Sunday, October 16, 2011

Planning for Peanut: She's Coming Soon, I Promise!

I hadn't intended to write another PfP post before giving birth. But as I approach my due date (this Tuesday), I find myself eager to write and at the same time reluctant to engage in most forms of social activity. It's a perfect time to passively update my progress.

To answer the top two questions everyone has been asking me lately, I'm doing fine and no, little Peanut has made no indication that she's ready to come out yet. I mean, my body is ready and presumably hers is as well, but until the regular contractions commence, there are no other indicators. It could be a couple more weeks before anything happens. It occurs to me that this may seem unusual, because these days many women and their doctors pick a date and have labor induced. This is especially common in Chattanooga; a nurse at our hospital estimated that 90% of their labors are induced, while my OB's more conservative estimate is 75%.

Since I'm planning a drug-free, vaginal birth, I have a very strong interest in avoiding induction. It increases my chances of experiencing several unnecessary medical interventions, including a Cesarean section. As I like to say, a truly natural childbirth is like a baseball game - there is no clock. It just takes as long as it needs to take. Unfortunately, hospitals don't operate that way. Generally speaking, once you get there, the clock is ticking toward that moment when the baby comes out of your body, either through your vagina or your belly. And since choosing induction automatically starts the clock, I'd rather wait for my contractions to begin naturally, labor as long as I can at home, and go to the hospital when my body is much closer to delivery.

Of course I can't wait for the big day to arrive, but all I can really do for now is be patient and make myself as comfortable as I can. That latter endeavor gets harder every day. Sleeping is really unpleasant and seems to offer soreness and rest in equal measure. Exercise is the best preventive form of pain relief, but I don't always feel like going to the gym and walking around the neighborhood involves certain social obstacles I'd rather avoid. Frankly, I'm tired of strangers yelling questions like, "When's the baby due?" or "Do you know what it is?" These queries are not inherently annoying, but imagine having that same conversation with several people every time you leave the house. It exhausts me.

So, my current strategy is to be a somewhat physically active hermit. And for this reason, I apologize in advance for being a terrible correspondent in the coming days. I'm getting worse and worse about responding to emails, phone calls and texts (and I was never that good at it anyway). It isn't because I'm busy - I have loads of time on my hands. Honestly, I'm sick of talking about myself and that one big event on the horizon, the start of which I have surrendered all control. In fact, I'd love to hear how you're doing. Please, send me an email about the events of your life. I'd love to think about something outside of my enormous belly!

Today's agenda is much like any other day - read, write, maybe watch a movie, cook. Sounds pretty nice, right? It is, and I'm trying to enjoy that leisure time while I can. Also, I will get off my lazy bum and go to the gym so I can get my "pain killer" fix. The great thing about the gym is that it's almost all dudes there. Many of them stare at me, but almost none of them say a word to me about anything, especially pregnancy. I suspect that many of them find me creepy. And that bit of social awkwardness is my respite during this challenging time - ha! If I could just tell my fourteen year old self how it would all be twenty years later...


  1. Tara, thanks for the passive update - I understand a little, I think :-)

    My best to all of you for the trip!

    Love, Mark

  2. Thanks, Mark! By the way, Dan is now obsessed with Bad Lip Reading (I believe one of your tweets clued him into it). We've been watching the Bachmann and Perry ones over and over. "Save a pretzel for the gas jets!"