Week 40 – Still Pregnant

Total weight gain: 53 lbs

Baby’s Weight: 7.5 lbs

Percentage through pregnancy: 100.4%

Time until due date:
-1 days

Food of the week (a.k.a. size of baby): Small pumpkin

40-Week Appointment:

— I thought I would have a baby by now, so I felt incredibly discouraged leading up to this appointment. And discouraged afterward. I cried in the car on the way home.

— Effacement up to 80-90%, cervix still closed for business. (Really? Not even half a centimeter? Arg!)

— We had a lengthy discussion about induction. As you recall, Kaiser suggests that women induce at 41 weeks, mostly based on a few studies that indicate the risk of stillbirth is slightly higher after 41 weeks, and mostly in older women. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that induction not occur until after 42 weeks (if baby still seems to be doing fine), as induction before a baby is ready can carry risks. If everything looks OK with Charlie, I decided that I don’t want to induce at 41 weeks. Scheduling an induction for my own convenience, impatience, and selfishness does not feel like a sound parental decision. I’d rather give him the opportunity to come on his own.

— A non-stress test was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Kaiser will hook me up to a bunch of monitors to track baby’s movement, oxygen flow through the placenta, and amount of amniotic fluid. If, for any reason, something is off, we induce that day. We’ve been told to bring our hospital bag just in case.

— If all is good, we go home and wait until Week 42 (although there’d probably be another non-stress test in there). Who knows, Charlie may end up being a June bug!

— I was pretty glum walking out of the appointment, but the midwife made me feel better by complimenting my attitude. She said it really is better for baby to choose when he is ready to be born. Damn logic!

Maternity Leave:

— As expected, this week has been tough for me. Lots of high highs and lots of low lows.

— At the lowest points, I felt stuck in an endless holding pattern between My Old Life and My New Life. The minutes felt like hours, the hours felt like days. At any moment I knew I could go into labor, and each moment that passed without a twinge made me feel like a failure. On top of that, I truly believed that I would give birth before 40 weeks, so even though I’m technically only one day “overdue,” it feels like a few weeks. I missed work, I missed my colleagues, I missed the excitement of my job, I missed me. The knowledge that I could have two more weeks of that emptiness really upset me.

— At the high points, I felt grateful to have some time at home. The highlight of my days is an hour-and-a-half long walk through my neighborhood, usually about 4 p.m. when the afternoon light has just started to get that fantastic golden hue. The weather is mild, the wildflowers are gorgeous, and the homes around here are so beautiful. Later in the afternoon, I sit in the nursery rocking chair and read aloud to Charlie and usually one or both cats. I’ve had lunch with friends, spent time with my mama, cleaned and cooked (booooring), and read a lot.

— We’ll see how I feel next week.

Pregnancy symptoms:

— Weird hair growth. Seriously, I had to shave my face this week. That was a morale booster, let me tell you. I’ve started growing large amounts of fine, whitish hair where my neck meets my face. I have no idea where it came from, but I’m sure there are some funky-ass hormones coursing through my body. Charles suggested something about more testosterone in my body because I’m having a boy. Who knows. I’m just thankful the hair isn’t dark.

— Physically, I wouldn’t mind being pregnant for several more weeks. Still have tons of energy, still sleeping great. No back pain, no incredible need to always pee. Charlie is squirming as much as usual, although I bet he’s beginning to feel cramped.

— Any kind of contractions I thought I was feeling have completely stopped. Mucus plug is still intact. No weird discharge. No cramping. Labor does not seem near.

Worry of the Week: That by not inducing, I’ll cause something bad to happen. Maybe he’s ready to be born NOW, but my body just lacks the ability to go into labor. Although it’s immeasurably small (something like 0.2% based on those few studies), the phrase “risk of stillbirth” makes my heart stop.

Pregnancy moments of the week:

— On Thursday, I started getting texts/e-mails from people wondering whether Charlie was born. They came at a time when I was feeling really discouraged, so I resented those people a lot. But, at least I know they care about me and the baby.

— I had a wonderful Mommy and Me day. My mama took off work and we went to Seaport Village for lunch. We ate at a restaurant right by the Bay, walked around the shops, and had ice cream.

Story of the Day: My mother decided she wanted a henna tattoo from a gnarly looking street vendor, who I noticed had this really gross, almost-oozing scar near her mouth. As she was applying the tattoo, she told my mother another vendor had — get this — bit her on the lip. Um…WTF?! My mother, being sweet and naive, totally took her word for it and even offered advice about how she should sue the perpetrator.

As we were walking away….

Mom: Isn’t that something about how that other vendor bit her lip?!?
Me: Mom, that was herpes.
Mom: What? No…… She told me the woman bit her lip!
Me: In what universe is that even possible?
Mom: But that’s what she told me…..OMG, DO YOU THINK SHE GAVE ME HERPES?!
Me: Only if you have open sores on your body, too.
Mom: I have tons of scabs and scratches on my leg…the leg that she touchedOHMYGODIHAVEHERPES.

At this point, I can’t stop laughing. Anyone who knows my hilarious mother knows that she tends to exaggerate, and this situation took the cake. She was shocked, flabbergasted, appalled. She doused her entire leg with Purell. I, of course, teased her endlessly about it. Joked that we’d have to give Charlie all of his STD vaccines before she could meet him. No sign of herpes yet.

— My amazing husband is a finalist for a blogger spot on the design site, OhDeeDoh. He submitted a DIY about a pendant lamp that he made for the nursery, and the site published it. Our nursery is famous!! In the past few months, two other blogs have published his creations. I really admire how Charles goes after the things he wants. He’s not afraid to take risks and put his work in front of people that can make things happen for him. It’s so sexy!

Baby Milestones:
It’s hard to say for sure how big your baby will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long. The biggest part of your baby’s body is his head, but his still-pliable skull will give it the flexibility necessary to squeeze through the birth canal. Many parents are surprised by how long and sharp their newborn’s nails are from the get-go. Clipping them right away (ask a nurse for help) can prevent your baby from scratching his face.

Quotes of the Week: (all from Charles, since he’s really the only one I’ve spent time with this week)

— “I’m so excited to meet him….it’s like waiting for something to come in the mail!”

— Charles: “I can’t decide what car to buy. I should just get a motorcycle.”
Me: “That’s a good safety decision.”
Charles: “Hey, we have a Baby Bjorn!”

— Me: “You know what song I have stuck in my head? (starts singing) I’ll make love to you….like you want me to…..”
Charles: (still singing the tune) “But not for two months… because your vag will be stretched out….”

Pregnancy-related Tweets:
— Crazy Thursday was ALL OVER me last night, jumping on my face, pawing at me & whining. Preggo logic wonders if that means I’m near labor.

— Just realized I left the house for a lunch date with friends w/o brushing my teeth.

— Made a preggo friend at the nail salon. Due next week and giving birth at the same place. Maybe we’ll be delivery friends!

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