41 weeks now.

Just an update to say that nothing interesting is happening. Those 5-7 minute toe-curling contractions continued for 24 straight hours and then stopped. Yep. At about 2:30pm today they stopped as abruptly as they came on at exactly 2:30pm the day before. I had another afternoon nap, greasy food that gave me heartburn, and now I’m getting the occasional toe-curler thrown in at random but nothing significant. More like, “Just enough to remind you that you’re not in labour yet. Ha ha!”.

So… Curtis is now off for the rest of the week because after that I’m 5cm dilated and just sort of sitting here, contracting on and off in a not-yet-real sort of way. SITTING HERE, FIVE CENTIMETERS DILATED. I mean good lord, I can actually feel her hanging out of me. If I check my cervix, I can actually massage a hand-sized portion of the top of her head (which is so low she’s about 1.5-2 inches in), and then she wiggles her feet in response. When she turns her head, I feel it in my birth canal. How insane is that? What the hell?
I tried to have sex this morning and Curtis and I both found it ridiculously uncomfortable because, as he put it, “I have to bend at a 90 degree angle”. I actually can no longer have sex because there is the head of a small infant in the way. I just… what.

I had a cry this afternoon when my logical, “This is great progress” brain was silenced by the non-logical, three-year-old-tantrum brain that is screaming, “I will never ever ever have this baby and will do this forever and ever, amen”.
As if on cue, the midwife called from her home and gave me a wonderful pep talk about what fantastic progress this is, and how it’s such a positive indicator for a smooth and easy (not to mention fast) active labour once it really hits and how amazing my body has been. I’m so, so glad that she’s the kind of care provider that’s not pushy and paranoid: she’s really made this pregnancy a fantastic experience for me. She’s so supportive, kind and even with all the problems I’ve had throughout this pregnancy with pain and illness she’s been so careful to never use negative language when speaking about my body or my experience, while also validating my feelings of frustration and pain. There’s never been anything but proactive, body-positive and birth positive words and it makes such a huge difference in my ability to cope when I’m feeling down.
It’s so easy to succumb when you’re feeling vulnerable, and having a care provider that’s there to put an arm around your shoulder and remind you that you’re an awesome human being can be the most amazing thing in the world. I am so happy that I chose to have a midwife this time, and I am so glad that I met Jill. I loved my UC and my UP experiences, but this time I needed the emotional support and she’s really been all that and more.

After her wonderful chat, she told me to go out and buy some wine to have a glass or two to ensure I stay relaxed, positive and continue having good quality rest. She firmly believes I won’t be pregnant by the end of this week – though I’m not quite as positive about that – and is being my personal cheerleader for constant naps and eating whatever and whenever I possibly can because we should be pretending as though, “birth is about six hours away” from this point onward. I don’t even care if that’s complete bullshit, I like hearing it anyway.
Before she hung up she said, “The only two real concerns we should ever have about this stage are: maternal exhaustion, and maternal crazy-making”.

So here we are with everything set up, a hose dangling from the shower head, waiting, technically half-way to giving birth while miraculously not being in active labour, stuck in baby limbo and sort of nervously wondering if things will go very, very fast once the real thing starts.
I feel a little like a car that won’t start. Or maybe an RV. The kind from the late 70’s that are ridiculously bloated and sort of offensive to look at.

Comments

comments

60 Comments

  • Baby born?

    I can’t access Twitter from work but did see this when I Googled babyslime to get to her LJ page:

    “Baby girl born at 4:25am after two hours of active labor!!” I believe there’s a picture there, too, but can’t access that either.

    Yippee!

  • Anonymous says:

    You don’t know me but I guess I’ve been checking your journal a little too often lately because I had a dream that you named your baby Seven, like from Seinfeld. And it turned out to be a boy instead of a girl!

    OK, back to lurking. I will try to have less creepy dreams. Best of luck with the birth – please don’t name your baby Seven.

  • gardenmama says:

    Yeah, you’re never actually going to have the baby because you are the most watched pot in all of the history of the Internets! I can’t be the only person who is compulsively checking to see if there’s a new update from you πŸ˜‰

  • Anonymous says:

    I had a dream last night that you had the baby & instead of just telling us the name you put up a youtube video of Hannibal Lecter saying it (Clarice), I was like O_o WTFH? I’m not entirely sure where that came from, I’ve only seen parts of that movie once & hated it…but in the next part of the dream I was an organ grinder with a little dancing monkey, so yeah idk. It’s time for the child to come out so we can know it’s name already!
    Your second paragraph made me visualize you with the entire top half of Fuzz’s body out & you still not really being ‘in active labor’.
    The comment about manually dilating your cervix made me think about HOW one could manually dilate their own cervix, which made me realize how, now mine is horrified & I think it’s decided to go hang out behind my kidneys for a while..

  • (which is so low she’s about 1.5-2 inches in)
    I’m not going to tell you how long I (awkwardly) walked around at the “baby is too low for sex to be physically possible” stage this last pregnancy, because I don’t think you want to hear that right now.

    It’s the weirdest thing ever, though. Never happened with my other pregnancies.

  • Anonymous says:

    Aww πŸ™ Hang in there – it can’t last forever! And Im sharing your frustration at this point as I did have a dream that you had your baby last night and when I woke this morning you have been on my mind as I was sure I would see photos! Bleh!
    You should send her an eviction notice – PRONTO!

    • Just posting to say I also had a dream last night that you had Fuzz; you invited me over for Thanksgiving dinner, and then your mom and I helped you out with massages while you were in labour.

      /delurking after 3+ years of reading your blog

  • delababy says:

    I personally think May 31st is the best day ever for a Birthday. I might be biased, but so far so good for me! Tell Baby Fuzz that the 31st is totally the way to go.

  • sylvanna says:

    More like a car rolling downhill that someone has forgotten to pop into gear, if they ever do before you get to the bottom.

  • bluealoe says:

    I actually can no longer have sex because there is the head of a small infant in the way.

    I think my mind just exploded.

    And I’m a big fan of the 1970s RVs, they look cool. Just like you!

    *hugs* I love you and I’m thinking of you constantly,

  • conchispa says:

    You are way too prepared for active labor πŸ˜‰ Murphy’s law dictates that you must put the pool away and send Curtis back to work, and make sure that he is not able to leave on a short notice. That should get things going. *runs and hides*

  • marbyco says:

    I told Kyla about the sex thing – the look on her face was priceless. She was horrified by the image of baby getting poked in the eye by a penis snake, no matter what I said to the contrary.
    …I see I’m going to have problems getting laid when I’m knocked up.

    I keep thinking about Tempest’s birth – if we only knew then what we know now. If only we’d slept…

    • admin says:

      Haha, oh Kyla… Poor Kyla.

      Tempest’s birth: I know, right? SO MANY THINGS I’d have done differently if I knew what I know now. In retrospect, it’s even more amazing that I ended up having her naturally considering all the ridiculous mistakes I made. I’m very, very thankful I was in a tiny rural area with a tiny rural midwife because I think any other situation would have resulted in a cesarean 20 hours earlier.

  • altarflame says:

    It’s an interesting paradox that the longer you’re pregnant, the CLOSER you are to giving birth…but the longer you’re pregnant, the further from it you start to feel. I remember in the apt in Boston I got to the point that every passing hour reinforced that the baby was NEVER COMING – at one point I told Grant, “If I’m still pregnant tomorrow, I’m selling all the cloth diapers on eBay and giving away the baby clothes. This is just ridiculous.” O_O (“Maternal crazy-making”)

    I totally agree with the people who have said to not even go there with herbs, walks, certain foods, blah blah blah. I have went so overboard with all of those things so many times and it’s never done a damn bit of good. When you’re actually in labor there is no stopping, starting or rushing it (as you know).

    I think the best thing you could do with this time is try to bond with your baby….try to really see her as a real thing and imagine her in your arms and touch her head to feel her feet move. Lock yourself in a bedroom alone and put your hands on her and concentrate on her and talk to her. Write her letters to read when she’s older. Before the whirlwind kicks in. Let her be real before she’s out, if you can.

    I really regret not doing more of this with more openness, with Isaac (the pregnancy that followed my second trimester loss). I think it could have made a major difference for us in his life. (and my apologies if you have totally bridged this gap already and lost the surreality of the baby)

    • admin says:

      I’ve been thinking a lot about that and trying meditations almost every day, but as you said the closer you get the further away/more surreal it starts to feel. Three or four times in the last week I’ve been suddenly struck with absolute panic about Jericho’s birth and wondering if I’m hanging onto her out of fear. Jill is going to come by today and I was going to talk to her about it a little bit as well, because I know she won’t be the type of person to immediately suggest band-aids like ultrasounds or tests… which, really, will do NOTHING to ease the fears. I’m not afraid Fuzz has killer birth defects, I’m just sort of afraid she’ll drop dead in the middle of labour for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

    • Anonymous says:

      from http://www.billiebutton.me

      It’s funny you say that cause I am sure the surrealness of the baby thing is why my labour was so long and for the most part, unproductive. I was in labour for 52 hours in total. Because of a history of CFS, excruciating back pain that was coming in between the contractions and complete delirious exhaustion because I couldn’t eat, drink or sleep, we transferred with our midwife after 42 hours when I was only 6cm. I had an epidural so I could have a break (not ideal but with my history I knew I needed it) and we agreed to syntocinon (an australian version of pitocin) but were very clear on how we wanted things done (we were the “difficult” people). After only a few hours which did involve some sleep and rehydration (hoary) we asked that the epi be worn off, so I could move around enough to push and after an hour of pushing my legs were still weak but I only had numbness in my extremities. Because it had been an hour of not much the nosey OB barged in and wanted to interfere but my midwife and our hospital midwife (who turned out to be awesome) told him to go away. While the hospital midwife took him out of the room, I suddenly felt the baby descend (until that point he had been stuck in the most awkward position and was not budging, we could, at most, see a 50c size bit of his head). Suddenly he was crowing and my midwife got me to reach down and touch his head (I didn’t want to at first but she insisted and I’m so bloody glad she did!) I realised that until that point I hadn’t actually believed I was having a baby. I mean, I knew I was but I didn’t really *believe* it. It just didn’t seem logical that a whole human being could suddenly appear out of my vagina. I cried and said “it has hair, *real* hair” It was indeed a real baby and literally less than 1 minute later he was in my arms…needless to say I did have a nasty tear thanks to his coming out in 1 minute flat but it did keep the irritating OB away so YAY!

      So anyway, I just thought you might be interested to hear about my surreal baby incident. I think it happens more often than many midwives and OBs consider. Most good independent midwives seem to be aware that emotional stuff can have a huge impact on labour but it seems to be something generally forgotten by the majority of the population. I’m sure it’s a bit thing too because I had it despite my midwife and my mum talking to me about it all and I’ve heard so many similar stories from women in the system as well as out of it. Hopefully it’s something I can work on for this time…we’ll see I guess!

      • admin says:

        Re: from http://www.billiebutton.me

        Wow! That’s totally like my experience with Tempest. In a BIG way. We also transferred from home to birth center at 42 hours (but at 4cm, not 6cm). No epidural, it wasn’t available in that rural area because the only pain meds there were what the midwife was allowed to carry to a home birth, but I did try entonox and such (it had no effect on me). But once I was able to sleep between contractions and have some food? BAM! I went from 4-10 in one giant six minute long contraction (or perhaps three contractions right on top of each other?) and was suddenly pushing.
        And just like you, once she started coming out I was freaking. I remember my midwife holding her up for me, because I wouldn’t reach down and take her, and my mom/friends say my eyes were like saucers as I started screaming, “It’s a baby! It’s a baby!”.

  • therachel says:

    It’s fascinating from a scientific angle to think about why your cervix is opened that far without being in active labor. Given that you’re a multip, and with EDS. I have been especially curious about how that is effecting your pregnancy since I believe I have EDS as well (lots of similar symptoms) and I am wondering about tendon/muscle/skin elasticity. From my experience in birth work I love a prodrommin’ mama, because I agree with your mw, they lead to wham-bam-thank you-ma’am- births.

    Wine, apples, nice warm deep bath, pretty music, earplugs Aaaaaand GO! πŸ˜‰

  • wifeybuddy says:

    With my second baby I was just like this starting from about 37 weeks until she was born at 40 weeks and 3 days. The morning before I even went into labor I was already at 7cm. The good thing about this? My water broke at 1:00 AM that evening (or next morning rather) and she was born at 2:47 AM. So have faith, mama! I bet you’re going to have a fast, easy labor too πŸ™‚

  • lolacat says:

    The end of my 2nd pregnancy was like that (except the baby in the birth canal thing… I can only imagine how strange that would feel). I had so much prodromal labor I thought I would go insane. Crossing fingers she finds her way out TODAY!

  • Maybe a distraction would help?

    I was just diagnosed with pregnancy-induced panic disorder and general anxiety disorder. I’m trying to find research/sites for medications during pregnancy, ad I have to get a handle on this to function. Do you know of any that you could recommend? (Besides safefetus.com.) Thank you kindly.

    And a part of me wants you to be too busy with the babymooning to bother with this. I wad sure Devon was going to stay in forever, and at one point his contractions slowed down to a near halt. When he did decide to come it took 90min of active labor and two hail mary pushes. I couldn’t have stopped even if someone offered a million dollars and a chance to have sex with David Tennant…

  • Maybe you’ll be the first woman in history to give birth without ever being in labor! She’ll come down far enough that you can just reach in and pull her out. Or, like a woman here a few years ago, she’ll fall out on her own while you’re nonchalantly riding the red line train through Cambridge…

    I hope you have a beautiful, peaceful, “scooping your baby straight up into your arms like magic” birth, and I hope it’s today. Maybe even less than six hours away. πŸ™‚

  • fieryminge says:

    Speaking of the car comment…. I was having an “insecure pregnant lady” moment a couple of weeks ago at the doctors office–as the fiance and I were leaving the appointment, another pregnant woman got into the elevator and she had this cute, perfect little bump, was sucking on a lollipop, had her blond hair/manicured nails all perfect, was wearing heels AND had a bounce in her step. We got off the elevator together, some elderly lady made a comment about something in the water and giggled, and I just watched as this bouncy pregnant lady just walked away all happy and perky. Meanwhile, because of the SPD and the hip pain and because I’m slightly overweight anyway, I’m struggling to just plain waddle towards the car in my uncute flat shoes and my huge belly that apparently gives the impression that I’m having twins (and I am reminded of it constantly). I grumbled under my breath about this other lady just striding away and being cutesy and perky and my fiance looked at me and said, “Well baby, some people rock a Prius (nodding to the perky girl) and some rock an Escalade!! (gesturing to me)” Um, thanks honey! lol

    • admin says:

      Ugghhhhhh.

      Yeah, I had one of those in a huge way with meeting this gorgeous pregnant woman in the bakery while I was literally running in and out to projectile vomit. Repeatedly. Violently. And she looked so awesome and perky and cute and I’m like… covered in a sheen of sweat and smell like hydrochloric acid.

      • fieryminge says:

        Hahaha I know what you mean! Don’t you hate those bitches?!?! Ugh.

        These days the weather in my area has been ridiculously hot/humid so I am constantly covered in sweat. It is so embarrassing to be at work especially and to work in a customer service position, constantly dealing with people and having to be perky….and glistening with sweat. These last two weeks cannot go by fast enough.

      • lolacat says:

        I was friends with one of those happy pregnant people. I mean, I think she gets pregnant on purpose because she’s HAPPIER because of the hormones, she always looks great, and her labors happen at 38w on the nose and are 5 minutes long. HATE.

    • “Well baby, some people rock a Prius (nodding to the perky girl) and some rock an Escalade!! (gesturing to me)”

      This is my new motto! \o/

      • fieryminge says:

        At the time, I was so grumpy from her perkiness and my crappiness so when my fiance said what he did, I couldn’t help but smile and laugh. He did get punched in the shoulder though πŸ˜‰ He is a really good guy and he says some ridiculous things… but it’s all out of love and trying to make me happy!

  • lindis says:

    I must say I admire you being able to keep your calm. When I was 41 weeks+ I was going nuts and did everything I could possibly imagine to just get started with it all. Relaxing is a much better alternative if you have the patience. I am sure she will be here this week. πŸ™‚

    • admin says:

      Don’t mistake: I’m terribly impatient, I’m just balancing it with the memories of Tempest’s birth and knowing that trying to shove a baby out before she’s ready NEVER EVER GOES WELL. EVER.

      • jenrose1 says:

        With Shiny, I hit a point where I knew that my body just could not take one more day of it. I’m not exaggerating… my bp runs low during pregnancy, it was climbing. I could barely walk, I felt like I was dying. And yeah, we needed a nudge. But that’s all we needed, and it was the right time to do it.

        This baby isn’t Tempest, and your body isn’t in the same shape you were for her birth or for Xan’s.

        I’m just saying that if you DO hit a point where you feel strongly that the baby just needs to be OUT NOW… it might be something to listen to.

        • admin says:

          Or for Jericho’s; I was in the best shape of my life then.

          I know, and I would. If my instincts told me this needed to end today for a very good reason, I would let Jill know and I trust that she would follow that and would know the difference between “I’m impatient and discouraged” vs, “something is deeply not okay about this”.
          I am aware of how different things are this time than before… if all the problems I’ve had thus far haven’t been enough indication. Midwife is also very aware of that, which is why she checks in often without also treating me like the most high risk case that ever lived (even though, as she’s said, it’s in her rulebook to have referred me to 10 other care providers and specialists for consults given my “Extremely complicated” medical history/current condition).
          My health is astoundingly good considering all that’s gone on throughout this pregnancy, and right now I’m very stable. The pain is awful, yes… BUT the rest of my health is doing well. I even weighed myself for the first time and found I’d gained an amazing 17/18lbs: I’m up to 135 and that’s pretty damn impressive! So long as all this remains stable, there’s no reason to fuck around with it.

      • lindis says:

        *nods* Very wise! Still, you seem to be doing a great job. And good luck!

  • ruethee says:

    Damn, I must be tired as I can’t even read at the moment. Ahem. “It’s like baby got all ready and then BAM! Birth.”

  • ruethee says:

    Umm, not “ask”, “baby”. That was a weird autocorrect…

  • ruethee says:

    Well, I was hanging out at 5-6 cm and not even having the slightest tiny contraction at all. Zip, zero, zilch. When things started happening it only took a few hours and I was eating pasta during transition. Then I was complete and like what? It’s like got ask ready and then BAM! Birth.

  • jenrose1 says:

    I suspect in that position I’d be in there manually dilating my own damn cervix. But I have no patience. Correct that. In that position, I *WAS* in there manually dilating my own damn cervix. Which mostly got me a sore cervix.

    It won’t last forever. I PINKY SWEAR PROMISE.

  • knottyrye says:

    holy shit we are so similar it’s creepy.

  • fallingwthu says:

    This was me just 10 months ago. for days I did everything but ride a bike to start labor, I wanted my third child to come out and she wouldn’t do it. We had sex, but all it did was hurt me and my baby head was right there. He pulled out and said “well that was silly now wasn’t it?” I thought I would stay pregnant forever. Well, that wasn’t true now was it.

    Good for your midwife to give you a very positive talk about how this is progress. Fuzz will come out and she’ll be very happy to be nuzzling against your skin.

    Mark my words, I still see June 2nd.

  • ppplmgwiw says:

    Oh, and one more thing: I wish, wish, wish that when I was in your shoes someone had told me to stop trying to have the baby (stop walking, stop acupuncture, stop eating eggplant, stop doing all the things that were supposed to bring on labour) and just chill the fuck out. You sound like you’re already doing an awesome job of NOT trying to force labour to start, so I just want to give you credit for that because it’s not easy to resist the urge to evict the kid at this stage of the game.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for recognizing that. πŸ™‚

      There have been moments where I definitely WANT TO because I’m feeling done, and frustrated, and impatient… but I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point of wanting shit like pitocin because that’s way, way too risky for a VBAC and overall something I would never like to experience. And to be honest after a labour like Tempest’s I know how badly that “let’s never stop trying to bring on the baby” shit can go when it turns on you: pushing a baby before they’re ready never, ever works out well.

      • _delphiki_ says:

        I agree. My first wasn’t ready (but I was dying with pre-e) so he had to come out at 34 weeks.

        Same thing with #2 but I was in active labor, and feeling like I had to push when I had the c-section at 38 weeks. Second baby did much much better than the first. (My kidneys failed and my liver wasn’t working properly so they wanted to do a c-section instead of VBAC. I was so exhausted that I don’t think I COULD have pushed a baby out.)

    • gen_here says:

      Thank you for being such a good, supportive friend. I wish I had people like you around 3 months ago. My midwife was the one here making phone calls to find acupuncturists, throwing herbs at me, pumps, changing it up every 15 minutes until I finally caved and went into the hospital for pitocin and an epidural (and rest – it was so awesome when everyone just left for awhile!). Don’t know if there will be a next time, but if there is: different midwife (called much later), different support system, and a STFU sign on my back.

      You’re doing great, Heather. Like she said, ride with it and let Fuzz lead the way. You’re being an amazing mom to her already!

      • admin says:

        Thank you, too. πŸ™‚

        is also a (new) ICAN leader in her (nearby) town and always has amazing woman-positive things to say about birth, choices and feminism. She’s a really, really good person and friend… especially when it comes to supporting through stuff like this. πŸ™‚

      • admin says:

        PS. That sucks about your midwife pressuring you so hard. That’s tough. I think I sort of remember you saying you’d had a shitty birth experience largely due to incompatibility with your midwife?… am I remembering right or am I mixed up?
        Regardless, it’s not as easy as just ignoring it, you know? It still affects you when people around you are talking like that ALL THE DAMN TIME. I was talking with Curtis this evening when we were walking to the store and saying that right now, with how I’m feeling, if I had a care provider doing those things I would likely be in the same mental space as you were. It has nothing to do with some sort of inherent strength or weakness. It’s damn hard when someone in a position of authority is giving you these messages (whether subtly or directly) that your body is somehow “not working” and “Should be” doing something else, especially when you’re already very vulnerable.
        I feel that good care providers should be surrounding you with positive thoughts and care… REGARDLESS of how things turn out, or what informed choices you make at the end of the day, you deserve to be wrapped in positivity surrounding your body and your birth experiences.

        • gen_here says:

          Thanks. Yeah. I don’t want to get into too many details right now, simply because I don’t want to infect your head space with anything other than positivity and strength. I’ll share my story in one of the crunchy communities after Fuzz is born. My labor was very pre-labory for awhile, but I had ruptured membranes, and my laid-back midwife ended up being not-so-much after that, even though there wasn’t a single sign of distress or infection. She said she was fine, that she would have waited things out at the house longer (I transferred after 46 hours), but that’s not the impression I got from her at all at the time. It was really a clusterf*** of impatience and failure to reset her expectations of this birth as she was anticipating it going so fast she wouldn’t make it from an hour-ish away.

          But right now, it’s not about me… it’s about you and this little girl! I’m excited to “meet” her – but on her timetable =)

  • ppplmgwiw says:

    Empathy to you. Serious, serious empathy. When I was in this phase with Annika, I remember feeling just so totally hopeless, like a watched pot, etc. It’s so hard to keep your chin up. I’m so glad your midwife is supportive and helpful, and has been all along. You’ll make it through, though when is anybody’s guess. But odds are it’s going to be sooner rather than later–your odds of giving birth increase every day! (that was a semi-comforting/semi-ridiculous stat I kept going back to at 41 weeks+) And when ever it happens: already 5 cm and counting. Hello!

  • azdesertrose says:

    Come on, Fuzz. Quit making your mama miserable. Get your little behind out here already.

  • Maybe you should go take a car ride over a bumpy road? Haha. Get things shaken up a little bit. I would suggest jumping jacks, but we don’t want your hips going crazy!

    • fallingwthu says:

      OMG you know my husband did just that, we went for a drive over the bumpiest and hilliest road you could think of. NOTHING happened. I wanted to scream because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t walk due to the head rubbing right against the pelvis.

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