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.