Friday, October 8, 2010

How do you prepare for the unexpected?

I have officially been pregnant 6 times.  Those 6 pregnancies resulted in Kaitlyn, Matthew, 3 first trimester miscarriages (spontaneous, blighted ovum/missed miscarriage and chemical pregnancy) and now 34w5d with baby Samantha.  To say I was skeptical to even get out of the first trimester this time would be a huge understatement.  And after all we went through with Matthew, I was just hoping and praying that we would get further than 24 weeks before my water broke and I landed myself on bed rest or in for a long NICU stay.  I don't think I ever really expected that I would get this far.  And there are times even now when I almost don't realize how close to full term I really am.  In 16 days Samantha will be full term and can meet the world as a full term baby.  That is absolutely amazing to me.

In 6 pregnancies, this is only my second time getting past the hurdle of 33 weeks.  And really, that 33 weeks was so different than this 33 weeks.  For one, I wasn't strapped to a hospital bed this time, I didn't have to make sure that I held my urine for as long as possible to minimize how many times I got out of bed, I didn't have to have my temp and blood pressure taken every 4 hours of every day, I didn't have to spend hours staring at the ceiling, and I got to not only shower standing up, but those showers could last as long as I wanted.  Truly a blessing.

The last time I was this pregnant was 6 years ago, just about exactly.  And in that whole pregnancy I gained 15 pounds less than what I've gained so far.  I find myself questioning how much of what I feel is normal.  For example, her movements have become slightly painful at times.  Enough to take my breath away, as though she is scraping my innards with her fingernails.  My first hypochondriac thought goes to "my fluid levels must be low, this is how it felt with Matthew" and then I have to rationalize with myself "well, she is 6 lbs, my stomach is only so big, fluid has to start dwindling down at this point and my skin is so stretched it really feels more like tight pulling than anything else." and then go on with my day.

Contractions are a lot more painful and a lot more frequent.  Which, I was told at my appointment is completely normal and just my body getting ready for the big day.  Of course, that doesn't mean I wouldn't rather they just ease up a bit on the pain in my back, the cramping or the 1-2 minutes I spend not wanting to move, talk or keep my eyes open through them ;)

I think my biggest obstacle right now is the waiting.  It isn't that I want her born today (although if I would have ovulated a couple weeks earlier, this Sunday would have been an AWESOME birthday to have!), but more like I want to know how it all is going to go down.  Part of me has thought about sleeping on towels.  The other part worries that I'll be jinxing myself.  With Matthew, my water broke in the middle of the night and it was quite the mess.  BUT, at least it was at home.  There are times I get worried about it breaking in the car, at Kaitlyn's school, in the middle of a grocery store, at a pumpkin patch, you know, anywhere that isn't a controlled environment.  Anywhere where I would have to tell a stranger "hey, I'm headed to the hospital, mind cleaning up the amniotic fluid I left behind..."  And I'd really like to not have to do that.  And it isn't like you get this little warning that your body sends off that says "hey, in a few minutes, you're going to hear a popping sound followed by a gush of fluid, just FYI" you just don't get that.  One minute you're nice and dry and the next minute you're not.

And of course, I wonder when.  Will she share a birthday month with Kaitlyn?  Can I start planning their joint birthday party for next year?  Or will they have different birthdays?  Should I plan on having a newborn with us bundled up on Halloween, or will I waddle a few houses with Kaitlyn, let Dusty finish up and pass out candy so I don't pass out in the middle of the street?  And birthday parties, how can I RSVP without knowing if we will even be able to go?

With Kaitlyn, it was different.  We had more than one false alarm trip to L&D, including the morning she was born!  I've been able to avoid that this far, but how likely is it that I will go in for a false alarm this time?  Or too early and just be miserable?  And with Kaitlyn, it wasn't a big deal, Dusty was already off for FMLA, so he was always there with me and it didn't really matter if we went in at midnight or 2 PM.  It was just us.  And obviously with Matthew, Dusty was there every single night and no more than 20 minutes away during the day, I could easily hold a cesarean off for 20 minutes for him to get there.  And Kaitlyn couldn't be in the room regardless, so again it didn't matter what time of the day I delivered.

But this time, this time it's different.  Kaitlyn is 6 and she's in school.  And this month alone she's already missed 4 days (1 for a migraine and 3 for pink eye and a cold) so ideally, she would only miss the day I deliver, if that. 

In the perfect world, I would deliver on a Saturday morning.  Around 10 I would go into the hospital, already showered, put make-up on, Kaitlyn would already be showered and dressed and in the time Dusty is showered and dressed, I could have the car seat and our packed bags by the door.  I would go into labor and delivery, already well dilated, start pushing in a couple of hours and 3 pushes later we would hear her cry and she would be placed on my chest, Dusty would cut the cord, they would weigh her, clean her off and then Dusty could hold her and then Kaitlyn followed by our moms and the rest of the family.  Kaitlyn can spend the night with a family member, Dusty can stay with us without guilt, Kaitlyn can visit the next day and we'd be discharged and she wouldn't miss any school and we wouldn't have to ask anyone to take her out of their way to get her there.

Of course, unless it's October 30.  And in that case, it would be more ideal to go into labor late Friday afternoon so I could be discharged prior to Halloween because I would hate to miss Kaitlyn trick or treating this year.

And that really leaves only 1 Saturday after 36 weeks (and it would be really nice to get passed 36 weeks), which is October 23.  Which is putting a lot of pressure on one day.  So, then I think about it and I would be ok with a weekday birth, IF I went into labor around 3:30.  I would have already gotten Kaitlyn from school, Dusty could get home and get us to the hospital before traffic got too bad, we could have a quick labor, deliver around dinner time or maybe a little later, spend time together and Dusty could go home with Kaitlyn, take her to school in the morning and then be back with us.

That is how my mind works.  I need to have the answers.  I need to know how it is all going to work out.  I need to know every little detail of how it is going to play out, when it is going to play out, what details do we need to work out?

Obviously, I have some severe control issues.  Severe control issues.  Oh what I would do for a crystal ball...


Mommy D said...

Cheers to almost 35 Weeks!!!!!!! I'm hoping you'll still be prego for Halloween!

KCB said...

I'm so glad you've made it this far! To answer your question, which I've been wondering too, you can't prepare really but you just have to to the best you can.

My little guy has been threatening an early arrival for over 2 weeks now, so we had to quickly get everything done...just in case. I would LOVE to know the exact date he'll come, but for now I guess that's as good as we can get. lol

Lori said...

I totally get the whole just wanting to know how it's all going to do down!!! The details, though I'd like to plan them, aren't really that important to me, I guess--but the end result would be nice to know a few more specifics on!!!!!