Monthly Archives: July 2010

Weighing It Up

The Good: I passed my glucose tolerance test! I must admit I am just a smidge surprised, but am very relieved!

The Bad: I seem to have come down with a bit of a virus and have a low grade temperature today.

The Good: My GP has given me today and tomorrow off work to recuperate.

The Bad: I start night shift again on Monday.

The Good: I’m sleeping well again. Most of my trouble sleeping seems to have more to do with my mucked-up body clock after night-shift than it does with the pregnancy.

The Very Good: I have a wonderful husband and a squirmy little Bert, both of whom make me very happy.

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Ups and Downs

I’ve been feeling a little less emotionally exhausted in the last few days. I’m still tired, and fragile, but not quite as much of a disaster as I was a few days ago. Even though I have still been doing more than perhaps I would like, I’ve taken a step back from the frantic nesting I was doing a week ago. I’ve realised that things don’t have to be perfect, and I still have 14 weeks to get organised. That sense of urgency has abated.

Unfortunately I’m still uncomfortable to the point of pain most days. The baby seems to have had a growth spurt in the last two weeks and I keep hoping that once that slows down and my tummy muscles have a chance to catch up I’ll start feeling more comfortable – but it hasn’t happened yet! I’m still getting pretty serious discomfort under my left ribs, mostly later in the day. I’m also getting pretty serious restless legs (and sometimes arms) in the evenings, and on more than on occasion have been seen lying on the couch flapping around like a fish out of water. Pain + restlessness + poor sleep = distress during the time of the day I most need some rest and recuperation.

I don’t mean to complain. I love being pregnant and I’d put up with a whole lot more if I had to, and I feel ungrateful when I whine about the side effects of pregnancy. I have never wanted to be one of those women who sees pregnancy as an illness. I have aspired to be one of those pregnant women who don’t let pregnancy get in the way of living their life, and doing it with good grace. I guess part of the problem is that I feel disappointed that I’m not undertaking this pregnancy with the grace and ease I had envisaged.

But…. the important thing is that I am feeling better in my head, even if I don’t always feel wonderful in my body.

H and I had a lovely anniversary yesterday. When we married I carried white tulips, and yesterday H bought me a big bunch before we went out for dinner to a fantastic little restaurant  in the city. The food and service were divine.

On our first anniversary last year I indulged in a little fantasy, and pictured myself at our next anniversary with a lovely round belly. I wished and hoped that my fantasy would come true, and it has. How lucky am I?

I delayed my 26 week picture in order to take it two days later on our anniversary. I have posted the picture which shows the belly shortly before we left for dinner. I think it was even bigger by the time dinner was over!

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Ten Years, Two Years

Today marks ten years since I saw you walk around the corner of a university corridor and felt weak at the knees. Ten years ago today I first understood what the saying “blush to the root of your hair” meant. Ten years ago today that awkward dance started in which we tried to avoid each other all the while hoping to bump into each other, in which we argued over discussion topics while the rest of our university class watched on, in which we disguised attraction as irritation, and during which I never stopped thinking about you. Ten years ago today marks the start of the five long months it took us to figure out that we were meant to be together. Forever.

Ten years ago today marks the day I fell in love at first sight.

Two years ago today we promised to love, respect, and be true to each other for the rest of our lives. Two years ago we ate the world’s best wedding cake, we laughed and cried, and we danced to “At Last” by Etta James.

And now we celebrate our anniversary, as we anticipate adding a third to our family… at last.

 

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Missing: one sprinkler stop valve

I’m an emotional wreck at the moment.

You know how emergency sprinkler systems have a stop-valve than can be used to turn the water-works off once the burnt toast smell that set the sprinklers off has been cleared from the air?  I need one of those to turn off my water-works. Why don’t I have a sprinkler stop valve inside?

I know that part of the problem is that I’m coming off night shift, which always makes me just that bit more fragile, that bit more likely to go off into a tantrum to rival that of any terrible two-year-old. H has commented more than once that since I got pregnant there’s always one bout of tears in the day or two after I finish my second week of nights. And he’s right. Night shift is exhausting – 11 hour shifts which require working twice as hard as day shifts, and with no break. No meal break, no chance to sit and put my feet up, and occasionally no opportunity to take a much-needed toilet break. It is, to say the least, full-on.

But it’s not just my mucked-up body clock creating such havoc. The nesting instinct has kicked in full-force and I’m completely, utterly, obsessed with getting everything in the house just perfect, and having it all done Right This Minute. If not earlier than that. I’m cleaning out cupboards, moving big boxes of files, and building furniture, for goodness sake. On my own. Because I feel this demented need to be able to say to H at the end of each day “Look. Look at what I achieved today. Look at how much I love our baby. Just look at what a good mother I am already”. Or perhaps it’s myself that I’m attempting to prove something to. But the fact is, my body just isn’t up to all that activity, not on top of a job which keep me pretty frickin’ busy, both physically and mentally. Not on top of the disturbed sleep which seems to have kicked in at the end of my second trimester instead of politely waiting until sometime during my third to rear its ugly head.

I love being pregnant. But I have to admit that it’s becoming less comfortable as the days progress. Sleep has started to become difficult, which is a wholly alien concept to me. I toss and turn trying to get comfortable, and no amount of spooning my pregnancy pillow seems to help. I wake hours before I need, and can’t fall back asleep. I’m hungry all the time, but if I eat too much my abdomen becomes tight and uncomfortable. The baby has taken a determined dislike to my bladder, and I live in fear that at any moment one strong jab could cause me to seriously humiliate myself in front of whichever lucky soul is next to me at that moment.

My obstetrician today told me that the baby’s head is down low with a butt or feet up under my ribs on the left. That explains the almost constant pressure, discomfort, and at times pain I can feel in the left upper quadrant of my abdomen. I can’t even imagine what shape my spleen must be contorted into. I have to shift position constantly. Lying down seems to help – for about 30 seconds. And then sitting up helps – for 10 seconds. Arching my back sometimes relieves the pressure, and at times I get a 15 minute break from the feeling after doing some pre-natal Pilates.

Today I baked a dozen chocolate-chip stuffed cookies in an attempt to cheer myself up. I’ve already eaten four of them, and I’m not sure the remaining ones will survive the day. This is not a good coping mechanism in the lead-up to my glucose tolerance test next week. This poly-cystic, pituitarily-challenged, hyperinsulinaemic pregnant chick, who isn’t even being offered the screening test but has been directed straight to the GTT, is using high calorie, high GI foods as her coping mechanism. Because being diagnosed with gestational diabetes will make my life easier rather than more difficult, right. Right?

I’ve had two urinary tract infections since my last OB appointment, despite taking prophylactic antibiotics after the (all too infrequent and increasingly uncomfortable) occasions on which the hubster and I manage to get freaky with each other. This is not new – before starting prophylaxis I had more than 12 infections in the space of a year. But my kindly doc reminded me today that at my stage of pregnancy, a UTI can be all it takes to trigger premature labour. Fuck. So now I’m taking antibiotics every night, as well as after getting jiggy wit’ it, as Will Smith so eloquently put it.

I’m sick of people telling my how big my belly is.

I’m sick of people telling me that they just know I’m having a girl. Or a boy. Or a polar bear, or whatever seems to take their fancy.

I’m already sick of the way my thighs now rub together when I move.

And I’m not quite 26 weeks’ pregnant. In all likelihood I have at least 14 more weeks to get through. Surely it’s too early for me to be this uncomfortable? How will I feel at 40 weeks? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

All is not as bad as I make out. Bert is seemingly healthy and robust. My fundus is measuring perfectly for dates, as it has throughout pregnancy. Bert had a beautiful sounding heartbeat at the check-up today. The student midwife who is following our pregnancy was able to be at our appointment today and I feel so pleased to be able to offer her this opportunity, knowing how vital practical experience was while I was training. I feel useful and grateful to be able to give something back. Our friends and family are all thrilled for us and supportive. With the exception of the cot, baby capsule and our eco-friendly nappies, we have pretty much all the basic items we need for the baby’s arrival. I’m healthy. H is healthy. Our baby is healthy.

But oh my god I’m tired. It’s not the same as that all-consuming physical exhaustion I felt during the first trimester. I almost miss that exhaustion because it meant I could sleep at the drop of a hat. This is more of an emotional exhaustion. When I think about my up-coming work schedule I want to cry. And, in fact, I do. Even if I wasn’t pregnant I think 11 straight day/evening shifts followed immediately by 4 nights shifts, followed after only a brief break by an evening shift and seven more nights shifts would be a bit tough on the system. Especially when you consider that I just finished this last set of night shifts on Monday morning. I checked my September roster today and saw that I’m supposed to be working seven nights shifts in a row at 35 weeks’ pregnant. That’s 70 hours of on-my-feet work. Um, WTF?

I’m sure that once this next few weeks’ of hell is behind me I will feel much more positive and relaxed. Rest assured, I will not be working any more night shifts after August, despite what my roster says. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Maternity leave is only a little more than 2 months away, and then I will have time. Time to prepare, to relax, to breathe.

Until, you know, that all-new wonderful hell of parenthood presents itself.

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Deliveries

Over the last 24 hours, we have had three deliveries.

1) The little organic cotton leggings I bought for the baby to wear with the cardigan my mother knitted on the trip home from the hospital.

2) The pram! The Mountain Buggy Swift. It is awesome, plus it is a NZ company which, being a patriotic Kiwi, I love. In this picture I have it with the carry cot in place (as we will initially use it) but it is modular and has a regular seat configuration too.

3) A seat liner for the pram from Mini Happy Me on Ebay. Black with white polka dots (just like the moses basket).

I have also recently ordered some cot bedding from Melissa’s Boutique on Etsy. She was so helpful and patient as I made-up and then changed my mind many times. I have ordered two fitted sheets, a stuffed teddy bear, and a changing pad cover all in yellow with white polka dots. In the end I decided not to get a bumper because we wouldn’t use it early on and it would be one more item needing to be stored in our already quite full cupboards. It’s not like me to be quite so sensible!

 

I will, of course, put some pictures up once the bedding arrives (and we’ve bought the cot to put it on!).

I was originally inspired by this yellow and white Nurseryworks bedding, and was terribly disappointed to find that it had been discontinued.

 

I would have paid a fortune in shipping to have it sent to Australia if I have been able to find it in the US. A few online shops still have it in orange (which I loved) but as we have already purchased a few yellow items, such as a side lamp, I decided to stick with the yellow and white idea. I have literally spent weeks looking for canary yellow and white baby bedding and there just isn’t any, so I went for the simple polka dot fabric I found on Ebay. It will be easy to coordinate with other more gender-specific colours in the future.

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Fear – Revisited

I’m worried. I’ve written before about the failure of my breasts to do anything remotely breast like, and my concerns about my future ability to breastfeed.

Today I was reading Jill’s update on her blog about her current issues with breastfeeding, and clicked over to this link that she posted about PCOS and breastfeeding. It feels like the final nail in my breastfeeding coffin.

 Nail 1: I did not experience any galactorrhoea (milk production) when I had very high Prolactin levels from my pituitary adenoma (which is often the prime symptom).

 Nail 2: My breasts have not changed at all with pregnancy. Not one little bit. They haven’t been sore, and they haven’t grown. I can still fit all my pre-pregnancy bras. While I’m not upset that my DD or E size boobs haven’t expanded into F or G cups, it does worry me that they have remained so inert.

 Nail 3: PCOS and it’s link with hypoplastic breast tissue.

Interestingly, I’ve never heard a single doctor mention the link between PCOS and inability to breastfeed, and I’ve never read it in a text book or journal article. I asked my father about it (which will seem less bizarre once I point out that he’s an obstetrician) and he doesn’t believe that there’s a correlation. But I have to say, the physiology that was (albeit briefly) described in the LLL article does seem to make sense.

The upshot of all that: I’m worried.

At the end of the day, I realise that I am incredibly lucky to be pregnant, and if I can’t breastfeed I will still have a healthy and happy baby (hopefully!). But just like I have imagined that moment when the doctor announces “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!”, so I have imagined breastfeeding my baby. Looking down at my child’s cute button nose pressed in to my breast, feeling that connection, knowing that I am nurturing them.  If I don’t get that experience, I know that part of me will feel just a little bit… ripped off.

In temporally and anatomically related – but contextually unrelated – news, I was hanging out the washing this morning a felt a tickle in my cleavage. I looked down expecting to find a stray hair or piece of lint, and what I found instead was a spider. There was a spider! In. my. bra.

I hate spiders and was so freaked out that I had to call H mid-hyperventilation so he could calm me down. There I was, outside by the clothes line only 2 metres from the neighbour’s house, desperately trying to get the spider out of my bra without touching it, and almost completely disrobing in the process.

My breasts may be a useful spider-catching tool, and they certainly make my clothes fit nicely, but I’m starting to worry that they won’t ever fulfil the purpose for which they are actually intended.

I guess only time will tell.

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Filed under Fear, PCOS, Pituitary Adenoma