I’ve been counting down the weeks and now days until Baby Love, KC’s Only Baby Fair on June 11 at the Overland Park Convention Center. Frantically prepping and panicking, trying to get everything done and ready for our new and expecting parents for a beautiful day of pampering, learning and fun. As a mama of five myself, I feel like prepping for an event is much like prepping for a babe. This experience is one of many that inspired us to create different areas of the event to help our KC families prepare for life with their babies, whether it’s your first or fifth, we can all relate!
When I walked into my provider’s office each week leading up to my son’s birth, I was positive she would tell me I was in labor and his head was already crowning because of the ever-increasing pressure down yonder. Each week she slapped on the glove and gave me a feel.
And each week, he stayed right where he was, despite the promise of “any day now!”
Four weeks: This was my third rodeo. My first – maybe? – natural birth. And I knew the drill at week 36. I hopped on the table, threw my legs in the stirrups like an over-excited cowboy and waited to hear the progress report. She checked and said, “Three centimeters dilated and 60 percent effaced!” Woo-hoo! I texted everyone. I called my hubby and mom. I went home and doubled my dinner recipe for veggie soup. Froze half and fed the fam the other half.
Three weeks: At this point, things had been happening. Braxton Hicks contractions were kicking in every day, making me feel like I would have abs of steel after having this baby. Also, things were getting … um … different in the discharge arena, too. “All normal and a great indicator labor is on its way,” my provider said that week. She checked and reported I was 4 centimeters dilated and 75 percent effaced! “Beautiful! Any day now!” she said. And what did I hear? “Beautiful! You’ll go into labor today!” I texted everyone. I called my hubby and mom. I went home and made a double batch of lasagna.
Two weeks: Lots of Braxton Hicks. More goo. Um … mucus plug? I was positive she was going to send me over to labor and delivery that day. She checked. “Still the same!” she said, snapping off her glove with a smile. My hopes were crushed. Wait, would she like to check again – just to be sure? I could push a little to see if that would help. She declined. I left the office feeling gypped. And mad. I didn’t call or text anyone. Not the hubby. Not the mom. I went home and angrily made a double batch of chicken cordon bleu.
One week: Hormones galore. Angry, weepy, excited, energetic, sleepy. Braxton hicks on double time. This time, as I put my feet in my stirrups, I promised myself I would NOT be upset if nothing changed. But I was 5 centimeters dilated and 90 percent effaced! Any day now. I heard, “Today, probably.” I had breezed by early labor without a single painful contraction. I texted everyone. I called my hubby and mom. I went home and began a week of doubled recipes.
The week of my due date: I thought I was in labor a couple of times that week. Contractions would start and then fizzle out. My freezer was full – stocked with dinners for the weeks after this baby would come home. My provider checked yet again. I was the SAME! Was he holding onto his umbilical cord, trying not to fall out of the uterus – which I swear was whistling when I was waddling? Nobody got a call that day. I started thinking about induction. I started thinking about living the rest of my life with this baby inside me. I baked. I tripled the goodies. Lots of angry goodies.
Three days later, my third child made his appearance … three hours from first contraction to birth. He was one ounce shy of 10 pounds, and he practically flew out of my uterus like a rocket. Naturally, beautifully. And all those doubled meals? I was set to snuggle this new baby – exhausted, in love and sore – and NOT have to worry about dinner for the next month and a half.
And that, my friends, is proof that depending on vaginal checks for when a baby will be born is stupid. But veggie soup is smart.
About the author: Kristi Wilson is a married mom of five kids – Jack, 20, Riley 13, Caitlin, 12, Grady, 7, and Finley, 3. Wilson is a retired doula and childbirth educator, and is now a work-from-home mom. She began “Baby Love, Omaha’s Only Baby Fair,” in 2011 as a way to help educate and encourage all new families through their parenthood journey and expanded into KC in 2015.