That's me up there. Well, it's my belly. With my son in it.
(Whoa. There's a baby in my belly. Even at 38 weeks, it still feels a little surreal.)
Anyway: If you go by the floating-baby-countdown-thingie over there to the right, you'll see we have 14 days left. Two full weeks to go! Yay!
Except that floating baby is a big old liar head.
If you're one of the 12 people who read this blog "regularly," then you'll have noticed I haven't blogged much during this pregnancy. This is primarily because my day job, while thoroughly enjoyable, has been especially demanding during the entire run of the pregnancy. In fact, while in utero, this child has been on more trips than he likely will ever take again in the course of a year. (Seattle twice, Delaware twice, zip zap zip, plus he attended an NKOTB concert in there, too; don't ever say I don't expose my children to high culture).
And, I'll confess: Part of why these baby update blogs have been so few and far between is that there...hasn't been that much to report. I have been blessed with an extremely easy and uneventful pregnancy, and I've been reluctant to jinx it by giving voice to it. "Why, no, I'm not feeling nauseated, my feet aren't swollen, I haven't gained 60 pounds, I don't have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure and the baby is flourishing. Please, STRIKE ME, LIGHTNING!"
In fact, the only wrinkle came in the form of an ultrasound that one of my OBs scheduled as an afterthought. I'd asked if she thought it was strange that I'd only gained about 10 pounds in the first eight months of pregnancy, and while they only wanted me to gain 15 to begin with (I'm a curvy girl), she thought it best we just check on the baby's weight.
Thankfully, the baby's weight came in exactly at the 50th percentile, meaning he was exactly average for eight months in utero, and all seemed well. The doctors were a little concerned, however, that my amniotic fluid was a bit on the low side. "It's not so low that we're panicking," the doctor told us hastily, since I'm sure our faces read, "WE! ARE! PANICKING! OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR BABY?!" "But it's low enough that we just want to keep an eye on it."
Which is how we've found ourselves in the doctor's office twice a week for the last three weeks, having non-stress tests (where a fetal heart monitor does its monitor-y best to determine that our baby's heart is strong and responding appropriately when he moves) and ultrasounds (where, depending on the ultrasound tech, the levels are either low or high and we either freak out or feel reassured).
(Note to ultrasound techs everywhere: TELL THE PARENTS WHAT YOU'RE DOING AS YOU'RE DOING IT. And if you see something that concerns you, either tell them flat out or don't let the concern show on your face. I was about ready to drop-kick the tech one week who flew through the measurements but said nothing except, "When are you going over the results with the doctor? Because...you know...the sooner the better." WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?)
The upshot of three weeks of testing is this: Everything looks normal. The non-stress tests were all fine. The fluid level results from the ultrasounds are mixed -- they go up and down -- but never so low that the doctors were freaking out. Cervical exams showed I'm not dilated or effaced. We were well on our way to reaching our March 5 due date, and we were relieved that no one was talking induction anymore (we really wanted to let this baby come in his own time, unless there was a real medical reason to induce).
Then, on Friday, the doctor marched in and nonchalantly shot all that to hell.
"I've scheduled you for induction on Feb. 28th!" she said, with a smile, in lieu of "hello" or any other kind of normal greeting. "Your fluid levels are OK, but if they go down any more we might start to worry, so I decided that 39 weeks is far enough. Let's get this baby out of you!"
And then she left the room, leaving us holding an appointment card that said, "Induction: 2/28" and, hilariously, "If you're unable to keep this appointment, please cancel within 48 hours."
Yes, thank you, I'd like to cancel this induction and just keep my baby nice and toasty in my womb for another month or so. Laters!
So we gaped at each other and tried to come to terms with the fact that A) our baby was going to have a February birthday, B) anything we'd been planning to get accomplished in that last week before my due date was going to happen NOW or not at all, and, oh yes, C) OUR SON WAS GOING TO COME OUT OF ME IN ELEVEN DAYS.
(Well, now it's eight days. Oh my God.)
Things that are bumming me out about this turn of events:
- First and foremost: I really wanted this baby to be born in his own time. I hate the idea of "forcing" nature's hand. If he's meant to be "overdue," then so be it. Let him pick his own birthday.
- I'm sad that we'll miss the excitement of "Contractions! Is it time? Let's time them out. MY WATER BROKE! Where's the bag?! Where's the camera? Aahhhhhhhh!" and all those other things that movies have assured me are part of all births.
- We have one less week to finish a few minor home improvement projects, and I have one less week to train my maternity leave coverage at work. I'm someone who needs to know things are done and done right before I relinquish control. (This never annoys my husband or co-workers, EVER.)
Things that, to my surprise, I'm actually liking about this whole scheduled induction thing:
- It greatly appeals to the planner in me. Instead of telling family and friends to expect a call "sometime" that the time has come, everyone is well-informed and knows just where to be and when.
- My husband's parents, who are coming in from out of town, won't have to camp out potentially for weeks, waiting for the baby's impending arrival.
- T has gotten the necessary kick in the pants to finish the last touches to our humble little nursery so I can finally share some pictures with you all this week.
- More than anything else, I know precisely when I'm going to get to hold my son for the first time, and watch his daddy stare at him in awe, and finally share his name with everyone who already loves him.
Don't ask me if we're ready. It's a silly question, the answer to which is "no" and "yes" and "maybe" and "DUH."
The nursery is done, the clothes are washed and put away, the bag is packed, the childbirth classes have been had (more on those later), the house is ready, the grandparents are alerted and the dogs...well, they're oblivious, but they've been informed of their new little brother's arrival, too.
Our lives are ready, by all outward appearances.
Let's do this thing.
One last plea from a first-time about-to-give-birther: If you were induced, how was your experience? I'd love to hear about it. How long did it take, how did you react to the Pitocin, etc. Lay it on me.