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 am...my 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.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Posted by Pardon My French at 11:31 AM