Friday, October 31, 2008

putting it in writing

Maybe it is because of all of the Halloween candy I have been eating (so bad...I'm so bad) but, yes, although I have posted an average of less than two times a month over the last 9 months and a whopping 9 times in January, I am actually planning to participate in NaBloPoMo.

Now I have even more incentive to find the cable and charger for my digital camera.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

thirteen weeks

I can't really put a finger on why I've been finding it difficult to write. Sure, Mr. C was out of town for a week and he took the notebook with him (which would have meant sitting up in a proper chair at a desk, yuck), but he has been home now for several days and I am only just now giving it a try.

Things are still moving along in a way that should be reassuring. Yesterday we had another visit with the OB and the nurse, who pronounces my name right and everything (which I can't tell you how much I love), made a comment about my growing baby belly. Doc found the heartbeat without too much effort and I didn't have a panic attack when it didn't happen right away and he had to apply a bunch more goo for his second attempt. Mothership went with me for this visit in case she had any questions concerning the surgery. She was beaming all day afterward because she got to hear little one's galloping heartbeat.

I go in for the cerclage a week from tomorrow. I know I keep going on about it, but I really do heart my OB. Yesterday, after asking him a page full of questions I started improvising even more questions. At that point some of them kind of don't really have an answer, but he still worked through them with me. When I asked him a what-if sort of question that basically was "what if I am freaking out?" but worded in a way that veiled it to make me sound more reasonable, his answer was that I could call them and come in any time. I needed to hear that. So far, I have been managing to talk myself down whenever I freak out. But it is nice to know that I can go in there if I need to. Fortunately I have appointments with him every two weeks and visits to the Peri in between, so I should be covered.

I met with the Peri a couple of weeks ago. They did the nuchal translucency scan that day and it showed little one meeting all of the standards. I went to the lab and did the blood test that day as well. No results have been reported to me, so I am taking that as a positive sign. We got to see little one in 4D, all curled up and looking cozy. Next week I will have another ultrasound done before the surgery. They will be measuring my cervix, but I sure do hope that we will get another peek at little one. Who, by the way, I've started to feel fluttering around in there. At first it was so subtle that I thought it must be my imagination or, well, gas. But after several days of feeling it I am certain that it is, indeed, the baby.

Over the weekend I took what felt like a giant leap and went shopping for maternity pants. If I had gone alone I probably would have chickened out and just bought some low-rise pants in a size bigger than I normally wear. But I had told our office coordinator that I needed to go shopping for pants and Mothership was in her office and overheard me. I didn't realize she was there, otherwise I wouldn't have said anything. She loves to spoil me and will take any opportunity to go shopping, which makes me feel a bit guilty. Without any prior discussion when we got to the mall she led me right into the maternity shop. To my delight I found out that there has been a great advance in maternity wear in the three years since I was pregnant with William. Yes, the clothes were pretty much the same then in terms of style and quality. But the belly panels have really advanced. Among the pants with thick, heavy weight belly panels they now have many with this thin, light weight stretchy fabric that feels so good to me. For some reason this time I cannot tolerate anything even slightly tight around my belly. I have officially crossed the threshold and am now wearing maternity clothes. The earth didn't open up and swallow me, like it felt like it would.

I'm taking tiny steps, tip-toeing though this pregnancy. I try to visualize the baby. I want so badly to feel some sort of connection, but so far I don't think that I do. Mr. C is great. He talks to the baby and puts his hand on my belly. He says things like, "Honey, come here, and bring the baby with you." I can't shake the feeling, though, that it is all just pretend. Whenever my due date is brought up it reminds me that we had one of those before, but it came four months after the baby arrived. For now I just can't think that far ahead. One week. I can handle thinking ahead to one week.

Monday, October 13, 2008

about the littlest bean

Note: this post, and probably most of the posts for the next long while (God willing), is primarily about this pregnancy. I am pretty sure that this subject is tolerable by most of the readers of my blog. If not, then I just want to be clear about it so you know what to expect. I realize that some dead-baby momma bloggers have found sensitive ways to blog about a sub-pregnancy, but I just can't think of a way to write honestly if I am censoring myself. The original intention for the blog from the start was for it to be a place where I could record my experience of a sub-pregnancy. It has just taken me far longer to get here than I had anticipated. During these (almost) two years of writing I have come to realize that this blog is so much more than just a place to record my thoughts and feelings. I guess what I am trying to say is that I acknowledge that for some of you out there it is painful to read this particular type of good news.

I saw my OB today for one of those quickie visits and was treated to the beautiful sound of the little one's thumping heart. I had myself prepared for the very reasonable possibility that we might not be able to find it. As he moved the doppler around I breathed calmly and allowed myself to hope. Hearing it was so darn fantastic. You couldn't wipe that smile off of my face. I asked him if he could get a BPM for me and he said it was in the 160 range. It seems like everyone is certain that this is a girl (everyone but me...I have no clue) so if the heart rate stays high we will see if that old wives' tale is correct.

As I mentioned before, my belly is growing rather impressively (the rest of me is staying small and the weight gain is minimal, which wasn't the case with my last pregnancy, Mothership says this is all the more evidence that this is a girl). A couple of days ago Mr. C commented that I should probably just break down and go out and get some maternity pants. My response, which came out of my mouth without thinking about how it might upset him, was that I was waiting for my doctor appointments to make sure that the baby is still alive. Today when I called him to tell him about the heartbeat he was so relieved. He said that he has been worried since I said that. I realize that while it is important that I am honest with him about how I am feeling, he doesn't need to hear everything that goes through my often anxiety-riddled mind. To be sure, he does not. I pretty much span the range of hopes and fears throughout the day. My mind can be a scary place.

The doc brought up the cerclage surgery and when I told him I'd rather do it sooner than later he agreed to do it the first week of November. He had been indicating since our first conversation that he'd like to do it at 16 weeks, so I didn't expect it to be so easy to talk him into doing it earlier. I have a pre-op visit with him in two weeks. I am anxious about the surgery but am so glad that it doesn't require general anesthesia. The spinal is scary, but I find it to be a much less frightening option.

To change the subject to a non-pregnancy topic I have to say that I am counting down to the first week of November with much anticipation: 22 days until the election. Oh it is such a focus of our attention around here! We DVR several news shows a day, as well as The Daily Show and the Colbert Report (just to keep things in balance, you know). I am so captivated by it all. I'd like to say that I am shocked by some of the twists and turns that have developed, but things have gotten so bizarre that it is hard to even be shocked anymore. I have talked to many people who found the debates to be boring and, so far, my unscientific data collection proves out the stat that I heard that the majority of the viewers tune-out after about a half an hour. I, however, have watched all three debates practically on the edge of my seat. I am just so riveted by the possibility of what might be said or how it might be said or if a particular candidate might actually make eye-contact with his opponent. My years as a high school humanities teacher trained me well to hold a discussion about such a sticky topic without pissing anyone off or being too overt about my personal views. Fortunately my in-laws, while of a very different religious background, share my political perspective. And Mr. C and I are on the same page, too. I know several couples for whom this is not the case, so I am grateful. Perhaps if we all weren't of a like mind we would avoid the subject altogether, though. As it is, we have the tendency to get ourselves a little too worked-up sometimes. Which is why I am counting down the days. Oh, and we have a tight race for the Governor in Washington State as well. Last time it came down to a highly charged re-count, and the same two candidates are squaring off again. I am always glad when the election is over, because I feel like I can relax again.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

finally connected

We moved into our house at the end of January and all this time I have been without an internet connection.

But tonight when I got home I was delighted to see that the new router Mr. C bought today did the trick and the wireless connection is working!

I'm going to have to pace myself, because I am so excited to finally get caught up on blogs.


I am an optimist and am not superstitious, but still it is difficult for me to write that things with the pregnancy are going well. They are, but that doesn't mean that I am not pretty much a nut-case most of the time. While the spotting hasn't returned and my belly is growing at a much faster rate than anyone can believe, I have cramping and lower back pain a lot and sometimes it sends me into a panic. There is a cause for it and it happened the last time I was pregnant, too, so my rational mind knows that it is "normal" (I have a retroverted or backwards-facing uterus, and as it straightens out it causes a lot of discomfort). I have appointments with both my OB and the Peri next week, so that will help. When I see the OB we will hopefully be able to hear the heartbeat with the doppler (if my effed-up uterus doesn't pose a problem). And when I see the Peri we will do an ultrasound, so that will be good--whatever it shows, for better or for worse, at least the results are reliable. If all looks good we will be scheduling the cerclage surgery then, too. If possible I am going to schedule my OB and Peri appointments so they are staggered, rather than occurring in the same week. The more frequent I can be seen by someone the better.

We were keeping the pregnancy a secret and planned to do so for as much of the first trimester as possible. But Pops (my father in law) blabbed the news three weeks ago to one of our employees. By the next day the word had spread like wildfire. At first I was filled with this fear that it would jinx things--now the pregnancy is doomed for sure. I get that feeling almost every time I write in the cute pregnancy journal that I bought in a moment of bravery several weeks ago. And today I went to buy the new book that my book group is going to read next and I found myself walking over to the pregnancy section, actually picking up one of those big books that walks you through your pregnancy (complete with a week-by-week section), and taking it to the register with me. As I walked out to the parking lot I was thinking that I had just done something stupid.

I'm almost to 10 weeks. It is still so early. Each day feels like a victory, though. The idea of 40 weeks is just too daunting. So instead my focus right now is to get to 15 weeks and the surgery. After that my focus will shift to 24 weeks and viability. I know that is still a long-shot, but it is something to grasp for. After that is 28 weeks, a much more realistic chance for survival. And if I can make it that far then I know I can start to breathe a little easier. Everyone around me is so darn positive about this pregnancy. It is touching, and I hope that I can join them in feeling that way at some point as well.