I'd been having continual contractions for about 18 hours--the kind that are annoying enough to keep me awake and off of most activities, but not big enough to be the real thing--but I did decide to join the gang when the Texas cousins passed through town. I needed a distraction. (click here for more)
When I woke Sunday morning, my body kicked into gear and I really thought this was Baby Day! You know, I can't emphasize enough how labor is nothing like how it is portrayed on television shows, sit coms and so forth. Anyway, after about an hour, I woke my husband to tell him I was finishing packing my hospital bag and it was time to find a babysitter and get our doula over to the house. As we waited, I fast couldn't talk to anybody . . . so imagine my surprise when my body did what is very typical: labor stalled out completely with the arrival of other people and the anticipation of getting in the car to change locations.
A couple of hours later we sent everybody home. My body kept having widely spaced, random contractions through Sunday and Monday morning.
Monday was a dark day emotionally. I had been so sure that labor would pick back up overnight (very common) that I had arranged for another parent to take our children to their 8:00 a.m. "Esther" rehearsal, but that favor turned out to be unnecessary.
By Monday afternoon, my body was entirely becalmed.
I was snappish at my family members and very frustrated. My body had been actively warming up for at least two weeks. and I had rarely left my four walls for three weeks, and now: nothing, nada, zip.
Tuesday dawned with the bright realization that at least now our family's balance of having no more than one birthday per month will not be disturbed.
January -- Joseph
February -- Katherine
March -- Margaret
July -- Thomas
August -- New Baby!
October -- Chris
November -- Mary
December -- John
I decided to make efforts at cheerfully distracting myself. I dressed in a nice outfit and did my hair and makeup. I began a fun school-planning project for the new academic year. I took my children to the neighbor's home for a chatty visit and play time, then I went shopping at Aldi's just for fun.
Best of all, and a real gift to me, was that I received an invitation to attend a full dress-and-tech rehearsal for "Esther, the Musical" the following day: there would be a few live audience members and I was to be one of them! The directors realized that, were I to have this baby, I wouldn't be able to see the live play the coming weekend after an entire summer of our children's involvement.
Tuesday night was the first night in a week that I went to bed hoping I would not have the baby overnight!
|Joseph's sleeping fort during Quiet Time|
|Joseph's new Big Boy Backpack for his Pre-K classroom at CCE|
|Ready for adventures!|
Meanwhile, I'm getting "better" sleep this week, but that still means 4-5 hours each night. My body is so uncomfortable that I can't fall asleep till around midnight, and then I wake up at 4:30 on the dot, just barely rested enough that I can't sleep anymore through the discomforts. If I look like a zombie, it's because I am a zombie after three weeks of this.
5. WednesdayChris has been trying to alleviate my frustration all week by helping me whenever he can, making numerous meals, sending me to go rest or read, buying me flowers. He gave me a huge gift on Wednesday by keeping the three youngest children so that I could attend the "Esther" invitation-only rehearsal.
My prenatal appointment was fine. Even my hypertension has come down beautifully and mysteriously.
Nothing doing, as Stuart Little would say.
I'm halfway through reading the book I was going to take to the hospital on Monday to read during my stay: "My Antonia" by Willa Cather (1918) (which I've read many times). Sheesh: now I'm going to have to select a new book for when the time (ever) comes! The children asked me to read aloud again "Swiss Family Robinson" (1812), so we're in the midst of that. Also, I began reading aloud Nesbitt's "Gramar-Land" (1877), which the three olders are enjoying despite saying that they wouldn't: ha ha, Mama knows them well.
7. FridayMy grand plans are to be tired, exhausted, and physically pained, while trying to distract myself. At this point, my 'big goal' each day is to speak to my children with a kind voice while my body feels this way, and that is a Herculean effort for this small and weak soul.
For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.