Friday, July 10, 2015

Waiting For Baby: The Art of Winding Up a Real Life 'Jack in the Box'

As I walk into the local Hospital for my fifth obstetrics appointment I pretty much have the routine down pat by now. First, I register at the reception desk, go pee in a cup, then a nurse takes me to be weighed, takes my blood pressure and then I sit and wait in the examination room for the Doctor to come it. This visit I notice a very large, metal speculum on the bedside table and I'm wondering just how 'intimate and interactive' we're going to get today. When the Doctor comes in I get the standard, "Hello... how is everything going?" and then she proceeds to measure my belly, listen to the baby's heart beat and poke and prod around my belly to feel for the baby's positioning. Same old, same old.

This visit is a bit different from the others I've had in the past couple of months. At the end of the examination, instead of the routine, "See you next week", or, "Call anytime if you have any questions", I get the abridged, 3 minute, quick and dirty version of, "When You Go Into Labor This is What To Do" speech. It suddenly hits me; "Wow... things are getting really real!" The doctor talks to me about what to do when my water breaks, how to rule out false labor and how long to wait at home before coming into the hospital when I start having regular contractions. I'm thinking to myself, "OK, she's basically telling me I could go at anytime."  This is quite frightening.

Today I am 37 weeks (plus 3 days) pregnant. At 198 lbs I am, quite literally, bursting at the seams. When I walk through the house the floor creaks in places it never creaked before. I have to pee 5 minutes after I pee. Everything is uncomfortable, even sitting down... especially sitting down actually! I have a nice, daily rotation of walking, sitting, standing and laying down for small increments of time each. Just the act of 'getting out of bed' should be made an official Olympic Sport for pregnant woman. I've become a master at 'puttering' around the house; my newest skill! If I go out to run errands I have about a 60 minute window of time to do what I need to do before I'm either exhausted, in pain, starving, or all three. At present, the most entertaining and exciting thing for me to do, is to be taken for a drive (like a dog for goodness sake) to Tim Horton's and get an Iced Lemonade. The other day, for sheer entertainment, I sat inside the house, looked out the window and watched my husband mow the entire lawn. It's pretty sad. Due to the fact that I can't go out and do very much, I feel like I'm kind of a drag to be around. I actually broke down and cried the other day because I felt like I "wasn't any fun to be around." My husband quickly comforted and reassured me saying, "Of course you're fun to be around...(long pause)" then proceeded to not be able to think of anything to use as an example.

Now that I'm in the final stages of waiting for the baby to come, I definitely feel this sense of a real life 'Jack in the Box' being constantly wound up; I always hated that toy. I don't really care for surprises much and this one is going to be the surprise of a lifetime... 'Go Go Gadget Vagina!" I wonder to myself, "Where will I be when labor starts?" Will I be out in the grocery store, and all of a sudden my water breaks while I'm reaching for the container of Caramel Pecan Crunch frozen yogurt? I can already hear the overhead announcement, "Clean Up... Aisle 9... Bio hazard Spill!"  Or, will it happen when I'm driving in my car? Would I then have to sell my car with a disclaimer on the advertisement, "For Sale: 2008 Cobalt, 4 door, Silver, the driver's seat kind of has some amniotic fluid on it."

I've had several women tell me that when their labor started they initially thought they had to go to the bathroom to have a large poo. Now, whenever I go to the bathroom I'm thinking to myself, "Is this a poo or the baby?"  It's getting ridiculous. I try to relax but I'm naturally a bit of a 'Nervous Nelly' to begin with. I've been told that sometimes the onset of labor is mostly starts with lower back pain, and overall tummy tightness... but I get that all the time these days. I've read that most first time mothers (like myself) end up going late, but all of my closest girlfriends have all gone early with babies. There's really no way to prepare or to foresee it coming.

I guess for now, it's just me and this 'Jack in the Box' game that is in constant play, endlessly winding up, getting closer and closer to the big, scary "Bonjour!"


I'm curious to hear your thoughts! :)
What were your first beginning signs of labor? Did you have anything start happening that was different in the days leading up to your delivery?