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.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Contractions update

I begged my OB to squeeze me in for an appointment yesterday, I really wanted another cervical check for some peace of mind. So she did. Following my usual routine, I walked over to the hospital from my office, about a 20 minute jaunt. It’s about the same amount of time whether I walk or take the T (subway), so I prefer the extra exercise.

I got there at around 11, and she finally had time for me at about 12:45. Whatever. She theoretically was only working until 11:45, so I was really pleased she stuck around!

Another cervical check gave similar results as over the weekend; long and closed. Whew.

After that, we chatted for a bit. I gave her the lowdown on what happened on Saturday night, she asked me about exercise (nothing since biking on Weds night / Thurs morning), and we talked about a steroid shot if the contractions picked up again. She also mentioned bedrest, but said that we’d give it until my appointment next week, and reassess at that point. In the meantime, NO exercise. Not even walking any more than necessary.

What really hit me about that was that although I was still feeling intermittent contractions, while I was sitting in the waiting room (after my 20 minute walk), I noticed that they were back to about 15 minutes apart. Later on in the afternoon I was late for a meeting, so hustled from my building over to where the meeting was, about 2/10 mile. And had more contractions during the meeting, now about 10 minutes apart.

So. Given that rather convincing evidence, I WILL be taking it easy for the next week. Rather than walking a report over to a co-worker to sign (different building again), I’ll put it in the interoffice mail. No biking, no weight lifting, and no golf this weekend. Sniff. Hopefully things will calm down, and we can avoid any further mention of bedrest!

My mom is a bit of a vitamin junkie, so she did some research on this yesterday, and came up with an interesting theory. I drink a ton of milk, about 40 oz (just over a liter) in a day. Which means lots of calcium. Which can cause muscles to contract. So she suggested that I take a magnesium supplement, which does the opposite. There is some magnesium in milk, but not nearly as much as there is calcium. I checked with the doc, and although she said she doesn’t necessarily think it will help, it won’t hurt, so she gave me the go-ahead. So I’m going to start that today. I think it makes a lot of sense – magnesium sulfate in an IV is one of the things they give people to stop contractions, so I think a bit of supplementation, especially since I don’t eat a lot of the foods rich in magnesium, is the way to go, since I am still having contractions intermittently. I’ll also go and see my acupuncturist tomorrow if they haven’t completely stopped by then.

I’m still not overly concerned, but I will be paying very close attention!

Monday, May 22, 2006

A wee bit of a fright

M and I babysat for my 7 month old niece on Saturday. It was the first time I'd babysat in the afternoon when her parents weren't around (I'd put her to bed in the evening before while they went out to dinner, but this was my first extended session without Mom or Dad), and unfortunately had an experience similar to Kath's recent encounter with her niece. The first half-hour or so was just fine, she was playing nicely with the two of us. But all of a sudden, the monster came out. She was pretty much inconsolable. I think she realized Mom wasn't coming... I was supposed to feed her a bottle at 4, then put her down for a nap. She wanted NONE of the bottle. Which didn't make sense because she hadn't had any of her veggies for lunch, since we'd been out. So I called my sis in desparation, and she told me that the trick she uses is to put her left hand on my niece's one cheek, hold the bottle with right thumb and forefinger, and lay the other fingrs of the right hand on the other cheek. Worked like a charm! She then took the bottle with no problem, and although she cried a little when I tried to put her down, I just left her in her crib and she quieted down pretty quickly.

During her nap, M went out with her stroller to check that it would fit into the back of the station wagon we're thinking of buying (actually, put a deposit down on it yesterday - item number one for baby finally purchased!). I sat down and read for a while. At around 5, I had my first "Braxton-Hicks" contraction. At the time I thought it was pretty cool, I could really feel my uterus, and how it was much more on the right side than on the left. Neat.

Nuzzles woke up from her nap at about 5:30, played nicely for a little while again, but just before dinner time proceeded to go on yet another screaming jag. She did NOT want to be in her high chair, her bumbo, her exersaucer, and even more vehemently did not want her dinner. Sis and I had discussed whether I should give her a bath, I was so glad that we had decided against that endeavor! Fortunately I did again manage to give her a bottle and put her to bed without too much fuss. I think she really just didn't want to be fed by anyone but mom!

M and I had dinner after that, and I noticed a few more "BH" contractions. On the drive home, though, I started to get a little concerned - they were coming about 6 to 7 minutes apart by this point, which, at 25w1d was not something I was really happy about. When we got home we did a little reading / internet checking, and as the universal recommendation was to call the doc if you were having more than 4 in an hour, I did.

I wasn't *too* worried because I wasn't having any other symptoms of labor - no discharge, no back pain, no real pain with the contractions... but the doc I spoke to said that I should come in just so they could make sure that it wasn't a problem.

So we had our first hurried drive to the hospital, leaving our house just before midnight.

When we got there I was really impressed by how quickly they had me on a bed and hooked up to the fetal heartrate and uterine activity monitors. I had another contraction pretty soon after they started the paper tracing - I was vacillating between being happy that I wasn't imagining things, and being worried that yes, I was in fact having contractions.

A midwife came in not too long after that to check my cervix. The insertion of the spec was somehow a lot more uncomfortable than it had been for any of the paps or IUI's I'd had... but she did get a look, and said that it was "nice and long, and closed". Also took a swab for a fibronectin test.

They then had me drink a liter of water, as one of the causes of contractions can be dehydration. I was pretty sure that wasn't it, given that I'd had over 80oz (2.5 liters) of liquid during the day and my pee was pretty clear, but whatever. Not surprisingly, it didn't have any effect on either the spacing or intensity after about an hour.

Next, a doc came in and said they'd like to give me a shot of Terbutaline to try and stop the contractions. I was a little iffy at first, but she assured me that it would not hurt Phred, and although it might cause me to feel a bit jittery / increase my heart-rate, that would only last for 20-30 minutes. After a little hemming and hawing, I said I'd "give it a shot" when she said she'd feel much better if I did take it. Unfortunately no-one seemed to appreciate my little pun :-(

The shot stung like a motherfluffer (thanks for the eupemism, Kellie), but it was sub-q and didn't last long. And it did slow the contractions almost immediately. I'd only had one more in the half hour after the shot, so they sent me home. Got to bed at around 4am. So much for golf on Sunday!

I did have a few more contractions the next day, but only about one an hour. So that was a relief. The only thing that does concern me at this point is that the fibronectin test came back positive. They were saying that doesn't mean anything, really, and that only a negative test is predictive. But I would have felt / would feel a lot better if it were negative.

So that was my fun for the weekend!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Biking etiquette and musings thereon...

I was so happy that it finally stopped raining! I could get back on my bike, and actually get some exercise. I have been having trouble waking up in the mornings this past week, and I wonder if it's due to the sharp decrease in my exercise from the rain (no biking and no golf!).

Yesterday evening I was really psyched to push some pedals, and rode my bike to my acupunture appointment. I was a bit annoyed when I was riding, becuase on three occasions, other people on bikes passed me, without giving me any kind of warning at all.

*I* always yell "on your left" when I'm passing another biker, and generally either yell or use my bell when I'm passing a walker / runner (sometimes I don't if the pathe is super wide and they're staying over to the right, otherwise I will). My feeling is that you never know when someone is going to make a sudden move, and I'd much rather be safe than sorry.

When I rode in to work this morning, I rang my bell to let a female jogger know I was passing her, then we both ended up stopped at a traffic light ahead. We chatted a little bit about the use of bells / yells - she said that in her experience almost every woman biker would do one or the other, where as only about 1 in 10 men would. I thought that was really interesting. Is it that men feel more in control and don't worry about a sudden move? Are they just less considerate? She also thanked me, and said that the warning is much appreciated.

My other pet peeve about this whole endeavour, aside from other cyclists passing me without warning is joggers / walkers / rollerbladers (the last are the worst because they take up so much room) who have their music on so loud they can't hear me! Again, not very safe. For either of us. I once yelled at a rollerblader, because I was trying to pass her and she couldn't hear me - when I finally just did it, she hit me with her swinging hand, and then had the audacity to give me a nasty look.

Then I have a whole different set of pet peeves when it comes to dealing with cars, but I'll leave that for another time.

Any other pet peeves on the subject to share?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Random collection

I went out to dinner with a friend last night, and got full way more quickly than I’m used to. I think my stomach must be getting squished now. I couldn’t even finish my dessert. And that has *never* happened before!

I still haven't done anything about setting up a nursery. Despite various people telling me that cribs can take months to get in, if you want to order one. I'm just not ready yet. We were going to go and take our first look at furniture a few weeks ago, but ended up going to a car dealership instead to test drive the station wagon we're thinking of getting. Somehow that is much less frightening to me than going furniture shopping.

I’m also mostly still wearing my non-maternity tops. I know that other people have complained time and time again, but maternity clothes really are awful. They’re just like big tents. As if I should be embarrassed about being pregnant, and do my best to make it look like no, I’m just wearing clothes that are 47 sizes too big for me.

But then sometimes I feel like I should be hiding it. There’s a woman at my office who has been trying to have kids for over 5 years. I had a feeling… she was telling me about her new puppy a little while ago and said something like, “since we don’t have kids, we figured we’d get a dog”. So when I officially came out at work, I happened to mention to her that it had taken us quite a while to finally get here. So we talked about it a bit. But I feel really bad for her – not only am I pregnant, but so are two other women I work directly with, as well as a few others in our department. I imagine sometimes how I would feel if I hadn’t gotten pregnant when I did, having the other two around who both managed it easily. And she must feel ten times worse, given that she’s been trying for so much longer. I don’t think there’s anything I can do though to make it better for her. Which sucks.

I think that Phred is still head up, because I have yet to feel kicks anywhere but way down low, by my “vajayjay” (thanks, Dr. Bailey). I’m looking forward to him going head down so I can actually see the movement, and M can feel it more than just once in a blue moon.

Speaking of Grey’s Anatomy, what a heart-wrencher on Sunday! I bawled my eyes out at the end. And then I almost bawled when Chris was voted off Id0l. What a shame. I *really* do not see what the judges see in Elliot. I completely thought that Chris would win it all. Of course, I never voted, so I can’t really complain, can I?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Pregnancy drive-by… with a Hummer and an Uzi.

I know that a number of other pregnant after infertility folks have mentioned that they still feel some pangs when hearing about newly pregnant people, despite their own change in status.

Well, I got to experience it first-hand the other night. I was talking to my mom, and she told me that my cousin had called and left a message saying that his wife is pregnant.

So you have some of the backstory... they just got married September of last year. He’s 21, she’s 19. They had been dating for only a year before their wedding. She has a part-time job at Petco, and he’s an apprentice welder.

I can't put a finger on how I feel. Flattened somehow. I *know* that it has no bearing on ME, but somehow I just can’t bring myself to be happy for them. Maybe just because it’s such a different life path than I chose to take, and I can’t even begin to comprehend it. Maybe because I was already worried about whether they would even make it, now there’s another worry to add to the pile – what about the baby?. I’m just trying not to think about it at all. Gah.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

And the ewwwwww factor goes up a little more

One of the things that I did know might happen was the separation of my abdominal muscles. I noticed last week that when I was lying down, and lifted my head up, I could see a little lump going straight down my midsection, so I figured it was starting to happen. (Apparently the lump is the rest of your insides poking through the separation between your muscles)

When I did the same thing last night, though, I got quite a fright! My muscles seem to have separated quite a lot, so I could now see a lump about two inches wide running straight down my middle.

Weird. Really, really weird.