- First time being pregnant for more than 38 weeks. I'm now 39.1 weeks from LMP.
- First time I've started wondering, although not impatiently yet, I wonder when this baby will be born? I wonder when I will go into labor?
- First time seeing a midwife in a formal relationship, which I have found enjoyable especially for the social and emotional aspects of prenatal care. The routine clinical stuff is just a side note that I do myself on a weekly basis anyway (blood pressure, fundal height, heart tones, weight) because I love keeping track of these changes. I also really appreciate having access to lab work and referrals when needed, such as when I got superficial clots in my varicose veins.
- First time I've had to really slow down physically toward the end of pregnancy. There is no way I could go for a brisk 2-3 mile walk right now, like I was doing daily with my dog right until Zari was born. If I try to pull that off now, I get constant contractions and pelvic pressure, and my belly feels like it's going to explode.
- First time getting stretch marks. This week a few of them appeared on my lower belly. Last time I had a few prick marks on each hip, as if I had been stabbed by a giant fork. But now I have the real deal.
I just kept on doing my usual activities yesterday, with occasional time-outs to swivel my hips. We went morel mushroom hunting on some friend's land and found 10 big ones! I can't tell you how excited we were. There's nothing on earth like the taste of morels. We cooked them up for dinner in a simple cream sauce over linguine. I also did quite a bit of gardening. Over the past few days I've planted or transplanted: 10 Eutin rose bushes around our brick patio, 5 raspberry, 5 blackberry, 10 asparagus, 25 strawberry, leeks, shallots, parsnips, and potatoes. Once we finish building wire mesh cages over our raised bed gardens (to keep squirrels, rabbits, and other wildlife out), I have a lot more seeds and seedlings to plant.
Then at midnight last night, I started seeing bloody show and having labor diarrhea--both of which signaled the start of my labor with Zari. I stayed up until 1 am, since I wanted to have things in order in case labor really kicked into gear. The contractions, if I can call them that, were intense enough that I almost didn't go to bed, but still sporadic enough that it seemed a bit silly to give them so much attention. So I went to bed and slept on and off all night, waking up through the contractions and wishing I were upright and moving when they came, but not enough to actually get out of bed! I feel well-rested considering I was having fairly intense contractions all night. I knew this already, but it is SO much more painful to be lying still during a contraction! Movement makes it a million times better. I listened to the Hypnobabies "easy first stage" track the last half of the night, and it really helped me sleep between the contractions.
I'm up now--obviously!--now that it's light out, checking email and rocking through the contractions on my birth ball. Still, I don't know if I can mentally call this labor yet. With Zari, it demanded my full attention pretty much as soon as it started, and 10 hours later I had a baby. I suppose I can just hang out in denial until my body starts pushing, right?
So now I'm trying to figure out if I should go to church and risk some strange looks if I start rocking back and forth. Or do I stay home and putter around? I just don't feel that overwhelming sense of concentration and focus that I had with Zari's labor.