Friday, August 3, 2007

Pregnancy Report- Week 36

OK, it looks like time is growing short. Things are happening that make it seem like the baby will be coming earlier than the end of August, as we were first told.

I came back from work on Monday, and Trien was in the living room, packing everything up for the trip to the hospital. Of course when you see your 9 month pregnant wife waddling around packing her bags, you know something is up, even if she insists that everything is OK.

Then she told me the news. Little Melody had dropped down into position for birth. While waddling around getting everything ready, she kept holding her tummy like it was an overloaded sack of groceries. She had a pained look on her face that she was trying to hide, but couldn't. I asked her what was wrong, and she said it felt like there was a watermelon resting against her cervix. That weight, of course, is little Melody's head. In God only knows how long, that watermelon is going to pass through an opening the size of a lemon. I thought it was happening right then and there.

I was even more concerned after she complained that she had pain in her lower abdomen, near her cervix. She said it was uncomfortable, but not painful as in labor. That made me wonder how she knew what labor pain felt like, as this is the first time she's going to give birth. With typical anxiety, I said to myself that she really is in labor! She assured me she wasn't having labor pains. The pain wasn't too bad, she said, but she had a sour look on her face the whole time.

To assure myself she was OK, and to comfort her, I felt her tummy. It was very tight, and felt like if it got any tighter, it would start to rip. That really did a lot to allay my fears. Later on, I touched it again, and it was back to normal. Then I realized what was happening. She was having contractions. Oh No! Time to panic again!

I managed to control myself though. I kept my hand on Trien's tummy, and could feel the contractions. Her tummy would get impossibly taut, then after a minute or so relax. Then came a refractory period of five minutes or so, when it would tighten up again.

(Contractions five minutes apart? Shouldn't I be calling the ambulance right now? Or should I just be popping Valium like Tic-Tacs? Trien might survive the delivery, but I'm not sure I will.)

Then I realized that it was the Braxton-Hicks practice contractions, except they were stronger than before. But how could you tell strong Braxton-Hicks contractions from real labor?

Trien kept telling me that she couldn't be in labor, because it didn't hurt too bad. Then I reminded her that Grace was telling us on the way to church how she didn't think she was in labor because it didn't hurt. She also told us of other women who were the same way. Trien's part in that conversation was telling about her sister-in-law, who lost a full term baby the first time she was pregnant, because she didn't realize that she was in labor. The baby, though, was in distress, and died right after delivery.

So of course, despite Trien's best efforts to calm me down, I was still worried that this was no dress rehearsal, this was the real thing.

Eventually, though, everything seemed to be normal. I regained some form of sanity, not that I have much to begin with.

Then Trien told me how she had spent her day- cleaning and preparing. I just came in at the end of it.

"I don't know, Honey, I couldn't control myself. I just had to clean and get ready. I don't know what happened."

OK, that's got to be a sign that the baby is coming soon. Sure enough, I found out later that right before giving birth, some women get the "nesting instinct", and start cleaning, cooking, and preparing everything, just like Trien had done. My sister did it. The women I talked to at school said they had done it. UH-OH!

Well, I think the "nesting instinct" also hits Daddys, too. I know it hit me, and pretty hard too.

Yesterday I had some errands to run. I asked Trien if she needed anything, and she said she wanted me to pick up some isotonic drink. No problem. The problem was that when I got to the store, I had this overwhelming urge to buy all the food in the store, even though we are well stocked. I went through the store, looking at food, picking it up, putting it back, only to go back again and ponder the wisdom of putting it back. It was driving me crazy! It was only by sheer force of will that I stopped myself from having to walk home with a dozen plastic bags loaded to bursting with everything edible in the place. Still, the compulsion was so strong that I had to buy something. Luckily, I was able to walk home with just a few bags of things that seemed somewhat reasonable to buy.

Today, Trien went to the wet market to buy meat, fish, and veggies. After work, I went into town to meet her, so we could have lunch together. We passed near the grocery store, and that insane urge to start buying food came back. It was only because she was with me that I didn't run off at full speed into the store and start ogling the ice cream.

Physically, I know the pregnancy is harder on her. She has to do all the hard work there.

Psychologically, I think I have the worst of it.

I can't help but wonder what I will be like when she actually does go into labor!