Feeling Perpetually Pregnant

Cause that’s what it feels like right now. Perpetual. Yeah – I hit the ‘point of desperation’ these past couple of days. 39 weeks today. Oh boy, these last two weeks are going to be killer.

The thing is, I’m pretty sure of my body’s communication for when labour will start, as it’s happened both with Spencer and Cassia. Some quick biology for those who care to note – when a woman becomes pregnant, mucous covers the cervix so that no foreign materials enter while there is a baby. This is commonly called a ‘mucous plug.’ At the end of pregnancy, in order for the baby to be delivered, this plug dissipates, which is commonly known as ‘a bloody show’. I have no idea why it got that name. Apart from there being blood. And then there’s the mucous. Anyway, it leaves the woman’s body in preparation for birth. When this happens is different for every woman. For me, it’s usually been very close to when labour is about to begin (as opposed to a week or two in advance). I’m expecting it’ll be the same this time. So there’s no point in me contemplating how long I have left because it’s redundant. The only sign I’ll get is when I have the bloody show, there don’t seem to be any other indicators prior this for me.

I have to admit, it’s a little frustrating. The Advent of the birth. It’s the ‘already there – not quite there’ tango. I’m trying hard to appreciate that I’m still able to sleep through the night, as I know all too well that will be foregone for likely a year or more once the baby is born. But I feel so done.

Spencer seems to be looking forward to the newbie. At this point he’s thinking it’s going to be a little brother. I’m still mildly convinced that it’ll be another girl. Cassia still doesn’t understand (how can she?), except that there is a baby in my tummy, which she will likely think is still there even when I’m holding the newbie in my arms. Cause that’s how 1 year olds shake it. Can’t blame her, as I’ll still look about 6 months pregnant post-natal for awhile. Oh joy. 2014-05-05 11.29.21

Have any of you ever created a birth plan? We’ve been through several birth training sessions that have highly recommended them and also had two different experiences in terms of reactions that hospitals have to them. In Ottawa we were basically told that we can create one, but it’s unlikely the nurses or doctors will look or care what’s on them. In Saskatoon here, we were told that they treat them with respect, as it can be seen as a potential legal document (please don’t ask me how – I just assume that they take them more seriously here). We made a point to keep ours short, highlighting the most important aspects that would affect my experience of the birth. For me, I feel that it helps to reduce the chance of post-traumatic stress disorder that can happen. I have heard many, many horror stories of women violated in one way or another when in a hospital (and sometimes home birth too, but less often) which lead to major psychological problems post-partum and beyond. It’s a sad state of things, and I’ve read of many women who, through lack of education around birth, have been walked over by nurses and doctors (and some midwives) so that they can ‘get it done’ the way they want it done, ignoring the needs of the woman. This is damaging to the woman and usually has an impact on her ability to bond with her new baby, which is of utmost importance to establish strongly at the outset.

I speak from some experience here, too. With Spencer, who was 5 weeks early, I realise in hindsight a slippery slope that happened while in the hospital. Some of the things that happened may have been prevented, I don’t know. The one that I feel exceptionally affected me happened after my c-section. Spencer was held up for me to see for a brief 5 seconds before being whisked away to the nursery for further intensive care. When I was finally wheeled back to my room the nurse would not allow me to see him. She was not willing to aid me in going to my newborn son. Consequently, I did not see him for the first 10 hours of his life, in which he was stuck with needles, tubes, and everything else under the sky. He did not hear my voice for a very prolongued period of time. His first experience of this world was not a loving embrace of a mother. It was the cold lights of a hospital nursery bed, and the cold sting of needles and medical personnel who could not care as a mother would. A mother who would not enter his life again for 10 long hours. I’m thankful that Andy at least was able to spend time with him, but it was hard not being able to be there myself. It’s hardly surprising I had issues bonding with him and breastfeeding, looking back. It’s much harder work to re-establish that relationship rather than being given the chance to do it right from the beginning.

Consequently, in our birth plans for Cassia and this new babe, it’s a priority for us to mention that separation is not going to be tolerated unless for emergency circumstances. And I know now that I would just request a different nurse for my care instead of ‘agreeing with the expert’ who may have been well-intentioned but failed to grasp the crucial importance of aiding the woman in helping create that bond with her new baby. Informed consent plays a big part in all of this as well.

If you’ve never considered a birth plan, I’d recommend it. I’m sure you can find ones online or resources to help you with. If you have a doula, she should be able to help you formulate one. This is ours: Birth Plan 2014And that’s that.

A good friend from high school and his wife are expecting their babe about 5 days after my due date. Part of me wants to place a bet on who comes first. The other part of me thinks I might attempt natural inducements to make my baby come quicker (which, of course, won’t work when I want them to). Probably not the best idea. Or motivation.

And that’s my pregnancy update. Hope you’re having a great start to your week!

Loving God through my family, friends, and interactions in my world.

One Comment

  • Heidi

    Thanks for posting the birth plan; I’ll bookmark this and save it for a sample. 🙂 And I think it can become a legal document (or at least, legally considered) if you have your doctor read and sign that he’s read it beforehand. That way if anything were to go wrong and you ended up in court, he couldn’t deny that he knew your preferences and wishes. Again, maybe not legally binding, but legally relevant with a signature.
    And I totally get you with the separation with Spencer…we had similar issues with Callan in the NICU and then difficulty with me becoming attached afterwards.

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