July 28, 2008

This has GOT to end sometime.

It was a hell of a weekend. It began with a "pop" at 10pm on Friday night. I swear I thought my water broke, and I was SURE I hadn't peed on myself, and I was contracting (though they weren't painful. I would find out later what pain REALLY is).

So, anyway, I was under the assumption that my water broke. There was no massive gush of fluid, but I thought that was pretty normal - they tell you that sometimes the baby's head acts as a cork and the amniotic sac can form kind of a slow leak of fluid. This is what it felt like. I called the hospital, the triage nurse said we could hang out at home for a couple of hours, but since I tested positive for Group B Strep I did need to come in, even though my contractions weren't regular.

We rolled up to the hospital at 1am, and they checked us in to PETU (Perinatal Treatment and Evaluation Unit). This, as we learned, is where they separate the REAL laboring women from the big, fat, fakers. Ie: yours truly.

Android and I were led to a quiet little room down the hall from the nurses station, I put on a gown and got into bed, and a nurse came in to strap a fetal monitor and a contraction monitor onto my belly. (These things suck because you cannot freaking MOVE while they are on. You can a little, but you always run the risk of dislodging the fetal monitor and having a nurse come in and readjust it with a vaguely annoyed look on her face.)

They had to verify whether my water had broken or not, which involved a cotton swab for 60 seconds in a place where cotton swabs normally don't go. She dipped it into a solution, waited 10 minutes and came back saying it wasn't amniotic fluid, but it wasn't urine either - and they weren't convinced that I hadn't broken my bag of waters.

This is when the 12 year old resident made her appearance.

Note: I am not the kind of person who judges doctors by their age. I'm really not. But I have reached the age where my doctor really could be younger than me and that terrifies me just the teeniest bit.

She examined me, and the gush of fluid (hey, if you've been reading this blog since the beginning you've read worse things, I think.) that came out made them really believe that my water had broken. They took a sample to send to the lab - apparently amniotic fluid forms a fern pattern on a slide when put under a microscope. Neat, huh?

Alas, no fern for me. At this point I was something of a medical mystery. The best explanation was given by my nurse (we started out a little rocky, but I ended up quite liking her) - it's probably just crazy birth canal lubricating discharge. Not many women get it, but she happened to with her second kid.

Because they were still so confused, I got another exam - this time with speculums! Woo! The best part about that exam is the nurse was missing a critical cotton swab (because they are all different.) and had to leave the room in order to get the right one, all the while I'm sitting on the bed with my knees as far apart as they would go, a speculum up my hooha and a prepubescent resident waiting patiently for the return of the nurse. Talk about awkward.

Then they made me pee in a cup.

The teenager came in a bit later to tell me that there still was no amniotic fluid to be found and that's a good thing because I was still 1 centimeter dilated and labor would have been long and hard if my water had broken at this point. The logical part of my brain knew she was right. The part of me that was wearing a gown that showed my ass if I moved too quickly wanted to wrap her stethoscope round her neck and pull it reeeeeeaaaal tight.

When she left the room I cried. A lot. The horrible quiet trying-not-to-make-too-much-noise/mess-in-case-someone-comes-into-the-room-cry. I couldn't help it. I had been such a trooper though the damn exams and the chilly room and the fetal monitor and the contractions that I couldn't quite believe we were going to be sent home sans baby.

At about 4:30 my doctor (like, my actual doctor - she was on call that night) came by to check on me, which I thought was awfully nice. She explained (more gently than the toddler did) that my lack of amniotic fluid at this point dropped my chances of a unnecessary c-section by a lot. She was the only one who comforted Android and I by saying that false alarms like this are totally normal and par for the course.

At 5am we were released. We gathered our things, walked out of PETU (the nurses waved goodbye and wished us a swift return) and into the deserted corridors of the hospital.

We were sad and exhausted. We went home and crawled into bed and shut off our cell phones and slept (and my contractions had either stopped or I was too tired to acknowledge them).

Saturday was my due date. It was also my sister's birthday. Android and I hung out at home for most of the day in the hope that something, anything, would happen. It didn't. We joined my sister, brother-in-law, and Mom for a picnic out in a very beautiful park in the western 'burbs. We ate, drank (I had a glass of champagne and loved every sip of it) and were generally merry.

By the time we got home I had started contracting again - about every 11 minutes, and let me tell you - those suckers are painful! They're like menstrual cramps on crack. Unfortunately, the regularity died down and the Android and I made an attempt at sleep. He was more successful than I, but bless his heart, he usually woke up just enough during my contractions (about every half hour at this point) to rub my back until I had settled down again.

I managed to get a fair amount of sleep in and woke up relatively refreshed on Sunday morning.

Android and I had a stupidly hopeful Sunday. We went to Target for cat food and toilet paper. We got some breakfast at our local joint. We walked around for an hour hoping that my contractions would steady up again. We had a couple of friends over for pizza and The Simpsons. We continued timing my contractions, but they were sporadic at best. We went to bed.

And here I am. At 4:19 on Monday morning. Still contracting (I'm averaging every 7-8 minutes for the last hour or so... yay!) and pretty tired, but not enough to try to sleep.

The Android had today picked in the warehouse baby pool - I hope he's right. We'll win eight bucks.

July 24, 2008

Progress! Finally!

Had an utterly lovely doctor's appointment today! I'm dilated to 1cm, I'm good and effaced (thinned out), and the kid's head is engaged. All good things. Then again, my standards have been lowered considerably over the last couple of weeks - 1cm is sorta paltry considering I've got 90% of the way left to go, but whatever.

My bp was a teeny bit high, and my feet were swollen (I know, REALLY? In JULY? At nearly 40 weeks pregnant? INCONCEIVABLE!) - so doc made me pee in a cup. There were trace amounts of protein so she wants me on the alert for headaches, vision changes, and more extremity swelling. I'm going to take it easy tomorrow and see what happens.

July 23, 2008

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

I'm trying to keep my head up. Yes, technically I am not overdue yet. I can count. I can read a calendar. Doesn't change the fact that I am hideously uncomfortable 100% of the time.

You heard me. One. Hundred. Percent.

Surely I exaggerate? Nope. But I won't bore you with the details.

I am not afraid of labor and delivery. Bring that shit ON. I just want my kid. Here. Now.

July 21, 2008

I'm a big liar.

So, here's my belly at 39 weeks plus a couple days.

Admire the lack of stretch marks. Seems to be the only thing I've got going for me.

July 15, 2008

No more belly pics.

Tried to take a new belly pic just now.

My sheer mass almost made me burst into tears. Screw this. I'm avoiding mirrors until I'm at least six months postpartum.

July 13, 2008

Okay. Fun time is over.

I feel like complete and utter shit. I slept so bad last night, and woke up about a thousand times to pee. My body is shutting down, I think. My bones ache when I have to heave myself out of bed, and my feet protest the zillion-pound body they are being forced to transport.

Also, I have a perpetual stomach ache. Everything I eat causes it to be upset. Bob is fine, still kicking away like a champ - I'm not worried about him... I'm worried about ME. Somehow I gotta get him OUT, and how am I supposed to do that when I feel like ten different kinds of horseshit?

How the hell do women nest at the end of their pregnancy? I can barely bend over, much less scrub the damn floor. I did a whole mess of laundry yesterday (which could be the reason I'm so tired today...) and I feel like I got nothing done. Luckily, I just don't give a damn.

Three more days at the deli and I will be free. FREE!

I better have this baby soon - I may be losing my mind.

July 5, 2008

At least SOMEONE got a little firecracker.

My friend MamaGrouch had her baby girl early on Friday morning! Hooray! That baby was fashionably late by about four days, but she's just gorgeous and all is right with the world.

I had a pretty major uptick in Braxton-Hicks contractions (Android just calls them Bricks - it makes me laugh every time.) last night. Let me tell you - they're not exactly as painless as we are led to believe. I had major back pain, major crampiness (like a million years ago when I last got my period), and my belly was super hard.

Throw in the atrocious heat and the sound of fireworks ALL NIGHT and it adds up to not a great night's rest.

However, it does mean the end may be in sight, so I'm going with it. I imagine my nurse practitioner will check my cervix when I go in on Wednesday... here's hoping there was some progress on that front.

On another note - does the fact that the word "cervix" still weirds me out make me twelve years old? Probably. Whatever.

July 4, 2008

Time marches on.

As of tomorrow, Bob will be considered full-term. His little lungs are probably fully developed by now, and if he happened to be born, you know... NOW, he would be a-okay.

Hear that, buddy? C'mon out!

Seriously, though - since I found out he had flipped I've been sending labor vibes to my midsection. I've been massaging my belly in a downward motion, and I've been trying to think up ways to annoy the shit out of him so he gives up the ghost and comes out already.

All this and I still have three weeks til my "due date". I will be a bundle of fun for the next month or so, no? Apparently my mom thinks I'm irritable. NO SHIT. I'm utterly miserable, and having her tell me that labor is "not that bad" really doesn't help much.

BUT, I have come up with an all-purpose answer for people who believe they are being helpful/informative:
"Every pregnancy is different."

I shall say that with a smile on my face, even if I want to claw someone's eyes out.

Every pregnancy is different.

July 1, 2008

Bob is a team player.

He flipped! My little butthead is no longer a butthead!

He's in a lovely head-down position and looks like he wants to come out and play SOON (right, buddy? Play along, will ya?).

All in all a good appointment today - my blood pressure was great, his heartbeat is strong - and the doctor said he's cute (we got a little peek at him on a portable ultrasound thingy). I think he may have the Android's nose, and for that I am eternally grateful. My nose took 20 years to grow into.

I do have Group B Strep, but if they get the antibiotics into me as soon as I get to the hospital, everything should be just fine. And if I already have an IV, then putting narcotics into it should be no problem at all! Woo!

Sometime THIS MONTH (unless Bob is NOT a team player) I will give birth to a baby. And the fools at the hospital will actually let me take him home and like, raise him.

I'm not sure if I can take the pressure... but I'm sure as hell ready to try!