I was 41 weeks pregnant, and finally starting to wonder if things were ever going to go as planned.
(*I made you look, right...you thought this would be a birthday letter? Oh, no, ladies...this is Part 1 of a 3 day birth story. Pull up a chair and a cup of coffee and enjoy.*)
My nature is typically like that of a non-planner. My family's vacation agenda is actually classified as "No Agenda". In fact, that's the name of my dad's boat because when my sister and I were around 12 and 16, he got tired of us saying "what's on the agenda today?" So I didn't write a birth PLAN, I wrote some birth "preferences" (no, really, the sheet I took to the hospital said "birth preferences for Baby ____"). I had hoped to have a natural and minimally medicated labor and delivery. I was more comfortable with the idea of narcotic pain relief than the dreaded epidural, but since I had only prepared with the simple "here are all of your options" birth class and not invested time in Bradley, water birth, or Hypno-Babies, I knew that the chances of me not giving in to the pressure were about 50-50.
Mainly, I just wanted to go with the flow. (Word of advice: in retrospect, this was not a good plan, more on that tomorrow.)
So, on Sunday, at 41 weeks pregnant (and still wearing a non-maternity top, so what if it was stretched to the limit) I took a leisurely trip to the Farmer's Market with my BFF. We bought peaches for me to blanch and freeze, and then she gave me reflexology to try to help induce labor***. Walking and this one session of a wonderful foot massage were the only natural labor-induction techniques I tried. Maybe I would change that, too, if I could go back in time. But maybe not...I had a very relaxing week off before baby came, thinking about a lot of things. Mostly how much my life was going to change, and I better soak up my last chance to be lazy.
I had my OB appointment set for the next afternoon, and I was hoping that all the walking was doing something to stretch out my cervix. As a member of an online pregnancy community, I tried not to be discouraged by the fact that I had remained closed up tight the entire 3rd trimester, because every other day were birth story posts about how they went in for their 39,40 week appointment, talked over induction because they still hadn't dilated or effaced, only to go home and begin labor spontaneously.
Oh, how I waited that week to begin labor spontaneously. I had such an easy pregnancy, without so much as a vaginal cramp, but at this point I was actually starting to find myself jealous of the women complaining at 28 weeks of all the Braxton-Hicks they were having. Call me crazy, but I wanted to KNOW what a contraction was, what I was in for, even just a preview so that I could better gauge if I would be able to handle labor or not.
To wrap up Sunday, I relaxed for my reflexology session and went to bed early. No broken water, no labor pains, not so much as a hint of contraction in my girly region. What on earth would we find out at the doctor's appointment?
***Although I am in no way certified, for any of my readers out there full term pregnant and ready to give birth, try rubbing the indentation of skin between your heel and your ankle bone. Use firm, long strokes.***