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.