Update (but no real news)

You’d think I’d have been posting a lot, considering that I’ve had nothing else to do but sit on the couch since last week. But I haven’t been up for writing that nothing is going on, other than me sitting on the couch.

I’ve been home from the hospital since last Thursday. I had a doctor’s appointment on Friday, and then another on Monday. I’ve got still another one at 9:00 today (we’ll see if I get this posted before I need to get ready to leave for the appointment). In between appointments, I’ve been on the couch. Notice a theme here?

My blood pressure has been good; it was slightly high when I first got to the doctor’s office Friday, but when they retested it after I’d been sitting/lying on the table it was fine. On Monday I got smart and made sure to arrive at the office early so that I’d have time to rest in the waiting room instead of going straight from the long walk from my car to having my bp tested. What do you know, it worked; my bp was 128/82 on Monday, my best showing in awhile.

The baby continues to test well on the non stress tests (NST). He’s doing so well it’s hard to get him to cooperate and stay in the same spot so the heart rate monitor can get a continuous reading. I’ll have another one of those tests this morning. They’re probably the easiest test of the whole pregnancy. Sit in a comfy chair with a monitor on my enormous belly and listen to my baby’s heartbeat. I can handle that.

After the NST test I’ll meet with my doctor again to see what she says. Assuming everything still looks good, I’ll come home and get back on the couch.

We do have a firm deadline: if the kid hasn’t made his appearance before then, I am to appear at the hospital at 6:00 PM Tuesday the 7th. I’ll have another dose or two or three of the gel, then bright and early the next morning they’ll start pitocin. One way or another he will be evicted, so he’d probably arrive on the 8th. I suppose if I was slow but steady it might not be until the early hours of the 9th, but most likely it’d be the 8th.

This assumes that he doesn’t decide to show up on his own, which he is more than welcome to do. I mean, I don’t have any other plans for the weekend, so come on son, let’s get acquainted!

I don’t think I mentioned that on Friday they did another ultrasound, to make sure there was enough fluid around the baby. There was, but what I enjoyed (besides just getting to see him again) was the fact that they could tell that he has hair! I had no idea that that would be visible on an ultrasound, but it could clearly be seen floating around. So amazing!

Also amazing to me is the fact that they estimated his weight at 8 pounds 8 ounces. I did not think he’d be that big. I keep reminding myself that it was just an estimate. An educated guess if you will. No guarantees. (Please hold back on any stories of babies who ended up being significantly larger than the estimates).

There really isn’t much else to share. I’m just hanging out, wishing I could be getting stuff done (like cooking or baking; I want some good food!) and bemoaning the sad state of daytime and summer TV. I’m not even reading much because I can’t seem to concentrate. Sad, isn’t it?

I’m Not Quite as Ready as They Thought

The important summary details: I’m home, and the baby is not here yet. We’re both doing well. Lots more details follow…

We arrived at the hospital last night and settled in for our evening induction. After getting settled with a hep lock /soon to be IV, and an hour of monitoring the baby’s heartbeat, I received the first of two planned prostin gel insertions. That was lots of fun, but the bigger issue was being so tied down to machines – I had two monitors (baby’s heartbeat and a contraction monitor), and the IV fluid line.

That was around 11:15, and then L and I tried to settle in and get some rest before my second gel insertion which was schedule for 4 hours later (i.e. 3:15). Unfortunately, between the straps and lines and beeping and the nurse coming in to adjust the monitors or turn of the IV alarm which kept going off, it made for a very rough night. L was about 5 feet away in the guest area of the suite but the privacy curtain didn’t let him miss much of the commotion, so he didn’t get a lot more sleep than I did. I think I managed about 1.5 or maybe 2 hours total, split up in 30 minute segments, and he *maybe* doubled that, also in broken up segments.

The second dose of prostin was as effective as the first, which is to say not at all. My cervix didn’t budge, and no contractions started.

I expected the pitocin to be started around 7:30, but instead my nurse contacted the doctor and filled her in on the lack of progress. Because my blood pressure had been dropping all evening and was looking great, the doctor was willing to discuss sending me home on strict bed rest instead of continuing on with the induction since apparently this baby wasn’t ready to budge.

I was *thrilled* to have that option. After the long night, I was exhausted and hungry and uncomfortable, and labor hadn’t even started – I wondered how I’d manage and thought it was just setting up to really make a c-section more likely.

So finally after instructions and an appointment set up for tomorrow morning involving an ultrasound/blood work/blood pressue check/etc, I was sent home.

Where I took a shower and planned to update the blog but instead fell asleep on the couch and have only just woken up enough to write this update. :)

Tomorrow at 11:00 I’ve got that appointment, and we’ll see. I hope that my blood pressure continues to look good enough and he looks good enough that they let me start labor naturally. It’s just a real wait and see time.

Oh, and since I haven’t said this clearly enough, the only other reason they allowed me to go home was because the baby looked GREAT. He was monitored for around 15 hours at the hospital, plus 2+ hours in triage yesterday afternoon and his heartbeat was always fantastic. I was the one in bad shape yesterday.

I’ll try and update tomorrow after my appointment. If nothing else, I’ve been in text contact with Jennifer and she may be willing and able to put updates in the comments if & when things get started for real.

Thanks everyone for your well-wishes and prayers (and continued prayers.) :) Hope to have good news soon!

Updated to add the super fun chore I do have to do as part of my condition to coming home. Collecting all my urine for 24 hours so they can test it for protein to make sure my kidneys are functioning well. Yes, that’s right, I’m collecting my pee. Pee into a “hat” that’s set in the toilet, pour it into a measuring cup and record how much I peed and when, and the pour that into the collection jug which is kept in the fridge. Lovely. Fortunately the collection jug is dark so it’s not quite as obvious what the jug in the fridge actually contains, but man this is weird. And I’m sure I’m going to love walking into the doctor’s office with that jug tomorrow. What a fun prize for them!

Week Thirty-Nine a.k.a This Is It!

Why yes, this post is early. Because it’s all I’m going to say about week thirty-nine.

Regular doctor’s visit. Uh-oh. High blood pressure. Off to triage at the hospital to monitor me. Several hours later, despite otherwise good labs & test results, the consistently high blood pressure readings are leading them to say this is it.

They gave me a hour or two to come home & get my stuff & then I’m back to the hospital TONIGHT to be induced.

Prayers for a good delivery with a healthy baby & mom would be very much appreciated.

I plan to bring my laptop to the hospital, so tweets might happen to update the situation, but I can’t promise anything.

Week Thirty-Eight

This week was mostly a repeat of last week. I’m still just waiting for him to arrive, and wrapping up household & work stuff until then.

We did get our changing table & it’s in the room. I got a pad & cover (which is very cute!) and I’ve even got items in some of the drawers.

It hit me the other day that while we have enough diapers for probably the first two weeks, we had very few wipes, so on our next trip out we got a big tub. I know, you don’t have to use them for every change, but still. I’d prefer not to have to make an emergency dash to the store (or send someone else on one) for something like that.

I also got a nursing bra and nursing cami, so I’m content with that until I see what size I end up being. And I got a boppy, but there’s still a few things I’d like to get sooner rather than later.

Work is basically wrapped up, with me conceding that I’m just not going to manage to get everything accomplished I would have liked. Since I could not have this baby until 2011 without accomplishing everything at work, I’m content with that. I’ve only got two days left at work, and I’m only planning on working half days for both of them. A full day just tires me out way too much, so I’ll deal with driving in twice. It’s kind of a weird feeling knowing that I’m almost done there.

As of Wednesday, I still wasn’t dilated at all, but I am about 50% effaced, so that is progress I guess.

We’ve got the guest room almost as ready as it will ever be, so I don’t have to feel bad about the setup when my parents arrive. In a perfect world I’d get a little closet space cleared out for them, but that may not happen. They’ll manage.

I’ve been reading as much as I possibly can, especially of books that either deal with childbirth/breastfeeding/child rearing that may be useful to know soonish, or Christian topics that may be harder for me to focus on after his arrival. Some of the books I’m realizing that I’m skimming too much, so I’m noting them as ones that I want to reread someday. And a couple I even want to purchase. I’ll still never get through all the books I’ve got out from the library, so I’m sure many will be going back unread.

Almost forgot – I didn’t truly pack my hospital bag this week, but I did gather most items I’ll want and they’re all on the top of my dresser, so L can easily scoop them into a bag if it’s necessary. A few items are still elsewhere in the house, but they should all be reasonably findable by L if I go into labor too suddenly for me to get them myself (items such as my eyeglasses, iPod & charger, camera, and cell phone & charger.

Updated to add that I did forget to mention the stretch marks that have appeared from nowhere suddenly. And they ITCH. Bad enough that the doctor noticed and recommended hydrocortisone cream (which is not helping much). I’m doing my best not to scratch them, but I’ll catch myself throughout the day, and I woke up one morning to discover that I’d apparently scratched them during the night enough to make them bleed. Yuck. It’s really not pretty, and I’m glad that I’ve managed to avoid having L see the mess that is my lower belly. He doesn’t need that image in his brain.

Week Thirty-Seven

Not a whole lot to report from this week, just that I’m feeling really big and awkward and alternate between wanting this baby out already to hoping he’ll stay put for a while longer because we’re really not ready for him.

I guess that’s pretty typical.

We ordered a changing table this week after finally giving up on finding one on craigslist. Perhaps if I’d started looking sooner (like perhaps when I first found out?) but by the time I started looking there wasn’t as much time to wait for something we liked to appear. At least we got something off clearance so it was cheaper than normal.

There is still a lot of stuff I need (want) to buy before the baby arrives. Like a stroller. And a wrap or sling. And a changing table pad. And maybe a bassinet even? And some cloth diapers. And a diaper bag. And a waterproof pad for the crib/bassinet. And at least one nursing bra. And a boppy. And a diaper pail.

I’m working on my list of things to do before the baby arrives. Ha! There’s no way it’ll all get done. Perhaps I should post it so everyone can laugh at me.

He’s been fairly quiet today, just occasional thumps and bumps, but still enough so that I know he’s in there & moving around.

At my last doctor’s appointment I found out that I’m still not dilated at all so there was really no change from the week before. But I did find out that I tested negative for group b beta strep, so that’s good news.

I keep thinking I should get some pictures of myself. Susan, I really wish you were around to take my picture. :( L is horrid when it comes to photographing me. I could have had his sister take a few while she was here if I’d thought about it.

Week Thirty-Six

Last of the classes this week with a long one on breastfeeding. I think the most useful part of all of the classes was that L got a lot of info he wouldn’t otherwise, and it wasn’t just me telling him stuff. The breastfeeding info was pretty much all things I’d read, but L hearing it and learning specifics on what he can do to help me (and why it’s such a beneficial thing to do that it’s worth the effort) was fantastic.

We met with our doula as well for almost an hour and a half, and she asked me a slew of questions about my goals for having this baby (me: #1 healthy baby & healthy mama. #2 breastfeeding not hindered by anything that could be prevented). I really liked her and am glad I decided to go with a doula & hope that it helps make for a better birth experience.

The big event this week was that the shower with L’s family was Saturday (hence the delayed posting). I was about 99% certain that his sister from Las Vegas was going to be there because of some things she’d posted on FaceBook, but what I had NOT known was that she was going to show up at our house with her two kids on Wednesday evening. Shortly afterward I found out that someone else was going to be arriving at midnight & L would be making a run to the airport to pick her up (I was guessing it would be the other sister from Phoenix, but wasn’t certain).

I may have never blogged this, but I HATE HATE HATE surprises. I am a planner. I like knowing what’s going on.

The above + pregnancy hormones + generally feeling lousy = me in a horrifically bad mood. I knew I was overreacting. I knew they all meant well & all that but I was beyond ticked that L hadn’t told me (I know I’ve told him that I hate surprises). I felt like he was favoring his family over me (ridiculous, I know, but I think the whacked out hormones were not helping me be rational). I was so upset I couldn’t even talk to him about it that evening since I was afraid I’d start shrieking or crying and that was not something I wanted to do with 3 visitors in the house. Even him telling me that they were staying at a hotel wasn’t appeasing me; I had had my routines disrupted, the house was a wreck & I was embarrassed for it to be seen, and d*mmit, I HATE SURPRISES.

Deep breath.

Lots of prayers that evening/night and next morning, for God to help me get a handle on my out-of-control emotional reaction to something that really wasn’t anything as big as I was feeling it to be. And they’d all meant well, just most of them were thinking about what they’d like.

The next day, despite still feeling pretty awful, I was almost delighted to head out for work. I just wished I could have been home alone and rested. That evening I eventually managed to talk to L & explain my feelings & admitted that I knew I was overreacting, but that I was really hurt by having the visitors sprung on me. He quickly apologized and then admitted that two more were arriving the next day – my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were also coming in from Arizona.

I think my prayers worked, along with talking it out with L (that and finally feeling better too) because by Friday afternoon when the final two arrived I was able to enjoy the visitors and not try to fake pleasure at seeing them like I had been doing.

The shower itself was a blast.

And I think L knows, for future reference, that it really doesn’t matter if everyone else thinks that a surprise for me would be So! Much! Fun! because it really won’t be for me. And if the point of the event is to do something nice for me, a surprise is the last way to go about it.

In other news, the nursery is progressing. And at my 36-week appointment I learned that the baby is definitely head down (yay!), and I’m not dilated at all, but my cervix is “nice and soft.” We are getting close!

Week Thirty-Five

We wrapped up our childbirth prep class series this week. The final session was on postpartum and newborn care. I continued to be impressed at how interesting the instructor made some topics that could have been pretty unpleasant.

We also had a class on natural labor at the beginning of the week, and it also ended up being a terrific class. This one was taught by a woman who is usually a labor & delivery nurse at the hospital, but she LOVES natural labor and teaches a class on it once a month. Her enthusiasm and support for it was fantastic and really made us (i.e., me) think I can do it. Or at least give it a very good shot. :)

I’ve spoken on the phone with the woman who will most likely be my doula. The way our hospital works is they have doulas, and after I answered questions on my personality & what I wanted & the type of person I thought I’d most be comfortable with, the coordinator matched me with one of the available doulas. We’ll meet next week in person to get to know one another & make sure we both think the match will work. She seemed very nice on the phone, so I’ve got good hopes for it. :)

My belly button is slowly but surely turning into an outie. I’ll be honest, it kind of disturbs me. I have no idea why this aspect of pregnancy gets to me so much, but it does. I try to pretend it’s not happening.

We hope to get a lot of work done around the house this week so that we feel more prepared for the baby’s arrival. I’ve had a contraction every 3 – 4 hours today so I realize that the end is definitely approaching. And if you’re wondering, by “we” I really mean that L will be doing a lot while I do what I can and take lots of breaks on the couch. I don’t want to encourage this baby to arrive early!