Thursday, June 29, 2006

What we know now

  • I am 33w2d (as of Thursday).
  • The itchy belly responds somewhat well to the new meds, and to the new air conditioner we put in the bedroom window.
  • When asked about the visit they had me reschedule for my 37th week, Dr. Academic (or whatever his nickname is these days) agreed that he didn’t think it would really be an issue.
  • I am going to have these babies in the next 3+ weeks.
  • A little bit of ice cream does not fuck up my blood sugars.
  • I don’t think I’m really diabetic after all.
  • I am going to have these babies in the next 3+ weeks.
  • Tomorrow is my last official day of work, so I’m making a brief appearance in the office.
  • Tomorrow is also my first non-stress test.
  • The bands on the monitors have to stretch across my itchy belly - thank goodness for the new meds and air conditioning, hopefully.
  • My mother thinks we’re unprepared for the babies.
  • My in-laws are coming for three days this weekend to help with the preparations.
  • I am working on ways to mostly ignore them, lest they spike my blood pressure and force the babies out early.
  • I am fighting to make it to 34 weeks.
  • The babies are nestled with their heads together, and a foot in between.
  • Babies are mighty flexible.
  • Their heads are together, and nowhere near my cervix.
  • I am going to have these babies, probably by c-section, in the next 3 weeks.
  • We are unprepared.

Friday update:

  • One of the babies has flipped back to head down.
  • I don’t see how that was possible, given how snug things are in there.
  • That same baby is very hard to get on a monitor.
  • Non-stress testing is rather stressful when a squirmy baby refuses to stay on a monitor.
  • Hopefully I get to do this several more times anyway.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Strange World

So I ventured onto a baby names message board, and wow - those people are weird. It’s like smug fertiles run amok in there - people who are trying (or not yet even trying) and are debating naming combinations. People who have just had a baby who are contemplating what they should name the next. And do you really want naming advice from “14 and not trying” or “Future Mommy of 3”??

I will retreat back to the much calmer world of books, where I can browse the naming combinations all on my own. Because I think if “14 and not trying” likes the name I’ll have to dump it anyway, just on general principles.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Writing from within a drugged fog

I guess it was just a matter of time before I ended up in L&D. No babies yet, so no worries. Just the insane itch that has been diagnosed as PUPPP. PUPPP is an itchy rash that only occurs during pregnancy (and sometimes postpartum) and starts - at least in my case - as intense itching in the stretch marks themselves. It’s slightly more common in multiple gestation pregnancies (probably just due to the extreme stretching) and in my case it’s more pronounced in a spot where I’ve had a lot of baby activity and stretching. It’s also, somewhat mysteriously, potentially linked to having a male fetus. (Something about having found male fetal DNA in the skin irritation. Not sure how it would get there, but that’s what I read.) There’s no treatment that makes it go away, just attempts to stop - or at least reduce - the itching.

However, since I was getting checked out at L&D I was hooked up to all the regular monitors, which showed that I was having fairly frequent contractions. So then they did the whole pre-term labor routine on me - including the most uncomfortable speculum exam I think I’ve ever had (was that because she was checking my cervix? She had mediocre skills at calming patients, which was most noticable in her inability to tell me what the heck she was doing down there. Not cool, I say.), an ultrasound to check cervical length (interesting, since NotMyDoc seemed to think there was no point anymore...) and a fluid check. Lots of ultrasounds, lots of time on the monitors. Oh, the monitors. Which they had a hard time getting in place for Baby A (the same babe that is generally camera shy at our ultrasounds) and which, when secured, were stretched directly across my itchy belly with scratchy elastic bands. Fun. Plus, we didn’t have a room, just triage, so I had to go up the hall to pee. Several times. Ugh.

After all this time and fuss in L&D (which got me thinking quite a bit about hospitals and hospital policy and what I really want out of a delivery - more on that later) they finally came to the same conclusion I’d reached on my own at home. PUPPP, not the rarer (and more concerning) ICP, and despite the contractions, my cervix is fine - long and closed and hanging in there. So, that’s the update.

Not very poetic of me, today. I blame the Benadryl, which does take the itch off for a couple of hours, but also takes the sharpness out of my brain. I have a prescription for another antihistamine which I suspect will do the same - we’ll see what works better for me. And of course, I think I can only be on these meds for something like 10 days, so we’ll see how much longer I can make it after that.

The nursery has finally taken shape, and with it seemed to come my ability to contemplate the babies actually being here. Of course I want them inside for as long as possible, but if I can make it 10 more days with meds we’ll have passed the 34 week mark, which is a good place to be. (I’m still trying for 36+ but I just can’t think that far ahead - right now I’m thinking about making it to 34, and when I do I can work on making it to 36. One milestone at a time.) Oh, and we bought diapers. So this is starting to seem real.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Feel my snatch

There was a news story from a few days ago, featuring a local acupuncturist who specializes in fertility treatments (J actually sees a guy in the same practice, so we TiVo’ed it). The story itself was mediocre at best (highlights included their report that an insemination or IVF could cost $15,000 per procedure, an interview with an RE from one of the lesser-rated clinics in the area, and an interview with a woman who got pregnant on her 3rd IVF after finally incorporating acupuncuture - complete with fuzzy ultrasound pictures), but the teaser at the beginning of the news show was all about how stress reduction must have a lot to do with getting pregnant, and how you always hear about those people who give up trying and go to adopt and then, of course, get pregnant, and so it must be stress related. Yes, because the obnoxious second-rate hosts of the 4:00 news show are such fertility experts. Riiight.

My peri is out of town this week (squeezing in a vacation before it’s July and all hands on deck at the teaching hospital) so I saw another peri in the group. Dr. NotMyDoc was fine, though much quicker and less sociable than my regular peri (which you’d think would explain why my peri is always running like an hour late, except so was NotMyDoc, so who knows?). Anyway, he did a cursory u/s of the babies, listened to their hearts, attempted to oblige my request for a picture (we got one of their two heads together, but otherwise they seem to have passed the point of pretty pictures), and quickly answered my questions: yes, the weird patch on my belly is stretch marks that have coalesced; yes, it’s normal for one foot to be more swollen than the other; no, my lingering cough is not a cause for concern, since he was sick last week with a virus and there’s just something going around. What he didn’t do was a cervical check (despite my standard waist-down disrobing). Apparently, NotMyDoc thinks it’s unnecessary at this point - I’m almost 32 weeks and if I go into labor then I just do. Or something. That part was a little bit freaky, since I’m certainly not feeling ready to have these babies and would like them to stay put for another month. And then he was gone.

Oh, and someone found my blog by searching for feel my snatch - where I am currently the top result. I’m just so proud.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Long and random miscellany

I’m beginning to dig myself out from the sea of slime my body has been producing. Yuck. The cold has mostly vacated my head (except for my left ear which is almost completely clogged) and has taken up residence in my lungs, which is especially nice since there was just SO much room there already what with the babies pressing upward. So not fun.

I ordered a changing table online, and it arrived yesterday, followed a couple of hours later by an email telling us it had shipped. Not sure how they managed to deliver it before shipping it, but I’m not complaining. It’s still in the box, though, since the painting is ongoing (though the bulk of it is done, the room will stay empty and paint-masked so J can paint the chair rail we’re installing and a couple pieces of furniture/accessories that were other colors in their previous lives). So for now, there’s an unassembled changing table leaning on the wall in the living room.

What else?

Cloth diapers: I’m deep in the throes of researching cloth diapers. I’d originally thought we’d just wait to CD until the babes would fit in the normal “newborn” or “small” size diapers, but I’m starting to wonder if that’s too long to wait given that I expect them to be on the small side when they’re born (this notwithstanding, especially since I’m not much over 5 feet tall). But if they start off at 5ish pounds, then it seems it might be okay to invest in some of the preemie sized diapers that will carry them through for a while - even if we just do a combination of cloth and ‘sposies in the beginning. (Not the first couple of weeks, probably, but I’m not loving the idea of delaying for months, either.) So I’ve been looking at preemie cloth diapers - and the choices are limited. So far, I’ve found some decent looking Bummis (preemie size fits 4-8 pounds) that aren’t too expensive, or FuzziBunz (the preemie/XS size fits 4-10 pounds, which would last a while) but are more expensive. And since I’m not scared of the diaper+cover routine, it seems silly to buy a whole bunch of FB. Though I do rather covet them. And of course, all of this was taking into account that there was no diaper service in our city (ridiculous, no?) except that someone JUST started one. Just, like in the past two weeks. So that makes things more interesting. (Of course, I don’t think they stock the preemie sizes, either, so I’m not sure where that leaves us except waiting for them to return my call.)

Nursery: As I mentioned, the painting is so close to being done, and I’m thrilled. I came up with this whole plan while sitting here, and felt bad for concocting something fairly complicated to execute and being unable to help make it happen, but with the help of J’s fabulous cousin, things are looking good. Not that we have cribs, or anything. Really, we have not much. We registered, but no one has bought anything off the registries yet. I guess the problem with having no shower is having no impetus for people to go shopping. Not that I’m stuff-crazy or anything (oh, shut up) but there are some things we’ll need soon that I hadn’t just bought myself because my mom pushed hard for giving people a chance. Which is fine except that we have no onesies. Or receiving blankets. And I feel like maybe we need them. (We do have one package of the tiny side-snap shirts, because I ordered them at the same time as something for me, but t-shirts do not keep babies particularly warm.) So we’ll see how that all turns out. To her credit, my mother took it upon herself to notify many many people of our news, and to point them to our registry. Seems creepy, but on the other hand, it would be nice if people would start getting stuff, y’know? (Okay, so I’m a little bit stuff-crazy...)

Okay, enough miscellany for now. Going to drink more water now (since it’s too hot for tea).

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Lesson #27: Gloating about progress inevitably results in a bit of backlash.

So, for example, I got lots done and felt very accomplished, and now I’m sick. Riiight. At least I was already planning to sit around doing nothing yesterday. And today. And tomorrow. But still, blech.

I’m a touch worried that J is getting sick, too. Which would suck on many many levels. Not the least of which is my ever increasing dependence on him. (Plus he’s working all weekend, and of course I don’t want him to be sick. And someplace in there, he’s going to start painting the nursery.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Progress Report

I’m still doing the laying-around bedrest thing, and I’m tired and achy and all that, but things are on the upswing in other ways, which is good.

1. My mom came to visit this weekend, and we organized the closet in the nursery, so now there are drawers with stuff in them, and places for more stuff. It’s not a lot, but it makes me feel just a bit more prepared.

2. We registered. Finally. Which was an adventure in itself - J pushed me around BRU in a wheelchair as we tried to do everything all at once. If I could have, I think I’d have done it in two shifts, just to break up the experience, but I felt like this was really my only chance. We also took a trip to Target, where I used an electric cart instead of a wheelchair. We weren’t able to register in the store, since the system was down (which was incredibly frustrating) but we looked at some of the things we still needed to discuss, and did a bit of shopping (a robe, slippers, some super-pads -- and baby tylenol, mylicon, and, um, baby wipes) and then I started the registry online.

3. We interviewed a pediatrician. And liked her. A lot. She’s an infertility veteran (PCOS, failed IVF, got pregnant on Glucophage), and she’s kind and compassionate, and comfortable with the level of research we’d done before asking her questions. And even though the office is part of the Evil HMO, it’s in a new facility with bright, spacious waiting areas (room for the double stroller, even) and a lactation clinic (with a LC who specializes in twins and preemies, apparently, and who is said - by the pediatrician, at least - to be fantastic). So that’s a relief.

4. There’s a plan for painting the nursery. It’s not painted yet, but there’s a plan.

So, things are happening. Progress, if you will. And the fact that as of yesterday my cervix was still long and closed and earning much praise from the peri (no hand gestures this time, but he was mighty pleased with me and my cervix) and the babies were transverse (meaning no one is putting too much pressure on my cervix) led me to think, for the first time, that I might actually carry to 36 or 37 weeks. Maybe.

Growth scan on Friday, so we’ll see how things are shaping up at that point.