It's no secret that I do not love being pregnant. (I've met a few women who say they love it and I pretty much want to punch them in the face when they say that, but I just smile and nod.) Pregnancy is a means to an end for me. And I look forward to that end all the way through. The beginning is rough, the end is rough, and the middle, well, it's really small. But I am big by then, so there is plenty to complain about even when I am not ill or physically uncomfortable.
So now I've reached the "end". 38 weeks plus 1 day. This is my fifth pregnancy. At this stage I have been the same with each one - miserable. It's not just the physical discomfort, which there is plenty of, but I simply cannot seem to focus on any of my responsibilities and/or commitments. All I can think about is how sick of being pregnant I am, and the longing I have to hold my new baby. At this point, I pretty much don't want to see anyone outside of my family until I actually have a baby outside of my body. Which isn't really practical, since I do have places to go and things to do. I get tired of the questions. I get tired of talking about my due date, which still seems light years away. I also get frustrated to hear of other moms giving birth, some who were due after myself. It's a hard time to be content and happy. And of course I feel guilty about that for a whole host of reasons, but that's for a different post.
So, last week, or the week before - I'm starting to lose track of time - I was feeling pretty good. I mean, for some reason the sciatic nerve pain I had been dealing with for months had settled down and physically, I was feeling better than I had been. I was sleeping better and had more energy. I was thinking, I can make it through this, and even made myself a list of things I could accomplish before the baby came. Like goals. Like, this baby can take it's time because I have things to do. Silly me.
Then came THE HEADACHE. This headache lasted a week+ and nothing would touch it. Along with that came back the serious heartburn. The headache took away any motivation I had, because I couldn't function. And I wasn't very fun for my kids to be around because even their regular talking level was more than I could bear. On Tuesday night, things were at their worst. Thankfully, Matt was home that night, and he graciously told me to hide out behind closed doors and he would take care of the children. I couldn't sleep and so I googled headaches in 38th week. There's the preeclampsia scare. I've never ever had any complications with my pregnancies, they just suck. Always headaches and nausea and heartburn and all that fun stuff. And very healthy babies. For that I am thankful, but I knew I was fine. Even so, I couldn't block out the noise through the door and so I decided to go to the grocery store to check my blood pressure. Honestly, I was actually hoping it would be high so I could go to the hospital and they could make this baby come out. But my blood pressure is great. And, my doctor was there buying groceries! And she was like, your blood pressure is great! Yeah, I know. She wasn't concerned about my headache, but she did sympathize.
I should point out that my last three pregnancies have ended with induced labors due to very good scheduling excuses. Like, baby's due date is Christmas. Or, doctor is scheduled to be out of town. These are good, right? So, I have a history of knowing when I get to have my babies. This is different. I have no excuses this time. The uncertainty is killing me.
So I get home from the grocery store (just after I know the kids will all be in bed). I am feeling a bit better, just having had some quiet (I spent an hour and half out, most of it just sitting in an empty deli). Chat with Matt a bit and we head to bed at 10. I notice some serious, abnormal pain in my lower back on the way up the stairs. That stirred some excitement. I lie there awake and when my stomach starts to grumble at 11, I get out of bed and head to the couch. My normal "can't sleep" routine is to eat cereal and facebook a bit or catch up on blogs I follow. Then the contractions started! After an hour of contractions, I started trying to time them. I was thinking, this could be it! But they were very mild and frequent. Always less than 5 minutes apart. That was confusing. Eventually, they spread further apart and even got stronger. I got more excited. I kept thinking, should I wake Matt up? Should I call my mom and tell her she should come over? But, since this is only the second time I'm experiencing "natural" labor, I am so reluctant to do anything. The first time, with my oldest, I was sent home from the hospital after like 10 hours of laboring at home and thinking "this pain can't get any worse" and told I was dilated "a dimple". That particular labor lasted 42 hours, and my second child and first induction was blissful and short, so you can see why I was happy to have good excuses for induction on numbers 3 and 4!
But back to Tuesday night, I didn't wake anyone, and fell asleep on the couch (obviously they weren't painful enough) and the contractions went away. I was sad they went away. But I woke up Wednesday full of excitement, just sure that it meant things were going to be happening! I told Matt he better get his sub lined up! Then all day Wednesday, that would be YESTERDAY, my excitement waned and I became more and more disappointed, discouraged, and eventually just bitter. If it was hard for me to focus on my responsibilities before, when I was just anxious to have a baby, it was 100% harder after I thought I was getting ready to have one and then didn't. That, plus a night with very little sleep.
Well, I made it through the day. I spent a lot of wasted time reading about how to make yourself go into labor. All things I've read before. (At least one post really made me laugh.) By the time I got the kids to bed, I knew this baby was nowhere near arrival and so I better find a way to snap out of it. Two weeks is a long time to be a bitter zombie mom. I crawled around the living room floor picking up toys and debris until I could see all the carpet. I swept dirt clods from someone's shoes off the dining room floor. Just seeing the floor always makes me feel better. Kids were in bed and I was watching a movie and eating in peace while waiting for husband to get home from a late meeting. It was peaceful, at least. Went to bed at 9:40 and fell asleep by 10.
Then I woke up this morning! I thought, that is really odd, I slept all the way through the night, didn't even get up to pee?! This hasn't happened in months. Then I began my internal grumbling with God and praying, as I do daily, that this baby would come early. This lasted 20-30 minutes until I hear Matt turn the shower off. Then I turn on the lamp and sit up to read my devotion. And this is how it starts:
Title: Your Will Be Done
"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." --Matthew 6:10
(immediately, I know I am going to be convicted! I can't even continue on for several seconds...)
"God knows what will best minister to His gracious designs. He ordains all things according to the counsel of His will, and that counsel never errs. Let us adoringly consent that it shall be so, desiring no alterations...."
I think that is enough for you to understand what I was facing. I love God. I really do! He often has to smack me in the face like this. But I am so thankful for it.
Even though it is hard, sometimes, to change my frame of mind, I know that is what is required. It won't happen naturally every time, sometimes I have to make that decision. I needed to realize what a gift it was to have slept through the night! And now, what a gift it is that the sun is shining on me! I changed my attitude this morning and I am grateful I was able to. Because I had a pleasant morning with my kids, and we made french toast together, instead of cereal. And there wasn't any arguing or bickering or crying! And, the headache was gone!
So, I am TRYING to be patient about this baby. At least, I am praying for patience now, in addition to praying for it to come early! And praying the headache stays away, because that is really a mind changer!