December 30, 2008
A completely boring post, just because I haven't posted in awhile.
Waiting. Yep. That's what I'm doing. I was fine with this last month of pregnancy business. I'm feeling good (really, I am). I'm getting stuff done (although I'm not sure it's the stuff that NEEDS to get done). I was all set to ride things out in style until January 15th, the scheduled c-section date.
And then the contractions started. And then I called the nurse. And she suggested I go to Labor and Delivery to be evaluated for pre-term labor.
And I got to L&D, and at first they sort of blew me off, like yeah, you're having a few contractions, but no big deal. And then the contractions were coming 4 minutes apart. And then they thought I should have a baby that day. And then I freaked out.
But then they changed their minds and sent me home with something to help me rest. And since then, the contractions have slowed down, but not stopped.
But now I am feeling impatient, and ready to have this baby. But, it probably won't happen today. And I'll have to live with that.
December 17, 2008
Every baby is different....
When I was pregnant the first time around, I was very superstitious. I'm not sure exactly why--maybe it was that the whole being pregnant thing was a bit of a mystery. It was both weird and fun watching my body change in surprising ways, and I was always a little unsure about what was happening next. Although getting pregnant the first time around was relatively easy, I still felt like every day I carried the baby was a gift to cherish, and I didn't want to upset the balance of the universe. So, I didn't cut my hair--and besides, I have fabulous hair when I'm pregnant so why cut it? [This pregnancy, I have not only cut my hair, but had it permed.] In addition, we didn't tell anyone the name of the baby until after he was born. I think we felt like it was a bit presumptuous to know his name until we saw him. In fact, we had two names picked out, and we weren't positive which one we'd go with until the moment he was born. Funny thing was, our hospital was feeling more urgency than we were to name him, so he ended up being "Baby Christensen" his entire hospital stay because we didn't name him within the first five minutes of his birth. [This pregnancy, we have one name picked out, and we've seen her little face enough on the ultrasounds to feel good about it, but we're still not telling. But not for superstition. Just because we want something to still be a surprise.] A third superstition was related to the placenta. I had strong feelings about not wanting the placenta to be thrown away as "medical waste" and so even though it was highly unusual at this hospital, we got them to package it up for us to take home.
A friend recently asked me what we're going to do with the placenta this time around, and I laughed, because, although I felt so sentimental with the first one, things didn't really work out as planned. J ended up being born with a medical complication, and he had to go to a different hospital for surgery. Eventually, I was discharged so I could join him, but a hospital is really no place to have a placenta cooling on dry ice in a styrofoam container. While J recovered from his surgery, C brought the placenta home and put it in the freezer, and what with the newborn craziness and follow up medical appointments to address J's medical condition (which is fine now, by the way), we sort of forgot about the placenta.
I had a friend who had actually eaten hers, and let's face it. I was a little superstitious, but not that superstitious. I've since seen ads where you can have someone come to your house, dry it, and turn it into supplements. I wasn't going to do that, either. I had visions more along the lines of planting a tree and using the placenta as fertilizer. What hadn't really crossed my mind when I was begging for it to not be turned into medical waste was that we lived in an apartment complex, and I didn't really have the ability to plant a tree. Given the challenge of logistics, we just kept the thing in the freezer and tried not to think about it.
Eventually, though, we decided to move halfway across the country, to Minnesota. We didn't really think the placenta would make the trip so well, especially since we were moving in July. What were we going to do with it? We contemplated just throwing it away at that point, but that somehow didn't seem quite right, given we could have just done that when J was born. Instead, we asked a friend to take it. They were planning to plant a tree in their yard anyway, so we asked them to plant it with the tree. She said she would. We felt better and we moved on to Minnesota, and never looked back.
Then, a friend here asked me what we're going to do with the placenta. Now, I'm wondering if my friend in the NW ever did plant the placenta with the tree. I'm sorta hoping she didn't. By then, I'm sure it was all freezer burnt and nasty looking, and who knows if it even would have been good fertilizer anymore. I'm sort of hoping she just left me with the illusion that she was taking care of me, as she tossed it quietly in the dumpster.
This time, we're NOT keeping the placenta, even though we have a yard that needs a tree. Nope, not doing it. There'll be no placenta in my freezer. This time, we're donating the cord blood and the placenta to medical research. I feel like some good will really come of the placenta this way. Sure, it's gonna end up as medical waste somewhere, but not until all of it's goodness has been extracted and saved in order to help someone. That's what I wanted in the first place, and I'm glad we can get it right this time.
December 11, 2008
Get in on the action!
December 9, 2008
the waiting is the hardest part
I'm definitely not in the "get this baby out of me NOW" stage, but I AM feeling like the novelty of being pregnant is wearing thin. Here's the things I'm growing tired of:
1. I called my mom, who thinks she needs to know my fasting glucose everyday. I appreciate her care and concern, although some days, when I need to up the insulin and she says, "now don't go getting all crazy there!" I feel a little frustrated. Today, as I dialed the number, I thought: how many weeks have I been doing this now? Calling my mother daily to tell her if I'm doing well. There's nothing new here.
2. I'm tired of thinking about the stuff we still need to get for the baby. Having kids almost 8 years apart really does mean we got rid of most of the baby stuff from the first time around. We have plenty of onesies and sleepers and stuff like that, but we still need to make sure the car seat hasn't been settled by a mouse colony since we put it in storage. And we need a new high chair. And the fact that a seven-year-old still wants to cuddle with us most of the time means that we need a co-sleeper for the little one. I'm really tired of thinking about when we're going to get this stuff, and I'm mostly too tired to actually go out and get it.
3. The c-section is scheduled for 8 am on January 15th. I'd like to believe the baby will be born that day, but I'm pretty certain that she will be born sometime between Christmas and January 15th. Could we please wait until at least January 5th so that I can maximize my maternity leave?
4. I'm tired of feeling aimless and unfocused. I need to get work projects done, but between doctors' appts and wondering if we need to buy a car seat, it's hard to focus. I wish projects could magically finish themselves, and then deliver a cosleeper to my doorstep.
5. Snow. We've only really had snow for a couple days now, but I'm already tired of it.
6. The color pink. WHY is it that baby clothes are either pink or blue? I don't get it. There are some cute clothes out there, but I'm so disappointed that they are so often pink. I think this gendered clothing thing has gotten worse in the last several years.
Well, that's enough to whine about for today. Sometime soon, I'll try to have a more uplifting post that actually matches my feeling a little better. Because, overall, I'm actually feeling quite good. I'm just anxious to get some things done before this baby gets here. That's all.
December 4, 2008
and so it goes....
I found out the other day that, because I'm on insulin, I "get" to do fetal surveillance twice a week instead of once a week. My doctor tells me that most women complain that they don't get enough ultrasounds and that I truly am an outlier in voicing my frustration over "getting" to have these ultrasounds twice a week.
As I have said previously, maybe if I didn't already have an OB/GYN appt every week, a PT appt every week, a visit to the endocrinologist almost every week, and a quick conversation with a diabetes educator (is that everything? I can't remember!), maybe I wouldn't mind these twice weekly ultrasounds.
I'm not sure how much doing fetal surveillance twice a week will make a difference to the outcome. The doctor tells me that there's an increased risk of fetal death when you're on insulin, although I think there's something contradictory in that statement. I don't think insulin "causes" fetal death. I think uncontrolled diabetes probably plays a contributing role. But, if you're taking insulin and your fasting blood glucose is less than 95, and your two hour post-meals are less than 120, I don't see how insulin is the problem. Nope. I don't see it.
I do think there is one way in which all of this fetal surveillance (don't you just love that term?!?) WILL make a difference. I think that looking at my baby this way twice a week is bound to make someone somewhere decide to move up my planned c-section date. As eager as I am to have this baby, I'm not eager to have someone decide she needs to be born early because she didn't take a practice breath today, or her movements weren't frequent enough. The doctor informs me that in fact, there IS a statistically significant likelihood that my date will be moved up based on increased monitoring. Hmmmm....interesting.
So, we're in the car this morning, and J says to me, do you ever feel like someone is watching you? And I respond: "only when I see the fetal surveillance van parked out in front of our house." He didn't get it. Lucky kid.
December 1, 2008
Where I draw the line
I seem to be doing better these days. The nasty stomach bug is gone. My fasting blood glucose levels are FINALLY below 95 most of the time. I ate pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and it had no serious effect on my blood sugar. The third trimester seems to usually be the best for me.
So, the other week I'm at my first official "biophysical profile" appointment. In case you haven't had one of these yourself, it's an ultrasound in which the baby is supposed to perform tricks: 1. a small movement, 2. a big movement, 3. demonstrate "practice breathing.' In addition, the ultrasound tech makes sure that there's "enough' amniotic fluid. They say that all of these things indicate that the baby is happy where she is. If she doesn't demonstrate her happiness, there's a procedural path to a c-section that begins to be followed.
A few weeks ago, my OB/GYN told me I'd be having these weekly beginning at 32 weeks. While on the one hand, I appreciate the attention the medical profession is paying to the care of me and my baby, I'm also a little overwhelmed with the amount of intervention they seem to require. I see a physical therapist once a week for my pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome and the pain in my misaligned pelvis. I see my OB/GYN regularly, and we're now at the once a week point. I see the diabetes educator nurse and/or the endocrinologist nearly once a week. We're finally able to scale that one back a little, but I'm not sure that I'll notice.
So, at my first biophysical profile ultrasound, they told me I need to do kick counts. This is not that uncommon of a practice among pregnant women these days, but I had never been given such explicit directions before. The nurse tells me in her syrupy-sweet, yet matronly voice that in part, they want women to do kick counts because "we find women are just so busy throughout the day that they fail to notice their baby's movements." Okay, well, she hasn't spent 5 minutes in my body with this future gymnast in my belly. She goes on to read the directions from the handout:
1. Please refrain from smoking for at least two hours prior to beginning kick counts.
WHAT?! I'm surprised it didn't say anything about drugs or alcohol.
2. Plan to lie still for at least two hours.
Listen, if I'm going to lie still for at least two hours, I'm going to be asleep well before the time is up. It goes on to say count your baby's movements, and blah blah blah. The kind nurse told me to tape this form to my refrigerator so that I had a handy place to keep track of the kick counts, and I could track the progress. Yeah, I don't know about you, but I don't lie down in the kitchen, so I'm not sure how handy it is to tape to the fridge. But, when friends come over, I can point it out proudly: "yes, here's our son's artwork, and here's our baby's kick counts. Isn't she a budding little kickboxer?"
I do physical therapy exercises daily. I take my blood glucose readings at least four times a day, sometimes more. I inject myself with insulin twice a day, and at night, my shot is getting big enough that it's hard to do it without bleeding. I take my prenatal vitamin daily, in spite of the fact that half the time it DOES upset my stomach. I don't mind these things. The exercises make me feel better and so does the insulin. All of it has a positive effect on the outcome: a healthy baby.
But, I'm already in tune with this baby. I know what she's up to in there. I'm NOT doing kick counts. Not doing it. Not taping my lovely chart to the fridge. Not writing anything down. And I don't care.It's where I draw the line.