Just a quick pregnancy update. I woke up this morning to my second day of official bed rest.
Last Friday I was pretty much convinced that the baby had dropped. I was up all night stumbling into the bathroom to relieve my bladder and in the morning my whole stomach shape had changed. I asked Dave if he thought I looked any different but since he’d been MIA for the last month in D.C. for work, he told me he just couldn’t tell for sure.
Well, I had a prenatal appointment yesterday morning, and my suspicions were confirmed. Baby has dropped. Cervix is dilating and 80 percent effaced (thinning). I’ll soon be 35 weeks, so we’re very thankful my Type A cervix has decided to control itself for at least this long.
Still, my midwife really wants me to make it through the weekend before real labor begins and give our bun a little more time in the oven, so I’m on bed rest for the week. Given my history of premature dilation, I know that having the baby stay put is entirely possible and am so thankful I’m nearly full-term. Also, as most women who have been blessed to have natural childbirth experiences as I have will tell you, vaginal exams and the “data” they yield in terms of dilation, effacement, and station can only tell you so much. Really, being effaced and dilated just lets you know that things are getting started, but nothing and no one can predict exactly when labor will begin. With baby number 2 I walked around for several weeks dilated, although my cervix didn’t start thinning much at all until about a week before I delivered. We’re just at the “wait and see” stage of my pregnancy.
As I wait (and pray), I’m thankful for this beautiful reminder that from the moment you first see those two purple lines on a positive pregnancy test (or, I imagine, begin the laborious process of adoption), motherhood is a vocation that requires self-sacrifice. While some (like my 4-year-old who has already surpassed her weekly TV allotment in just a day and a half) might welcome bed rest, it’s no fun for me. I not only have trouble letting God in sometimes, but I’m not always good at accepting help or taking it easy. I’m resting right now, trying to type while on my side, and struggling to ignore the war zone…errrr….I mean living room strewn with toys or the fact that my preschooler is zoned out in front of the TV, watching a ridiculously over-sized red dog play with his friends.
Isn’t it ironic that it’s my overanxious cervix that requires the rest of me to slow down and to be still?
Just last week I confided in a friend (who also happens to be my Catholic midwife who gave me these very bed rest orders!) that I have trouble being still. This can lead me to talk too much because I’m afraid of the silence or to push myself too hard so that I end up being grumpy and/or exhausted. Lent is always a time when I really work on this vice of mine and now I have all the more reason to not be so fidgety and to focus on quieting my restless heart, derailing my perfectionism, and being still. Because what my baby needs right now far more than an adrenalized mom – is me to rest quietly and wait. She needs me to relinquish my need for planning and control and to just let her grow a bit more in my womb so that she can enter the world plump and perfect.
So even though I’m already antsy (how do moms-to-be do it who are put on bed rest for months?) and simultaneously stuck between wanting to meet our baby and praying she has time to hibernate inside of me a little longer, I’m thankful for this lesson in humility and patience as well as for the amazing web of friends and family members who are holding me up during this waiting period. Perhaps this is just what I needed to have a more meaningful Lent. In my stillness, may I open myself to God’s will and his graces.
One final note: I already had a few posts scheduled for this week, but I may be out of the Blogosphere loop for awhile but will try to keep everyone posted on our baby and her arrival. Stay tuned…