Stella Kathleen’s Birth Story – Part II

31 May

Initially, I was pretty devestated that I had to have a c-section.  After ALL THAT.  Everything I did to ensure I had this better birth experience than with G3.  Everything from all the excercise that I did, to working with the chiropractor when she was transverse/breech so I wouldn’t have to automatically have one, to continued work with the chiro to keep my pelvis in alignment, to agreeing to induction, to going through 45 hours of hideousness, to pushing for 45 minutes, only to end in…surgery.  The doctors and nurses were all so wonderful and sympathetic, I actually remember Dr. Wetzel leaning down and kissing my hand and telling me I’d done a great job and I gave it a great try.  The bottom line was she probably wasn’t going to come out that way no matter what had transpired…

The OR prep was FAST, and quickly I went from being scared to being just…I needed some relief from pain, however brief.  A million things happened in the space of about 10 minutes…a new IV, medication put into the epidural to numb me from the chest down, belly scrubbed.  There seemed to be 500 people in there, though in actuality there was only about 10 probably.  As soon as I was ready Gabe came in and the surgery began.  According to Gabe’s description it was gory, disgusting, and he’s still shell-shocked from seeing my body be cut open.  His most vivid memory is “buckets of fluid” being pumped out of me.  I am impressed that he actually watched them pull our daughter from inside of me…without passing out!!

Nothing hurt but I did feel tugging.  The moment when they ACTUALLY pulled her out was the strangest sensation.  I really don’t remember much of how I was feeling right then, I was so exhausted, had so many medications on board, and was just…feeling sort of catatonic from the release from pain.  I remember shaking violently, to the point that my neck and shoulders hurts.  I remember asking Gabe if she was okay and him nodding rapidly that yes, she was fine.  They gave her to him and I couldn’t really see much of her face but it was enough that I could tell that…oh my goodness!  She was cute!  Not just cute, but beautiful.  Baby girl:)

She left soon to get weighed and measured, and my mom got to watch her through the nursery window, and reported that she was very squirmy (big shocker there!)  She weighed in at 6.15 and 19in long…so really, quite the peanut especially considering she was post-due.  She was completely, 100% perfectly healthy and in the next few days passed all the tests they do with flying colors.

Recovery is a bit of a blur, I slept, and shook, for most of it.  Gabe sat with me for a bit, I got to drink some ginger ale, and then my mom came and sat with me.  I still had a lot of pain meds on board, so the cleaning me up and moving me from the surgery bed to a real bed wasn’t as brutal as I imagined.  I was wheeled to my room (actually, half of a room behind a curtain since they were so freaking busy) and adjusted to sit up a bit and finally, finally, FINALLY got to hold my little peanut.  It should be noted that I didn’t get to hold either of my children for the first couple hours of their lives, which makes me kind of sad.  I really wanted that moment of her coming out and me getting to touch her right away…but, oh well.

My first reaction was that she looked like G3 when he was born.  She was so. freaking. cute.  Despite everything, she was HERE, healthy, I was finally holding her, she was cute (did I mention that yet??)  And just so sweet.  I loved her name before it was hers, but seeing her and calling her “Stella” made me fall in love with it even more.  It was the perfect name for a perfect baby girl.

What followed in the next 48 hours…a lot of pain.  Worst pain of my life, minus the period of induction-without-epidural.  Incision pain, abdominal pain, back and shoulder pain from the shaking.  IV pain.  The inability to hold her to breastfeed without help, or to sit up, or to shift position.  Being stuck in a tiny closet for the first 12 hours until they had a room for me (seriously: every pregnant lady in Luzerne County gave birth that week!)  Having my meds come late and experiencing that level of pain.  Requesting a double dose of Percoset and feeling THAT joyride:)  My mom stayed with me most of the time during the day, Gabe worked on Friday and then came after.  On Saturday I was given the okay to go home, and after a lot of waiting, discharge hoopla, packing, getting prescriptions for my meds, and timing the whole thing so the car ride would be at the point where I had the most pain meds on board…we were released!

The ride home wasn’t too bad minus the actual getting in and out of the car.  I actually fell asleep…one of the benefits of percoset, literally falling asleep each time I closed my eyes.  I arrived home and went to change into my loosest, most comfy pj pants only to discover I could not get them on.  More investigation revealed by entire lower body was massively swollen with fluid.  We’re talking 15-20lbs of fluid!

The first 3 days home were rough.  Pain pain pain.  Difficulty getting up and down.  The ginormous swelling.  Difficulty peeing.  Major breastfeeding distress.  Hormonal issues, most notably being freezing cold and shaking one minute, hot and sweaty to the point ofbeing drenched the next.  The first post-op poo experience (it was epic, ugh.)  Hemmroids.  But then magically around day 4, I started to feel better.  Each day was a bit less pain, a bit more mobility.  The swelling went away and I dropped a large amount of weight.  I could get up and down a bit better.  I weaned off of the percoset without issue.  I crossed the final pain hurdles of staple removal and then finally, this morning, removing the surgical tape that was placed over my incision afterwards.

So here I am, 11 days out and if you’d told me last weekend that I’d be feeling this good I would have said you were nuts.  I know I still need to take it easy (and plan to selectively use the “I just had major surgery” card for awhile) but I really do feel amazing considering I am recovering from not just surgery, but pregnancy.  It feels GREAT to not be pregnant.  I enjoyed it…but I’m happy I’m no longer in that club.  I feel achy at the end of teh day but not much “pain” anymore.  I can do things like shave my legs (!!), bend over to pick stuff off the floor, and even play with my poor neglected son…all things I couldn’t fathom a week ago.  I am 12# above  my pre-pregnancy weight which makes me VERY happy.  Definitely still have some work to do, but I’m about where I was with G3 4 mo post-partum…and I haven’t even done anything yet.  Hoping this means all my hard work working out counted for something, even if it didn’t give me much of a birth experience!

And the baby?  Ohhhh, she’s perfect.  She is healthy, robust, pretty, cute, sweet, and just everything that babies are meant to be.  She already feels “big” to me…she’s got a chubby belly and cheeks and a double chin.  She’s not “mellow” like her brother, but she’s very chill.  She will let you know when she’s not happy, and she doesn’t every stop moving when she’s awake.  She constantly wants to chew on her hands and sleeves, and refuses to have her arms swaddled–only her lower body.  She smiled on Day 10 and lost her umbilcal cord on Day 11.  She got a clean bill of health at the pediatrician at 5 days old and was already back to her birth weight.  She needs to be held more than G3…you could always put him down, anywhere, and he was happy.  She’s snugglier.  She’s a voracious eater.  And best of all….SHE SLEEPS AT NIGHT!  We get up 1-2 times a night, and the 2nd time I don’t really count since its usually 6am and I get up for the day then in order to get a shower before G3 is up.  Everyone told me after Gabey “you don’t get two good sleepers!” so I was a bit nervous she’d be one of those kids who is up crying all night long.  But, we’re on Day 11 and she’s doing great…sometimes she needs to sleep with me but other times she is fine in her bassinet. And hey–sleep is sleep.  I think that God or the powers that be sort of knew I needed someone to throw me a bone here.

In short, the end of the journey was not what I expected or prepared for.  But of all my fears, only one was not actualized…and that was the fear that something would be wrong with the  baby.  G3 had trauma from the vaccuum, severe jaundice, and a skull fracture.  So having a newborn who is perfectly healthy is such a blessing.  Its already fading from my mind (though I most certainly am happy I will NEVER be going through labor, childbirth, or a c-section EVER again!!)  But what’s left is the greatest gift of all, the completion of our family, the baby girl, the little sister.  Welcome, Stella Kathleen Horvath!!  You are so very loved and cherished and we are so, so, so happy you finally decided to join us!

Stella Kathleen’s Birth Story–Part I

28 May

Well…I finally had her!  After 41 weeks and 1 day, Stella Kathleen Horvath finally decided to join us on May 19th at 5:12pm.  6.15, 19 inches long, perfectly healthy!

Wait…didn’t I go in to be induced on the 17th, not the 19th?  Yeah, that.  Remember my last post, where I had this entire paragraph of fears of things that could happen?  Everything from induction being cancelled, to induction not working, to a c-section, to pain?  Pretty much every. single. fear. happened.  With the exception that something would be wrong with the baby…thankfully, Miss Stella is super healthy, and that’s all that matters.  But, for posterity, I definitely need to record the final chapter…

On Tuesday around noon my mom came to get G3.  Gabe arrived home just as they were leaving with the grim news that the doctor had called and labor and delivery was full and he wanted to cancel the induction.  This particular doctor also didn’t understand WHY I was being induced, and felt it unnecessary to reschedule until the following week!!  He told us we could call back around 3pm and see if they had a room for me, but if not, I’d have to wait.  You can imagine my level of devestation.  My mom left with G3 anyhow, and my send off to him was not what I imagined.  Instead of being meaningful and nostalgic, it was me crying and not really paying attention.  They left, and I went to my pre-birth chiropractor appointment with a feeling of hopelessness.

Around 3 Gabe started calling l&d again.  He kept getting put on hold, asked to call back, etc.  He also tried calling the OB office for me to find out WHY the PA I saw scheduled me for an induction if she didn’t have the authority to do so (which is what the doctor on call insinuated to Gabe.)  He had no luck getting through there either.  Finally we decided that we would just go there.  If they really did turn us away, we would at least be in Wilkes Barre and could go out to eat (our initial plan had been to have a nice meal out before checking into the hospital.)  But, on the way there they called and told us to come at 6:30pm.  They warned us that we might have to wait a bit but I didn’t care, we were IN.  We then went to Red Lobster where Gabe had the ultimate feast and I had…something.  Mostly I remember just trying to calm myself down.

We arrived at l&d to something out of a movie scene.  Pregnant couples walking the halls, beds flying down, doctors everywhere, pagers going off, nurses holding babies while answering the phone.  Okay…so, they WERE pretty busy.  We waited about an hour before getting to my room.  I started the process of getting ready and hooked up, and met my nurse, Nicole, and the doctor on call, Dr. Wetzel.  I had never met him before, as he was a practictioner at a different office, but he was very nice and I liked him a lot.  I was checked and was only 1cm and 0% effaced.  Disapointing, but not unexpected.  The Cervadil was inserted and I was hooked up to IV fluids for a few hours.  I did experience some mild crampiness, but nothing major.  Gabe hung out til about 11 before going home for the night.  My fluids were capped and I attempted to get some sleep.  I was not altogether successful…sleeping on a birthing bed is like sleeping on a folding table.  Still, when morning came I felt moderately rested and excited for the next step.  Nicole clocked out at 7am and said she’d see me and my baby that evening!

My new nurse was Mary, and she was equally as great as Nicole.  Dr. Daniels was on (another doc I like) and he came in around 8 to check me.  I was a very disapointing 1-2cm and 25% effaced.  He didn’t feel that Pitocin was going to do anything for me yet, and wanted to try an oral medication called Cytotech.  Basically I would receive a dose every 6 hours that would cause contractions, the theory behind it that with contractions my cervix and body would start to ready itself enough to become favorable.  Or, it could do nothing BUT cause contractions.  There was a chance it would work immediately, a chance it might take 2-3 doses, and a chance that it wouldn’t work at all and I might be sent home.  Needless to say I was pretty upset about this.  I had expected to start Pitocin and one way or another have a baby by the end of the day!

This day, May 18th, was basically spent having contractions every 3 minutes.  Over the course of the day they grew worse, I would rate them a 3-4 on the pain scale.  Bad enough that I couldn’t drift off and nap, but not bad enough that I wasn’t able to walk around.  Gabe and I did a lot of hanging out, walking the halls, reading trashy magazines, and waiting.  It was a LONG day.  I received my second dose at 5pm and I forget exactly what my progression was, but I think I was 2-3 cm and 50% effaced.  The doctor felt that one more dose might be enough to get me to the magic “ready for Pitocin” stage, but he didn’t feel there was much chance I’d be going into labor overnight.  So, Gabe went home around 10 to sleep again, and I was to be checked again at 11 and given my next dose.

Dr. Goldstein (another doc, didn’t really care for him) never came in until 12:30am (again, crazy madness of l&d continued the entire time I was there.)  When he finally did, he found I hadn’t progressed, but since the medication had worn off and I was still contracting on my own, he felt that regardless we could start Pitocin in the a.m.  He didn’t feel another dose of Cytotech was necessary.  He advised me to get some sleep, and I was given Benadryl to help with that.  Amazingly, I did sleep.  Probably because I was SO exhausted.

May 19th…Day 3.  I woke up around 7, showered, and discovered that Dr. Wetzel was on again.  My new nurse was Carolyn.  I was checked and was 2-3cm but more effaced, and so Pitocin was begun around 8:15am.  I have had it before, and I knew what was coming, but…damn.  After 24 hours of moderately painful contractions, I was tired.  I was already nervous about the pushing phase and we’d barely begun.  As expected, the evil horrible Pitocin kicked in quickly and by 10 or 11 am I was in agony.  I can’t quite explain how horrible Pitocin contractions are, but let’s just say that of everything that transpired from the start of induction until the day I went home, the 3 or so hours of Pitocin without an epidural were the WORST.  I asked for pain medication (since I couldn’t have my epidural until 4cm) and I was given Stadol.  Strong stuff.  I was basically floating on a cloud and completely out of it.  Of course, it only did so much for the pain.  It was truley unbelievable and the worst pain I’ve ever been in.  With G3, I got the epidural at the same time I was started on Pit, so even though those were bad, they weren’t THAT bad.

Next thing that happened was that Dr Wetzel checked me and I was “almost” 4cm.  I had told him about my birth with G3, and how as soon as I had the epi I had dilated rapidly, and he took that into consideration (and probably also the fact that we were on about hour 36 of induction for me) and said okay.  So much relief…and then so much fear.  I was contracting heavily every 1 minute…and I now needed to hold perfectly still for someone to put a catheter in my spine.  I will not lie, I was scared shitless.  Not that it would hurt (really, at this point nothing could compare) but that I wouldn’t be able to hold still.  Gabe was asked to leave, and I have to credit my getting through this part to my nurse Carolyn.  She was wonderful.  The anesthesiologist and her nurse were also wonderful at making me feel like this was no big deal, I could totally hold still, they would help me, and in like, 5 minutes I’d be out of pain.  So…sitting up, leaning forward, and contracting while she threaded a catheter in my back.  Somehow, I managed not to move, and Carolyn and the others continued to talk and joke with me about babies and childbirth and how come women keep having them, etc.  Before I knew it I was being laid back down and RELIEF was flooding through me.  Finally.

My mom arrived sometime after this, and much of the next few hours are a blur.  I had the epi, so my lower half was numb.  I had Stadol on board, so I was pretty out of it, but the upside was I was given a chance to rest.  I could still feel contractions, and I know at one point I asked them to turn the epi up.  In between contractions, I closed my eyes and just focused on my body and trying to remain calm and psych myself up for pushing.  I was SO. TIRED.  As I had anticipated, though, in this state I dilated very quickly.

Then, at some point around 7 or 8 cm, the baby’s heartrate started to fluctuate during contractions.  Immediately Dr Wetzel and Carolyn became very business like.  The fluctuations stopped, but after that there was a different level of monitoring.  I got to about 9.5 cm but my cervix was not thinned out completely, there was one little piece that they were trying to push back over the baby’s head (sidenote: I totally do not understand the cervix or how it works, but that’s what they told me and the same thing happened with G3.)  All of the sudden, without much preparation, I was advised to push.  The idea was to try and get her head past that little piece.

What followed next was about 45 minutes of pushing.  With each push, the nurse had her hand up in there trying to guide that piece of tissue over the baby’s head.  I felt that I wasn’t pushing effectively due to many factors, sheer exhaustion, a foot in my rib that prevented me from bearing down equally on each side, and (we didn’t know at this point) she was sunny-side up, meaning facing up instead of towards my back, as they are supposed to.  The heart rate again started to fluctuate, and I remember being told to rest, and I told my mom and Gabe I couldn’t do it.  I remember seeing Gabe start to put on scrubs and Dr. Wetzel come check me and ask me to push again whiile he felt the cervix.  I looked at him and just said, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”  Immediately he stopped and said “You know what, I’m okay with that.”  And literally, within minutes, I was being wheeled to the OR.

The Final Hours…

17 May

I could also title this post “So Nervous I’m Gonna Barf” or “Freaking The Eff Out”!!!

So here we are at 40weeks and 6days and no sign of Miss Stella.  And no signs that she’s prepping her own entrance, so unfortuantely it looks like she’s going to be evicted tonight/tomorrow.

As I expected, I went to my appointment last Friday and there had been no change…still no dilation, no effacement, no baby settling low into the pelvis, nothing.  She “tried” to strip my mebranes but since I was not even fingertip dilated this really wasn’t possible and all she succeeded in doing was “agitating the cervix” which she said, with unconvincing hopefullness “That might do something!”  (Sidenote: it did nothing.  AND it hurt like a bitch.)

I left Friday feeling super despondant.  Over the weekend I pretty much lost hope that I was going to spontaneously go into labor as each hour and day passed with nothing, no changes, not a contraction in sight.  And so the original induction plan still stands unless something happens between now (8am) and tonight (5pm).  I will go in tonight and they will check me and place Cervadil–a gel that is supposed to “ripen” your cervix and give it a push to get ready.  I am hoping against hope that I have become at least somewhat dilated, considering I am a freaking week overdue!!!!   This whole endeavor has so much more potential for success if this is the case. 

Most likely the Cervadil isn’t going to put me into labor though (maybe! maybe!) so probably after a few hours, Gabe will go home and sleep and I’ll stay there and attempt to get one final night of sleep (yeah right!)  I was told I wouldn’t be hooked up to anything and they will only check on you once during the night to listen to the baby.  Still…I’ve slept in hospital beds the night before an impending birth before…its not ideal.  In the morning, I will be allowed to shower and eat before they start the Pitocin.

I am really, really, REALLY not looking forward to this.  Pitocin freaking sucks.  And I’m super let down that I’m having to be induced AGAIN.  I am hoping that my saving graces are that I’m further along this time (was only 38 weeks with G3) and my body has done this before, and maybe it will just need a kick in the pants to get moving.  I hear lots of stories about positive, easy inductions…so maybe that will be me.  I hope that it doesn’t take as long to get to the 10cm stage, so I am not utterly exhausted when it comes time to push.  I hope that it doesn’t take 1.5 hours to push the baby out like last time!!  And most importantly, I hope I don’t go through all this again and end up with a c-section.   For some reason I feel like that’s what everyone is expecting to happen, and its starting to scare me!

Since yesterday, I’ve been freaking out.  I’m pretty sure its normal, but I never experienced it with G3 b/c my water broke 2 weeks early and things just started moving from there.  I didn’t have days on end to sit around and ponder every scenario, and I had NO idea that things wouldn’t just happen normally.  I also had no idea how much I would love my baby, and thus not the same level of worry and fear that something would go wrong.  The list of things I am worried about is crazy, and I’m trying to put it out of my head so I can go in tonight with a positive outlook and WILL my freaking cervix to dilate if I have to.  But for posterity: I’m worried labor and delivery will be full and I’ll be told I need to come back tomorrow.  I’m worried that I’ll still be 0cm.  I’m worried that the Cervadil will do nothing.  I’m worried the Pitocin is going to suck (well, that’s a confounded one!)  I’m scared of pain…not just labor and delivery pain, but actually moreso pain of cervical checks, IVs, blood draws, catheter placement.  I’m nervous about having nurses or doctors that I don’t like or who are pushy.  I’m stressed that something random is going to happen, like her foot is stuck my ribs or the umbilical cord is wrapped around the neck.  I’m scared of a complication like HELPP syndrome or hemmorage.  I’m freaked out that she’ll come out with some unknown problem.  I’m scared to DEATH of the possibility of a c-section.

And, I’m worried about G3.  I’m going to miss him, and I feel like I’m cheating on him.  I’m worried Gabe will oversleep and not come back in time the next morning.  I’m worried that random in-laws and other people aren’t going to respect my privacy and start showing up at the hospital within a few hours.  I’m not very stressed about coming home though…I feel like if I can just get through the next 2 days unscathed (as much as possible) and without disaster or complication I’ll be homefree.  I realize it will be different this time with another child to take care of on top of a baby but I personally didn’t find newborn care very difficult or stressful, though of course the lack of sleep is gonna suck.  But I’ll have lots of helpers at first and I’m sure we’ll jump back into our normal busy summer life sooner rather than later.  I just want to GET to that point.  I just need to focus on the fact that regardless, no matter how, she’s coming in the next day or two!

Hopefully  my next post will include something much cuter than a photo of a ginormous basketball belly!!!

May 11…40 Weeks…Duedate! Still No Sign of Stella…

12 May

Its funny how you get fixated on your “duedate” as the end-all point.  Especially when you’ve already had a baby, and at this point in that “pregnancy”, said baby was already 2 weeks old!!!!  Since Labor Day weekend last year, “May 11″ has been on the tip of my tongue as the absolute end of this journey.  But of course, I never REALLY thought I be pregnant for the entire term…after all, its just an estimate and you are technically “full term” between 37 and 40 weeks.  With G3 being born at 38 weeks, I jsut assumed this one would be early too.  (Just like I assumed she’d be little, and bought a ton of newborn diapers and have lots of newborn sized clothes.  Cause G3 was in preemie size for 2 weeks…and I have small babies…yeah right!  They think she’s about 8lb already!!!!)

So…after the past week of agony of wondering where she was, why was nothing happening, when is she coming, will it be today, is my water going to break, etc, I went to my 40 week appointment with some amount of dread.  Partly because I knew I’d be discussing induction, and partly because I was fairly certain that she was going to check me and say “Nothing’s happening!”  I was correct on both ends.  STILL zero cm, not effaced, cervix high and firm (read: not ready to let a baby come out) and baby still high up.  I can’t even explain how frsutrating it is to hear that.

I discussed with both the nurse and PA my concerns of induction, the problems I had last time, my worries about going too far past my due date and why the hell my stupid body doesn’t want to prepare for childbirth!!  Both of them were awesome, and totally understood where I was coming from in trying to find a balance between wanting her OUT and not wanting an induction.  Its likely that, were I to go to 42 weeks, I might need to be induced anyhow.  BUT, then you add in a whole new slew of risks including still birth which I’m just not interested in subjecting myself too, and thankfully neither is the doctor.  But on the flip side, doing an induction NOW, with no signs that  my body is ready, is pretty much asking for either a failed induction or a c-section. 

So…the plan.  I will go back in on Friday to be checked again.   If still there is no change (which honestly, I fully expect that there won’t be) she may or may not strip my membranes.  I am not 100% sure how this works only that its supposed to hurt like hell and only has a 50% success rate of really jump-starting anything.  If I’m not at least 1cm dilated this won’t even be a possibility.  Then, pending that doesn’t happen or doesn’t work, the next plan is to go in for an induction Tuesday evening/Wedesday morning.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.  On one hand, I’m kind of pissed because…WHY WON’T MY BODY BIRTH BABIES ON ITS OWN???  I feel like I’ve done everything right and I deserve to go into labor on my own, have a normal, uncomplicated childbirth.  On the other hand, having a plan is an immense relief.  Yes, there is a chance she could come in the next 6 days on her own, and that would be awesome, but its kind of like I KNOW she isn’t going to.  Like I’ve known all along, and probably why I was so pissy all last week.  At least with the feeling of “only 7 days left” and having a definitive plan for Gabe with work, G3 with childcare, and myself with being prepared is extraordinarily calming.  At the very least, by May 17th I will have a baby!!!

I saw my chiropractor today, and I could tell she was disapointed in the news of the induction.  I asked her if she could work on the pressure points that are supposed to trigger labor (the ones that massueses and pedicure people avoid like the plague when you’re pregnant) but I think because of liabilty she can not either.  But, she did show me exactly where they were and how to do it, complete with marking my ankles with black Sharpie x’s.  I certainly do believe this could work, but so far my attempt yeilded nothing.  Baby moved and kicked like crazy while I was doing it, but since she does that all the time anyhow, its really of little significance.  No contractions whatsoever. 

So, until next Tuesday, I’m just going to chill (or attempt to).  Done with the back breaking mountain climbs, tree chopping, and mulch spreading.  I have a very, very, very hard time just relaxing and hanging out, but I think I did good today.  Gabey and I spent the morning outside, him playing in his sandbox and me reading and drinking coffee.  We ran a few errands, I took a nap while he played, and then we retreated back outside.  This week has been exceptionally perfect, weather-wise…70, blue skies, sunshine and no humidity…and NO RAIN!!

One more look at the monstrous belly of a pregnant lady on her due date!!!!

Absolutely Miserable

9 May

I have seriously turned into the most miserable pregnant person you could ever encounter.

It started after my 39 week appointment showed a big fat nothing happening.  I think its just compounded by the fact that all along, this whole pregnancy, I just assumed I would have the baby by 38 weeks, like G3.  But 39 was okay (and better for baby) and even if not I TOTALLY expected to be dilated or something.  Having contractions.  ANYTHING.  And…nothing.

And since then…nothing.  No contractions.  No signs of labor.  Oh wait, I shouldn’t say “nothing” because there is a lot of irritating and miserable stuff going on with my body right now…just none of it has anything to do with the process of bringing  a baby into this world.

Last Monday I made an ER visit for an impacted ear.  I did not have an infection (yet) but my ENT could not see me til Friday, and I didn’t want to to wait (because what if I had the baby??  Yeah right.)  So that was the first thing.  Ear was flushed (roughly and painfully by the winner of World’s Worst Doctor) but that was taken care of.  Tuesday was my very disapointing and uneventful OB appointment.  Wednesday (or Thursday?) in the middle of the night I rolled over and had a strange sense of vertigo or spinning, but it passed and I went back to sleep.  Friday night…same thing, only I didn’t fall back asleep thanks to my lovely husband flailing his limbs like some kind of rave dancer.  I slept fitfully the rest of the night on the couch.

Saturday I noted the dizziness/vertigo was still there.  And my ears were ringing/rushing.  It kind of went away once I was up and at ‘em, but after a nap later in the day, same thing (though again, went away once I was moving around.)  Sunday morning, awakened at 5 am again by husband (if he winds up dead in his sleep one of these days, you’ll know why) and I simply got up.  I noted the dizziness was WAY worse, especially if I looked down: I would actually lose my balance.  Anything loud sounding was jolting and made my vision jump, and my ears continued to ring.  I googled a million things but found nothing other than one of the signs of preeclampsia is dizziness (but I have none of the other 25 symptoms.)  Still, it was enough to make me wake up my poor, peacefully sleeping husband (insert sarcasm) on Mother’s Day and have him call the OB.

Secretly, I was hoping they’d tell me to come down to L&D, decide that I should be induced and have the baby and then they could treat the vertigo (or it would be pregnancy related and go away).  Realistically, I was hoping the doctor would at least suggest I go down to check the baby and make sure she was okay.  OF COURSE though, the doctor (and my husband) deduced that there was absolutely no connection between vertigo and pregnancy, pure coincendence, maybe related to the ear issues I’d had (but quite likely not, since I guess its often idiopathic.)  Nothing to do about it but if I wanted I could go to the ER and have a brain MRI done.  Or, take Benadryl.  Really???  I got the sense that the doctor was just spitting extremes out, along with “advice to give you something to do that won’t really help but will make you feel like you’re helping yourself” hence the Benadryl.   A flurry of texts to my PA sister confirmed.  I asked her why the doc wouldn’t at least want to check on the baby and she said “Because.  You have no signs of impending labor or a distressed baby.  You’re healthy, baby’s healthy, and full term.  Its logical.”  Whatever.

Next came an argument with my husband, a popping of Benadryl (I took a full dose, which I never, ever do.  Usually I only take Benadryl when I am desperate for sleep, and even then only a half dose because it knocks me the eff out.  I usually have a ‘hangover’ the following day.)  But I took a full dose, went outside with my husband and son on what was probably one of the most beautiful days of the year, and couldn’t keep my eyes open or follow the conversation.  So I went to lay down for what turned into being out cold for almost 4 hours.

When I woke up around 3pm…I was still dizzy, but now had the added benefit of feeling doped up as well.  Yay me.  The sunny day continued but in my inebriated state it felt surreal.  Did some reading, deadheaded some flowers like a zombie, and tried to shield myself from the sheer loudness of G3’s voice. 

Then, I went to the bathroom, looked down, and realized there was blood in my underwear!!  (Sorry TMI.)  I figured it was the “bloody show” that sometimes happens before labor…could be a few hours before, or a few days (knowing me probably a few days) but I didn’t care.  I was so excited I found myself doing stuff like vaccuming, straightening my hair, cleanign the cat box, etc.  Then, after some more investigation (I won’t go into the details) I realized my “bloody show” was more likely a burst hemmroid.  Yep.  All excited FOR FREAKING NOTHING.  I seriously just wanted to cry, but since I still had a headache from crying that morning, and there was no way in hell I was taking any more medication, I refrained.

So that’s that.  Oh, and for a fun twist, woke up last night completely congested, stuffed up, can’t breathe through my nose, blocked ears, along with cracked lips and a sore throat from mouth breathing all night.  REALLY BODY?  DIZZINESS ISN’T ENOUGH???  So, to recap: dizzy, tired, still doped on Benadryl nearly 24 hours later, ears ringing, bleeding butt, headache, stuffed up, sore throat, and a huge crack in my lip.  NONE OF WHICH LEADS TO A BABY BEING BORN.

Tomorrow is my next appointment, and I’m clinging to this tiny desperate hope that either (a) they’ll be like “Oh you’ve progressed so much since last week, 3cm, baby any minute now! or (b) they will consider scheduling an induction.  Even though I have said from the get-go I do NOT want to be induced, I don’t care anymore.  Anything is better than enduring multiple more days of this.  But I’m pretty sure that I’m going to go in, be the exact same as I was last week, be told I’m not a candidate for induction yet, and given the god-awful “See you next week!”  I’m pretty sure if this is what they tell me I will start crying right there.  Kind of like how last night after the whole “bloody show” thing I was telling myself, see?  You ARE going to have this baby, you were just being silly…only to have the sinking realization an hour later that no, I was not going to have this baby.  EVERRRRRRRRR.

Please Stella come soon!!

39 Weeks…Okay, We Can Be Done Now…

6 May

Really, I’m ready.  You notice how the picture is only for posterity?  I didn’t even bother trying to take one with some nice clothes on and a smile because I’ve been living in lounge clothes and I’m not smiling.

On Tuesday I had my 39 week check up, and until that point I would have to say overall, I’ve been a pretty cheerful pregnant person.  Sure, had some moments, but like I said last time I wrote, I was okay with being pregnant a bit longer.  Well, not anymore!  I went to the appt expecting…something.  To be told I was dilated, I was effaced, something.  Not only was I not even remotely dilated, I had not one single sign that my body is preparing for labor: no effacement, no softening cervix, no baby’s head dropped into pelvis.  Combined with no contractions and no other signs that labor might be around the corner, this all just means a big fat lot of nothing-is-happening-itis.

And so I’ve officially become grumpy.  I assumed for almost 10 months that this girl would be here around 38 weeks, because that’s when G3 came.  So somehow 39 weeks seems a long time, 40 seems insane, and anything beyond that is incomprehendable.  But since they will let me go to 41-42 weeks without induction (which I really don’t want) I could be looking at almost a month more.  Nooooo.  Yes, I know that I could go that long even if they had said “wow you’re 4 centimeters already.”  And I know lots of people who have nothing going on and doctors tell them “it won’t be anytime soon” and they go into labor that night.  G3, for example: at my 38 week check-up I was told nothing was happening, and my water broke 2 days later.

I hate the idea that I might go that long and end up being induced anyhow.  I don’t like reading the possible host of problems that can come with being 2 weeks overdue, everything from low fluid to astronomical 10# babies to lots of other scary things.  I hate the waiting and wondering “is today the day?”  I hate stressing out about who will watch G3 (although, going until at least my due date ensures that my mom and dad will be more free to definitely handle him (and hopefully my mom will be with us in the room again!)  I hate the idea of continuously growing to monstrous proportions…people can say “Oh you look great” but no one can hide the amazement at how freaking ginormous my stomach is.  Our friends who were due around the same time just had their baby on Monday and I am jealous!!!  Aside from the whole its-over-and-done-with and the whole brand-new-baby-omg so cute thing, I am finding the thought of being NOT pregnant to be really, really attractive right now.

All that babble to say…I am ready.  I am done getting up to pee a gazillion times at night (and a million times during the day.)  I’m tired of my lack of physical limitations.  I’m tired of being in limbo with everything I do.  I’m definitely not happy about all the hideous little side effects like constipation, hemmroids, swelling, feet in ribs–mostly stuff that just cropped up in the past week.  Im sick of not being able to shave my legs properly, of worrying about my water breaking everytime I go into public, and trying to stay on top of things so that once the baby comes I won’t be swamped.  And I really want to drink some wine (more than a few sips that is) and sleep on my stomach and most of all, meet Stella and find out who this crazy kid is that never stops moving but doesn’t want to come out.

Yep, I’m ready.  I just don’t think baby girl is quite yet!

38 Weeks–End of the Road…

27 Apr

I’ll add in my 38 week picture later today…

It’s hitting me that these are my final weeks (days!) of pregnancy.  Not just this pregnancy, but pregnancy forever, barring some sort of OMG oops moment which I’m pretty certain neither Gabe or I will allow to happen.  We’ve both always been in agreement that 2 is the maximum number of kids we want to have.  Still, its pretty hard to believe that this experience–pregnancy–is almost over for my life.  It just seems like something that I always looked at as a future thing…”when I get married and have a baby”…”when Gabe and I have kids”…”when we  have a sibling for G3″…and now it will be something of the past instead.  “When I was pregnant the first time”…”when I was pregnant the second time”…”during my pregnancies”…you get the idea.

So, how do I feel about this?  Well, the question everyone likes to ask you as you get down to the wire is “are you ready?”  I remember with G3, being OMG SO READY.  As in, “get this kid out of me!”  I was sick of pregnancy, of being fat, of laying around with nothing to do, of being uncomfortable, of swollen feet, of being hot (thank you, July duedate!)  And mostly I was just tired of waiting…I wanted my baby!

This time?  I answer the “Are you ready?” inquires with a guarded  yes.  I am ready.  But I follow up with but I’m okay with being pregnant for another 2 weeks.  Because I am, minus the fact that if I keep growing I’m not sure what’s going to be left of my poor body by the time she comes out!  But, I have so much more enjoyed this pregnancy in a lot of ways.  Maybe because it was easier to ignore some of the minor symptoms because I was busier with G3, or because I knew they really were just minor and would pass.  Maybe its because I don’t feel as god-awful about my self-image.  Maybe its because it really WAS an easy pregnancy for the most part. Maybe its just the finalistic “this is the last time I will ever be pregnant” thing.  Maybe its because she was so much more active than G3 ever was, and because I know what’s coming in terms of a relationship with a child.  I sincerely cannot wait to meet her, even though the idea of another person being a member of our little trio is totally surreal.

Of course, I wouldn’t be “me” (or a mom, I guess) if I didn’t have a lot of scary worries in the back of my head.  Worries of something being wrong, worries of a c-section being needed, worries of G3 not being properly cared for depending on where he ends up when I’m in the hospital.  I’m nervous about certain people not respecting my wishes and privacy, and I’m also nervous that the people I actually WANT to be with me won’t be able to be there.  I’m more prepared for a delivery, yes, but I’m still dreading the pain and wondering how the heck I’m going to do that again.  There’s a tiny part of me that just wishes I could fast forward to the day we come home with her.  I know it will all  happen the way its going to happen, but the planner in me can’t help but TRY to control it all!

But, I’m also looking forward to not being pregnant at the same time, if that makes sense.  To NOT having crazy hip/crotch pain and discomfort (though, its 1000x better thanks to my chiropractor!!)  To NOT blocking the freaking toilet every damn day.  To being able to sleep on my stomach (despite the fact that I won’t be “sleeping” so much…)  To having a bit of my mobility back.  But mostly…I’m looking forward to Stella (even though there’s this weird part of me that is totally expecting her to come out a boy and shock us all!)  To seeing her, holding her, bonding with her, having a newborn (for the fleeting  moments they will stay that small!)  Tonight we have an open house for G3’s preschool next  year, and it is the final “can’t miss” thing of my last month of pregnancy.  So, literally, after 6pm tonight Stella is welcome to come any time she wants, and I hope its sooner or later, but I’m okay if she decides to stay put for a bit.  Stay tuned….

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