Same Same But Different

17 Jun

40 weeks! 

Status of bump: large.

Status of bump: large.

The to-do list is complete. A lovely pre-baby brunch with my girlfriends has been had. Tiny baby clothes have been washed, the cot’s been ordered, the changing station’s been set up and I’ve read and read and re-read about the stages of labour. We’ve got mohalim and lactation consultants on standby, my parents have arrived, and even our coffee machine has been fixed in time for upcoming, bleary-eyed parenthood. I met up with my doula for a final ’emergency’ session, just to reassure myself that I CAN do this, with or without her.  The freezer is full. I’ve learned how to use my breast pump. Basically, I’d say we’re good. We might not ever be ready, but we’re done getting ready. Nine months have zoomed past in a flash (although there was a definite lull there around month 6/7) and we’re here. 40 weeks. Baruch Hashem! Yesterday was my official due date, June 16th, highlighted, decorated and totally pimped out on the calendar – yet it came and went, and baby is still inside. Squirming, despite the lack of room. We might be ready, but clearly he is not!


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(My summary of what maternity leave has been like so far: some hanging out in hotels, some scoffing of cupcakes, mostly a lot of TV and chillaxing, fun parent time and baking of muffins.)

Today I went into a local Chinese medicine clinic for some acupuncture on my hands – I’m experiencing something called parasthesia, where you have constant pins’n’needles and sometimes, really wonderfully, lose all feeling in your fingertips thanks to fluid retention… to the extent that you might be cutting vegetables and then spy blood in your salad and not realise you’ve gashed your middle finger open because YOU CAN’T FEEL IT.  Anyhow, in Israel I’ve found that doctors are quite on board with seeking alternative treatments and mine recommended acupuncture for this ‘pregnancy carpal tunnel’. She did try and reassure me that it will most likely disappear post-delivery, but it’s really frikkin painful right now so I sought help. While having needles stuck in my ankles and wrists today, the acupuncturist asked if I’d also like to have a ‘gentle induction’. No guarantees that it will make you go into labour, she said, but if you don’t want to be waddling into the hospital at 42 weeks only to be artificially induced, she could help. I practically shouted YES! Not because I’m done with being pregnant, I’m feeling just dandy, but because we are desperate to meet this little guy already! There’s been so much planning and buying and prepping and buying and talking talking talking – could we just get to see him already?!

Swollen but manicured hands. Hands I cannot feel!

Swollen but manicured hands. Hands I cannot feel!

I know it’s going to be hard. I know that before we get to cuddle him, or marvel at him or fake-barf over his dirty nappies, I’m going to have to work really hard to get him out. I’m going to be in pain, and unlike many other first-time birthers, I’ve experienced this pain before. I’m not frightened of what it entails, rather I’m nervous – I have an idea of how much strength and perseverance it takes to get through it without drugs. When you miscarry, the doctors may not immediately give you a D&C (dilation and curettage surgery) if it’s still at a very early stage. They may first offer you the devil’s medicine i.e. Cytotec – pills which cause your body to go into ‘labour’ and push out any unwanted material. Almost immediately after having these pills inserted into your body (yes, inserted, just to make everything worse) your abdominal muscles begin to contract exactly as they do when there’s a baby to be pushed out. You experience back labour, contractions and cramps and everything painful about regular birth, without the happy birth part. The goal with Cytotec is completely different – there is nothing good at the end.

I spent two days of my life at home experiencing that pain, and I ain’t looking forward to going through it again. But I know it’s not the same, and while I may know the level of pain to expect, albeit this time with the option of intervention and pain medication, I’m going to be working with my baby towards a light, towards something beautiful and amazing. As Jo keeps telling me, I’ve just got to trust that my body knows what it’s doing. It’s completely different this time, and I can’t wait. 

And thus, the waiting continues. Please G-d next time I post, there’ll be some actual news to share! x


Please leave a reply! Thanks - Dannii x

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