Sunday, April 22, 2012

I will cut you.

So after all this time, I'm still here at a day shy of 38 weeks. Baby has moved head down and into birth position (though is not well engaged in the pelvis yet), and is healthy as can be or so say the tests. The last growth scan indicated a 7+ pound infant and my new doctor cheerfully informed me that if I go to 40 weeks, we may have a 9-pounder on our hands. I did not find that amusing.

They originally told me less than a 5% chance of getting to May, and now we're looking at scheduling an induction for that first week of May. It's surreal - happy news, of course! the best possible outcomes - but surreal. I'm hanging in there - the complaints of pregnancy are normal ones and I'm tired and ready to be done with work. They will not let me go past my due date, but unless baby makes an appearance this coming week or the 24-hour urine collection or bloodwork I'll do tomorrow (due to another high blood pressure reading in office) suggest pre-eclampsia, then we're pretty much looking at induction the following week. I'm guessing this will end with induction, given that not much has happened naturally. No cervical change (save some shortening) since the cerclage came out.

I find that I am tired and more grumpy than I've any real right to be. My doctors have been great with listening to me and really hearing what I am saying about my anxiety and working with me to put me at ease. I have a lot of testing and monitoring (probably made easier by the fact that my blood pressure has given high/wonky readings so they can categorize it under PIH/Pre-E observation and testing, though it continues to come back clear time and again. . .). I have a few contractions - mostly BH, I think. Random, mildly annoying. The baby is big and stretching makes me cringe because various sharp body parts are poked into painful places and there really isn't much room in there any longer.

We're mostly ready. Not at work, but hey, if I can just finish two or three things, I'll rest easy about it. We've got our plans laid out for leave and are 90% sure about our plans for childcare. The upstairs is as clean and organized as it has ever been. It's nice up there - I want to spend time there. Amazing that a mere few weeks ago, we couldn't walk all the way into one room and had dedicated pathways to navigate the other. Everything up there now has a place (save the linen closet, which we are working on today now that we've gotten new shelving). The carseat has been installed and the hospital bag packed since the night before the cerclage removal. The co-sleeper, pack'n'play, swing and bouncer have been assembled and have batteries ready and waiting. The nursery is pretty much done, though DH is going to go over the carpet with the steam cleaner one more time (there is a persistent sort of stain in one corner - it gets lighter each time, but isn't gone yet). We've interviewed a pediatrician, and while I won't claim it was love at first sight, the practice's policies were in line with our own and she is board certified and affiliated with the hospitals I wanted and takes our insurance, so it's as good a place to start as any. If we don't really click with her, there are hundreds of others to choose from.

 Beyond that, I'm just sort of assuming on-the-job training. I know a fair amount about newborn and infant care nad my husband knows much less, but in the end, we shrugged and said they'll show us much of what we need in the hospital and the internet is full of resources. Certainly, dumber people that us manage to reproduce and not kill their offspring through sheer ineptitude or lack of experience, so I'm going to assume that we'll survive.

God, I hope so.

 But mostly, the only thing I really wanted to say is that the next person who smirks and tells me to get some sleep now, HAHAHAHAHA, because you won't be able to once the baby arrives is getting shanked. It's neither clever nor helpful advice, and because I can't sleep and am fucking tired, I'm nearing the point where I will not be held responsible for my actions.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Oh, hi! Yeah, we're still here.

So . . . yeah.

Short version: Baby is doing well, at 35 and a half weeks, passing BPPs and moving strongly, practicing breathing and flipping breech and back (currently breech. sigh). Cerclage is being removed on Monday. More on that later.

Long version:

Let's start with work. I'm going to summarize a long period by saying this - I applied for a vacancy in my office when my colleague left. I was one of the final candidates, but I didn't get the job. It went to someone with more experience. The entire episode left me feeling pretty bitter - not that they didn't hire me, I can understand why on many levels and the person they did hire is fantastic and I genuinely like that person - but the way certain things were handled (or not - like not informing me that I was not chosen, which is a huge lack of common courtesy given that I've worked here for four years and share an office with the new person). It's been a revelation and a big disappointment; not only not getting a job that would have been personally loads better for me, but finding out that I mean less to this organization than I thought hurt me a lot. Stupid in many ways, but after all the time and effort (unpaid and largely unrewarded effort) I've put it in, it was distressing to learn that it didn't matter more. Add to that the fact that I took on an extra department (essentially a full time job by itself)in September and have not received any additional compensation for it, and when I became eligible again in March was asked to wait until September 2012 for a reclassification, and I haven't been a particularly happy worker bee. Now, before pitchforks and such go up, the main reason for the request to wait was to my monetary advantage in the long run - there are raises coming, and if I reclass now I will be ineligible. Waiting allows me to get a higher salary (based on a higher rate + plus higher equity rates across the positions), but still . . . a full year of trying to do 3 jobs, for free, is not easy to swallow. Nor is the fact that I essentially allowed it to happen and screwed myself over in the process.

On the other hand, it made cutting back my hours easier and boy oh boy can I not wait for maternity leave just to be away for awhile.

What else has been going on?

Baby stuff. I kept meaning to update and then I'd think, well, let me wait for the next appointment. And uh, here we are, coming up on cerclage removal.

Generally, things are fine. No gestational diabetes, child growing nicely. There was a bit of a scare around 30 weeks, when the perinatalogist appt revealed a baby 1-3 weeks ahead in measurements across the board and also fluid levels above normal, but not quite into official polyhydramnios range. That could be associated with birth defects. However, when I returned for what ended up being my last appointment at 33 and a half weeks, the growth had evened out and was within a week of gestational age, and the fluid levels had returned to normal. Apparently, we just literally caught a growth spurt in progress. At 33 and a half weeks, the baby weighed over 5 lbs, and the peri absolutely glowed about how well things had gone and . . . released me. He told me he'd see me again next pregnancy for another stitch.

I've since been on weekly appointments with my OB, with a BPP/AFI each time. The first one passed, but not by much, as the child decided that was the perfect time to nap and apparently takes sleep as seriously as I do. No big deal, except when you are doing an u/s specifically to check on things like, oh, movement and variable heart-rate and practice breathing . . . but the last one was a fiesty moving baby. Literally flipping back and forth, back and forth between vertex and breech.

Cerclage is coming out on Monday, around noon. We hope baby has returned to vertex, but it comes out either way. It is possible that baby could be born shortly thereafter, though more than likely it will be some time. My cervix has begun to shorten, but no signs of dilation or effacement yet. Of course, the instability/incompetency is at the interal os, so my water could break next Wednesday and then comes baby. Or I could be induced at the end of the month. It doesn't really make planning very easy, to be honest, when you say "I could have the baby Monday. Or in four weeks. Yeah." We just hope baby is head down when/if my water breaks, as it is an emergency c-section otherwise because of the risks of cord prolapse, etc. Clearly, there is room enough to move, but the inclination appears to be . . . lacking. Monkey baby. Or as I blurted out when I found out we were breech AGAIN, "Little bastard!" The u/s tech looked horrified, and not overly reassured when I said, "Oh don't worry, I know who the father is!" Ok, no, that just happened in my head. I thought it would be in poor taste to call the baby a bastard. But I thought it. So I'm not a very nice person. Meh.

As for how I am feeling - awful. I am completely exhausted, not sleeping well (does any pregnant woman sleep well at 9 months?) and my pelvis feels like it is going to split in half whenever I get up and walk. Also, if I stay in any one position (sitting, standing, laying down, whatever) for too long (how long is too long is unknown and variable) I can barely move. It's awful and painful and I feel vaguely amazed that I never realized before how painful this could be. But so long as baby is good, I hang in there. I'm starting to feel more cramping and a contraction here or there, but nothing awful yet.

Emotionally, I'm fairly stable, but the anxiety is increasing and the idea the baby could be here next week is stressing me out. We don't feel ready. At all. There is just so much to get done. The nursery is mostly finished, save a few details like ironing curtains or carpet cleaning, etc. Diapers and clothes are washed and ready. But the rest of the house is a mess and the carseat isn't installed, etc. Much to do.

We toured the hospital last night - there is a new wing that has just opened for maternity services and it is swanky and nice. I mean, like really really nice. That, more than anything, bummed me out about the increasing likelihood of a c-section. I mean, whatever is necessary to get baby here safely is what needs to happen. But the labor/delivery rooms are incredible and the labor nurses are all doula trained and so on and so on. . . I want a chance for one piece of this (other than conception, as my husband reminded me mischievously) not to require the highest levels of medical intervention and monitoring and care, you know? I won't feel like a failure or anything if it doesn't happen that way, but it would be nice. But again, whatever is needed to get baby here alive and safe and sound.

So, that's the rough update. I'm sure I've skipped tons, but frankly, I have to get back to work. Too much left to do and potentially very little time left to do it.