Monthly Archives: September 2012

Dear anxiety, please eff off

As if my nights weren’t haunted enough by the hip and back pain and six trips to the bathroom, my sleep is now plagued by all the anxiety I have been experiencing these past two weeks. Two weeks ago I found out about the excess amniotic fluid situation going on in there (and by in there, I mean in my uterus along with the giant baby) and I have yet to see the OB about

Sad sack

it. Tomorrow is the day and I’m just so worried. Not only that, but last weekend was my first prenatal class and J ended up having to work. Needless to say I was the only sad sack in there whose partner hadn’t made it (although my lovely mama stood in for him -thanks Mama!). This has led to an irrational fear that for some reason he won’t make the actual birth either.

Another kind of sack that is sad, but for an entirely different reason

*Fact that is probably true, but that in reality I just made up now: The ability to become even more rational is not a pregnancy symptom*

So, due to all this stress, I had my very first labour and delivery dream, and well, it was actually quite the anxiety induced nightmare.

It began with me driving myself to my next prenatal class this Saturday, all alone without J or my mom, and somehow going into labour during the car trip. I was admitted as soon as I got to the hospital and tried to call everyone I know to no avail (another huge fear I have about going into labour alone). Ages went by and still no one was answering. The doctor came in to check me and upon examination declared that I was making no progress and that I needed an emergency c-section (hello too much stupid TLC show watching!). Ok fine, I know this happens from time to time (the c-section rate at my hospital is 20%), but what was so disconcerting was that he didn’t even give me a chance to react or try to call anyone again. He just whipped out a scalpel and cut a huge oval shaped gash in my left side (very much not how it happens). No drugs, no moving me to the OR, just some good ol’ slicin’ and dicin’. He then reached his arm into the wound and pulled out a baby girl!

HUH!?

Um, a girl? I have very clearly seen his boy bits during a 4D ultrasound, so I looked at the doctor and said, “That’s not my baby. I’m having a boy.” The doctor smirked and put the baby on me, but I just kept looking at her and feeling nothing because the baby I’d been connecting with for the last 9 months was supposed to be a boy! Try as I might, nada.

I then called J again and he answered this time. He’d gotten my message and was on his way to the hospital. I told him I’d already had the baby, and he said, “Oh. Ok then. Well, I’m really tired so I’m just going to turn around and head home.”

Needless to say, I woke up feeling a considerable amount of irrational rage towards my sleeping boyfriend.

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I won’t be held responsible

I think now would be the perfect time to use my pregnancy powers for evil. I have a lot of rage these days.

Drawing kidnapped from the talented Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a Half… she’s just so good.

Here are the reasons for the rage:

1. My feet are so swollen that it feels like my skin is going to split open with each step and spray my foot guts all over my house… which needs to be cleaned anyway because I’m so huge now I can’t keep up. How do you explain to the cleaning lady that the reddish brown stains on the floor and wall are the guts of your now hideously deflated foot?

2. I can’t walk my dog and I feel like a horrible fur baby mommy :( She keeps staring me, then at her leash hanging by the door and making the most pathetic whining sounds. It breaks my heart.

3. I cry ALL THE TIME! Mostly over sentimental things these days because most people in my daily life have learned not to tread anywhere near topics that could possibly hurt my feelings. So, knowing this, why do I keep watching those stupid birth shows on TLC?

4. I’m unemployed, pretty much confined to bed, and bored out of my mind. That’s why.

5. You’d think I’d be using this time to be creative or something. After all, I could scrapbook, blog or play the guitar from bed fairly easily. Nope. I have zero creativity these days. It sickens me.

6. I haven’t slept through the night since May.

7. If I don’t eat I starve, if I do I get wretched heartburn and/or throw up. Can’t win.

8. After a week in bed I no longer fit into any of my maternity pants. I was late to an ultrasound yesterday because it took me 15 minutes to squish my fat butt into a pair of pants. I then got to the ultrasound and the receptionist and ultrasound tech thought it would be appropriate to comment on how uncomfortable I looked, and on how tight my pants were. Yeah. Thanks ladies. I hadn’t noticed that I have a 6.5lb fetus trying to simultaneously stomp on my bladder and burst out of my navel, and I really hadn’t noticed that my painted on pants were brining tears to my eyes. I will try to pay closer attention.

9. Trying to educate people on the dangers of second and third hand smoke to an infant is just killing me, not to mention boggling my mind. The nerve and ignorance of people on that topic is killing me slowly. Or quickly… not sure. Haven’t had my blood pressure taken in the last week. If I have to hear one more person tell me that their [insert relative here] smoked with them in the house as they were growing up during the 70s and 80s and hey, they’re just fine, I will probably commit homicide. Firstly, you don’t know that you’re fine. You could be one of those non-smokers that will ultimately develop lung cancer. Will you still feel that you’re fine then? Yes, many people smoke well into their 90s and die of something unrelated, but many more die much younger of smoking related diseases. So, shut up. Shut up shut up shut up. It’s my kid, and if I tell you not to smoke around him or to hold him after you’ve smoked, then you politely acknowledge my wishes or keep the f*ck away from us. I don’t care who you are. You deserve to be relegated to a life full of neon and forced to listen to Journey on repeat.

10. My brain keeps screaming GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME NOW! Then I feel guilty because at 33.5 weeks there is no way his lungs are ready. Then I scold myself on wishing for something that is so bad for my baby and feel like I’m a bad mother already. And then I cry.

I don’t know who drew this, but it suits my purposes, so I’m stealing it.

Why now is a good time for crime:

HORMONES! There are way more of them coursing through my body than I know what to do with. From making me laugh to making me cry to making my pelvis feel like it’s being pulled every which way to making my knees feel like they are going to give out, these babies are just out of control. Oh, and I’m having a son, so all aggression can be blamed on all that lovely testosterone he’s sharing with me. Besides, no one would blame the pregnant lady. She can hide behind that bump for as long as it lasts. Unless she makes stupid internet confessions, like so:

And even then, I’d have this excuse:

“I’m so sorry officer. It wasn’t me. It was the testosterone exposure from carrying a male fetus to term. It’s like those bath salts, except I didn’t choose to take them. I couldn’t control myself. I’m sure you can understand.”

All is forgiven

I won’t be held responsible.

Update

Just a quick little update for now.

I saw my midwife today and although I am still big after having such a huge growth spurt the last month, my growth has slowed to a normal 1cm/week. Whew! I’m still super uncomfortable, seeing as I’m measuring full-term and still have quite a few weeks to go, but I was so relieved to hear that I hadn’t gained another few cms like I had in between my last two visits.

Another growth ultrasound next Tuesday to confirm that things have slowed and then the OB consult next Friday. I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks to everyone who commented here and to my amazing friends and family who have been checking up on me and baby constantly. We really appreciate your concern and all your help! xo

Three Little Birds

Today I am on self-prescribed bed rest. I’m scared, but I’m telling myself not to be. I’m telling myself that every little thing gonna be alright. And yes, Bob Marley is singing it to me over and over in my brain. He’s singing me out of that bad place that I go to sometimes in the back of my mind, or he’s trying to anyway. Ok, so he’s deceased, was never a personal acquaintance and couldn’t possibly be trying anything earthly at the moment, even such a noble deed as singing me out of the bad place. It’s me that’s trying, but it’s hard.

Today I am 32 weeks pregnant. I’ve had a relatively easy time so far (shhhhhh Mom. I know I bitch and moan too much), but last night I got a phone call from my midwife that scared me and sent me to the bad place.

You see, I suffer from some pretty severe anxiety at times. I’ve always been neurotic. I had terrible separation anxiety as a child. I’ve never slept well because that’s when the worries of the world attack my unsuspecting brain. I spent most of my life unmedicated, and very brief periods medicated (all within the last five years). I’m currently unmedicated, and although it’s scary I prefer it that way. I hated the time when I felt like I had no choice (but I really did have no choice at the time) but to take the drugs.

Most of the time I think I’m fine and the door to the bad place remains locked; but last night, even though I didn’t really want to go there, I found myself searching for the key. I didn’t quite find it, but I did spend a good couple of hours sitting pathetically in the doorway, cheek pressed up against that cold, unyielding door, before snapping myself out of it.

So here I am in bed, surrounded by pillows, puppy at my feet, baby feet poking into my ribs. Feels like he’s kicking the back of my rib cage today. It hurts like hell. I’m super uncomfortable. I have heartburn like you wouldn’t believe. I forget what it feels like to not have heartburn. I’m really short of breath. But I can feel my baby moving, and even if he’s destroying my ribs I am so grateful for his little baby movements telling me that he’s still doing his thing in there.

Turns out there’s a reason for all my early discomfort. I have too much amniotic fluid and it’s putting a lot of pressure on my stomach and lungs. Baby H is big for his 32 weeks, but not so big that it’s alarming. He himself is measuring only slightly ahead at about 34 weeks. It’s all this fluid that is making me look (and feel) full term.

Google searches are the devil’s work. I know I shouldn’t have done it. Searching ‘polyhydramnios’ (the condition of having too much amniotic fluid) yields some scary results. Words like ‘birth defects’, ‘premature labour’ and ‘stillbirth’ attack a mother’s heart like a thousand little shards of glass.

It’s strange to think of yourself as a mother when you’ve yet to hold your baby, but I can tell you without a doubt that I am a mother worrying about her child. I honestly don’t care what I go through, so long as he’s okay. When I thought I’d lost him when he was just a little 6wk old embryo I felt like I was dying. Sitting and waiting in that hospital to find out if I was miscarrying or not was the scariest time of my life. Even after I knew things were okay it took me awhile to calm down. I returned home clutching a precious piece of paper, the hospital report containing the words ‘viable pregnancy’, collapsed on the floor and just cried my eyes out. It’s what I’d wanted to do all day but didn’t want to make a scene in a crowded hospital waiting room (never mind the fact that one of the last places I want to be is with my cheek pressed to a hospital floor… ew). Back then, on March 19th, I didn’t look pregnant. I didn’t feel pregnant in the way that I obviously do now. I couldn’t reassure myself by massaging those precious little baby feet that are, now, always sticking out of my right side. I couldn’t ask his Daddy to talk to him just for the joy of feeling him move and falling more in love with my new little family. I just had to take their word for it. There was an embryo and that embryo did indeed have a heart beat.

Now I can feel all these things and I’m trying not to be paranoid during the in between times. Even fetuses need sleep. I have to try pretty hard not to keep waking him up.

Statistics are also the devil’s work. The evil Google search told me that in 50% of polyhydramnios cases there is no known cause and baby comes out healthy and happy. The other 50%, however… 50% is a pretty big scary number.

The thing about statistics, though, is that it can be too easy to take them at face value without considering the context, without asking, “what else do we know?” In my moments of panic, this is what I forget. Fortunately, I have a midwife who cares, who returned my page within 10 minutes and then spent 40 minutes discussing my entire chart with me. This reminded me of what I do know. I do know that 1) Between 12 and 15 weeks Baby H was screened for down’s syndrome, trisomy disorders and spina bifida. He screened negative. 2) At 20 weeks we did the anatomy scan and he looked perfect. At that time he was measuring 1 week ahead. 3) He continued to measure only 1 week ahead right up until 29 weeks which is when the first jump in growth happened. 4) His heartbeat is regular and strong.

Given all of this information, this case of polyhydramnios likely falls into the 50% where nothing is amiss. All it should mean is that I have to be prepared to go into labour at any time. Chances are I will make it to at least 37 weeks, but the risk of preterm labour is increased with this condition simply because there is that much more tension with the extra fluid, making it more likely that the water will break early. Of course, to know this for sure I have to wait. I am being referred to an OB and will likely have to undergo more tests. Probably another anatomy scan, and possibly an amniocentesis (which sucks, because fear of amnio is right up there with my fear of epidurals. Big huge needles invading my baby’s little nest or sticking into my spine? Merci, mais non). At this point, as unconventional as I may think I am when it comes to medicine and childbirth, I think I’ll go with whatever the OB suggests because I can’t handle the worry. I have to know as much as there is possible to know.

But while I don’t know, I’ll try to focus on the positive, and the positive doesn’t live in the bad place.

And so, I’ll just think of Bob and his three little birds.

Chances are, every little thing gonna be alright.

The War of 2012

Two hundred years after the War of 1812 another equally important war was declared. The War of 2012 is a little known war that recently took place in small town sort-of-Southern-feels-like-uninhabited-wilderness-compared-to-the-great-city-of-Toronto-and-surrounding-area Ontario.

Closest neighbour

A woman and a man unwittingly conceived a giant fetus of the male variety in February. In preparation for his arrival the woman (with permission from the man, although he denies it to this day) acquired a giant puppy dog from a farm. She figured the pup would keep her company during the long days when the man was at work, and teach her to deal with all of the pleasant things that come with child-rearing, such as potty accidents, projectile vomiting, constant whining and separation anxiety.

How?… just… HOW!?

Of course, something else that happens to new parents (and all parents I’m sure) is that they develop a whole new set of child-related worries. This pair worried about very different things. She worried about things like car accidents and second and third-hand smoke. He worried that the puppy was going to eat the baby.

The woman liked it when the puppy slept at the foot of their bed. It gave her a sense of comfort. Mostly the comfort that she would not awaken to a kennel full of dog poop or vomit. Since she wasn’t sleeping much in those days, due to being mauled from the inside by the giant fetus, she could hear if the puppy was getting ill in the night and everyone knows that it’s much easier to deal with as it’s happening, not hours after the fact. The man was convinced that if the the dog were allowed to sleep in their room, she would pounce on the baby in the night and eat him.

As much as the woman liked to make fun of this, she acknowledged that it is probably better not to have the dog sleep in the same room as the baby, because even though she is more like a fluffy bunny than a mountain lion, you do never know. She wouldn’t eat the baby, but she may jump up on the bed randomly some night (although she doesn’t do this now) and accidentally maul one or all of the family members in her quest for love and nighttime cuddles.

In reality, he’s probably actually worried about the dog depositing drool in his gaping snore trap

This brings the tale to the present. The last two nights the woman has conceded (basically, she lost the war… le sigh) and allowed the man to lock the dog in her kennel for the night. The first night was uneventful, although the woman caved and let the dog out of the kennel at 4am so that she could have company in her insomniatic (<- apparently this is not a word) state. Last night she did plead with him to allow the fur monster to once more share their room, but he remained cold and unmoved. She cried, tore at her hair, tore at his hair and beat her hands relentlessly on his chest. Actually, she just tried to put on her best sad eyes and pouty lips, but it didn’t work. The man asked, “What if the giant fetus is allergic to dogs?”, and pointed out that the woman had already violated the one rule they’d made about keeping the dog out of the soon-to-be baby’s room. How the hizzle did he know that the dog had been helping her set up the crib by attempting to eat their unborn son’s first teddy bear (it bears repeating here that although the dog did grab the teddy by the face, she has never ever ever bitten a human being)?

The dog does not eat babies. She does, however, eat the man’s socks and leaves a trail of them wherever she goes.

Knowing that she could not win, the woman let the man lock the dog in her kennel again. They fell asleep entangled in a lover’s embrace. BAHAHAH. That did not happen. He fell asleep and she then pried the remote out of his hands. He rolled over and began to snore as she watched the excitement that is the Jeopardy Teen Tournament and felt proud of herself for knowing more than 75% of the answers. Next thing she knew it was 2am and the puppy was whining… at the foot of their bed. The woman felt very spooked because she had watched the man lock the kennel. Had she sleepwalked and released her? Had someone broken into the house, stole nothing and released the dog? Was there a puppy freeing ghost lurking in the shadows? Had the dog grown opposable thumbs? Or maybe opposable thumbs are just overrated and the dog is a genius…

Opposable thumbs? Hacker Dog doesn’t need opposable thumbs. Fools.

The woman blearily stumbled down the stairs, dog in tow, and locked her back in the kennel. She then returned to bed and lay awake feeling spooked for about an hour, wondering if the ghost of some crazed anti-kennel training PETA activist was plotting to attack once she’d fallen asleep once more.

The War of 2012 will go down in the history books as being won by the man. The woman will likely have this rubbed in her face from now until death parts them. The baby will likely be told the tale ad nauseam by his father. The woman, however, will always remember the night that the dog escaped her confines and will know that the real winner of this war was the dog, opposable thumbs be damned.

-FIN-

About the Bump: Emergency Update!

AHMAGAD! Normally I would wait until Friday to keep up my every other week belly posts, but I can no longer contain all the info in my brain.

Let us begin with a riddle and a game.

Riddle: What do my pregnant body and a mullet have in common? 

Answer:

HOLLA!

Game: Bump vs. Bum

One’s the baby bump, and one’s the bum… but which is which? Give me your best guess in the comments section! I dare you!

Ok, so now that we’ve got all that fun out of the way, here is my update:

Medical stuffs: Holy giant baby Batman! You may recall that at my last appointment I was told we’d be monitoring growth and perhaps another ultrasound would be in order if growth continued at a crazy rate. Well, Baby H has gone from measuring 3 weeks ahead of schedule to 5 weeks ahead! I’m 30 weeks, 4 days today, so this basically means that my little 30 week munchkin is measuring the same size as a large 33wk baby, average 35 week baby, or small 37 week baby (and oh, btw, 37 weeks is FULL TERM, people). Can you say heart attack? I’m actually not freaking out that much because I’m 99.9% sure my due date is still Nov 9th and he’s just a big boy… how do I know? Well, there is the fact that I just know… and also the fact that he’s already so FAT!

He has little dimples in his knuckles already and was moving around like a wiggly worm (ok, so maybe he’s more Jabba than worm-like, but whatever). He’s my munchkin and I love him!

29 weeks 2 days

Yes, I was a little afraid going in because truth be told 3D ultrasounds creep me out a bit, but I was really glad we did it. First of all, it confirmed that our little man is indeed 100% a little man. I’ve heard too many stories lately about mixups at the anatomy scan and I was worried! Nothing wrong with baby girls, but when you’ve had it in your head for weeks that it’s a boy, you want it to be a boy when all is said and done! Second, seeing his little baby face and those big squishable cheeks was incredible. I know that I could have waited and maybe we’re too impatient these days, but I don’t care! I saw my bébé and it made me happy.

In other medical news, I’m happy to announce that I do not have gestational diabetes! WOOHOO! I can continue to gorge myself with sugar. Seriously, I’m eating it straight out of the bag now. Ok, I made that up, but I think I would if I were desperate.

PFT. I so would!

Cravings: Cinnaminaminamon! And J bought Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cinnamon Eggo Waffles for me… Mmmmmmm.

Symptoms:

1. Good to know that after my massive scary weight gain over the last month that I only gained 1lb in the last 2 weeks.

2. Holy swelling. My feet look like they belong to the Michelin Man. If I press on them the dent stays. This is so far beyond cankles. I can’t even talk about it anymore because it’s too scary.

3. Braxton Hicks. I have been feeling these practice contractions for a couple of months now, but today they actually hurt! Also, the shapes my belly take when I’m having one are just bizarre.

These were all taken during BH contractions today

4. The hormonal saga continues, except now they are not urging me to commit murder. Instead they just cause me to cry. All the time. My mom dressed a doll in one of Baby H’s outfits and I sobbed my head off. I don’t even like dolls! And now saying that I don’t like things that look like babies makes me want to cry. So I should go now. While I can still see well enough to hit “publish”.

You would cry too if it happened to you! Do-do-do-do-do!