Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bump on a Blog

When I lost my first baby I had at least 6 pregnant "friends" on my FB and I ended up having to hide some of them from my newsfeed because every post was a pregnancy complaint. Not only did it re-break my heart every time it happened, but it also made me angry. Why were they blessed with a child they didn't appreciate when mine was taken away? I wanted to scream at them, "Don't you know how lucky you are?" Sometimes I did remind them that they were lucky and they would tell me to "just wait" until I was pregnant and I'd be complaining, too.

Well here I am, about 50 hours away from the end of my pregnancy to report my progress. I have yet to publicly complain about any physical symptoms and I know everyone is on the edge of their seats dying to know the truth. Was it really that easy and painless? Was I bluffing to save face? Or was I censoring myself to spare the feelings of others who may have lost children?

And the answer - It really was that easy. I might have been put through the emotional garbage disposal every time I turned another corner but as for all of the horrible dreadful things pregnancy does to a woman's body, it just didn't happen to me. I had one day of morning sickness, only mild sporadic cramping, no stretch marks or itchy skin, no carpal tunnel, no braxton hicks, no swelling, no digestion problems, no getting up every hour to pee. I am going to have a baby in 2 days and I still don't know what a contraction feels like. Aside from my dehydration episodes which only lasted as long as it took to swallow some Gatorade, I've been just peachy.

Just so all the hormonal pregnant people who aren't as lucky as I was don't come chasing after me with baseball bats, I'll admit that these last few weeks have had their challenges. It really feels like there's a bowling ball between my legs which makes the inside of my thighs very sore, so sore that trying to put on a pair of pants can bring me to tears. And every time I shift in bed, even just a centimeter, lightening bolts of pain shoot down my thighs. Turning over in bed has become similar to ripping off a band-aid. Every teeny tiny move hurts like hell but I just can't seem to do it quickly. Turning over now requires a strategy!

Also, there is another human being inside of me taking up a lot of space. You know that feeling you get after Thanksgiving dinner where you think if only you could unbutton your pants you'd feel so much better? Well that is what pregnancy feels like, except you don't have any pants on (because it hurt too much to put them on, remember?)

Oh, and one more thing - I have a skull chilling out right under my rib cage. Which means it's a real beyatch to bend over, even the slightest bit forward. I can live without polish on my toes and a little bit of stubble on my ankles won't hurt anyone and the Cocoa Pebbles I dropped on the carpet yesterday, I'm sure the cats got em. But there is something else that requires bending forward slightly, something that happens in the bathroom about 12 times a day and it's non-negotiable. It hurts bad enough that I do sometimes whine or scream and once I was even desperate enough to ask for help (no, he didn't).

Like I said, I was fine until a few weeks ago and what is a few weeks of discomfort in exchange for another human life? I don't know how I would have felt if I hadn't lost that first baby. Maybe I would have been a Facebook complainer, too. But knowing how lucky I am to have this baby in me makes it a lot easier to deal with the pain when it does happen. Because I know I'm exchanging it for something amazing!!!! And I hope I can remember that during my c-section!

I really loved being pregnant and that is the truth; no bluffing, no censoring. I especially love my baby bump! It tells the world that I am building a baby in there and that makes me feel special and important. And it's a wonderful feeling to not have to suck it in. And being able to wear tight shirts for the first time in my life! I'm very proud of the fact that my belly enters a room about five seconds before the rest of my body (I walk a little slow these days). That was one of the things that upset me the most about bedrest, was not being able to show off my bump. It's a real shame that in 2 days I'll be expected to suck it in again. So I decided to make the best out of this 90 degree fluke of a day in Northern Michigan and I took my bump to the streets....and the lake...and even a BBQ.

I know I'm supposed to be on bedrest but I figure if I made it 8 weeks, I can act like a semi-normal person for 2 days, right? So here it is, my Bump on a Blog. My bump, my bump, my lovely baby bump. I sure will miss it when it's gone but I can't wait to meet the little boy that's coming out of it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

On a message board I've been visiting for the last few months there was a discussion about what we all considered the best and worst moments of our pregnancies so far. Even though I answered there, I want to put it here in my blog, as well, to make sure I don't forget. I have a feeling that once I have this baby, all the pregnancy stuff won't seem to matter anymore and I want to make sure that I remember later on that it did matter.

If you've been following my blog for awhile you can probably guess that the worst moment was the 20 week ultrasound when they thought our baby might have a neural tube defect. We don't need to dwell on it now, though, because it turns out they were just being extra-extra cautious. (The same thing they were doing when they told me I couldn't work and put me to bed for 23 hours a day and told me I was going to have a preemie baby based on one blood pressure reading. And now here I am still in bed with a baby still inside me and a stable BP and losing money everyday and looking like the pregnant lady who cried preemie....Oh, and let me make sure it's clear that I did not want a preemie but I was prepared for it. I also said I wanted a girl originally but fell in love with my boy and if it comes out a girl I'm going to have to grieve the loss of a boy I never really had in the first place. Gosh, pregnancy can be so complicated!) Anyway, no more dwelling on the extra-extra cautious. It can be annoying but it is far better to be safe than sorry!

Now for the best of times...

As you all know, Brian and I were both laid off for the winter. So from week 8 through week 30 we were together nearly 24-7. He might have gone to the gas station or bank without me but mostly we were together. And when we are together, unless we are sleeping, Brian is talking. I don't know why women are said to be the talkative ones. Brian seriously never stops. And this baby, from the time he was able to hear, has been hearing his daddy talk and talk and talk...

But on April 11th Brian went back to work and I was all alone for a whole 8 hours and the house was quiet. The baby was usually very active in the day time but this day he was hardly moving at all. I was scared enough to text my friend and tell her the baby wasn't moving and I was freaking out. But then as soon as Brian came home and started talking about work the baby started going crazy in there! Brian was only joking when he said Ian probably just missed him.

The next time Brian went to work he decided to test the theory. Ian was still all day long. When Brian walked in after work he yelled, "Ian! Daddy's home!" And Ian gave me a fist pump! I swear he really did. That was the first time in the pregnancy that I felt he communicated with us. And that is the moment I chose as our "best of times."

We scheduled our c-section yesterday. On June 3rd we are going to have a baby on the outside. I'm sure everything he does, even pooping and crying, will be adorable to us. At least for a little while. And pretty soon these 38 weeks will only be a distant memory. It seems like it takes such a long time to build a baby but in the scheme of things 9 months is nothing. So I'm glad my friends convinced me to start a blog during my unemployment. Now I can look back on these times and even show him how much mommy and daddy loved him, even when he was just an inside baby.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Bright Side

A couple of months ago when I was researching baby gear I came across a website that described, in great detail, the postpartum experience. Check out this care kit at Amazon. The inner tube pillow is so you can sit down without hurting all of the hemorrhoids you developed during pushing. The tucks pads and Dermaplast spray are to sooth the wound you got when you ripped open from end to end. The peri bottle and sitz bath are to clean that rip. The site also recommended getting Depends for women because there would be "more blood than you've ever seen in your life" and most women also lose control of their bladder for a little while. I was in shock! I went to a few more sites to verify this woman's claims and saw that another woman described her undercarriage as resembling hamburger meat!!! Let's just say I didn't sleep for about 2 days after reading this.

There are like 10 kids between my BFFs and none of them EVER mentioned ANY of this. I felt incredibly naive for being so surprised. I imagined there might be a little blood but not enough to require a 6-week supply of adult diapers! And losing control of your bladder?!? Needing to sit on a doughnut pillow?!? One new mom even recommended lacing your Depends with witch hazel and sticking them into the freezer!

And this is why I'm looking on the bright side of the C-section. Don't get me wrong. I'm very, very afraid of surgery. Being cut open and sewed or stapled shut is frightening! But when you think about it, I was going to be ripped open and sewed shut either way. It's just in a different area is all.

And what is this labor experience so important for anyway? If I want to put my hair back in a headband and get all sweaty I can go to the gym. I can buy my own birthing ball and bounce around in my living room if it means that much to me. Jacuzzi tubs are probably overrated. And I'm definitely not an ice-chewer! I don't need labor!

So here's my Bright Side list: Why C-Sections Aren't So Bad

*No hemorrhoids from pushing
*No burning when I pee
*No losing control of my bladder
*No "hamburger meat"
*No pains from labor
*No conehead baby
*I have an excuse to buy some cute summer dresses that won't irritate my incision
*I don't have to worry about baby getting stuck during his decent, losing oxygen and developing any number of problems as a result

And one more thing. My doctors were intending on inducing me. Inductions are notorious for resulting in an emergency c-section. Emergency c-sections are rushed and panic-y and scary. And how much would it suck to have gone through 12 hours of painful labor and had this baby get halfway through the birth canal (OUCH!) just to have to be cut open in the abdomen anyway? That's double the pain, double the recovery and a whole bunch of trauma. So I'm glad to know that I'm not going to be one of those poor unlucky moms.

I've had a few days to adjust to the idea and I've accepted my fate. If baby turns around, that's cool, I've got my headband ready. But if he doesn't, that's fine, too. Either way I get to meet my baby boy.

Oh, and as for hanging upside down off the bed, standing on my head in a swimming pool or paying for someone to light incense at my feet, I'm not going to do all that. I'm just going to let what's meant to be...be.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Should Buy A Lottery Ticket

This baby is BREECH! Only 3% of babies are breech at birth. How is it that I keep beating all the odds? I've mentioned before that I don't like gambling but I'm thinking it's time to buy a lottery ticket! Seriously, can anything go right?!?!?

I know, I know, I shouldn't complain about all of this rotten luck because I'm lucky just to have a baby at all and the way he comes out of me shouldn't matter. And I know there are much, MUCH, worse things that can happen. And I've said tons of times that I used up all my luck when I met Brian. But still, I'm getting tired of this. I'm tired of something else discouraging me every single freakin appointment!

I'm also tired of my doctors not knowing what the heck they wanna do. One said I'd be induced at 36 weeks, 2 of them said 37 and now 2 of them are saying 38. It's not like I don't want the extra time for baby to develop (and hopefully turn his butt around), but it's frustrating! After the scare last week they had me thinking baby would really be here any day, like I wouldn't even make it to today's appointment. So I got all my stuff ready. My hospital bag was packed, aluminum foil was placed in the bassinet to keep the cats out*, the bottles were sterilized, and we were both mentally prepared to have a baby today. I was hoping for another week, but I was ready for anything....except another problem!

Now it's not an induction they are planning, it's a c-section. I have never been admitted into a hospital in my life. I have never had a single stitch or broken bone. I am going to be 32 years old in a week and I still cry when I go to the dentist! And now they are talking about tying me down to a table and cutting my body open and that is so terrifying to me that if I'm able to sleep at all this next week I'm going to be plagued by nightmares. Especially since the nurse who did my hospital tour told me they prescribe Motrin after a c-section. Yeah, that's not gonna work.

Scheduled c-sections are crappy for other reasons, too. I was actually looking forward to the experience of labor. Using the breathing techniques we learned in class, writing my name in cursive with my hips, relaxing in the jacuzzi tub in the birthing suite, having Brian massage my feet and bring me ice chips, and then that moment when the pain and pushing is over and the baby is placed on my chest looking all gray and bloody, and Brian and I can barely even see the baby through the tears in our eyes...I was really excited to experience all of this.

I'm sorry for being a whiner. I'm just feeling discouraged. I never imagined there would be so many roadblocks on this journey. I mean, the cavewomen made it look so easy.

*I read that putting aluminum foil in the bassinet, crib and playpen will keep cats from jumping in them. Apparently cats aren't supposed to like foil so if they jump in once and find foil they will jump back out and never go near it again. Turns out this is not true. Little Miss Sunshine doesn't seem to dislike foil at all so now my mom is standing guard at the bassinet with a water bottle.

Friday, May 13, 2011

35 Weeks!

Sorry I haven't been updating much. Typing while lying down is kind of a b-word.

It's hard to believe I've been on bedrest for over a month already! You'd think the time would drag but it's actually gone pretty fast!

We have now seen 4 different doctors since this whole mess started. Four different opinions and attitudes. Apparently obstetrics isn't as easy as 2+2=4.

Dr 1 scared the crap out of me. I did my own research on pre-e which scared me even more. I read that 10,000 moms die every year from pre-e and the condition can come on so fast that you can have a perfect dr's sppt in the morning and lose your baby by that afternoon! Dr. Google is no friend of mine, that's for sure! And either is www.preeclampsia.org because that's where I got those lovely pieces of info. Thanks a lot, A-holes!

Dr 2 was more relaxed. She said I don't have pre-e, I just have pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, but they are keeping an eye on me as if I do have pre-e just to stay ahead of the game. Her goal was for me to make it to week 35 because a baby born before that would have to be born at a hospital with a NICU 123 miles away! Can you imagine the heartbreak of leaving a little preemie at a hospital over 2 hours away from mom and dad?!

Dr 3 was cool as a cucumber in blue jeans. It must have been Casual Tuesday that day. (I'm picturing a cucumber wearing blue jeans right now and it's hilarious). He said as long as my BP remained under control they would let me go to 37 or 38 weeks before inducing.

Dr 4 was in a bit of a panic. He wanted to put me in the hospital. He had me go in to get my BP checked 2 days in a row and said if it didn't go down any that I was being admitted and they may have to induce the next day! Scary stuff! Luckily my BP took a dive the next morning and I'm in the clear for now.

I saw Dr 2 again on Wednesday and she tried to explain the decision making process to me. She said she has 2 things to worry about: the health of mom and the health of baby. The younger the baby is, the worse mom needs to be for them to take baby. The earlier they take baby, the more danger baby is in. But the longer they keep baby in there, the more danger mom is in as this condition gets worse the longer the pregnancy lasts. So they have to try to find a happy place where they meet in the middle. It's no wonder some of these drs are high-strung! These are major decisions!

Also, she said they are not going to schedule the induction because this condition is so unpredictable that a schedule would be pointless. It could literally happen at any time just like real labor which is kind of exciting.

I will be 35 weeks tomorrow so whenever they do decide to get Ian out, at least it will be at the closer hospital. That's one less thing for me to worry about.

Brian's been checking my BP several times a day. It goes up a little bit every week so I don't know how much longer it'll be. We're just taking it one day at a time. Everyday that I can keep him in there is a victory.