Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Full-Term and Ready for Baby!

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I’m 37 weeks pregnant today — considered full-term (or early-term, depending on whom you ask; either way, doctors agree this is considered a safe zone for delivery) — and this will probably be my last pregnancy update. Ever! I saw my OB yesterday and she said she wouldn’t be surprised if I deliver in the next week (and I feel like I’m having some typical signs of imminent labor). Of course, there’s no guarantee when this baby will come, and I could easily go another two or three weeks. But, in my gut, I think some time in the next week sounds about right. It might also be wishful thinking — I’m increasingly uncomfortable and the heat wave I see in the forecast for next week sounds unpleasant.

While I’m very, very excited to meet the baby and to start our life as a family of four, my current obsession is the labor itself and I’m finding it hard to think about anything else. I’m concerned about getting to the hospital in time and not having the baby in the car on the way, or on our living room floor before we can even get out the door. (My labor with Jackson was only three hours from first contraction to holding him in my arms, and second babies often come more quickly). I’m worried about being home alone with Jackson and needing to wait for someone to come watch him before I can leave for the hospital. (Drew and I have already decided that if we’re all home when I go into labor and we have to wait more than ten minutes for one of our friends/potential sitters to get to our place, I will leave for the hospital on my own and he’ll meet me there as soon as he can). I’m worried about any potential complications that could arise (not that there’s any indication anything will go wrong, but still). I hope both the baby and I will remain healthy and stable through the delivery. And I hope, hope, hope the pain is more manageable this time than it was during my first labor. When I flashback to those three hours — and thank God it was that short — I feel a sudden sense of panic and dread, remembering how I actually thought that dying seemed preferable.

Because I had a precipitous labor with Jackson, my doctor said we could schedule an induction once I hit 39 weeks if I’m still pregnant (that way, I’m mostly guaranteed to be safely at the hospital before the actual labor begins. AND, I’m virtually guaranteed enough time for an epidural, which is something I wasn’t able to get with Jackson and really, really would have loved). I haven’t decided 100% that I’ll go the induction route — people warn that it makes labor more intense and painful, though that’s exactly how my first one was and I don’t know this could be worse — but I’m about 99% sure, so, barring any sudden change of mind, one way or another, this baby will be here some time in the next two weeks. Eeeee!

The other day I asked Jackson what was the happiest thing he could think of. Right away, he said, “My baby sister!” I know we’ll have a period of adjustment and it will be a little rocky for a while, but I think that, once we’re past the transition, Jackson will love being a big brother and he’ll be so sweet with the baby. I’m savoring the last bit of time I have to devote all my attention to him. This morning, we went out for breakfast before I took him to his brand new school to register him for pre-k in the fall (we got offered a waitlist spot at our first choice school yesterday, much to our enormous relief, after sweating it out for 2-1/2 weeks). On our walk to the cafe, Jackson grabbed my hand and said, “Mommy, I love you so much.” And I told him I loved him, too, and he said, “I mean, I really, really love you.” If this baby is half as sweet as her brother, we’re going to be very lucky. I can’t wait to know her.

47 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Anna June 30, 2015, 2:09 pm

    …Dying seemed preferable?! Oh man, I have such a low tolerance for pain. I’m scared for my future.

    Good Luck!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 30, 2015, 2:18 pm

      Just in the moment! But yes, I remember screaming that I wanted to die. FWIW, no one else I know who’s been through labor has mentioned wanting to die during it. I think mine might have been especially intense and my pain tolerance abnormally low. I’ve known people who side-eye me when I mention the pain and are like, “My labor really wasn’t that big a deal.”

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      • avatar

        Jane63 June 30, 2015, 2:54 pm

        My 1st labor was especially painful so much so I screamed for 3 hours straight. The doctor (Not my regular one, but the one on call with my doctor’s office) asked me if we had taken Lamaze classes. I said we had and so what? I was in fuckin pain. The he toddled off to take a shower & called for an epidural, but it was too late, I was already at 9 cm. Asshole never did get his shower:) Both of my labors were 3 hours and both hurt like hell. For the second one Stadol (SP) was my friend. My very good friend.

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      • Ika

        Ika June 30, 2015, 3:15 pm

        I’ve always considered myself to have a low pain threshold, but luckily my births were really good. The worst part was the ob sticking half his arm inside to try and unstick my youngests head, when it refused to come out. Like no screaming, crying, or anything. I do remember just wanting it to be over. It is just so exhausting. I don’t know how women with long labours do it!!!!
        .
        Both my girls were born at 39 w 2 d, and both labours were 4.5 hs. Although with the 2nd the midwife did kind of induce, since it was like 10 pm when I got to the clinic, and she didn’t want me to be too exhausted to push (I arrived with like 4cm dilation).

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover June 30, 2015, 6:42 pm

        I don’t know how much your “normal” pain threshold counts, because it increases so much during labour…. I would guess that the lucky women get a big increase, and the unlucky ones don’t.
        .
        Also I don’t know if this means anything, but my pain during my periods is just horrible, to the point where I used to literally faint from it, and my labour pain wasn’t bad. Maybe my body is so used to it that labour didn’t seem too bad in comparison? I’d be interested to hear others’ experiences on period pain vs labour pain. I wonder if there’s a correlation.

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      • avatar

        Anna July 1, 2015, 1:23 pm

        Yea, but what about tearing? I watched a video right after writing that comment (I’m weird) and there was SO much tearing. Birth is not in my immediate future, I want to do it, but I don’t at the same time.

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      • Ika

        Ika July 1, 2015, 3:11 pm

        I had episiotomies both times. I didn’t feel pain of the snip, only the stiches with the 1st, because the anesthetic had kinda worn off. The dr injected some more, and done.

        FWIW I can’t watch birthing videos, they freak me out. But actually giving birth? Fine 🙂

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      • avatar

        booknerd July 1, 2015, 5:54 pm

        I am smallish, 5′ 6″ and on the skinny side of BMI. I had a 9 lb 5 oz baby with minimal tearing! Like, almost none. My doctor was high-fiving herself, basically, at how awesome the birth went. Kegels! In my opinion, with a tiny human being slowly squeezed through your pelvis, (which was painful!) tearing will probably go unnoticed.

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      • avatar

        Sue Jones June 30, 2015, 3:43 pm

        I had an 8 hour labor and birthed at home. We evolved to have amnesia about the pain of labor so we want to do it again, and again, and again! I really don’t remember much about being in actual labor. I remember reframing pain in my mind to “strong/intense sensation” and I was able to breathe through it. Though the old wives tale says redheads are more sensitive to pain. It is actually a genetic thing and pretty much all nurses concur, so it may just be because of your hair!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 30, 2015, 4:13 pm

        Our birth class instructor actually suggested that same framing as far as not “pain” but intense sensation. She also reminds us that with each contraction, once its over you never have to deal with it again (that particular one at least).

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      • Ika

        Ika June 30, 2015, 4:31 pm

        The best birthing advice I got was to think of it as doing the most massive poop ever (gross, but true haha).
        I also think that going into it as calm as posible really helps. The birthing class I took in my 1st pregnancy made me go into it feeling so much better than I did with my 2nd. Since I thought why bother doing the class again? Turns out it would have been a good idea, for me at least.

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      • Classic

        Classic July 1, 2015, 10:28 pm

        You guys are so great. I had 41 hours of labor eventually ending in a c-section and I still try not to think about it because it causes me stress, even 24 years later. But it was still worth it! So infinitely much!

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes June 30, 2015, 2:10 pm

    Pregnancy looks great on you Wendy! I hope all goes according to plan!!!
    *
    Congrats on getting that waitlisted spot for Jackson- it sounded in previous posts like that was a huge worry to you- Im so glad that worked out for you!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 30, 2015, 2:39 pm

      Thanks, it really was a big worry, so we are very relieved. We didn’t have a Plan B other than a spot at a school that hadn’t been built or staffed yet and uncertain spots on waiting lists at expensive private schools we couldn’t afford. The school where Jackson got offered a spot yesterday had a waitlist of 31 kids and only 8 available spots. Jackson was #1 on the list. I’ll never know if my emails and in-person visits to advocate for Jackson had any impact, but regardless, I’m so grateful it worked out for us.

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      • Ika

        Ika June 30, 2015, 3:17 pm

        Yay!!!!! It will be so cool having the school so close!
        I’ll bet it was a combination of the visits and your closeness to the school.

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  • othy

    othy June 30, 2015, 2:13 pm

    Hurray for the preschool! One less thing to worry about now. And you look great, here’s hoping for an easy labor (with an epidural!).

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki June 30, 2015, 2:23 pm

    That’s awesome about the school! I was actually thinking about that the other night (I’m not really sure why) and was wondering if you would get in there.
    .
    You look great and I’m so glad that you’re so close 🙂 She will be here before you know it! I hope you do make it to the hospital, can get that epidural and have a safe and healthy delivery. I know its nerve wracking, especially with such a quick delivery with Jackson.
    .
    And can I just say… there are a lot of things about pregnancy no one ever told me. The most recent thing that has come up (and made mine even less enjoyable) is that apparently some women develop pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome. Which makes sleeping even harder with the shooting pains and the sudden numbness and whatnot. I’m so ready to be done.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 30, 2015, 2:35 pm

      Oh, carpal tunnel — that sucks. That’s one of the few unpleasant pregnancy-related things I’ve managed to avoid. Hope you get some relief!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 30, 2015, 2:39 pm

        I didn’t even know it was a thing related to pregnancy, but I guess it makes sense with the whole swelling thing and nerve issues. I just bought a splint/brace that the midwife suggested I wear every night and during the day if I need it. And she said that like with most of the wonderful unpleasantness, it *should* resolve itself as soon as the baby is born.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy June 30, 2015, 2:40 pm

        I’m sure it will. It’s amazing how quickly most things (physically, at least) go back to normal. Except the boobs…

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 30, 2015, 3:02 pm

        I’m not really sure what to do with my boobs anymore. They’re in the way all the time and I imagine nursing will not make that any better.

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  • avatar

    ItsSunnyInSunrise June 30, 2015, 2:33 pm

    You look wonderful and I hope it all goes as planned…and that this time you get that epidural! I’m 35 days away from my due date so I 100% feel you on all points and have you in my thoughts.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 30, 2015, 2:36 pm

      Thank you and best wishes to you, too, for a smooth labor.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne June 30, 2015, 2:44 pm

    You look so beautiful! Pregnancy really agrees with you, Wendy! I hope you get the drama-free labor and delivery you want this time!
    .
    And so thrilled the school situation worked out. Now you really can enjoy the next chapter of your life with the little girl you’ve always wanted – Congrats!!

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  • avatar

    Jane63 June 30, 2015, 2:57 pm

    You look fabulous! Hope all goes well with the labor & delivery. Jackson really is growing up so fast! He will be an awesome big brother. Good luck!

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  • avatar

    for_cutie June 30, 2015, 2:57 pm

    Remember Wendy, labor has to end at some point, right? Then you have a sweet little baby. Not to mention that you are a bad ass because you just created a little human. I tried to remember that when stressing before having my babies. It HAS to end, and it will. Good luck!

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeys Mommy June 30, 2015, 2:59 pm

    Good luck!! I delivered all of my kids in winter months, I was spared the summer misery in the 3rd trimester. I can only imagine how miserable you must be.

    **
    I had an induction with my first; I was one of the ones that ended in cesarean delivery after. Most of the people I know did not end up that way with inducement. I did not mind, it set me up to be able to do scheduled cesarean deliveries for my subsequent two, and I am not ashamed to say I loved it that way.

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  • avatar

    sturk June 30, 2015, 3:04 pm

    Wendy, I have a history of rapid labor too. With my second and third babies my OBGYN scheduled an induction at 39 weeks too. My second didn’t make it to the scheduled date (my water broke the night before) but my third did and it was my favorite labor so far. I got the epidural before the pitocin and it was just so easy. If I ever have a fourth I am absolutely going to try for an induction again.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 30, 2015, 3:08 pm

      That’s great to hear — thank you!

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      • avatar

        sturk June 30, 2015, 3:18 pm

        You’re welcome! Good luck!

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  • avatar

    booknerd June 30, 2015, 4:11 pm

    Yay to getting on the waitlist! I can’t believe there are people who have such short labor! Mine was 15 hours long. I’ve mentally blocked it and that’s the only way I have coped with the idea of a second one.
    I’ve been terrified of being pregnant with a 1+ year old in tow, and then what it’ll be like with two little ones, but the last few weeks of traveling and staying with family with babies, and watching my son just go with the flow have made me really excited for the future. He’s such a sweet kid already. I can’t wait to hear him say things like, “I love you, mommy. ” It’s so sweet that Jackson is so excited for his baby sister!

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray June 30, 2015, 5:12 pm

    You look great! I can’t believe people were telling you you look huge. You look perfect to me! I, on the other hand, look like a whale. I don’t FEEL like one (yet) but I know I look like one. I can’t wait until we hear an update that the baby is here! I am missing everyone. I’ve been so busy the last couple of weeks, running from one thing to the next. I feel like I’m missing everything! What have I missed on Dear Wendy?

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 30, 2015, 5:14 pm

      You have missed everything! And we have missed you. Hope you’re continuing to feel great!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray June 30, 2015, 5:18 pm

        Aww. I am still feeling great! Between work (we are down a woman) and driving to my hometown for a baby shower (for me, eeek!), I’ve been swamped. (I’m a part of a very, very small group, and my coworker went on maternity leave, so this is going to be a very busy summer until it’s my turn to go on maternity leave.) What have a missed? New pregnancy announcements? Any baby announcements? Any new relationships? Break ups? Any updates about the toothless groomsman or Ramona, our pantless wino hero? I am still holding out on those. As for my updates, I do NOT have gestational diabetes, though I had to take that 3-hour test thingy-ma-bopper. I had a baby shower, which was very sweet and boy do I feel loved, and I have another one next weekend. Then the spoiling should subside… And now I must run to go file a brief and then trek to the airport so I can have dinner there with my brother’s family who have a long layover on their way to Europe. The 5 year old wants me to bring him Subway. I can swing that. 🙂

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  • avatar

    RedRoverRedRover June 30, 2015, 6:48 pm

    That’s so great that you got into that school! What a relief, congrats!

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  • avatar

    deni June 30, 2015, 7:14 pm

    You look wonderful!! 🙂 A quick suggestion (and quite possibly something you and Drew would do anyway, during the natural course of things): our sons J & D are 3-1/2 yrs apart and when the 2nd was born we made sure to tell J how lucky D was to have him for his big brother. Recently my cousin emailed me a photo she’d found while going through old papers and photos with her dad after her mother passed away. Included was one of my two sons, while I was still in the hospital (c-sections… both times 🙁 ), with J in a chair, holding D in his arms and looking down at him. Made me smile and get misty-eyed. They are 27 and 23 now!

    Best wishes to you and your lovely family.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray June 30, 2015, 8:37 pm

    Good luck with the final stretch! I hope you have an easier delivery and a healthy baby girl soon.

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  • avatar

    d2 June 30, 2015, 9:20 pm

    Yay, let the countdown begin! Hoping all goes well for you.

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  • Classic

    Classic June 30, 2015, 10:45 pm

    You look so beautiful! You also look worried, sorry. We are thinking of you and waiting with you for your beautiful baby!

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  • Nookie

    Nookie July 1, 2015, 8:05 am

    Good luck Wendy, I know it will all go swimmingly! I hope your little girl comes soon and you can start your family of 4!

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  • kmtthat

    kmentothat July 1, 2015, 9:08 am

    Every morning I check DW I am so excited to see fi today is the day! Best wishes for a safe and easy delivery :). Can’t wait to see pictures of her!

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  • avatar

    Tanya July 2, 2015, 5:13 am

    Good luck Wendy, I hope the baby comes soon. I was induced with my little one and I can definitely tell you that it is not a good option if there are no specific reasons for it. Induction DOES make contractions much stronger than normal…I was screaming with an epidural. And because the baby is not ready to come on its own it might take a while to get things going and the whole thing just gets prolonged. So…patience and hopefully this baby will want to come out on her own! A short labour makes for a less tired mama once the newborn is here…and you know you need your strength and sleep for when baby is here 🙂

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy July 2, 2015, 8:11 am

      Curious: was your induced labor your only labor or do you have another to compare it to? I ask because I have noticed that literally every single person who tells me how awful her induced labor was has no other labor to compare it to. They tell me how much more painful their contractions where than normal, but what do they know what “normal” is? My (uninduced) labor with Jackson was beyond painful and incredibly intense. And though I, too, have nothing else to compare it to, I can imagine — and was told by my doctor and the nurses afterward — that an epidural would have radically reduced the pain (but I had no time to get an epidural; I barely made it to the hospital before Jackson came out). I wouldn’t say that situation preserved my energy or strength by any means simply because it was short. I was in a state of shock for at least 48 hours because my body went from 0-60 (literally, from no contractions, to painful contractions one on top of another with only seconds in between) in 15 minutes. And when I weigh the idea of an even MORE painful/intense/longer labor — but one where I was safely at the hospital and being administered pain medication vs. having a baby in a car on a bridge or on my living room floor with no medical personnel to help, I lean towards the latter option for sure.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy July 2, 2015, 8:12 am

        Oh, and literally everyone I’ve talked to who has had an induced labor and a labor that wasn’t induced say the difference in pain is pretty minimal.

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  • avatar

    Tanya July 3, 2015, 4:10 pm

    Yeah, I don’t have another labour to compare it to, but when you scream despite the epidural, that just tells me something. I think in my case, the thing that played a big part was that I had a 60 hour labour…I just couldn’t dilate forever. I had the epidural the whole time but at the end they kept increasing the dose of Oxytocin or pitocin (or whatever the artificial hormones are called)…so maybe my body just couldn’t take it (or so I thought) and I was definitely feeling the pain of the contractions and asking for a top up every 15 mins. I never actually dialeted to 10cm but I won’t go into more details as I don’t want to scare you 🙂 all I know is that my baby definitely wasn’t ready to come when I was induced (for health reasons) and next time I will not be having an induction…
    I hope you have an easy labour, but more importantly I hope you and the baby are healthy. The end result is all that matters. And God knows the aftermath is way more difficult lol
    Xxx

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