Today is baby girl’s due date. I almost can’t believe it. With everything we’ve been through over the past 6+ years of TTC and fertility treatments, losing pregnancies and our twins, there were times when I feared that this day might never come. I can honestly say that I am a different person than when I started this journey. And although I would not wish these hardships on anyone, I know I am a better person (and will be a better parent) because of them. I was 32 when we began trying to start our family. I always wanted to have 3 kids. But life doesn’t always go how you planned. I’m just over a month shy of my 39th birthday now and realize that I may not have another chance at pregnancy. I may never get to have another baby, but I know this baby girl is meant to be my child. We worked hard together to get this far and I can’t wait for her to arrive.
Now that I expect this pregnancy to be over. I’m looking back with rose colored glasses. Since I prefer to keep my blog anonymous, I can’t post any pictures of me but I did have them taken and am glad that I have a record of how I looked pregnant, especially here at the end. In fact, I look pretty good if I do say so myself. I think because I was so sick for so long that I did not gain a lot of extra weight. Which is good cause I was carrying around years of extra infertility weight anyway. I also got a short haircut that makes me feel happy. With my cold finally gone I’ve felt much better overall. The cough is gone too and although these past few weeks have been somewhat uncomfortable (there is a big ol’ baby in there), they also seem to be the best of this pregnancy. At least, from what I can remember at this point. There has been less throwing up, less peeing at unexpected moments, less general feeling like crap. With the constant pressure of the coughing gone I think my pelvic floor is recovering a bit… just in time for labor to ruin it all over again.
Ah labor, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit worried about what labor will be like. I’m hoping for a natural delivery without complications. I know, I know… but I can dream. My husband says I deserve an easy labor and that’s a sweet thought but I’ve been having braxton hicks contractions for a while now and they can get pretty darn unpleasant. My belly gets all tight, hard and weirdly square shaped during some of them, it’s pretty crazy. My belly is pretty tight much of the time now anyway. Baby girl is big. Because I failed the 1-hour glucose test and refused to take the 3-hour test, my Dr. has been treating me as if I had gestational diabetes. I’ve been monitoring my blood sugar since mid-October and watching my carbs as much as possible. I didn’t go crazy with it since my numbers didn’t really indicate a big problem and the MFM confirmed that I do not have GD in last week’s appointment. But I do need to eat less sugar. I already know this. Anyway – since they’ve been treating me as a GD patient, I had an ultrasound last week to check the baby’s growth and they think she was 8 lbs 4 oz already. I know those scans can be incredibly inaccurate and they are estimating a number give or take a pound but that’s a good sized baby girl. Most of the newborn clothes I have are sized to fit a 5-8 lb newborn. This means that she may already be too big for most of her wardrobe. Which is unfortunate, but I have a decent amount of 3-6 month clothes too so it’s not like she’ll have nothing to wear.
With my history of pre-term labor with the twins, I was worried we wouldn’t make it this far. Even last week as I was wrapping up things at work I was worried that I wouldn’t make it to the end before going into labor. We did the hydroxyprogesterone / 17P shot from weeks 18-36 to try to prevent early labor and I guess it worked cause here we are, full-term. Now I’m busy trying to convince baby girl that it’s time to come out – That she needs to do her part so she can come out and meet us face to face. I have a dr. appt tomorrow and if I don’t go into labor before then I’m sure they’re going to want to start planning for an induction. Based on the growth scan I’m sure they won’t let me go past 41 weeks especially considering that next week is Christmas. Not that I want to go past 41 weeks, I want labor to start today! But I’d rather it happen naturally and not have to be induced and deal with the cascade of interventions that typically follow.
So for those of you reading who have crossed over into parenthood, any advice? How did you know it was real labor and not Braxton hicks? What did you do during labor that made it better? What did you bring to the hospital that you were glad to have or that you didn’t bring and wish you had? Any tips for surviving a few days in the hospital if needed? What about once we get home – any tips on the first few days and weeks with a baby? We really don’t know what to expect!
For anyone still reading that has not yet made it this far and is still waiting for your chance. I’m sending you so much love. I know your pain. And I know we each have to make our own decisions about when we’ve been through enough but all I can say is that my life looks so different than it did a year ago. Things have changed in ways I never thought possible. And while these things and this pregnancy did not happen in my preferred timeframe, they did seem to happen right when they were meant to. So without getting too woo-woo on you, I guess I’m just trying to say don’t give up. Keep believing it’s possible and it may happen in ways you never dreamed of.