Saturday, December 31, 2011

So much to take in-

***Umm... forewarning, this post may be disjointed; I had to save it and come back several times. There's just so much going on around here.***

I totally didn't even realize that today was New Years Eve. How did this happen? This year has been trying, things haven't been easy, but it sure ended on such a wonderful note.

We came home yesterday, against recommendations. They wanted to keep us one more day, but I honestly just could not do it. I could write a novel about how horrible my hospital experience was, site specific instances, and I might when I complain about it to them... but right now, I don't have the energy. Let me just say my stay was nothing like they told me it would be when we took the maternity tour several months ago. Nothing at all. I had two nurses that were awesome, and my stay might have been a lot better if I'd had them the entire time... but unfortunately, my stints with them were far too brief.

So we came home, and it was time to feed V- again. We immediately had frustrations trying to do so. He took the breast, but he took it too aggressively and it hurt badly because he wasn't latching properly. I tried pumping and nothing came out. Finally between exhaustion, frustration, and physically feeling like crap I gave him another bottle of formula. And I don't regret it at all. After that, we all got a solid 3 hours of sleep for the first time since he was born. When we woke up, we were ready to tackle things fresh... still exhausted, but we are on our way to recovering from the sleep deprivation. I realize full well that sleeping with a baby isn't going to be like before, but it's going to be a hell of a lot better than the every hour interruption from the hospital staff! And so far, it's been heaven.

Sleeping for longer has done us all a lot of good. I feel more up to the challenge of feeding him, V- feels more up to the challenge of my low supply, and A- just feels better. We were having a lot of issues with breastfeeding, especially since my milk hadn't came in yet. V- would wake up aggressively hungry, and he'd take the breast with an overenthusiastic passion- hurting me a lot. Then he'd get frustrated; either because he wasn't getting as much milk as he wanted, or because I had to keep fixing his latch because in his enthusiasm he'd latch improperly. I really just couldn't take it anymore, he broke open both my nipples and my milk still hadn't came in. We supplemented a little bit of formula for one feeding during the night so that we could all be ready for the next day.

I'm hoping we won't have to tonight though. I woke up this morning and I'm starting to get engorged. I've been using warm compresses on my chest, then pumping, giving him what I pump, then offering him the breasts after that. It's helped him to take the breasts, rather than attack them. Once my supply comes in better, and my nipples hurt less, we'll try skipping pumping beforehand and see how he does for straight breast- but for now, this works for us. We're making progress. Yesterday I was only able to pump about 5-10ml from both breasts combined, but today I got 20-50ml from them combined. Not bad at all! V- is much more content now. Hopefully things will keep progressing; maybe in the next day or two we can do just breast and no expressed breast milk beforehand. If not, I'll just have to try pumping exclusively. I'm just going to worry about one thing at a time though- for now, we're working on pumping/healing.

He really is amazing. I can not get over that. It still doesn't feel real that he was inside me. I look at my deflating belly, and I look at him, and it just seems impossible. I keep thinking we're going to wake up, and find out that it's all been a dream. I tried imagining what this would be like so many times, but I never could have imagined just how perfect he would be. I watch him sleeping, and I can not get over how utterly perfect he is... I'm sure I've said it before, but I am so in love with him. When we have cuddle time, I just hold him on my chest until he's fast asleep, breathing him in and rubbing his soft hair. I wouldn't ever put him back in the bassinet if I could get away with it.

Physically, I am beat. I'm so tired that I almost pass out when I'm sitting up, standing, in the middle of doing something, and especially when pumping. My back hurts really bad; whether that's from the epidural, back labor, or being restricted on my activities... who knows. My incision area is sore and getting up/down hurts so bad. Thank goodness for pain medication! Which doesn't always do a lot of good, but it's at least taking the edge off things. Recovering from the c-section is going to be rough, it already is. It makes taking care of the baby that much more complicated, because it's so hard to get up when he cries, to feed him, to change him even... every little movement is hard. I'm hoping that in the coming days I'll start to feel a lot better. As of right now, I'm taking the highest dose of my pain killers allowed- and I guess we'll keep taking it day by day.

I guess I should wrap this up, V- is fussing again! If I save it and come back again, it may end up as a novel instead of a blog post; so I'm calling it a night.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. May 2012 bring you happiness!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Stats-

For those that asked- he was 8lbs 13oz and 19.75in long. Soooo... he was pretty big.

We named him V.inc.ent- it means, "conquering" or "victorious". We'd picked it out all the way back during our NT scan, since no matter what happened he deserved a name. It was a strong name... a hopeful name.

We're still working on breastfeeding. His latch is improving a lot, and I'm getting more milk out. Obviously not a copious amount since my milk hasn't "came in" yet... but enough for him to get a fill of it, I guess. We are supplementing when he gets really hungry... it doesn't seem to hurt our progress much, he still prefers the breast, roots towards me obsessively, and makes really grossed out faces when we give him formula. (eta: we are working with lactation consultants, running everything by them and taking their advice)

I'll be glad when we leave the hospital. They keep interrupting our bonding/breastfeeding time to take the baby for a check, or to check my vitals... or housekeeping knocks, the food service people, the photography people, you name it they'll show up just when I'm in the middle of something. Just tonight for instance, new nurse taking over came with old nurse so she could brief her on everyone's situation... comes in while I'm trying to breastfeed. New nurse then comes in while we're having skin on skin bonding time, V- had fallen asleep on me... I was loving it, and instead of putting him back in the crib I let him stay there... yeah, she needed to check my surgical site and take the baby to be weighed. Seriously? You can't do that at another time? Really. making. me. angry. This hospital is supposed to be very pro-breastfeeding, and I'm finding it to be not at all as advertised.

And I've got to go now, V- just woke up :) How I love him, even when he's wailing. His cry is so cute.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What a day-

I'm still very exhausted, but since I have some time alone while my beautiful baby boy gets his physical, I thought I'd try to start the story of us. It's a crazy whirlwind, and it took us all by surprise.

At 7am Tuesday morning I woke up because I had to use the bathroom. Nothing new there, especially being 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant! However, I noticed that when I stood up I was still leaking like a faulty faucet. Not a gush, nothing major, just a couple drops here and there. I couldn't figure out if I was wetting myself or leaking amniotic fluid, so I decided to try using the bathroom again. I still had urine left, so I was still confused... so, feeling icky I took a shower. I was still leaking. Still puzzled over what was literally just a couple drops every so often, I put on a pad and crawled back in bed.

I instantly started having what I thought were strong braxton hicks contractions. After three very close in time, I decided to get up. They got more intense, and I quickly began to think they were contractions. So, I started timing them. Sure enough, they were getting stronger and stronger, and only 4 minutes apart. Within 10 minutes, they were 3 minutes apart and a hell of a lot stronger. By 7:40ish, they were 3 minutes apart, super painful, and I was starting to think I really was leaking amniotic fluid. Given how quickly things were happening, I woke up my husband and told him that I thought I might be in labor. By 8am, they were 2 minutes apart.

I was still doubtful, because my OB has told me I would have plenty of time to discern if it was labor or not, and getting to strong contractions 4 minutes apart would take hours... not one hour like I had experienced. But I was in a hell of a lot of pain, it felt just like when I used Cytotec to induce my second miscarriage. We called the oncall doctor, but since the hospital was an hour away we went ahead and left.

The drive there was hard. I kept having strong contractions in the car, which brought difficult back pain with them and intense vaginal pressure. I would be fine, and then I'd be squirming and panting really bad. I'm sure that was an interesting for all the other drivers we passed.

When we got to the hospital they took their sweet time in triage. I don't believe they were taking me seriously at all, I was only 2cm and 100% effaced. Then they checked me to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. Which I was. And so they had no choice but to keep us.

So I labored from 7am until like 5pm with no pain medication. My contractions were so intense, and so close together, but I wasn't really dilating. They could see him in the birth canal, he was molding, but I just was not dilating. They thought it was possibly a contraction strength issue, so they switched me to internal monitors to check contraction strength and the baby's heart beat. My contractions were 2 minutes apart, but irregular- some lead right into the next one without a break. Also, the strength was literally off the charts. Definitely not a contraction issue.

The nurses/residents/doctor's kept acting like this was crazy, how it's like I was on Pitocin- then baby's heart beat started decelling really bad during the contractions and when I moved. They said if I was on Pitocin they would have stopped it because of how crazy the contractions were, but since my contractions were just naturally insane they really couldn't do anything. I was toughing it out so well, until the contractions started leading into another without a break. So I got an epidural, and the contractions did not lessen one bit... yet hours later, I was still not progressing. I was at 3cm for hours, then 4cm for hours, and then 5cm. No progress, and his heart decelerations were getting increasingly worse.

Finally, we all decided it would be in his and my best interest to proceed with a c-section. At 6:30 we agreed, at 6:56pm he was born :) No regrets.

We're trying to breastfeed, but having some issues. I saw a lactation consultant today, and we'll see them everyday until we're released. So we're working on it. We're adjusting to things, trying to manage my pain, and beginning to heal. How things went down took us all by surprise, but he's here now and I am so in love <3

Preview- will post details later!


Nombie finally arrived on 12/27/11, at 6:56pm! The day before my induction, of course. I am EXHAUSTED, so I won't post the details right now... maybe when I get a chance tomorrow. For now, enjoy my little cutie :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The holiday-

I got several texts first thing this morning that basically said, "Merry Christmas! Did you have the baby yet?" Oh joy, hahaha!

No. I have not had the baby yet. I wish! Officially one day past due, but I'm not stressing it too much. I would just really like him to get here before our scheduled induction is all. Whew.

So, even though the baby isn't here we still got him presents. Just one each, for the other to open. My husband bought the CUTEST stuffed owl- I love it! It matches the nursery, and it's just adorable! I bought a onsie for him to open, it says "Level 1 Human"- ha! Awesomeness.

We got the cats canned cat food, and the dogs the same, as we do every year. We can't buy the dogs treats because the veterinarian told us not to anymore (they're senior and have sensitive bellies), but the cats got some of those too. We don't buy the dogs toys or anything because they don't play with toys either... they really just lay around and sleep these days (they are like 13 and 15). I would normally buy the cats some kind of toy, or a new scratching post, but we didn't this year. Which was just as well, they had fun with the wrapping paper anyway:

Cats are an awful lot like children. Who cares about toys when you have a box full of noisy paper?

Now, I'm going to have a relaxing day at home. I am exhausted and just generally sore. Hope everyone has a good day today :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

40 weeks!

Since we already finished our holiday rounds, we're planning on a quiet weekend at home. We do have gifts to exchange, and we each bought one present for the baby that we thought the other one would like, for the other one to open. I can't wait to see what my husband got; I'm so curious. He also bought me some mystery present, and for the first time in awhile I am completely clueless about what he got me. I'm sure he's probably already figured out what I got him... but he swears he hasn't. We'll see! The present for him to open for the baby, and his own, are both VERY geektastic. I hope he likes them.

Of course, we're still waiting on our big present! I can't believe today is our estimated due date. He's still baking, but hopefully not for much longer. I am very happy to have made it this far though, and Nombie keeps reminding me that he's alive and well with little squirms... thank goodness. He's definitely running out of room in there- all the more reason for him to come out already! He does have quiet days though, and it scares the crap out of me when that happens.

Anyway, so the wait continues. I'm not really expecting anything to happen this weekend, but it would really be nice. I am so ready for this baby. I know people keep saying, "Oh just you wait, right now you have it easy." And making comments about how it's so much easier to take care of a baby in the womb, and how I should enjoy things now... I have news for them, because seriously, I've been waiting over 4 years for this... I am done "enjoying" the "calm" life without a baby. Fah. I just want to hold this baby in my arms, and I want to hear him cry; I want to kiss him and tell him how much I love him. I'm aware that it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but I have news for the people saying these things to me... life without children is NOT all sunshine and rainbows either.

In a completely unrelated rant- my mother and mother-in-law have gotten upset that they won't be in the room with me when I give birth. Okay, first of all, why would you assume I'd let you in there anyway? I'm going to be exposed and naked, and besides... this is a serious medical undertaking, not some circus side show exhibit. Second of all, my hospital's policy says that only my birth partner can be in there (and I'm very happy with this policy!). Also, when I'm in pain I like to be left alone- people ANNOY and STRESS me out. After my surgeries, I only wanted my husband with me. After my miscarriages, the same damn thing. And lastly, after everything I've been through to conceive this child, as alone as I've been with my miscarriages and the complications with this pregnancy, you better believe the only person who's going to support me during labor is the only person who's truly supported me through all of this- my husband! And seriously, after how involved our conception was- with all the doctors, the surgeries, the IUIs, the ultrasounds, bleeding, and injections- I personally think it's only right that the person who's seen it all with me, be the only one to see it all through to the end. My husband and I struggled so hard for this with little to no support- and no matter what happens, we're going to get through this the same way we always have: holding hands, just the two of us, together.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Still waiting...

Nombie is still baking. Today's appointment wasn't the most inspiring. I'm sitting at 1 centimeter dilated, and this time she said I was 50% effaced. Yeah, last time she said 80%... which is right? Who knows. Our estimated due date is in 3 days, and I'm still not feeling contractions or anything. Things feel very... stagnated.

You know, for how hard my body tried to get rid of the pregnancy in the beginning, it sure isn't trying to do anything now. It's quite the reversal.

One good thing did come out of our appointment: we have an end in sight. If he isn't here by 12/28, then we're going to start the induction process. So that means, at the latest, we only have one week left. 12/28 will put us at 40w+4d, which makes me happy; not too late, but not too early. Right now, 1cm and everything, conditions aren't favorable for an induction. She told me to be prepared in case it takes awhile, and of course it could end up as a c-section. Both scenarios I'm fine with, I just want the baby to be okay.

I know inductions aren't ideal, and we still hope that my body decides to get things moving on it's own, but in the event it doesn't... I want to do what I think is best for the baby. And for me, not waiting too long is important. I feel very relieved having a plan now, just in case.

Oh, and I gained 5lbs in the last week :/ I blame the holiday baking. I mean, I had to taste everything to make sure it was right.

I probably didn't need to taste test so much of it though. Yum.

Monday, December 19, 2011

And-

All I did was wear myself out. Hahaha. I knew it.

My back is hurting less. It's in the same spot where I have issues with my spinal inflammation on the lower spine. I'm used to it... but it sucks. Hopefully it'll correct itself soon... until then, trying not to make it more angry.

We got all the holiday baking done, and I passed out all the holiday goodies. I've almost got all the presents distributed for the nieces/nephews, so that's a weight off my shoulders. When we went to FIL's, he wasn't home. But his wife was, step-MIL... who had to sneak in a comment about how FIL ended up with only grandsons so far, and how her niece is pregnant with a girl... okay then, insert awkward pause where we ignored her comment, and then she changed the subject (see past comments from step-MIL here).

Everyone kept saying how I must be so done with everything, and ready to have the baby since when they were at the end of their pregnancy they were so done with it themselves... and yes, I am ready to meet this baby, but not for the same reasons they were. I didn't explain to them about my sister or anything, I just kind of avoided the subject and said "Yeah, we're ready. We just don't want him to go overdue." And of course, without a proper explanation, they assume that it's for the same reasons that most people don't want to go overdue. Which isn't an invalid reason, but for me there is just so much more to it than that. I didn't bother explaining though, because I know that they wouldn't truly understand even if I had. They don't understand anything about our situation... for example, I've had to explain the need for blood thinners to my MIL several times, but she was still worried about the blood thinners hurting the baby... you know, after I told her about my sister, my losses, and how the blood thinners have possibly saved Nombie's life. My side of the family, there's no question of understanding it; my sister is scared about my OB letting me go too long, my mom is nervous... we know what can happen, and not one of us wants me to go overdue.

My mouth still hurts from my cavity filling. Ugh. It was a lot more extensive than my normal fillings, so I know that's why... but it hurts. I think it might be a little less sore today, but not anywhere near being 100% better yet. So that's frustrating.

39w+2d today... 5 more days until our EDD.

I hope Nombie comes soon. I go back Wednesday to see my OB, and I'm getting ready to put up one hell of a fight about a possible induction date... but I'd rather not have to, just the same. The longer I go, the more stressed out I'm getting about this though.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Oh dear-

So, tomorrow is 39 weeks. Eek.

Yesterday, I thought it would be a great idea to hit the superstore up to finish shopping for our nieces/nephews, plus we needed baking supplies for goodie boxes, and some groceries too.

Yeah, that probably wasn't my brightest idea.

I have issues with my back, I think mostly because I have fairly bad scoliosis and partly from some other undiagnosed reason (long story, but I have some issues with spinal nerve inflammation). So I went shopping, and now my back is acting up really bad. I've taken Ty.len.ol, soaked in the tub, and I'm just trying to take it easy... but man, it HURTS.

Also, fighting your way through holiday shoppers while 9 months pregnant? Hahaha. What was I thinking? Oh, I remember, I figured, "Hey, it's Thursday night and going this weekend would be STUPID. So I'll just get it done today, there should be less shoppers..." and maybe there were, but honestly that didn't make a huge difference, because there was still A LOT of them out in force.

Also, I wish that stupid store had more places throughout where I could have sat down to take a quick break from standing. OMG, seriously. There was the shoe department, but it was out of the way and I was not going to fight my way through people to sit down for a minute. I just wanted to get the shopping over with!


Okay, so maybe I was trying to tempt the universe a little. I was like, "Hey, this baby needs to come out. So if I make plans and such, the universe is bound to mock me and make me go into labor. Plus all that walking can't hurt progression, right?"

So I went shopping, I went to the dentist this morning to get my cavity filled, then I made plans to bake goodies tonight, I decided to do holiday rounds tomorrow since we don't know if we can go them next weekend, and... yeah. I think all I'm going to do is wear myself out!

I did get all 10 nieces/nephews presents taken care of though. And I have stuff for baking goodies... I really want to make fudge... yum. Also, my tooth will hopefully not hurt so much now; I actually probably saved it, the cavity was really deep and I lost pretty much the entire corner of that tooth. Ugh. Soooo, I have accomplished something at least.

I really wish my mouth was less numb right now... I really want to eat lunch. Yes, that was totally random.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ow ow ow ow-

My tooth hurts. Like so much, that it hurt going to bed, then I dreamed that my tooth hurt. And when I woke up... you guessed it, the stupid thing still hurt. Looks like I need to go back to the dentist. Ugh.

In other news, I had an appointment today with my OB. I'm 38 weeks + 4 days today... and Nombie seems perfectly content to just chill out in my uterus. There was some small progress: I'm now somewhere between a fingertip and a centimeter dilated, and about 80% effaced. So I guess that's something?

We talked more about the possibility of induction, should I go overdue. My OB was talking about starting induction on January 1st, if I haven't delivered by then. Which would mean I'd have the baby around January 2nd.

I'm not cool with this for several reasons.

For starters, the serious: I DO NOT want to go over 41 weeks! January 2nd would be 41 weeks + 2 days. I know that it's just a couple days past 41 weeks, but I don't even want to go to 41 weeks. I've said it before, and I'll say it again... going overdue SCARES me. My sister lost her baby between 41 weeks and 42 weeks, and I KNOW I'm on blood thinners, while she wasn't... but that does not reassure my fears. It still scares the bejeezus out of me, and I just DO NOT want to worry about that. I just want this baby out alive and well. He's alive today, but there are no guarantees for tomorrows... I just feel like the longer we wait, the more risk for disaster.

Secondly, the frivolous: my insurance deductible starts over on January 1st... (*sigh*) My co-pay is already ridiculously high, but if I have to meet my deducible all over again? It's going to be outrageous. In the grand scheme of things, I could live with that though. I just want a healthy baby... but it would be hard, since we're still trying to recover financially from my bed rest and all these medical expenses (plus, now I'm unemployed so that won't help things). I realize how frivolous this is, and I remind myself of this all the time. So, while this would suck... I know that it would be okay. Money is just money... it'd be hard, but we'd survive.

Lastly, the less serious but possibly somewhat frivolous: My OB keeps scaring me by talking about how Nombie might be a very BIG baby, based on my growth ultrasound at 34wks as well as my fundal height. I know that is not an exact science, but she keeps talking about how he's going to be large, and how he could get stuck, and they need to know he's big in case they try to vacuum assist getting him out, and so on and so on... and I'm like, holy crap, the longer he stays in, the bigger he could get. Which means more risks and such... another reason to be scared about going overdue I guess.

She did mention the possibility of inducing on the 25th, and I'd have him on the 26th; but she's not keen on that idea at all, since I'd only be a couple days overdue. I like that plan much better. She, however, sites that the longer we wait the more chance my body could go on it's own. Also, the longer we wait, the more favorable conditions would be for an induction anyway. I can see her point... but seriously... I just want the baby out, alive and well. I don't care about how he gets here, I just want him to live.

We both hope all this talk is for nothing, and he comes on his own very soon. I feel very discouraged though; I just feel like he's not going to come out in a timely manner. I know that's not logical, but that's what I feel.

So, please send some labor progression vibes my way if you could. I'm going to give my body a pep talk, and then do some deep cleaning around the house... if I find the energy. I'm pretty exhausted lately, so anything more intense than the dishes seems to have taken the back burner on my priority list this week. But I will find the motivation to vacuum, I swear I will...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Another week-

We has our 38 week appointment today. Fundal height was still measuring a few weeks ahead, still not much progress. She did say I was like a finger tip dilated now, but basically no change at all. The internal caused some bleeding and cramping, so that's uncomfortable. Nombie wasn't moving much yesterday or today, so she sent me for a non-stress test. He wasn't moving much, so they startled him awake with a loud buzzer thing, which made him JUMP. After that he moved some more for the test, and then proceeded to get violent hiccups. All checked out okay in the end though, so that was good.

I'm really starting to think this baby is not coming until his EDD or later... I keep telling him he can come a few days early, or you know, a week... but I don't think he's listening. I am just so anxious to get him out here alive and well.

Due to scheduling conflicts I go back on Wednesday, instead of Friday, for my 39 week appointment. Hoping for more progress by then.
_________________________________________

I haven't posted about this yet, but I got some bad news the other day. If you remember, my step sister was matched with a birth mother. I was so excited for her. The birth mother was due mid-November, went a bit overdue... well in the end, after delivery, the birth mother decided to parent the child after all. I am just devastated for my step sister. Right around Thanksgiving on top of everything. She has a wonderful attitude about it, but she's still heart broken and my thoughts are with her. I'm letting her decide when/if she can talk to me, because right now she doesn't want to talk about it and I know me being pregnant may be hard for her. But, it's so difficult to see her struggle so much, to get the nursery ready, how excited they were, and now they're back to waiting... I know that there is a baby out there for them, and it's just a matter of time, but I also know that's of little consequence when you're hurting like that. It's just so unfair.

Another friend of mine online lost a child a few months ago. Their daughter was born at 24 weeks, and lived for 3 days. This was their second loss due to preterm labor. They asked people to do a good deed this year in their children's memory, then send them a Christmas card about it, so that on Christmas morning they can open those cards so it will bring them a little joy this holiday. I think it's a wonderful idea, and I can only hope it brings them some comfort.

So many more women I know are struggling with loss anniversaries, another year with empty arms, watching family and friend's lives go on while it feels like theirs is on standstill.

The holidays are hard for so many people, and I know I've had my hardships over the years. I've had 4 winter seasons of sorrow, between infertility and my miscarriages... this season I am so grateful to be where I am. I know that things could still take a turn for the worse, but at this moment things are wonderful. For that, I am thankful. Even so, I don't forget, not for one moment, the struggle that so many are facing this holiday season. My thoughts are with so many, and I can only wish them the strength to get through this. Be kind to yourselves, no matter where you are or what you're going through.

Friday, December 2, 2011

36 weeks +6 days

So, tomorrow is 37 weeks! Very awesome.

I had my weekly appointment today, and the baby's heart rate was good. He was very active too. I'm still not dilated at all, although she did say that it seemed "softer"... but not much progress there, regardless. My fundal height is already measuring 39 weeks now, so still about 2 weeks ahead. I didn't gain any weight at my last appointment, and at this one I'd actually lost a pound. So staying steady there now, which is weird considering how much it sky rocketed the last couple months. But that's good, just the same. Holding at around 20lbs total gain at this point.

I'm also starting to get worried about going overdue. I just have a lot of anxiety about it, that a lot of people just don't understand. It's not about "being done with being pregnant" or anything like that; I worry every day that he stays in me could be his last. I worry about losing my baby, like my sister lost my niece. I know my clotting disorder is being treated now, and hers wasn't at the time... but the fear is there, all the same. The closer we get to the estimated due date, the more I hope he comes just a little early. It's one thing to know the odds, and another to have someone be in those odds or to go through the trauma firsthand. I thought my niece was coming home, and then she didn't... I mean, she was past due, it seemed like such a done deal. I know Nombie is alive today... but what about tomorrow? I don't expect a lot of people to understand, and I know it's a bit irrational, but I can't help it... this is the reality I know.

I am hopeful that he will come home alive though. I am making preparations, putting the final touches on things, and savoring the moment. This month is going to be hard, waiting to see what happens. I'm so glad I'm done with work, so I can just focus on getting through this. I mean, it's not just the worry about going overdue... there's also the worry about labor itself, the weather, when exactly he's going to come... I'm just generally anxious.

I've been working on cleaning the house up and trying to get things ready. Busying myself. I still have quite a bit to do... (*cough-like the car seat installation/inspection-cough*). I keep telling my husband we need to get on that, but we are slacking. Hopefully we'll get to it this coming week? It feels like we still have forever, even though in reality he should be here this month... there are only 3 weeks left until our estimated due date.

As promised, I thought I'd share some nursery in progress photographs. I suck at posting them with text on Blogger... so this may be a mess. Sorry! Also, the shots/angles aren't very good since the room is small/awkward. The first one is the dresser and such, I have a DYI maternity photo of myself and A- on it, as well as three cardinals I bought... I had to represent the babies we lost too. There's a metal tree on it, with picture frames for a family tree. I bought that a long time ago for when we had kids... before infertility. It's sat hidden away for so long.

The photos on the wall I found online and printed off of some old vintage birds. I had some old frames around the house, so we just spray painted them to match the room. I did put a quote on the far left one, it says, " 'Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.' - Winston Churchill."

The second photo is the crib... with stuff in it that won't stay in there when the baby sleeps in it, but I thought was cute for now. I already had all those C.are Be.ars. One of them is even from when I was a baby. The bassinets aren't staying in there, one is going in our bedroom and the other downstairs in our living room- I'm just keeping them in the nursery until we need them. So just picture the room without all that chaos.






The final photo is the glider and changing table. As I said, the room is small/awkward, so that's the best I could do to get that wall. The glider was refurbished; we sanded it down and spray painted it brown. The changing table came from my cousin. I'm also storing our holiday shopping in there, so ignore that mess too (I feel like I'm saying that a lot!).

We got a lot of stuff as hand me downs, bought used, or were given to use and refurbished. I think we only bought a couple of things new, like the dresser and the crib. Which helped out so much, given the financial situation that our SCH had sent us into. I'm very happy with how everything has came together too. After I pidddle around in there setting things up, I like to sit in the rocker and just look at it all. It makes me happy.

Plus, I sort of have to sit down because doing the simplest things make me tired and sore these days haha.

Oh, and a belly/tree shot :)

When I see this one, I just keep thinking, "I'm averting my eyes, oh lord!" hahaha. Thanks Mo.nty P.ython.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

36 weeks!

I figured I'd share a different angle of belly shot for once. I didn't realize how much it really stuck out there until I took this tonight!

And an explanation for the photo... yeah, I wish someone would tell me how this happens. I sat down to get on my laptop and got lap cats instead. One of the many mysteries of the universe I guess. If they weren't all cute and furry...

We got the holiday decorations up yesterday, and they are lovely! Then today we spent assembling the dresser for the nursery. And then rearranging in there a little, and hanging pictures. Tomorrow we'll start washing the clothes so I can put them away. I'll try to post some more completed photos afterward. But I have to say, it's still a big ole' mess in there. Complete chaos. I'm slowly working at it, but I am starting to think that I won't be getting anywhere anytime soon.

Also, I may be nesting... I can't seem to just chill and relax. I feel like my to-do list keeps growing. We still have so much to do.

I did my first Heparin shot tonight, it wasn't too bad. I think it might bruise though. But the cost was amazing, it was so much cheaper than my Lovenox; it saved us like $100 this month. But it's just for a month... or however long until I have the baby. Which will hopefully be in a little less than a month.

Yikes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quick update:

Today's appointment was non-eventful, so I can't complain.

35 weeks and 4 days: My fundal height is still measuring a week or two ahead, baby is still good, he has not dropped or engaged yet, and my cervix is closed up tight. In this past month my weight gain has slowed down dramatically; I didn't gain anything in the last two weeks, and last time I only gained a pound. My blood pressure was a little high, but no protein in my urine so they're not worried about it. I had my group B-strep swab done, and I'll get those results back in a week. I start Heparin on Saturday.

I go back December 2nd for my 37wk appointment.

Tonight is my last day of work. I'm going to miss the shelter, but I am so ready to just stay home and relax. It's going to be so weird to leave my binder behind and say my good byes. I've been there for over 3 years now. Initially I applied for the position because we needed the extra income for fertility treatments, but I did really care about what the shelter did and stood for too. The shift flexibility was a major bonus as well, and I stayed there even after I graduated college. It was just a good fit. But now that I should be having a baby in the next month, it was no longer going to be a good fit for us. It's scary to be unemployed again, but I think it was the right choice.

After I leave there in the morning, I'll be getting a nap... then heading to the in-law's for Thanksgiving. Hopefully we won't stay long, because I am going to need to come back home and sleep. Besides, the tension there always unnerves me.

Friday will be a new day, and I'll be welcoming it with holiday films while we deck our halls and trim our tree. I think that will really bring everything home for me- we're getting so close to our estimated due date. One month from tomorrow. I'm getting so anxious.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Almost 35/35

Tomorrow I'll be 35 weeks pregnant, with 35 more days until our estimated due date. How crazy is that?

We have a lot of stuff still left to do, like the nursery... umm, I think we'll get to it eventually? We plan on buying the crib mattress tomorrow, so we'll at least get the crib together real soon. And the dresser, still need that. Honestly, I think I'm slacking so much because of the lack of furniture. I mean, everything is in there... just not organized or set up. So much chaos. Need places to put things. Ack.

I also have to think about getting a hospital bag together, and the car seat installed/inspected. We're working on the latter. I told my husband I'd like it done by next week, because we just need to get it over with. As for the bag, I know what I want in it... so we just have to scrounge that all together. Not a huge deal.

I had to get a cavity filled yesterday... that was fun. I really don't mind going to the dentist, or getting work done, it's just the finances that kill me. Hopefully one day we'll get dental insurance, but for now we're self pay... and that can get pretty expensive. I was really dragging my feet about it, but that cavity was seriously bothering me. I hope I can get back to eating normal now.

Next week is SUPER busy. I have to switch my phone provider, have a prenatal appointment with an internal exam, working, quitting (yup, finally made the decision to not return), then Thanksgiving (with the in-laws... I'm going to need strength to get through it), switching to Heparin, and putting up holiday decorations! I can't wait for next weekend, things will finally wind down a bit and I can just relax and catch up on sleep.

God, I miss sleep.

My mom is causing all sorts of stress and drama for me: some stemming from my brother and his girlfriend, and some from her compulsive lying. Needless to say I am avoiding her/them like the devil right now. So much drama that it hurts... ugh.

Otherwise, things seem to be going alright here. I am super excited about being 35 weeks tomorrow. Who am I kidding, I get super excited every Saturday when another week begins! So there's always that. Nombie hasn't been moving a lot, but at least I can usually get him dancing when I have candy or orange juice. I think he tried to change positions the other day, I felt his head or butt poking out my side... and I was like, "NOOO, you stay head down!" He moved it shortly after, but I don't know where to. I know they can change positions a lot up until delivery, but once he's in a position he usually stays there for a long time. I worry that he'll flip and stay in an awkward position. Guess we'll see. Really, as long as he's healthy and alive it doesn't matter though- one way or another we'll get him out.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Braaiiinnnsssss-

I slept for 2 hours last night. Not for lack of exhaustion and trying, but this insomnia is a PAIN. Even when I take an over the counter sleep aide, I still only sleep 4 hours maximum before I'm back up and unable to sleep again. When I sleep on my own, it's more like 2 hours... if I'm lucky... and I always wake up during my REM sleep stage. Not cool. My OB prescribed me some sleeping pills to take on the weekend to help me get through this lull, because seriously I am not functioning like this. Physically it's just brutal. I'm so tired all the time, and I have plenty of time to rest, but I just can not sleep to save my life. Ugh.

Our 34 week appointment this morning went well. Up until last appointment my fundal height had been measuring spot on for how many weeks I am, then suddenly it's jumped up ahead a few weeks. I was measuring around 36 weeks today I guess. My OB wanted me to get a growth ultrasound and check positioning (since he's favored breech/transverse this whole time). He's head down (hopefully staying there too), has lots of hair, and was practicing breathing (which was neat looking). When she measured his head/abdomen the GA calculator (for average age/size) showed he was measuring around 37-38wks already. She estimated his weight at 6lbs and 4oz, + or - a pound. He has been measuring a little beefy, even on other machines... so I don't know. Either way you look at it though, he is a bit big for only 34wks. My OB said he's around the 85-90th percentile right now. She said that it's nothing to be alarmed about yet, and they don't want to plan on inducing early due to his size at the moment, but she definitely wants to keep an eye on it. I really don't mind the idea of being induced early, to be honest. I'm worried about my anti-coagulant dosing, the weather, the timing, and lots of other little things... but whatever happens, happens.

I go back the day before Thanksgiving for my 36wk appointment (I'll actually be 35wks and 4 days then I think- have to go in early or late because of the holiday weekend) and we'll start the internal exams, as well as switching to Heparin that weekend.

We went to our breastfeeding class tonight, it was somewhat informative but rather redundant and repetitive. Way too many nipple photos/videos for me. Sorry, but a single photo or two to get an understanding of what she was talking about would have been more than enough. But then she had to show a video that was like 10 minutes long about signs/cues/latches and it was like several minute clips of basically the exact same footage... I think a single clip of each would have been sufficient. Then there were more photos of the things she already covered. I think the class could have been called "nipples for dummies." I wanted a class more geared towards basics of breastfeeding, issues that might arise, but this was just... really dumbed down. I know it was a "basics" class, but it felt like it was more of a "for those who've never heard of breastfeeding." If that makes sense.

It probably didn't help that I was about to pass out the entire session. So. tired. As I said, I had two hours of sleep last night, and then after our appointment I took a 4 hour nap but that obviously isn't enough. Can not function. And these braxton hicks contractions have increased the last few days (which is really uncomfortable), my heartburn is running wild, I feel like I'm going to throw up, my jaw/teeth hurt, and I have a migraine from hell. Sorry, I feel like total and utter crap right now. I think I'm just going to go ahead to bed. Ugh.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Huh-

I just realized that we're due next month... granted it's towards the end of the month, but it's still next month. I tried saying that outloud, but it sounded like a lie. I still don't feel pregnant, I mean I have my moments (braxton hicks contractions, movement, discomforts etc...) but it still feels unreal.

We have a baby class tonight; mostly for my husband's benefit because I want to laugh everytime he says, "How hard can it be?" and then he's all surprised when I tell him things. He doesn't have experience with infants, so I don't see the harm in taking a class; it certainly can't hurt.

Then next week we have our 34wk appointment and a breast feeding class.

And... the weekend of Thanksgiving we'll be 36wks, starting weekly appointments, internal exams, switching to Heparin, and going on maternity (or permanent) leave... and, that's in like 3 weeks now? Seriously?

I think things are really starting to sink in now.

I'm still scared of things going wrong, but I'm trying to enjoy this moment. I've made it this far, but there are still fears that I need to deal with. I know that this late in the game, the risks of loss are lower... but how do I explain this fear to people? I know the risk of a still birth is 3%, but we only had a 1% chance of losing 3 pregnancies in a row. What comfort can statistics give me? Most of the time I don't think about it, I just focus on today; but the worry is still there, where it'll stay. I do relish in the fact that I am so close, that this wonderful wiggling baby may soon be in my arms- but I want that so badly, I've dreamed of it for so long, that of course I'm going to worry. Who wouldn't fear losing something they love so much, and tried so hard for?

The closer we get the the estimated due date, the more anxious I grow. I worry about labor, about loss, about my own health. I get excited about holding him in my arms, of kissing his sweet face, of my husband finally meeting this precious boy. I'm anxious about when he'll come, will there be snow or ice making the drive hazardous, will he be early, 'on time', late? It seems like time has slowed down; at the same time I've been so busy that it seems to be passing me by, yet the next few milestones seem forever away. I still have so much to do.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Working on stuff-

32 weeks today!

Things looked pretty good at our appointment yesterday, besides gaining a lot more weight than I should have in 2 weeks. I blame all the cake... delicious, yummy, cake. Mmm. We're waiting on my thyroid results to make sure my dose is still good, I also bit the bullet and got the flu shot (for the first time ever). I talked to my OB about the abdominal pain I started having two days ago, really intense stabbing/bruised feeling near my belly button- she thinks it's probably just round ligament pains, and suggested I take it easy over the weekend and see if that helps. If it doesn't, I can give them a call back Monday. I've been really lazy since then, and it hasn't been bothering me as much... so let's hope it stays that way.

I've been working on a blanket for Nombie for months now. Since I'm taking it easy, I finished it up last night. I think it turned out alright, it looks nicer in real life than in the photos... I really need to learn how to take better crochet photos haha.

This blanket is the first/only one I've actually made specifically for Nombie. I made other blankets for my "someday child" out of hope. While they are special in their own way, this one is even more meaningful for me because I actually made it just for him. No matter what happens, this blanket will always be his. I don't know how to articulate just how scary and amazing that is.

You can kind of see the nursery in the background... it's a real mess right now. I kind of just threw everything in there for now. We'll start setting it up later this month after we get a dresser for in there. But for now= chaos.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Randomness:

- I never did update about my cat Ishi. If you remember, I swore he has some mental defect and he thought my husband was the anti-christ. SIL1 felt like I should get rid of him because he might freak the baby out... yeah, even though I bottle fed this cat, have had him for 5 years, and he only likes me... yeah, umm, no? Ishi is special. This cat thinks the best things in life are, in this order: me, cat treats, dog food, and his tail. Anyway, we thought getting him fixed might help with some of his 'specialness', so we booked him an appointment and got it over with.

The change in him is remarkable. He's still scared of my husband to an extent, but he's so different now. He comes out and plays while my husband is home, he'll even play with my husband if I'm on the couch with him. This hasn't happened since Ishi was a kitten. He loves playing now, all the time. I mean he used to play when I was home alone, but it's like all that anxiety/testosterone got rerouted into play time all the time. His tail is the best toy EVER. It's super long, so it always surprises him when he sees it out of the corner of his eyes... I did say he was special, right?

But he still loves the cuddles, although I'm starting to think we've created a monster. He used to only follow me around meowing when I was home alone... now I get no peace. If he was a human, I'd have a restraining order against him- he's that obsessed with me. Every cat I've ever bottle fed has been obsessed with me, but never quite like this. It does make me smile, he always looks like he's so happy he could explode: I'm his whole world. I saved him, bottle fed him, have loved him, and he still thinks I'm the momma. He's not aggressive about it, or possessive, he doesn't get mad about me petting other cats or anything (just confused as to where his loving is)- he just waits for his chance. We spend most of the night together on the couch.

Oh, but the best part? He stopped spraying.

He does still get a bit freaked out when we rearrange furniture, or bring in new stuff, but it's not as bad. And he gets over it fairly quickly now, so that is definitely good. He doesn't get much more freaked out than everyone else, I'd say it's definitely more normal. I mean, all of them got freaked out when we brought in the hand-me-downs from my cousin, and the stuff from the baby shower, but they all dealt with it and calmed down in their own time. No matter what I do, I know that if Nombie comes home it'll freak them out. They'll probably all hide for awhile, but they'll adjust. Even Ishi.

- Nombie seems to be positioned weird. My right side is sticking out more than my left, and I've been having sharp pains over there where I've felt some movement. I've felt movement all over today, so I'm really not sure how he's positioned... but it's sharp. I told A- last night that I think I'm making a pointy baby. It's a really really sharp/stabby pain, up a little and to the right of my belly button. I'm hoping it's just him being positioned weird... and that he'll move so it hurts less. It's really hurts.

- I think I've started experiencing braxton hicks contractions in the past couple of days. I feel an uncomfortableness every now and then, and my abdomen gets tighter. Never having had BH contractions, I really can't say for sure if this is what it is. But given that I'm almost 32 weeks, I imagine it must be? It's not painful, just uncomfortable. I really can't discern when they start/stop or a pattern, so that's probably good right? I don't know. This is all new territory to me.

- I seem to have hit the point of pregnancy where everything hurts. I feel whiny and I'm trying not to complain because I am so thankful for every single day I get with Nombie. But I hurt all over, all the time, and I'm soooo tired. I can't get comfortable at night, my sides/hips hurt, I wake up so many times because I either need to flip sides or I need to pee, my head hurts, and my abdomen is just so sore all the time. I know it'll be worth it though, really, just so long as Nombie comes home alive. Until then, just taking things one day at a time and taking pleasure in knowing I'm almost there... less than 60 days now until our EDD.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Run down-

I feel so run down lately. Like I've been super exhausted, I'm having trouble sleeping, then work made that worse since it's graveyard shift, and now I've got some ear/jaw pain going on, besides being sore EVERYWHERE... I think I either have an ear infection or a cavity issue; I'll call on Monday if it's still this bad or worse. Just super unpleasant for now.

Also, I can't seem to form coherent thoughts anymore. So, I guess I'll do this post in bullets.

- I can't wait to be done with work. I was so anxious to go back because we need the money, and while we still need the money... physically, it's getting more and more draining the farther along I get. My last day should be 36wks, so I keep telling myself there's only another month. But man, that's going to be such a long month. I just need to make it through Thanksgiving...

- This Saturday we'll be 31 weeks. Which is unbelievable.

- The 22nd is also when my second baby would have been due... (s)he'd have turned 2 this year. That was the one I conceived from my birthday ovulation; I'd hoped that it would be the best birthday present ever. I'd thought that EDD was sort of neat, since I have a nephew who was born on the 25th, and a niece on the 28th- so close to my EDD. But then I lost it, and it was terrible. I'm glad that over time the memory of what I went through has faded, the vividness has dulled... but I still remember the screaming, 6 hours of hell, and the horrible empty feeling the next morning as if I'd been carved hollow and raw from the inside out. I don't think that will ever fade.

- Our first baby was due a little over a week after Nombie. It's weird being due within the same time frame again, of course this time my entire view of everything has changed. It's like living a parallel timeline for what should have been, except everything is different now. It's amazing how different we are after three years- but I can see her (the old me) and that baby we lost, and where we would have been.

- The last four years A- has asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I'd tell him I wanted a baby. And then I'd cry because that's really all I wanted, the one thing we couldn't seem to have. The holidays have been exceedingly difficult as we continued to experience more losses and medical setbacks while A-'s younger siblings continued having children. I really hope this Christmas is different for us.

- It's getting colder here, we've had the windows closed in the house and the heat on. And for some reason, that is already making me excited for winter decorating. I hate winter/cold/snow... but I love getting out the holiday decorations. My favorite family tradition is putting up our tree together. I love the way it looks and the warm feeling I get from looking at it. I love the garlands, candles, hot cocoa, holiday music, colored lights... I soak it all up. Still another month before all that though!

- Being due on a holiday is surreal, it serves as a constant reminder of our EDD. I've never been this hyper aware of how many days until Christmas before. When I see the Christmas stuff in the store I freak out a little. It's still two months away, and that seems like forever. Then I think, it's only two months away and that seems like no time at all. Mostly I settle on "plenty of time" and stop thinking about it... mostly.

- I wish Nombie would move more. I still don't feel much movement, and that bothers me. I know that with the anterior placenta this can be normal, but my OB makes it out like I should be feeling him more than I am. I don't know, it just makes me nervous sometimes. I just really don't feel like I should be going all day without feeling him when I'm this far along. My OB said for kick counts to try and feel 5 movements in an hour... but some days I'm lucky if I feel 5 instances of movement in 24 hours. But he always seems fine, and I find him on the doppler without too much hassle (most of the time) so I guess it's just normal for him. Yeah, that doesn't make me less uneasy though.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Baby Shower-


Here's me from today, 30wks + 1day. We'd just gotten home from the baby shower, so I still had my button on.

The shower went alright, it was very... awkward. It could have been worse though, so I'm not going to complain too much.

My mother had a few moments where she couldn't understand what was going on, and we got her set right before it turned into a blowout and she got too disoriented. I was hoping I was the only one that noticed, but A- and my best friend commented on it. A- knew where it was heading, and my friend knew enough about my mother to know too... the rest of the guests had no idea the near melt-down/tantrum that was averted.

Less than half the invitees showed up, which again was expected.

However, it was weird. The shower was for my baby, but most of the time people talked amongst themselves... like, I really didn't do much talking at all. Heck, most people didn't ask about Nombie, or talk about our pregnancy. It made the whole issue of "awkward conversation" null and void, since there really wasn't that much conversation with me at all? Which, as I said, strikes me as odd to begin with... but it's over now.

While I was opening gifts most of them were busy fawning over the new nephew and talking loudly about him. This pissed my best friend off, since the shower was for our baby. I have a kind of "meh" attitude about it; at least it took the focus off of me... I hate being the center of attention. But I also feel a little cheated, since this was supposed to be about celebrating Nombie. And since no one talked about him, or paid much attention during the gift opening, it makes me wonder what exactly we were doing there?

Why yes, I am a little conflicted... and not quite done processing what just happened.

I'm thankful they made the effort, that nothing disastrous happened, and for the company/gifts. The cake was nice (and yummy); Nombie was happy about that too. Very happy.

And... yeah. So I guess it was, umm, nice?
I think I'm just going to continue processing this.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Today my heart goes out to those parents that have lost their children, whether it in the early stages of pregnancy, late term, or after birth. A loss is a loss.

I like to take today as a way to remember and raise awareness. People know that pregnancy loss happens, that infants pass away- but what they don't always realize is how often this happens. Every single person out there knows someone that has lost a child, even if they don't always know it. We're not alone in this; those who have lost might not always talk about them, but you are never alone.

If you are one of the many grieving and have come to my blog today, let me say it again: You are not alone.

Often this grief is isolating, it feels heavier by the silence. Whether we speak about it or not, we're often met with a brick wall- people neither know what to say, or how to react, when we tell them "I lost my baby." Often a simple, "I'm sorry," would suffice, a shoulder to cry on, letting us talk about our children. What we don't want are platitudes. We don't want to hear how it could have been worse, or how we're lucky we can try again, or any other bull shit. Our babies died, and they aren't ever coming back. What we need is to grieve.

I get tired of being told to move on, that it's okay now... because it's not okay, I should have an almost three year old, I should have a child turning two, I should have a one year old... but I don't. Yes, I am pregnant now- and I am thankful for every single day that this child is still alive inside me. But he is not a replacement for his brothers and sisters, he is his own precious being. We wanted them all. We still miss them. Their existence changed our lives forever.

My niece would have turned 13 this year. Instead, we remember that 13 years ago she lived inside my sister's womb. She was born, but she was born silent. My nephews know their sister existed; they came later, never met her, but they love her just the same. Her ashes rest with them, her memory with all of the lives she touched.

And today, my heart goes out to all of you who have lost, whether it was your own child, a family member's, a friend's (because our losses are never just our own). My heart broke so many times this year, and years past, when my friends have lost. So many fellow bloggers, women from my support groups, my friends... it's unfathomable sometimes. And I stand with you today to remember. I stand here to let others remember too- we are not alone.

At 7pm I will be lighting a candle for the three pregnancies I have lost, the children I will never meet. I will be lighting this candle for my niece. For my friend's children. For all the children lost. I invite you to join me, wherever you are, to remember.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Positives-

Thanks for all the kind words on my last post. I really needed to vent that out, I'm really hoping things go smoothly on Sunday... but A- and I both have our doubts. I'm going to have A- and my best friend as support/backup so hopefully that'll give me the strength to get through this. I'm scared though.

There have been some positive things lately though, so I thought I'd share those!

We'll be 30wks on Saturday. That's exciting! Every week Nombie's still with us is absolutely amazing.

A couple days before the ultrasound, I was feeling my abdomen and noticed that there was a lump on the left side. I commented to A- that I thought it was Nombie's head. I kept feeling it leading up to the ultrasound. We had the ultrasound and confirmed it was indeed his head poking out there. So. freaking. weird. He's moved since the ultrasound, I'm not sure where his head is now. I think he might be head up again, or maybe laying sideways from the right now. Really not sure.

I keep going back and looking at the 3d ultrasound photos. It's just so surreal knowing that he's in there, and he's so stinking cute. There are some sequential shots where he puckers his face up, sticks his tongue out, then starts sucking his thumb. Like, for serious, there's a baby in there. That always hits me after every ultrasound, and I'm always amazed by it. Like, I know there's a baby in there, but after I see him again it really just hits me anew without fail. It never gets old.

Nombie was really active the days following the ultrasound. It was nice feeling some strong solid movement, and not just a handful of movement a day. I mean, he was going at it! I get so worried since I really don't feel him very often. Since he's moved from my left, I haven't been feeling him as much again. It was nice while it lasted.

A couple days ago, A- finally felt Nombie move from the outside. I've been feeling Nombie on the outside for weeks, but my hands always just happen to be on my belly when he moves. Movement is so unpredictable, and the only way to catch it is when it's up top. A- hasn't felt any big kicks/punches, it was just some squirming. I feel a lot of squirming where Nombie's head is, he likes to jam it against my uterine wall/placenta at the top. So when he turns it's this weird twisting feeling. Sometimes it can be felt from the outside. Of course, the next day A- was doubting he felt anything, saying it felt like a twitch and he wasn't sure. But it was. And he felt squirming again the next day. But, no solid hard kicks/punches.

The other day we were at a store, and there was a really good sale going on this crib they had. I was planning on waiting until the end of this month to buy a crib, but A- really wanted to get this crib since the deal was really good (and of course, the sale expired the next day). So... we bought a crib. Yeah. We haven't opened it yet, it's sitting in the nursery in it's box waiting. We should probably open it and make sure it doesn't have any missing parts/scratches... but I don't know if I want to just yet. Buying it was scary enough!
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We have a busy weekend ahead of us:

Friday we have another appointment with my OB so we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. We'll be taking a pause and lighting our candle at 7pm in honor of all the babies we've lost, as well as for anyone else who has lost a child. Sadly, many members of the ALI community that I follow or am friends with have lost children this year, and my heart goes out to them. I'll be posting about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on my FB and on here too, like I do every year.

Then Sunday is the baby shower. I'll be sure to post about that; but I might need to process things first, so the post might take a few days for me to spit it out. It's only two hours... that's what I keep telling myself. Maybe less if we're lucky.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Le stress-

The baby shower is this Sunday. I'm hoping for the strength to survive it. Not from just the obvious reasons, like still feeling uncomfortable talking about the pregnancy... but, well, my mother is supposed to be hosting it.

I don't talk about her a lot on here, because I try to limit what I say about certain family members. My mother is mentally ill (certified by the gov't). Most people don't know how seriously ill she is, won't admit how much worse she's gotten, or don't believe me when I say that she's mentally ill. She has no verbal filter, she thinks everything is about her, that she's got it worse than everyone else, and that she's going to die. She forgets things, like conversations we just had or recipes she made for the holidays every year since I was a child- and she gets worse every year. She functions in society, her social worker hasn't put restrictions on her- she can go where she wants, drive, live on her own, she's just off.

She lives on her own in an efficiency apartment for the disabled. She tells people that she's on disability for physical reasons, and maybe by now she is too on top of the mental... I don't know. She does have physical issues, but she also exaggerates drastically (she's lied about cancer before- yes, we know with certainty she lied about it). She says she can't breathe, she's even got oxygen at home (which she refuses to use) oh, and she's also a chain smoker.

I love my mother, but she's extremely challenging. When I can, I limit my visits with her to less than an hour. Because honestly, I end up wanting to bang my head into a wall and pull my hair out before that hour is even up.

She's been trying to help us out, and I appreciate it. I think her heart is in the right place. But it's very trying. She only wants to come during certain times of the day: 2pm is okay but 3pm is too late because it might start getting dark. In case you're wondering, yeah sunset is 8pm here, and she lives about 20 minutes away... so I'm still confused on how 3pm is too late? And don't get me started about if it's raining (even sprinkles are dangerous).

- She was getting hand-me-downs from my cousin's house for us. I told her repeatedly I did not want some of the stuff because of safety reasons (Heck, the crib she wanted me to take was probably 10 years old, missing it's hardware, and deplorable!) So, what does my mother do? She brings it all over anyway. And rather than leave the stuff I don't want in her car and drop it off at the thrift store (which was on her way home, and they would have unloaded it for her) she just left it at my house and stormed off. Apparently I offended her because I told her I didn't want that stuff (which I told her before she picked it up)... oh, and because I asked her not to smoke around me in my own house again. I think that was the clincher.

Okay, I know she doesn't understand. I'm all for hand-me-downs but we still haven't had our shower yet, plus we had planned to buy certain things new (like the crib)... and you know if this baby survives it will be our first, and possibly our only, living child. I think I'm entitled to have some things that I want for my child; I mean, we've waited 4 years for this.

- Back to the smoking... yeah, all the stuff she brings over from her home for the baby reeks of smoke. I used to be a smoker, but my stuff never smelled this bad according to A-, who has never been a smoker. She chain smokes, and she doesn't think twice about lighting up with me in her apartment (with windows closed), or in her car, or in my own house. She will proudly tell you that she smoked through all of her pregnancies, and her 4 children turned out fine (besides the awful asthma). I don't give a fuck if she thinks smoking didn't hurt her babies, what's done is done... but damn it, this is my baby. I stopped smoking for my health and my future children's health. She can stop smoking for 1 hour in my presence.

- So the shower... she offered to do our shower, and I had to accept even though I had doubts about this. If I had turned her down, she would have thrown a tantrum and a major woe-is-me campaign. But she's causing me serious stress about this. She's already complained about money (which meant she was trying to get us to help foot the bill- this isn't the first time she's done this). She wouldn't let my MIL help with it at all initially, saying "there isn't much to do for a shower." My mom likes to do things alone, so she was being very controlling about this. Yet she kept trying to make me fill out the invites and envelopes for the shower? Which I explained several times was bad etiquette, and she kept arguing with me about it. I had decided on telling her to cancel and have someone else throw it, but she'd already sent the invites out.

She told me she got the invites at the dollar store, which would have been fine if they were decent quality. But they were so cheaply made that my friend's was coming out of the envelope due to how thin the envelopes were! So now I'm just hoping the invites didn't get lost in the mail from escaping the envelopes... ugh. She mailed them out a week later than we agreed on, so guests have limited notice of the shower as well (if they even got their invites). I had to call her again the other night because MIL was really really really wanting to help. My mom started blowing this off again, but we kept talking and she started telling me "well, this still needs done," and "I didn't really finish this," and after I finally got her to spill it... I found out that EVERYTHING she told me was "already done", was in fact not done AT ALL. At the end of the conversation, I got her to agree to call MIL directly and see what she can get done.

It then took them another week to make contact because my mom was worried I gave her the wrong number (even after checking with me multiple times and confirming it was the correct number), and then she refused to call it again or text it because she just didn't think it was the right number. Ugh. MIL got ahold of her in the end... a week before the shower.

To be fair... I know that I have no one to blame but myself for agreeing to let her do this. I knew how she was. But I also knew how she'd react if I turned her down. I thought I was choosing the lesser of two evils. She'd blindsided me and asked to do it very early on, before anyone else could offer. If someone else had, turning her down would have been easier. I'm not trying to sound like a whiny bitch, but my MIL or my best friend would love to be have thrown me a shower. They even offered to do a separate shower, but I didn't see the point in doing that because honestly there aren't that many people to invite; it's going to be a very small shower to begin with. I would much rather have had my best friend do the shower though, my stress meter would be so much lower right now.

It's too late now, the invites are out. The shower is set. I was dreading this shower because of people acting like this is my first pregnancy and saying asinine things... but honestly, my mom worries me more.

That's totally not the only thing stressing me about my mom, but if I wrote everything down it'd be a novel (well more of a novel than it already is!) I really am thankful that she's trying, that we're even getting a shower, and I am grateful for the hand-me-downs I got (I did get a lot of very nice/useful stuff!)... but there's just some stuff I could do without.

I will have a much more positive post tomorrow or the next day, but for now... I just needed to unload. She pulled some crap last week that had me really frazzled (not going into it, that's an even longer story)... but I'm just at my wits end.

I wish I had a "normal" crazy mom; you know the type where you say your mom is crazy, but she's not really crazy? I always fall into the trap of trying to help her, or going to her when I have stuff going on in my life because, well, she's my mother. But the truth is, she stopped being my mother a long time ago. We go through the motions, and I love her... but as her mental illness got worse, she checked out on life and being a mother. I can remember so many good memories of her from when I was little, but by the time I was 11 I started noticing things changing, my mother was there... but she wasn't there.

I wonder if my heart will ever realize what my mind did all those years ago.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Progression-

SIL2 is healing well, very exhausted though. She did end up with 2 blood transfusions directly after her c-section, then 2 more transfusions the next morning. Baby is doing great too.

We went over to see them the other day, he was so cute. Nombie started moving, or kicking, at the nephew as I held him; now that felt weird! Holding a baby while your own kicked it from inside you... haha, yeah. I couldn't help but think, "I might actually have one of these in a few months." That felt surreal. I might actually have a baby.

Tomorrow is 29 weeks. Yeah, that's pretty AMAZING. We went ahead and had an elective 3d/4d ultrasound because honestly, this is probably our first/last chance, and damn it I WANTED one. I know I'd regret not getting it done: even if things went perfectly, but especially if something goes wrong. Nombie was uncooperative, to say the least. He is breech, with his face mashed up against the lovely anterior placenta, and he was totally folded in half. He kept putting his feet in his mouth, like "Toes... YUM." It was cute, but it made getting good face shots really difficult. After we got him to move his feet, he decided he needed to suck his thumb. And then he put his feet back in his face. Hahahaha... nice.


You can see his face and feet/toes on the right in this one, and his arm up under his chin.

My husband's response: while he thought some of it was cute, he refers to 3d/4d ultrasounds as "the melting baby pictures." I think they creep him out a little... and some of them, yeah, can't say I blame him! But the good shots are so cute.

This one is just a better face shot :) He's got the chubbiest little cheeks. So in love.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Another nephew

Yesterday we welcomed our 8th nephew into the world, it came at me first thing in a flurry of texts. My phone was getting blown up, apparently things were pretty touch and go for awhile. SIL2 woke up that morning bleeding profusely, when they got to the hospital they found out she had a placental abruption. She ended up losing a lot of blood, having an emergency c-section, and a couple blood transfusions. Mom and baby are fine now, but that must have been the scariest experience for her. Before this, her biggest worry had been anemia and heartburn.

Everyone is excited, and thankful for how things turned out- I'm sure everyone could do without how it began though.

We haven't went out and visited yet. I think she needs rest now, more than a ton of visitors. We might stop out today, or tomorrow, just for a few minutes... but I definitely don't want to add stress by coming out when she has so much company already.
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Her birth hasn't bothered me as much as SIL1's did last year. Maybe it's because of the chaos surrounding it, or because we're pregnant now, but it stings less. That's not to say that all my grief from infertility has been absolved (trust me, it's still there)... it's just quieter right now. I still feel that familiar ache, but it's not a howling open sore like it was last year.

I think in some ways, it's manifesting itself differently. Or I just developed a new set of issues (it's hard to tell these days). The other day at work, a women came in. She asked me if I was pregnant (first time a stranger has ever asked me that). I told her I was, she asked me how far along I was. Then she told me she was pregnant too, and tried to make small talk with me. And I didn't know how to respond. It's still so uncomfortable talking about my pregnancy, about Nombie; I still can't relate to other pregnant women at all. You'd think that after trying for 4 years, that I'd be dying to gush about this. But I'm not. I don't know if it's from how long we've tried, because of all our losses along the way, because of how impermanent everything feels... but I just don't want to chat about it.

I've never had any issues talking about my infertility with people, my procedures, my surgeries, the reality of living with recurrent miscarriages... but this, my current pregnancy, I just can't speak as openly about.

We have a tour of the maternity ward Monday, another appointment and the baby shower in two weeks. We have a little less than 3 months until our estimated due date. You'd think this would be feeling more real by now, but it's not.

**ETA: SIL2 is still hanging in there, she needed 2 more blood transfusions this morning though. Hopefully she'll be feeling better soon, and get lots of rest in the meantime.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Work in progress-

We had out appointment Friday, things went well. Nombie had a good heart beat, I'm up 5lbs this month, and I took the 1 hour glucose test. I should get the results from that sometime next week... well, only if it's bad news. They won't call me if it's normal. I HATE it when doctor offices do that, because then you're sitting around all week wondering if they've even got the stupid results in yet. Eh.

Nombie very much enjoyed the glucose drink. He was just kicking away after that. Sugar really gets him going. Sometimes I have candy without thinking about it... oops. But it makes me smile.

Oh, and 27 weeks today! I go back in 3 weeks (at 30wks), which is the weekend of our shower. After that appointment, we'll go in every 2 weeks until 36 weeks (then every week). Wow. It's still very surreal.

Did I mention we're supposed to have a baby shower in 3 weeks? For our baby? I'll believe it when I see it.

Some photo progress for you, at 26 weeks and 5 days:


Ahem, I think I may be pregnant.


Below is nursery progress. The walls were already the color I wanted, but the floors needed redone and the trim needed painted. The brown is lighter than it appears in the photo, it's a coffee bean brown though. I also need to make/buy curtains, get stuff yet, etc... it's in progress though.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Competing emotions-

A few things happened Saturday. It was busy, we went out to celebrate my husband's birthday (belatedly) shopped around and then stopped at my cousins at the end of the day.

- In the car, talking with my husband, he referred to the baby by the name we've chosen for him. Then he continued telling me how he wants to further his education/career so that Nombie will be proud of him. To which I replied, "What? You don't think he'll be proud of you anyway for being you?" because I think he'd be proud of him anyway, but then A- started talking about how he apparently wants to be the cool dad? I was laughing, but it was sweet. The thing that struck me most though, was that the whole time, he was talking as if Nombie is going to come home alive. Like he was going to live, and grow up. It was very sweet, and it made me smile.

At the same time it scares me, and worries me, because what if something happens? We're obviously not quite in the same place with our security in this pregnancy, but I'll admit I'm starting to get more hopeful too... just not in the same place as him yet. Of course, later Nombie went and decided not to move much at all, AND hid from the doppler... I found his heart beat and felt him the next day, but that was tense. He keeps flip flopping, and with the anterior placenta he has to be positioned a certain way for me to feel anything at all still. I'm 26 weeks now, I was hoping it'd be more consistent by now. But no such luck (*sigh*). I can still go a day without movement. It's makes me nervous.

- My cousin gave me a TON of hand me downs. I don't think Nombie is going to need much in the way of clothes for awhile yet! She also gave me her car seat and stroller, both need cleaned up but they're in great condition. We're also getting a pack n' play (or two) from her. I feel very lucky! I barely talk to this cousin, so it was a total shock. It really made my day. I know she was super glad to be rid of the stuff too! I went through it all the other night, and sorted it.

I still feel slighted about the whole situation with SIL1 giving all her hand-me-downs to SIL2. I don't remember if I posted about that... if you remember, they're both A-s sisters. SIL1 had a baby last year, and SIL2 is pregnant with her second baby.

Well, SIL1 gave all of her old stuff to SIL2 at the shower (a bassinet, receiving blankets, activity playmat, clothes, and baby carrier)... SIL2 said that she already had 2 bassinets, and 2 carriers. So SIL1 laughed and said, "Well you know who could use them then!?" and pointed to me. Yeah, love the public announcement about how you didn't bother considering giving us your hand-me-downs... we're just an afterthought. Nice.

Honestly, if it had been me in her shoes, I'd have split it up between the two pregnant women, or got them together and asked them to figure out what they want/need. I would never have only given to one of them, especially if they were due so close together. I know, I know... I can't expect the world to act with the same rationale as me. Maybe I'm overreacting to it- it's just feels like another reminder from the in-laws about how I'm not really family to them.

But that incident made me even more grateful for the unexpected kindness from my cousin. I really didn't think I'd be getting any hand-me-downs, let alone so much. And certainly not from someone I barely talk to, and haven't seen in a couple years. When we left her house, I just smiled because of her kindness. It really helped complete my day.

Seeing it all in our house is crazy. It makes me feel a little more like we might actually have a baby this time. We have baby stuff... in our house. Not just a handful of clothes/blankets tucked away out of sight, but stuff sitting out. It's scary, but it also makes it more real. We have three months and 1 week until our due date, our shower is in less than a month now, the invites are going out this week, we're working more on the nursery and home repairs... it's crazy.

I so hope that things continue going okay with Nombie. I want him to come home with us alive and well. I'm so thankful for every day that he's still with us, and I hope every day that he'll still be there tomorrow. I hate waiting 4 weeks between appointments... I wish it was Friday already.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

25wks and progress-

Here's my belly shot from a few days ago at 25 weeks 3 days. It's getting out there a bit, but I still don't think I look very pregnant. My pre-pregnancy pants still button. I don't wear them though, because they're not anywhere near as comfortable as maternity pants. I think it's that weight loss earlier this year that makes me feel like I don't look pregnant... really, I just look like I've gained that weight back. Although in reality I've only gained about 3lbs so far. It's all in the PCOS physique- most of my fat went right to my belly (I think the term is apple shaped?) so it has always been larger. Sometimes I think I look pregnant, other times I think I just look fat. Eh.

As for the the nursery progress, I'll have photos coming later this week. But, whew... This has been quite the undertaking. The wall color is staying the same, but I'm painting the trim brown. We've still got to finish clearing my book cases out of there; the major curse of being a bibliophile is when it comes time to move all those suckers. After that we're doing the floors, and then I can start moving things in. We don't have much right now, but hopefully after I get the hand me downs my cousin recently promised, we'll have more. I have to pick up the glider my mom is giving me too (she's had it forever, but doesn't want it anymore). Sometime next month we'll get a crib and dresser... plus the baby shower is in a month now so we'll have whatever we get from that to throw in there. It's slow progress, but progress just the same.

Work is exhausting. I keep reminding myself that I'm only working until December 1st, so it's not a huge deal... but it feels like it. I have to go to work in 2 hours, and I'm already exhausted! It wasn't this hard when I wasn't pregnant, but now I just want to sleep and sleep. But we need the money, and all the other shifts require too much up and down, phones, crisis', and running back and forth... and I do not feel up to that. I'm very lucky that my boss has been so understanding, I hope she continues to bare with me on this!

Speaking of which, we scheduled a tour of the maternity ward in October. For serious... that's weird. And I signed up for a breast feeding class in November.

Which reminds me, anyone have advice/suggestions on breast pumps? Assuming all goes well, I'll be staying home for awhile, but I do plan to go back to work eventually. I'll only be working 2-3 days a week, for 8 hours each. I've read that the Me.dela PISA is one of the best, but it's expensive for something I don't think I'd be using very often. Or an I deluding myself by thinking I wouldn't use it very often? I don't even know if I'll be able to breast feed given my issues, but I want to give it a fighting chance... I don't know. Help?

As of today, it's 100 days until our EDD (12/24).
I'll be 26 weeks pregnant on Saturday... so close to the third trimester...