Monday, May 20, 2013

Babies- Apparently Some Preparation Required

      I had big plans for when the semester was over and I would have all this free time to get ready for the baby. Projects I would complete, cleaning, preparing... I made several lists. I had heard about this whole "nesting" bit and I knew once the semester was over I could allow myself to go into full nesting mode. Well, either I'm missing the whole 'nesting' gene, or no one told me that the amount of energy it requires to put on underwear in the morning at almost 9 months pregnant uses up all available desire and will to get anything else done that day. Now this wouldn't be a huge issue if it weren't for the fact that I have accomplished absolutely nothing baby wise all semester, except to accumulate baby stuff that is now filling up my yoga room. Seriously- this picture was taken yesterday.

That is all stuff that needs to be washed, sorted, put away, etc. The only thing I have accomplished is to put some toys in a box on a shelf. 

     Now, I blame this crazy exhaustion for the most part. It's a lot harder to constantly lug around an extra 30 lbs. than one might think. However, I think I also accidentally psyched myself into complacency regarding this whole having a baby thing in terms of time management. If you know me or possibly even ran into me on the street at any point, I'm sure I explained to you the problem with the U.S.'s obsession with due dates. Assuming for a moment that your estimated due date is accurate (which it's most likely not, unless you were charting your menstrual cycles when you got pregnant and your EDD is based on your ovulation day), that date really isn't so much a "due date" as when you are 40 weeks pregnant. It's essentially meaningless. So why is it so important for the doctor to tell you when your 40 weeks date (what I prefer to call it) is? Well, because most babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks, which means your 40 weeks is right smack in the middle. Now, some babies come a little earlier and are perfectly healthy. Some babies come past 42 and are also perfectly healthy (although it is usually recommended to begin regular non-stress tests after 42 weeks to make sure the baby is just taking extra long to cook and not being delayed because of any problems [also note- a diagnoses of cephalopelvic disproportion, macrosomia (big baby) and low amniotic fluid are incredibly inaccurate at this point. If yours and baby's vitals are fine, induction is usually unnecessary]). But for whatever reason, our society seems to demand an exact date to fixate on. Did you know rather than due dates people used to (and in some places still do) refer instead to birth seasons? What REALLY annoys the hell out of me is when people talk about their baby being "late" after the due date. No. "Late" or post-dates, is not until after 42 weeks. Up until that time, you are still "term" and it is perfectly normal, especially for first time moms who tend to go later anyway [what annoys me even more is that every single piece of medical research and literature stresses that being "late" or past 40 weeks is not a medical reason for induction and drastically increases the risk of complications including c-sections and baby spending time in the NICU and yet for some reason doctors still LOVE to induce at 38, 39, and 40 weeks]. And remember- this is all assuming that your 40 weeks date was correct, which isn't likely. So what is the point of me explaining all of this for the umpteenth time? In order to make sure I didn't fall into the trap of fixating on my "due date" and to discourage people from asking me "why is the baby late?", "are you going to get induced soon?", "are you sure everything is okay?!" I have always envisioned this baby coming at 42 weeks. Which led me to plan as if this baby is coming at 42 weeks, which means I still have a little over 6 weeks to get all this stuff done. 

      However, you may have spotted the problem with this plan. While it is entirely possible that I do in fact go all the way to 42, it is also entirely possible that this baby decides to make an appearance sooner. Possibly in 2 weeks. Which means I should probably at least have one clean diaper and blanket ready by then. This realization keeps sneaking up on Joey and I as we plan different things. We've gotten into the habit of saying we have "plenty of time!" before the baby gets here to do A,B, or C, but then we realize that in fact we may have very little time and should probably be at least be semi-prepared. So I started with the most urgent thing first- I purchased all of the birth supplies I will need. I'm now at least equipped to get the baby here. My goal this week is to actually get all the stuff that is in that room squared away. And then hopefully I'll still have some time after that to do some things around the house. I do believe that the mother's psychological preparedness has a lot to do with when a baby is born. The hormonal interplay that starts and sustains labor is incredibly sensitive and the presence of any stressors can delay labor significantly. I'm not sure if procrastination is physiologically recognized as being psychologically unprepared, but maybe it will at least buy me some time? So long story short- if you have any extra "nesting" energy in your psychic stores, feel free to send some my way. Because I have a load of baby clothes to hang on the line, but honestly a nap sounds way more appealing. 

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