August 25, 2005

Pouring Rain

It's been a figurative downpour these last couple weeks...

I'm having contractions on a pretty regular basis, but nothing that turns into anything substantial. After 5 hours of contractions one night, Baby's heart rate increased into the 170's (it should be in the 140's to 150's). It went down eventually, but I was told to go in to the hospital the next morning for a no stress test. They wanted to make sure Baby didn't have the cord wrapped around his/her neck or anything like that. Baby's fine, just enjoying the opportunity to play with parental expectations, I guess!

Friday of last week we got a call that my paternal grandmother was in a car accident with a Ford F350 pick-up towing a goose neck trailer of metal pipes. The accident was Grandma's fault; those in the truck had only minor injuries, but Grandma was killed. She was 83, and she'd had a stroke a little over a year ago; the family had been bracing ourselves for the last year that she probably wouldn't be here much longer.

All the same, bracing for something to happen and expecting it to happen on a given day are two different things. Within two days Grandma's five children, two remaining siblings, 16 grandchildren (6 of whom are married, 3 with kids of their own) and a bajillion family friends and extended relatives had been contacted and started making travel plans. We had people coming in from Monterrey, Mexico; New Zealand; San Francisco; Atlanta; driving from eastern Pennsylvania - the family group alone was 41 people. The family spent time together last Sunday night; family viewing was Monday morning, visitation Monday night, funeral #1 (in her current hometown) was Tuesday morning and funeral #2 (in the hometown where she and Grandpa lived for close to 40 years) was Wednesday morning.

One of my hopes headed into the weekend was that I wouldn't go into labor before it was all through. As the days progressed, I started leaning the other direction. Going through labor, yes, but in a private hospital room with nurses to run interference for me - and the added benefit of distant relatives getting to see Baby before they headed back home. Most visiting family members are now on their way home, though, and Baby's still doing dance routines on my ribs. Ah, well.

DH [Dear Husband] and I went out for supper last night at Subway. In the midst of my sandwich, slightly hunched over the table, I got an upward kick in my sternum that felt like a sucker punch to my chin. It was strong enough that I snapped into an upright sitting posture with a sort of dazed look on my face. If I can be charged with child abuse, can babies in utero be charged with parent abuse?

I'm REALLY ready for this little person to be born.

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