Sometimes just surviving life as a busy, pregnant, almost-due mom of three takes precedence over actually writing about that life, and the past weeks certainly qualify. My check ups during my 37th week weren’t anything terribly exciting, except for the fact that there were so many. It’s standard practice now to do non-stress tests twice a week during the last four weeks of pregnancy when an expectant mom has gestational diabetes. But it’s been a lot to get in to the doctor’s office for all these visits, try to get baby stuff ready, and keep up with the housework so we’re ready whenever this little guy decides to make his appearance. Oh yeah, and put up with almost constant contractions and pelvic pain. Good times!
We kept hoping things would settle down once the big church event was over, but of course there were plenty of other things to keep us busy. Most of it was fun stuff, but when our weekends were full, it was hard to get things done around the house. We finally managed to get the crib set up in Gracie’s room, and at almost 38 weeks, we got some of the other baby paraphernalia out of the basement and ready to go.
We celebrated two birthdays this week, my 31st, and Jack’s second. Since Jack was born three days after my own birthday, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my birthday will pretty much be a footnote on his for the rest of my life. I’m totally fine with that, considering that from here on in, it’s just a reminder that I’m getting older, and I have so much more fun making my little guy’s birthday special. This year, he’s obsessed with Herbie the Love Bug, so I made a “Hee-bee” cake for him. It basically involved cutting round cakes in half and making a 3-D replica of Herbie; nothing like being as complicated as possible, but the look on his face made it all worthwhile.
We also went trick-or-treating on Halloween, which was a blast. I’ve always loved Halloween, and this year was especially fun having three kids who were old enough to understand what was happening. Gracie decided at the last minute to be a bat instead of a princess, so I was up until midnight the night before her Kindergarten party stitching black felt wings to a turtleneck and little black ears to a headband. Once again, complicated, but totally worth it when I saw her huge smile, not to mention the admiring looks of her classmates, who have been studying bats in school with her. Max was the same diaper-box Thomas the Train he used last year (my blessedly uncomplicated child, for a change!). The tape holding the stupid thing together fell apart on the home stretch of our trick-or-treat route, but otherwise he was thrilled to be a Really Useful Engine. Jack was Elmo (or “Melmo” if you ask him), and he had his “trick-or-treat” and “gank you” ready for each house we visited. Super cute, and totally exhausting–after walking around a whole neighborhood with my 37 ½-week enormous self, I was ready to crash, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
Today I had my big 38-week check up, which included another baby-measuring ultrasound. Despite the fact that my little man tipped the scales at an estimated 7 lbs. 11 oz. at the 35-week checkup, today the estimate was a reasonable 8 lbs. 4 oz. Thankfully, this puts us safely out of automatic c-section territory, and puts us firmly in the “proceed with caution, but try it the old-fashioned way” camp.
The doctor continues to remind us that, if at any point in the labor and delivery process we stall and don’t make progress, it’s an indication that the baby is too big to come, and we’d be safer going the c-section route. I totally understand this, but I’m thankful to have a doctor who’s willing to give things a shot given my history of already delivering a 10+ pounder. Since we feel very comfortable with our doctor and the game plan we’ve laid out with him, we were concerned about what would happen if I went into labor and one of the other doctors in the practice was on duty. Would they go along with the plan, or would we have to explain the situation again and have to go through more discussions about the pros and cons of everything?
After a little further discussion, he offered me the option to be induced next week on his on-call day if nothing else happens before then. Considering the fact that I went into labor on my own at 39 weeks with both boys, the fact that the baby’s on the bigger side of normal, and the fact that I was already 2 cm. dilated and 50% effaced three weeks ago, we all felt like conditions would be favorable for induction and the benefits would outweigh the risks.
So, our new baby’s birthdate is on the calendar, and we’re getting childcare lined up for the three big kids. My “lesson plans” (instructions for the grandparents about the kids’ daily routines) are typed, and the big brother and big sister shirts are laid out and ready to wear. My bag’s not packed yet, and I still feel like I have a million things to do in the next week, but we’ll be ready enough. Bottom line is, we don’t have a choice. This kid will be here in a week, if not sooner. Ready or not, here he comes!