The Almost Early Arrival

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Baby Rattle

“We aren’t going to take any extreme measures to stop you from delivering this baby at 34 weeks.”

That statement caught me off guard. I knew when I showed up in Labor & Delivery at my hospital three weeks ago that they would probably give me some shots to try and stop the labor, just like they had done with my first baby. During the first pregnancy, I had gone into labor while driving to DC on business travel. Solo. Michael was several hours away. (Note: It’s very hard to concentrate on safely navigating the sometimes harrowing traffic conditions on the Capitol Beltway while having labor contractions only 3 minutes apart.)

But I was only 28 weeks along the first time, and the doctors were more aggressive with therapy because the baby could have some problems if he arrived that early. So after stopping the labor with a few shots, they sent me home with medication prescribed. With light bedrest, heavily restricted activities, and no travel, we kept the pregnancy going and made it all the way to the day before my due date.

But this time was a little different. The doctor explained that when you get to 34 weeks, the baby can survive outside the womb and even probably breathe on his own. He might have to stay in the hospital for 5 to 10 days, but the odds were stacked in favor of him being healthy. They had to balance the pros and cons of being aggressive and prescribing labor-preventing drugs with a baby that was near term. The doc gave me the shots, which stopped the labor, and then she let me go home. No bedrest or medication prescribed, but she did have some activity restrictions. “Stay off your feet when you can.” Right. I have two very active boys, ages 3-1/2 and 2, so I couldn’t be off my feet as much as they or I would like. The rest of it I could manage: stay out of the heat, stay hydrated, no lifting, no vigorous activity.

So with those instructions and the help of Michael and some good friends, we’ve made it to 37 weeks (tomorrow). The baby could still come early (baby #2 was 10 days early), but at least we are now in the “safe zone.” I have to say this wasn’t easy, particularly since the preterm labor sent me into nesting overdrive! I got home from the hospital that night and began obsessing about everything that I still had to do to prepare for the new baby.

I’m going to keep cooking and blogging as much as I can until the baby arrives, though I must admit to feeling a bit tired lately. Plus the thought of standing over a hot stove or grill is not very appealing at the moment. Michael has been a big help with the cooking, and he made a fantastic pasta sauce last weekend using all grilled vegetables. I’ll post the recipe soon.

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