Monday, June 25, 2007

36w, 5d

.. and I'm so over being pregnant.

Not for the usual reasons, tho.

So far, things have been very uneventful, fortunately.

I never did get morning sickness, or boobs too sore to breathe on, and even the third-trimester aches and pains have been pretty bearable...

.. but the closer I get to my due date, the more I wish I had some v@lium. Or something.

So I panicked again this morning.

Rice really wasn't moving.

Which shouldn't surprise me - this babe is not a morning person lately, and rarely moves between breakfast and lunch.

.. but I still totally freaked.

I was thisclose to going in to get checked out (no sh!t, I even had G dressed and we were on our way to the neighbor's to see if he could hang there for a couple of hours) when Rice got hiccups and I felt a little better. But only a little.

I'm still on edge. I'm ok when the babe is active and moving, but every time there's a lull in that pattern, I start to worry again.

.. which is why I can't wait until s/he is born. I just can't handle much more pregnancy.

I really, truly wanted to be able to relax and enjoy this time, but that's so much harder than I expected.

I wanted to be able to be 'normal' and prepare and plan and go nuts over tiny little clothes and things.. but every time I buy something or make something for this babe, I get paranoid all over again. Yesterday I went shopping for a few last-minute things. Today I woke up convinced I might not need any of them. It sucks, and it's exhausting trying to talk myself out of being scared.

I had to step away from Dr Google, and now the 'net is not my friend. It's filled with scary stories and possibilities and improbable things for me to worry about.

I just want to be done. I want to be able to hold my babe in my arms, and see that she's ok, and know that if I'm worried, reassurance is just a few breaths away, rather than the interminable amount of time it takes me to try and interpret a heart rate on a doppler... because just hearing it isn't enough any more - I need to hear if there are the right amount of accels, if they coincide with movement, and if things sound the same as they have yesterday, and the day before, and the day before.

.. and I have weeks of this stretching ahead of me. Only a few weeks, but even those weeks seem long. I have stopped taking things day by day and have started looking at them hour by hour. When it it particularly rough, it is minute by minute. Each new minute can bring with it new worries...

I can get through this, I will get through this... but I do not think it will be easy.

What I need to do is step back.. stop overanalyzing, and just do what I can to be busy enough that my mind is not worrying.

.. and to do that, I need to step back from my blog. I know it seems like I already have, because I have certainly not been posting as much the last few months.. but the truth is, it's not the posting as much as the publishing that's been difficult for me. I have put my thoughts down often, and stopped just shy of clicking that publish button.

I blog to work out the problems and issues in my mind so that they won't take over my life. Now that I've reached the point where the time I spend blogging serves just to reinforce my fears, it's time for a break.

See you in a few weeks...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

someone found some patience

I just wanted to update on the doctor situation - I called my clinic (again) this morning to try and make an appointment for next week. I was told (again) that they had nothing open and I should call back tomorrow after 1:00 and see if anything came up.

I hung up with the clinic and called the hospital's patient advocate, who promised to look into it and get back with me.

Got a call back this afternoon from the clinic's head scheduler, who had miraculously created an appointment tomorrow at 9AM.

It's earlier than I wanted - I'm supposed to go next week, not this week... but I'll take what I can get.

The even bigger miracle was that when I called the hospital day care, they had a slot open for tomorrow morning... I can actually get my beta strep test without G's prying eyes checking out my cervix.

Now that, my friends, makes for a good day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sweet Katie...

The last few days I've felt jittery and unsure about this pregnancy. Not quite paranoid, but sincerely worried.

I couldn't figure out why... until I realized the date.

Today would have been the 14th birthday of my first niece.

Tomorrow marks the 14th anniversary of her death.

I'm glad I remembered... although it makes me sad to think about her, I would be more sad to think that I forgot about her.

I have no more f'ing patience.

"We appreciate your patience.. your call is important to us..."

Uh-huh. That's why I've been on hold for the last 12 minutes?

I would never have thought that making a doctors' appointment would be so nerve-wracking. I've been calling since last week, and the earliest appointment they had last I checked (well, last I actually had a person on the line to speak with) was July 10.

I'm usually pretty flexible with this kind of stuff, but I'm getting a little fed up here. I can't exactly wait til July 10th. I'm kind of hoping to actually give birth before then. Or right around then.

Still on hold.. 15 minutes and counting...

Lots of people complain about military medicine. Mostly, I don't have a problem with it. I like it, even. I haven't ever been denied coverage for anything (forced to jump through a few hoops maybe, but that happens with a lot of insurance companies), I've never had a doctor who was dangerously incompetent, and only a few minor issues with attitudes... but this is really tweaking my last nerve.

18 minutes... finally got someone on the line.. and there are no appointments until July 11.

Is it too late to switch to a different doctor?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

.. and oh yeah...

I had my official MD appointment earlier this week. My blood pressure had dropped to the lowest it's been in months, my swelling was virtually non-existant and things looked great. Looks like I might get that V*BAC after all.

One is just fine with me

I'm sure by now most of you have heard/read about the recent sets of sextuplets in the news.

Why is it that the only time IF rates nationwide headlines, it's in that "freak of nature" sense? You know, where everyone reads it and thinks "that's so unnatural" .. because let's face it, gestating six IS unnatural.

I find this frustrating, to say the least.

When we went through our IUI's, the word 'sextuplets' came up a lot... my friends, my family, they're ALL familiar with the whole fertility-drugs-produce-multiples... they didn't seem to understand that most women have ONE baby. 'Cause, you know, when I got knocked up with RiceCake, it didn't make the news. There was no headline screaming about how femar@ helped us make ONE baby. When Rice is born, there will be no frenzied media interviews, no website set up for donations, no controversy about whether or not B & I 'played God' or took a big risk with our lives, or our child's life.

I lost count of the number of times I reassured my loved ones that we weren't trying for half a dozen, that we were, in fact, actively working to prevent that sort of thing. That it would be irresponsible medical care if my doctor didn't keep tabs on my follicles and if I didn't follow his advice about when to try and when not to try... because that's what I think when I hear about 5 or 6 or 7 babies born at once - someone screwed up. That's not an outcome that should ever happen.

There is no publicity for my kinda IF treatment, or my kinda results, even though, in my RE's words, this was "an absolute perfect outcome - a single intrauterine pregnancy".*

I am not who the public thinks of when they think of fertility drugs, or IUI.

They think of the women who have birthed four or five or six babies at once.

Because that is the face the media has put to infertility.

That is not the norm.

I'm awful sick of the assumption that everyone who undergoes fertility treatment is playing reproductive roulette. On one of those trainwreck documentaries that I can't seem to turn off, the father of yet another oversized brood stated "any time someone uses infertility treatment, they have to expect multiples" .. or something along those lines... Dude... no... maybe they have to be willing to accept the possibility, but they don't have to expect it. (yeah, that guy was another "here's your clomid, call me in a month" parent)

.. and I don't see it changing any time soon.

*that was his assessment at my first ultrasound. He was immensely pleased. So was I.

Friday, June 08, 2007

VBAC: tentatively on

I'm calling it 'tentatively' because I did NOT get to speak with an actual doctor today* so I have no 'official' confirmation, but the nurse did look over my old records and she didn't see anything to contraindicate an attempt at a V*BAC.

.. on the other hand, I'm swelling up like one of those bloated dinosaurs that G likes so much, and my blood pressue is 'a little high', which means there is still a chance that things will go balls-up like they did with G, and Rice will be born early, which likely means a c-section for me.

So.. in the ultimate passive-aggressive approach to birth, I'm letting the fates decide. If I need an induction, we'll skip the formalities and break out the scalpel. If not, I'll go with the V*BAC.

Oh yeah, nothing like letting my ambivalence take center stage in my medical care!!

... after the appointment, B & I headed over to my parents' house to check on The Boy... finding him happily scouring the back yard for "roller-bugs", we headed out to the movies. We checked out the latest in the ever-growing line of Pirates movies (yeah, you know the one I mean), which wasn't half as bad as I was expecting... save for the ending, which I hated. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it and wants to, but it's pretty safe to say it's not a good thing to watch when you're an over-emotional hormonal chickie with a hubby who's deploying in less than two months. Apparently pirates are close enough to sailors when it comes to my knee-jerk tear reaction at seeing them sail away.

.. last but definitely not least, a small thing I noticed while at my OB appointment:

They're undergoing massive renovations there, and in the midst of the construction I saw a tiny sign that advised all patients that the RE clinic was moving. In just a short while, they will no longer be located in the OB clinic. Although I'm sure that logically, sharing office space with obstetrics made sense to some ass-hat, I always thought it was highly insensitive that the RE waiting room was filled with pregnancy and babies. It's about time someone corrected that... Maybe a steady parade of women will gather some odd looks down in the urology clinic, but it's a damn sight better than taking the walk of shame past all those #$%! bellies after a failed cycle. Better to be seen in urology, and outed as an Infertile than spend 15 minutes sitting in the OB waiting room blinking back tears... it's a small step, but so important, I think.

*which should not be surprising as I have yet to speak to anyone with the initials "MD" after their name - since I was released from the RE clinic, I've been seeing nurses. Just nurses. Some would call this military medicine at its finest, but hey - no skin off my back. It's oddly reassuring that things have been so uneventful thus far that I haven't rated an appointment with the big paychecks yet. I'm wondering if I can stretch this a little further and have this be the first pregnancy I've ever heard of where the first doctoral appearance is at delivery. I bet I can.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Decisions, decisions... (birth-related)

I have two days left to finalize my thoughts about how I want Rice to be born. The big discussion appointment is Friday.

You'd think this would be a no-brainer.. when the doc asks, I should just say "healthy" and leave it at that, huh?

Only, they want ME to decide if I want a planned c-section or if I want to attempt the famed V*BAC. Before Friday. At the end of this appiointment, I will either have committed to attempting the V*B, or I will have scheduled a repeat cesarean.

Most people I know have really strong feelings one way or another, and knew from the moment of conception (if not before) exactly what typs of birth they wanted.

Me, I'm still walkin' to the beat of that different drummer. OK, fine, if you want to get technical, I'm wafflin' to the beat of that different drummer.

Before Rice was conceived, I was all kinds of gung-ho about the idea of a vag birth. I didn't ever-ever-ever want to be cut open again. The very idea of a repeat section was enough to make me wrinkle my nose.

Pretty easy to be an idealist when it's all theoretical, eh?

Now, I'm not so sure.

I'll be honest. I'm afraid of the V*B. I'm not afraid of the pain (seriously - I went through a hellish section recovery with no drugs after the first 36 hours. I think I can handle the pain. even without the epidural*.. there are plenty of other drugs out there).

I'm afraid of failure. Again.

I'll spare you the details, but G was birthed by my doc in an emergency cesarean, after a failed induction.

Oh yes, I failed at birthing. After, you know, I'd spent a couple years failing at conceiving. I gave my girly bits a mental high-five for coming through for me yet again.

I don't really want to go through that again... and in my wonky logic, choosing a repeat section means I'm in control - it's not a failure of my body, it's a decision of my mind. And I trust my mind ever-so-much more than my body.

See, that makes sense, right? Somehow in my mind, it's better to choose the worse option than to attempt the better one and have the decision forced on me if my bits are uncooperative again.. and choosing a section would make it oodles easier to plan. Given our timing, and B's deployment, and the need to make arrangements for the kids, it makes sense to me. I could guarantee that I'd have a minimum of two weeks' recovery before B leaves, and both G & my stepson would be prepared in advance, knowing exactly which day they'd be spending with the g'parents... not to mention the g'parents would know exactly when to take off work.

.. and yet... I remember the recovery from G's birth**.

I want to remember Rice's first few weeks, not have them obscured in a fog of pain and tears. I want to be able to pick up my child without wincing. I want to be able to walk across the room to gaze at my sleeping babe without having to decide if it's really worth the effort. I won't have the luxury of having B here to pick up the slack if my recovery takes weeks again, and I will have to be able to keep up with G.

Therein lies the problem. If I decide to try labor and a vag birth, I have the chance of escaping the section, but I risk feeling like I've failed again. If I choose the cesarean, then I guarantee the more difficult physical recovery, but it comes with an easier mental recovery.

Tough decision.

.. and through it all, the little voice in my head reminds me that my body might not fail again. That I'll regret not taking the chance. That I am not the same person I was four years ago, and HOW Rice is birthed will not be as important to me as it was then. That I can accept whatever method is used because the end result is more important.

That little voice has the ring of truth to it... and I suppose that's all I need to know to make this decision.

*long story short, that whole uterine rupture thing has me freaked.I mean, if i have an epidural and can't feel a thing, it's theoretically possible that I'd be able to rupture and not notice, right? I'm pretty sure I don't want that. I know it's super-rare, but I am so not one to tempt fate with my girly bits... so if I go the vag route, I'd want to do it epi-free.

**standard disclaimer: my section recovery was not typical.. instead of the usual up and walking around within hours or days, I was hobbling like my g'ma for weeks. I wasn't allowed to leave the house for over two weeks, except for doctors' appointments (which were three-times-a-week for the first month), and I wasn't allowed to drive a car for six weeks... it was months before I could lift anything heavier than my little G without pain, and those are months I don't have NOW...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Some things are sacred...

My husband is asleep on the couch right now. I haven't seen him in almost three weeks. Probably, I should be sitting with him, thrilled just to have him in the house again.

Instead, I'm considering smacking him upside the head. He's a pretty easy target, being all sick and pathetic.

Why? You ask.... he touched my thermostat.

And no, I don't mean that in some euphemistic, inappropriate way. I mean he turned my air conditioning OFF.


He started complaining it was cold in the house a few minutes after he got home.

Which sorta tweaked my irritation radar - he's not the first to comment that it's arctic. F'ing lightweights - it's set on 72... no ice crystals forming anywhere.

But he's sick. And I was feeling a bit of pity for that.

So I got him a blanket, and opened a window next to the couch so he wouldn't freeze to death... and then I went to make dinner.

Somehow, while he was watching a movie with G, and while I was cooking, he found the time to turn my a/c OFF without properly notifying me. Or improperly notifying me for that matter.

Surely, that is grounds for a pounding. Isn't it?