Here's the problem with pregnancy: each symptom (except for the baby actually emerging from your womb) could be a sign of at least two different things: one quite important, and one quite trivial.
FOR INSTANCE...I am one centimeter dialated, the doctor said today. This could be a sign that I am going into labor in a few hours...or a few weeks. How is that helpful? I should hope I would be going into labor within a few weeks; I'm due on the 26th!
I am also "nicely effaced" (that is a direct quote from the doctor, and I am sorry for those of you mothers who are/were just normally effaced, because the extra adjective gives it that extra je ne sais quoi). This could mean...imminent labor! OR...still a few weeks!
The baby has dropped (the consequence of going on a field trip to Yorktown and walking around a lot). This means...oh, you get the picture.
I lost my mucous plug! (Sorry, it's a gross term, but that's what they call it, and who am I to questions them?) Blah, blah, blah. You can lose it 2 or 3 times. It can grow back. It can be like a bad horror movie sequel...just when you thought everything was safe... (though in fairness, the doctor said that combined with all my other symptoms, this was not likely to happen to me).
And tonight! I am nauseated! This could be a sign of labor beginning...or that I really shouldn't have eaten the pasta salad before dinner. I mean, I knew it was a bad idea, but I suddenly really wanted it. It looked so yummy and tasty and benign, sitting there in the salad bar at the grocery store. It looked like friendly pasta salad, not Pasta Salad of Doom, but now I am writing this blog to distract myself from the sheer yuckiness while I pray that the three Tums I just swallowed will win the battle so that I can sleep, maybe, sometime tonight.
Last symptom: the baby is at a -1 station. This is lower than, say, a -3 station. A + 3 would mean that the baby was actively crowning, so a -1 isn't too shabby. It does mean that I am terribly uncomfortable, as I whined to the doctor today.
"Oh," said he, in an inquisitive tone, "are you ready to be done being pregnant?"
Instead, I tried to respond a little more maturely. "Only if the baby is ready."
"Oh," he said jauntily, "the baby is ready. We could induce you next week. But I don't know if there will be any induction appointments available. You usually have to schedule those awhile in advance around this time of year."
WHAT? I could have scheduled an induction in advance? You didn't care? This whole time, you wouldn't have minded? I thought you were all about letting the body take its course--having things happen naturally! Why didn't you mention this BEFORE? YES, I WANT TO INDUCE ON THE 15th.
I think I was a tad more polite than that.
BUT, it was all for naught. They have no appointments on the 15th...or the 19th...or anything until after Christmas. The 29th, to be exact. I have an appointment for that day, just in case I go past my due date, so that I don't have to wait forever. But the doctor also told me that he really didn't think I was going to make it to the 29th, or even the 26th.
SO, we're right back where we started. It could be hours...or days...or weeks.
But one thing is for sure: I really shouldn't have had that pasta salad.