I am 39+4 today.
E. was born at 39+3.
And, since this has been a pregnancy filled with stress and anxiety and that can often lead to earlier babies, I think I have been assuming all along that this baby was going to come before E. did. Especially since I’m teaching this online course- the earlier the baby, the more chaos that would ensue with my teaching.
I swore up and down that we HAD to get to the 13th (39+1), no exceptions. I had more than one person laugh at me, because I am obviously not in control here, but I willed that baby to stay in.
And s/he did.
And now here I am on the 16th, with all the prep work that was on my to-do list finished. I still have things I can do, of course. I don’t have every lecture written. I don’t have all of them recorded. I’m missing PowerPoints for the ones that I have written. But I am three full weeks ahead, and the mad panic that I have felt for the last couple of weeks has evaporated.
I make a to-do list each morning now rather than making one for the week. They are shorter. I could have written a lecture this morning but I opted to sort out some house administration and write here instead. I am reading a book for fun again. Each day is a bonus.
Any day now is a good day to have a baby.
The baby gets until the due date (which is Sunday) before we’re going to shift into the mental space of, “Ok, baby, you need to come out NOW”, largely because Q. is supposed to go overseas to give this keynote at a conference eight days after the due date. Which, when we were convinced we were going to go a bit early (or quite a bit early) seemed ages away. But I suspect if I wake up still pregnant on the 20th it’s going to feel a whole lot closer.
I have done nothing to try to evict this baby, and I will continue to do nothing to try to evict this baby until Saturday afternoon, at which point, if it is a nice day, I might go for a very very long walk and do some gardening and maybe buy pineapple and eat curry and do all the things that may or may not make a difference in encouraging an exodus.
I’m greedy. The idea of getting both a Mother’s Day baby and a Father’s Day baby is almost just too delightful to contemplate.
“It would be a beautiful story,” as E. says. “But it is unlikely,” as E. also says.
I had a midwife appointment yesterday. Fundal height was 39 cm, but I think that’s probably an overestimate because it was the student who measured and she was too far down on my pubic bone. I assumed my midwife would measure as well, but she didn’t. So I’m probably 38 or so. Still bigger than I was with E., because this baby continues to dip in and out of the pelvis and hasn’t dropped. S/he did drop Sunday night- I woke up on Monday with a bowling ball in my pelvis and was convinced I might have the baby that day, but then s/he changed his/her mind and floated back up. The back is still shifting from one side to the other- my midwife said this baby probably has a bit more room than E. did so has more opportunities to move even at this late stage. BP was 110/64. P.’s heart rate was a rollicking 152. E. came with me to the appointment and asked to help with the exam again so he got to push the button to turn on the heartbeat. He was again deeply pleased.
The new thing for the last couple of days is I’m having actual contractions, usually in the evening and into the night. They are not very painful and they are extraordinarily inconsistent, but they are strong enough to disrupt my sleep (which makes it even more annoying when they promptly go away in the morning after I shower). Last night’s contractions were stronger and more frequent than the first round on Tuesday night, and I’ve had a few this morning as well. So I know that things are happening and I would be surprised if I make it to my next midwife appointment on the 21st. My primary midwife thinks it is not all that likely either, but one never knows. If I do get to that appointment (which will be 40+2), I’ll opt for a cervical check to see what’s happening. My midwife said she could do one yesterday if I wanted, but she and I both felt I was getting enough signs on my own that things were percolating, and I didn’t see the need to investigate any further.
I still feel well. Were it not for the conference, I would be happy to still be pregnant at 41 weeks. I will never be pregnant again. These wiggles and kicks and pokes and hiccups and squirms are the last I will ever feel. I know what’s coming, and I’m still not in a rush to meet this baby.
It’s a waiting game now. Every mother I know at school checks to make sure I am there each morning at drop off and then still there in the afternoon. Q. and I were talking about it this morning, and we must have gone through this limbo period with E. because I had contractions and cramps for a solid week leading up to his birth and I lost my mucous plug five days before he was born. But we can’t remember any of it.
It is surreal. One of these days I am going to have a baby.
The baby knows when, but P. isn’t telling.
I took a bump pic yesterday, at 39+3, the gestational date at which E. came into the world. It’s hard to take these by yourself (with no smartphone I have utterly failed to master the selfie), but I really wanted a photo to mark the day.
And here is what happened within thirty minutes of setting up the bassinet in our room a couple of weeks ago:
And this is the sum total of the space we have made for the baby (complete with a pile of E’s artwork on the very top and the filing cabinet with assorted stray books still sitting right next to it):
The rest of the study is still clearly a study (and a messy one at that):
What can I say. Second-time parents.