Warning: If you don't wanna hear about my inside parts, you may just wanna skip this whole post. I don't get graphic or detailed, but I do share the news of my appointments.
Wednesday I had my 38 week prenatal appointment.
The night before I was starting to feel tense. I wasn't sure if I should be told my dilation and efface-ed-ness, or not -- for my sanity sake. I couldn't make up my mind. I knew I would be curious. But I also know it doesn't really mean anything at all. (You can be a a three for weeks with nothing, or go from zero to baby in a couple hours.) So I had sworn I wouldn't be told a word. But since I said ok at a previous appointment, now I was lost on what I wanted to do.
I was having a hard time sleeping, with all my emotions.
In the morning Blake took me and J to the office. (I wanted to do a membrane sweep and was nervous to drive home alone the 45 mins if contractions started right away.)
The drive was beautiful. I sat in the back with J. She watched "Tangled" on the dvd player. I stared at the clouds. There are some days where there is just nothing better on earth than a cloudy sky. I felt like they were a cap to hold my thoughts down closer to the ground, something to keep me together. I watched their pale grey feathered streaks slide by me, with their glimpses of white light backing them, and it finally dawned on me --
I don't feel at home here in Iowa. Not at all. But watching the shapes of earth and trees go past, looking so much brighter green than usual (cloudy days have that magical way about them), I finally felt like a veil came off my eyes. This veil of "Focused, focused, focused. Having a baby. Focused. Single minded. Unwavering. Nose to the grind-stone." It was just gone for a moment. And I saw God's earth. I may not feel at home here. But this is a beautiful work of his hands. And I felt guilty for scorning it in my heart. So I just watched it, sliding by my cheeks. Breathing it through the window. And tried my hardest to just trust.
But when we got to the office, the peacefulness left me. And I was getting so nervous that I was starting to feel really nauseous. In the waiting room I tried to stay calm. Tried to just not think. But I wasn't really thinking anything anyway, just feeling worried. I don't even know what she could have told me that would be equal to the feeling in my stomach, the worst she could say was, well I guess that my cervix snapped shut. Or somehow the baby turned breach and I missed it. I don't know. I guess, those are pretty scary, so a nervous tummy is not so crazy. But I was just trying to stay calm while I watched J run around the room.
Then it was finally our turn.
I got on the scale and had lost a couple pounds. I wasn't surprised, because the last time I got weighed I thought the number was high -- bloated or something. But she said, it could be good, sometimes you drop a bit of weight before labor. So I said "ok I'll take it" in my head.
We did another swab for group b strep. And I asked her to do a membrane sweep. (I'm all for starting that now, since with J we literally did 5 sweeps and got not a single contraction from any of them.)
So we started the sweeping. My cervix is still really high up there, I actually had to prop my hips up onto my fists to angle my pelvis so that she could get in there to do the sweep. But she did find it and got it done. I didn't think it was too bad. (With the 5 sweeps I've had in the past, I've experienced super-totally-ok ones, as well as horribly-ouchie ones -- I think it depends on the person doing it.) Really the only thing that hurt about this one, was that for her to reach my cervix she had to press her hand really hard against the outside of me to get all the way up there, so that part hurt. But the inside stuff was not bad.
This time I was a full 2 and 80% effaced. So basically the same as before. But I'm gonna be positive and think how great it is that I am a FULL 2 now, where as before I was almost a 2.
And the baby was tucked nicely into my pelvis at a -2 station. So yay. She's in there! And I wasn't just imagining it.
Last time J was always said to be "floating." And from recent lingo searching online, I'm assuming that they meant she never dipped down into my pelvis at all.
So that's all mesurements of encouragement and progress in the right direction this time!
And I was told that its basically unheard of for a second time mom to have a baby at zero station before labor. So I'd say we are doing awesome.
We heard the baby's heartbeat on the left side, so that was a good sign for positioning. And it was 140s - 150s, just great! (I asked about her position, but she said she'd trust Tammy's (the chiro) take on that.)
The only part of the appointment I didn't like was that I got told "She feels like a good sized baby." Normal people would probably hear that and think "oh good, a normal baby." I hear it and think, "What!? WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS! She cannot possibly be a giant! Do you know how hard I've been trying to eat right? Do you know how many sugar-ladened items I have left on the grocery store shelves!!!?! Do you know how many drive thrus I have driven by!? Do you know how mentally obsessed I am over this eating better, for a small baby idea? DO NOT TELL ME SHE IS BIG!!!"
So yes, it's possible that I over reacted mentally. But I really wished I had remembered to say "Don't tell me anything about the baby's size", ahead of time.
I know J's 9 lbs weren't what held her back. (The more I think about it, the more I'm sure she was always positioned weird -- why else would she never dip into my pelvis? bla bla bla, I have more thoughts but that's a rabbit trail.) Anyway, her size it's still one of those things that I lack confidence over for this birth.
There's no way this baby is 9 lbs yet. J was born at 42 weeks, so with the general guideline of 1/2 lb a week growth in the last weeks, she would have been 7 lbs at this point.
Also, I keep telling myself that no one ever guesses baby sizes right, so this is irrelevant. And I also keep telling myself that no one had any clue that J would be 9 lbs. (But that one is kinda non-reassuring, because then that kinda implies this time I could say, "No one knew this baby would be 13 lbs!") So I'm trying to move past these thoughts and be ok.
Seriously, If this baby is 9 lbs too, then I'm positive she would have been ginormous if I ate the same way I did last time, instead of all healthy this time. And maybe I just naturally grow world record newborns regardless of what I do. But at least I tried. That's the only thing I have control over. The rest is God's and I have to trust him.
But back to happy thoughts: I was told, things are looking favorable, just not imminent yet. But was also told you can never really tell with second time mom's when "imminent" is.
So I left feeling much less nervous. But still a little apprehensive. Since I didn't get much, other than the heartbeat location for telling the baby's position. And I had to process the "good sized baby" comment.
By the time I got home I was having some nice contractions.
So that was exciting, since last time the sweeps did nothing.
I decided to try a new (to me) natural induction suggestion. Cumin Seed Tea.
Apparently it's a traditional Latino Midwives trick. I tried to research it, but I didn't find any info on why it does anything. But I figured, its just a spice that I normally eat, can't be bad.
You take a teaspoon of cumin seeds (not ground cumin) and steep for 5 mins it in one cup of water. Its recommended to throw in a cube of potato, to absorb the bitterness. Then strain and drink. And you can do this once an hour.
I did it twice that day. I did notice more contractions. So maybe there is something to it.
It didn't have any weird side effects from it. (No tummy issues or anything.)
It definitely isn't my favorite thing to taste. But it helps if you think of it more like mexican broth, than tea -- just a cup of soup.
I also sat/moved on the birth ball a lot, ate some pineapple, took a walk, and did some hip circles and figure eight movements (belly dance.)
(I've definitely noticed that, since the baby dropped, I can get contractions to start by doing some belly dance moves. So I think that's really interesting and cool. The hip circles seem to be the best at starting them for me.) (Great how-to YouTube on hip circles. Outfit and additude not required! ;))
It sounds like I was going crazy that day, but I wasn't. I just kinda threw all the stuff into what I normally do.
I was happy with just getting some contractions going, even if I didn't get into labor.
I've heard so many women complain about "false labor" going on before the real thing. But I promised myself I would never do that. And I don't even feel close to wanting to. Since I had no signs of labor last time, I am in love with pre-labor this time. And I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as false labor --- that it's all good stuff working towards the end game.
Thursday morning was time for my chiropractor appointment.
I just love her. She is a really genuinely nice person. I enjoy being around her.
We did the adjustments. Apparently my tail bone had started curving to the left again (that's how it was when I started with her) so I bet that's why my tail bone had been hurting this past week. (And sitting down has been nicer since.)
She also is awesome at feeling the baby's position. Its like she's a baby whisperer! She felt my belly for like 5 seconds and told me exactly where she was!
The baby's down in the pelvis, facing my back. Tammy said she's in a perfect "shoot right out position." It's not the Spinning Babies favorite position -- but I don't care --- she is facing my back, and seeming symmetrical, and lined up well -- so I'm gonna trust Tammy and say "yep she will just shoot right out!"
The baby's butt is right in the middle. And she had one foot kinda predictably up above her butt. But her other foot is sticking out to my left side. And she had both arms out to her sides, like she's shaking pompoms. Tammy acted it out, and it looks hilarious, kinda like my baby is a bat! :)
Ever since she explained that to me, I can totally understand all the baby's movements and picture her perfectly in there.
After looking at Spinning Babies so much, I didn't even think this position was an option. So I could not figure out how she could be touching me in so many spots. So I guess I should have realized that like everything, there isn't always a mold to fit into -- we are each unique. I keep wondering now, if she will like keeping her one foot sticking out to the side once she is born, it will look hilariously cute if she does!
I also mentioned to Tammy the "good sized baby" thing, and she said she didn't think the baby felt big. So that helped. And maybe she just seems bigger, when you don't realize she's all sprawled out, one leg to the side, and arms out like that.
Then Tammy also showed Blake and I some acupressure points that are good for ripening the cervix and promoting labor (before, and especially during.)
So I left feeling pretty good. Really good.
Had some contractions, but not tons --- most the day.
That evening we took a long family walk, and then I ran to the store once J was in bed. (Blake was home, just thought I should clarify that :) ) And that got some nice contractions going again.
It was kinda hard for me to sleep because I had a dull ache in my back. Stuck a heating pad on and eventually got to sleep.
I wasn't in labor. But once again. I was happy about it all.
So that's where we are at.
Keep praying for me!