Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mayday Mayday Mayday

I thought I'd have something fabulously thought provoking and profound to write about today... the eve of the culmination of all these years of longing to hold my child in my arms.

Instead? I've been pacing the floors trying to quell the rising tide of bile in my throat.

I go in tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. to be induced. Simply put, I'm on maternity leave now from work and I feel like I'm wasting it by not spending it with my son (who um, hasn't been born yet). That - and given the frightening predictions about his weight, the doctor agreed that induction seemed to be a reasonable idea. I wanted to wait it out and go into labor naturally - and since I've been having contractions since well, DECEMBER, one would think that my body would know what to do by now. Instead? No. I had strong contractions yesterday for about five hours, and they got as close as five minutes apart before just petering out into nothingness.

My parents are coming to visit us for the first time ever - and they arrive at the airport Saturday at noon. Mind you, we never technically unpacked all the way when we moved in uh, last November. Pesky bedrest and all that.

I'm trying to conquer the house in a whirlwind of activity today, largely because, well, it's making the time go by faster. I don't know how I'll manage to sleep though.

The honest truth is I'm frightened. Horribly so. I mastered "pregnancy", and feel completely comfortable with that aspect of the journey. However, that bit of knowledge is rapidly becoming obsolescent. Tomorrow (hopefully) I will be a mother. I don't know the first thing about babies, and how to care for one - especially a son. Dear God, what have I gotten into? All I can hope for is an easy and safe delivery. I'll even trade the easy part for a healthy baby.

Tomorrow - hopefully, I'll hold him in my arms.

I've never been so afraid or so excited in my entire life.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

DBT and L&D

Julian was so active last night that it felt like my uterus was going to explode. We'd gone out for TexMex (mediocre at best, as we have no "real" Tex Mex places here) and I guess he was unhappy about the room he had available based on the sheer amount of fajitas and queso in my belly. He was moving so much that it was almost ferociously violent. And the last time I felt him was around 8:30 p.m.

As of 11:45 this morning, I'd only felt him move once. Normally he's very active, and while he's pretty much run out of room inside, it still shocked me that I couldn't feel him move. I ate some cereal and tried laying on my side to count his movements.


I drank some blood orange juice, and laid down again.


I tried to push the panic out of my mind and quell the DBTs (dead baby thoughts).

I waited and waited, and still felt nothing. My voice quavering, I told Patrick that I was really scared.

Patrick took one look at me and said "let's go to the hospital." So... we did. I was put into L&D triage, and they strapped me up to the monitors. The nurse was having a hard time finding his heart beat and I started to panic. Then, after a minute or two, there was the blissful thumpthumpthump that I was so longing to hear. He was active with accelerations and decelerations for the first five minutes or so of the test, and while I was having contractions, they weren't really painful at all. Then he sort of slowed down, and wouldn't move. The nurse had me turn on my side and see if that would help. I still hadn't felt him move by this point, and was starting to feel nervous.

His heartrate eventually went back to a "normal" pattern, and the nurse checked me to see where I was from a dilation standpoint. At a 2.5 or "slightly more" - the wetness I'd been feeling the last few days was just watery discharge, and not leaking amniotic fluid.

He moved twice while I was at the hospital, but that was it.

They sent me for another ultrasound, and the AFI (amniotic fluid index) came back at 12 something - so he's fine there. Based on my last menstrual period, his due date is tomorrow. I am so ready for him to be here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Last night when Patrick got home we went for a walk in the neighborhood until the contractions were so strong that I could barely walk through them. When we got home, they stopped temporarily. I got horribly, horribly sick and went to bed. In the middle of the night, they started back up - and I woke myself and Patrick screaming out with pain. They eventually subsided and I was able to drift in and out of sleep for a few hours.

This morning at 11 a.m. I went to the doctor's office. I'm now 38 weeks plus a few days (according to the early ultrasound - over 39 weeks based on when I got my first positive HPT on August 20). I'm 2 cm. dilated and 80% effaced. She stripped my membranes - and I'm bleeding pretty badly from it.

She said that she won't induce me until May 1st. I'm contracting hard now - and hoping that stripping my membranes will trigger real labor. If not, I'm to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. on the first (a week from Thursday) for pitocin, and the doctor will be there to break my water at 7:30. I am so excited, and so ready to have him here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Full Pink Moon

And no - the title is not referring to me dropping trou on anyone.

Tonight is a full moon - the "full pink moon" to be exact. Did you know each of the full moons for every month have a specific name? Well, they do - April's name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month's celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

Allegedly, women who are close to giving birth are more apt to do so at the full moon. This is of course, complete hogwash if you ask me. The theory is that the moon's gravitational pull effects the amniotic fluid in much the same way as it effects the water in the sea, rivers and even the water that's otherwise found in our bodies.

As a woman's body prepares for natural childbirth, the amniotic sac becomes distended so the point where it will easily burst if put under pressure. Under normal circumstances, the pressure of labor contractions bursts the sac. During a full moon, the pressure caused by the moon's effect on the water inside the sac can cause the same things to happen, but without the accompanying contractions.

I spent the ENTIRE day with the following activities: sex, more sex, heavy gardening and planting in the backyard, walking the grocery store aisles (including what looks like breaking my pinky toe on a cart at Whole Foods - and sobbing in the produce section when it started turning black), eating eggplant, trolling bookstores, etc.

Contractions have been pretty lame to tell the truth - and I am convinced (sorely so) that this kid is just NOT going to make an appearance anytime this month. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Oh, and did I mention I have a raging sinus and ear infection? I am not pleasant to be around right now. I think I'm about to go cuddle up with my pint of Wattleseed ice cream (or "Waddle-seed" as Patrick has renamed it given my current state) and call it a night.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I'm still only dilated to around a 1. The doctor said that my cervix wasn't even open enough to try to strip my membranes. I begged and pleaded for her to induce me, and she laughed and said no. Not this week. Instead she said we could talk about it next week after weighing the risks (lung maturity, etc.) In the meantime she encouraged me to walk as much as I wanted, to try to help open my cervix more.

Patrick worked from home today so that he could go with me to the doctor's office. I noticed that I'd been feeling Julian move a lot less lately. I thought that perhaps he was just running out of room, but it was concerning. At my doctor's appointment today, I mentioned it in passing and she said she wanted me to have a non-stress test in the office before we left. So they strapped me up with the monitors, and started the test. The baby was sleeping, I guess because he wasn't very active. The nurse brought me a package of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, and asked me to eat them - hoping it would wake him up a bit. It didn't. Next was a giant bottle of ice water which also didn't work. Finally, they gave me some apple juice and that also didn't seem to stir him much. In total, he moved twice in about thirty minutes. The nurse took the report out to the doctor. The doctor came in and said "I need you to go to the hospital for more monitoring." I laughed - thinking she was teasing as the nurse hadn't seemed concerned with the report. I asked "what day do you need me to make the appointment?" She said "I need you to go now. She said that we would be there for a few hours. And then she said "I need you to go right now - as soon as you leave this office." The floor started feeling woozy beneath me, and I asked "well can we stop for lunch on the way over there?" She replied "only if you stop somewhere with a quick drive through."

We rushed out of her office and drove the thirty minutes or so to the hospital, with me panicked all the way. Patrick was surprisingly calm and told me that we'd be fine. That everything would be o.k.

We stopped for some burritos on the way and then made it up to labor and delivery triage. They sent me down for a bio-physical profile of the baby via ultrasound which showed that he was practicing his breathing and was moving fine. Then I was sent back upstairs for a non-stress test. Julian's heartbeat was between 145-150 with dips as low as 130 and as high as 175. He didn't move that often, but he was far more active. Unfortunately, after I'd been hooked up to the blood pressure monitor the nurse dashed out of the room. An hour and twenty minutes later, I was still hooked up to it - thought it had thankfully deflated on its own. I didn't take it off because there were a lot of monitor-y looking wires that were connected to the machine. The room was swelteringly hot - and poor Patrick was bored out of his mind. As it turns out, there were two deliveries back to back which is why the nurse disappeared on us for so long. It was kind of scary though.

All in all, there was far more excitement in the day than I'd hoped for - er, at least not the same kind that I'd hoped.

But he's o.k. and I'm to go back to the doctor next week - assuming I don't go into labor before then.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not even doing my taxes helped.

I've been having fairly consistent contractions on and off since Friday. Mind you, I'm still sitting at my desk at home - so they haven't progressed into anything "real."

Friday night I was having to actively manage my breathing to get through them, and thought I'd just go lay down in our bed to get a short nap in before (what I thought at the time would inevitably be) the trip to the hospital. While I napped, Patrick packed the bag, and then they stopped.

Saturday was rainy/snowy and gross, so we went to every single large store we could find and I just walked the aisles. I walked so much that my feet were so swollen I could not move my toes. I've always prided myself on my slender ankles (an odd thing - but it's the only part of me that's always been thin). I literally am so swollen that I have fat rolls on my ankle. My toes look like sausages. Contractions were fairly constant as long as I was moving, but as soon as I stopped they stopped.

Sunday the weather was unseasonably cool but clear and we went strolling in the neighborhood for ages. I came back home, and started working on our taxes (federal and THREE states. meh) and not even the stress of that could keep them going.

I've tried nearly every old wives tale possible short of castor oil. And I'm sorry - but I'm just not going there.

I am so ready for him to just be here already. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, and am going to beg the doctor to induce me. I can't take much more of this.

Friday, April 11, 2008

My gravity is broken.

Last night we went to our favorite little intimate Italian restaurant, hoping that we'd enjoy what perhaps would be our "final" night out as just a couple. The food was fantastic - but... apparently my body doesn't like being bribed with food.

My little sister's ultrasound was yesterday, she's also having a boy. She's due September 2nd, on her mom's birthday. I'm excited for her, but feel bad in a way - everyone was hoping she'd have a girl, since I was having a boy. I'm actually happier that she's having a boy. Partially for selfish reasons that I'm even too embarrassed to go into here. But I also like that our sons will be so close in age.

I woke up this morning at 4 with a raging ear ache. No fever, but my head is swimming and my equilibrium is way off. Only, in my sleepy stupor this morning I kept telling Patrick that my gravity was broken, and he looked at me like I had three heads. I was trying to say equilibrium, but couldn't remember the word for it.

We gave the uh, "natural prostaglandin" approach a try this morning. Let's just say that sex was a lot more fun when you aren't feeling like a beached whale - who has a broken gravity ;)

So now my ears are full of rubbing alcohol. It's actually pretty and sunny for a change outside, so I may try the "walk through the neighborhood" approach in a bit. There are signs that spring is actually upon us - if I can ignore the fact that it's supposed to snow again tomorrow.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I just lost my mucous plug, or at least part of it. I think, at least. I called the doctor's office and described what I saw. It was pretty gross. The nurse said it sounded pretty much textbook for what it should look like. She said it could be tomorrow or could be two weeks.

I have a mild backache, and contractions are here - but not rhythmic. Just a ton of pressure in my back and pelvis.

I'm going to pack my bag. Anyone have any "must haves" for the hospital that they took - or stuff you took and wish you hadn't wasted your time packing?

What did you (or would you - if you were me) bring for the baby to come home in?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


It was pouring down rain all day yesterday, so we went to Costco so I could walk the aisles and try to see if things would get moving. Then I ate a giant meal of Mexican food - which an old wives tale says will trigger labor. Labor? Pffft - all it triggered was some serious heartburn. I would've bet cash money that I could've belched fire if I'd tried.

All day yesterday I was racked with horrible contractions - but they abruptly stopped about 5 p.m. It's now 5:20 a.m. and I've now been up for three and a half hours. The contractions are back, but it still doesn't feel like anything productive is happening. Just kind of uncomfortable pressure and a nagging backache. I went downstairs because my tossing and turning had woken up Patrick, Ennis and Jack. I figured someone ought to be able to sleep if I couldn't, so I'm now sitting at the desk in the office bundled up in a blue blanket. Jack and Ennis have both come down to check on what's going on - and have been meowing incessantly. Thankfully, I think they've both wandered off to finally go back to sleep.

Looking out through the old mottled glass window - our neighborhood is gently bathed in the soft glow of moonlight. The storms that were earlier pummeling the roof with rain have apparently moved on, and the tree limbs seem eerily still in the calm quiet of the night.

I made my one-year anniversary for work as of midnight - so I now qualify for 6 months of maternity leave. That means you can make your appearance any time now, J. Granted, there are things I still need to finish, some cleaning to be done, etc. but for the most part - I'm ready.

As ready as I'm going to be at least.

The songbirds are starting to stir in the branches, and their melodic songs are signaling that I need to try to sleep for an hour or two before Patrick has to leave for work.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

You're putting your fingers WHERE?

Two weeks ago, I was 1 cm dilated, and my cervix was soft - but still over 3.6 cm long. My cervix is apparently a "shower." I was measuring over 37 weeks then, and was feeling enormous.

On Friday morning I started experiencing unbearable pressure and pain in my pelvis. It literally felt as if I was splitting apart from the inside. I couldn't walk the pain was so intense, and I just sat at the desk or laid on the couch and writhed in agony. I am such a martyr at times...

Yesterday morning I went in for my 36 week checkup, and of course my doctor is out of town until Sunday. I met with a very socially awkward nurse practitioner instead - with a limp fish handshake. She examined me, and said I was measuring just below 37 weeks (fundal height - with the tape measurer) and that I must have dropped since the last time I was in. Considering I could breathe without feeling like I was going to wheeze to death for the last week - I thought that I had. That and my belly is differently shaped now. Where it was high and round before it's now ski-sloped shape and protrudes differently. Julian's also kicking me about four inches or so below where he was last week.

She did an internal, and proclaimed that my cervical length was now less than 1 cm - so I am over 75% effaced. I was still between a 1-2cm dilated, so she said "I'm going to see if I can stretch things out a bit and get the show on the road." She slipped her finger(s) in my cervix and proceeded to slowly (and excruciatingly) stretch it out. I was hit by a wave of nausea when she was doing it, and felt suddenly lightheaded and hot. All the thoughts I had of natural childbirth basically went out the window as I literally came up off the table as she was doing that. If those were just her fingers... I shudder to think about what the baby's head would feel like. She pulled her gloved hands out and showed me that I was bleeding and said I'd likely bleed some throughout the night (which I did - in conjunction with cramping and contractions that were strong, but not rhythmic).

If I can make it to midnight tonight, I'll get my six months of maternity leave. I go back tomorrow morning for them to do an ultrasound of Julian to see how his growth is progressing. I think tonight I'll start finishing up the last of the projects that I want to get done before he comes - and start the walking/sex after packing my bag.

I'm ready to meet him. I'm petrified of labor and of actually being a parent, but I'm so ready to just hold him.