Patience, Grasshopper

by Jen on May 8, 2008

in Does this baby make me look fat?,Rant of the Week

The baby is at 0 station now. And that’s it for progress.

Otherwise, I’m still long, close, firm and posterior. I’m at 157 pounds, so that’s just under a pound gained from last week (32 pounds overall). The baby’s heartrate was 144. (“Best beat I’ve heard all day,” the doc said. I was tempted to ask if he thought he could dance to it.)

When Dr. Maestro walked into the exam room, his opening line yesterday was, “I thought you were supposed to have gone into pre-term labor by now.” Funny guy. He should see about joining Lewis Black (I love Lewis Black) on tour. We talked about induction, but obviously I’m not inducible. He said he’d only give me a Bishop’s Score of 2 (a -1 station and a 0 station have the same score!) and he won’t try to induce unless it’s at least 6.* He won’t even give me one measly point for having a previous vaginal birth. Before I left, he did say if he had any excuse to induce, he would. So, as usual, I am to call him if I have spotting or a leakage of fluid or anything. Otherwise? I got a cheery “See you next week!”

I’m trying to be very Zen about the whole thing (or, I guess if we’re using Kung Fu references, I might want to specify Shaolin Buddhist, but Shaolin is a Ch’an, or Zen, Temple, so to my Western mind, same difference.). I’m trying to practice patience. This is the same lesson I had to learn while trying to conceive; when it comes to babies, there is no planning. I have to stop trying to control every aspect of this experience.

I’m trying to come up with some affirmations to repeat to myself when I start trying to control or plan this birth. This baby will come when it’s ready to come. I’ve done this before and I can do it again. I’m only 37 weeks; why rush things? I need a good mantra. I know mantras are really more of a Hindu thing, but, hey… if I’m stealing from Eastern religions, I might as well take as much as I can get.

But I did make a couple of concessions to my new plan-of-no-planning. The first was to start drinking some red raspberry leaf tea, which won’t necessarily make me inducible, but might help me push out a giant baby. I know, I know… I’m grasping at straws. You’ll see: Bigger straws are to come.

The second concession was to ask for help from my faith-leaning friends, asking for prayers. This is a big step for an non-theist, although I do believe in the power of positive thinking and visualization. Last week I mentioned the need to be inducible to my sort of generic Christian friends (especially the one who prayed for me to get pregnant and then — hey! — that month I did! and then she prayed for the baby to be healthy at the amnio and — hey! — he was!) and asked for their “help.” Yesterday I upped the ante, recalling the friends from last week and bringing in the big guns. I called my stepmother and asked her to put in a word with her mother. Two important characteristics about my step grandmother: 1) She’s a devout Italian catholic, so she’s the closest I can get to a direct line to the Pope and 2) she died two years ago (at 93 years old), so she might actually know the Catholic god now. Like personally. I also called my oldest friend in the whole wide world (oldest in the sense that we’ve known each other since we were about two years old). Her religious creds: daughter of a rabbi who is the son of a famous rabbi (wish I could tell you who, but since I keep this blog is anonymous, I don’t want anything pointing back to me. Suffice it to say, there are streets and the like named after him and the family in Israel) and she’s studying to be a rabbi herself. My thought was — before I went all Grasshopper — hey, my doctor is Jewish, maybe I need Jewish prayers in order for them to work. Oh, yeah. Rational thoughts from the non-believer. Everyone was very supportive of my new-found insanity and offered their help.

My biggest concern is really that my fears will impede the success of this birth (the power of negative thinking, in this case). I’m incredibly worried that I won’t be able to push a large baby through my pelvis or that if I do somehow manage, I’ll end up with a fourth degree tear. I know that thinking like this is counterproductive.

So, I need to be patient and I need to be positive. Easier said than done. But I’m working on it. I keep hearing the master’s voice saying, “Snatch the pebble from my hand.”

*Since many docs won’t induce until a score of 8 or 9, I’ve at least got this going in my favor.

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