Archive for the ‘the P word’ Category

Misc

July 6, 2010

I have so many random thoughts coursing through my neural pathways that I don’t know which one to pick.  I’ve written long, lovely posts in my head at 4 a.m. several times this week and still sit and stare at the blank screen with nothing to say.  I’ll try some bullet points here and then maybe segue into something more thoughtful.

  • If I get one more e-mail from my MIL with yet another unsolicited opinion about baby boy names – always followed by the standard “whatever you decide will be great I’m sure” disclaimer which is supposed to neutralize the invasiveness I suppose – I will scream.
  • I am at a loss for how to divvy out child care help over the next few weeks.  My parents are here until the 25th, and then we probably won’t see them again for another 2 years as tickets to Albania are prohibitively expensive for them.  Our sitter keeps offering to stay overnight to help with V but my mom seems to feel a little insulted by the implication that she can’t do the job herself.  My MIL told me she’s already “in grief mode” about us leaving in September and wants to watch V as much as possible.  I hate being the person who has to weigh all these different interests and claims on the children cause dangit, they’re my kids and even though I do NEED the help – I need to spend time with them too.  T and I were talking about it last night and it just stressed me out to no end because I’m the one who has to decide.
  • Yesterday we got a little tour of the Family Birthplace Center at the new hospital where we’ll be delivering tomorrow, and I felt a little sad seeing the L&D rooms – they are HUGE – knowing I won’t ever have the chance to use one of them.  I thought I’d come to terms with the repeat cesarean – but there it is.  More on this later, I’m sure.
  • In a little over 24 hours we’ll meet our boy… I think we have a name but I feel more resigned to it than excited about it.  What bugs me most is that it’s #22 on the social security list for 2009.  Too popular!  At least it’s not trendy (there’s a difference – Daniel, e.g., is popular but not trendy.  Camden, e.g., is trendy but not overly popular).
  • It’s blitzin’ hot today and our small house (just under 1,000 square feet, 1 bathroom) is feeling small with four adults and 1 toddler living here.  I’m still incredibly thankful my mom is here helping me out so much.  I thought a good thank-you gift for her would be a ring or necklace with the grandkids’ birthstones.  I just have to figure out when and how to get one and/or who to delegate to get it for me.
  • Overall I feel much more calm and collected about this upcoming birth, so much less scared and freaked than last time.  Even though so many variables are different – including the glut of grandparents hovering around, and worrying about how V. will deal with the change – I feel much better prepared about what to expect.  That’s kinda nice.

Ok, I guess that’s it for right now.  I woke up at 4 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I’m going to try to nap now.  I want to write more about my feelings about L&D/ repeat cesarean too… maybe this afternoon.

Countdown continues

July 3, 2010

So here I am, days away from meeting our baby boy.  I think we have settled on a name.  My MIL has been e-mailing me DAILY to weigh in on the decision.  She has V. all day today so they’re both happy.  I’ve been having insomnia off and on – woke up at 4:30 this morning and didn’t fall asleep again until after 6.  Luckily V. slept in until 8:00!!!  I don’t know if she was awake in the night too, I didn’t hear anything on the monitor.  Or maybe she was just making up for the previous night of bad sleep.  Anyway, I feel pretty good, same old same old, just counting the days.

Countdown…

June 17, 2010

Today it struck me that our baby will be here in just over three weeks…

THREE WEEKS.

Wow.

It feels like there’s a lot to do before then…  Just as I’m starting to feel that I’ve settled into a comfortable routine here with my parents, it’s time to prepare for more change.  T. will be back a week from tomorrow and that will shift things again, of course – hopefully we won’t feel too crowded with four adults and a toddler in a 900-square-foot house (1 bathroom!).  My mom’s been helping me sort through clothes and things – she has scoured the basement, cleaned and repaired a number of random household objects, and has become a favored playmate of V’s (although I still have my regular sitter watching her during the day).  Mom’s been doing all the laundry and cooking and dusting too.  She’s amazing.

Today I dropped off another 24-hour urine, last time in the “old” hospital.  They’ve built a new one that opens next Tuesday, which is where the Tadpole will be born, one way or another.  I have a c-section “tentatively” (my OB’s word) scheduled for July 7, but he’s willing to see how things progress towards a potential trial of labor.  I so appreciate his openness and flexibility – even if I do end up with another cesarean, it helps me feel more at peace about it knowing I’m not locked into it incontrovertibly.   Last week my parents did a little volunteer work at the new hospital and got a tour of the maternity wing – which I haven’t even seen yet!

I have been very, very thankful that V. is sleeping much better ever since I decided to try letting her sleep by herself (we were still co-sleeping up until the end of May).  It’s working, for the most part.  This morning she woke up at 5 (after falling asleep at 9:30 last night), but fell asleep again at around 6 for another 2 hours and woke up in a really good mood.  So it was ok.

Three weeks.  I can’t believe it.

so far so good!

June 11, 2010

I had another check-up today with the specialist at the fancy hospital, and he said he’s “amazed” at how well we are doing!  My proteinuria levels are basically back to normal, and my blood pressure is under control with the bedrest and medication.  I’m supposed to continue as I am with frequent monitoring until delivery.  We are now at 34 weeks and the baby looks great – estimated to weigh in at 6 lbs. 6 oz.

Such a relief.

Medical update

June 4, 2010

The good news is my proteinuria is down again – 240!  I feel validated that I’m taking good care of myself – and being cared for by a loving “village” as well.

Even so, my doc wants me to go back to the specialist at the fancy hospital an hour away next week, for another high-level u/s and second opinion again.  So my calendar is filling up with medical appointments:  Monday NST, Tuesday 24-hour urine, Wednesday NST, Thursday u/s.  It is starting to feel like a job.

They also went ahead and scheduled me for a cesarean at 38 weeks (+ 2 days) – July 7 at 10:00 a.m.  So he’s assuming I’m going to make it til then.  What I recall my doctors saying when V. was born is that past 37 weeks they don’t really see much point in letting the baby bake any longer, since by that point they generally do just fine outside the womb, and it just prolongs the period of high risk to the mother.  If I were to go into labor on my own naturally before then, the doc would just want to see how things progress but be prepared to go to cesarean if things stall out along the way.  Because of my previous c-section induction isn’t an option.

For the most part, I feel like I’ve made my peace with the idea of having another c-section.  In comparing notes with friends who’ve had emergency cesareans after long labor, it seems like having had the time to prepare mentally and emotionally before hand made a big difference for my peace of mind and ability to be emotionally and mentally present at the birth and to make sure that I had a say in some aspects of the process that were important to me – like ensuring that T. would be with the baby the whole time while I was in recovery, and that I’d spend as much time with her as possible as soon as possible.  I also think that the scare we had 2 weeks ago with the prospect of immediate delivery and a NICU stay put things in another perspective for me.  The fact that I’m experiencing pre-eclampsia for the second time makes me think that (at this advanced age anyway) – this is just the way my body handles pregnancy.  Perhaps I could have avoided it through better diet and exercise in the first and second trimesters… perhaps not.  I’ll never know.  There is no part of me (right now at least) that wants to do this again.

At the same time, when the nurse called me this afternoon to confirm the scheduled cesarean, a little part of me felt suddenly deflated and sad.  One of the ironies in the situation is that he has been consistently head-down since forever ago… if only V. had been head-down, I might have had a chance at an induced vaginal birth with her, and would have had the option for induction with this one too.  But that was something completely out of my control.

It is what it is.

So the cesarean is now scheduled for 2 weeks from when T. gets back from Albania, and 3 weeks before my parents leave, which is pretty much the best possible timing I could ask for.

naive?

May 25, 2010

I honestly didn’t expect that I would get pre-eclampsia again.  Maybe this was naive.  Yes, it was probably very naive.  The thing is, I’d read that pre-eclampsia is most common in first pregnancies, in very young moms, and for women over 40.  So, I reasoned, I’m not 40 yet, and this is my SECOND pregnancy, so it will be less likely to develop this time around. And less likely means probably not, right?

What I hadn’t read, until I looked at the Preeclampsia Foundation website last week, is that the single biggest predictor of developing preeclampsia is having had it in a previous pregnancy.

WHY DIDN’T I KNOW THIS?

None of the OBs I went to – the ones who delivered V., the ones I went to here when I found out I was pregnant, the one I switched to later – made this clear to me. Or maybe this understanding was somehow embedded in the statistics they rattled off, in the cautious assurances that I would probably not have problems the second time around, and I just didn’t hear it.

I feel…. dumb.  I feel, irrationally, that people are going to judge me for having gotten pregnant again given what happened the first time, especially given my age… and I especially worry that people at church are going to judge me.  I’ve reached out to the church for help and support – especially prayer (my conflicted feelings about which merit a separate post) – while at the same time feeling undeserving of anyone’s generosity, especially because we drew on it already 2 years ago.

Yesterday afternoon T. left for Albania, planning to stay as long as he can – that is, he won’t cut his trip short unless I take a turn for the worse and delivery is imminent.  I encouraged him to go, feeling optimistic about how well I’ve been doing with consistent bedrest and hydration.  It felt like a choice to approach life with optimism and confidence instead of with fear and anxiety.  But I can’t help wondering, am I just in denial?

Home bedrest

May 24, 2010

When we were in limbo, waiting for the proteinuria results, my husband said “well now you can imbue every moment at home with pathos.”  Indeed, I’m good at that!  I kept thinking “this could be my last shower at home… my last dinner at home… the last time I put my daughter to bed…” before hospitalization.

Now that I know I have some time – and blood pressures have been decent over the weekend, thankfully – there’s not as much pathos per se, but certainly I’m wringing all the pleasure I can from being at home and enjoying the company of my toddler.  Sure it’s not ideal that I have to lie on the couch or in bed, and I can’t play chase, or take her places, or even do the “Barnyard Dance” she keeps asking me for, but it’s such a pleasure to watch her play in the evenings after supper, before bed.  To eat breakfast with her in the mornings, looking at her books, talking about the day to come.

Over the next few days I may even be able to do a little work.  But right now I think I’m going to lie down again for a little bit before we go see the doctor again.  NST, ultrasound, BP check.  Here we go!

oh my god (updated)

May 20, 2010

I just called my therapist’s office to cancel my appointment for Monday, and got the news that SHE PASSED AWAY.  The last time I saw her, three weeks ago, we actually had to cut our session short because she had a terrible migraine.  Apparently it was symptomatic of a cerebral hemorrhage, which caused her death then three days later.  I’m in shock, it doesn’t seem real.  She has a 7 year old daughter.  I can’t believe she’s gone, that I’ll never have a chance to talk to her again and tell her how much she has helped me.

***

And then there’s the little intermittent achy discomfort I’m getting just under my right-side ribs.  They said that if I should feel pain there, in the “upper right quadrant,” to call them right away.  (*Pain in this area is a classic symptom of HELLP syndrome)  I wanted to wait and see how it might evolve… because it doesn’t really feel like *pain* per se, but T. wants me to call them now.  So I guess I will.  I don’t want to, because I think they’ll send me to the hospital right away and I won’t come out again until the baby is born… and what about V.?  My little one, how will she be ok?  I can’t even begin to describe in words how desperately I don’t want to leave her.

***

Update: I just called, and the nurse said that since it’s not a sharp pain, and it’s intermittent, to just rest and wait.  She will let the doctor know that I called, however.  In any case, I’m going to go ahead and pack my bag for the hospital.  Because, really and truly, I don’t want to, you know, die.

$^%)*(^@&*^#

May 20, 2010

I messed up my urine test.  After collecting a huge jugful of pee for 24 hours, I forgot to put the lid on the jug (it was in a cooler with ice, so I didn’t see it for some reason…) and just as I was walking into the lab I heard a slosh… opened the cooler and realized I’d spilled like a cupful of pee.

So I have to do it over again.

The main reason this is so frustrating is that T. is scheduled to leave Monday for Albania, and the outcome of this test, and subsequent decision tree that follows (like, say, if they decide the baby has to come out RIGHT NOW), he might have to cancel the trip.  If they think I can hang on for another week or two, he could come back early and be here for the birth.  It’s just really hard to know what to do.  And now, we won’t know the results until Friday at the earliest.

I feel like such an IDIOT.

blogging in bed

May 19, 2010

because I can’t sleep. I’ve been awake since 3:30, thinking, planning, worrying, crying a little bit.  T. is looking into the possibility of changing/cancelling his upcoming travel plans.  Last night I went to the hospital for the first of 2 steroid injections for the baby’s lungs.  I had to go in through the emergency room, and I had to ride in a wheelchair up to L&D for the shot.  I get to do it again tomorrow night.  Then I came home and sent off several e-mails cancelling plans for next week.  Sheesh.  Why can’t I have a normal pregnancy and delivery?  I guess it’s just not my lot in life.