Storytime? (37w)

We have been incredibly blessed by friends and family during this pregnancy and showered with gifts. Our nursery is in fantastic shape, just waiting for us to bring our little man home in a few days.

Except for one thing, that I’m really only realizing now with all the parenting and baby care stuff I’m reading. (My reading material has shifted from pregnancy-related to labor/delivery and now to ‘how the heck do we take care of this thing?’ type titles and magazines.) We have like NO BOOKS for the little guy. Apparently we’re supposed to start reading to him nearly immediately – and seriously, we have like two books! (Including Goodnight Moon.)

So, friends and family: suggestions please! We’re huge fans of Amazon, but the selection is so overwhelming when I go to look at kid’s books. I need guidance! What do you have fond memories of reading to your children? What books do your babies/toddlers/kids love? What book will you go all Van Gogh on yourself if you have to read aloud one more time? I’ll probably just build a huge wishlist to whittle down with all your suggestions, so all types of books are welcome – stuff to read to baby, stuff to let baby actually get his moist little hands on: all of it!

Thanks in advance once again for your help, everyone. I cannot believe that the little critter that is kicking me on the inside as I type this will be on the outside in a matter of a day or two.

Cleared for Launch (36w6d)

Today was my last prenatal appointment. Short and sweet.

  • BP: 154/97 both times
  • Fluid: 5.7 in only two pockets (dunno if that’s good that they were big, or bad that there were only two.)
  • Monitoring: Little man seemed content to kick at the monitors, so he didn’t need to be buzzed.
  • Group B Strep test was positive, so I’ll need 2-3 doses of antibiotics during the course of labor. No big deal, just one more thing going into the IV.
  • We chatted for a bit with our favorite nurse, Paula. She’s a neat lady. Hugs all around when we left.

    So we’re cleared to arrive at the hospital at 7:30 on Sunday. This is getting very real all of the sudden.

Still here (36w4d)

Quick & Dirty update:

  • BP was 155/99, so in the unhappy-ish range and up from Monday.
  • Monitoring went well (no buzzer needed)
  • Fluid is back up a bit to 5.7 (although Dr. Schwartz told us on Monday that he has a sneaking suspicion my fluid has always been a little higher than AFI readings are saying – just because on someone of my shape and size there’s more ‘nooks and crannies’ for fluid to hide in. Doesn’t make visualizing them or getting to them for an amnio any easier – but it does explain why he hasn’t been all Chicken Little like the nurses for the last two weeks.)
  • Gave blood and pee to re-check stuff and was sent home (as opposed to the hospital.)

If I wasn’t scheduled for induction on Sunday, they’d be having me do a 24-hour urine starting tomorrow. So thank God for small favors.

Worrisome upper belly pains + increasing headache + vision changes are making Dr. Schwartz look at me funny, but he let me go home today, so I consider that a victory. It’s possible the lab results will change that tomorrow, but we’re thinking positive. In the meantime, I’m trying to lay low – which is fairly easy today cuz I kinda feel like crap between an upset tummy, headache and the upper belly pains.

I guess I should clarify that the induction on Sunday isn’t something we’re expecting to go especially quickly. At not quite 37 weeks, I’m high and tight (not dilated or effaced at all) so I’m assuming it’s gonna take at least the full 12-hour cycle of the Cervidil to get things moving, if not a second round. (Our prepared childbirth instructors warned that it’s not at all uncommon for two rounds of Cervidil to be needed for induction before 38 weeks.) I’m not contracting anymore though, thank goodness. If the contractions from the amniocentesis had continued more than 8 hours or so, that would have been a problem. So while a shared birthday with Daddy is possible for June 30th, I’m not aiming for it. Personally, I think the little guy is gonna arrive on the 29th – but the 28th would be even better! As always – safe and healthy baby and Mama is all we’re after, however that comes about.

I’m back at Dr. Schwartz’s office on Friday for monitoring and possibly an amniocentesis if there’s a big fluid pocket that the doc of the day (not Dr. Schwartz) feels like trying to stab at. (Uug, that sounds gross, doesn’t it?) I’ll say goodbye to the girls in the office who we’ve gotten friendly with (I swear, it’s like Cheers when we come in now: a chorus of “Hi, Sarah” wafts out of the back.) If I end up with a Cesarean, I’ll be in the office for a follow-up at two weeks. If I manage to do a vaginal birth, I won’t see anyone in Dr. Schwartz’s office (including Dr. Schwartz) for six weeks. (He’ll still manage my insulin and meds during that time, but we’ll do that via email only.)

So, in the meantime I plug away at work stuff and Paul tries to keep me from working too hard. :)

Roller Coaster (36w3d)

Poor Paul. I’m having a rough week, so he’s having a rough week.

I assume it’s the pregnancy hormones that are responsible for this. But I’m crying at the drop of a hat. Not at Hallmark commercials or anything (although I did cry at the end of Deadliest Catch this evening.) I just am feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of the changes that are coming towards us. It’s making me cry, a lot, and I don’t like it.

I know Paul and I will be good parents. It’s not that. I know we can care for this baby. I know we’ll be able to handle the upcoming sleepless nights. I know we’ll find a stride with eating, sleeping, & pooping ad nauseum. We’ll get the hang of swaddling. We have diapers (cloth and disposable in newborn sizes) and clothes and dinners for us in our freezer. We’re as ready as we can be on that front.

It’s just…. there’s a lot riding on me these days. My physical endurance and ability to hold my proverbial shit together for another couple of days makes a huge difference in how the first days and weeks of my child’s life will go. My ability to breastfeed him will make a huge difference in his first hours/days/months, and in our finances for the foreseeable future. (The thought of paying for formula strikes fear into my heart – let alone the fact that I don’t want to give my baby formula to begin with.) I’m pushing myself to put up full-time hours at work to keep from burning my paid leave, to keep earning paid leave & benefits at a full-time rate, and to keep bringing home full-time checks. We’re doing OK financially, but not as OK as we were. This was known and expected, it’s just hard to feel the creeping slide. The buck literally and figuratively stops with me in my personal and professional life and I’m feeling the pressure of it more acutely than usual.

I’m a planner. I’m a do-er. Everyone turns to me because I’m usually right, and I do things very well. And for the most part, this works for me. I’m an overbearing bitch by default, so my take-charge attitude serves me well for the most part. But the flip side to this means that I’m lousy at “letting go” and letting other people do things. I’m used to making sure stuff gets done. So these last few weeks of being told to stop doing so much and let others do things and “go with the flow” and “just let it happen” has been making me crazy. For some people, this sounds like a vacation. For me? It’s akin to torture. (Yes, I’m sure this is indicative of some sort of trust issues that I need to work through or something.) But knowing that I’m in control of very little about my body and my mind these days is a very bitter pill for someone like me to swallow. Knowing that come Sunday evening, I will have no control over anything, that I’ll be at the mercy of IVs and Drugs and Doctors.

And then the wild and amazing world of parenthood awaits. I’m happy and excited to be riding this particular roller coaster with Paul at my side… but it’s like that coaster that you *know* you wanted to ride, and everyone says is TEH BEST THING EVAR – but it doesn’t make you question your sanity for wanting to ride it any less as you clank-clank-clank up that first huge hill, and it doesn’t make it any less scary as you tip over the top and all you can see is sky before the track comes up at you again and you’re off on the most thrilling, exciting ride you’ve ever taken.

Paul and I stood in line for a long-ass time to get on this ride. But this first hill is a doozy, and I’m freaking out a little bit. So pardon me if I scream on the way down. I’m sure I’ll be laughing by the first turn – but until then, the anticipation of what’s over that first hill is a little scary.

Amniocentesis FAIL (36w2d)

So my fluid was at an all-time low of 4.5 today, and even with Dr. Schwartz’s Jedi-like skills, the amniocentesis couldn’t be completed today. There was one tiny (1.2cm) pocket he was aiming for, but the kid kept putting his arm there when Dr. Schwartz got close with the needle. Paul watched on the monitor as they tried and tried to get into the pocket they were aiming at.

I got jabbed twice though. Not as bad as I thought it would be at all. The pressure was the worst part – until the contractions started. (It’s two hours later and they’re still happening…) It wasn’t pleasant by any means, but I’m not shaking in my boots at the prospect of another one.

So the plan is to wait another week. Since we can’t absolutely confirm that the little guy’s lungs are mature enough to be on the outside, we hang out. I’m still doing OK enough (surprisingly) that we have time before things get to a crisis point. So we’ll continue monitoring me this week, and on Friday I’ll be checked by one of the other doctors in the office. If he sees a big pocket of fluid, they’ll probably go ahead and attempt an amnio – but if not, it’s not a problem. I’m scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 7:30 on Sunday evening to start the induction. Dr. Schwartz will come straight from the airport on Monday morning to check on me, and we’ll take it from there. (Friday’s potential amnio would only be to tell us something wasn’t right – not to give us the go-ahead to induce. The default now has been flipped to induce, as opposed to waiting for confirmation.)

We were pretty disappointed. Paul and I had worked this weekend to get ourselves to a good head space for having the kid today. We felt ready. (well, as ready as one can feel…) So it was a pretty big let down today, and Dr. Schwartz recognized that. But we agree with him that discretion is the better part of valor and to err on the side of caution is a much better way to go right now. Paul is concerned for me having to stick it out another week, but I’m fine. Letting the little man have an extra week is all to the good for him, and I can put up with basically anything for another 6 days.

I’ll be going in to start the induction process at 7:30 on Sunday June 27. It’s entirely possible that the whole process will take 2-3 days. Paul’s birthday is Wednesday the 30th. Could be fun if his son shares his birthday. (Considering Paul was born on his parent’s 3rd anniversary.)

For now though, we’re finally back home. The appointment today was over three hours long with 30 minutes of monitoring before and after the amnio. We know what a contraction looks like on the monitor now! I’m dead on my feet and in a fair amount of pain in my upper-mid back and from the continuing contractions, so I’m gonna lay down for a nap. I’ll be working the rest of this week, so I will be staying busy between monitoring appointments on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.

Sorry for the big build up to nothing, folks.