Just in case any one is wondering (because phone and email are strangely quiet and all that), I'm still pregnant. Yesterday saw another antenatal appointment, and really, all is well and I feel so much better than I did last time around at this stage, when I was effectively housebound and anything but a happy camper. Depending on which EDD I go with, I'm somewhere between 41+2 and 40+2 weeks. I've decided to go for the middle one of the three officially.
I've entered a very strange place which does resemble how I felt in the last stages of pregnancy with Cubling (then, I went into labour at 42 weeks exactly). It feels lonely. People are either too busy in their own complicated lives or simply reluctant to contact me and bother me with the question of whether I've had the baby yet (although I've never ever felt that to be an annoying question though I know that many people do - so I understand why people don't phone), and I'm reluctant to contact friends because conversations will focus on the imminent arrival of Tiddler, when really I'd rather have an average chat about anything at all.
So the phone is quiet, the email is quiet. No visitors, no playdates (to be fair, Cubling is at nursery rather a lot so not exactly free for playdates), just me in the house, plodding on and waiting for those cramps and Braxton Hicks to become something more defined. The irony is that in this place, I could and should reach out and pick up that phone, but do I do it? Nope. I'm quite happy to hide myself in my little hole. I feel strangely and uncomfortably removed from the world, in this suspending state of waiting for labour to start, while around me people are working, travelling, planning their diaries weeks ahead, taking part in fun or not so fun events.
On the good side, baby is 2/5 engaged, which never happened with Cubling. I had a stretch and sweep yesterday and lots of cramping afterwards in the evening, but not a single proper contraction. On the bad side, baby engaged back to back in spite of all my efforts to get it to turn, and I'm worried senseless that my placenta will give up on it in the next few days (a worry which is totally ungrounded, and never even occurred to me last time around). The midwife asked me how I felt about induction, and to be honest, I'm not sure. I want this baby out healthy - it's not that I'm keen to end this pregnancy early or not be pregnant any more, it's more the thought that baby will be safer out than in. BUT, I loathe the idea of hormones being put into my bloodstream (got enough of them already) and the (perceived) lack of control that brings with it. "Perceived" because really there's pretty little control when it comes to pregnancy and giving birth anyway, but at least it feels like my own body is doing it rather than a drip. The midwife felt that artificial rupture of membranes would probably do the trick and I wouldn't need a drip. Yes, that's better, but boy do I remember how bad contractions got after my waters broke last time. I mean, I was labouring comfortably for 28 hours only to be swept off my feet into pure agony when my waters broke at 9cm. I'd rather have my membranes intact, thanks very much.
So for now, a second sweep is scheduled for next week, at 41 +4 and I guess an induction date will be set at that appointment. Unlike other hospitals, the Southern General is quite hands off and really leave the decision to the woman which is great, but it also leaves you with a sense of responsibility which sometimes can weigh a bit heavy. So I burst into tears at yesterday's appointment and didn't quite know why. The midwife alarm bells rang and I was bombarded with an ammunition of questions if everything was alright at home, if I was worried about anything and so on. No, no and no again, I'm just hormonal, emotional and built close to the waters anyway and that sweep hurt, and I may go into labour any time now and HAVE A BABY. Ok, I had 40 weeks to prepare, but somehow it's not real until you're almost there and you, the midwife, tell me that you've just touched my baby's head (which amazing, wonderful but I'm also unspeakably jealous that you touched its head and I haven't touched it yet). I'm really very ok, but if I'm allowed to burst into tears, I would hope that 40+5 would be a good time for that, considering how long we've tried for this baby, all the memories it brings back and the worries about what life will bring in general because I've lived long enough to know that life isn't ever a smooth ride.
Cubling in the meantime is the loveliest girl you can imagine. She is genuinely looking forward to the baby, who she wants to call Schneefloeckchen (little snowflake - her idea) for a girl or Jordy for a boy. There are kisses and hugs, "Baby komm raus!" calls, and she's also been telling me that it's been a long time that the baby's been in mummy's tummy. I don't tire of all the hugs and cuddles we're sharing, her coming into our bed some mornings, because I'm acutely aware that these one to one moments are precious and counted.
Amidst the worry there is so much love for my little girl, there are so many beautiful and special moments. I just hope that she'll manage to adjust as well as she lets out to do right now. The same hope goes for me really.
Enough navel gazing. Hopefully I'll have something to announce before too long.