Almost 38 weeks, a visit with Dr. Cullen, and the Little Stretchmark That Could

Since maybe Monday of this week, I’ve been saying to myself “Crap, I REALLY need to update my blog.” I mean, here I am, at the point where I thought the updates would get closer together and much, much more exciting. But the reality of late pregnancy is that it is a somewhat boring, occasionally depressive time of waiting, feeling a contraction or two (and boy, are they fun) that you know isn’t going to get you to Labor & Delivery any faster, enjoying two bites of your dinner before you start to feel full, going on a crying jag just to spice things up, and waiting some more. Did I mention the waiting? Yeah. Lotta that going on here lately.

At the moment, I am 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant. There are either 15 or 16 days left until my due date (depending on whether my period started on Dec. 5th or Dec. 6th…I wouldn’t know, as I was out cold in a dead sleep). After speaking with my doctor at Wednesday’s fairly uneventful appointment, I can also tell you that – at a maximum – there are 22 or 23 more days until I’ll be meeting my son. Because if he’s not here by 41 weeks (around Sept. 18th), they induce. It’s just their policy, and while many women would fight the policy, I simply do not care any more. Call me complacent. I won’t argue with you.

Of course, I’d much prefer that Russ arrived on his own accord and of his own volition, and so I’m trying just about anything you can think of to naturally induce labor. Infer from that what you will, it can’t be too far from the truth. The doc tells me that I’m not dilated yet (CRAP!) but that my cervix is softening and thinning (good). My hope is that within a week or two, that might change. We’ll see.

Now, on the topic of those innocuous “cervical checks” that I’ve often heard women talk about so casually…what are you, MASOCHISTS!?!? Here I was thinking that it was gonna be one skinny little finger up to hoo-ha and “What a pleasant surprise, you’re dilated a whole centimeter!” (yes, I know that being dilated a centimeter means absolutely nothing, don’t try to reason with me at this late stage of pregnancy). Yeah, that is NOT how that appointment went. The sentiment was more like “Um…(sucks in a breath)…ouch…ow ow ow ow OW OW OW OW OW……did you just shove a BOWLING BALL up there?! OWWW!!”

It didn’t help much that the doctor performing my cervical check looked like some in-between approximation of Zack Morris meets Carlisle Cullen, heavy on the Cullen. Clearly my baby daddy is a bit more rustic than that aesthetic and I was never much on Zack Morris myself, but it’s still incredibly awkward to have someone with that smooth a forehead and that perfect a hair style wince under his breath, “Yeah…not much going on up there.” Thaaaaaaaaaaaaanks.

I guess one final point about this week in my pregnancy (other than the fact that my work week has been not-my-fave-ever and is going to extend right on through the weekend…which would be fine, if I weren’t so predisposed to wanting to sleep more lately as it is) is that the little stretch mark that could has finally arrived at the station. I remained cautious but optimistic, slathering myself in Bio-Oil and Body Shop Shea Body Butter for the last almost 9 months (no kidding…I started buttering the belly at only 5 weeks pregnant in preparation for the stretch that I knew was coming). And I guess I should feel lucky that it took almost the full pregnancy before one stretchmark appeared, but I was really starting to think I was going to get out of this without a single one. Crap. I guess it could be true that this might be my one stretch mark, a virtual tattoo of the pregnancy that I will one day look at and touch wistfully while watching my by-then-enormous son empty my fridge for the fifth time that week. But at the moment, I’m a little bummed and just feel sort of defeated in general. And for reasons I can’t fully pin down. Maybe we all hit a point in pregnancy where we start to feel like the entire world is tweaking our nose, saying “See, I told you that you couldn’t do this!” But I have to believe that this is just fear and progesterone talking (whichever one is ruling my existence these days). Maybe in a few days, Jonathan’s predictions will come true and I’ll go into labor. A girl can hope, anyway…

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