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Monthly Archives: July 2013

41 +2

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I got all excited on Sunday after losing my mucus plug. SURELY this meant that I would go into labor in the next 24 hours, right??!! Instead…I went into work yesterday. I have to admit, it was fun seeing all of my co-workers slack jawed that I was at my desk. At this point, I’m sort of like a roaming ghost in the office–no one knows when I will show up or for how long I will stay. It’s gotten to a point where I may just bite the bullet and take a few sick days this week so I can “officially” check out and turn off email without feeling guilty.

Aside from occasional cramping and frequent Braxton Hicks, Bagel is clearly still comfortable in her Mom’s ute. My sister called me yesterday letting me know she was going to cancel her trip down from San Francisco this weekend because as much as she loves me, she was hoping to get to meet Bagel, and it looks like I could still be 10 months pregnant at that time. I chuckle about this, considering a couple of months ago when we were planning her trip out here, I said, “There’s like a .0001% chance I’ll still be pregnant August 2nd. There’s no way I’m going that far over my due date.”

I had another weekly check up with the Ob yesterday where I was still at 1cm, 25% effaced (REALLY????!!!!!!) On the positive side, he said that my cervix was much MUCH softer and he could even get a finger all the way up it and feel the baby’s head, which I’m taking as a positive (albeit kind of gross) sign. I told him I’d been using the Evening Primrose Oil to which he predictably said that there has been no conclusive studies that it works to get the cervix ripened. Oh modern medicine. You amuse me sometimes. I told him I had lost my mucus plug a few days after using it, and he asked me if maybe it was just primrose oil I felt coming out–not the plug. Dude. Don’t insult my intelligence. I know the difference between leaking oil from my vag and a huge yellowish/green booger.

Although there were no big changes to report, I was pleasantly surprised that he did not try to push induction on me. In fact, he seemed very open and willing to have me go past 42 weeks if I choose, so long as I’m getting frequent NSTs and checks by him. If the baby doesn’t appear to be distressed and her fluid levels are OK then he’s ok letting me go to the end of next week before I induce. If I do go into next week, he would like me to do an ultrasound to check blood flow to the placenta to make sure Bagel is getting enough nutrients (which today consisted of Corn Pops–they were on sale at Ralph’s for $1.99! Don’t judge!) We will decide next Monday at my check up (should that check up happen…) what day we would induce and then work from there. If I am not in labor by next Wednesday, I’m busting out the castor oil, and then that’s it. If that doesn’t jump start me, a Friday induction it is.

Bagel, please come before next Friday…

 

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41 Weeks

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Well folks, I’m here.

Long rambling entry coming your way.

I’m part frustrated, part tired, part isolated, part resigned, part unsurprised.

Since I last blogged about my plan of attack, I have:

  • Walked at least 2 miles a day
  • Had sex one night
  • taken 2 capsules of EPO in the morning, plus inserted 3 punctured ones up my hoo ha at night for 3 consecutive days.
  • Made an extremely strong/spicy fresh ginger tea which I have been drinking non stop as of yesterday afternoon.
  • Sat on the birthing ball for at least 15-30 minutes at a time, 2-3 times per day
  • Done my squat exercises 1-2 times per day
  • Massaged acupressure points for 30 minutes last night until my leg felt bruised. I felt one contraction after all was said and done, then nothing.
  • Ate half a fresh pineapple

I have yet to do Red Raspberry Leaf tea because I have been drinking the ginger tea, and don’t know how many more liquids I can stomach. I also hear RRL tea is good for shortening labor and making contractions more productive–but what I’m focusing on right now is for the baby’s head to fully engage, and dilate/efface my cervix. That being said, perhaps if I can stimulate my contractions, it will help my dilation.

I can’t say that I never thought I’d be here at 41 weeks, because the truth is, I have always thought that I would go late. Maybe I was setting myself up psychologically in that every woman in my family has gone late with their babies. Try as I might not to compare myself to everyone from my great grandmother on up, I couldn’t do it. Maybe this mentality has effected my labor (or lack thereof) as much as my actual physiology? Who knows. On that note, I also knew intuitively I would have ovulation issues, even at the age of 9 or 10, before I even got my period, and even though my mom is totally regular. Maybe there are some things you “just know” about your body?

The isolation that I feel right now has to do with putting my life on hold the last couple of weeks because hey–I could have a baby at any moment, right? Right…

I have never been that social a person, but this has been extreme even for me. I find I have disconnected from friends, parties, and activities in a way that has left me feeling bored and empty. I hate that feeling. Physically, it hasn’t been as easy for me to have the energy to do things either, so late nights out have been tempered with me and Hubs sitting around our steamy non-AC’d summer in the San Fernando Valley house watching The Wire or staring at each other, second guessing baby names. I walked around Target today feeling detached and vaguely depressed. I would kill for a cold margarita and a night out with good friends. At this point, I’m not sure what to do to battle the boredom and restlessness. I’ve done laundry, cleaned the kitchen, prepped Bagel’s room… Honestly, if I don’t have Bagel by today, I will most likely go to work tomorrow so I can at least have some outside stimulation. I can only imagine the stares and comments I will get from my co-workers tomorrow.

I had my NST on Friday.  Waited for 3 HOURS in the maternity ward waiting area for the stupid test due to the fact that between 10:30AM (when my appointment was scheduled) and 1:30PM (when I finally got my scan), no less than 4 women in active labor shuffled in the door unexpectedly. Wait…you mean there are women who don’t have to wait 41 fucking weeks to have their babies???? To make it all more “in my face”, one woman actually hobbled in with amniotic fluid dripping down her legs. What am I, in a Judd Apatow movie or something?

So, 3 hours later, while everyone else was birthing their children, I’m hooked up to the scan and Bagel is of course reactive and fun loving. Moving around like crazy, totally fine. I had 2 contractions in the 20 minutes I was hooked up (Braxton Hicks) My amniotic fluid levels are at 9cm which is on the low-ish end of normal, but I also blame that for the fact that I didn’t know I’d be waiting 3 HOURS for my test, and didn’t have enough water to chug beforehand. Bagel’s bladder was also very full on the ultrasound, so maybe next time, she’ll piss inside of my before the test to get those fluid levels up 🙂 If I get another NST (which I’m sure I will, seeing as though Bagel shows no signs of leaving my body…) I am drinking 1 gallon of water the day before, and 2 liters right before my scan to make sure that the fluid levels stay up.

So, are there any signs that labor might be imminent, you ask? Well, yesterday was 24/7 Braxton Hicks which was new to me. I’ve never had more than a few a week, so I’m hoping that maybe things are warming up in the uterus a bit. I also lost a piece of my mucus plug last night–score! Aside from EWCM, I’ve never been so happy to see yellowish snot-like material exit my vagina. It was only about the size of a pea, but I took that as a win that maybe my cervix is opening just a bit more. I have not had any of the classic cramp-like symptoms associated with “real” contractions, though, so who knows.

The disconcerting thing that happened yesterday was that I think I experienced what I believe was the beginnings of a panic attack…although fortunately, it didn’t escalate into a full blown one. The first and only time I had a full blown one was in 2001–it was an awful AWFUL one where I hyperventilated and passed out on a tour bus in the middle of no where in France.  Fortunately, with about 9 years of therapy, I have been able to manage subsequent panic feelings without medication, and for the most part, I have not had any problems since then. Needless to say, at over 9 months pregnant, it was scary to experience the onset of one yesterday after it had been so many years. I couldn’t tell at first if it was panic or if I was going into some sort of preeclamptic shock.  Hubs and I walked to get something to eat, and when we got to the restaurant, everything felt very loud and surreal (panic clue #1). I couldn’t shake the surreal feeling (panic hint #2). Then my vision started to feel funny–like I wasn’t seeing everyone’s faces clearly, and things got more surreal–almost like I was watching a movie of myself (#3). I had a hard time catching my breath (#4). If anyone here has had a panic attack, those surreal feelings are the worst, right?? From what I understand, everyone experiences panic attacks differently, but for me, as soon as I feel like I’m watching a bad movie version of myself, I know something is up.   I was trying to remain calm and just eat, but Hubs realized something wasn’t right with me, and I finally said abruptly, “we have to get out of here.” As soon as we started walking, I felt better and my vision returned to normal. Hubs rubbed my feet when we got home, and I stayed in bed the rest of the night…The whole experience has left me a shaken. The last panic attack I had came at a major transition point in my life, and here I am again, at another crossroad. I am trying so hard to give up all control over the birthing situation, and I believe that this feeling of panic is my body’s way of expressing that lack of control.

Today: I will not Dr. Google anything about labor symptoms or my odds of induction. Pinky swear.

Tomorrow: I have another gyno appointment. Please send good effacement and dilating vibes my way.

Bagel: Please do your best to come out soon.

***UPDATE****

About 30 minutes after posting this, I got a bit crampy, went to the bathroom, and passed a huge silver dollar sized mucus plug.

Interesting.

Very….interesting.

And exciting!

Bagel Non Stress Test

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Well. Today I go in for my first Non Stress Test to make sure little Bagel is active and responsive, and has enough of the good ole amniotic fluid to keep her cushy in here a while longer. Since apparently she is very cozy in my ute, and I was feeling idle, I did go to one meeting yesterday for work where people gawked and told me I was “all belly”. One “kindly” co-worker told me that it looked like Bagel hadn’t even dropped yet, she was so high in my stomach. Gee, thanks! Just what I needed to hear as I head into 41 weeks pregnant.

I have been doing my walks, squats, sex, evening primrose oil, and sitting on the labor ball the last few days, but nothing feels very different. Not to get too graphic (but of course, I will), when I inserted the primrose oil capsules last night, I noticed my cervix was basically unreachable it was so high, which can’t be a good thing. Everything I’ve read says the cervix is low when labor is about to begin. I will get very occasional cramps, but nothing notable.

Hubs and I had a discussion about inducing labor at exactly 42 weeks, and both of us are very hesitant to do it simply because of the date on the calendar. I realize that many people may have differing opinions on this, and I would not judge anyone for choosing to induce at 42, but for me, it is just really not sitting well. My gut is telling me to wait a bit longer, if it comes down to me being pregnant at 42 weeks. I feel very healthy. Bagel moves around constantly, and seems perfectly fine.  If I do hit 42 weeks without any signs of labor, I’m going to speak to my doctor about scheduling NST tests every other day that week to make sure that Bagel is still being responsive, and of course if there is anything like low fluid levels, or she seems like she is getting stressed, I will induce. But if there is a chance she could come naturally at 42 + 4 days, I’m really not understanding why I would induce at 42 weeks exactly. It feels arbitrary to me. There is a higher risk of meconium at 42 weeks, but from what I have been reading, the Pitocin given to induce labor at 42 weeks can often stress the baby, leading to the passing of meconium, thus furthering the statistic that babies born after 42 weeks pass meconium. As far as placental function, I feel like the every other day NSTs would be able to alert us to anything wrong in that department (decreased fetal movement, low fluid, or Bagel’s heart rate not increasing when she moves). I’m hoping that I don’t have to get to a place where I need to make these decisions, but it was good to know that Hubs and I were on the same page about asking for just a bit more time before an induction.

Sigh.

I will update everyone on today’s NST.

Plan of Attack

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I am working on my plan of attack this week. Yes, yes, I know that Bagel will come when she’s ready, and that I logically have no real control over this situation, but when I start to see shit veering towards the proverbial “fan” of a Pitocin induction, I’d like to feel like I have done everything humanly possible to prevent it. If, at the end of 41 weeks, Bagel hasn’t arrived, well, I’ll have another plan of attack for how to best approach that. But for now, Operation Get Bagel’s Head To Engage My Cervix is in full effect.

First up on the plan: fuck work. My boss has already given me the go ahead to work from home this week, and I am taking her up on this offer. I will do my best to get work done remotely, but I also want to be able to focus a bit more attention on getting Bagel in a proper position on my cervix. I somehow fear that my constant sitting/bad posture at work has not been helping progress things.

My doula gave me the following tips which I’m going to implement this week:

  • Brisk walking and stairs. Goal is to do a 2 mile walk in the mornings, and potentially another 2 mile walk in the evenings.
  • Evening Primrose oil: 2 500mg capsules in the morning, and 2-3 punctured and inserted vaginally at night.
  • Squats: 20 reps, once in the morning, once at night. These supposedly open the pelvis and get Bagel sittin pretty on my cervix.
  • Labor ball any time I’m watching TV. No more couch slumping!
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: 3-4 cups per day
  • Sex: Assuming I feel all right from my yeast infection, I will attempt sex, but I also want to be cautious I’m not re-triggering symptoms.

Elle from Cotton Bottom Mama gave some great advice in the comment thread last post which I’m really taking to heart which is to let go of my baggage about my mom’s overdue birth, or others’ birth stories. There’s nothing written that says that I will have the same experience, and I think this is really important to keep in mind. I feel like I have been psyching myself up for an overdue labor this entire pregnancy based on the fact that my mom went late. I am not my mother!! (well, at least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself…)

Damnit.

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Back from a doc appointment, and it appears as though NOTHING has changed or progressed in the last week. Still one fingertip dilated and 25% effaced. He also said that when he sort of felt around my cervix, his glove came back unbloodied, which I guess is another sign that nothings really brewing.

I know that I said in my last post that I wasn’t *that* uncomfortable with the whole pregnancy thing, but fuck that–I am now worried about induction. I know I have a ways to go before that comes up (I’m only 2 days late for Chrissake!), but I just want my body to do its thing in a timely fashion. My doc knows how much I do not want to be induced, and he is willing to let me go to 42 weeks without “going there”, but after that…I’m going to need some intervention.

He has me scheduled for a non stress test this Friday, and then I see him again next Tuesday. Between now and then I intend to do a ton of walking, bouncing, and mediocre sexing to see if that helps any. I’m just frustrated. I have been feeling cramps off and on and some Braxton Hicks all week. I thought for sure that there would have been some change from last week. Being even a few days late just stirs up all sorts of anxiety in me that my body will (yet again) not do what it’s supposed to do.

I have a family history of going late (my mom claims I was 19 days late–how they let her go that long is beyond me…there was meconium in my amniotic fluid at that point) and my sister was 9 days late. I feel like the knee jerk response of the medical industry now days is to talk induction if you’re a week late, but I am hoping that I can hold course and that my body will do its thing…

Hopeful words of encouragement?

 

 

Due Date musings

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So, my doc called on Friday to let me know that my culture came back positive on Friday for (surprise surprise) a yeast infection. I spent a record 9 months without getting one, and the good ole vag decides that a few days before my due date, I should re-experience the joys of vaginal itching and inflamation. My gyno recommended I do a 7 day regimen of Monistat cream to which I promptly freaked out. Monistat A) has not worked for me in the past, and has actually made symptoms worse. B) The thought of shoving cream in my cooch and going into labor was very unappealing. I asked him if Diflucan would be an option. I know it’s unsafe first tri, but it’s the only medication I know that works and works FAST for me. Fortunately, he said he had no problem with me taking it, and so a couple of days after taking one, I’m relatively symptom free. The yeast infection has opened up a can of worms, however. It is a reminder that my body is a constant frustration for me. I had been all right about pushing PCOS and all of the nasty things that come along with it into the background during this pregnancy, and now that I’m here at 40 weeks exactly…my due date…I find that the fears I have about my body are creeping up on me again.

During this pregnancy,  I certainly didn’t adhere to a diet that would have helped to prevent this yeast infection, and I feel a sense of guilt that I could now put Bagel at the risk of getting thrush. I also feel defiant: like, fuck you body. I’ll eat what I want and PCOS can suck it. Why me? Why do I have to live my life constantly thinking about every last scrap of food that goes into my body could trigger anovulation or yeast infections? Thoughts of not being pregnant anymore and going back to my “normal” PCOS routine of constantly thinking about whether or not I will cycle again are starting to creep up. I’m starting to get paranoid about every bit of food I eat. Even Hubs’ excitement at the pending birth, and his questions like, “So. Do you feel anything? Is she coming soon? Do you have contractions?” have been annoying me as it reminds me of when we were TTC Bagel and he would ask me if I felt like I was ovulating any time soon. For those of you who haven’t followed me since the beginning…it took a full year for me to get one ovulatory cycle, and that was after I caved and started taking Clomid. I spent a full year telling Hubs that I wasn’t ovulating, and might not ever ovulate without medical help. At first, he was frustrated at my pessimistic attitude: of COURSE I would ovulate–why was I being so negative? Then, as the months wore on with no ovulation in sight, I saw him change and become pessimistic too…and it broke my heart. Now that we’re at our due date, I know we’re close to having our baby in our arms…but I have no idea when things will happen, and I want to work hard at staying positive about the whole experience and letting Hubs stay excited. I don’t want to be the pessimist I was last night who told him to stop asking me if I was in labor, and that it might never happen naturally, and I may have to be induced. Stupid pessimist Sunny.

Ok. Thanks for letting me vent.

Moving into week 40 of pregnancy, I want to try and enjoy every sensation and have confidence that my body will do what it’s supposed to do when it’s time to do it. I am still technically going in to work tomorrow, and basically the rest of next week unless I go into labor. I have a lot of people telling me that I’m “crazy” or some sort of “super woman”, but the reality is, I just don’t know what I’d do with myself sitting around at home waiting. I love my job and the people I work with. I feel pretty good still. I also don’t want to use any vacation or sick time unnecessarily as I want all the time I can get with Bagel after she’s born. So, for now at least, the plan is to go back in tomorrow at 40 +1 weeks pregnant, and make sure I get out of work at a reasonable time this week. Truth be told, the last few days I have felt much MUCH heavier, and more sore in my legs and feet. Bagel continues to be very active, and I am assuming at this point she weighs at least 7.5lbs, which gets tiring to carry around after a while. Hubs and I continue to do our 2-3 mile walks on the weekends, but yesterday, I needed to take a long nap afterward, and my feet were killing me. Finding a comfortable sleeping position that doesn’t feel like I’m crushing Bagel has been a challenge.

This may be me projecting my feelings of inadequacy, but I feel at this point in pregnancy, a lot of moms are in this place where they are READY…they are nesting…they have reached this calm state where the pieces just “fit” and they want the baby out–at least, this is how I imagine it. I have to admit…I don’t know if I’m there yet. Will I ever get there? Does the fact that I’m still mentally and physically able to go to work tomorrow mean I’m going to be some horrible parent? I haven’t reached an unbearably uncomfortable state in this pregnancy so I can’t say that I wish it was over. Birth still feels incredibly abstract to me, and the thought of holding Bagel in my arms is exciting and terrifying and surreal at this point. I am hoping that once my body really does start to transition into more of a “labor” state, I will feel more ready for all of this. I’m finding myself more and more scared of failing as a mom…of somehow letting Bagel down. Of not feeling the normal feelings of excitement around birth, and instead, feeling this fear that I am going to be a parent–and a mediocre parent at that. Please do not take this to mean that I am not extremely grateful to be in this position to be worrying about things like this…it’s just all becoming very very real for me.

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Little Helper

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Forget Percocet, Vicodin, and Xanax…

Hand over the Phillips Cherry Flavored milk of magnesia!!

Holy shit guys, how did I go 9 months without knowing about this stuff? I saw the doctor yesterday for my 39 week check up and explained to him that along with sharp shooting pains through my rectum (which he says are totally normal) my ass feels like it’s being cheese grated by shards of glass every time I poop. He recommended I take milk of magnesia (MOM) because it’s a bit gentler on the system than some of the other over the counter laxatives. I went to Rite Aid, picked that up along with some Cortizone 10 1% for my itching vag (I’m a ball full of sexy these days), and took the MOM last night. This morning, my poo was glorious. I mean, GLORIOUS. No pain, no blood, no sweating, no screaming and grunting as if I were in labor…I nearly teared up and thanked the Academy after that one. As if that weren’t enough, the Cortizone cream has my vag feeling zesty and menthol–no itch! I still don’t know exactly what the prob is, but the doc did a swab for a yeast infection so we’ll see what’s up. For now, I’m basking in the glow of what $10 of over the counter drugs can do.

The update on the Royal Bagel watch is that she is still at a -2 station, but I am now 1cm dilated, 25% effaced, and my cervix is very soft and anterior. we’re making some progress, people! Doc is still guessing I’ll over extend my due date (this Sunday) by a bit, but it made me feel good to hear that my body is actually warming up for the big event.

Bagel seems like she is ready to bust out, but I will leave it to her as to what day she picks. For now, I’m just savoring the awesome feeling of not being constipated for the first time in months. YAY!!!