Monday, February 25, 2013

Gummy's exit plan

Perhaps like me, you were sort of hoping gummy would just make an appearance without having to go through the rigmarole of induction. There is still time if she'd like to do that, but we are down to mere hours here.

I went back to Pleasantville Birthing Unit on Saturday. It ended up being pretty much a whole day affair. I saw the OB on call about 3.5 hours after I arrived, and then he realized he hadn't ordered blood work, and wouldn't let me go home without knowing about my creatinine and liver enzymes. Got to respect thoroughness, I must say, being thorough person myself. My blood pressure was still somewhat high (but not as high as before the meds), and everything else continued to look good. The nurses and doc were so apologetic for keeping me 5.5 hours at the hospital. But as I said to the lovely nurse (who I am now on first name basis with), 'there were a lot of hard things we had to do to have this child. This is not one of them'.

Thorough OB was not satisfied with a Tuesday appointment at my OB's office, and asked me to come back to the hospital Monday for another non stress test, my fifth in less than 2 weeks. Again, not a biggie. The OB on call this time was the one who did my D&C in May 2011, and seeing her, and hearing her voice made me a bit tearful. She is only associated with that event, having never seen her before or after (until today, that is). But I was not there for a D&C today.

Gummy was so sleepy that I started worrying they would want to induce today. Luckily, they got me orange juice and it woke her up enough to satisfy the professionals. They sent me home after that, but not before booking me in for the induction. I am going in on Wednesday night to get the cervical ripening agents put in. Back on Thursday at 8am for the start of the induction. *

I won't even try to unpack my feelings this evening. Suffice it to say there is a little ball of them creating a bit of knot in my stomach. Most prominently though: I AM ABOUT TO MEET MY DAUGHTER!!!!!

*Misfit, it looks like she might be born on your birthday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gummy to remain a fetus...

for a few more days, at least. But no doubt, she is very close to becoming a baby.

My little darling got 8/8 for her biophysical profile, and was getting comments like "beautiful" on the non stress test. She is a happy fetus, that one. That's why she will be allowed to remain one for a little longer. Her mama's blood pressure was lower today, and the blood work and urine continued to look squeaky clean.

Dear Dr. Smiley, who incidentally is pregnant herself (28ish weeks), was run off her feet. I wanted to sit her down and offer her fluids and something to eat. Women having babies all at once, and quickly running out of rooms in which to put them. As soon as I heard rumbles of that through the thin curtains, I knew we were coming back home.

The plan is to go back for more tests at PBU on Saturday, and another blood pressure check at the office on Tuesday. The induction will happen next week, but I don't know when. Perhaps this will allow my body to start working on this birthing thing. Who knows. I was glad to learn that gummy's head is quite low, heading in the right direction. Atta girl.

I will update when there is more to say. Thank you for your thoughts and excitement. I'm getting very excited too.

The state of affairs at 4:30am

The persistent insomnia of late pregnancy does have some net benefits. Some nights, I work on my birthing relaxation using a couple of tracks on my phone (one from hyp. nobirthing and the other from circle and bloom). I've also used that time to read up on newborns and breastfeeding. Because I know just about nothing about the creatures and I hear tell there is one coming to live at my house very very soon. Tonight, I can use my 3:30 to 5:30am window for pecking out an update on my phone.

(At home I would use my computer but I am "sleeping" at Sattva's. This after an epic argument with Mr. A who insisted we needed our bedroom and office painted YESTERDAY, quite likely the day before our daughter s birth. I was incensed and also didn't want the paint fumes to affect gummy. Oh marriage.)

My OB appt. was less pivotal than I imagined. My bp was still high (even after a 3-day weekend of diligent rest), but not as high as some of last week's readings. My cervix had maybe thinned out a little, said the good doctor optimistically. And there was still no protein in my urine. Status quo.

Dr. Smiley asked what I wanted to do. Get a haircut and a pedicure and wait patiently until my gummy girl wants to make an exit of her own free will? I didn't say that but that sums up my wishes. I restated what I thought were my options: have the baby tomorrow (today!!!) or have the baby next week. Since I couldn't decide, she made the decision of repeating all the diagnostic tests today and decide based on the results.

So I am off to Pleasantville General Hospital for an ultrasound, a non stress test and some blood work later this morning. I will turn right to the u/s department. And no matter what happens after that, I will feel very grateful that I didn't turn left to the d&c department.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Benched: a stay-on-the-couch journey

Oh lovelies, what would I do without all of you. Thank you for your warm, supportive comments. I read each one several times and drew much comfort from them. Thank you.

I went back to the Pleasantville Birthing Unit on Thursday for another non stress test and squeezes of the arm through the sphygmomanometer (a fun word, ain't it). Gummy continued to showboat her good health for the nice medical staff, while mama Augusta was again looking a bit dim. Fine with me; I'm a little bit more robust at this stage in my life than she is. I had only taken 3 doses of the lab.etalol and it had not made much of a difference yet. My readings were not great.

Dr. Smiley was on call that day, which brought me a good measure of comfort. She said I was done with work. No more commuting. No more working. I was able to negotiate for the rest of Thursday and all of Friday, but on the promise of working "lightly"* The readings also showed I was having contractions. Couldn't feel them at all, but Dr. Smiley wanted to check my cervix to be sure. The u/s I had last Monday showed it was long, but she thought it would be worth checking if was starting to open up. But no. Closed for business.

I went back to see Dr. Smiley at the OB office on Friday morning. She liked my b/p a lot better at that point. She wrote me a note for my employer, and said she would see me again next Tuesday, at which point we would talk about eviction notices. She has stated that Gummy is not staying in there longer than 37/38 weeks. 37 weeks is on Monday, women. MONDAY.

So, mental gymnastics are being performed to ensure proper wrapping of the mind around this new reality. Next week or the week after is a lot sooner than March 11. But a healthy Gummy and a healthy mama is our goal. And Dr. Smiley has all my trust. If she says this is what needs to happen, we will abide (not without asking all kinds of questions of course, but she is used to that by now).

So I have to work on my resting techniques. I'm not a pro, but I'm being asked to work on it. There is still a list of things to do BG, but I'll focus on the essentials. There are a few work-related loose ends to tie up from home. And then there will be a birth, during and after which resting will be elusive.

Stay tuned. I can predict with annoying certainty that my next post will be all about my freak out over induction versus caesarean section.

* ambiguous enough that I can't feel completely guilty for breaking my word and staying at work until 8pm on Friday. Not wise, but patient work tugs notoriously at the heartstrings and cannot be ignored. And there is also the ethics code and the ever present fear of being sued.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

L&D: a visit

My title makes it sounds like I'm about to recount the appointment I was supposed to make with the public health nurse to go visit the Pleasantville Birthing Unit (PBU).

But no. I was sent over today after my OB really took a strong dislike to my blood pressure numbers. 138/96 with the nurse, and the diastolic above 100 when Dr. Smiley took it. So much for my 1pm therapy patient.

Mr. A looked as though his legendary low blood pressure visited the stratosphere when I drove back home after the OB to tell him I was going to the hospital. 'Calm down', I said, 'they just want to monitor the baby and do blood work.'

We got a lovely nurse who chased gummy around with her external monitoring probe, warmly calling her the kidlet. Gummy finally settled and the monitoring could start. My b/p was still silly high at this point, even though I felt pretty calm overall. We spent about 1.5 hours there, by the time they got the blood work results back and the urine test. The on-call OB reviewed my symptoms with me after the blood work came back squeaky clean. We have: 1) high blood pressure and 2) epigastric pain. Nothing else really. When we reviewed that together, I said, as a conclusive statement, 'so, hypertension of pregnancy then?'*. He smiled at me sideways and asked what I do for a living.

So he put me on meds. Labe.talol. A beta-blocker. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but we have to do something to make this b/p go down before it becomes pre-eclampsia.  

I go back to L&D tomorrow for another non stress test. Dr. Smiley will be on call, so she will make some decisions. She talked about stopping work sooner than later. She said Gummy would be evicted at 38 weeks if the b/p keeps being high. That's a week from Monday. Oh goodness me. She also did say it was time to stop going to the gym. Too bad. I liked my morning walks on the treadmill.

We had an u/s on Monday and Gummy looked fantastic. She is definitely a she. And what a cutie! Her weight was estimated at 6lbs 6oz, so I think that if she does need to be out early, she'll be a good size.

I'll keep you posted on what happens tomorrow, lovelies.
Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts.  

* the subtext being: 'as opposed to full blown pre-eclampsia')

Friday, February 8, 2013

still betting on an early gummy

My appointment went well yesterday morning. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts.

I didn't know what to expect. I fanned out the scenarios and ran them through my head a few times per hour. My blood pressure was fine on Wednesday morning, but when I stopped at the drug store later that evening, it was 145/100, which seems crazy to a girl who often has average to low b/p. I also had pain on my right side, which I know is not a great constellation of symptoms to have when one is 35 weeks pregnant.

I got home and felt like crying. Whaaaaaaaaa. I don't want gummy to be evicted now. She is so protected in there. And I know just how to feed her in her fetus state (worries over breastfeeding have emerged anew, and you will find me ruminating on this topic several times per day. HOW, oh HOW, will I feed my child? - It gets a little dramatic).

But my b/p was ok this morning at my appointment, and there wasn't any protein in my urine. Dr. Smiley didn't like Wednesday night's numbers at all, and wants to see me next week instead of in 2 weeks.

I am still getting pain on my upper right abdomen, and it worries me. Like I've said before, I'm really good at worrying. It's a bonus when there's an actual reason to worry. Right on cue, my aunt called last night to give me a stern talking to. I assume she spoke to my mother, who as Mr. A said this morning, believes I should have been on bed rest since July. My aunt is a nurse in a NICU. She laid it out to me like this: women die, babies die and I need to stop work right now if I don't want that to happen to me or gummy. Thanks. Those are some really swell reminders. It's always awesome to be reminded of one's incompetence by being told exactly how one should behave. It's all coming from a place of caring of course, but it drives me nuts.

Anyway, I am home today. And resting. Our office is closed because of a massive snow storm I ordered for Mr. A's birthday. He's really pleased with his present, and it makes the bitter pill of 40 a little easier to swallow.

new picture on gummy bear page - evidence to support 'big as home' assertion

Monday, February 4, 2013

First babies come late, right. Right?

Let me start by clarifying that Gummy is still an inside baby (otherwise known as a fetus). But at 35 weeks on the dot, I am starting to wonder about how long she'll decide to stay in there. Or how long she will be allowed.

My last visit to my OB was all good, except for my blood pressure, which was higher than usual. Dr. Smiley said to keep an eye on it, stop by the pharmacy and get a reading whenever convenient. I've been doing that and the tricky diastolic number is rising. Crap.

For the last 30 some odd weeks, I've been banking on Gummy arriving on the late side of her due date: March 11. I've told my employer that I would work until March 8. Being that it is International Women's day, it seemed an appropriate one to go on maternity leave.

I'm not sure if it was the initial high blood pressure reading, my colleague who is due the day after me being ordered to stop work last week to go on bed rest, or a fellow DE mama I correspond with whose darling girl showed up at 35 weeks, but I'm thinking my early prognostications might be bunk. If the blood pressure keeps going up, Gummy will get an eviction notice I believe.

I have an OB appointment this Thursday, and plan on asking many 'what if' questions. We've already established that I'm a high maintenance patient at my last appointment (when I remarked I was and she laughed, the international sign of acquiescence). And I am mentally switching gears at work and trying to wrap things up as much as I can each day.

Maybe if I visualize what date I need her to come on, she will abide. (loved your comments on my last post, women. Thank you for not throwing tomatoes at me).   

In the mean time, I have fully settled into the fatigue of T3. It is more intense than T1 for me. I am as big as a house (more like a home, my beloved friend said). My sleep is on the crappy side of bad (but I don't want to say that one too loudly, since you know, it's about to get worse). Heartburn, digestive upsets, and sadness and tearfulness. Bring it on, I say. Embracing pregnancy is where it's at, women. It's a glorious journey.