Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Please make it stop.

This weekend I had a burst of energy. We took a trip to IKEA - and sweet jumping jesus on a pogo stick - how enormous is that store - and picked out some giant bookshelves and a desk to fill out Patrick's office until we find something we like better. While the Saab has pretty good cargo room, we still picked out way more stuff than could fit in one trip. So we ended up coming back on Saturday to pick up more of it - and then he had to pick up the desk last night. Sunday, my lower back was hurting pretty badly so we decided to go to Meijer and Whole Foods and stock up on things so that if the baby decided to make an early appearance we'd have a supply of provisions for awhile. While in Meijer, I was cringing with every step. Sharp pain was racing through my body, and I was in tears. I had to make four pit stops to go to the bathroom while we were grocery shopping at one store. I was never able to pass more than about a tablespoon of urine at a time, and the last two times, it was just blood.

Sunday night in bed, I got the shakes really bad and started getting extremely nauseous. I slept fitfully from about 8:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. - waking up crying from the pain in my lower back.

Monday morning I high-tailed it to the doctor's office, and they did a preliminary urine check and said it was fine. A little over a year ago, I had a bladder infection that was so bad that I was passing blood clots almost the size of nickels in my urine. There was so much blood in my urine that my old doctor was arguing with me that I must be mistaken and just be on my period. I wasn't. I know my body.

I told the doctor yesterday that I needed her to run labs. Something was very wrong. My kidneys felt like they were exploding in my back, and the pain was making me dizzy. I've been somewhat of a martyr over this pregnancy, and never took painkillers even when things were very bad. But the last two days, I've been chewing through extra strength Tylenol like they're candy. And it's not doing a damn thing for me.

The doctor said that with the amount of blood I was describing and the deep pain in my kidney that it's likely kidney stones. She said that unfortunately there's not a lot that they can do about it if I have one until after the baby comes. She had me get labs done, and they called me yesterday at 5:02. I was on the other line for work, and called them back literally within a minute and a half, tops. But, the operator informed me that she couldn't put me through to the front desk because their phones are turned off at 5:00 p.m.

So, another night of agony.

This morning, I called as soon as they were open. Sure enough, I have a raging bladder infection. As it turns out, peeing blood isn't normal. It hurts tremendously, and I'm waiting for the pharmacy to fill my prescription.

I just hope we've caught it in time for it not to have developed into a kidney infection. My poor kidneys are stressed enough as it is.

Oh, and the one stretchmark I was so proud of? Yeah. About that. I have about another twenty or so angry deep purple marks traversing my abdomen now. They weren't there a week ago, and then suddenly, they just appeared en masse. I'm really self-conscious about them, but Patrick's been very loving about it.

Oh. Still measuring large. Over 37 weeks yesterday, and a fingertip dilated.

Just two 14 days or so (edited to say - until I manage to qualify for an additional month of paid maternity leave. I'm actually only 34 weeks right now according to my early ultrasound).

God, I hope he can stay put for that long.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

And no cadbury eggs, to boot.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning at 10:00, so at 9:40ish I moseyed (dear Gawwwwwwd did I just say "moseyed"?) to the garage, hopped in, turned the key and ...


Not a damn thing happened.

My battery has been acting screwy lately, so I popped the hood, scraped off what corrosion I could see from the battery post and plugged in the external battery charger that we keep for such purposes.

I called the doctor and said I was running late.

In 15 minutes, it showed that it was completely charged so I tried again.

Still no go.

I called our roadside assistance plan, and then the doctor to reschedule the appointment. I spent the majority of the afternoon at Wal-Mart, getting the battery replaced and when I got home I was so irritated that I sequestered myself in my office/craft room in the basement and set about organizing my scrapbook stuff.

All in all, a completely worthless day - but that's o.k.

It's one more day (so far, at least - that J wasn't born).

Monday, March 17, 2008

The things they don't tell you...

As of today, I'm officially 33 weeks pregnant according to the 5/5/08 due date. I had an ultrasound last week to check on J's growth, the perinatologist said that he's conservatively estimated to weigh 5 lbs. 11 oz. He's supposed to be about 3 lbs. 12 oz, which is exactly what he weighed a month ago. He's apparently over the 95th percentile for size, and the doctor said he's essentially just "linebacker" material. The doctor said that they're contemplating making me retake the 3 hour glucose test.

Add to that the excess amniotic fluid, and I'm measuring a full month ahead (which is why my contractions have been so bad - my body thinks I'm near term when I really have about 7 weeks to go). He's healthy though, and that's all that matters to me. I shuddered when the doctor told me that first babies are usually late, and usually the smallest. Hopefully that won't be the case for me.

During the ultrasound, he was practicing his breathing, and I sat mesmerized watching his diaphragm move rhythmically. To say that I'm already madly in love with him would be a vast understatement.

However, I am quickly growing tired of being pregnant.

There are things about the last parts of pregnancy that no one really talks about - that I feel obligated to dish on, even at the risk of embarrassing myself.

1. You will leak, a variety of bodily fluids.

My breasts have been leaking colostrum since around the 15th week or so, but now - sexual arousal or a hot shower is almost a guaranteed gush (at least from the right side). Another thing, dried colostrum is sticky. Very sticky. I find that I'm peeling my nipples from the inside of my bras more often than I'd like to admit. Very sexy, no?

"Urine for a big surprise" - I prided myself for years on the fact that I was potty-trained at about 18 months. I've done more kegels than I thought humanly possible. And yet, if I cough too hard or sneeze, or laugh too heartily there's a very real danger of what is pleasantly called "stress incontinence" but in reality is just you pissing your pants. The only thing I can say is go when the urge strikes (which is about every 45 minutes now as the baby is using my bladder as a trampoline).

Other "unmentionable" leaking. I never had the prolific vaginal discharge that was described in the pregnancy books as common in the first two trimesters. If anything, my delicate lady bits were so dry that they were practically sub-saharan. Now, though - my god. It's apparently monsoon season between my thighs.

2. You will snore. A lot. I'm now wearing breathe-right strips every single night, sometimes two at a time (and regardless of the fact that I'm allergic to the adhesive they're coated with). If I don't wear them, Patrick can't sleep because I can now apparently out-snore lumberjacks.

3. Everyone will tell you that you should catch up on a lot of sleep now before the baby comes, but the cruel irony is that YOU CANNOT SLEEP. I sleep in 45 minute increments - tops before waking up due to night sweats, having to pee (again), or crazy psychotic dreams resulting from pregnancy hormones. And then there's just the uncomfortableness of the extra weight in your abdomen that makes it impossible to get comfortable. Oh. and maybe I'm just a lucky one, but my babe apparently thinks 2-5:30 a.m. is time to slam dance inside. Every. Single. Night. I wake up every morning exhausted.

4. More bathroom TMI. I've spent my life perpetually constipated, even going as long as 18 days before I actually broke down and had to go. There. I said it. I hate pooping. Pregnancy, however, seems to have reversed this trend for me. In the last week, I've actually gone up to six times a day. I'm really ready for this to be over.

5. There will come a point, more quickly than you'll imagine, where your maternity shirts no longer cover the bottom of your belly. All the cute little tops you thought you'd never fill out will now seemingly be made for a waif. A waif who is not pregnant and does not have boobs.
6. Speaking of boobs, your boobs will continue to grow. I was told that most large breasted women didn't grow much. Whoever told me this is a liar. I was a large size D when I started this pregnancy business. I'm now spilling out of a DD - and am shuddering thinking about how huge they're going to be once my milk comes in.

7. You will justify the most random and extravagant expenses (especially if this is your first child). We finally broke down and bought our stroller (a Mutsy Urban Rider) and car seat (Maxi-Cosi). Mind you, when we first started looking, we were appalled at the cost of the $200 Graco 'travel system' which had both. I'm actually hoping we have another one so we can reuse the stroller.

I only need 22 more days before J comes in order to qualify for the extra month of maternity benefits. I just got a pretty hefty raise that's retroactive to January 1st, so my leave benefits will be a lot more lucrative. I'd still like that extra paid month and the unpaid time. I've been crampy and contracting all morning, but that's not really anything new. Still. Patrick's petrified that I'm going to go into labor this week for some reason. I hope not.

Work has been insanely busy this last week, so I've barely had time to breathe - let alone enjoy working from home. I'm ready to actually be on leave.

Oh. and I just ordered a kit from Mama's Belly after talking to Maggie,the artist. She's letting us pay the item out, and I'm delighted, as I couldn't justify spending all of it right now before he's born.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

An unwelcome surprise

Last night my lower back started aching rather badly, and I ended up asleep before 9:30. Though "asleep" is a bit of a misnomer, as I slept in 15-30 minute fits all night. I think part of it was the new bed and mattress got delivered yesterday, and I'm not used to it yet - and part of it is that I was sleeping on "his" side of the bed instead of mine. I'd fallen asleep first, so he just left me where I was, and got into bed on my side. At 4:00, I finally gave up and went downstairs to work on finishing a document for work (something I do often, as the first thing in the morning like that I seem to be most productive). Tired, and frustrated, I went back upstairs to caroused him into a little action, thinking that (since I appear to be wired like a man, and when it's over I'm out cold - but could you go make me a sandwich before I fall asleep?). I started cramping really badly immediately after, to the point that I lost control and started sobbing. Then I went to the bathroom to clean up - and noticed that I had bright pink blood running down my legs, pooling onto the hexagonal tile floor.

I have a doctor's appointment at 10 a.m. The baby is really active this morning, and I'm hoping it's just an abrasion on my cervix.

But in the meantime, I'm scared. The strong cramping has stopped, but my lower back is aching and there's a weird feeling of pressure inside my vagina that I can't describe. Did I mention I have a work deadline today that I cannot miss?

Here's hoping that she says we're fine and sends me back home so I can finish up my project.

Updated: Embarassingly (though thankfully) the bleeding was just due to the "high vascularity" and "general crankiness" of my cervix. I picture my cervix looking something like the cranky old woman "Maxine" in the Hallmark line of cards, dirty coffee cup in one hand, cigarette with excess ash hanging from the os - while mumbling about how unfair life is. I'm afraid in my sleep-deprived mind I've blatantly lifted that from another blogger because it's almost too vivid to be of my own fuzzy brain at the moment.

In other news, while I should be at 31 weeks I am still consistently measuring far ahead, nearing 35.5 weeks. I've somehow gained six pounds in two weeks (GASP!). I've got another ultrasound scheduled for next week to approximate his weight. The doctor said that if I start experiencing pre-term labor in the next three weeks, we'll try to stop it - but after that - it's all systems go if he decides to make his appearance. I'll likely be required to have a c-section if he's estimated to be over 10.5 pounds at the time of birth.

I also apparently have an anterior placenta (my placenta is attached on the wall of my uterus beneath my belly button, rather than the posterior, or back wall which is typical in about 85% of pregnancies). Generally babies will face the placenta, which means in the vast majority of cases that as labor nears, the baby is head down and facing the mother's spine. This particular position allows the smallest part of the head to present first, easing birth. J is head down, but he's "sunny side up" and acing my stomach. If he doesn't turn (which there is thankfully still plenty of time for him to do so) I may be looking forward to longer (and more painful than usual) labor. Fun. If the placenta doesn't "move" upward enough, there are additional dangers in a c-section, as they will have to cut through the placenta in order to deliver him.

Oh. and joy of joys. I have to have a follow up three hour glucose test. Again. Given how large I'm measuring, and the fact that I failed my first glucose screening, they want me to do the three hour test again.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Afro to fumanchu

I have a confession to make, and this is a post all about pubic hair.

It's been about 2 months since I could comfortably see the "area" or - as one of my coworkers felt the need to share with me - my "lady garden." Thus, let's say that well - the garden was a bit unkempt. When I was in seventh grade, we watched the Nova Miracle of Life movie in my science class - and when the birth scene started some guy in the back row shouted out "OH MY GOD, WHAT A HUGE BUSH!" leaving Coach Hall (why in Texas are middle school science teachers always coaches?) so startled that he fell off the counter he was sitting on in the back of the class. Anyway, I could've done a stand in for this woman's 70s porno bush.

Before I met Patrick, I tended to keep things very, very short on top, and shaved everywhere else. My ex preferred the entire thing to be waxed/shaved bare but it was well, itchy and honestly I felt a little creepy being completely bare. The pre-pubescent look just wasn't for me and at least a little bit of hair seemed to provide some protection against chafing. And let's face it. Lady bits? Do not like to be chafed.

Anyway, Patrick was much more supportive of the "natural but contained" look, and as I'd never really experienced it before - I have to admit, it was sort of liberating. Just mind the bikini line and trim things up a bit, but leave the natural triangle shape.

However, now that I'm so hugely pregnant, I can't really tidy things up so well. So laziness set in and I've just sort of let it all go to hell in a handbasket. The doctor said that I could start swimming some, as it would relieve the pressure of carrying around the extra weight on my back and wouldn't likely aggravate the contractions like walking does. Our gym has a warm therapy pool that sounded heavenly so I found a maternity swimsuit and though I was in business.

Then I realized I may not be able to see the pelt that is quickly growing over the region, but other people would be, aside from the fact that it was so uh, fluffy that it would give me a fake penis look. So, this morning I decided to grab Patrick's beard trimmer and give it a quick once over.

I've been up since 4 a.m. working on finishing something up for work, so I have to admit I wasn't clearly thinking. I forgot to put a guard on the shaver. And, my arms are apparently not long enough to really reach all of the important bits, so I've mangled things a bit. Quite literally, I'm afraid as apparently if you nick your nether regions with those, it leads to a lot of blood.

So I now have ... what can only be described as a cross between a reversed landing strip and a fumanchu. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to fix this before he gets home because if he sees it, I'm afraid he'll die laughing before he's able to fix it for me.

On a completely unrelated note, we were extremely ridiculous this weekend and bought ourselves a new bed. We both came into our relationship with beds that had been shared with exes, and it really, really bothered me. We compromised a bit, and slept in my bed frame and his mattress, but it irked me. Since I don't sleep at night, these are the kind of things I worry about. Anyway... we went to the Macy's Furniture Outlet and bought a bed that is so incredibly beautiful I may marry it. Of course, I'll have to - as it's a Barbara Barry and there's no way we'll ever get rid of it because of the cost. We also managed an amazing deal on a mattress set that was originally $2800 that we got for $550. The bed. Yeah. Not that good of a deal. It's being delivered on Wed. and I am so freaking excited.