Archive for October, 2007

39ish week checkup

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007


i was really hoping to not have this week’s checkup. and then i was really hoping that if i went to this week’s checkup, my doctor would tell me that i’ve progressed so much that labor was just around the corner. or maybe, just maybe, she’d look at me cross-eyed and say “shit, girl! you’re in labor! get yourself to the hospital.”

none of those things happened.

there was no change in my shape (still almost 3cm, still 80% effaced) when the examination started. by the time it was over…um…let’s just say (and i’m practically quoting) she did all she she could to hurry things along short of grabbing my tonsils. hopefully it’ll jump-start labor in the next few days.

even better news: we also scheduled an induction appointment for next week on the 7th. i’m in the afternoon shift, which means any time after 3pm someone is going to call and say “come have a baby, okay?” and then we’ll hop in the car and then go have a baby. according to my doctor, it’s likely the call won’t come until 7 or 8pm (they have to “clear out” all the morning folks first), and charlotte won’t be born until the next morning.

i don’t know about you, but i feel better. my doctor gave me a boost to kick labor into gear, and gave me an end date. i’m not exactly looking forward to induction, but i’m certainly looking forward to not being pregnant, and even more so, i like end dates. the past few days have been really rough, and i’m not even *at* my due date yet. the frustration of not knowing has been really difficult. one of the reasons i’m sleeping late and taking naps is that i can’t sleep at night. the anxiety of wondering what tomorrow will bring keeps me up until tomorrow happens (well, until about 6am) and then i can sleep.

hopefully i’ll sleep better tonight :)

oh! and as a side-note there were 3 of us all due about the same day: my cousin, a former co-worker, and me. well, my co-worker had her baby this morning after a freakishly short and easy labor process (10pm to 2am!) so congrats to cindy and MP! (and skyler)

Week 39: Going mad

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

when my father was dying/died earlier this year, my mother was obsessed with signs. a bird outside the window, a strange phone call, a mis-behaving tivo. you name it, it was a sign. or at least, she wanted me to tell her if i thought it was a sign or not. repeatedly (and gently) i told her that anything can be a sign of anything and if they made her feel better it was a good thing and not to worry to much.

i am experiencing my own “sign” frenzy. every time something happens that’s a “sign” of impending labor i start to get excited, or at least anxious for it to confirm itself as a *true* sign of pregnancy.

examples? on friday i had some spotting. while rational-me kept reminding the rest of me that spotting after a checkup is normal, irrational-wanna-baby-now-me kept reminding the rest of me that i’d never spotted after a checkup before and maybe it was a bit pinker than brown even if it was very thin, so it could still be the bloody show (great name, huh) and one of those “within 48 hours” signs i’ve been waiting for.

but it wasn’t.

on sunday, my digestive track decided it was done dealing with my food for a while. often, within about 4 to 48 hours before labor begins, a woman can get nauseous and/or have diarrhea as her body begins to prioritize labor over food. rational-me pointed out that after the choices i’d made over the past few days (diner food, heavy cream pasta sauces, etc), it was really not surprising that i might have some … discomfort followed by some diarrhea. irrational-wanna-baby-now-me quickly countered with how different my bowels were behaving even though my diet hadn’t *really* changed all that much. when a normal, sensible meal offered the same speedy result as the greasy stuff, iwbn-me almost managed to get the rest of me on board. had it not been for the complete and utter lack of really-real impending labor signs (no show, not even some faux-contractions) i think i might have gone completely crazy. or, you know, into actual labor. today everything is back to “normal,” however, so i can’t even cling to the end date of that “sign”.

and the thing is, short of actual labor things that will cause me to directly go to the hospital or at least call someone, there’s nothing left to happen that’s going to impress. the best “here it comes!” set-up has a “within 4 hours to a few days” timeframe, and guess what? i’m 3 days out from the due date my last ultrasound pegged me at, 5 days from my dr’s due date, and 7 from what i would consider the *real* due date, once my ovulation cycle is factored into the math. i fully expect my doctor to schedule an induction appointment at my next checkup (wednesday) for the week after my due date.

so yeah, it’s probably going to be within 4 hours to a few days from now, signs or no signs.

yesterday i told a friend that i preferred signless days to sign-full days because then at least i wasn’t driving myself crazy hoping against rationality. turns out it really doesn’t matter anymore. sign-less days (like today) are their own kind of “where the hell did my signs go?” crazy-making.

to top off all the sign-crazy, i’m getting a bit irrational. (yeah, i know, “getting”) it seems like my breasts are shrinking for some reason. if i lie (lay?) in certain positions in bed, it sort of feels like i don’t have a belly anymore. i have this weird moments when i’m waking up where i really feel like instead of giving birth, i’m just going to slowly become un-pregnant over the next 9 months. like we missed some sort of window and my body’s just going to shut down the show. it takes me a considerable moment for biology to convince me otherwise.

i’ve got to hand it to charlotte, though. throughout all of this crazy, she’s stayed active without being frantic. it’s a constant, stabilizing reminder that while things may be unpredictable and worrisome out here, inside she’s perfectly fine. and really, signs and craziness and irrationality and impatience aside, that’s what’s most important to all of us.

38ish week checkup

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

we interrupt this checkup post to whine about not sleeping.

guh. for some reason i had a hard time getting any decent sleep last night from 11pm to about 3am. you know how sometimes you don’t really “fall” asleep? you sort of have this stream of conscious thought that takes about 10 minutes and you realize about 40 has passed but you don’t ever feel like you slept? that’s what it was like.

then charlotte and my belly decided to have another practice run. this time the faux-contractions were juuuuust potent enough that i woke up with them …every 20 minutes or so. that lasted until about 6.

i slept fairly well from 6 – 8 and was looking forward to another 11am wakeup call to catch up on what i was missing.

however, someone either moved in upstairs, or the construction crews decided to load a bunch of finishing options equipment into the space. hooray for someone buying a unit and hooray for neighbors, but i couldn’t sleep though it. i was up by 9 and cranky.

by the time i hit the “it’s time to sleep now” stage again, it was sadly too close to go time for the checkup to really do anything about it.

i’m sleepy.

so, that checkup. everything is “fine” in that we’re both still perfectly healthy and doing great. which, yay, of course, but still. i’m still pregnant. i’ve apparently gone from “just under 3cm” to “a tight 3cm” with no change in effacement. bummer. so now we wait until next week’s appointment or hopefully, labor starts for real :)

oh, and it seems that my cervix is crooked, too. it leans a little to the left ;)

there once was a crooked belly…

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

my belly is made of lop-sidedness, which i almost exclusively attribute to the fact that charlotte’s standard position for the past few months has been with her backside on my left and her feet and hands poking around my right.

my linea negra, which is that little line you always see running up to the belly button, is crooked. it wobbles back and forth. it also misses my bellybutton and sort of “bursts” into this mess of pigmentation before continuing up my belly. it is very silly looking to me and not at all what you would see in the movies. i do not believe this is her fault, though.

speaking of my belly button, it is off-centered, and has been for quite a while. the other day i tried shifting it like it was a crooked shirt. it did not work.

also thanks to charlotte’s position, my stretch marks are uneven. i didn’t really have any at all until month 7ish, and then there was just a clump of them on the left side below the belly button line. a couple of weeks ago they started growing a bit, and some faint ones emerged on the right. it’s woefully unbalanced, however.

the biggest impact charlotte has had on my belly is of course, the general shape of it. while she generally does the body-left feet-right position, she gets bored and twists around about once a day. i think if i had gained more weight, it would be less obvious, but unless she’s facing forward (with her back to my spine) you can usually see (and always feel) exactly where she is. it leads to a very oddly-shaped belly and an entertaining show when she’s active. sometimes she’ll push off and the whole thing goes flat for a second or two.

the only time everything gets balanced are when i have faux-contractions. then i just look like i swallowed a bowling ball.

week 38: sleepy time

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

no, really. all i do is sleep these days.

yesterday i got up at 10, took a nap from 1 to 4, and then went to bed around 11pm.
that’s 10 of 24 hours awake.

today i got up at 11, made it all the way to 4 before napping until 6 and now…now it’s looking like it might be bedtime soon. certainly before midnight.
that’s another 10 of 24.

i’m not sure what all is contributing to it. i know that fatigue is the primary factor, but i can’t help think that boredom (yes, there are Things To Do(tm), but nothing really pressing besides some outstanding thank you notes) and melancholy are also factors. why melancholy? well, i’m still pregnant, you see. after this past weekend’s tease, i got all excited about charlotte coming very soon, and have been trying to remind myself that i’m still 11+ days out from my due date, and that’s a due-date i think is a couple of days early anyway. and while “all my friends” gave birth a week or more early, those births were due to complications i don’t have and don’t wish for (everyone turned out healthy in the end). plus, they say that first babies are “usually late.”

needless to say (but i’m saying it anyway) this sort of reality check has led to a bit of gloom. that, added to the fatigue and the boredom means that sleep is really easy for me to reach at any given time. granted, i’m still waking/getting up every couple of hours or so because a position is only comfy for so long before my hips and knees start hurting, but it’s really, *really* easy to roll over or crawl back into bed after a potty break and do it again. after all, what else am i going to do?

it’s sort of like christmas eve where the sooner you go to bed, the sooner it’s christmas.

so i sleep.

37ish week checkup

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

why the ish? well, since the appts have switched to thursdays, it’s really closer to the end of the numbered week (which flips on staturday like the calendar) than the beginning.

anyway, with all the excitement, i forgot to officially report on what happened.

nothing much really. we chatted about how annoyed i am at how mobile charlotte is (yes, yes, it’s better than the alternative, but still, you don’t live with my belly, so you don’t know), and what is worthy of a phone call/trip to the hospital (if my water breaks, if i have contractions about 5 minutes apart lasting for about a minute, if there’s heavy bleeding, if charlotte stops moving). no word on how effaced i am, but since i was 80% last week, i can’t imagine it’s really noteworthy beyond “good to go” at this point. i was a bit less than 3 cm dilated, which as far as i’m concerned is really good. i mean, 4 is the magic “active labor” number i keep seeing, so i can’t imagine progressing much further (i gained over a cm from last week), before it’s time to go.

i asked how much longer she thought it would be and got a not-surprising “it could be tonight. it could be 2 weeks from now.” response. she did mention that she wouldn’t let me go past 41 weeks, so i figure that 11/12 is all the later it’s going to be. as frustrating as that would (will?!) be, at least it’s an end date.

….or not

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

looks like charlotte and my body are just messing with me.

today was spent staying relatively close to home and with an eye on my belly (so to speak) to keep track of what was going on. things sort of fell apart around lunch time. since it was a beautiful day and they say that walking is one of the ways to get/keep things going, we decided to spend the day at the zoo. we walked and walked and walked. it was hard to keep an eye on what was happening in my belly since walking generally causes some cramping. it did seem that towards the end of the walk i was getting some distinct contractions, about every 15-20 minutes or so. those faded for a while, but picked back up again after dinner.

so now i sit here on the couch, watching ryan play video games and patiently waiting my turn and having “something” happen every half hour or so.

i don’t think she’s coming any time soon, however. we could keep this game up for days and even weeks before it’s time for the real deal.

sigh. one good thing has come out of this, though. before i felt there was a key difference between “are you ready?” and “it’s time for you to be ready, are you?” i’ve always felt ready, but being faced with the concrete possibility was a completely different feeling and had a completely different answer.

i’m ready now though. i don’t like this teasing stuff and since it’s gonna happen, i’d rather it really happen.

game on.

still at home…

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

in case anyone’s watching the blog/feed for news.

we went to bed around 1am finally, with contractions around 20 minutes apart that were slowly gathering in intensity. i woke up every hour or so due to contractions, moving baby, and the standard “gotta pee” feelings, but i’m fairly confident that the contractions had a more regular schedule than that. they say that lying (laying?) on your side diminishes stuff, so who knows.

this morning they seem to be about 15 minutes apart and are definitely stronger. i’ve had a couple since getting up and there was very little “um…i think this is something” doubt in my mind.

so…odds are that today’s at least the day i’m heading to the hospital, if not charlotte’s actual birthday. it still might be all in my head, or take another day or so before anything hospital worthy kicks in. i probably won’t believe it’s actually happening until my water breaks or i’m doubled over in pain :)


so …. labor?

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

boy will this sound silly later if i’m not.

this morning i woke up with a weird vibe. i blame the tasty spanikopita i had for dinner last night (read: feta cheese, spinach, philo dough), and my doctor saying “it could be tonight, it could be 2 weeks from now” when i asked her about labor. nevertheless, i woke up worried that today was special, and played through quite a few “what if x happens” scenarios in my head that i hadn’t before. (what if my water breaks right now? what happens if it breaks in the middle of the day? etc etc).

i spent too much time this morning worrying about the nursery, which was still in so many piles of bags of stuff and with much less order to the chaos than i was comfortable with. by 11am it was much, much better, and i was beat. i took my 2pm nap at 12:30 and still managed to sleep until 4, which seemed a bit extreme, even with my over-worked morning.

we had dinner at friends which was tasty and fun. a bit later, while we were just hanging out watching tv and stuff, things began to feel … odd. at first, it was just charlotte doing her evening twists and things, but at one point it felt like more than just her. there’s a tightening that happens when she pushes off and sticks her butt out at me that i’ve sort of gotten used to. this was more intense. then it happened again. and then again. probably only about 3 times in an hour and a half, but still.

we got home and i was still really tired, despite my special long nap. so i hung out on the couch for a while and watched ryan play beautiful katamari for a while.

about 10:30, i decided this was happening too frequently and with too consistent of markers (shortness of breath followed by a too-big-to-be-charlotte “push”) to not be tracked. turns out it’s been happening every 20 minutes or so for the last 2 hours.

so um…yeah.

i really should be sleeping right now, but my brain is not shutting off any time soon. even if this is nothing, this is still “something” and whatever it is, it’s keeping me the hell awake right now. (although the 12:18 hit was definitely *not* charlotte)

the hospital has wifi, so you may be hearing from me again before it’s all really over, depending on how long it takes.

looking ahead

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

things i’m looking forward to once the pregnancy is over …besides the standard “having my daughter, being a mom, etc” stuff, which is also all true, but i’m talking mostly about all the “me” stuff.

  • sleeping on my back –haven’t done this since april-ish. i’m not actually much of a fan of back sleeping. it leads to snoring and sleep paralysis, but i’m so done with side-sleeping.
  • sleeping on my stomach –where i actually want to be sleeping, although i suspect breastfeeding will continue to make this uncomfortable for a while.
  • less acne –this is thankfully already starting to fade. i think that means my progesterone levels are starting to drop, which is a cool thing because less progesterone means labor is on it’s way
  • no more moles and skin tabs –i may have lucked out in many departments, but omg, did my skin freak out.
  • finding out how much i weigh a week later. –due to starting overweight (borderline obese, actually), making some fundamental eating habit changes (no fake stuff, hella water, better balanced diet, etc), and generally lucking out, i haven’t gained all that much weight. i think i’m going to end up weighing less a week after i’m done than i did before i started.
  • being able to get in and out of cars/bed/chairs/couches without needing help
  • being able to bend over and pick something up without needing help
  • alcohol –man do i miss wine. and vodka. and rum. i plan on using the “pump and dump” and “if you’re sober, so are your boobs” methods so nobody needs to worry about charlotte.
  • *not* having an alien in my belly –oh sure, i’ll probably miss it when she’s free, but charlotte didn’t read the “after the 37th week, the baby’s movements become limited” note. less room seems to simply mean i can feel it when she blinks. and it *hurts*.
  • getting off the couch –i’m sure i’ll miss the days when i could sit down for more than 5 minutes at a time, but right now, i’m kinda over “limited activity.”
  • my old clothes –or, buying new, non-maternity clothes because my old clothes don’t fit anymore ;)
  • my old shoes — please god, let my feet de-expand a bit so i can still wear them
  • breastfeeding –since this is the “me” list and not the “motherhood” list, i’ll just point out the 500ish calories a day bit ;)

and finally: being on the other side. even now, 37+ weeks into the whole thing, i’m still leading up to something. leading up to labor. leading up to a body that’s been ravaged by labor. once that’s passed, i’ll be on my way down. back to normal. less brand new unknowns (about my body, anyway) and more going back to normal. the walk back is always easier than the walk to, since you know where you’re going on the way back. oh sure, breastfeeding’s going to open up a whole realm of new fun, but after the first few weeks, even that becomes routine.

don’t get me wrong. it’s been a crazy, fascinating trip, and i’ve done a lot more mental documenting than i’ve had opportunity to do on this blog, but there’s so much about being me that i’ve forgotten about, since i’ve been the pregnant version of me for so very long.

i’m looking forward to finding her again, and seeing what she’s like as a mom. (aw, see, i did get a little sappy there at the end)