Then & Now, 38 Weeks









Pregnant with Hooper.
Pregnant with Van.
There has been some moody days this past week. I chalk it up to being displaced while our kitchen was being re-done, then moving back into a dust ball and having to reorganize everything, and oh ya, being 38 weeks pregnant. Almost. There. I remember questioning a few weeks ago if it was “easier”, for lack of better words, giving birth the first time because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Ignorance is bliss in so many situations. Now I know the pain and subsequent recovery I am in for and I no longer question what is better because I’m pretty sure ignorance was bliss.
Can I share too much information for a second? If you don’t want to hear about the gory preparation for birth, stop reading. I’m terrified of tearing again. I had a stage 3 tear the first time around and recovery was nothing like I expected it to be. I prepared myself mentally for a natural labor and feel like I passed that test with flying colors. But those two weeks following delivery were incredibly painful. My back hurt from my inability to stand or walk upright. I was hunched over all the time and going from a sit to stand hurt like hell. To help prevent tearing this time around, I’ve started doing perineal massage. It’s not fun, hardly the highlight of my day, and just a little reminder of the pain that’s around the corner. I told Willy it feels similar to sticking your fingers in your anus and stretching it from side to side. Sorry for the awful analogy, but it’s only fair that these husbands of ours have some idea of what we have to go through. Honestly, I felt like evening the playing field and actually giving his asshole a little stretch. The first time around I fooled myself into believing that my gymnastics history and ability to do the splits in all three directions would help facilitate labor. Um ya, not the same muscles involved. Not even close. Willy has a friend who claims he read a study about labor pain being equivalent to a man being kicked in the nuts. Over the last few weeks, as I’ve been stretching my perineum, this proclamation has bothered me more and more. Can you imagine if they offered epidurals for men who have been kicked in the nuts? Or coaches to help men through the pain? What a dumb study. In any case, I digress. I’ve been moody this week and a bit resentful that I alone have to go through the pain and recovery that is labor. But truthfully, I’m just terrified. And yet, at the same time, I’m anxious for Van to get here on time… Time is of the essence, you see, because as soon as I go past my due date, my birth plan is subject to change. Again. (You can read Hooper’s birth story here). Sure, it was emotionally exhausting to go so far past my due date the first time but the worst part was that my birth plan went out the window. So I’m struggling with an inner tug-o-war: For a lack of an equivalent analogy, I’m like a man begging to be kicked in the nuts sooner rather than later. And that’s where I’m at.
Physically, there is a venomous snake apparently living in my right upper inner thigh and every now and again he likes to bite me in my groin. The pain is so sharp and unrelenting. It stops me in my tracks and I involuntarily make a face that makes my vegetable eating face appear as though I’m actually enjoying them (I hate vegetables). Willy and I went to the Dodger game the other night and I’m pretty sure the usher there was certain I was in labor. It took the entire first inning just to get to our seats. My midwives have assured me that this is normal and I’ve read of many others that describe the same pain. I know he’s far down there, I feel the pressure, I just wish he’d get off whatever nerve he’s on.

7 Responses

  • I can’t think of any other situation that is similar to being pregnant and anticipating labor — that mix of both dread and anxious excitement. I can’t imagine all the feelings you go through on a daily basis knowing you’ll have a baby THIS MONTH. AH! You’re a tough cookie. I hope the labor and recovery are smooth. Regardless, there will be a little baby at the end of it all.

  • i’m so sorry youre going through this. my biggest fear during both of my pregnancies was tearing. it was the pain of birth i t was the pain of tearing. i was lucky that it didnt happen with either of my girls and the first one was 10 lb 5 oz! i dont know if you are planning a water birth but i seriously believe that with my first that was one of the things that prevented me from tearing. my second came so quick i felt out of control but the fear of tearing again helped me to slow down and only pushed when i had a contraction (my midwives said this helps to prevent tearing as well) my first was also 5 days late and i attribute her hugeness to that, lol! i cant really offer you any more advice since you seem to be really on top of things with your massaging. best of luck and you look adorable!

  • Scrolling through your blog this morning and I find that we have more in common! I had a fourth degree tear with my first birth and that was such a big thing on my mind this time around. I also share a deep loathing for perineal message — it’s supposed to help, but it just isn’t fun at all. I hope we both don’t tear and can have awesome, wonderful recoveries, especially with having to chase toddlers!

  • just found you thru ohdeardrea and i just had to let you know that this..

    Honestly, I felt like evening the playing field and actually giving his asshole a little stretch.

    may very well be my favorite thing that i’ve ever read on a blog before. thanks for the laugh. and i know just how you feel. 🙂

  • new to your blog! i had all 3 of my babies naturally (no pain meds) at the hospital. i tore with my 1st (pretty bad). very little tear with 2nd (i’m mean so small and not painful) and nothing with baby #3! labor and recovery is easier with each child. honest! your body knows what to do and has been through it before. best of luck and try not to worry too much 🙂

    • What lovely news to hear, thanks for sharing! I’m hoping for the same quick recovery this time around. Also, just peeked over at your blog… beautiful little ones you have 🙂


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