Friday, July 31, 2009

Bed Rest for me this weekend.

Not official scary 'you can't sit up' type of bed rest (not that it would help anyhow), but the NP at the OB's office told me that I need to be laying down as much as possible this weekend.


More bleeding. It actually hasn't stopped since the diagnosis of placenta previa, and in some ways, seems to be getting worse. It goes in a pattern now - pass a large-ish clot in a gush of red blood. Bleed for a few minutes or until it's all passed, taper quickly to red spotting. Spot red for a day or so. Spot pink for awile. Spot brown for awhile (the spotting phase length changes). Then pass a large-ish clot in a gush of red blood and rinse and repeat.


Except not at all. By this point, I should be used to it, and I do think I hold it together pretty well (aided by the knowledge that I know what is going on and it should get better . . . eventually . . . and the trusty doppler which has paid for itself 5 million times over). But there is an instant when the bleeding is happening, where I lose it and panic and fear this time is a hemorrhage and this time is the end. It sucks a lot.

Last night was particularly bad.

I'll spare you the gory details and simply say that the bleeding occurred in such a way as to cause a scene reminiscent of a horror film and that my husband had to spend 20 minutes helping to clean me up so we could determine whether I was still bleeding or whether it was just a mess. I have never been so mortified and drained in my life.

The bleeding actually stopped very quickly, but the experience was frightening enough that we discussed the ER, knowing that could lead to a second trimester termination for mother's health (without my consent, come to that, if I were bleeding too heavily). Fortunately, once I was cleaned up and we checked the heartbeat, it was apparent that things were under control.

Nevertheless, I was frightened enough to call the OB's office and ask to speak with him. Unfortunately, he was out of the office at a delivery and not on call this weekend, but his wonderful NP (who had been in the room previously for the diagnosis) was there and extremely reassuring.

The bottom line is pretty much what I expected - there is nothing they can do, and the Chicken is causing the bleeding.

I now have more firm guidelines for when to go to the hospital should there be more bleeding (and we expect there will be).

I am to restrict activities as much as possible, including not going to the grocery store and am to lay down as long as I can, as frequently as I can (her words were - if you are watching tv, lay down on the couch instead of sit on it. and watch a lot of tv).

The good news is that because the bleeding is not significantly more or worse, for now, I can continue on with life. And that what is happening is that the blood is pooling and clotting (my body's efforts to stop the bleeding before damage is done to either me or the chicken), and then the chicken dislodges the clot, which causes more bleeding and clotting, and so on. The fact my body is trying to stop it is a good thing. The fact that the clots aren't getting bigger is a good thing. The fact that the bleeding stops quickly is a good thing. The fact that the chicken is moving so much (with steady heart tones)is a good thing because it indicates that he/she is not being affected by the blood loss (which could equal nutrient/oxygen loss for him/her). He/she is happy as a clam bouncing around in there, and is getting strong enough to cause these problems.

So. I am going to spend a lot of time on the couch (not that it helps much, but likewise, it doesn't hurt either). I hope my sister doesn't judge harshly when she comes to visit (for the first time!) and sees the horror that is my house right now. Somehow, I think she'll be kind.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Allow me to introduce . . .

So because we aren't planning on sharing the sex of the baby, we decided not to go totally Smug and share our names. We have had them chosen for years and we still like them. We think they are solid names that go well together. Nothing particularly controversial about them.

In fact - they are, in case I haven't mentioned them recently - Gwendolyn Rose and Gabriel Ross. The boy name is very special to me personally (DH as well) because Ross is after a dearly loved person in my life, and Gabriel (the messenger angel) seemed the appropriate name to go before that. So I am not going to be swayed on these. And as I think they are traditional, tried-and-true, spelt correctly and such, I felt they were pretty safe to put out there.

I forgot that people have opinions on everything. Especially in my family - let's face it, it's not like I'm immune to that either.

My mom knew the names and, because she's Mom, said only nice things about them. This is the same woman who refused to say anything slightly negative or give an opinion at all about wedding gowns I tried on, because she was terrified she would say something nasty about one I loved and hurt my feelings. It made dress shopping a trial (I was ASKING for her opinions, ffs), but it's not such a bad trait when it comes to names we aren't budging on.

My dad, on the other hand, registered his immediate dislike with a puzzled look that began to approach a sneer. Gwendolyn, he informed me, was far too long. I replied that my name was of equal length (the 'duh, dimwit who helped to name me' was left silent). Gabriel, I was informed, was a weak name and Ross was a gay name. Did I want my son to be gay? I quickly put that sort of discussion to bed, because I really don't give a shit about my child's sexual orientation so long as they find a loving, supportive partner and don't end up with abusive assholes or alone and miserable (alone and happy is dandy).

Anyway, since then, we've had mixed feedback, but it's mostly limited polite oohs and things because it is clear that these are our choices, however pretentious/old-fashioned/ugly/whatever you find them. But the story doesn't end here, it returns to my father. Who has evermore had trouble remembering the names we've chosen. He tries everytime we talk to see if he's got it right yet and he's getting closer and closer. However, the last attempt ended in unintentional hilarity.

On the phone:

Dad: So, what are those names you've picked again? Guinevere Rose?
Me: Close, Dad. Gwendolyn Rose.
Dad: That's right. Gwendolyn Rose. Right. (insert long pause) Wait, don't tell me the other. It's right there. I know it's GR.
Me: Yes, that's right.
Dad: Hmmm. Um, Gaylord Ralph?

- interjecting, yes. He said GAYLORD RALPH. What. The. Fuck. We are not that cruel or pretentious! -

Me: GAYLORD RALPH? *starts sputtering in laughter* GAYLORD RALPH? Where the HELL did you get Gaylord Ralph?
Dad: That's not it?
Me: No. It's Gabriel Ross.
Dad: (pause). Oh, that's better then. I thought Gaylord was pretentious.

Gaylord Ralph. *shakes head*

So everytime I've told that story since, it's equaled hilarity and people chuckle over baby Gaylord. And telling people we're naming the baby Gaylord is almost as good as when I used to tell them we planned to name the baby horrible, cheezy, terrible combinations of our names because the baby was the product of our combined love. They never knew quite how to reply to it, but the looks of horror battling with politeness were too tempting to resist. Gaylord - almost as good. Anyway.

Now, I told you that story to tell you this one. (Tater Salad!)

Today, someone made a foray onto Baby Names and found a most delicious post. A woman was inquiring about people felt about the name Abacus.

Yes, the ancient Chinese accounting tool; that's the one. Abacus. Pfft.

It came out after much ridicule (why don't you go modern and name him Calculator?!)and patient explanation that it might not be ideal, she says she wants it because she likes the way it sounds.

I responded something to the effect of 'Well, I like the way asphyxiation and xenophobe sound, but I recognize that they are not appropriate names for human beings!'

As I related this to my coworker who sorely needed a laugh, she began laughing really, really hard - to the point that she was snorting and had tears rolling down her face. I thought it was funny, but not quite that funny, but when she caught her breath she shared what really set her off.

It was picturing me introducing my sons, young Asphyxiation Ralph and his little brother Xenophobic Gaylord. I started laughing too, because Asphyxiation Ralph sounds remarkably like a failure of a cartoon character/safety manual who urges small children not to put their heads in grocery bags.

Asphyxiation Ralph, indeed. Frankly, I prefer Xenophobic Gaylord, because it's got potential for Evil Overlord aspirations.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Same old same old.

Nothing much to say at this point. Still have bleeding. Still tired of pads. Baby is still fine, but is getting big and dodging all over the place.

Work is very busy, and only going to become more so. I am very tired by the end of the day, and eagerly looking forward to the small break that Labor Day weekend will provide.

My house is a mess, but being restricted makes me less inclined to bitch and moan about it, because I feel bad for all DH is doing for me already.

DH is fantastic, as usual. He takes good care of me. I don't know how I got so lucky, but I really am fortunate to be married to such an amazing, patient, loving man.

Pets are fine. Car is fine. Family appears to be fine. . .

. . . so things are good for now. Registering and signing up for birthing classes is coming up soon, but I feel pretty indifferent to both activities right now, at least while the bleeding is still active. I'll be glad to reach 20 weeks, and then 24 (viability). Not only should the previa have moved by then, but we have much better chance to bring our baby home at some point, which I expect will be a relief.

So, for now, it's just waiting and working and resting. Not much to say about that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh, Facebook, you are so odd.

So, yeah, I'm on FB. I don't do much with it honestly. I update my status every couple of days and when I remember (which is admittedly not terribly often), I go around and visit my friends. It seems to be best for catching my immediately family for a quick conversation and quick checks in on extended family and some friends. Storing pictures is easy too.

And it's been great to reconnect with people from high school or college I've not seen in years. But I've noticed that after that initial exchange of greetings and catch-ups, there isn't much more to the relationship. It's sort of like a virtul high school reunion. Fun, nice to see how people have grown/changed, and then you return to your life and tend to forget about them for a few more years.

Don't get me wrong - it's had good moments - but really . . . I sort of hopped on because everyone was there, and it's kind of a hassle, really. And it's not very good for the ego. There are unapproved friend requests or people finding you inadvertently through their friends and you sort of think . . . well, I guess I could friend you . . . but why? And then there is the inevitable defriending. I have yet to be involved in a dramatic style drop off, but I did notice on one of my random forays into being sociable and friendly that I'd been dropped by a person or two who probably did some housecleaning. Since I have no idea when it occurred and know it wasn't because of some huge offense, I can't be all that bothered. Truthfully, I'm already an admitted bad FB friend, so there shouldn't be much offense to be taken.

And yet, in the back of my mind was a moment of guilt, and instant of disappointment and sadness. Clearly, the relationship that existed was superficial at best, a passing nod to acquaintanceship or to a friendship that existed in another life or time. But still . . . remnants of guilt or hurt float up and I wonder about those people and what is happening with their lives now.

It's a really sort of weird thing, I think. Has there before been such a tool to reunite people? What does it accomplish, sharing our lives in bits and snippets? It's not that I think it a bad thing at all, but I wonder if it contributes to more superficiality in general, for a mistaken (imo) belief that a glimpse into someone's daily life is the same as a knowledge of that person and who they are and what motivates them and inspires them. Like other things - texting and cell phones and emails - I wonder if instead of bringing us closer, it makes us more impatient and less inclined to understanding our friends and family, replacing confidence and intimacy with generalities and banal tidbits. It makes me wonder what communication will be like when the Chicken is my age, whether people will still be relating to each other and how this new form of communication, instantaneous and trivial, will ultimately change the formation of the future. . .

Strange thoughts to be puttering about my head on a gloomy evening, I suppose.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A lesson in letting go.

I'm frustrated.

Extremely so.

Bleeding continues. Not constantly. Instead, the bleeding/clots/spotting had just about stopped by Friday. Quite a relief, honestly. For the first time since Tuesday morning, I pulled out the doppler and Chicken cooperated nicely. I got to listen to a loud, lovely h/b for a reassuringly peacefully long time.

Later that night, as I was working a needlepoint letter for the baby's nursery, and watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it happened again. A sudden gush and I was up and on my way to the bathroom when I could feel blood running down my legs. Simply pulling my pants down and off resulted in blood spraying all over the bathroom. It looked like a goddamn murder scene. So far as I could tell, there was no clot this time. It was like a valve turned on, then off, about five minutes later. Barely any signs of blood (apart from the red toilet bowl and blood spatter everywhere.

I tried hard to keep it together, reminding myself that it's not life threatening or pregnancy threatening and that the doc told me I could continue to bleed without warning until the previa resolves. Still, we pulled the doppler out and it took an agonizingly long time to find the h/b - and when it did it was located up high, far higher than we'd found it before (and oddly - or not - where one might expect to find it if the chicken were, say, upright, stretched out and perhaps making use of the convenient trampoline I've graciously and unintentionally provided in utero).

It makes me nervous and it's emotionally exhausting. Even though I have an explanation and reassurance that things are likely to be fine and I know that previa is not as dangerous as it could be. It's still nerve-wracking and hard to deal with.

It really makes me loathe to go out and do anything. Resting or not, the bleeding happens, so it can happen anywhere. I'd rather it happen at home, you know? Easier to clean up and where we have handy reassurance of the doppler nearby.

But this morning, after the spotting was light brown and the overnight pad completely clean, I decided to go on living my life. Since really, there is nothing I can do to prevent a bleeding episode and it seemed safe enough. We went out to lunch and to see Harry Potter. Movie was ok (well, as a movie, it was great, I thought, but as the 6th installment of Harry Potter, I was disappointed in a great deal), and I was ok, right until the end. We stood up to leave and yep, a small gush. Then as I made my way out of the theatre, I could feel a clot. Damn it. I fortunately got to the bathroom in the nick of time, so there was no major bleeding or leaking, but it's still so freaking frustrating and nerve-wracking every time it happens.

More bleeding and another clot when I got home and a feeling of heaviness and a few sharpish pains too. . . makes me nervous and hyper-aware. And totally, utterly powerless.

The fact is that there is nothing I can do. And I suck at letting go and letting things unfold. It's scary. There is a chance I could start bleeding and not stop. That I could start hemorrhaging and that puts me in a hospital nowhere near the kind OB I've seen - a hospital where, if I am before 20 weeks and losing too much blood, they will likely urge me to end the pregnancy to save my own life. The odds of that occurring are low. The doc said that sort of thing is very rare to begin with, and the odds are lower because my previa is not a total previa.

And even now, after so many bleeding episodes I am beginning to lose track, there is a moment of complete panic when I see the bright red blood or feel a large clot. And honestly, there are elements that are eerily similar to my miscarriage experience - feel a clot, a gush of blood, hobble to the bathroom, let it all pass, clean up and wait for the next round. This is largely painless, and that was anything but, however the memories are strong.

And what can I do? Absolutely nothing. It will only be fixed in time, as my uterus grows. And there is a chance it won't be fixed and that I could be one who experiences the problems of placenta previa (placental separation, hemorrhage, IUGR due to lack of nutrients and oxygen, preterm birth). This is the thing that I am worst at in life and here I am, confronting it head on. So disconcerting and upsetting for me. I don't like this. At all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My poor puppy.

Last night, DH went to a baseball game with the boys (apparently some wives showed as well, which is fine, but I hate baseball, so no thanks!).

It's been a long time since I had a night on my own. I picked up dinner on the way home and once there left the dog crated while I ate. He was very patient, and I treated him appropriately.

Once he was out and had the chance to look around, it quickly became clear that Daddy wasn't with me. He gave me a puzzled look and sat down facing the back door for awhile, but no Daddy appeared. After awhile, he looked at me beseechingly, his liquid brown eyes clearly asking "Mommy, what did you do to Daddy?" I told him Daddy would be home later.

(sidenote, yes, we call each other Mommy and Daddy to the dog. cheers!)

Jonah got more depressed as the night wore on. Not only was Daddy gone, and maybe NEVER COMING BACK!, but mean Mommy wouldn't give him any strawberries and wouldn't let out to play with the dogs in the courtyard (in fact, I put him back in his crate until they left, because I'm not supposed to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds, and he qualifies and picking him up and moving him away from the windows is the only way to get him quiet when they are out).

The longer the time that passed, the more morose he looked. He spent at least half the night stretched out under the rocking chair with his back to me. The few times I called him, he would come over, but he looked very worried and sad. I scratched his ears, which he normally loves, but I only got a half-hearted tail stump wag. He settled near me after long time, but clearly couldn't decide whether he thought I was to blame for Daddy's disappearance or whether he wanted comfort and reassurance.

Eventually I called DH and told him that he had to play with the dog when he got home, put him up and went to bed.

This morning, when I went downstairs, a totally different dog greeted me. OMG! MOMMY! YOU ARE HERE! AND DADDY IS HERE TOO! HE CAME HOME! HE CAME HOME AND DIDN'T LEAVE FOREVER AND EVER AND NOW WE'RE ALL TOGETHER AGAIN AND THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER! Grinning, happy, leaping back and forth between us, not only his stump but his entire back end waggling with glee.

It's sort of sweet, really. We know that he has some separation anxiety, which is why we crate during the day, but usually if he's occupied, he seems completely unconcerned with our being gone. He's such a happy, enthusiastic dog that we've always said that we could give him to another family and he'd forget us completely.

It's nice to know that's not entirely true. Our wonderful barky dog lurves us to pieces and his world just can't be totally happy if only one of us is there. Sniffle.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My child is a Spurs fan.

How do I know?

Easy. As I was reading a thread today on Spurstalk, I was agreeing heartily with a post about blinders on Laker fans. Mind you, ALL teams have douchey fans and the Spurs are no exception. Ironically, many of them arguing so passionately with the blind Laker fans are equally as bad - insisting things that can't be known about the future team.

But I read a post that was extremely reasonable and balanced look at both teams and another that was a great retort in favor of the Spurs and as I nodded, I felt an agreeing tap tap tap down in my uterus.

Could I have imagined it? Sure. But I wasn't sitting there focused on anything, my mind was elsewhere.

Tap tap tap.

I think I felt my baby move.

And if it was indeed Chickie at that moment it is clear that Chickie has inherited the good Spurfan genes. Thank God, I've been really worried about how we will raise a good Spurfan in Rocketland. But it seems that Chickie comes by it naturally from the womb.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back with GOOD NEWS

Marginal placenta previa.

Which means that a portion of my placenta is covering my cervix. If that gets irritated for any reason, it can easily bleed. This can be a potentially dangerous thing, but in our case, the OB is not concerned.

He said that it is a small portion covering the os, and that given the placement of the rest of the placenta, he feels confident that this will correct itself as most previas do - growing upwards with the uterus. When that happens, the bleeding will stop and there should be no more issues.

I do not need to go on bed rest, he doesn't think it would help much anyway, given that the episodes have occurred while I was not doing anything restricted. But to rest with my feet up as much as possible and to rest if I have more bleeding. Otherwise, total pelvic rest continues until the placenta moves, I can't lift anything heavier than 10 pounds, no vigorous exercise and try not to worry too much when bleeding occurs (it can continue until the placenta moves).

He thinks that what prompted the latest issue is what we saw on u/s. Chickadee is feet down, jumping on my placenta - the piece that is right over the cervix! Little monkey!

This was honestly the best possible news for us. We got an explanation of the bleeding (and no, no one knows why this wasn't picked up/diagnosed/mentioned in any of the other FOUR u/s that I've had), and it is a minor issue that is not a threat to the baby or pregnancy at this time and should correct itself. If it doesn't move, I'll have to have seriously monitored labor/delivery and likely a c-section, but the OB is so confident that it will move on its own that he said I can continue to see my mw and plan for out of hospital birth! We just need to follow up later in the pregnancy to verify that it has moved far enough to allow for a low risk delivery.

Other stats:

-Cervix is long and thick and closed - woohooo!
-Chickie is measuring nearly a full week ahead of my ovulation based due date and the nurse said she thought I'd go in December.
-OB said that he can't predict the future, that other things might interfere, but that he feels confident I will have a full term pregnancy and normal labor and delivery!
-Chickie giving up the goods for an early sex peek - lol, not really. To be precise, the nurse and I both thought we saw indications for one sex. But Jason saw indications for the other sex. The doc said he leaned one way, but he really couldn't tell and wouldn't bet on it at all, that he's seen it go either way. In fact, he printed out a picture of a between the legs shot that shows seriously nothing clear and labelled it '??????' - LOL

On that note - this OB was the best OB I've ever met. I've never had the pleasure of being a patient of a good OB, but he and his staff were friendly, kind, patient, compassionate and just completely wonderful. Totally understanding of our fears, very reassuring, and very kind to an out of hospital midwivery patient. He said that I was in good hands in my mw's care, but that if anything untoward arose, just call and he'll take care of me. How nice is that?!

So, I'm feeling completely over the moon with relief and happiness. The doc's office was just down from my mw's office and so we stopped in to see her and give her the news and she nearly cried with relief. I love how much she cares about her clients and how happy she was to hear that things are going to be ok.

Great day, all things considered!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Need good thoughts.

Yesterday, I had a lot of pain and soreness. My whole lower abdominal region/uterus was tender and sore. I couldn't bend over at all without discomfort and pain.

I'd had a short bout of spotting on Saturday evening, but it went away fairly quickly, with no signs on Sunday, except the soreness.

Then, late last night, I felt fluid, then more and had a bad feeling. Went to the bathroom, and sure enough, bright red blood, followed by the feeling of something and an audible plop. I was still dripping, but I stood up to see a clot the size of a chicken egg. I asked Jason to look and verify it so I wasn't crazy and he did. The bleeding slowed pretty quickly to red and pink spotting (the pad I put on went pretty much clean overnight).

We, of course, checked for the heartbeat, and after some searching, we found it, hanging out about 148 - 150. That's lower than it had been, but I've been informed that it's pretty normal for it to be dropping slightly by this time, and it's certainly normal ranges.

I slept pretty well until about 5 am, when I got up to pee. Then dozed for an hour and a half. We checked the h/b again this morning, steady at 150. Spotting was brownish/pink and I could bend over (though there was lingering soreness). Then I shaved, took a shower, washed my hair. Spotting turned red again (sigh).

I'm going to call the mw and we'll see what, if anything, she'd like to do. We have reason to think baby is fine. But there is concern that this might be a placental issue and I'd really like to have another u/s to check that specifically. We'll see.

* * * * * * *

Tiny update:

I just got off the phone with my mw. She said she doesn't want me to have another u/s because she instead wants me to see an OB. She's concerned that the previous u/s didn't pick anything up and this is a recurring issue. Seeing an OB will maybe give us more insight and more options. Hopefully I'll be able to return to my mw at some point (this isn't a total transfer of care yet, just a second opinion), but really, it's so secondary to doing whatever we can to keep Chickie safe.

I'm just glad we are doing something, you know? I'll update more when I have an actual appointment (hopefully will know when this afternoon). It makes me more calm to have a plan, and allows me to focus more on the positives. We know Chickie is ok for now, and we're going to try and find the cause of the bleeding. Being proactive helps a lot.

* * * * * * *

Further update: The appointment is scheduled for tomorrow at 11 am.

And another. Home from work. Still bleeding and passing clots. Not a ton of blood but more than spotting. We found the h/b, a little higher than it had been (by a few beats, nothing serious). So, trying to lay down and rest and take it easy until tomorrow morning.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Dh and I went to the bookstore today. We spent the trip up discussing baby items and registries and how I was feeling and such.

Once in the store, we split up. I picked up 3 books - all baby related. Baby Bargains (my edition is 2 editions old at this point), Birthing From Within, and the McCutcheon book on the Bradley method.

DH gets something else, in the graphic novel arena, that I pay little attention to.

We go to check out and the clerk glances at my stomach (yeah right, though I'd like to pretend, it's just fat, sweetheart). Then glances at the stack of books. Then at DH. Then shakes her head and bags them up.

DH started laughing when we got back to the car. I asked him what was so funny, and he asked if I noticed the clerk's behavior. I said yeah, so what? He asked if I saw what he bought. I shook my head. He pulled it out of the bag. It's a graphic novel entitled "THE END."


To sum up -

Me: Three books on pregnancy/baby

Husband: A book entitled "THE END"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So blessed.

Today was a terrible day. No sleep, insomnia, terrible headache, nausea and vomitting. I'm continuing to have soreness around my uterus, which I attribute to stretching and growth and round ligament pain has made an appearance.

Chickie is getting better at ducking the doppler - we can hear the sounds of the baby swimming away, and have such a difficult time catching the heartbeat.

I stayed home today and threw up and slept.

It sounds miserable, doesn't it? I felt pretty miserable.

And then, sitting here waiting for DH to get home from work, I went to do something I've done only rarely lately. I went to catch up on some blogs I used to read. One of which led to a new blog that was interesting, and to another, and finally to a third. Something in it grabbed me and I found myself reading back through the archives of this beautiful woman's story. She said something that made me break down in tears and not a little shame.

She said that her mother had told her something very important. That few people ever stop to ask 'Why am I so blessed? Why did I get so lucky?' - many of us assume we deserve the good things in our lives, that for whatever reason, the blessings are earned. And the bad things - that is when we question and rage and scream at the universe or God. But that if we are not going to question our good fortune, we have no right to question our bad fortune either.

And it's true, in a way.

What did I do to deserve the love and devotion and affection of someone I consider to be a far better person than me? What did I do to deserve to be born to my mother and my father, who are wonderful people that love me unconditionally and support me? Why am I so lucky to have siblings who are good people who help others and put up with me? Why am I so blessed to have my sweet pets in my life? How did I become so fortunate to land in a job with opportunity when I had no experience? What did I do to earn the life I have? What blessings did I earn to be 14.5 weeks pregnant with a so far healthy baby and largely uncomplicated pregnancy?

Precious little. These are gifts that I've been given, not luxuries I was owed. I am grateful, but I need also to be more thankful for these beautiful things and this wonderful life. To stop dwelling in the negative, worrying over what is to come and fretting over the inconsequential. To rejoice, be happy, appreciate, give thanks.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Old Wives Tales

For fun, I thought I would play around with some owt's and see what they predicted.

Interestingly - nearly all predicted girl.

Chinese gender charts (lunar age and otherwise): Girl

Wedding Ring test: me, Girl; DH, Girl.

Pencil test (supposedly uber, creepy accurate): Girl, Girl, Boy, Girl, Boy/Girl, Girl. (DH and I got the same except on the fifth result where he got girl and I got boy). The weird thing is that it supposedly accounts for all pregnancies, which would mean Chickie is a girl any way you cut it. On an odd note, if that were true (which, meh), it would align with with we believed the second (Chickadee) and third (ectopic) pregnancies were. And for the sake of 'accuracy' I didn't tell DH what meant girl and what meant boy, so he couldn't subconciously influence with his preference. Three kids would be great, but six would be too many. So let's hope the uber creepy accuracy is overrated, shall we?

M/s - Girl (but this totally was untrue for any of my friends who had HG - they all had boys)

Stealing your beauty/pregnancy glow: Boy

Cravings: sour, meat, cheese = Boy, sweets = Girl, so 3:1 = Boy

Hair growth: Girl

Carrying: inconclusive

Heartrate: Girl

Cold feet: Girl

No desire for orange juice or the heel of bread: Boy

As you can see, the OWT are clearly leaning towards Girl.

And so are we, at least consciously.

And yet . . . and yet. When I was doodling the other day? I doodled our names (Gwendolyn and Gabriel, Gwen and Gabe) and Gwendolyn simply didn't feel right. And I keep calling the baby 'he' - though the fact DH continues to call the baby 'Detective Charlie Crewes' may be affecting that. . .

I guess we'll know in about 5-6 weeks (give me a moment to hyperventilate). But man, that's going to be a tough secret to keep. I have it in the back of my mind that Little Chickie is going to hold out the goods on me.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I am a bump fraud.

I never thought I was going to be one of those women who cared about a baby bump. Let alone GOT a baby bump. After all, I'm pretty fat, and many fat women don't show until the end, if at all.

Until I noticed that my fat was sticking out more. That's right. I know it's my fat, but above my belly button, I've noticed in the last 3 weeks that my fat is more visible. Like, it's clearly evident beneath shirts that were loose. And in maternity shirts (which I wear for my boobs) it sort of smoothes to a lumpy small bump.

Now I feel obsessed with it. I'm constantly asking DH if he sees it too (he frequently concurs that my clothes are fitting differently) and standing sideways in the mirror asking if it's possible that I might get a bump after all and possibly be recognizably pregnant before 38 weeks. Insane. I can feel my uterus growing - it's now grown up under a layer of fat, which makes it harder to find at this point, but it will get higher and bigger.

Meanwhile, I find myself obsessed with this rearrangement of my fat and organs (and growth is evident in the decreased frequency and urgency of urination, and that fact that my bladder of steel has returned).

But it's all a fraud. Because I felt all special with my sort of bump there and then . . . I saw myself in a glass door while I was walking . . . and yowza. Not pretty, not cute, not bumpy yet at all. Sigh. Maybe someday. Until then, I'll continue to stare in the mirror and smooth imaginary circles around my imaginary bump.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

No matter what else

my husband loves me. And supports me. And hugs me and makes me dinner. And patiently scours my lower abdomen to find Chickie's heartbeat to make me feel better. And the wublubwubdub is a sound that can pull out of any funk and make me try to focus on the positives.

I love J. And Chickie.

Pregnancy Emotional-ness or no, this day was not good.

Things at work have been a little shaky for awhile now. Not shaky like I am afraid of losing my job shaky, but shaky like I know I am not performing at my best and I know other people are making note of it too.

It's been frustrating me for some time. From my POV, I'm undertrained and expected to know what sort of training I'm lacking and ask for it. Which . . . doesn't make sense to me. How can I ask when I don't know what I'm asking for? And I have some communication issues with a coworker. Not that we don't get along, but just that we have very different styles of communication and have in the past walked away from the same conversation with polar opposite understandings of what was discussed and what the next steps are. Additionally, people here are not big on the positive reinforcement. I don't think of myself as a particularly high maintenance employee, but when the only comments on your job are negatives, it starts to wear you down and you begin to wonder if you ever do anything right.

Add in the first trimester woes and my own particular brand of crazy, on top of a mediocre performance review, and you find me ready to rip my hair out in frustration today. A colleague informed me that I needed to do something with a Monday deadline. She just assumed that I knew that this needed to be completed, while I assumed if I needed to work it on it someone would tell me. I was quickly frustrated and unhappy about this situation - the item itself is actually unlikely to be a big deal or issue, and I think I can get it done. It's that I felt like I am supposed to possess psychic powers.

What I said in an email to a friend was - how am I supposed to fix or address a problem when I am unware it exists? How am I supposed to work on issues when I don't know they are there?

When my frustration didn't ease up after venting to a friend, and in fact, only increased, I sought out another coworker and talked to her about the situation. This was a good move, because she and I think much alike and relate easily, but she also works closely with my colleague and has a much better insight into where she is coming from. I think she helped bridge the gap for me and helped me see this issue from another perspective, which gave me some insight into where the problems are and how they can be addressed. Her bottom line suggestion was that I talk with my colleague openly and tell her I need more feedback and structure.

I ultimately talked to my colleague this afternoon and told her I'd like to meet regularly, even for a brief period of time, so that we can coordinate our projects. That I think it would help me tremendously, and her, because I don't think we are often on the same page about what needs to be done or how to do it and that I don't want to be an additional burden for her, but that I do not know everything she seems to assume I know. Colleague was over the moon excited about this and had apparently been waiting for some time for me to approach her with such a proposition; it's something she's wanted for some time but felt she couldn't approach me because she is not my supervisor and that such a request would be overstepping her authority in a gross way.

So maybe the future is brighter; maybe things will improve; certainly regular meetings should help us get work on the right track and prevent us falling behind and other communication lapses. I guess I've taken the initiative and that will reflect well. But I've been on the verge of tears all afternoon. I don't know what is making me feel so awful and terrible and raw and weepy, though the fact that I'm pregnant and pumped full of estrogen may be contributing. I really do feel sort of hollow right now though. It would help me if someone could reassure me that I don't in fact suck at my job or suck at life, but like I said, this is not that sort of work environment. I didn't even want to write this, because I feel like such a failure right now, but I need to get it out somewhere, somehow. I don't want to suck at my job, I don't want to let people down, and I think the hardest thing is that I feel like I do suck and I am disappointing people. And at the same time, I'm angry because I feel like it shouldn't all fall on me to fix this, and that honestly, I wasn't given a fair chance to succeed in this position if I'm expected to know things I can't know and somehow magically, psychically know that I should ask to be trained in certain areas.

Anyway. I guess I need to let it go and focus on the stuff I do well and focus on the fact that now the problem is identified and on it's way to being rectified through my initiative and that some of my fears should be laid to rest now. But I'm still feeling too raw, I guess. I honestly feel like I need a good cry.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The Spurs signed Antonio McDyess.

Holy mother of fuck.

They are going to be so fucking good next year, I am practically orgasming at the mere thought.

An offseason of fucking miracles, yo. Fucking amazing.

Yeah, I know that just about no one who reads this blog gives a shit and I don't care. This news has totally made my fucking day.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Normal prenatal appointment

It's such a nice thing to have.

Basically, things are fine.

I'm down to 312.5 by her scale - another 4 pounds since my last appointment. She said she is not concerned at this point, as long as I am regularly eating and eating well. Since I am supposed to gain as little as possible and since many overweight women lose early on, we're still in the clear.

Blood pressure was great - 122/74. Down from the last appointment, which was normal as well. That's always one of the concerns about obese pregnancies, so seeing it continue to be good is always going to be a positive.

Urine check was mostly ok - no protein, glucose or ketones, but there was a trace of blood, which, given the bleeding/spotting is not unexpected.

She was able to find the heartbeat, which was awesome. Chickie is hanging out in the middle there, and she said my uterus is definitely growing (which explains the mild cramps and little bit of soreness, apparently).

About the bleeding - we can't find a source, but she did say if it continues, she can refer me to a perinatologist who can take a closer look. I'm not that concerned about it right now, as the baby seems fine and the last two u/s have not found any immediate threat to the baby or pregnancy. So we'll just go along.

She has also registered her official guess of boy on 01-10-10 (right in between the 2 due dates I've been given now), which I think is funny. I'll do an expectnet game at some point, so people can make their official guesses.

Oh, and the NT testing came back. My risk of Down Syndrome went from 1:719 to 1:>10,000, and my risk of Trisomies 13/18 went from 1:1,200 to 1:>10,000. Fantastic results, which is good news.

Other than that - things are good. I'm doing my best to rest up and just chill. I did make the first purchase for the little chicken - a boppy I've wanted since I first laid eyes on it. I felt a little weird doing it, but at some point, I've got to let the rest of this fear go and this was a step towards that.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A not so fun night

So I've always heard that one of the big benefits to pregnancy was the orgasms. Of course, I haven't had much opportunity to try this out myself, having been terrified of orgasms early on, then on pelvic rest, then back on pelvic rest. I have, however, also been told that sleep orgasms are another benefit to pregnancy, and I got to experience that last night.

I think I was dreaming of Colin Firth . . .

The orgasm was great, especially as I haven't had one in weeks (the tmi warning is there for a reason folks), but the cramping and bleeding that followed . . . not so much.

It wasn't particularly heavy bleeding or really painful cramping, but it was red bleeding and a couple of large-ish clots and any cramping that accompanies bleeding is a cause for concern, of course. I stayed very calm this time. It's not like I could do much else at 1 am. I assume the clots were related to the last bleeding episode and that the cramps forced it out. The bleeding was not really much heavier than spotting once the clots passed and today is just brown spotting when I wipe.

I called DH, calmly asked for a pad, more toilet paper (we were out) and the doppler. He sighed when I explained what was happening and we listened for Chickie. Now is a fair moment to say that Chickie has been disgustingly hiding from us - we get spikes on the monitor, occasionally hear it in the background, but haven't gotten a good listen to the h/b since Monday's adventures. DH told me several times that he had it, but then it was gone. I told him, a little tearfully, that I really needed to hear it and he kept up with it and eventually we isolated it, and then tried to sleep. Cramps kept me up for a few hours later.

And if that wasn't bad enough - though I'm proud for keeping my cool - I then had vivid, disturbing dreams, including one wherein I watched my father dying of cancer. Like, the months it took for him to die. It was agonizing and I simply could not wake up out of it.

All in all, not the holiday weekend I was hoping for. Today will be spent largely resting and keeping my feet up. I'm very aware of the fullness in my abdomen and though I think I'm probably in the clear, it's a little unnerving, you know?

Thursday, July 2, 2009


How can you not love that stubborn little bugger?

Chickie appears to be healthy, though the final results will be in later on. All the correct number of appendages and the measurements appeared normal to me, though I haven't googled for confirmation.

Chickie, however, is CLEARLY our combined offspring, as he/she was sleeping when we went in and was in no mood to wake up and roll over for such trivial nonsense as a stupid nuchal measurement. He/She got visibly annoyed when the tech violently shook my belly and tapped him/her repeatedly to try and get baby moving in the correct direction. Chickie would move, and just settle more comfortably facing the wrong way . . . DH later commented he expected to see Chickie flipping the tech the bird (which certainly would have confirmed its parentage).

It did mean we got to watch for a long time. It also meant an unexpected date with the dildo cam - but since it resulted in cooler, clearer shots, it was fine. We even got a face shot or two out of it. It was cool to see the forming skeleton and the legs! since we never get to see those.

The tech DID wager a guess for us, which I will not share, but suffice it to say, I'm taking it as a big guess. The reasoning was a bit . . . flimsy . . . and the take made sure to say more than once it was only a guess and couldn't be confirmed until the big u/s. We shall see! I'm really looking forward to it to see if she was right or not!

It was a great experience, and I feel very relieved about the state of the pregnancy and the health of my Chickie. And also, totally in love. Because - wow. That's my baby!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'll admit it.

I, CottonSocks, am in fact one of those exceedingly annoying and childishly impatient people who is hoping that she'll get a guess at the sex of the baby at the NT scan.

I know it a) may not happen; b) is excessively early, and that the gentalia is still forming and that boys and girls look remarkably similar at this stage of development; c)that even if they do guess and base it on the debatably accurate method of measuring the angle of the genital tubercle it is still not necessarily any more accurate than using the Intelligender; d) many people have been given guesses that turned out not to be true.

Still, I'm hoping they wager a guess. Because I want to know. I am a little afraid of how strongly I feel Chickie is a girl and how attached I am to that idea. I would be happy with either sex, but I've always preferred a girl first and always pictured myself a mother to daughters and I'm scared of being disappointed or upset if it's a boy, and scared that I will be one of those crazy women who experience extreme gender disappointment. I think the fact that I want a little boy and that I love this baby who moves around and swims away from the doppler so much already should prevent that, but I'm scared that my wishful hopes for a girl will overwhelm that.

Is that crazy? I'm not scared of having a boy - I'm scared of being disappointed that I'm having a boy.

Two weeks ago, sex of the baby was the furthest thing from my mind - I just wanted to know it was still alive and healthy. Since the bleeding and resulting scan assure me that the baby was very much alive and apparently healthy (though tomorrow will tell us much more, and so I am a little nervous), it's been on my mind. Not to mention, two friends due in November have just had their big ultrasounds and know what they are having, thrusting it back to the forefront of my mind.

I considered Intelligender for awhile. I thought it would be fun, and not something I would take too seriously, and were it not nearly $30 (I can get three crib sheets for that price), I think I would do it. Alas, practicality has prevailed, and so I find myself reading up on the accuracy of guesses made after 12 weeks gestation, without even knowing if they'll take a peek or be willing to hazard a guess.

Sure I can wait for my 18-22 week u/s. Sure I could try to hold out for delivery (and watch this little bugger be one of the shy ones just to screw with me). But I won't.

Will it matter? Not really - because either way, either sex, you won't know. That's the deal we made. Yep, we are firmly planted in Team Smug - We know . . . but we're not telling. When there was some disagreement over finding out the gender we agreed that most of the fun in not knowing was keeping everyone else guessing and interested. Which can still be done if you know but keep it a secret. It will be hard around here and on the internets, but easier in real life where we keep repeating whenever the subject is raised, "Oh, we're planning to keep it a surprise!" People assume that means for us as well, but we'll let that be our little secret.

So all this hand-wringing and hopefulness today? is kind of funny, really. It's certainly not the most important thing - now or in 6-10 weeks - but it sure does occupy some time.