(No I'm not still pregnant! Baby has arrived! Just wanted to recap this last week.)
This photo was taken at 39 weeks and 6 days, aka the day that Finn was born! I really wanted one last picture to show me at my MOST pregnant, and so we took this picture in between contractions and only a few minutes before we left for the hospital!
Starting right at the beginning of this week I decided I was DONE being pregnant. St. Patrick's Day marked one week before my due date and I loved the idea of having a little leprechaun baby. The night before St. Patrick's Day I left work a couple of hours early to attend a breastfeeding workshop given by my hospital (which was an excellent class by the way) and started to notice some fairly strong tightening sensations in my stomach while I was sitting in class. You can imagine my excitement when I noticed that they were coming exactly ten minutes apart and continued for the whole two hours I was there. As soon as I got home, hubs whipped out the contraction timing app on his phone and we excitedly tracked things at 10 minutes, and then 9 minutes for the next few hours. We went to bed around 11pm, and when I woke up the next day everything had quieted down.
I had a midwife appointment on Friday where they offered to check my cervix for the first time. They don't routinely do internal exams as most OBs do (I think starting around 37 weeks?), because it doesn't really tell you a whole heck of a lot and also carries with it a slight increase in your risk for infection. I didn't want to hear that I wasn't even getting close because I was so hoping that all the contractions were at least getting things well prepared, and I didn't want to hear that I was starting to dilate because then I'd get my hopes up when it could still be weeks. So I said no. The provider I saw that day was actually a student midwife, Brooke, and I LOVED her! She was reporting to one of the senior midwives and I had the option to see her as well, but the student spent so much time with me and made me feel really taken care of so I told her it wasn't necessary. I asked her if she was also attending births with the midwives and thought to myself that I'd love to have her at my delivery (oooh, foreshadowing!).
The weekend was pretty quiet, although I was still hopeful that we were getting close to our little guy arriving. We had Indian food on Friday night and I wanted mine as spicy as possible! We also started taking some long walks around our neighborhood, making Duncan the happiest he's been in a long time. Monday I went to work as usual but again my day was interrupted by contractions coming now every 6 or 7 minutes. I was totally convinced that something was happening, and since I work about 40 minutes away from home, I decided to leave work right then and there while I was still completely fine to drive myself. The contractions continued all day and into the evening. I was feeling pretty uncomfortable every time I had a contraction, and they were definitely a different sensation than the Braxton Hicks I had been having for awhile, and so I decided to give my midwife practice a call. The midwife on call pretty much dashed any hope I had though, when she told me it sounded like just a warm up and not to bother timing them. But they were 5 minutes apart! And they had lasted for eight hours! I took her advice and tried to rest. I woke up about an hour later on the couch and totally contraction free but filled with frustration. I was embarrassed to have left work for no reason and stressed about going in the following day. How was I supposed to know what "real" labor felt like?
Tuesday morning I was scheduled to work, but I woke up that morning and decided enough was enough. I wasn't interested in going into work and having to tell my boss, "my contractions are x minutes apart" or responding when they asked me if I was dilated yet (yes, I was asked this multiple times at work). With one phone call I began my maternity leave two days early and felt SO ridiculously relieved. I had a midwife appointment that morning where I found myself too impatient to refuse the cervix check- I had to know if anything was happening after all the false starts. I was thrilled to find out that I was one centimeter dilated and 80% effaced. The midwife was really happy with the position of the baby and I pressed her to predict when he might come. She laughed and told me what I already knew- it was really impossible to predict. She did say though that she'd be surprised if he stayed in there for more than four days. I took this as gospel of course- my baby would be born in the next four days! I spent the rest of Tuesday with my good friend Becky, sitting at Starbucks, getting a pedicure, and going on a little Target shopping spree. It was a perfect and relaxing last day of pregnancy :)