The Down Side

Hyperemesis is a bitch.  I had it with both pregnancies but with S it nearly went away after week 17.  This time,  I was still barfing the week before I gave birth, usually in the morning as soon as I woke up.  The first 20-odd weeks, though, I puked any time of day, set off by a smell, motion, hunger, or eating (sometimes just thinking about eating) the wrong food.

I started this pregnancy at 210ish lbs.  When I gave birth, I was 198 but most of the pregnancy I was in the low 190s because of all the vomiting and lack of appetite.

Today I am 188lbs.  I went in to get my staples out and I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the scale at my OBs office.  Is this the upside of hyperemesis?  (Technically, I guess it is the downside?)  I got pregnant and lost a little over 20 lbs.  Go figure.  This is exactly the weight I was when I got pregnant with S back in 2007.

On the up  side (up?  get it?), all the vomiting ruined my teeth.  The stomach acid is really damaging to tooth enamel and I will begin the dental repairs in August.  The dentist hopes she can do just a filling instead of a crown on one of my molars where the stomach acid ate through things.

July 6, 2010. Pregnancy #3, Pregnancy #4, South Beached Whale. Leave a comment.

Cue Pre-Ultrasound Anxiety (Updated)

I feel less pregnant today, which makes no sense, because I am shooting HCG into my leg every three days and shoving Progesterone up my bajingo every night.  I am still terrified of finding nothing alive at next Tuesday’s ultrasound.

My boobs are not as sore.  I am still utterly exhausted and gaggy.  I think I remember this happening with pregnancy #3, but at that point I was peeing on sticks still (for The Plan) and that made me feel better.  My hormone levels are higher with this pregnancy and I already maxed out the dye in the tests earlier this week, so peeing on sticks is moot. This is probably all mental, right?

I am too tired to really panic.  I also have a ton of stuff to do, and S doesn’t understand why Mommy just wants to lay around all day.  Instead, to really shock us back to reality, we are going to Target on Black Friday.   Maybe we will go to IHOP for lunch.  My kitchen is too messy right now to cook.

Update: I did indeed go to Target and, as expected, it was packed.  As we left I got hit with a wave of nausea that is still going strong.  No vomiting, but I had to take a Zofran and my Unisom/B-6 nightcap.

November 27, 2009. Life With Baby, Pregnancy #3, Pregnancy #4. 2 comments.

Yes, It Was Worth It

To get to this point in my life, my heart had to break in half.  Twice.

I had to have a D&C to remove dead embryonic tissue from my uterus.  Twice.

I spent most of my third pregnancy terrified that it would end without a healthy baby.  When I wasn’t worrying about that, I was throwing up.

Still.

I fall more in love with him every day.

Yes, it was worth it.

I am even considering doing it all over again eventually, which, although I am still a cynical bitch regarding all things pregnancy, I think is the ultimate gesture of optimism.

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April 30, 2009. Another One?, Miscarriage #1, Miscarriage #2, Pregnancy #3, The Magnificent Baby S. 5 comments.

A Message From My Husband to Maggie

The following is a guest post from my husband, alternately known to this blog’s readers as “Mr. MC” or “Mr. Beaujingo.”

Maggie left a comment recently on MC’s post about “natural birth” and “natural dentistry.”

Maggie writes:

“You know what the difference is? There is a life involved!!!”

Actually, there is a life involved in every medical treatment, including an endodontic procedure.

Maggie continues:

“Have you ever researched the harmful effects it can have on you but ESPECIALLY your baby?! How could you possibly compare the two?!”

Maggie may not have been reading this blog long enough to know that MC is married to a medical librarian and is a PhD who researches about as casually and frequently as Maggie uses the toilet.  I would bet all that I own that Maggie doesn’t know half as much about the risks involved in various birthing choices as MC does.  Despite the hyper-simplified kool-aid Rikki Lake likes to pour, the fact is that there are risks to ALL choices one can make about birth.  The best thing a birthing mother can do is to be well-informed and to choose a provider (whether an OB or a CNM) she has absolute trust in to help make the right decisions for both mother and baby.  MC’s CNM is also a labor and delivery RN with years of practical experience, an NP, and a mother of three children.  If Maggie’s knowledge of these matters is a glass of water, this CNM’s knowledge is an Olympic-size swimming pool. With this in mind, I’d ask that Maggie please put aside her rude condescension and presumption that she knows better than any other mother.

Maggie goes on:

“And its hilarious to see everyone agree with that silly comparison. Its not about being a hero, its about protecting your baby.”

Putting aside your ignorance of the medicine involved, and the absurdity of any woman telling any other how she SHOULD give birth, I resent Maggie’s implication that MC doesn’t/didn’t care sufficiently for the health of her child.  Read this blog.  MC lost two pregnancies.  Maggie’s implication that she might not care sufficiently about what is best for her child is not only rude, but heartless and stupid. You should be ashamed of yourself, Maggie.

But Maggie isn’t done being holier-than thou:

“If comparing an epidural to Novocaine makes you feel less guilty…then more power to you. You shouldn’t feel guilty though. You did what you could and you had good intentions.”

Maggie, MC hasn’t done anything for which she should feel guilty.  She followed the advice of the most expert individual within several hours of driving from where we live. She didn’t just have good intentions, she did THE RIGHT THING.  Take your phony forgiveness (which you have no right to offer) and shove it up your ignorant, self-righteous bajingo.

No love at all,

-Mr. MC

September 27, 2008. He-Beastie's Big Debut, Mr. MC, Pregnancy #3. 7 comments.

How Baby S Got Borned (Part Three)

Geez, this kid is not yet born yet? This is more of an epic tale than a birth story, but I have been busy feeding my insatiable baby every two hours. This is the final installment, I promise.

To recap:

We are in the super-deluxe birthing suite.

MC is hallucinating, but not in any pain. She is lying on her back (a truly awful way to labor) and hooked up to monitors.

Mr. MC is thinking that MC is a losing it as she is talking crazy. He is also very tired and is trying to sleep on the pull-out couch.

Baby S is still not born, but is on his way. MC is 3-4cm dilated.

Everyone, given that this is a first baby, anticipates a 12-24 hour labor, which means Baby S will presumably be born about lunchtime.

It is about 2AM.

Scene.

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Baby S was born at 5:30 in the morning, and I really have very little recollection of what happened for the three hours between 2AM and 5AM, when I got ready to start pushing. Yes, I slept through most of my active labor. At some point, the following things happened: they could not consistently get Baby S’s heart beat, so they placed a scalp monitor on him; my contractions were not registering well, either, so they put in an internal contraction monitor; I was given some IV Pitocin as I was so relaxed that my contractions started to space out; I talked more crazy to all the nurses and my midwife (I was told this at my 6 week check-up as I am apparently very funny when I am stoned and hallucinating).

What I do remember is waking up and feeling a lot of pressure in my bajingo region. It wasn’t really painful, but considering that I had been completely numb, I thought the anesthesia was wearing off. The nurse said she would page the anesthesiologist to come and have a look at things. A few minutes later my midwife came in to check my progress and told me I was 8cm dilated but to push a little — which I did — and then I was instantly 10cm dilated. Voila! According to my midwife, I was ready to start pushing. I honestly thought she was messing with me as it was only 5AM and women in my family are not known for speedy labors. I kept asking her if she was serious, and I didn’t really believe that she was until she started putting on the gown and glasses and getting the tray o’birthin’ stuff ready. “MC,” she said, “you are going to have a baby now.” “Now? Are you sure?” “Yes, I am sure.”

My water had broken about 11:45PM, I started pushing at 5:10AM, and Baby S was born at 5:30AM. Throughout this entire pregnancy, it only now felt really, really real when she told me to reach down and feel his head crowning. It was all squished up, hairy, and felt like leather, but it was then that I realized that I was actually giving birth to an actual live baby. Mr. MC held one leg and a nurse held the other, the one that was completely numb because I had been sleeping on my left side, while I pushed. Five contractions later and he was born. Once his shoulders were out, she let me reach down and pull him the rest of the way. I only needed two stitches in my bajingo, even though Baby S entered this world with both of his hands in front of his face (the “prayer” position).

I was sure that would cry as soon as I saw him, but I was too overwhelmed and too out of it to process all the emotions (don’t worry, though, as I bawled for days when I got home out of sheer joy). I remember that he was taken to the warmer and was mewing like a kitten, but I don’t remember giving him to anyone. Thankfully, Mr. MC took video of Baby S getting weighed and cleaned up so I could go back and watch that once I sobered up. I remember holding him in my arms and just being stunned, partially because he was early but mostly because he was alive and healthy.

I put him to my breast but he did not feed. He was so sleepy that he didn’t even try to latch on, and my midwife assured me this can happen with babies that are early. Technically he was full-term at 37 weeks, but his sucking reflex was still immature and he was drowsier than a typical full-term baby. Breastfeeding was rough for the first two weeks, but we both eventually got the hang of it.

Mr. MC and I had both imagined that he would look like my nephew and be born with dark eyes and lots of dark hair. Instead, he had blue eyes and, once they got all the yuck of birth goo out of it, blond hair. He had Mr. MC’s face shape and weird toes but my coloring. He looked up at me and seemed to recognize me, or at least to recognize my voice. He felt simultaneously like an old friend and a perfect stranger. He was no longer that tiny flickering heartbeat on an ultrasound machine; he was my son.

August 20, 2008. He-Beastie's Big Debut, Pregnancy #3, The Magnificent Baby S. 2 comments.

How Baby S Got Borned (Part Two)

Due to an outpouring of requests (okay, two), I will continue the sage of Baby S’s big debut.

Where were we? Ahhhhhh, yes …, the breaking of the waters.

So Mr. MC, having gone home for the night, was quite surprised when I called to tell him that my water had just broken. Actually we were all quite surprised that my water had broken as almost everyone, including my midwife, thought this was another bought of false labor. Baby S had other plans, though.

As soon as my water broke, my contractions started to hurt a lot more. I mean a lot. I was given the cocktail-o’bliss (Stadol and Phenergan) so that I did not throw up my entire labor and to also take the edge off of the contractions. I was, at this point, still not set on an epidural and all I wanted to do was to get back in that nice warm tub. My midwife began filling the tub for me and I slowly started walking to the bathroom, leaving a delightful trail of amniotic fluid in my wake.

As I had expected, as soon as I got in the tub, the pain of the contractions abated. They were still painful but were tolerable, even though they were starting to come closer together. I realized when I slid into the tub that the water was much warmer than before, but since my midwife had drawn the bath, I thought nothing of it. Sadly, I had used all of the lavender bath salts and had to have this go without their powerful relaxation properties. I didn’t much care, though, as the cocktail o’bliss kicked in. Yes, it did relax me for a few minutes, but then I moved from relaxation to hallucination. While some may find this a pleasant sensation, I find it scary and upsetting and this negated any sense of relaxation; moreover, it did very little for the actual pain of the contractions. (I had assumed it was the Stadol that was the culprit but my midwife told me later that it is the Phenergan that makes you hallucinate.) The good news? Well, I didn’t throw up.

The rest of my time in the tub is kind of a blur. At some point Mr. MC came in and he later told me that I was talking crazy to him. I do remember asking him to stop laughing at me (he was not laughing) but mostly I felt like the room was violently spinning so to calm myself — get this — I just focused on the pain of the contractions. At some point a nurse came in to take my vitals and found two bad things: I had a 101 degree fever because the bathwater was too hot and that this was causing Baby S some distress, as his heart rate was dangerously high. My respite in the tub obviously needed to come to an end. I needed to be hooked up to the monitors, which meant I had to get out of the tub and back in bed.

I laid down in the bed flat on my back and the nurse hooked up the contraction and heartrate monitors. When the next contractions hit, it was unbelievably painful. Awful, awful, awful. My legs were shaking and physically being on my back was excruciating. The contractions were also coming much closer together and lasting much longer than they had before, so I did not have much of an opportunity to recover between them. When the nurse asked if I wanted pain relief, I jumped at the chance because I needed to stay on my back for monitoring due to the fever and I was only 3-4cm dilated. I asked about a “walking epidural” but they did not do them at my hospital so once I had the epidural, I would have to stay in bed.

The good news is that once I finally got pain relief, it was instant and complete. The bad news is that the anesthesiologist was held up with the woman before me (her pressure dropped right after he put the epidural in) and it seemed to take forever for him to get to me. I think it was actually only about 40 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. Once you make the decision to get pain relief, you want it RIGHT AWAY as working through things naturally is off the table. I was begging Mr. MC to keep asking about the anesthesiologist as the contractions at this point were coming almost back to back. When he finally came into my room, he decided to do a spinal to give me faster relief but also put in an epidural as I was not that far along yet.

August 11, 2008. He-Beastie's Big Debut, Pregnancy #3, The Magnificent Baby S. 1 comment.

How Baby S Got Borned (Part One)

I suppose I should write my “birth story.” It has been almost six weeks and I am afraid if I wait any longer, the already murky details will get even murkier.

Here’s the short version: I have a love/hate relationship with Stadol/Phenergan cocktails; I love epidurals; Baby S is terrific.

Here the longer version:

The spotting, which was assumed to be due to the e-coli infection, was, with hindsight, indeed “bloody show.” I spotted for three more days, and then things seemed to taper off. On Saturday, June 21, I laid down to take a nap in the afternoon because I was exhausted from not sleeping well the night before due to contractions. I had been having contractions for days, but they were not organizing themselves into any sort of recognizable pattern and I had heard that these could go on for weeks. When I woke up from the nap, however, my underwear was wet, and I was pretty sure that I had not peed myself. I called my midwife and she told me to come into the hospital and they would determine if I was leaking amniotic fluid.

We headed to the hospital with my hastily-thrown-together hospital bag (which I had neglected to pack prior to this) and checked into Labor and Delivery. One of the OBs in my practice was there, and he came in to chat with us as I was getting settled. We were going to wait for the OB on call, but he decided he would do the exam himself. He said that it was not amniotic fluid, but that I was 1cm dilated but 90% effaced, so he wanted me to “hang around” for a few hours to see if anything exciting was going to happen.

We were taken to one of the deluxe birthing suites and the nurse offered me the warm bath and, of course, the lavender bath salts. The bath, as I mentioned before, was actually very soothing and relaxing and definitely took the edge off of the contractions. My midwife appeared in the bathroom (she was on-call that weekend and had just finished a delivery) and wanted to examine me to assess how “exciting” my cervix was, but that meant I had to get out of the nice warm bath and have another pelvic exam. I was still only 1cm dilated and she thought that I was actually more like 70% effaced instead of 90%. Regardless, she offered me the option of staying the night so that she could give me some pain medicine (a combination of Stadol and Phenergan) so I could actually sleep through the contractions. I asked her if she thought “this was it.” She did not think this was “real” labor as my cervix was still high and was not dilated very far. For the record, I did not think this was “it,” either.

My midwife went to deliver another baby and my nurse went to mix up my cocktail-o’sleepie bliss. I remember laying in the bed while I was hooked up to the monitors and listening to the woman next door screaming while she delivered her baby — natural childbirth sounded awfully painful! After a particularly painful contraction, I felt the unmistakable “pop” and felt a huge gush of liquid pour out of me. My first thought was “wow, my water just broke” and my second thought was “I am so glad that I was not at home because this would be a real nightmare to have to clean up.” The fluid, which was yellow-ish and not clear like I had expected, just kept coming and coming until it had completely soaked everything on the bed. I pressed the call button on the bed and told the nurse on the other end, “uh, my water just broke.” She said she would sent my midwife in as soon as she could.

Mr. MC had left the hospital assured I was not in real labor and assuming he would be back the next morning, so imagine his surprise at my “uh, my water just broke” phone call a few minutes after he got home.

August 2, 2008. He-Beastie's Big Debut, Pregnancy #3, The Magnificent Baby S. 4 comments.

Topsy Turvy

My boobs are lopsided. The right breast — Rochelle — is a real champion at milk production. She is cranking out 1.5 ounces every 2-3 hours. The left breast — Lucielle — is not keeping up. I thought it was the clogged duct but that has cleared and she is still underproducing, even after days of extra pumping time.

Is this normal? If you have pumped or breastfed, does one boob out-produce the other?

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Baby S was back to his birth weight in only 10 days, and is the picture of health.

I was also back to my pre-pregnancy weight a week after giving birth. As of today, I even managed to lose 2 pounds. It is easy to lose your pregnancy weight when you only gain 11 pounds, right? Not an ideal situation (I was worried sick about Baby S’s growth), but it sure is nice to have one less thing to worry about.

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Thank you for all of your kind comments regarding my father’s death. I am, all things considered, doing okay. Cuddling Baby S makes it easy to focus my priorities and not to dwell in my negative emotions. I appreciate everyone who stopped by and offered support.

July 3, 2008. Other Sucky Things, Pregnancy #3, The Magnificent Baby S. 6 comments.

Baby S’s Big Debut

Baby S is here!

Born Sunday, June 22nd at 5:30AM.

6lbs. 3oz. and 18.5 inches long (born at 37 weeks)

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this little guy. Mr. MC and I are, as the British would say, completely besotted with him and everything he does.

June 26, 2008. He-Beastie's Big Debut, Pregnancy #3. 13 comments.

Eating Crow and Delivering Baby

Okay, so I can’t actually attest to the fact that it was the lavender bath salts, but the warm jacuzzi tub sure is amazing. I should never have doubted its analgesic power. I was able to hold off on the epidural as long as I could stay in the tub, but then the mean, mean nurse made me get out (in her defense, I did have a 101 degree fever) and then I begged for the bloody epidural.

The pregnancy gods were merciful: less than 6 hours of labor from water breaking to he-beastie’s arrival. I only pushed for 20 minutes.

He-beasite, or “Baby S,” was born at 5:30AM on Sunday morning, and tipped the scales at 6lbs. 3oz. He is completely perfect.

June 23, 2008. He-Beastie's Big Debut, Pregnancy #3. 23 comments.

Ewww

I had stronger contractions all last night, but while they were actually moving into the painful realm, they were further apart (10 minutes) than the night before. I actually went to sleep in the nursery as I was afraid my quiet moaning would disturb Mr. MC’s sleep.

This morning as I was getting into the shower, much to my surprise, I noticed that I was spotting brown blood. At first I thought “mucous plug” or “bloody show,” but it really did look like regular old spotting. I called my OB’s office, just to be sure, and the nurse told me that they were just getting ready to call me. Here’s the ewww part: it turns out the bajingo culture they did last Friday was positive for e-coli. Yes, the e-coli that makes everyone sick and is usually found in your colon. Ewwwwwww. I felt like she was telling me that I was a dirty, unhygienic person, but it turns out that it is a pretty common for pregnant women to have asymptomatic e-coli bacterial vagninosis. Still. Ewww.

My midwife thought this is might be what was causing the spotting, so the nurse said if I continued to spot or actually started bleeding, to call back right away. They called in an antibiotic, which I will take for seven days, so hopefully it has time to kill all the nasty ookies in bajingo-ville before he-beastie’s arrival.

I cramped and spotted most of the day, so I went back in this afternoon for another exam. He-beastie is in the “right position,” my cervix is starting to thin, but there is not yet any dilation. Then we got another ultrasound (to rule out a placental abruption) which showed that everything is normal and — here’s a real shocker — my kid likes to move around a lot. I am also to discontinue use of the Lovenox and the baby aspirin one week early (I am 37 weeks tomorrow).

It was a long day and I didn’t get my usual 3-hour nap. Tomorrow, however, my son will be considered full-term. It ain’t over yet, but everything is looking good.

June 18, 2008. He-Beastie's Big Debut, Pregnancy #3. 10 comments.

If I Were A Betting Woman…

… and I am not, BUT if I were, I would pick sooner rather than later for he-beastie’s arrival. I just have a feeling he is coming before his 10 July due date.

I had, for the first time this pregnancy, real “false” labor last night. One minute contractions, six to fourteen minutes apart, for several hours. They did not increase in frequency but they did get more intense and I still have them today. The earlier Braxton-Hicks contraction were just tightening but these are more than tightening and they start in the cervix; they are not yet painful, just uncomfortable. I am not sure how long this goes on before labor — my ever-so-helpful library of pregnancy books says labor will follow in a few hours or a few weeks.  That narrows it right down, right?

For now, however, I am off to teach my class. 10 days left to go but I need to cover as much as possible in case we have an early debut.

June 17, 2008. He-Beastie's Big Debut, Pregnancy #3. 5 comments.

Lavender Bath Salts

When I was admitted on Friday to L&D, I got to preview first-hand the luxurious birthing rooms. I am sure if you are in active labor you probably would not be concerned with all of the aesthetic details, but the rooms really are very nice.

After they put a liter of IV fluid in you, even when you are dehydrated, you really have to pee, so I got to spend a lot of time going back and forth to the bathroom. The bathrooms have beautiful tile work, a large tub/shower filled with jets, a towel rack stocked with plush towels, and the sink was deep with lovely fixtures. They had luxury hand soaps, scented hand lotions, and a tube of lavender bath salts.

Even in the midst of everything, I had to laugh. Lavender bath salts? Really? Obviously they were intended for the tub, which is large enough to labor in but is not a delivery tub. Do they really think that in the midst of a natural labor, because you would not be lying in a warm tub (the “midwives’ epidural”) if you had an epidural, the lavender bath salts are going to contribute to your overall comfort? “Oh, these contractions are just AWFUL! PAINFUL! ARGHHHH!!! The warmth of the tub, however, is so very, very soothing. Wait, they have LAVENDER BATH SALTS? Sprinkle away! Why … I can barely feel the contractions now that I have used the LAVENDER BATH SALTS.”

In other non-toiletry news, my father is still alive. In fact, he has been extubated and is conscious. My brother will call with an update as soon as he talks more to my father’s nurse. That being said, I can not think any more about it because it causes me to either cry, feel nauseous/gag, have Braxton-Hicks contractions/cramping, or raises my blood pressure. None of these things are good for me or he-beastie, and so, per my midwife’s orders, I am only focusing on what I can control and my father, three states away in a who-knows-what kind of mental state, is far outside of my control.

June 16, 2008. Other Sucky Things, Pregnancy #3. 8 comments.

Stupid Selfish Bastard

Thursday night, after my father met with his lawyer regarding the finalities of the divorce and realized that my mother (they live in a “no fault” state) would indeed get 50% of their estate, went back to his hotel room, took all the prescription medicine he had (8 bottles worth) and then sent my mother some of the most vitriolic, nastiest e-mails ever written. He wanted to make sure that a) she never got his life insurance policies (negated in cases of suicide, he thought); b) how much he hated her; c) how she ruined his life by daring to divorce him; d) all the material stuff he wanted my brother and I to get — he wanted her to get nothing except “blamed for this, so she can spend the rest of her life feeling guilty.”

This was 4 weeks to the day before his first grandchild was due. He left no notes, no sentiments, nothing for my brother and I.

My mom, because she is a decent human being, called the paramedics when she read the e-mails instead of just letting him die in his hotel room. The fucker is still alive, but barely, in critical condition in an ICU 3 states away from me. I would not visit him, even if I were allowed to travel. If he dies, we have decided there will be no funeral or memorial. If he lives, my son will never be allowed near him.

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Due to stress and emotions, I spent all of Thursday night trying to sleep and failing miserably. I had Braxton-Hicks contractions all night, and woke up in the morning with menstrual-like cramps. I already had an OB appointment, so they did an internal exam (no dilation yet) and then admitted me to L&D for monitoring. The contractions were probably due to dehydration as they slowed down once they gave me two IV bags of fluid. We got to listen to his little heartbeat on the monitor, which was very cool. He did not like either the contraction or the heart rate monitor straps and continually tried to kick them off, which made his heart rate go up, exactly as they wanted it to. I stayed for a few hours, took a nap, and then headed home.

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My mom actually went to the hospital yesterday to get updates on my father. He is on a ventilator, his pupils are still pinned (due to the copious amounts of narcotics that he took), his pressure is low but stable, but we do not know if he will live out the week or if he has done any irreparable long-term organ damage.

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He-beastie, however, is doing his usual mid-morning gymnastics. I can actually see knees, feet, and hips when he turns himself around or kicks hard enough. Sure, it kind of looks like there is an alien trapped in there, but I love it.

June 14, 2008. Other Sucky Things, Pregnancy #3. 17 comments.

File Under Either: “Stupid Things That People Say” or “Wow, MC Has A Tremendous Amount of Self-Restraint”

I had to return some duplicate gifts to Tarzhay Boutique. The girl who was processing returns looked at my pregnant tummy and exclaimed, WOW, I was told that being pregnant in the summer is like the WORST. THING. EVER!!”

What I wanted to say: “No, actually spending last summer bleeding heavily for several weeks after my second miscarriage was far worse.”

OR: “No, being pregnant in the summer is AWESOME compared to not being pregnant when you really want to be.”

OR: “Being hot, sweaty and pregnant is far, REALLY far, from the worst thing ever. In fact, it pretty much rocks compared to the WORST. THING. EVER. , whatever the heck that is (although I do have a few ideas).

Instead, I said: “Yes, a refund on a gift cards is just fine.”

What I really wanted to add: “You stupid naive idiot.”

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My father, in an e-mail (the only way we really communicate because he is deaf, and refuses to learn sign language or use the TTD device on the phone) told me yesterday: “I LOVE YOU AND MR. MC AND HE-BEASTIE AND LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING HIM IN OUR FAMILY BUT WHAT YOUR MOTHER HAS DONE TO ME HAS TAKEN MOST OF THE JOY OUT OF THIS.” (Yes, he apparently also yells loudly when he types not because he is deaf, because he hasn’t figured out that all caps = yelling).

What I wanted to reply: What mom has “done to you” is, after 37 years of being unhappily married, to finally leave after living with someone who is bi-polar who refuses to see a therapist or take any medicine for the condition. He still, even after smashing many a house-hold object in fits of rage, spending through a chunk of their retirement during a manic episodes, and spending Christmas and New Years in the psychiatric ward (my mom had him committed when he smashed the second flat-screen TV when she cut off his credit cards) with the official diagnosis of “severely depressed/bi-polar,” doesn’t think there is anything wrong with him.

I also wanted to add: How does your wife leaving you possibly diminish the joy for your first grandchild, unless you are just wallowing in self-pity and a completely selfish asshole.

What I realized: He is just wallowing in self-pity and a completely selfish asshole.

[What I am also fervently wishing: He-beastie did not get the bi-polar gene in my family. Let’s hope that Mr. MC’s genes either dilute it or cancel it out completely. ]

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But I didn’t say nasty things to either the little Tarzhay girl or my father, because apparently I have a tremendous amount of self-restraint even when I am hot, sweaty, and 8 months pregnant.

Yesterday, I was 8 months. I am today, officially, 9 months pregnant.

June 12, 2008. Miscarriage #2, Other Sucky Things, Pregnancy #3. 10 comments.

Shameless Capitalist Plug

Having recently gone to Babies R Expensive and Tarzhay Boutique whilst 8 months pregnant, I now really, really understand the appeal of on-line shopping. I can lay on my couch with my tennis ball under my pelvis (i am telling you, it really does work for sciatic pain but you have to put it directly under the most tender spot and then lay there for a while) and order stuff he-beastie will need without pain shooting down my left leg.

Artsweet told me about a great site: Diapers.com

They sell diapers, of course (including cloth diaper supplies and Seventh Generation), but lots of other stuff (baby food, toiletries, toys, etc…) as well. I bought a bunch of Mustela products was amazed how quick and easy it was. (Mustela is my baby product vice; the kid can ride around in a rather unattractive car seat, but there is something about smelling like French baby that brings a huge smile to my face! The stuff is also really gentle and I am anticipating, given our family histories, that this kid is going to have sensitive skin.)

So, if you need baby stuff, check them out!

If you use my code (ELFX3625), you get $5 off your first order! You also get free shipping if you spend more than $49, so if you order in bulk, it is actually cheaper than going to the mega stores.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled tennis ball session.

June 9, 2008. Other Links, Pregnancy #3. 3 comments.

The Countdown Has Begun

I am 35 weeks pregnant.

He-beastie, Mr. MC and I were “showered” with gifts last weekend. My friends threw a fantastic, non-traditional party (kids, co-ed, no weird games) and we had a great time. All these people were there to celebrate he-beastie’s impending arrival, which was weird, because they all just assumed everything is going to be fine!? Could everything really be just fine?

The nursery is pretty much done. We have new window blinds up, the IKEA furniture is put together and in place, and his little clothes and blankets are all washed (in the no perfume/no dye detergent) and put away in his new dresser. Most everything else we need is in the room, if not yet completely set up or totally organized; however, the big projects are all done.

We bought the car seat and the car seat stroller frame. We were going to buy a travel system, but the one we wanted was discontinued. The rest of the travel systems had strollers that were SO very heavy, so we decided on just the car seat bucket and the stroller frame. We will then buy another stroller when he is older and able to sit up on his own.

We have a breastfeeding class this Tuesday, and then we are “officially” (well, as “official” as you can ever get, I suppose) ready for he-beastie’s arrival. He understands, though, that mommy needs to teach until the 27th, so he is not going to come before then.

Today was my last Friday without an OB appointment. From next week on, I will be in their office every week to meet with my midwife. Her concerns for labor: managing my anxiety (honestly, I don’t feel all that anxious about labor, but I do have bad anxiety so she may have something) and my nausea. I guess when you have hyperemesis the hormones released in labor cause many women to throw-up the whole time. Doesn’t that sound like fun!? Labor AND a reprise of pukeapalooza!

June 6, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 6 comments.

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.

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