In the end, I hope to have a maternity leave left

If I’m still pregnant the next time you see me, please don’t mention anything.  I’m going to be pregnant for the rest of my life.  Here is why:

1.  My doctor told me I was 2cm dilated and never told me that the baby had not dropped into my pelvis.  In fact, my doctor never gave me any straight answers, even when asked.  Because patients are to be seen and not heard, didn’t you know?  Patients do not need to be knowledgeable about their own bodies…that’s why they have doctors.

2.  When I arrived at the hospital at 8am, NO ONE knew I was coming, the nurses did not have any of the necessary paperwork on me, and the doctor on call had no idea that I was even there.  My doctor never called me to tell me that he would not be there today, and evidently, he never let the on-call doctor know that I would be one of her patients today.

3.  The on-call doctor tried to page my doctor several times so that they would be on the same page and so that she could start the induction.  She didn’t feel comfortable starting the Pitocin without his information, because apparently, our scenario doesn’t usually warrant one at this hospital without proof of the baby being larger than normal*.  When my doctor never answered her page, she came in to do a pelvic exam and determined that Nia’s head has not engaged into my pelvis.  She said that it is obvious to her that Nia is a large baby, and in her experience, she thinks that she has not dropped because her head is too large for my narrow pelvis.  She said that in her opinion, an induction will not work in my case, and a c-section is what I will end up with. 

I did not get a c-section today.

I did not get a c-section today because I am not this doctor’s patient, and without an ultrasound she could no tprove that one was necessary and  cover her ass if anything went wrong in the operating room.  Also, the head of the department at the hospital was informed of what was going on, and he did not feel comfortable with continuing my care under the circumstances. 

(* There is proof of the baby being larger than normal…my ultrasound from two weeks ago.  However, the on-call doctor said she needed an updated ultrasound today, and there was no one there on the weekend to do it.  This is complete bullshit as THIS IS A HOSPITAL and THE RESULTS OF MY LAST ONE ARE IN MY CHART.)

4.  I was instructed to call to make an ultrasound appointment on Monday to assess Nia’s size, and if she is in fact over 9lbs, a c-section will be scheduled (by the new doctor).  My first phone call will be to switch OBGYN’s. 

I thought I was going to meet my daughter today, and instead, I once again was kept in the dark by my physician, I learned that a vaginal delivery is unfavorable for my body even though he was going to put me on Pitocin and let me labor for at least 2 DAYS.  I felt like I was asking question after question and the only one giving me straight answers was a doctor I had never met before in my life as her fist was jammed into my cervix (speaking of which, she told me I was only 1cm dilated…not 2cm).  We sat at the hospital for 3 hours waiting for my doctor to answer his page…and he never answered.  If he would have done his job, if he would have had courtesy for his colleague AND for his patient, I would be holding my baby girl.  Instead, I am pissed off and still pregnant.

The odds of Nia coming on her own are not great, as there is nowhere for her to go…she probably wants the hell out of there, but the poor thing is stuck.  So I won’t be waiting for my water to break or for contractions to get any stronger.  I will only be waiting for good patient care…I hope I don’t have to wait forever.

Sorry if this post jumps around all over the place….my thoughts have no fluid movement when I want to punch someone…Tony, come here.  Let me punch you so that I can post a decent blog…

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Moving Day…I Think

I spent most of the night last night switching my gaze from the wall to the clock…and totally not sleeping.  But at 5:45, I got out of bed anyway, finished packing, and started to get ready to come to the hospital.  I woke Tony up at 6:15 with several reminders that we had to leave the house by 7:15 in order to be at the hospital on time.  Needless to say, he didn’t get in the shower until 6:45, and we didn’t get on the road until 7:30.  When we finally arrived at the hospital at 8:00, we decided to swing by the cafeteria to grab some food (since I would be on a clear liquid diet until the baby made her entrance).  However, Tony decided he wanted to have a sit-down breakfast at his leisure even though we were ALREADY LATE.  In the end, it didn’t seem to matter…because it is now 10:20am and the nurse still doesn’t have orders from the doctor to start my IV.

Oh…did I mention that my doctor scheduled my induction on a day he’s not even on-call, my baby will be delivered by a doctor I never met, and he didn’t have me sign any of the forms or give me any information that I was required to have?  So when I arrived here, the nurses were confused, I was irritated, and now…I’m still waiting.

There is good news, however.  I am contracting regularly…every three minutes…even though I can’t really feel anything and I am already somewhat dilated and effaced…so things are happening regardless of whether the doctors have their shit together.

Hopefully this baby will be born today.

Pack your moving boxes, Kid

Even though it seems like it is taking this child lifetimes to arrive, her official due date isn’t until tomorrow.  After my doctor visit this afternoon, I feel like there is a good chance she will excel in the art of being right on time (keeping my fingers crossed for this since her father is chronically never on time, and refuses to see a problem with it).  My membranes were stripped (again) and I am two centimeters dilated…which really means absolute crap since there are women who go weeks at 2cm dilated.  But I am striving to stay positive here…and the mentrual-like cramps that have plagued me for three days are leading me to believe that something is going to happen soon.   Also?  I’m running out of things to do here at home, so it must be time.  Actually, that’s not true…I have plenty of things to do, but all I really end up doing is laying down on the bed/couch/chair…and then walking around for a couple minutes before I plop down again and whine to whoever will listen about how I JUST WANT HER OUT!!!!

Does it make me a bad mother that I want to evict my daughter?  I mean, if I could send someone in to physically remove her from the premises I would do it in a heartbeat.  It’s not like she’s been the best tenant, have you seen my KNEES?!   No?  You haven’t?  Well NEITHER HAVE I!  I have these large, round stumps where the knees used to be, and if she doesn’t move out soon, I fear that I may never recognize my body again.  Tony has been coping with these changes fairly well…he only called me Chubs once today (although it’s only 5pm).

There is good news!  Well, the most obvious being the fact that Antonia will be here so soon, and when I actually let myself think about it, the thought of her is so overwhelming that I immediately push it out of my head.  I just can’t imagine what Tony and I are going to feel, and how much our lives are going to change, and how much love we are going to have for this little girl.  And when my doctor told me that he would induce Saturday morning if she didn’t come on her own, it all became immediately real.  I’m going to meet my daughter for the first time this week…and I can’t wait to show her how much I love her (and how much knees should never look like this).

Week 39

Dear Nia,

Yesterday I went to the doctor in hopes that he would tell me they were going to induce labor…the past few weeks have been rough ones.  I have developed a rash (called PUPPP) all over my belly and ankles.  The only thing that will make it go away is giving birth to you…and you haven’t been showing any signs of coming out.  Some think that the cause of this rash is your DNA attacking mine…you’re ATTACKING ME!  I mean, I know that mothers and daughters sometimes butt heads, but really…could you at least wait until you’re a teenager?  This, along with the constant heartbearn and the fact that you are over eight pounds now is making it very difficult to not want to reach in and pull you out myself.

There is hope, however.  At the appointment yesterday, the doctor stripped my membranes.  Yes, it was as awful as it sounds…he separated my bag of waters from my cervix…with his big football player hand…twice.  This was done in hopes that things would start to progress and I would go into labor on my own.  Because if my body doesn’t progress this week, labor will be induced early next week with medication…and we really want to avoid that.  You must have known that we meant business because at 4:30 this morning I went to the bathroom to pee for the 500th time…and out came my mucous plug.  Gross?  Yes.  Absolutely the most exciting thing that has happened to me in awhile?  OhmyGodYES! 

And since then?  I have had two whole real contractions.  TWO!  Now, I’m not going to get all excited and start calling the family yet, but this is real progress.  It could be hours, it could be days, but now I finally believe that you are really going to come out.  You’re not going to live in my body forever!  Because I was pretty much convinced that I was going to have to sit through grade school all over again so that you could learn your multiplication tables by listening through my uterus.  Also, you’re not going to make me gain any more weight and stretch out my skin until I feel like salt water taffy…you’re going to come out soon!  Keep up the good work, Sweet Girl.  I know it’s warm and cozy in there…but it is so much more out here.

(I’m not even just saying that so you’ll come out, I swear.)

Love,

Mama

Now we just need a baby

Over the weekend, Tony and I worked in the apartment some more to get ready for Nia’s arrival.  Let me just tell you that when women talk about how their husbands had sympathy symptoms during their pregnancies…they weren’t lying.  Tony has gained over twenty pounds, he’s emotional and moody…and within the past two days…he has even been NESTING!  He cleaned out AND ORGANIZED his entire closet while I sat on the bed and watched in amazement.  He did this without me asking him to, or hinting that it needed to be done, or begging, or nagging…I think I fell in love with him all over again (it’s amazing what a man helping around the house will do for a marriage…especially if that man happens to be the one you’re married to).

And, well, since Antonia will be here in a couple weeks and her nursery is FINALLY finished…I will post some before and after photos for your viewing pleasure.  I’m really excited about how her room turned out…I had the vision up there in my mind, and it just came together exactly how I wanted it to.

BEFORE:

 AFTER:

 

 

The walls look like they’re two different colors in these pictures because sometimes I used a flash and sometimes I didn’t, but the “greener” color is more accurate.

In addition to all the nesting, we had our 37 week appointment yesterday, and now our little one is FULL TERM!  She is only measuring one week ahead instead of four (THANK GOD!) and next week, the doctor said he will start to check to see if I’m dilated and effaced.  Let’s hope that I am…I mean, wouldn’t it be nice if I could walk into Labor & Delivery already 7 or 8 centimeters?  Wishful thinking, I know…but a girl can dream.

Month 9

Dear Nia,

Daddy and I got to see you again yesterday for my 36 week ultrasound.  The doctor is still a little nervous because I am measuring ahead of schedule, so he wanted to get your measurements to make sure you aren’t a toddler.  I am pleased to tell you that you are a perfectly formed infant, and you are weighing in at six pounds, fourteen ounces.  They are anticipating that if you stay in there until your due date, you will weigh about eight and a half pounds – a perfectly respectable size, in case you were worried.

I just want to warn you now that your father has an addiction to his iphone, and just because he was taking pictures of the ultrasound technician instead of looking at your beauty, it doesn’t mean he loves you any less.  He has a sickness, you see, and he was completely sidetracked by the fact that she was an attractive version of his ex-girlfriend (his words, not mine).  However, when I started laughing and said, “Look, Tony, I think she has your toes!”, he immediately stood up and looked at your feet and grinned from ear to ear.  So maybe when you get here and he’s completely ignoring you because he’s on the phone, you should just remind him of how excited he was to see those toes and give him a good swift kick.

We also got to see some good views of your lovely face, but unfortunately, the pictures are a little blurred.  Daddy and I both think that you have my upper lip (Grandma Alice’s genes are pretty strong when it comes to that lip), and I have to admit, that made me smile.  We won’t know if any of this is accurate until we meet you, of course, but we’re having so much fun daydreaming.  I already know that, no matter what, you are breathtaking…partly because you take my breath away, and mostly because God pieced you together.  How can you be anything else?

Over the weekend, we sat around at Baba and Deda’s and played some music for you.  You were loving the spotlight, performing like you just knew we were all watching.  You seem to like the accordian and violin a lot, and you were equally energetic with Serbian, Gypsy, and Salsa music.  We imagined you in there clapping at the end of each song, and “Opa!” -ing during the lively beats.  We have no idea what you were really doing, but  we do know that my belly was rolling and manipulating into the strangest shapes.  You were right there spending the day with us, and I know at least for me, it made the day ten times better.

I get to kiss your face in three weeks… 

I hope you like us…because I already love you more than I could ever express with words.  It’s a feeling somewhere amidst a summer breeze before a thunderstorm and a tightened sob just as it is released…and while some people might view those as negatives…they are two of my most favorite feelings in the world.  Because when the rain and the tears finally fall…what comes next is a moment that is fresh and new, a deep breath of the very first time.  That’s you, Antonia.  You are our next very first moment…and that, my love, is special.

Love,

Mama

Month 8

Dear Antonia,

Today I caught a quick glimpse of you again through the ultrasound as the doctor assessed your heartbeat and breathing…he says you look great.  Of course, I already know that, but if he wants to tell me every single week that is perfectly alright with me.  I must tell you, though, that you are growing unbelievably fast…so fast, in fact, that I can tell he is worried that you are going to come out with a full set of teeth and wearing a training bra.  So if you could just slow it down a bit that would be great.  My vagina will thank you.

In between my weekly visits with the obstetrician I spend my time feeling you move and twist and stretch and poke and kick and punch and do headstands on my bladder.  A lot of the time now I can see you move beneath my skin and it reminds me that you have a will of your own, and when it comes down to it, this giving birth scenario is going to go completely according to your plan…and God’s of course.  But if I could,  I would just like to say that I am going to be the one feeding you when you get out here, so it would serve you right to take my wishes into consideration….so STOP GROWING SO FAST! 

More importantly, I want you to know that I am so happy that you are healthy and strong, and even if you are a ten pound baby, I won’t let Daddy make any fat jokes.  Because the truth is, you are beautiful just the way you are.  And I can’t wait to whisper just how much you mean to me in your tiny little ear.  You are going to make quite the journey in a few short weeks…try to keep your arms and legs as close to your body as possible…please.  Also, don’t forget to breathe…I’ll be doing the same out here, and hopefully together we’ll make it through to the other side safely. 

I have a feeling we can make it through just about anything, you and I…we’re just those types of girls.

Love,

Mama

This isn’t going to be pretty

I have a hemorrhoid the size of Pluto in my ass.  I have had them before, but this is the mother of all hemorrhoids.  I suspect it will only get worse after labor…and let me tell you how much I can’t wait for that!  Having a bunch of grapes protruding from your anus is not my idea of feminine…I mean, my DAD gets hemorrhoids, not me!  But, oh, this is my life now…I’m 200 pounds, I have lumps in my crack, I can’t bend over to tie my shoes…and I WADDLE.  Let’s not even mention my enormous gorilla nipples or the cellulite that Tony often refers to as my bags of nickels…

If you think being pregnant is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life, you haven’t seen her naked.  And the pregnant celebrities that flaunt their naked bodies on the covers of Maxim and Vanity Fair are freaks of nature, and if I was a hater, I would hate them…a lot.

I basically just wanted to share these little tidbits of information with you today because, well, while I spend most days gushing about my baby and how I can’t wait to meet her…there is a big part of me that can not wait to pop her out so that my body will stop doing these things that make me look in the mirror and say, “I don’t know you.  And I don’t think I want to.”  Also, I want her to get here because people keep telling me that once she’s here, I won’t even notice all of these other things…

…but how do you ignore the planet living in your butt?

Wherein I talk about vaginas…a lot

Last night was our second childbirth preparation class, and while I whole-heartedly believe that these classes can be beneficial if new parents want them to be, there are definite awkward and somewhat useless moments.  Overall, Tony is liking them…I think they make him feel more prepared, and I certainly like that he is hearing over and over again that I will probably be a complete and total bitch to him…and that it is OKAY!  Of course, I will do my best to not be this way, but having someone in my corner sends relief through me like a warm breeze.

So the instructor informed us at the start of class that it would be “movie night” and that we were going to watch videos of three live births.  I was nervous that Tony would find this completely revolting…but to my surprise, he informed me that his history of watching porn has led him to be desensitized to anything vagina-related.  The only thing that he did find less-than-appealing was that the vaginas in question on the screen were not more groomed.  He said he understood that it’s difficult to see past your belly when you are pregnant, but that the women should have asked their husbands to help tidy them up a bit…after all…their vaginas were about to be FAMOUS!  He also commented that he felt awkward watching these films, not because he didn’t like the gooey gore, but because it was such an intimate moment in these families lives…he felt as if he was intruding.  After listening to all of this, I couldn’t help but wonder how much these women got paid.  I mean, how much is enough to spread your legs for birthing classes across the nation?  Complete strangers watch them become the devil’s spawn on big projector screens (which, by the way, makes everything coming out of their vaginas look thirty-five times larger and more IN YOUR FACE than necessary). 

The husbands walk out of the rooms at break guilty and confused because, A) they just viewed another woman’s crotch WHILE SITTING NEXT TO THEIR WIVES and B) It didn’t turn them on at all!  It’s all very amusing… 

I will probably never know everything that goes through Tony’s head during these classes, although he is pretty vocal about most of them.  I do know that this third trimester is the most excited I’ve seen him since the day he found out I was pregnant.  It has become a reality, and not a negative one.  He constantly talks to her and kisses my belly and pushes on her to make her kick me.  He is so excited to see her and to hold her and to love her…it’s just wonderful. 

The instructor informed us that we allowed to have a coach and a support person in the delivery room with us and that all other family will be able to visit during visiting hours after we are transferred to the postpartum unit.  Tony turned to me in all seriousness and asked, “who is your coach?”

I looked at him like he was nuts…”YOU are!”

“REALLY?!  I thought it was your mom!” 

I don’t know where his head is sometimes, but he was so excited to be my “coach” I thought the smile on his face was going to be stuck there for life.  And then he said,

“Ok, then your mom can be the offensive coordinator.”

This is going to be quite a game…

3rd Trimester

I realize that I have been quiet for some time now, but to be honest, I have been completely exhausted.  I spend my time working in the nursery and sleeping.  Yes, that’s it.

Tomorrow marks 31 weeks, and while I am so excited to be here….I am so ready to have this baby!  Last week at my 30 week appointment, my OB measured my fundal height at 32cm…this means little Nia is measuring two weeks ahead, as fundal height should match the gestational week.  He then told me that he wanted to do an ultrasound to measure her growth.  He told me he wanted to do an ultrasound exactly ten minutes after the nurse had told me that he doesn’t do ultrasounds in the third trimester unless something was ABNORMAL!  But, I had a hunch that everything was fine, and he was just nervous that she was going to be a large baby.

So Friday Tony and I went to the ultrasound and found out that she is indeed measuring two weeks ahead of schedule and weighs a whopping 4lbs, 8oz!!  She isn’t even supposed to be a full 3 lbs yet.  My conclusion is I either conceived earlier than I thought or she is just a big baby.  Either way, she is EXTREMELY healthy…the dr and ultrasound techs were laughing again at how busy she is in there…and if she were born tomorrow, she would do just fine.

I couldn’t take my eyes off the monitor…she is moving so much more now, and she looks just like she will look when she comes out!  She was tapping her feet (on my RIBS), and we could see her little feet moving to her own beat, she unfolded her fingers like little flower petals and when they zoned in on her face she was making little sucking motions and sticking out her tongue!  I just wanted to hold her…I can not even wait.  It’s hard to tell what she looks like from an ultrasound…especially since she’s so smooshed in there.  But I just know she is going to be so much of the joy in my life.