Saturday, December 20, 2008

39 Weeks Or So

Julia's belly at 39 weeks

Well, here we are, mere days away from my due date...  Thursday night, I really really really thought I was going into labor.  I was having a lot of contractions and for the first time, they felt more like how "real" contractions are described with pain in my lower back and radiating down to my thighs, GI-upset-type feelings, and what I would describe as actual discomfort, instead of just the Braxton-Hicks tightening.  I felt sort of excited and slept terribly, but THEN!  I started having to pee all the time!  And then it started to hurt to pee!  By the time I got up for the day Friday morning, I knew I had another UTI, and I just sort of hoped that somehow my cervix was making progress as well.  I had my regular weekly midwife check-up that morning so I trotted off and peed in a cup for them for the millionth time and found out that yes, I had another UTI and no, I wasn't any more dilated than I was 5 days before.  It's 1 cm, which is something, and more than I was ever dilated with Grace before they started me on pitocin, so I won't complain too much, but I was disappointed that my night of less-fake-seeming contractions didn't do a darned thing.

I can't believe that I've had 2 UTIs in as many weeks, considering that I've never had one EVER before this, but I'm pretty sure that it is in fact a whole new infection, not the old one hanging on; I felt entirely fine for over a week and they tested me in that week, showing that the bacterial coast was clear.  I have a new round of antibiotics to kick this new infection, and I will gratefully acknowledge that it hasn't been nearly as dramatic an illness.  My symptoms have been mostly limited to the ones directly related to peeing, along with all the contractions-- contractions which have again dropped almost entirely away since I started the antibiotics.  EXASPERATED SIGH...  Rob keeps joking that I could just skip the antibiotics and go ahead and have the baby with my infection-fueled contractions but he is not the one limping around with so much pain in his abdomen, so I shall pay him no mind.

I have not cancelled my appointment on Monday at the hospital for the induction with prostaglandin gel, so I guess that means I'm going!  At my appointment yesterday, I paid a little more attention and realized they are going to use Prostin, not Cervidil like I originally thought, not that it makes that much difference.  I still have some conflicted thoughts about it, since I will be a couple days before my due date and there isn't a medically necessary reason to induce labor.  It will make a big difference in how much help I have at home, though; every day past Monday that I don't have the baby is one less day I will have Rob and my parents off from work to help with the postpartum insanity.  I really WANT to have the induction because of life circumstances, but I sort of feel like I am cheating and getting away with something by not sitting around waiting for my body to kick in on its own.  Rob asked me why this bothers me when having an induction with Grace didn't, and it's because with Grace, my membranes had ruptured, it had been over 24 hours, and the risk of infection was going up. "Well," he said, "your risk of going crazy from not having enough help at home is going up."

And oh, what a relief it would be to no longer be pregnant...  I am starting to have more and more of the late pregnancy misery, from back issues to killer heartburn to insane swelling.  With both this pregnancy and my last one, I did not really start to swell until past 36 weeks but boy, now I am swollen in earnest.  I have huge puffy sausage fingers on my disturbingly unfamiliar hands and my ankles are just. not. pretty.  And at one UTI a week, I'm getting really tired of things being all messed up in that department.  I know I could be a lot more uncomfortable than I am, and I am lucky to still be sleeping well and comfortably going for walks and living normal life, but really, there is just a point where you would rather push a human being out of your nether regions than continue being pregnant.

So the appointment stands for Monday, although I would just love to go into labor spontaneously before then.  (She could share Rob's birthday if she comes tomorrow!)  I've been keeping up with some of the non-medical, "natural" ways to induce labor for a while now but of course most of those things either have no basis in fact (as my friend Amanda from grad school would likely ask, do people not realize this?) or only really work if your body is ready to get going and just needs a little help.  I don't think I'm up for trying castor oil or the cohoshes or anything, but I'm using evening primrose oil and eating spicy food and staying active and whatnot.  Actually, the prostaglandin gel itself might not work; it is more effective than all the non-medical options, of course, but it too could just do nothing if my cervix isn't ready to go into action.  It will be hard to not be disappointed on Monday if nothing happens with the Prostin (which will mean I just come home and keep waiting), but in some ways the possibility of that happening mitigates my uncertainty about going in for it.  If my body really isn't ready, then it won't happen.  And on a deeper level, realizing that this is NOT all within my control or sphere of decision-making makes me relax and rest in who I believe does ultimately hold all things together.


MontyG3 said...

On a very, very superficial note...another cause to go for the induction: Already, your child will have a birthday very, very close to Christmas. As a sister to a Christmas-Eve born brother, can I tell you how much he hated having a birthday so close to Christmas growing up? He always felt cheated in the whole presents category. So if you are not induced, and go into labor naturally on...Thursday. Poor child.

Although someone else really important and well-known as a birthday on Thursday, too.

Again, superficial, I know! Blessings on you- you are almost there!!!

Eva said...

I wish you the best of lucks on Monday... whatever that means. I'll be kind of disconnected starting tomorrow, so merry Christmas and happy labor too.