Let’s take a trip down Pregnancy Memory Lane, shall we?
It’s August of 2012. I am 36 weeks and 3 days pregnant with Peanut. I go in to my weekly OB appointment and my first cervical check, apologizing to my doctor for the massive amount of fluid she’s about to encounter.
She does her routine “make the pregnant girl into a sock puppet” thing and says incredulously, “Wow, girl. You’ve got one heck of a cervix. You’re already dilated to 4 centimeters and almost completely effaced.”
I was flabbergasted. I’d been prepping for a late baby, but suddenly everything went into overdrive. We got the carseat bases installed and cancelled our travel plans for the weekend. (Read the entire 36-weeks-pregnant-with-Peanut blog here.)
At my next appointment, I was 6cm dilated, completely effaced, and leaking amniotic fluid when I arrived to be checked out. They sent me to Labor & Delivery, where I got to 8cm without feeling a single contraction. I watched TV and ate popsicles. They broke my water at 8pm when I hadn’t progressed past 8cm, and I went from 8cm to 9cm in about an hour with menstrual-cramp-ish contractions that didn’t hurt much. From 9cm to 10cm took an hour and 20 minutes, and it was brutal, but I made it through without an epidural and gave birth to my wittle Peanut 16 minutes after midnight.
I was 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant and gave birth to a 7 pound, 1/2 ounce baby that was 21-1/4 inches long. A full 18 days before my due date.
This pregnancy, with Squeak, I was given a due date of August 9, but based on Peanut’s story, I planned for another early baby. Anytime after 37 weeks (July 19), I told myself (and anyone else who would listen). I’ll be preparing for another early baby! Even my doctor said I’d be more likely to deliver early with Squeak.
Now, let’s all return to reality. 🙂
Last week, at my 35-week appointment, I had my Strep B test (negative, woo hoo!). Since I was already up in the stirrups, I asked the doc to check my cervix. I was almost certain things were different from my Peanut pregnancy. For starters, there was no massive amount of fluid. Hardly any, in fact. I’d been having Braxton Hicks contractions (something new for me; I never noticed them with Peanut), but that’s about the only sign that this kid had any intention of ever coming out.
Sure ’nuff, the barn door was completely closed. Zero dilation, and only a little cervical thinning. I was a little disappointed, but quickly started to reset my expectations. It looked like Squeak was very much his own person and not coming into this world like his big sister did.
Today was my 36-week appointment, and El Cervix was checked again, sock puppet style.
Whoop-de-doo: one centimeter dilated, only 25% effaced. Once again, I left the office slightly resetting my expectations. What the hell? I was a friggin’ rockstar last time! What gives?
Now I’m starting to worry a little. If I had a 7-pound baby at 37 weeks, how monstrous will this baby be at 39-1/2 weeks?
(I am scheduled for an induction on August 4, five days before my due date, because my husband has to be out of town for work the 7th-9th. My doctor suggested the induction; I didn’t think they’d do an induction for a non-medical reason, but thankfully she is willing to induce so my husband can be at his child’s birth. If we get to August 4th and Squeak is still tucked snugly inside my uterus, we’ll ‘encourage’ him to come out by stripping membranes and then giving Pitocin. My husband won’t have to leave town until Squeak and I are safe and sound at home with lots of helping hands to assist. Am I crazy about this idea? Not really. But I am less keen on giving birth while my husband is 9 hours away.)
I can’t help but think this is what I get for being cocky. For thinking I’d be lucky enough to have a 37-week birth like last time. Or even contemplating that I could have another nearly-painless labor.
In the words of the doctor this afternoon, “Whatever was going on with your last pregnancy, it’s not happening with this one.”
Dammit. I’ve got a feeling that this kid is going to tear me right down the middle coming out. Squeak, have mercy. Mommy’s frightened.
All that aside, I can barely contain my excitement. I’ve got less than 14 days of work before I go on maternity leave: ~9 full weeks off, followed by about 6 to 8 weeks of part-time work (go ahead and laugh, Canadians and Europeans, but count your lucky f***ing stars). I’m actually excited for the delivery, even though I know it’s going to hurt.
Mostly I am over-the-moon excited to find out if Squeak is a boy or a girl. Beside myself with giddy anticipation. And now this giddiness has to be tempered and held off a while longer. Maybe 19 days longer.