Now What?!

A Grumpy Guide to Pregnancy

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The future is almost here!

Week 40: Well, this week is when I'm due, and this week is when I'll be induced. (For those who don't know, both my age and my gestational diabetes increase risks of trouble if you go past your due date, largely due to the possibility that the placenta will stop doing its job. So no such option.) In fact, contingent on hospital bed availability, I'll be going in tonight for the first step ("cervical softening" overnight) of induction (which will continue the next day with pitocin to get the real business underway). So if you don't hear from me, that's where I am, with spouse and doula to keep me sane...

Friday, February 15, 2008

You must be kidding

(Still Week 39) Went to a "Babycare basics" class last night, which was useful -- got advice on sponge baths, practice with swaddling and diapers on dolls, and various other tips. However, right in the middle of it I started to have a visual disturbance. It started as a small blurry spot (kind of like the after-effect of a bright light can cause a grey spot briefly) right where I was looking, but gradually spread to encompass a third or so of the left half of my visual field. I initially thought it was an effect of looking at the teacher against a vibrating blue video screen (esp. since it was sort of oscillating), but then it was pretty clear that it was something else. After running some, um, diagnostics (still there with eyes closed; visible in left part of what each eye sees) I got up and got a glass of water, did some deep breathing, made sure I wasn't dizzy, checked my blood sugar, etc. Basically it just hung around for about a half hour (ramping up and then ramping down) and then went away, but everything else was fine.

After the class, since we were already at the hospital, we stopped by the Perinatal Assessment unit and asked whether this was something to worry about (a blood-pressure drop? sign of trouble?). The two results of that were: (1) an additional two hours hanging around the hospital -- a combination of data time (a new non-stress test, bp, urine, a quick neurological work-up, and some other busywork) and down time (waiting for the resident and/or attending to stop by). yawn! (2) Eventually the attending told us that this was not that uncommon (a bunch of the staff had been trading stories about similar incidents during pregnancy) and called it "visual migraine." Because pregnancy hasn't involved screwing up enough systems yet, and I was due for a little malfunction of [blood vessels of] the visual cortex. I mean, really.

So I guess that's water under the bridge, but a bit freaky at the time. I hope that by mentioning it here I can at least reduce the scare factor for any of you guys who might have a similar experience. Let me say, it's just more fuel for my Get This Done, Already jets!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ready for the next thing!

Week 39: Well, I may have been lucky with aches and pains up until now, but the various discomforts that I described in week 38 have all become quite painful and are starting to switch my mood from amusement with my unweildiness back toward a put-upon morosity. The doctor suggested that my between-belly-and-hip pain might be a hernia, but didn't really advise any intervention other than a support belt (and I get no relief from lifting or clamping my belly, so am unconvinced); I don't really understand hernias, but does that explanation make sense with something that hurts a lot when I walk across the room, but works itself out when I walk a block or two? Anyway, the short-term effect is that I'm no longer commuting (by sidewalk/subway or bus) but am getting rides from Spouse -- I guess if I made it to the last two weeks of pregnancy, that's not so bad. Means the end of just about any exercise that I get, though, except for climbing stairs at the end of the day.

Now we're closing in on my due date (next Friday), which means that we're looking at likely induction in the middle of next week. I did a little prenatal yoga last night to help me relax and encourage Speck to drop (although in the short term it made my hip joints ache, sigh), and will probably spend the next week trying to shift my body and mind from "things to do before Speck gets here -- hold on!" to "ok, now is a good time" and see if that helps move things along a bit. My natural inclinations are non-interventive, but since I'm not really being allowed to wait for labor to start on its own (because of the diabetes et al., however well controlled), I guess I'm leaning toward getting this underway and thus moving on to having a baby! Hope I can follow that through without last-minute unhelpful panic . . .

Friday, February 8, 2008

Flashing the belly

I feel really big, but trying to compare pictures from multi-week intervals, it's hard to see. Anyway, here's the bulge for public admiration...

37.5 week belly

37.5 weeks when this was taken; 38 weeks today! Doesn't look like this should make it hard for me to walk . . .

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Something's up

Weeks 37-38: Generally this period has been more of the same, but in the last 5 days or so (end of wk 37 into wk 38), I've become consistently uncomfortable. Standing up is now a matter of a pained unfolding, walking only partly unkinks that below-belly muscle, and my joints et al. make even a couple of blocks feel like a major undertaking. This may wreak havoc with my commute to work. Also, rolling over in bed at night is not just hard but also somewhat painful, again involving those same belly/hip muscles. I don't know if my belly is just getting larger (although some more t-shirts have been lost from the repetoire) and starting to sag/pull against nearby parts, or if it's something more, but it's a drag, and I'm glad it didn't start before this.

For medical context, I don't think I've had much in the way of contractions, and certainly there's no dilation (and only a little softening) of the cervical realm. [And who designed this rebuild-the-port system??] My doctor says "we're more happy the more uncomfortable you become," which indicates that the aching is probably a sign of some kind of progress, but there's no evidence that the baby has dropped either. So, um, just more for the grump bucket, I guess... Doc is talking about induction either next week (if there is cervical progress) or the week after (if we have to make it all happen from scratch) -- I'm working down the list of old wives' remedies (spicy food, sex, next comes bumpy drives, heh), but it's pretty much up to Speck from here!