Friday, September 28, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Interesting study regarding average length of gestation

As I'm now a mere four days from my due date and seemingly stalled in terms of progress, it seemed reasonable to start googling things such as "average length of pregnancy."  Said quest yielded this study, which, based on a survey of 1412 first - time moms, concluded that the average length of gestation for a woman with no previous pregnancies was 39 weeks, 5 days.  56.3% of these women delivered on or before the due date estimated by their health care provider, which indicates that the majority of first time moms don't go past 40 weeks.

Further, the average length of gestation for women birthing a second child was found to be 39 weeks, 6 days.  The statistics for this category indicate that this results in 56.1% of women having delivered said younger sibling on or before their estimated due date.

In other words, my chances of going past due as a first - timer are no better and no worse than they would be with a second (or even a third child - round three arrived, on average, at 39+4).  If 'average' is my goal, I still have two days to go.  And if 'on or before my estimated due date' is the only thing for which I'm striving, I still have five days. 

It seems positively cushy til I remember that I've been experiencing prodromal labor (contractions + cramping) for so long now that I no longer remember to time them even if I try.  Twelve days, to be exact.  And in twelve days of discomfort of varying degrees, I've added a whopping one centimeter, snapped at two absolutely well - intentioned and concerned coworkers, and and eaten more chocolate than I did in the two stabby weeks between conception and finding out I was pregnant. 

Please, universe?  Is it really too much to ask that I go into labor at no later than 40.0 weeks?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


It's hard to explain just how boring life can be even in the midst of relatively oppressive exhaustion and nine-months-pregnant determination to work as close to full time as possible.  I'm staying busy,, and trying to get in enough naps to keep my body relatively prepared for labor at any time keep me occupied for most of the day.  There's also a seemingly never-ending supply of dirty dishes and carpets in need of vacuuming and laundry in need of washing, to fill in the spare minutes and hours between work and sleep. 

I've spent the past eight and a half months trying to emotionally and physically prepare for parenthood, and I've come a long way.  Almost all the baby laundry is done; we have the vast majority of the baby gear we will need for the first few months.  And I'm really, genuinely thrilled to meet this little person.  It's hard not to be impatient when he or she has been my constant companion for going on nine months. 

It's also hard not to be unbearably bored with this whole business of still being pregnant a week and a half after the start of early labor.  I've gone on with my life despite the increasing exhaustion and discomfort, but it's really getting hard to care about much anything other than delivering this baby at long last.  It would be lovely to be able to carry on as before, but that's easier said than done while contracting!  I've given up on vacuuming the carpets and sweeping the kitchen floor; even showering has taken the back seat to lying in bed idly playing on my phone.  The dishes still get washed, but I lost interest in behaving civilly a week or two ago, when the symptoms of early labor started.  I've timed my contractions so many times over the past week and a half that I no longer consistently remember to do so (though I try to time them at least once or twice a day).  And with the rate at which my attitude towards labor's imminence is going south, I'll most likely end up delivering this baby on our living room floor because it would take transition - esque intensity to convince me that it's the real deal and not just another false alarm. 

I spent so much time trying to be prepared to meet our child that I never bothered to prepare for the reality that my due date might come and go without yielding a baby.  It's still five days away, but I'm no longer holding my breath. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Attempts at starting labor

Two days ago, I tried taking castor oil.  I can't say it was an absolutely awful experience, though it's not one I'd soon repeat without good reason (seeing as I'm still pregnant forty - eight hours later). 

Yesterday I went to the gym.  I ran a mile on the treadmill and two on the elliptical, and used the thigh adductor/abductor machine.  And then I made spicy jambalaya rice for dinner (with extra red pepper).  It felt good to work out, and the rice was delicious.  However, I'm still pregnant. 

Today I worked a full shift, ate the leftover jambalaya rice, went to the gym (1 mile on the treadmill, 2 on the elliptical), and am two slices from finishing off an entire pineapple.  While I've been having a great deal of pressure and a great many contractions all day, I'm still (you guessed it!) pregnant. 

And something tells me I'm still going to have to go to work tomorrow. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated to still be pregnant.  Thirty eight weeks, five days along (34+4 after finding out this tiny person was going to be joining our family), I can honestly say I thought I'd have delivered by now. 

I've been telling myself since the braxton - hicks contractions started at 21 weeks that my body would be well - prepared for labor by the time I hit full term at 37 weeks, and that the fact that I 'dropped' and started dilating at 31 weeks would leave us lucky to make it to 35.  35 weeks came and went, and then 36, and then 37.  We're about to watch 38 do the same, and I'm no closer to labor than I was a week ago.  I'm having contractions every 5-10 minutes, cramping, and frequent nausea - but this has been the case for the past week.  And I'm still only 2 centimeters dilated. 

I get that the 'average' pregnancy is 40 weeks long.  I also get that there are definite benefits to keeping the baby in the toaster til at least 39 weeks.  However, it doesn't seem fair, given that most women aren't experiencing the symptoms of preterm and prodromal labor for the last three months of pregnancy like I have been.  And most women aren't working a physically demanding job til they go into labor.  I might have more patience for this baby arriving on his or her schedule if it weren't for the fact that I have to drag my crampy, heavy, pregnant self out of bed to go break down pallets at 5am, five days a week.  I might have more patience if it weren't for the fact that it's not financially doable for me to quit working until labor starts.  The physically taxing eight - hour shifts on my feet, dealing with people who don't think I should still be working...these won't and can't end til my body decides it's baby time.  I'm miserable, cranky, achy, and...stuck, til this baby decides to come un-stuck.  Try running a cash register cheerfully with contractions every seven minutes.  People want to touch my belly, and it's getting embarrassing because it so often feels like shrink - wrapped coconuts stuffed up my shirt. 

At least it's proof that hard physical labor won't induce labor, I guess.  My coworkers and customers alike  seemed so sure breaking down pallets of produce cases was dangerous during pregnancy.  Well, then.  I almost wish carrying fifty - pound bags of carrots across the store would induce labor, because walking, running, sex, castor oil, and pineapple haven't done a darn thing.  I now have legs as toned as they were before pregnancy, a less...frustrated...husband, a squeaky clean digestive system, and a baby who is as comfy and squirmy within my belly as ever.  And seriously - it's been almost 24 hours since the castor oil adventure, and I think I'm having fewer contractions and less nausea now than I was before (but no fewer baby wiggles).  Maybe that's not a bad thing...

Seriously though.  Someone needs to tell this kid it's time to make like a migratory bird and head south. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

38 Weeks (or, "a week into 'full term' and still pregnant")

Not much else to report.  I'm dilating, slowly but steadily and have had one round of false labor (two nights ago).  It's to be expected, given that this is my first pregnancy - dilation can begin weeks before actual labor starts, and neither I nor my body know exactly what the experience of going into labor is like.  I'm still working four or five days a week, still running occasionally, and doing my best to get things ready for a baby in the meantime. 

Most of the baby laundry is done, and our second baby shower was yesterday.  We're about as ready as we're going to be now aside from ordering a pump and a few 4oz bottles to use at first.  Oh, and finishing all the remodeling in the apartment...  That almost certainly won't happen before we are three though.  On the bright side, I'll be around all the time to take care of the kiddo while Chris guts the kitchen, moves it into the bedroom, lays a new floor in the now-kitchen, and makes it into a bedroom.  It's going to be a lot of work, but worth it because we'll be able to fit a crib in the bedroom once the switch happens.  He's currently working on re-routing the wiring in both rooms, which is interfering with my need to clean but moving towards something worthwhile in the long run! 

Updates to come as there are updates to be made. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Still here, still pregnant.  Thirty - seven weeks and two days pregnant, to be exact...we've not only made it past the requisite thirty - six week mark to deliver at the ABC, but have even made it to full term!  It's exciting, and I wish I was energetic enough to fully appreciate it. 

Despite being back to full time employment at TJ's (thanks to the fickle nature of construction) I have been keeping busy.  I'm working on upcycled flannel wipes (cut from old pillowcases), running load after load of baby laundry, collecting odds and ends of baby gear, and helping Chris rearrange the apartment in preparation for switching the bedroom and the kitchen (because no matter how close to my due date it is, it may be awhile before he has this much time off work to focus on home improvement).  I love the new layout of the living room - it's much cozier and more inviting, and it honestly feels bigger since the couch isn't obscuring a third of the window. 

So's down to the 'waiting' part of the game now.  It doesn't feel like it though, doesn't feel like we could be leaving for the birth center any day now as a two - person family and returning home as a family of three.  This third little person has, for all intents and purposes, moved in already - his or her clothing is washed, folded, put away in the dresser.  A tiny tub sits in the closet, a crib and carseat in the basement.  The freshly - washed sheets for the crib are neatly folded in the bottom drawer of the dresser, to keep them clean while we're moving furniture and uprooting cabinets.  I still need to find an appropriate jar for storing cloth wipes, and I don't know if we're ever truly going to have enough diapers but...we have most everything we're going to need to bring a baby home from the hospital but the baby! 

Sometime soon, when the changes to the apartment are complete, I'll post pictures.  And, obviously, I will post pictures when our family goes from two people to three as well! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'm 36 weeks pregnant, and today I'm scrubbing the plastic window blinds in the bathtub.  With shower gel, no entire apartment smells delightful and 'Moonlit Path-y.' 

This mad sort of nesting impulse is, apparently, a precursor to labor in many instances.  I'm not too sure it means anything at all for me though...I've been having similar bursts of energy to power similar compulsions for months now.  I've stood at work, mentally going through my closet and deciding what clothing to get rid of, fantasized about organizing the cabinets while at Target, imagined sorting and re-allocating my dresser drawers while trying to decide what to make for dinner.  It's madness, but once an idea plants itself in my head, RoundUp wouldn't kill it.  Two nights ago, I patched all of Chris's holey pants.  I now wish he had more semi - destroyed clothing so I could continue sewing productively. 

Know what's funny though?  None - or at least most - of this productivity is going to make any difference in the long run.  While clean window blinds and un-greasy refrigerator tops and sparkling kitchen floors are nice, a) they'll never stay that way, and b) we won't likely be living in this apartment for more than six months or so.  It's a lovely little place for two people, but it would be a bit of a nightmare with an ambulatory third person.  There simply isn't enough storage to keep everything out of reach of small hands, and there's no room for toy clutter of any kind.  There isn't a corner we can designate a play area, and sharing a bedroom with a toddler might get old. 

Oh well.  Knowing that almost nothing about our current living situation is permanent (or even indefinitely workable) diminishes my sense of accomplishment somewhat, but not enough to stop me from prying the other two windows' worth of blinds out of their brackets and throwing them in the bathtub.