You know…. this has been a whirlwind two weeks for us over here. So I figure I better jot down some details before the details all start to fade into distant memories….. with all that has been happening (or not happening, depending on how you look at it)!!!
For starters, let me say baby is not here yet. My EDD was August 30th if you went by a calendar, and Sept. 2nd if you went by the 1st (and only) ultrasound we had done. So, today makes us 3 days past…. to some sort of degree. A little background on me….. I’ve had four babies and not a one of them has been this challenging. First labor started and progressed. Slowly…. but progressed. Did not stop. Second labor was like a barreling high speed train right from the start. Third was different than the first two in that the things to keep and encourage labor going did not work with him. He wanted more rocking, swaying, all fours kinda labor. But….. quick nonetheless…. once I figure it out. Fourth…. she was a lot of stop and go, but once we got to active labor we were full-speed-ahead and we had a lovely peaceful waterbirth at home.
And….. to sum it all up….. not a single one of them was more than 1-2 days of their EDD in either direction. In fact, 3 were “early” in that respect. Only one was 2 days later. So….. go this “far” along for me has proven challenging. I know it may sound whimpy to some degree because there are women out there who go 1-2 WEEKS later. I totally, utterly, and completely feel for them. Pregnancy is such a blessing…. but when you’re at the end and you feel like you are carrying a baby down in your pelvis every move you make… or you could just crack open from the pressure…. you are R.E.A.D.Y. to hold that pressure mushy baby in your arms! It’s really hard to go late!
So….. August 23rd (I posted about this before), we had an awesome weekend blessing the baby. The kids helped me do a belly cast and then K and D did a beautiful henna design. It was so much fun. The design is still on my nearly two weeks later! They did awesome and we just thoroughly enjoyed the moment. Throughout that week I had had a few nights (and even a couple daytime moments) where contractions were becoming more frequent. Not too intense at that time, but definitely doing some work nonetheless. I definitely thought we’d be welcoming baby by the weekend. August 30th was my brother’s birthday, August 31st was my uncle’s birthday, and September 1st was Labor Day. I predicted that if we did not have baby on brother’s birthday, we’d have baby by the 1st. After all, it was Labor Day!!!!
Well….. ironically…. every single day since has been a “maybe today, or at least tomorrow” kind of outlook. Each night (and day for that matter) I have had lots of suggestions that labor was likely to happen “that day.” The weekend came and went and even Labor Day, and I figured…. well, must be happening on the ‘actual’ predicted due date. Sept. 2nd woke up and my mucous plug was dropping. That was super promising. I had good ‘work’ going on that day, and thought, “maybe it will actually be today… or at least by tomorrow.” And that has been every since.
Wednesday D and S each had a first class of a session. D started trampoline and tumbling over at Viking, and S started his first ever tai kwon do class. And….. since I *still* had not had a baby and *still* did not seem to be in consistent/active labor, I got to take them to their first classes. (I had not planned on that being the case beforehand…. but alas here we were.) We did a mini grocery run and came home saying “ok…. now baby can come” (again)…. we had used that phrase a lot this past week, after accomplishing various errands and chores, or things needing to get done.
Yesterday was Thursday. I was feeling pretty desperate by this point. We had done absolutely *everything* by this point. K was a super Dude-la and looked up ways to naturally induce labor. During this entire week, we had done acupressure, massage, walking (flights of stairs and around the neighborhood…. a lot!), dancing, pineapple, raspberry tea (which D and SBJ so kindly biked to the grocery to pick up for me), rocking, swaying, all fours, bouncing, pelvic tilts and circles….. you name it. Oh, I had done nipple stimulation so much one evening my nips hurt the next day. I had a 2 hour session of contractions based solely off of nip stimulation. Yep…… you name it, I have likely tried it. So by Thursday I was feeling like “that’s it.” I went out and purchased caster oil. I threatened baby, “if you don’t get things started by 9am, I am taking this crap and we are going get this going.”
Yea…. well this one (just as my other stubborn J-babies) had a mind of his/her own. I ended up taking the frickin’ caster oil, nearly gagging on myself. Fortunately I was not in any pain at all. It did “clean me out real good” if you know what I mean. My butt hurt quite a bit from the amount of time I spent going. But….. I mean what I said…. I was feeling desperate. By mid afternoon I was cleaned out, starving and thirsty. I did keep myself well-hydrated, but did not feel like taking in much food at all. Contractions started around 3-4pm. They were about 4 minutes (or 3-5 minutes) apart, consistently, well into the evening. I noticed that when I got up and walked around, they were less frequent, and when I was on all fours, rocking, bouncing or sitting upright, or side-lying, they were pretty good intensity and pretty consistently 4 minutes apart. I was feeling quite hopeful.
It got to be about 8-9pm and I highly encouraged the kids to get to bed. I did not really know how long this was going to last in this mild pre-labor phase, so did not want them completely exhausted for active labor. I decided I was quite pooped from the effects of the caster oil, so I should lie down as well. If I could sleep through any of the contractions, it’s some rest better than none. Well…… I lay down in that awesome side-lying position (which was super helpful earlier that day) and….. fall completely asleep. I’m whipped. Contractions seize and that’s that. Throughout the night I have some super strong contractions that kind of stir me from sleep, but nothing that’s sticking around. Then by 3am, I’m so hungry I can’t sleep, and finally feeling like eating. I get up eat a bit… drink a TON… and see if I can get anything going again.
Nothing too promising so I figure “welp, might as well get some much needed rest.” I climb back into bed and sleep till AM. That bring us to today. I’m so super frustrated at this point. Logically, however, I can see that my body wanted to recuperate from the caster oil effects before putting me through active labor. I feel SOOOOOO much better today than yesterday and feel ready for anything. Yesterday could have been disastrous really, if it had gone all the way through. I got some really decent deep sleep last night too, which I have not had much this week. Lots of anticipation looming all week does not make for good sleep. So…. I actually was feeling a ton better today. Just frustrated that we again have to wait for things to pick back up again.
So….. one looming thing that has been hanging over my head was that I committed to hosting an Airbnb guest by this weekend. This lovely young lady rented our place for the whole month and she was to move in this weekend. And…. of course…. having four kids prior that were never more than two days late, I figured it would work out just fine to make this agreement. And here we are, the day before, with no baby and a guest to move in. Eeek. SBJ and discuss and agree we reach out to her and see if she has flexibility in coming later than tomorrow. We would refund her the night she did not stay with us, and explain to her about our intended homebirth that still has yet to happen. On top of that happening…. I just had to get out of the house. We have had lots of cooped-up time here thinking “this” was going to be the day, and yet nothing happen. So I tell the kids, “quick, get your suits on, we’re headed to the beach.”
I text our future guest explaining the snafoo with mother nature, and head off to the beach with the kids. We strolled up and down the beach, built sand castles, collected rocks, soaked in the MUCH needed Vit. D, and I just sat in the chilly water. Much in a lotus style position with the very gentle waves lapping my back, rocking me gently back and forth. It was *exactly* what I needed. I was feeling the pressure all week, and just needed this time to rejuvenate and realize…. baby is coming when baby is ready. And with all of the laboring we did yesterday, it will likely be very, very, very soon.
After our several hours at the beach, we climb back in the car and I have the most awesome text from our future guest. She completely understood, still wanted to move in, and was completely flexible with when that would be. We agreed to just stay in touch. Phew. That was a *major* relief on my part as, of course, I am the one who never wants to disappoint, and here was a very amicable solution to what was in front of us…. and kinda out of our control.
On our way home, we drive through the Mc’D’s for some hot fudge sundaes and decide to drive around in circles in our neighborhood. One thing I had read that we had not yet done was speed bumps 🙂 I thought…. “well…. I’ve done absolutely everything else…. let’s try some speed bumps!” That was pretty fun. Definitely felt some pelvic reactions to that one, but not sure how much you’d really need to do to make a difference. After a nice shower and a turkey sub, the kids are subjecting me to another dance party this afternoon. The fun couldn’t hurt, and fingers crossed…. it helps much more this time around!
Hopefully….. baby “part two” will be up here quicker than you know it!