Friday, November 16, 2007

Thank you

Thank you dear friends in the internet for your words of encouragement, and also for in some cases undoubtedly biting your tongues when you wanted to slap me upside the head. You said exactly what I needed to hear, and I am truly grateful.

It has been a hard week. I think that the thing that made it the hardest was that I genuinely did not expect this to happen. The third trimester has been so generally drama-free (other than the IUGR scare) and comfortable that I had stopped preparing for bad things to happen. And so when something relatively minor happened, I freaked out, and acted like I was the first person in the world ever to be miserable after going past their due date. Oops!

Before we moved to Korea, Mystery and I lived in southern California. His work was only about five minutes away from my work, so we drove in together in the mornings. Every day, we'd listen to the news on the way. One day, there was a human interest bit about a book on happiness. It wasn't about the philosophical underpinnings of happiness, or the meaning of life, or anything like that, but rather a series of practical tips to maximize your chances of making good decisions for yourself. The author's main thesis was that people are absolutely terrible at imagining how they will feel in a given situation that they have never actually experienced. We all THINK that we're pretty good at it, but we are wrong more often than not. Therefore, the author advocated talking to people who are actually IN that situation and finding out how they feel about it, rather than trusting our own imagination. His point was that if you're considering a new job, or a move, or what have you, you should talk to people who actually DO that job, or live in that place, and see how they like it, and give their reactions some real weight when making your decision.

At the time, I was struggling with infertility, and it really struck me how right he was about the fact that it is just about impossible to imagine how infertility feels if you're not actually infertile. I don't think it's possible to go through the day as a "fertile" and really see how many little insults and booby traps are out there. The happy moms. The pregnant bellies. The "innocent", but shockingly painful questions: "do you have children?", "do you ever think about having children?", "why did you decide not to have children?" or my all-time favorite "when do you think you'll start a family?" The commercials, oh god the commercials. Nobody who hasn't had to sit through the "having a baby changes everything" commercial the day of yet another BFN and managing not to cry, vomit, or strangle the nearest person simply out of sheer indecision as to which would be the most profitable course of action, or had to attend a baby shower after two years of trying, or endured the 25th pregnancy announcement that month (14 of which are described as "accidents"), can really understand what it's like.

Up until now, pregnancy hadn't been much like that author said, though. The conception was, rather obviously, quite different from the standard experience. My first trimester, I was so distracted a family medical crisis that I barely had time to feel the morning sickness. The second trimester, which is supposed to be such a breeze, was a bit of a nightmare. And the third trimester, which is supposed to be so hard, was rather a breeze. Add to that living a million miles from my family and old friends, and living in a small, obviously temporary, flat, so no baby shower and no decorating of the nursery (the baby will share our room), no choices about cloth diapers vs. disposables, dealing with unfamiliar baby products right and left, and it's not really surprising, I guess, that I had been feeling like my pregnancy was fairly unique in the history of the world. Well, of course it IS unique to me, but it was hardly realistic to think that mine was really that special or different, odd though my life circumstances may be.

So, I really shouldn't have been surprised to find out that the last few weeks of pregnancy are hard, and that going past your due date is frustrating. EVERYBODY says so. All of the books. All of my friends (in the computer and "real life"). All of the strangers who so generously share their experiences on the internet. My mother. My sister. My cousins and aunts. And yet, it turns out that I had been imagining myself sailing into labor and delivery and just popping Eggbert out without breaking a sweat.

Now that I'm over the disappointment, I actually think that my hubris was kind of funny. So here I am to tell you that, guess what? The last few weeks of pregnancy are hard. Going past your due date is frustrating. Labor must REALLY hurt if people mainly talk about that, rather than the week or so leading up to the delivery.

I saw my doctor yesterday. Still no signs of progress whatsoever. Eggbert is in a position that most babies reach by 28 weeks. I will be induced next Thursday (the 22nd) if nothing changes between now and then. I'll be 41w 2d.


hadjare said...

I don't know if I ever commented before...I think I have -- anyway I have been following you since the near beginning since our due dates were so close.

Can I just say what a relief it was to read this today? Ahh. It makes me feel better.


twirl said...

I'm now overdue too, and the frustration is amazing. Even knowing that others feel/have felt that way and you're not exactly unique doesn't make it better when you're in the middle of it!

I hope today's a good day for you =)

Lut C. said...

You can be grateful and frustrated at the same time, no problem. Wishing you a smooth delivery.

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't apologize for how you feel. All the waiting and discomfort are things that rightly deserve a little complaining. I went 14 days overdue twice and the second one was a secondary infertility success story baby. And I was more frustrated that time around, perhaps because the baby was so hard to conceive and thus so badly wanted. That kind of anticipation can drive up the frustration factor - especially for people (like me) who worried about the baby until it was safely delivered.

Sarah said...

good luck, sara!!!

Queila said...

I totally understand your frustrations. I am 40w3d and I cannot wait to have this baby out. So much so that I've been in a bad mood most of the time for the last couple of days. Dealing with the frustration of not having your baby at your due date is a lot harder than I expected so... don't feel like you are alone. :)


Anonymous said...

I was induced at 41w (2.5 years ago) when I was pregnant with my son, and I remember clearly the frustration and annoyance of still being pregnant at that point. I had a lot of edema too, which compounded my misery.

All I can say is hang in there and hopefully you'll go into labour before your induction date. The relief of finally having your baby in your arms is an amazing one.

Marie-Baguette said...

overdue? you are not overdue my dear... at least not in France where a normal pregnancy lasts for 41 weeks (instead of the 40 in the US). Again, on average, first borns are born at 41 weeks. I understand your frustration, I would be very impatient too. But I can't help but be a wee jealous. Chances are your labor is going to be natural and your baby is going to be normal sized. I am wishing you all the best for your labor.

Mands said...

Honey, we need to stop with all this "I should be grateful to be here". I mean, fine, you wanted this, but that doesn't take away from the frustration and anxiety you're feeling. Being previously infertile should not take away your right to say how you're feeling.
We all want to have a baby, but do we all want the pain and discomfort that goes with that? Of course not! I hope your baby comes smoothly and swiftly.

Dianne/Flutter said...

Somehow thinking of you being on Thanksgiving, well it made me smile. Wishing you the best.

peep said...

Well, it's been 4 days since your post. I wonder what's happening? I guess if anything tomorrow will be the day. Good luck. I can't wait to hear how everything went.

Marie-Baguette said...

Thinking of you and wishing you all the best for your delivery. Happy thanksgiving!

Nina said...

ooooh....I am too late to wish you good luck probably. GOOD LUCK anyways and I hope your next post will be post-birth with a sweet little picture attached?