Getting Nearer

Crossing into the 33 week point, I know things are getting closer. The closer I get, the more I pray that I make it to December this time. I was at the doctor last Friday and everything is going fine. Then Monday night I had “an episode.” It’s pretty common for me (and most pregnant ladies, I’m sure) to get mild contractions throughout the third trimester. It’s when they’re regular that you need to be concerned.

Well, Monday night, I was feeling sore. Mostly because I mopped the kitchen floor on my hands and knees earlier that day. I’m sorry, but the Swifter just doesn’t clean it good enough and it was really bothering me. It was stupid of me to do, and I think I’ll just have to rely on the Swifter for the rest of this pregnancy and deal with it.

All afternoon my back hurt, but around 6pm contractions started. 20 minute intervals quickly turned into 10 minute intervals, which got my attention. It didn’t help that Silje and David were constantly fighting, and hitting and yelling. Elias was in destruction mode and was going from room to room destroying something. I was trying to sit down and get my feet up, but my 3 little ones were making it basically impossible.

I got supper in them, and tried to sit down. No one was listening, or eating. This was not like them. My kids are normally pretty good. I put on a movie for them. (After supper? Gasp! They normally never get t.v. time then, but I was getting desperate.) Even that didn’t help much as they were kicking each other on the couch and pushing each other off and screaming about what the other did.

By 7, a few of the contractions were getting seriously close to 5-7 minutes apart and I started freaking out. With Knut gone, my mind was racing to figure out what to do with the children. Should I call his mom and have her watch the kids? Should I call the hospital without getting a chance to sit and rest to see if they go away first? I finally decided to just put the kids in their beds. Yes, it was seriously early. Lights were off by 7:30 (30 minutes before their regular bedtime), although no one was asleep. Knut came in for his supper at that point, and saw me in my “freaking out” mode. I’ve had some kind of preterm labor with each previous pregnancy, and I knew I needed to sit down and relax.

This wasn’t Knut’s first time dealing with me having preterm labor either, and he knew like I knew that we’d most likely end up in the hospital before the evening was over. So he took a moment to get me set up downstairs with a movie, a gallon of water, a bowl of ice cream, and he rubbed my neck for a minute, which always relaxes my body in a hurry.

I heard the kids running around upstairs, but ignored it and stubbornly kept my feet up. Eventually, everyone ended up back in their beds and were asleep. From that point on the contractions immediately slowed to every 20 minutes, and then disappeared altogether like we had hoped. So we decided not to go in.

However, when I woke up the next morning, the baby was decidedly lower. Wow, she’s sitting low. This worries me because I don’t want her sitting so low this early…possibly moving thing along faster than I want.

So just when I feel like my housework is caught up again, I have to mentally force myself to let it go and sit down as much as possible. Feet up, drinking water. It’s getting down to that tough part of the pregnancy where I have to say “no” a lot when everything in me wants to say “yes!” I always feel like I can do things, and it’s only after I do them that I feel the repercussions.

My kids have come sooner and sooner. Silje was born on her due date, right at 40 weeks. (Soooooo like her. Punctual and by the book.) David was at 37 weeks, and Elias barely slipped into the category of “preterm” at 36 weeks, and his lungs showed it, hence the week in the NICU and 2 hospitalizations since. Ironically, I didn’t have any preterm labor contractions with him. My water just broke spontaneously at 36 weeks with no warning.

Not only that, but David was born at 37 weeks and was just fine! It made us realize how very crucial every week in the womb is to a little baby.

So now at 33 weeks, I’m getting nervous. I’m getting jumpy. My mental goal is 38 weeks, although after going through the NICU, I’d go 2 weeks over with little complaint if it meant a healthy baby. I know girls tend to have more mature lungs at birth than boys, and so if she does come at 36 weeks, she’ll be less likely to have the lung issues that Elias did. That is a bit of a comfort.

I’m kicking myself for letting contractions continue on for an hour and a half that close together without getting them to stop. I’m hoping and praying I didn’t shave weeks off this pregnancy with that episode. I need to plan for what I’d do if that happened again, but soon I won’t have to worry. Evenings are the hardest for me, physically, and Knut will soon be home when it’s dark. I think this little snow storm which allowed him to be home a lot more for a couple of days is pretty well timed as well.

So say a prayer, and keep your fingers crossed for me that we’ll make it all the way to December this time! It’s coming up quick!


  1. says

    Oh, Gretchen! Just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you and this Little Girl that she would make her arrival in God’s perfect timing and wouldn’t need any NICU time! Take it easy Mama and remember to relax – way easier said than done – I know! Praying for you!!

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