Sunday, October 12, 2014

beyond expectations

So we are here at week 37. I can't believe it. And yet, I don't want this baby to come out yet.

There haven't been very many worry-free weeks (none, actually), and from what I gather about parenthood there never will be again. You're not *safe* after 12 weeks, 20 weeks, 24 weeks, 32 weeks or even 37 weeks of pregnancy. You're not *safe* at labor or when the kid is a toddler or a sixth-grader or a college freshman. Hell, you're not even *safe* when your kid has her own wedding, mortgage and career. So I guess worrying is going to be a part of life. Good thing I have so much practice.

This is going to sound mommy-blog cheesy, but I actually enjoy being pregnant. Even with all the puking and the stitch-pulling and bed rest and Dennis the Tricky Hip, it's pretty mindblowing to think there's a person in here whose favorite color might be yellow and favorite music might be rockabilly and favorite pastime could be lacrosse (all things I'm going to have to learn to appreciate). But she's inside me, bouncing around like nobody's business, and completely out of my control.

Other people see my belly randomly contorting into weird shapes and bulging out not of my will and tell me that they wish they could feel that feeling again. I know what they mean. I wish I could bottle this up and save it for when she goes away to college and I'm sitting in her bedroom and feeling lonely. I'd open it up, savor the exciting alien feeling and then whine to Jon about how quickly the time has gone.

But I've always been this way: During those three years when Jon and I were dating long distance, I'd start to get sad as soon as he got off the plane--pre-mourning the weekend together that would be over much too soon.

I feel like I've wasted so much of my life blinking.



Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Bonus post: Why I will never learn to like baseball

Jon is downstairs screaming his head off at the Dodgers. The other night when they lost, he lost his voice and did not sleep all night. I'm just waiting for the neighbors to call the cops one of these days--they probably think someone is getting beaten here, not just his favorite team on television.

week 36.5 and no baby in sight

So "strict bed rest" only lasted five days. And praise all that is lovely and good--I was going B-A-N-A-N-A-S truly not moving all day. Plus each day I was lying around watching DiY network and knitting and looking out the window was one fewer day I could use to spend with my kid after she comes out.

Went to see the doctor, and while I'm 2 cm dilated, there is no sign of baby yet. I am still holding out for a Halloween birthday (that she can share with her father). MD said I could go back to working from home.

Jon starts a new job next week, so he had planned to take this week off (I was supposed to have had the stitch removed this week). He is very busy building stuff for the nursery--today was the crib and cleaning everything. Yes, we are behind a "normal" expecting couple's schedule, but I have always done everything at the last minute. Plus much earlier than now, things were too tenuous.

I am caught up on watching Scandal and The Good Wife and will likely be starting Parenthood soon. I am also reading Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat, which has some very appropriate essays about being pregnant and having an infant. And funny. I feel guilty for not reading as much as I would have liked, but I can't multitask as much when reading--and I have become obsessed with multitasking.

Other than that, nothing new is going on. Hope all is well with you!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I have a tricky hip and his name is Dennis

I had a doctor's appointment Wednesday. I had been having increasingly painful contractions for the last two weeks (about 30 minutes apart and strong enough to wake me all night). I had also been extremely uncomfortable for the previous few days. That morning I woke up to some, um, different stuff coming out of me that led me to believe that there might be some straining on the cervical cerclage stitch that could be pulling on the cervix, so I figured it was going to be an eventful day.

I went in (last progesterone shot, hooray!) and the doctor checked me—WOW that time hurt. She was like yeah, I'm taking your stitch out today so it doesn't tear your cervix (that had been scheduled for next week). She sent me straight to the hospital.

Contractions were still coming, but my physician had to attend to an emergency twin c-section (those kids are ok, thank goodness), so my mom and I were hanging tight and waiting for Jon to show up.

At about 7:15 p.m., my doctor came in, scootched up to my bed and snipped the stitch. It was pretty quick, but not pleasant. The stitch was basically wrapped around the cervix and cinched tight like a Hefty trash bag. It snapped SO loudly, I jumped at the noise. But I immediately felt a loosening down there.

They kept me for observation and I continued to have contractions till 10:30 p.m. when they sent me home. My doctor said no more work; I'm on "strict" bedrest now. She said if I needed to we could just turn around and come back to the hospital.

Since the stitch has been out, my back pain has lessened, I walk more like a normal pregnant person, instead of a 90-year-old without her walker. My inept, tricky right hip (whom I call Dennis) that never seems to want to cooperate because of nerve pain has started to play a little nicer. I SLEPT for the first time in several weeks (only got up twice to pee) and didn't have painful contractions! The last two days I have lay in bed/couch all day and had the tightening of contractions, but they are nothing compared with the ones I had the last few weeks with the stitch intact.

It's really weird not to work. Especially because my work team is down a couple people already and I'm leaving them a few weeks earlier than anticipated. But I have to say, the not having to work has been oddly relaxing. I watched six hours of Rehab Addict on Thursday--I've decided this house needs to be gutted and restored to how it was originally in 1968. I am knitting a few little items for the baby, bingewatching Scandal, trying to read more and trying to ignore my compulsion to want to clean everything.

Last night I had a mini freakout because the baby wasn't moving around as much as she normally does. Usually when I tracking her movements (doctor said 10 an hour is good), I get 10 in the first three minutes. But last night it took her almost the full hour to get to 10. And they weren't the regular jabs of appendages stretching out or shifting positions but instead lighter blip-like movements. Even after I had a little lemon sorbet. I got upset. My mind went to the edge of the scary place. I think it even rattled my even-keel husband. This morning she is moving around more like normal. The sweet parathas probably helped, too.

I need to keep more busy.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

week 34


Quick update: We are now at week 34. The baby is fantastic. Any problems I'm having can only be blamed on my body being angry at being taken for granted all this time and using this opportunity to make me pay for it. As a result, I now have a deep, lifelong respect for all that the disabled must endure.

I'm having fake-out (Braxton-Hicks) contractions that should be fake-painful as well, but that's apparently not how this works. My tricky hip (nerve pain that has made turning over in my sleep a ridiculous process since month two) makes everyone think I'm 11 months pregnant because of the way I waddle and cannot get in and out of vehicles without assistance.

But! This kid is doing great: She's got one foot up by her face and one foot down by her booty so she can simultaneously kick me in the groin and the ribs. And I don't mind one bit. I am so, so thankful to be here at this point. The cervix is 2.5 cm but soft like Jell-O and the physicians can feel the baby's head right there. There's a possibility I may be 1 cm dilated. I am having about four contractions an hour--which make for some interesting pauses during conference calls, let me tell you.

Anything can happen, folks. 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

leather

photo by SecondPrint Productions

Happy third anniversary, Jon. That was the best day of my life...so far.

Friday, September 12, 2014



Brother. It is a little ironic that the one celebration that you could/wanted to spend with us on your actual birthday in a very, very long time didn't end up happening because I got scared and went to the hospital. I feel bad that you were hanging around near the restaurant for hours was while I was hooked up to monitors trying to figure out if those contractions were real and if I was leaking amniotic fluid (not really and no, everything turned out to be fine; it just took a really long time to confirm).

As much as you would never admit it, I know it's going to be different when this baby comes. Your wants and needs have been first priority for so much of the past three decades--how could they not? I don't resent you for it; I worry about you as much as mom and dad do. I know you have been wiggling out from under the parental blanket of concern for a long time, and you've done an exceptional job proving that you are your own man who can handle your own business. We don't need to worry, but it's not something we can turn off.

It has been tremendously hard for me the past few months to be the person that isn't allowed to help, can't even get up from a chair without extreme difficulty and is basically at the mercy of everyone else. The biggest lesson I've learned during the last few years is that apparently I can't control everything, which was clear to you since you were just a baby. It's probably just as hard for you to now be the one worrying, waiting for a call that everything is ok...or not. We've both done a lot of growing up in the last few years.

Happy Birthday.


Friday, August 15, 2014

36

So here I am, on *this* side of 35.
And here we are, on *this* side of 4 a.m.

***
I've never been melancholy on my birthday, but during the last few months I've found myself at the top of the world, taking in a deep breath of gratitude...then BAM, I get a glimpse of the straight drop ahead and my stomach is suddenly in my throat. I guess the only nice thing about emotional rollercoasters is that if you (and your understanding family) can ride it out, you're back on an even keel soon enough.

Last week, Syar turned 26. Do you guys remember when she was a precocious 16-year-old commenting here with all the wisdom and wit of a much more experienced person? Then how we blinked twice and now she's a grownup lady? It's so crazy how much she has grown but stayed the same. And how I feel like I know her, yet never have met her. Oh, blogs.

***

My mom has always taken the day off work on my birthday. I never understood why, especially when I still had to go to school. I mean, if she can't hang out with me--and this day is all about me, after all--then what's the point? Even now, 36 years later, she took the day to be home, cooking and shopping and who knows what else while I was dealing with conference calls and frantic instant-messenger requests and mounting email, attempting to solve problems.

But now that I may get to bring somebody new into the world, I kind of get it: My mother might just want a day to herself to think. Maybe remember all the stuff before I showed up and what she had to go through to get me out and all she had to do to make sure I even made it to 36. I wonder if 36 years from now I might take my child's birthday off to think about these months of bed rest and no carbs and having to walk around like an 96-year-old and only going to the store once a month (if they have a scooter/wheelchair). And how it makes my damn day every single time this baby kicks me to show me that she's doing ok so I don't freak out. Is it possible to believe you have a great kid even before you've met her?

People kept asking me what I had planned for today, and honestly, there was only one thing I can say for certain. There will be ice-cream cake. There is always ice-cream cake. It'll be one sad, sorry August 14 when my mom isn't around and there won't be ice-cream cake. It just doesn't taste as good any other day. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that she didn't disappoint.

***

In general, I have a pretty low threshold for decision-making. You know, decision fatigue, when you are supposed to be making a lot of important choices in a row, but the weight of all that deciding has piled up on you so you are standing in front of the refrigerator, paralyzed and frustrated because you JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO EAT. Just choose! Whatever you want! It doesn't matter, just pick something! Like, now! You haven't decided? Hurry up! Everyone is waiting on you! I feel like the world is my refrigerator with its French doors flung open to reveal thousands of delicious choices, and everyone is demanding that I make up my mind RIGHT NOW. Except I can't make my mind do anything at all, let alone make that final choice between spaghetti and soup. Because what if I take a bite of spaghetti and immediately realize I should have gone with the soup? Doesn't the world understand that scenario is a risk I'm just not willing to take?

What scares me is that I am soon going to have to make hundreds of decisions a day for a person incapable of holding up her own head. And I'm sure that by the time I actually figure out how to comfortably make those choices, she won't want me to decide anything for her anymore.

***

Being alone all the time is getting to me. All day, every day. Thank God for conference calls.

I hate to be alone. I would certainly be one of those people who were asked to sit in a room with an electrical shocking device for 15 minutes with their thoughts who ended up shocking themselves to avoid having to be alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes.

It doesn't matter if the other people are somewhere else in the house doing their own thing and not interacting with me at all; just knowing they aren't far is good enough. I used to lie awake at night in my dorm room, only able to fall asleep when I heard my roommate's key in the door. Perhaps that was because I worried she'd be jumped on the way home from the library, but still.

***

I just spent 15 minutes trying to put a cover on one of those snuggly, noodly pillow things that pregnant ladies cuddle in order to sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time. About three-quarters of the way through that ordeal, I realized the thing already had a cover on it, which is probably why it was so difficult.

Pregnancy brain is real, people. And at this age, I don't think I will ever get my wits back.