Pregnancy Update: False Labor at 38 weeks

You'd think after half a dozen birth experiences that I'd be a pro at this. You'd be wrong. I do know what's coming and that's a plus in some ways, but each child and delivery is different. Yesterday morning, I was ready to race to the hospital. Today, I am resting at home with baby still firmly snuggled in the womb. This is my 7th... it doesn't make sense to me that I could have been wrong about that.

Yesterday's labor signs were so clear and strong that I thought we would deliver within the hour. I had such intense pressure that I had the uncontrollable shakes. That only ever happens to me as I enter into transition and baby is about 5 minutes from being smothered with kisses. But it appears that my body is just a little crazy this week... and after alerting our entire social network that the arrival of our sweetheart was imminent, I have now gone from being almost-not-pregnant to very-decidedly-still-pregnant.

I knew that the baby had dropped and my midwife confirmed this. Perhaps my body was just responding to that change. Whatever the case, we're very ready to go. When it's time, this kiddo is going to fly out. That leaves me with the same (perhaps slightly increased) anxiety that I had before of getting to the hospital on time. I'm beginning to think through contingency plans and to weigh different scenarios.

If I start to transition before leaving the house, there's no way we'll make it to any hospital. Prepare materials for an emergency home birth.

If I start to transition in the car on the way to the hospital, we could be anywhere (car, outside, elevator, lobby). Prepare the car for an emergency travel birth.

If I am close to transition and don't really know what to do... this is the one that I'm praying about.

If my water breaks and the Chief is at work, there will not be enough time for him to get home in time to drive me to the hospital. Teach Cookie how to catch babies.

Or... perhaps I'll have a more average labor and delivery timetable. You never know.

The very good news is that we live near multiple hospitals and multiple emergency stations, the baby and I are super healthy, and my husband is a certified paramedic with a higher than average male experience of childbirth and baby catching. I'm sure that he has gone over these scenarios repeatedly in his mind and I have tremendous confidence in him.

Notes following our visit to the midwife this morning:

1. This is only the third visit we've had with her and I thank God she knows us so well and is so understanding. I honestly have no problem getting check-ups... time just seems to fly by so fast. She was very cool about it but also grateful to have some things to write down on my chart!

2. My dietary changes have transformed my pregnancy experience. Even my numbers are different...

~ Blood Pressure. My non-preggo blood pressure is generally very low. During pregnancy, it always rises by about 30-40 points. This time? There's been barely an increase. My numbers today were 100/70.

~ Weight. I'm about 10 pounds lighter right now than my lightest previous pregnancy. This is in spite of the fact that I eat tons of food. When I have cheeseburgers, I always have two. When I have a smoothie (complete with half & half and coconut milk), I generally drink the whole thing over the course of a few hours, meaning the whole pitcher not a whole glass. I think the difference is that I just don't eat garbage food at all.

Just these two sets of numbers have made my pregnancy experience physically easier. Even a little means a lot during these final days.

3. We're thinking about allowing Cookie to watch the birth and the midwife is fine with that. Cookie is a fairly mature 13 and may never have this opportunity again. I'm torn considering two possible outcomes: 1) She could be completely terrified and never want to have her own children. 2) She could be fascinated by the miracle of life and develop a desire to become a midwife. I think the second more likely but she's never really heard me banshee scream before. Okay, well, maybe she has a couple times around the house... but not like labor banshee screaming.

I place this all in God's hands. I'm trying anyway... I know I'm holding back. I just loved the gospel yesterday and laughed over this: "Why are you terrified, oh you of little faith?" Indeed! I just keep asking Him to lead me through this step by step. I have no idea what I'm doing, Lord... please just keep pointing the way.

Posted on July 3, 2013 and filed under "childbirth", "labor", "pregnancy".