I am writing the details of these “Catching Up” posts in bits and pieces. Gone are the days when I can write an entire post in one sitting. I write a little here and there, usually in the evenings after the baby has gone to sleep. Here is an account of the final few weeks of my pregnancy.

Almost the entire time I was pregnant, I didn’t really think too much about the whole “giving birth” part of the deal. My “birth plan” was simple. I wanted to labor and deliver at a hospital, and I was not opposed to any measures that would keep my baby and myself safe. I was hoping for a vaginal birth, but, if I needed a C-section, I needed a C-section. The baby’s health was my only concern. In my mind, I was being such a super relaxed, go with the flow, wind in my hair, chilled out mama. But, in actuality, I was scared shitless about what pushing a large object out of my vagina was going to entail, and I was basically hiding under a blanket hoping it didn’t happen to me.

Looking back, I wish I had done more research and learned more about *cough* perineal tears. Spoiler alert: I tore. It was bad. I was not one of those ladies who prances around the day after giving birth, poses for photos in a robe that matches their newborn’s onesie, and then goes for a light jog after being discharged from the hospital. No, no, NO. I was a HOT MESS. I actually couldn’t believe the hospital let me go in the state I was in. They abandoned me with a screaming newborn, some Colace, and a pile of gigantic maxi pads the size of my head. But, another story for another time.

My due date was March 3, 2014. Officially, I think it was March 2nd according to the measurements at our 20 week anatomy scan, but when anyone would ask me when I was due, I would say March 3rd.

Starting at 37 weeks of pregnancy, I started seeing my doctor every week for check-ups. It became a little routine for us. We would go in for our check-up, and then I would reward myself with a Georgetown Cupcake. By the way, L took me to every appointment except one. That’s L. Our birth coach spent a good amount of time poking fun at how ridiculous Type A, anal retentive husbands can be during labor. Some women don’t like being fawned over. Some women do. L didn’t fawn over me during labor (because I told him I would want him to back off. When I’m in any kind of pain, step off), but he was there for me and he still is. That’s L. Good man.

At my 39 week appointment, my doctor declared that my cervix was softening (I think I was 80% effaced) and I was one to two centimeters dilated. He told me to pack my hospital bags, because the baby could come at any time. We had prepared for this moment for months and months (years, actually), and I was a mix of nerves and excitement. I called everyone I am close to and told them to get ready…she was on her way! Obviously, I had no way of knowing that the wait would last another two and a half weeks.

At my 40 week check-up, I was like, “Soooo, how about that baby?” And my doctor was like, “You’re getting closer!” Then he striped my membranes. Or, I think he striped my membranes? He didn’t really tell me what he was doing down there, but I nearly jumped off the exam table it was so painful. Whatever he did was more than a cervix check. That’s my doctor though. He never really explained anything to me for nine months. After I had my cervix/tonsil check, I hobbled out of the office, and became convinced that something was finally happening. I was starting to feel light contractions, and my doctor even said he would be surprised if I didn’t deliver within the next few days. Ha HA.

For the next week, I had inconsistent contractions. I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvic region, and {TMI alert} I had a day and a half where my body performed its own natural cleanse. I was pumped. I had learned in birth class that this was a positive sign that your body was preparing for labor. Score! Now I just had wait for my water to break, and we would be on our way.

I hit the 41 week mark with the same light contractions, but nothing really changed. I was now 100% effaced and still one to two centimeters dilated. I was really anxious to get the show on the road. I felt huge. After expressing his shock and awe that I was still pregnant, my doctor told me he would support whatever I wanted to do, but he wouldn’t let me go past 42 weeks. Joy. We decided that 10 a.m. on March 11th would be my induction time, because being 42 weeks pregnant sounded like an awful idea to an exceedingly uncomfortable me. If the baby hadn’t made her appearance by then she would be met with Pitocin.

My quick thoughts on induction. First off, I never thought I would need to be induced. At 39 weeks, my body and the baby felt ready to go. It goes to show that you can never really predict anything when it comes to labor. It’s such a crap shoot. Second, I was deathly afraid of Pitocin because everything I read said that it would cause contractions to speed up and feel like they were ripping you in half. Due to the fact that I got induced, I had nothing to compare my contractions to. They definitely ramped up rather quickly and felt strong to me, but it wasn’t like I had been in active labor for hours and then they introduced the Pitocin. Also, they only had to increase my Pitocin once, and I was good to go. So I would say “Don’t fear Pitocin” but every body and every birth is different. All in all, I am cool with the fact that I was induced. Do I wish that I had gone into labor naturally? Of course. But, at 41 weeks, 3 days, I felt like my little baby cooked as long as she needed to cook. We were ready to meet the tiny dictator.

The morning of the induction with our fur babies, Emma and Henry!

Up next: Baby’s fast and furious birth and some thoughts on postpartum recovery.

thelessthandomesticgoddess

5 Comments

  1. Reply

    aneonprincess

    June 20, 2014

    I love that your body did it's own natural cleanse πŸ˜€ too funny. I am not even 20 weeks and I am obsessed about the birthing part of this whole thing. It's so scary!

  2. Reply

    Maya

    June 21, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this! I loved reading this and can't wait to read this. Did you deliver at Cedars? I'm set to deliver there in October, so if you have any tips, I'd love to hear them!

  3. Reply

    thelessthandomesticgoddess

    June 25, 2014

    @Maya: Congratulations, M!!!! I had no idea! What wonderful news. πŸ™‚ Yes, I delivered at Cedars! Here are some tips off the top of my head…Try and get one of the new labor/delivery rooms. Have you gone on the hospital tour yet? It's probably a bit early for that. But, when you go on your tour you will see the new delivery rooms vs. the old ones. The new ones have a view of the Hollywood Hills, a nicer bathroom, and everything is just prettier ! Because I was induced, my doctor's office booked a new room for us. Also, we bought boxes of See's truffles for our labor nurse and our newborn nurse. I had a couple of other nurses, but those two were my favorites and they deserved a little token of appreciation from us. Let's see, what else. As I'm sure you have read everywhere – make sure and take all the "free" stuff (pads of every kind, those squirt bottles will be a lifesaver, all the baby products, etc. etc.) Since we bribed our nurse with chocolates, she brought us even more diapers and extra stuff before we left. Another tip- you might be put off by the gruffness of the hospital's lactation consultant (not sure how many there are working at Cedars); mine was very rough and no frills. However, don't get discouraged. If you have any issues with breast feeding, go to the Pump Station. They have a few different locations. They took care of me when I was feeling totally overwhelmed! Lastly, Cedars has this policy that they want mom and baby to bond, so they basically never bring the baby back to the nursery unless you request it. Early on, I assumed, "Of course I want to be with my new baby 24/7, what a great policy!" After I delivered it was a different story. I was in so much pain, and L and I were beyond exhausted. We ended up letting the nurses take the baby back to the nursery a good portion of the time. They would bring her back every three hours to feed. This helped me catch my breath, and recover a little. It's obviously a personal choice, but it's good to know that you can send the baby to the nursery when/if you are feeling sick/overwhelmed/tired/etc.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!! And tons of hugs and congratulations to you guys! xoxo

  4. Reply

    Maya

    July 2, 2014

    Thank you dear! We are very excited and I really appreciate the tips, as none of my local mom friends have delivered at Cedars. I think I'm going to have a million more questions the closer we get, but in the meantime, thank you so much and we're so happy for you guys!

  5. Reply

    Kendall

    April 1, 2015

    Aww love reading these catch-up posts! And I can totally relate with you on the recovery end…baby #2 was a 1000x worse for me. Absolutely awful. I could barely walk afterwards for a week!! I shudder thinking about it…I'm just now feeling back to normal and it's been five weeks!! Anyways, love reading about your story and seeing your precious babe on Instagram! Xo

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