Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Waiting Game

And I thought I was obsessed with my pregnancy before. I mean, I talk about being pregnant more than I talk about pretty much anything else…I read about it…I think about it…I thought I was pretty much maxed out on how much of my time could be spent focused on being pregnant.

Boy, was I wrong.

In the last 4 days, I have thought of NOTHING but this baby. When is she coming? Is she going to come early? What if she’s late? What if she comes while I’m at a school? What if I go into labor in the next five minutes? Was that a kick or a contraction? It didn’t hurt, so it probably wasn’t a labor contraction. But maybe it was. Was it? Should I start timing it just in case it’s leading somewhere? There it goes again. Was that a contraction or was that gas? Should I go to the bathroom? Maybe if I stand up my water will break. Maybe it’s already broken and I just didn’t notice. I should go check. But wait – was that another contraction? Or was that a hiccup? AUGH!!!!

Seriously. That is what goes on in my head 24/7. I wake up a thousand times in the night. I can’t concentrate during the day. I feel like I have nothing to distract myself from these thoughts, and the worst is this: what if she’s late? I mean, this whole countdown thing is the ONLY thing allowing me to retain the 10% sanity I have left – believing that there are theoretically 8 days to go. But what if it’s not 8 days? What if it’s 18?? I might seriously lose my mind.

So for those who read this blog, do me a favor: pray to God, send good vibes, cross your fingers, or do a magic spell so that baby is born no later than November 7th. Because if she comes late, I think my brain might start to leak.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wishful Thinking

In our childbirthing class, we had to do this activity. They gave each couple 15 or so index cards. Each index card had one thing written on the front and a different thing written on the back. For example: Go into labor at 10 am / Go into labor at 1 am; episotomy / no episiotomy; natural labor / epidural; etc.

After picking our preferences, we then had to take out four of the index cards – no longer could we choose one or the other; these were things we were willing to leave up to chance. After that, we had to limit it down to only five cards – the five things that, if we could have our say, would definitely go the way we’re hoping.

If I had to choose my top five hopes for the upcoming weeks, my guess is they would be similar to the hopes of lots of expecting women: healthy baby, healthy mommy, vaginal birth (no c-section), success at breastfeeding, and positive transitions into parenthood. But with only 16 days to go, my imagination has really started to take off – particularly when it comes to WISHFUL thinking. If I had five unrealistic wishes for the next few weeks, here are the ones that might top the list.

1. Baby will be born on Saturday, Oct. 27. Yes, I would be that specific if I could. That would get me through my volleyball end-of-season party (Tues), my breastfeeding class (Wed), Crystal’s birthday (Thurs) and the Big Boo at work (Fri). I would be at home when I went into labor, so good stuff there. We could watch the Vikings game during recovery on Sunday. And I would be able to give work two days notice that I would be missing one more week of work than we had anticipated – perfectly reasonable. So even though I technically have been told I have 16 days to go…boy, am I dreaming about this Saturday.
2. Since I'm already being unrealistic – not only do I not have to have an episiotomy (something my OB and I have talked about extensively – we’re going to avoid it if at all possible and opt for – gulp – tearing instead), I don’t even have a single tear. I simply stretch, let the baby out, and then recover naturally with zero damage to my female parts. That would be so freaking awesome.
3. No drugs needed until sometime towards the very end! I’m still hoping to be able to move around during labor as much as possible despite the need for an IV – gravity works, so anything to speed the labor along sounds good to me. Which means I want to be able to put off an epidural for as long as possible. I’m hoping to be able to cope with the pain until I get to that 7-8 cm mark and then get the epidural OR whatever form of pain control medication the doctor thinks will be most effective given my pain level at the time. I don’t care about “no drugs” – if they work, I’ll take ‘em! But I don’t want to feel like I need them right away.
4. Baby is super well-behaved. I mean, sure, she cries and stuff – of course she does. But no colic, not too much spazzing, just pretty content to be fed and changed and swaddled and bathed. And she likes the cats. And they don’t try to scratch her. Or jump in the crib with her. And no allergies. That all counts as one wish, right?
5. I have such a smooth recovery and adjust to motherhood so well that I’m actually able to make it into work for a few hours here and there. Of course I have no desire to push myself unnecessarily – if I’m exhausted, I will not even give this a second's thought. But if I can bring baby into work and show her around to people and maybe have an hour or two a week to check email and stay up-to-date during my leave – that just saves me a few hours of unpaid time off. Which would be nice.

So there you go. Top five hopes – not guaranteed, but I’m really, really, really wanting them to happen. Top five wishes – I guess I can wait 16 more days for baby if I have to. Every day I get a little closer to finding out the reality, so I'll let you know what happens!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Guess I can't pass every test...

So far I have passed all of my screening tests. I don’t have high blood pressure. I don’t have gestational diabetes. Baby tested really well in her first trimester screening so she’s got a great chance of being born without major health problems or defects. I guess I had to fail a test eventually, and this isn’t a terrible one to deal with or anything, but I was kind of hoping to make it through with flying colors.

Apparently I’ve tested positive for Group B Streptococcus. Which is really not a big deal. Basically, it’s a bacteria that occurs naturally in the body (I didn’t “contract” it or anything). About 25% of women have it and don’t even know it because it doesn’t have any negative side effects that doctors know about – until labor starts. Once your water breaks and during delivery, you chance passing it to your baby, which can lead to some big problems.

To put it in perspective, the chances of passing it to the baby are pretty low – only about 1 in every 100-200 babies contract the disease, and that’s without treatment. Because I tested positive for GBS, I’ll have to get an IV put in when I get to the hospital and they’ll give me an antibiotic to treat the bacteria then. With medication, the chances of passing it to the baby are about 1 in 4,000. So this is not a major cause of concern.

But still…it would have been nice to have passed this test, too.

On a happier note - the first pictures on this page ever!
While I don't look...well..."great" in these photos, it does seem important to document this 45-pound baby in my belly. So there ya go!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Five more weeks until baby!

With only 35 days left until Baby, here are some of my recent musings:

  • I’m ready for maternity leave. I know it’s not going to be as simple as, “Yay, I get 6 weeks off from work!” because, well…baby is going to be a lot of work. But I’m so exhausted right now with my two jobs – it’s all I can do not to crawl under my desk sometimes and take a nap. So while I know maternity leave won’t bring relaxation and extra sleep, at least I won’t have to focus on anything other than taking care of my family and myself for a while.
  • My dreams are getting stranger and stranger. I’ve had every kind of anxiety dream – scary dreams, guilt dreams, abandonment dreams, death and dismemberment dreams – all very vivid and clear when I wake from them. My brain was kind enough to give me one dream where I went through labor and delivery, and everything was really easy, virtually painless and effortless, and baby was just fine. Though that may have just been a trick to give me false hopes and expectations…that sneaky brain.
  • Though many books talk about how annoying it can be when random folks come up and touch your belly without permission, I haven’t really been annoyed by that at all. To be fair, I haven’t had a complete stranger do that to me yet – that might change my thoughts on the whole “personal space” issue. But people who I wouldn’t expect to want to touch my belly have done it, so it’s been a bit surprising though not obnoxious. I just think it’s funny how some folks touch my tummy. Like when people sort of tickle my belly. Or just touch it with one finger. Or put their mouths to it and start talking to the baby (that one was my brother, by the way). Very strange.
  • While I enjoy reading and learning as much as I can about pregnancy, I do have to wonder how helpful all this knowledge is. Chason and I attended part one of our child birthing class on Saturday, and I learned that when the baby drops, it means that you’re close to labor. I’m now convinced that I’m carrying the baby lower than I was a week ago – but I can’t tell if it’s because she truly has “dropped” or if I just think she has because of this new knowledge. Plus they made us watch two videos of babies being born, and all I can say is, yuk. Watching that did not teach me what to do – it just reminded me that this is going to be weird, scary, and a little gross. And magical, of course…isn’t that what I’m supposed to add? Magical…