Week 29- We finally found someone to rent the loft. They graciously give us three days to clear out. At seven months, we found a place to move into, packed up, repainted the loft and transported everything we owned to the new house. We, also, managed to squeeze in our last New Year's Eve dinner as non-parents. In the back of my mind, I was ashamed that I hadn't listened to the doctor's orders, but really wanted to move away from all the crackheads, partying college students and drug dealers. I thought Darla would understand.
I had been having vivid the entire pregnancy, but they had become more anxiety inducing in the last trimester. The one from this week was about me forgetting to feed Darla for three days. I had this dream about four more times before the end of my pregnancy.
Week 30- I went into nesting overload and unpacked our entire house in one afternoon. I couldn't sit still.
At this point, I realized that, although I was able to do such heavy manual labor, I didn't have the energy or attention span for a full-time job. With my sister, my boss Erin's, blessing, I cut down to part-time. I had freed up some time to sleep.
Week 31- My sisters along with our sister-in-law Michelle planned my baby shower at the Yacht Club in San Diego. Darla acquired the chicest nursery furniture imagineable and the best outfits.
I thought back to that day months ago, when I went to Target thinking I could pick out all her nursery supplies in that one trip. I looked at the cribs, got dizzy and ended up crying in the baby section. I was grateful I had been able to make it this far with only a few more meltdowns.
Week 32- I brought all my baby shower loot home, looked at it all in a pile on the floor of her nursery, felt my head explode and went to sleep. I'd wait until that last few weeks to organize it all.
I had a private celebration since I had made it to the week at which her chance of survival, if she had been born early, was at 85%. I had kept my eye on that prize since I went into the doctor with contractions from working too hard.
Greg and I started our Bradley Method Birthing Class. I had decided to not hire a Doula AND have an unmedicated birth. Greg had convinced me he would step up his game and be my birthing coach. I am skeptical. My sisters and my mom all have the same reaction. They all said, "good luck" and laughed.
I hoped I would meet some friends at the birthing class. I remembered too late that I had long since lost my ability to make friends when the class ended and the only person I had spoken to was Greg.
Week 33- I called up a customer service agent for Restoration Hardware and chewed her out because Darla's crib hadn't arrived yet. Suddenly, I, who usually treated sales associates with the utmost respect, had turned into a high maintenance mother who needed everything to be perfect for her little princess. She offered me a 10% discount, which I accepted.
I had another anxiety dream. This time, it was about how Greg picked up Darla by the ankles. I discussed this one with my sister Joanne. She told me that I needed to sit Greg down and tell him why it's not ok to pick up a baby by her ankles. I did as she said. Greg wasn't pleased.
Week 34- During my bi-weekly check up, I found out that Doctor Yun was 33 weeks pregnant. Her scrubs hid her pregnancy well; I made mental note of this for future pregnancies.
Her hostile attitude from my first visit made more sense. She was in the first trimester, too, and was probably as miserable as I was. I felt closer to her and was sad she wouldn't be there at my birth. I finally was comfortable talking about going through labor without an epidural once I found out her last labor had been unmedicated.
She gave me the best information. She said, "It doesn't hurt as much as being hit by a truck, but you will probably be able to go without medication if you're willing to be in a whole lot of pain."
The crib finally arrived and the delivery crew assembled it. I tried to maneuver the furniture around the room as best I could with a basketball shoved under my shirt, but felt I had lost all my ability to make aesthetic decisions.
Week 35- I managed to speak up during our birth class. I spoke about how my mom had twelve kids, six of which she had naturally. I impressed everyone there, but still hadn't made a friend. The girl I had thought was the pick of the litter (an elementary school teacher whose sweater looked much like my own) barely returned my smile, but Greg informed me that he had spoken to her husband in the bathroom. I hoped that, with this in, we might make it to the chit chat point.
Week 36- I had my third and final baby shower. I wanted to keep it simple, so requested that everyone give me their favorite book. My mom came up for the shower and helped me organize my closets and the baby's drawers.
I spent a lot of time trying to not think about the pain of labor, walking with my only pregnant friend and reading birthing books.
I went to what would end up being my last class and still had no friends.
Week 37- I had made it to full term without any problems. I planned on going into labor that weekend after my sister's wedding in San Diego.
Although I had zero energy and felt my stomach tightening throughout the night, I didn't have the baby in San Diego. In fact, I didn't start having really painful contractions until I made it back to Los Angeles.
I couldn't sleep that night. I felt as if I had incredibly bad gas and horrendous period cramps. I timed the pains, but they were too sporadic to mean anything. I was nervous that I had been timing my gas and put away my timer.
When the pains didn't go away by that afternoon, I went to the doctor's office where they gave me another stress test. The nurse didn't realize the machine was broken until 20 minutes had passed. I wanted to kick her in the teeth for making me deal with that discomfort for nothing. After they made sure the machine was working, they confirmed that I was having contractions. Doctor Yun came in and checked me. I was certain I was five centimeters dilated and fully effaced. Quite the contrary. I was 0 centimeters dilated and 0% effaced. She assured me, though, that I would probably be in labor within three days.
Three days came and went. It was my birthday and I was thoroughly depressed that I wasn't holding my daughter in my arms.
Week 38- I was still in false labor and had slowly grown used to the pain. I continued to walk with my pregnant friend, hoping that it might help me go into real labor.
Greg had finally been offered a job, which brought us both a lot of relief.
I tried to go about my life as I normally would and even helped Greg pick out work clothes two days after he had been offered the job. I was pissed off, very uncomfortable and at the end of my rope. I sat in the dressing rooms, trying to pay attention to him trying on clothes, but could barely see straight. I thought the contractions were getting stronger, but chalked it up to wishful thinking.
At home that night, I worked on my mom's taxes until my computer shut down and erased all my work. I decided I had reached my limit. I formally declared I was sick of being pregnant, felt a pop in my stomach and a small rush of liquid. I was pretty sure my water had broken. I texted my mom and sisters about this development and started timing my contractions. I was relieved that I had gotten my haircut the day before.