Blah, blah, more whining

As you can imagine, things are starting to get pretty hectic.  I went for my fancy 3-D ultrasound a little over a week ago.

Not included is the giant, glowing wang shot... NO doubt that he's a boy!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get many good images because, as the sonographer decided (despite my hospital ultrasound 4 days prior stating otherwise), my fluid levels were low.  Keep in mind, I’d been drinking close to a gallon of water a day per the hospital’s orders to the point my pregnant stomach was distended.  However, baby likes to smash his face right against the side of my uterus (something I could have told you without his help), which made things look a little precarious for him.

I brought this information to my OB on Tuesday, which, when added to a 14 pound weight gain in 2 weeks out of nowhere (most likely due to my newly found cankles), a 33 week/6 day fundus measuring at 35 weeks, and the breech positioning, now has me going in for my measuring ultrasound this Friday.  MOST fun part is that, if the baby is still breech, she’s going to go ahead (at 36 weeks) and set me up for a scheduled c-section (not take him early, but will schedule it then).  Then on the day of the c-section, she’ll do an ultrasound and, if he’s in vertex position, they will induce me then before he has a chance to flip.  GAH GAH GAH – I don’t WANT anything scheduled.  I would rather have an emergency c-section than a scheduled induction.  I want him to stay inside as long as possible to make sure it’s really his time to come out before we drag him kicking & screaming.

In a desperate attempt to get this baby to flip (and, also, because my back pain has gotten ridiculously out of control as of late), I’ve started going to the chiropractor again.  According to my chart, I hadn’t been there in over a year, and I recall exactly why I was there – I was actually in the midst of a pregnancy scare and thought that I would try an adjustment to get AF to show (or some other nice euphemism for a period).  Didn’t work, but holding the progesterone prescription (not even getting it filled!) did back then.  Anyways, I’ve made a couple of visits to the chiropractor, which, at the very least, cured me of my waddle.  Literally, my entire gait changed the first adjustment.  The doctor is also doing something called the “Webster Technique” to encourage room for the baby to turn.  It basically involves an adjustment on the pelvis (something I needed anyways) along with a light massage on one of my round ligaments.  We’ll see come Friday if this has had any effect at all.

So, in the midst of all of this, I need to find time to finish cleaning/organizing the house, pack my hospital bag, and finally get some of the laundry that is all around the house put away.  Oh, and my mom is throwing me and the hubby a baby shower on Saturday.  Hopefully we will have a better show than my bridal shower (5 people aside from my mother, grandmother, and my mom’s friend).  At least there will be boys at this party… (I don’t get along with girls very well).  I will have to watch out for the hubby, though, since the last co-ed baby shower we attended was also the last time he got completely plastered.  There won’t be any scotch at this one, though, so I think we are safe.

This baby is so grounded as soon as he’s born

I thought with our hospital visit back in January, we would be able to skip the late night, pre-labor Labor and Delivery run.  I guess that wasn’t the case.

(Obviously, if you couldn’t tell by the title, everything is fine)

After a day of not feeling the baby move hardly at all yesterday, plus not even being able to get to 10 kicks for kick counts (the complete opposite of my usual getting kicked simultaneously in the ribs and bladder), I finally broke down and called the doctor’s phone service.  The on-call doctor told me, of course, to go to the hospital.

We’ve done the drive to the hospital plenty of times for all the classes (childbirth, breastfeeding, CPR, etc.), but this was by far the longest ride, even with hubby running a red light.  Yeah, we’re outlaws.  I hadn’t realized that I’d become so used to the baby’s movements until they weren’t there.  I kept anticipating kicks that weren’t happening.  I felt a little ridiculous waddling up to the ER sign in desk and having them ask “is it time?”.  The nurse asked if I wanted a wheelchair to L&D.  The hubby is usually against that type of assistance (he’s trying to convince me that I should reject the wheelchair when we are leaving the hospital with the baby just to be a badass – which I won’t), but once she explained that it was a really far walk, I told them I would take it.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually been wheeled around in a wheelchair before.  It felt even weirder just getting up out of it when we reached our destination – like I was a fraud or lazy or something.

Everyone had to ask me how far along I was.  Since I suck at remembering what month (and I never know if I say the month I completed or the month I’m in), I always answer with what week I’m in.  However, I was also on the cusp on 33 weeks – my weeks change on Wednesdays, and it was quarter to midnight on a Tuesday.  Hubby was less than amused when I would joke that I would be 33 weeks in a few minutes.  Half of it was me attempting humor, but half was also my inability to do anything but precisely follow the rules (which, I think, he knew).

The first hour-ish of my stay involved me laying in a bed with a monitor that kept losing the baby’s heartbeat either from slipping or the baby being uncooperative as usual.  I was given a clicker to document any time the baby moved.  The problem was, with the monitors strapped to my belly, I couldn’t feel much of anything.  Finally, I was walked down to the ultrasound department where we would finally find out what the heck was going on as we really couldn’t figure out the point of me being on the monitors for so long.

Just an aside, I apparently rock at maternity triage, however.  I called 2 things correctly about other patients.  First was an order for “environmental services” to come to a room, or whatever you call the curtained-off area, and I totally predicted that it wasn’t a clean-up – the woman just left and they were resetting the room.  The second one was a bit more impressive.  A nurse came by saying that another woman’s water broke.  I whispered to hubby (the curtain was closed, so I couldn’t see anything anyways) that her water didn’t actually break, but she just peed herself (not that I blame her for that at all!).  Turns out I was right on both accounts.  If I didn’t hate dealing with bodily fluids and injured people and such, I probably could go in to nursing.

Anyways, the ultrasound is where everything went down.  Already long story short, baby managed to turn himself breech since my last ultrasound a month ago when he was vertex.  It probably happened the day before and was most likely the reason I couldn’t feel him kicking all of a sudden.  After passing every test this pregnancy with flying colors, finding this out was kind of like learning that your straight-A, all-star athlete kid is doing drugs behind your back.  I know, I know… plenty of time to move, blah blah blah.  I just don’t want a scheduled C-section.  I want to go into labor.  I want to at least try to deliver naturally before any attempt at surgery.  At least he was moving after being prodded by the ultrasound guy’s cattle prod.  Only half-joking about that – he literally had a buzzer that he would put against my stomach and sound to make the baby jump.  See, baby would move around just fine during all the other checks – breathing, heartbeat, fluid levels – but when it came time for the actual, you know, MOVEMENT part of the exam, he stopped.  This kid keeps proving how much of a pain in the ass he’s determined to be.  Finally, we got some video of independent movement, most of which I couldn’t feel BTW, and were sent on our way back to triage so that we could leave.

Also, some fun things we learned at the ultrasound: baby is doing his practice breathing (he better be for all of this trouble he’s causing), male ultrasound techs are not nearly as gentle as their female counterparts (especially when he’s pressing directly on my bladder and commenting on how full it is and how I must need to pee really bad), and I also have a fibroid a little over 2 cm wide.  Not quite sure how 5 other ultrasounds missed that, but whatever.

The whole visit was about 2 1/2 hours, which, for a hospital, is probably pretty good.  Unfortunately, that meant that we didn’t get home until almost 3am.  Needless to say, I’m damn tired today.

Also, as a post script, before we went to bed, hubby and I watched the Tupac hologram video from Coachella.  Of course, this is when the baby finally started moving again.  That is all.

Cranky pants

Ok, so pregnancy is officially kicking my ass (hence the lack of updates as I cannot stay awake long enough to compose an entire post).  That second trimester euphoria has been replaced (or, rather, forcibly removed) by third trimester exhaustion and swelling.  Everyone at work now comments on how I’m REALLY pregnant… or my waddle.  On a side note, NEVER tell a pregnant woman that she’s waddling unless you are offering her a chair and getting her whatever she needs.  Considering that the baby is stretching from my bladder to my rib cage, I don’t really think there’s enough room for the both of us in there, which is making me very nervous that he still has another 2 months to grow.

Basically, all of the edema and fatigue have made me more than a little cranky and weepy, which has led to a very short fuse.  On the plus side, I’m being a lot more forthright with people, especially those that are pissing me off.  However, it is also making me more ranty than usual.

For example, a friend of mine posted the following article on Facebook: Lactation Breeds Lack: The High Cost of Breastfeeding.  Now, the article itself isn’t anything to write home about.  It uses outdated data, draws conclusions where none really exist (although, I do agree with said conclusions), and focuses more on short-term solutions (such as better laws for expressing milk in the workplace) rather than the underlying issues (the major suckitude of maternity leave in the U.S.).  The worst part for me, though, was the comments.  Yes, I should know better than to ever read the comments section on any article, ever.  Now, do you think that is really going to stop me?

If you scroll down and see my replies, you will see exactly where I take offense. Women post responses declaring that the only reason this is even an issue is because women aren’t willing to leave their job with their precious money and sack up and take care of their children.  Now, excuse me while I go tear my hair out and scream!  First of all, looking at the state of the economy, I don’t know very many households that are sustainable on a single income, even when “making sacrifices” or “cutting back”.  Most people aren’t struggling in their finances because they have expensive tastes (and, generally speaking, those that are overspending aren’t the ones that recognize that they have financial issues in the first place) – it’s because companies are preying on a desperate workforce that doesn’t have a lot of options.  Jobs don’t have to pay competitively anymore because, really, where else are you going to go?  Secondly, that does not take in to account families where the woman is the breadwinner, not always by choice.  Hubby is in law school.  Should he sink the money already invested in his education to attempt to find a job that will pay significantly less than what he will be able to make once he is out of school?  And that doesn’t even BEGIN to address the issue of the single mother!  I despise the criticism that working mothers don’t love their children.  Do you really think that we all just go to work for that sweet, sweet cash?  Does it ever occur to you that we drag our asses to soul-sucking jobs day after day BECAUSE we love our children and want to make sure that they have food in their bellies and a roof over their heads?  That, were it not because of them, we would gladly quit and survive on ramen noodles and live in a cardboard box until we found a rich husband or a better job (with flex time and maternity leave that would allow us to actually breastfeed our babies).

This also leads me down another mental path, one that I have a hard time reconciling.  Now, people always say that if you can’t afford to have a child, then you shouldn’t have one.  In this day and age, though (and given the position that I am in), this feels elitist.  Sure, you shouldn’t be broke and in severe debt and expect to properly raise a child, but what is the “right” amount of money/income for having kids?  Are we saying that only the wealthy should be allowed to procreate?  That those in a less-than-ideal financial situation shouldn’t be able to start a family? It just starts to feel classist after a while when only the rich have access to the means necessary to reproduce.

I know I am having a hard time expressing my point properly, but my son is trying to escape out my belly button butt-first, and I need to get out from behind the computer now.

I got knocked up by my prom date

There is a single event that best sums up my husband and my relationship.  Back when we were dating, David and I took a trip to Target.  He was buying some stuff to bake cookies; I was looking for an allen wrench to fix a broken doorknob in my apartment.

David (a.k.a. “The Hubby”) and I met in high school.  I was in 11th grade and he was a senior.  And, before you ask, NO, we were NOT high school sweethearts.  The only reason I get so uppity about correcting people on this is that I know the statistics and perception of couples that dated in high school.  Also, if we had actually dated back then, I’m sure I would have screwed it up. David had a crush on me while I was busy pining over the worst sort of guys… you know, the “the band is gonna make it” type and the selling pot at graduation & hacking into the grading system type.

After he graduated and spent a year at an out-of-state college, I was finishing up my senior year, and, with no date prospects for prom, I posted an “ad” on my AOL Instant Messenger away message (you know, the good ol’ days) for the “Find Nancy a Prom Date Foundation”. David saw this and, from all the way in the midwest at college, asked to take me to prom (still as friends, for those keeping score). He was home for the summer by the time prom came around, so we went together. That led to our first kiss (awwww… or, alternately, gag for the less sentimental), which then led to a tortuous summer alternating between being friends, attempting dating, and flat out not talking to each other for days at a time. By the time I started college, David had switched to a school near mine, so we actually tried dating for real. Of course, I still needed to shake off a bit more of the high school drama queen before we were truly in a relationship. However, by the winter, we were already joking about getting married (something we wouldn’t do for another 6 years).

I think the reason our relationship works so well is for one simple fact: neither of us know why the hell the other one stays with us (and, you know, mutual respect, open communication, blah blah blah). Seriously, for those that watch “How I Met Your Mother”, we have constant arguments about who is the Settler versus the Reacher. We both think we are Reachers (but, of course, I’m right). We will have been together for 9 years starting this fall and married for 3 in December, and I still think Hubby could do WAY better.

To give you some insight into my husband’s psyche – he just found a pic of a baby seal hugging a penguin and literally started screaming with joy. He can quote historical philosophers and Pauly Shore movies with equal aplomb. He wants to teach our son to say “I gotta drop a deuce” when asking to use the bathroom in school. He hangs up ultrasound pictures in his locker, but hates when the girls at his school fawn over him for doing so. He can make even the simplest of errands an “adventure”. He’s an amazing cook but a terrible baker (hates following directions). Also, no matter what he tells anyone, he is kicking serious ass at law school. Now, before I get too sappy, all I can say is how could I NOT want this man to be my baby daddy.

And you thought I wouldn’t…

Please refer to this post by Finslippy and the comment chain to know what the heck is going on:  I bet that gym teacher couldn’t spell “synecdoche” if her life depended on it

This one is for you, Alice

Captions are welcome!

P.S. I swear I’m not a creeper (and yes, I am aware that is exactly what a creeper would say)

Relying on the kindness of strangers

At this point in my pregnancy, it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I’m pregnant, I guess.  Even complete strangers are confident enough to ask me if I’m having a boy or girl.  I’m even reaching the limits of my non-maternity clothing options due to ANOTHER sudden growth spurt by the fetus (or my uterus, I suppose, if we are being particular).  Anyway, I’m guessing this is the contributing factor to what happened to me the other day.

I was on a shopping excursion for work searching thrift stores trying to find a table that looked like one in a set design for an upcoming show plus some spray paint to paint 2 chairs.  The plan was to hit 2 thrift stores, then Home Depot.  Unfortunately, this very specific-looking table couldn’t be found at the first 2 stores, so I added on 2 more to my trip in hopes of landing the perfect piece.  Those turned out to not be fruitful either, so it was just past lunchtime and I was finally hitting the last spot on my errand run.

By the time I’d reached Home Depot, it was well after 1pm (for reference, I usually eat at around noonish).  In front, there was a hot dog stand.  Unfortunately for me, I never carry cash in my wallet.  I decided to try my luck anyway.  I waited patiently in line for my turn, then asked the vendor if he accepted credit cards.  Of course, the answer was no.  As I walked off, a gentleman offered to buy me something.  I politely declined.  A second man called after me, asking what I wanted to eat and handed the vendor some money.  Normally, I would have walked off, but I was starving and knew that there was a chance that I would keel over if I didn’t eat anything – I’ve reached the point in my pregnancy where if I go too long without eating, I get really sick.  Since he’d already handed over the money, I told him that just a plain hot dog would be fine.  He tried to offer me more, but I told him that was enough.  Apparently, he had also paid for a drink for me, so I was able to get some water as well.  As I walked off again, the first gentleman told me to grab a bag of chips, too.  The vendor said that the other guy only paid for a drink, but then changed his mind and said that the chips were on him.  As I walked off, he said that he wanted me to know there were still good people in the world.

I don’t think I’ve ever been treated that kindly by a stranger before.  I could have cried as I walked into the store with my lunch.  After procuring the spray paint (the only shopping success that day), I remembered that I had a little bit of change in my wallet, so I put it in the tip jar of the hot dog vendor as I left.  He told me to stay safe as I walked to my car.

It wasn’t until then that I realized how little it takes to make someone else’s day.  The hot dog only cost that guy a couple of bucks, but it was momentous enough for me to tell everyone I know about it.  It even inspired hubby to finally go and donate blood that day (he’d been putting it off for probably a month at that point).  I challenge anyone reading this to do something nice for a stranger when the opportunity presents itself.  Pay it forward!

The business of The Business of Being Born

Alright!  2 blog posts in a row with disclaimers!  Full disclosure: I have not watched “The Business of Being Born,” so I cannot comment on the actual content.  If someone wants to lend it to me, I would welcome it and watch the entire thing.

Every so often, in my transition from believer in all things modern and material gives to the dirty, tree-hugging hippie that was apparently inside, I come across someone raving about the documentary about giving birth called “The Business of Being Born.”  It is, in a nutshell, about how medical interventions during the birthing process are dangerous to women and that doctors choose them for legal and financial reasons rather than what is best for woman and child.  It cites statistics such as “the United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world” (now, I don’t know if they address what they define as the “developed world” not to mention I did hear on one occasion that this number is skewed because other countries don’t count a baby as being born unless it lives at least 48 hours past birth, but I don’t know the accuracy of that statement either).

Now, to the reason why I have not watched “The Business of Being Born”: for a documentary about an industry choosing profit over safety, they are charging $20.00 for their DVD.  If this was such an important thing for women to watch, wouldn’t you make it more accessible for everyone?  That’s the price for a Hollywood blockbuster just out of the movie theater, not a statement on modern medicine.  Now, I’m aware that you can buy it on Amazon for under $7, but the original retail price listed there even is still that $20 price point.  Also, if you go to their webpage, you are confronted with giant ads for all of their other products and packages, some of which cost as much as $110.00 for the ultimate fangirl.  It took a good couple of minutes of browsing the site just to find the actual trailer to get any concept of what was in this movie, but I right away knew about all of the different things that they sell!  Even the digital downloads of their new episodes (you know, the kind that don’t cost anything to distribute once created) are going for $10 a piece.

Now, if this money was going to charity or awareness or SOMETHING other than the producer’s pockets, I would not take issue.  I also understand selling merchandise and accessories to recoup the costs involved in making the original documentary.  The way they market this brand, however, proves that they are not interested at all in sending a message to the medical community – they are doing the exact thing that they are condemning.

You know who really needs this information?  Poor and uneducated women.  The ones that don’t follow the crunchy, eco-mom movement.  The ones that can’t afford to buy organic or health insurance, even.  This company does not target that demographic at all, even though they are probably most at risk to have a hospital dictate their “birth plan” and do things out of convenience.

If they really cared, this movie would be available at Planned Parenthood, not Best Buy.