Wednesday, November 20, 2013

the final countdown

The following, as likely expected, is the "I'm going to be pregnant forever" blog post.


I'm going to be pregnant forever.

My child will attend kindergarten through senior year of college while still in my womb. His wedding will take place in my uterus, and his partner will move in via my vagina. No cats allowed.


Today is the fifth day in my thirty-ninth week of pregnancy and I've decided this condition ... this miraculous condition ... is someone's idea of a huge joke that goes on for way too long.


Too long.

I'm waiting for that spurt of energy, that nesting thing to kick in. Nothing on the horizon thus far. Only a fatigue that has wormed its way into each bone. My fingers are tired. My eyelids feel like they weigh five pounds each.

Night-time peeing has reached unprecedented levels. I pee every hour. Every. Hour. Until I can't muster the energy to get up and pee and then I just lie there, exhausted, needing to pee.

I've kept my eye out for signs of labor, but so far there's just been some mild cramping.

I know, logically, that this child will be here in -- at most -- a little over a week. But I don't think he's gotten the memo.


My friend from the birthing class had her baby, after much drama. Did I mention she'd elected to induce at 39 weeks?

You have three guesses how that ended up.

Yes, a c-section.

The whole lead-up sounded terrible. Cervidil to ripen the cervix, 13 hours of pitocin, and many hours of painful contractions only to end up dilated 2 centimeters. They were given the choice to go home and wait for labor to start naturally, or have a c-section. They chose the surgery, which is what I'd suspected she wanted all along. It didn't go excellently -- lots of bleeding due to overstimulation of the uterus and lots of vomiting afterward.

But they have their kid.


I'm trying all the tricks to induce labor naturally, but babies just arrive when they're ready, don't they? Because my life operates strictly based on Murphy's Law, this probably means he's going to arrive on Thanksgiving. As soon as I pour gravy on my mashed potatoes, my water will probably break.

I mean, I am the same person whose period has started on Christmas day every year for the last several years, so this seems only logical.

And that's fine.

Friday, November 15, 2013


What's that saying? If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. (The other day I saw Anne Lamott tweet this same saying, except she called God "her.")

Although, really, I never had a plan when it came to this birth. I'd been told repeatedly there was no way a regular birth was possible because the possibility of the placenta moving out of the way in time was infinitesimal. A c-section was scheduled and I assumed this was how we would proceed. At first I struggled with it, and then I accepted it. And then everything got flipped on its head.

Because yesterday, five days before my scheduled c-section, I had yet another ultrasound and the placenta has moved way the hell out of the way. Like WAY THE HELL out of the way. This may all sound silly to you but if you'd learned as much about placental migration and complete placenta previas as I have in the last five months, you'd be fucking shocked, too.

So: CHANGE OF PLANS. Imagine Bill O'Reilly saying this: We'll do it vaginally!

This is good news. My husband is elated. My family is stoked. My friends are happy. And I'm like ... I gotta turn this fuckin' boat around, man. I do not deal well with change, and this is a bit of a beast. I am 39 weeks pregnant and experiencing a range of emotions at this news.

For starters, I'm a little pissed off. Perhaps science is a bit of a double-edged sword, you know? Maybe nature knows what the hell she's doing most of the time and science needs to just back the hell off a little bit.

Then there's the fact that I have not prepared for a vaginal birth in any way. Not a single way. But FUCK IT. As Bill would say. My body is made to do this and it will get the job done.

Then there's the fear of birth thing. I'd feared the c-section, too, but vaginal birth is a whole other animal. Top fear = laboring and then needing a c-section anyway. I will cut someone if that happens. This is one of the main reasons I'm hiring a good friend to doula for me. I may not know what the hell is going on, but she will.

So yeah, while I might be a bit frustrated about the sudden change of plans, I am overall glad it's going to happen this way. Even with the ensured vaginal devastation. Recovery time is quicker and I don't have to worry about nerve damage or any other weird shit happening as a result of surgery. Most importantly, I should get to hold my kid as soon as he comes out. With the c-section, it would have been at least an hour. Breastfeeding should be a bit easier. I have a lot more control over what happens to everyone now that I'm doing it caveman style.

So when is this show gonna get on the road? Not soon, it seems. I am not dilated or effaced. The baby is not engaged. So, no idea. I was born at 43 weeks, believe it or not, and my mom had to be induced. My sister was born two weeks late. So if I'm like my mom, who the hell knows. My doctor said she won't let me go past 41 weeks, so I'm just hoping I won't need to be induced.

Anyway, since I'm fairly late in the pregnancy and have no idea when this could really happen, I thought I'd post some photos I've taken along the way showing the progression of the pregnancy. They were all taken in my bathroom (major selfie faux pas, I know). You can follow me on instagram to see any new photos I post, the user name is zeromusings.

20 weeks

22 weeks

24 weeks

26 weeks

 28 weeks

29 weeks

30 weeks

31 weeks 

 32 weeks

33 weeks

 34 weeks

35 weeks

 36 weeks

 38 weeks

39 weeks

Pregnancy is cute for a while, and then it's just grotesque, isn't it!?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

37 weeks

You know, I almost had a kid yesterday. The c-section was originally scheduled for Monday, but of course as I mentioned, the placenta moved a wee bit and bought us a couple weeks.

I'm pretty happy that the kid is still cooking, because I'm only on week 37. Technically this is considered full term, but there can be issues with babies' lungs when you take them out that early. (If we'd gone ahead with the c-section yesterday, they would have given me steroid shots a couple days beforehand to help mature the lungs.)

On the other hand, I am way over being pregnant. I may have mentioned I have carpal tunnel now. It's a temporary and common thing that happens in some women's pregnancies, which I'd never heard of. A couple of the women in my childbirth class had it and it had really impacted their abilities to continue working at their jobs. I totally see how it could, now. 

One of those women, a dental hygienist, emailed me today to say hi and see how I'm doing and I was like: She wants to be buddies! So I waited 20 minutes before replying back to her and then realized I reek of desperation and she is not going to want to be my buddy anymore. But I take it back because she literally just responded back to me. She's going nuts in the house, not being able to work, and she wants to know how I spend my time. Girl. I don't even know. I managed to clean a bathroom yesterday and that put me down for a two-hour nap. 

So, have I mentioned my kid is probably going to be enormous? We already knew the head is measuring two weeks ahead of the baby's gestational age, and then my mom went ahead and reminded me that I was 8 lbs 7 oz, and my sister was 9 lbs 11 oz (although both of us were apparently very late deliveries). Then I went and looked at the last ultrasound photo again and, I don't know for sure, but this kid's head looks enormous. I'm now officially worried we are going to skip newborn sizes and just head straight into 3 or 6 month territory. Don't do it, child! I have too many cute newborn outfits to put you in first! 

Meanwhile, in "preparing for the arrival" news, we moved the crib into our bedroom when it was determined (not by me) that the cradle I'd chosen for our child to sleep in for the first weeks of his life would probably kill him. In fairness to my husband, he is right in that most resources say newborns should sleep flat on their backs on a firm surface. But in fairness to me, all the women of the internet (whom I trust implicitly) swear by this cradle and tons of them used it in the first weeks of their babies' lives. Many of them said it helped with reflux, which newborns are notorious for, and somehow none of their kids died. However, I have reached the "do what you will" phase of this pregnancy, which means that I basically do not care what happens with any of the baby crap in our house. I just need the baby out of me. 

Speaking of baby crap, we also had our car seat install evaluated today. Sad to say we are among the 85-90% of people who do not properly install car seats, so basically we are enormous losers, or so my husband thinks. It's quite a blow to someone like him -- he's an engineer and a real rule-follower. Actually, we were watching The Walking Dead the other day and you know how everyone's out looking for antibiotics right now, so they're driving around and blowing through stop signs and stuff since like 99% of the population is dead or hungry for brains. And I thought to myself -- I bet my husband would still stop at the stop sign if we were living in the zombie apocalypse. But I didn't say that to him because I think it would piss him off. But now he's going to read this and get pissed anyway. I love you, honey. Your rule-following ways are endearing.

So anyway my point is I really don't know how we incorrectly installed the car seat, because we followed the directions in both the car and seat manuals, to the letter. Suffice to say I think the manufacturers of cars and car seats are all jerks. I have no idea how certain standards continue not to exist for cars when it comes to this.

The moral of this story is ... there are two weeks to go until I stop writing about pregnancy and start regaling you with oft-heard tales of the trials of early motherhood. Unless I go into labor first! I wish.