Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Monday, Monday

Monday is still the day. I saw my doctor yesterday, and there are still no changes. He mentioned the whole 'cervix of steel' thing again. He did an ultrasound and I got to see a lazy Little Guy again, who was laying around and throwing an occasional elbow. Little Guy looks rather chunky - he has a big round belly.

Everything on the ultrasound looked good, and then after a quick check of my cervix my doctor said there's still nothing going on down there. He was almost apologetic about it, but I understand. He brought me to his office where he spoke with labor and delivery about scheduling me in for midnight Sunday (or Monday, depending on how you look at it). I get two doses of cervix gel, one at 1am and one at 4am, and then depending on how things are rolling he will start me on pitocin around 8am. He said the last mother he brought in like this didn't even need the pitocin and delivered around 10am. That would be nice. He said he thinks I will probably need the pitocin, but he is predicting that I'll have the baby somewhere between 12 and 2. He said if he's wrong I can yell at him but not hit him. Deal.

He filled out some paperwork that I have to bring with me to check in, and I joked with him that I was going to attempt to sneak in a couple of days early with it. He said that wouldn't work, as the paperwork was dated, but admired my moxy. Oh well - a girl has to try.

There has been some discussion of celebrating my birthday during Superbowl celebrations on Sunday night. Which is cool, but I don't know I necessarily want to eat a huge, heavy meal before heading off to give birth. Before I was induced with Jacelyn I wasn't feeling well, so I only ate some soup and toast, and I was very glad for that later. I can't imagine eating the ton of brisket that I would inevitably eat, plus various and assorted side dishes, and then going off to labor. Yuck. We don't have to celebrate my birthday this year - although it is the big 30 for me, I am much more focused on having a baby than anything else. We will see. We might do something Saturday night, but the Mardi Gras parade is Saturday afternoon, so everyone might be all tuckered out from that. Not me, of course - you couldn't get me to that parade with a cattle prod, but my in-laws want to take Jacelyn, and that's fine with me.

I have started having absolutely fierce Braxton-Hicks contractions every time I lay down. Nasty, painful things that stop as soon as I sit or stand up. But I like laying down! Last night I was exhausted, and went to bed early, but couldn't sleep from the pain of the stupid things. I attempted to persevere, to outlast them, but eventually they got so strong I thought maybe they could be the real thing. But as soon as I got out of bed it was like someone flipped a switch, the contractions stopped, and then I was almost afraid to lay down. I sat up until after midnight, and then I finally fell into bed and managed to fall asleep sometime later. I was awakened by contractions a couple of times after that, but I managed to fall back asleep afterwards, so it was OK. Sigh. My body seem to know what it is supposed to do, it just can't seem to do it in a productive way. That's Ok, though, I'm letting nature take its' course and that is a good thing. Isn't it? It is.

So there is where we are - no further along than we were before. But the light at the end of the tunnel is rapidly drawing nearer, and I will look at these few extra days as some extra time to get things wrapped up and ready. And as for having him on my birthday - well, who could ask for a better birthday gift? And I can remind him as he gets older, in that loving yet harping, motherly way, that I spent my 30th birthday in the hospital laboring to bring him into this world. Nah, I couldn't do that. Well, maybe. We'll see. :-)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's My Due Date (and I'll cry if I want to)

Oh, thou foul, mocking baby ticker - zero days to go, indeed.

Here I am, on my due date (which I realize is more of a guideline, but still), sitting at work. People think I am crazy for working this far, but I would go crazy just sitting at home and waiting for something to happen, and we can use the money, so if I can work, why not work? This morning, when I was making Brian roll up my pant cuffs so they didn't get wet in all the puddles (and he tight-rolled them, too - you remember tight-rolling - he thought it was hilarious), he asked, rather hopefully, if I was feeling anything. He is off this weekend and I think he was hoping maybe it would go down on one of his days off. I had to tell him that no, there is nothing happening - barely any Braxton-Hicks contractions, no sign of my mucus plug, nothing. Nadda. He looked slightly crestfallen.

I am utterly charmed by how my job is handling the fact that I am working this far into my pregnancy - it's really rather sweet. Saturdays are usually a minimal staffing day around here, just me and one other person. I have specific instructions on what to do if I just don't feel like finishing out the day today, or if I go into labor while working today. I have a list of people to call and everything. It's lovely, and I work for and with some very wonderful, kind and sweet people for whom I am very grateful.

I have a few things left to do before Little Guy makes his arrival. I still have to clean out my car. I have washed and found places for his little newborn-sized clothing, but I have a large bag of clothes and accessories, both leftover from Jacelyn and that I have received as gifts, that still need washing and then a place to go. Our master bedroom is pretty much a disaster area - that seems to be the room we focused on the least when moving, sorting and unpacking, so there is quite a bit to be done in there. I have my bag half-packed, but not entirely, so I could do that as well. Maybe I will get all that done tomorrow, with Brian being home. And then I plan on being back at work Monday, but I will cut back to part-time, just staying until it is time to pick up Jacelyn from school. Then I have a OB appointment Tuesday, at which any progress will be taken into consideration and the induction date either moved up (I think he said it would be Thursday the 31st, if he moved it up) or left as it is. And then girl scouts Tuesday afternoon, and then back to the grind.

So that is all there is to report - that there is basically nothing to report. Last night I rubbed my belly and had a talk with Little Guy about all this not coming out stuff. He wriggled enthusiastically during the conversation but apparently took none of it to heart. Stubborn! These kids must get that from their father. So it seems I'm in it for the long haul, but that's OK. At least, for right now. Ask me next week.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Feast Day of St. Francis De Sales

"Some torment themselves in seeking means to discover the art of loving God, and do not know - poor creatures - that there is no art or means of loving Him but to love those who love Him - that is, to begin to practice those thing which are pleasing to Him." St. Francis De Sales

Francis de Sales was convinced that God sees humanity as a great and varied garden, each person beautiful in his or her uniqueness. The various callings of life – soldier, prince, widow, married woman – are like the various flowers of the field; God loves them all. Through his or her own calling, each person can find a way to a deeper friendship with his or her creator. Francis approached people with genuine respect and gently guided them to recognize the unique path they would take in life. He made the journey to God joyful and possible for everyone to make. Above all, he advised against despair and the burden of fear.

'Go courageously to do whateveryou are called to do.
If you have any fears, say to your soul:
”The Lord will provide for us.”
If your weakness troubles you,
cast yourselves on God, and trust in him.
The apostles were mostly unlearned fishermen,
but God gave them learning enough
for the work they had to do.
Trust in him, depend on his providence;
fear nothing.'
St. Francis de Sales

For some wonderful reading, see his Introduction to the Devout Life . Even if you aren't catholic. St. Francis is my patron saint, so I am rather partial, but it is extremely well written and quite relevant, which is amazing since it was written four hundred years ago or so.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The light at the end of the tunnel....

....just got further away. I went to the doctor yesterday morning. I was totally exhausted from being up until 2AM the night before, so I didn't go to the appointment with the highest of spirits. My doctor was running late, and I sat in the waiting room for about thirty minutes before being called back. My blood pressure is still on an even keel, which is encouraging. I stripped down and covered myself with a lovely paper blanket and waited for the doctor. When he finally came in he poked around with the doppler, then he checked my cervix, and did some more poking, and expressed his astonishment that there had been absolutely no changes at all with the exception that the baby was high, quite high, actually too high. Great. He wanted to do an ultrasound to check Little Guy's position, so I had to wait for the ultrasound room to be open, and then once in the ultrasound room I had to wait for my doctor to free up time to come in and do the ultrasound.

The first thing we saw was, to quote my doctor, a "big old baby head". Little Guy is in the correct position, head down and such, he's just high up. Spectacularly high up. Everything looks good, apparently, and my doctor feels comfortable letting me go past my due date with monitoring. My body is just not doing anything it needs to do or is supposed to do to prepare to go into labor. We spoke after the ultrasound, and he explained to me that he could induce me, he could make me have contractions (even at one point saying, "I could make that lamp have contractions", which amused me - I love sarcasm), I could labor and labor and labor endlessly and ultimately end up having a C-section when my body flatly refuses to do what it is supposed to do. I don't want to have a c-section, and I see his point. You can't hurry nature, even when nature shows no inclination of starting things up on its' own. Fine! I'll wait.

He also mentioned that he checked his calender and that he thought February 4th was the best date for induction, apparently fitting well into his schedule and allowing me time to possibly enter labor on my own. February 4th also happens to be my 30th birthday.

So here's where I'm at:
--I am not having a baby this week
--I will probably not have a baby next week
--I will probably have a baby on my birthday.

Sigh. You never know, I could go into labor on my own. Right - ha! Either way, as long as Little Guy gets here safely, that's all that matters.

I don't know why this is so hard. I went eight days past my due date with Jacelyn and didn't get this miserable until right before I had her. I think that is because I was scared of labor, so while I was uncomfortable, at least it was a known discomfort. I have a lot more going on now, too - a five-year old, work, girl scouts. I didn't do anything in the last two weeks or so but sleep, before Jacelyn was born. So things are different, and you know what? I will allow myself to wallow in my misery a little bit, occasionally, because I think I have earned it. I'm basically forty weeks pregnant, and still working, still taking my daughter to school, still cooking dinner and cleaning my house and getting around (albeit slowly). I'm actually lucky, if I think about it - there are people who have complications who can't do any of that and would probably love to. So, I feel like crap, but 1.) that's OK, and 2.) it could be worse. I can live with that. I really am very fortunate.

I am feeling paranoid and irritated with people. This morning, I was leaving Wal-Mart and a woman walking past gave me this look - the only way I can think of to describe it is a combination of disgust and dismay. I actually did a double-take, thinking that I had imagined the look, but no, she was still doing it, going so far as to actually turn around while walking to continue to look at me. Then, at work today, I stood up to help a customer and she actually said, "Oh my gosh, you are very pregnant, aren't you?". Nooooooo, really? Am I? I hadn't noticed. Good looking out, Captain Obvious.

My disposition has not improved. I can summon up patience with a few people close to me, but that's about it. Brian is driving me crazy - I'm not entirely certain he'll survive this pregnancy. Sunday, after I had spent the day working around the house, going grocery shopping with a five year old in tow, and then making sure he had dinner when he came home (late and without calling), the only thing he commented about was the fact that there was water on the kitchen floor and, horror of horrors, his sock got wet. And he didn't just say, "Oh, my sock is wet", he had to make a huge deal out of it - "Oh, geez, are you serious? Are you serious? My sock is wet, look at that, what is the deal in here, look at my sock, it is so wet, aww, man..." and so on. I chose to ignore that and him for most of the rest of the night, but I was pretty irritated. I try and keep my comments to a minimum, because my normal sarcasm is magnified by hormones and my comments can get pretty scathing and mean if I don't check myself.

That's all for now. I'll keep things updated, but the likelihood of having anything transpire to require said updating is slim. Sigh.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Just stuff

From the 'you know you're nine months pregnant when...' file: The other night I got up from the couch, where I was snuggling with Jacelyn, and went into the kitchen to get a sip of OJ. I returned to the couch, which Jacelyn had vacated in my absence, and when I sat down noticed a damp spot on the cushion. My first thought? 'Oh man, did I pee?'. I ascertained that no, I had not wet myself or the furniture, and realized it was from Jacelyn's still-damp from the shower hair. Whew.

I'm still pregnant, still tired, and there's still nothing going on. Even the Braxton-Hicks contractions have stalled out. My patience with people is virtually nonexistent, which is bad if you work in retail. I have become utterly anti-social. Today, when I was waiting in carpool to pick Jacelyn up, I opened my phone and put it up to my ear so it would look like I was on the phone and I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. That's terrible! I have to struggle against these reclusive, hermit-like feelings. I just want to hide in my house, emerging only for doctor's appointments and to give birth. However, I still have to take Jacelyn to and from school, go to and from work, and do girl scout stuff. You would think I would be trying (or wanting) to get out and do things before I have the baby, but noooooooo. I don't want to go out shopping, I don't want to go out to eat, I don't want to go anywhere. Maybe it's because I run around so much in my day-to-day routine that, by the time I have a chance to be home, I just want to be home. Hopefully it's some harmless reason like that and not any sort of mental disorder.

So that is where I leave you. Still no baby, and no sign of baby showing any interest in making an appearance any time soon. Oh, but the drummer from the Foo Fighters was in the store today (Taylor Hawkins)! I was starstruck from a distance, because I was dealing with someone on the phone, but I was still starstruck. He is the first non-classical famous musician that I have met at work. Since I missed out on Whitesnake all those years ago. Ha! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So do I get a cape for that, then?

I have a superpower, I discovered yesterday. Apparently, according to my doctor, I have a "cervix of steel". Every time I type that I can hear that guy that did the narration for the Muppet Show's 'Pigs in Space' segment. You know, it went "PIGS......IN.........SPAAAAAAAACE". Well, apparently I have a "CERVIX......OF........STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL".

I am still holding at two centimeters dilated, and not at all effaced. There is nothing going on down there. Nadda. I will confess to being discouraged. My doctor and I talked about my options-he doesn't want me to go past 40 weeks, or at least not very far past 40 weeks., because of the SUA. I really didn't want to be induced - I really wanted to go into labor on my own, but I have reached that point where I am OK with being induced, because I am so over being pregnant, and of course because it is what is best for the baby. I voiced my hesitancy to him, and he said that I will not have the same experience I had when Jacelyn was born. He assured me that I could have my epidural at any point I felt ready for it (even sarcastically offering to give it to me right then, which made me love him even more). So if I make it to my next appointment, which he thinks (and I must admit I agree ) that I will, we are going to discuss a date for induction. And really, that's OK with me. I freely admit that I have caved. I gave in without a fight and barely a consideration to the "I-will-do-this-on-my-own" conviction that I thought I possessed so strongly. I would still like to go into labor on my own. Hey, you never know. But the teeny bit of intuition I possess says - it ain't happening.

I'm feeling better about things - I have Little Guy's bag packed, and my own bag partially packed. I do wonder about the weather -the high is in the 60's all next week, and I wonder if the clothes I packed for him will be too warm. But anyway: all the little things that needed to be washed and/or assembled to prepare for his arrival has been washed and/or assembled. The only thing I have not done is clean out my car. I'll get to it, I think. I have to.

But that's it - me and my cervix of steel are just hanging out. Waiting. Stubbornly not doing a thing that we should be doing. Because that is how we roll.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stick a fork in me....

....preferably one of those crochet-hook forks that doctors use to break your water, because I AM DONE. Finished. I don't care how ill-prepared the house or car might be, I am ready to have this baby.

Yesterday morning I woke up and got out of bed to discover that Little Guy had dropped down a little lower. I don't understand who decided to call this process 'lightening'. I do not feel 'light'. I feel heavy, large and lumbering. I feel awkward and tired and the pressure in my belly when I stand up is, while not unbearable, quite unpleasant. Yesterday I would work around the house for ten or fifteen minutes and then take a ten or fifteen (or sometimes twenty) minute break. This seemed to work well for me until I got up from one such break and was standing at the sink washing out my burner pans and realized: I did not feel any better. I felt exactly the same as I did when I went to sit down fifteen minutes earlier. I gave up and retired to the sofa for a while to watch a show about rogue elephants, while feeling rather elephant-like myself.

I have another doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, and I am feeling very torn on the idea of a cervix check. While I would like to know if I am progressing, if I found out nothing was happening down there I'm afraid it might depress me a little bit. I've been two centimeters and holding for weeks now. Even one more centimeter would be enouraging. I might not get a choice this week, though. I don't know.

At any rate, I don't think there will be a baby this week. I think it could happen sometime next week, but I don't think it will be this early. But what do I know. Very little. We'll see!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Two more weeks (hopefully!)

I wrote a scathing, complaint-and-whine-laced post the other day about the PTA meeting I had to attend that night in order to get Jacelyn's report card. I am now glad that I didn't post it, but I did save one (large!) paragraph to give you an idea of the absolutely horrible mood I was in about the whole thing:

I can't stand PTA - wait, scratch that, 'HSO' meetings. The sitting for so long kills me. I end up having to use the restroom in the cafeteria (since I cannot manage to go longer than five minutes without using the restroom) and let me assure you, those smaller scaled toilets do not make for a graceful dismount when you are nine months pregnant. Not to mention the fact that I usually have to go straight from work and am hungry, and tired. And a miniscule amount of time seems to be dedicated to things that actually matter, actual business, but it takes someone ten minutes to remind us all to save our old cell phones and printer cartridges. Why? Why does that take ten minutes? I propose a one stop, one person presentation on every day type of fundraisers. Instead of ten minutes being spent on Box Tops, just lump all those daily things, the ink cartridges and the Box Tops and the gift card sales into one brief presentation that basically reminds people that if they do those things, the school makes money without you, your friends, neighbors, and loved ones having to buy overpriced gift wrap, chocolates and/or cookie dough all in the interest of supporting your child's education. And when people ask questions, even though they are well within their rights and perfectly entitled to do so, it makes me want to scream and throw things at them. I just want to jump out of my seat, preferably scattering chairs around me in a loud and dramatic fashion, and scream, "Is no one else hungry? Or tired? Does everyone else have someone to get their child into bed on time? BECAUSE I DON'T, AND I WANT TO GO HOME!". I do have someone to watch my child, understand, she won't be home alone or anything, but they are not the responsible, make sure she is showered and eats dinner and is ready for bed type of babysitter. No, these are the feed her candy and let her get dirty and hyper and then send her home ten minutes before bedtime wide awake and shrieking from over-stimulation. Sigh.

Yeah, there was more, that is the sad part. Keep in mind that I am terribly, vastly pregnant and not feeling well and was very tired that day. But: I went to the meeting and got the report card and it was very good! She has improved in all the areas she was supposed to improve in, and got good marks generally all around. Good for her! I'm very proud of her, and I let her know it.

I pre-registered at the hospital yesterday, and took a brief tour of the maternity ward. It finally hit me - holy crap, I'm having a baby. At some point, relatively soon-ish, I am having a baby. Holy crap. I turned in my birthing preferences sheet, which really just said the following:
-I want an epidural (and that right soon)
-I want to breastfeed ASAP after delivery
-I want to see Jacelyn ASAP after delivery
Those were my largest concerns. I opted for rooming in, and breastfeeding, of course. I was amused by the section that allowed you to list people you didn't want around you in the hospital. I understand why they do that, don't get me wrong, but it was funny to think about. That is one good thing about hospitals - they will play the bad cop and kick people out. Of course, as much as you are paying them, they should. Right after I had Jacelyn a bunch of Brian's friends descended on the maternity ward. They were well behaved but I was exhausted, and was trying to think of a polite way to get rid of them when a nurse came in and kicked them out so she could check me. During the check she noted that I looked tired, and asked point-blank if I wanted her to get rid of them. I gratefully agreed, and once she opened the door she announced that I was tired and needed my rest, and told them they could return the next day. She even told Brian to walk them out. I loved it, and was able to settle in and have a few moments alone.

Last night we went out to dinner, and I had a moment in the ladies room: I couldn't fit into the stall. There was only one stall, and the door opened into the stall and hit the toilet halfway in, effectively preventing the door from opening any further. Also blocking my entrance was the huge toilet tissue dispenser. I tried a few times to get in - different angles and such, and then just gave up. Jacelyn thought it was hilarious - "Mommy, you won't fit!", but I was not amused. I ended up sneaking into the men's room and using that (after a good, thorough wipe-down), because not using the restroom wasn't an option. A general rule with me lately is that if I am going to be somewhere longer than about fifteen minutes, I locate the restroom because I know that at some point in the near future, I will need it.

I have the baby's things packed. A couple of outfits (one with a hat), a couple pairs of socks. Some hand mitties. I threw in a pacifier, although I'm not going to let anyone know it is there. Jacelyn had some trouble latching on, so we had to avoid the pacifier in order to prevent nipple confusion. I will have the binkie just in case. But it's my little secret.

What I have not done is packed my own things. I have a general idea of what I want to bring in the way of toiletries and such, but what to wear, both while in the hospital and when leaving the hospital, is throwing me off. I'll probably deal with that tomorrow - my plan is to finish packing the bag, and to clean out the car. And then, most likely, to put the bag in the car. I guess. And then to clean, because I don't want to go into labor with a dirty house. Well, it's not dirty, but it doesn't look great. Cluttery-ish, kind of. Here's hoping the nesting instinct kicks in again so I can get it all done.

Two weeks and counting!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sick and tired

I am still sick. I am still coughing and hacking and blowing my nose and feeling cold and tired and run down and yucky. And the big routine starts back again on Mondays - of feeling constantly behind, constantly in a hurry, rush here and there and to get things done and I am just not feeling like getting back into it, not at all. Sigh.

I have been having the occassional contraction that I think could be real, but I'm not really sure. But they are infrequent, really rather few and far between. I really have no idea when this baby will come. My intuition is completely silent on this one. Predictions have been made, however - some serious, some not so serious. I have no prediction, I just have a date I would like to have the baby on - I would love the 24th. Because 1.) that is the feast day of my patron saint, and 2.) Jacelyn was born on April 24th, so I would just have to keep months straight, not dates. Others have offered up the following (keep in mind my due date is January 26th. Also keep in mind Jacelyn arrived ten days past her due date):

Brian: says January 25th
Clark: says during the season premier of 'Lost', which would be January 31st. I expressed horror at the thought of going over my due date, and Brian expressed horror at missing the season premier, going so far as to lean over and tell my stomach: "Any day but that one, buddy".
Michelle (my SIL): says Superbowl Sunday. I say no way, as that (Feb. 3rd) is even further past my due date, and the day before my 30th birthday. Yikes!

That's about it for now. I am going to get some work done and wade through another sinus-clouded day before I can go home and stuff kleenex up my nose. Later!