Thursday, January 17th, 2013
As I inch, or should I say centimeter (I slay me), my way to this due date, there’s another milestone that must be discussed.
The cervix check. Whoomp, there it is!
This is the point when pregnancy stops being polite and starts being real.
Call me dramatic, it’s my trademark, but the cervix check is worse than childbirth. I don’t know what they taught in med school back in the day, but it must have been something along the lines of, “if your patient doesn’t cry when you check their cervix then you’re doing it wrong.”
I don’t want to call my doctor out too much. Her bedside manner is impeccable and she’s listened to and assured an awful lot of hormonal tears from me, but dang gina, dem hands is rough.
My first pregnancy, I wasn’t prepared for the ol’ cervix check. I mean I’d had a pap smear and while not my best friend, no tears were shed. The cervix check though, ov vey. It was definitely a “like a virgin moment” and I don’t mean that in the way Madonna tries to spin it. There was nothing enjoyable about it.
The cervix check is not my favorite activity…but it is my least favorite activity.
I pity the fool who like me, so unassumingly, gets the most painful feel up of their life.
We’re not strangers my doctor and me. She brought my pride and joy, my darling first daughter into this world. Please ma’am, understand we’re close now. Next time, warn me if you’re going to do anything that will make me loathe you for an entire week.
Now that we’re all aware of how much I truly, madly, deeply hate the cervix check, let’s talk the dilemma.
The slightly wussy lady in me who despises pain, wants to opt out of all cervix checks until labor is literally taking my breath away.
However, the curious, glutton for punishment part of me wants to know, is there any reason to suspect, hope, dream that this baby might be coming early? Have the floodgates opened?
The problem is the dilation status messes with the ol’ head. It adds another level of crazy to the waiting game. Just because one dilates does not mean one immediately labors. It can take weeks.
I hear tales of women who walk around dilated to a 5 for weeks. WEEKS! I hear of women who go from 0 to 60 in 5.2 (figuratively speaking of course).
Theoretically, the cervix check means nothing. Like babies, cervixes do what they want, when they want. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I’m curious, oh so curious if anything is happening. It might not make a bit of difference in predicting her arrival to know the dilation digits, but maybe, just maybe it might?
I can’t get you outta my head cervix check.
Is the pain worth it to find out if my business is doing any meaningful business?
Image: Gloved hands via Dan Kosmayer/Shutterstock.com
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Monday, January 14th, 2013
36 weeks/9 months
Maybe I’m twenty-seven going on seven, but I still like to make paper chain countdowns for exciting events. Well truthfully, I can justify any event to be exciting enough to paper chain. Birthdays, holidays, vacations, doctor’s appointments, root canals. Pap smears? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Nothing preps oneself for the awkwardness of that appointment by paper chaining down those nerves.
I think most of the world would agree then that a baby is definitely paper chain worthy.
With 4 weeks to go, I might be getting out the stapler and scissors a little too early, but I’m ready to countdown. We’re in the red zone. I’ve got my victory dance ready. It’s nearly midnight. The magic is about to happen.
Are you tired of the countdown talk yet? Sorry people, we haven’t even started.
It’s a much different feeling this pregnancy because with my first I was terrified to have a baby. With one birth under my belt, I know it can be done and it doesn’t scare me as much anymore. Yes, there are still some nerves, but most of my feelings are bordering on pure excitement.
We’re at the point where the little bambina could come at anytime. Yes, I want her to continue to grow as healthy and big as she needs to be, but it wouldn’t be totally bonkers if she made an early debut.
This means that we’ve entered a very interesting, very difficult stage of pregnancy.
The waiting game.
It can be a cruel one.
I’ve watched friends and family have babies a couple of weeks early or right on time over the last couple of months and it’s left me hungry. My arms are aching to snuggle a newborn, yet I have no idea when they’ll be filled.
With my first, I was a week overdue and I’m trying, desperately and unsuccessfully, to prep myself with a “she’s going to be late” mentality.
I know, I know, “babies are easier in than out” and “enjoy it while you can,” but there’s just something about this new phase as a family of four that I’m happily ready to start.
I know they’ll be moments with two children that I’ll think, “why was I in such a rush?” Or I’ll long for the days of peeing with absolute freedom, peeing with impunity!
I’m aware newborns are not all snuggles. Enter colic, acid reflux, mixed up sleep schedules, complete dependency. I know it can be hard and realize that it will be hard in some moments, but somehow those thoughts are not curbing my enthusiasm.
I haven’t hit the “I’m so tired of being pregnant please remove this watermelon of a baby by any means necessary,” stage…yet. I’m just thrilled at the thought of making her tiny and sweet acquaintance.
This excitement though heightens the mind game that is the waiting game. These are the last few hard weeks of pregnancy physically, but also mentally. The waiting game is a mind game of epic proportions. When will these contractions get serious? What day will she come? Today? Tomorrow? Three weeks? When should my mom fly out? Too many unknowns!
Soon the dearly beloveds in my life will start sending daily “thoughtful” texts with inquires and excitement about her arrival. This majorly ups the waiting game ante. Too stressful for my blood, I fold.
My solution? Paper chain my feelings into a countdown I can see and maybe, just maybe, feel like I’m doing something to cajole her into the world each time I rip that little shred of paper.
You can bet your bottom dollar when it gets really close to time, I’ll do more pointed cajoling with some serious stadium stairs, spicy foods, and sexy time but for now, the paper chain will suffice. Honestly, experience tells me she’ll do what she wants, when she wants, wives’ tales aside.
And so it begins and tick tocks on the clock…the waiting game.
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