Thursday, March 18, 2010

All's Well That Ends Well...

I'm not sure I can even try to describe the birth. I'll try to figure out what actually happened and then write about it, maybe.

But I can absolutely say that the babe is fine. Even though he is apparently an eskimo. Since the rest of us are fair-skinned blue-eyed Gaelic-ish people, there may have been a mix-up at the lab...

Even though he looks kind of eskimo-esque, he has the facial expressions of a three-star chef-de-cuisine touring the kitchens of a junior-high cafeteria. Shock, disdain, repulsion and suspicion are his specialties.

But, he has been a bizarrely easygoing little guy so far, so I can't complain. I'll have to let the clinic know that even though I seem to have been given the wrong baby, I'll probably just keep him.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ides Of March

That's the date. Monday, March 15th.

Originally, it was a day of festivity to celebrate the Roman god Mars. Although it this case it may be more fitting to "beware the Ides of March", the dire warning in Julius Caesar. Yep, that's the day I'll be dripped with pitocin and hoping for the best.

At my appt. this morning I was on the monitors for almost an hour and Mister Baby only moved twice. I honestly think he was just sleeping, but my OB decided that it was time to make a move. Not an emergency move, obviously - more of a precaution.

And I agree - I have been so worried that I will have made it this far only to have it all end badly. I feel better knowing that I'll be in a hospital the whole time. Since cord compression and placental abruption are the risks that have had me on bedrest for so long, I've been a little nervous about what might happen when I finally start having serious contractions. I mean, the bedrest was supposed to help by keeping my uterus calm and not disturbing the placenta. Labor is kind of the opposite of that, right?

So, I get the weekend to wrap up any last little things. Not that "everything" will be ready. But things will be ready enough. I went to Targ yesterday, my first and only trip there during this entire pregnancy. It's funny, but after so much online shopping I found the selection incredibly limited. I didn't actually buy much, but it was good to get some of the little things crossed off of my list. Boob cream. A lightweight robe for the hospital. Felt pads for the legs of the new furniture.

The crib and changer and glider were finally delivered yesterday. The nursery will just be my project for the next month or so. For me, it's still better than getting all of that ready months ago and then having to take it all apart if I didn't end up with a baby. There was a time when I wouldn't have considered waiting until the last minute to get things ready, and I suppose I'm not so cautious when it comes to other things. But this one was hard.

In any case, the upside is that I spent so much time figuring it out on paper. It all came together almost exactly as I planned, and I think I'll have fun finishing it up during the nursing-pooping-laundry-exhaustion of the next few weeks.

So, my bag is packed. The car seat is installed. I finally bought diapers. There is an InDesign document on my desktop, all ready for a photo and a few extra bits of information to be added and made into an email announcement. I think I might be ready for this. Yeah, I'm a little worried about the whole pitocin thing, but maybe it won't be that bad?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dear Baby, Dear Body

I just want to say thanks for hanging in there these last eight weeks. Way back in the beginning of January, that first L&D nurse told me you'd be lucky to last another few days. Remember that? How you somehow managed to keep what little fluid there was in there from leaking out and a few days later the perinatologist said we could go home? And even though things have been a little rocky since then, you've both really pulled off so much more than any of us expected. 38 1/2 weeks! Woo-hoo!

And, Baby - thanks for making the kick counts so easy, too. It never takes you a whole hour to bust out ten moves. You're quite a little wiggler. And you've passed your non stress tests fabulously, too. I can always see exactly where your heartrate correlates to your movements, which is just what the doctors are looking for. You usually manage to kick exactly on the toco meter, too, which I think is a reflection of your still-developing fetal sense of humor - sometimes on the printout it looks like I'm having crazy spiky contractions, but we all know it's just you.

After trying so hard to just stay in for so long, you might feel hesitant about switching gears and trying to come out now. And I totally understand. But the thing is, you are getting bigger and bigger and your fluid environment is getting smaller and smaller. Things are not going to get better, so you should probably just make a run for it while you still can. Otherwise, the doctor is going to come in and get you. Now, that wouldn't be then end of the world, but it would make things a bit more complicated and let's face it - this has been complicated from before you were even a bunch of cells in a petri dish. How about a nice, natural birth with no emergencies?

As for you, Body - I know it hasn't been easy. You've been poked and stretched and swollen and weakened. I know it hasn't been ideal. I know you didn't really want to do this in the first place. But you've been so good about coping with everything from the stims all the way through the bedrest, and I really, really appreciate it. I know you did your best with the fluid leak. Only about 6% of leaks seal back up and allow the pregnancy to continue without infection - I am so impressed that you managed to do that against such low odds!

The thing is, we don't have to do all this any more. You don't have to lie down all day just hoping to churn out another few drops of fluid. You don't have to let all your muscles keep withering away doing nothing. We can just have the baby now and get this all over with! Think of it - you can hike and do yoga and have wine and cappuccino again! What else is there I can bribe you with? You name it, Body. Anything but a spinning class. How about a spa day?

You've both been fantastic and I so, so appreciate it - let's keep up the good work and get on with things before the doctors come up with some kind of drastic surgical plan. After all, Body, you don't want to be sliced and scarred. And, c'mon Baby - the boobs aren't going to be good for much if they're full of demerol. It's time, you two. Thanks for making it this far, and now it's time to get on with the next phase!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pricked and Prodded

I am just so done with bedrest. In the old days, I would have said that anyone who thought they could get anything done with a newborn was just delusional - but now that I have been on bedrest I realize that at least a newborn is portable, if you are allowed to walk around. Yeah, it won't be easy to manage a long to-do- list, but at least it will be possible to do SOMETHING. I am so, so tired of doing nothing.

I've been having mild random contractions, but nothing that feels significant. Yesterday the OB swept my membranes, which is not exactly painful but weirdly uncomfortable. My cervix was about 2 cm dilated, and after the procedure it was almost 3. The actual cervix manipulation didn't hurt at all, but the pressure against the whole nether region was almost unbearable. The process is supposed to get things going by introducing the whole idea to the body and hoping the body takes over and keeps going. Kinda like putting on dance music at a lame party and hoping that everyone starts to boogie down. And, from what I can tell, maybe just as likely to work...

I've had two acupuncture treatments to stimulate my uterus and calm the rest of me, but so far my ute is still reluctant and the rest of me is still antsy. But it is nice to lie down somewhere else for 90 minutes and listen to this CD which supposedly syncs the two hemispheres of the brain. It's kind of hypnotizing. As my OB said, it can't hurt, so I guess I'll keep trying it every few days. Anything to at least give myself the illusion that I'm doing something to get this labor going.

I know that, short of cervadil and pitocin, there isn't that much that can be done. And I know I'm heading towards those things, so I keep telling myself that the goal isn't so much labor as cervix ripening, since pitocin on a rock-hard cervix is supposed to be a recipe for pain. My next OB appointment is Friday (unless I have the baby before that - I mean, I can dream, right?) and she says she won't let me go another week after that. Monitoring low fluid is so random anyway that it just gets riskier and riskier.

Anyway, I have finally made a birth plan. It basically says: do what you have to, but I'd appreciate it if you could support my desire for a non-medicated birth. The main other thing it says is please, please no cheerleading. If somebody starts chanting "Push-push-push-push-push-push!" or "You can do it! You can do it!" I will just scream at them to shut the #@%! up. Last time I tried to just ignore all that and concentrate on maintaining my zoned-out non-awareness of pain. I think I said "Shhhhhh," once or twice. This time I already know that I am starting off with weak muscles and less stamina than I had before. I just can't worry about being polite on top of everything else.

I put the plan in a basket of individually wrapped Newman's Organic cookies. If I wanted to be totally Miss All Natural, I guess I could have made a basket of seasonally appropriate fruit. But who wants to eat fruit in a germy hospital? Anything sealed up is a better bet. Plus, if I was really Miss All Natural, I would probably be planning a home birth instead. I really do want to be in a hospital - things have been risky enough already that I need the reassurance of having a whole staff of emergency specialists there. So, cookies it is. But at least they're not laden with extra chemicals - and I hope I won't be, either!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Mean, Really...

I've eeked out the last two months constantly hoping for a few more days before anything else frightening happens, and here I am at 38 weeks, wondering if I will ever just have this baby already.

I've been organizing as much of my new house as I can via the internet. I think I'll have to make about a zillion trips to The Container Store (yes, Brenda! I'm hooked! We will definitely have to make a plan when I am off bedrest!) as soon as I'm allowed to go wander anywhere for a few hours. It was interesting to read about other people's organizing, too. I especially liked the comments everybody's underwear-folding preferences, although I'm pretty sure I won't manage to fold my own. But I'll lay them flat in a nice stack by color* and if my husband and I both die and somebody has to go through my things I hope they are just too bereft to worry about my panty storage.

Speaking of underwear... does it seem that JUST when you've found a really good style of panties they are discontinued? Maybe it's just me, but this has happened to me way too many times. I found a great style last summer and now they are nowhere to be found. Does the market really demand new underwear styles all the time, or is this a fiendish plot to get me to buy a whole new batch of "test" panties and then hope they aren't obsolete by the time I decide which ones I like the best?

* Is it weird to be picky about underwear color? I prefer my undies to be of a similar tone to the pants/skirt I'm wearing. Not the same color, necessarily, but black pants should be worn with black panties, etc. - it always bothers me if I have to end up wearing undies that don't seem like they belong with my outfit. See, that's where I worry about dying and what if somebody finds out that my panties and bra don't look good together (I don't really do sets, because the fit is never right on one piece) or that my underwear has no relation to my clothing?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Holding Pattern (With Extra Questions)

Yesterday's visit was the same mix of good and bad - everything looks fine, but the fluid is still low, of course. I had a different u/s tech, a younger woman who is only there two days a week. The regular tech also works at a perinatologist's office, and she is very focussed on the medical details. This other person was way more chatty about the baby, showing me his face and his hair and poking around to get good images of his feet and hands. Which was nice - it lightened things up, so it wasn't all about wondering if he was in some dire situation.

So, here I am, poring over organizing-supplies on the internet. If I was allowed up and about I would bribe Brenda with lunch if she would meet me at the Container Store to help!

Here are my organizing questions of the day:

How do you store medicines? In the kitchen? In bins per person? Per type of ailment? Is it okay to leave daily things (vitamins, etc.) out on a tray? Would that be helpful or just contribute to clutter?

Where do you keep screwdrivers? This is a big point of consternation, since my husband keeps all tools in the garage, but I tend to think that a screwdriver (not one of the giant ones) that is used for taking off battery covers, etc. is more useful inside. Should I just get another set? (It might be worth noting that our city ordinances more or less require that our garage be detached from the house.)

Do drawer dividers work? The boxes that fit together? Or the spring-loaded panels that make sections? Everything that looks so neat and tidy in organizing photos seems like it might be hard to maintain in daily life. Like, I don't think I'm going to fold my underwear - but if you all swear that they will last twice as long and make my ass look fabulous if I do, then I'll try it.

Is drawer space or hanging space more useful? We have a smallish walk-in closet in the new house - one side has more drawers (along with more useful surface space) and one side has more rod space. Which should I claim?

And finally - what do you most want when you are a houseguest? Now that we actually have a room that can be used for guests I need to stock up on some guesty things. And I already know that my mom and then my dad and stepmom will be coming soon!