I was planning on writing this yesterday, but never got around to it. Work is just crazy and they’ve had to put a temporary hold on one of the grants I’m writing due to some budget issues at the state level.

Anyway, I had my 36 week appointment on Tuesday and everything was fine – my blood pressure was up again, but I attribute that to my fear over having my first internal exam. Let’s just say that I had a right to be nervous. Yowza! I figured it would be like having a yearly internal exam, but it wasn’t. I was wondering how long she was going to be up there…and why the heck they have to go so far. For a second, I thought about asking her to just pull him out while she had her hand so far inside me. After all of that, I find out that I am dilated to 1 cm, but not effaced at all. As I said before, this doesn’t mean that much. I could have the baby tomorrow, or I could walk around like this for the next few weeks.

I went up to labor and delivery for my weekly non-stress test. My blood pressure was almost back to normal by the time I got there, so I was relieved. Towards the end of the test, the nurse came in and asked me when I had seen the doctor. I told her that I came straight from my appointment to the test. She then took the printout from the test and left the room saying, “I need to call your doctor.” I freaked out! What was wrong? Was the baby not moving enough? Are they going to have to admit me immediately? She finally came back and told me that the baby was doing just fine (we passed again!), but that I was having a lot of contractions. Who knew? I felt nothing aside from a dull ache that I figured was just from having been violated in my doctor’s office. Obviously no one was too concerned because they unhooked me from the monitors and sent me on my way.

Now other things are happening. My body is showing signs that it is getting ready for the big day. The frustrating thing is that it could be tomorrow or it could be three weeks from now. After today’s issues I’ve decided that I really need to get my hospital bag packed and have the baby’s stuff packed. That makes it seem all too real. I’m starting to panic. What if I don’t handle the pain well? What if I freak out? What if I’m really not strong enough to get through this?

I try to be funny about the exams and the tests, but the truth is that I’m really, really scared.