September 20, 2007

Quick Update

* I might be a little over-extendeded. Yesterday I ran up a curb on the side of one of our major highways going pretty fast. Sitting on the side of the highway while my husband came to my rescue and changed my flat was one of the most relaxing moments I've had in a while.

* As the above might suggest, my blood pressure check today was not impressive. 151/100--my worst yet. I was sent directly back to the hospital for monitoring, where again it dropped back down to more acceptable levels as I lay in the bed for a few hours. Baby looks great and all other labs are normal, so this is probably just a case of pregnancy-induced hypertension, and not the scarier pre-eclampsia. They will continue to monitor me regularly to make sure it doesn't get worse, but they don't seem too worried.

* In addition, I have to do a 24-hr pee test, where I collect ALL of my pee in a 24 hour period and then drop off the whole big refrigerated jug of it for analysis. Having a giant collection container around kindda reminds me of the IVF cycle, and I find it weirdly reassuring.

* We had a fun moment in the hospital. We'd been there for hours waiting for the OB to finish a C section before he could discharge me. We were alone in triage and J was getting agitated. Practicing my parenting instincts, I said "Go see what you can do with one of those rubber gloves." See photo above. It was taken moments before the OB walked in. I couldn't believe he didn't stop when the door opened, but he couldn't hear it with the glove over his ears. The doctor was standing there grinning at him when he took it off his head, and said "I've obviously left you all waiting WAAAY too long!"

* I GET TO GO TO BOSTON!! Check in with you all when I get back!

September 18, 2007


Or well, I'm suppossed to be. Doc was not happy with my blood pressure again at today's biweekly check, so I'm to take it easy all week, work extra hard on getting lots of fluids, rest on my left side as much as possible, and get it rechecked on Thursday.

If that doesn't help, they're going to recommend I NOT go to Boston this weekend for one last visit with my sister before baby. Which I was SOOOOOOO looking forward to. For many reasons, not least of which was the phone call from my five year old neice the other day that went like this:

Me: Hello?

Her: Hello Sarah. What are you doing?

Me: Nothing. What are you doing?

Her: Umm, I miss you. When are you coming to visit me in Boston?

Me: *tears springing to eyes* Very soon I hope.

If they tell me it's still too high to recommend travel I think I will just go anyway. Is that insane? There are lots of hospitals in Boston, afterall.

Battling with allergies lately is making it way harder to stay hydrated (although never realized there was a hydration/blood pressure connection before? guess it fits with the whole salt thing). Also, when they told me before to rest on my left side as much as possible, I thought they meant when I rest, do so on my left side as much as possible. This made sense because I know resting on your right side or back can smush some arteries or something and restrict blood flow. I didn't realize they actually meant to go lay down (on my left side) as often as possible throughout the day. I work from home and it would be feasible to go lie on the sofa for a few minutes every so many hours, but that's seriously going to add to my 10-14 hour work day. And no I really can't lighten up my work load, but I will try to take more of it lying down.

Wish me luck at the recheck on Thursday! I'm off to go lie to the left now....

September 16, 2007

I'm an Extra Large Boy!

Highly embarrassing pregnancy photo follows at end, escape now if you choose to do so. But first, my thoughts on our childbirth class yesterday...

I LUUUUUV baby class! It was so worth it. I had two main reasons for going:

1) to figure out where I was supposed to go etc. when the time comes

2) to get my husband involved and give him some preview of what we're (I'm) in for, so he can be prepared to help and support me.

Side benefit I wasn't expecting:

He had to give me a back rub for about fifteen minutes and we're supposed to practice this "relaxation technique" for the next few weeks! He does not EVER do anything like this for more than 30 seconds, certainly not an entire minute. I didn't even mind when he told me he was surfing his iPhone during the massage.

There was a part of me that was considering not going. I'm not real big on controlling the experience, I sort of want to leave most of that in the hands of the professionals. I read through some of the things you can include in your birth plan (How do I want the lighting? I want the docs to be able to see what they're doing!), and a whole detailed plan is not for me. For one thing, so much will just be up to what happens when we get there, so I'm going in with no expectations or set ideas of what I want to have happen.

I was also unsure about the class because I didn't want to hear some long preachy sermon about natural childbirth and minimizing medical intervention. Pain medication? Bring it on! You only get offered the good stuff legally so many times in life. How do I feel about a C section? I might need one. Hopefully I won't. Who knows? It doesn't seem worth getting hung up on a preference at this point. My feelings about what I want out of the experience are very basic: healthy baby, healthy mom. How we get there is not entirely up to me. But the class wasn't all preachy and high-horse about it.

It is true that (as another blogger recently said), most of the information I got out of the class can be found in the various books I'm already reading, but I found it really helpful to have all the key stuff in one easy digest. For one thing, I will never get my husband to read the books. I could maybe give him a highlighted paragraph and ask him to read it, but this is pretty much the only vehicle for the level of information we heard yesterday. If nothing else, I feel much more confident that he will have an idea how to be supportive of me over the next two months and during labor.

My one complaint: I have to have my hospital bag packed in two weeks! We had to take this class a few weeks early because of a couple of holidays coming up which cause the class to be every two weeks (for a few hours each Saturday, over three Saturdays). Part of the second class is everyone brings their packed bag and they discuss what you need or don't need, etc. Normally you'd have your second class around 34-35 weeks so it kind of makes sense to be packing by then I guess. But at 30 weeks? It's way too soon! If I feel like my bags are already packed and I'm ready to go, the next 10 weeks are going to drag on FOREVER!! Not the worst problem I could have, I realize.

On to the photo...I have been wanting footed fleece pajamas forever, so when I found extra-large girls size at Target I thought...mayyyybeee..... But no. Way to small. Way too short from the crotch to the armpits. I was so disappointed. Had such high hopes for snuggling in them. When I returned them I noticed the extra large boys size. Boys are taller, right? So maybe....YES! They are a little snug and now I'm enveloped in race cars, but I love them!

September 9, 2007

Let's Get Physical

I haven't talked much about preganacy symptoms so far, mainly because they're not very interesting. Also in the beginning with all those early pregnancy symptoms I was still in such a state of disbelief. Now that I'm into the third trimester it seems worth mentioning, since other pregnant bloggers' recounts helped me know what to expect.

* By far my biggest complaint is what I refer to as my ring of fire--a band of itchy, burning, yet strangely numb skin about an inch or two wide that runs along the bottom of my bra. I think this is caused by the nerve endings beneath the skin being all scrunched up and smashed together where my belly sort of comes in to meet my upper rib cage. It's hard to explain, but it's miserably unformfortable. It makes wearing a bra torture, so I use my bra back extenders and wear them super loose. This has been going on for months now and has driven me to the always-flattering muumuu look.

* My bladder has returned to its first trimester competency. I have to pee all the time again, but also I seem to have a little less control. After I go I have to sit there for a second to make sure I'm really done, otherwise there's a tiny trickle when I stand up. Also, a tiny squirt when I sneeze. Spending the third trimester in the heat of allergy season should be entertaining.

* I'm practicing sleeping in 2-3 hour intervals. I used to go a good 5 hours or so before I'd have to get up and pee, then go back to sleep for the rest of the night. Last night, I peed five times between 10pm and 2am, then slept until 5am before I had to pee again, then finally got up for good around 8. In addition to the bladder issues, the back and belly pain is getting really uncomfortable. I got this maternity pillow and it helps a lot, but it's sort of hard to climb in and out of for all the pee trips.

* Speaking of that, my back and belly discomfort has been there for some time but it's definitely increasing and I suppose it will just continue. If I'm active for more than an hour or two, running errands, etc., I get pretty sore and really need to sit or lie down. Then again, if I sit in one position for more than an hour or two I need to stand. But that never really helps. The only place I'm really truly comfortable is my bathtub where everything kind of floats, so I spend a few hours there each night.

Incidentally, if you ever need quick passage through a crowded mall during pregnancy, simply hold your belly for support with a look of slight agony and exhaustion on your face and huff and puff a bit as you go. Shoppers will avert their eyes and cling to the furthest edges of the corridors to avoid being called upon to help deliver a baby. I didn't do it on purpose, I was just really uncomfortable, but it worked like a charm.

* The latest symptom (and the strangest) is the pelvic stretching and expansion. It's a very weird feeling and it makes walking a bit uncomfortable. Also, the same hormone that loosens your ligaments to allow for the stretching is loosening things everywhere causing soreness in all my joints, mostly hips and knees which get flexed the most.

Honestly I've had it pretty easy, with no morning sickness or serious complications. I even passed my glucose test (thank god!). I think this is all just the normal discomfort you have to expect when you've got another human growing inside your body. Luckily though, I'm 70% bionic (click in the lower right to find out how bionic you are):

See What You're Made Of - Visit The Official Site

September 5, 2007

Entering the Third Realm (NOT in the meditative sense)

Phew, work has been INSANE lately! I've missed all the blogs and look forward to catching up with you all; no doubt it's going to take a while! Thanks to those of you who emailed to check in on me. Things are fine, just working my ass off and haven't had time to update. Here's what's happened in the last few weeks:

I had a minor terror when I got one of those annoying emails announcing that I was about to enter my third trimester and better make sure I have a car seat ready, etc. I was NOT ready for that! Logistically we are very ready. Car seat is ready, nursery is ready, any last necessities could be purchased last minute if need be. Even though I know the third trimester can stretch on seemingly forever, I wasn't mentally ready to accept that I was there.

That weekend my sister came for her week-long visit culminating with my baby shower. The shower was amazing, like a dream party from a magazine or something, everything gorgeous and coordinated and perfect (can you even believe the cake she MADE? of course it matched everything AND was delicious). But the best part was having them here for the week; my sister and her two kids. It was busy and flew by way too fast, but it was so great too. And then the shower...I can't believe how many people showed up and all the fabulous stuff they gave us! It was quite a haul, and since I'm pretty much the only childless person I know, all these experienced moms gave me really great useful stuff. It was a bit overwhelming, but wonderful too.

Then a weird thing happened. Somehow over the course of spending the week with my sister, then the shower, and then putting away all the great gifts I sort of got a little excited. Like we might actually have a baby and it might actually be really cool. I've been making these tiny steps away from utter refusal to hope and believe (thanks, infertility), but this was definitely a HUGE step. All those people who showed up at the shower didn't seem to be playing along with this imaginary pregnancy in my delusional mind; they actually seemed to think it was real and they all seemed so excited about it. And the crazy thing was, that didn't seem odd to me for a change. It was finally real to me too.

They say you need your first trimester to accept the fact that you are pregnant, your second to convince you that there is an actual baby in there, and the third to make you actually want to push it out. Maybe infertiles arrive a little late to each level of acceptance, but the good news is we get there! I'm working my way towards that third one now. These days having the baby in utero seems pretty damn convenient. I take her with me everywhere I go (hands free!), feedings are taken care of, diapering is a non-issue, and it hardly makes much difference whether she sleeps. There are no hours-long crying jags in the womb.

I am of course eager to meet her and hold her and play with her, and I LOVE babies, but I just know too much about what lies ahead. I have seen the dark side, when things get really difficult after a few weeks, babies have a colicky or fussy stage, moms are sleep deprived, breastfeeding is a struggle, and a million little daily challenges drain the life out of you. All around the time I'll be expected to start paying attention to work again and my husband, finished with school at the end of this semester, will start a new job. I know we'll get through it and the highs will outweigh the lows (at least in time), but if there's one thing infertility has taught me its to expect the worst and hope for the best so I guess I'm just preparing myself.

So for now my feeling is, bring on the pain and misery and discomfort of the third trimester. That's the only thing that's going to make me want to push this baby out!