Fully Cooked

Ding! Today is my due date. The turkey is officially done, but apparently this turkey wants to be little crispy or something.

The best part about being due today is people asking “when are you due?” and watching their reaction when I say “today.”

I was enjoying this yesterday as well, although obviously saying “tomorrow,” instead of “today.”  One woman shrieked, one man literally ran away from me (was he afraid of my placenta exploding on him or something?), another woman gasped and asked what I would do if my water broke (um, go home?). I had multiple people ask me what I was still doing at work.

And (so far) I’ve been able to respond politely to all of these comments and questions, including the “what are you still doing at work” question, even though it is highly irritating. It’s irritating in part because I would love to be home right now. I’m in a considerable amount of pelvic/pubic pain, which makes walking extremely awful, I’ve developed PUPPP, which is driving me absolutely batshit insane (I’m sitting here at my desk with my shirt pulled up, cool wet paper towels draped over my belly), I have a chronic bloody nose (damn winter), etc. etc. etc.

It’s also irritating because I would like to respond with something along the lines of “if I got more paid maternity leave I would absolutely be home right now.” The company I work for does offer some paid leave – 20 days – which I know is more than most people get in this country. And I’ve been able to save a month’s worth of vacation so all together I have about 3 fully paid months that I’ll be taking once the baby is born. And I’m grateful for that, truly I am. But I find the maternity leave policies (or lack thereof) in this country so offensive I can hardly talk about it. Three months is not enough. It just is not. To add insult to injury, if I were farther up the food chain in my company I would get 6 months of paid maternity leave, with the option to go on partial pay for additional time off.

(Another annoying thing that the higher-ups at my company keep doing is offering advice along the lines of “hire a night nurse – we did and it saved our lives”. SURE. Because night nurses are so inexpensive! And you pay me such an enormous salary! That’s totally affordable for me!)

Anyway, that’s about it. Most thrilling blog post ever. Here’s the tl;dr version: I’m due today. People are dumb. Maternity leave in this country is pathetic.

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Patience & Sarah

My mom told me when I was little about a Native American tribe that had a tradition of giving children a middle name with a virtue they needed to work on. She bestowed me with the middle name “patience”.

(Off topic: have you read that book? Not the best book I’ve ever read, but it’s about lesbians in a puritan/old-timey setting, and y’all know how much I love old-timey settings.)

I’m 39 weeks today and my emotions are…complicated. Obviously I’m in considerable physical discomfort. My back hurts. My stomach aches from cramps and contractions. I can’t poop anything besides tiny little nuggets after the largest effort you’ve ever seen (yeah, I said it), I can’t sleep for more than a few hours – at most – at a time, I can’t get comfortable, etc etc blah blah.

Emotionally I’m all over the map. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m exasperated, I’m irritable, I’m short tempered, I’m weepy, etc etc blah blah. One second I want to murder the cat because he won’t stop trying to jump in the pack ‘n’ play and the next second I’m cuddling him and leaking tears over how his life is going to change once the baby gets here and I won’t have time for him anymore and *sob*.

Phew! Time for a palate cleanser.

kitten-situps

I told Tammy the other day that I feel like a five year old waiting for Christmas combined with a person suffering from odontophobia knowing they have an appointment at the dentist soon but no one will tell them when that appointment is. It could be sprung on them at any moment! Out of nowhere a dentist looms toward them with the mask and the scary light and the instruments of dental torture!

dentist 2

I never thought I’d make it as far as I have. Even knowing that first time moms tend to go a little over their due date, I was sure, deep down in my bones, that this baby girl would come early. I still technically have a week until my due date but the constant cycle of hope (“could this be it?!”) to defeat (“nope. fuck.”) brings up uncomfortably depressing memories of the two week wait.

I’ve been having regular, time-able contractions since this past weekend. Most of the time they’re about 10 minutes apart, but occasionally they spread out to more like 15 or 20 (or even 30) minutes apart, of they get closer together – like 5 minutes or even 3 minutes. I’ll get all excited about the 3 or 5 minute apart contractions but until a few days ago changing positions or eating/drinking would make them go away. HOWEVER, yesterday walking around and/or eating didn’t make them go away – and plus they were getting stronger and more intense. After days of having my hope crushed I allowed myself to start to think that maybe, possibly, could be…and then it wasn’t. They spaced out and got more sporadic – some 8 minutes apart, some 15, etc.

unimpressed cat

We read in our Lamaze labor and delivery book that this is classic pre-labor. It was comforting and exciting to read about my symptoms as being normal and generally part of the overall process, but I nearly threw the book across the room when I read this could continue for days or even weeks. What do you mean weeks, Lamaze book?! Weeks is not an acceptable word to use in this context!! These contractions are mostly not too terrible – just uncomfortable. Every now and then I have one that ups the ante on the ol’ pain scale and takes my breath away. But then they go back to being uncomfortable.

wtf is that

Honestly, I do feel like I’ll make to delivery physically OK, but mentally?

kermit dance

Your bet is as good as mine.

Like a Sleeping Baby

Thank you, lovees, for your helpful suggestions yesterday. Last night I had a snack before bed (whole wheat toast with peanut butter), took a unisom, put in ear plugs, and went to sleep, blissful sleep. I only woke up three times to pee. While I wouldn’t say I feel like a new woman, I DO feel like I can function and that I remember my own name. Which is a marked improvement. I’ll take waking up 3 times versus waking up 10 times for all and sundry reasons any day of the week.

I do feel a little silly for freaking out yesterday on my blog. A gigantic THANK YOU and a hearty smooch to everyone for not pointing out that a) it was only two nights, so, you know, buck up and b) I’m going to have a baby (knock on every type of wood available) in threeish months, and perhaps I should get used to sleep deprivation?

Because here’s the thing: both of those thoughts had occurred to me, even in my befuddled state. YES, it was only two nights. Apparently (she said, sheepishly) I had a bit of a panic attack that this was my new reality and how would I function and OMG what if my heart just exploded like one of those Japanese executives that work 20 hour days and end up keeled over in front of my cubicle or oh God what if I’m at home and Tammy’s out of town and the cat runs out of food and eats me and they discover my partially eaten body days later? …like I said, I don’t do so well without sleep.

Which brings me to the next point, which is that we’re going to have a baby soon, and babies, despite being delicious, are not widely known for their sustained sleeping. I am aware of this fact, and have gone into this pregnancy with my eyes open about the difficulties we will face once the baby is here (and there are plenty, believe me). I know that sleeping will be a challenge, I know that. But first of all, I won’t be having to get up for work like I am now (for at least three months, hopefully four if we can swing it financially). And right now (subject to change), we are anticipating that I will sleep in the guest room with the baby in a bassinet once Tammy goes back to work (after two or three weeks) so that she can be in charge of basically everything except feeding and wiping baby bum until I can get my metaphorical feet on the metaphorical ground. We’re basically anticipating that I will be completely useless around the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry, conversating, etc) for a while. Thus my freezer meals. And my parents helping out around the house.

And, hey. We could end up with a good sleeper. I was, apparently. My mom said by like two weeks I was going down around 7, sleeping until midnight, waking up then to be fed, and then sleeping again until 5 or so. After the early morning feeding I would fall back asleep and go until 8 or 9. Why, that’s downright civilized for a two-week old! As much as my parents like to cackle about me getting a child just like I was (read: a handful), in this instance I hope they are right.

I Need Some Advice

I feel like crap.

For the past two nights I’ve woken up every hour or so, and wake up a final time in the morning feeling like utter garbage. I wake up to pee, I wake up because Tammy’s snoring, I wake up because I’m uncomfortable, I wake up because I’m too hot, I wake up because I’m too cold, I wake up because my back hurts, my arm hurts, my what-the-fuck-ever hurts. And last night I woke up at 3am because my stomach hurt. I was up for almost two hours with stomach pain – menstrual like cramps, nausea, a few stabbing pains here and there.

So what the fuck people. I’m sorry if I’m coming across as a whining pregnant lady to a bunch of people who would love nothing more to be in my shoes, but I’m desperate here. I know it’s only two nights, but I’m a sleeper. I crave sleep. Deep, luxurious sleep that you melt into. When I don’t sleep, nothing works right. I’m clumsy, thick tongued, sore throated, queasy, short tempered, close to tears.

And today I have the added bonus of my stomach *still* hurting. Plus my fingers are swollen, which makes trying to type and do any kind of work freaking annoying.

What do I do? How do I sleep? How do I fix this? Any and all advice is welcome.

Limitations

Before I get into this post, I want to apologize for how my last post turned up in your feeds. I was trying to post the picture way down so those who didn’t want to have to see it, wouldn’t have to. I realized today that not only did that not work, but the picture would have shown up in your feed next to the title of my post.

That must have felt like an assault, and I’m sorry. I’ll try to figure out something else going forward.

********

On Thursday, I had one of those days at work. Rushing to meet a deadline (that I was given almost no notice about), I ended up pushing myself much harder than I should have. Without going into too much boring detail, the project entailed getting a large number of documents shipped to our Chicago office and LA office via overnight FedEx. Thousands and thousands of pages worth of documents. 12 banker’s boxes of pages worth.

Banker's BoxYou know. These things.

My job was the print, organize and prepare for shipping the files/documents we were sending. Easy, right? But then the fast printer on my floor broke, and then fast printer on the floor above me broke, and the floor below me, and I ended up having to use a slow-ass printer to print a 3,000 page document (and make 4 copies of said document) and on and on and on. Everything that could have gone wrong, did.*

By mid afternoon, I realized I might not make the deadline and I started to panic. I’ve been in this situation a million times before, and I’ve always busted my ass to pull it together at the last minute.** And busting my ass can mean literally running around the office, with stacks of paper or boxes in my arms, slapping shipping labels on them, screaming “WAIT PLEASE WAIT!!!” at the FedEx guy, and then collapsing in a blubbering heap.

And that’s more or less what happened on Thursday, except add in the fun twist of 17 weeks pregnant me, running in high heels, hauling boxes and heavy stacks of paper, bending, twisting, (panting, dying) OH and let’s not forget NOT EATING LUNCH. Which, now that I have discovered that food is not horrifying/nausea inducing but actually quite lovely and I would like to eat ALL THE THINGS, is a travesty of international proportions.

Guys, I made my deadline. But when I got home, I felt like my back was splitting into two pieces, and I was shaking with hunger. I could barely move my arms to shovel food fast enough into my mouth.

And I realized, DUH, that maybe I can’t do everything I could do a few months ago. Maaaaaaybe I should cool my jets a little bit? Maybe I should worry less about proving myself at work, and worry more about my own health and safety and the health/safety of the pirate?

Sometimes I astound myself with my own insight.

*WHY am I printing documents across the country and shipping them, rather than people printing their own damn files in Chicago and LA? Because printing there is illegal. Now you know.

**WHY am I so often in this situation? Repeat after me: “A lack of planning and foresight on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. Except when you control my paycheck, and then I guess it DOES mean it’s my emergency to deal with, dammit.”

Busy vs. Frantic vs. Meltdown

Don’t get me wrong, being busy can be a good thing. It makes the day go by faster, it keeps you sharp, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

What I do NOT like, however, is being frantically, panicky busy. The hands shaking, oh-my-god-I-have-so-much-to-do, how-am-I-ever-going-to-get-this-done, please-god-let-my-phone-stop-ringing, I-have-HOW-many-emails?, you-want-this-done-WHEN? busy. The meltdown busy. The fighting back tears as you type as fast as you can, half listening to whoever is yelling on the other end of the phone line. The no lunch, no peeing, sitting rigidly still waiting for the world to collapse in busy.

Yeah. The past few days have been the not-good kind of busy. I’m not going to get into the specifics, because I’m not trying to get dooced (in the off-chance someone IRL found my blog).

But that’s where I’ve been the past while. I’ve tried to check in to your blogs during the few minutes I sneak in the bathroom. I’m cheering for those of you who’ve received good news, and mourning with others who haven’t.

A quick update about the goings on in my neck of the woods:

  • I’m 12 weeks tomorrow. Had a scan (at the OB!!) at 11 weeks, 1 day and it was awesome. The pirate was doing a mambo. Wish I could feel it. (I’ll probably regret saying that later). Measured a day ahead. Obviously my future child is very advanced.
  • Tammy and I went to my parent’s house this past weekend, where Tammy proceeded to get some kind of horrific insect bite on her neck that is now infected. It has inflamed a string of lymph nodes in her neck. She’s on antibiotics but hasn’t seen much improvement yet.
  • This article is fucking stupid. If I had more time I’d post a take down, but let’s just agree that William Saletan is an idiot.
  • I have my nuchal translucency scan next Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll get another good picture.
  • Speaking of pictures, here’s the pirate at 11 weeks, 1 day: baby, 11w2d
  • I’m feeling larger. Hard to tell what’s bloat and what’s…not bloat, but I sure as heck do not fit into my regular pants. Can I just make a note here about how comfortable maternity pants are? Why do we not all wear elastic waist pants ALL.THE.TIME? Can we get something in Vogue on this?
  • My belly button is stretching. It is the most bizarre thing. It feels very tender and the hole is becoming positively cavernous in my stomach. My innie is also becoming puffy and poofy and I’m afraid I will end up with an outtie sooner than expected.
  • I’m still scared of miscarriage but becoming less so every day. A tiny bit. Teeny eensy weensy bit.
  • Today was the first day in weeks that I did not want to vomit at any point. Victory! (other than the times I wanted to vomit due to stress. I’m talking pregnancy vomit that was avoided)
  • Yeah. That’s about it. Hope all of you are well. Off to a meeting with the boss man to…hand him a piece of paper. Yes. So glad I’m still at work to hand him a piece of paper. Not that I’m bitter about that or anything. My chance to get home at a decent hour, foiled by handing him a piece of paper. Awesome.

9.5

Hi, my name is Sarah. It’s been 12 days since my last ultrasound. [Hi, Sarah.]

I’m 9 weeks, 5 days today. I vacillate multiple times a day between joy that I’m pregnant and fear that the b-b-b-baby is dead.

I’ve been feeling physically better since my post a few weeks back. My doctor recommended I take vitamin B-6, and it seemed to help. I also stopped taking my prenatal vitamin, at least for the time being, as it increased my nausea and caused crippling constipation. In the next few weeks I’m hoping to ease back on to it; I know it’s important.

Care to indulge me in a little game I like to play? It’s called, “Is the Baby Still Alive?” To play, we run through my symptoms at any given moment. Here, let me show you:

-Nausea has decreased dramatically. Could definitely be +1 on the Dead Baby side, but could just be a result of the B-6, lack of prenatal vitamins, and time. Let’s call this one a wash. (but secretly I always count this on the Dead Baby side.)
-Bo.obs have grown 2 cup sizes. +1 on Live Baby side.
-Food Cravings and aversions noted. Could be +1 on Live Baby side, but also could be just in my head.
-Tammy says I have a “glow”, but I call bullshit on that one. In punishment for her (sweet) lying, I’m putting +1 on Dead Baby side. Because the universe is a bitch.
-Peeing a LOT – waking up multiples times a night. Also very thirsty. Could be +1 for Live Baby, but it’s also summer, so it makes sense that I’m drinking more. Ok, I’m feeling generous, so I’ll give this to Live Baby.
-Bought maternity clothes. Definitely a +1 for Dead Baby.
-Toilet paper checks come up clear every time. +1 for Live Baby.
-LOTS of twinges, pains, cramps, twitches, pulls, stretches, etc in the abdomen. +1 for both Live and Dead. Could go either way.

OK! Let’s tally the score! One plus one plus one, times eleventy, carry the fuck, and you get a win for Live Baby. Unless you count the secret point for Dead Baby and then it’s a tie.

Damn, I wish I could have another ultrasound. I feel like sending an email to my fertility clinic, begging for a fix. I’ll take my pants off in the waiting room! I’ll have Tammy do the ultrasound! We’ll clean up after!

My next scan is July 12th, with my (gulp) OB. I’ll be 11 weeks (in theory). My biggest fear is being told it’s been dead for days or weeks. I’m not sure why a missed miscarriage seems so much more terrible than a regular miscarriage, but to me it does. Don’t misunderstand me, either would be absolutely devastating. Maybe It’s a control thing? With a regular miscarriage the cramps and bleeding would give you some kind of warning, no? Not that it would be less terrifying to look down and see blood than it would be to look on an ultrasound screen and see…nothing, but…oh shit. I don’t know.

Hi, my name is Sarah. It’s been 12 days since my last ultrasound. [Hi, Sarah.]