No, this is not about Steve Jobs. I mean, I love my MacBook and iPod and everything apple, but this post is just a lot more selfish than that. Sorry to disappoint.
Today’s midwife appointment went pretty much the way most of my appointments have gone. Baby’s heartbeat is good, my measurements are fine, etc. But today I was one day past due, and I’m tired of this and said so to my midwife. I asked if she’d do a “stretch and sweep” and she replied that she didn’t think it was a good idea at this point. Next week, she said, if I was still pregnant, she’d be happy to come to our house and rupture my membranes in the hope that it would get labour going.
“Next week?” I wrinkled my nose and then sighed. “I don’t think I can take another week.” The disappointment started welling up, as did the tears. And I cried.
At this point I have to tell you that I’m not generally a crier. I mean, I’ll cry if something really sad happens, but I’m not the sort of person who gets teary at weddings or who cries at movies. Tears just don’t come easily to me.
So there I was, crying in the midwife’s office, as she explained again that since I’ve had two wonderful uncomplicated vaginal births before, she expects that my body will do this on its own. She pointed out that a stretch and sweep or AROM (artificial rupture of membranes) could mean that if my water breaks and I don’t go into active labour within a certain time frame (I think 24 hours), I’d automatically end up in the hospital needing pitocin. She said that she knows how much I want to give birth at home and that with no medical indication for induction, there is no compelling reason to try moving things along.
She said all the right things, things that I would want any care provider to say to a mom who’s feeling done with pregnancy. Except when I’m that mom and I’m feeling so emotionally and physically drained. I’m tired of the on-again-off-again painful contractions. I’m tired of not making plans for the next day because “what if I’m in labour?” I’m tired of not being able to sleep, what with the contractions and having to pee all the time and the discomfort of sleeping in a bed made for a person when I’m shaped more like a hippo. I’m just tired. So I cried.
Tomorrow is Yom Kippur. Maybe there’s something in particular I’m supposed to be davening for? Maybe I need to let go of my illusion of control and accept that my brothers won’t meet their newest niece or nephew anytime in the next few months? Maybe I need to stop swinging wildly between excitement for this baby and ambivalence about how it will affect the other kids, my parenting, and my marriage? Who knows.
I came home from the appointment and took a long nap. Our babysitter left, I put N down for a nap and explained to K that she needed to play quietly by herself for a while, and slept some more. I got up and moped around. It feels ridiculously similar to a depressive episode. No matter how many people say, “it WILL happen!” I keep thinking, “yeah, that’s what I thought last week and it hasn’t yet.” I know depressive thinking when I see it, and for me that’s a prime example. I have no right to be depressed – healthy, fetus, healthy pregnancy, supportive family – and yet I feel like I am. And it scares me. So I cry.