Saturday, December 23, 2006

Year in Review

I've seen this meme on a few other blogs, and really liked it. I cheated a little bit though, some of my first sentences were lame, so I went with the second instead.

January: Last night we were quite boring, and went over to some friends' house to play pinochle (It's a rough game!). So instead I'll tell you about my favorite New Year's Eve celebrations.

February: Not much news on the Phred front - although I did have my first OB appointment last week.

March: Had my 14 week appointment today (14w4d).

April: We had our "big" ultrasound today, and found out we're having a ..... baby!

May: One of the things that I did know might happen was the separation of my abdominal muscles.

June: I'm still contracting like it's going out of style (this is one uterus that damn well better be able to handle labor, with all the practice it's getting!)

July: My contractions have calmed down quite a bit - every now and again I'll get a bout of them, but they're never closer together than 10 minutes anymore, and for the most part they're an hour + apart.

August: As I mentioned, since reading "Natural birth the bradley way", I've also read a couple of other books on the topic of delivery, and more specifically, the things that your doctors don't necessarily tell you ("The thinking woman's guide to a better birth", and "The silent knife" about C-sections and VBAC.

September: I can't tell you all how much your support has meant to me - your good wishes and thoughts leading up to my c-section, and congratulations on Ant's birth have been so appreciated, even though I haven't been able to tell you so individually.

October: Here's [redacted] another pic of my babe, wearing a Polo outfit someone gave us.

November: I played in my first ice hockey game today.

December: I am in a pissy mood.

I hope that 2007 brings only good things to each and every one of you!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Virtual Cookie Exchange!

Thanks to Jenn for organizing this virtual cookie exchange. Fabulous idea!

Here is my absolute favorite cookie recipe. Apricot Spirals. What I love about them are the contrast in textures - the cookie itself is really soft and crumbles in your mouth; that is set off really well by the chewiness of the apricots. YUM! (Note, the original recipe was in cups, I translated into ounces and grams as that's how I prefer measuring ingredients)

Apricot Spirals

2/3c finely chopped dried apricots
1/2c water (4 oz, 125mL)
1/3c brown sugar (3 oz, 80g)

3/4c butter, softened (6 oz, 170g)
1c sugar (7 oz, 200g)
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 1/4c flour (9.5 oz, 275g)

Simmer apricots in water for 15 min then add brown sugar and lightly mash.  Put in the freezer to cool while you prepare the dough.

Beat butter for 30 seconds (use either hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment).  Add sugar and baking powder, beat until combined. Beat in egg.  Beat in flour.

Roll dough between two sheets of plastic wrap (it is very sticky, this is the only way to roll it) to a 16x12 rectangle.  Remove top layer of plastic wrap and spread cooled apricot filling almost all the way to the edges.  Roll from the long side, using the bottom piece of plastic wrap to form a tight roll.  Wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until dough is hard.  Cut into 1/4in slices.  Bake for 9-11 min at 375.

Friday, December 08, 2006

All I want for Christmas...

It looks like Ant will have his two front teeth for Christmas! Poor little guy is not doing well with the whole teething thing. He barely slept at all yesterday, I was wondering what the heck was going on until I met up with my sis, and she pointed out "tooth bumps"! Tylenol last night got him to sleep (he was so exhausted he went down for the night at 5:30, 4-6 hours earlier than normal), but I don't want to give him too much of it. Although it's definitely worth doing at bedtime!

Any idea how long it will take to get from the "tooth bump" stage to them actually breaking through?

Monday, December 04, 2006


I am in a pissy mood today. It started at around 1am when M came upstairs to get ready for bed, and turned on the monitor in our bedroom where I was sleeping. Rather than taking it with him (which is what I always do) he left it there, and I got woken up from a deep, sound sleep by Ant being fussy. Strike one.

Strike two - Work was annoying because I tried to change my network password in the middle of the day when I was prompted to upon logging in, and I've been having problems accessing the damn thing ever since. I was trying to do some work after I got home while the kid is sleeping, and I can't access anything. Grrrr.

Strike three: I called my FIL who was taking care of Ant today to let him know that I'd be home at around 3:30. Wouldn't you know, I arrive, and he had *just* started a bottle. I would SO much rather have fed him myself - instead I had to pump again. I said I would have liked him to hold off for a few minutes, FIL said he tried his best, and I could have been late. Yeah, well fucking call me and find out where I am!!!!!

Strike four (aren't we out by now??) - I left specific instructions with M this morning on the order in which the milk in the fridge was to be used, and they were totally ignored. So now we have to bottle feed Ant at least one more time today, or throw away 6 ounces of milk. Is it REALLY that difficult to use the bottles on the top first, then the milk in the bag, THEN the bottles on the bottom??? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Honestly I'm annoyed with myself too because I thought this morning that I should perhaps put numbers on the milk in the fridge to indicate the order in which it should be used, but decided not to because I was running a little late.

Hopefully the rest of the day will not add to my pissiness!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rough morning (LOL)

So I put Ant in his vibrating chair while I took a shower and got dressed. When I picked him up out of it when I was done, I felt wet on my arm. I was wondering how he could already have peed through the diaper, but when I looked at his bum, it was poop! No idea what happened, but he managed to poop out of one side. So we got totally messy trying to get out of the clothes (with pants and a long-sleeved onesie, it was basically impossible not to get poop everywhere). So I decided to give him a bath. He was *not* pleased with me, so I didn't do a very good job. After we were done, I had him on his towel on the floor. Just as I was getting ready to put vaseline on his bum so I could put his diaper on, he peed on his leg, his towel, and my pants. And then to top it all off, he had a nice chunky spitup on his face, shoulder and neck. Probably the most unsuccessful bath ever!

Friday, November 10, 2006


Okay, maybe I shouldn't call it that just yet, but today Ant has taken two naps IN HIS CRIB, with nary a peep!

I decided yesterday that what I was doing wrong was letting him fall asleep on me, then trying to put him down after that. So today when he was in his tired phase after being up for 1.5 hours, I took him into his bedroom, shushed him for about three minutes until his eyes were closing, then put him down in his crib and shushed him for a few more minutes. Worked like a charm! He seemed to sleep much better, and I got to make my mom's bday cake for tomorrow. And it worked twice!

Who knew?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday randomness

I played in my first ice hockey game today. SOOOooooo much fun! We won, 7 to 1. I felt like I played reasonably well, and our team played really well together. We managed to put into practice all the things we've worked on over the last few years. Yay hockey!!!


My sis and I went to the mall last Sunday with our respective babies. As we were leaving, I went through the door first, then held it open for her. This other female person waltzed through after her, and didn't even bother to say thank you. My mouth opened before my brain could do anything, and I said in a really sarcastic tone of voice "No problem, let *me* just hold the door for you." She gave me a nasty look, but you know what? I felt pretty dame smug about it. I am always so nice and polite, and let people get away with being rude, but this time my mouth won out.


M and I went to a friend's wedding last night, and I had my first alcoholic drink in almost 11 months. Two toasted almonds. Yummy! We had such a great time at the wedding (my mom was babysitting), and although we had to leave early because A only ate 2.5 oz at his 8pm feeding so I wasn't sure if he'd be down for the night, or wake up at around 11 for more, we did get to stay for some dancing, and the cake! I tried on all my formal dresses the night before, fortunately one of them fit me. It had criss-crossing ties in the back - which used to meet up in a bow in the middle of my back, but with my little baby belly there was no meeting at all. But no-one else knew that ;-)


The past week has been really cool with Antony. So many things have changed! He's leaving his hands open now, they're not in fists nearly as much anymore. He's blowing spit bubbles, and sticking his tongue in and out. Definitely looking AT the toys on his gymini now, and he was apparently following Winnie the Pooh with his eyes when my mom was babysitting the other day, although I haven't seen that myself yet. Also lots more talking and smiling. We stayed at my mom's house last night after the wedding, and had a really fun exchange with Ant when we got up this morning.

Me: Antony, I hear you were reading some poetry with your granny last night?

Ant: Smile

Granny: I started reciting the poetry and he went to sleep almost right away.

Ant: Smile

Grampa: We should tell him some limericks!

Ant: Smile

Grampa: There once was a man from Nantucket...

Ant: Huge smile and almost a chuckle.

We all roared with laughter. The timing of his smiles was just *so* perfect, and the grin we got after "Nantucket" was priceless!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

6 week checkup

Cleared for full activity. Woo-hoo! I have been pretty good about following the rules, although yesterday I carried Ant in his car seat, and obviously the biking that I started last week.

Had a pap test and vag. exam. Oh.My.God. I have never had such a painful cooter check in my life. Doc said because I had a c-section I would be tighter down there than a vag birth, and also breastfeeding means my estrogen is lower, so less lubrication. I have never bled after an exam before (including during the pregnancy, when they would say every time that I might have some spotting afterwards), but I did today. And of course I hadn't brought any protection with me, as I had stopped bleeding last week... and there were also no supplies in the exam room I was in. So I stuffed some toilet paper up there. Lovely.

Doc asked how breastfeeding was going, and how my supply was. I pointed down to the big patch that was already on my hospital gown, and said "no problems there!". I still can't get over the leaking.

The other thing that cracked me up was that as I was getting dressed again, I was checking myself out in the mirror. We don't have a mirror in our bedroom, and the one in the bathroom has decorations on it, so I don't actually look at myself nekkid that much. I had to laugh at my boobs - A) they're *huge* (well, for me anyway, starting at a paltry A cup, to a decent sized C now), and B) the veins on them stand out SO much. I look like a roadmap!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

peanuts and other things

Thanks for all your input on my peanut question. I have decided that since there are no peanut allergies in either of our families, and there isn't any strong evidence that eating peanuts while breastfeeding causes allergies, I'm not going to worry about it. On the other hand, nor will I continue with eating peanutbutter on my toast on a daily basis. I've just been having Marmite or honey instead. No biggie.

Suzanne asked "why the big deal over peanuts? Why not over antibiotics, or any of the umpteen other things people can be allergic to?". I think the reason for the higher concern over peanuts is that they are so much more prevalent - so if you're allergic to peanuts you have to be vigilant every day. Whereas other allergens are generally easy to avoid. (BTW, Suzanne just found out her beta (donor eggs) doubled in 39 hours!!)

Lisa asked about the correlation between soy and peanut allergies. If exposure to soy can cause peanut allergies because the proteins are so similar, shouldn't that cause soy allergy as well? The article says in the discussion "Soy-protein fractions have been shown to be homologous to major peanut proteins, and exposure to a common soy T-cell epitope could cause cross-sensitization to peanuts, without necessarily resulting in clinical soy allergy. " They don't give any more explanation than that though.

I've been doing quite a bit of walking, as it's the only exercise that the docs said was okay after the c-section. I feel perfectly fine though, so I was wondering about starting up with biking again. Hockey season begins in about two weeks, and I'm sure my stamina is shite these days. So I thought that starting to do a little biking might be a good way to get a little more in shape. Called the ob's office to ask about it, and of course they said that I really should wait until my 6 weeks are up. Hmph. But I feel FINE! So I called a friend of mine who is a surgeon, and asked her opinion.

She said that the reason they say six weeks is that is the length of time it takes for the incisions in the muscles, that I can't see or feel, to heal. But, she said that biking should be just fine - it's important to avoid doing things (like heavy lifting, situps, etc.) that are stressing / using the abdominal muscles, in order to avoid tearing and a possible hernia and future corrective surgery. If I feel any pain or pulling, or like I'm using my abs while biking, obviously it's not good, but barring that, no problem.

I do so much better with following instructions (or not, as the case may be) if I actually understand the reason behind them, as opposed to just being told "don't do x, y or z". Her explanation makes a lot of sense to me, and also explains why when I lay on my stomach this morning on our hardwoord floor (videotaping A), I was somewhat uncomfortable - being up on my elbows WAS pulling on the underlying incision to some extent!

Of course, then there is the question of how exactly I plan on finding time to go biking, or to hockey for that matter. It will probably end up being a moot point!

We gave A his first bottle yesterday. Warmed up pumped milk to 98 degrees, and he took it like a champ. Going to try him with room temp milk today, so hopefully we can avoid having to heat it up when we want to give it to him. If he takes the room temp milk today, we'll try cold tomorrow...

Monday, September 25, 2006

A day in the life of a new mom...

I spent three hours today soothing, feeding, changing A, soothing, more soothing, trying to put down, more soothing... in the nude! I had put A down, and was just getting ready to shower, when he decided that today he didn't want to sleep anywhere but on me. Didn't care that I was somewhat on the stinky side, not only having not managed to shower, but also having forgotten to put on deodorant today.

It's a good thing they're so dame cute!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Precocious one...

I opened up my email the other day to find the following message, from (not the real address):

Hi Mommy,

I want to apologize for being fussy yesterday. I realize now that it was your first day home alone with me since Daddy had to go back to work.

Thanks for taking care of me! Hopefully I feel better today and I make your day easier than yesterday.

I love you!


Obviously M had set up Ant's email account, and sent the message, but it still makes me smile :-)

Monday, September 18, 2006

To pea or nut to pea?

I had a lactation consultant come to visit last week - things had been going well, but I was quite sore, so I thought it couldn't hurt. I was in the middle of breakfast when she arrived, which was whole wheat potato bread toast with peanut butter.

She immediately told me to lay off the peanuts because of the possibility of peanut allergies. I haven't been able to find much in the medical literature about it, just one article in NEJM that says that peanut consumption by the mother is not related to allergies, but I wonder if I should stay away from them anyway. Then there's always the flip side, I keep hearing now about how people are getting more allergies because they're NOT exposed to allergens when they're young because we keep everything so clean now. What would you do?

BTW, that same article says that peanut allergies are related to exposure to soy milk, eczema (on the baby), and with the use of lotions or creams containing peanut oil on the baby's skin (although not on the mother's breast). The association with soy milk is likely because peanuts and soy are in fact in the same family, and some of the pieces of protein that are the peanut allergens are also found in soy proteins.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Life is boring... but I think that's good!

When I was trying to get pregnant, and when I was pregnant, I was always somewhat disappointed by the number of people who seemed to disappear from their blogs for extended periods of time once they had given birth.

But now I get it. It's really pretty boring!

He eats. He sleeps. He poops. I sleep. I eat. Occasionally I shower. Less occasionally we give him a bath. (Does that make me a bad mother? How about ignoring it when I hear him poop in his sleep because I don't want to wake him up?)Not much that's worth blogging about. I'll do my best to scrape out an entry though.

Physically I'm back to feeling about 99%. I removed the steri-strips that were holding my incision together yesterday and today (they were put on after the staples were removed), and it does feel better! I spent about two hours this afternoon weeding the garden (chopping down the goldenrod that had overtaken a couple of beds during my forced non-activity period because of the early contractions), and then took A out for a nice 45 minute walk to the store.

Breastfeeding is going pretty well. For some reason it's more painful on the right side than the left, which really doesn't make sense to me. But it's not even close to toe-curling anymore (which it was for a few days), so that's good. I tried lying on my side while feeding for the first time today - I loved it! I had attempted while in the hospital, but lying on my side really hurt at that point. Now, it felt a lot more intimate with A than either the cradle or football holds that I had been alternating between. And more comfortable too, not having to hold up his head.

I should buy stock in the companies that make nursing pads - I am leaking SO much it is really quite astonishing. I tried these new-fangled things called "Li1y Padz" that are supposed to stop leaking and are reusable for a number of months. Not a fan just yet - first of all, I was leaking so much that one of them gave way while I was nursing (in front of my in-laws), leaving a patch of milk on my shirt about the size of a small dinner plate. hahahaha. I tried them again yesterday, and they worked better (although not 100%) to stop the leaking, but it's warm, so I was sweating underneath them. Just doesn't seem like a good thing to me. Maybe I'll be able to use them once it's cooler. I've been using the disposable pads, because I need to change them every time I nurse. I do have some washable ones, but I'm not about to do laundry every day to clean them. Plus they take a long time to dry!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Aftermath - one week later

I had my first slices of raw genoa salami yesterday afternoon. YUM! Cold cut sandwiches are back on the menu, I had a tuna sandwich this afternoon. Really enjoying these things again. I can't wait for my first sushi!!!

I have ankles again! They were even more swollen right after I gave birth than they had been before (which I had no idea would happen, but is very common because your body is letting go of some of the fluid it's held on to, and the easiest place for it to go is your ankles and feet). I had really forgotten what my legs used to look like.

Having a baby is a great way to crash diet. 25lbs in a week. Amazing. I probably still looked about 5 months pg right after giving birth, now I'd say I'm at 3-4 months. I'm sure the next 10 lbs will take a little longer to come off, but after the initial delivery I was losing approx 2lb a day. I'm sure most of it is water (hence being able to see my ankles again!), but I was astonished at the rate it was dropping off. It seems to have slowed a bit over the last two days. Which is probably good, I need to have lots of energy to sustain the fiendish pace of eating going on around here!

I'm feeling much more like myself physically, just a little bit of tenderness left around the incision site. I can get up and down easily now, climb stairs (although M still won't let me do it more than twice a day!), and I'm walking pretty easily. I've wanted to go outside to walk for the last three days, but somehow it always gets to be dark out and we haven't managed yet!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Antony's birth

We arrived at the hospital at just after 6am, for our c-section scheduled for 8:30. M and I both remarked to each other as we were driving over how it still didn’t feel real – not being in labor, and having those hours to really feel the anticipation of Phred’s delivery meant that the idea that we would be holding a baby – OUR baby - in our arms in just a few hours still seemed very surreal. And it continued to do so when we were at the hospital.

They brought us right into a room in the labor and delivery suite, and had me change out of my clothes into a hospital gown. I was expecting not to change for a while yet, as I thought that we’d talk to the anesthesiologist and go over everything while I was still dressed, but apparently not! We took a quick video of the last minutes of Phred inside me, and then I got into the Johnny.

The baby and uterine contraction monitors were strapped around my belly, and we settled down so that they could get a good trace on the little one and make sure that everything was okay. The nurse also checked my vital signs. Then came the IV, into my left arm. I have really big veins, so usually there’s no problem whatsoever with putting in an IV or drawing my blood. This one felt a bit more painful than they had before though, and the nurse said that my skin was tough. Shortly after she put it in I started feeling light-headed and warm, as if I might faint. I mentioned it to her, and she had me roll onto my left side to relieve the pressure on the vein running down the back of my abdominal cavity. I felt immediately better. She said to the nurse relieving her that I was “vagal” (I think).

The anesthesiologist (Dr. G) then came in to talk to us as well. He had an accent I couldn’t place (eastern European?) which made it a little hard to understand him. He asked a bunch of questions about previous surgeries, reactions to anesthesia, that kind of thing, then determined that since this was a pretty straightforward case and there were no contraindications, he would do a spinal. He told us about how that would work, the possible side effects / complications, had me sign the typical consent form, and then went away for a bit.

The nurse then shaved the area where they would make the incision. She said that they usually use an electric razor, but those all seem to have walked off, so she was using this really awful disposable. It was so scratchy! It looked like the kind my dad used to use years and years ago, with a blade on either side of a convex middle. She also gave M the scrubs to wear into the OR.

He and I had both brought books with us, anticipating that we’d be doing a lot of waiting around in the 2.5 hours between when we arrived and when we were scheduled for surgery, but we found that we actually didn’t have any time to read! There was always someone in there, doing something or other. They also had breakfast brought for M, and said that even though it was mean to have food in front of me (I wasn’t allowed anything to eat or drink since midnight the night before), he was required to eat something. So that he wouldn’t faint in the OR. I guess they must have had problems with that in the past, and have found that having food in the partner's stomach helps prevent it. They had a muffin, banana, and something el se – as I walked by I only saw a bite taken out of the muffin so I thought he didn’t eat much, but apparently he ate the whole banana and the something else which neither of us can remember anymore.

After all this was done, it was time to head to the OR. To our surprise, they had me walk in there. It was also only about two doors down from the room I was in. I was also surprised when I got in there at how much stuff there was – cabinets lining the walls filled with supplies, equipment everywhere. I always thought of ORs as much more sparse than it actually was. I think I arrived in the room at 7:49 – at least that was the time according to the notes one of the doctors or nurses was making.

They had me go in and sit down on the edge of the operating table – fortunately they had a stool for me to use to climb up onto it with, because it was higher even than a normal table (I think), and I was definitely wondering how I was going to do it! The head anesthesiologist (Dr. L) talked me through exactly what I would do for the spinal – curve my back like a C, rock my hips backward – as Dr G, who was apparently a resident, started prepping me. He started by “washing” my back three times using (I assume) swabs with soap of some description on them. Then he spread a plastic sheet with a hole cut in it at the place where the needle would go, and adhered that to my back. That actually felt quite nice. I was in the C position already at this point, with my nurse standing directly in front of me, so that I wouldn’t be worried about falling over.

Next came the needle. The nurse was really sweet, and held my hand as the needle went in. I think they numbed the area first with some lidocaine, then came the spinal. It was painful, quite a sharp pain, but not unmanageable. I did appreciate having her hand to squeeze, and just tried to breathe through it. After that was done, they helped me swing my legs onto the table and lie down.

Catheter insertion was the next item on the agenda. They were already putting up the sheet, just above my breasts, so I couldn’t see what was going on, but it felt as if two people lifted up and held my two legs. I could feel a tingling going down my body, and my legs felt quite warm – the spinal taking effect. The last thing I felt was tingling in my feet, with my legs still up in the air.

Then, they supposedly put my legs flat down on the table so I was lying flat on my back (with a wedge under my right side). The reason I say supposedly is that I absolutely 100% would have sworn that my legs were still being held up in the air. Apparently your brain remembers the position the legs were in when the anesthesia takes effect. I also felt as if I could still feel tingling in my toes for a good long while. To check that the anesthesia was working, Dr. G used something sharp, and was poking me (gently). I had to tell him when I could feel the prick, as opposed to just pressure, which was at about the level of my breasts, or right where they had the sheet. I was “numb to the T4”, which I believe is the name for a particular vertebra in my spine.

Very shortly after this, I seemed to have some kind of negative reaction to the anesthesia – again, the docs were calling it “going vagal” or something like that. I heard the anesthesiologist say that I was “in the 40’s”, so I asked if that was my pulse, and she said it was. They gave me ephedrine and atropine, which I’ve certainly heard about on the hospital shows! They also put an oxygen mask on my face, which really helped. They stabilized me quite quickly, so I wasn’t worried about it. They were all amazed that I was still smiling and seeming happy!

One other potential issue that Dr. G had warned me about was that some people can feel as if they have trouble breathing with a spinal. The diaphragm is controlled by your brain, so is unaffected by the anesthesia, whereas the muscles around your ribcage are controlled though the spinal cord, so are affected. He said that your brain doesn’t get the same feedback that it’s used to, and that might manifest itself as feeling like having difficulty breathing. I actually felt a completely opposite sensation. I felt as if my breathing was so light and unimpeded. It was such a pleasure to breathe. Another really interesting sensation to add to my list.

My doc, Dr. F, was in the OR by this point, and made the incisions. Then M was allowed to join me. He was sitting up next to my head, behind the sheet. I noticed as he joined me that I could actually see what was going on on the other side of the sheet by looking at the glass front of the cabinets that were lining the wall. I had asked at my last appointment whether I could have a mirror so that I could watch, but Dr. F had said that they wouldn’t do that in case it affected me negatively. But I could actually see quite clearly despite not having a real mirror. I was really glad that I could in fact see. Not everything, because every now and again a body would get in the way. But, I could see a lot! And I pointed it out to M (very quietly so they wouldn’t know), so he could watch too if he wanted to.

I saw them using the retractor to lift up my abdomen and get inside the opening. Then there was a bunch of stuff I couldn’t really see as they had their hands in there and were in the way. Then there was all of a sudden a lot of sucking. Dr. G had been talking to me about what was going on, so I asked him what that was. Suctioning out the amniotic fluid! M said that he could hear the whoosh of fluid as they broke the bag, but I hadn't noticed that. I Dr. G then told me that I would start feeling a lot of pushing and pulling, like someone tugging pretty hard on my shoulder, but I really didn’t. I was very comfortable throughout. Perhaps it was that the pushing and pulling was so minor in comparison to the attempted version! I kept watching, and the next thing I saw was them pulling Phred’s little bum out. One of my friends also had had a C-section, and her DH had said that their son was basically a bloody alien mass when the doctors showed the baby to him, but I really didn’t see much blood, just the little bluish-white bum. Then they pulled the rest of Phred out, and said in a few seconds, “It’s a boy!!!”

Just before we started, Dr. L had been asking me if I had a feeling one way or the other, and I said I thought it was a boy. Throughout the pregnancy I hadn’t really had a sense, but somehow over the last few weeks I really started to think it was a boy. I didn’t cry when they made the announcement, but it definitely brought tears to my eyes. Getting more and more real by the second!

They took him over to the pediatrician, and then Mark heard someone remark “Oh, that explains why he was breech!” He mentioned that to me, and then asked over the sheet if that was what he had heard. They said yes, that the cord was wrapped around his neck 3-4 times! With the bulk of my placenta at the top front of my uterus, it seems like a very good explanation for his position, and why the version attempt didn’t work.

After a couple of minutes, they let M go over to see him, and he took a couple of pics of Antony being weighed. He then brought over the camera to show me the pictures. The first time I got to see our little guy! Gotta love digital cameras! The rest of the surgery gets a lot hazier for me. After they had checked Ant over, they brought him over to me so I could see him, and give him a kiss. My arms weren’t tied down, but they were spread out on either side of me, and had the IV, blood pressure and oxygenation monitor attached, so I couldn’t reach up to touch him. M went over to see Antony again, while the docs sewed me up. I watched some of that, and saw my uterus out on my stomach while they stitched it up, then stuffed it back inside me again. Then M came back over again, and was sitting with me. He was there until they started really cleaning up, taking down the sheet and everything. He said that he saw me all laid out, with blood and amniotic fluid all over. When they realized that he was watching, they had him leave the room again, I guess because it was pretty gory. I do remember being rolled over from side to side as they cleaned me off, and joking to the docs “you’re making sure I don’t roll off the table, right?” because I felt as if I was really close to the edge! Then they used one of those white carry things to move me off the operating table and onto a bed to move me back to the recovery room. I did get a look at the suction receptacle they were using, there were 1.1 liters of fluid in there! M and I were trying to figure out together what happened next, we think that they gave Ant to me right there, before they wheeled me back to the room we were in before.

When we got back, I couldn’t feel my legs at all, and there was no movement when I tried with all my might to send signals to them to move. Gradually I started being able to feel things again, a bit of pins and needles in the toes, got the ability to move my right thigh / knee, then the right toes. I still felt odd – the signals I was sending to my foot were to wiggle my toes, but in fact the whole foot was moving. My left side came back more slowly than my right, but eventually I was able to feel and move everything again.

I think we tried breastfeeding for the first time while still in the recovery room, and it went relatively well. I had been leaking since 19 weeks, so I was primed, and Antony seemed to get the hang of his end without too much trouble as well. After Dr. G had come in to make sure I wasn’t feeling any negative effects from the spinal, I was able to move, and Ant was stable, we got moved to the postpartum floor. My delivery was over, and resulted in a sore mom, but healthy baby boy, which is key!

All in all, despite my disappointment that I wasn’t able to have a natural birth, the experience was really quite special. All kinds of new feelings and sensations to remember. And we have a beautiful son!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

B + 4 days

I can't tell you all how much your support has meant to me - your good wishes and thoughts leading up to my c-section, and congratulations on Ant's birth have been so appreciated, even though I haven't been able to tell you so individually. You guys rock!

We decided to come home from the hospital yesterday, one day early, rather than staying until today. I'm feeling pretty good - still in some pain (laughing is a REALLY bad idea!) and *very* slow-moving, but we didn't feel like we were getting anything from being in there, for either me or Antony, that we couldn't do just as well for ourselves. And being home meant no having to call and wait half an hour for pain meds, no having a nurse burst into the room, be told we were napping, and still throwing on every light in the place and talking at the top of her lungs. No vital sign checks every x hours,sleeping or not. We had kept Ant in the room with us the whole time, he'd only been separated from us for a grand total of ~1.5 hours for his bath, hearing test, PKU screen and weight checks, so we're comfortable that we can manage.

I walked out of the hospital room (if you can call my snail's pace walking!), with M carrying Ant in his car seat. He left us sitting in the lobby while he went to get the car, and that's when it really hit me. This is our baby boy we're bringing home!!!

All in all, we're doing fabulously. He has taken to the boob like a champ, and sleeps really soundly in between feedings, so we're even managing to get enough sleep ourselves to feel halfway human. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, but hoping that it doesn't.

He is such an amazing little creature, I could watch him for hours on end. I know it's just involuntary muscle movement, but I even got a little smile this morning, which just melted me into a puddle on the floor.

I'm still working on his birth story (3 pages long and going strong!) and will post that and a pic or two soon. :-)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's a BOY!!!!!!

Antony Joseph was born at 8:22 this morning. 7lbs 2oz, 20 inches. He is so sweet and adorable. (I adore him, anyway!) We've had a full day with relatives visiting, so this will be short, but I have lots to say about the c-section (I wouldn't choose it over a vaginal delivery if the choice were to be made, I just got up out of bed for the first time, and OH MY GOD it was painful. But the operation itself was totally cool!) so I will be writing that over the next few days.

He's basically been sleeping since 1pm this afternoon, so I'm going to go now and get some z's while I can. Take advantage of the honeymoon period!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


We get to meet Phred in approximately 18 hours. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! I still can't wrap my mind around that idea. Feels very surreal. I assume it will feel more real when we're actually in the hospital!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Random thoughts

M was doing some internet research on what to expect with a c-section, and came across this gem, from WebMD, no less:

"What else do you need to think about before surgery?
Questions to consider include:
Do you need to finish any heavy work, such as laundry, shopping, or cutting wood, before your delivery? You will not be able to do any heavy lifting for 6 to 8 weeks."

Cutting wood? Is that really a common household chore, like laundry and shopping??? It's almost as if this came from a different century!


I'm finding myself less and less sanguine about the idea of having a c-section with every passing day. I wish I didn't have two weeks notice, I feel like it's just given me too much time to think about all the bad things that could happen, how much worse recovery is going to be, all that kind of stuff. I really am excited to meet Phred, but at the moment the excitement is being overwhelmed with dread. Which I don't think is really a good way to be heading into this. It's gotten to the point where thinking about having my baby is bringing me to tears, which in turn makes me feel even worse. Yet another time where I wish life had a fast forward button!

I was just emailing with my sis about this, and I think she had some really good advice. Now I just have to follow it! "Forget about the natural birth. Forget that you are not getting to do this the way you want to, and have expected to. Put aside your previous expectations and come up with a whole new scenario. Plan Phred’s birth, and your birth experience around the knowledge that you are having a C, not that you are not delivering naturally. Get excited about the anticipation of knowing exactly when Phred is coming, and just focus on that moment and on the pure joy you will feel at that second. Your birth experience may not be the one you were looking forward to all these months, but it is going to be your birth experience forever. Make it special and look forward to it. Put everything else behind you and make what is going to happen what you want. You do not want to look back at this day for the rest of your life and wish for something different. Make it a day you can look back at with no regrets."


I spoke with my MIL last night - she mentioned at one point that she purchased two really cute outfits for Phred to wear home from the hospital, one if it's a boy, one if a girl. It actually seemed like a really good opportunity to me to at least begin addressing some of my concerns. So I tried to be very gentle, and said that we really appreciated her doing things like this, and that I totally understand how excited she is about her first grandchild, but that we're excited about our first *child*, and WE want to be able to buy the cute outfits. She actually took it really well, and said that with anything she gets that we don't want for any reason, she's more than happy to return them. She said she would absolutely return these outfits, she just wants me to see them first, because they're so cute. So we'll see if she actually means it. But on the surface at least, I think I got that part of my point across.

Of course, I am a totally unsentimental person, and as I mentioned quite frugal - some might even say "cheap". I don't see the point for us to spend money on a cutesy outfit to come home from the hospital in, when all it's going to be is hospital, car, house (I totally understand that some people DO want a cute outfit, and I think that's totally cool. It's just not for me). A onesie or sleeper seems perfectly adequate to me. Of course, I won't tell HER that!

GandKsmom asked for some belly pics. Here's one of me with the obviously unfinished baby's room. And here are a couple of the belly.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

In-law dilemma

My in-laws are really nice people. I truly believe that they have the best of intentions, they love their three sons dearly, and are really happy with their daughters-in-law. They are absolutely thrilled about Phred, who will be their first grandchild.

Two issues. First, they do tend to be somewhat overbearing. I'm not sure whether overbearing is exactly the right description. In some ways I think it's because they're lonely - they will often call us (or M's middle brother a lot more), with nothing really to say. Recently they've been calling on an almost daily basis asking "So how's my grandchild?" Ummmmm..... fine as far as I know. I've heard them say, as well, that once Phred is born, they plan on spending two days a week with us. Ack. Again, they're really very nice people, but they're not family to me in the same way that my mom and sister are - I feel like I need to entertain them and keep them busy where with my mom and sis I know that I don't. So that's issue number one.

Issue number two is going to be even harder to deal with. It has to do with gift giving, for birthdays, but way more so, for Christmas. My MIL is a shopaholic. Which is a really bad thing when you are planning on retiring in about six months, have your house fully mortgaged, and over $30K in credit card debt. Christmas at their house is a truly disgusting event, in my mind. Each person gets a stack of presents about three feet high. The first few years we estimated that the total value of gifts amongst the three sons and their spouses was in excess of $2K. It's gotten better since then, but still completely and thoroughly over the top. So much waste, excess, spending for the sake of spending.

A prime example was my baby showers. I had two - one organized by my MIL for her friends and relatives, and another organized by my sis, for our family friends. Similar to my bridal shower, I felt completely embarassed by opening the huge stack of gifts all from my MIL. To me, a single gift would have been more than sufficient, given that she spent all the time and energy to throw the shower. But no. She got us (brace yourself!) 1. the bedding set we had registered for, 2. along with the matching diaper stacker and 3. sheet. 4. A box full of about fifteen different bibs for all sorts of occasions, all individually wrapped in the appropriate paper (e.g. heart paper for "baby's first valentine"). 5. Another pair of sheets. 6. Waterproof bed cover. 7. Two sleep sacks. 8. Hangars. I don't know about you all, but spending fifteen minutes opening presents from one person was a bit much for me - again, I know it's well intentioned... The real kicker for me was at the baby shower thrown by my sis. I was completely and totally taken aback when I was handed a SECOND stack of presents from her! More bibs (we have 29 in total, thank you very much), more hangers, more sleep sacks, another sheet, another set of waterproof sheet covers, three or four sleepers of different sizes, and the Graco stroller we had registered for. All told, around $600 worth of stuff.

After this, M tried very gently to tell her that although it was much appreciated, it was way more than they should have done... and that Christmas is going to have to be *very* toned down, i.e. only one or two gifts. And nothing for Phred (in my mind, it is worthless to give gifts to a child before they're old enough to grasp what's going on, and at 4 months, I can pretty much guarantee that even if Phred is a super genius, that's unlikely). She told him that she has already purchased a bunch of outfits for next summer! Argh!

So that's issue number two.

I feel like I need to address these things with them now. Set expectations up front so that we don't have to battle every Christmas and birthday, and so that they don't expect to be living part-time with us! The rules that I would like to set are one toy and one outfit for Christmas and birthdays. If nothing else, I feel like it's unfair to us for them to do more than that - this may be their first grandchild, but it's our first child, and *I* want to have the enjoyment of picking out toys and clothes! If they're buying dozens of outfits, on top of all the hand-me downs I'm probably getting from various friends and relatives, I feel like I won't be able to have that fun (I am extremely frugal and thrifty, and aside from my car, really don't buy things that I don't *need*. Which makes their excess even worse in my eyes!). And we'll need to figure out how much we actually want them to visit, but I think weekly visits should be more than enough. I don't want to have to plan our lives around them, and also want to have time to spend with OTHER people.

My dilemma is how best to address these so that I can get my point across without getting their backs up and making them all defensive. I thought of a few options - 1) writing a letter, 2) inviting both of them over to dinner this weekend, along with my mom and her husband, and laying this out for all of them, so that my in-laws don't feel as targeted, or 3) taking my MIL out to lunch, just the two of us, and trying to get the point across to her on our own.

Which option do you think is most likely to work (feel free to make other suggestions too!)? Am I completely deluding myself in thinking that there is anything I can do about this?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

If you can't laugh at yourself...

Thursday morning I was heading to the gym, to do my usual routine of light weight lifting, a few minutes on the elliptical, and some swimming (well, my usual routine since I was allowed to start exercising again at 34 weeks). I grabbed a yellow floral tank top, some pants, and the bella band I had picked up over the weekend, just in case.

Thank goodness I grabbed that band! When I put the shirt on, it was WAY too short in the front. I would have been embarrased to show my face if I hadn't had the band to cover the large expanse of belly that was hanging out. As it was, I think the fashion police would definitely have had shots of me in the "what not to wear" category. Can you buy one of those black bands to wear over your eyes when something like that happens?

The next day I was going swimming again, and this time picked out a button down tank top and a skirt. I thought back to my experience of the day before, and also snagged one of the t-shirts I had just bought at Tarjhay. What a sight when I tried to put on the button down - there was NO WAY the button and button-hole were meeting. There was a good one-ince gap there. Score one more for my forethought in bringing the t-shirt!

Later that afternoon I was having lunch with a friend whom I haven't seen since late last year. Burger and fries. Have I mentioned that I have been eating like crap for the past month? Anyway, I decided I wanted some ketchup on my fries, picked up the bottle, and began shaking. Didn't realize that she hadn't screwed the top back on after using it... shake, shake, then in slow motion the cap dislodged itself, and there was a spray of ketchup twisting through the air... At which point I thankfully managed to arrest my motion. But I got ketchup on my wrist, my knee, and two big globs on my stomach. Looked like an idiot, but I couldn't stop laughing at myself. Typical!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Houston, we have a schedule...

After reading a bunch more, thinking a lot, taking all your comments into consideration (I cannot tell you how much hearing all your thoughts really helped! I'm a little too emotionally invested.), we decided that going ahead with the scheduled c-section really is the best course of action.

So, unless I happen to go into labor beforehand, or Phred magically gets the right idea and turns head down, he/she will be joining us on 8/30, at around 8:30. How cool is that? We have to arrive at 6am, so I'm going to ask them if it's at all possible to go up to the OR slightly early so that Phred really can be born at 8:30. If you're going to schedule, you might as well go all out, right? ;-)

It's really bizarre, for me, to know that 8/30 is Phred's likely birthday. Not something I ever thought I would know in advance. I'm going to take a couple of days off work before the birth-day, so my last day will be next Friday. It's funny, I really feel like this has just snuck up on me. I only have six working days left! I okayed all of that with my boss, so we're good to go.

You know what really irks me though? A couple of women at work decided to organize a baby shower (on 8/27) for three of us who are due between now and mid-October. They sent out an evite to everyone. My boss replied that she wouldn't be able to make it, and perhaps since I'm scheduled for a c-section on 8/30, they should make the date earlier. You could have bowled me over with a feather. Am I wrong in finding it completely and totally inappropriate for her to put that on a website for... oh... 20 of my 'closest' coworkers to find out?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

This is one stubborn kid!

No luck with the flipping today.

We started with another u/s to do a biophysical profile, as well as confirm Phred's position. I was thinking after the last u/s that calling Phred "complete breech" wasn't quite right, because all the pics you can find by googling show that as the head towards the top of the uterus, the spine basically lined up with your spine, then the baby in a cross-legged position. Phred is in a much more transverse like position, with the head over on my right, spine along the top of my uterus, then feet down near my cervix. Although all the websites seem to say that a transverse baby has their back / shoulder against the cervix. So Phred is upside down transverse. M was joking that it's because I was born in the Southern hemisphere, so all we would need to do is go back there to get our phlip.

I was really hopeful - the u/s tech said that there's plenty of fluid, and Phred is nowhere near engaged, so I figured it would be a snap to get a nice big phlip. Well, not so much. There were two docs there, one pushing up and out of the cervix on Phred's bum, and the other pushing down on the head/back. After the first attempt, although they were pushing down, somehow Phred ended up more like a complete breech. Then back to transverse, complete breech, and back to transverse again. Which was when they decided enough was enough, and it wasn't going to work.

They told me I was a real trooper, and took it much better than most. I figured if I couldn't stand this for 10 minutes, there was no way I could manage labor! As others have said, it wasn't exactly painful, but it was also next to impossible to relax. I did find that concentrating on my breathing helped a lot. But yes, it was mighty uncomfortable. I am definitely glad that we at least gave it a shot!

So anyway, now they want to schedule a c-section for 39.5 weeks (8/30 or 31). In a way, at least, I'm glad that Phred is transverse, because even the anti c-section books say that one cannot deliver a transverse baby vaginally, so I don't have to wonder if I should go out and try and find a practitioner who would let me deliver a breech baby.

I'm really torn as to what to do. Go ahead and schedule? Or tell them that I'm not going to, and wait until I go into labor on my own? I know that I had said in my earlier post that I would wait... but honestly I really thought that something would work, at least the version, and I wouldn't be faced with that choice. (Kinda like how I said before IF that if it didn't happen naturally that was the way it was supposed to be. HAHAHA)

Here are the pros and cons of a scheduled c-section as I see them:
Pro #1: Doctor feels it's safer than going into labor, as (especially given I've been contracting for so long) I may not recognize the labor until I'm well into it. Pro #2: Phred is born in August, which means we get a choice of which year to send him/her to school. Pro #3: Easier c-section when I'm not in labor? (must research this one a bit). Pro #4: Labor with a transverse baby can cause cord prolapse if the waters break, and uterine rupture if the labor lasts for a while. Con #1: I don't get to experience any true labor, which you may call me crazy for, but I was actually looking forward to. But then again they probably wouldn't want me to get far enough into it that I'd feel much anyway. Con #2: Phred may want to cook for longer - who am I to say that he/she is ready now? Especially as I was two weeks late myself, and refused to be induced 10 days before that. However, with basically zero pressure on my cervix, chances are that I'd go late just because of that and nothing really to do with how ready Phred is. Con #3: Less time for Phred to flip naturally, as slim as that chance may be, it's zero once I've had the section. Just found an abstract from 1990 that stated that 24/29 patients with a transverse lie at 37 weeks spontaneously converted by the time they went into labor, with 15 of those vertex. That's actually better odds than I was expecting. But the same paper says to perform version at 39 weeks and if not successful, c-section based on "major morbidity associated with expectant management of these patients".

Is there anything I'm not thinking of, either pro or con? What would you do? Yes, I am soliciting advice, opinions, and anything in between. I really can't make up my mind one way or the other at the moment. It probably doesn't help that I feel somewhat gypped by all this. As I said, I really was looking forward to labor and delivery, and I'm sad that I'm most likely not going to experience much if any of it. I know that once Phred is born I probably won't care one bit, but right now I'm a bit down in the dumps.

Version, fliperoo, whatever - let's just hope it works!

No dice with the acupuncture / moxibustion. (Supposed to heat up the "line" going through my uterus, causing the baby to be agitated and move more... one of the possible results of which is flipping over, and such effects have actually been documented in the medical literature). So I'm headed over to the hospital in about 15 minutes to try the ECV.

I really, really REALLY want it to work! Any turning over, somersaulting, flipping thoughts that you can send our way in the next couple of hours will be much appreciated.

Of course, one of the possibilities is that if something goes wrong (e.g. placental abruption, 0.5% chance) I may have an emergency c-section, and Phred's birthday could be today. That thought is a little overwhelming!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Phlipping? Not so much.

Our first attempt at moxibustion was on Saturday. It was interesting, basically my acu lit a coal of some kind of herb, and burned it next to my pinky toes for 15 min each. It wasn't painful at all, somewhat to my surprise. And it did do something - almost as soon as she brought it close to my toe, my face got really warm. But as far as encouraging Phred to be more active and/or flip, I'm dubious on the first, and the second certainly did not occur.

We're going to try again this evening, this time I'm going to ask her to use needles as well, based on a couple of papers that I found that used both. She wouldn't do it until I was 37 weeks, though, and most of the papers about it seem to suggest that it be done between 33 and 35 weeks, so it may be too late. (Which really irks me because I had an appointment with her where I was expecting her to try it, at 35 weeks, but she said she wanted to wait because "it could induce labor".) There's also another paper that I found that suggested doing it every day for two whole weeks! Why can't people just agree on a procedure, instead of there being umpteen variations so you can never be sure that your practitioner is doing it "right"?

Speaking of doing it right, I'm not seeing the chiro anymore - when I originally mentioned that I was going to try someone versed in the "Webster technique" for turning babies, one of the commenters mentioned that she had it done, and that the chiro didn't need to touch her belly for it. And then I read the same thing somewhere else. Well this chiro, although she was listed as a chiropractor trained in the technique WAS using her hands on my belly, and it just made me uncomfortable. Although not enough that I didn't go a few times, but it just seems like she wasn't following the technique properly either. GAH!

I'm still keeping hope that tonight's acu/moxi will work, but if not, I have a version scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. If THAT doesn't work either, I'll see if I can find another chiro around here who's Webster certified... and actually spend a little more time talking to him/her to ensure that they'll be doing what I expect they should, instead of blindly going along with it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Update on the u/s journal article

Despite USA today saying that the article regarding the effects of prenatal u/s on brain architecture was published on Tuesday, it wasn't available to us peons until yesterday. Here's the link, if you're interested.

Reading through the original article I had found, they don't misrepresent anything, but I do feel much better after having read the source document.

For one thing, the mice were exposed to the u/s for a much longer percentage of developing brain time than any of our babies are. Plus, no effect was seen until 30+ minutes of exposure to a stationary u/s beam. Our u/s don't take nearly that long, nor is the beam stationary. Even if cumulative exposure is > 30 minutes, I think there's long enough between exposures that different cells would be "affected" with each scan, not enough to cause the kinds of changes seen in this study.

That said, I still think it's worth considering the value of each u/s before having it.

37 weeks tomorrow. Mind boggling, as many of you commented on my previous posts. And acupuncture / moxybustion scheduled for tomorrow as well to try and get Phred to "assume the position". I'm really hoping that it works!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ironic timing...

For this article about the potential effects of ultrasound on the development of the fetal brain (of mice) to come out. The natural birth books I've been reading suggest that one should decline "unnecessary" ultrasounds and fetal heartbeat monitoring with a Doppler. So I was thinking this morning at my u/s when the tech was showing me Phred's brain, whether it was a good idea to be doing so or not. And then I read this article! Argh!

The caveats of the article definitely hold true, I think - the study was conducted in mice, so there are a lot of factors that make the relevance to humans questionable. And, I tried to look up the original article in PNAS, and was unable to find it (please drop me a comment if you do find it and I'm just being an idiot). I generally don't like to take what the media write about science as gospel without going to check on the source myself, as it is often sensationalized.

But, the article does make me wonder a bit about the utility of some of the early scans I had done (6wks and 8 wks) - yes, it was nice to see the embryo, and to see the heartbeat, but really, were they both necessary? I can see that an early u/s is good for diagnosis of a possible ectopic pg, or multiples, but most women who aren't with an RE don't get these early scans.

There was another article that I found while looking for this one mentioning that in a study of men born from 1973-78 when ultrasounds first started to be used, there was a statistically significant increase in the number who were left-handed. I kind of laughed at that - who really cares? But at the same time, one has to question what other effects there might be.

I guess that the point is that like just about everything else in life, there are pros and cons. It's a question of weighing between the two. Having read this article I might make a different decision on my early scans than I did - but what's done is done. I think the lesson that I will draw from this is that it is worthwhile to consider, even if there don't seem to be any drawbacks to a particular procedure, how necessary it truly is. There is nothing in life that I can think of that is 100% guaranteed safe. But having considered this and then decided to do something rather than just doing it on the assumption that it's safe would make me feel better, I think.

On the other hand, my u/s today was so totally cool! I could see Phred breathing, eyelids opening and closing, the fuzzy hair on the head, heart going pitter-patter, little tongue sticking in and out of the mouth... incredible.

Phred's personality - stubborn already!

Well, I had my 36 week appointment this morning, with an ultrasound to see exactly how Phred is lying in there. The verdict? "Complete breech". If you google it you can find some pictures, although none of them are exactly right. Phred's head is over on my right side, with the back pointing more towards the top of my uterus, and feet right down by my cervix. So maybe a combo of transverse and complete breech? I had been thinking that Phred's head was over at the top left of my uterus, but I was wrong about that - although exactly right about where the feet are!

The u/s tech also did measurements to figure out how big Phred is, and came up with 5lb 14oz, in the 25th percentile. Which is good, as it gives the external version (which will be scheduled for next Weds or Thurs, assuming that acupuncture / chiropracty / lying with my butt in the air haven't worked by then) a better chance of working than if he/she were oversized.

Nothing much else of note to report... I'm finding it harder to move around - sitting down and standing up require a bit more work these days. I also managed to acquire some hemmorhoids over the last few days, and the doc said that I can't expect that to clear up before delivery. Lovely. Ankle swelling isn't quite as bad now that it's cooler outside, but my ankle bones are still a bit hard to find. But all in all, that's not too much to whinge about.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Birth plan

As I mentioned, since reading "Natural birth the bradley way", I've also read a couple of other books on the topic of delivery, and more specifically, the things that your doctors don't necessarily tell you ("The thinking woman's guide to a better birth", and "The silent knife" about C-sections and VBAC. I wouldn't say that reading these has scared me, but they have definitely raised some questions in my mind about standard obstetrical practice that have made me realize that M and I are going to need to be more proactive in our management of Phred's delivery that I would have anticipated had I not read these books, and learned about the possible negative effects of standard care. So, here's what I'm thinking (assuming, of course, that I don't have to have a c-section because Phred is still breech).

Please note that these are my opinions, based on what I've read. I'm not criticizing anyone else's choices!

1. Eating and drinking during active labor. Strongly discouraged by the hospital, in case you need general anesthesia for an emergency c-section. Problem is that it can cause dehydration (leading to the need for IV fluids, see #2), and lack of energy for the second stage of labor. Which can lead to an extended pushing phase, and c-section for "failure to progress". They claim that if you are put under with food in your stomach, you might throw up and aspirate the contents of your stomach = bad. But, if you haven't been eating or drinking, you throw up gastric juices, which to me seems a lot worse. At my hospital, the rate of c-sections is 30%, the rate of general anesthesia is 5%, which means that absolute max, 1.5% of people are having GA with a c-section. And as the 30% rate includes planned c-sections as well, it's actually a lot less than that. AND, if someone's been in a car accident or the like, they almost certainly don't have an empty stomach. So I think that the prohibition on eating / drinking is bogus, and don't plan to follow it. (Which I will let them know if I do end up needing GA).

2. No IV fluids for hydration. The rate of IV's is quite astonishing - 94%! Are that many of us really dehydrated? When I was in for my contractions they stuck an IV in me 2/3 times - the first I managed to convince them that I really was not having the contractions because of dehydration (I had had over 100oz of fluid during the day). The second time they wanted to try it anyway, despite my saying the same thing. And it made no difference to the contractions whatsoever. And then the third was when I was having the magnesium, which needed to go in through an IV. But, our hormones are fairly delicately balanced, and getting more fluid than needed can screw with that balance. Perhaps leading to a slowdown in labor, so pitocin to help... blah blah blah. Slippery slope.

3. No induction. If Phred isn't ready to come out yet, I don't see any reason to force it. Plus, it seems like very few people who are induced end up with a normal, natural labor. I'd rather be pregnant for a few more days.

4. No breaking of waters to speed up labor. The amniotic sac can A) help with opennig the cervix more gently, B) cushion the baby's head, and C) equalize the pressure the baby feels with contractions - less fetal distress.

5. Minimal external fetal monitoring. The standard is to throw those suckers on you as soon as you arrive in the hospital, and keep them on the entire time. However, they definitely seem to lead to a higher c-section rate, because as soon as any kind of issue is seen, the doctors feel like they have to fix it right away. There has been a fair amount of research into this topic, and almost every article says that "intermittent auscultation" is just as effective at catching real problems as the continuous monitoring is, while lessening the c-section rate.

6. No time limits on labor (within reason). First, there seems to be a "you have to deliver within 24 hours of your water breaking" paradigm in place these days. Because of threat of infection. But studies have shown that there is no increased risk of infection just because of broken waters, especially if no internal exams are performed. So I'm thinking that if this happens and I don't start having contractions right away, I'm not even going to bother calling the hospital at that point. I also do not want a c-section just because I've been in phase 1 for X number of hours, or phase 2 for 2 hours. The time limits used seem to be actually quite fast, so I'm not going to let them pressure me into having a c-section just because of those.

7. No scheduled c-section, even if Phred does seem to want to stay breech. I figure the longer he/she is in there, the more chance there is of turning over, however remote it may be.

I think that about covers it!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

My brain is mush. Can't think of title.

Wow, I really can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks since I last posted. Where does the time go?? Everything here is chugging along, status quo. Phred seems to be getting bigger by the day, along with my belly! Still breech though. I’ve been doing some of the position exercises, just started seeing a chiro certified in the Webster technique, and have an acupuncture appointment next week. I’ll also have another u/s at my 36 week appointment to check exactly how Phred is positioned, for a possible ECV the following week, if nothing else has worked in the meantime.

The other things I’ve been occupying my time with include making myself a couple of skirts, since I really can’t stand any of my pants any more, my baby shower (last weekend), and doing lots of research about delivery, delivery interventions, c-sections and the like.

I wrote previously about how I read about the Bradley method for natural delivery, and how it seemed like a really good approach to me. I’m too late for the full series of 12 classes, but did find an instructor (thanks for the suggestion, Erin!) who is willing to meet with us privately to hopefully give us some tips and help with practice that we won’t necessarily get from reading the book and going through the exercises on our own. We have been doing some practicing, I’m learning how to RELAX! Also doing stretching and squatting and Kegels…

The above paragraphs were the first part of a post I started at the chiro on Thursday, that has now turned into two full, single spaced pages in Word, so I decided that rather than making you sit through all my ruminations at once (and wonder how I'm doing), I'd break it up into pieces so that I don't end up with a three or four page monstrosity!

Monday, July 17, 2006

I happened to be near an Old Navy this weekend, so I thought I’d go in and see what they had in the way of maternity clothes – any skirts, or long-ish shorts that I could actually wear to work? Of course it turned out that the particular store I went into didn’t have a maternity section at all, but I did happen to walk by one rack of “low-rise” skirts that I thought might fit. In yet another example of the cussedness of the universe, all they had in most of the colors that I would consider wearing were XXS and S. I could just tell by looking at those there was no way I was getting them over my much more ample ass. I did finally find a L, so went into the changing room to try it on. Quite a shock when I looked at my belly – all of a sudden, I’d acquired the beginnings of stretch marks! I was really hoping that I would avoid those. My genetics suggest that I might – neither my mom nor my sister got any. But there they were, in plain light pink. Oh well, nothing I could do about it. Que sera, sera.

I had to laugh at myself when I had M look at my belly later and he didn’t see anything. They weren’t stretch marks, idiot, it was just from the dress I was wearing being scrunched against my belly by the seat belt. He.

Anyway, some other things on my mind… I read on bbycenter that the Bradley method of natural childbirth allows women to deliver drug free 90% of the time! That is really a pretty amazing statistic, so I decided to get a couple of books out of the library and see what I think. Unfortunately, the method is taught over the course of 12 weekly sessions, so I’m a bit late for that. But I did read through the entire book on Friday night, and it sounds well worth trying. Now I just have to get M to buy into it (it requires full participation from your coach, which includes nightly practice sessions). I was hoping he’d read the book over the weekend after I’d said that I wanted him to, but that didn’t happen. I hate to nag, but I might have to! Does anyone out there have experience with this method? I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

Phred is still clearly breech, and although it does seem that breech vag. deliveries are possible, the medical establishment tends to want to do C-sections if the baby stays that way. So I’ve also been looking into methods for turning Phred over. There are a couple of positions that are suggested for encouraging this at home – one where you basically lie on your back at a –45 degree angle, your feet up on a couch, bum supported by pillows, and upper torso on the floor. The second is kneeling on the ground as if you’re going to crawl, but then putting your chest onto the ground, again getting your bum higher than your chest. Some other things include acupuncture, moxybustion (performed by an acupuncturist, burning certain herbs very close to particular spots near your baby toe – the heat is supposed to do something to encourage the baby to turn), or “external cephalic version (ECV)”, where your doctor uses her hands to turn the baby. Anyone tried any of these methods? At the moment I’m trying the two positions, although you’re supposed to do it more often during the day than I can manage, what with working. I thought I would ask my doctor about doing ECV at my next appointment, and perhaps make another appointment with my acu as well.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Things you learn and don't learn in hospital classes

We had the two childbirth related classes we're taking last Saturday, breastfeeding and Infant safety and CPR. I actually got more out of each of them than I was expecting, which was really nice.

One thing that we were told in the bf class, which I'd also read in the LLL book, was that you're not supposed to put soap on your nipples. So I decided that I would try and implement that over the last few days.

Day 1: Washed myself with my usual routine - using my puffy with D0ve bath wash, started with my left arm, then shoulder. Then skipped my chest which usually comes next, and moved over to my right arm. Of course, crossing my soapy left arm over my chest promptly got soap everywhere. After my right arm, then my left upper back, which got soap everywhere on my front that wasn't already soapy. So, scratch that attempt.

Day 2: More involved process - wash left arm / shoulder, and rinse. Rinsing of course sent soap down my front... wash right arm and rinse. More soap. Upper chest - more coursing of soap. Then, M and I usually shower together to save on time and water - while we were switching positions, I happened to rub against his arm - yet MORE soap.

Is anyone actually able to accomplish this???

Then, I had lunch with a friend the other day, and we were discussing her labor experience. She asked if I'd heard / read that one could poop during labor. I said that I had. She then said that there's another part that NO-ONE mentions - not the books, not the childbirth classes, nothing. And proceeded to tell me her story:

When she got to the pushing phase of labor, her sister and husband were in the delivery room with her. Each of them was supporting one of her legs. The first time the nurse told her to push, she pushed very gently, and let go a really loud fart. Since she wasn't expecting that (although it makes perfect sense that it would happen), she had to close her eyes and try really really hard not to laugh. After she was almost in control, she opened one eye to look at her sister, who by her facial expression was in exactly the same boat. After a few seconds, the nurse said "don't worry about it, it's going to happen, but go ahead and get your laughing out of the way", at which point all three of them totally lost it.

I'm really glad that she mentioned it to me, because I am such a giggler - I think it won't affect me as much now that I know it might happen, rather than taking me by surprise.

In Phred news, still having contractions, but still not nearly as much as before the magnesium. I asked at my appointment yesterday about exercising... still no, but I should get the all clear to do a bit after 34 weeks. I'm now measuring a little big for 32weeks, but doc wasn't worried. Although she did mention my weight for the first time at this appointment, after I gained 7 lbs since the last one! I think it's a lot of water though, as my ankles are starting to swell, and my fingers too. Total gain of 23lbs so far (including that 7!), so I really don't think that's so bad.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Bits and pieces

Interesting article from yesterday's Boston Globe - early results are very promising for using Omega-3 oils in IV feeding of infants instead of Omega-6, for avoiding liver problems.

Pregnancy notes:

My contractions have calmed down quite a bit - every now and again I'll get a bout of them, but they're never closer together than 10 minutes anymore, and for the most part they're an hour + apart. 42 weeks, here I come!

I think that all the drugs are finally out of my system completely - I haven't had to get up in the middle of the night to use the loo in a few days now. An uninterrupted night's sleep is highly welcome. Although I know I shouldn't get used to it.

I noticed sitting down today that my belly button is starting to stick out just a tiny bit. Up to this point it's gotten flatter and flatter. Now there's a tiny piece in the middle that's puffing out. It feels funny when I push on it!

I'm also getting a bit of the linea nigra. It's faint, but noticeable. I assume it'll keep getting darker over the coming weeks / months?

My hair is finally feeling a bit thicker - at least less of it is coming out in the shower. For a girl used to very fine, straight hair, it's nice to have a little more of it. Although I know that goes away after the baby is born.

And I'm willing to bet my clearer complexion will disappear in short order too!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Paranoia, party of one? Your table is ready....

I am driving myself certifiably insane. Doctor's appointment yesterday, with yet another cervical check (my doctor even joked that she didn't think she'd ever checked anyone cervix as much as mine!), showed once again that nothing is happening. Status quo. Is it okay for me to tell myself to relax? Doc was happy enough with the way everythings been going that she suggested going back to biweekly appointments rather than weekly, until I'm at 36 weeks. So I think I really need to stop being so paranoid.

Phred was also super active last night - dancing away like mad. With M's hand on my lower belly he was able to feel lots of movement, which made me really really happy. There were also a couple of really bizarre feeling movements - if I had to guess I'd say that Phred was rolling over, and his foot was pressing against me as he was doing it, so it was the rotation we were feeling.

(For those of you who remarked upon my use of pronouns in my last post - we don't know if Phred is a boy or a girl, so I alternate between both options, getting myself used to the idea of either:-)

I also wanted to say how much I appreciate your comments on my last entry. Some excellent points in there! I really love this community.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Two part post

Part one:

I was so pleased this morning – the contractions really seemed to have subsided; I didn’t have any yesterday until after noon, and this morning only one. So I sent my mom and sis an email saying how happy I was, and that maybe they were dying down and would go away completely.

I really really should have known better.

This afternoon, of course, they started right back up again. And they’re feeling the same way they did on the Wednesday afternoon before I was admitted to the hospital – not every contraction, but about every fourth one I feel low in my uterus, rather than just at the top. I left work early and have been at home on the couch since, but I’m still getting them. I do have a doctor’s appointment in the am, so I’ll wait for that unless they start getting more painful. But I really was hoping that things were settling down in there. Alas.

Part two:

This part is about my sadness that some things with my pregnancy are not going as I had imagined / hoped. If you’re not in a place where you can read something like this, please don’t. I wrote this a few days ago, and I am feeling mostly better, but still a bit… wistful I guess is the best way to describe it.

Let me also preface this by saying that I am incredibly grateful to be pregnant right now, with meeting Phred just around the corner. I am fully aware of what an incredible gift this is, and what a special time in my life (and M’s too).

There are, however, some things that I was looking forward to about being pregnant that just haven’t materialized, or haven’t worked the way I wanted them too, and it all hit me last week.

I was washing dishes, and my back started hurting. The first back pains I’ve had this entire pregnancy. I feel like it’s all because I can’t exercise, I can’t lift weights like I was – I had been feeling so strong and healthy and good about myself and how my body was handling this pregnancy, and now I just feel like crap. I know that exercising makes the contractions worse, and of course I don’t want that, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss it terribly.

That (and, I think the Norah Jones CD that I was listening to – not really a good idea if you’re already feeling sad and melancholy) made me start thinking about some of the other things I feel like I’m missing out on.

The whole increased sex drive in the second trimester? What a joke! In my case, that is a complete load of baloney. I’ve never had a terribly active one to begin with, and now it’s gone from, oh I’d say a 2 on a scale of 1-10 (1 = no sex drive, 10 = nymphomaniac) to about a zero. Maybe even a negative number. And that makes me sad, because I was looking forward to being able to share that with M.

I also have never been one to dream. Or at least to remember them. And I was looking forward to all the wild and wacky dreams of pregnancy. That hasn’t come to pass either. I had the one dream during my 2ww that I knew I was pregnant because my nipples were bleeding – since then, nada.

I don’t know how much of these previous two are old wives tales, versus things that most people really do experience. But regardless, I was looking forward to both!

I think the thing that makes me saddest (in fact I know this is what most upsets me because when M and I were talking about it last week I started absolutely bawling) is that because Phred is breech and my placenta is on the front of my uterus, it is extremely rare that Phred’s movements can be seen or felt from the outside. M has felt her a few times, but we don’t get to play with her like so many other people have described. So it makes me really sad that I have this amazingly cool thing going on inside me, and I can’t share it with the person most important to me in the whole world like I want to. He said that he doesn’t feel left out, but somehow that doesn’t make me feel better.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Better and better!

I only had to get up once last night to go to the loo. Which means I ended up sleeping so much more soundly. Definitely feeling more like myself.

Although when I went to the bathroom when I arrived at work this morning I realized my fly was unbuttoned...

And then when I went again, that I put my undies on inside out this morning!

So I guess I'm not quite as combobulated as I thought.

As I was leaving the bathroom I ran into a coworker who asked how I was doing, so I told her a little bit about it. Then she had the absolute nerve to say to me, "so now make sure you take it easy!" I replied, in a not terribly nice tone of voice, "I *HAVE* been taking it easy". Making me ANGRY is really not going to help, I don't think. People just need to mind their own damn business. It is quite obvious to me that she thinks I brought this on myself - she had definitely given me the sense when I was biking to work that she thought I was overdoing it. Never mind that my DOCTOR said that biking was just fine. Never mind that there is scientific evidence that exercise is GOOD FOR YOU AND THE BABY. She thinks that it is HER place to judge what I've been doing, and then tell me about it. GRRRRRRRRR. And then another coworker made a similar comment to me just afterwards, although in a much nicer way. But still. I have not done any exercise, of any shape or form, for the last 4.5 weeks. They can just fucking bite me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

To appease the hordes clamoring for an update (okay, at least a couple of you asked ;-), we're hanging in there. I didn't end up going to work yesterday because although I slept better than I had in the hospital, just an hour of sitting at my home office computer convinced me that I wasn't quite ready yet. So I spent the day reading books and curled up on the couch downstairs with my computer. Love the broadband internet access! M came home early, and we did go out for dinner to celebrate our seven year anniversary. Do I feel guilty for not going to work, but then going to dinner? Yeah, just a smidge. But I'll get over that soon.

I did go in to work today - got there at around 10, checked email, did about three productive things, then started feeling a bit light-headed and nauseous. Lunch didn't make me feel any better, nor did a Snickers bar (but it's packed with peanuts! It's supposed to satisfy me! HA.) So I left to come home at 1:30. I figure it'll take me a few days before I'm really feeling back up to snuff again.

One of my coworkers asked me if I'd lost weight - she said my arms look thinner. Yeah, thanks for bringing up the fact that my muscle mass has basically gone to nothing! I haven't been gaining much weight the last few weeks, but I think it really is that all my muscles are turning into jello. I'm going to have a lot of things to hold over Phred's head when he/she is older.

I was reading over some of my old blog entries earlier today, and I realized I used to be a lot more entertaining. So I thought I'd regale you with some fun from the hospital.

"Firsts" from my first hospital incarceration:

1. It wasn't really my first time in a hospital. I was in a serious car accident about ten years ago - broke my collar bone, stiches in my face, and a concussion that means I have zero recollection of the accident or about four days afterwards. So this stay was "new to me", but not brand new.

2. They have a portable u/s machine that they can bring right to your bedside. I had no idea!

3. The u/s showed that Phred is, as I have long suspected, happily in a breech position. So I wasn't allowed anything to eat after they admitted me, in case we had to do an emergency C-section. So the last sustenance I'd had was lunch at 11:30 on Wednesday.

4. Thursday morning, much to my surprise, the door of my room opened and a tray was brought in. We weren't sure if I was allowed to have anything on it or not. But just seeing "food" brought tears to my eyes I was so hungry and weak feeling.

5. It was for me - clear liquids. Woo-hoo!!! I got to have jello, apple juice, and chicken broth. It was better than nothing, but still a bit of a disappointment.

6. I got to have an italian ice and a popsicle for lunch. SO much better.

7. When they gave me the initial magnesium bolus, the nurse said that I would quite quickly feel hot all over, flushed, and my heart might start racing. What she didn't tell me was that the place I would feel hottest was my "vajayjay". Boy, was that ever a weird feeling.

8. They won't let you get out of bed once they've started the magnesium, because you essentially have no control over your muscles. So I got to use a bedpan for the first time. It was a bizarre experience. I basically ended up peeing all over my butt. And then sitting in it. After the second time I asked for a catheter, because I just could not imagine having to pee into that thing once an hour.

9. Having the catheter put in wasn't nearly as bad as I would have thought. A little numbing gel, then all I felt was a pinch. I remember reading on someone's blog that she didn't want to have an epidural because of the catheter. I have a tiny feeling that the pain of labor is going to SO far eclipse the "pain" of having that catheter put in.

10. The first time I stood up after the mag was stopped was another truly strange feeling. I still felt really heavy and out of control.

11. I was taken to the antepartum unit in a wheelchair. My eyes were better, but still unable to focus quickly enough to deal with the images flashing by as I was wheeled down the corridor.

12. The first time I peed on my own after having the catheter removed was a little scary - quite a bit of blood. I guess when I rolled from side to side and felt twinges down there it was doing something after all. Fortunately that didn't take too long to resolve.

That's all I can think of for now. Have a good night, all!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Relief? Not so much...

I'm finally back home after 4 days in the hospital (and Phred and I are both doing just fine). Despite the negative fFN test on Monday, my contractions started feeling different on Wednesday - I had mostly been feeling the tightening towards the top of my uterus, but Wednesday afternoon they moved down towards the bottom. So I called the doc once again, and went back to Labor and Delivery.

They checked my cervix when I got in there - still long and closed, and had me on the monitors for a few hours. Unfortunately, a second cervical check then showed that I was 50% effaced (which I will continue to wonder about, but...) so we then went into full prevention mode. (Which included another fFN test, which was now positive again. So much for Monday's result!)

First shot of beta methasone Wednesday night (steroid to mature Phred's lungs in case of pre-term delivery), and they started me on magnesium sulfate to try and stop the contractions / prevent the pre-term labor for long enough to give the steroids a chance to work. That was an experience. The magnesium basically completely relaxes all your muscles - every movement became an effort, including focusing my eyes! (All I can say is thank goodness for the catheter I asked them to put in Wednesday night.) I basically spent all of Thursday and the first part of Friday in a stupor. I did have a book on CD that I listened to to pass some of the time. That's about all I could manage. What was interesting was that despite the fact all the rest of my muscles were rubber, I was still contracting like a champ. Fortunately that stopped on Friday morning - finally!

Once the contractions had stopped for a few hours, they felt comfortable taking me off the mag, so around 1pm on Friday they shut that off. By 4 I was feeling worlds better, and got moved down to the antepartum floor. (i.e. the bedrest floor).

There was one more incident - I woke up in the early morning on Saturday with the contractractions back again, 2-3 minutes apart, and more painful than they had been. Fortunately after I went to the bathroom a couple of times (and got rid of a a full liter of fluid), they calmed down pretty quickly. A full bladder definitely seems to exacerbate the contractions at this point.

The next couple of days I got to experience hospital bedrest. It wasn't actually as bad as I was imagining - I had a stack of books, my computer, a fair number of visitors... all passed the time pretty quickly. I finally got to shower again on Saturday morning too, I cannot describe how good that felt! Probably the worst was the nights - even though the bedrest bed was a lot more comfortable than the L&D bed, it still wasn't nearly as nice as my bed at home.

After another cervical check this morning, with still no change, I was allowed to go home again. Boy does it feel nice to be out of that bed! They're not even keeping me on bedrest, I think because I seem to have the contractions whether I'm in bed or not, so doesn't seem to be much point in restricting my activity to that level.

Hopefully this is the last of the drama, and I'll just keep gently contracting for another 6+ weeks. (29w1d today).

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Good news

At my appointment yesterday, my Doc decided to do another fetal fibronectin test, to see if that had changed at all (it was positive at 25 weeks). Called back a few hours later to say that indeed, it is negative now. So that, along with the fact that my cervix was measured at 3.3cm last week suggests that it is highly unlikely that I will deliver pre-term. Big sigh of relief! (I was already feeling better given that I'm 28w3d, this is just icing)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Further adventures of Nico and Phred

When I went to the loo yesterday morning, there was a big ol' chunk-o-mucus on the tp. Not enormous, but big enough for me to be concerned. Slightly larger than an M&M (Smartie, for those of you across the pond. Or do you have M&Ms over there these days?). I started to write a post asking about what the size of the mucus plug would be, if that's what it was, but then decided I was just being silly, and should call the doctor's office and ask them.

So they had me come in for triage again. A quick check of my cervix... was not as quick as they had been in the past, so I was prepared for bad news. Turned out not to be so bad - still closed, but now 70% effaced. So not great either. Back to Labor and Delivery for more monitoring.

The monitoring again showed that Phred is doing just fine, but my contractions are still on the order of 4-5 minutes apart. This time they decided to try hydration, despite my protests that I was quite well hydrated, thank you very much. A liter of oral fluids and 2 liters of IV fluids later, they said I was right, that hydration was not the problem. Yeah.

Two more checks of my cervix by a different midwife showed no change, but she definitely agreed with the initial estimation that it was shorter. So, they sent me home again, home again, jiggety... no jogging allowed! And made me an appointment for an u/s this morning.

The u/s, thankfully, was definitively good. My cervis was measuring at 3.3cm, where generally pre-term labor isn't thretened unless it's less than 2cm. So I think that we can finally start to relax a bit, although I still plan on being hypervigilant about the symptoms of PTL.

So a few more wracked nerves later, it looks like we'll make it at least a couple more weeks. And every week that goes by is good!!

Thank you all so much for your good thoughts and wishes through these trials :-)

Friday, June 02, 2006

OK, not great.

We're hanging in here. I'm still contracting like it's going out of style (this is one uterus that damn well better be able to handle labor, with all the practice it's getting!) Still no change to my cervix. Which is good. I'll be 27 weeks tomorrow, which makes me feel a lot better than when the contractions started right around 25 weeks. I can't believe I've been having them for two weeks already.

I had my regularly scheduled 26wk appointment on Tuesday, where I got to do the GD test for real this time (at around 14wks they gave me the drink by mistake, but didn't bother to draw my blood), as well as a Rhogam shot. I'm A- and M is O+, so there is a definite possibility that Phred and I will be Rh incompatible. My first butt-shot. It wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined, really just a little pinch.

Also discussed the continuation of the contractions with my doc. I asked about doing a bit of walking or light weight lifting - staying perfectly still doesn't seem to stop the contractions, so I figured doing a bit of exercise couldn't hurt. She recommended against it (although she said I'm a grown up, and can obviously make my own choices). She also even more strongly recommended against travelling - which I'm bummed about because I had three trips planned for work in June, two of which I was really looking forward to. Ah well.

She was totally right on the exercise though. I did take a walk the next day, from my office to the bank so I could make some deposits. Less than a mile round trip. It was really amazing - I do have the contractions sitting still, but boy does walking exacerbate them. So unless my uterus magically decides to become un-irritable, I'm stuck being a lump.

But, much better to be a lump with Phred still cooking than to do something stupid and cause these contractions to actually turn into labor.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

meltdown and recovery

I've been keeping pretty steady through all of this, but had my first meltdown last night, when the contractions were back to 4-5 minutes apart. I had been telling myself over and over again that it was unlikely that I was going into labor, given the length of my cervix and the fact that it was completely closed on Saturday night AND Monday morning. But the damn contractions picking up again really got to me. Especially as I had come home from work early because I did notice that walking up and down the stairs was bringing them on, and all I had been doing since was lying on the couch.

So I had my little crying jag. Then I switched positions, and it did seem to help, so we decided not to call in again. I had already made the decision not to go into work today, so thought I'd see what happened today, and hopefully things would calm down when I really wasn't doing anything. Self-imposed bedrest.

Did not work at all. After I woke up I stayed in bed for about 45 minutes, with contractions about ten minutes apart. Lying on the couch seemed better for a while, but any time I would stand up to go to the bathroom or get some water they would start right back up again, 4-5 minutes apart.

Eventually I called the doc again, both to get the results of my UTI test from Saturday, and also to ask whether I should come in again. They said I should. So, trip number two to the hospital. This one was less of a rush, as I figured an extra half hour probably wasn't going to do anything at this point.

More monitoring (Phred was called a “textbook full term reactive baby”, which was great!), and another cervical check showed once again that nothing is happening in that area.

So this time, the doc said not to worry about the contractions. They are obviously not productive, in that my cervix is just fine. She called them “nuisance” contractions. She was still a bit nervous, given the positive fibronectin test, but said that I should only call if I notice any change from the current affairs. I may just have to live with these for the next three months. Hopefully three months.

I’m feeling much better now, still hoping that they go away, but resigned and okay if they don’t.