Pregnancy Stories — 41 Weeks and 5 Days

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I'm not tired, but I am. My body has gotten used to carrying around an 8+ pound fetus, 2 pounds of amniotic fluid, 1+ pounds of placenta, bigger boobs, and the extra body fat that comes with pregnancy. It's gotten used to the way it has to waddle to get anywhere and the boob ache that accompanies a random baby crying in the grocery store.

What I am feeling tired of is going to bed every night thinking, "maybe tonight is the night" and waking up the next morning and saying, "guess it wasn't." I am done with the endless cramps that feel like they aren't getting anywhere, trying to think of responses that aren't incredibly snarky when people say, "you haven't had your baby YET?", and the jealousy that comes when FIVE of your friends who were due after you have their babies before. (SO happy for them, but so jealous for me.)

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At 36 weeks, it was good. I had a couple of nights where I super intense hip aching that I thought would soon transition to labor. I made a bunch of freezer meals, made a list of the things I wanted to collect, got everything we needed for the homebirth kit, and had a homevisit with the midwife and her assistants. I was feeling so good, we even went camping! That was fun. Ethan got in a car accident and our car was totaled, but we weren't too worried. Luckily we have family close by if we needed something we could get it, and we live close enough to the main town area that if we needed to walk, we could walk. I bought Dr. Christopher's Birth Prep, thinking I wouldn't even need to take it for more than a few weeks, and ordered one more bottle of prenatal vitamins.

 At 37 weeks, I was still feeling good. I lost a lot of my mucus plug, which was also accompanied by cramping. We went to my nephew's baseball game on Saturday. It was too hot to walk anywhere outside, so we visited Costco and Target a couple of times. We took baby clothes out of storage and I washed and folded all of them (one of the best activities ever). I started a batch of sauerkraut with garlic in it to give as thank you gifts for our midwife and her assistants. 

At 38 weeks, we had our baby shower. It was awesome - it was more of an Open House, where we invited some friends and their kids and we had a "Make Your Own Pizza Bar", which was delicious. We were given some really generous and wonderful gifts, and I was even cramping during the party and thinking, "maybe I'll have baby earlier than 40 weeks/ tonight!" 

At 39 weeks, Ethan dislocated his shoulder, which was lame. He had it in the sling all week and took it easy. I wrote several thank you letters, and went through my closet to see what I could donate to the thrift store to make room for diapers. I wrote and worked on a couple of blog posts, and watched a LOT of Call the Midwife (best show ever). We went to nephew's second baseball game. I made a bunch of muffins to give away (and eat ourselves). We got a binkie for the baby and had Hugh help us pick it out. I washed all of the blinds, washed the walls, and deep cleaned my bathtub. My midwife checked my cervix and did a stretch and sweep. I Googled to see how effective that was, and Google told me most women went into labor 48 hours afterwards. My mother-in-law made us dinner several times. I had more cramping and thought I would go to bed and wake up to a baby. When that didn't happen, I cried a couple of times wanting this baby to COME. 

At 40 weeks, we went to the doctor to get Ethan's shoulder checked since it was still bothering him, but it was fine, just part of the normal healing process. That was a relief to me, and I thought, "okay! We are good to go!". We went grocery shopping and stocked up on bulk food and toilet paper, dropped off two huge bags at the thrift store, mailed two packages that had been hanging around for over a month, dropped off some items that had been loaned to me, visited a couple of ladies from church, and hung out with several friends. I finished writing all my thank you cards from the gifts that were given to us and felt SUPER ready.  My midwife checked my cervix and did a stretch and sweep again. Our church had a Halloween party, for which that entire week I thought I wouldn't be going to, but did. Hugh was a super cute tiger and I was glad I was able to go. It was a little discouraging going to church that Sunday and getting a bunch of comments about the baby not coming yet and how impatient everyone was for baby to be born. Me too. Tried not to drown my sorrows in post-Halloween candy. We bought some baby socks since for some reason, we hardly had any left over from Hugh. I cleaned my ceiling fans, and gave away a few more things from the thrift store. I cried a couple of more times, wishing for baby to be born.

At 41 weeks, in need of serious distraction by now, I had watched FOUR World Series Games. In case you didn't know, I am not super into sports. So the fact that I watched a bunch of baseball games just demonstrates how much I was in need of distraction. (For the record: I did also enjoy the games). I ate a bunch of fish tacos. Ethan was awesome and always ready to rub my back or say something encouraging. We went thrift store shopping and I found a really cute sweater that would fit a newborn baby, and a few other cute baby things, and a pretty shirt for me. Ethan took a few pictures for me to memorialize my body's powerfulness. A lady from church unexpectedly brought us some soup and rolls for dinner, and it was seriously amazing. I had a bunch of cramps that were more contraction-y than cramp-y and I thought, "maybe tomorrow I will text her and tell her about her labor inducing soup!" but it ended up fading out through the night. Woke up feeling super discouraged and texted all of our brothers and sisters asking for prayers. They were all super awesome. My sister-in-law said this awesome thing: "Sending you all the positive energy, the strength and patience to be trusting and accepting of all foreseeable paths, to have the understanding that babies come into the world many different ways and everyone has a unique story." Kind of beautiful, huh? So glad she said that because I'd been feeling frustrated that I hadn't given birth yet, and while Hugh was born at 41 weeks, I had always been thinking that was because 1. He was in a posterior position and 2. I was a first time mom. Neither were the case this time and I felt grateful for her wise and comforting words. My midwife called and we made a plan for what induction methods we could use  and what she would need to bring for our appointment the next day (Wednesday). 

At 41+5 or 41+1 (depending on which due date you chose) at 6:00am, I went into labor. I felt like I was exploding with happiness because, finally, my baby was coming.

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