/ The RE's Muse: June 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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Oh, and a second post for your viewing pleasure...my newest love

Maybe it's the hormones?

Before I begin, I must preface this by saying that I love Juliana more than I thought it possible to love another person besides my husband. She is incredible and I say my thanks for her every time I look at her, kiss her, change her, you get the picture. I wouldn't change a thing about her...not conceiving her, not 'cooking' her, nothing. As A said to me minutes after she was born, he's grateful for all that we've been through the last four years, because if we hadn't gone through it, we might not have gotten her specifically.

Yet, these past 11 days have been completely overwhelming for me. I am tired, so tired. And I am lacking in confidence in my mothering skills. How do so many women do it and make it look easy? A says I'm doing everything right and as best I can (as does his mom, who stayed with us this past weekend, and his SIL).

I feed her, love on her, change her diapers, soothe her when she cries, and more. So why do I feel like it's not enough? That I'm somehow letting her down? Why am I so terrified when A leaves for work in the morning, leaving she and I alone with one another? Why am I crying so much? I feel kind of like I did in the days following my miscarriage last August--when A leaves, I feel incapable of functioning without him by my side, of breathing without him nearby. He is my safety, my security blanket. And he is an incredible father and partner. It kills me a little bit when he leaves. Why, I don't know.

I do know that today I feel a bit more confident. Today has been a good day. I think I've only cried once, a start--and very different from the 5 - 10 bouts of crying a day every day prior. I managed to get some sleep last night, so very difficult when breastfeeding and the lactation consultant recommends you feed the baby every one and a half to two hours (that's from the previous feeding's start--not end--time). Yesterday she suggested we wake and feed Juliana every two hours or so right up until bed time and then not wake her up to feed during the night, instead letting her wake us, hopefully no more than 4 hours from the last feeding. And it worked, so I feel slightly refreshed today. Maybe that's why I'm feeling a tad bit better. But I'm waffling on how long I can continue to breast feed, how long I can continue to function on little to no sleep. Does it get any easier or, if not easier, better?

Friday I have an appt with Dr. Hot at my OB's office. I'm concerned I've got PPD and not just 'baby blues' so they made me an appt to come in and talk with the doc and see what they think, and what can be done for me if so. Compounding that, and here's some mortifying TMI, since labor/delivery/and the epi/tear, I've been virtually unable to control my bowels if I have a loose crap (but yet, I can control a normal, solid BM). So far I've crapped myself four times in three days (fortunately, ruining only a few pairs of maternity panties). So far no ruined panties today, knock on wood. So the doc's office is wondering if perhaps I need another stitch--'cause it won't be too embarrassing to have the doc sew another notch into my pucker hole now will it? In the meantime, they advised me to take Mylanta and I did that yesterday, which is perhaps why my crapper is working normally today. The nurse did mention that it might just take a little time for my ass muscle (my terminology, not hers) to regain strength after the epi and the trauma of birth (oh, and not that you asked but I pooped during delivery, I guess nothing is sacred anymore) and that it may resolve itself soon. Crossing my fingers that it does or I may never be able to leave the house again without an adult diaper on.

I imagine the possibility in my mind of being fecally incontinent for the rest of my life and the post-partum hormone stew have combined to hit me two-handed. Or maybe it is PPD, which the doc's office thinks it sounds like. But we'll see. I just want to feel "normal" again so I can be the best possible mother to Juliana that I know I have it in me to be. And if that means me taking anti-depressants, knock me if you must but I'll do just about anything to get to feeling like myself again (I guess that means Tom Cruise and I won't ever see eye-to-eye).

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I guess I can send the doppler back now...

because my dear sweet girl is here with us.

Juliana made her way into this world at 4:41 p.m. on 6/18/05. She weighed in at 5 lbs., 13 0z., and was 17 1/2 inches long.

My OB visit this past Friday afternoon found my BP elevated so I was sent to the hopsital to have my labs drawn. Results showed an elevated uric acid level indicating true pregnancy-induced hypertension and after speaking with our doc, the decision was made to admit me and induce me on Saturday morning. After about 9-10 hours of labor, an episiotomy, a 2nd degree tear despite the epi, a failed vacuum extraction and then finally a forceps extraction, our bundle of love joined us (and man, does my cootch hurt!!)

I don't have a lot of time to post right now as I'm dying for a shower--I haven't had one since Sunday--but oh, the love. If I thought I was in love before she got here, well now I'm a goner.

I wish I was savvy enough to post some pictures. Hopefully I can figure it out and share soon (proud, sweet Daddy's thinking about putting together a Web site for all the pics) but in the meantime, know that we're doing well and settling in. Just as we were discharged yesterday, we had a brief scare where Juliana's bilirubin level was elevated and she became jaundiced so she had to be admitted and stay last night under the bili-lights--which about broke my heart. But the hospital let us 'room in' with her instead of going home. Thankfully, her levels came down today and our pediatrician discharged her.

I'm thinking of each of you and thank you for your love, support, and guidance through these past 37 weeks (and even before that). I look forward to sharing more as we go forward. And now, I've got to go see a man about a baby (hubby needs to use the restroom and he's been watching her while I had a go at the computer).


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Time to let go?

When it finally looked like this pg was going to stick around, I rented a fetal doppler from Stork Radio. That little machine got some serious mileage, typically being used every night before bedtime from 3 months along until about 7 months. Then its usage got a little more sporadic as the baby girl's movement became more consistent. And now...well, I think I last used it about two or three weeks ago. Since then, it's quietly sat on my nightstand, bottle of ultrasound gel nearby.

I'm thinking of returning it to Stork Radio, all I need to do is call them to get the authorization for it. Since it came with a postage pre-paid return envelope from DHL, I just have to call and find out the nearest drop box or schedule a pick up at my house. So what's stopping me--especially since we're paying $40-someodd dollars a month for it? I'm afraid...afraid that mere minutes after it leaves my house, I'll have an overwhelming need to hear the baby's heartbeat. That she'll have been quiet for a bit too long, necessitating a quick doppler check. I have become addicted to the security of knowing it's in my house, there if I should need it.

Twice weekly NSTs have taken the doppler's place. Every Monday and Thursday I get to hear the wee princess's heart just a' thwockin' thwocking away at a jaunty 155 to 160 bpm clip. If I'm lucky and she fails those NSTs (as she's wont to do), I then get an ultrasound--so it's not like I don't know that things are going well in my uterus. In addition to those NSTs, I'm also now seeing the OB every Friday, where I get a doppler fix as well (and a lovely peek-and-poke of the girl's exit tunnel).

So with less than two weeks left to go, do you think it's time for me to let go of the doppler and just trust that all will be alright? The doppler is on our coffee table, in its DHL envelope, but the envelope has yet to be sealed, nor has Stork Radio been called for return authorization. A tells me to hold onto it a bit longer if it makes me feel more secure. But I'm wondering if it's an unnecessary expense at this point. If I'm not using it, shouldn't we return it and save the $40+ dollars--especially since money will be extremely tight as soon as I start 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave?

When is it safe for me to finally relax and trust that this baby girl will be okay/continue to thrive in my body until it's her time to come (BTW, tomorrow marks 37 weeks, i.e., full term, with induction anticipated for 38w5d or thereabouts)? Having gone through one miscarriage on the way here, I think I know the answer. I'll feel safe when she's finally in our arms. I guess that means I should keep the doppler until she arrives--just in case--and then have DHL pick it up. Realistically, for me, only then can I let go of the fear.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Moving right along

Let the games begin! Friday afternoon was the start of weekly OB visits--along with weekly pelvics--good times, I tell ya, good times. And no lie, that pelvic was downright uncomfy, no bones about it. And it seemed to go on a lot longer than your standard yearly OB visit pelvic does.

That inaugural pg pelvic found that I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. The doc also was able to feel the baby's head but I didn't ask what station the baby was in. She agreed with the peri to go ahead and schedule my induction for sometime between June 29th and July 1st. Her office will call me this week to let me know when. I guess that's if my body doesn't start labor on its own sometime between now and then.

But after that news, the real fun began. My BP was up (142/96) so the OB checked it a second time and it was just as high. This bought me a ticket to L&D Friday evening, where I was hooked up to the monitor (as was the baby) for several hours and copious quantities of blood were taken from my arm. My BP stayed up consistently in the 140/95 range for about an hour or so. Then the nurse had me lie on my left side and--miracle of miracles--down went the BP into the very normal range (the highest measurement that way was 120/76). So I laid there like that until we got word that all my labs came back normal and that the baby looked fine--which was good for one discharge home ticket. All in all, a not-so-entertaining way to spend 3 hours on a Friday evening. A and I noted that when the time comes to go to the hospital for real, we must be sure to bring games and other fun materials. Otherwise, we'll be bored silly.

When we left and walked by the nurses' station, we said our goodnights--and the nurses responded "we'll see you again soon." No offense, but not too soon, I responded (more like a couple of weeks, I hoped fervently in my head).

Today we're at (possibly) T-minus 2 weeks, 2 days (or less if I go on my own). What? Me worry?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It appears all systems are a 'go'

Well, it looks like the dear baby girl will be making her arrival sometime between June 29th and July 1st. But, but, how can that be? It seems like only yesterday when I found out I was pregnant. Where did the time go? Poof, gone.

The peri would like to see me deliver around 38 weeks 5 days, aka THREE WEEKS FROM NOW! Because of my CAH, it is more than likely that my body will not go into labor on its own (tell that to those 5 minutes apart contractions three weeks ago!). So it looks like it'll be an induction for me, and the peri would like to shoot for a vaginal birth unless the baby is large (over 10 lbs., she said). If the baby is a pork chop--which the doctor doesn't expect to be the case--we'll go with a c-section and forget trying for vaginal. Of course, if the baby has other plans on coming down the pipe and decides to try to stay in her cozy abode, it'll be a c-section regardless. I must remember to keep breathing between now and then.

The baby keeps failing her non-stress tests but then is fine on the subsequent biophysical ultrasounds (score to date: 3 passed out of 7 total). Strange, but I'll take it. Each one she fails means I get to see her again--the last two have been 4D images and they've been gloriously illuminating. I mean, holy shit, there's a baby in there--with lips, and ears, and so many gorgeous parts--including forearms she likes to suck on (no lie, they're always up at her mouth). The next NST is on Thursday, and Friday I've got an OB appt (time for the weekly vaginals to start--laissez les bons temps rouler! or "let the good times roll") and the growth ultrasound. Next week we go to weekly OB appts so it does appear that the home stretch is shortening...THREE WEEKS!! I'm sorry did I just repeat myself? You'll have to excuse me but the notion (and hope) that I could be bringing home a live baby in three incredibly short weeks is completely overwhelming and...what's the word I'm looking for? Um, yeah, right...terrifying.

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