Tuesday, September 30, 2008

37 Week Checkup

I am 37 1/2 weeks today and just got back from my appointment. I am right on track and doing great! The midwife said that she is very pleased with the baby's size... not too big or too small. My uterus is measuring right on target and the baby is low. We discussed birth preferences and concerns. My back spasms worry me the most. She is going to get the doctor to write me a prescription for if and when I need it.

She checked me and I am really really soft, thin (she said about 70% effaced), and beginning to open. I was 1cm on the outside, but not all the way through. We talked about all the contractions that I have, and she let me know that I should be thinking of them in a very positive light. These contractions are making a slow progress... progress that I won't have to make once real labor begins. I am at a great spot for 37 1/2 weeks! If we could get my back pain under control, I'm perfectly fine with this baby taking his or her sweet time. I'll probably never be pregnant again, and it feels great to be able to go about my daily routine with this cute pregnant belly. When I start retaining fluid all over and look like a chipmunk, then maybe I'll be singing a different tune!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Motherhood

At about 11:00 last night, Jeff and I heard some little feet up and walking upstairs. Being a very rare occurrence, I sent Jeff up to investigate. Down he came with Addison, who had a very "hurt tummy". With his lactose intolerance, I didn't know what was wrong. Was it from dairy? Was he nauseous? Cramping? Trying to get a five year old boy to verbally explain his symptoms while writhing around in pain is just about impossible. We laid him down on the couch and eventually took him up to sleep in our bed. Within an hour, he was throwing up. Jeff and I helped him to the bathroom, cleaned him up, and stripped the sheets. He said he felt much better. And, the precious little kid apologized for throwing up on my sheets. Poor kid.

We put new sheets on and climbed back into bed. At about this time, Asa woke up with tummy pains of his own. I left Jeff in bed with Addison and a bucket, and Asa and I hit the bathroom floor with some pillows and blankets to await the vomiting. Although he was hurting pretty bad, he didn't throw up. So, after about an hour, I took him to his bed. I tried to sleep on a pallet of the few clean blankets we had left on the floor outside of Asa's door. Comfortable, let me tell you. But, I wasn't down there for long. Addison threw up two more times, so I was up dealing with him and the growing mountain of laundry.

Finally, Addison seemed to feel much better and crashed again with Jeff. This time, no sheets. I just put him down on a crib mattress pad and proceeded to climb into the bottom bunk with Asa. Not so easy with a 9 month pregnant belly. By the time 4:00 rolled around, I woke up with a back spasm and moved to the couch. I hadn't even hit the couch when I heard Asa crying. He had thrown up in his bed. Although he was beyond pitiful at the time, as soon as he lost his lunch he emphatically declared that he was "All Better!!" and bounced back to bed. More sheets piled up in the floor, my back was absolutely killing me, and I was too tired for words. Again, I attempted to hit the couch. Through the back pain, I was able to get some sleep until Addison sprung out of bed at 7:20, ready for breakfast and whatever the day had in store. My answer... toast and t.v..

The day before, we had gone to a restaurant in Monroe and had a late lunch. We ate at about 2:00, 10 hours before all hell broke loose. The boys had hot dogs, which looking back, didn't look very good. While we were there eating, the server commented about how slammed they were the day before because of the Georgia game. Now that I put two and two together, those hot dogs had the wrinkly look of being cooked the day before. Luckily, the boys didn't eat the whole thing. Addison ate a little over half of his, but Asa only took a couple bites. With them coming down with symptoms within 30 minutes of each other, Asa having a less severe case, the fact that they are now completely fine, and that it all went down 10 hours after they ate... it was food poisoning. I called their doctor to run it by her and she agreed. The restaurant will be hearing from me today.

I did tell Jeff at some point during the chaos that he should take a picture of me and make a poster for motherhood. There I was, with a sick kid asleep on my lap, propped up on a pillow in the tiniest half-bath known to man, 9 months pregnant and having back spasms and periodic (painful) contractions, a mountain of vomit covered laundry outside the door. Motherhood is wonderful and beautiful and amazing... and sometimes it is downright hell. But, when your kids are scared, miserable, and sick... it is a blazing reminder of just how important you are to those little guys. You'll never feel more needed.

Now, I just need take some Tylenol and try to figure out how to get a nap!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Any time now...

I went to the doctor today and everything looks great. I am still pretty much closed, but almost effaced. I know, too much information, but my cervix is still posterior and hasn't moved to the anterior position yet. But, the baby is very very low. It was at -2 last time and is even lower now. As a matter of fact, the midwife told me to forget what they said about coming to the hospital when contractions are 5 minutes apart. I need to start getting on the road when they are about 10 minutes apart. She thinks that it won't take long since the baby is already so low. She said she wouldn't be suprised if it happened this week... but she wouldn't be shocked if I went another 2 weeks. We just don't have that crystal ball.

We've made a lot of house progress lately. I have been working to keep things clean and Jeff has been working to finish the living room. These two things clash at times (like when sanding the floor), but even though I am a hormonal mess and ran around dusting and mopping up the sawdust from every room in the house... I know it all must be done. I tried to explain to Jeff (through uncontrollable sobs, with a dust rag in my hand) that I was upset because I wanted it all cleaned, not upset WITH him for making the dust. I must have looked pretty pitiful given the look on his face.

So, now I continue to get things in order and try to walk around the grocery store with a baby between my thighs...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Relief x 2


Thank you, thank you, thank you to Mom for coming to help me with the house Sunday and Monday! Mom came Sunday morning, Waffle House breakfast in tow, and proceeded to work magic on my house. I moved from lying on the couch to lounging in various chairs in various rooms while she worked. At about 11:30 that night, as we were standing in my very unfinished dining room (the sheet rock is in very rough shape, we tore a closet out when we moved in and never patched any of it up, and the door to the one-day-porch has a long gap where the sheet rock doesn't meet the trim... let's face it, when you bought a house with 3 livable rooms and no kitchen, the aesthetics of the dining room are far from a priority!) Mom threw out the idea, "Hey, why don't I just putty what I can, smooth what I can, and throw some paint on these walls!". So, that is what she did. That night, she puttied some holes before bed. The next morning, she dropped the boys off at school and took me to my doctor's appointment.

The midwife checked me out and much to our amazement, I have had no cervical changes since Friday. The baby is now at -2 station, which is pretty significant, but since there were no more cervical changes, she lifted my bed rest! I can't "run any marathons", but I can perform normal routine life stuff. This is very good considering I have no idea how I would have made it through the week... and I really didn't want Asa and Addison to miss private and group violin lessons.

After the good news, Mom and I picked out some curtains, found paint that matched exactly, grabbed some trim for around the door, and headed home. I picked up the boys from school while mom moved all the furniture away from the walls. When I came home, I sat and painted window trim while she edged the room. I managed to do the vast majority of my painting while on my rump... and Mom managed to kick serious butt on the rest of the room. By the time Jeff came home, the extra trim piece was added to the sides of the doorway, the trim was all painted, the corner cabinet that Randy made me in 2001 and I still hadn't painted- was painted, the walls had two coats of paint that the boys said looked just like melted chocolate, the curtains were hung, and the house was clean again.

I have lived here in this house for 4 years. I started out sleeping in the dining room. Every night I had to lie in bed and stare up at the holes and tears and the obnoxious gaping marks that the old closet wall left on the sheet rock. I had to cover up the door to the imaginary porch and the two windows because the trim wasn't finished and the gap down the side required extensive effort to fix. To have this room looking decent is amazing. We aren't saying it is finished... the sheet rock is still bumpy and needs a lot of work, the tacked up trim job I did is far from professional, the floor will have to be pulled up, subfloor laid, and then the planed flooring put back down... all of these things still need to be done. But, in the meantime, I can relax instead of cringe... and finally enjoy eating in a pretty room!

Thanks Mom!!!




Saturday, September 13, 2008

Whoa Momma

A few nights ago, I was lying on the couch with Jeff and realized that my contractions had picked up. I was having around 5 per hour for a little over 2 hours... and my back was killing me. I called the Dr's office to see what they wanted me to do. While I was on the phone, my back completely locked up in the worst back spasm I could imagine. It was horrible!

When we moved into our first house, I was working on the computer one night and Jeff was desperate for attention. He decided to swing from the doorframe and do a chin up (thus bringing his feet up to meet the ceiling, his body horizontal). As he had managed to reach the peak, the doorframe broke and he crashed straight down onto his back. Yes, it was just as funny looking as it sounds. He seemed to be okay after he could breathe again... but the next night his back locked up to the point I was driving him to the hospital in a panic because he thought he was dying. I saw he badly he must have hurt... and the other night I realized just how it felt.

The midwife suggested I take Tylenol PM and a warm bath, which helped greatly. My contractions had kicked up a notch since then, but nothing too terribly exciting. Yesterday, I woke up at 6:30am with cramps that felt just like mentrual cramps. I couldn't go back to sleep. My contractions weren't too bad at the time, but it was the day I was supposed to pick up the boys from school and drive stragith to Fayetteville for my baby shower. The crampiness made me nervous. I hadn't felt anything like that. It didn't stop between contractions, just lessened. I also felt that the baby had dropped. I decided to call the docs to get checked out before I made the drive to Fayetteville.

I dropped the boys off and ran over to Athens in the morning, in my pajamas, so I could hurry and get it over with and get back to my to-do list before our trip. They checked me, and
much to my surprise I was 85% effaced and "softening", but closed. The midwife decided to put me on the contraction monitor for about an hour. If I was "pumping out contractions" I would be sent to the hospital. If not, I go to my shower. Well, I knew I was having about 2-3 per hour just as I had been for weeks, so it was a big waste of time for me. I told them that I needed to be out of there by 12:30 to get the kids from school and hooked up.

Ten minutes went by and someone popped there head in to see if I was okay. I thought it was a little odd. In about 5-10 more minutes, the midwife came in and said that I was heading to the hospital. WHAT? To my suprise, I was contracting every 2 minutes. I only felt the "big ones" and not the ones in between. She checked me again and this time I was a "fingertip" at the front, but she didn't want to try to force anything. I was opening, so off to the hospital I went. Jeff came home and picked up the boys from school.

Over at L&D, they put me on the monitor and gave me IV fluids. After seeing my "irritability" and all the contracitons, they gave me a shot of terbutaline (I had forgotten how jittery that stuff makes you feel!). After a little over an hour, they gave me another shot, since the first one wasn't doing the trick. They had settled down, but my uterus was still very irritable. Wow. I felt like I had downed about 12 grande lattes.

By 4pm the midwife checked me again. I was still opened about a "fingertip" and very soft at this point. Still about 85% effaced. There was discussion about putting me on Procardia and keeping me over night... but the doctor eventually decided to send me home on bedrest and hopefully I will go to 36 weeks. So, I am on bedrest for the next 7 days. After that, I'm free to roam. Seven days, doesn't sound to bad?

I checked out at about 5:15. I had not eaten breakfast when I went to the doctor's office, and they wouldn't let me eat at the hospital, so I had gone from my 2am Instant Breakfast fix to 5:30 with no food. I drove through Chic-fil-A and came home to Jeff, Asa and Addison. My shower, remember was supposed to be at 6:30 in Fayetteville! Yes, I'm on bedrest. But, Jeff argued that the ride in the car, lying on the couch, and getting back in the car would be no less "restful" than being at home. So, off we went!

I made it to my shower, an hour and a half late, but I am so glad I went! It was a lot of fun, even if I couldn't get off the couch. I ate, opened presents, and got to be in a room full of people so excited to meet this little guy or girl! It was much needed after a REALLY crappy day.

So, today I lie here and count contractions. At this point, they are coming about every 6-10 minutes. When they get to 5 minutes for at least an hour, we'll head on to Athens...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Today's Peek

We had an ultrasound today to measure the baby- and we have a perfectly healthy 5lb 2oz peanut! Wow! He/she is still head down and everything looks great. I am 34 weeks today. If I were to go into labor in the next two weeks, they would try to stop me. After 36 weeks, I'm good to go! Just watch me go to my due date or longer this time!

It was so crazy to see chubby little cheeks and lips. Baby was moving his/her mouth like he/she was eating or sucking. Then, I noticed that he/she had the frowniest (is that a word?) face! Turns out, the placenta is squishing his/her cheek down and caused such a pouty face. This baby was in true form- kicking and squirming all over the place. Now, I just need to hold him/her in for at least 14 more days!

Big Sibling Class



Today, I took the boys to their "Big Kids and Babies" class at the hospital. They were really excited about the class and have been looking forward to it for a while. Personally, I can't believe it was already time to go. It seems like I made it for so late in my pregnancy- and now here we are!

They learned what babies look like, including that gross little belly button that you "don't touch". They also learned things they can do with the baby, how to hold a baby, how to change a diaper (ha!), how to swaddle, and a big reminder of how much babies need to eat, sleep, and cry. They have a packet of coloring sheets, a couple "I'm Your Big Brother" signs for the baby's little bed, and a "Big Kid" tee shirt. We also were taken on a kid-sized tour of where mommy will have the baby, where the nursery is, and where mommy and daddy will be after the baby is born. I thought the tour was especially great to take the fear out of the hospital room. They learned about some of the gadgets and buttons, the warmer, etc.



To my surprise, Addison was particularly into the class. I think this is partly because it was "a class" and Addison really likes to be the best student ever, where as Asa gets shy in a group of new people. I also think it was because they passed out a packet of coloring pages... which means Asa dove head first into his artistic genius. All in all, they both did great. Addison said he would help with the baby, but he just doesn't want to kiss it. With all that slobber, I can do that.



The class was made up of mostly boys. There may have been 12-14 kids and all but 3 or so were boys! By the time we made it around the the postpartum rooms, we completely lost every single one of those boys to the fabulous view of the parking lot. Cars beat babies any day!



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sure, It's the hormones..

As I sit here, two days just a day away from making it to 34 weeks, I am becoming more and more overcome with emotion. With the end of this pregnancy comes the end of almost 8 long years of either trying to get or trying to stay pregnant. It has been a crazy long road, with more twists and turns that we would have ever imagined possible (and most people still can't believe). It is just amazing to think of the number of tests I have gone through, number of treatment cycles, number of shots, number of dollars spent, number of losses suffered. I know for most people, having their last child must be emotional... but I'm sure it doesn't bring with it such an overwhelming sense of satisfying exhaustion. The marathon, treadmill, and fierce battle is ending. It is one that I have spent almost my entire marriage, my entire adulthood, fighting.

It was a wild ride leading up to the birth of Asa and Addison. As most of you already know, it took thousands of dollars, multiple losses, 2 1/2 years of trying, 3 months in the hospital, and 2 months in the NICU to get there. We started trying for this one only 6 months after the boys were born... and here we are 5 years later with a healthy baby kicking me in the bladder as I sit here. Five years, again thousands of dollars, more losses, too many shots to count, cycles and cycles of trying, a failure of an adoption experience and the resulting legal fiasco that followed and continues to follow. Wow. After all of this chaos, I'm so glad we decided to give it one more go... which we did after we had already decided to write off the possibility of baby #3.

It's just so hard to believe that in only a few weeks time, that baby that we had hoped and prayed for will actually be in our arms. Asa and Addison will actually be big brothers. They have no idea how difficult it was or how much of a miracle it is that they will get to have this little brother or sister... just like they have no idea how equally miraculous it is that they have each other.

But, we sure do.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Listmania

Until the living room is finished and we can move our bedroom downstairs, I am unable to set up the baby's room. At first, I was unable to cope with the inability to put away tiny things and build my "nest". But, now that I have accepted that the room may not be ready in time, I have been able to shift into Plan B. At least now I am able to do something, even if it's not exactly what I want to be doing. I have started getting out baby things and cleaning them up. The swing is in the living room. The baby bath is at least out where I can find it. I have at least located the boxes of clothes and separated them into "unisex" and "boy". They may be stacked up in the upstairs foyer, but at least it's a start. I did find a used co-sleeper for our room. Asa made me set it up at 7:30 one morning, so it is up and ready to go.

One thing that I have been doing obsessively is writing lists. I have always been a list-maker, but lately I have lists coming out of my ears. I have a whole notebook of lists- lists of things I need to buy, things I need to do, things I can't do yet but will need to do, things I need to find, lists of my lists. It's a bit crazy. I do feel better knowing that my friend Bethany is doing the same thing. Like me, she will wake up in the middle of the night and need to make a list. I must not be the only crazy pregnant momma out there.

Maybe I'll be suprised and the room will be ready in the knick of time. Jeff has made a lot of progress lately. With only six weekends until my due date, and no guarentee that I'll make it that long, I think I'll play it safe and stick with my Plan B.