I am not sure if you know this or not. With your first pregnancy it may come as a surprise -- with subsequent pregnancies it is an easy thing to forget until it creeps up on you, but it gets terribly uncomfortable growing a baby who sits on top of your bladder and underneath your rib cage. I have long told my childbirth classes this, and as of late, I am reminded again of its truth.
Being 33 weeks pregnant, I have my list of complaints. I feel like this baby can't come fast enough. I even imagine going into labor early -- like today early -- just to be done with it.
My back and hips are aching like never before (surely a sign my body is feeling too old to be going through a pregnancy again, right?). Sleep is something that comes in fits and pieces. I feel bad for my husband as I toss, turn, try to roll over but feel more like Ralphie's brother in "A Christmas Story," lying on the ground in his snowsuit saying, "I can't get up!" Add to that restless legs that shake and quake of their own volition, the 5 pillows I have behind, around, under and between various body parts, and the snoring (yes, the snoring!) that wakes me -- the snorer! -- and I imagine there's nothing peaceful in our bedroom right now.
My baby is still high enough that I can relate to this scene from "Tommy Boy," just replace bear claws with baby butt:
It is surprising how hard a baby butt can actually be -- but there is not a lot of fat there, and it becomes this firm blockage that prevents me from bending over to put on socks or tie my shoes or reach down to release the emergency brake on the car -- and it is just plain uncomfortable.
Even with the baby still not having "dropped," my poor bladder is being pushed to its own limits. I am convinced I am currently the top toilet-paper-user in the house, visiting the bathroom 4-5 times a night, and so many times during the day I probably use a roll every 24-hours. I have adopted a policy of mandatory-usage if I get within 12 feet of a bathroom. My logic is, even if I don't have to go right now, I will in 10 minutes, so I just pre-emptive-strike it.
I notice I make a lot more noises as I progress through the normal tasks of the day. I sigh and groan and yelp as I shift from sitting to standing, getting in and out of the car, bending down to (attempt) tying my shoes. I swear I am not doing it on purpose, these sounds just escape my lips before my brain can even say, "That was quite the old-lady-carrying-the-cat-food-bag-into-the-house noise." No offense to old ladies who have to carry the cat food bag into the house and may make noises while doing so.
This baby gets the hiccups probably 6-8 times a day. I can't figure a pattern -- sometimes it seems like they may come after I eat, other times they come when I am hungry. Sometimes they just come. They aren't the worst things in the world, they just feel like lttle spasms that jolt my uterus in various places every two seconds. They can space out longer or shorter, but in my scientific explorations, I have noted they most frequently come every two seconds.
These are just the things that bother me the most. There are more issues I can mostly overlook. With this list of complaints, though, it isn't hard to see why so many women press for inductions or agree to inductions when offered. It is hard to wait! It is uncomfortable to wait! It pretty much sucks! Don't believe that rare woman who, at 38 weeks pregnant says, "I still feel great, I am in no hurry to be done," because while she does exist, she is generally the exception, not the rule.
The way we look at due dates, we often feel "overdue" by the time that day rolls around. We are conditioned to believe our (bad, uncooperative, lazy) babies are just kicking back in there, buffing their ever-growing nails on the inside of our uteri, taking up time and space, while we grow more and more uncomfortable.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I read in "What to Expect When You're Expecting," that doctors only induce if it is medically necessary; so when my doctor offered, on my due date, to induce me, I took her words as medical advice being as they came from my medical practitioner's mouth. Maybe my first clue should have been the way she asked without giving any scientifc rationale: "Are you ready to get this over with?" Well, heck yeah, I was ready to get this over with! That's a vulnerable place to be! Miserable, anxious, wanting that baby out from under your ribs and into your arms. Who would say no? And with that one question, I was set up to believe my body was done doing anything important for my baby and wouldn't go into labor on its own.
I am not a patient person. I hate waiting for things. It took every ounce of confidence and trust I could muster, and some I didn't even know I had, to wait on my babies and pregnancies the next two times around. But the evidence shows birth is safer for mom and baby when they are allowed to work together -- like Mario and Luigi saving the princess in tandem -- to let labor begin on its own.
I had a cavity filled today. I like my new dentist, he is a funny guy and his
staff is friendly -- they remember my name. My dentist was chatting today about when he was a kid, he was always building things. He decided he wanted to be an engineer, but once in school, a fellow engineering-turned-dentistry-student talked to him about becoming a dentist, and he changed his mind. "I like being a dentist, but sometimes I think I should have stuck with engineering." From my stand-point, or chair-point (lounge-point?), I see the fields of dentistry and engineering as pretty similar -- bridges are built in both, right? He seems to think we should write a book together, about something important, I guess -- the topic is still undecided.
I had a lower cavity filled, and my dentist made sure I was good and numb -- actually, my whole tongue was numb and half of my lower jaw, including the right side of my lip. After he injected the medication, he asked me to keep my mouth open for a couple of minutes and to stretch the muscles, and also tilt my head to the right so the anesthetic could gravitate downward to provide better coverage. Once he came back, and I could take the spit-sucker out, close my mouth, and then open it to talk, I shared with him that when a woman receives an epidural a similar anesthetic issue can occur. After epidural placement, a woman is propped on her left side, and if everything is going well, she is left in this position indefinitely. Gravity causes the medication to pool into that lower left side, leaving the right side less-anesthetized. Have you ever heard from a woman, "My epidural only worked on one side"? This could
be why. My dentist agreed this made sense.
There are ways to prevent this, something called "pancake-flipping," where we have the woman lie on her left side for a few contractions, and then we help her move to her right side for a few; next we facilitate a forward/hands and knees position, usually with lots of bunched-up pillows. As mom keeps "flipping," it helps to evenly distribute the medication through her lower body.
I wanted an epidural with my first birth -- I had voiced that request loud and clear for months before I even had a hint of what labor would feel like. In my case, I never received one. In hindsight, I am glad for that, but at the time I was bitter. Regardless, today I felt like my tongue had epidural anesthetic. (I realize, just as there isn't a specific "epidural" drug, it is a cocktail of different medications that can be changed according to an anesthesiologist's preference and a patient's needs, "epidural" refers to the specific spot where the medication is placed -- the epidural space is the sac of fluid that surrounds the spinal column. Obviously this doesn't apply to my tongue.) My dentist requested I move my tongue to the left so he could drill on my tooth a little. I tried to move my tongue, but I was unsure if it was actually going anywhere! "I can't tell ith I am moothing it or not!" I half-mumbled, half-dribbled. I was instantly reminded of being with a past client who had a heavy epidural, during her pushing phase, and the doctor demanding, "Push! You need to push!" To which her confused reponse was, "I can't tell if I am pushing!?"
I do like my dentist, he is gregarious and puts me at ease; I think I will, however, give him six months to ponder over what we could collaborate on -- I am in no hurry to return back to the chair to get an epidural for my tongue.
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)