Friday, November 19, 2010

One More Month

I feel substantially better yesterday and today than I have in a while.  Last Monday I was afraid I might go into labor at any moment.  I would find myself bent over a countertop swaying and moaning, and wonder: what am I doing?  I'm not supposed to be in labor!  I fluctuated between hot flashes and bouts of cold shivering, and I had to race to the bathroom multiple times during the day to empty my body out, fearing it would empty itself if I didn't run waddle at top speed.  My face took on that soft, almost swollen glow that I recognize from seeing other women in late pregnancy, and the baby dropped noticeably lower in my abdomen.  My chiropractor and coworkers both noticed and remarked that I looked like I could go anytime.  I started to believe that I wouldn't make it to my due date, and a VBAC seemed more possible by the minute, since she'd likely be substantially smaller than normal coming so early.

But then Tuesday I felt better than Monday, and Wednesday better still, and now at the end of the week I feel almost like a regular person again.  It feels wonderful to sit, stand and walk without significant pain, and even these small abilities make me feel so much more powerful and capable!  Still, I decided against traveling for Thanksgiving weekend, which will be 37 weeks, and I'm doing my best to wrap things up at work and leave my colleagues with enough direction to make their lives as easy as I can while they cover for me for three months.  I'm scheduled to work right up to the Friday before my due date, but we'll just be playing it by ear at the end.

For quite some time I didn't believe there was any chance my daughter would come early.  I know this is a direct reaction to what happened with my son.  I was so huge with him that people commented all the time that they wondered if I'd make it to my due date.  I was so uncomfortable being so huge, and so hot in July that I chose to believe the man-on-the-street report and thoroughly convinced myself that I was going to go into labor early.  I stopped working at 39 weeks, and then spent the next two and a half weeks sitting in the one small room in our apartment with a window unit air conditioner, reading and waiting.  After that experience, I just had no faith whatsoever that any baby of mine would ever come early.

But I went to the doctor today, and the news was a lot more positive than my last visit.  She's measuring exactly average, and at this point there are no contraindications to trying for a VBAC.  That will change if she suddenly balloons into a little fatso, but for the time being, things look good.  Also, I've been having contractions all week, and my cervix is beginning to thin out, in addition to the ridiculous amount of relaxin I've been producing for months.  All of these are signs that my body is preparing for labor, and I had none of these signs last time with my boy, especially this early.

The doctors are still hoping she comes early, and in the meantime we wait and continue to check on her growth.  I'm making my peace with the wait-and-see approach.  In fact, I'd rather the universe decided this for me: either she'll come early, and be small enough, or she won't come on time, and I'll have to have a repeat section.  I feel better leaving it in the hands of fate than having to make the decision myself.  Practice for all the moments in parenthood that are more fate and chance than choice!  So my due date, like the title of this post, is a month from today.  My daughter's birthday, on the other hand, well ... we'll leave that up to the whims of the gods.

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