Ramblings: The Waiting Game

 The feeling of carrying a bowling ball in one's stomach...

So it’s been the waiting game for the past 5 days now… Will she arrive suddenly, will she take her own, sweet time making an entrance into this world, basically when she feels ready for it? I wonder what it feels like to be all squished up in there, with so little room to move nowadays. How can that be comfortable? Doesn’t she want to stretch her arms and legs out and open those eyes and see daylight? 

For 9+ months you go every day hoping you won’t see any signs of labour, no early contractions, no cramps, no waters breaking; and then you hit your due date and all you want to see is all of those combined so that you know that things have started and that you are finally going to be able to cuddle your child within a matter of hours or days.  April 1st passed by and although I’ve been having Braxton Hicks, or “practice” contractions for a while, I have not had any signs of labour at all. So I was scheduled for a non-stress test at the hospital and everything looked fine. I got to see my daughter make kissy faces on the sonogram and was sent home with another appointment for the Friday morning (unless I gave birth before). The clinic where I have been going for pre-natal visits and the hospital are in Fort Greene. It was annoying enough when I had to get there from Bushwick, but now that it takes me ages to walk (waddle) anywhere AND we live in Flushing I literally have to leave with a 2 hour window, just in case. 

So on Friday I was overjoyed when I started feeling what seemed to be contractions at 5am. Regular contractions that weren’t unbearable but were definitely not painless. And even though I moved around, drank water, walked, ate something, they still didn’t go away. I had my last doctor’s visit where they scheduled me to be induced (on Tuesday), but there I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to wait until then because labour had started. Off to the hospital we went (poor C. hadn’t slept a wink as he had worked late, but came with me anyway just in case I had to stay in the hospital) – another non-stress test, another sonogram, both revealing that I was having contractions (so at least I wasn’t making that up). The sonogram technician said that everything looked fine, but if I wanted to go home without worrying I would need to come back in a few hours I should go to Labour & Delivery to get checked. An hour later and I was sent packing from the hospital (in the nicest way possible) with the advice to “walk a lot” and hopefully I would give birth before I was to be induced.

So back home we went, hoping that it would be hours and not days… No such luck, it’s now Sunday, I still have those contractions on and off, but no other signs, no intense pain or anything else… Obviously my daughter is quite happy being shy and stubborn and just waiting for HER time. I’m not really worried about it; I just want to finally hold her in my arms after all this time!! And there was I, worried earlier on in my pregnancy that she would decide to make a rapid entrance, waters breaking dramatically on the subway, ambulances and all that. I think it will just end up with me being induced on Tuesday and her arriving peacefully in the hospital the next day. So let’s see what happens! Apparently I was just the same with my mum, not in any rush whatsoever!

There is one thing that I never really thought about before I got pregnant, and that is that the only time I have been in a hospital as a patient was when I was born. And even then, it was a tiny maternity ward in a tiny hospital. I have absolutely no idea what a patient is supposed to do when they go to hospital, what they need to bring, how they are supposed to act and what on earth the order of all the different doctor roles are. For someone who loves hospital shows I am absolutely clueless about the seniority in interns, residents, attendings, doctors etc etc. All I can say after Friday’s visit in L&D Triage is that the nurses are always the nicest and kindest people, and I will be more than happy to just have nurses deliver my baby – especially if they are gentler than the residents! If everything goes according to plan then I won’t need a doctor anyway – just a midwife and nurses. Fingers crossed! And then hopefully that will yet again be my last visit to a hospital until I have another child. 

So in the meantime, I have been pottering around at home, putting butterfly decals up, watching more series on Hulu and Netflix (I’ve now learned all I could from Call The Midwife on Netflix) and rested (even though I still feel exhausted).  Mum got here last night which is wonderful, and I know that even if Munchie doesn’t feel like coming out just yet, she will have to by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. It’s pretty amazing to me that between me, my siblings, and now my daughter, we were (will be) all born between the last days of March and the first days of May. Spring babies! And all late too!

The next post may not be for a while… And it may just be random words forming somewhat of a sentence surrounded by photos. Let’s see how tired I really am going to get!

Ramblings: Happiness, Moving and Getting Closer to that Date

I’m so happy.

Despite the fact that it has snowed at least once a week since the beginning of the year, that the pavements are icy and slippery and despite the fact that the wind is bitterly cold. Despite the fact that my belly feels like it’s getting heavier by the day and despite the fact that I feel like my bones have expanded and I have become a clumsy woman with a waddle.

I’m so happy.

Every day I wake up and feel excited as well as nervous about the idea that we are one more day nearer the moment that I will give birth to our daughter, and therefore one more day closer to the fact that I am nowhere near ready. Or I don’t feel anywhere near ready. Mentally I have always felt ready, but practically I feel that there is so much more to do, so many things to fit into so little time. I know that everything will work out and I am forcing myself to stress out as little as I can about it. Which doesn’t make it too hard when I am walking around in such a state of happiness…

After signing the lease and then a lot of back and forth on getting the keys to the new place we finally have our new home in Flushing, Queens. It is fully renovated and cleaned and waiting for us to move in as soon as we can.  Our room in Brooklyn now looks in a state of distress, half full with boxes and half full with just stuff. My next steps are to cancel the electricity here and install a new account at the new place, find movers and decide on a day to move that is on the only day C. and I have off together, and then set up the new place in the way we want to before the baby arrives. That’s the really exciting part as we are really starting from scratch again, new couch, TV, dresser, tables… All furniture that we need to buy at some point in time. Nothing can be rushed though, for 3 weeks we practically lived like paupers so that we could pay the three months upfront for the apartment. Thankfully we work enough hours in a restaurant that we can eat most meals there, and I wasn’t too tired to take the subway home at 2am. The latter is only something I can do while still in Brooklyn as it’s only 6 stops away - once we get to Flushing I don’t think I will be doing the late nights anymore, so there won’t be the anxiety of having to find a cab that doesn’t charge you through the roof to take you to Queens…

We are now into the single digits, with 9 more weeks to go. I love how so many of my regular customers at work take a real interest in how the pregnancy is going and love to chat about it and hear updates. I love how everyone at work is excited to see the growth and excited to finally meet the baby. I also love how surreal it still seems to this day. Even after I finally managed to put my registry together another pregnant friend and I were walking around baby stores exclaiming how we still couldn’t believe that this was us, deciding on the best type of stroller rather than the cutest new party dress. I am pretty sure that I will always talk about the best party dress to pair with a Doc Marten boot, but nowadays I’m more into what type of sleepwear I want to dress my daughter in when she comes home from the hospital with me.

C. and I went for a tour of the Labour and Delivery department of Brooklyn Hospital the other day as that is where I will be having the baby if all goes to plan (and I really hope that it does).  It’s a lovely hospital (if you can actually say that about hospitals…). Not that I have much experience of hospitals – the last time I was in one for myself was when I was born. My knowledge of hospitals comes from the TV show ER. But I am determined to have my baby in a hospital. I want to have my baby naturally, but I want to be hooked up to monitors and have access to pain medication if I want to, and also be surrounded by people who can help if something goes wrong. Of course I am hoping that the delivery will be as easy and as great as my pregnancy has been – but who can predict that? Walking around the labour and delivery rooms, and then seeing the rooms that you stay in after the baby is born reassured me a lot, and made C. feel more nervous. This is all very very real now, even if it still feels surreal! The lady who showed us the rooms asked me if I had a birth plan, to which I just responded “Umm… delivering the baby here?” Should I be writing one of these? Yes I want to breastfeed so I suppose I need to write that down so people know. At the same time I am hoping I am going to be fully conscious so I can voice all of this myself, and I also don’t want to set a rigid plan that probably isn’t going to work out anyway. I want to be flexible and make sure that whatever happens is the best for me and the baby. 

Ah, before I forget, as a gift to ourselves (amidst all of the stress of finding an apartment and really not having any money to spare) we booked a 3D ultrasound in a place in Midtown. It really wasn’t too expensive, especially seeing as my Medicaid is covering for everything else and this really was a little extra, just because I wanted to see Munchie again… We went to Goldenview Ultrasound and booked the Silver package. It was a really lovely experience, although I would only recommend it to women whose placenta is not anterior – it’s much harder to get a clear picture of your baby if they are hiding behind the placenta all of the time! The technician was lovely and tried all sorts of techniques to get Munchie to move away from the placenta, which she was cuddling like a teddy bear, as well as take her hands away from her eyes. She finally moved in the end and we got to see her lovely little face, her chubby cheeks, her little hands and her big feet! I do have to say though, that seeing your baby that way is a little creepy and they look a little deformed. It’s a little scary and quite wonderful at the same time!!

I do have to apologise… Over the past few months I have pretty much only posted about being pregnant and having a baby. I have just been so consumed by all of this, as well as trying to work as much as possible and relax when I can that my writing has totally fallen by the wayside (which is also the most common excuse I always have whenever I start slacking in writing). It will get better… Once I have a little more time. But will I have more time?! Maybe I will be able to get a few sentences in here and there between baby feedings? Maybe I will be so overwhelmed by motherhood that all I will be able to write about is how much I love my daughter? (I kind of already know that is going to happen). We will see. In any case, there are still many stories and reviews and essays to come out of me, enough ideas for more than a lifetime of writing. In the meantime I am just going to keep them as ideas and hope to bring them to fruition in the near future. The first plan must be moving my blog over to my own domain and finding a template that suits me. Decisions, decisions…

In any case, despite the next impending snowstorm and despite the fact that I really wish I didn’t have to work for these next couple of months, I am still so happy. I feel like there is so much happiness that is still inside of me, waiting to get out and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. Well everyone who deserves it anyway ;)