The Big Fake-Out

Yesterday I had a good series of contractions going. All afternoon, all evening. They even got closer together– probably every five or six minutes by the end of the day– though they never got really intense, and probably didn’t last long enough to qualify as real contractions. Still…  I was really hoping they’d turn into actual labor at some point. They didn’t. Stopped almost as soon as I went to bed. Had one really good one that woke me up in the night, and then nothing. Back to waiting.


39 weeks: still waiting

I’ve been trying really hard not to check and re-check my due date calculations, or tap my foot and look at my watch. But I am seriously ready to not be pregnant any more. Soon. Sooooooon. Please?

Braxton Hicks: So that’s what everyone’s talking about!

Today, in the space of a few hours, I had probably a dozen contractions. Not regular, and nothing intense, so just the Braxton-Hicks “practice” variety– but now I know what they are!  I’ve probably been having them for weeks already, and they were just so puny I attributed the feeling to the baby stretching, rather than my uterus squeezing. Basically, my belly feels a bit tight, and if I feel it with my hands while that’s going on, it’s hard all over– instead of just a lump here and there where the baby is trying to stick a foot through my abdominal wall. Doesn’t hurt, and if I were busy doing something else, I probably still wouldn’t notice.

At least I know what the book is talking about, now.

I do feel like there’s been some progress toward “D-day” lately, in addition to the recognizable Braxton-Hicks twinges. The constipation has let up, I’ve been producing more mucus than usual, and I’m not so tired these days, which is nice. Also, my boobs are sore, again. Boobs, you are not allowed to get any bigger. NOT ALLOWED.

I know all of those things can be signs of impending labor, but… they’re ambiguous signs. They’re all things that can happen anywhere from a few days to a few weeks beforehand. So I’m still impatient. Still waiting. Each morning I have a little chat with the kid explaining why today would be a great day to move out.  I’ll let you know how that works.

Checklist complete! What do we win?

I have the weirdest weight-gain graph. I lost some to first-trimester nausea (I refuse to call it “morning” sickness), then gained some during a good spell, then lost all of it to gastroenteritis, then crept back upward while recovering, then shot practically straight up to get into the “normal” range at the last minute, and now we have leveled off. My weight today was 63 kilos, exactly the same as a couple of weeks ago.  As long as all other signs are good… I’m done fretting about it.

We finally got the Methergin! We tried all the pharmacies in our neighborhood to no avail. Then we tried the pharmacies around the birth center, and still had no luck. So we consulted the midwife, and she recommended the pharmacies directly around the hospital down the street. The first one was a bust, but it was the first in a line of maybe four or five of them, so we kept going. The clerk at the second place said they had it, and headed into the back shelves to get it. We waited while she dug through a box, failed to find any, pulled out a second box, dug through that one, and… wonder of wonders! She found an ampule of Methergin– a funny little sealed glass tube thingy– which we happily paid 8 soles for. It was the last item on our list. Our bags are mostly packed. We cleared up the confusion about the “bed towels”– they are large-ish plastic-backed disposable rectangles designed for the incontinent (chucks, basically).  Now, when the time comes, we just throw some clean clothes in the bag and head out to the midwife’s office/birth center. Yay!

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38 weeks: Whoa! That chin!

Just got back from our mandatory ultrasound, with pictures, a DVD recording, and very mixed feelings. Everything looks normal, so that’s good. And I’m very relieved to have that over with. The language barrier means I had no idea how to say “we don’t need the 3D portraits”– we only got as far as “no necesito saber el sexo” so we are still in the dark about whether the baby is a boy or a girl. The baby was, as expected, quite squirmy for the session. Seeing the heart working was genuinely cool.

The 3D face pictures…  I wish I hadn’t seen them. I feel really weird about them. Theoretically, people look at these things and “bond”, or at least get all heart-melty. But honestly…   it’s a strange gray image, almost mummy-like.  I look at it and completely fail to make the connection that says “this is our kid”. Instead it’s more like “geez, what a huge chin!” How much resemblance do such images bear to the finished product? Is your ultrasound supposed to leave you with a vague sense of disappointment and guilt?