Sunday, December 25, 2011

Short update

Just wanted to let everyone know that Baby S is here, and beautiful, and healthy.

After a very long, difficult labor my heart exploded in pure ecstasy on the afternoon of Dec. 20th, when my 8lb 8oz, perfect, healthy daughter was laid across my chest with her umbilical cord still pulsing.  Unfortunately it's been a difficult battle ever since for my already sleep deprived and battered body, including a secondary hospital stay for me (right after being discharged from post-par tum) with a terrible kidney infection that I'm still fighting.  I'm home now, but I can't write much just yet.  Trying to enjoy what time I can with my little love and trying to heal.  Will give the full story soon.

Monday, December 19, 2011

We may have lift off!

Contractions started early this morning, and have been fairly steady, though they spread out a bit there in the middle.  Right now I'm trying to get them back down to where they were - at 7 minutes apart - by keeping active, but I'm still getting some 9-10 min apart ones here and there.  Fingers crossed that this baby will be here before the end of the day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Hey Everyone,

Just a little update on today's appt., and the ultrasound.  Everything went great.  The baby passed her bio-physical profile with flying colors, and my fluid levels are doing fine, so there is no push to force this baby out.  We couldn't see much on the ultrasound since she is now so big and completely filling my uterus, but I did get a take home pic of the sweet little foot that's been poking me sharply in the side for a while now.  Her head was too low to see anything but the outline of her chin, but the tech showed us how the baby is practicing breathing, which was pretty neat to watch.

I was 1 cm dilated, and very effaced (she didn't give a %age but said my cervix was super short), so the midwife did a little membrane sweep in hopes of helping move things along.  Other than lots of cramping this afternoon I haven't noticed any changes yet -- supposedly if you are already moving in that direction, it can speed up the onset of labor, but we'll see.

Right now, I'm trying to relax and ignore the crampiness.  I didn't sleep a wink last night (thank goodness for AMC having a middle of the night 80s movie marathon), so I did a little cat-napping this afternoon, and talked to a local acupuncturist about coming in tomorrow to maybe help with both the sleeping and the labor onset.

That's all the news right now.  Will be keeping you posted.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sleepy Scare

This post comes with a little warning about taking sleeping pills when you are pregnant: Give the pills to someone else to hold onto!

So, after skipping one night of the Ambi.en, I decided to go back to taking it last night.  Now, I could swear I only took one pill, and then watch a tv program for a bit till I literally was seeing double and walking like drunk.  I went to sleep, and had one of the best nights of sleep I can remember having in a VERY long time.  I hardly woke up, and each time I did, I fell easily back to sleep after a quick, stumbling trip to the bathroom.  Then, this morning I had a terrible time trying to wake.  I was still seeing double, and I wound up napping through almost the whole day.  By evening, I finally woke enough to have a light bite to eat and drink down some much need fluids.  That was when I noticed the baby hadn't been moving at all...

I had some cold OJ, and a toast with jelly...nothing but one small twitter.  I started to get worried.  Why had I slept so much, why was a I still groggy, and could I have done something to effect the baby besides just making her a little sleepier than usual?  I went and counted my pills and one was missing -- I'd only taken them for four nights, but five pills were gone.  Now, I had read online that Ambi.en can cause amnesia, but surely I would have remembered taking two doses instead of one, wouldn't I?!?

I tried for a little while longer to get the baby to move, and then called the midwife.  She had me come in for a NST, so off we went to the hospital.  At first, there was only a little movement, mainly when I had a contraction, but overall non of those nice upticks in activity that they were looking for even after cold water and lots of poking.  The midwife agreed that I might have taken an extra Ambi.en, and just not remember it, but they still seemed a little concerned about the baby.  Then, something wonderful stomach growled loudly (mind you I'd hardly eaten all day), and it woke the baby with a jolt.  Her heart rate bounced right up beautifully, and I started to feel her wiggle about. 

There was collective laughter round the room, as the monitor continued to show the baby dancing about in her startled state, and after a promise that I would come in for an ultrasound early tomorrow morning (just to be sure everything is good), we were released to go find some dinner. 

I'm home now, and having some more major cramps and tightening sensations - probably the same false labor I've had the last few nights running, but who knows. I'm hopeful that we will hear tomorrow that my cervix has made some progress, and in the meantime, no more Ambi.en for me, at least not for a few days, and I'm giving the bottle to my hubby to hold onto so that I can not screw this up again. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Today is a strangely quiet day.  I'm 40 weeks, I've reached my baby's due date, and I guess that somehow made me think today would be different from yesterday or the day before.  I don't know what I expected, but somehow it seems like there should be a celebration, balloons, cake, maybe a parade....
Instead, I woke to a silent home, my husband already deep in his computer, and my cat ignoring me for the patch of warm sunshine on the floor near my bed.

I've been feeling rather hormonal, almost premenstrual, and endlessly frustrated by how patient everyone else around me is.  A chuckle, a laugh and a, "don't worry, she'll come when she's ready" more of those and I might rip the hair from my head and truly lose my mind. 

At the same time, today is the 2 month anniversary of a dear fellow blogger's loss of her 20 week gestation twins...a beautiful boy and girl, who never had the chance to make it to the point my own little one has.  It cuts into my heart like a knife to think of the pain and loss this family has think of going into labor with the knowledge that giving birth will mean death not life.  It is too horrible, too cruel, and I truly wish I had some magic spell to take away the pain and grief that they must feel today and everyday.

...As I said, it is strangely quiet for a such an important day. 

To my own baby girl  I love you more and more with every moment and every breath.  I am only so impatient because I worry, and because I long to see your face and hold your hand in mine.  You are a part of me, the most important part, now and forever. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Addendum to last post

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to quickly apologize if my last post seemed overly whiny.  I did finally get a little sleep last night, with the help of the Amb.ien, and today it is like I'm seeing the sun for the first time in a long time.  It is amazing how sleep deprivation messes with your head.

It's not that I've been feeling sorry for myself for the sleep issues, or feeling negative or ungrateful about being pregnant, it is just my intense fear, now so near my due date, that all the sleep deprivation will cause problems with having a healthy labor and delivery...which is not an unfounded fear according to my midwives.

I've had sleep difficulties throughout pregnancy, as does pretty much everyone who goes through it, but these last couple of weeks have been different.  I literally have not been able to sleep longer than 30 minutes to an hour (at most) at a time, and even those brief periods are generally few and very broken up.  As of yesterday I was such a mess that I felt like I could easily cry at the drop of a hat, and could barely do anything but lie on the couch and whimper; any little pain or discomfort was making me react like a toddler who had skinned their knee (as in complete, end of world breakdown).  That woman would not have survived an hour of pre-labor, let alone a full labor and delivery. 

Today, after a much better night's sleep, including one almost 4 hour stretch, I feel like a new woman.  I'm still groggy, but my muscles are rested, my brain is working again, and I feel positive and ready to birth this baby. 

Anyway, I just wanted to add this little addendum; just in case anyone was reading my post yesterday, and feeling angered or insulted by my complaints.  Please know that I do realize how incredibly lucky I am to even be here, dealing with these issues.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Ambi.en Please Help Me!

My sleep situation is officially out of control.  I haven't been able to sleep more than an hour or sometimes half hour at a time for over a week now, and I'm still only sleeping about 4 or 5 hours total in any given 24 hour period (that includes day-time naps). I'm starting to go to pieces, emotionally and physically and I know my body and mind are in no fit state to go into labor.
I've tried hot baths, massage, yoga, exercise, meditation, herbal remedies, teas, etc., and nothing skin crawls with Restless Leg Syndrome issues (which really should be called restless whole body syndrome), my hand are horribly painful and uncomfortable from the carpel tunnel issues, and my leg cramps have now become completely impossible to sleep through.  Add to that the incredible pressure on my bladder, and needing to pee every 20 minutes, and you have a typical night for me at this point.  I swear sometimes I get so tired that my brain literally falls asleep for seconds at a time in between body twitches and leg readjustments -- this is something that can sometimes go on for hours. 

After yesterday's midwife appointment, I was instructed to take a Bene.dryl and cut out fluids about 3 hours before bedtime.  I tried that, and still my sleep was an epic fail.  The difference this time, I was dehydrated and so tired, cranky and strung out from the medicine, that I starting crying like a baby after trying to sleep for over 2 hours and failing miserably. 

Today, the midwives called in the big guns - I've been prescribed Ambi.en, and told not to worry if I still only sleep 3-4 hours on it, so long as that sleep is consecutive.  I told her, I would be so happy to sleep 3 hours consecutively that I wouldn't even know what to do with myself. They also had me pick up so homeopathic remedies to help with leg cramps and RLS.

I'm scared is all still won't work.  I'm terrified that I will need to be sedated and catheterized, and they'll have to cut me open to get this baby out.  I have worked so hard towards having this baby naturally, and all I can think about now is ending up in surgery with a C-section because I am too tired to think straight or even hold my own body weight anymore.  My muscles are exhausted, my brain is exhausted, and I just don't know what to do. 

My husband is picking up the Ambi.en now, and my plan is to have dinner, cut off the fluids for a couple of hours, take the meds and hope for the best.  Generally, the RLS doesn't quiet till around 3am, but maybe I can beat it from even settling in if I go to bed early.  The midwife suggested waiting till 2am to take it, but I just can't.  I need to sleep now just in case this baby decides to come in the next 24 hours. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Becoming the Trigger

I had a terrible realization the other day, while attending a friend's party, that just by being pregnant I have unwittingly become the trigger of many of those awful, uncomfortable conversations infertiles most hope to avoid -- questions about when a couple are planning to have kids.  It isn't that I start these conversations, just that people are talking to me, and then automatically make the jump to that couple in the room considered, "next in line", cornering them into a conversation about their own plans for making babies.  Numerous times already this has happened, and I wind up just standing there, like a deer in headlights, not sure at all of what to do.  Once it happens, I feel I'm technically part of the group now cornering this poor couple, and I can't get out of it or get away. 

It is really amazing how inappropriate a question it is to ask, under almost any circumstance (barring hearing it from your doctor who only wants to know for medical reasons), and I just can't conceive how anyone thinks it is really any of their business.  The worst part of all, I feel it is my fault the question was ever asked in the first place, and now that couple is staring me down like I'm a dog who just drank all the toilet water and then licked them on the face.

Now, I know many of these couples are probably not infertile, but I'm sure they still didn't sign up for 20 questions about their plans for offspring.  In this specific instance - at my friend's party - the couple in question obviously has some sort of issues surrounding the topic (including possibly the husband not being ready while the wife is), and the conversation quickly turned even more awkward while they had their own little mini-quarrel via knowing glances and nervous laughter.  It was a nightmare, and I was there, right in the middle - the prize pregnant idiot.

On a different note - I've been incredibly open about our fertility struggles with my new group of friends (some ladies I met via my Pregnancy and New Mom Meetup Group). and I'm wondering if I'm actually making them uncomfortable with my tales of IVF and Clomid.  I wanted to be open for several reasons, 1) in case there are others in the group who went through similar ordeals and want to chat, 2) because I'm not ashamed and I am tired of hiding, and 3) because I hope by being so matter-of-fact about it and giving out factual information, I'm actually helping the cause.  Now, I'm wondering if it was too much info too soon, and whether or not I created an awkward situation for everyone else by bringing it up. 

Here is the situation: 
We were actually discussing when each of us conceived and what was going on at the time, etc.  A couple of them were cases of, "the first time we had unprotected sex", and once they found out about my struggles, I could actually see them turn red with fear they'd said something wrong.  One of them actually apologized to me for it, expressing that she hoped I didn't think her totally rude and callous.  I didn't really know how to respond to that. 
I told them not to worry, and that it was fine, but the awkwardness was already out there, circulating in the room, and the conversation had to be quickly turned to other topics. 

Finally, a little update...Things are pretty much the same over here, as we continue the waiting game.  I have my midwife appointment tomorrow.  I know she isn't really going to be able to tell me much more, so I don't know why I'm still feeling so excited to go.  Perhaps, in my heart of hearts, I'm hopeful she'll tell me I'm actually making major progress, but I think I would know if something were really going on down there.  Also, they probably won't do another cervical check till my 40 week visit, so the entire appointment will really just be some questions about cramping and discharge, a quick listen to baby's heartbeat and a reminder of what to look out for and when to call. 

I'm really not as crazed as I probably sound on here.  I want to get things moving, but I'm also cool if things go a little longer.  I really, really don't want to be induced, so I might start panicking if things go too long, but for right now baby still has some time in there before my medical team starts getting antsy. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ms. Rancic and 39 week happenings

I wanted to start off this post by sending a little love to the TV personality Giuliana Rancic and her husband Bill.  The poor woman has been through so much, and yet she continues to do so much as a voice for the infertility community.  She has been and continues to be, incredibly public about each and every detail of her medical journey...even now when she has had to make the painful decision to go through a double mastectomy in order to not only save her life, but to also give her some hope of still conceiving a child at some point in the future. All I can say is that I wish her and Bill all the best and I truly hope they are able to conceive and have a healthy child once this terrible cancer is defeated.  

In other news:
I've made it to 39 weeks, and so far this little one doesn't seem ready to make her debut.  I've tried all the tricks, but it's no go.  I can only assume my little lady is comfy as can be, and has decided to stick around inside for awhile.  I got a little excited by a particularly strong Braxton Hicks contraction earlier today, but it seems it was just the one, and now we are back to the usual, less exciting belly tightening routine.
One odd but kind of neat thing that has happened, and it might be TMI, just as a warning...
After trying out some Medela soft shells, in order to prepare my slightly inverted nipples for the task of feeding my bub, I noticed some milk had leaked into one of the shells.  Apparently I had expressed it after wearing the shell for just a couple of hours.  Part of me was worried that I'd somehow done something wrong, and should stop wearing them, but the other part was just fascinated that my breasts had actually produced something.  I felt incredibly proud of my breasts (hey, they work!) and of my body, and even more confident that I am ready for this next step. 

I've been thinking more and more about our two frosties, wondering if we will need to use them or will some miracle happen along the way, wondering if they won't actually be enough and we will find ourselves faced with doing a fresh IVF cycle, and wondering if we didn't use them, what we would do with them.  It seems so strange to think of those two little embryos, and to realize that if we make siblings from them, those siblings will actually have been conceived on the same day as our first baby, but one had to be chosen to come first, and so that one was picked while the others waited in cold storage.  How do you explain that to your children?

I am trying to avoid having feelings for those frosties, as I know they may never actually take hold in my uterus and become babies, but it still seems so odd to think of them just "out there", in the world, in a freezer somewhere in IL.  Does anyone else feel this way, or am I just losing it?