My kid is very modest. Or stubborn. Or both.
I moved the 20-week anatomy scan up from the 29th to today because yesterday I had a rough day. With hindsight, it was the beer-cheese soup (it is a Midwestern thing — it sounds gross but really is very good) I had for lunch, but I spent most of the afternoon doubled over in the bathroom with horrible diarrhea and even more horrible cramps. Thanks to having ulcerative colitis for years, I was pretty sure the cramps were all lower GI (which is why I moved the scan up instead of driving to the hospital), but it is still really scary to cramp that much and be 20 weeks pregnant. No bleeding, no fluid, but I still wanted to see wee-beastie with my own eyes.
I called my OB’s office and they got me in today, just for the reassurance.
I had horrible nightmares all night about sick babies and dead babies and how somehow I had done something to cause a sick/dead baby, so by the time we got to the hospital this morning, I was emotionally spent. Pregnancy dreams are more vivid, but all the more horrifying when they are about sad or terrifying things.
After two miscarriages, all I want is a healthy baby. I was just really, really hoping to find out the sex today to help make this whole thing feel a bit more real. I am still not able to grasp the fact that I AM HAVING A BABY. Intellectually, I get it. Emotionally, I just feel a disconnect with the fact that I could be holding my child in July. Knowing the sex would allow me to better able to see wee-beastie as a future person, at least that was the plan.
The measurements, at least the ones the technician could get, are all good: brain, heart, femur, head, etc…. Wee-beastie, however, was having none of this “looking at my bits” part. S/he sat, cross-legged, tushie down, and refused to budge. Judging from the heartrate of 140, which is usually around 160 when s/he moves around at night, I think we interrupted a nap — a cross-legged, butt-wedged-into-the-bottom-of-my-uterus nap. How very rude of us!!
They need some more measurements for some organs/appendages they missed and, obviously, we want to know they sex. The nurse said the standard protocol is to reschedule in 6 to 8 weeks. 6 to 8 weeks??? I am going to beg my midwife for something earlier. Then I am going to have a long chat with wee-beastie about how usually in life it is rather inappropriate to show your genitals to anyone who wants to look, but this is a notable exception and that mommy, daddy, and the utltrasound tech just want a quick little peak, and then s/he can go back to perfecting his/her omlette recipes.
I was told if I could just hold out until week 16 that the nausea and vomiting would all go away. I am well into week 19 and I am STILL puking and still nauseous. This is not to the same degree as before, but still. I think this phase of it may have something to do with my cold and my job stress, which are also both migraine triggers, but I honestly did think it would magically all just disappear and never return. I sound like a bitter pregnant bitch, I know. I am trying not to be bitter. I just really can’t believe I am still having to pop Zofran several times a day to hold back the pukes.
I have also only gained 4 lbs. Four. I know that bitching about not gaining a lot of weight in pregnancy does not illicit much sympathy, but I am worried. I actually only lost two pounds during Pukeapalooza (that I did not lose more is a testament to my body’s miraculous fat-binding abilities considering how very little I was actually holding down), so I guess I have really gained 6 lbs, but I fear this is not enough for 19 weeks. My OB is not concerned, but I am. I am not asking to gain a lot of weight; I guess just need reassurance that everything is fine in wee-beastie land. I am also worried because I think a lot of the weight gain is in my boobs. Nothing much happened in the first trimester boob-wise, but now things are really a changin’. “The Girls” have gone on a real growth spurt in the past few weeks, and I need to get refitted for a bra. I don’t know that I am ready for the whole maternity/nursing bra route just yet, so I think I will just invest in some regular bras (well, as “regular” as you can be in a 38DDD) for the short-term. I am genuinely afraid to see how big they continue to get.
Speaking of wee-beastie land, I am thinking of asking my OB to move up my anatomy scan. Right now it is scheduled for the 29th of February, and I really do feel I might just crack by then. A small part of the anxiety of it is finding out the sex; a much larger part is confirmation that wee-beastie is growing and healthy. Even with my doppler, I still worry. Even with the internal hokey-pokey, I still worry. I am scared to be too optimistic, even at this point. I will be 20 weeks on Thursday, so perhaps my OB’s office will move it up to this week?
The good news is that it looks like I will get fall semester off for maternity leave and then I will be able to teach the next two semesters part-time on “research leave.” Granted, at some point I have to crank out a book manuscript from my dissertation research (oh, THAT), but I am so relieved that Mr. MC and I will not have to put wee-beastie in daycare until s/he is well over a year old. The though of handing my as-of-yet-unborn infant over to someone else for hours on end makes me want to dissolve into tears.
When I told my OB that I felt “bubbles on the inside” a few weeks ago, she nodded and smiled. When I told my midwife (who works for my OB) the same thing a few weeks later, when I was 16 weeks, she told me she thought it was probably just gas.
I am an expert on two things in this world: the topic of my dissertation and, thanks to chronic ulcerative colitis, the workings of my lower GI system.
I was pretty sure it wasn’t gas. She explained that your intestines get moved all around when your uterus grows and things feel different. Also, many first-time pregnant mothers do not recognize movement until week 20. Still.
Well, I am at 18.5 weeks and I really do think it is wee-beastie kicking or punching or whatever s/he is doing in there. Right. On. My. Bladder.
My friend Maya, who is four, explained last night, with her hand on my stomach, that she could feel the baby. “Really?” Mr. MC asked. “What is the baby doing?” I asked.
She kept her hand on my stomach (“Is it all poofed out because there is a baby in there?” she had asked) and took a minute to think.
“Well,” she replied authoritatively, “it’s cooking eggs.”
So there. It wasn’t gas. Wee-beastie was cooking eggs.
I have not been sleeping well. Somewhere, in one of my several pregnancy books, it said that if you lay on your back after week 16 (although I swear another one said 20 weeks?), your heavy uterus can cut off the blood supply in your vena cava and thus starve you and the fetus of oxygen. The simple solution? Do not lie on your back after 16 weeks.
Except that I really like to sleep on my back.
I especially want to sleep on my back now that someone has told me that I can’t sleep on my back, because now it is all I think about when falling asleep.
The other problem is that I now have round ligament pain (RLP) and the same stupid books suggest that if you have this when laying on your side, you should “switch positions.” Well, duh. Let’s see: I can’t sleep on my stomach, flippping to the other side will just make that side hurt, and I can’t sleep on my back because I could kill my unborn child. Any more brilliant suggestions?
My conscious mind fights the urge to lie on my back, but as soon as I drift off to sleep, I must flop right over, because for the past several nights I have been jolted out of a deep sleep when I realized I WAS ON MY BACK AND THEREFORE ENDANGERING WEE-BEASTIE’S VERY EXISTENCE. I would roll to the other side, fall asleep again, only to have the whole cycle repeat itself a few hours later.
I also thought that round ligament pain would be more of an ache. WRONG. It is quite distinctly pain, and feels like my uterus is trying to rip out of my abdomen and move to a new zip code.
I sound like a bitchy pregnant woman.
Wait, I AM A BITCHY PREGNANT WOMAN.
Mr. MC wakes up hours before I do during the week. He sets his alarm to the “radio” function, which I usually never even remember hearing. This morning, though, I head it loud and clear: “…which can lead to miscarriage, congenital defects, and stillbirth.” Then, Mr. MC hit “snooze” and went back to sleep. I have no idea what the radio announcer was talking about, but words like that scare the shit out of me, especially that early in the morning.
Then, it turns out the Throat Comfort tea I have been drinking for several days (I have a horrible cold) is full of licorice, which apparently produced phytoestrogens and has been linked with pre-term labor. Of course it is.
I am going to listen to wee-beastie on my doppler and apologize for my indiscretions.
I did not go to class yesterday and I am not planning on going today. The cold is making me nauseous, tired, cranky, and giving me an awful sinus headache. Better to lay around and watch all the baby shows on TLC.
I broke down today and did a crazy thing: I went shopping in a maternity store. I am 17.5 weeks and if I wear regular tops, I am starting to flash my belly (covered with bruises from the Lovenox injetions) to my colleagues and students. I bought a couple of things off the internet a few weeks ago but they are still too big yet.
I felt like a totally fraud in the store, mostly because I am only 17.5 weeks. Most of the others were much further along than I, and most of them, bless their fucking little hearts, were pregnant teenagers shopping with their mothers. I also felt like a fraud because after two miscarriages, I still do not toally believe in happily ever afters for my own life. I am getting better, but I am not yet a brazenly proud pregnant woman.
So far, I live in my 4 pairs of Lands End yoga pants. They have a full elastic waist and are very, very comfortable. I tried on some “maternity” pants today and felt disheartened. The “large” size fits just perfectly (and was oooooh so comfortable) but if I put on a pound, they would not fit; the “extra-large” size looks like a tent. I left with some clearance maternity underwear, a bra extender, and four long-sleeve t-shirts. I also didn’t yell at, punch, or give dirty looks to all the knocked up teen-agers with their perfectly healthy pregnancies.
I have not posted in a while because I have succumbed to progesterone poisoning in the form of migraines. If I don’t catch them in time, I end up back in pukapalooza, which is awful. I am also up for my third-year review (a.k.a. the “pre-tenure” review in academia) and had planned to work on my materials over winter break. Instead, I spent my break puking and sleeping, so I had three days to get everything together. Stress also exacerbates the migraines, which trigger the nausea, which lead to dehydration, which triggers the migraines . . . . I think you can see why I wasn’t posting much.
I had my monthly appointment with my mid-wife and I am all scheduled for my s/he beastie ultrasound on 29 February. Everything looks good and I am slowing starting to gain weight (only 4 lbs so far after pukapalooza slowed down but, alas, has not yet gone away).
Wee-beastie, as I have discovered with my doppler, has quite a lot of room now in utero, but likes to hang out right at my public bone and kick my bladder. It seems like all I do is pee these days. My midwife was looking all over for the heartbeat and I assured her it would be wedged right under my public bone: behold the great wee-beastie, kicking away! She said wee-beastie is now the size of my palm, from head to toe. Amazing.
Next week, I have to call human resources and figure out my maternity leave. (Materity leave!?!?!) My midwife also suggested that it was time to sign up for child-birth and breastfeeding classes. (Child-brith and breastfeeding classes !?!?!) The hospital wants you to have completed everything by 30 weeks, so I guess it really isn’t too early.
It is starting to sink in that this baby may really happen.