Wednesday, October 9, 2013

MY FIRST PREGNANCY - Waiting

THE WAITING GAME

So in addition to all the discomfort of the 3rd trimester, there’s the waiting. The constant wonder of “when?!”. There’s worry in that for a lot of reasons, at least for me.

At 32 weeks, your baby has a good chance of surviving if born early, but there’s likely to be complications. The doc will say that if you have more than 5 contractions in an hour – call them because you could be in early labor. Well in class we learned to try some things before panicking. SWEND – Shower, Walk, Eat, Nap, and Drink. If absolutely none of those things stops or slows the contractions, then yes, call the doc. If they help, then you’re pretty safe. I knew that walking tended to induce the contractions so I stuck to the other four to gauge my intensity level. All 5 of those activities play a part in my birth story though, which will post on October 12th.

At 34 weeks, I lost my mucus plug. Nobody warns you that you could lose it early and don’t need to worry. I lost mine on a really hot day after a walk. I called the doc (and when I say doc, I mean midwife in my case, but I always just call them “doc” for ease I guess) and she said not to worry unless I start getting contractions or bleeding or anything. It grows back in a couple days and really isn’t anything to worry about, despite feeling and looking slightly gross and giving the expectant mom a minor panic attack because it’s a change that CAN, but doesn’t always necessarily, signal impending labor.

At 36 weeks, my midwife told me that labor could happen anytime now and they would no longer be worried or try to stop it. I was excited, but you have to remind yourself it’s likely to be another 4 or 5 weeks.

So what to do while you’re waiting. Well, we got the nursery ready, which was good, but also made me impatient to meet the tiny human that it represented. Other than that, we went about our daily lives. We went on walks, got together with our friends weekly, and I read a lot. Greg had started walking with me weeks before because I started getting so many Braxton Hicks contractions and needed reminding to drink more water. I always worried that my walks, especially on particularly hot days, would put me in early labor.

So at about 37 weeks, we started getting realistic that labor was impending and trying to do the little things to get ready. To be safe, we put a waterproof cover over our mattress topper in case my water broke in bed and I put a towel in the car to sit on as well as my favorite chair in the living room. I was worried about clean up and ruining something if my water broke somewhere inconvenient. I figured this was probably overkill because only about 15% of pregnant women’s water breaks first in labor.

The same week we did all that (during week 38), I’d planned on getting a bag together with everything we’d need for the hospital and getting all my blog posts (including these…HAHAHA ><) ready ahead of time.

Dropping and losing your mucus plug and things can all happen weeks before labor, and as my mucus plug went bye-bye at about 34 weeks, I figured there was still plenty of time. As I was expecting a specific experience in terms of the baby dropping lower in my belly, I didn’t notice when it might have happened and fully expected to be the textbook average first time mom and go as far as 41 weeks and 1 day. We were shocked as hell when I woke up from a nap at about 4PM on August 16th intending to sit down and watch some League of Legends action while I wrote up some of these articles. I was glad I put that towel down on my chair…


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