20120131

Almost Done, Baby Girl

Got a date for my C-section, and it is close.  Only about two more weeks.  I'd post an exact date, but I must worry about baby thieves.  (No, really, just another thing for me to fret about.)  It can't come soon enough.  I've been so miserable lately that I break into random tears at times.  Today everything hurts and I can't do what needs to get done and I just wish it were all over already even though nothing is ready.  I don't have a crib.  I don't have a labor bag packed.  I don't have all the receiving blankets and burp cloths washed.  I don't have anything. 

There are toys lying about my floor, but it hurts to bend down to pick things up so they stay there until hopefully my husband notices them.  Similarly, my dishwasher is full and so is my dryer, but I can't summon the energy to care.  I just want to sit in a bathtub tonight for several hours and pray the pain goes away.

We do have a name picked out finally, so that's a positive.  This is so unlike with N, where we waited for days after his birth to give him his name.  The new one will probably be known on the blog as N2.  Apparently, I'm really big on the letter N.

Oh, I forgot.  I'm knitting!  I'm knitting both the Wicked sweater and a strawberry patterned hat for N2.  And I ordered the yarn for an intarsia blanket that I plan on backing with minky and using a satin quilting binding on.

Anyway, this post is just filler, but I want you all to know I'm alive and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if that light is my stomach being cut open. 

20120118

Well, That's Settled -- A C-section It Is and PAIN and Drugs

At my now weekly ob-gyn visit yesterday, the doctor asked when I had scheduled my C-section for.  I told her I hadn't.  She said, "Well, do it this week."  I didn't have the heart or the gumption to tell her I wanted a VBAC (since I really don't) especially in the face of her assurance that I could get the catheter after the spinal and that P would sit next to me during the entire operation, holding our baby girl after she gets cleaned, so that I can kiss her whenever I felt like it and nurse her as soon as possible.  I also think I asked, "Heat blanket?"  And the doctor smiled at me.  Damn, I shivered like a loon the last time I had a C-section.  Ninety-five degrees is not my normal body temperature, that's for sure.

Lately, at night, on the strange hospital scale of "how much pain are you in from a zero to a ten, zero being no pain and ten being the worst pain you can possibly image", I've hit a two or three pretty damned regularly.  I start my day at zero, generally, and progress to a number higher than I'd like by the time I sleep.  I know that the C-section won't be easy, but sometimes, I do want it more than I possibly can imagine.  I'm fairly sure that I'm going to weep like a baby at receiving the IV and spinal, but once I get them and I'm numb, things are ready and it's on and I'm done being pregnant.  Only four or so more weeks, yay!

Speaking of that strange sliding scale of pain at hospitals, I hate that question.  I never know how to answer because I feel like if I give too high a number when I'm in a moderate amount of pain, I look like a wimp, so I'm always trying to moderate my number which means I get less pain medication.  Also, I've got a really good imagination.  So, when I went in with my blood clot last pregnancy, the day I went in, I thought my damned leg felt like it was falling off.  I had to get up one last time before they attached the IV to use the bathroom and I wept at the amount of pain I felt in my leg.

Then, I got back, and was asked the infamous "rate your pain" question, I gave it some serious thought.  This was more pain than I had probably felt in my entire lifetime, I thought, but was it as much pain as I could possibly imagine?  For instance, if I got bit by a shark or run over by a semi, it'd probably hurt more, right?  So, to be safe, I rated it a seven or eight.  Like I said, I can imagine a lot of things that were possibly more painful than my blood clotty leg.  A day or two later, I asked the nurse on duty when I could get another hit of my morphine like drug because my leg was starting to bother me again.  He frowned and looked at his chart and asked if I felt pain already, only two hours after my last dose.  I assured him I felt some mild but increasing pain.  Ten minutes later, he came in and dosed me again and explained that after talks with my doctor, they felt my dosage had been too low.  He asked me, "Didn't you tell them you were in a lot of pain when you came in?" 

I assured him I had, but maybe they expected me to say nine or ten when describing my pain?  I will say, that the morphine substitute they gave me at the hospital was super powerful when first received.  The five or so days I spent in the hospital are a lazy hazy memory of what seemed like extreme drunkenness.  I would drowse and eat and get more pain meds and it was fine with me.  As I told P when we left, "It's a good thing that I hate and fear needles more than almost anything because I can see how people get addicted to drugs."

You Don't Look That Big And You're Huge

Do you know me in real life? Like, have we met and you've seen my pregnant self?  I feel huge.  I'm certainly as big as I was at week forty of my prior pregnancy.  I hate it, but it has made me feel better about my baby because I sometimes think my body gave N asthma by not allowing him to grow as large as he needed to be at birth

So, today, at the ob-gyn visit, the doctor measured my tummy and made a "hmm" sound and I asked her if I was getting too large or if I was on track.  She paused for a moment and said, "You're a centimeter smaller than our chart suggests you should be, but no need to worry.  It's only if you're two centimeters off that we begin to look into problems."   Body, what is wrong with you?  Do not make me go through more stress tests and ultrasounds than I'm already going through!

I got home to get N back from my mom, who said, "In the last two weeks, you've really gotten large."  Then, when I told her that the clothes her friend had given me would only really last for a few months, and not into summer, she flipped out on me.  "Well, why did you buy so much clothing in the 0-3 month size then?!"  I had to pause and look at her before answering in a disbelieving voice, "I bought one dress and one skirt in that size and the combined cost for them was about seven dollars.  They were literally the only baby girl clothing I had in my house prior to receiving this gift."  She frowned at me like I was wasting my money all over the place and went back to complaining about the clothing I picked. The weird part?  I wasn't even lying to her.  As desperate as I've been to get baby girl clothing, I've also been pretty good.  I think I've spent twelve dollars total on things specifically designed for this baby so far.  I wonder what goes through my mom's head and if she imagines me buying a lot of clothing and makes it into her own personal reality.

20120116

C-Sections And Where I Stand

You ever had "major surgery"?  Well, if you're one of the millions of women who have had a C-section, the answer is yes.  And chances are, if you did, some women out there (and men too) revile you if you did it and it wasn't an emergency of epic proportions.  My first baby came out via C-section.  I was unprepared for it, but, oddly, not ungrateful.  I know myself well and and I had been nervous and anxious about labor.  I wasn't sure I could do it.  Though I feared the C-section, it was great.  I recovered quickly.  The scar was tiny and well hidden.  I did not feel any pain from it.  I had no infections. 

So, why am I not dismissing a VBAC out of hand then?  I dislike scheduled anxiety.  With a VBAC, the baby could come at any time.  I don't need to spend time worrying about it, who knows when the baby would come and I'd need to deliver.  But, with a return C-section, I've got a certain date.  I will not sleep for approximately two nights prior.  I know myself.  I will think about the IV.  I will think about the spinal.  I will forget the good things about my first C-section (like that delicious delicious blanket of hot air they circulated over me and the fast recovery).  I will pray that this time the catheter gets to go in AFTER the spinal.  I will fret about infections and blood loss and my clotting issues.

And yet, I'll probably go for it and it will most likely be fine.  To psych myself up, here are two different links that are positive.  One is a birth plan for a C-section that seems mostly sane.  The other is a birth story from an individual at NPR who gets blasted in the comments for not hating her C-section.  (Seriously -- some of the comments imply that people who think they're having life saving surgery are just faking it.  "Women have been doing this for millennium without intervention" is a common theme of people who hate C-sections.  People who write that often forget the mortality rate for women in childbirth prior to the twentieth century.)

Also, I read a thread on BabyCenter from women who were just over pregnancy and miserable and at least ten people in the thread were all, "Wasn't getting the spinal and feeling relief from the misery of pregnancy the best thing that ever happened to you?  EVER?" 

It'll be okay, kitten.  We'll make it through a return C-section if that is what we want!

20120115

"You Seem Unhappy"

Went to a birthday party for my cousin's daughter today (though, let's be honest, I just call her a niece).  It was nice talking to people who have young children and who are excited for me to have this baby, but a number of them have read this blog and added, "You seem miserable."

It's hard to describe.  You see the worst of me on this blog.  You read what I write at the end of the day when I'm tired, sore, ache-y, and scared.  You're reading updates from when I've spent hours thinking about what goes into a C-section, when I've been experiencing shooting pains up and down various body parts for hours, and when I think eating something will make me sick yet all I can think about is eating. 

For instance, yesterday afternoon, I spent some time with my mom.  She let me sleep for a few hours in the morning.  We went to Gymboree and picked up several cute items for N and the new baby.  I spent several hours cooing over a particularly adorable shirt and bloomer set for the summer.  I held N like he was my darling little baby boy and he snuggled his face into mine and told me he loved me.  However, that's not when I blog. 

Several hours later, I was ready to die.  The baby was pushing and stretching and moving in ways that were uncomfortable.  I had stupidly, stupidly, stupidly put only a single leg up while watching a movie and all the blood had pooled in my other leg leading one leg to be larger than the other and then I had a panic attack about a possible blood clot.  I felt "downward pressure" which made me wonder if I'd even make it to mid-February before delivering.  I had spent ten minutes crying thinking about getting an IV that seems inevitable. 

And that is normally when I blog.  When I'm scared and miserable and uncomfortable. 

I do want you to know that I'm not always like that.  I spend time with my husband and he rubs my back or lets me sit in a bathtub for hours while he watches N and cooks.  That makes me happy.  I visit friends or they visit and we knit or chat or eat a meal together and that makes me happy.  I think of the times when my baby will be wearing the same little clothing that N wore, and I'm happy.  I read a good back and I'm happy.  I get a gigantic impulsive kiss and snuggle from N and I'm happy.  I wash newborn clothing with Dreft and the scent makes me smile.  My mom makes me pizzelles and we eat them over tea while N plays with toys at my mom's house and I feel good. 

And then, at the end of the night, when I'm in pain and I can't breathe and I cough so hard that I think I'm going to cough up one of my lungs, and I can't sleep because this insomnia is killing me, killing me, killing me, I end up writing entries that seem so down. 

At the end of the day, I'm a day closer to the end of this pregnancy and to meeting a new little girl that I'll fall in love with.  I basically chant to myself, "Only x amount of time left."  I'm still horrified by the idea of the C-section, but every night of pain and aches makes it seem a little less horrifying because I know that at the end of the C-section tunnel is the light of being able to go to sleep on my stomach and of not aching thoroughly for months on end and of being able to eat what I damned well want to eat and of breathing without issue and of going for hours without a bathroom break. 

When I write to you then, if you've just joined me, you'll probably wonder who the hell the cheerful lady writing this blog is.  It's me, but just the better side of me that you can't currently see.

20120113

Why My Poor Husband Should Just Ignore Me

The scene was a random lunch on a weekend recently.  My husband had let me sleep in to a ridiculous degree because he suspects when I get more sleep, I'm less sick and less grumpy and less hateful.  This is all true.  I smile at him and told him I had a dream that he left me again.  I'm sure he's used to this by now, but he looks annoyed regardless.  To be fair to him, since I've started to date him, I've dreamt that he's left me about fifteen billion times.

In the early days, I used to freak out, but over the course of our marriage, I've learned to wake up, look around and realize that we're married and he has not left me and that we have a child together.  So my telling of these dreams has moved from anger at him over leaving me in these dreams to laughter at myself for still having these dreams.  However, this last dream was a doozy.

In the dream, he tells me he's going to leave me and he's taking N.  And N will have a new mommy.  Oddly enough, for one of the first times in my dreams, I don't freak out.  I calmly tell him, "You have two choices, stay with me or I murder you."

I relate this dream to my husband and he looks at me dead-eyed because he's tired of dreams where he's the bad guy.  Sympathetically, I add, "I think it was really kind of me in my dream to offer you that option.  I didn't just murder you.  I gave you that chance to come back to me." 

Consider that this poor man has been doing the majority of care for our son when we're both around, a ton of the cleaning, all of the holiday decorating and break down, and all of the cooking.  Don't you think he deserves better?

20120112

I Love That You Hate Pregnancy, Kitten, Who Else Does?

I like to read blogs from people who aren't cheery about pregnancy. It makes me feel less alone in the universe. I spend most of my time bitter that I'm not cherishing these last moments of having a small squirming kicking baby inside of me. Will I one day regret not loving these last few weeks more? I'm already thinking of this baby outgrowing the tiny tutu I just bought her and I weep. (Of course, there is little I don't weep at nowadays. Seriously, you should see me weep. I cry like a baby over most everything. Yesterday I cried because my laundry hamper was too full. The day before I read the title of a book that made another mom cry.) But, I don't think of not being pregnant sadly.

Anyway, if you want to read some stuff from other people who are pregnancy averse, I recommend Tired of Being Pregnant. You know this chick is hardcore. She registered a domain dedicated to her pregnancy dislike.

If you don't want another blog to follow, how about a single post talking about pregnancy's suckitude in a rather hilarious manner. It compares it to cat harnesses. To quote a tiny section of it:
Pregnancy is a red harness that the world is trying to convince me is the greatest thing I will ever experience, when in reality it's a soul crushing tether which represents 9 months worth of me being dragged through the grass with my limbs limp and my mouth pathetically hanging open in a daze of horror.
Sing it, sister.

Come back soon for my growing horror at the idea of a return C-section, my guilt over turning my nose up at blood thinning shots, and my absolute hatred of all people who have a pile of clean clothes and a crib ready prior to week thirty-seven.  Frankly, I think we're just going to let this baby sleep on the floor at this point.

20120111

Oh, Non-Stress Test

Late last night, as we were prepping for sleep, I said to P, "I can't believe they are forcing me to do these damned non-stress tests every week. They cause me so much effing stress." I hated the non-stress tests because I am forced to lie about my prenatal vitamins (I'm only taking normal vitamins) and my iron pills (I try to take two a day, but some days, I forget and take only one) and my blood thinners (I clearly want to die). Also, the first week they gave me a run down and told me that if my baby is non-reactive enough, I might be forced to stay in labor and delivery overnight. The thought of that is hideous because then what would N do? Would he be okay without me there for him? I'm already dreading the idea of the C-section since it'll be days away from N.

So, of course, today, when I go to the non-stress test, I'm angry about it all. They take me into the office late and I have a closely scheduled regular ob-gyn appointment to follow, meaning I'm now late for that. I'm thirsty and I only have orange juice which I don't care for. I sit down, and wait for the baby to accelerate its heart beat. It does so rather quickly the first time and manages to accelerate twice within the twenty minute limit. I'm happy since I'm now uber-late to the appointment with my regular ob-gyn and I don't want her to hate me. I stand up, ready to leave, but the nurse who was attending me makes a funny face and tells me she has to speak to the high risk doctor. I shrug and tell her fine.

A few minutes later, she comes back and points out that the baby's heartbeat dipped down low a few times and that they need to ultrasound me. My own heartbeat speeds up and I'm sure my blood pressure spikes. N was born on his due date because he wasn't moving much and because his heartbeat slowed down. If his heartbeat had been normal, I'm fairly sure he would have been a normal delivery rather than a C-section. I'm only week 33, and I'm not ready to have my baby girl yet. She needs time to get her lungs to pump up into action and for her fat to fully coat her tiny little bones. She needs time for her cheeks to plump up like N's.

The ultrasound looks great, but they send me up to extended monitoring, regardless. And there, little baby girl wakes up. She is angry at me. I'm laying on my side, bored witless, listening to people around me watch The View, and she was sleeping. She starts to kick and move and accelerate and her heartbeat does not drop until the very end of the two hour period I'm attached and it drops slowly and normally as she falls back asleep. I head home, tired and anxious, but happy that I'm not delivering today.

Little girl, why are you stressing me out already?!

20120106

I Should Not Laugh But I Do

I just found a blog called "Stuff Korean Moms Like", which contain posts like "#38.  Child Labor".
When you were born, your Korean Mom fired an employee to even things out. If a Korean Mom ever asks you to work at the 'gah-geeh'/store...she is not asking, she is telling. It may sound like a question, but it is really a demand. It just sounds like a question because she is trying hard to be nice. Just nod and say 'neh'/yes. Do not ask her how long you are supposed to work. It will always be longer than you would like. Do not ask her how much you will be paid. You will work for free.
I laugh because it is true.  I once got a talking to at my grade school because I was able to name over fifty brands of cigarettes during a health quiz to show how prominent advertisements for cigarettes were.  I had broken down the cigarettes on my list into manufacturer and whether they were a generic or retail.  By the time I was in eighth grade, I was faster at punching lottery tickets than any of my mother's other employees and I worked for less than a dollar per day.  When I would ask my mom if I could have a Coke from the store, she would loudly sigh and tell me about how she didn't eat all day and all she drank was water so she could save money, but I could have that Coke because I was her daughter and she loved me.  It would just take me working for two hours to really make up for the cost of it.  She would loudly mock me for not being able to work twelve hour days, often stating that it was ridiculous that I needed a nap in the middle of the day.  When I was thirteen.  That same year I once told her I was tired at eight in the morning after having worked for two hours.  She gave me my first coffee and I've been hooked since. 

The whole blog is fairly funny if you are Korean.  I wish it was currently updating, but it's still good for a quick laugh.  I mean, check out "#47. Arguing Over The Bill".  No lie, my mom once checked me like she was a professional hockey player en route to the cashier while I was attempting to pay.  All while screaming at me.  I think I managed to pay that bill, thus pleasing her, but I'm pretty damned sure she injured me.

20120104

Happy New Year, Almost Done

Oh man, oh man.  Can you feel it?  It's a new year, with new possibilities and new dreams and new hopes and new beginnings and, more importantly, the end of pregnancy.  I'm ready for it. 

December was my roughest month in years.  I think the last month I've had like it was January of 2010, which I hatefully recall as the month of hospital stays for my son's inability to breathe normally.  In this December, we had stomach bugs, pink eye, sinus infections, colds, and the inability to sleep due to coughing.  Please note, I experienced all of the previous as did N, and my darling husband even got the cold.  (My husband grew up the fourth child out of six.  Most germs just don't even look at him as they pass him by.  They wilt under his discerning germ eye.  I grew up an only child and passing breezes that contain germs infect me.)  We had long work trips for my husband.  We had a Christmas vacation in which I spent as much time possible attempting to sleep off a cold, only to have that plan fail.  It was hideous.

But, February beckons like the light at the end of a particularly long and gruesome tunnel.  I try not to think about it too much because when I start to think about the IV and the spinal I start to get sick and want to die, but I keep reminding myself that in a year from now, it'll all be water under the bridge.  And if N is any indication, water I can't even remember that clearly.  Last time, the IV and catheter were momentary bitches, and I didn't feel the spinal and that was the end of the pain.  Why am I so worked up now?  Who knows?  I think my body just likes a certain level of anxiety.

So, why am I so excited about a new year considering my anxiety level?  As my husband often notes, I'm a creature of the seasons.  I am most excited about whatever holiday/season lays before me and I find that I fall into their beliefs and patterns very easily.  I'm hopeful and full of strength at the start of a new year, and still snuggly under the idea of winter. 

I hope you all had a nice new year's day and we can all wish 2011 a big ass kicking goodbye. 

Oh, btw, if you live near me, yes, I was the lady in Gymboree weeping today because they didn't have the light blue embroidered with unicorns corduroy dress in a newborn or 0-3 months size.  That was going to be my daughter's going home outfit, Gymboree!