40 weeks, Ready To Go

by Rachael
(Brighton, CO USA)

39 weeks 5 days pregnant

39 weeks 5 days pregnant

My third and final baby was born almost a year ago to the day. She was born June 17, 2010 at 4:19 a.m. That day also happened to be my EDD, so I was kind of a marvel at the hospital. It was also my longest pregnancy, and in some ways, the most terrifying.

Let me begin by saying I am not the type of person who enjoys being pregnant. I consider the whole process a means to an end. I didn't glow, I didn't have an adorable belly, I didn't get fabulous hair and nails.

What I got was a continual ashy shade of green from being nauseous, oily skin, chicken-butt yellow dried out hair (because on a whim I decided during pregnancy to dye my hair blonde-er, which did not take well because of my hormones), and claw-like nails which I failed to take care of very well.

As I approached the end of my pregnancy, I just wanted it to end, like many women. There were a number of reasons why it was so difficult near the end. Mostly, as I mentioned earlier, it was my longest pregnancy. I thought for certain I would deliver a week or two early. All I can say is, I am so glad I wasn't overdue! There were also the discomforts of late pregnancy to deal with. The chronic heartburn was almost unbearable near the end. I couldn't even drink a glass of water without getting indigestion. I also carried my last baby extremely low in my pelvis, so the pressure on my bladder was constant. I spent more time in my last trimester in the bathroom than anywhere else because I LITERALLY had to pee every five minutes.

The biggest reason I was ready to be done with my pregnancy at week forty was because there was some concern of IUGR. At 40 weeks pregnant, I was only measuring around 30 cm. There was a lot of debate about being induced early (which I started to hope for around 36 weeks), but as I continued to expand, the doctor decided the baby was at least still growing, just at a slower rate, so the risk of having growth issues was not as much as delivering a pre-term baby. So my pregnancy kept on.

In my 40th week, I peed my pants. Twice. I stood up and thought my water broke the first time. I went to the hospital where I was sure I was starting labor. I wasn't. The "fluid" was tested, and turned out to be urine. It was horrifying. The second time I peed my pants I was (thankfully) just getting out of the car after a doctor's appointment, and after a good swift kick to my bladder from the baby, let loose.

I did all types of things to try to get labor started naturally. I made labor cookies and ate them until I was sick. I took evening primrose oil capsules in hopes of helping efface and dilate. I ate huge amounts of oregano and other Italian herbs as there have been studies some can help bring on labor. I walked until I thought my legs would fall off. I begged my husband to have sex with me, not because I was in the mood, but because I thought for sure the prostaglandins in his semen would help. It didn't.

I went to my 40 week appointment on June 16th, where the doctor checked my cervix and stripped the membranes, and scheduled an induction for 2 weeks later. I was annoyed I couldn't be induced right there on the spot, but settled for a sweep of the membranes in hopes of jump-starting labor. Fortunately, it worked. I started having contractions on the way home from the doctor's office. They were mild and untimeable, but unmistakable from the Braxton Hicks contractions of the late third trimester.

I made dinner and vacuumed. The contractions got stronger and more regular. After dinner and cleaning the dishes, I headed to the hospital, leaving my husband and kids at home with the instructions that I would call if I was being admitted so he could get the babysitter to the house and get to the hospital.

Upon arrival, I was strapped to the monitors, my cervix checked, and started a two hour "labor check". About an hour and a half in, I was told it looked like it was still very early, and maybe not even labor, so I would probably be sent home.

The last half hour, the contractions picked up, I was barely able to breathe through them, and had a considerable amount of bloody show. At the two hour mark, I was checked, showed progress, and was admitted to have a baby. Within ten minutes of being officially admitted, I was already given an epidural, and my husband was on his way.
My labor progressed fairly quickly and then stalled. Like my previous two labors, I needed a small amount of pitocin to help me along.

Six hours and nineteen minutes later, my beautiful baby girl was born. I am not sure where she was hiding herself, but she was the biggest baby I had, weighing 7 pounds 1 ounce, and was 21 inches long! And we thought for certain she would be less than four pounds.

Comments for
40 weeks, Ready To Go

Jun 13, 2011
Wow, so small
by: Paula

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for sharing how you honestly felt about being pregnant. It is not really a walk in the park, right!?

I am amazed by how small your belly was despite the baby being so "big".

Anyway, thanks a lot!

Paula

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