Today is my due date. I am 40 weeks.
And still waiting.
No surprise really there. I’ve never gone into labor early on my own. Or rather, I’ve never gone into labor on my own. Period.
I’m hoping things will be different this time. When I saw my doctor today, he said, “We’ll induce at 41 weeks” and very sheepishly and sweetly, I asked, “Would you maybe let me go until 42 weeks instead?” He laughed and said to make an appointment for next week and we’ll discuss it then. “I have a feeling we won’t even need to have this discussion,” he said. Whatever that means. But I hope he has good instincts and his “feeling” is right.
I can’t tell if Poppy is getting ready or not. I’m only dilated 1cm and Poppy hasn’t dropped and sometimes I fear that he’s still flipping around in there, even though he’s been head-down at my last three appointments. And he is constantly head-butting my cervix, which causes a lot of discomfort and momentarily feels as if he’s already tunneling his way into my vajayjay. I seem to be having a lot of Braxton Hicks too and spent two hours the other day with the weirdest vaginal cramping that had me wondering if it was pre-labor. And I think, over the last day or two, I’ve started losing my mucous plug in pieces. So I’m hopeful my body is doing something. But it could just be wishful thinking. I’m really good at that.
The other day, I read a stillbirth story. I’ve been on edge ever since. Many a night has been spent awake doing kick counts every hour. I burst into tears the other day when Poppy didn’t move for a while. I’m starting to feel panicked all the time. It’s not necessarily unusual for me in pregnancy, especially towards the end, it’s just…I had been doing so well. But it seems that the trauma of infertility and loss never goes away. There is a part of me that always feels as though I am a blink or breath away from losing this baby. I don’t always feel ready for him to come and yet…I am. I’m ready for the reassurance of his first cry and the soft warmth of him on my chest. I’m ready for the realness of him, knowing he’s safe and healthy and here, and for the freedom from obsessing over the endless sad possibilities and unlikely outcomes. Now that I type it here, I feel more ready than ever.
Well, except my mom isn’t here yet. She arrives tomorrow. She’ll be staying until early November to help out and I’m looking forward to having the next five weeks be laundry-, dishes-, and housework-free, so that I can be solely focused on this baby and helping all of us transition to being a family of five. Moms are the best. Though I know from experience that there will be plenty of spats, disagreements, and annoyances. What can you expect when you spend an entire five weeks with someone without a break? I dread the conflict that is on its way, but remain excited for the rest of it.
Today, I’m finding that I’m extraordinarily tired and irritable. I have patience for nothing, which is not exactly how I wanted to feel when we reached this momentous occasion. I did quietly celebrate with a doughnut this morning, but that seems small in comparison to how huge it is to finally reach this day. Within two weeks (I assume?), there will be a new baby in our lives. That’s BIG! I wish I wasn’t spending the moment moping around the house, snapping at my children, barely able to keep my eyes open, and without any energy to even put together a simple dinner.
But through it all, through the grumpies and the sleepies and the leave-me-alone-please-ies, I remain grateful. The funk I am in will pass and, at the end of it, there is a baby. There are three babies, really, from ages four to zero who are mine. Mine. How incredible to think that six years ago, I was weeping because I didn’t know if I would ever have one. And soon, there will be a third. It’s miraculous.
I’m lucky. I’m thankful. That will always be so.