Monday, April 02, 2007


Somewhere along the way, this blog changed from being a way of letting my family and friends know about my daily life here in France to a kind of therapy. Lately I've alluded to the fact that emotionally things are a little difficult, and I've been working hard at entertaining myself, being silly, and trying not to think too much. I am trying not to drive my husband, family and friends crazy along with my own self due to all the anxiety I've got going on. In some ways I feel like I'm back in middle school with the same mood swings and sense of humor...which explains my strange attraction to Wayne's World and I swear if I can manage to operate the VCR with my feet I will watch that video today.

Today is my French due date and this morning we went to the hospital for ye olde baby monitor and poke-poke. Things have not changed which means the heartbeat sounds good but the exit is still locked up tight, so unless something drastic happens I will go back on Wednesday, and then again on Friday. On Friday, they will either induce me or send me home for a 24-hour reprieve. No matter what, the baby should be here by or on Saturday. There's not much possibility of being mistaken about the date...I have a slew of hormone tests and ultrasounds from the very beginning that place her exactly where we think (well, we know) she should be. I know once again I should be ecstatic, but for some reason the visit left me a little depressed. From what I've heard, being induced is not much fun but I'm not keen on leaving my baby attached to a crappy placenta, either. This morning started off like Christmas, though, so I'll just try to focus on remembering the heartbeat.

All of the pregnancy books tend to prepare mothers in the ninth month with the signs and stages of labor and then with a very short section at the end about post-term babies. I have NONE of the signs of labor and then all the reassurance of knowing that my baby may be born with peeling skin and extra-long fingernails (the books don't actually use the term "bat-like" but that's the image they conjure up), assuming that the deteriorating placenta doesn't deprive her of food or oxygen. I know that chances are good that I will still be able to give birth to a healthy baby and I know I love her no matter how strange she might look at first, but it still distresses me a bit to know that conditions aren't really optimal.

When we arrived at the maternity ward, three women were in the midst of delivering. That's right, 3 women delivered 3 babies within the space of a half hour and we were right next door in the waiting room. I guess it's good that I didn't go into labor because I might have been stuck naked on a cot out in the hall awaiting my turn. Now, the babies' cries were truly quite moving, but the screams of the woman who apparently didn't choose to have an epidural were quite another story. I started that whole nervous giggling/crying dealie like the big, brave girl I sweet husband said, "Oh, what's wrong -- are you overcome with emotion?" Um, yeah, it was either that or pure fear, but I'm really not sure which one it was at this point. Afterwards it was fun to see how the dads behaved...they went to smoke a cigarette, use the bathroom and then make phone calls, in that order. Every single one of them did the same thing with the same dazed look; I guess it's instinct.

At the end, the midwife reminded me that I have to be consistent in counting her movements -- whether there are too few or she seems distressed -- and I need to be sure to watch for any loss of amniotic fluid and come in immediately. I knew this already from the books, of course, which is another factor in my sleep-deprivation. How can I possibly sleep when I need to be so vigilant about protecting her? I know there are probably plenty of zen mothers-to-be out there and I'm not proud about the fact I'm not one of them. I just tell myself it's only until Saturday at the latest and then I'll be able to watch her breathe and eat.

So that's my real news! This afternoon I'll go out for another walk and then I'll try another labor dance...maybe she's a gansta but I don't have much in the way of rap. Maybe a nice bouncy bluegrass tune will do the trick.


Tara said...

Hang in there, she'll be beautiful and healthy. Did you know that according to the Chinese, this is the year of the Golden Pig meaning that all children born this year will be healthy and prosperous...

the fabulous adventures of sarah said...

I just wanted to send you some love from Maine!!

I am SO sorry for the ordeal that you are going through my dear...

You are just the BRAVEST person I know and my heart goes out to you. I think you are just incredibly strong and amazing and I wish you a swift labor and recovery period my dream PMF!

[I also tried the 'open seasame' trick from Maine... I hope it worked]


Doc said...

I can't really share in your angst this time around as mine have all been c-sections, but I can sympathise with the PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SPEED TIME THE FUCK UP part you're feeling.
Have you tried reverse psychology? Maybe encouraging her to stick around will make her want to leave? No, waith, that sounds frightening.
Push 'er out!
Shove 'er out
(L&D cherrleading is now over)

Erica said...

Good luck for this weekend, she will be an Easter baby, how beautiful. Soon you'll be able to hold her in your arms and cuddle her so much. Hang in there a little while longer, you seem very strong, you can do it!

jchevais said...

I remember this vividly.

Darling, it will all be fine and you will be great.

My son was an Easter baby too (born on Easter Sunday 1999) and I distinctly remember how unreal it all seemed.

Reb said...

don't worry! My baby was post term - born the day she was supposed to be forced out. I just kept telling her that if she didn't come out on her own, they were gonna do mean things to mommy..and she listened!

Doc said...

Oh, here's a good post-term horror story for you: ME. Yep, I was a post-term baby. Due July 5th, born July 26th--three weeks late. (And, if that weren't bad enough, there were two of us--sorta. My twin sister didn't make it, but that has nothing to do with being pre- or post-term) Now, don't go trying to gauge how old I am by the fact that my mother wasn't induced. I was born in the days before such nonsense, way back before cesariens became the fashion, back when natural childbirth meant just that. Pain? Bwahahaha!
So yeah, just think, the longer she cooks, the more she'll be like me!

Hye, hey, come back! I was just joking! Not really, but hey, stop running for the hosptial.

Anonymous said...

I think we are just enjoying this blog thing too much for you to miss a day of writing. You are just too funny.
Maybe she's just waiting until her grandparents can get there and she will pop right out. Let's hope so anyway.
Take care and enjoy the day.

Pardon My French said...

Thanks, Tara and Sarah! That's good news to hear! I've got your names on the e-mail so be on the lookout.

Doc -- Thanks for the cheer and idea for reverse psychology. I'll try anything. Hope you're doing well. And 3 WEEKS LATE?? Oh, dear God. Thanks for the laugh...I would be happy to have a baby that makes me laugh! And makes pecan pie!

Erica -- thanks! I like the idea of an Easter baby even though she won't be magically brought to me in a basket by a bunny. Can't wait to see her anyway, though.

Jchevais -- thanks for the kind words and support! Less than 24 hours before it all starts...

Reb -- I've been talking to her. She might be trying to help out but she sure is taking her own sweet time. Maybe I should switch to French.

Anonymous -- I've already talked to you. See you soon!