Friday, March 30, 2007

Even cowgirls get the blues

I haven’t been posting because I am miserable and unmotivated. Times are tough here, on the couch. Let’s see. Where do I start? I’m 29 weeks. I thought it would feel good to get here but it doesn’t. It feels like I climbed to the top of a peak only to find there is a much higher one still to be climbed. And the drop-off where I stand looks precipitous. In other words, if our baby is born today she will have an 85% chance of survival, according to whom I have no idea. If she lived, she’d surely be in the NICU for weeks and would be likely to have long-term health problems. 29 weeks is not a good time to have a baby. I know I should be grateful for high-rate of survival but after the long road to get here I have a vision of holding this baby when she is born.

Being stuck on the couch sucks. Being stuck on the couch and unable to leave my house while a tile saw or a wood saw or currently a metal saw is constantly rattling my frayed nerves extra sucks. I KNOW that the project was my idea and the yard looks great but still. The saw is about ten feet from my spot and it’s been going on for three full weeks and I can’t get away from it. Last week the tile saw was going for, I shit you not, six-and-a-half hours. In a row. And I can’t get away from it.

I can’t sit outside except on Sundays. Being inside all the time is probably contributing to my state-of-mind. The blinds are closed so I’m not eyeball-to-eyeball with Jose all day. Just because this was my idea doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck listening to it all day, everyday.

What else? Last night was the first night that when I got in my bed, my hips protested. I think I heard them saying, “You can’t be fucking serious, you are laying down again. Still? How ‘bout a few minutes without laying on one of us please? How does a ball-and-socket joint get a break around here for chrissake?” Seriously, laying on my side all day is slowly pulverizing my hip bones. Reclining on my back affects my circulation and makes the burping worse. Screw the “mommy makeover,” I’m going to need a hip replacement when this is over

Oh the burping. Burping is an issue when you’re pregnant anyway, especially at 29 weeks. But imagine if you will, eating anything and then having to lay down. EVERYTHING comes back up repeatedly and for hours after eating. Nothing passes the test of “hmm, how will it be to burp this up for hours on end?” Nothing. Not smoothies with not a lot of berries, not a bowl of cheerios, not a bagel and cream cheese and not friggin’ cookies and milk. Nothing tastes good when it’s rancid. Eating is no fun.

It’s hard to enjoy eating anyway when I am going to lay on my couch afterwards. Not just because I might burp utter vileness into my throat. But because I probably require 75 calories a day to lay on the couch. What fun is it to eat chocolate peanut butter ice cream when I know that it is going straight to the inside of my knees? Fat on the knees, you ask? Yes, fat on the knees. And being post-natal in June? With a pool membership? ARGHHHH.

Eating is also no fun because my dad gives me shit about what I eat. He does this repeatedly. It started the day after the stomach flu when I fixed a half a bagel at about 9 p.m. “Heh, heh you’re really eating for two there aren’t you?” Half a bagel after a stomach flu induced fast?! To a pregnant woman who had only recently stopped feeling like puking all the time?! Swear to God. Then it was comments like, “Heh, heh you really have a big appetite there?” to my soup, salad, and half a sandwich.” “It’s a good thing _____ mooches your food all the time, it’ll keep your weight down.” “Maybe the chicken would be a better choice for you than that hot dog.” “You should probably pass on that piece of sausage, it’s not good for the baby.”

This one is a favorite: “you should probably get on an exercise program in about a month after the baby is born.” No extra time off to recover form a third C-section? Not a few extra weeks to recover from months laying on the couch? No special allowance for having a newborn and being up half the night, not to mention the rigors of caring for the other two kids?

I swear I’m not making this shit up. And he wonders why I don’t want to talk to him. But yet he is here all day and all day I feel like an asshole for not talking to him but my inner child, and adolescent, and teenager has her arms folded and wants to say, “Screw you. You never listened to me while I was growing up. You just rationalized and invalidated anything I ever told you. Regarding my mother who was unable to care for us because she was too depressed and who slapped me in the face regularly and called me an ungrateful brat and told me flat-out that a divorce would be my fault and who constantly had operations and slept in a hospital bed in the living room and who pretended to be super-mom when anybody was around and who had the emotional maturity of a three-year-old?”

What did he say to that? Once again, I shit you not, “At least she wasn’t a drug dealer.” Other favorites: “Be bigger than her (to a five-year-old), “rise above it” and “do you remember that time when she talked about how grandma treated her (yeah, that one time when I was 20)?” Other than that it was NEVER to be spoken of in front of her. Never. Toxic denial. Fun for the whole family.

We actually had a conversation the other day and once again he played the “at least she wasn’t a drug dealer” card. Nice standards for your kids. Yet I was never good enough because I wasn’t a fucking Rhodes Scholar. Movin’ on.

It’s hard having my dad here because of all the baggage. I know that I should be grateful for his help. He is working very hard and does a great job with the kids and he is getting little appreciation from me because I am all clenched up inside.

Let’s see. What else? I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. I HAVE been pregnant forever. 63 weeks in fact. I got pregnant with LC last summer. Not this past summer of 2006 that was eight months ago.

Summer of 2005.

Pregnant until December 30, 2006. Then some time off for recovering from the infection and the birth and the death and the mortuary and the hip sockets and femurs in her tiny bag of ashes.

Pregnant again in April (I know, I chose this, I was desperate to restore the state of pregnancy). Eleven weeks of terror followed by a big deadbabysurprise on June 30, 2006. No forewarning whatsoever. I’d seen the heartbeat twice.

Nightmare followed. Absolute fucking nightmare. Not like with LC. Completely different and with very few people around to help pick up the pieces. Can’t go there now. Pregnant again in August 2006. 29 weeks later, here I am.

Yes I know I should be grateful for being wildly fertile. I am grateful. It would’ve taken me 15 years to have all these babies, 2 live ones and three dead ones, if I had trouble conceiving. This way I packed ‘em all into 7 years.

So it’s no wonder I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. I know cry me a river. I have two beautiful kids. I went for a third. Greedy? But why shouldn’t I have three kids? How many of you had three in your family? It’s not like I’m going for number 16 here. I digress. Clearly I am conflicted about all of my griping. It just adds to my torment.

One other problem about being pregnant for so long is that I can barely bring myself to believe that we are having a baby. I’ve been pregnant for a year-and-a-half and still no baby. My brain knows that a baby is most likely coming but try telling that to my psyche. And my heart.

Now that I’ve started trying to call the baby by a name that we are trying on, I find that the name that comes to my mind or lips isn’t the right name. It’s LC that pops into place before I can catch myself. That is some sad shit right there. Maybe that’s partly why I preferred a boy; that is so I could separate the pregnancies and the babies. The last time I had a person living in my body that kicked and thumped around, it was LC. It’s hard to separate the unfinished pregnancy from this one. Movin’ on.

This afternoon I am going to see Evil Shadow Pregnancy. At a birthday party. A small party in a small backyard. This woman has been the bane of my existence since last summer. I have actively dreaded seeing her since I last ran into her on Halloween. That was right before the email exchange that made it all worse. I don’t even know what to do with this. I think I can’t even think about it because I am so overloaded with other shit. UGH.

I’m losing momentum here. This morning I thought of at least ten things that really suck about this situation. Here is one thing that is great: my daughter is beside herself with excitement. She who has no fear is overflowing with joy at the prospect of her baby sister.

She sings songs to the baby. Full songs like every single verse of “Farmin’ in the dell.” She shares her binky with the baby. She brings crackers and offers sips from her cup. She talks in that instinctive baby-talk. She tries to pick her up. She says, “I see my baby” and then pulls up my shirt and inquires, “Hi baby. How your sleep?”

She is living in the moment because she hasn’t learned any other way to live. It is pure joy to watch her in action. In those moments alone, I picture us with a baby.

I think I’ll end it here. Enough bitching for one morning. Maybe I’ll add a few more gripes later. Here’s a little preview:

--The social challenges of being on bedrest when you already feel like a deadbabyleper (thanks charlotte for this useful term)

--The social challenges of relying on blogland for your support system

--The emotional challenge of feeling like your water is going to break any second now and the conflicting emotions that result when you realize that you might actually be relieved, but only for five seconds because then you’ll end up in the hospital and your baby will end up in the NICU if she’s lucky

ARGHHH. Enough. Movin’ on.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

There’s no crying in T-ball or is there?

On Thursday, my 37th birthday, I had my big outing for the week. I drove to the city to see Fancy Doc. Rocket Man met me there and we saw the little darling on the u/s. She is measuring perfectly and all of her organs look great. Placenta, umbilical cord, fluid level, all good. My cervix is 3 cm, thanks to the bootlace holding it together. Funneling is minimal. I didn’t have a contraction so we didn’t see the funneling that happened two weeks ago during a contraction.

Fancy doc checked my cervix. It still feels “softish”. The pressure on it isn’t significant. He is very glad that he put the more elaborate type of cerclage in because without it, we’d be screwed. Clearly my cervix is not to be trusted.

We talked quite a bit about what my restrictions are. I told him that I would like to go to my son’s first T-ball game and that I would like to accompany my daughter and my dad to her mommy-and-me type class. Naturally, I would take my trusty lawn chair and lay in it during both events. I would go straight to the car and then to the chair. Fancy received my questions, examined me, and said he would return with an answer once I was dressed.

He came back in and said no. No t-ball games, no mommy-and-me. No leaving the house until my next appointment in two weeks. When I get up, I can stay up for no longer than 20 minutes. At 32 weeks, we will reconsider the game plan. Four weeks of confinement.

He did give me clearance to go to a neighbor’s little girl’s birthday party. With my lawn chair. Ew, Evil Shadow Pregnancy is going to be at the party. Can’t go there now.

Since I last saw him, the day of the building evacuation, I’ve been wondering why Fancy Doc changed his tune from yeah-I-think-four-hours-of-bedrest-is-a-good-idea to fairly-strict-bedrest. Was he just agreeing with Partner Doc? Just to be on the safe side? Did he suddenly become a believer in bedrest? I asked these questions, not in so many words. The answer is basically that he was concerned by the funneling seen on the u/s during the contraction. I think seeing that, he really got that the cerclage was the only thing holding my cervix together. I got that weeks before because I can feel it. It feels like a bootlace is holding my cervix together and that the weight of the uterus, etc. is sitting right on it.

So no outings. I got a massage in my living room on my birthday. Naturally right when I got naked and on the table, the jackhammer began dismantling our backyard landing and stairs. The masseuse sent the guy away, confused. I should’ve warned the foreman but I foolishly thought they had enough quiet landscaping work for the morning.

The massage was pretty good. RM made a great dinner and we ate with the kids and then had two kinds of birthday cake. My kids are old enough to know that a true birthday cake has to have chocolate in it so we had chocolate and a lime-chiffon. Little bit of champagne. Yum.

Too bad I was my usual cranky self about my presents. RM went to the trouble of buying me some presents; after years of blowing off occasions, on both our parts, we are back to buying each other presents again. It’s a good thing too because I needed some presents this year. My dad got me a shovel. Yep, a shovel, like a big one that is used in one’s yard.

RM got me some fabulous chocolates, with nuts, a new booklight so I don’t go blind reading all night when I can’t sleep, and an array of maternity clothes. Unfortunately I was shocked by the price tags, $125 for a tank top that I will wear a few times and $95 for yoga pants. I can’t even leave my house. Maybe I’d wear the top a few times. NO WAY was I going to keep the pants and have them hemmed when my old navy pair is just fine. I am such a FREAK about stuff like this.

I got all worked up about the prices and the slim chance that I would get good use of the clothes AND pea-in-the-stupid-ass-pod’s COMPLETE lack of a return policy. You can exchange for store credit but no returns, no money-back, NEVER EVER. I still can’t believe it despite hearing it from RM that night and the saleslady the next morning.

So basically I was a jerk about the clothes and not at all gracious or appreciative. Nice example to set for my kids about “it’s the thought that counts.” Way to fucking go.

Then I felt like a big a-hole. RM worked so hard to make a nice dinner and give me some very thoughtful presents. I would have found the guilt completely intolerable but fortunately, as we were going to bed, I was able to surprise a defeated RM with his repaired dresser drawers. Two of his big, heavy drawers fall down when they are opened and I’d been secretly working on finding the parts and arranging for a repair. Furniture guy fixed them that afternoon. Whew. Not that that made up for my bad behavior.

It’s not easy being me.

This post was supposed to be about the big, snotty cry I had this morning when my little boy told me about baseball/t-ball opening day parade that I missed. A firetruck was mentioned and I promptly burst into tears. My 5½ year-old little guy rode in the back of a pick-up truck, in his adorable uniform, with his first ever team, and there were firetrucks and police cars, and they drove on the cutest little downtown street ever. Then all the players assembled on the field with their teams for the opening day ceremony. Then they ate donuts. My daughter ate the chocolate off her donut and then tried to exchange it, naturally, for another one. And I missed all of it. I HATE missing things. I have never even tried to conceive of missing something for one of my kids. I haven’t missed anything in his life. Brutal.

Don’t get me wrong, I have ZERO qualms about being on bedrest. I KNOW why we are doing this and I know that it will be worth it. It’s already worth it. I’ve held two dead babies. I’m a believer.

I’ll do whatever needs to be done. I just wasn’t prepared to feel like I am robbing peter to pay paul. I know that my kids aren’t nearly as upset about me missing things as I am. That’s good. If they were upset, I might need to call my therapist.

My son knows all too well why I need to be resting. My daughter goes bounding out the door to mommy (pop pop)-and-me and comes home with treats and a chubby fistful of flowers. They are both fine.

The dead babies had a much greater impact on all of us. And this is only temporary. Yeah, that’s it. And once the baby is born… holy shit, we’ll have a newborn. That sounds scary and oh so challenging. Three kids, recovering from bedrest and a C-section, I’ll be on my own, sleepless nights…. Ohmygod, somebody stop me. Stop me before I kill again. Hormones, I am playing the hormone card here. I am crazy. Mayor of crazytown crazy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Heartbeat but little movement

Last night, I was reading, well skimming, Sarah Bilston’s Bedrest, when I realized that I hadn’t felt much baby movement during the day. Usually bedtime for me is gymnastics time for baby /LG but I still didn’t feel much of anything. I was considering going downstairs for the Doppler when I felt a little thump. Somehow that was enough to put my mind at ease and I skimmed the rest of the book and went to sleep.

In the morning, after I rolled over, I felt nothing. Usually rolling over wakes up the little tyke. I started to worry and rolled over again. I poked. I prodded. I inquired about whether or not she was okay. Nothing. I got the hell out of bed and went downstairs to check the heartbeat. Heartbeat found. Whew.

Thank God for the Doppler. Really. I was initially reluctant to rent one and wondered if it would do more harm than good. Having a Doppler has been so great for my anxiety level. I would’ve been WIGGING this morning if I didn’t hear that heartbeat. It sounds normal. I can’t tell how many BPM because it’s too hard to count and watch the clock. Pregnancy retardation has hit me pretty hard as usual.

Around 10 a.m., I drank some Gatorade and laid down to see if any action would result. Eventually I felt some bumps and thumps, more than ten, within 20 or so minutes. The movements feel feeble though, not as robust as usual. That combined with the lack of movement last night and this morning? I called the nurse on call. Trusty assistant is away for the week.

The nurse called back immediately and said I could come in for a non-stress test. She was reassured however that I felt plenty of movement within a short period of time. With that and a heartbeat, she assured me there is no cause for concern. I figured fancy would rather that I stay put than drive into the city for a NST. The nurse said that the baby might have switched positions and is kicking the placenta instead of the uterine wall, making them harder to feel. Sooo I think everything is fine. I am still a little concerned that movement has been minimal but I will stay tuned in for the rest of the day and can always call back or go get the NST.

Btw, I cancelled my massage. Thanks for the “tough love”/ words-of-wisdom. I can get somebody to come to my house. No sense taking chances. God knows I would never forgive myself if something happened.

On Thursday I will get clear with fancy what his vision of my bedrest is exactly. I will also have an u/s so we’ll get a look at the funneling, as well as cervical length.

My favorite mamas, at Dosmamas, got a BFN on 11 dpo. ☹ Go give them some love or empathy or curse words or maybe all three. I don’t know what will help, if anything.

I know that we are committed to continuing to donate RM’s sperm to them. Next up: some testing for RM, most of which was probably done at his recent life insurance physical. Then a few well-timed trips to the clinic for some IUI’s. One step at a time, hopefully we’ll all get there.

I can’t fathom how much it sucks having to depend on somebody who is not your partner to provide you with the means to have a baby. All I know is that we are completely willing to do the IUI’s.

We are not about to bail out on you ladies because of a minor inconvenience. Lord knows Charlotte has driven her ass, and toddler, up here repeatedly to help me cope with various stages of the processes of losing two babies. That wasn’t convenient I am sure but I was in need so it didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to us either. Capiche?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Man am I boring

I get annoyed when I check blogs repeatedly only to find no new posts. I even get all, "WTF? How 'bout a new post already?" And here I am commiting the very offense that annoys me. I have no news, nothing exciting, nothing to report really.

I did just have a few PAINFUL contractions but only two and then they stopped. They stopped before I could start to panic. I define painful as: feels like the uterus is being wrung out like a... dishtowel.

That's what it felt like when I was in labor with LC. I'm not saying I think that is happening here NOT AT ALL. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

RM scheduled a massage for me on Thursday, my 37th birthday and my official 28 week milestone. The spa has inquired in the past about whether the pregnancy was high-risk. RM and I were debating about the possible downside of saying no to that question. I called fancy doc's office to investigate and he said no massage. Not because it’s dangerous but because I can’t leave my house.

I am surprised that he is that serious about the bedrest. I am actually not certain what his vision is of my bedresting. I will inquire when I see him on Thursday. After all, it wasn’t really his idea to move from 4 hours of rest to a full day. Who knows, whatever, blah blah.

I think I will get the massage anyway. The spa is five minutes from my house. The masseuse does pre-natal so she’ll know to stay away from my ankles and heel. I’ll be laying down for chrissake. I think that net-net it will be good for my well-being to have a little pampering.

On the other hand, maybe I’ll call a masseuse I know who does housecalls. Don’t want to piss off the gods of pre-term labor. That is just like me to be concerned that a doctor isn’t worried enough and then not listen to him when he restricts me.

Seriously though you all know how cavalier fancy has been. Is he really worried now? When we talked last Tuesday, after the building evacuation, he didn’t seem too concerned and he said to come back in two weeks. My scheduling choices turned out to be 9 days or 2 ½ weeks, so I opted for the 9 days. Hmm. Maybe he didn’t wanting me driving into the city for the appointment. I think he is just not super-worried and feels pretty good about my chances here.

Aren’t you glad I updated with this boring shit? It’s so boring that it bores me too. At this point, however, boring is good.

On Thursday, I’ll be 28 weeks. Now that I am almost there, I don’t feel much safer. It’s still way too early. Survival is not a sure thing. 90% some sites say, others say 90% is at 30 weeks.

Almost reaching 28 weeks feels like I did when my dad was teaching me how to swim. This is SO typical of his parenting style and general approach to life. As I struggled mightily to swim to him, he kept backing up. Yep, that’s right. He kept backing up. To challenge me, I am sure but what he really achieved was creating a sense for me that I would never be good enough and never reach the goal he set for me. Nice huh? This is the same guy who had this approach later on:

“What a B on you report card? What happened?”

“Oh straight A’s, well that’s good but I’ve seen you study. You are cramming for tests, you’re not really learning anything.”

When that wasn’t enough he’d say, “Well I never see you pick up a newspaper. You have no idea what’s going on in the world.”

You get the picture. Naturally I internalized that impossible standard and rarely is anything good enough and I am just as critical of myself as he was of me.

So what’s the point? Oh right. 28 weeks doesn’t feel as good as I thought it would. I can’t really “pat myself on the back” (high praise from my dad). 28 weeks feels like my baby might not even live and if she does it will be a big, fat NICU nightmare especially since I have tiny babies anyway.

I’m sorry if I am bringing anybody down with my shitty attitude. I just posted at sidelines (a bedrest support community) and was reluctant to do so because I often present such a dark cloud of negativity .

Maybe if I give voice to the fear, then it’ll free me up to celebrate reaching this milestone. And it’s my birthday on Thursday/28 week day, for chrissake.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Exciting times in the stirrups

How is it possible to have exciting times in the stirrups? Before imaginations get carried away, let me tell you. Fancy doc comes in, we chat, he answers my questions, we go over our game plan and then I go in the stirrups. Time for a cervix check.

Fancy was literally knuckle-deep in my vagina, making those funny, cervix-assessing faces that he makes when, I shit you not, a screeching alarm comes on and a man’s voice enters the room via intercom, “This is the building manager. There is a fire emergency. You must evacuate the building immediately.”

Fancy is unimpressed and declares it to be a drill that doesn’t apply to us since he is currently “with a patient.” With a patient, I’ll say. He completes his face-making and pronounces my cervix to be “softish but good.” The building manager, having been charged with the safety of the occupants, is appropriately persistent comes back on and repeats, “This is a fire emergency. All occupants must evacuate the building immediately.”

Trusty assistant confirmed that the evacuation would be including us despite me being half-naked and spread-eagled. I pretty much thought, “Sweet Jesus, please let me put my clothes on. No way am I going outside in this oversized paper towel.” I threw my clothes on and off we went.

Trusty assistant was pretty put out that she had several pre-term, high-risk patients schlepping down the stairs, spilling onto the city streets. She was surprisingly protective of me and didn’t want me crossing the street to the official rendezvous location. She searched in vain for a place for me to sit.

A fire truck, the hook-and-ladder no less, came screaming up the one-way street. My son would’ve loved that. He wanted to come but had stayed home sick from a school so no dice.

Trusty continued to fret because it was windy and cold where we were standing. With fancy’s blessing, we trekked up a short hill to a sunny corner. We met up with Partner Doc. Fancy and Partner briefly discussed the funneling of my cervix in last week’s u/s. (Having just arrived back in town, Fancy obviously hadn’t had sufficient opportunity to catch up on things.)

Fancy and Partner apologized for the inconvenience. I assured them both that I had been looking forward to the outing and that, with the added bonus of a bonafide evacuation, my expectations had been wildly exceeded. I’m tellin’ you, thrills come cheaply when you live on your couch.

A third partner came over. We stood in the brilliant sunshine and speculated about whether or not the building would burn to the ground. I was feeling cute, despite my take-my-word-for-it-HAIRY legs, in a polka-dot tank top and a brown skirt that bordered on flouncy. I lamented to the trio of docs, “Crap. I’ve got three great medical minds stranded with me on a street corner and I already ran through my entire list of questions. I’ve got nothing.”

Then we were called back into the building and trusty shepherded me to the front of the crowd waiting like lemmings for the elevator. We got back just in time for my glucose-loaded blood to be drawn. Good times.

On to more serious matters, Fancy concurs with Partner that we have a relatively serious situation on our hands with the “softish” cervix that funnels during contractions. He suggested that I continue the full-time rest and abstain from outings for at least the next few weeks. We skipped the u/s and the fFN. We’re pretty much doing everything we can.

Next u/s on March 23, 28 weeks, 1 day.

Oh and he said my belly is measuring a week or two ahead of schedule. No surprise here. He also assured me that I shouldn’t go home and google hydroencephalitis.

All in all, it was a good day. My five-year-old son just came home from his first T-ball practice in an oversized jersey and a navy blue cap. He is looks beyond adorable and had a really great time at his first ever sports practice of any sort.

Opening day parade in two weeks. I will be there, resting on a lounge chair. No effin’ way am I missing seeing him in a parade. Word on the street is that T-ball is ALL about the parade and the uniform. I am inclined to agree already.

big outing today

i'm off to see fancy doc, my big outing for the week. i find that when i do get to go out i am relatively determined to look cute. this is my LAST pregnancy ever and i want to enjoy some of it. for some reason wearing cute maternity clothes out in the world is important to me.

duh, its probably because of all the dead babies and the myriad times i felt envy and/or resentment when i saw pregnant women and their cute bellies. now i 've arrived there except i am on my couch instead of out in the world. not that i am complaining. i'd do just about anything to get this baby here safely.

blah, blah, enough. i'm going out! unshaved legs and all. at least my closed-toes sandals are hiding my unsightly toenails. suddenly its spring here. time for skirts and tank tops. shame about my arm fat. oh well.

hopefully fancy doc won't confuse me by contradicting what partner doc said last week. i'll have an u/s so we'll get a look at the stitch and any funneling developments.

i havent written down my questions so i'll write some now while i am planted here with computer and no pen.

-what does fancy think of the funneling?
-can i take my daughter to mommy and me type class? what if that's the only thing i do all week?
-how 'bout skipping the fFN because it sucks?
-what about my average of 3 contractions/hour adding up to about 30/day?
-i can feel my heart pounding often but not always before a contraction. normal?
-how 'bout that i can barely sit at a table without feeling like all of my weight is pushing on the stitch and its pretty damn uncomfortable?

time to go.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Be careful what you ask for

It's official. I'm on bedrest. Fancy doc's partner looked at my u/s and said he thinks I should be resting pretty much all of the time, as much as possible. The u/s showed my cervix funneling (above the stitch) but it turned out to be a contraction and not the normal state. After the contraction, which I didn't even feel, my cervix went back to just a little funnel.

Partner doc thinks my cervix would have undoubtedly opened already if it weren't for the bootlace holding it together. He agrees with fancy that the pressure and discomfort that I feel is pressure on the stitch. Getting up from the couch and feeling really uncomfortable is an indicator of just how much pressure is being put on the stitch. The stitch is like a purse string through the cervix that gets stitched through and then pulled tight. It's amazing to see how close the baby's head is to the stitch and to the cervix.

Partner doc thinks it bedrest is prudent and a good precautionary measure. He was kind of apologetic about it, like "if it isn't too much trouble, you really should rest as much as possible." I told him I'd been wondering about fancy's not-so-conservative approach. He said that fancy is the cerclage expert for sure but that he trusts his own clinical judgment (he is a high-risk,perinatalogist also) pretty well and he doesn't like what he sees ESPECIALLY at 26 weeks.

So it's nice to have a doctor worrying on my behalf. I will take to my couch for the foreseeable future. I will try not to go crazy with my kids raiding my snacks, putting my cell phone into driving mode, fucking with my knitting, spilling my drinks, climbing on me, refusing to leave the house, acting crazy and giving my dad a constant hard time. I can't watch TV when they are around unfortunately. Typing with a laptop on my belly is a challenge. Playing mah-jong might ruin my eyesight, cause bad mah jong dreams, and give me a big fat headache like the one I have right now.

But like I told partner doc, the impact of bedrest on all of us will be very minimal compared to the impact of another dead baby or a NICU nightmare and long-term health problems due to prematurity. Obviously I have no problem with the concept of making the sacrifice. That doesn't mean I won't complain about actually doing it. Oh yeah and my backyard, which is mere inches from my couch, is being re-done which means there are guys making a shitload of noise in my yard everyday ALL DAY, the kids can't play back there, the freakin' TILESAW is coming next week, and the whole project will last at least a month. AVE MARIA.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

No news is good news

Nothing going on here. I've been onthe couch a lot in the last three weeks since the first positive fFN. Fancy doc is away this week. I'll have an u/s tomorrow and an exam with one of his partners. I wanted to have the u/s so my cervical length can be measured. The exam will be with a doctor who has never felt my cervix before so I'm more confident about the u/s being an objective measurement of my cervix.

Can't wait to have somebody else stick their hand up me. Maybe it will be fancy doc's female partner. I shouldn't complain. It was my idea to have the check-in while fancy is away.

I'm 26 weeks on Thursday. It's such a crucial time. I want to be checked every week. The fFN won't be re-done until next week when fancy is back. Or maybe I'll shake that off since a negative seems unlikely and a positive is not very meaningful.

I just read, "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay." LOVED IT. I love a well-written book with well-developed characters.

I've heard for years that"The Wire" is one of the best shows on TV ever. I finally started getting it from Netflix and I couldn't agree more. It ranks up there with the quality of The Sopranos and Six Feet Under. I'm hooked.

Charlotte at Dosmamas is right. 30 Rock is funny. Finally caught on to The Office as well. Obviously I 've been logging lots of couch and TV time.

I finally started knitting for the baby. I'm making her a pair of booties to match a dress that will be handed down from her big sister. Cutest friggin' dress ever. Ivory, sleeveless, empire waist with a crocheted I-cord tie.

One other thought: to all of you who are pregnant or will be pregnant soon dammit: GET YOURSELF A BIG FAT EGG CRATE for your bed. It revloutionizes the sleeping while big and pregnant experience. Getting out of bed and rolling over are miraculously no longer painful ordeals. My bottom hip is no longer being crushed under the weight of me. I'm only 26 weeks but I'm as big as a house. I wish I had one with my two full-term pregnancies. The egg crate, a nice thick one, and a king size pillow to rest my belly on and stick between my legs. Fabulous.

What else? Just did some research that revealed that my brand-new nalgene bottle is #7 PC which is about the worst kind of plastic that you can drink from. The plastic contains bisphenol-A, a science project gone wrong, that causes irregular cell division in lab rats and may be a cause of recurrent miscarriages. Ave Maria.

Check your bottles. "1, 4, 5 and 2, all the rest are bad for you." Check out this link.

That kind of shit pisses me off. Don't even get me started on the containers that I've been microwaving in. I know, I know. I thought that "microwave safe" meant microwave safe. Apparently it only means that the container won't melt or warp in the microwave. I microwave everything. I'm buying pyrex ASAP.

Check this link for stuff NOT to microwave in.

Off the soapbox.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Another stupid-ass positive

Well I got another positive, that is a bad result, on the Fetal Fibronectin (fFN) test. What does it mean? I’m not entirely sure. A negative result would’ve meant that there is a 1% chance that I’ll go into labor in the next 7-14 days. A positive result is less clear. There is a 50-50 chance of labor in the next two weeks, I guess. Maybe higher because I have two positives in a row now.

Fancy doc said yesterday that after one positive result, which I had two weeks ago, there is a 66% chance of the next one being negative. I think he really believed it would be negative. I know that he was really hoping it would be, that’s why we did the stupid test.

I was actually thinking it would be negative/good news. I was visualizing, without much effort, trusty assistant calling with good news. It’s rare that I imagine good things happening. Silly me. But it wasn’t good news.

The cerclage may be causing normal inflammation that causes the protein to show up. Simply stated, the fFN tests for a protein that is present in cervical/vaginal mucus when the interface between mother and baby has been disrupted. The way fancy doc put it was that the positive fFn means that I am leaking fibronectin. There’s no telling why.

I had been resting a lot since my last bad result/freakout. It wasn’t long before I started getting REALLY uncomfortable when I did get up. I could barely sit at a table for more than five minutes. For a while I thought, “it’s a good thing I am resting because I am feeling so much pressure and discomfort.” Then after a week or so I thought maybe I am uncomfortable because I’ve been laying around so much. So I started getting up and around a little more and lo and behold I started feeling better. My conclusion: laying on the couch makes one uncomfortable. Can anyone who has been on bedrest or modified bedrest comment on this? Did bedrest make you really uncomfortable?

Trusty assistant said to rest a lot anyway. I didn’t really address this concern with fancy doc when I saw him yesterday. That’s unfortunate because he leaves town tomorrow and I won’t see him until March 13. So I don’t really know what to do. I guess keep resting to be on the safe side and when I get to feeling worse not to panic; it’s probably just that laying around makes me feel worse (when I do get up).

My fear of pre-term labor has diminished somewhat. I am disheartened by the results but I don’t really feel like they mean a whole lot. I guess there is no way to know what’s going to happen. Having my cervix checked once a week is probably sufficient to catch any changes before there is a real problem. Meanwhile I am 25 weeks today. Still way too early. Survivable but far, far from ideal.

Maybe I am becoming immune to the fear. I’m confused. I don’t know what to think or feel at this point. This post probably doesn’t make much sense.

One thing I am clear about is that I don’t love having a male OB. He comes in, we talk, we joke, he empathizes, and then a minute later his face is in my crotch. And after that he’s putting a finger or two IN MY VAGINA. My husband doesn’t even get to do that and frankly I’ve had so much body trauma that I generally don’t want ANYBODY'S fingers in my vagina.

I’ve always had female OB’s and for good reason. I am WAY more self-conscious with a male doctor. I am painfully bush-conscious. Thank God fancy is old and grinchy-looking. I HATE that moment when he says just slide down a little further and then my ass is hanging off the table and I’m in the most vulnerable and exposed position known to womankind and THEN it’s time to spread my legs. UGH.

The fFN test is the reason I have to go in the stirrups every two weeks All that for a test with so many false positives that I can’t figure out if I should be scared or not. Fuck that stupid test.