Great Expectations: Heather @ 36 Weeks

Apparently I’ve reached that point, those last few weeks where everything is just a jumble, where there’s little real connection between what I’m feeling and what’s actually going on. I have been in the greatest mood this past week or two. My mother went in for surgery, her car died, our car died, both were replaced at great expense, my husband started school on the days he doesn’t work 12-hour graves, one sister moved home, one broke a tooth, two others are having panic attacks over starting high school, irrigation water for most of the family farm ran out, and my brother in Germany was worried enough about us all that he had to have us gather on a video call and prove we were doing okay. In the meantime, I’m waltzing around saying things like, “It’s windy today? I loooooove wind! Oh, I’m so happy!”
Part of this, I’m sure, is that I was seriously, if unintentionally, duped this week. It’s my own fault. Even though I’ve realized it, part of my brain is still operating on the happy deception. I ended last time with a determination to peacefully make it through another couple of months if necessary. I am not doing that last, ultimate bout of crazy if I can help it. This was all fine and well until I…I admit it…I…agreed to an internal exam. It seemed harmless at the time. Curiosity is a hard thing to overcome.
“Well,” said the doctor, “I think we’re looking at about a week.”
I’m sorry, say that again? What happened to the ‘well, nothing yet, but’ routine? I was ready.
“Given the progress you’ve made already, especially as a first-timer, I’d say one to two weeks,” he continued, “and I seriously doubt you’ll make it past 39.” That’s about the last I really remember of the appointment. I made my way out and shakily started making the necessary round of family calls, settling of responsibilities, and Facebook updates. A week. Whew. Okay, then.
Now, I have done my homework. I know that early dilation is not a direct indicator of when labor will begin. I also know that even going by my original ‘due date,’ that’s just a touch earlier than I’d like. But then, if my body says ready? I mean, this doctor has seen a lot of births. Shouldn’t he know what he’s saying by now? He had sounded so confident and unbothered, and I trust him not to be willful or irresponsible that way. Then to end the day, after that exam and running errands in the heat, I started having noticeably more intense and regular contractions. See? See? He must be right! Right?
Of course, that was one week ago. After a day or two, I was back to relatively normal. I’m still getting more contractions now, but the longer time goes on and the more I hear “my doctor/midwife told me that, and then I went 2 weeks over,” etc., the more foolish I feel for letting myself get caught up like that. Although, wouldn’t it be just as foolish not to be prepared, just in case? So, we’re trying to play it both ways. Last massive shopping and organizing effort, ready go! Meanwhile, I’m focusing on the benefits of those last weeks of development, and if part of me wants to believe it will happen tomorrow, hopefully it can just keep being cheerful with that thought for another month of tomorrows. I’m also going to forget that my cervix is very soft and thinning and I have a list somewhere of 40 ways to induce labor ‘naturally.’ Yes, forgotten.
To add to the fun, I tested group B strep positive. Blech. There went my heplock (okay, saline lock for you picky ones) free hopes. I really, REALLY wanted to avoid that. While I’m not very afraid of needles, I know my body has a pattern of needing a whole day to recover from the perceived violation of a single blood draw or a few small pokes at the dentist’s. I can only imagine what wearing a needle for hours is going to do to my comfort and labor progress. Not to mention the fact that my veins are so bad I have doubts it would even stay functional between uses. Then there’s my fear someone’s going to slip into that line in during third stage, or even sooner, without telling me. Shudder.
The truth is, for all my brave words, at heart I am a die-hard pacifist. My doctor has already been so great at working with me, in listening to everything I have to say, I want to show him I can do the same. I don’t want to be seen as the crazy patient. And when Evidence Based Birth, my go-to for info, leaves me without feeling I have a strong alternative or reason to decline, what am I to do? I am trying to find out what others have done. I really don’t want the antibiotics, because of the disruption to my own and baby’s immune systems, also while in a setting with so many foreign germs. I don’t want the yeast issues. I also don’t want to take unreasonable risks.
I feel so stuck in so many ways, lately, but that silly, cheerful part of me seems to want me to ignore it. If I just make my best guess and move forward, chances are it will all be fine. So maybe I learn something to do differently next time. Whatever. Hey, I look really good today. My cheeks are so rosy. My husband is so nice to me. The weather’s been great. I’m feeling good enough I could maybe make that big Rally to Improve Birth coming up. It looks like a lot of fun. Or maybe, just maybe, I won’t be able to make it.

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Comments

  1. Bethany says:

    If you wanted… You could do vaginal garlic at night (to be continued until delivery) and yogur/ kefir/probiotics and ask to be retested each week. The worst it can be is still negative!

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