Friday, January 28, 2011

Settling in for the long wait

I wish I could hibernate and when I woke up the baby would be ready to come out into the world. Because this part of pregnancy? This part is starting to be a bit on the suck-ola side. (Feel free to stop reading if this makes you want to hurl. I am still incredibly grateful and so so excited, but I'm feeling a wee bit entitled to a bit of a whine.)

My pregnancy compromised immune system and lack of decent sleep have caused -- get this -- an outbreak of shingles. Because it's not enough to have to get up 3x a night to pee. I now need to stay up trying desperately not to rip my own skin off with itching. I'm doing better now than I was earlier this week, but on Wednesday as I was trudging through the snow and slush after my diagnosis, I was pretty precariously balanced on that ragged edge between reason and meltdown. I just was worried that the shingles or the associated treatment would be bad for the little one. But apparently not, and as long as this is cleared up by the time I deliver (which it should be -- it should be cleared up within a week) I will not have to be quarantined from my newborn baby. I'm slathered with calamine lotion and doing a good job of not scratching, and am pleased that I have yet to have a crying meltdown over this. Because this part of pregnancy is hard, and the itching and worry about some random disease? Not making it easier.

My baby (Can I say that? Is it really a baby yet? Holy shit, every time I think about what is actually IN there I start to freak out a wee bit that I am nearly 36 weeks pregnant...) is breech. Head is right in the middle, some appendages with sharp points are on my right side and every once in a while something hard pokes my bladder/ cervix. I've discussed with my OB trying to flip the baby, and we'd both prefer not to, as she's seen too many of these attempts end up in emergency c-sections because there was a good reason the babies were breech. I've also gone to acupuncture 2x and burned that stinky stuff over my little toes at home. I only did that once, though, as it made everyone in the house, to include the dog, nauseated. But head is still up. I'm not even going to go into how I think that head up means that something is wrong, as I've tried to put those fears to rest. But they are there, just lurking waiting for a moment of weakness.

Breech means (for me, at least) heartburn. The heartburn is killing me. Water, bread, lettuce -- they all cause it, mostly because there is just a tremendous amount of pressure upwards from the little one's head. It is without a doubt my least favorite part of pregnancy. I'll trade the gagging for the reflux/ heartburn. I'm not even kidding.

Snow. Enough, people. We've had snow, sleet, ice way more than usual, and that has made commuting to work scary and hard. It just wipes me out, and so today I am working from home. I could use a bit of a break on the weather so that I am not so exhausted just by getting to work.

Oh -- and my shower is this weekend (more on that later). Which is very exciting and I have friends coming in from all over (Texas, people, they are flying in from as far away as Texas!), but I have (a) this icky looking rash on my neck which is not very nice for photos and (b) since there is the possibility of giving people chicken pox if they haven't had them, two people have had to drop out. One has never had chicken pox or the vaccine (this is just crazy -- she has two little kids!) and one was going to bring her 3 week old, as she is nursing. But the baby shouldn't be too near me, so now she can't make it. But I am excited about the shower and think that it still will be loads of fun. But shingles is complicating my life unnecessarily and I resent that.

OK -- I feel better now, a bit, after venting. But still itchy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm not sure I needed to see that

We went to our first childbirth class last evening, and I have to say that I am a bit traumatized -- I'm not sure I needed to see the super up close video of the baby being born. I mean, that is a VERY large head coming out of what I assume was once a rather small hole. And there's goo and blood and all manner of painful grimacing and noises and the placenta is e-freaking-normous and yucky looking and....

Can you tell that I am in some amount of denial about how the baby gets from inside me to out in the world?

Can you also tell that I am going to ask for an epidural at my first opportunity?

Overall, though, class was pretty good. We opted to go for the "low threshold" class -- 3 nights of 2 hours each plus a hospital tour -- and this was a good first introduction, although I knew a lot already since I've read a couple of books about labor/ delivery (despite the fact that it was much more natural-childbirth focused than I am, I quite liked The Birth Partner. ) But I suspect that many of the things that seem so simple now are going to completely flee from our minds once labor actually arrives.

A couple of observations:
- My husband and I are like small children and kept giggling. At pretty much everything, to include the naked women grunting their way through childbirth. And at any mention of pee.
- We are not the oldest parents in NYC. That should not be a surprise, but it makes me feel good.
- I'm not actually that enormous, compared to the other women at the class. Again, made me feel good. Although 2 of 6 other women were teensy weensy. WhatEVS.
- The Boy's ability to focus and count breaths needs to improve: when asked "how many breaths in the last minute?" He shouldn't answer "ummm, 4 or 5?"
- Breathing exercises are funny when your eyes are open. Closing them relieves some embarrassment, but there was still a lot of giggling.

High point of the evening: after going over all the material, when the instructor asked another guy what to do if his wife was 32 weeks and having contractions every 5 minutes, and he said "I'd tell her to relax." (The correct answer is "call the doctor.") I was quite heartened to see that the Boy realized what a grave error this other father-to-be made and looked at me knowingly --he and I both know full well that I will remove his head from his body if he tells me to "just relax" when I am experiencing contractions with that regularity.

I'm going back to the OB tomorrow for another check-in. Le bebe was very much not head down last time, so I will be interested to see if it has flipped over. I think not, as I am feeling what I believe to be a very sharp shoulder above my navel, but we will see. I'm not worried about the breech thing yet -- still have time for flipping -- but for my own personal comfort I wouldn't mind a flip over (see comment about sharp shoulder).

It's all getting to be very real -- and I'm really getting very excited.