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?

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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.

Well, He-Beastie is Excited

I have to redo the dreaded 3-hour glucose tolerance test Wednesday morning.  This time I am bringing my own blanket and pillow so when the inevitable lightheadedness and nausea hit, I can lay down on something familiar.   

I have been on a very low-carbohydrate diet since I got the dreaded news last Wednesday (the test was last Tuesday) and I have read that even doing that for a week can significantly improve your insulin resistance.  Admitedly, I was eating a lot of bad carbs before the first two tests.  Even worse, I was drinking a soda a day because it helped settle my still-sensitive stomach in the late afternoon.  Even if I “pass” this second 3GTT, I am going to keep eating like this for the duration of the pregnancy.   

He-beastie, by the way, thinks glucose tests are fantastic fun.  He goes bonkers when I eat something as mundane as salad, so the rush of the 100mg of glucose pounded down in a mere five minutes is utter ecstacy.  It looked like someone was popping popcorn in my uterus — POW! BAM! POP! — for at least 30 minutes once the glucose hit his system.  Too bad we can’t combine the glucose test with the ultrasound on Friday as it would be a hoot to watch that kind of activity on an ultraound monitor.   

April 29, 2008. Pregnancy #3, South Beached Whale. 3 comments.

The Girls

Writing about gestational diabetes is boring, so let’s write about something less boring: boobs! 

I have not had to size up in a bra yet this pregnancy.  I have made do with the bra extenders but I suspect that sometime in the near future  I am going to have to invest in new maternity/nursing bras.

The problem is that the only maternity store in the area sucks.  Really sucks.  I had the lady (the one lady that seems to work there) measure me a few weeks ago and she measured me smaller than I actually am now.  Aside from the sizing issue, their bras were awful and flimsy.  There was no way they were going to hold the girls now, let alone in a milk-engorged state.

I really like high quality bras and I see the higher cost as an investment in my comfort.  (They also tend to last much, much longer, as long as you hand wash them.)  Pre-pregnancy #3, since I know my size, I just usually ordered them off the internet.  The question is, though, what do I do about a nursing/maternity bra?  Do I order one in one size up via the internet?  Do I wait to measure until I am in labor and then quickly place an internet order?  How much bigger will they get?  Do I just go up a cup size?  The hospital suggests you bring 2-3 nursing bras to the hospital, so most women must buy them before they have their baby, right?  Lastly, is it wrong to buy maternity bras off the internet without ever being fitted? 

 

April 26, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 10 comments.

Frack

I passed my 3-hour test, but only by one point.  (AGAIN WITH THE ONE POINT!)  They do four draws, and having high sugars for two out of the four warrants the dreaded “gestational diabetes” diagnosis.  I had one high one, and one that was only “not high” by one point.  That is way too close for comfort.   

I am back on, irony of ironies, the South Beach Diet.  Bring on the omlettes!   

Edit: I am going to eat a very low-card diet for a few weeks and then repeat the 3-hour glucose test.  Last time I had to lay down 30 minutes after drinking the orange-flavored, slightly carbonated syrup (OFSCS) so I didn’t throw up and/or pass out.  The nice ladies at the lab let me sleep there for the rest of the test, only waking me when I needed my hourly sticks.  It was not a fun test, but I want he-beastie to be healthy, so I am now back to pretending that sugar-free lime Jello is a delicious dessert.  “Mmmmm…. delicious jelly donuts sugar-free lime Jello.” 

 

April 23, 2008. Other Sucky Things, Pregnancy #3, South Beached Whale. 2 comments.

One Point

Actually, I have a lot of points to make, but let’s not dwell on all those other points.  Let’s, instead, focus on the one point that pushed me over edge of my glucose tolerance test.  The cut-off was 130 and I was (do the math! do the math!) … 131.

Frack.

Now, I am not too worried, especially because we realized today that I had just probably not fasted the appropriate amount of time.  My OB’s office told me not to eat/drink after midnight, an order to which I dutifully complied.  I drank the liquid at 7:15AM and had my blood drawn at 8:15AM, which is only 8.25 hours of fasting as I had a bowl of Coco Krispies just before midnight.  The lab today told Mr. MC that you need to fast for 10-12 hours to get an accurate reading.

Frack.

Given the risks, I understand why they are moving to the 3-hour diagnostic test.  Still.  Ugh.  Frack.

On more optimistic note, we finally registered at the dreaded baby megastore (alternate names: “Parents R Suckers;” “Babies R Expensive;” or “Fetuses R Consumers?”)  I have allowed a shower to be scheduled at the end of May.  We are also going to childbirth classes on May 2nd and 3rd.  The world thinks I am actually having a baby or something?!?

He-beastie’s non-cooperative nature has also landed us another ultrasound on May 2nd.  He still, after two post-20 week ultrasounds, refuses to show the nice ultrasound lady the lower part of his spine.  They want confirmation that his spine is healthy before clearing me for a vaginal delivery.  I am pretty sure everything is fine if he can sleep with his toes on his forehead, but I am always game for another ultrasound.  I also gained 2 lbs. in 2 weeks, so they are no longer concerned with growth issues, even though I am carrying “small.”     

April 21, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 2 comments.

Eat. Sleep. Shop.

Yes, it would have been better if Mr. MC had been able to join me.

Yes, it would have been better if I had been able to meet Alice (of Into the Rabbit Hole).

Yes, it would have been better if I had not had to deal with a wicked migraine.

Still, I had a great weekend in NYC.

I ate delicious food (the pizza restaurant was amazing — I almost cried it was so good) and then discovered the joys of pregnancy-induced heartburn.  Regardless, it was worth it.  I even had (GASP!!) a glass of wine with my awesome Italian food, because the water I was drinking was just not doing it justice.  (I had, however, previously asked for my OB’s permission because I am that sort of annoying patient.)

I slept in the mornings until I woke up and then went to bed whenever I wanted.  Clearly, I need a lot of sleep because I never woke up before noon.  It was wonderful.  My hotel was just a few blocks off of Broadway, but my room was so quiet I could not hear a thing from the street.

I shopped, and since Mr. MC wasn’t there, I did all my girl-y shopping: maternity dress, shoes (ON SALE!!), purses, over-priced salon products, etc….  I had a manicure and pedicure at Bliss salon.  I had a pregnancy massage and a pregnancy facial at the Edamame spa.  I lack the vocabulary to describe how utterly delicious pregnancy pampering is.

Some random things I discovered:

1) He-beastie is a very active little fetus.  He also likes shopping on the Upper-East Side, juding from the increased quantity of movement.  He also likes it when I eat, lay down, or look at expensive art that I can not possibly afford in this lifetime.

2) Maternity stores are still evil.  They are filled with happy, glowing pregnant women and annoying, bitchy salesladies who make me uncomfortable.  “Destination Maternity” on Madison Avenue manages to pack three stores of them into one building, all carrying clothes at different price points.  Two of them (A Pea in the Pod and Mimi Maternity) do not carry XL sizes, as the stupid skinny liitle anorexic bitch sales lady informed me.  You sell maternity clothes and you don’t carry XL?  Really?? The one time I need a nice dress, and I am left with the low-end line (Motherhood Maternity) that only sells 100% polyester or 100% cotton jersey dresses.  I found one that worked after I threw a black jacket over it, thankfully.

3) I have chloasma on my face.  It was weird to have freckles on my nipples, but aparently all the new freckles on my face are the beginnings of the “mask of pregnancy.”  Harmless, and much less annoying than pukeapalooza or the heartburn, but I still bought the lightening cream.

4) My migraines are partially caused by hormones and, according to the woman who gave me my pregnancy massage, the fact that my neck is a bloody mess (my words, not hers).  It is painfully tight, and while the massage helped, it was only a short-term fix.  I found a massage therapist here who does pregnancy massage, so I think I am going to have to start going more often.  Having 2-3 migraines a week is not fun.

Tomorrow I am 28 weeks pregnant.  7 months.  Holy crapola.

April 17, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 3 comments.

Relief

The baby, per the ultrasound this morning, is measuring at just about 25w3d on all important measurements so things are, in the words of Mr. MC, “perfect.”  I am 25w today, so things are even a little ahead of schedule.  I am so relieved that everytime I think about it, I start to cry.  I am now just going to make sure I get a lot of lean protein in my diet, and then not worry about my lack of weight gain.  The baby is fine.  The baby is good.  The baby is “perfect.”

Oh, and we now know: wee-beastie is a HE-beastie!! 

A boy?! 

Mr. MC and I were so sure it was a girl, we are both still in shock.  A boy!  A HE-BEASTIE!!   

The only one who knew, apparently, was my four-year old friend Maya.  

Our conversation on Easter:  

MC: “Hey Maya, do you think the baby in my tummy is a girl or a boy?”

Maya: “It’s a boy.”

MC: “Really?  A boy?  Are you sure it is not a girl?”

Maya: “It’s a boy” (slightly annoyed at having to repeat her very obvious statement of fact). 

MC: “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a girl, though?  You could show her all the cool things about being a girl!!”

Maya: “Yeah, that would be fun. . . .”  (pause) . . . but it’s a boy.”

Behold the intuitive power of four-year olds. 

March 27, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 14 comments.

Panic

That feeling — the feeling that something is horribly wrong — is back.

I am having horrible, horrible nightmares about sick babies, babies that aren’t growing right, or babies that die.  It is awful and terrifying.

Mr. MC talked to my midwife: my weight gain, or lack of weight gain, is not normal.  The last ultrasound, over a month ago, showed that the baby is growing fine, but I am outside of normal parameters, which to my mind is never good news. 

So for now I just sit here and cry and panic and hope that there is just something wrong with me and not wee-beastie.  PLEASE don’t let there be something wrong with wee-beastie.  Please.  Please.  Please.

I can feel wee-beastie kicking and I am listening to his/her little heart just beat just like it should, but instead of being a comfort it is just making me more afraid. 

I hope they can move the ultrasound up from Monday.  I can not wait that long without completely falling apart. 

UPDATE: They moved my ultrasound up to 10AM tomorrow morning.  At least that is something. 

March 26, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 6 comments.

The Hokey-Pokey

Having never been this pregnant before, I don’t know how much a “normal” baby moves, but wee-beastie seems to be one active little bugger.  The obvious things make him/her do the hokey-pokey like post-meal glucose bliss, but almost everything (save for my lectures, which is apparently nap time) seems to induce a major fit of the wiggles.  A major trigger?  Mr. MC singing to my stomach.  It is very cool to feel the movement but sometimes feeling the BA-BOING and seeing my entire stomach bounce up and down is a little weird. 

On the 31st I have an appointment with my OB and we may try another ultrasound as well, or at least we will schedule one.  SHE-beastie or HE-beastie?  The mystery remains unsolved — stay tuned.     

The nausea and puking have resumed, which I can hopefully attribute to my impending cold.  I have the sore throat — THE sore throat that you only get when you are getting sick — and it is making me super-gaggy.  I have also completely lost my appetite and when I don’t eat, I get very nauseous.  Against my will (I HATE to miss class) I cancelled class and am going back to bed for the afternoon. 

Continuing worry: why have I still only gained 4 lbs. when I am 24 weeks pregnant?  The tummy is growing, so the baby is presumably growing, right?       

I am going to try and eat something, lay down, and then coach my child on the finer points of jazz hands while in utero.   

March 25, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 1 comment.

I’m Baaaaaack

I have returned to the States after 10 days in Europe. 

I am exhausted and jet lagged, but wee-beastie thoroughly enjoyed him/herself.  Apparently air travel, sugar, caffeine, and stress hormones (like the kind you produce when your purse — including your passport, credit cards, and migaine medicine — is stolen the first day into your travels) make my kid perform an Irish jig.  Me: HOLY ^%$, my purse was just stolen!  Wee-beastie: Weeeeee!!!! 

It turns out the phantom UTI was not a UTI (hence the negative cultures) but an allergic reaction in my lady parts to my new shower gel.  I used it a second time, the symptoms all came back for a few days, so now it is banished forever.  In other pee related news, I peed my pants yesterday when I sneezed.   On my way to class, mind you.  Me: HOLY @*&^, I just peed my pants!  Wee-beastie: Weeeeee!!!!

I am 24 weeks tomorrow.  HOLY ^$#%, I am almost 6 months pregnant!  I also managed, in between the pain au chocolate and the creme brulee, to lose weight in Europe.  My tummy is larger, so I assume it was just the copious amounts of walking we did.  Walking, it seems, it the only thing that lulls wee-beastie to sleep.  The second I sit down, it is back to business.  Be careful what you wish for: I told wee-beastie, since I didn’t want to bring the doppler, that s/he could move as much as s/he wanted because mommy found it very reassuring.     

March 19, 2008. Other Sucky Things, Pregnancy #3. 6 comments.

“Burn Baby Burn”

Last Sunday, it really started to burn when I peed.  (I pee A LOT these days, so it was especially annoying and painful.)  My pregnancy books were emphatic that if you thought you might be getting a UTI you had to “GO TO THE DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY OR YOU COULD GET A KIDNEY INFECTION AND THIS COULD CAUSE YOU TO GO INTO PREMATURE LABOR.”  I was waiting for my OB’s office to open first thing Monday morning.

It is routine to also do “vaginal cultures” along with urine cultures, so I got the royal treatment.  Everything burned and the pelvic was expecially painful.  I have had UTIs before and my OB and I were both sure this was the cause of the pain, so she started me on an antibiotic.  Then … all the cultures came back negative.  They told me to finish out the antibiotic because I was feeling better and there was a chance the cultures missed something.

I feel like a nut — how could “nothing” burn so much?  I swear I am not tying to be a drama queen.   

**********

I made the splurge and bought wee-beastie some white cotton kimono t-shirts.  S/he will be born in July, so warm, fuzzy clothes are completely unnecessary for the few few months.  This was a big step — I now have a tangible link to the future wee-beastie as a newborn.

**********

Yesterday, after weeks of trying, Mr. MC was finally able to feel wee-beastie kicking.  I love feeling the kicks and movement, but it was a little annoying while my bladder was so sore.  Now that I am feeling better, it is so cool that he can feel them, too. 

**********

I leave for ten days in Europe (3 major cities; 2 countries) with seven students next Friday.  Mr. MC can’t go, so this will be a working “babymoon.”  At least I will not be tempted to buy adorable gender-specific baby stuff.

**********

I am having Braxton-Hicks contractions every now and then.  The first few scared the crap out of me, but my doctor assured me these are perfectly normal at this point in pregnancy.  They are not painful, but there is a very distinct sense of tightening that can be uncomfortable.  If I lay down and drink water, they do eventually go away.     

March 1, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 8 comments.

Curses, Foiled Again

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.     

February 22, 2008. Colitis is Fun (Not), Pregnancy #3. 8 comments.

Bitter, Bitchy, Barfy

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.       

     

February 17, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 3 comments.

It’s Not Gas

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. 

February 12, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 12 comments.

To Sleep … Perchance to Roll Over On My Back and Kill My Unborn Child

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.     

    

February 7, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 13 comments.

Paranoia

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. 

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

Into the Great Unknown

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.       

February 3, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 7 comments.

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