My birthday was on Tuesday and it felt like a somewhat important milestone for me because I thought that turning 36 was what would define me as being of "advanced maternal age," but as it turns out, any pregnancy at age 35 or later is considered a "geriatric pregnancy" so apparently I've been plain old this whole time.
It's kind of strange because I feel no different than I did at 21 when my first OB/GYN called me a "spring chicken." I went from spring chicken to geriatric in 14 short years! Those 14 years flew by.
Rachel, my spring chicken baby, made a birthday cake for me. She carefully researched the most diabetic-friendly cake she could find—a carrot cake (vegetables!) with applesauce (that's healthy, right?) and cream cheese frosting (cheese is protein!). It was a very delicious cake (I had a slice because I technically haven't been diagnosed with gestational diabetes yet, though I'm sure that's coming).
"Then get on board!" Andrew said with great enthusiasm.
With Rachel I'm not really sure when labour began, though I do note in my blog post that I recognized some contractions in the morning when I got up for work. But then I was just...at work all day. I went to lunch with my coworkers, which is when they began noticing I wasn't quite feeling well. I left work early because I was having "a few contractions" and thought I'd go home to rest, but instead ended up having Rachel less than three hours later. As I mentioned, I was dilated to 9 cm by the time I got to the hospital.
With Miriam I woke up in labour at 4:25 AM and she was born at 7:45 AM; I arrived at the hospital dilated to a 7 (if my memory serves me correctly), and was there for under two hours before she was born.
Benjamin is, of course, an anomaly. I certainly didn't think I was actually in labour with him. But I was at a 5 when they checked me into the hospital. Two shots of Terbutaline (and less than an hour later) and I was already at a 7, though my labour did slow down, apparently, because I was in labour for about 8 hours, I think. And that was the goal all along. They were hoping for 24 hours, but 8 was all they got.
With Zoë I was GBS+ so I knew I needed to get to the hospital with four hours to spare (so I could have two IVs of antibiotics that take two hours to administer before she was born). Somehow I only ended up with one dose of antibiotics before she was born, but I think that's because they were slow to administer them. I kept harping at them to get on it... I woke up with contractions at around 6:00 AM and she was born shortly before noon. If my memory serves me correctly (why didn't I always write down the same information for my labour stories?!), I was also dilated to 7 cm by the time we got to the hospital (and we left for the hospital about an hour after waking up).
And with Alexander, of course, I reached the hospital dilated to 10 cm, ready to push, with my water breaking as I was checking in at the desk. I was also GBS+ with him and didn't get any antibiotics (so we had to stay two nights at the hospital to make sure he didn't contract anything). I am not sure how long I was in labour with him...because when do Braxton Hicks contractions end and real labour begin?
That's a hard question to answer.
I know it's early to be thinking about all this. But Atlanta traffic can be awful so this is a legitimate concern. Let's all just cross our fingers that when the time comes, the time is 2:00 AM (because traffic's usually pretty light then).