Monday, March 9, 2015

Thirty-Seven Weeks, or Finding My Zen

My shirt is officially gaping at the bottom.

Well, after three days I've gained a pound and a half, supposedly. Which I don't think really means anything, just daily fluctuations. But I have been eating a ton lately, so maybe there's some real gain there (up a total of 11 pounds).

My midwife visit this week was nice. I got to meet the student that is working with her and will be attending my delivery. I love working with students as an NP -- well, I love working with NP students, medical students and residents vary -- so I'm psyched to have an extra midwife at my birth. I figure it's just that much more support, and she's young and enthusiastic, which is especially great. And I love eavesdropping on the teaching that goes on as they work on me.

My belly is measuring only 34-35 cm, but my midwife (Chris) thinks it's just that Tree Leaf's head (or tail) is engaged a bit in the pelvis. I had my first pelvic exam of the pregnancy -- a fingertip dilated and 60% effaced. Which she said she expects for a second time mother. I'm interpreting this as meaning nothing much is happening.

I'm trying to find my zen place about the timing of the birth. I had such anxiety last time about the timing, and then such a bad experience being induced. I was bound and determined not to get stressed about it this time... but it's hard not to be a little impatient. Especially with the vast majority of SMCs on the Forum getting induced or scheduled for C-sections before 40 weeks. But I really do believe it's better for the baby to decide when she is ready. So I've just got to cool my jets.

Luckily it's easier in some ways this time around, being patient. For one thing, I've never been so organized in my life! Today I laminated homemade labels for Calliope's bed drawers. I mean, I actually went and bought (ordered) a laminator... and then actually took the time to figure out how to use it! (Never mind making and illustrating, with Calliope's help, little drawings for her drawers.) The remaining items on my home to do list include "organize wire shelving behind my desk" and "finish packing hospital bag." If this baby comes two weeks late, god knows what else I might accomplish!

I also still can't quite imagine being a parent to another child. To two children. I can't remember if I was mentally ready last time or not but I don't feel all the way there this time for sure. I still am somewhat disbelieving that there's even a baby in there. But surely a giant fibroid wouldn't be lurching around like this?

I was also working on finding my zen this week when Chris called to tell me that my anemia isn't getting better. Despite taking iron supplements three times a day! I freaked out and the tears welled up, fearing the worst and worrying that I have hidden internal bleeding somewhere. But I emailed my PCP and he wrote back that he wasn't concerned and that giving birth would most likely cure me. So that made me feel better.

Of course, starting labor with a hemoglobin and hematocrit of 9.5/28 is a bit worrying, given my experience last time with postpartum hemorrhage and profound anemia (and feeling like absolute crap for 6 weeks). And last time I started off in a much better place, no anemia. So I'm worrying about that, a little, and trying to wrap my head around the possibility of a blood transfusion this time if I lose a lot of blood again. The idea of someone else's blood running into my vein completely freaks me out. But I can't spend six weeks on bed rest with two children. So I'm trying to get zen with that, too.


  1. I almost needed a transfusion after having my first, and I also was thinking about how strange it would be to have someone else's blood going thru me. It was a bit weird since I've donated nearly 8 gallons of my own blood, so my blood is out there walking around already. Finally I had the realization that having someone else's blood in me can't be any weirder than the fact that I had some total stranger's sperm floating around in me and I gave birth to that baby! If it comes to that (which I hope it doesn't) just remind yourself you are doing it for your kids, and suddenly it will seem much easier.

  2. Try to find a little time in the next few weeks to enjoy moments of doing nothing at all -- as a single parent to two, those moments will be very hard to come by. I hope you don't need a blood transfusion but imagine if you do, you'll be more than happy to get one. Sure wish Fiona could share some of her overly abundant hemoglobin with you!

  3. I agree with Claire, really take the time to do nothing at all. It'll be a long time before you'll have that chance again. You sound very positive & in a good place to be ready for your Tree Leaf to arrive

  4. I just came across your blog. I'm single, in my early forties, and trying for my first. Your beaming smile and beautiful growing family were a treat to find. Wishing you all the best!

  5. I was going to say much the same thing as Ali (above). I can't imagine a stranger's blood being weirder than stranger's sperm being in you! I hope these last few weeks as a parent of one go smoothly, and you're able to find your zen about everything you need to. I'm eagerly awaiting how things go with two... to help with making my own decision in that regard!