Our 41 week appointment at the birth center is tomorrow. As I mentioned before, I believe they are planning a stress test and perhaps some other tests just to check on baby and her state. Definitely excited.
I would be remiss if I do not acknowledge that I am indeed nervous about giving birth. This week has been a roller coaster ride of emotion. Yesterday I woke up in a horribly angry mood. I was grumpy throughout the entire day and through Sam’s gentle manner and well placed humor, my day ended far better than it started. I realized that I was frustrated that baby hadn’t come yet and worried that something was wrong. It took a lot of convincing for me to realize that baby is indeed still healthy and she will come soon enough.
Today I woke up in a decent mood. I laughed a bit with the pups and joked with Sam when he got home from work. We enjoyed the evening, watched Skyfall, and I even was able to sit on the couch next to him. I haven’t been able to sit on the couch next to him for months. The couch is too squishy and I hurt.
In addition to having an enjoyable time with Sam today, I went on a walk. Only did 2 miles and didn’t push myself to walk fast or hard. It was a lovely day to walk. The clouds covered the sky and the breeze was nice. I believe that’s when I started to realize that I am nervous. I started thinking about the appointment tomorrow, wondering if they will offer me a membrane sweep or if I should ask for one.
A membrane sweep or ‘stripping the membrane’ is when a nurse/midwife/doctor sweeps their finger around the cervical opening, separating the sac from the opening. This generally jump starts labor in the majority of women it is done to but it doesn’t always work. One could expect bleeding after, cramping, and even labor (or false-labor).
I started thinking about the possibility of having the sweep done and then of the effects. Labor. Baby. That is the goal, right? That is what I was so upset about yesterday, not having baby. The idea of doing something that could potentially bring me into labor is indeed exciting but very intimidating. It is as if I am choosing my time to go skydiving and the exact moment to jump out of the plane. I am sure this feeling is normal for women who induce or have c-sections— they know the time and place. Perhaps they enjoy the security in knowing. I am torn.
My brain gets in my heart’s way. I began doubting myself today. I doubted my ability, my preparedness, my strength, and the like. I wondered if I could go through with it. I wondered if I would be able to have the birth I imagined. I then realized that doubting myself or my abilities is not what I needed to be doing, but rather, instilling confidence and peace in my heart and mind.
Finding a calm and relaxing place in my mind and heart is to be my goal from here on. I hope to have a restful night sleep and even go on a walk tomorrow after our appointment. I will continue to study my birth affirmations and perhaps even do some deep breathing yoga movements.
I realize that my pregnancy is unique, just as my birthing experience will be. I cannot expect to have a birth like my friends, my sisters, my mothers, or anyone else. My birthing experience is my own. It is a natural process. My body knows better than I of what to do. I must grasp this inner knowledge and peace to be able to calm myself down when I know it will be hard.
Soon, little love will be here in my arms. She will cry, poop, and sleep. I will look back on my pregnancy and the pain, remembering but pushing onward, and it will have been just another stage in my life and love. It will pass, but the love will remain.