39 Weeks


When I was pregnant with Hula Girl, thirty-nine weeks didn’t seem so bad. After all, I was still required to attend work days at the school, and so I had something (kind of) to occupy my mind. It didn’t seem so dull and awful to be stuck there at 39 weeks. After all, pregnancy is supposed to last 40 weeks, right?!

This time, I am bored. Bored, bored, bored. I have been trying my hardest to keep Hula Girl on a good schedule and not throw anything else in her world out of whack just before her world turns upside-down. Therefore, we’ve done a few outings here and there, and we’ve stayed home a decent number of days. But there has been less and less enthusiasm from me. Partly because I am unable to jump up and down; partly because I am just really looking forward to the next chapter in our little lives.

Anyway, our appointment went well today.

I forgot what time our appointment was scheduled. I had it written down on this little card that held the dates and times of all the rest of my appointments until Gelato’s little cuteness is due to be out in public. However, I was desperate for a place to put my gum the other day, and so I pulled out the card and carefully placed the gum inside it and folded it so I could still clearly see the dates and times. Lo and behold, I actually took cleaning out my purse seriously, and threw away the gum holder. I have never actually cleaned out a purse in a decent amount of time before. I don’t know what came over me. So here we were, lying in bed at 7:00 this morning, wondering if perhaps the emergency line answerer would have the schedule. Nope.

It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal, except for a few things. First, we live at least 30 minutes away from the doctor’s office. Next, they don’t start answering phones until 8:30, even though they open for appointments at 8. And finally, my appointments tend to be somewhere around 8:45-9:30. So I just left the house at 8:15 and Jonathan and Hula Girl followed after she finished her breakfast. I arrived at 8:45 and was actually called back right at my appointment time- 9:00- which was surprising, since they’re so very rarely on time (or within 20 minutes of it). Jonathan and Hula Girl got there just after I was weighed and had my BP checked. Great timing for everyone!

The nurse told me that the doctor would be “checking my progress” today, and I responded, “Does she have to?”

She was quite perplexed by that question. After all, what 39-weeks-pregnant lady doesn’t want hope that the end is in sight?! But that’s the thing- it doesn’t really matter how dilated and/or effaced one is- the measurements don’t predict anything! I could be 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced and still not deliver until August 14th! Or I could be 0 cm dilated and 0% effaced and deliver in the next 4 hours! So the measurements are basically meaningless, unless one really needs that hope.

The nurse asked the doctor if I really needed to be “checked” today and the doctor said, “Well, that’s unusual that she doesn’t want to be, but it’s fine. She doesn’t have to be.”

Another big reason I don’t want to be checked is that I read that if you’re positive for GBS, the checks can actually push the bacteria closer to the baby, endangering that little kiddo even more. So, it wasn’t really worth it for me to get checked today.

So the doctor took the normal measurements to check Gelato’s growth and then we heard his heartbeat (which was between 130 and 140 bpm today- I finally remembered to ask!). She said everything’s looking good.

Then she asked me how far along I was when I delivered Hula Girl. I reminded her that I was induced on Hula Girl’s due date, and her response was, “Hm.” (She also furrowed her brow quite a bit.) Then she told me that she’ll be here through next Thursday (which is Gelato’s actual due date), but after that she’s going to be on vacation for two weeks.* So the best time for me to deliver will be this weekend, when she’s on call. I told her that I would work on it.

*Frankly, I don’t really care which doctor is down there catching the baby. The OB is so uninvolved in the whole delivery process that the only way I’d really freak out about someone’s absence is if I had a specific nurse who’d worked with me all the way through pregnancy and who would be there the whole time during L&D. Guess that’s why some women want midwives and doulas!

Anyway, I do plan to go into labor before next week. I have been having some encouraging signs and symptoms lately (ones that I can actually feel free to share on my blog- don’t worry, they’re not the gross ones)!

Contractions– Nothing regular like I had a few weeks ago, but the contractions I’ve been feeling have been stronger and longer than the ones I had previously. I have been feeling them throughout the day for the past week or so (the other ones were limited to the evenings pretty much).

Back Pain- When I lie down in the evenings, my lower back starts to hurt. Like, really bad. Last night I was awakened several times in the night due to strong back pain. It’s constant, so it’s not contractions. However, I am concerned that this will equate to back labor for me. We’ll have to see.

Other Pain- Gelato moves at very consistent times of day now. So when we put Hula Girl down for bed at night, I can pretty much sit down and predict how long it will take for me to feel Gelato kick it up. And when he does- oh, man, does it hurt. It almost feels like I have no amniotic fluid surrounding him. Or like something inside there is swollen and receiving a brutal beating. Seriously, sometimes the pain is so bad that I can’t even talk or breathe through it.

Hip Pain- One of the essential hormones in pregnancy, relaxin, has done a number on the tendons around my hip. Last time I had sciatica, but that was totally different pain. This time, if I turn my right foot out and put pressure on the leg at the same time, I am guaranteeing myself the inability to walk unassisted for at least four hours afterward. (Yes, I have even had to crawl through the house and up and down stairs several times in the past week. That’s a sight to behold!) Last night I did something weird to it and I couldn’t even move to sit down, so Jonathan had to carry my poor sobbing self to bed. Even lying down hurt my hip, so I had him prop my leg up on a pillow, which helped. But I felt so helpless and I got scared that pushing this child out is going to cause permanent damage. (My doctor so kindly informed me that she has yet to see a patient lose a leg during delivery. So I guess I have nothing to worry about.) I felt like a big gigantic baby. And I cried like one, too. Poor Jonathan.

Nausea- It’s baaaaaaaaaack! When I woke in the night with my back pain, I felt an overwhelming urge to vomit. I didn’t. Ha. And then when I was brushing my teeth this morning, I was contemplating going downstairs for Hula Girl’s fruit toothpaste because our mint toothpaste was bringing back memories from Christmas and the following months- not the good kind of memories. The memories that make me want to vomit just thinking about how truly awful I felt. But I am embracing this nausea because I have read that it is a very good sign that things will start happening sooner than later.

Well, that’s where we are. I am going to go downstairs now and make myself some rice and beans. Oh yes, the meal of champions. Champion elimination dieters, that is. (By the way, the elimination diet is going well. I have only lost one more pound, which is common at the end of pregnancy. Woohoo! I think the constant intake of Lays and french fries has really boosted my ability to maintain my weight! That’s a good thing, right!?)


1 Comment

  1. Kristy said,

    July 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I am getting excited for you and your family! Do you know, I had some kind of similar hip thing carrying Nick? Every once in a while, I would have to plop down no matter where I was because I COULD NOT walk or stand on that hip pain. It was impossible. I did that in a grocery store once, with Xander, but I am happy to say it was uncrowded and I was able to get up pretty quickly. Aside from the pain, isn’t it weird to not know for sure if you are going to be able to stand or walk in a given moment? I also got that kind of response from the doctor. I guess pregnant ladies just have to bear it no matter what kind of strange thing happens… My mom has a story about how she kept insisting her itchy skin was actually an issue and not just a “pregnancy thing” that they couldn’t do anything about. I think it took months for her to find the right solution. Can’t remember the actual details of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: