As we entered the third trimester of the pregnancy, I was calm and excited about labor. I felt prepared and equipped. Chad and I talked about it often. One night, as we walked around our neighborhood, I said, "I hope I don't throw up during transition." Looking back, I can't believe throwing up was one of my concerns. I did throw up, but it paled in comparison to the rest of the experience. This is an example of the contrast between my expectations and the reality of my labor.
From about week 30, I measured larger than normal. Each week I was 3 to 5 centimeters larger than expected. One is suppose to measure 30cm when she is 30 weeks, 32cm when she is 32 weeks, 35cm when she is 35 weeks, etc. The doctor was more concerned about this discrepancy than the midwife. The doctor looked at individual things -- my weight was too high, my measurement too big, my ankles too swollen, etc. Jennifer looked at the whole picture. Most of Jennifer's patients gain more weight than the average. Also, most of the babies she delivers are around 9 lbs, instead of the hospital's average of 6 lbs. With this type of knowledge, she eased my mind about my weight and my measurements.
My due date was January 6th. I tried to manage my expectations because I knew that a lot of first timers go past their due date. As I approached my 35th week, my maternity pants got too tight. I couldn't believe it. One morning I sat on the floor to put on my shoes. This was already a monumental task because reaching my feet was nearly impossible. As I sat down and bent over, my too tight pants dug into my enormous belly. I sat back, gasping for breath and sighed, "What am I going to do??! I have five weeks left and my pants are too tight!!" Chad was sympathetic and told me to buy some new pants. This made me feel better. I went to Motherhood Maternity, a store I grew to hate. (Literally.) I felt like their clothes were Walmart quality at Mall prices. I found the largest, cheapest pair of jeans and wore them every single day even though we were not suppose to wear jeans to work. I didn't care.
December arrived and it became increasingly difficult to sleep and walk. I woke up to pee every single hour at night. I did pelvic rocks nonstop (including in the bathroom at work) to relieve my aching lower back. I don't know how I would have made it without those pelvic rocks. They felt so good.
My plan was to begin my maternity leave on December 26th, the day after Christmas. This would give me a little over a week at home to prepare myself and the house for labor. I had heard stories of women going into labor at work. I could not fathom working until the day the baby came. I wanted time at home first. Little did I know, that would not be the case at all!