Friday, January 21, 2011

Time out to complain

I can't believe The Bean isn't here yet.  I'm getting SO frustrated, and am just trying to keep my mind off of the waiting. 

On Tuesday, I woke up at 4:00 with contractions that kept me awake.  I got up and had a bowl of cereal, and started making lunches around 5, figuring that if the contractions stopped, I'd be ready for work, and if not, I'd be ready with snacks for later.  By the time it was our usual wake-up time (6:30-ish), the contractions were still coming, and were about 10 minutes apart.  I called my sub to tell her I wouldn't be coming in, and LB called in for a sub at her work.  We got up and had breakfast, and tried to contain our excitement every time a contraction came.  We took Olive for a walk, and I noticed that these contractions were much stronger than the braxton-hicks contractions I'd had for weeks - they lasted longer (almost 2 minutes), and radiated around my back as well as my abdomen.  I was feeling really optimistic about seeing our Bean!

We passed some time at home, watching daytime TV and keeping track of the contractions on my phone.  They were about 8 minutes apart, and still strong enough that I was looking for some gentle comfort measures when they came.  I couldn't lay down through them, because they were much stronger in my back, but standing up and bending forward really helped.  Since they weren't getting closer together at this point, we decided to go on another walk and try to get things moving faster.  After the walk, we watched a movie, kept on timing contractions, and then decided to go to Costco.  At Costco, the contractions started being less regular - 6 minutes, then 3 minutes, then 7 minutes, and were less strong.  When we got home, we played some Settlers of Catan, and the contractions continued being irregular and weaker.  We tried one more walk with Olive, but as soon as we stopped walking, the contractions spread out again, now to 10 or 12 minutes apart.  I had a few strong ones once I went to bed at 10, but they quickly fizzled out.

On Wednesday, we headed to a nearby shopping center that is near to the hospital to walk around and try for an earlier midwife appointment.  We passed some time at the bookstore and walking around outside, but the contractions were much weaker than the day before, and not regular at all.  That afternoon, we saw the midwife and were told that "it happens sometimes," which may be true, but was a very frustrating thing to hear.  She checked my cervix, and I was barely dilated and not effaced, so probably not looking at Bean arriving in the next day or two.  This was amazingly discouraging.  She did recommend some measures we might take to bring labor a little faster, which I had been pooh-pooh-ing only days before, and was now hanging on every word.

So, for the last two days we've been using Evening Primrose Oil, and hoping that it is working its magic.  I've also been refusing to time any contractions, because I just can't take a repeat of Tuesday.  That, combined with a long bath last night, made today a little easier.  I've also been trying some techniques from Spinning Babies, since the midwife mentioned that Bean was "sunny-side up," and am hopeful that I'm able to make some difference, should labor try to start again. 

The hardest part of all of this is that I knew I wanted to work until Bean came, because I would find it incredible torturous to be home, pregnant, and waiting for the Bean.  After four days at home, I can confirm that I was right about my own reaction to sitting around waiting.  Sigh.  It's so hard to see my sick leave ticking away, without anything to show for it. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas/ Everywhere you go/ There's a tree in the grand hotel/ One in the park as well/ The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow

Now that LB and I have this week and next off (I enjoy this part of my teaching schedule), the house is coming together for the holidays.  A good thing, too, since we hosted a caroling party this evening.  The tree is up, the windowsills are festooned with battery-operated candles (the pets too often try to leap at the real ones), and the stockings are hung over the heating grate.  It's really quite a nice space in which to pass the time, if only I had the chance to sit and enjoy it a little more.

This morning, we went downtown early to see Santa and have our picture taken.  I was set against going this year, until a coworker mentioned that her daughter's favorite Santa picture is the one taken the Christmas before she was born.  So, off we went, in a Bean-revealing shirt, to sit next to Santa in the window.  It was more fun than I expected, but has made today particularly long and exhausting.

Yesterday we met the last of the midwives (we thought we'd met them all, then in came this new lady!), and she was not worried about any of my questions, thought our birth plan looked great and very well thought-out, and had us schedule the next 4 appointments.  That means, we now have appointments through January 19th...which is after the Bean's due date!  This is getting quite close, now.

LB put the crib together today, and we moved the extra furniture out of the Bean's room, so now our second bedroom is starting to come together.  The crib looks HUGE compared to how I imagine the Bean, and I'm sure it won't look much smaller once she arrives.  I can totally understand why people put crib bumpers and blankets in there, just to make it look cozier around babies!

New projects await us, now: finishing curtains for the Bean's room, recovering the glider rocking chair we got from Freecycle, and finding a place for the Bean to sleep when she first comes home.  Three and half weeks until our due date - ack!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Grouch's Lullaby

A Grouch's Lullaby
From Sleepytime Bird

Sleep, sleep, sleep/ Go to sleep, my little creep/ Born to live in a big trash heap

I have to laugh when my "What to Expect" app tells me that sleep is going to become harder this week/month/trimester - somehow, I don't think it gets much worse than staring at the wall for 90 minutes in the middle of the night, despite getting up to use the bathroom, have a snack, read quietly, or drink some warm milk.  Of course, now that I've said that, my brain will find some new way to torture me tonight. 

It's become entertaining to watch The Bean move around - she's usually on my right side, and apparently head-down, because it's pretty easy to feel her back and butt move by as she flips around.  Earlier this week, I pulled out a maternity support band that a friend passed along -  it was huge and uncomfortable this summer, but now it feels like heaven.  I hadn't realized just how heavy my belly is getting until I take off the band after work, and immediately everything becomes more work. 

We bought our tree this weekend, and I am currently sitting with the smell of pine from behind me, and Christmas carols playing outside (yes, we have a light display that plays music.  We're THOSE neighbors).  Incidentally, at what point did "Amazing Grace" become a Christmas carol?  It always throws me when that one comes on.  As it just did.

The Bean's room is still not ready, but we are approaching readiness on the library, so hopefully we will be able to assemble the crib soon.  For some reason, having a place for this baby to sleep is the thing that I've latched onto as "see, we're not ready!" My coworkers keep reminding me that 6 weeks is not that long, and I keep thinking about how the time I have left is the same time I will have at home with The Bean when she arrives, and neither of these thoughts is helping me calm down.  This may have something to do with the craptastic sleep, come to think of it!

Monday, November 15, 2010


by Ellis

Monkey hanging off from the ceiling, the loft/ And monkey hanging down from the tree/ Monkey hanging everywhere a monkey can hang/ And monkey copy everything she see

Woah, 31 weeks already?  But, we were just into the 3rd trimester!  In the last few weeks, I guess the Bean has been making herself known, because more parents at school (and more kiddos) have been congratulating me in the hallway - I guess I no longer look like I went hog-wild at a cheesecake buffet!  Actually, the funniest reaction I've had so far wasn't even directly to me - I saw some former students at a Halloween party at school, and they went to another teacher to ask if I was pregnant (because it would be embarrassing to ask me themselves).  I'll have to tease them the next time they're visiting.

LB and I have been painting the "library" (a previously unfinished room off of the basement) in preparation for moving our old entertainment unit out of the Bean's room.  Once that's done, we'll be ready to assemble the crib (which we still need to varnish...), and the dresser and nightstand.  LB surprised me last weekend by coming home with the dresser and nightstand as a present for the Bean.  It will be so exciting to see it all set up for her!

Today was our next midwife appointment.  Because I don't have enough to worry about, the last few days I've been hoping that my latest cold wouldn't cause any problems - I know that congestion shouldn't be an issue (it's not as if the Bean is being kept up by my snoring and sniffling), but I keep worrying that it will cause some kind of spiraling effect of I'm-not-sure-what.  For me, as long as she's moving well I'm not worried, and she is moving CONSTANTLY :)  Luckily, the midwife wasn't worried about anything, and the Bean is measuring well.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sugar Sugar

Sugar, Sugar
by The Archies

Sugar, ah honey honey/ You are my candy girl/ And you've got me wanting you/ Honey, ah sugar sugar/ You are my candy girl/ And you got me wanting you

And, we survived the 28-week appointment.  Going in without LB was harder than I expected - I was feeling nervous when I arrived, and wasn't helped any by the weigh-in (have I really gained that much? Can I blame it on the cool-weather clothes I'm wearing now?).  The first time the nurse took my blood pressure, it was too high (140 over...something), but she was very kind about it and said we'd take it again at the end of the appointment.  I was relieved about that, since I'd read stories online about women being pushed for way more testing based on one blood pressure reading, but that little relief didn't keep from feeling incredibly stressed about the upcoming glucose test, and the blood tests, and the second blood pressure.

Luckily, midwife number 5 was very calm, and I think she probably knew that I was nervous, because she spent a lot of time answering my questions and spoke in a very soothing voice the whole time.  She reassured me that the crappy sleep was normal (which is fine, but I'd still like to get a decent night's sleep), and said that the tight feelings I've been having are Braxton-Hicks contractions (those feel way different than I expected).  The best part of the appointment, though, was learning that there is a better medication I can take for heartburn - 12 tums a day was too many, so she sent me off to Costco to get an acid reducer that actually works! 

After the appointment, she took my blood pressure again, and it was much better (though still high for me), and off I went to the lab to wait for the 1-hour glucose blood draw.  It was pretty funny when Bean started kicking and flipping around while I was waiting - I guess the sugar got to her.

That afternoon, the midwife called to let me know that the glucose test came back normal (hooray!), and LB took me to get the acid reducer that was recommended.  That alone was worth the visit - the last three days have been SO much better without constant heartburn.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Carry You Around

Carry You Around
by Ani DiFranco 

And I know the fact of your presence/ Will dominate my memory of this restaurant this table/ This day and this town/ 'Cause I carry you, baby/ I carry you around

Well, the countdown has reached double digits (ack!), those shirts I was so sure were too long back in June are now too short (whoops!), and among my back, hips, and neck, something always aches (owwww...).  Must be third trimester time! 

The next visit with the midwives is this Thursday, and for the first time, LB won't be able to come along.  Since I have to do the 1-hour glucose tolerance, we couldn't make the appointment for after work like last month, so I'll be going alone on my morning off.  On the plus side, this means I will have an iron-clad reason to skip out on the superintendent's visit to our school.

I can't shake the worries planted by my mother's rant a few weeks ago; I keep nearly convincing myself that I'm not going to pass the glucose test, or that I have symptoms of preeclampsia, or that something else drastic and abysmal is coming down the pike.  LB keeps reminding me that I just need to ask these questions at the appointment on Thursday, and I am eternally grateful for her cool (and non-pregnancy addled) head. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Adelaide's Lament

Adelaide's Lament
from Guys and Dolls 

The female remaining single/ Just in the legal sense/ Shows a neurotic tendancy, see note:/ Chronic organic symptoms/ Toxic or hypertense/ Involving the eye, the ear, the nose, and throat.
In other words, just from worrying if the wedding is on or off/ A person can develop a cough.

It's one month into the school year, and so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised to wake up on Wednesday with a sore throat and a lingering tiredness.  By Friday, I was posting for cold-relief suggestions on Facebook and consuming enough peppermint tea to keep Stash in business for another year.  I consulted various online sources (Dr. Google never fails, eh?), but was unable to make heads or tails of the conflicting information available through my fogged head.  I knew Dayquil (my go-to drug for colds when I'm teaching) was probably not approved for someone "in my condition" (my mother's latest favorite phrase, for some reason), so this morning, at LB's suggestion, I broke down and called the midwife hotline to find out if there was anything I could take.  Their approved suggestions? Tylenol (no more than 650 mg every 4 hours), a neti pot, and robitussin (the plain kind).  LB, my wonderful girl, is out getting me the robitussin while I down a few more gallons of tea.  

She's also buying a finish for the crib:

SNIGLAR Crib  Length: 53 7/8 " Width: 29 1/8 " Height: 33 1/8 " Bed width: 27 1/2 " Bed length: 52 "  Length: 137 cm Width: 74 cm Height: 84 cm Bed width: 70 cm Bed length: 132 cm
Yesterday, we decided to start buying the big items for the Bean, and headed to Ikea for a piece of furniture.  We knew which dresser we wanted, but weren't decided on the crib, or if we also wanted the changing table, so we looked at everything and compared in the store before deciding to head home with one of the two cribs we liked, a mattress, and some teething rails (the Bean will need teething rails!?!).  LB started assembling it while I made dinner last night, but discovered upon opening it that the crib in the store must have had some kind of finish put on it, because this crib was much less finished than the one we had seen (which had been our concern, but had been allayed by seeing both cribs in the store).  I was ready to return the crib and get the more-expensive-but-lacquered crib we also liked, but LB said she would varnish this one and then assemble it, so that's the plan.  

Its crazy to look in The Bean's room and see a crib and baby toys, and to open the closet and see baby clothes and equipment stacking up.  Also crazy?  Today we're at 26 weeks!  The picture in A Child is Born is labeled, "Past the line," as a baby born after this point has some chance of survival.  It's far too early for Bean to arrive, of course, but still, wow.