Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing…


I had another NST today.

This time it was performed in the hospital by a very lovely nurse, Susan N. She said she’d be on duty next week during the day as well. I hope I get her when I deliver. She made me feel calm and at ease and she seemed patient and really attentive. She asked my husband’s name and my name. She wasn’t too clinical with us but more compassionate. To me that's a sign of an experienced nurse who understands the apprehension new parents feel especially at the hospital.

DH probably could have cared less. He was so sleepy, he kept yawning while they took my BP and strapped me in. He didn’t even seem too excited about hearing baby girl’s heartbeat. I think he was hungry and tired and therefore grumpy.

The sound of my baby’s heartbeat is pretty soothing and calming. I suppose all moms say that. For the NST, they strap two monitors on your belly, one for the baby’s heartrate and one for movement. Then they give you this quiz show like buzzer and tell you to buzz it everytime you feel the baby move. For a while you feel like Ken Jennings. “I’ll take Potent Potables for $500, Alex.”

Since it’s not an invasive or stressful test, it’s one of the fun ones. Plus you get to hear your baby’s heartbeat for a long time. I love that little heart symbol that flashes on the screen. It makes me smile.

I asked hubby to film some of it just so we have the sound of the heartbeat on record. I think he did so reluctantly. I’m fairly certain his mind is preoccupied. With what, I’m not certain. I’m trying to ascertain if it’s my hormones or if something is really picking on his brain. I think it’s the later.

We’ve both been stressed lately but I suppose he feels more financial and future stress than anything else but that’s for another day and another topic.

I also met with the weekend coverage physician. He seemed nice and reassuring. He told me not to walk too much as walking too much does not induce labor naturally but will induce edema. He says it’s a common misconception that activity like walking will naturally induce labor. Hubby then asked about housework. I knew I should have expected it.

Last night, I woke up at 3:30am, hot and thirsty. I wanted some water. DH had made dinner but left the dishes strewn about. I wasn’t about to stick them in the dishwasher but figured the two plastic bottles that have been sitting on my counter top for two days should be placed in the recycling bin at least. I put them in the bin and my husband scolded me. “You’ve been up for over a half hour getting water. Go to sleep already and stop cleaning up. You’re not supposed to.”

“I just put two bottles in the recycling bin.”

“You’re cleaning up. Go to bed already, Geez.”

“Stop yelling at me. I can’t even put two empty plastic containers in a bin without someone hawking me.”

“Damn right. It’s only for a few more days. Deal with it.”

Now, I really try to say, people are looking out for me. Girlfriends tell me to milk it but sometimes a woman has to get her pregnant behind out of bed and do something, even throw out a plastic bottle. I’m not climbing ladders or rearranging bookshelves.

Maybe it’s my OCD creeping in. Maybe it’s just human nature to desire to be active. I just can’t sit in bed all day. I don’t know how Charlie Bucket’s grandparents did it. Didn’t they get fidgety and want to go out or do something, even simple dusting?

Just now, darling husband just rolled his eyes at me because I got up off the couch to give him my Metrocard. He’s on his way to the gym and since my pass is good for a month and I’m not allowed off my bed or the couch by Dr. Hubby, he could use it to get to and fro. I’m not about to lose out on $82.

It’s the rolling of the eyes that gets me. It’s as if I’m annoying him. Ok, I may be hormonal but really, I’ve received more eye rolling in the past week and a half than has been warranted.

Anyway back to the NST, hubby napped a bit but I think he found the heartbeat distracting. After a half an hour, he got antsy and checked out every drawer, closet and cabinet. He found the footie socks, the gas masks and the amniotic sac piercer. He reported on the rocking chair. He reporting on the comfort of the recliner. It was sort of cute.

By the end of the hour, he was pacing back and forth wondering where the doctor was and whether or not he went to perform a c-section first as the nurse said he’d stop by before he went to OR.

His patience was definitely waning. I’m not sure if it was hunger, impatience, nervousness, being in a hospital, the desire to complete his checklist or a combination of each that caused him to be so batty. He held it in for the most part but I could tell he wasn’t a happy camper.

Some have told me to think of it as him being nervous about me and seeing me go through labor and delivery. I suppose that’s a chivalrous attitude.

The one thing that still boggles his mind is why the doctors have pushed us to induce instead of a c-section. I explained that my body may not be saying it’s ready but it isn’t also a reason to jump to plan C immediately. That’s major surgery with more complications and recuperation time. “I’m a guy. Why go through the pain if you don’t have to. It can’t possibly be as bad as my appendectomy.”

At this point, I imagined a line of woman running into the room and smacking him over the head with a bed pan.

All this sitting, waiting and wishing is getting to everyone. Right now, I’m just enjoying the quiet time with my daughter. I actually prefer the alone time at this point. It’s calm. It’s peaceful. I’m not rushed. I’m not hurried. I know I’ll probably change my mind later but for now, I’m that much more relaxed when it’s just baby and me. It makes me wonder what I will feel later. It makes me wonder what my hubby will feel later.

In the beginning, I kept telling myself I need my husband with me for all of this. In a way I still do but I’m a bit more confident that I could do this. I don’t need him rooming in with me all the time, at least not today. I think it would be healthier for him and for me if we did have some alone time to absorb everything after the birth. I think I was so worried that he wouldn't feel participatory in the birth. I think I was also dependent on his bodyguarding to keep the family and visitors and fear at bay. Now, I think I should be ok. Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on him and not enough confidence in myself.

Heck, I’ve done all the appointments pretty much alone. I’ve made the decisions myself. I’ve researched, spoke to others and made my choices.

Someone told me everyone does labor differently. Some love an entourage of supporters and cheerleaders. Others prefer one or two folks. She said she does it like a wounded animal. She likes to deal with it internally and alone.

I’ve been so afraid of entourages and not being able to hold myself in front of others I didn’t realize I may be the type that would be like a wounded animal. I haven’t gone through anything as intense as labor but when there is something that scares me or frightens me, I generally talk it through with friends and family and then do it myself. I feel more assured doing it by myself. I still want my husband there but I’m no longer feeling as if I can’t handle it without him. I think we both have our roles and I am preparing for my role and letting go of the dependence triggered by fear of the unknown.

Besides, he is going to need to go home at some point. He will need to go to sleep. He will need to go tend to the dogs. He will need some alone time to absorb the labor and delivery. He will need some alone time to absorb his new title, father.

I will need the same time as well, I suppose.

Pantrygirl’s potential signs I’m heading toward the next trimester (the unmentioned trimester) of pregnancy:
Generally feeling pissed off (antsy, batty, etc.)
Needing to be alone
Feeling more confident
Feeling more self assured and reliant