Sorry for being out of touch! The last few weeks at work were insane. Seriously, insane. It's all good stuff, but it meant that I was working non-stop training my maternity replacement, and trying to do as much as possible for the new program that we are acquiring before I left (that I will be running when I get back).
So time passed, and now I'm in the final countdown. A few different things have happened which are probably worth recording here. From arguing with my mother, to everything I'm doing to try to get baby to come on her own before the induction. Then there's getting the house ready and all the 'nesting'. By the way, I despise the word nesting. I don't think being prepared is anything special or significant. Bringing a new baby into your home requires various degrees of preparation which may mean new furniture and finding places for things and moving things around. It isn't 'nesting', it's just being fucking practical. I have heard of women who start to go insane cleaning, although again, you think about this new responsibility and the lack of a good immune system and I think yes, it's better to clean some stuff then be irresponsible. But I honestly don't think it's 'special', I think it's smart!
So I've been preparing for baby girl by getting the nursery ready, washing a ton of clothes and blankets and muslins and anything else she might use. I've tried to clear up the clutter and sort through things that I've had sitting around for some time. I mean, it was easy to have those things sitting around, but with all the new things coming into my house, I had less space, and it forced me to look at some of these piles of things.
But basically I think I'm ready. I've ordered everything that I thought was 'essential' for me. The only thing I haven't set up is the 'Next 2 me' cot because it's going to be a big obstacle in my room which is fine when baby is here, but I don't think I need to live with empty for a week more or so. But the sheets and everything that goes into it are ready, so hopefully setting it up won't take much time at all.
I've packed two of the three bags I'm taking to the hospital. Baby's bag was the first to be packed and has everything I'll need for her in hospital and to come home. In my NCT class, they suggested packing up the nappy/diaper bag as baby's bag to start to get used to it which I thought was sensible, so that's exactly what I've done. I've also packed my 'going home' bag which includes two pairs of comfortable pajamas, two outfits, a bunch of oversized cotton underwear, an entire pack of maternity pads, some disposable underwear, breast pads, nipple cream, toiletries, etc. The only bag I need to still put together is the 'labouring' bag which includes two robes (one very lightweight as a cover, and one thicker/towel weight robe), slippers, portable speaker, essential oil, magic wand (maybe), TENS unit, food & drink, etc. Basically, everything I might want while I labor. Some of it is sitting in a pile, so it's not that it would be so difficult to shove it all in a bag if it was an emergency, but I'm pretty sure I have time.
Since going on leave, I've started to be more conscientious about the things you can do to promote labor. I've been to acupuncture twice and am scheduled to go again Wednesday and Friday this week. I started with some nipple stimulation using my breast pump which I think did make me more crampy (and I managed to express some colostrum) but when I stopped it all stopped. I'll come back to it, but I wanted a break and felt it was perhaps early. I'm trying to walk although baby is definitely engaged and walking can put incredible pressure on my bladder. Today I basically walked while lifting my bump slightly just to get her off it! I've been eating 6 dates a day for weeks now, and that continues. What else? Bouncing on a ball. I'm really not convinced there is loads you can do to bring about labor. I'm scheduled for a membrane sweep next Monday and the following Wednesday as a last resort. Because I'm also scheduled for an induction on the 17th. After all I've gone through to push off the induction and have good support from the hospital staff, I'm now pretty much determined to go through with it for the sole reason that it will be much much better for my mental health if the baby arrives before my mother does on the 22nd. This is, by the way, a terrible reason to push forward with an induction, but I'm trying to balance mental health and physical health and right now mental health is winning. This is why I'm committed to pretty much doing everything possible to hope that labor starts on its own before then.
But I think my next post will be about my struggles with my mother right now. This post is already long.
Oh yeah, in other news, I've been using the elastolabo and Epi-No nightly and it's given me some confidence about the birthing process. When I started with the Epi-No, it was around 7cm. It's now up to 9.5 and while it makes me feel 'full' and isn't necessarily comfortable, it helps me to know that I've pushed something out of my vagina with that diameter. I've looked up that an average baby head is about 11cm, so that's 1.5cm away. At least it makes me feel less frightened of tearing, and has helped me to understand how having something that large lodged in your privates is likely to feel (i.e., how you feel it more in your bottom). So I'm pleased with that investment. Just hoping I actually get the chance to give birth vaginally!
Midwife appointment tomorrow. Not expecting anything unusual.
It's very strange to be off work. Right now it just feels like some sort of long weekend. It's hard to remember that life is going on without me and people are going to work and getting on with things while I putter around. On the one hand it's good because they really do leave you alone once you're on leave. On the other hand, it's just really odd to suddenly just be on the outside!
Okay, enough for now, more soon.