It's the end of July! As long as I don't give birth in the next 2 1/2 hours, I'll get that August baby that I ordered (in theory...provided she doesn't go the other way and come late and have a September birthday!).
Anyway, today was a pretty good day. We went to meet with Daniel's teachers at school today (his new kindergarten teacher!). He was pretty excited walking into the classroom, but he was a bit disappointed that it wasn't his old preschool teacher, Ms. Bonnie's, room. I think he thought that we were going to see Ms. Bonnie...and was kind of down when we left to drop him off at daycare without finding her. We assured him that he would see Ms. Bonnie again sometime.
After that, I had a doctor's appointment at 10:45. I don't particularly care for that time for an appointment, simply because they tend to run behind by that time of day. In any case, I had another group B strep test (joy), and cervix is still same ol, same ol (6cm, bulging, etc). Doctor didn't mention how effaced or how low the baby was (other than she's just low). The NST/AFI (amniotic fluid check) will continue until next week, then there's really no need, if I make it that long. Doing them right now is definitely for peace of mind.
Which brings me to the next subject...when this baby is going to come. I think every pregnant woman reaches a point where she is just done. Usually it's earlier than is really rational to have a baby come out. So having said that, yes, I know pregnancy is supposed to last an average of 40 weeks. I am quite familiar. Telling a pregnant woman that they haven't hit their due date yet, so what's the rush is a very foolish thing to do...mostly because don't you think they KNOW this? Everyone wants a healthy baby, and they know rushing things can compromise that...but having that drilled into your brain over and over by saying "why rush it, you want a healthy baby don't you" does't help.
OK, so that last part was pretty abrasive and confrontational sounding. But there's also something that adds to the stress of waiting to pop out a kid...everyone telling you to be patient, but just as many either asking you when the baby is going to come (is it here yet?!), or insisting that it's going to be "soon".
So here I sit, waiting. I'll be 36 weeks tomorrow, and yes, I know it's still 4 weeks ahead of the baby's due date. I have been counting days and weeks so very closely, especially since 27w6d, the day we were first hospitalized for pre-term labor. Almost every day in antepartum, they put the age up on the marker board, so that I knew too. I have each week marked on the calendar. I've had the major developmental milestones highlighted (first was 32 weeks...then 34....now 36...).
But as much as I want the baby to be healthy (and I know in my heart she will be just fine!), I am having a really hard time dealing with everything that has gone on. I really wanted to "enjoy" this pregnancy, in much the same way as I did with Daniel and Jared. I mean, yeah, there were hard times and bumps in the road with those, but for all intents and purposes, I looked forward to each stage in anticipation of getting closer and closer to the due date. With this one, I've felt like a real ticking time bomb (especially in the past 2 weeks), where if I get up and walk for a few minutes it sends me into contractions. The thought of it going on for four more weeks (or 5!) is a bit scary.
The emotional toll on me is huge as well. The 34-36 week "limbo" period has been the most stressful of all. At the check-up the day before I hit 34 weeks, I was a bit rattled to learn that doctor's would't stop labor. That scared and shocked me, and I was so very nervous coming out of that appointment. Two days later, I landed in the hospital in labor...and they did try to stop it. That night was the most at peace I've been with having a pre-term baby. I was a still nervous, but I convinced myself that I was ready. So when everything stopped, and no baby was born, it was a huge shock, but one that I was still OK with since I still had weeks to go (and more time baking is better, right?).
Not long after, I launched into labor again, was in a delivery room for over 24 hours and nothing came of it either. The labor and delivery nurse that I had during the day was really pushing to have a doctor just break my water and let things happen that way. But, being in that limbo period meant that I could labor if I was going to, but they wouldn't help things along. This happened again a few days later (although I was in a delivery room for a much shorter period of time). I've been deluded into thinking that every time I start having frequent contractions that it isn't going to be the real thing. I've lost sight of the fact that there's a real baby in there, and she's eventually going to come out.
Through all of this, I've had many episodes of being anxious and depressed. The crazy pregnancy hormones don't help my situation. I'm tired of the expectation that the baby should be here already (and yes, I know, it's still early!). I'm tired of all of the false starts. I'm tired of not knowing what's going to happen next. I'm tired of hearing that "it's going to be soon!". I'm tired of hearing "don't try to rush it". Even I try to convince myself that I'll be regretting the time I missed out on staying pregnant.
All of this goes back to the planner and control freak in me. If someone could guarantee that the baby would arrive on such-n-such a day, and told me in advance how it was going to go down...I might feel better. I'm almost envious of those who have had planned c-sections or scheduled inductions. I, myself, had a scheduled induction set for Daniel (but he had other plans and decided to show up on his own!). And I tell ya, knowing that I was going home and that I was going to have a baby the very next day was put me at ease.