***Shannon's (Ajsmommy) Lodge***

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***Shannon's (Ajsmommy) Lodge***

Congrats on your lodge and I am excited to start this for you!!

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Welcome to your lodge!

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Wow! Welcome to your lodge, Shannon! (I can't believe a fellow Junebug has a lodge now!!)

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Welcome to your lodge! I'm really excited for you Shannon!

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Welcome!

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Welcome to your lodge, Shannon!

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I'm so excited to have a lodge! Yippee! I'm having a bit of trouble getting my kiddo to nap, but I'll try to come back later and do an intro!

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Welcome to your lodge! I remember you from your first pregnancy (I have a 2/07 baby :))!

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Welcome to your lodge! Smile

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Welcome to your lodge, Shannon! I can't wait to follow your journey!

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Since I'm pretty new to the board, I guess I'll start with the basics Smile

I'm Shannon. I'm 31 and expecting my second child, a little boy due June 17. My DH is Will and he's 34. We both grew up in the same little town (suburb of St. Louis) but didn't meet until after high school. We now live in St. Louis city and we love being in the center of things. We have a little girl named Audrey Jane (AJ) who just turned 3 in March. We also have 2 cats - Lucius and Lydia. They are huge pains in the butt but they're pretty cute.

Right now I'm a SAHM and I love it so much! Technically I'm an attorney, but I've never really practiced. I graduated from law school and passed the bar a little over a year ago but I've done very little actual work since then Smile I wish I could stay home forever but I do think I'll probably go to work by the end of the year. Financially it's just too hard on us and I suppose I don't want to let all that hard work go to waste.

I became interested in natural childbirth while I was pregnant with Audrey. I did a little reading and research, but honestly I didn't do much preparation. At 38 weeks my doctor told me he was concerned about my increasingly elevated blood pressure and asked me to consider being induced. We agreed to give it one more week, but I didn't go into labor on my own. At this point I totally lost my focus on going natural. Luckily I had a smooth induction and a very healthy little girl, but it was not the experience I truely wanted.

I started lurking on this board a few months before we started TTC #2 in the spring of '08. I loved reading all the birth stories and lodges and got really inspired. Unfortunately my road here was a bit longer than expected, but here I am with my very own lodge!

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Welcome to your lodge! I know you will get the birth you want this time. TFS a little about you!

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Welcome, your DD's delivery and your expectations sounded alot like mine. Hope we both get what we want Smile

kvo
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I knew you were an attorney, but I don't think you ever mentioned what kind of law. What was your focus? What kind of work are you hoping to do?

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So Will and I met in the summer of 1999 (boy do I feel old). I was home from school for the summer and he had just graduated and moved back home to find a job. Like I said, we grew up near each other and went to the same high school but he's 3 years older than me so we hadn't met before that. I mean, I knew he existed because he was friends with a friend of mine and I knew his little sister, but we had never interacted. So anyway, that summer we both ended up hanging out with our mutual friend. By the end of the night I knew he liked me and I thought he was pretty cute. Technically I was seeing someone at school but it wasn't serious so I decided to ask my friend about him. He set us up and the rest is history.

We clicked right away and got serious pretty fast. Unfortunately for the next few years our relationship was pretty volitile. We broke up a number of times (mostly him leaving me) and fought like crazy. We wanted to be together, but we weren't really making it work. When I graduated from school, I moved home and in with him. That's when things got really bad. After a few months, I moved out, broke up with him and even moved to Philadelphia to try to forget him. He pursued me the whole time and eventually wore me down. I agreed to come back to St. Louis on two conditions. First, I told him we needed to get our problems straightened out, and second, I wanted to get married. He agreed and I came home in October. He proposed on New Year's Eve.

It wasn't really a suprise, but it was pretty much just what I wanted. Even though it was freezing, he took me to the same bench where we sat on our first date eating ice cream (and where we first kissed :)). I can't say it was the most romantic proposal ever, but he was really sweet. He told me that as hard as it was to be together sometimes, it was much harder to be apart. And once he asked me to marry him, fireworks started going off right over his head! It was really cool.

From that point on our relationship got easier and easier. We planned a long engagement both to get our relationship right and to save up money. We got married on May 14, 2005.


(In this picture you can see our friend who introduced us - he also married us!)

Like I said, our relationship really improved during our engagement and by the time we got married we really had our act together. It's been 5 years now and it has been so easy to be married to him. It's hard to believe things used to be so crazy. I'm so glad we didn't give up because I can't imagine not being married to him.

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"kvo" wrote:

I knew you were an attorney, but I don't think you ever mentioned what kind of law. What was your focus? What kind of work are you hoping to do?

In school I focused mostly on family law and divorce/custody mediation. But like I said I haven't worked much since then. I am planning of volunteering as a Guardian Ad Litem for kids involved in domestic violence cases (orders of protection cases) this summer. I've been trying to get my training complete before Gus comes. If I go back to work though I'm really going to have to just take whatever comes my way. The job market is not good right now Sad

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I'm sorry I'm writing my intro in pieces. It seems easier that way because I keep getting interrupted Smile Here's the rest of the story - how we became parents.

A few months after we were married, I started law school. We also moved into the house we live in now. It needed a ton of work and we started remodeling right away. Things were pretty crazy and busy and we weren't thinking much about kids. We had always talked about having lots of kids, but we figured we'd wait a little while longer (I was only 26 and not feeling too much pressure). But once we finished up the house, and I got through my first year of law school, the baby bug hit us both hard.

We thought we would start trying in the fall of 2006 hoping for a late May or early June baby. That way I could be home during the summer and not miss any school. I knew it might not work out that way but I figured we would give it a try and if it didn't work we'd wait a year. But we stopped being real careful about protection once we decided to try and I found out I was pregnant about a month later (in July '06). I was due at the end of March. I was totally thrilled but a bit worried about how it would work out. It ended up being the best thing. I decided to take a semester off and it worked out great. I had the whole third trimester off and then got to stay home with Audrey for 5 months. Graduating a little late did not end up being a big deal at all. Looking back I wouldn't have done it any differently.

I had a pretty normal healthy pregnancy. I had bad m/s until about 16 weeks, but it wasn't really awful. I did have some spotting at 13 weeks and completely freaked out. I ended up going to the ER and the whole works. Fortunately nothing was wrong and things went well after that. We found out she was a girl at 20 weeks and I was so thrilled. I had a few minor problems like swelling and I remember being so tired. But overall I loved being pregnant.

Unfortunately things started going down hill at 36 weeks. First of all I was so impatient to have her at that point. I don't know why exactly but I remember being so anxious. Then at my 36 week appointment, my blood pressure was elevated. My doc didn't say much about it until it was even higher at my next appointment. But he still didn't seem to think it was a really big deal at that point. The next week it was even higher and that's when he suggested induction. Even though I knew I shouldn't want to be induced at that point, I did. So we scheduled it for the next week.

I'll have to come back tomorrow and write up Audrey's birth story. I wrote it all out at the time, but my old laptop died before I saved it anywhere permanent. Will has promised to take the hard drive in at some point to try to recover it, but it's not really a priority right now. So I'll have to try to remember the best I can. But I'm way too tired tonight.

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Great intro and I can't wait to read Audrey's birth story when you have time. Welcome to your lodge!

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Your wedding picture are beautiful!

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Great intros so far, Shannon. Your pictures ARE beautiful--I love the b&w one Smile

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Audrey Jane's Birth Story

My induction was scheduled for midnight on Monday night/Tuesday morning (39 weeks). I was supposed to call at 10:30 to confirm. My mom arrived from Maryland that evening and she and my brother came over. We watched movies and hung out. I was getting ready to call L&D when they called me and said they didn't have any open beds. They said they would call me when something opened up (probably around 2-3am) and that I should try to get some sleep. Yeah right. I didn't sleep at all despite trying and they didn't end up calling until almost 5.

Here's the last picture of me pregnant with her - the night before the induction

So after they called, Will and I headed to the hospital. We wanted to hurry and get there while there was still an open bed. We got there a little before 6 and got checked in. We got to our room but had to wait through shift change. Our nurse came in and finished checking us in and got my IV started. By that point it was 8 and my doctor stopped in on his way into the office. He checked me and said I was a good 3cm, 90% effaced and the monitors were picking up semi-regular contractions. He wanted to break my water.

I was not happy about this. This was one thing I had told myself I wouldn't let them do early. I was already a bit apprehensive about the induction and I did not want to be put on the clock. But when I asked him, he told me that I really needed to have her that day. My blood pressure was somthing like 165/103 and he would not be sending me home if the induction didn't work. Plus he told me that I was very favorable for the induction and he didn't think it would be an issue. Thank goodness he was right because otherwise I know this would have been a decision I would regret. So I let him break my water and they started Pit in my IV.

He told me he didn't care about dialation before I got my epidural but that he wanted me to work hard for an hour first. The first hour on the Pit wasn't too bad. We were hanging out and having fun. I'm pretty sure my mom got to the hospital around then. After they had turned the Pit up twice (every 30 minutes), things started to get harder. So I started timing my hour. The contractions were about 2 minutes apart and lasting 1.5 minutes. I wasn't getting much of a break in between. But I was handling them pretty well. After my hour was up I asked for the epi, not because I was doing so bad but because I was scared to death of them turning up the Pit again if I didn't have it. I really wish I had known that not only were they not going to turn it up, the ended up turning it off.

But I didn't ask, and they didn't tell me. The anesthesiologist came in around 10:30. Once it was in, they checked me and I was 4cm and completely effaced. I was feeling pretty glad to have the epi at that point. We figured it would be a while so my mom headed out to get something to eat and Will and I just hung out. But it wasn't long before I started to have a lot of pain again. I was pretty annoyed by this because I caved and got the drugs, they had better work at least! I waited a little while but eventually called the nurse who got another anesthesiologist to re-dose me. She got there quickly and it worked really well. Right after that the nurse decided she better check me because the epi shouldn't have worn off so fast. I was 9.5cm. It was only an hour and a half after my last check. We couldn't believe it!

So Will called my mom to come back and updated the rest of our family. They called my doctor and he wisely decided that since I just had a big dose of medicine I would be best off just resting and laboring down. They left me alone and told me to call the nurse if I felt a lot of pressure or the urge to push. I remember this being a pretty fun time. Our family started to arrive at the hospital so we had lots of visitors. I was feeling pretty good except I couldn't stop shaking.

After about 2 hours the pressure in my butt was really comanding my attention so I kicked everyone out except Will and my mom and I called the nurse. They checked things out and told me to start pushing. I don't remember the pushing stage that well other than that it was really hard. I was so tired and wanted to stop pushing but if I did the contractions were unbearable. I was flat on my back and I didn't not like that, but I thought because of the epi I couldn't support my own weight. In retrospect I probably should have at least tried because it seemed pretty worn off anyway. One of the nurses kept telling me I would push for three hours and I wanted to kill her. There was no freaking way I would be able to do that. So I started pushing harder.

Eventually they brought me the mirror and that helped motivate me more. I pushed harder and harder because there was no way I was going to keep going for 3 hours. Sure enough, after about 45 minutes the other nurse decided it was time to call my doctor. At first she told me to stop pushing but after I made a horrible face she told me to just push softer. My doctor got there really quickly and that's when things became a blur. He had me push once or twice and then it felt like he just yanked her out. I was so unbelievably relieved it wasn't even funny. Audrey Jane O was born at 3:29 pm weighing 7lbs 4oz (same as her momma).

The doctor held her up and I couldn't believe how pink she was. I had seen so many birth videos or episodes of Baby Story where the baby was pretty much purple. She started screaming almost immediately. I remember saying "come here little girl" or something like that and they handed her to me. Her head was shaped really crazy (not just a cone but a cone sticking out to one side) and that's when the nurse told me she didn't rotate all the way. She came out facing my right hip. The nurse said she was really impressed I pushed her out in only an hour. We found out later at her 1 month check up that she had broken her collarbone. No wonder she was screaming.

I know they were really busy down there (cord was clamped and the cord blood was collected for donation - I'm pretty sure Will cut her cord but I can't remember). I was totally focused on her. I held her until I delivered the placenta but I started shaking really badly and they took her to get weighed and checked and cleaned up. I felt like I should demand her back, but I didn't really want to. I felt bad.

Then the doctor stitched me up. Holy sh*t that was hands down the worst part. I had no epi left at that point and I felt it all. It was terrible and felt like it took forever. At this point the crowd of family outside our room had heard her crying and was practically banging down the door to get in. I was so not ready for guests! I remember the nurses putting her footprint on Will's hand and sending him out to appease them. Pretty much as soon as the doctor was done the whole crowd rushed in the room. I was still feeling terrible and told them they weren't allowed to talk to me. Fortunately they didn't stay long. Finally they left and they gave Audrey back to me. I felt better instantly.

The nurse helped her latch on and we nursed for a while. After that she took a nap with Daddy while I called a bunch of out of town friends and family. It didn't take long for that post-birth high to kick in. I remember feeling great and being so excited.

That's about all I remember. Here are some pictures (I love pictures!)


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That was a GREAT birth story with a lot of details! What a cute little baby. I think that now she looks just like both of you! You did a great job. Several of your details remind of some of my births. Getting your water broken early, the epi wearing off quickly, the nurse telling you annoying things, etc. This time will be better for both of us! Smile

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I love the pics! She looks so similar the day she was born to her pic in your siggy. The same just older, so cute! Great birth story, TFS.

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That stinks about the stitching up. My doctor was a real pain..I was so upset about having been cut anyway that I asked how many stitches she had to do, and rudely said it's just one long running stitch. Because she knew that I would be upset.

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Welcome to your lodge! I loved the intro and enjoyed your birth story. Looking forward to your birth and getting to know more about you.

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Great story and pics...what a cute baby! Joy is right, she does look pretty much the same...cool to see Smile

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"Melychang" wrote:

Your wedding picture are beautiful!

Thanks! It's fun to have a reason to share them. After 5 years, people are tired of them.

"rainymama" wrote:

That was a GREAT birth story with a lot of details! What a cute little baby. I think that now she looks just like both of you! You did a great job. Several of your details remind of some of my births. Getting your water broken early, the epi wearing off quickly, the nurse telling you annoying things, etc. This time will be better for both of us! Smile

It will be better for both of us!

"jolly11sd" wrote:

I love the pics! She looks so similar the day she was born to her pic in your siggy. The same just older, so cute! Great birth story, TFS.

"cactuswren" wrote:

Great story and pics...what a cute baby! Joy is right, she does look pretty much the same...cool to see Smile

Aw, thanks. I think she's the cutest baby ever but I'm totally biased. She does look the same to me, but I always figured that's because I see her everyday. It's cool that you guys think she looks the same too.

Well, Will and I tried to get some things done around the house today but we didn't get very far. I'm starting to get a bit anxious about how much cleaning and organizing is left to do before he gets here. I know I still have a good bit of time, I'm just so slow at getting things done.

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"AJsmommy" wrote:

Well, Will and I tried to get some things done around the house today but we didn't get very far. I'm starting to get a bit anxious about how much cleaning and organizing is left to do before he gets here. I know I still have a good bit of time, I'm just so slow at getting things done.

It is literally never-ending. Try not to stress! I am sitting here looking at a half-painted wall which drives me absolutely bonkers, but I can't finish it myself because I can't reach to the ceiling, even with a step-stool. I always go through a time near the end of pg that I think I get get everything all set up and perfect, but it just cannot happen. Not when you are either working or you have another child(ren) to care for!

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I loved reading your intro! I love that lodges are such a great way to get to know people better, even when you sort of "knew" them before!

I'm trying to get stuff done around here too - but my nesting drive hasn't even thought about kicking in yet. Good luck getting stuff done!

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Welcome to your lodge! I love your intro, wedding pics, and birth story! You have a beautiful family. Smile

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Thanks everyone Smile

We are having a much more productive day today! I finished all the touch up painting in the nursery and it is almost completely clean and set up. If I can finish it tonight (before the Lost finale) then I can close that door and forget about it until he gets here!

Plus Will seems to be nesting today. That is so cool to me because he is not the best about helping with housework normally. But this morning he deep cleaned the kitchen. He moved every single thing off the counters and scrubbed them, and even did the floor by hand. That is so not like him and it totally made me smile.

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Good for Will! I think I would faint if I ever say my husband doing that. I hope you got the nursery done so you can have that off of your to-do list.

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"AJsmommy" wrote:

We are having a much more productive day today! I finished all the touch up painting in the nursery and it is almost completely clean and set up. If I can finish it tonight (before the Lost finale) then I can close that door and forget about it until he gets here!

That's great!!!!

"AJsmommy" wrote:

Plus Will seems to be nesting today. That is so cool to me because he is not the best about helping with housework normally. But this morning he deep cleaned the kitchen. He moved every single thing off the counters and scrubbed them, and even did the floor by hand. That is so not like him and it totally made me smile.

Mr. Right!!!!

Have you heard the news lately that daddy's can have pg symptoms including postpartum depression? Will and his nesting really puts a positive spin on that! Biggrin

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Yay to Will and his nesting! Sounds like you both got a lot of stuff done today!

I heard that on the news recently Elizabeth, the part I listened to talked about dad's having PPD. My DH claims he has pregnancy weight gain...lol...but I'll keep my fingers crossed for the nesting too!

kvo
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"AJsmommy" wrote:

Thanks everyone Smile

We are having a much more productive day today! I finished all the touch up painting in the nursery and it is almost completely clean and set up. If I can finish it tonight (before the Lost finale) then I can close that door and forget about it until he gets here!

Plus Will seems to be nesting today. That is so cool to me because he is not the best about helping with housework normally. But this morning he deep cleaned the kitchen. He moved every single thing off the counters and scrubbed them, and even did the floor by hand. That is so not like him and it totally made me smile.

Mine has been nesting too and I'm so glad b/c my mobility is really limited these days. We are not as ready as you are with the room yet, but soon.

I am looking forward to Lost tonight too but doubt I will be able to stay awake. I have to get up at 5:00 am for work.

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Will got all defensive when I told him he was nesting LOL. He insisted it was just because he got a better night's sleep Saturday night. I don't care how well rested he is, I have never seen him clean like that before. Either way I'm thrilled because my mobility isn't that great right now either. It takes me forever to do everything.

So I basically finished the nursery. I really only have one more load of diapers to wash and put away and then (I think) it's done. Those are all Audrey's old OS pockets though. All of my newborn stash is already done so there's no hurry. I'm really pleased with myself because I stenciled a boarder of elephants in the room for Audrey but I never completely finished it. It is finished now (only 3 years late). Yippee!

The bad thing is our air conditioner went out yesterday and it is really hot here (90+ temps). I am way too pregnant to be dealing with this. Thank goodness we have a window unit from when this happened last year (we're hoping it's the same issue because it was only an $8 part last year). So at least my bedroom is cool and I slept pretty good last night considering we had to let Audrey sleep with us. I have got to figure out something for us to do today though as there is no way I can spend all day cooped up in there with her. We don't even have a TV in there.

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Yuck, sorry about the a/c!!

Awesome about the man nesting Biggrin My DH has had it on and off...I am loving it when he's "on" though! He was telling me last night about an article he heard about how pregnant women send out a pheromone or something that triggers the man's body to actually produce less testosterone and increase their sensitivity to smell and hearing triggers and some other things that basically prep them to be good dads. Pretty cool, I thought!

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Audrey and I actually ended up having a pretty fun day. We spent most of the morning out in the back yard in the sprinkler and the pool. Then we took a nap in the cool bedroom. Will was able to fix the AC when he got home from work Yahoo It only cost us $10 in parts too.

kvo
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90 degrees without a/c is awful! We don't need a/c here (it's still in the 40s), but it does get hot for a few weeks mid-summer and we huddle in the bedroom with our window unit. We take in a bunch of books for Zoe, some crayons and coloring books, and watch tv or videos on our laptop. It's going to be interesting with 4 of us in that little 10x10 bedroom.

I am so envious of your preparedness. I know you are a SAHM, but I also know caring for a toddler all day keeps you pretty busy too.

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I really don't feel that well prepared Kristin. I'm so glad to have most of his stuff ready, but I haven't packed my bag yet and other than the nursery and the kitchen, the house is a trashed mess. Which probably wouldn't stress me out that much except that my mom will be staying here with Audrey while we're in the hospital.

I can't even imagine still working at this point. I don't know how you are managing. Are you working until the baby comes, or will you take off early?

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Yay to getting that ac fixed! For $10 too. I'm glad you had a fun day outside with your DD!

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Sounds like a fun morning. My kids love the sprinkler, but 90's is HOT. Glad you got that ac fixed for so cheap!
And tell me, why do we stress about having a clean house when our mothers are coming to help us? I for sure stress out more about it when it's my MIL.

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Glad you got your AC fixed! I constantly worry about cleaning my house before people come to visit, especially family. It's crazy.

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I always stress out about having my house clean when my mom comes. I don't even know why. She is coming to help. My MIL I don't worry about because she is not exactly a neat freak herself. Their house is pretty much always dirty and they don't have kids living there anymore.

I'm taking Audrey to dance class in a little bit. I usually do a 2 mile walk while she dances but I'm worried it might be too hot today. I really could use the exercise too. I guess I'll at least try and if it's too hot I'll turn back early. I'm not ready for this amount of heat this early in the year.

I have my doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. I know he wants to do a cervical check but I'm debating whether or not to decline it. I'm a little curious, but I doubt I've made any progress yet. I'm also curious about trying the hypnosis to make it comfortable, but I could do that next week too. What do you guys think? Should I just skip it?

kvo
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If you don't want it done, then say no. You will be required to get the GBS test at your 37 week check, so the cervical check can just be done then. I had mine done at 36 b/c I was concerned about an infection and requested to be checked for that, so she went ahead and did the GBS and a cervical check at the same time. That made my appt this week super fast and easy. I don't think I'll be checked again until 39 wks.

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I've already had my GBS swab (I'm negative!), so that's not a consideration. I don't know why, but my doc does it at 32 weeks. I guess I'll just wait and see how I'm feeling about it tomorrow.

cactuswren's picture
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The cleaning thing is so funny...I am totally the same way.

Yay for negative GBS! Personally I'd skip the check, because dilation (or not) doesn't really mean a whole lot at this point, and has the potential to lead to some kind of disappointment either way, which some say can actually slow things down (we are such mental beings!). But that's just me, of course!

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Yay for negative GBS! I'd skip the check, too unless something is telling you something might be up.

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I think curiousity is going to get the best of me. If my BP is up, which I expect it to be, I want to know. If I've made no progress (which I also expect) I may start EPO this weekend.

I'm really frustrated because emotionally I'm feeling so patient. I really want to let him bake as long as he wants to. Right now, I wouldn't mind going another month or so at all. But I feel like my body is going to let us down. If it was just a matter of my doctor pushing me for an induction, I have no doubt that I can say no. But the bottom line is if my BP is really high, I'm not willing to take even a small risk with his health. I feel like I've taken much better care of myself this pregnancy so it's making me even more frustrated that my body is doing the same crap it did with Audrey. Arrrr!

I'm worrying about this stuff a little prematurely because even if my BP is up today it's not like they'll want to induce me now. It'll just signal problems to come.

kvo
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I know what you mean about preparing yourself for the long haul and a possible 2nd induction. I did not have any BP issues, but my fluid was decreasing rapidly at 40 wks 5 days. I also never made progress so I'm glad they are not doing regular cervical checks.

I wish I had your patience though. I am fully prepared to go 4 more weeks even though I am sooooo miserable, but I feel really depressed at the thought of 6 more weeks.

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I hope your BP isn't even an issue at your appointment. I think it's great that you are mentally prepared for the idea of a 2nd induction though.

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