying. That caused a great deal of anxiety and I decided it was just too much to ask. I told Cathy, my midwife, about it and she said just try to be in the moment and let this pregnancy unfold as it will. That works for me.

So Katie came back today. She didn't read the poem and eventually I learned that she had spoken to Cathy about me so Cathy must have told her. Katie is very nurturing, she comes to my house and she sings or hums a very simple birthing song during part of the treatment. I think she alternates between the verse in Hebrew and English. The English is, in part, "Give you love, give you love, give you love and all of my peace." That works for me. Simple, loving, not too much detail. Today I didn't feel the contractions, but I figure it can't hurt. She is going to come each day until we either have this baby or opt for Plan B (yet to be determined). At the very least, I will know I did every thing possible to avoided a dreaded (to me) hospital birth.

Yesterday I saw Cathy and we talked about Plan B a bit. She asked me what I want to do if I don't go into labor on my own soon. I told her that I would rather live with regrets about transporting / moving to a medical birth too soon than live with regrets of not doing it soon enough. She has been so supportive in this regard. I believe she wouldn't even be having this conversation with the vast majority of her clients. She would just say, "Some babies take longer than others", but she is understandably more conservative with me. I am sure it has also occurred to her that this is also a political decision. Just like a doctor who needs to follow "standard of care" even if it isn't the best for the patient to avoid a lawsuit, given that I am also seeing an OB - and the current anti-homebirth climate - she needs to take extra care to protect herself. That's ok with me too. I would do the same thing.

Cathy also checked my cervix yesterday. Maybe 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. That means things haven't changed since Dr. Wonderful checked it nearly two weeks ago. At least my body seems to be acting differently and the baby is lower. It's funny (and sad) that babies can come a week or so early and it is no big deal, but a baby a week or so late and we start to feel the threat of a medical intervention. I will see Dr. Wonderful tomorrow and ask him what the stats are for going over. I know there is an increased risk of a stillbirth, but my research shows it is very slight. If he feels we have some breathing room (he supported my sister waiting and she went into labor at over 42 weeks), I am going to feel better.

Now for some pictures. The first is our nursery. We painted it a kid color before our second IVF two years ago. Yes, I tried the "if you believe it, it will work" stuff too. It is a current picture. It is still empty except for the bookshelf we have taken over in the last 2 years and the sewing table that is out of the frame (small house, remember?).

The next picture is of our homebirth supplies complete with birth pool, towels, absorbent pads for the floor, hydrogen peroxide for any accidents and a variety of herbs.

In the third picture, I added the baby stuff. I didn't want to clear off the table and start over and our baby collection is pretty small. We have some blankets, a few shirts, socks, hats, leg warmers and diapers from a diaper service. Also in the picture is a baby bjorn potty chair - micro sized but still bigger than newborn. The blue bucket inside is for a potty you can hold between your legs.

In the fourth picture are the four baby blankets I crocheted mostly during our IVF cycles. It helped keep me calm and hopeful. During the 2ww, I would sometimes crochet and think with each stitch that we were just one moment closer to hopefully good news. The two receiving blankets were purchased for Ernest. I thought they should be in the picture.

The last picture is my attempt to demonstrate that one of the blankets has a little hood attached. Petra wasn't very happy about it.

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