Week Thiry Eight: It could be today...or not

Things I can no longer do at 38 weeks:
  1. Clip my toenails (I guess I really shouldn't make fun of Chris too much, what other man would clip my toenails?)
  2. Tie my shoelaces. In fact, wear shoes that require shoelaces. Not a single pair of my tennis shoes fit anymore. Even my dance sneakers are tight. My slip-ons aren't any better. I guess it will be flip flops well into October.
  3. Lift a laundry basket. Its not so much the weight, its the fact I have nowhere to carry it. The belly obscures all.
  4. Wear my wedding ring. That came off in the middle of the night a couple weeks ago when it started to cut into my hand. The engagement ring came off with the help of some surgical lubricant at the doctor's office.
  5. Shave. How am I supposed to shave what I can't see? Doesn't even work in the bathtub anymore, cause its getting to be a really tight fit. Maneuvering is hard when you're this big. Hell, Chris has to give me a push to get me out of bed.
Here's is what's great about 38 weeks: a 38 week baby is considered full term. That's right, forget about the whole 40 week thing pop culture is so enamored with, I could go into labor RIGHT NOW. Now the bad news: I probably have close to another month. That's right, I could go up to 42 weeks before there is any talk of the dreaded "induction". For those of you not savvy to pregnancy lingo, that's where they pump me full of chemicals which force me into labor. If that doesn't sound fun, its because it's not.

So what about this haloed "due date" placed smack in the middle of what I think is much more appropriately termed the "due month"? It means absolutely nothing, only about 5% of women actually deliver on their due date. In fact, most first pregnancies average about 41 weeks.

So why on earth do they even give you a date, which you get your hopes set on for months only to find out its all just a cruel lie? Its just one of those inexplicable things about pregnancy. Like having to be "diagnosed" as pregnant, as if it's a disease. Or how movies depict labor as this mad rush beginning with a woman's water breaking. In most cases, labor is anything but fast paced, and only in about 11% of cases does it begin with the water breaking. (I think its 11%, but don't quote me on that statistic. You know what they say, 42% of statistics are made up on the spot.) We even heard a birth story in our parenting class where the father said, "My wife went into labor at around 7 that night, so we decided to catch a late movie." I don't know if I'll be up for movie-going when I go into labor, but still, early labor is not the earth shattering event we have been led to believe.

Except for the fact that early labor is followed by late labor is followed by baby which will depend on you for just about everything for the next 20+ years. That's pretty damn earth shattering.


Ms Future PharmD said...

If your contractions aren't really speeding up very fast, definitely at least watch a movie at home. Labor was entertaining for the first 3 hours (after which we were sure it was really labor) and then got long. and boring. and then exhausting and rather painful-ish. Also try to nap. Although maybe the latter part of my labor was less unpleasant because I kept falling asleep. but probably not. Good luck with waiting for the little guy!

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