I just got home from my 38 week checkup and it looks like things are moving in the right direction. My doctor did an internal exam and she said she was able to feel the baby's head. She also said that I'm one centimeter dilated. I laughed right out loud when she said that. In my mind any degree of dilation means that there's a baby coming. Of course, it could mean that the baby is coming tonight or in three weeks from now. My husband and I find this whole process so hard to believe. Is there really a baby in there? I'm sure we won't truly believe it until we're holding him in our arms. We found out yesterday that good friends of ours are 15 weeks pregnant. The father-to-be said, "we don't really believe it yet." I responded, "you'll have just as hard a time believing it at 38 weeks as you do at 15 weeks."
Today's high is 101 degrees in NYC. I'm sitting here directly in front of my air conditioner keeping cool and hydrated. I wonder what it will be like to have a newborn with me on days like today. I imagine if I do just a good of a job staying hydrated once the baby gets here I should be able to take care of him well enough. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have a baby. Will I be up every hour like I am now, just instead of peeing I'll be nursing?
My good friend had her baby this past Saturday, July 3. She delivered him at home in their tub with a team of midwives and doulas, as planned. I talked to her about everything, all the stages of labor, pushing (she said transition is the worst part – even worse than pushing) and now being a mother. She still seems to be in disbelief at the whole thing. She is in awe of her son and is figuring out how things go from here. She is as intent on exclusive breastfeeding as I am. She said that she has to nurse him every two hours. So, her husband wakes the baby up, changes him and brings him to mother's breast. She told me that she is having a bit of trouble, but she will have a lactation consultant swing by to correct anything that may be out of order. I'm so proud of her and through my whole pregnancy she has been an inspiration to me – she continues to be just that.
I just feel like such a scatterbrain these days. I'm usually super organized and on top of everything, but its hard to stay focused when I'm too tired to get from the couch to the kitchen and back. I still have to pack my hospital bag, which I intend to do today – but we'll see if that pans out. Who knows how things will progress. I'm trying not to think about the due date or put any expectations on when the baby will arrive, but hearing today that I am one centimeter dilated makes me feel, perhaps unfounded, a sense of urgency. I simply cannot wait any longer! I must meet this baby! I'm also dying to know what labor is like. All of you moms out there may think I'm crazy for anticipating labor with such eagerness, but I can't help myself. I'm dying to go through this rite of passage and meet my son.
One centimeter down, nine more to go!