This post wasn't supposed to happen...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Obviously I'm a little crazy for posting pictures of myself at 40+ weeks and I'll probably regret this, considering that my face looks like a little puff ball. I actually had decided not to post anything until after the baby came (mostly due to Stephen's encouragement to avoid "all social media" after witnessing my serious frustration at seeing people due after me delivering their babies). But here I am, 40 weeks and 3 days, with no baby yet and starting to go a little stir crazy.

So let's talk about being three days past my due date with an impending move 8 hours away that was supposed to happen two weeks from now (with a four week old baby of course after my delivery at 38 weeks - ha). After said move, we were supposed to travel 10 more hours (although we were probably going to fly) to Stephen's brother's wedding at which I was going to stand in a bridesmaid dress. All this providing that the baby was born at a nice 38 or 39 week mark which would mean the baby was around 5 or 6 weeks when I start residency orientation mid-June.

But here we are, and I have to admit that I didn't mentally prepare myself at all for this...which in retrospect was pretty ignorant since I know from my fairly extensive time rotating in the OB clinic that first-time moms tend to deliver late. Honestly though, I just didn't know how we would handle it if the baby came at all late so I preferred to just plan on him being early, which happens really often with residents and med students anyways because of the stress we induce on ourselves and the ungodly amount of time we spend on our feet.

So I feel...frustrated...bitter...anxious...and most of all, sad. Sad that each day that passes means one less day that I get to spend with our little guy before I start residency and one more day of the anxiety/stress of not being able to plan our big move and this transition in our lives. My mom keeps telling me though that the baby is safe and happy inside of me and while it doesn't change how hard it will be for me to leave him while he's so very new, he becomes more bonded to me each day he spends in the womb.

And some nitty gritty (skip if you don't want 40 weeks prego details). When I first found out we were expecting, I told myself that I would ask to be induced around 38 or 39 weeks if it didn't happen naturally because of the crazy timing with residency starting - I simply just didn't know how we would do it if we delivered on my due date or afterward. However, after a lot more research into natural birth and realizing that induction before 40 weeks wouldn't be best for me or the baby (however convenient, if it worked) I decided to wait until the end to be induced. But the reality is, I didn't think I would go until the end and while I could wait until the end of my 41st week according to my doctor, since the baby isn't that big (although I'm quite sure he's at least a decent size this late in the game) and the pregnancy has been healthy, I told Stephen this weekend that I don't think I can go past Friday because of my current mental/emotional state about everything we have going that is that (please please pray that it happens naturally - I would be eternally grateful). And now for a (not) brief list of the natural induction strategies I've tried (and clearly aren't scientifically based, for the most part, since they have done a whole lot of nothing):

- Red rasberry leaf tea (starting a couple weeks ago, 2-3 strong cups/day)
- Evening primrose oil (2000 mg daily for the last few weeks)
- Fresh basil
- Pineapple
- Walking (as in an hour/day lately of mostly power-walking)
- Squats/plies (30-45 min most days for the last 6 weeks, courtesy of Summer Sanders)
- Lots of "tylenol" and nip stim (see Anna's post)
- A prenatal massage with acupressure on the supposed labor points (sacrum, ankles)
- A pedicure/foot massage
- Meditation (courtesy of Fr. Benedict Groeschel's Joyful Mysteries - whether or not this has helped speed things along, it has helped me feel more at peace).

Moving on...

Wedges: Old Navy

This is what I wore Sunday, to my future sister-in-law's shower yesterday. With all my lovely sisters + mom:

We went to mass Saturday night and while I was sitting there I got the sudden inspiration to hike up a small mountain 10 minutes outside of town. There's lots and lots of hills and stairs and more hills so I thought it might finally do the trick (wrong), and I dragged Stephen with me. We may have gotten a few looks as I huffed and puffed at full speed up the mountain at 40+ weeks but I made it (I did have Stephen check my heart rate once - 132). Despite no resulting contractions, it did feel like an accomplishment when I got to the top, and made me grateful for all the exercising I've done throughout the pregnancy.

After the hike:
my sisters told me that I'm smiling with my lips and not my eyes in these pics - probably right
also, hello periorbital edema! courtesy of no sleep, not preeclampsia

Thanks for reading through my insanely long (and somewhat therapeutic) post. Hopefully the next you'll hear from me will be a baby announcement? 


  1. When I was 36 weeks pregnant with my first baby the doctor told me there was no way I was going to make it full term - he expected him to come in the next week. He was born ten days late. That's a whole lot of being on high alert! He was born face up - I have no idea if that delayed things but it sure made for a not fun forceps delivery. Try to keep in mind Jeremiah 29:11 - paraphrased by me "I know the plans I have for you - plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". Every day of his life is already planned - just as every day of your life is! This delay is no surprise to God, in fact, He has already made a way for things to go just the way they are supposed to for your little family. I know it's frustrating but be encouraged that it will all work out just fine. *hugs*

  2. I feel for you as my daughter just had her first baby last November. I know this sounds crazy but sex may do the trick. At least its natural. I wish you the best of luck and would ask your doc for a bit of a push. It's extremely hard to be patient at this point.

  3. I am definitely sending prayers your way! I'm at 39.75 weeks, and already feeling your frustration, but without all those big reasons to have had the baby yet, just a whole lot of impatience. My uncle (who's a former OB) recommended avoiding fluids and lots of strenuous exercise to get baby going - not exactly the safest way to start labor but he had tons of success with it with his own wife and 5 kids and plenty of patients who were overdue.

    I will pray for a natural start and if not then a safe and healthy induction! Good luck and I can't wait to hear all about it!

  4. Hang in there, girly!! Will be keeping you in my prayers!!! xoxo

  5. I feel for you, Erika! With my first I was 12 days overdue and felt like every pregnant person I knew went into labor before me- one friend due around the same time delivered almost a month before I did. The "hasn't the baby come yet?" comments didn't help either. :) It IS hard when there are multiple impending life events in your life- I know I'd feel like there was only a short window for everything to come together smoothly. I'll be praying that everything works out, for peace, and that your little guy arrives soon!

  6. Sending positive vibes your way...I feel for you so much! This will all be worth it when you see that happy, healthy little guy.

  7. I have serious admiration for you, not jumping for an elective induction. I went for the induction and I do doubt whether that decision was for the best sometimes. I think your decision to wait it out will eventually bring you more peace, but I know the wait can be so, so hard. Be assured that both you and baby are in my prayers.

  8. Love your mom's wise words.... We may not appreciate our mom's words when we are anxious and worrying but they speak the truth. specially the one you wrote above ^

    This verse helped me a lot -- Eph 3:20

  9. I feel your pain. My first was born at 39 weeks, so I was sure my second would be early, too. Even going two measly days over was torture! When he's here, though, all that waiting will be so worth it. Sending hugs and prayers.

  10. Hang in there, Mama! You are doing an awesome job of doing your best to allow God to work instead of your own plans. Stay active physically and spiritually (we'll be praying for you, too!) because I think that is the most important part of labor and delivery. Keep moving and keep praying and God WILL take care of all those other details with the move and the wedding. You only get to have your first baby once. We'll be praying for peace and more peace. Blessings!

  11. Oh man, Erika, I am SO sorry you are doing so many things and they aren't working!! I will say a prayer that this babe decides he is ready soon!

  12. Hang in there, Erika! Baby is just not ready yet. Your body knows what to do! The rest will have to be in the hands of God. A healthy baby is what matters, and residency, moving, etc., will have to be figured out later. It will be OK!

  13. I'm rooting for you Erika!! I hope this little bundle of joy comes out to meet you soon <3

  14. The waiting game is SO hard!! Hoping you can enjoy your last time as a family of two. Praying for you! :)

  15. It's taken me so long to get around to reading/commenting that hopefully by now any extra encouragement isn't necessary.... But hopefully you can enjoy these last days - albeit impatient and uncomfortable and hard to not be able to plan ahead for the many big things coming up - because life will be so different soon! The waiting will be worth it, but so will any last pampering of yourself or any last solo shopping trips or movie watching or book reading :)


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