Monthly Archives: October 2012

42 Weeks

How far along: 42 weeks, completed 10/24/12. And since my very first pregnancy pictures at 12 weeks were in a bandeau top and shorts, I figured I’d go out the same way (and for the full progression of pictures you can go to this handy little page).

Weight gain: On Friday the scale said I’d lost a pound, but then that pound was back on Monday. So I’m holding steady at 154, with a total pregnancy weight gain of 21 lbs.

Clothes: Considering this is the last day of my “normal” pregnant life, it’s a little unbelievable that soon I’ll be fitting into all the old favorites (at least . . . I hope).

Purchases: None! We’ve been set with baby stuff for quite awhile.

Body: What to say . . . well, first: I still feel pretty darn good. In the mornings I’m usually feeling fairly normal, and I’ve been staying active. I went to a women’s ministry gathering Saturday morning, church and then Bible study on Sunday, Dr’s appointments on Friday and Monday (after which I did a ton of walking to try to induce myself–with no success), and work until the past few business days. In the evenings I start getting much more uncomfortable. Basically, achy and heavy, with considerable grunting needed to get myself from prone to upright.

And as for the belly disappearing act, let’s see what’s happening in this very final week, and on this very final day . . .

Sleep: Magical as always! I’ve chosen not to go into the office this week, but make myself available by phone or email through my Blackberry. So I’ve been sleeping extra in the mornings and loving it. In my mind, I’m building my strength for whatever is going to happen today . . . because it could be a long road.

Best moment(s) of the week: I enjoyed hearing my little one’s strong heartbeat during my nonstress tests both Friday and Monday (which she passed with flying colors). When she’s sleeping, it’s a nice, quiet, steady 128-130 beats per minute. But when she starts moving, watch out! That heartbeat starts galloping along in the high 170s. While I was lying there watching her move about and kick at the monitors strapped to my belly and listening to the thunder of her heartbeat, a nurse came in from the hallway and was like “What’s going on? It sounds like there’s a racehorse in here!”

That’s my little Alice.

Movement: In the evenings, Alice’s movements can feel a little violent. Especially in the past 10 days or so, when I lie down she has a good hour of partying it up–and it hurts me! It no longer produces a fuzzy, warm feeling in my heart of “awwwww . . . how cute!”, but of “ouch! Holy crap! Please stop!”

I think she’s hitting a good number of nerves down there, because it feels like she has a metal claw that is about to poke a hole at the bottom of the uterus or something. I’ve seriously thought, “oh my gosh, I think she’s about to break my water,” many times, because it feels so strong.

Food cravings/aversions: I was hit–twice–with the most severe craving EVER for ice cream. And not just any ice cream, but the Dulce de Leche Safeway brand that we happen to have in our freezer. I know I’m off cow dairy products, but guys, this was some kind of intense existential urge the likes of which I don’t remember ever feeling before. Both times, I ate two spoonfuls to scratch the itch and then put it back. And I am so glad I didn’t resist my impulse. It was an almost spiritual experience to down those creamy, cold bites of ice cream.


Symptoms: Contractions which start but, after a couple hours, stop. And yes, this can mess with my emotions. I start getting excited, willfully tell myself not to think too much about the timing of them and how evenly they are spaced, but it’s just plain disappointing when they stop.

Emotions: The first half of this final week I was doing fine. I’ve been happy Alice didn’t come early or on the official due date, because it’s allowed things to get settled again at the office to the point where I’ve been able to let go again. It’s given me some time to pamper myself (I got my first manicure and second pedicure ever–decadent!), clean the house, journal, and generally get rested. But Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday have been hard, guys. The deadline is approaching, and if nothing happens this morning or afternoon, at 8pm tonight I’ll be checking into the birthing center to be induced. Monday it really hit me that despite our preparation for natural childbirth, that may not happen. I am not in control. I can learn all I like about what normally happens and ways I might find helpful to cope in different scenarios, but the mysteries of my own body ultimately aren’t mine to unlock. We’ve tried every natural induction method in the book except for acupuncture, with no results. And it’s humbling.

Even though I’m glad that the nonstress tests and ultrasound showed that Alice is thriving and doing so well in there (over 7 lbs and with a crown of fuzzy hair!), part of me wonders if maybe she’s doing a little too well, and consequently has no desire to join us out here. But that’s crazy talk. “Too well”?? I need to be grateful for that. It is good that she is thriving in there. It is good that I’ve had such a comfortable, easy time with pregnancy. It’s good that there’s plenty of amniotic fluid and that she has a heart like a racehorse. I can’t let my mind turn a good thing into a bad thing, know what I’m saying?

Hopes and dreams: At this point, though I should be thinking beyond labor and delivery, I feel pretty caught up in what the birth experience is going to be like, especially now that induction is staring me in the eye. The point is, I don’t know what to expect, how I’m going to handle it, how my body is going to respond to the drugs, or anything. I’ve been praying like crazy that labor would start naturally and for some reason, God has answered with “no.” I don’t know what he’s up to. I’m still called to trust that his plan is good. His plan is best. But honestly, at the moment, his “no” doesn’t make any sense to me. Which is where faith comes in . . . it may never make sense to me, and I’m still called to rest in his goodness and sovereignty.

“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-14)

Pray for me, friends! My prayer request at Bible study on Sunday was that whatever birth experience we have, God will be at the center of that story, and that he will be glorified when we tell it. So I don’t want to even go into the hospital tonight feeling hurt, like “God, why are you ignoring me?” He’s not ignoring me . . . but I have to remind myself of this, because that’s what it feels like.

I’ve been singing the words to this song for a few days that has really helped me: “Creator, giver of all things; all I have is yours.” The chorus just repeats “All I have . . . all I have . . . all I have is yours.” It’s been a sweet reminder to myself that my body is God’s, Alice is God’s, and even my story belongs to him. It’s for him to write, not for me to write.

What I miss: Nothing at the moment even comes to mind, probably because I’m so focused on what’s about the happen.

What I’m looking forward to: Getting through labor, and staying as close to God as I can possibly be through whatever happens.

Husband update:  As he puts it, he doesn’t tend to sweat the big stuff–he tends to sweat the small stuff more (I’m the opposite, which is a big help in encouraging each other away from anxiety in our areas of struggle). So he’s more tempted to be anxious about driving safely to the hospital than actually having a baby. Basically: he’s not worried. He’s trusting God. I really feel that I can lean on him emotionally during this whole birthing process no matter what happens, which is such a comfort.

Well friends, one thing I can say for sure: there will be no week 43 update! Because this is it. It all starts happening today, whether naturally or otherwise. Pray for us, and I’ll be back with an actual, real baby (!??!) in a day or two. Back at home, that is . . . not necessarily back and blogging.

Love you all!

41 Weeks

How far along: 41 weeks, completed 10/17/2012. This Friday I have a nonstress test at 1:30. Basically, they will listen to Alice’s heartbeat for about half an hour and see how she’s doing in there. If there’s any reason for concern, I’ll be induced that same day (!). In which case, I’ll phone up my darlin’ husband, who will bring the hospital bag and meet me there for showtime. On the other hand, if everything looks fine, I go back on Monday for an ultrasound and they’ll check the level of my amniotic fluid. The absolute last possible day I will be pregnant is Wednesday the 24th, and if things haven’t happened naturally by that point, I’ll be induced at 8pm.

Please pray, friends. I want Alice to come out naturally. I have no desire to take pitocin. I’m  actively giving up my worries when they hit my heart . . . and it takes some emotional work.

Weight gain: Not sure . . . a scale in a bathroom I was recently in (since we don’t have a scale at home) said 151, but there’s no way I’ve lost 3 lbs in the past week. So who knows.

Clothes: I’m ready to be done working around this belly and get back into my regular clothes. I wake up in the morning and I think “oh man . . . another maternity tank day.” I’m basically down to either this one pair of jeans, or leggings with a long top. Not exactly my idea of fun variety.

Purchases: Nothing new.

Body: In the mornings during the past week I’ve been feeling pretty energetic and moving about comfortably, but as the days progress into the evening, I’ve been getting more uncomfortable. Getting up from the couch is considerably more difficult at night, for example. Maybe because after eating and drinking all day, my stomach expands and makes everything else feel more cramped?

And yesterday I woke up feeling uncomfortable from the get go (possibly because during the night it felt like Alice was trying to drill her way out through my pelvic floor–ouch). I went to work anyway, but didn’t stick around long. Everything was under control at the office (ah, bliss), so I decided to work from my lovely old Blackberry and head home to some raspberry leaf tea.

I’ve been getting contractions that feel slightly painful at least a few times per evening. One night, there was a nice 10-minute pattern for about an hour, but then they went away. As soon as I feel a contraction that feels like a strong menstrual cramp and has a little edge of back pain to it, I get excited and say a little prayer that they will continue. But until now, they haven’t turned into anything lasting or super intense. We’re trying all the methods of natural induction on the list: spicy foods . . . pineapple . . . pressure points on the ankle and arms . . . walking . . . and other methods. Heh heh.

Oh, and lotsa prayer.

Anyway, it’s just not computing that my body will ever decide to start this process. I feel like there’s a motherboard that needs some buttons to be pushed, but I’m not sure how to access those buttons. Will my body just start labor at some point? I have trouble trusting that it will.

And as for belly-disappearing, it’s actually still kind of successful, though in the picture below it doesn’t look it since I had just stuffed myself with taco salad, oatmeal bread, fruit salad, and scones. Scones galore.

Sleep: As awesome-sauce as usual, with the exception of Alice’s drilling expedition Monday night around 3am.

Best moment(s) of the week: I really loved our relaxing Saturday. I had a nice, peaceful devotional with coffee and cookies in the morning . . . we meal-planned and grocery shopped . . . we hung out and talked . . . I read on the couch while drinking tea and watching the rain . . . and then we made coq au vin (a huge batch so that we could freeze the leftovers) and watched a documentary (“Waiting for Superman”) in bed. Perfection!

Movement: She’s still twisting and stretching around, and it’s definitely more uncomfortable than ever before. She’s got some strength in those little legs! And the tendon-twanging feeling from last week–it’s the worst. I’m not a banjo, little girl! But if you come out today I’ll give you a banjo . . . (yes, I’m not beyond bribing at this point).

Food cravings/aversions: Nothing in particular to report here, but it’s been painful to watch my darling husband eat our favorite kind of ice cream (Dulce de Leche) and not partake. When Alice is about 3 weeks old, my self-imposed ban on dairy will be lifted and there will be much rejoicing. My first mission will be to eat a bowl of berries smothered in heavy whipping cream.

Symptoms: Contractions (more in the evening than during the day), but without the intensity and pattern that would indicate labor is happening.

Emotions: I’ve been pretty emotional about work in the past week. Some things have come up (beyond anyone’s control) that have meant I need to be here. I don’t want to go into detail, but late last week I cried at work for probably the 3rd time in 3 years, and was completely overwhelmed by stress. I cried on the bus as I went to the office . . . I cried in the bathroom after getting here . . . I cried at my desk . . . and then I cried in front of my boss. Yikes. Thankfully after some thinking, planning and decision-making followed by improvement in some matters beyond my control, things are (I think) in place again so that I can leave unencumbered by the feeling that things may fall apart. They won’t!

There is now a back-up plan for the back-up plan, type of thing.

All in all, the stress at work was the only downer in my week until I got some serious blues Monday evening. Totally out of the blue, and for no reason that I could even put my finger on. I just didn’t feel like smiling, or laughing, or doing really anything at all. So with my husband’s encouragement, as soon as we had finished dinner I went to bed and watched 2 episodes of “Clean House.” Then my baby joined me (the husband, not the Alice) and read me Sherlock Holmes until I fell asleep. Will you think me superficial if I say this was pretty much bliss? Because it was.

Hopes and dreams: Every day I hope that it will be The Day, but I’m trying not to obsess and steal the enjoyment out of the present.

What I miss: Wearing normal clothes.

What I’m looking forward to: Holding my baby girl for the first time. It’s funny, because though it’s closer than ever, it also feels further away than ever before.

Husband update: He’s ready for her to be born! Thankfully he’s also really into his work right now, writing chapter 1 of his dissertation with research he’s been doing all summer. So going to work every day is exciting for him, which I think helps take his mind off the waiting game.

I hope you’re all having great weeks! I continue to covet all of your prayers for peace, strength, patience, and pretty much all the blessings of God on us and on the timing of this. Love you all!