Dear Baby: Thirty-Nine Weeks, Two Days
A couple weeks ago, I experienced 28 consecutive hours of practice/prodromal/pre-labor: mildly crampy contractions that were 5-10 minutes apart but not getting any closer together, any longer, or any stronger.
After the first three hours, I contacted some of the people on my birth team just to give them a head’s up. It’s not that I thought that labor was imminent, but I did want to let them know what was going on. As a courtesy. As an acknowledgement that sometimes these early contractions transform into productive labor.
And then nothing happened. Which I all but expected–I was only 37 weeks pregnant, after all.
Then earlier this week, I woke up to a bunch of (get ready for it) bloody show. (Look it up. Or don’t. I know you are the child of a doula, but ignorance may be bliss when it comes to thinking about your mother in regard to these matters.) Since I knew that this meant that labor could be near (or the next day…or the next week), I sent another courtesy text to my birth team.
All morning, I felt crampy and “heavy” with the feeling of approaching labor. I set up the sheets in the guest bedroom for your grandma and aunt. I filled out a job application and completed a project that I had been working on for about a month. I snuggled with Alec. I ate crackers with peanut butter and drank a lot of water.
And then everything stopped. The show. The crampiness and heaviness. It was gone.
Again, I wasn’t worried. I was only 38 weeks pregnant, after all.
So I looked down at you, touched my hand to my belly, and said, “I know that you are wise, and that you know when to be born. I trust you, little guy.”
And then I received a call from your grandma.
It turns out that Great-Grandpa needed surgery the following day. He did well–remarkably well, even. But there was worry and concern and lots of hand-wringing preceding the operation. For while your great-grandfather has strength, he is also frail; although he is improving in some ways, he is not in others. And thus surgery is so very risky for him, riskier than it would be for most others.
(But oh, he is good! And I talked to him just hours after his operation! And he’s asked about you and cannot wait to meet you! And my sweet boy, as soon as we’re up to it, we’ll make that drive to see him!)
I trust that you in your wisdom knew that last Wednesday would not have been a good day to arrive. I like to think that you could sense the emotional reasons to wait to be born.
I like to think that you are a wise, knowing little baby.
And that’s why I’m in no rush to get this labor going. It could start tonight, or two weeks from tonight, and I will be equally happy whenever it occurs.
For you have enough wisdom to know when to be born.
And for this mama, there is no greater peace than simply trusting in that wisdom.
p.s. 39 week belly shot!