Friday, April 29, 2005

Come On, Cervix!

It looks like I may be saved from waiting too much longer. At my appointment this week, my perinatologist suggested that I be induced at 39 weeks. I asked my OB about this and he agreed. The reason they would be willing to do this is that I'm currently taking Lovenox injections every day to manage my blood clotting disorder. It's not a good thing to have a shot of Lovenox right before going into labor for a couple of reasons. First, since it's a blood thinner it could cause me to bleed too much during delivery. And second, I can't get an epidural within 24 hours of having a shot. The medication does something to the spinal space that can cause blood clots to form if spinal anesthesia is administered, and that can cause paralysis for life. Obviously, they don't want to mess around with that. So if I had just given myself an injection of Lovenox and went into labor in the next couple of hours, chances are I would not have the option of having an epidural. With an induction, they can schedule me to stop the Lovenox exactly 24 hours before starting labor so my options would be open.

Wednesday I have another NST and they will do an internal exam to see if my cervix is "favorable" for induction. They want it to be dilated and effaced to a certain point. If my cervix is unfavorable, it's a no go because my chances of winding up with a C-section would be too high. If it's favorable, they'll schedule me for an induction the next week, sometime around the 10th.

So of course, I'm doing everything I can to make my cervix "favorable". Enter herbal remedies. I'm using evening primrose oil capsules and drinking raspberry leaf tea. My midwife also suggests having intercourse every day (I'm sorry, but all I can do when I think about that is laugh.)

The bottom line is, we may be less than two weeks from D-Day. Send favorable cervix vibes my way!

Would You Like Some Cheese With That Whine?

(Ooh, yes please, especially if it's chèvre with Herbes de Provence spread on a warm baguette. YUM.)

Warning: Here comes another post about how hard it is to be pregnant. Feel free to skip it if that bugs you! And keep in mind that I am still very, very grateful to be experiencing all of this. Seriously. I guess it's just that I see whining about pregnancy as part of the whole experience. So even though it was so hard for us to conceive and I could not be happier to be at this stage, I reserve the right to whine about the parts of it that suck!

I haven't posted for a week now because I have been feeling absolutely awful. Last weekend I came down with a bad cold that a few days later became a nasty sinus infection. Along with all the late term pregnancy stuff I've got going on, it's really knocked me over. All I want to do is lie around and watch TLC with a hot washcloth on my aching head.

A couple of days ago I took a mental inventory of how my whole body was feeling. Starting from the top:

1) Head - Hurts from my sinus infection.
2) Upper back and shoulders - Hurt from the weight of my bazongas. My shoulders have started falling asleep at night too for some reason.
3) Breasts - Hurt from being so big and they're tender.
4) Belly - Itchy from my skin being stretched out so much, and I'm having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions, which despite what all the pregnancy books say, are NOT painless.
5) Hips - Feel like they're being pulled apart every time I change positions and when I'm walking.
6) Lower back - Hurts thanks to the weight of my ginormous front.
7) Pelvic area - Feels like I'm carrying a bowling ball between my legs because the baby's head is so low.
8) Thighs - Sore from my Lovenox injections and the subsequent bruises.
9) Knees - Hurt because I'm carrying around 30 extra pounds.
10) Calves and feet - Sore from the swelling I get all the time. The same thing happens in my hands, when I get up in the morning I can barely make a fist.

So looking on the bright side, my elbows feel great.

I've always heard pregnant women complain a ton near the end of their pregnancies but I never knew why. For me it didn't get really uncomfortable until the baby dropped. Up until then I felt fabulous. A little heavy and awkward yes, but nothing like how I feel now. My mom told me that this is nature's way of helping you get through labor; she said by the end of her pregnancies she would have been willing to cut herself open with a kitchen knife just not to be pregnant anymore. I haven't quite reached that stage of desperation, but I can definitely understand how one could get to that point.

Just a few more weeks to go.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Darn You, Céline Dion!

You know that song "A New Day" by Céline Dion where she sings about having her baby? Who coincidentally was an IVF baby and a boy? Well it just came up in my music rotation I have playing and wouldn't you know - I completely lost it. I had to listen to "Drop It Like It's Hot" three times just to be able to stop crying.

Be warned: pregnancy hormones and Céline Dion do not mix!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

More NST Drama

Yesterday I had a routine midwife appointment with a non-stress test. Since I've had like a zillion of them by now I'm getting pretty good at interpreting the test results, so I wasn't too surprised when the midwife Melinda told me I'd have to go over to the hospital to Labor and Delivery for more testing. Again. This time I took my time getting there and went to eat lunch first so I wouldn't have to have hospital food for as long as possible. I also called Eric and asked him to bring me some pillows from home just in case I had to stay the night again so this time I'd be more comfortable. (See, I've learned some things!) Luckily all the preparations turned out to be unnecessary. They ran another NST and this one was picture perfect, for the first time ever! I'm convinced it was the double cheeseburger I ate immediately beforehand. I always eat before having an NST but now I know I have to really stuff myself! Not a problem.

Also, I learned at my appointment that the baby has definitely dropped. Melinda could feel his head right against my cervix. And I'm one centimeter dilated. Which doesn't really mean anything, but it still makes me excited. Things are happening!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Dropping the Baby

I think I'm dropping my baby! Actually, I think the baby is dropping himself. I woke up this morning feeling enormous pelvic pressure and soreness, kind of like someone had been repeatedly kicking me in the crotch all night long. (I realize that sounds funny, but trust me, it doesn't feel that way.) And today whenever I stand up from a sitting position it feels like my hips are going to split apart. They say in first-time moms the baby usually drops between 2 and 4 weeks before labor begins, which is about right according to my due date, although I'm secretly hoping I'm on the 2 week side of things. Either way, it won't be too long now!

Monday, April 18, 2005


Saturday night I had my first baby shower. My sister, high school best friend, and mother-in-law put it together for me and they did a fabulous job. The decorations were all based on the jungle theme from our nursery, complete with monkeys hanging from the ceiling and tribal music playing in the background. The desserts all had interesting names like "Tiger Tails", "Monkey Mess", and "Zebra Balls" (YUM). A lot of ladies came, including some of my mom's friends. I love being around women who have lots of experience with being moms and lots of wisdom to impart. I really felt supported by all of them and that helps so much in bolstering my confidence that maybe, just maybe I will be able to do this.

And the most important part of any shower: the stuff! We got piles of cute clothes that everyone ooh'd and aah'd at as they were opened. And we got some practical things too, like diapers, medical stuff, and bath accessories. Now my living room floor is covered with gifts that I need to sort through, put away and write thank you notes for. Which is actually a good thing because I still have a few weeks left and I'm starting to get impatient. Staying busy helps. I keep waiting for my nesting instinct to kick in and inspire me to deep-clean the whole house, but so far the closest I've come is idly brushing Oreo crumbs off the couch as I'm watching Dr. Phil with my swollen feet up on a pillow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

It's Called a "Non-Stress Test"... but I'm Definitely Stressed

It's been a crazy week. I've been going to my midwife/ob office once a week for non-stress tests to keep an eye on the baby and make sure he's OK. They hook me up to a monitor that measures the baby's heart rate and movements. What they are looking for is what's called a "reactive" test result, meaning that the baby's heart rate shows at least two periods of acceleration in 20 minutes. Last Wednesday I had a non-reactive test with only one acceleration and a few decelerations that concerned the midwife. She sent me straight over to Labor and Delivery so they could do some more testing. I spent the rest of the day hooked up to monitors for more NSTs and a complete biophysical profile which came back borderline (I scored a 6 out of 10; with an 8 you pass and below a 6 you fail). There was some discussion about the possibility of inducing me the next day if the results didn't improve. All I could think was "But my baby shower is next week! And we don't even have the carseat installed yet!" Of course there are much bigger problems to worry about when a baby is born at 34 weeks, but that's how my mind works I guess. Over the course of the day the NST results improved slightly, but not well enough that they would let me go home. They kept me in the hospital overnight and gave me an IV to make sure I was hydrated. The next day I had two more NSTs and at about 1:00 my lovely perinatologist Dr. Ghidini was able to come see me and he did an ultrasound. To our relief, everything looked fine. Eric took me home a couple of hours later and I pretty much slept for the next two days.

Being in the hospital and worrying so much was exhausting and I feel like I'm still recovering from the whole ordeal. There's something about being hospitalized that makes me feel sick even when I'm perfectly healthy. Plus I had a semi-private room and my roommate was up all night chatting on the phone so even if I hadn't been worried to death I doubt I would have been able to sleep. At 3:30 a.m. she was in what sounded like a very heated debate about abortion laws. Oh, and my IV kept coming loose so I had to hold my right arm perfectly still or I'd doze off and then wake up in a puddle of saline and blood (that happened at about 4:30.) That one night has convinced me that I want to stay at home during labor as much as possible, because as grateful as I am for the medical technology we have, I hate being in the hospital.

Today I had another NST, and thankfully, it was better than last week's and I got to go home after my appointment. I'll keep going once a week until I deliver and we'll keep hoping and praying that we don't have another scare like that again.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

More on Mothers

I've been re-reading my post about mothers and I want to clarify a few things. I tend to be somewhat sarcastic and flippant and I would hate for readers to get the wrong impression based on my remarks. First of all, I want to emphasize that I don't think there's anything wrong with David O. McKay praising his mother. His remarks were obviously sincere, and full of the best feelings possible. It's wonderful that he loved and respected her so much. I would love for my children to feel that way about me, and in fact I feel the same way about my own mother.

My concern comes from my personal observation that this is the only view of motherhood we hear about in a church setting. I think it's more evidence of what is culturally acceptable to us as a people than it is of what mothers are actually like, or even what they should be like. In an effort to praise and respect motherhood and women, we end up with an unrealistic model of what the ideal woman should be like. Problems arise when we compare ourselves to this model. Not one of us is perfect. If we think we are supposed to be perfect, we're going to end up in a self-defeating spiral of shame and guilt about not living up to these expectations.

I get especially concerned when the model is primarily one of self-sacrifice and even self-deprecation. Maybe it's OK to complain when you're husband's spending all his time at work and leaving you entirely responsible for the children (especially if there are ten of them!) Maybe it's OK to assert yourself and ask for your own needs to be met. There's a happy medium somewhere between perfect patience and suffering in silence, and selfish nagging.

Thank you all for your comments. This is something I'll definitely keep thinking about in the future, especially as I make the (terrifying) transition to being a mother myself. I'm sure after I see what it's really like I'll have some different ideas.

Monday, April 04, 2005

I'm a Christian/Buddhist

Thanks to Sara at Drama-Rama for posting the quiz "Which Religion is the Right One for You?" I feel pretty set with my religion, but it's nice to have some reassurance that yep, I am in fact a Christian. I'm also not surprised that my second choice was Buddhism. So it's a pretty accurate quiz, and I found a lot of the questions interesting. It's also interesting to see that my last choice was atheism. I guess I really do believe this stuff!



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with

Friday, April 01, 2005

A Stroll Down Mammary Lane

Warning: This post will discuss my breasts. If you are uncomfortable with that, skip this one! (Dad, this especially means you.)

Pregnancy has surprised me in many ways in terms of its effects on my body. In your pre-pregnancy days, no one bothers to tell you that it's normal to be very constipated most of the time, or that when the baby punches you in the cervix it hurts like the dickens. And who really wants to mention that in the last half of pregnancy it's difficult to laugh, sneeze or cough without wetting your pants? It's not the sort of thing that comes up in polite company. So there have been many surprises along the way. But the one thing that has surprised me the most is the change in my breasts.

I expected them to get a little bigger, but I was completely unprepared for what "a little bigger" would actually mean. I've always been diminutive in the chest area, and very happy that way. There's so much freedom in being small breasted; I could go anywhere without a bra with no problem, I looked delightfully perky in any bathing suit, it didn't hurt to run, and basically they just never got in my way like some of my more buxom friends described.

Fast forward to my second month of pregnancy. In a matter of about two weeks (although it felt like two minutes) I grew from a cute 34 B to a voluptuous and heavy 36 DD. Now, at 34 weeks, I've far surpassed that measurement. (I'd tell you what it is now, but it doesn't matter, it will change in about 5 minutes anyway.) I'd be lying if I said that Eric was upset about this. He sees it as a merciful God's compensation for having to put up with my mood swings.

My reaction hasn't been quite as enthusiastic. Between my chest and my belly, I've never been so front-heavy in my life, which has caused me a lot of back pain. It's hard to find bras in the right size, and the ones to be found are not very cute. No little lacy push-ups for me; we're talking heavy duty industrial strength hammocks. Also, it turns out that growing several cup sizes in a short amount of time can cause stretch marks. I don't have a single stretch mark on my belly but my new bazongas are covered with them. They've faded a bit in the last couple of weeks, which is good, although I shouldn't really care. Eric doesn't mind, and he's the only one who sees them; I'm pretty sure I won't be starting a career in topless dancing any time soon.

So to sum up, having huge pregnant breasts is at best a mixed blessing, at least for the one who has to carry them around.

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