02 Apr 2013

(This is Part I of III about Jannik’s birth. Catch Part II, here)


Week 38 of pregnancy was killer. Anabelle was born during week 38 so I was expecting the baby to come any day now. Then Anabelle and Henric got sick over the weekend, both with fevers and nastiness. By the following Tuesday, they were feeling better but I had developed a sinus and ear infection. A trip to the doctor provided some relief with the news that with an at-term baby, I could pretty much ingest any drugs I wanted. Loaded with decongestant, nasal spray and cough drops, I spent the rest of the week balancing rest and Anabelle – all the while reversing my “get this baby out” mantra into “please don’t let me have this baby feeling this crappy.”


We watched a LOT of television. Way beyond the usual one-show-a-day rule. The only relief was that through the sinus headache and pain from coughing, I suddenly no longer felt any of the aches of pregnancy in my hips or back. My chiropractor claims this is totally normal. The mind can only process so much pain so, above a certain threshold, we quit perceiving lower-level pain. This made me consider praying to go into labor because I would either get relief from the head and cough-ache or not feel the pain of labor because of the explosion in my head…


When my sister Jayme arrived on Friday, it was total elation. My sinuses were draining and my newfound addiction to nasal spray was working miracles. I had a nasty, hacking cough but now there was someone to help! We spent the weekend brunching with friends, skiing (me watching, them doing) and hosting a Super Bowl party.


By the time Monday rolled around with my week 39 appointment, my calendar was cleared and I was ready to have the baby. The baby, though, was not ready to be had. The force of all my coughing was helping to move him south (apparently he wasn’t happy about all the hacking tremors and was attempting to exit) but the canal locks were not opening. I was a total of 0 dilated.


Wednesday arrived and Jayme and I spent the morning getting manicures and pedicures and the afternoon chasing Anabelle around Greenlake on her bike. By late afternoon I started getting antsy because I hadn’t felt the baby move all day. Two hours of various positions and trying out every internet trick to get him to move, I still couldn’t feel him and I was getting nervous. I called our midwife and headed over to her house for a stress test.


Within a couple of minutes, it was clear the baby was fine and moving normally. Apparently all the coughing, combined with the massive stomach stretching had caused my abdominal muscles to go numb. He was moving, I just couldn’t feel it anymore. This also explained why it miraculously wasn’t hurting in my stomach anymore every time I coughed.


Once back home I ate supper and settled in to watch bad tv for the evening. When labor started with Anabelle, I was at a David Sedaris reading, listening to him make fun of the special privileges pregnant women think they should be afforded for a disability they inflict upon themselves. I pride myself on sitting through the whole show and driving through my contractions 30 minutes home alone.  I like being able to say I went into labor at a David Sedaris show; someone I respect, admire and thoroughly enjoy reading.


My labor this time started while watching Nashville.


  • Christina - April 2, 2013

    You and Henric hosted a Super Bowl party? That seems so unlike you. Are you sure? Yeah, I read a detailed birth story and that’s what stuck…

  • melissa - April 3, 2013

    It was a church thing and thank goodness, no one actually watched the game…’cause we don’t have cable and I was super worried leading up to it that the antenna would keep shorting out and there would be some die-hard fans getting frustrated at our bad reception.

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