Wipeout: The Update

When I fell last week, I was most worried about not landing on he-beastie. Instead, when my ankle twisted, I hit on my left hip and tushie.  I was only concerned about my ankle and diligently iced it the first twenty-four hours. It was stiff, but felt better in a few days. My hip and tush, however, didn’t really start to hurt until a few days later. Then they REALLY hurt — like not able to get out of bed hurt. The fall also (re)triggered the sciatic pain, which somedays is really unbearable without my heating pad and tennis ball (for very direct, intense pressure). Last night I went to Gentle Yoga — Gentle Yoga! — and left in so much pain I had to come home and go directly to bed. Yoga is supposed to be great for stretching out the hips and pelvis but I don’t think wincing through Child’s Pose, no matter how much I am concentrating on my breathing, is a good thing.

My midwife recommended one of these but just looking at it makes me wrinkle my nose up. It may be comfortable, but it looks hot and awkward. I would also rather spend $50 on something more fun. I have 6 weeks to go, so I may change my mind as my stomach gets larger.

As of tomorrow, I am 34 weeks, which means if I deliver early, my midwife can do it at my regular hospital (before then, you have to deliver with an OB at the hospital with a NICU). He-beastie and I still agree after June 27 is ideal, so I am hoping he stays put for a little while longer. I have still not gained much if any weight, so we are still on for the ultrasound on Friday to measure his growth.

I need to “pre-clean” so the cleaning ladies, who should arrive in the next hour or so, can actually clean my house. My mom is coming tomorrow, the shower is Saturday, and our house was an absolute disaster. I am not sure if it is nesting, but we spent the last week trying to get it to the point where cleaning is actually possible! He-beastie’s room is coming together, too, and for the first time since we moved in, is more of a room than a closet/dumping ground for our stuff. Weird, huh?!

May 28, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 8 comments.

Relaxin, Tripin’, Worryin’

All this relaxin in my body, and I still suck at yoga. (I know, I know, yoga is an individual experience not a stretching competition but I am still not able to do poses that others seems to do with relative ease.) I thought, erroneously, that relaxin would allow me to do all sorts of fun poses or, at the very least, touch my toes. Instead, all I do is trip over my own feet and fall down on the sidewalk in front of polite Indian engineering students who don’t quite know what do with an 8-month pregnant lady sprawled out on the sidewalk in front of them who can’t get up gracefully on her own. My ankles, it seems, are very loose; my pelvis and hips, not so much.

The good news: I have found the most comfortable bra ever. I bought one and I am now going to order at least three more, one in a larger size for when my milk comes in. Behold the glory of the the Medela soft-cup nursing/maternity bra. (Free shipping if you order more than $49 on-line at JCPenney.com; also a great-big thanks to Wendy at G&K’s Mom for pointing me here for bras!)

On a very different, less optimistic note, I find that sorting through baby stuff makes me very fearful that something will still go wrong. There is nothing to indicate this, but all this baby stuff in my house makes the physical reality of he-beastie more real and therefore my anxiety over a future loss more pronounced. I am trying not to think this way, or to judge myself for thinking this way, but I still have a hard time believing that everything is going to be okay. Many first-time mothers describe having a hard time connecting the abstract reality of pregnancy with the concrete reality of an actual baby. When that abstract has emotionally crushed you before — twice in 9 months, even — I think it makes the concrete reality even more difficult to contend with.

That being said, I really wish that my abstract baby would stop kicking me in the cervix.

May 21, 2008. Other Links, Pregnancy #3. 3 comments.

The Magic Number of the Week: Eight

8 = number of months pregnant I am, as of last Thursday (32 weeks)

8 = number of weeks I have to go in this pregnancy, assuming he-beastie arrives on schedule

8 = number of minutes to took he-beastie to pass the “kick test” this morning (you eat, you wait 20 minutes, you lay down on your left side, and you count how long it takes to feel 10 fetal movements. For some babies it can take up to two hours; for most it takes less than one hour; for “active babies” it usually takes less than 15 minutes).

8 = number of pounds I have gained this pregnancy

Yup, 8 pounds. Granted, I lost a few pounds (like 3 or 4) during pukeapalooza that I gained back, but my net gain is still only 8 pounds and I did not gain any more weight in the past two weeks. I am pretty sure I could gain all sorts of weight if I could indulge in lots and lots of yummy, delicious, carbohydrate-y goodness, but it is really hard to gain weight eating salad, yogurt, and lean proteins. I am still fighting nausea, which seems to have picked up this trimester again. I am not vomiting, but I have to take the Zofran for severe nausea, especially when I get out of bed in the morning and again at night, and I still have the dry-heaves several times a day. I think this is what “normal” first-trimester morning sickness feels like? This phase, although the nausea never really went completely away, started up again at about 28 weeks.

I have another ultrasound scheduled on the 30th of May, just to assess he-beastie’s growth and make sure it is my body that is atypical. My fundus (which still sounds like a dirty word to me even though I know it just means “top of uterus”) is measuring right on track at 32mm (it should match the number of weeks you are) and my tummy is getting bigger, so everything is assumed to be fine. My mom will be here for the shower, so she can join us for the “let’s make sure everything is a-okay” ultrasound, which thrills her. Now, of course, I have started to worry that everything will not be a-okay, but there is nothing to indicate otherwise, so I am just trying not to focus on it.

He-beastie and I have agreed, however, that he is going to stay put at least until Friday, June 27th. That is the day of the final in the summer-school class I am teaching, and I have a small class, so I can get them graded right away. After that date, he can totally make the call as to when he would like to schedule D-day. I know it may sound crazy to teach in the summer instead of relaxing, but I find nothing relaxing about huge amounts of unstructured time, especially when hot and pregnant. The thought of staying home for the next few weeks really scares me (the horrible stuff one can read on Dr. Google and blogs these days!), and teaching will also force me to get up, shower, and walk to campus, at least Mondays through Thursdays. Oh, and I get paid, too, which will allow me to fix some stuff up around here before he arrives without really worrying about finances.

I have also started going to prenatal yoga (my first class was yesterday), and will continue to go twice a week until I deliver. It is hard to breathe and find my balance with he-beastie mulling around in there, but I just take it slowly. I wish I had started earlier, but I guess starting at 32 weeks is better than nothing, right?! I am also going to try and use my video once a day as my sciatic pain is much better after all of the stretching in only one yoga class. I am also hope that all the breathing exercises and the exercises to promote an “open pelvis” pay off come D-day.

I am bringing my Prenatal Yoga Pack (yoga flash cards) to read while I go and eat yet another salad for dinner. This time, however, I am going to Pizzeria Uno and getting a small pizza with my salad. As long as I watch the portion size, it is allowed. My stomach is so small these days that if I start eating the salad first, it will be a challenge to even eat one full piece.

May 18, 2008. Pregnancy #3, South Beached Whale. 4 comments.

Prenatal Class

Yeah, it kind of sucked. I am glad we went but … still. There were about twelve couples, including some teen-agers and their baby-daddies, plus our fearless instructor, who knew her stuff but was not very animated. Most of the couples were bland but some — like the guy who read a novel during class and the woman who came to class in sweats and pearls (and, yes, they were together) — were downright annoying.

I know that as a third-trimester pregnant woman, I should probably still not be so bitter. Sitting in this classroom with all these super-pregnant woman still got to me. It was obvious some of these couples were excited to be parents; it was also obvious some were not. Yet, presumably, all were there with healthy pregnancies. Life is not fair: they had not had miscarriages, let alone two in a row.

We did the “intense” course, which was Friday for three hours and Saturday for eight hours. It was exhausting, even though I found the subject matter interesting. It was nothing that I could not have gotten from a book, but Mr. MC and I had fun making snide comments (we were not rude; the instructor laughed with us) about the cheesy class material. “What are some things that will help moms relax in early labor?” “Whiskey?” “What should moms expect during the transitional phase of labor.” “Someone to bring her whiskey?”

The only really, really sucky part, however, was the tour of the birthing facilities and the postpartum floor tour. This is what I had been looking forward to the most as I had not yet seen one of the fancy new “birthing rooms.” They were, admittedly, very nice and without the huge bed in the middle, looked like a really nice hotel suite. The tub is not big enough for birthing, but plenty big for laboring in, and it was immaculately clean and filled with lots of muscle-relaxing jets.

After the birthing rooms, we walked past the nursery en route to the postpartum rooms. As luck would have it, there was an hour-or-so old baby in there getting her first bath. I could not believe how utterly beautiful she was. Mr. MC and I just stood there gawking at her with a handful of the other mothers.  Everyone else in our group, however, was bored and whining. I wanted them to be in awe of this beautiful, healthy baby, too. Did they know how amazing and miraculous this little life was? I had two pregnancies that never resulted in one of these. How dare they sit there and complain about being bored? Fuckers.

Where I really lost it, however, was the tour of the postpartum floor. I have been hospitalized here twice: previously after my first miscarriage/post-D&C debacle and once this pregnancy with the hyperemesis. I guess I did not realize how much being there, especially with all these ungrateful idiots, would affect me. When I was admitted with the hyperemesis, I was so sick and drugged that I barely knew where I was. I felt a little sad, but mostly the nausea and migraines were so overpowering that I did not have time to think about the last time I was on this particular floor. This time around, however, it really hit me. It was really hard to contend with a flood of emotions about my previous pregnancies while at the same time listen to couples twitter on about whether the room they stay in will have a private shower.

Luckily, we were able to find a secluded corner where I could bawl my eyes out.

Does this resentment for annoyingly naive pregnant women ever go away?

May 16, 2008. Miscarriage #1, Pregnancy #3. 4 comments.

Liars, Liars, Pants on Fire

Most of my pregnancy books and websites advise that you “walk through” sciatic pain and strongly advise that exercise, specifically walking, actually helps diminish the pain.

They are full of shit.

What starts out as intense, localized pain in my left bum cheek quickly turns into intense, shooting pain down my entire left hip and leg after about two minutes of walking.

I left campus today and walked home (usually a 15-minute walk) because exercise is good for blood sugars and supposedly good for sciatica. 10 minutes in and I was limping; by the time I got home, I could barely walk.

You know what works for my sciatica? Laying in bed on a heating pad and reading Glamour magazine.

May 7, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 2 comments.

“Unremarkable”

I doubt many parents want to hear that their child is “unremarkable,” but when we heard that he-beastie’s spine (he decided to cooperate this third time) was “unremarkable,” Mr. MC and I both breathed a sigh of relief. “Unremarkable” because there is nothing abnormal to remark about; “unremarkable” because it looks just fine.

I also found out that my sugars — both the fasting blood sugar and the 2PP sugar — are also “unremarkable” as they were both well within the normal range. My hemoglobin test (the one that indicated how long blood sugars have been high) came back on the low end of normal, which is very, very good news. The low-carbohydrate diet is working, and I will stay on it for the duration of the pregnancy. I do not  now officially have gestational diabetes, but I just need to be very careful about what I eat.

Here’s to being totally and completely normal!!

May 4, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 5 comments.

Best. Test. Ever.

I called Wednesday morning before I headed to the lab to confirm that I did not indeed need an appointment for my 3GTT. It turns out you do need an appointment for a 3GTT, but I was not scheduled for a 3GTT, I was scheduled for a 2-hour PP test. “A what? A PP test?” It is not a urine test; instead it stands for two-hour post prandial glucose test, which in my opion, is just about the mostest awesomest medical test ever.

I went in and had my blood drawn for my fasting glucose test, and then, IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE NEXT PHASE, I was told to go and eat a large, sugary breakfast. I was atually told by a medical professional to go to IHOP and eat pancakes, orange juice, eggs, hashbrowns, etc…. For someone who has been eating almost no refined carbohydrates for a week, this was music to my ears. (I actually had to ask her to repeat herself, to make sure I wasn’t imagining things!). When I ate my last bite, I wrote the time down and showed up back at the lab to have my blood drawn exactly two hours later.

Pancakes! With Syrup! and Orange Juice! Oh My!

I don’t know the results yet, but if I can eat one of these breakfasts every few weeks in order to comply with medical diagnostic needs, I promise I will not complain about eating no refined carbohydrates in between.

May 1, 2008. Other Sucky Things, Pregnancy #3. 2 comments.