The Seven Stages of Waiting for Baby T. Rex
- Terror (“What did we do?!”)
- Excitement (So soon! OMG!)
- Nervousness (SO soon OMG!!!)
- Hope (Any day now!)
- Disappointment (Any day now…?)
- Frustration (ANY DAY NOW, YOU LITTLE POOP MONSTER!!!)
- Resignation (Cool. Just going to be pregnant FOREVER, I guess…)
Well then. Here we are. According to Waffle’s pregnancy app, Baby T. Rex is now nine days old, which is weird because Remi is still very comfy and chillin’ in my uterus.
Waffle had to go back to work yesterday, having maxed out his two-week vacation allotment. I’ve officially used up three weeks of parental leave. Well-meaning and concerned friends and relatives keep asking if the baby is here yet and letting us know we’re overdue. We know. We swear we’re not hiding it from ya’ll. The baby is not here yet. We frankly can’t wait until Remi’s here, either. We’ll shout it to the world, we promise.
The reality is that a lot of first time preggers people give birth after their due date. Full-term is between 37-42 weeks. My midwife says 40 weeks, 3 days-5 days is average for first time pregnancies. Other sources I’ve read or heard say going past 41 weeks or even to 41.5 weeks is average for first-time pregnancies. Much like when we were trying to conceive, knowing the stats and averages didn’t bring us all that much comfort as we counted down to our due date.
By the time we got to August 20th, I just felt done, cooked, ready to pop. We didn’t think I’d go far past my due date because of my early gestational diabetes diagnosis, which we’d been warned might mean a bigger baby. I’d been having pre-labor signs since about 36 weeks. I was having irregular, but frequent Braxton Hicks contractions and some random contractions that were mildly painful. A week before my due date, the baby dropped deep down into my pelvis (also known as “lightening”). I was riding a clean burst of energy for a few days leading up to the due date. I just felt like I was ready.
Then August 20th came…and went.
This past Saturday, we hit 41 weeks and there was still no sign of Remi. Everyone has been like: “Get some sleep now.” “Enjoy your time together.” “Baby will be here soon.” “They’ll come when they’re ready.” All well-meaning advice, but quite frankly we just want this baby here. ASAP. We can’t sleep anyway because I can barely roll over and I have to propel myself out of bed to pee four times a night, which wakes Waffle up because he’s anxious that I’m going to go into labor. We’ve had over 11 years of enjoying our time together. I like Waffle’s face and vice versa, but…we’re good with staring at each other. And yes, of course we know the baby will come eventually, but it’s still frustrating!
Waiting is just frustrating. That’s just how waiting is, in general. Sometimes when you’re waiting or anxious about something, you just want people to empathize with your feelings, not try to fix you. Because there’s no way to fix it! I tell myself every day, “This is normal. This is fine. This is normal.” I still get frustrated when another day passes with no Baby T. Rex. That’s just how I’m feeling right now regardless of how logical it is. I know once Remi is here, we’ll forget about the stress and this will be a funny story to tell Remi when they’re older about how we were actually losing our ability to function and doing ridiculous things like vacuuming the ceiling and organizing the tupperware cabinet while waiting for them. Right now, though, I would like my body back and my baby in my arms.
My midwives generally don’t do a lot of medical intervention or recommend it, so they weren’t too worried about me going past 40 weeks. However, because we were overdue, we had a non-stress test and ultrasound on Friday, just to be sure everything was cool in my ute. Remi was super active for the non-stress test and all seems well in there. There were no contractions during the test, which I expected. All week, I’ve had contractions that come and go, as well as pelvic pain and cramps that feel like menstrual cramps, but they’ve never escalated in frequency or fallen into a discernable pattern.
We also found out Baby T is measuring at approximately 7 pounds, 6 ounces, which is very much in the normal range for birth weight, especially at 41 weeks! (I guess I managed my gestational diabetes too well.) Baby T. Rex looked quite content to just hang out head-down on the ultrasound, just wiggling their toes and flappin’ their baby lips and having a real chill time in there.
We’re both glad Baby T. Rex is healthy and my insides are in good shape, but we wish Remi would stop dragging their fetus feet and come meet us already. Is this because I’m perpetually late? Are they already taking after me?
Over the past week, I’ve tried some of the things that supposedly help trigger labor, but none of them have been particularly effective (and a lot are just myths). People keep recommending we get busy in the bedroom, but don’t realize that part of the trick to the sex-to-induce-labor advice is for your partner to have semen, which supposedly helps soften the cervix. (Also, between feeling like a beached whale whenever I’m horizontal and dealing with almost constant pelvic pain, my interest in getting frisky is about a negative two.)
Orgasm helps in that it releases oxytocin and can trigger stronger contractions, which I can confirm is true, but if you’re not ready to go into labor or already in labor, it’s just going to give you another false contraction. I also tried nipple stimulation, which works the same way that orgasm does, trying to simulate breastfeeding and trick my body into throwing out some more oxytocin to strengthen my contractions. Same result. More false contractions, no labor progression. I’m just not ready yet.
Every day, I’m drinking four steeped bags of uterus-toning red raspberry leaf tea and bouncing on my birthing ball. I’m taking walks and doing light exercise at home and taking naps and trying to stay healthy and rested. I’ve even tried acupuncture. I’ve lost hope that any of this is making a difference. My midwife reassured me there isn’t a super secret special trick to trigger labor. Remi is going to be born when they feel ready…hopefully some day before they’re off to college.
At this point, we have a plan to go to the birthing center to be induced if I don’t go into labor naturally by 41 weeks, 5 days (this Wednesday evening, with labor probably kicking in on Thursday). At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to consider being induced until after 42 weeks, which my midwifes were open to. I can still change my mind, but I’m thinking more and more that it’s the right choice.
I don’t want to rush Remi before they’re ready, but I also don’t want to be pregnant for all eternity. Waffle and I both work and we don’t have unlimited time off or unlimited funds. We’re blessed to have a small savings to take some unpaid time off and I’m extremely lucky to have some paid time from my employer, but there’s a limit on how long we can sustain that. Remi seems healthy and fully-developed, so ultimately we’re ok with evicting them if they continue to be shy, especially when we’re coming close to 42 weeks. Of course, going to the hospital to be induced changes our whole birth plan, including where and when we meet our doula and our ability to work through early labor from the comfort of our home, but if that’s what it takes, I’m going to be flexible. Waffle and I are both still holding out a little sliver of hope that Remi will come on their own before then, but we’re not too optimistic.
I never thought I’d write a 41-week Countdown to Baby T. Rex. Our Leo/Virgo cusp baby is definitely moving into Virgo territory, whatever that means. (Mey? Cecelia?) Fingers crossed for us, folx. One way or another, Remi will be with us soon (if we don’t expire of despair and boredom before then). On the plus side, our house has never been so well-organized and writing this update is giving me something to pass the time and take my mind off the nagging cramping-that-is-not-contractions I’m enjoying today.
Kae & Waffle’s Super Exciting and Romantic Two Weeks of Waiting
Monday, Aug 15th
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Excited, Nervous, Productive
- Waffle’s Mood: Excited, Nervous, Overwhelmed
- Distractions: Caught up on DVR’d shows, went to movies and saw Pete’s Dragon (so good!), take-out for lunch and dinner
- Chores: Took cat for a nail trim, Waffle washed baby clothes and picked up house, made his and hers to-do lists (to help us focus on what we actually can do right now), KaeLyn caught up on non-work work stuff
- Baby T. Stuff: Braxton Hicks contractions, pelvic pain, lots of movement
Tuesday, August 16th
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Excited, Nervous, Motivated
- Waffle’s Mood: Excited, Nervous, Motivated
- Distractions: Ice cream run, watched 2015 Macbeth on Amazon Prime, KaeLyn worked on an adult coloring book
- Chores: Organized and deep-cleaned bedroom for the first time in four years, Waffle put together bouncers, KaeLyn worked on to-do list, KaeLyn cleaned bathrooms, ran errands
- Baby T. Stuff: Dropped lower in pelvis, irregular contractions, back pain
Wednesday, August 17th
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Excited, Hopeful, Tired
- Waffle’s Mood: Excited, Hopeful, Restless
- Distractions: Ice cream run, Waffle printed pictures for baby book, used up old play credits at Dave and Buster’s, cheap lunch out, watched Zootopia at home
- Chores: Turned off chime and replaced batteries in dining room clock, dropped off Goodwill donations, Waffle did laundry and put away stuff in baby nursery, ran more errands
- Baby T. Stuff: Cramps, midwifery appointment (all is well, made an appointment for the following week, hoping not to have to keep it)
Thursday, August 18th
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Ready, Anxious, Hopeful
- Waffle’s Mood: Ready, Anxious, Restless
- Distractions: Picked up fancy salad for lunch, mid-day napped, watched Inside Out at home (“Bing Bong! Bing Bong!”)
- Chores: Stocked up on pet supplies and food, vacuumed upstairs, ran errands, mailed some packages, picked up house
- Baby T. Stuff: Lots of wiggling around, Braxton Hicks contractions, irregular back-to-front contractions, back pain
Friday, August 19th
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Ready, Hopeful
- Waffle’s Mood: Ready, Discouraged
- Distractions: Ice cream run, Waffle taught the cat a new trick, started Stranger Things even though KaeLyn was afraid it would be too scary (It wasn’t)
- Chores: Waffle did laundry, boxed up more Goodwill donations, picked up around the house
- Baby T. Stuff: Lower back pain, irregular contractions, pelvic pain
Saturday, August 20th – DUE DATE!!!
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Cautiously hopeful
- Waffle’s Mood: Cautiously hopeful
- Distractions: Rochester Straddler #AutostraddleBrunch!, ice cream at the beach, clearance rack shopping for 9-12 month baby clothes, finished Stranger Things
- Chores: Picked up more pet supplies, random chores around the house, knocked some things off to-do lists, ran errands
- Baby T. Stuff: literally nothing happening except normal baby movements and pelvic pain
Sunday, August 21
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Disappointed, Hopeful
- Waffle’s Mood: Disappointed, Frustrated
- Distractions: Went to the movies and saw Bad Moms, ice cream and walk at the beach, watched like three hours of YouTube videos
- Chores: Chores, chores, and more chores (This house is clean.)
- Baby T. Stuff: Random-ass contractions, no other signs of labor
Monday, August 22
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Disappointed, Hopeful
- Waffle’s Mood: Disappointed, Frustrated, A lil’ angry
- Distractions: Made a pot roast together, got ingredients for some freezer meals
- Chores: Cleaned car interior, went grocery shopping, sorted tupperware and recycled anything that was really gross and old or didn’t have a lid, sorted through a random old bag of like 2,000 pieces of magnetic word poetry and removed all the weird stuff and “fuck” magnets and dirty words, reorganized the kitchen pantry top-to-bottom, vacuumed everything, lost all sense of chill
- Baby T. Stuff: Some mild contractions and cramping, baby moving around a lot
Tuesday, August 23
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Frustrated, Unmotivated, Unfocused
- Waffle’s Mood: Frustrated, A lil’ depressed
- Distractions: Ice cream run, started watching Worst Cooks in America: Season Three on Netflix, made a white lasagna and froze it
- Chores: KaeLyn picked and dried herbs from the front porch kitchen garden, packed and froze a bunch of chicken breasts, cleaned the bunny & wiggle bedroom/habitat, put away things in baby room, random chores and errands
- Baby T. Stuff: Same old contractions and cramping and pelvic pain, another day
Wednesday, August 24
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Disappointed, Cautiously hopeful
- Waffle’s Mood: Disappointed, Increasingly depressed
- Distractions: Finished Worst Cooks in America: Season Three on Netflix, took a nap, took a walk at Ontario Park and found a million Pokemon Go players there, Waffle made nightshade-free curry chicken, watched episodes of Face Off in bed, ordered a white garlic pizza
- Chores: Bare minimum household chores, totally done with to-do lists
- Baby T. Stuff: Midwifery appointment: had a cervical exam and found out I’m 50% effaced and baby is in +1 position which means…kind of nothing. Labor could happen any time or not for days. Agreed to plan to induce if labor doesn’t begin by mid-42nd week.
Thursday, August 25
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Tired, Bored, Very Ready
- Waffle’s Mood: Depressed, Frustrated, Bored
- Distractions: Greasy diner breakfast to get out of the house; played the Wizard of Oz game at Dave and Buster’s for, like, two hours; Waffle went clearance rack shopping for baby clothes at Kohl’s; randomly decided we needed to find a good deal on a new Crock Pot; started Hannibal: Season Three on Amazon Prime
- Chores: Went to the grocery store literally three times in one day, took a nap, household chores, dropped off seven+ year old mystery rolls of film at Walgreens to see what develops
- Baby T. Stuff: Started counting contractions that seemed to be coming every twenty minutes, horrible mid-back pain that made it impossible to lay down or sleep outside of a hot bath
Friday, August 26
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Bored, Defeated, Resigned to being pregnant forever
- Waffle’s Mood: Upset, Anxious about going back to work, Super frustrated
- Distractions: Watched more Hannibal, took a nap
- Chores: not much left to do
- Baby T. Stuff: Woke up feeling totally fine with minimal pain and lots of energy like it was four weeks ago almost, no contractions all day, went for ultrasound and non-stress test
Saturday, August 27th – 41 WEEKS OFFICIALLY
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Resigned to being pregnant forever, Feeling blank
- Waffle’s Mood: Anxious about going back to work, Defeated, Overwhelmed
- Distractions: Finished Hannibal: Season Three, took a nap, took a walk on the beach, had a ridiculous fight about nothing (dinner and who would decide what to eat and where, specifically)
- Chores: Not much left to do
- Baby T. Stuff: Cramps, irregular contractions, pelvic pain, endless nothingness
Sunday, August 28th
- KaeLyn’s Mood: Resigned to being pregnant forever, Emotionally preparing to be induced
- Waffle’s Mood: A little better after paying bills and figuring out a budget for unpaid leave time, Anxious about going back to work that night
- Distractions: KaeLyn worked on writing, Waffle read fanfic, Waffle’s sister and neice visited for a bit, went to the all-you-can-eat buffet for dinner (regrets)
- Chores: Not much left to do
- Baby T. Stuff: Bloated and crampy all day, lots of baby movements, few contractions
4 Random Baby-Making Feelings I’m Currently Over-Processing
1. Goodbye, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen GD
My blood glucose numbers have been coming down into normal-ish range consistently since 36 weeks. That’s been really awesome. Because I was prediabetic before getting knocked up, I’m interested to see how my numbers will be after birth, when I’m completely done being preggers. I’m holding out some small hope that white rice can return to my life. You gotta’ understand that I literally ate white rice for the first year of my life for, like, every meal in Korea. Maybe I won’t eat a whole pint as a stand-alone entree in one sitting anymore, but I’d love to be able to have, like, a scoop with my entree. Is that asking too much?!
2. Things I’ve Googled This Week:
- labor signs cramps
- common early labor signs
- how to tell if you’re in early labor
- prelabor or labor contractions
- what do real contractions feel like
- best app for timing contractions
- first time mom average delivery date
- first time mom past due date
- past due should I induce or wait
- labor signs back pain
- how to induce labor naturally
3. Jeter’s Best Week Ever
Unlike his human parents, our cat has had the best two weeks ever. He’s just ecstatic that we’ve finally come to our senses and quit our jobs in order to be with him 24/7. We finally understand our role is to attend to his every need, give him cuddles and endless treats, and be available to him at all times. He’s just thrilled that we’ve been getting up earlier (out of circumstance and restless nights, not choice) and has taken to yelling in our faces every morning around 7:30/8:00 AM.
Jeter has a world of disappointment and confusion coming his way as soon as we come home with a new small human family member, so we’re trying to be extra kind to him. Even though he’s acting like a spoiled brat cat lately.
4. Virgo, Baby
We were anticipating a Leo/Virgo cusp baby, but we’re venturing clearly into Virgo territory now. In fact, it’s highly likely Remi will come into the world in September instead of August. A friend who was pregnant at the same time as me and whose due date was just five days before mine has an adorable baby who is now a little over three weeks old. Another friend whose due date is two weeks after mine is now looking like we might have babies closer in age. Due dates mean nothing, ya’ll. I mean, seriously, they don’t. They’re somewhat arbitrary and based on a 28-day menstrual cycle and only 5-10% of people give birth on their due date. We knew this and still put too much stock in our due date and ended up feeling disappointed.
But I digress. Anyway, baby Remi is going to be a Virgo and according to what I’ve read online, Virgo’s perfectionist tendencies play out in babies who are finicky eaters and know just what they like and don’t like. They like hands-on learning and playing with toys more than watching TV. They like routines and rules. I don’t know any other Virgo kids. Does that sound right to ya’ll who are Virgos? Time will tell! I wonder how a Virgo baby feels about being kicked out of the womb before they want to come out.
Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. And A+ members keep the majority of our site free for everyone. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you’re able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?