Mmmm... I've been through various stages since Tuesday (EDD at 40 weeks). That was just 4 days ago but feels like weeks have gone by.
First, as soon as I was at the clinic doing the heart monitoring at 10am, I felt certain the baby was not coming that day. Even though there was still the possibility of the whole day. Even though the Hebamme told me contractions could theoretically start as soon as I got home, in a few hours or the very same night. Or not.
And they didn't.
I can't say I was displeased, since April 20th wasn't exactly a date to wish for after I had been informed that this man had been born on it in Austria. Although, rationally, I am sure lots of great people were too. But in Austria... well, let's just say, once I knew about it, I would have preferred a different one.
April 21st came and went and I started to feel as though it might all well be a fake, dream or misunderstanding; like I'd hidden a pillow under my t-shirt or something and now nothing was coming of it. Was I really pregnant? I felt like checking every time I woke up, just to make sure it wasn't a dream.
April 22nd Thursday; I was due for another heart monitoring session but since I felt fine and my Pilates instructor would have me, I first went to my preggie Pilates class. Surprise! I am still preggers!
In fact, everywhere I go (kindergarden, restaurants, the supermarket or the ice-cream place...) people now comment and ask "what's up? does he not want to come out?" "come out baby, we want to meet you!" Having already wished me luck and a smooth delivery a number of times thinking they had seen the last of my belly, well there's not much else to say when I show up still pregnant again. Only my belly seems even lower and perhaps I'm walking with more of a waddle. At any rate, still pregnant. It feels like ages even to them.
Oops! Really low!
The heart monitoring went well, the baby was lively and jumping around and I felt really relaxed and "open" after the Pilates. The Hebamme told me that D-day was "just a date", that babies often waited up to 10 days before coming out -especially the first one. Yes, only this is my second and my first came "on time" so this is kind of unexpected... and since he has been low (really low) as well as head down for over 10 weeks now, plus I have been running around after Emma, I just thought he might have come earlier... But obviously the most important thing is that he is fine. And yes, I am aware that full term could be anywhere between week 37 and week 42. It's just that, having been given a date, it's hard not to focus on it.
We also talk about the risks of perinatal deaths increasing after (during?) week 42 and the Hebamme reassures me that they don't leave the babies in beyond 40 weeks + 10 days in this clinic. We talk about induction using prostaglandins and I recall my gynae saying she had used them for both her babies around 40 weeks +5. I'm technically in my 41st week now. Mmm... Lots of Googling when I get home.
Why do I feel like I am having to justify myself? I am fine with him not being out yet. Really I am. I meant what I wrote in my birth affirmations. I wish my baby to come when he is ready and I hate the idea of doing something to pull him out. But, but... Maybe what's getting to me is the questions, calls, comments and the fact that people seem to think I'm in the driving seat here. Well, I'm not. It's baby's decision. Why do I feel like I haven't "delivered"? As if I had blown a dead-line on a very important project. I know people ask our of concern and kindness, but quite clearly, you can see he is still inside and we will let you know as soon as he arrives, promise!
Yes, we could induce. Only, as things stand there is no real reason to do so. I am not in pain or unwell or tired beyond belief (as I was with Emma and even then I talked to her all the time asking her to please come out on her own so we didn't have to come and get her and she did!) . The baby is not in distress. Risks of infant death rise after week 42 and we are not remotely near that number. I am going for monitoring every 48 hours, feel fine and have had a pregnancy without the slightest complication. I am not going to induce labor to suit some societal (so-called) imperative that may suit a time-table or a flight schedule.
On the other hand, if I am feeling this agitated it's because part of me echos the questions and expectations I hear in other people's words and faces - like when you've been waiting for spring to come after a loooong winter, have a day of sun and then go back to grey and cold. Ugh. Also, I am feeling increasingly tired (major lack of sleep lately due to various things...) which is not helping my mood and energy levels. Part of me is not quite as relaxed and "live and let live" as I would like to be (although, seriously, much more than I used to be!)
Admittedly, it would be nice if the boy could arrive while my Mum is here to be with Emma - an extra pair of arms to hug her and be with her, especially if it happens at night. Admittedly, it would be nice if Steph didn't have to cancel or postpone his trip on April 29th or if I could take 48 hours to rest in the clinic before coming home without feeling totally guilty and torn. And most of all, it would be great if we didn't have to change our holiday schedule due to not getting baby's passport in time. But.... But it would be really nice if we could just let nature take it's course...
Maybe, like my friend M., having been pregnant this long, I am now weary of rocking the boat. Maybe I just want to enjoy the present without feeling compelled to decide and control. Maybe I'm getting bored out of my mind (having kept my schedule free with no lunches, coffees or play-dates planned at all week my days are totally flexible and well, free!)
I really would like baby to come on his own and well, meet him! I would like to be able to enjoy the last days of pregnancy and feel as light (read "no pressure") as mothers did when they had no EDD and 9 months was roughly "the time". But on the other hand, part of me is finding the time very long and the prospect of another 6 days (bringing us to 40 weeks +10 days) feels like eternity!
Did I mention, that Steph was born 2 weeks late?
Oh, and that I am getting nervous about the increasing size of the baby?
Oh, and I have another heart monitoring scheduled this morning at 9h and will be seeing my Obgyn too. Hopefully we'll be able to check my cervix this time as well.
Update coming soon...