Hey, guess what? Breaking news – or should that be breaking water? I’m leaking. Really leaking. A lot! Even women gestating elephant calves don’t have *these* kind of bladder control issues!

Waiting for the midwife to call back… still no contractions.

And you know why my water is breaking as we speak? Because tonight is Survivor Fans versus Favourites AND the new episode of LOST, and they’re on back to back on different channels and I don’t know how to set the VCR to tape both of them. (Yes, I’m about to go into labour and my biggest dilemma is which show to tape and whether I have enough time to learn how to set the VCR. I’m just that shallow.)

Edited to add: the theme of this pregnancy really is turning out to be “hurry up and wait.” Since I’m still not having any contractions (but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind – nor my soaked pants! – that this is the real deal) I’m just supposed to hang around here and wait for something else exciting to happen. The midwife will call me around lunchtime to see if contractions have started and talk about next steps, which will likely include another 40 km round-trip drive to their office this afternoon for another assessment.

Really, I’m sure there are more important things I’m supposed to be doing right now…

In which I give up my last morsel of dignity in exchange for blog fodder

Okay, I admit it: it’s been fun dragging y’all along on this crazy ride with us. While I tend to never do things the easy way, I had no idea there would be this much suspense and drama in awaiting the arrival of the player to be named later — and you’re right, I’ve been milking it for all it’s worth!

But suddenly, I’m thinking that maybe I’ve been a little bit too forthcoming with every excruciating little detail. Maybe there is such a thing as “too much information” after all. You are all dying of curiousity, I know, and I find myself in the unenviable position of having to admit to the Internets that apparently, um, er, well, I just peed my pants last night after all. No amniotic fluid. No water breaking. No pending labour. Oh, the indignity of it all.

So now we know one thing at least: apparently there is no level to which I won’t stoop for good blog fodder. That, and this is one stubborn baby.

Off again. On again? Off again. On again?

The last 24 hours have gone something like this:

6 am Tuesday: been awake for two hours. Waiting for hospital to call with time for induction.

7 am: Midwife calls. Induction is canceled.

9 am: Send boys to nanny’s house. Spend large part of the morning sulking, then decide to shake it off. Haul out sewing machine to finish receiving blankets. Watch episode of House on DVD. Read book. Try to nap, but startled awake after 10 minutes by sound of cat falling into the toilet.

2:30 pm: Call midwife to enquire about afternoon appointment for stretch and sweep and possibility of ultrasound this week. Told to come in for 3:30 pm.

3:30 pm: Midwife gives me appointment slip for ultrasound at 6 pm. Does stretch and sweep – I am now 3 cm+ dilated. Tells me the hospital is so overbooked that three priority inductions have been bounced until tomorrow. My induction is rescheduled for NEXT TUESDAY!!! We discuss various options, but decide to await ultrasound results. If baby is fine, no reason not to just continue waiting it out. We joke about how ridiculously healthy I am — blood pressure is low and steady, urine test is clean, there is nothing we can manufacture to elevate me on the priority list. There remains the possibility that I get bumped next Tuesday as well. This may well turn out to be a Valentine’s Baby after all.

4:00 pm: During the half-hour drive home, I go from being comepletely demoralized at the idea of having to wait for another week to cheerful and relaxed again, thinking that if more waiting is the worst news of the day, I can handle that.

6:00 pm: Ultrasound shows baby is perfectly healthy. Lots of fluid, placenta looks strong. Tech measures baby’s femur and takes a long look at Beloved and I and asks how tall we are. She says this will be an exceptionally long (but likely skinny) baby. Still in the 9 to 10 lbs range, in her estimation, but tending toward long and lean (like Tristan) rather than round (like Simon). I feel very much reassured and settle in to wait it out.

10:00 pm: I go to bed, read for a few minutes, and fall asleep.

1:15 am Wednesday: Wake up with hips locked (as usual), needing to pee desperately (as usual). As I turn over, there is a gush of — something. I get up to pee, but can’t tell if it has been a urine leak or my water breaking. I go back to bed, thinking if it really is my water breaking, it will make itself known soon enough. Suddenly, I am having very strong, very real contractions, and have about five of them over the next hour. Before they fade away to nothing.

2:00 am to 6:00 am: Try desperately to go back to sleep. Use relaxation techniques, visualization, deep breathing, walking around the house, but nothing works. No more significant contractions, but baby is hyperactive all night. I vacillate all night between “that was my water breaking” and “go back to sleep, it was nothing.” Each time I start to fall asleep, restless legs twitch me awake again. It’s hard to believe that I will be *more* sleep deprived than this after the baby finally arrives.

6:15 am: Simon arrives and crawls into bed with me. I give up on sleeping. Will call midwife after 7 am to check with her. Mild, sporadic contractions continue.

Edited to add: Another appointment this afternoon after 3 pm to check the nature of the fluid. Will just hold out and hang around to see what the day brings, I guess!

In which her baby continues to refuse to be born

Okay, seriously? This is not so funny any more.

My induction was canceled. Tomorrow doesn’t look very promising, either. And of course, there is a stunning absence of any sign that this baby might make his own way out into the world.

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at this point. I’m not even sure what my more rational options are. The midwife will call this hospital again this afternoon to see what the situation looks like for Wednesday and Thursday, but she sounded pretty doubtful. Because I’m not a “priority” (and only a baby way overdue or in distress will make me one, despite his massive girth) there’s not much to be done. She said I can come by the office later this afternoon for another “stretch and sweep” but since the first one didn’t do much, I’m not holding out much hope there.

She really surprised me by saying that if I’m desperate for the induction, she can transfer my care to an OB and they can schedule the induction at one of the larger hospitals in town, where the midwives don’t have privileges, but I’m just not sure that’s the right course. At least, not right now.

I’m only worried about the health of the baby at this point. I can wait it out if he can. The only thing I’m going to push for today is an ultrasound to make sure he’s still doing alright in there, as I haven’t had one since just before Christmas. (With Simon, they deemed me ‘high risk’ because of his size when I went past 40 weeks, and I was having ultrasounds every second day. I realize the high risk designation would also take me out of my midwife’s care and into an OB situation, but I think one ultrasound is a reasonable request. She said we could discuss further this afternoon after she’s had a chance to talk to the hospital again and when I go in for the SNS, but said their ‘protocol’ definitely calls for one when I’m 41 weeks. I don’t think I want to wait for Friday for this, though. Wait for the induction, fine if I must, but I want the reassurance of that ultrasound. They’ve got me too freaked out about his size — not getting him out, but just his general well-being in there.)

Sigh. I guess y’all get to enjoy yet another couple of days of me bitching about my uncooperative uterus. Lucky you.

Thoughts on induction and actually having this baby

So it looks like I’ll be induced after all. Am I surprised? No. Am I disappointed? Yeah, a little bit. I have been looking forward to the surprised delight of that moment when I really *knew* I was in labour — the escalating contractions, the surprise water breaking (not, as I had feared what seems like years ago, on the bus!), the phone calls to summon family and labour partners, the excitement of spontaneity. Simply packing up and driving to the hospital as if for a regular old appointment is rather anticlimactic after the endless scenarios I’d been envisioning over the past few weeks.

Induced labours are also a little harder on the body, with more powerful and intense contractions. I had been non-commitally thinking that maybe I’d try this labour without an epidural. Third labours are supposed to be shorter (gawd, after 27 and 23 hours, it couldn’t possibly be longer!) and in both previous labours the anesthesiologist had such a hard time getting the damn epidurals to work that I was practically drug-free for Simon anyway. (For Tristan, I ended up dead numb from my ankles to my rib cage after the second epidural, because the first one wouldn’t ‘take’.) So because I am feeling no fear right now, and because I know I can do this, I’m considering a drug-free birth… in the cool calm of the penultimate evening, at least.

I’m surprisingly calm about the idea of the labour and delivery. This may in fact be some form of denial on my part. Honestly, I’m actually looking forward to it. Knowing this is the last time I’ll ever be going through this, and having absolute relatively strong confidence in my ability to birth babies, makes me look forward to the whole thing with anticipation. The midwives have helped me hone this attitude, too. I feel confident that they’ll be there to help me navigate the pain in a natural sort of way, and as long as we get things rolling tomorrow as planned, my favourites of the midwifery team will be there. I’m curious to see how different the experience is with them. They know I’m willing to try med-free, but I’ve also said that I reserve the right to change my mind and that it’s important to me that they respect my decision if enough time remains for the epidural and I change my mind. Since I’m already around 3 cm dilated, who knows how long we’ll have? (Then again, given my current inability to sustain a set of contractions, who knows how long this induction might take?)

So the deal, as I understand it, is that the hospital will call me some time very early tomorrow morning with instructions. I imagine they could tell me anything from “be here in an hour” to “come in for 8 pm” to “we’ve just had a baby rush, we’ll have to put you off until tomorrow.” I’m only 40w4d as of tomorrow, and baby is in no distress, so the only thing that puts me on the priority list is the fact that he’s enormous and growing by the day. My fundal height is already way over 41 weeks, so he’s a big’un. Tristan was 9 lbs and Simon 10 lbs, so another 10 lbs-er isn’t out of the question. If they induce me during the day, my mom and Beloved will both be able to attend the birth as the boys will be with our darling nanny, but I can only ask her to look after them until dinner time or so. I’d really like my mom to be there, but she’ll have to take care of them for the evening and overnight, so I’m hoping for a daytime labour and birth!

Whatever time I’m summoned to the hospital, they’ll try cervadil first, and break my water if the baby is low enough. (Simon was minus 3 station even after a dozen hours of induction intervention at the hospital and so high up my cervix that they simply couldn’t break my water without risking cord prolapse.) Pitocin is the absolute last resort, and with Simon they had cranked the drip up to the maximum through the endless induction and still he almost didn’t come out. We were just discussing the possibility of a c-section (at which point I cried like a baby in fear and disappointment) to go in and get him when my water broke and he came barrelling out within an hour or so.

After all this time, it seems kind of surreal to be sitting here thinking about the fact that I’ll likely (but not definitely!!) be having this baby tomorrow. I’m sure there are things I’m supposed to be doing, and I have been extra cuddly with the boys this evening, but I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact that the time is actually nigh!! I’ve been teased so many times by the potential of his imminent arrival that I just can’t believe that it is actually going to happen — talk about cry wolf!

(Speaking of cry wolf, just as I am about to hit “publish” on this long and rambly post, there goes the first contraction I’ve felt in about eight hours. O treacherous uterus, you do vex me so…)

Lessons learned from a post-due baby

I wish the last three weeks of this pregnancy could have been as blissfully content as the last four days or so have been. Starting with a quiet day to myself on Thursday, each of the last couple of days – even including the snowstorm – have been such a nice contrast to the constant low-level tension I’d been feeling in the back-and-forth, hurry-up-and-wait anxiety of the days since I finished work. I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt so calm, so centred and so content. Calm before the storm? Probably, but I’ll take it!!

Yesterday, the midwife did the “stretch and sweep” and I went from 2 cm to just over 3 cm dilated, which is great. With Simon, it took about 12 hours of medical intervention at the hospital to get that far, so I’m quite pleased. Still no regular or significant contractions, but tonnes of pressure. Today, tomorrow, Tuesday — it’s all good!

The midwives would really prefer that I go into labour on my own, rather than waiting for the induction on Tuesday. I think they’re more anxious than I am at this point! They suggested I try one last level of ‘natural’ induction before Tuesday, so after my appointment yesterday I headed out to the homeopathic chemist to get some Blue Cohosh or Caulophyllum. I waited until this morning to try it (I take a couple of tiny tablets every hour for three or four hours, and if nothing happens by then, it won’t work) and so far I’ve had some more mild contractions but nothing notable.

By now, I’m a walking encyclopedia of induction techniques! Here’s what I’ve tried:

  • sex (fun, but awkward while gestating an elephant calf)
  • spicy food (not much of a stretch for me – they make up a regular part of my diet. I also tried Chinese food for lunch one day last week. Nothing!)
  • driving down a bumpy road (this one was not intentional, but Riverside Drive – the road I take to get to my midwife appointments – is a mess of frost-heaved pavement and potholes, thus quite the bumpy ride!)
  • exercise (I spent more time in the gym last week than I did in the past six weeks. Funny how I could do 25 minutes on th elliptical trainer, but not walk for 10 minutes.)
  • red raspberry leaf tea (I gave up on this mid-week last week.)
  • evening primrose oil (swallow one capsule at bedtime and take the other as a pessary)
  • nipple stimulation (very effective for bringing on immediate contractions, but ultimately ineffective unless your body is really ready to give birth. That’s what happened to me last Thursday with the all-night contractions.)
  • accupressure on a point in the webbing between thumb and index finger, and just above the ankle (same as nipple stimulation – effective to bring on immediate mild contractions that stop pretty much as soon as the pressure stops.)
  • having the midwife strip my membranes (uncomfortable, and marginally useful in increasing dilation. Left me with an achy kind of cramp for most of the day, and only sporadic contractions.)

The midwife also asked me how I felt about castor oil (no thanks) and accupuncture (too cheap to spend the $50+ on something that I’m not sure would work, and am relatively sure would be unpleasant!), so those are the only suggestions that I haven’t tried so far.

By this point I’ve had 12 continuous hours of false labour (10 days ago), lost my mucous plug (five days ago), and had a huge burst of nesting energy (three days ago).

The final analysis? You can neither predict nor induce labour on your own. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will encourage a baby out of a comfy uterus before he is ready to move. And given the fact that I’m now three for three on overdue babies, I must have one hell of a comfy uterus!

At least I’m consistently late

Hey, that’s not right! The counter on my baby countdown ticker went to zero yesterday and is now going in reverse, showing one day to go. No no no, I EARNED that “due date plus one” designation. What do you think of these tickers instead?



(Cutesy overload, I know. Good thing I’m not having glucose issues with this pregnancy.)

Regardless, I’m quite grateful to the Player to be Named Later for holding off yesterday. Aside from Simon’s birthday, we received about 30 cm (12 inches) of snow, and I don’t think the commute across town to the hospital would have been pleasant. It’s clear and blue this morning, and looks to stay that way for the next couple of days.

My darling midwife called yesterday and asked if I could come in for an off-hours appointment today. She’ll likely do a “stretch and sweep”, where she’ll stimulate the production of prostaglandins by separating the bottom of the amniotic sac from the wall of my uterus — hopefully, inducing labour. She also suggested a castor oil cocktail, but I just can’t bring myself to go that far. Feel free to violate my nether regions, but don’t make me poop this baby out. Even I have my limits!

And, here’s the really exciting news: my official hospital inducement has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 5. It is, of course, subject to operational capabilities of the hospital (meaning I’ll be delayed if there is a sudden baby rush) but safe to say that baby will be making his big debut by the end of next week at the very latest.

“Third child syndrome”

I had another appointment with the midwife yesterday. The synopsis: Yep, still pregnant. Yep, still huge – baby continues to be in the 90th percentile for size, meaning he’s bigger than 90 per cent of babies at this gestational age. Yep, mommy and baby still healthy and hearty, if not a little stressed (he’s fine, I’m a little frazzled). Yep, we’ll see you at your appointment next Wednesday — if we don’t see you before that.

I was telling her what I posted about yesterday, that the waiting is not the worst thing but the false starts and rather nauseating pattern of raised expectations and dashed hopes. She smiled knowingly and with sympathy and said, “Oh yes, the third child syndrome.”

The what? There’s an actual SYNDROME and nobody told me? Apparently third babies tend to do this. They toy with mother’s sanity, playing these coy games. She assured me that fourth babies do not do this. I said it’s a wonder there ever ARE any fourth babies, after all this!!

She also made me laugh when she observed that the midwives say there is a certain “look” in the eyes of near-term mothers. At first, I thought she was meaning that there is some sort of ephemeral sign they can read, meaning the baby’s arrival is pending. But no, this is more of an emotional barometer, maybe a little bit too much white showing around the edges of mom’s eyes, or a bit of a twitch, that indicates a woman has had entirely enough of being pregnant, thank-you-very-much. And yes, she was reading hints of *that* look in my eyes. Snicker. I coulda told you that for free!

Not only is tomorrow baby’s official due date, it’s Simon’s birthday AND they’re forecasting a winter storm. I figure after nine months of desperately hoping that I don’t actually deliver on February 1, this combination of circumstances virtually guarantees that he will in fact arrive tomorrow. Murphy’s Third Child Law or something like that! And if he doesn’t come tomorrow, I’m thinking we’re going to have to go in and get him. I signed the paperwork yesterday to start setting up the induction for some time late next week. Damn stubborn babies who don’t listen from BEFORE day one — sheesh!!

So, I’ve been rather self-centred lately — but very much enjoying all your comments and kind words. It’s a beautiful sunny (if not a little frigid) morning here in Ottawa, and I’m about to drop the boys off at the nanny’s house for the day. Life is really not so bad, ya know? What’s lovely in your corner of the world today?

The one where the baby is *still* mere hours, days, weeks or maybe months from being born

I’m trying to be patient, I really am! But it seems like every time I settle in and convince myself that there is nothing to do but wait it out and enjoy these last few days, my body throws something new at me that gets me all excited again — for nothing!!!

While my labours with Tristan and Simon were quite different in a lot of ways (with Tristan I went into labour spontaneously two days past my due date, and with Simon I was induced 10 days past my due date) in the end they were both fairly linear in their progression. Once labour started, it moved, albeit at differing speeds and stages, pretty much unerringly toward birth.

Not so much this time around. Believe it or not, I’m fairly content with the waiting. At the most, this baby will be here sometime in the next 10 days or so, and that seems perfectly reasonable to me. It’s the “Ohhh, I think this is it, here we go!!” excitement, followed by the letdown of “Oh, never mind, we’re back to waiting again” that’s really starting to fray my nerves. First there was the 12 hours of progressive contractions last Thursday, after which it took me about three days to get my head back into a place where I was content to wait it out another week or more. Then yesterday with the lost mucous plug, I really thought we were good to go, until my midwife confirmed that in the absence of other symptoms, it really doesn’t mean much more than “Baby could come any time in the next couple of days or weeks.” Whimper.


You might remember my sweet bloggy friends in Toronto and environs got together and chipped in for an absolutely gorgeous hand-made baby blanket and pillow for the Player to be Named Later. Yesterday, just as I was trying to wrangle my excitement over the non-progress of the lost mucous plug back into perspective, the doorbell rang. It was the postlady, with a package from Marla.

In the package were the blanket and pillow and an equally adorable little taggie blanket for baby to play with, and there was also an extra little care package from Marla and Josie.

Baby gifts

Look at these and tell me they are not the most adorable things you’ve ever seen!!

Baby Chucks!

Marla has predicted that Baby was simply waiting for his care package to arrive, and would make his grand entrance within 24 hours of me receiving it. So Canada-Post-As-Oracle dictates that he has until shortly after noon today to arrive. Hmmmm, unless this is a *really* sudden and fast labour….. but I’m secretly hoping she’s right!!

Thank you again to Ann and Andrea and Jen and Nicole and Kate and Nadine, and especially to Marla and Josie. I love all of you!


Or, maybe the Player to be Named Later is just waiting to see the outcome of the Canadian Blog Awards. Today is the final day for voting, so if you haven’t done so already, this is your last chance to vote for us! Don’t do it for me, do it for Baby! (Shameless, aren’t I?)

Playlist for labour, and your latest update – now more convenient!

My brain is moving even more incrementally slowly than my cervix. Two days ago, I posted about a song that made me think of the end of pregnancy. Yesterday, I posted about my iPod. Today, how about suggestions for a playlist for labour?

A while back, I had a post about the best pregnancy songs, and y’all had some great suggestions. Labour is a different creature altogether. You want some loud, harsh music to drown out the contractions, some soothing songs for those quiet lulls, and some high-energy music to inspire you through to the finish. (At the very least, I’ve gone through and made sure all the Christmas music has been removed from the iPod once and for all. I can only imagine how irrationally irritating it would be to be labouring along and suddenly have the Twelve Days of Christmas stuck in my head!)

Any thoughts on what you had or would want on your delivery-room playlist?


I’ve had a Twitter account for half a year or more, but never actually got around to using it. For those of you who don’t know it, Twitter is a way of broadcasting what you’re up to, in 140 characters or less. It reminds me of the “status” feature on Facebook. So, rather than sticking up random blog posts, I can keep y’all updated through the Twitter badge over there in the sidebar, just under the (really rather annoying and kind of creepy) Babywatch ticker. If I wasn’t so embarrassingly technologically inept, I could probably figure out how to send updates from my cell phone. But I am, and besides, Beloved is carrying the cell around like a talisman these days, waiting for his summons!

So, as long as I’m within arm’s reach of the computer (and those of you with whom I’m currently playing Scrabulous know is most of the time!) I’ll post an update at least every couple hours. All DaniGirl’s Uterus All The Time — does it get anymore embarrassingly narcissistic exciting than that?