Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lordy Lordy Looks Who's 40

Weeks.

According to all modern calendars, my due date is indeed tomorrow.

And I'm writing to confirm that there is no baby yet.

Have we checked Mayan and Aztec calendars? Or perhaps any calendar less convoluted than the so-called accurate model in use in current-day medicine?

How does it make sense to assign a due date at 40 weeks if the normal range is supposedly 37-42 weeks? Why not assign the due date at 42 weeks so we can all feel good about ourselves when we give birth by or before that?

And then those who go past 40 weeks aren't immediately labeled Overdue when they're technically not, thereby avoiding their having to recalculate everything from attitude to Last Day at Work?

Because that's something I really want to do right now...hang out at work for two more weeks when everything going on has been pretty much planned to function without me after June 5th.

All while heads pop into your cubicle with annoying regularity to check on you, exclaiming: "You're STILL here?!"

"No, I actually had the baby and am already back to work." 

Thank you if you haven't explicitly asked if the baby here yet. Because as it turns out, one is frankly ill-advised to approach a due-in-days pregnant woman on this topic. Just don't. Because if you don't get a snarky answer to your face, there's definitely one playing out in her mind.

Physically, I'm feeling great. Inexplicably great. Sleeping well, hardly needing to make restroom stops anymore than I did at 12 weeks, experiencing little to no swelling, and not even feeling that huge. (But ask me to look back at pictures six months from now, haha!)

True, signs are still in fact pointing semi-convincingly towards "You will not be 82 weeks pregnant." The Braxton Hicks contractions I've experienced since about 27 weeks have gotten a lot more intense when standing or walking. They do still go away when I sit down, but they are definitely more distracting. Makes shopping a new kind of experience. (As if I have anything left to buy!)

How do I know they're not *real* contractions?

Because a real contraction is rhythmic and can be timed, and its presence is supposedly undeniable.

Because a real contraction doesn't last as long as your 30-minute walk without any break in it.

Because a real contraction actually does something in terms of dilation, measured at weekly appointments.

True, "progress" can in fact take many forms. One of which would be effacement, which BH contractions do encourage. So they're not total wash. Not that gradual effacement equals onset of labor.

In terms of real labor, no, I'm not there yet. And like I said, I think it's a destined-to-fail model when one day after the median 40 weeks is immediately labeled Overdue. One of the day-by-day pregnancy books I'm reading takes the daily format of "You're 39 Weeks and 6 Days Pregnant, "You're 40 Weeks and 0 Days Pregnant," etc. And what is the title of the very next page?

OVERDUE BABY

As if that alone won't incite the kind of stress that supposedly inhibits oxytocin and other naturally-occurring hormones from initiating spontaneous labor. (Have I mentioned how unappealing induction sounds?)

In my quest to remain on top of the situation the other day (while someone pranced past my cube proclaiming "Just checking on yoooouuuuu...!"), I perused a list of 101 Things to Do Before Baby Arrives. Only to conclude it was the dumbest thing I've ever read.

44. Have a smoothie

Have a smoothie? How fun and original! And relevant!

101. Have the baby!

Well if this isn't the Wrong Answer of All Time. Whoever got paid actual money to write this: don't you realize how completely invalid this suggestion is--not to mention cutesy along the lines of "I couldn't think of a more creative way to end the article"? How can you possibly have a baby BEFORE it arrives?

I'll spare you 1-43 and 45-100. Needless to say I've pretty much done all of them. Even, unconsciously, the smoothie.


I could probably come up with a better list.

Something like:

1. Apologize to anyone you've ever known who's been in Any-Day-Now territory or overdue to whom you posed the question, "No baby yet?", because you now know obvious the answer to that question is if the person is actually reachable to be asked.

2. Go places in public and enjoy the fact that at least now the answer to the abundantly asked "When are you due?" is "Tomorrow."

3. Enjoy the baby kicking and your last moments truly one-on-one. There actually isn't anything more lovely and you don't have to share it with anyone unless you want to. (Unlike after they arrive.) It certainly got me through a lot of boring meetings!

4. If you are still running/swimming/exercising (which I am) revel in its current state of simplicity and familiarity, and the fact that it's gotten you and the happy baby this far together.

5. Tell Gus the pug that the friend we've been promising is truly coming any day now. And it's not another plush hedgehog named Renee.

So fine, I'll probably be overdue.

But I want to make it clear that my obvious impatience with the possibility is not because I haven't enjoyed the pregnancy. In fact I've LOVED it. It's been a hugely pleasant and transforming experience, and something that I all the while deeply resolved not to take for granted.

I've been able to keep very physically active, avoid a lot of common pregnancy pitfalls, work up to my due date, and simply experience something truly amazing: creating a person with the person I love most.

And have maybe even inspired a few future pregnant women to keep running, swimming, or whatever they're doing. There's no reason you can't keep doing the things you love if there's no medical reason not to.

I can't think of a better way to start bonding with one's baby than including them in the life you love--swimming at 6:30am with friends, running outdoors in (gasp) the rain, or even biking on the indoor trainer while watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians--since watching this show does require some cross-justification.

So in short, I'm just very ready to meet this baby. We've had so many great times together already! Now I just want the full scoop on her.

And as you may have heard, if 6/5 isn't Baby Day, I'm running the Grand Old Day 5K with Pharmie. I've decided to wear 40 weeks as a badge of honor: yes, it is possible to run up to your due date!

1 comment:

Pharmie said...

You make me smile :)