Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Non-Stress Test, Hold The Non

*somehow this entry was posted without any text, let's try that again...

Well it's back to bed rest land for me. It was nice while it lasted (1.5 weeks) but it's all over. Oh well, the couch has missed me I'm sure.

So what happened, you ask? What did I do to land myself such a prize? It's because I'm a winner really. A winner of the "everything that can go wrong, will" pregnancy award. (Of course I realize things could be far far worse). After another high blood pressure reading at my last OB appointment, Dr. M. ordered non-stress tests (twice a week) at the hospital. The first one went fairly well. Husband was able to come with me since it was on a Saturday. There was a moment there where the less than forthcoming nurse failed to find Little Man's heart beat, but eventually she got her crap together and there it was. Other than having to sit there for an hour listening to the sound of drills and hammers as they remodeled the staff office, it wasn't that terrible of an experience. Thankfully my blood pressure was normal and our little one was doing just fine.

So today as I prepared for my second non-stress test (NST) I expected a similar experience, hopefully minus the heart beat scare and the hammering. No such luck. As I waddled through the L&D wing (no really the waddle is bad, it hurts to walk) I prepped myself for an hour of boredom. As soon as I checked in they led me back to my own personal room. No hammering. Whew! I got all hooked up to the monitors, woosh woosh woosh went baby's heart and I was happy. All ready to settle in. Then she took my blood pressure. Instead of telling me what it was she smiled and said we would just keep the cuff on and take it again a little later. Uh oh. Not what happened last time. My blood pressure had been perfect so they took the cuff off right away. Fabulous.

A half hour later the friendly nurse returned and checked me once again. Still high. I was also contracting pretty regularly and the baby wasn't being terribly active. Unfortunately that's what they are looking for, an active baby. In an effort to get him moving they brought me a gallon of ice water to drink and turned me on my left side. It was like magic. Within minutes my blood pressure dropped considerably and the bug began hopping around. What a good little boy! The friendly nurse decided she could go ahead and contact Dr. M. Before she left she asked how I was feeling. At which point I was forced to admit that I had a slight headache and upon further questioning revealed that I had had a headache on Monday as well. Not a good sign in the pregnancy world, but not unusual in my world. Off she went to update Dr. M. and I sat, still connected to the monitors.

Eventually the nurse returned. I was all set to be released (I had been there about an hour at that point) when I noticed something that looked oddly like a hospital bracelet. What is it for? Another patient I'm sure. I'm sooo out of here! "We're going to go ahead and run a blood panel and urinalysis before we release you. Let's just get this little bracelet on..." She then asked if I felt like I needed "to go." Um, lady, you just made me drink a gallon of ice water and I'm almost 38 weeks pregnant. What do you think?? Rather than fully removing the fetal monitors from my belly, she decided to leave them on and disconnect the wires from the machine. So there I am, waddling off to the bathroom to pee in a cup with big monitors attached to my belly and the long cords draped around my neck with the nurse waiting patiently by the bed. Let me tell you, peeing in to a cup with a huge belly, monitors and wires wrapped around me like octopus tentacles, is not an easy thing to do. If you think I got away with not getting pee on my hand you are sadly mistaken. Oh joy! Pregnancy is such a glamorous thing.

Once I return to the bed (hands thoroughly washed!) I find a vampire waiting for me. Or a lab technician. Whatever, same difference. Before sucking my blood she uses a hand held scanner to scan the barcode on my bracelet. I resist the urge to ask her how much I cost. She takes her two vials and my cup-o-pee and baby blue and I are left to enjoy my book and another gallon of ice water. One thing I've learned about L&D, they really like to force the water on you. After about forty-five minutes my bladder reached maximum capacity and I was forced to buzz the nurse to let her know I needed to be disconnected once again. Instead of my friendly nurse, Glenda the Good Witch came in and perkily removed the monitors for me. Yay, no octopus tentacles! After relieving the intense pressure I returned to the bed and Glenda gasped "Oh my! Are you feeling all these contractions??" Why yes Glenda, I am! She batted her big eyes at me and with an eerie grin proceeded to tuck me in to bed. "Why don't you just lie down and take a little rest?" Actually, I'm... "It will be so nice. Here we'll just recline the bed." But my book... "And here, we can turn out the light." Click. There go the lights. She covers me in a blanket and then tells my friendly nurse that I'm going to have a little rest. The friendly nurse proceeds to tell me that they are still waiting on my urinalysis, but that my blood work looks good. Then they leave me there, all tucked in and ready for a nap.

As I lie there trying to rest it suddenly occurs to me that I am not tired. I do not want a "little rest," I want the light on and I want to read! How the heck did Glenda the Good Witch get me to do that? Defiantly I click the light back on and find my book. I'm pretty sure at 28 years old I don't need to be put to bed. Something about a perky nurse telling you that you need to makes it seem like you have no choice.

After another hour my friendly nurse returned and told me the baby is doing beautifully, that my blood work and urine were fine and I am free to go. The catch? Dr. M. is concerned about the elevated blood pressure combined with the headaches and I am now back on modified bed rest until further notice. She also briefly mentioned my white blood cell count was slightly elevated which could be an indication of a UTI but honestly at this point that is the least of my concerns. So, until my appointment tomorrow I am here on the couch. Back in bed rest land.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

37 Week Survey

How far along: 37 weeks!! I'm officially full term.

Total weight gain/loss: I'm up 31 lbs.

Maternity clothes: Yes, definitely. The belly just keeps getting bigger.

Stretch marks:
Still no stretch marks.

Sleep: Still bad, but Benadryl helps a little.

Best moment this week: Getting the baby's room all set up.

Movement: He still moves a lot, but the feeling has changed. I don't get the quick sharp jabs anymore. Now it's more like full body movements.

Food cravings:
Nothing really.

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs:
Still having contractions and now I'm having a lot of cramping to go along with that.

Belly Button in or out: Still mostly in, but it's definitely a very shallow hole.

What I miss:

What I am looking forward to:
Baby shower tomorrow!

Other Updates:
I went to my 36/37 week appointment and still have high blood pressure so now I have to go over to the hospital twice a week for non-stress tests. I start today.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Evolution of a Nursery

We're almost there! After my ten week stint on the couch, I have finally been able to make progress on the nursery. The ideas in my head have slowly started to become a reality. Although there's still work to be done, I am ready to share some of our progress.

It all started with the crib. A beautiful Jenny Lind crib that I slept in as did my niece. From early on I somehow got it in my head that I wanted a yellow crib and once I get something in my head that's it, it has to be done. Don't bother arguing with me. Luckily we were offered the use of my old crib. Perfect for touching up with some yellow paint! Although I did encounter some resistance from the men in my life - Dad: "It's going to be too hard. It's going to drip everywhere!" Husband: "Are you sure you don't just want to leave it the way it is??" Hello?! My whole design for the room hinges on this yellow crib. I'm sure. There was no way out of it. The crib was destined to be yellow.

This is what we started with - unfortunately I don't have a great before picture, at this point Husband had already treated it with TSP to try to get the glossy finish off.

Then the painting process began. When it comes to many things in life Husband and I tend to differ in our approaches. While I tend to be fairly meticulous, seeking near perfection, Husband takes more of a do it as quickly as possible approach and deal with the results later. This makes things in our life interesting to say the least. So when it came to this painting process, I was determined to do it my way. I didn't care if it took me a week longer to do it, I wanted it done "right." Unfortunately, Husband is still not quite trusting of my release from bed rest and inserted himself into the project. In some ways I was appreciative of the fact that I didn't have to crawl around on the floor at 8.5 months pregnant, but my comfort came at a cost. Drips. Many drips. I found myself wrestling with the same problem I frequently find myself in. Do I praise Husband for his hard work and effort and pretend I don't mind the drips or do I give in to my perfectionism and point them out? Tough decision. I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I gave in. As gently as I could I pointed out some of the drips and requested he put lighter coats on all the while praising his efforts. Knowing my fragile state he just smiled and told me he would try his best. Drips. More drips.

Then, finally after some swearing we got the crib assembled. Too bad it was assembled outside... After some more swearing the crib was taken down and reassembled in the nursery. While the nursery isn't quite done (still have a wall decal to put up and a few DIY art pieces to put up) we are almost there. So here is your sneak-peek! (In case you wanted a reminder of the "before" go ahead and check out this blog post).

An adorable lamp we got at Target.

The changing table area.

His drawers all organized.

His closet.

I am so excited about all the progress that has been made. With just a few details left we are almost done. The last big piece is to get the bedding in. The bedding is inspired by this fabric:

And it is being made by my wonderful Mom. :) I can't wait to see it all together!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Where To Go From Here

Celebrating the end of my bed rest has been exhausting to say the least. Ten weeks of sitting around doing nothing hasn't exactly been great for my muscles. So while the mind and heart are ready to go, the body has been giving UC Berkeley students a run for their money when it comes to staging protests. Still, so much has been accomplished over the last few days and slowly the tension that has been building has started to fade away. Ahhh, nothing like finishing a few projects to ease my mind.

Still the question remains, what should become of this blog? If I'm off bed rest, what happens to the great bed rest blog? Do I continue to prattle on about my daily mishaps with the end of pregnancy and then parenting? Do I give the blog a face lift and rename it? Or do I just scrap it all together? No idea. Will it be interesting to read about a crib restoration complete with swearing and dripping paint? Will you want to know about my labor and delivery (I promise not to make it too graphic)? I really don't know. Feel free to leave your suggestion in the comments. Unless of course you plan on telling me I suck, in which case you can just keep that to yourself.

Where do we go from here? To be continued....

Possibly the worst song/musical ever, but funny nonetheless. Especially for my fellow Buffy fans.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

36 Week Survey

How far along: 36 weeks!! Less than a month to go and one more week until I am full term!

Total weight gain/loss: Ugh, supposedly I'm up 31 lbs. I'm pretty sure I'm going to stop taking note of my weight since it is seriously stressing me out and who needs extra stress?

Maternity clothes: Yes, definitely. Although I just got a nice dress from Marshall's that was non-maternity.

Stretch marks: Still no stretch marks. Shocking.

Sleep: Still TERRIBLE!! I feel as though I might as well not sleep at all.

Best moment this week: Being told I am officially released from bed rest. Woohoo!

Movement: He still moves a lot, but the feeling has changed. I don't get the quick sharp jabs anymore. Now it's more like full body movements.

Food cravings: It's all good.

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs: In addition to having contractions my cervix is now soft/effaced.

Belly Button in or out: Still mostly in, but it's definitely a very shallow hole.

What I miss: Sleep, especially sleeping on my back and stomach.

What I am looking forward to: Hospital tour today, baby shower # 2, finishing the crib and then hopefully bringing a beautiful healthy baby home.

Other Updates:I'm off bed rest and I don't have preeclampsia!!!!!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let Freedom Ring!

Ten weeks and 1 day later I have officially been released from bed rest. Ten weeks of sitting on the couch watching tv and coming up with ridiculous things to Google. Ten weeks of Husband being responsible for all the chores and unpacking. Ten weeks of sitting and staring at the mess and not being able to do anything about it. It's all over!!! I can move. I can get off the couch and jump up and down. I can frolic in a field or run down the sandy beach. I can do anything I want and I won't have to endure the disaproving glare of Husband or Dr. M. Oh how I wish I could tell you I was having a dance party to celebrate... sadly, it turns out that at (nearly) 36 weeks all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch tv. How's that for ironic?

I will admit that for the last couple of days I have been cheating. Yesterday I went to Home Depot, Marshalls and Petco. Gasp! I know, how horrible of me. I may have felt a slight amount of guilt, but I honestly knew this moment of freedom was upon me. I didn't think it would make too big of a difference if I started just a tad early. Plus, I NEEDED to get paint brushes to paint the crib (I'll post pictures of the progress later), and I NEEDED to get a fabulous dress for my shower next week, and I NEEDED to get Nature's Miracle to try for the thousandth time to get the cat pee smell out of my recliner. No really, I did need to do that. The smell of cat pee is completely nauseating.

Oh, and also all my blood work came back normal, so I do not have Preeclampsia. Woohoo! To celebrate Baby Blue and I are are doing a little dance. Since I have major round ligament pain it's more like a funny pregnant lady wiggle around my living room. Feel free to join us.

It's a fun song. Don't judge.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Is Preeclampsia?

I am now taking requests for blog topics! Well, not really, but my lovely friend did ask what preeclampsia is and requested I address it in my blog, so here it goes... Preeclampsia: in short it is a form of pregnancy induced hypertension or high blood pressure and is dangerous for both mom and baby. Severe forms of preeclampsia most often lead to early induction or c-section. As my Dad so cleverly pointed out, preeclampsia is the thing that comes before eclampsia. :) Eclampsia involves seizures/strokes during pregnancy. Exciting stuff huh? Please keep in mind when reading what comes next that I am in no way a doctor and anything and everything I say is exactly what it appears to be, thoughts from someone who was given small bits of information from an OB and is also good at consulting with Dr. Google.

Preeclampsia is a disorder that happens only during pregnancy, so if you're not pregnant yay you! You're not at risk. Although it does occasionally show up right after birth as well. It usually doesn't happen until after the 20th week in the pregnancy and is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Additional symptoms include chronic headaches, swelling, pain in the chest, blurred vision and nausea. It is also possible to have no symptoms other than the high blood pressure and protein which is why most OB's routinely check your blood pressure and ask for urine samples. So if you're planning on getting pregnant get ready for the joy of peeing in a cup regularly for nine months.

If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia one of several things could happen. If you just have a mild case it is possible your OB will put you on some medications and confine you to bed rest woohoo!). With more moderate to severe cases, you will either be induced immediately or undergo an emergency c-section. I believe these cases usually come with a blood pressure reading in the 200's and several of the other symptoms. Either way, prior to treatment, whether it be with medication or delivery, you will undergo a Non-Stress Test (NST) to evaluate the health of the baby. As the name implies, this is a pretty simple, non-stressful test. For about an hour, you and baby are monitored via blood pressure cuffs and fetal monitors. If the baby seems to be in distress from the Preeclampsia you will most likely deliver.

In order to be diagnosed with Preeclampsia you must undergo a series of tests. In addition to monitoring your blood pressure and checking for protein in your urine, you will also be given blood tests. How can a blood test help, you ask? Well, if you indeed do have preeclampsia, the high blood pressure will begin to affect other internal organs like your liver and kidneys. By taking a sample of your blood they will be able to tell if those organs have been damaged. If those results come back positive you will then be given some sort of 24-hour urine test. I'm not entirely sure what is involved in that, but I imagine it has something to do with taking several urine samples over a 24 hour period. Lovely!

Why is Dr. M. concerened that I have preeclampsia? Good question. I honestly just think she is being extra cautious, but that's what I like about her. I would much rather have my arm stabbed with a needle than risk having a stroke or any other number of awful things that could happen. Plus, like she said,, "If anything is going to happen, it's going to happen to you." As awful as that might sound, it is so true. Just ask my mom. My whole life has been a string of random health problems that no one would ever guess I had. Why just last summer, after much convincing on my part, the good DR. M. finally agreed to do a laparoscopy to look for Endometriosis. She seemed reluctant to do so and told me on numerous occasions that the chances were small. What did she find? Endometriosis! AND... a fibroid tumor as well as some ovarian cysts just for good measure. After that, the whole failing the 1-hour glucose test debacle, and pre-term labor scare, she's apparently learned that my body does the unexpected. So, when I came in three times in a row with borerline high blood pressure she figured she better test me. Smart lady. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bed Rest With A Side Of Preeclampsia?

I went in to the OB today for my regular check up and to get the Group B Strep test. Sitting in the waiting room I ran into quite the character. A little old lady in a royal blue velour track suit with sparkles on the jacket. Her deep brunette hair was clipped up on her head making a kind of fan of hair. As I sat down next to her she peeked out at me over her cat-eye glasses with her false eyelashes flapping away. "When is your baby due?" I tell her next month. "Oh, because you're really big." Gee thanks. "I mean for being such a small person." Mmmhmmm. "Is your husband big?" Yep, huge! I laugh, tell her more about the baby and then she is called back to the office. Back to my flipping through my magazines.

FInally after waiting a good half hour, I get called back. I am weighed (ugh!) and my blood pressure is taken (135/95) and then back to the room I go. As usual, I slip out of my pants and under a lovely paper sheet. Wait. Wait. Wait. Slowly I feel the room begin to heat up. My fingers start swelling, my cheeks start getting flushed, I am sweating (I hate sweating!). As I sit there, nearly naked and sweating like a pig, I finally decide I can't take it anymore and resort to running a paper towel under the cold water. I can hear Dr. M. chatting away with velour track suit lady in the room next to me. Actually, the woman was doing most of the talking. Finally after a good hour of waiting (waiting room time included), Dr. M. graces me with her presence.

After some discussion of my monster contractions (some of them last up to two minutes) and a very painful/crampy cervical check, she starts in on my blood pressure. Am I having headaches? No. Am I swelling? Only when I'm hot. Any pain in my chest? Nope. "Well I'm going to go ahead and send you for blood work to check for preeclampsia because if anything is going to happen it's going to happen to you." LOL! Always good to have a doctor with a sense of humor. :) She followed up by saying that she was sure if she tested me for it then that would prevent me from actually having it. Oh how I love Dr. M.

So now I have a new thing to worry about. Tomorrow I go in for my blood work and then I see the doctor again next week. Let's all hope the high blood pressure (it's been high the last three visits) is just a fluke. I'm not sure that I really want to deal with another issue with this pregnancy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

35 Week Survey

How far along: 35 weeks 1 day - oops, I'm a day late. Yesterday was 35/35 - 35 weeks with 35 days to go!

Total weight gain/loss: +28lbs at my last appointment although my scale at home says 24lbs. I think I like my scale at home better.

Maternity clothes: Yes, definitely. I live in Target maternity tank tops although they are starting to get a little too short.

Stretch marks: Still holding strong on the stretch mark front. I have lots of veins showing through though.

Sleep: Still TERRIBLE!! In addition to the excessive peeing it is now too hot for me to sleep and I wake up with heartburn. Tums is my new best friend.

Best moment this week: Being told I would be released from bed rest around 36 weeks. Woohoo!

Movement: Yes, and lots of it. Sometime my stomach looks like it's having an earthquake.

Food cravings: It's all good.

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs: In addition to having contractions my cervix is now soft/effaced.

Belly Button in or out: It changes depending on my position. If I'm sitting it is completely in, but sometimes when I stand the top part pokes out a little

What I miss: Sleep, sitting without being in pain, wine, and turkey and avocado sandwiches.

What I am looking forward to: Hospital tour next weekend, baby shower # 2 the weekend after that, then hopefully bringing a beautiful healthy baby home.

Other Updates: I went to L&D on Monday and it turns out my cervix is now soft. The doctor will be releasing me from bed rest any time now. We attended childbirth classes this weekend. All we need to do is finish getting the crib set up and his room cleaned out and then we'll be as ready as we ever will be!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Breastfeeding and Dead Batteries

At my last appointment the OB gave me the go ahead to increase my activity level slightly. Woohoo! AND!! I will hopefully be taken off of bed rest completely by week 36. PARRRRTAAAYYYY!!! Woop woop! My Bo Derek moment is just on the horizon. Unbelievable.

Sadly, I'm still only 34 weeks (34 weeks 6 days to be exact) so the restrictions haven't been completely lifted just yet. You can imagine my excitement though when I got the ok to attend a breastfeeding class at our local hospital. Not only does that mean I am getting closer to the Pee Monster actually being here, but I get to get dressed, in real clothes! Then I get to drive myself somewhere like a real grown-up! So exciting!

At 9:40 this morning, after a proper amount of primping, I headed out to the car, invigorated by my big outing. As I held out my clicker to unlock my brand new CRV (hello "mom" car!) the wind in my sails was lost. Click. Nothing. CLICK! Nope, still nothing. Maybe if I push on the unlock button really hard.... nope. So maybe the clicker is dead. I unlock the door manually (imagine that!) and insert the key into the ignition. Nothing. Complete and utter silence. Sh!t. The car is dead. Completely dead.

In a bit of a panic (my freedom was on the line here!) I called Husband at work to ask him what to do. In between shouting over the leaf blower the gardener decided to turn on literally right outside my car door (seriously, he saw I was on the phone, walked over and started blowing leaves, maybe he hates me) I was ultimately able to communicate to Husband what the situation was. Ever the knight in shining armor, he came home and drove me to my breastfeeding class. Not quite the picture of freedom I had imagined, but definitely close enough. Plus I didn't have to lose out on the $25 class fee since the next available class isn't until August - just a little too late.

I arrived at the hospital a few minutes late, but luckily the class hadn't quite started yet. I awkwardly entered the room to four other pregnant ladies and one poor husband. Of course the only available seats are the ones furthest from the door. I slowly waddled my way across the room and took my seat, apologizing for being late. Shortly thereafter introductions were made and the class began. We learned about all the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding your baby as well as the different techniques. We also got an incredibly graphic, color poster of baby poop (to go on our refrigerators!) and got to practice nursing baby dolls - man are those things creepy! The one and only dad there made it through quite well, despite the nurse best efforts to embarrass him and we all left feeling more enlightened/more confused about breastfeeding. Overall it was a success!

I have since returned home, back to my bed rest throne. After getting a jump for the battery the car seems to be ok and we will take it to the dealership to be checked out tomorrow since there is no apparent reason for a dead battery. We will also be going to our childbirth classes this weekend. Exciting stuff!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hospital Adventures

**WARNING! WARNING!** Danger Will Robinson!! Graphic details involving words like "cervix" and "mucus" ahead. Turn around now if you are at all prone to queasiness.

Lately I've been imagining my freedom from bed rest. Sometimes I picture myself bursting out of the doctor's office singing Queen's "I Want To Break Free" all the way to my car. Other times I am running in slow motion down the beach a la Bo Derek in "10," only instead of the weird braids and perfect body, my big ol' belly bounces joyously (and probably painfully) in front of me. At 34+ weeks I can almost taste my own freedom. Oh the places I'll go, the things I'll do. So many possibilities...

SCREEEEEEEEEEECCCCHHHHHH!!!! What was that? Oh, that? That was the sound of my freedom coming to a screeching halt. Time of death? About 9:30 this morning. After a sleepless night I woke up and stumbled out to the couch (sadly my normal bed rest throne, the recliner, has cat pee on it - thanks a lot Mr. Chatner!) and sat down to eat my breakfast. It was a normal morning, I signed on to instant messenger to chat with Husband and even enjoyed my daily bowl of Special K with vanilla almonds (mmmm!). After breakfast I reclined and began to enjoy my morning television routine. Suddenly (here it comes - TMI!!) a felt a small gush of liquid coming out of the nether regions. Ummm, what the heck was that? Do I call the doctor? Was it pee? Did the little Pee Monster just live up to his name and cause the ultimate pee accident? Nope there it is again. Definitely not coming from my urethra. Definitely coming out of the vaginal opening. Shit! Time to call the doctor.

After a quick discussion with the on-call nurse it was determined that I needed to head in to Labor & Delivery (L&D). Feeling a bit panicked I put in a call to Husband and Mom to let them know what was happening. Of course, as soon I got on the highway, the normally empty roads were completely backed up. Now they choose to do road work? Now! Seriously?? I may be leaking amniotic fluid and in labor with a 34 week baby and now is the time you choose to beautify our roads?? Thanks a lot crappy state government! Just what I needed!

A good twenty minutes later I pulled into the hospital parking garage and as calmly as possible dragged my big ol' self, along with several books and a lap top to the L&D wing. Don't laugh, last time I was there I was stuck for six hours with nothing to watch expect for Judge Judy and Primir Impacto, I think a few forms of entertainment were called for. After waiting with all the other pregnant ladies and their families I was finally taken back to my own room. Once again I dressed in their beautiful hospital gown with broken ties and the weird tube top like garment used to hold the fetal monitors in place and I was set. Ready for round four at our beautiful L&D.

Once all hooked up to the monitors the incredibly astute nurse asked if I was feeling nervous. Evidently my blood pressure was a bit high. Shocking right? I mean why in the world would my blood pressure be high? It's not like I was going through anything serious/stressful. No, I was just preparing to potentially give birth to my little baby boy six weeks early. No biggie!!! After several discussions with my OB over the phone it was determined that they would do a test similar to the fetal fibronectin test that would determine if my membranes had ruptured (i.e. check to see if my water broke), then if my contractions continued they would check my cervix. After the membrane test was performed (not too bad, just a super long q-tip swabbing my cervix for one full minute) they decided to go ahead and manually check my cervix. Not fun. Not fun at all!

At this point in pregnancy most women's cervixes are posterior, meaning the opening is facing more toward the back. I believe the ideal position for labor is for it to be anterior (front-facing). Because my cervix is posterior it is more difficult and more painful to check. Again, not fun. Propping my hips up on my own fists, the gentle nurse oh so delicately jammed several fingers up in to my cervix. Really, I suppose it could have been one finger, but it certainly felt like ten. Several "sorry's" later the nurse finished up as she told me that my cervix still felt long and thick, but that it was soft. Because I was posterior she had a hard time checking for dilation, but she "didn't think" I was dilated. Then the kicker... I'm not terribly squeamish when it comes to my own body, but I swear my Special K almost came up with what she said/did next. "You do have a little bit of extra discharge but that can be normal, see all of this... normal." Waving her purple surgical glove in my face I saw her hand for the first time. Let me tell you... it was like an elephant blew its nose on her. OMG OMG OMG!! Take it away!!!!!!! Gag reflex is kicking in... HURK!!!

After the great mucus debacle all Husband (who at this point had joined me) and I could do was wait. Thankfully, after a ten minute wait the membrane test came back negative. Hallelujah. Sooo, that kind of begs the question, what was it? The nurse explained that it was either extra discharge (hello elephant snot?!?!) or I peed my pants. I'm going with the elephant snot theory. I understand that many women have mistaken pee for amniotic fluid, but I am about 90% sure that this was not pee. If I thought it was pee I would definitely say so. I'm not embarrassed, it makes sense that the little Pee Monster, who is squishing up nicely to my bladder, might help me squeeze some urine out unexpectedly. This was not pee.

After some debate about how to treat my contractions I've fortunately since been released back to bed rest at home. So here I sit, dreams of freedom all but lost, updating you all on my latest adventures and fantasizing about my future away from the couch.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

34 Week Survey

How far along: 34 weeks!! 6 weeks to go until the due date!

Total weight gain/loss: +24lbs at my last appointment, we'll see on Tuesday what kind of damage has been done in the last two weeks.

Maternity clothes: Yes, definitely. I live in Target maternity tank tops. Lately I've added a non-maternity bikini to my wardrobe for my days of floating in the pool. I'm looking pretty ridiculous.

Stretch marks: Still holding strong on the stretch mark front. Here's hoping I can make it 6 more weeks.

Sleep: Still TERRIBLE!! In addition to the excessive peeing it is now too hot for me to sleep.

Best moment this week: It was a busy (as busy as bed rest can get) week. I chose a pediatrician so that's good. :) Also, I had a heavenly prenatal massage. I wish I could get one every day.

Movement: Yes, and lots of it. He's getting more active at night.

Food cravings: Nothing in particular this week, although I would still love to have a hot dog!

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs: Still having a lot of contractions, but they aren't really doing much other than annoying me.

Belly Button in or out: It changes depending on my position. If I'm sitting it is completely in, but sometimes when I stand the top part pokes out a little

What I miss: Sleep. I think it would be a miracle if I could sleep through the night. Or even if I could just go back to getting up once or twice.

What I am looking forward to: The hospital's breastfeeding class is this week, plus I get to see my parents. :)

Other Updates: Nothin' much.

Friday, June 4, 2010

And The Winner Is...

After two days of pediatrician interviews the Husband and I have chosen our pediatrician. Let me tell you, it's a difficult process to go through. Having had some health issues growing up I want to make sure that I find a doctor who is going to be proactive when it comes to my little Pee Monster's health care.

Pediatrician #1: I was scheduled to come in at 12:00pm (or so I thought) and of course got lost. The office in located in a place we'll call "The Ranch." It's an endless maze of office buildings where all the roads are named the same thing and every building is "Building 2." No matter how many times I go there I get lost. This is immediately a strike against the practice. I hate The Ranch! I finally make it to my destination only to find that the parking lot is packed (strike). After waddling my way through the maze of halls and up the elevator I arrive at my destination. Above the main entrance are the words "Turn Back Now!" Hmm, interesting sense of humor (kudos). Ignoring the sign I enter to a world of sick babies separated from the well, nurses and doctors rushing around, children climbing in and out of a playhouse, phones ringing, basically complete chaos. Welcome to my new life. I try to check in only to have them tell me my appointment is really for 12:30 (strike - this will later be canceled when I return home only to realize that I actually put the wrong time into my phone, whoops!).

A half-hour later, rejuvenated by an iced decaf caramel macchiato, I return for my actual visit. The doctor is running late (strike). However the nurse came out to personally tell me he was running late and apologized (kudos!). I am taken back to the room where I wait maybe ten more minutes with a folder of new parent information as well as information about the practice (kudos). Finally the doctor comes in; he's older, seems friendly and he's wearing a whinnie-the-pooh tie (kudos). Plus he is also a neonatologist (kudos) so should I go into preterm labor he would be the one to take care of our little man. Once he sat down he immediately started in with information about the practice; their hours, how they always try to get a sick child in that same day, they take kids after hours as well as on the weekends depending on the circumstances (kudos). Then without my asking he began to discuss the many issues from my interview sheet. He is pro-breastfeeding (kudos) and willing to do a delayed vaccination schedule to a certain extent. He spent at least ten minutes with me explaining the practice's vaccination schedule which is already somewhat delayed (kudos). We both agree that the idiot who published the article linking the MMR vaccination to autism should be in jail (kudos). Overall it was a very informative meeting. On the negative side, he gave me a bit of an eye-roll when I asked about his thoughts on attachment parenting which then made me too uncomfortable to ask about his thoughts on holistic medicine (strike). Overall it was a good experience and he as well as the practice rated highly. Thankfully I was able to find my way out of the maze and made it home relatively quickly which turned out to be a good thing because my lovely contractions started to pick up soon after and I spent the rest of the evening on the couch. :(

Pediatrician #2: Originally scheduled for 11:30 and rescheduled the day before for 1:00pm. The office is located less than five minutes from our home (kudos) but the parking is TERRIBLE (strike). Because it is lunch time I was now allowed to enter through the main doors, but instead had to go in through a side entrance. In the side office there are no chairs so I was forced to stand and fill out paper work while they attempted to sort out the woman in front of me (strike). The woman in front of me did not speak English and was apparently over an hour late for her appointment. Just looking at the woman, you could tell she was scared. She was standing there holding her sick infant begging to be seen. As it turned out, she was there to see the same doctor I was. I immediately told the staff I would be willing to let her have my appointment and reschedule mine, but they declined and sent her away (strike).

Once I was done with the paper work I was immediately taken to a room (kudos) and offered water by the very friendly nurse (kudos!). Five minutes later the doctor was in the room and our discussion was off (kudos). She seemed very friendly, more so than doctor #1, and was willing to address all my questions (kudos). She is pro-breastfeeding, but interestingly enough does not do circumcisions (we are undecided on this issue still so... kudos/strike??). When I asked her about availability she got a little strange and said that someone would be available, but that this isn't a walk-in clinic and the woman before me was over an hour late (strike!). She continued to be a bit snippy/defensive about their hours all the while trying to assure me that someone would be available. What about late night hours? Yes, someone will be there, but more often than not the questions that are asked at 2:00am really should have been asked at 9:00pm. Huh? (strike)

The last issue to come up was vaccinations. She is against a delayed schedule. I explain to her my thoughts on the Hep B vaccination which then prompts her to launch in to an incredibly long and inarticulate explanation of how contagious Hep B is and kids can get it on the playground. Having explained to her that I was considering delaying until two years old, I am still unclear how this is relevant. My newborn does not need a Hep B vaccination, he's already going to be shot full of a million other things. Again she insists that it is important because most parents forget to keep up with vaccinations once they delay (strike). I realize a lot of people are idiots, but don't treat me like one until I give you reason to. Finally the interview is through and she takes me on a tour through the actual waiting room. It is really nice and includes a huge salt water fish tank and huge separate area for sick and well patients (kudos). Then we run in to the nurses at the front desk who tell me I am the cutest pregnant lady they've seen (KUDOS!).

The Final Results: After all of that the decision has been made. Honestly, it wasn't really a difficult one to make. While I loved the office and staff at practice number two, pediatrician number one was overall more knowledgeable and proactive, he listened to all my questions and seemed more willing to work with me. I think the fact that he took so much time to sit there and discuss each vaccination on the schedule, what it was for and how important it was (which ones he would be willing to delay vs. which ones he felt were incredibly important) really sealed the deal for me. So it looks like I'll be making a lot of future visits to The Ranch. Hopefully I'll get the maze figured out relatively quickly.