Thursday, May 29

One week ... or two, or three, or ...

I'm officially one week from my due date today. The last few days I've felt increased tightening and pressure, which has made me excited and giddy. Who knows, though, when Fetus will really arrive. Thankfully, at my birthing center, the midwives will give you up until 42 weeks before they start (adamantly) suggesting medical induction. (Technically speaking, a human pregnancy's due date is anywhere between 38 and 42 weeks; after 42 weeks, the ability of the placenta to support the baby's life diminishes and, accordingly, the likelihood of a stillbirth increases slightly.)

I'm shocked at how few mothers don't know a pregnancy is 10 months. Others, I don't blame--I didn't know, either, and why would we, what with the media making such a fuss over 9 months? But women who have gone through the experience? Shouldn't they know any better?

I made the mistake of sending out an email to family and close friends with the subject "9 months and counting," and in-law G-ma B. instantly emailed me and all of her friends that I've never met to say I'm having a baby any day now. I didn't know how to break it to her, a woman who has had five children, that a full gestational term is 40 weeks or 10 months. Not nine. So I just let it go ... only now I'm being bombarded by emails asking if Fetus has arrived yet.

Speaking of Fetus, my G-ma B., who is an extremely devout Catholic, emailed me and said: "I want to let you know that I'm praying for the baby (not fetus)." While I understand that she's coming from the perspective of her religious beliefs, it was still something of a smack in the face. I call our baby Fetus, so you kind of told me that the most powerful action that you believe in (praying) will not be conferred upon my baby, at least not in my terms. This is also the same G-ma that wrote me a 3-page letter on how I need to adhere blindly to "the doctor's" every whim because "it's not about you anymore, Goose." Was it ever?

I have read that many mothers are sick and tired of the pregnancy at the end and "just want it out." I don't feel this way at all. I feel curious, certainly, but patient. I will miss Fetus being wrapped inside me, kicking every evening around 10 pm, making me laugh with his/her weird waving movements, rubbing my belly and knowing s/he is safe and secure ... At the same time, I'm excited to meet her/him. I can't for the life of me imagine what Fetus will look like or be like.

I picked up my library copy of Last Child in the Woods and have started reading already for Green Bean's green reading challenge, though tonight I think I'll take a long walk with the dogs instead. It's gorgeous weather today, blue jays surrounding my bird feeder and two new flowers bloomed from my strawberry plant.

9 comments:

SuzyQ said...

You mention a birthing center and midwives in your post - are you delivering your baby in a unique way? Not in a hospital surrounded by doctors? I haven't had a little one yet and am intrigued - tell us more! (if you want of course) - it just sounds different - a good different I think. :)

Nadine said...

Yeah, I've never understood the whole timeing thing. I've tried to explain to people that it's more like 10 months, but they don't believe me. Weird. I love how at peace you seem with your pregnancy.

BlackenedBoy said...

I think that the view you've taken of pregnancy is so sweet. It really is a sacred condition and in my opinion helps to form the most solemn of bonds; that between mother and child.

I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear all about Fetus when shim enters the world.

You'll have to change the pseudonym then, though!

Nicole said...

I wish I could say that I felt patient as well. I am not generally a patient person and this is is certainly no exception. I would be absolutely thrilled to give birth sooner rather than later.

Momma Val said...

Blah, blah, blah, where's the new baby blog?

BlackenedBoy said...

Well, it's been a while, so I'm assuming that you've had your baby and are currently recuperating. If so, good luck and congratulations.

I can't wait to hear all about it!

Courtney said...

I'm so excited for you that you're so close to your date! I can't wait to hear that Lil Fete has made his/her debut into the world. :) Have you come up with a boy's name yet?

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I kind of felt the same way. I loved having my kids inside me before they were born. I was afraid I would feel grief at the loss of that closeness--maybe that's a small part of what post partum is all about about. But of course instead, the two happiest moments of my entire life were when my two babies were born.

I got that book for my birthday and maybe I should start reading it for green bean's challenge, but I'm already reading several other books including Moby Dick! And I hate putting books down because then it is hard to pick them up again if I wait too long I have to start over.

Best of luck with your birthing and the end of your pregnancy!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I gave birth to two beautiful babies and a, adopting another (child)(PB, now 14!) and I remember the discussion of gestation and all that, but my two babies are adults and it was more than 30 years ago and counting the weeks and months is long in the past and no longer as important as the people my kids have become. My attention is focussed elsewhere and it is easy just to slip into the norm thinking about pregnancy length/gestation.

BUT I am confused. I just did some math. If the normal gestation is 38-40 weeks, so we call that an average of 40 weeks, and each moth is an average of 4.357 weeks (average of 30.5 days excluding February)(maybe I shouldn't have excluded February), if I did my math right, 40 divided by 4.357 = 9.18 months. OK, I did it over with February added in and got 9.21 months, which rounds down to 9 still, but I may have done my math wrong--DUH???

But is that figuring from conception of the last know period? Dunno. Whatever. Sorry, I'm confused.