For those of you already connected to me by Facebook, I apologize for the overlap.
Three days ago, the baby dropped. I had contractions all day, like 20+ of them, and was a little freaked out. They were short and irregular ones, but clearly things were moving somehow. And then -- all of a sudden, I could breathe, because he stopped kicking me directly in the lungs, and I could eat, because I had a little more tummy room. Hooray! I can see that he's lower by looking at my profile... where before, my torso looked like a capital D, now it kind of looks like a lowercase b. Yes. But of course, now I waddle like a Weeble (yes, it was bad before but now only a duck would consider it normal) and my taint aches and all that stuff that happens when you have a baby's head bonking on your cervix (not quite, but close). I can feel my pelvic bones stretching apart... too creepy, but also too, too awesome.
Also contributing to the feeling of OMG ZOOOOM! I am showing much more definite signs of pre-eclampsia now: my blood pressure is remaining high with very high spikes (150/110 is the prizewinner so far), and I seem to be spilling protein into my urine. Pre-eclampsia is the leading cause of maternal and infant death in the U.S. (and much of the world), so my doctor is treating it seriously. We are monitoring carefully, and...
...labor is going to be induced early. As early as a couple days, or as late as a couple weeks, but I am going to have my baby before his due date.
This is not TOO scary. At 36 weeks gestation, the baby is almost full term (37 weeks is considered term.) He is making breathing movements with his lungs, which is a terrific sign. He is big, heavy, and vigorous, and at his weekly (now twice-weekly) non-stress tests, he is performing like a champ.
I didn't really favor induction, because in fat women (and I am indisputably a fat woman) it tends to start a spiral of interventions ending in unnecessary C-sections; however, my doctor is totally on-board with trying to avoid unnecessary surgery for me. My concern is the hideous scarring to which I tend to be prone... not for vanity's sake, but because my insurance cuts out 6 weeks after the baby arrives and I can't afford infections or complications. But I find I am at peace with, even excited about, this change in plans.
For one thing, my doctor is on board with my birth plan and even made changes to it to help me reduce the chances of needing episiotomy/experiencing bad tearing. Thank you, best doctor ever! For another thing... well, I am REALLY uncomfortable now and my shoulders dislocate every night when I sleep (I did not really need all the extra relaxin in my system) and I am tired of my hands being asleep when I wake up, and all that. And much more excitingly, I cannot wait to hold my son.
My doctor put me on bed-rest, which means I am mostly confined to sitting (with my feet up as much as possible) and queening it about, telling my poor husband (who is beginning to panic) what to do and to do it NOW and what I want for dinner. This is hard for me: I am a born DIY'er and although a lot of the time "it" doesn't get done if I don't feel like it, I've always been happy with that. It's horribly unjust that the nesting impulse, the necessity to nest, and bed-rest have coincided. Everyone let's feel sorry for poor Pat... and I am serious. That, plus my whining and bitching, would have put me over the edge by now if I were him. He's up for sainthood in my book.
Also up for sainthood? My buddy, coach and doula April. She's offering to help with nesting, and has already told her bosses that she WILL leave work at the drop of a hat to go listen to me snarl.
Have I mentioned I'm ... um.... charming, when I'm in pain? I try, but I am kind of nasty and I know it. I'm the one who responds, "of COURSE I'm not all-fucking-right, would I be screeching if I were all right?" after I stub a toe and someone asks me if I'm okay. So again, pity Pat. And April.
But not me. Because having a baby to play with earlier will be peachy keen by me. :)
And I MAY even have him before I'm over 40, which I swore I would do and was amused/chagrined when he was conceived such that he was due when I was 41.