Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Group B Strep Nervousness (36w)

Here I sit, at 36 weeks and a bit and I'm wondering if I'll ever stop being nervous about this pregnancy. There's always something in my head worrying me and causing doubt. It's so easy for fertiles to say, "Oh, don't worry. Your body will do what is right. You need to have confidence in yourself and your body's ability to do (insert task here)."

I call bullsh*t. You and I both know that as infertiles, we're always second-guessing ourselves. I mean seriously, after 6+ years of TTC before IVF worked for us, my body didn't do anything right, now did it?! And to ask me to throw that away and just believe that "Oh yeah, everything will be great!" is downright stupid if you ask me.
Maybe I'm far too educated about infertility for my own damn good. Suffice it to say, I am not a 'patient' patient; the docs hate to see me coming, I'm sure.

So that brings me to tomorrow's OB appointment and the Group B strep test. I'm not nervous about having the test done per se, but rather about the possibility of the test coming back positive. I DON'T WANT THAT AT ALL.
Because as we all know, a positive Group B strep test means that I'll need *shudders* an IV and antibiotics (every 4 hours!!) during delivery (assuming I get that far in this journey). Honestly. THAT scares the bejeezus outta me.

How on earth am I going to be able to 'relax' and 'let my body do what it needs to' when I'm in constant pain from an IV shoved in my arm?! That isn't gonna fly well with me folks. Nosiree bub. You all know how terrified I am of needles and IVs and all that, so if I'm tethered or even if I have a hep lock in, there's no way I'm going to be relaxed. It just cannot happen. The pain that it entails is just excruciating; it's like a constant knife in my skin. It will want to make me throw in the towel. In my view, for me personally (not for everyone!), the necessity for an IV in my arm means I may as well give up entirely and go for full induction, pitocin, epidural, hell... go right to C-section why don't we?! It's all equivalent in my brain. And unfortunately, I'm not joking. The spiral of intervention for me will begin with an IV and I'm absolutely terrified, TERRIFIED of it. So if you are the praying, wishing, hoping kind, please hope that everything I've been doing (see the NOTE below) over the last few weeks will help ensure that my Group B strep test comes back negative. Anything to avoid that IV. PLEASE. I beg.

Last night, hubby and I attended a breastfeeding class at the hospital where we'll be going when the time comes. I didn't learn a whole lot, but I figured it would give me an opportunity to ask the questions I needed to about hypothyroidism and PCOS being linked to supply issues when breastfeeding. The instructor was a retired maternity ward nurse and while I'm sure she was very knowledgeable, she certainly isn't skilled as a facilitator! Were we ever glad to say goodnight and scoot outta there at 10 p.m.! Whew!

This weekend is an extra long weekend. Monday is a holiday in Ontario and I've elected to take Friday off as well, so I'm looking forward to a few days of down time. Next week on August 7, hubby and I celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. My sister's anniversary is August 14 and that's also my last day of work. Mom and my aunt arrive the week after that on August 22 and of course, Petit is due on August 25. Less than four weeks to go. We're getting excited at the prospect of meeting this little one whose toes are firmly ensconced in my ribcage!

Wishing Mo and Will lots of love as they have seen a heartbeat!
And to Mick and his wife who are on the verge of welcoming their little one, we're watching for your updates!

NOTE: When I say "everything I'm doing," I can tell you I've done a lot of research on how to possibily eliminate Group B strep bacteria so I've been eating probiotic yogourt daily, drinking a probiotic drink daily, taking odorless garlic daily and tossing in a little zinc and echineacea as well. Supposedly, these things will help me ensure a negative Group B strep test... but nothing is ever certain, I know. I can hope though, right?! Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The First Weekly Appointment (35w1d)

At the first of my weekly appointments, I met another doctor at the practice where I'm going. So far, all is well. There's absolutely nothing out of the ordinary to report.

Petit's heartrate was 144. My blood pressure was fine. No glucose or protein in my urine. I gained 3 lbs but I doubt that'll stick around long; I was famished the other day and I'm sure I ate everything in sight! Next week is the Group B strep test; please God it'll be negative. *crosses fingers*

The weeks go by, and Petit's arrival gets closer, and I'm getting eager to meet the little one who has been kicking my ribs!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Busy Times Indeed!

First up, thank you for the suggestions about the snoogle and the wedge pillow. FYI, I have two different snoogles and a wedge pillow and it still doesn't do the trick! Some days, one of the snoogles helps with afternoon naps or something, other days, nothing helps at all. And I find that having the snoogle up around my neck and face makes me far too hot to sleep with them these days. But I appreciate the thoughts. *stifles a tired yawn*

My sister was here last Wednesday on a day-long stopover on her flight from West Virginia back home to Newfoundland. It was SO lovely to see her! We spent the day doing absolutely nothing; all she wanted to do was lie around in our backyard by the pool and soak up some sun. So we did. We picked up a lovely meal from Cuisine and Passion and just chatted the day away. Hubby took a great pic of me floating (belly-up!) in the pool; I must post it when I get a minute. It made me laugh. Petit was uncooperative though. I'd get one kick or thump here and there, but nothing repeated so that she could feel it! I really hoped that she would. Funnily enough, that night, Petit kept me awake around 12 a.m.; there was a dance contest going on in my belly! I'm positive of that!

Speaking of laughing, hubby told me the other day that when I laugh, my bellybutton pops out a litte! I'm aghast!!! I was SO hoping to avoid that particular phenomenon of pregnancy! Eeek!

This past weekend, I had a gaming friend from the east coast come to visit. I'd never met him before but we'd corresponded on occasion and he needed a little R&R from his military training so I invited him to come crash at our place for the weekend. It was fantastic to meet him and even more fun to get in game with him on Saturday evening! The two of us duoed a zone that is meant to be one-grouped and we had a blast. I haven't had that much fun in game in MONTHS! WOOT!

Today I'm at 35 weeks. Only 35 days left to go and three and a half weeks of work left; I finish up at the office on August 14. My mom and my aunt managed to book their tickets too. They'll be arriving on August 22. If they're a little late for Petit's arrival, no big deal. If they're a little early, that's fine too. No worries here. One day at a time.

My next task is to tape off Petit's bedroom and get the paint colour that I want to put in there. And I have to pick up a baby book somewhere, so I can capture the precious moments that occur while I'm at the hospital... right down to the baby footprints.

This week, I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon (the 22nd) and I'm indulging with a haircut tomorrow evening and a massage on Saturday morning. Oh yes... and hubby and his brother will be dismantling our old deck as of Wednesday and Thursday because we have a contractor arriving next Monday to start construction on the new cedar deck on the back of the house. Wish us luck! I would LOVE to get out there with a sledgehammer myself and help turn that deck into dust, but hubby won't hear of it. So I guess I'll sit in the rocking chair and watch them. Ho hum.

And lastly, give me your input; I've added a poll near the top of the blog as to whether you believe Petit will be wearing blue pants or pink dresses. Let us know what your instincts are!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sleep, and Lack Thereof

For the last week or two, sleep has been a notion that I'm not familiar with. At least, not intimately.

I feel tired most of the time, I'll be honest, but actually sleeping -- and getting good sleep -- seems to be a fantasy. I've taken to waking up somewhere between 2 and 3 a.m. and not getting back to sleep or even being tired enough to want to sleep until 5 a.m., which is, unfortunately, the very hour that my alarm goes off so I can get to work on time. Yeah, um, that's not happening much either. My hours seem to have shifted a bit at the office because otherwise, I'm a drooling zombie.

Now, I understand the mechanics of it all; my body is preparing to deal with nighttime feedings, diaper changes, walking, rocking and soothing a newborn and all that. But right now, I'm still working dammit! I gotta be lucid and functional at the office! So this crap about missing a few hours every night is NOT COOL BY ME!

What do I do? What CAN I do? At this point, I'm thinking it's a lost cause. At the moment, I'm envious of those who opt to take their maternity leave early so they can stock up on sleep and prepare for the changes that are to come. I've got another few weeks to go folks. So any tips or tricks you have will be most welcome. (And I know hubby will thank you too!)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

OB Appointment (33w 2d; includes photos)

I had an ultrasound this afternoon to measure Petit's growth. It's been awhile since I've had an ultrasound now, so it was nice to get a look at the baby again! I can never get tired of hearing the heartbeat. Honestly. I'm seriously thinking of taking the recording we have into Build A Bear and having it incorporated into a bear for myself!

Long story very short: Petit is measuring right on track. It's ridiculous how things seem to be going so well. Kinda scary in fact. But that's just my worry talking, right? RIGHT?

Petit was moving around like crazy! That always makes the tech's job more difficult, but as she reiterated, movement is a VERY good thing! Petit is head down, very close to the cervix. No wonder I'm feeling such pressure! The heartrate is 152. My cervix length is 3.5 cms so all is good there too; no worries about a cervix that isn't holding up. Petit's estimated weight right now is 4.7 lbs, with a head circumference of 30 cms (10 cms from front to back and 8 cms from side to side), and an abdominal circumference of 29 cms. And the length of a femur measured at 6.2 cms. There's LOTS of amniotic fluid (high levels within the normal ranges) so that's okay too. All in all, the 'corrected' gestational age is 33.3 weeks... right on track.

This is a shot of Petit's head, with a bit of a profile on the left side. We saw fists flailing around as this was taken. SO cool!

As for me, I've lost the weight I gained apparently. I'm down 7 lbs, so I've not gained or lost anything over the course of the pregnancy so far. With luck, that will continue! My blood pressure is normal at 136/74 and there's no protein or glucose in my urine. I still have a cyst (outside the uterus) and it's now at 8x6 cms. Damn thing! *shakes a fist* The good news is, the fibroid I had earlier on seems to be gone... it's not visible on the ultrasound and the tech did both an abdominal and a vaginal ultrasound to be certain. So I'm glad. The presence of large fibroids near the cervix can mean a c-section so I'm more than thrilled that it's no longer there/visible.

And I talked to the nurse about our visit to L&D last week. When I described the pain to her, she immediately thought round ligament pain and stretching to prepare for delivery. I usually get round ligament pains lower, near the low abdomen and groin area. But this was up high, like under my left breast, up in the ribcage. VERY high. She said that the ligaments do stretch up high, so it might have been that. She's not entirely certain. Regardless, I've not had another episode since, but the nurse was glad that I went last week to get it checked anyway.

So far, so good. I'm glad to know that everything is going well and I'm chugging right along. I've begun to pack up some stuff at my office; personal stuff will come home with me while papers for the office will be boxed up to move. I know my team will be relocating at least once while I'm on maternity leave so I want to make things easy for them to handle if at all possible.

At home, the washer got fixed the other day (YAY! And thanks for the offer Mary!) and I'm waiting for the new curtains that my aunt made to arrive. This weekend I hope to tape off Petit's room so that hubby can do some painting. As I mentioned, I want to change the colour in there to a brighter yellow. Something more appropriate for a baby. And no, I won't be getting on any ladders to do any of this. What I cannot reach, hubby will do and he's offered to paint as well, even though it's latex that we'll be using.

I've heard from two of my aunts who've booked tickets to come to see us and meet Petit in mid to late September. There was a sweet seat sale on the other day and they couldn't pass it up. I can't blame them. My mom and my other aunt are still hoping to catch a seat sale and are thinking about arriving around one week before my due date... around about the time I finish working.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the real possibility that in six weeks or so, we're going to have another member added to our family. We're going to get to welcome a little baby into our lives, into our world. It's so incredible to me, there are no words. I'm in awe that we have gotten this far and I recognized how blessed we are. Daily. I give thanks. Daily. I am moved to tears. Daily. I don't know how this all happened, but I continue to hope that in the end, our rainbow will appear.

Two "belly" shots follow. It's been interesting to track Petit's development based on the changes we see. I hope the pics do not offend those of you who are TTC; that isn't my intention of course. But I ask that you understand how very badly we want to share our joy with other family members and friends and realize that this blog is one of the few ways that we can get word out to those who are celebrating alongside us. Thank you so much for your understanding.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A Stop at L&D

For family who might be reading this... relax. All is good.

But here's the story.

Friday night, I was super uncomfortable. I had generalized pain through my uterus, accompanied by stabbing pains every 5 to 8 minutes. And I was trying everything to try to stop it. Water, lying on my left side, breathing, tried to go to the washroom (thinking I might be constipated), etc. Nothing was working. But there was no hardening of the uterus so I knew darn well it wasn't Braxton Hicks contractions or (God forbid) real ones.

By 2:30 a.m., hubby was coming to bed and found me still awake and clearly in pain. He said, "Call the hospital and see what they say." So at 3 a.m., I did. And after giving them the details, they said, "Yeah, you need to come in to be checked." We got dressed.

We went in and over the course of about 2 or 3 hours, I had a urine test, they monitored Petit's heartrate, my (lack of) contractions, and I had a cervical check... or two; both digitally and with a speculum. Yeah, um, can you say PRESSURE anyone? Holy hell.

The pain subsided by about 6 a.m. or so, and when we finally got out of there by 6:30 I just wanted to collapse in bed. There was no real resolution per se, but I was told not to hesitate to come again if I felt it start up.

We did find out the following:
Petit is head down already. Something I suspected from the placement of kicks and thwaps, but it's confirmed.
Petit's heartrate is fine. That combined with the fact that I had no pain when the doc palpitated my abdomen and stomach tells them that the placenta is doing it's job. There are no issues with placental abruption or lack of oxygen.
There were no traces of protein or sugar in my urine.
The cervix is long and closed. Good to know.
My blood pressure was a touch high. I figure white coat syndrome (as always!) and/or the pain that I had been in for 4 hours or so by the time they took it.
Petit was moving something fierce in the wee hours of the morning. With the sheet up so my belly was exposed, hubby could SEE the movements as the baby kicked. He'd never seen that before, so it was a first for us.

Since Friday, I still feel tender and sore. Like you would feel after vomiting for a long time and your belly is just tender and sensitive. So I'm keeping an eye on that and hoping it subsides.

As for the vet, I got the following suggestions:
Use lotions and creams on myself that I'll use on the baby so the cats can get used to the smell now.
Bring home a blanket or two that the baby's been using in the hospital so the cats can become familiar with the baby's scent.
Make sure we have some extra treats on hand for the cats for the first week that the baby comes home. Baby comes into the house, give the cats a treat. Baby cries, give the cats a treat. Baby takes their spot on my lap, give the cats a treat. The theory? "Ah, so this crying, squealing thing = treats for us. This is good!"

And the kitties are perfectly healthy. Not keen on the car ride to the vet (one puked on the other, the second upped the ante by pooping in the cage!) but they survived. And luckily, so did we.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Blatherings from this week

I've been a bad blogger; it's been a bit of a busy week so I've not had much time to handle stuff. I've been reading your blogs, but I've been slacking in updating my own! My profound apologies!!

Last weekend, hubby and I did a bit of shopping and we picked up some more cloth diapers and covers for Petit. I spent quite a bit of time preparing them... or trying to. I have a petulant washer and every once in awhile, it decides it isn't going to spin the load to remove excess water. Thus, we ended up wringing out most of the diapers by hand in order to hang them to dry. A call was put in to have it fixed (or at least looked at) and next Wednesday, we'll hopefully get it serviced. That ain't cool by me; I don't want an unreliable washer in the house with a newborn! Can you just imagine how things will pile up if we don't have a washing machine?! Yikes.

We took the kids last week to see The Musical Ride. It was a blast! There was even an American team of skydivers and parachutists; the Golden Knights. All in all, Saturday evening was fun! For those who don't know... yes, the officers who ride the horses in the Ride are indeed officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They must do normal law enforcement stints all across the country and if they desire, they can ask to be posted to the Ride. There is an application process, and if they are chosen for the Ride, they are posted to the tour for three years. They work with one horse almost exclusively to build trust and know the horse extremely well so that they can execute the precision moves on the ground. It's quite incredible to see. If perchance you have an opportunity this year (they're in British Columbia for most of the summer I believe), take it in. It's breathtaking.

This week, on Wednesday, we had a lovely holiday because of Canada Day. I had the opportunity to really sleep in (somehow I doubt I'll get those days much more will I?!) and when I got up, I set to work making dessert for an evening out at the home of two of our good friends. We had a splendid dinner there and a lovely chat. It's always fun to get out of the house and enjoy some good company! Although we live in the capital, we opted out of the celebrations downtown this year. Usually the crush of people is enough to make you go stir crazy and with me being 32 weeks pregnant, we thought it wouldn't be wise. So instead, we watched the fireworks on TV this year. Good enough; besides, it was threatening rain all darn day long!

Tomorrow's Saturday and I have to take the cats to the vet for their annual checkup. My babies are due for their shots and I want to pick the vets' brain on how best to help transition the cats when we bring Petit home. I mean, think about it: these cats are almost 14 years old. In fact, Petit is due on their 14th birthday in August! They are adorable and loving, close and cuddly, friendly and inquisitive, not only with each other (they frequently sleep curled up together) but also with us and others who come into the house. So I suspect things could get interesting when we bring a baby home! These are the animals I got in Japan, and brought back to Canada with me in 1996. They've been doted on and loved for that entire time and this is going to mark quite a shift in the house for them. I hope they can handle it... If you have animals, particularly older ones, how did they manage the change and what did you do (if anything) to facilitate the transition?

Tomorrow night, hubby and I are going to other friends' for an evening. We've known them for a few years but we haven't seen them for awhile. And I recently learned from them that they're looking into ART to build their own family so I know they have questions. I hope I can help; I will certainly try. Regardless, I can't wait to see their new home and catch up with them again! I'm looking forward to that very much.

Oh yes... and I've decided I want to repaint the walls in Petit's room. Pics to come. Promise!

A few other things of note:

To Vee and Max at The Sweet Life: Bless you both for your thoughtfulness. Earlier this week I received a parcel in the mail from them. They'd sent along a gorgeous, soft green froggie blanket for Petit, complete with googly eyes and everything! Vee told me that they have one exactly like it for Doudou! I'll make sure Petit knows about the wonderful people out there who are so thoughtful and caring; maybe, with luck, Petit and Doudou will get to meet each other one of these days! I'm hoping.

At the same time, I'm aching for Max right now. Vee told us that Max wasn't accepted for the clinical trial and so they're hoping that a Plan B appears. I'm going to believe that the reason Max wasn't accepted is because someone, somewhere DOES have a Plan B for them. They need that right now and I'm keeping fingers crossed that it crops up. And FAST. Stop by to leave your words of encouragement. And lots, and lots of huge hugs.

I'm thrilled beyond belief for Mo and Will over at Life and Love in the Petri Dish! Mo got a BFP this week after a few previous BFPs and ultimate miscarriages. This time, her beta is rising nicely and I really think this is their time! Go give them some joy!

And Happy 4th of July to all of my American readers! I hope your Independence Day is full of fun!