Archive for April, 2008

The Zen: it comes and goes

April 30, 2008

So after that calm post this morning, I had probably the lowest moment of all this afternoon: T. and I had a fight. Up until now, we’ve been really good about communicating and processing what is always one of our biggest sources of conflict – family loyalties. From the moment I knew that I wanted my mom to be here for the birth, I knew we’d have to keep communication open about her coming since I have had a tendency in the past to put my family of origin before T., which makes him react in a jealous and possessive way, and that then just escalates. So we were doing really well. But with the sudden onset of this pre-E, and my sister basically dropping everything to come here on short notice, we never had a chance to process her visit. So this morning was the first time we talked about it (over the phone) and it was bad, probably the worst argument we’ve had since, oh, I dunno, last winter, I think. It was awful. He was on his way to meet with a student, though, so I had to write out my feelings on e-mail and send it to him just so I wouldn’t be stewing until we could talk again. At that point, I just wanted the baby to disappear and the whole situation to vanish, to reset to a point in time where none of this had happened. But after writing the e-mail I was able to fall asleep and to have a good nap; when I woke up, T. called and apologized and I did too and we’re all good now. He understands that I need my sister’s support, but not at the cost of his – that he is first in my heart. And I see that he was feeling pushed out by her being here.

So after all that, my sister and niece came back from their errands for the day and we played with stuffed animals, read books, and colored the rest of the afternoon. It was so delightful. And I could imagine reading to my own little one, one day soon.

Didn’t realize I was such a wimp

April 30, 2008

Didn’t sleep so well last night, but woke up feeling calm and accepting of the current situation. It seems to be a matter of just staying in the moment, and not thinking too much about the past or the future. The sun is out, and my sister brought yellow flowers to brighten the room. I have clean sheets and my own pyjamas. This is also where celebrity gossip TV becomes indispensible – mindless, inconsequential froth. And when that starts to become annoying, there’s always the mystery novels I’ve read before (the suspense involved in reading a new one feels like it would be too much at this point). The key is not to think too much. About anything.

Distraught and Venting

April 28, 2008

The roller-coaster continues . . . Doc came in this morning with some kind of portable u/s monitor thingy to check on the baby’s movement and the amniotic fluid. We could see it practicing breathing, wiggling around, and plenty of fluid. All is well with the Critter! Not so much with the Mama! BP was frustratingly up again this morning (144/107), despite a pretty solid sleep.

So we had a frank discussion about blood flow, placenta, contractions, and whatnot – as I understand it, I had a contraction while on the monitor the other day which showed that the baby “doesn’t like” contractions. More specifically, the contraction seemed to compromise the blood flow to the Critter. Because high BP can also negatively impact blood flow through the placenta, that’s additional cause for them to keep me here for regular monitoring.

I don’t mind the bedrest, and I don’t mind being in the hospital. What I do mind is hearing that even if the baby were to turn head-down, they’d still probably want to do a C-section because of concerns about blood flow during contractions. At 37 weeks. So it’s pretty certain my mom won’t be able to be here. And I don’t know what the implications are for working with a doula; from T’s perspective, there really isn’t a point to hiring her after all.

So while everything the Doc explained made sense, I was (and am) still pretty upset. I’m mad at myself for getting my hopes up for an unmedicated, vaginal birth. I’m upset that I spent all that time reading and learning and thinking about the “midwifery model” of childbirth and becoming convinced that that’s what I wanted. I feel like I’m letting everybody down – myself, T., the baby, and everyone who has a claim on him or her. I feel helpless and a loss of control. I feel cheated. Again. Just as it was hard to read blogs about BFPs and pregnancies before conceiving, it’s hard now to read blogs of women who are on the verge of going into labor. I won’t have that option. I won’t even be allowed to try to push this baby out on my own. I feel like a failure. And I’m scared, I’m scared of the surgery, scared that I’ve done something wrong, that ultimately it’s still my fault (I waited too long to start TTC… I didn’t eat the right foods last summer… I drank too much… all the things you second-guess yourself about… )

I’m putting on a bright face for T’s and my parents, but meanwhile I’m just kind of an emotional wreck over here this morning.


April 28, 2008

Still in hospital, BP riding along above the line where they’d let me go home (140/90), but well below where they’d want to deliver (160/110). This afternoon T. took me out for an excursion into the gardens around the hospital grounds. We were sitting on the grass under the trees when my sister arrived from Georgia with her 3 year old daughter, and about an hour later T. had to leave for the airport. He’s going to VA for a couple days – don’t judge him, I told him to go! If my sister weren’t here he probably wouldn’t have gone.

Right now I feel exhausted, but calm. Tomorrow I’m going to get a pile of papers to grade, but I’ll just try to take it slow. It’s the only thing I have to do besides lie around eating bon-bons.

My sister and niece hung around this afternoon and it was just nice having them here.

The Christians and the Pagans

April 24, 2008

(read the next post first)
… and then, when you least expected it, the bit of grace you needed to carry you through.

Yesterday I was able to stop by at home and get my mail (along with clean underwear, my journal, lotion, and a few other sundries…). In the mailbox was a package from a former student and now friend, R., with this little pendant in it: If you can’t tell what it is in the picture, it’s a metal dye-cast version of this. The tag that comes with it says “… she symbolizes the nurturing and support that motherhood creates. She is fat, showing her abundant life-energy. To many, she is the symbol of life itsef, and the creative side of womanhood.”

Today, I was sitting in bed weeping when the phone rang. It was my knitting-friend E. She’d heard through the grapevine that I was on bedrest and rang to see how I was doing and to share some verses from the Bible that she read during her three deliveries. Even my crusty old heart was soothed and comforted by these words:

Isaiah 46:4
And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Isaiah 66:9
Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

I know there are times when words like these seem like a mockery of broken promises; but right now they reach deep inside of me and there is comfort there. Perhaps it was just the loving comfort a friend’s voice when I needed it most.
In any case, as I was typing this, the nurse came by and took my BP again – 151/99.

*Deep Breaths*

April 24, 2008

BP was 170+/117 this morning. The nurse mentioned the word “delivery” again and I just lost it. But the doctor came in later and said they’re going to put me on meds to lower my BP and see how that works; also do another 24-hour urine test. She explained that one of the dangers of the high BP is possible placental abruption. But she seemed optimistic that the meds (starting with a low dose) would help.

I feel so alone. T. is still in DC for work, although he’s coming back today. My sister is coming, but not until Sunday. I just want my mom, and she’s not only in Peru but out in a rural area where there are no phones. I know there are people around here who love me – my favorite aunt and uncle came by last night, with my cousin and his daughter. It was *wonderful* to see them. Why is it so hard for me to ask for anything from other people?

No matter how many times they tell me that this isn’t my fault, that nothing I did caused this and nothing I could have done would have prevented it, I don’t believe them. I know at the bottom of my heart that this is my fault. I have already failed. I keep telling my baby over and over that I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.

On Monday the doctor told me that I need to stop trying to take responsibility for the whole world, that I need to stop being so hard on myself. It was almost uncanny how quickly she sized me up (it was the first time I’d met this particular doctor). But it is so hard to change a lifetime of mental habits overnight.

On the bright side, today the doctor didn’t say the D-word. She said I’m not actually pre-eclamptic, but cleary have hypertension and that’s what they’re going to treat. And the baby is still doing great; seems happy and hearty and completely fine. So we’re going to try to keep it that way.

Once More, With Feeling

April 23, 2008

I am so bummed. After a really good night with readings as low as 118/64, in the morning I was back up to 140/102. Currently it’s 187/86. In other words, I’m all over the place. Critter, however, is doing so well that they took me off the belly monitors altogether.

The pee test results came back; I don’t know what these numbers refer to precisely, but my number is 144, which is good: their cutoff is 300. So, no delivery today. The doctor said she expects we can hang on for at least another 2 weeks.

So that all sounds nice and calm and rational, but inside I’m still reeling. Delivery!?!?!? 2 weeks?!?!??!?! What the hell happened to SIX weeks to go?

When she told me that I wasn’t going home today, and was DEFINITELY not to travel until after the baby is born, I pretty much had a meltdown. I was supposed to go home to VA for my baby shower this weekend. My sister had bought tickets to fly in just for the event. My friends had put all this work into planning it. We’d finessed hostessing roles with my MIL.

And now there are all these fears about delivery – Critter is breech, as confirmed by the u/s yesterday. Will I not even have a chance to try unmedicated labor and vaginal delivery? I feel (again) cheated. It’s not fair. So here I am having my own little pity-party, while I try to remind myself that I’m the Mom, and I have to find the strength somewhere to deal with this upset. The point is to bring home a healthy baby. So I berate myself for having had the audacity to hope and dream for a “normal,” empowering birth experience.

My sister is thinking of driving up here to help out, since my mom’s not coming until May 28 (ah, optimism! Watch, while the universe stomps all over it!) and folks, our place is a MESS.

Enough now.


April 22, 2008

BP now at a much better 123/84.

And the Oscar Goes To….

April 22, 2008

One minute you’re getting ready to go to campus to grade papers and do class prep, the next minute you’re being trundled down the hall in a hospital gown…

The good news: the Critter is doing just fine, wiggling away and measuring perfectly on track for 33w6d. More good news: BP is falling (THANK GOD) to a more reasonable level, most recently something over 84.

So why am I strapped to monitors and peeing in a jug?

Sunday night SUCKED. I had a low-grade headache all weekend, but by Sunday night it was so bad it took me two hours to fall asleep. I kept waking up all night to the pounding in my head. So I got up at 8 and straightaway called the ob/gyn; they said to come in at 9:30. The dipstick was negative for protein in the urine, but they took my bp and it was still way high – 160/102. So the midwife said: bedrest. And a 24-hour urine test. She said I could either do this at home, or at the hospital – and T. persuaded me to go to the hospital. I guess it’s just as well since we’ve had contractors in our apartment for the past 5 WEEKS redoing the bathroom (it was supposed to take 2). It’s mostly done, they just had to come back today to put in a mirrored cabinet and fix the door. Anyway, I’m now getting my first look at the maternity ward here.

The awkward thing was scrambling to cover my class; fortunately friend and office-mate C. was available to hand back papers and make general announcements. And I got a little emotional as I watched our plans for the week unravel. But on the plus side, we got another ultrasound, and got to see the critter’s little face (and internal organs), and the tech wrote the sex on a piece of paper and put it in a sealed envelope that we can open whenever we feel like. For now, I feel like it’s all still too much to process as it is.


April 18, 2008

I’m so boring these days. You can check here for p-word update if so inclined.