*Ahem*

Posted in Uncategorized on December 3, 2010 by piquantmolly

Well.

That was fun.

“E is lovely. She is so pretty, and basically happy.”

Famous last fucking words.

So you may have noticed that I disappeared for a couple of months there. That’s because my still-very-pretty daughter decided that it would be a good idea to have reflux.

And?

COLIC.

Holy god.

Two weeks ago the colic finally began to resolve, but there were about 6 weeks in there where I longed for quiet and sleep as the man lost in the desert longs for water. I searched frantically – the internet, the library shelves, folk remedies, modern pharmaceuticals – looking for any way to make my daughter please stop crying, for the love of god. We swaddled, we bounced, we gripe-watered, we babywore, we did Zantac, we did Prevacid, we did Mylicon, we did white noise, we did baby massage, we did swinging, we switched to Dr. Brown’s bottles, we sat her on top of the dryer, I read The Baby Whisperer, I read Why Is My Baby Crying?, I cut all dairy and soy out of my diet – you name it, we tried it. Finally I had to admit to myself that she’s just going to have to grow out of it. And then the very next evening, she slept from 7-9 PM. And I nearly wept with joy.

E's home for most of her second and third months

E has turned out to *not* be an easy baby. She is intense. Every day gets a bit better, but there were days in there where she would be awake and not fussing or crying for maybe 10 minutes of the day, tops. She constantly had to be jiggled in some way or she would fuss – either in the Moby Wrap, the bouncy chair, the stroller (only on a bumpy surface), or in the car (though she screamed at every stop sign and red light). There were days when she was in the Moby for 8-10 hours because it was the only thing that consistently allowed me to eat or wash bottles or take a shit, for god’s sake. My back hurt like hell when she finally went to bed (usually between 11 and 12). I would hum nerdy songs I had sung back in the day while pacing, and soon I had worked my way through all 24 Italian Songs and Arias, G. Schirmer’s entire volume of Arias for Mezzo Soprano, and every show tune I could remember. Going out in public was out of the question unless we wanted to annoy everyone in a 2-mile radius.

The colic started on the week of her due date (at 6 weeks old) and started settling down right at her 3 month birthday. She’s still fussy frequently, but having our evenings back is too fantastic for me to express.

E in her Vans from her Aunt Pru

There were days when I felt like I was thisclose to losing it. Usually a good long cry in the shower would cure me, but not always. I know that moms of colicky babies are at high risk of developing PPD (40-45% do, according to a study I read), and I understood completely. I read Heather Armstrong’s book while pumping and nodded vigorously. It didn’t help that E only calmed down when I had the Moby on – Brad just wouldn’t do. So I would finally lie down for a much needed nap and I’d hear the meltdown start in the next room and know that the only way to stop it would be “Wrap Time,” as we came to call it. I wish I had a pedometer, because I bet I was walking the equivalent of three marathons a week. The pounds came off, which I’m sure most people wouldn’t complain about, but with that and the oversupply and the pumping and the never having time to eat because every time I would start eating or cooking she would cry, I became practically gaunt in the process.

So yeah. It’s been a hell of a two months.

But now! Now it is December, and E is 14.5 weeks (9 weeks adjusted), and things are looking up. She smiles socially now and then (especially when she’s just woken up), and just started gaining some head control this past week.

E likes to be naked, adores bathtime, and looooves to go outside.  She’s up to a whopping 10 lbs. 7 oz. and has multiple adorable chins. She looks more like her father every day. And she sucks her thumb, while keeping the rest of her fingers straight, which is pretty much the most adorable thing I have ever seen in my life.

She starts day care on Monday, which makes me nervous. I was in day care from 6 weeks on and we know that I turned out fabulously, but I was an incredibly easy baby, according to my mother (Brad was evidently an extremely easy baby as well. So much for genetics). E is just so high maintenance, and I hope they figure out how to calm her down so she doesn’t spend the entire day fussing and crying and being and making everyone else miserable. Brad pointed out that he’s sure the day care staff has dealt with fussy babies before. But I get nervous all the same.

I’m still pumping, but I’m down to 4 sessions a day and I realize how incredibly lucky I am to be able to still have such a good supply despite cutting back. I pump before work, at lunch, after work, and before bed, and get around 40 oz. a day. Mooo. E nurses once in a while, but I think my oversupply causes problems because there is frequently much pulling away and crying and coughing. There’s also the whole if-I-don’t-empty-fully-I’m-painfully-engorged thing, and she still only eats about ½ as much as I make, so pumping is necessary anyway. I’ve just had to accept the fact that I’m going to be exclusively pumping for a while. It’s never something I thought I’d be doing, but there you go. I’m able to do it, and it’s cheaper than formula, so it works for us.

In other news, we’re still looking for jobs in the Midwest to try to get closer to our families. Brad has a big interview in a week and a half for a job in Kansas that would greatly increase his salary (allowing me to stay home for a while) and be a fantastic career move for him. I’ve also just applied for a very desirable job in Iowa. We’ll see what happens. We’re really hoping to be out of here before spring.

Later this month, we are sorely tempting fate by doing our multi-state Louisiana-to-the-Midwest holiday road trip. Usually E likes car rides (assuming we’re in motion), so we’re hoping it goes well. But if you happen to see a crazed redheaded woman trying to throw herself out the passenger side window of a red Chevy Malibu cruising up I-55 N, you’ll know that it ended up not being such a good idea after all.

So that’s my news since September. I am so grateful that she won’t remember any of the past couple of months. But I will. Ohhhhh, I will.

How lucky can one girl be?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 by piquantmolly

For over a month now, I’ve been writing blog posts in my head (and doing, you know, other things). Then I’ve been getting overwhelmed by how much I want to say, and my brain has slowly turned into a congealed mass of sleep-deprived soup, and I’ve put off the whole thing until the day when I can sort out a few sentient thoughts to throw onto this sadly ignored blog. I guess that day is today. As long as you can handle bullet points, I’ll try to write in complete sentences.

  • I have a daughter now.
  • Whoa, that’s still weird to say.
  • As Pru noted, we were (typically) chatting on the morning of August 24th when things seemed especially moist down below. I hadn’t had problems with incontinence while pregnant (luckily — despite the uterine/cervical weirdness I was lucky lucky lucky to almost totally avoid other common pregnancy maladies like morning sickness, hemorrhoids, sciatica, stretch marks (at least before she arrived), etc.), so I had a feeling that my water had broken.
  • It is so handy that Brad and I both work at the same place and I was able to call him right away – he was at my office within 5 minutes. But before that happened, I couldn’t remember his cell phone or work phone numbers to save my life. I sat there for what felt like an eternity trying to remember what number to call. I actually had to go online to our staff directory to look up his phone number. Other things on my mind, perhaps.
  • We stopped at home briefly, fed the cats, grabbed my hospital bag (which I had just packed the day before, since I had gone to the doctor with weird cramps that day — they didn’t think it was labor, but had no way to check my cervix since — oh yeah, it faces the wrong damn direction), and headed to the assessment department at the hospital. The pH swab indicated right away that it was indeed amniotic fluid. Suddenly we knew that we were having a baby that day. Brad, Hot Baby, and I would all have our birthdays in the same week.
  • Prepped for c-section. Two bags of fluids, ass-revealing hospital gown, total stranger shaved my pubes (but just the front of them, leaving me with a lovely pubic mullet for a week afterward), a million medical history questions. I told them I had to pee, so all of the monitors were unhooked and my still-squashed-by-baby bladder emptied a sizable amount. Then we headed to the OR.

  • I sat on the edge of the table waiting for the epidural while Brad waited out in the hall. Started crying inexplicably — overwhelmed, relieved, nervous, scared.  Suddenly I had to pee again (two bags of IV fluids will do that to you). “Oh, we’ll get the catheter in as soon as the epi kicks in. It will only take a minute!” “OK, but I really need to pee.” Sobbing and dripping snot all over. Nurses hug me and hand me kleenexes.
  • Epidural administered. The nurses turn me to start laying me on my back, and I promptly pee all over myself. I start laughing in embarrassment, which of course makes more pee come out. “Oh, don’t worry, it’s probably just amniotic fluid!” Nope. Definitely, definitely pee.
  • Brad comes in. Tears, snot, and urine everywhere. “I just peed all over myself!” I announce, mid-sob. Charming.
  • Things happen very fast then. Dr. Thick-Neck, his assisting physician, and a couple of neonatologists show up. I am slightly excited to find that I can see bits of the surgery reflected in the light above the table, similar to one at a dentist’s office (what can I say, I’m a Discovery Health fan). Vertical incisions made, baby is transverse. Hot Baby enters the world sideways and back-first.
  • She’s great. Despite being only 34 weeks, 4 days gestation, she breathes room air with no problems at all from the beginning. She’s a lightweight for her gestational age, but we knew that — 4 lbs even, 17 1/4 inches long. She is also, despite being covered with goo, very, very pretty.

  • Brad stayed with her while they weighed her, put drops in her eyes, assessed her, etc. Apgars of 7 and 8. I get 18 staples. One of the nurses was kind enough to grab the camera and get a picture of my uterus for me, though. Oh, and guess what? She was in the LEFT horn of my uterus all along, not the right. Apparently things had gotten twisted up in there and things were not as they appeared. Silly girl. I’ve got that picture — my uterus basically looks like a big stitched-up heart. It’s pretty awesome.
  • Apparently I was in the recovery room a lot longer than most people. I kept shivering and throwing up and they had to cover me with one of those hot air blankets and give me antiemetics, etc. I think I was in there about 4 hours, though it didn’t seem that long.

That’s pretty much her birth story. She was whisked off to the NICU, I was checked into my room.

She has a name, of course. Her birth certificate does not say “Hot Baby.” Because her name is not too common and pretty Google-able, I’d like to refer to her on this blog as simply her first initial, E (also one of her most commonly used nicknames). However, especially for my dear blog friends, here is her name — as gilded on this beautiful book given to her by a friend:

Her name is very traditional to Southern Louisiana, and all of the Cajuns swoon when they hear it. By the way, to pronounce it the traditional Cajun way (the way that we pronounce it), the last syllable rhymes with the word “bin.”

Now, more bullet points.

  • Was in the hospital for 4 nights. The second day after surgery was the worst — I decided to let myself sleep and went 7 hours between doses of pain meds and was in agony until the next dose kicked in. Thank god those beds sit themselves up, or I would have just had to lie there for days.
  • E stayed in the hospital for 11 days. She stayed in the Level 3 NICU for just one night, and then was moved to the Level 2 (the Special Care nursery). She had 2 days under the bilirubin lights for jaundice. She had to master 3 things before she could leave: “nippling” all of her feeds well (taking them from a bottle rather than a feeding tube), gaining weight, and keeping up her body temperature. She did a great job with the first two, but didn’t quite have enough body fat to keep herself warm.

  • I started pumping the day after she was born. I had no idea how big a part of my life that goddamn breast pump would become. Now, over a month later, I’m pretty much exclusively pumping for her, adding a bit of Neosure formula to each bottle of breastmilk as prescribed by the neonatologists to help E put on weight. She can and does nurse now and then with a nipple shield, but she gets frustrated by the slower flow, falls asleep frequently, and takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete a feed. Even then, she doesn’t fully empty me so I end up having to pump anyway. It’s almost easier to just pump, as big of a pain in the ass that is.
  • I am incredibly grateful that I don’t have any issues with milk supply. At this point I’m making about 2 1/2 to 3 times what she eats at each pumping session, so I’ve been able to space out the sessions more and fill up the freezer. As much as it sucks to live your life in the 4-hour increments between pumping sessions, it is nice to be able to leave the house when I want and let Brad give her bottles while I nap. Pumping fucking sucks, but the flexibility is a plus.
  • My nipples hurt like hell, however. I think I might have thrush. I’ll have Dr. Thick-Neck look at them at my 5-week postpartum appt on Thursday.
  • Feel free to call me a ho when I mention that I was back in my prepregnancy jeans 2 weeks after birth. I guess having a 4 pound baby helped. I do have a lovely 5-inch scar, however. I also got loads of blisters on my belly from the tape they used to cover my incision, if that makes you feel any better.

2 weeks postpartum

  • My boobs went from perfectly symmetrical, creamy-white C-cups to vein-covered, stretchmarked, lopsided DDs in the space of two weeks. Right boob now hangs lower and produces about an ounce more at each pumping session. I feel like something out of National Geographic.
  • E is lovely. She is so pretty, and basically happy (especially since I discovered Mylicon). At her one month appointment, she had already gained 2 pounds (!) and an inch in length. She’s still figuring out that it is very nice to sleep between midnight and 4 AM, but then her due date isn’t even until this Friday. I’d say she’s pretty advanced for someone who’s still supposed to be a fetus.
  • I already qualify for World Worst Mom, however. Yesterday I propped E up on a pillow the couch to go get her a bottle, and soon after I heard her screaming bloody murder. In the 30 seconds it took for me to add 1/4 tsp of Neosure to her breastmilk, she had ROLLED OFF OF THE COUCH ON TO THE FLOOR. OH MY GOD. Luckily she quit crying within 30 seconds (I can’t say the same for myself), ate her whole bottle, and fell promptly asleep while I Googled “signs of concussion infant” and “worst mom ever allows 6 lb baby to FALL ON FLOOR.” Then I remembered and re-read this post and felt much better. She’s fine. I nearly had an aneurysm, however.
  • Every day, I get to kiss a sweet-smelling baby head and tell it, “You make your mommy so, so happy.”
  • Did I mention that she’s pretty?

Hi internet aunts!

And then there were three

Posted in Uncategorized on August 25, 2010 by piquantmolly

Proud Auntie Pru, hijacking Molly’s blog to say that the sprog has officially dropped!  I shall leave the name for Molly to divulge, but it’s a lovely one well-fitting of a gorgeous baby such as this one.  Again, I shall be cruel to you and not publish a photo despite having one in my hot little (internet) hand.

Hot Baby arrived a bit more than 5 weeks early at 3.08pm local time, weighing a very impressive 4lbs exactly, measuring 17 1/2 in. long.  Hot Baby is in NICU currently, but is breathing on her own and eating very well already!  Mummy and Daddy are thrilled of course, and this beaming Auntie can’t wait to meet the little one once she is Stateside.

It is worth mentioning that the start of Hot Baby’s introduction to the world occurred just as the relationship between her mother and me did – online.  Molly and I were chatting about zucchini pie, as you do, whereupon I was met with, “oh shit.  i think my water just broke.”  Exeunt.  That was all.  A text soon followed indicating that our heroine was on her way to the hospital to give birth.

In honour of the new mother, a woman I love dearly, I shall bring this post from the realm of the sunshiny and kittens to the crass.  I just can’t help myself.   Molly -

Welcome to the world Hot Baby.  I’m so proud of you and your Hot Mum.

Six Weeks

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2010 by piquantmolly

First thing first: a million congratulations to our darling Pru, who recently accepted a job on this side of the pond and will return to live in her homeland with her darling family for the first time in nearly a decade. The thought of all of those toll-free long distance calls makes me swoon.

And suddenly, we have only six weeks until Hot Baby joins us in the outer-uterine world. My c-section is officially scheduled for Monday, Sept. 27 at 9 AM. Six. Weeks. Dude. Considering it’s been an entire month since I’ve posted here, I have a feeling that time is going to fly.

I’m at biweekly appointments with both Dr. Thick-Neck and my perinatologist now. The perinatologist appointments are always vastly more informative – as well as always giving us a glimpse of Her Hotness. I have another appointment tomorrow, but at my appointment two weeks ago (31 weeks 4 days), she was a chunky 2 lbs. 15 oz. Still sitting at about the 15th percentile, but still gaining and growing steadily, with good cord blood flow and plenty of amniotic fluid. I’m hoping she’s hit at least 3 ½ lbs. by tomorrow’s ultrasound at 33 weeks 4 days. Most babies hit 4 lbs. by 33 weeks. Dr. Thick-Neck is very pleased that she’s still firmly ensconced in my abdomen. “Thirty-two weeks is great. Everything at this point is just lagniappe” (“lan-yap”: a lovely South Louisiana term that means “a little something extra”).

Also? She has hair. Long hairs on the back of her head. A little baby mullet. Since she’s basically bald on top, Brad calls it a skullet. She shall look like Ben Franklin, but much cuter.

We had our baby/birthday/anniversary party last weekend, and it was great fun. Good turnout, and we got some lovely things. Especially touching was a beautiful historic embossed edition of the literary work after which Hot Baby will be named, from Brad’s boss.

The day after we attended the class at the hospital about signs of and stages of labor, when to come to the hospital, etc. A lot of it won’t apply to me, but it was interesting information all the same. There was one moment where I literally gasped aloud, however – when the nurse leading the session said that the epidural rate at the hospital where I’ll be delivering was 98%. She said that it’s actually a pretty typical number for the South, and comparable with other hospitals in the state. No one else seemed particularly surprised by that number – it seems it’s practically an automatic part of birth here: you show up in labor, and they ask you when you’d like your epidural. I’m certainly not judging people who choose to get one. I’d say of my friends/family who have delivered, about half of them have gone the epidural route (and I sure as hell will be having one before they slice me open). Maybe that’s why I was so surprised – around the Twin Cities where I grew up, from what I can find there’s about a 50% epidural rate. It’s around 20-30% in some of the more wealthy suburbs. The trainer said that she used to work in California, and the epidural rate there was nearly opposite of what it is here.

I’m really intrigued by these regional differences. I’m sure part of the high epidural rate has to do with the fact that Louisiana is 3rd in the nation for percent of births that occur by c-section – behind New Jersey (oddly enough) and Mississippi. Though if epidural has a tendency to slow down labor, one may lead to the other.

We’re also gathering gear and getting essentials. We bought a new dresser and some unscented hypoallergenic detergent on Saturday to start washing the loads and loads of adorable things we’ve been given by people with daughters and excited grandmothers-to-be and kind well-wishers. I am still pinching myself that this is even occurring. And ridiculously grateful.

You Were Doing It Wrong

Posted in Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 by piquantmolly

Lately I’ve been intrigued by this thread over at Metafilter, filled with confessions from people who learned something a bit too late. Many of them are vocabulary and pronunciation notes (so many people never made the connection that the word spelled s-e-g-u-e was the same word that was pronounced “segway,” or that the word misled was not pronounced “mizz-uld”), there are quite a few misheard song lyrics (“Hush, keep it down now, voices carry” was a frequently misheard one – personally, I thought it was “this is scary” for quite a while), and there’s a ridiculously talked-to-death thread about whether you are the same size in the mirror as you are in real life (skip those, BORING). I even managed to learn a few things – specifically, did you know that many cars have a little arrow on the fuel gage indicating on which side of the car the gas tank is located? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve have to back up and turn around at gas stations because I parked on the wrong side of the pump. Knowledge is power!

There’s also a link somewhere in the thread to this fantastic episode of This American Life. Act One describes this very phenomenon – people who pronounced things wrong for far too long, or decided for themselves how something must have happened and were never informed otherwise, or were tricked into believing something at a gullible age and somehow never learned the truth until later in life. These include the woman who thought that a pedestrian X-ing was actually pronounced “zing” (because people had to “zing” across the street quickly), the woman who believed unicorns were actual animals that lived on the African plains, the man who thought that all families who were involved in Nielsen TV surveys had to have the last name Nielsen, and the girl who was told by her sister that she had a box that was painted by trained monkeys.

Because I refuse to pay $5 for a Metafilter account, I’ve had nowhere to spill my confessions of things that I didn’t catch on to until too late. So I thought, hell, I have a blog. Here are the things that I Was Doing Wrong:

-Like another poster on the thread, I didn’t realize until about 2 years ago that the Poconos were a mountain region in Pennsylvania. Poconos rhymes with Kokomo, which according to the execrable Beach Boys song is a heavenly tropical paradise, so I figured the Poconos were like the Bahamas – an exotic Carribean locale where pool boys serve you drinks with umbrellas. I think I was reading a post over at Cecily’s, and I couldn’t understand how her family could a) drive all the way to this tropical wonderland, or b) afford all of these clearly costly getaways to the Carribean shore. Finally I Googled “the Poconos.”

Oh.

-Because people always say that someone is in “a coma,” I thought that “a coma” was actually one word: acoma. So I thought that if someone was unconscious, they were “in an acoma.” I think I was about 15 when I figured that out.

-I didn’t realize until after I moved to Louisiana that the last line of the chorus in the song “Lady Marmalade” is “Creole Lady Marmalade.” I always thought it was “Real Lady Marmalade,” and the songwriter was telling the listeners that this song was a true story. I think I was talking to a coworker and she referred to someone as being Creole, “you know, like Lady Marmalade.” Light bulb moment.

-The weirdest one, and the one that I didn’t realize until well after I could drive, was the one about No Passing Zones on highways. When I was in middle school, I’d see the No Passing Zone sign and note that a solid line would appear on your side of the highway, indicating that you couldn’t pass a slower motorist. So for some reason I figured that the line itself was called a “zone,” and I couldn’t pass over it. I didn’t figure out that the zone was an area during which you could not pass rather than a line on the road you couldn’t pass over until I was about 17. I remember it being a kind of major epiphany for me. I nearly had to pull the car over to deal with the impact of this realization.

So, everyone – what were you doing wrong?

Trimestre Tres

Posted in Uncategorized on July 14, 2010 by piquantmolly

Really? Third trimester already? This is just getting weird, guys. I’m still scratching my head as to how this even managed to happen.

My latest appointment at the perinatologist office was yesterday (at 28 weeks, 4 days), and yes, there’s still a baby in there. And she seems to be growing – a little bit slower than they’d like, but growing nonetheless. She’s dropped from the 37th percentile down to the 10th percentile (and still has an itty bitty little head), but everything seems to be developmentally appropriate. She even had the hiccups during the beginning of the ultrasound (which made me nearly squeal with adorableness), which is a good sign that her diaphragm is getting plenty of exercise. She has plenty of amniotic fluid to squirm around in so there doesn’t seem to be intrauterine growth restriction issues, and the blood flow to her cord looks good which indicates that her placenta is doing a fine job supplying her with yummy bloodiness. So, like her mama, she’s just a small lady. She’s weighing in at 2 lbs., 1 oz. Despite her apparent normalcy, her petiteness earned me the notation of “lagging fetal growth” right underneath “uterine anomaly” on my chart. Oh Hot Baby, it’s OK to be little.

(I was assured by the ultrasonagrapher that smallness is not a sign of immaturity. Just because her lungs are little doesn’t mean they’re not making as much surfactant, etc., it just means they’re smaller. PHEW.)

Need I even note that my cervix still continues to baffle? This time the perinatologist even had a colleague step in to take a look at my ultrasound since my cervical set up is a “once in 20 years occurrence.” It is still crazy long, however (possibly 6.5 cm (!) yesterday, if it was indeed my cervix they found), and coupled with my lack of any troublesome contractions, they don’t seem concerned about preterm labor at all, and sent me along with instructions to come back in 3 weeks.  Wait, something concerning me is going normally?! That just doesn’t seem right.

My latest OB appointment was July 2nd, at 27 weeks. Did the glucose tolerance thing (which was really not horrible at all. Should I be ashamed that I actually found that orange goo slightly tasty?), got the blood drawn. My fundal height was also lagging by 2 cm (25 cm instead of 27), but I don’t suppose that’s surprising considering that I’m small and baby is small too. What was somewhat surprising was that I’ve managed to become slightly anemic, even though I’ve been on iron supplements since February. I’m staggering them with my prenatals now to try to spread out my iron intake, and doing my best to include more meat and dried beans in my diet and not as much dairy (since calcium blocks iron absorption). Since I can go days at a time without eating meat and get much of my protein from dairy, this can be challenging. I learned today that watermelon has iron in it, which was lovely news.

But I did pass my glucose tolerance test (just under the mark! Hooray!) and see Dr. Thick Neck again next Friday, at 30 weeks. I suppose we’ll be scheduling my c-section soon as well. Wow.

Meanwhile we’re planning our baby/birthday/beer party (we’re not into the shower thing, and since Brad and I both have August birthdays as well as our August anniversary, we’re combining them and a baby party all into one – at a relatively unsmoky local cigar bar!) for early next month. We’re also taking one of those childbirth-y classes at the hospital next month.  Not a Lamaze type thing, more of a when to come in, what to expect, pain relief options type class. I feel like the librarian in me has already researched everything to death, but I may learn a thing or two.

Also – I outed myself as a pregnant person on Facebook yesterday. It was terrifying and I’d been putting it off for weeks. Thanks to those of you who left nice comments. Even Pru and Yo-Yo Mama, who revealed that Hot Baby’s name will either be Cinnamonia Neveah or Angora Nekropsie (HOLY HELL).  To tell you the truth, considering the names I’ve seen recently on Babycenter, that wouldn’t be too far off. The latest one that made me gag? Gelatina. Seriously you guys.

And now a few pictures for your viewing pleasure (beware of belly shot):

Profile

Legs from underneath, crossed at ankles (how ladylike!)

Little Skeletor face

28 weeks!

TV and Odd Anatomy

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 by piquantmolly

I have cruised past the age of viability, doing mental cartwheels the whole way, and am “suddenly” (to you, I’m sure) at 25 weeks, 5 days gestation today. Friday, when I hit 26 weeks, I’ll be celebrating by taking a doctor-approved flight to Kansas City to spend time with all of the in-laws, who know how to party. It’s a whirlwind trip, as I’m saving up as much vacation time as possible for the months to come, so my flight back to Louisiana leaves Sunday morning. This is the only vacation day I have planned between now and Hot Baby’s birth. The joys of unpaid parental leave. Hey non-Americans and ex-pats: I don’t even want to hear about how much they pay you to parent your child in the months following its birth where you live. It only serves to turn me purple with rage.

Tuesday was appointment #3 at the perinatologist’s office, and I’m happy to say that things with my fetus and my cervix have largely remained the same: both good and weird, respectively. The Babe is still smallish, but growing regularly – she’s about 1 lb. 10 oz. now, and at the 37th percentile for smart little growing babies. She has long fingers and feet like Brad, but for some reason has a genuinely tiny head. Her head is at less than the 2nd percentile for smart little growing baby heads. Small heads don’t run in either of our families, so I don’t know what that’s about. No one seemed concerned, so whatever. There are definitely worse things than having a small yet perfectly-formed head.

Oh, the cervix. The perinatologist went spelunking again (this time, while manually searching for my cervix, I noted that he actually had his eyes closed so as to concentrate completely on the task at hand. I nearly laughed). He can still barely even touch it, it’s rotated so far forward. Once again he and the technician were able to find what they think was my cervix on ultrasound (position currently described as “superior to the pubis”), and it’s measuring a highly respectable 5 centimeters. I haven’t had any abnormal contractions at all, and no bleeding or fluid leaking, so he is satisfied that the Babe will stay firmly in place at least until I return from Kansas City, and probably long after that. Only 1% of women deliver before 28 weeks gestation, and he believes that if that was going to happen to me, I would have some kind of sign indicating that it was a possibility by this point – cervical shortening, contractions, etc. This is all very, very good.

We also talked a bit about how Hot Baby is going to get out of Weird Uterus. I’ve never been sentimentally tied to the idea of a vaginal birth, and that’s good, because it just ain’t gonna happen, for a few reasons. First, my cervix is in such a damn weird position that it’s impossible to even monitor whether and how far it’s dilated. Second, though Hot Baby is currently head-down, if she happens to squirm into any other position in the next few weeks, it will be nearly impossible for her to turn again due to limited space factors in the uterine horn she inhabits (she’s sunny-side up now as well). Third (and this is the weirdest), were my cervix magically to migrate to the place where it is supposed to be, I would have placenta previa. The placenta is sitting quite low down, and only the fact that my cervix is far away from where it actually should be saves it from being covered with placenta – if I had a normal cervix, I’d have a placenta previa diagnosis that would make c-section inevitable anyway.

So, c-section it is. In addition, he told me that I won’t be getting one of those cute low transverse incisions that all you cool girls have, the kind that can be hidden under your jeans. Because my uterus is so severely retroverted and it pulls my innards into such odd places, if they tried a low transverse incision there would be a good chance that they would slice into an organ I’d very much like to keep whole, like a bladder, for instance (GAH!). So, it’s a classical c-section with a big ol’ vertical incision for me. In learning this, I’ve noted that it’s likely that should I ever happen to get pregnant again, another c-section will be in the cards for me, since doctors are loathe to try VBAC with that type of incision. A vertical incision makes for a weaker scar and gives you a much higher chance of uterine rupture than a low transverse one. And you know what? I’m ok with that. I’ll never give birth vaginally, and that’s fine. I’m lucky I live in the 21st century, when the wonders of ultrasound imagery are able to tell me all of this before the shit hits the fan.

In other news, I’ve been a single woman this week – Brad’s at a conference in Michigan, and I’ve been watching all of the horrible TV that I can. Everything on Discovery Health (especially Dr. G and Mystery Diagnosis), a whole marathon of Intervention, 16 and Pregnant on MTV, that new John Besh show on TLC called Inedible to Incredible (though it kills me to see New Orleans gourmet golden boy John Besh in a crappy cooking show with totally delusional women – this one women put CORN FLAKES with DRIED STRAWBERRIES in her hamburgers! I mean, COME ON), and hours and hours of No Reservations (my one pick that Brad actually likes). I love my husband, but control over the remote is a special kind of bliss.

What are your guilty TV picks? And have you seen the ads for that new NICU show on Discovery Health? I just don’t know how someone thought that was a good idea.

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