/ The RE's Muse: May 2005

The RE's Muse

After 4 years of infertility, 2 surgeries, 1 miscarriage, and 19 months of high risk pregnancies, hubby and I now have two little women in our lives--one a toddler, the other not far behind. Buckle your seatbelts, it's gonna be a wild ride.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How to scare this pregnant lady

Tell her to get with the perinatologist at her next appt and see about coordinating the baby's delivery between the two of them (OB and peri). Tell her that they'll probably want to deliver the baby between 37 and 39 weeks. Tell her that you couldn't imagine letting her go past 39 weeks. Then let her imagination run wild.

Yep, this was the scene at Friday's OB appt. Um, 37 to 39 weeks? That's like 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 weeks from now! How can that be?!

Holy crap--this pregnant lady might actually have a baby in the coming weeks. Who'da thunk it? Must go hyperventilate into paper bag now....

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A reprieve

Well what do you know? Apparently a certain someone harboring in my uterus decided to come out and play nice yesterday for the NST. Finally--she passed one!

As for me, my urine was clean, my BP normal, and my contractions very mild (think light menstrual cramps) and irregular--standard BH, the nurse said. Plus, my headache had gone away (and hasn't returned--knock wood). So, all was okay--phew. Now for this Thursday's NST--let's hope the wee girl is on to something here and has started a streak of sorts!

Last night on our way to newborn care--our final class of four different ones we've taken--A said he hoped the baby comes soon as he can't wait to meet her and get the 'show' started. I replied that I was in no hurry, that I wanted this time to last, that I've really enjoyed being pregnant...and he reached over and held my hand, replying he was so glad that this was how I felt given how our last pg turned out. Yeah, there've been some bumps and bruises along the way with this girl, but for the most part, I've treasured every second and I can't believe it could all be over sometime in the next 6 or so weeks. How did this happen? Where did the time go? (And is it normal for me to be so terrified of L&D/c-section and what's to come after? Eek.)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Uh oh?

Now that I know I've had contractions, it seems I've been feeling more and more 'action' in my uterus. Saturday afternoon we drove down to visit family (about an hour's drive south) and I had some uterine pains that were so discomforting, I actually had to employ about 15 minutes' worth of the breathing we learned in childbirth classes. Then I popped a tylenol, which seemed to send the pain packing. Since then, random small cramps come and go, without much of a pattern. Perhaps these are true BH contractions....

Last night I had a slight headache. I checked my blood pressure and it was fine (about 122/78). But today I woke up with the headache again. I'm hoping it's sinus in nature (I had horrendous congestion last night and when I woke up). I've also had a few bouts of nausea this morning that have come and gone.

So these small things have me worried today. I've got a doctor's appt this afternoon for another non-stress test of the girl and then a regular appt for me right after that. I'm hoping all looks good and I'm not sent to L&D again. We've got a little over 6 weeks to go. But twice in the past two days, two different people have told me they think the baby will come either this week or next--but definitely sometime in the next two weeks. Nice so nice these people....

Luckily, last week's scare compelled A to put the crib together and last night it made its grand appearance in the nursery. And the co-sleeper is now in our bedroom, ready to be set up at a contraction's notice. Let's hope we don't need either for a while still.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Well, that was fun

So yesterday I went to the perinatologist for another non-stress test of the girl--which, of course, she failed yet again. But more terrifying than that was when the nurse told me I was having contractions during the 35 minutes the baby and I were on the monitor.Yep, they were coming 5 minutes apart, but I didn't really feel them which seemed to surprise her. I mean, I felt a slight something but nothing that made me take any real notice (and quite frankly I think I'd been feeling those little 'somethings' for a few days now--scary). So she went and told the peri, who decided that I needed to get over the hospital and pay a visit to L&D's triage unit--but not before they did an ultrasound of the baby (because of the failed non-stress test) to make sure she was okay, which she thankfully was.

Off I go to the hospital, first to admitting and then to maternity. Where I am promptly put into a gown, and hooked up to the fetal/maternal monitor where they see that I'm still contracting 5 minutes apart. My BP is high--understandably--because I am flipping right the fuck out in terror. After watching me for about 45 minutes, the decision is made to start an IV and see if hydrating me will stop the contractions. The third time was the charm when it came to putting the IV line in. But after almost an hour of IV fluids, I'm still contracting at about the same rate. Which means that I was then the lucky recipient of an internal by the OB on call (a partner from my OB's other office who I'd never met). Luckily, he declared that "there is nothing going on in there" and I think I began to breathe again. After a bit more time on the IV--even though I'm still contracting--I'm told I can go home. That I'm more than likely having Braxton-Hicks contractions. That was it--no discharge instructions, nada. When I asked what I should do if something happens, I was told to call my OB. They did ask when my next appt with the peri was (this coming Monday) but that was it. Free to go but be sure to drink plenty of fluids and take it easy. No problem there. But for all I know, I could still be contracting as I type this though I don't think I am. What little I may have been feeling seems to have gone away.

So that was my Thursday night in a nutshell. Confidence shaken, fear real. Please oh please oh please, just let this sweet little girl stay in there a little longer, she's not done cooking yet. And please let my body cooperate and do what it's supposed to, no more of this nonsense. Oh, and happy 33 weeks to me....

Friday, May 13, 2005

I've got a sense about this

Only one more prenatal class to attend: newborn care. Last night we finished the breastfeeding class and earlier this week we completed our childbirth classes. Last week we did the infant CPR class. 3 down, 1 to go.

Let me tell you, A was bored to tears at breastfeeding class last night. 3 hours of information and watching our class instructor--a middle-aged woman--grab at and squeeze her own boobs (through her clothes, of course) for much of that time wasn't the way he was hoping it would go. He was hoping for at least a little video action showing some bare boob but sadly for him, as I expected, that wasn't the case. Yes, he's twisted to a degree but I love him to death.

In childbirth class we went over the three stages of labor and what each entails emotionally. In the first stage, the instructor mentioned how the moms would, for the most part, be able to laugh, joke, still be lighthearted, etc. The second stage finds the moms a bit more introspective and quiet. And during the third stage, moms can be downright mean and find little humor in anything. The instructor encouraged the dads to remember this and to just do/don't do whatever the moms want, which usually means no more joking and light-hearted banter. This part is all business and most women will be very serious. To which A responded to me, "I hope you don't mind and I'm telling you now, but I'm still going to be joking with you and making inappropriate comments so please don't get mad or try to hurt me physically."

I know that the info the instructor gave us does not mean all women in labor will become raving bitches during the third stage. The info she presented was more like the most 'common' scenarios she's seen in her 25 or so years of nursing/experience in L&D. Now, I've alway been one to use humor to get through the good and the bad--my mantra from early on has been that if they're laughing at/with you, they can't be yelling at you (yeah, tells you about the early state of affairs in my life). I am so hoping that I can keep my sense of humor during all three stages of labor and beyond...I know I'm going to need it; plus it's served me well over this lifetime. And A--well, he's always kept me laughing, even through the pain.

If I can maintain a sense of humor in light of all that we've been through to get this far, there's hope for me. Heck, I'll need it as we enter the final weeks and I begin seeing the peri twice a week (starting next week). And today it'll come in handy for a regularly scheduled OB appt. I love it when people laugh in response to something I've said and I've been told on more than one occasion that I should consider being a stand-up comedienne (especially flattering from someone who is one)--not that you'd know it from how dry my blog is. Somewhere in the midst of all this infertility business, my sense of humor took a beating, fell to its knees and is now trying valiantly to reclaim its former glory. Here's hoping it makes it back before the end of June/first week of July. I think I'm going to need it.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Growing girl update

This past Friday afternoon found us at the OB's office for a regularly scheduled growth scan of the wee princess. Turns out our girl is still a petite flower, measuring at 30w when we are 31w. But our last scan a month ago also had her measuring one week behind (and you may recall me mentioning there is a +/- 1 week rate on u/s to begin with). So she is measuring just fine, weighing in at 3 lbs, 6 oz., and is head down and definitely on my right side. The tech seems to think she'll probably stay head down for the remainder of this pg since there's not a lot of room to allow for a complete flip these days. So it turns out that the cute little hard bump that sticks out of my right side most days is the dear girl's bottom, which is nice to know 'cause I've been rubbing away at it every time it's there (I figured it was either bottom or head since it's round). Perhaps when she's here with us, it'll turn out she'll like having her bum rubbed as a result of my quality time spent massaging it while she was inside.

Other than that, a repeat of my BP and urine last Monday found me at 128/78 (on the manual cuff--after the digital measured me at 172/96--prompting the nurse to bring in the senior nurse to do the manual on me) and my urine was clear. I've not gained any additional weight in the past few weeks so I'm holding steady at 28 lbs. total so far. And I'm not experiencing any swelling which is another good sign. Fingers will stay crossed a little longer though.

Today I've got a regular appt with the peri so hopefully things will continue to be good.

Other than that, I'm sleeping rather poorly these days but I generally feel very good. The girl has taken aim at my right side rib cage these past few days and I'm somewhat sore in those parts. My boobs--while gigantic--aren't leaking but I've been experiencing "nipples of fire" episodes a few times a week. These last for about a half-hour to an hour and typically take place after I've showered. I don't think I've had any Braxton-Hicks contractions yet as I've not noticed my uterus tightening and then releasing. I have had some noticeable cramping though--one this morning could have dropped me to my knees if I wasn't already sitting in my car driving to work. My dear friend (infertile who now has a child through IUI) told me that the cramps could very well be BH contrax so maybe she's right. Kinda scary to think this baby could be here sometime in the next month or two (two, two, come on two) and progress continues on the nursery. I can honestly say it's my favorite room in the house, simply because of its meaning and not because of anything that's in there (yet, that is). But soon--sooner than it seems--she may well be home with us. And while that scares me to death--I'm very excited at the prospect.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Highs and lows, dreams and hope

In the last 10 months, I've hit the lowest of lows in my life (mc) and the highest of highs (pregnancies 1 and 2). This past Saturday's baby shower may rank right up there with the highs. The weather was gorgeous: about 80 degrees, with a hearty breeze blowing, the sun shining and the humidity low. The room at the clubhouse was decorated beautifully and the women who I hold dearest in my life were all - for the most part - there.

There was good food, good conversation, good company. Yes, there were some silly shower games but that's what you do (thankfully there was no humiliating 'what's the mom-to-be's waist measurement?' guessing game) and I think everyone had a great time. There was a book passed around for the guests to write their sentiments to me in (which I still can't bring myself to read just yet) and there was a stuffed dog passed around for all the guests to sign for the baby. One day, when she's old enough, I'll tell her about the day and what each of those women mean to me.

During the shower, I only broke down once and cried briefly--and that was when one of the co-hosts (a fellow infertile herself) wanted me to read the book sentiments out loud during a small lull in the gift opening. I opened it up and started to read one passage to myself but could get no further, nor could I dare dream of reading it out loud. It meant too much to me, plus my pain still hides under the surface. I couldn't bare myself like that, not then, and especially not there. It was such a happy day and I didn't want to be sad. And I wasn't. Not when there was so much love in the room. And especially since I was so very happy.

I can't thank these women enough for their incredible generosity. The amount of gifts my dear sweet girl received was overwhelming. Five car loads of family and friends came back to my house after the shower, each car laden with goods. And while we were out 'showering,' A put the shelving up in the nursery closet. So when I got home, the girls and I hung up all the baby clothes received (by age/size). There is also a mound of baby goods in the middle of the nursery floor and another one in the family room. Our family and friends essentially cleaned out our registry, leaving only 30 or so of the 100+ items we had wanted. Like I said, completely overwhelming. This child of ours is so very loved as are A and I. We're very fortunate indeed even though at times during this journey I may not have thought so.

Only a handful of select ladies in attendance Saturday know what it took for A and I to get here, to this magical place where the odds are likely we will be having a baby anywhere from 6 to 9 weeks from now, to this land of dreams and hope...a place I like very much indeed. A place I never thought I'd find.

P.S. I'd love to post nursery pics (not that there's much in there yet--crib not put together, changing table not yet ordered) but I don't know how to do this on blogger--any tips? Any other software program out there that'll do the trick cheaply or, even better, for free?

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