39 weeks: A gallon of milk

Thirty-Nine weeks: 5.23.12





Photo Thoughts: Feeling very lazy with self-portraits in the mirror this time. And my belly is pretty freaking big.

Size of baby: Supposedly a watermelon but since I did that last week, I got creative with a gallon of milk. I always tell my patients who have a lift restriction that a gallon of milk is 8 pounds. And I figure baby girl is inching up to that point, so there she is. Bonus: the milk matches my shirt and I didn't even plan it:)

Appointment updates: Totally bummed after my 38 week appointment last Thursday. Not dilated at all which isn't really that surprising, I guess, but I was SO hoping for one measly little centimeter. Yes, it could still change in an instant but all that internal exam did was make me doubt my body's abilities to do this thing without Pitocin. I mean, with Truman I had to be induced for TWO WHOLE DAYS when my body failed me with high-blood pressure. Then with my miscarriage my body had no freaking clue that the baby had died and even after Cytotek, it couldn't clear everything out and I needed surgery. So maybe I'm in a bad mental place right now but it certainly feels like my body is letting me down again with lack of progress. Stupid cervix. Don't fail me now!

I realize that I'm so incredibly lucky to be carrying a healthy baby at 39 weeks and really, who cares if I do have to be induced in the end to get her out. I don't want this whine-fest to come across as me being ungrateful for the last days/weeks of this pregnancy, because I definitely still love being pregnant. I am not 'done' with pregnancy by any means but I just want to meet baby girl so badly, I can taste it. And this is just another lesson in patience and surrendering control in my life. Two things that are always on my 'work in progress' list. I know she will be here and I'll forget a lot about this anxiety and anticipation but for now, I want to hold my baby and start our life together. But I'm not so hormonally charged that I am losing sight of the biggest goal of all: a healthy baby, no matter how she comes and when she comes. But dang, would it be so horrible for her to come a little early? :)

My OB said that if I'm dilated at all at my 39 week appointment on Friday she will sweep my membranes and we can talk about a possible induction at that time. I'm really struggling with what I will decide about an induction because it's one of the main things I wanted to avoid this time around. BUT, Nate has taken off all of next week and that is the only full week he'll get. Which means, if baby girl decides to be overdue and I'm still pregnant all next week, Nate has wasted a week off work and I will be even more frustrated. And then I won't get extra help from my husband when we get home from the hospital, although I'm sure my mom could come up and help me out that first week if Nate has to work. But really, I am praying like crazy that she does come sometime between now and her due date just to maximize our family time together.

I want to be all zen and relaxed and 'the baby will come whenever she is ready' but at the same time, I really want my husband to be there for the first days at home. Is that totally crazy of me? What would you do---set an induction for right around your due date to fit into your plans or push it to 41 weeks, knowing that you'd miss that window of your partner's help? I really don't think I'm comfortable going past 41 weeks no matter what and I plan to ask my OB her opinion, too. Maybe if I didn't doubt my body's capabilities I could be fine with waiting it out. I just never thought I'd be facing a decision like this. And yes, I realize that I'm not even overdue yet but I just have a bad feeling about this and will have to make some decisions this Friday. I think if I wasn't having so many annoying false alarm contractions I'd be totally fine but mentally, it's wearing on me to always think that THIS COULD BE IT and then it's not.

Cravings/Diet: Not really into food lately. Except for sugar of course, since I can ALWAYS save room for dessert.

What I love: Despite my whining in this post, I really do love being pregnant in general. I will miss it and I can honestly say I'm not super uncomfortable or anything. I still love the belly, feeling her kick inside of me, and dare I say it---this anticipation is actually sort of fun, aside from the times that it makes me feel like a crazy hormonal loon. Which might be 90% of the time but whatevs. I also love telling people that I'm due 'next week'. Talk about making it real.

What I'm looking forward to the most: Her birthday. Plain and simple.

Worries: Just that my body will never go into labor on it's own. Or that something could go wrong with the delivery. Or that I might be pregnant forever. You know, the norm at this stage in the game.

What is different this time around: I'm still pregnant at 39 weeks instead of having my child out for a whole week at this point. Pretty different, I'd say.

Symptoms: So many 'practice' contractions, so little time. I am not exaggerating when I say that I've had timeable, strong-ish contractions every single night for the past week or two. And actually, I can remember the first night I timed contractions and that was way back at 28 weeks, so this is nothing new. But the other night they got to be 4-6 minutes apart and were about a 2/10 on the pain scale with cramps, too. I was cautiously optimistic that they could be a sign of something real starting but go figure, they stopped when I went to bed. Just like always. Other than some wicked BH contractions, I wouldn't say I'm having many other symptoms. I did notice my toes swell the other day after painting barefooted for a good 3 hours. And those zingers in the vag are no joke, either. Oh, and I did switch to my fake set of wedding rings because it's getting hotter outside and my real rings were tough to remove some nights. Yep, definitely at the end of this pregnancy.

Sleep: Not as great, but not awful, either. Up at least one time to pee now and then I feel like I toss and turn from about 3am until we wake at 6am. I really miss sleeping on my stomach, by the way.

Movement: She is still a crazy girl in there, up high and down low and very consistently during her favorite times of the day. I know she is running out of room in there so I'm not sure how she manages to kick me so hard sometimes. Silly little girl. Why don't you just come out to meet us and then you'd have all the room in the world!?

The belly: Large. Round. And still no stretch marks. That might be enough to send me over the edge at this point, so here's hoping they stay away for now.

Milestones: Um, she's really big and basically fully cooked. And making it to 39 weeks, a whole week past my pregnancy with Truman, is a milestone in itself.

Amusing comments from the general public: 'Wait, you are due next Tuesday? But you are sooooo tiny!' It never gets old, people. I finally said, 'Thank you!' really enthusiastically one day, just to try that on for a response and it sort of felt good. Like, 'Hi, I realize I'm not as big as a house, thanks for noticing, and I'll take that as a compliment even if you didn't mean it that way.'

Best moment of the week: The weekend was full of glorious sunshiny weather so we took lots of family walks (ie Get The Baby Out Walks) and had so much fun spending time together. I love our little family of three and the only thing better will be enjoying our time as a family of four (er, five if you include Henry dog).



  1. The end of pregnancy is so hard. The mental game is killer! My situation was not exactly the same, but at 38 weeks, I was 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced...my doc told me I wouldn't make it to my next appt. But I did. And the one after that. And Isaac came at exactly 40 weeks. I remember how awful those last two weeks were, and especially the last week. I was not in a good place mentally and I hate that it's happening to you too!

    As far as what I'd do...well, I probably have a different opinion than 90% of the population, but I would avoid the induction. Medical intervention = the plague for me personally, so I just wouldn't go there. BUT I can totally understand wanting to do that and going forward with it. A friend of mine was in a similar situation while her husband was in residency (if they didn't induce, there was no guarantee he'd be at the birth at all) so of course, they induced. And I totally get that. My biggest worry with an induction wouldn't be the induction itself necessarily, but the increased risk of a c/s. But since you've already had one successful induction, I think that says a lot about your body's ability to handle the pitocin.

    What about natural methods of induction? I know you've been walking, but sex, rolling around on an exercise ball, and pumping some (for maybe 15 min a day) can all help too. It might be worth a try until Friday..it could at least get your cervix a little more soft/dilated so you can have your membranes stripped.

    Good luck girl! Know that it's OK to feel this way at the end. And just try to enjoy what you can. :)

  2. I love that you used a gallon of milk. Seems pretty spot on, if you ask me.

    Hope that little girl gets a move on, soon! Will your dr. strip your membranes or anything to help?

    I also love your shirt, where is it from?

  3. Oh Julia, I so know how you feel. I went 11 days past my due date with my daughter. I remember getting checked at each of those last appointments HOPING for something and it was always nothing, no change. It's so frustrating. So at my 40 week appointment - actually 40 weeks, 2 days - we scheduled an induction for August 11 (I was due August 1). We did do another ultrasound just to check on fluid levels, etc. I was still hopeful that I would go into labor on my own, but VERY disappointed. My body was doing nothing to get ready to have this baby and I was crushed. I now had a final date as to when I would meet her, but I really wanted that "oh my gosh, I'm in labor" and we need to get to the hospital moment. I felt like I was being cheated out of that experience of going into labor on my own.

    Well wouldn't you know that at my appointment the day before my induction I was finally 1.5cm dilated and didn't need to be admitted that night for the cytotec. I actually started having intense contractions that night around 6pm and we went to the hospital around 3:30am. I was suppose to check in at 5:30am for my induction. My baby girl new when she was ready and came on her own.

    I'm only telling you this to let you know that even when you think going into labor on your is over - it can still happen. Being pregnant 11 days longer than I thought I was going to be was so mentally draining but so totally worth it. Even when you think your body is failing you, don't give up hope. It can still happen!!!

    And if I were you, I'd wait it out as long as you can. I'm sure at your 40 week appointment they'll check to make sure baby girl is doing okay and if she is, I'd say wait, at least until 41 weeks. I know you want Nate there with you that first week, but if your Mom can come help then that would be great. I know how badly I wanted my body to do this on its own and I'm so glad my induction wasn't scheduled any sooner because I would have missed out on that experience.

  4. Your body is not a lemon!! Don't make me get all Ina May on you! You are going to be great, and this is perhaps the most useless advice ever, but stress is the enemy of oxytocin, so do whatever it takes to get your stress down and your zen up. Maybe picture that gorgeous girl in your arms SO SOON!! Thinking of you!

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  6. I went 41w1d with baby #2 (40w3d with #1). It was SO hard to wait and let my body do it, but I'm glad I did. I was more terrified of a failed induction = c-section and that's what helped me wait it out. At 41 weeks, I had a NST and u/s and the baby looked great (although, he was so big the u/s machine couldn't give a weight estimate...that will scare a girl!). I hadn't made any progress from week 40 (2cm, I think)and he wasn't engaged in the pelvis yet (I balled my eyes out then!), but that night things picked up and he was here by noon the next day at a whopping 9lb 10oz. Things went just as I hoped they would as far a L&D goes and I was SO glad I waited.

    On the other hand, I had a friend who induced for the reasons you're thinking of and she had a successful vaginal birth too.....

    Hopefully she'll come on her own while he's off work! Best wishes!

  7. I guess inductions don't scare me TOO much or make me think they will lead to a c-section because I've done that before, and although it sucked hard core as far as pain and intensity and losing my mind---my body did respond to the Pit well. And if I had to get it again, my OB says that second time inductions tend to be much easier because the body remembers that drug. I just want to avoid one because I wanted the experience of a 'natural' birth this time to compare contractions with Pit-induced ones:)

    Yes-my OB will strip my membranes Friday IF I'm dilated at all.

    I have heard of using the pump for nipple stimulation but it sort of freaks me out a bit. I think I will reserve that for a desperate moment, but I'm all about the other 'natural induction' methods out there. :) Although I really don't think any of them truly force a body to go into labor if it's not ready, anyway. And I'm getting to the point that they just make me more miserable, causing 'fake' contractions and cramps and bathroom runs with no real progress to show for it.

    My shirt is borrowed from a friend, but I want to say it's a Motherhood brand??

    Thank you for the pep talks already, ladies! I knew most everyone would tell me to wait it out as long as I can. Sometimes I feel like I can handle that and other times I just don't. I think Friday's appointment will help make my decision for me somehow.

  8. If it were me I would probably induce because I would want my husband home with me that first week HOWEVER I would definitely to do all I could to try to start labor naturally prior. I had my membranes swept which HURT and I think it made me dilate only .5cms more.

    I ended up getting induced 4 days after my due date because I was so big and miserably uncomfortable I just couldn't stand it and I wasn't dilating on my own. I actually dilated quickly on the pitocin and probably could have had a natural delivery if it weren't for the fever I developed (not sure why) that caused me to need to get a Csection when I was at 9cms. So close yet still so far!! No matter how it happens you will have a beautiful, healthy girl and that's all that matters.

  9. Can't wait to hear the news of her arrival! AND HER NAME!!! Eeeck :)

  10. I was induced with Landon at 39 weeks, because well, it was unbearable for me to be pregnant any longer. My bladder would no longer empty because of how he was sitting and they thought I might get back-up and get a kidney infection.

    My induction was smooth sailing. I didn't even need pitocin so it didn't feel like an induction. It only took 12 hours and voila! It was baby time. Now it took me 2.5 hours to push him out and his actual birth was SCARY. But that had nothing to do with the induction.

    I can totally understand your desire to be induced. TOTALLY understand. It is so hard when you're just ready to meet your sweet baby and hold them in your arms FINALLY!

    I'd say wait it out to 40. I think you can do it (if she doesn't come sooner). Once week 40 hits then come back to it.

    I'll be praying that baby girl arrives soon. The contractions are working, believe me. They are getting your body ready to experience birth no matter how far your dilated.

    Has your cervix softened at all? Sometimes that can be a bigger sign that labor isn't far off.

  11. Oh Julia, that is such a crappy decision to make. Basically, would you rather wait for a natural labor or have your husband home. Only you can make that decision! I have NO idea what I'd do... I know I had mentally decided when I was late that 10 days overdue was the longest I could go without going absolutely insane, but Ben could take his time off whenever the baby came so it wasn't a huge deal in that regard. Ugh. I'm sorry you have to still be pregnant, and I'm hoping your baby girl decides to come out before next week!

  12. I don't think I would induce just to have my husband there. The baby could come on a Friday and then you would have the whole weekend together without having to be induced. I have found that everyone I know who gets their cervix rimmed has some sort of progress and goes into labour within a few days. So I hope that works for you. I think the baby knows best and who knows? Maybe your dates are wrong and she's not as cooked as you think she is? Wouldn't want to risk that with inducing?

    That is just my personal opinion. I went into labour naturally and it's awesome to see what your body does. I know you have fears about it not happening, but I think you should give it a chance! Whatever you decide to do will be the right choice.

    You look amazing and I love the milk jug!!

  13. I think you will definitely do what you feel is best. My water broke the day before I hit 39 weeks but I had to be induced because my contractions did not start on their own. I think when we try for #2 I will do everything in my power to let things happen on their own (just like you are wanting). I get nervous about membrane sweeps because I feel, just like other 'natural' induction methods the sweep will only work if the baby is ready. It stinks about Nate's time off though:-( Maybe think of it as a good time together as a family of 3 for a week?:-) Can't wait to "meet" your newest addition!!

  14. Oh yeah, the end of the pregnancy was so hard. I remember being kind of devastated that we scheduled an induction with Lizzy...but also relieved. And then wouldn't you know it, she was born the day before my induction was scheduled. I sometimes wonder if it was because I finally relaxed and stopped stressing that I actually went into labor!

    But as far as I'm concerned, if you respect your OB's opinion, and you (and your husband) and she are both comfortable with an induction, then those are really the only opinions you need ;)

  15. oh, man. She'll come, I have faith :) If not, induction isn't always a bad thing. I have no idea how you are not done yet because i"m about 2.5 weeks behind you and this week I've decided, I'm done. HA!

    I do totally get the more help because with Blake being out of work and possibly starting a new job in the next few weeks, he's only getting a week and that scares the poop outta me!!!! I'll send get that baby out vibes your way!

  16. Yep, you're right - natural techniques aren't going to force anything to happen like pitocin will. But with all the prodromol labor you are having, I think they will definitely help you along. I think it sounds like your body is most definitely gearing up, which is generally when those methods are successful. :)

  17. How cool would it be for Baby Girl to be born on your anniversary...unless you wouldn't want that.

    I was induced at 39 weeks 3 days. The baby was really big, so the doctor wanted to get him out. TMI, but honest, we had a lot of sex and it didn't help. :( I was told (after the fact) that evening primrose oil put on the cervix helps with dilation.

    With this baby, I'd really like to have a natural labor, since the Pitocin was KILLER, but I also don't want another huge baby. Also, like other people, I want that "I'm in labor, let's go to the hospital" moment. When I get to that point, I'll have to make a decision.

    Whatever decision you make, it will be right for YOU. Good luck and quick labor!

  18. Hi, Julia! :) I've never left a comment before, but I've been following your blog for ages. I had a missed miscarriage last May (my d&c was actually last May 20). I got pregnant again in the fall and - guess what - we have the same due date! Except... I had my baby girl last Friday (38 weeks and 3 days). We brought her home on May 20, ironically. Amazingly, really.

    Anyway... I just wanted to wish you luck and hope that you go into labor naturally and everything goes smoothly. Have you done any special pregnancy exercises? Our doula recommended many of the exercises on spinningbabies.com to make sure she was in a great position and all ready to come out.

    I actually did Hypnobabies for my birth (hypnosis for childbirth, aaaall natural), and there are a few things I did that you may (or may not) want to try. My husband and I did fear clearing sessions, where you basically write down all your fears/concerns/control issues about labor and releasing them, allowing yourself to stay super positive and trust that your body won't let you down. I also did a lot of visualization, imagining my perfect birth, down to the day and time. Perhaps it was coincidental, but I imagined having her on a Friday (seemed convenient with the weekend and all...), and she, indeed, came on a Friday! Try to relax, relax your muscles, imagine that cervix opening wiiiiide up, talk to that baby and encourage her to come out. Seems totally hokey, but, hey, anything's worth a try at this point, right? :)

    Ok... off to snuggle the little one. I can't wait to see pics of your sweet baby girl, find out what her name is and see that nursery!! Baby Alice and I are rooting for you! :)

    Come out, baby, come out!

  19. Can I just tell you that you are the cutest pregnant girl in all of blogland!?! You and your body will do great, hope you get to meet your baby girl real soon!

  20. I'm putting my money on the idea that this could be your last update.....just a hunch. Fingers crossed.

    And I'm all about those natural methods of induction. If I were you, I would absolutely try the pump. I completely forgot about that but from what I read, it's quite helpful. [I did it with Eli]. And I know we had our "sex talk" yesterday but another piece of advice I'd give would be to do it right in the midst of those timeable contractions. Might be enough to push you over the edge. [again, did that with G right after the sweep]

  21. I just found you blog last week and I got totally hooked. I'm 39 weeks today and not dilated at all. The last day of school for teachers is my due date - the 30th. I feel conflicted about being ready to meet him and stressed that I'm not ready at work. Take some deep breaths and think healthy baby, healthy mommy. Hope things go naturally great for you and your timing works for dad too. You look beautiful!

  22. I am so excited for you to meet your baby girl! I may or may not be doing daily facebook checks to look for news!!

    Also you look fantastic. Almost makes me want to get pregnant right now to have a cute belly again. Almost.

  23. Good luck Julia and looking forward to seeing the lovely little girl make her presence :)

  24. Hello!
    I found this blog last spring when I was searching for belly pics to compare mine to because EVERYONE felt the need to tell me I was "too small" or "soooo tiny" and ask if everything was alright. Silly people. Anyway, I kept reading because I love your writing style and it's fun to follow along with someone going through the same things as you. You actually inspired me to start my own blog! Just wanted to say hi. Good luck with everything!!!


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