Yes, folks, I am STILL pregnant. This means that as of today I am 41 weeks pregnant. Happy happy joy joy. Actually it’s not so bad. I am feeling just fine still, aside from occasional heartburn and feeling nauseous right about the time when Kurt has to get up for work (the unholy hour of 4am), which causes me to get up and go to the bathroom. I really hate waking up in the middle of the night because I get so tired the next day if I don’t get unbroken sleep. And I know that once the baby is born, getting unbroken sleep is just going to be a fond memory, so I’m trying to stock up on sleep as much as possible in this last week.
This is definitely my last week of pregnancy. I went to the doctor on Monday (who rather snottily reminded me that she wasn’t a doctor, just a nurse-practitioner, when I told the baby to listen to the doctor), and I sure hope I don’t have her deliver my baby. She’s nice and all, but she has the personality of a doorknob. She’s very bland. She told me, though, that since I was overdue, that I would be having non-stress tests and AFI’s (I don’t remember what the acronym stands for, but it means I get an ultrasound so they can measure how much amniotic fluid I have left) every few days till next week. It’s to make sure the baby is still doing well this late in the pregnancy because the placenta can start to fail, and since the placenta is basically the baby’s lifeline, if that fails, it’s very bad for the baby.
I had my first non-stress test and AFI yesterday, and it went really well. The nurse was really cool — and had warm hands too!! She needed to make sure where the baby was so she could determine where to put the monitor to listen to his heartbeat, so she had to manhandle my belly to figure that out. But with warm hands, it’s no big deal. J went with me to the appointment, and so we just chatted with the soothing sound of my baby’s heartbeat in the background. J kept looking at the monitor and telling me what the baby’s heartbeat was because I couldn’t see the monitor from where I was laying. I was really surprised that his heartbeat was fluctuating so much — from the 160s down to the 130s. Then the nurse came back in and asked me if I was feeling any contractions. She was really surprised when I told her that I wasn’t. Apparently I am contracting, and I can’t even feel them! I asked if a contraction can feel like the baby’s just stretching in the womb, and she said yes, but that my entire belly would harden up instead of just getting hard where the baby’s arm or leg is pushing on me. But when I feel the baby stretching, it doesn’t feel like my belly is getting hard. So I don’t know if what I’m feeling is a contraction or just stretching. I’m not worried about it, though. I know that when I go into REAL labor, I will definitely know I’m in labor!! It’s like I’m in pre-labor, as Kurt calls it. This can go on for weeks, though.
The AFI was really rad. We got to see another ultrasound of the baby while the nurse was taking the measurements of the fluid. The last time we had an ultrasound, I was 18 weeks pregnant, I think, and our technician did not want to be at work that day. We told him we didn’t want to know the gender of the baby, so he wouldn’t even show us things like the baby’s hands or face or anything. Plus we kept trying to get him to talk to us, and he didn’t want to converse. It was pretty sad. The pictures he gave us were terrible. It’s hard to figure out what’s the head and what’s the body. You could see the baby a lot better in our ten-week ultrasound. So yesterday when we got to see the baby’s face, complete with eyes, nose and mouth, it was just the most amazing thing. She even showed us how the baby had his hand in a fist, and it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s so hard to believe there’s actually a baby in there!! I can’t believe it’s getting so close, too.
So now with being a week overdue, I have an induction date. If I don’t deliver on my own by next Wednesday, the eve of my 42nd week, then I will go into the hospital in the late evening to receive medicine to make my cervix ready for labor, and then Thursday morning I will receive pitocin to make my contractions strong enough to push the baby out. It makes me feel better knowing now that I have an end in sight — not that I’m that eager to end my pregnancy, but now I feel like I know when the baby will arrive. The uncertainty of not knowing when I’ll deliver had been really weighing on me because I don’t handle the unknown very well. Now I KNOW the very latest the baby will be here, so I feel like I’m better prepared. I have the sneaky suspicion that he won’t arrive until his induction date because I just have absolutely no sense that he’s coming any time soon.
The only problem is Kurt’s schedule. Right now we’re golden. Tomorrow he probably won’t have to go in to work because he has work-related errands to run on this side of the water, and his command is putting him on baby leave starting on Monday regardless of whether I’ve had the baby or not. He’ll be home with me and the baby until the 17th of October, and then the next day his ship deploys to San Diego. He’ll be gone till Thanksgiving and home for that long weekend, then gone again for three or four days. I wish they would just get everything done while they’re gone to San Diego instead of having to deploy again right after Thanksgiving. It’s going to royally suck having him gone for the first few weeks of the baby’s life, but the cool thing is he won’t have to get underway again till at least March. And when his ship gets underway for a long deployment in May, it’ll only be three months instead of the standard six months. So that’s a benefit too. I just wish he didn’t have to go less than two weeks after the birth of the baby.
I just have this feeling that the baby won’t arrive until I’m induced next Thursday. I’m okay with that, though. I had kind of hoped that the baby would be born in October. I don’t know why; I just love the month of October. I love the entire season of fall, but it seems like October really embodies the season. September can still be hot and sticky like summer, especially in the south where fall is slow to arrive, but usually by October the air is cooler and crisper, and the leaves are well on their way to changing. By November, though, it feels as though winter has come early, and most of the leaves are gone. Here in the Northwest, it’s overcast and rainy, and the days are extremely short. There are still a few nice days here and there, but October just seems to be the best month of fall. Today is sunny and gorgeous, with a blue blue sky, and you can just feel fall in the air.
And I think it’s a great time for a baby to be born! :o)