After my nearly weeklong stent in the hospital for preterm labor/kidney stones, we were sure I wouldn't make it much longer in the pregnancy despite being on relative bed rest. The weeks went on and I continued to contract. Several times I thought for sure I was in early labor as they were coming so frequently but I would lay down and try to sleep and thankfully they would go away. I had a growth scan at 35 weeks ands he was measuring about 5 lb 12 oz which was in the 75th percentile! My belly was measuring small for my gestation but she was actually pretty big. I finished the nursery in my free time and spent a lot more time with my mom and sisters which was wonderful. My dad left in May to get my parents' summer house ready but my mom stayed in town because of my preterm labor scare. She didn't want to leave and potentially miss the birth.
Due to some cosmic joke, I was still very pregnant at 38 weeks (which I should say I was thankful to be). I started drinking raspberry leaf tea and taking Evening Primrose Oil. Some say these will induce labor, but if not it helps prepare the cervix for dilation so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. I still was not miserable and was actually feeling pretty good. I was still contracting most days, most of the day but they never became more painful. My doctor stripped my membranes (separated the amniotic sac from the uterine wall) at 39 weeks and I was sure that night I was going into labor. I was the most uncomfortable I had ever been with cramping and uncomfortable contractions and even bloody show and loss of my mucous plug. I had also had two treatments of induction acupuncture so I thought it had to be the real deal. I decided to try to rest and see if the contractions stopped… they did. I was able to sleep through the night so I knew it was a false alarm. I had a third treatment of acupuncture two days later and once again the contractions became pretty strong that night but nothing came of it. I was convinced I was just having the longest labor in history. I should mention that I was definitely ready by this point. I was gaining water weight like crazy, peeing five times a night and every 20 minutes during the day, her head was super low that I felt like she was going to fall out at any minute, and I was just so excited to meet her. It was impossible to find a comfortable position for more than five minutes.
It was during this waiting time that I realized several things. I learned to appreciate those last moments of solitude before baby came, knowing that would probably be the last time for several decades I would have no responsibility but to take care of myself (and in turn the fetus growing inside me). I cherished every kick and somersault in my belly and filled my iPhone memory with videos of the alien-like creature within. It messes with your mind being pregnant and constantly wondering if you are merely having a Braxton-Hicks or possibly the beginning of labor so I worked hard (ironically) to stay calm and trust my body despite the ups and downs I had been through.
To the moms out there playing the waiting game in the last weeks of pregnancy: it is difficult waiting to meet this little being whom you love so much already, but know how beneficial each day inside you is giving them additional strength needed to be healthy in the first few weeks of life. Cherish the kicks and movements as they won't be there forever and you WILL miss them when they aren't there anymore. I can honestly say that feeling my baby move inside of me was the best feeling in the world and I cannot wait to experience that again. Of course you are excited to meet your baby, but the day will come and it will be worth the wait.