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Sunday, December 23, 2012

27 Weeks

Actually, it's 26 weeks and 6 days if you want to get technical, but my BBC app always starts the new count on Sunday and I have come to do the same.  It's my cheat day, if you will.

Yesterday morning, I was just coming to the surface of consciousness.  The baby always starts kicking away right when I am waking up.  I wait for him before I get out of bed.  When I was pregnant with Roo I waited for her too.  This time he didn't start kicking.  I laid in bed for another hour with my eyes closed, getting more and more frantic. Finally, just as I was about to dive for the Doppler, he fluttered around a bit.  Enough to satisfy me for the moment, but not enough to alleviate my worries about his altered movement pattern.

So...I guess I have some mixed emotions about making it to 27 weeks.  I'm so glad.  For me, 27 weeks is a huge landmark to hit.  I can't believe that those two little lines back in July have made it this far, but I'm so excited.  There is a rational area of my brain that knows the odds are getting pretty good for this little guy.  We are well past the age of viability.  So far so good.  Next week marks the beginning of the third trimester, and that's even better. 

Yet I can't help but be somewhat transported back to that time in 2006 when I was 27 weeks pregnant.  I had no idea what could go wrong.  I had no idea what a 2 pound 3 ounce baby looked like.  I didn't know what a placental abruption was.  It is so hard to look back on the first time I was 27 weeks pregnant and know what we were in for, and know I can't do anything to stop it or change it.

I am trying really hard to just chill out and have a Merry Christmas here.  My little girl is all about the magic of Christmas this year and I am so excited to provide that magic.  I know I should be enjoying these days, that they won't stretch on forever.  I mean, the odds are I will get to bring a baby home and/or get to go to work eventually, and she'll be off to school.  The days where it is just she and I at home are numbered.   I wish I could bottle them all up now when I know I am under-appreciating them.  I could dole them out one at a time on those days in the future when I am missing her as she is now. 

Particularly at 27 weeks, it is very easy for me to get sucked into the black hole of anxiety and grief.   It is my goal this week to stay busy and focus on the things in my life that are good.  Focusing on the good in my life is actually challenging for me every week, not just 27 weeks pregnant.  It's just extra-important that I don't let stress and anxiety get the best of me this week.  I'm trying to filter out all the outside stressors and just focus on my little family.  I hope you and your family are able to do the same for the Holidays.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Just Give Me the Drugs

I like controlled environments (and I cannot lie).  

I'm not afraid to say it.  I enjoy a good scheduled c-section.  Not that I've ever had one that was exactly scheduled. 

You know those moms that are all, "I want to push this baby out myself with no drugs to numb the pain?"  Yeah, that's not me at all.  I really admire those women, but I admire them in the way I admire adrenaline junkies.  I think it's awesome that you like to go hangliding from the tops of snowy mountains.  But me?  I'm a bit afraid of heights and I think I'll just stay here on the ground, thank you very much.  During my nursing school rotations through L & D I became even more admiring of these women.  They rock. 

It's just that I feel like I always have to defend myself when I say I've had c-sections.  I'm really not a wimp.  I feel an obligation to tell inquiring people that I was fully dilated and pushing with no drugs on board with Matthew, but when they started squawking about bleeding and placental abruption?   Hell yeah I let them give me general anesthesia.  I wanted my kid out.  Alive.  And they pulled that off.  Mission fricking accomplished.  

When I found myself pregnant with Roo, I didn't even really consider a VBAC.  I was pregnant 6 months after Matthew's death, and I wasn't in the mood to test the strength of my uterine incision.  AT ALL.  Dr M (the exalted first perinatologist who died the year after my daughter was born and is thus unavailable to me during this pregnancy) did suggest one, but he seemed ok when I declined.  Until one hot July day when I wandered casually into L & D and asked to be checked for dilation as I was feeling a bit "off."  The nurses and Dr M were shocked to find I was at a 7.5 and could feel absolutely nothing.  Dr M couldn't help himself and told me I had a great shot at a VBAC.  Perhaps if Matthew had survived past his NICU stay I could've considered it.  Under the circumstances, I went with the original plan.  I didn't want to labor and wonder if it felt like last time and if that was a bad sign.  Or if my daughter was still okay in there.  Or if my uterine incision was going to hold up.  It was a decision made out of fear but I don't regret it.

During my postpartum visits, Dr M and I specifically discussed the possibility of a future VBAC.  He felt very strongly that I should not have one after 2 c-sections.  Because the issue was a moot point at that time, I didn't press him on the matter.  

Imagine my surprise when 6 years later the new perinatologist tells me he'd be "willing to try a VBAC" for this pregnancy if I so desired.  I was actually kind of annoyed.  I've seen the current research.  I know the chance of uterine rupture does not increase drastically between the second and third c-section.  I believe it's something like a 3% rate of uterine rupture for VBACs (correct me if you know different).  I quickly informed him that while he might be willing to take that risk, I was not so willing. 

It angered me because 3% might seem like nothing to him.  But percentages and statistics?  They don't comfort me at all.  Anyone know what the chance of a 22 year old pregnant non-drug abusing female having a placental abruption during the course of a normal pregnancy is?  Around 1 in 200.  Significantly less than 3%.  How about this one.  What are the odds of survival to hospital discharge for an infant born at 27 weeks gestation? Somewhere around 90% of these infants will survive to hospital discharge.  At 28 weeks those numbers increase to 95%.  You would think my son and I would fall on the favorable side of one or both of those statistics, right?  Yet we did not. 

The first thing I said to him was, "Dr. M felt very strongly that I was not a good candidate for a VBAC after he performed a c-section for my daughter.  I can't ask him why he felt that way.  Why do you think I would be a candidate?"  He quickly backtracked and said he wouldn't consider me a prime candidate, but that he'd be willing to let me try if I desired.  Right.

He also then mentioned that I would have to come camp out in his city from 36 weeks on.  And obviously pitocin is a contraindicated wonder in my case.  Pitocin increases the strength of uterine contractions, which is not a desired effect in VBAC patients due to the extra strain on the incision scar.  This means that if by some chance I did not go into labor on my own by 41 weeks, I could not be induced and would have to have the c-section anyway.  No thanks.  

It is my true heart's desire that doctors seriously quit asking me if I'm interested in a VBAC.  Ever again.  I am not. I have no desire to risk my life, my child's life, and my uterus.  I like the idea of holding my baby son in my arms an hour or two after checking into the hospital. The goals here are:  baby out alive, mama out alive, with as few shenanigans as possible. 

My second wish is for other women to not hassle me for my obstetric history and desire to continue with the form of birthing that works best for me.  I'm seriously happy and respectful of your desire to "feel everything" during labor.  Me?  I'm hoping to feel nothing but joy.  Hopefully I'll be seeing you natural birth ladies on the other side.  With both our healthy babies in our arms.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Hardest Days to get Through

I am now 26 weeks pregnant.  It is not possible for me to birth a 24-weeker.  I can’t have a 25-weeker.  I can no longer be caught in a nightmare scenario where I am 23 weeks pregnant, in labor, and having to argue with Small Town MD about whether interventions to prevent delivery should be attempted.  Those nightmares, at least, have passed.  We are down to less than 100 days of pregnancy remaining.  Something to celebrate.  

I’m not going to lie, 27 weeks is looming.  Matthew was born at 27 weeks and I can’t help but be horrified as we get closer to that gestational age.  This baby is still so little.  In both of my subsequent pregnancies, I have been just emotionally raw around this time.  I expect it.  You know, like flu season.  Yet the brutality of it all is something I can’t prepare myself for in advance, even though I live it every single day, not just at 27 weeks pregnant. I mean, how could it have gone down like that?  What if it happens again?  I have just been a wreck.  Can’t focus on anything.  Irritable.  Restless.  People call to talk to me and I can barely tune in at all.  I nod along and inside I am just thinking, “I can’t listen to this right now.  I can’t believe this na├»ve person is calling and expecting me to participate in this conversation when I have a pregnancy to get myself and a fetus through.”  Don’t get me wrong.  These are people that I love with all of my heart, and I care about their problems.  I’m just in my own little isolated world right now.  It really sucks in here, actually.  It will all be worth it if I get to walk away with my little guy in the end, but I guess I know that it doesn’t always work out that way.

The PlacentaCrisis of 2012 certainly hasn’t improved my psychological state.  Thank God for my Doppler.  This little guy is pretty cooperative when it comes to moving in a reassuringly regular pattern, but if he dares to oversleep?  I whip out that Doppler.  So far it has done nothing but provide reassurance.  I was a bit cautious about purchasing one because I wanted to avoid any can’t-find-the-heartbeat crises that a Doppler might cause, but I think waiting until I was a bit into my second trimester took away much of that risk.

Due to my history of placental abruption, I like to think of my subsequent placentas as being indestructible.  Learning that this placenta has the potential to be less than anatomically perfect is of concern to me, even if Small Town MD doesn’t seem to be appropriately alarmed.  When an innocent friend suggested that I should be reassured by the doctor’s lack of concern, she was treated to a 5 minute theory of mine wherein I propose that Small Town MD may not be intelligent enough to be concerned.  It may be that Small Town MD does not fear for his license.  It may be that Small Town MD believes his usual laid back, good ole boy style will see him through having me as a patient.  But it will not, my friends.  If ever this man should fear for his medical license, it is now, when he has me as a patient.  Because, one misstep with me….Nevermind.  I’m obviously coping well.  I just think it would be unwise of him to not take my care VERY seriously.  He knows I delivered a 27 weeker in his tiny rural hospital after an uneventful pregnancy, so he should know to be vigilant.  I honestly don’t harbor much resentment towards the doctor that delivered Matthew.  She would be overseeing my care in this pregnancy because I know she’d do a great job and be hyper-vigilant, but she is no longer practicing in this area.  But this guy?  He has a huge warning flag in the form of a 500-plus page medical record,  and I think he should heed that warning.  There.  Tirade over.  

In my years of experience with grief since Matthew died, I’ve learned that there are times when it’s best not to fight against my instincts.  Right now, I really just feel like hunkering down and not leaving the house much.  I like being close to home so that I can best control my stress levels and blood pressure.  I do feel alone and isolated.  Living on the frontier certainly adds to that feeling.  In past years I’ve tried to force myself to interact and live a life with a full social schedule during times like these, but it never really worked.  His birthday, the anniversary of his death, and anytime I feel pregnant and emotionally vulnerable are now all completely acceptable reasons to hide out a bit.  Maybe it’s not the healthiest way to get through, but it does get me through.  

So here I am at 26, almost 27 weeks along.  Go team.  I swear I get a bit more relaxed after 27 weeks, and even more cheerful after 30.  One day at a time, right?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

After the 14th

About the tragedy at Sandy Hook….what do I say about this disaster?  I’ve started several posts about it, but they all sound completely egocentric.  Ironically, I think a person has to be just a smidge egocentric to have a blog in the first place, but still.  It’s not what I’m aiming for when speaking of this subject.  Looking at pictures of those beautiful babies….I don’t know how anyone can see them and NOT hug their children a bit tighter.  I’ve spent so much time staring at pictures of their little faces, so similar to my own little girl’s face.  I pray their families can get through this.  I pray our nation can find a way to get through this crisis united together. 

Have you heard about Ann Curry’s 26 Acts of Kindness?  Elizabeth from E Tells Tales also wrote a beautiful post on the subject here

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Protection

Even before I embarked on this sorta-surprise pregnancy, I had no delusions of things going perfectly.  I knew I could lose another child.  Perhaps this sounds terrible, but I was hoping it would happen early on.  I figured I would be less attached, that I could "hold off" on becoming attached for awhile.  I don't think all women are this way; I think many are attached from the second they know of the baby's existence.  I already have a history of loss so I do my best not to get overly excited about an embryo or a baby who isn't here safely yet.  But I had no delusions.  There is no protection from that swell of hope and the terrorizing fear that comes along with it.  There is no way I can keep from loving the baby that kicks and flips constantly in my stomach and sucks his thumb during ultrasounds. 

I can do everything possible to try to hang onto my "wait and see" approach.  I can cut off every annoyingly well-intentioned person who starts to say, "When the baby gets here..."  I can avoid telling my daughter detailed stories of what a great big sister she is going to be. 

But I can't protect us.  I can 't save this baby.  I can't keep my daughter from remembering she was supposed to have a baby brother if one day there isn't one anymore.  I can't keep Jerry from feeling the pain of holding another dead child.  I can't save myself from any dangerous complications that might occur.  I can't protect us.

I wouldn't say I underestimated the feelings of helplessness that would come.  I know I'll start to feel a bit better after we get past 27 weeks, and even better when we are past 30.  I know that squashing all hopeful thoughts into oblivion won't spare me any pain in the end.  

It's just...damn I hope this all ends well.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Placentas and I Just Don'tGet Along

Okay.  Another humdinger of a doctor's appointment to dissect here.  Not the overly-hormonal pregnant mommy rage this time, I promise. 

I am now 24 weeks and 5 days.  I am so grateful.  I had a celebratory post all planned out, but I got bogged down by schoolwork and had to focus for a few days to finish it up.  So here we are.

I have some pretty serious anxiety about discussing my pregnancy with people.  I hate going into maternity stores because the well-intentioned sales ladies are all "OMG, when are you due?  What are you having?  IS THIS YOUR FIRST?"  I can't take it.  What am I supposed to say?  Same goes for family members that I'm not extremely close with. 

That being said, I have tried in this pregnancy to be marginally closer to one of those "normal" pregnant women.  You know, the ones who can have an actual optimistic conversation about the practically guaranteed infant they will soon be blessed with.  It's just not working, though.  I fricking give up.

It started when I had an ultrasound with the perinatologist at 16 weeks.  Jerry was coming of course.  Because my mama and I are not used to living apart, we were pretty excited to meet in the city that lies partway between us for a weekend of good old gender-revealing ultrasound fun.  Then she broke her driving foot.  So we figured she should stay home, but suggested I invite my Grandma and Grandpa to come along.  I adore my grandparents, so I swallowed my anxiety and invited them.  They were so excited.  Then I wrecked my car and had to reschedule the appointment. At 18 weeks, I finally got to my appointment with Jerry, Kiddo, my mom, and my grandma in tow.

I hate that feeling in ultrasounds when you feel like the tech is spending too much time on a specific part of the baby.  Like something might be horribly wrong but the tech won't tell you because of the audience you drug along. 

Well, as you know that ultrasound went fine.  We found out we were having a boy and my grandparents were such a lovely addition to the day.  My Grandma has called at least three times since then just to jabber about how amazing she thought it was.  It brings tears to my eyes every time.  My grandparents rock. 

Fast forward 6 weeks to yesterday.  My dad has now heard about me bringing the grandparents along to the ultrasound and casually mentions that he has never seen one.  In the spirit of sharing my pregnancy joy, I indulge him.  Then he brings his new wife.  It's not that I truly dislike her.  It's just that my comfort level around her is about a 0. I've always had a bit of a difficult relationship with my father.  He conveniently waits until he has driven the two hours to Small Town MD's office before texting me to ask if I mind if she comes along.  Now, it seems to me if he truly wanted to be sensitive to my wishes, he would've asked yesterday before he left the house.  Whatever.  That's not what this post is about. 

So....there we all are.  The tech gets me all set up on the table.  It is only a minute or two in before I feel the vibe coming off her, and I don't like it.  She's spending too much time measuring things.  She seems to be trying hard to keep the mood light.  My ultrasounds-gone-wrong nightmare begins literally unfolding before my eyes.  All the while everyone is next to me jabbering and generally just raising my anxiety levels by being oblivious to the icky vibes in the room.  Worse, I can hear my dad and his wife talking to the Kiddo about "when Baby Brother gets here."  As though I'll actually get to keep him.  As though my amazing daughter will actually get to be a big sister. Just taking it all for granted like those people who've never had anything bad happen to them do.  I stare hard at the screen.  His brain looks good.  Spine has no huge chunks missing.  Two kidneys.  Four-chambered heart with no white spots.  Since this is about the limit of my ultrasound interpretation expertise, I couldn't figure out what she was looking for.  The tech starts asking all sorts of questions about his growth.  If this is my first.  I mention my placental abruption history, but consciously withhold Matthew's name from my lips.  And when was my last ultrasound.   When she finds out I had one at the other office 6 weeks ago, she can't get out of the room fast enough.  She says something vague about pulling up the images on her other computer to compare and bolts. 

There I am covered with ultrasound gel.  Stuck on that table knowing she has just bolted straight for the doctor.  With several obliviously excited family members in the room.  Jerry is also oblivious, simply beaming at the images on the monitor in a proud daddy sort of way that makes my heart feel like it's breaking.  Kiddo is happily chanting, "Baby brother, baby brother, baby brother"  over and over again.  I don't say a word.

The tech comes back and says something stupid about technology being slow.  She spends a lot of time making sure I get good pictures.  She measures some more.  At this point I am fairly certain it must be his growth she is concerned about so I am relieved when she estimates his weight at 1 lb 12 oz.  She measures him right at 25 weeks.  Perfect.

When the ultrasound wraps up, I dismiss my audience and head into the doctor's office.  My blood pressure is elevated.  Shocker.  Small Town MD enters.  I'll just paraphrase his little schpiel for the sake of brevity here:  "So....everything looks great with the baby.  His weight is great.  Your amniotic fluid level is great.  I almost wish I didn't have to mention this at all.  The umbilical cord insertion site on the placenta is a bit off-center.  I'm not concerned about it AT ALL.  The cord is actually situated about 2 centimeters in from the edge, and that's GOOD."

Um...he had me at placenta.  2 centimeters from the edge?  Me and my fricking placentas.  I ask if it is a velamentous cord insertion (I don't even really know what that means at the moment, but I've heard the term once or twice in relation to umbilical cord issues).  He says no.  I ask if it correlates to placental abruption. Nope.  

All I could think about was the way the baby was torquing on his umbilical cord for a large portion of the ultrasound.  I mean, he doesn't exactly have any toys in there, but still.  

Considering my general distrust of Small Town MD's abilities, he held up pretty well during the appointment. He recommended that we do the evidence-based thing and simply continue to monitor.  He feels the biggest indications of a well-functioning placenta are adequate growth and adequate amniotic fluid.  My cervix is closed up tight--a positive sign that I might not go into premature labor.  For now. 

I think to say that all this scares the shit out of me would be a huge understatement.   I mean, am I incapable of growing a decent placenta?  I certainly hope not, but with my body you never know.  I agree with Small Town MD's suggestion that we simply monitor his growth and hope for the best.  But one bad measurement and I want this baby out.  The last thing I would ever want is another NICU experience.  But even more than that?  I do not want my baby to be stillborn.  I am so afraid that we will lose another baby.  This baby.  

When we got home, I sorted the baby clothes and tucked them into a plastic tote, out of site and with their corresponding receipts.  You know, in case it all goes to hell.  

Having no other option besides continuing to take things one day at a time, I am trying hard to stay positive and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  But the ultrasound-sharing portion of this pregnancy?  Is absolutely over. 


I am beginning to do some researching and consulting on the matter and will discuss what I learn and the implications after I sort things out a bit.  Until then, if you are the praying kind, please pray for us.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

23 Weeks 1 Day

Today?  Was not my favorite day ever.  I awoke to the unmistakeable aroma of dog shit wafting from the living room.  Someone ate something he/she shouldn't have, but neither wanted to fess up.  Several hours later I realize that the show is not yet over.   That's right.  Another mess, this one of the yarf variety and conveniently located under the bed.  At least I don't have carpet in this bedroom.  I blame this one on Scout because he was looking pretty guilty and is usually the one who eats garbage if given the chance. Just between you and I, dear Internet, he is the WORST dog ever.   I told him he wasn't my favorite canine today and that he should make himself scarce.  He wisely did.

I wouldn't normally stoop so low as to discuss my dogs' bowel movements, but it was pretty much representative of my emotional state today, so....I promise I'll only do it this one time.  

I'm holding it together okay, really.  I think it's just the potent combination of teetering here on the Edge of Viability with Baby Blue, the ongoing vehicle dilemma we've been having, learning to deal with life in FrontierLand, and the pressure I feel because I'm not using my nursing degree in any way that brings in money.  I am staying busy these days increasing my student loan debt rather than paying on it with gainful employment.  I don't think Dave Ramsey would approve.

Also.  I am possibly the worst housewife ever.  Seriously.  I can't keep this house clean no matter what I do.  I blame Jerry and the Kiddo, but it's not really them.  It's me.  When I was busy balancing nursing school and the Kiddo, I just wrote it off as being busy.  Now?  I am busy, but not busy enough for it to be a valid excuse.  The house just always seems completely out of control.  This is a big problem.  Why do you ask?  Oh yeah, because I am pregnant.  And you never know when I might have to disappear from my house for a few months to hang out in the NICU.  Jerry would have to come back at some point and work as would the Kiddo.  It would really bother me if there was still a pile of moving boxes in the living room and that happened.  I am not getting Baby Blue's room ready prior to hospital discharge so I think this may be my version of nesting.  Hopefully, the issue won't even come up.

Baby Blue is still gestating away.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gender Announcement

As previously promised....


Hello Dear Internet, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Want to guess what I'm thankful for this year?  Well...I really love my dogs and cats, my Jerry, and my Kiddo so I am always thankful for them.  But this Thanksgiving I'm grateful that I could just maybe get my baby BOY in 2013!  

This little Fetus?  I'm totally into him you guys.  He's super kicky and punchy and just...active.  He is also much more interested in voices then I remember babies being in utero.  It is so delightful.  Kiddo was a peaceful sort of fetus; she would roll gently and tap a bit.  Matthew was pretty active as well, but since the pregnancy ended early and I had no other babies to compare him to I just assumed it was normal behavior when one is a fetus.  This time I just find it so thrilling.  I've never been someone who truly loves being pregnant but he is just awesome.  And it's been so long since I was last pregnant that it all feels new again. When he's being active, I often stop absolutely everything to just love on him.  I don't mean to get all squishy and mushy on everyone, but this post is a happy one so I'm gonna let all the squishy, mushy, gooey stuff out here.

As I type this he is kicking like crazy and I keep having to move the computer around on my lap. 

It is also now past midnight and I am officially 23 weeks pregnant!  Or as I happily informed Jerry this morning:  "The Day I am Officially Allowed to be an Asshole if I go into Labor and That Irritating Doctor Doesn't Act Right and Give Me Tocolytics and Steroids."  Because it is getting VERY close to the Edge of Viability you guys.  And it's not common (not at all!) but it does occasionally work out that a 23-weeker is a real fighter and makes it through without adverse outcomes.  From now on, I get to demand a chance for my SON.  I desperately hope that the issue won't come up at all, but I'm glad it's there.  

Dear Baby Boy, just stay in there awhile longer.  At least 7 weeks please.  In return, I will promise to attempt to figure out what cool toys for little boys actually are.  I only understand little girl toys right now, but I will get there. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Long March to the Threshold of Viability

Today, I made the 1.5 hour commute to see Small Town MD.  I really don't like him much.  First of all, I'm 29 and I'm thinking he is younger than me.  I don't like that at all.  Obviously you haven't been a doctor for that many years if you are younger than 29.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  It would actually be helpful.  What's the youngest average first year resident in this country?  26?  

Second of all....he felt the need to say something along the lines of "Well....we really wouldn't intervene at all before 24 weeks...sorry if that sounds harsh" Umm....no fricking kidding.  Obviously I am aware of the dangers of preterm labor prior to and immediately following the golden 24 week mark.  But thanks for reassuring me that nothing would/could be done for my baby if it all goes to shit tomorrow.  I mean, the nurse part of me obviously appreciates his straight forward approach.  But the hormonal mommy part?  The part that's in control these days?  She doesn't find him amusing.  I had also just finished telling him that my anxiety feels extreme these days.  I said that every time I experience a vague twinge, much less a contraction, I FREAK out (don't freak out too-- They haven't ever resembled anything regular).  It's so sad that when you are pregnant all of the anti-anxiety meds that have a real kick to them are unavailable.  Actually he didn't even offer me any meds at all.  Jerk.  The one time in my life when I wish I could actually consider taking something.

Lastly.  He just seems more and more uncomfortable with handling my case.  He suggested that I should maybe just see the City MFM Specialist from here on out.  I told him that was a great idea, but I was employing his services because of his relatively close vicinity to me compared to that of City MFM Specialist.  I told him I would love it if he didn't have to deliver, but since he didn't want to schedule a section prior to 39 weeks (he's not comfortable doing it earlier in the small hospital) and I have never made it to 39 weeks in my life I figured I should just brace for the worst and hope for the best.  City MFM Specialist is the organized "Best" delivery.  Small Town MD is the "Oh shit, brace for the worst" delivery.  We agreed that he will continue to monitor until 36 weeks at which time I will be completely transferred over to City MFM Specialist and will pass the remainder of my pregnancy in the city.  

I cried in the reception area on the phone to my friend following the appointment.  I really don't like crying in front of other humans.

Adding to the charm of my day the tiny bank here in FrontierLand is giving me all kinds of issues with the things they aren't capable of.  And when I stopped by my Internet provider's office to discuss my need for an increased download speed, I was told that I have the fastest internet available for my location.  The internet is at less than half the download speeds I had when I lived on the other side of the state.  You know, back when I lived in a respectable town.  All in all, I do feel like I'm adjusting to frontier life better than I would have expected, but the lack of an adequate internet speed just about pushes me over the edge.  I am going to try to research some other options but it appears thus far that I have employed the ONLY internet service provider in a 200 mile radius around me and I may not have other options.  Ugh.

Then!  Then we had our only fully functional vehicle looked over and got the news that it needs a very expensive repair soon.  And it started just blizzarding right when we started heading home.  The 1.5 hour drive took almost 4 hours and there were wrecks everywhere.  There were actual snow drifts on the highway.  Thank the Lord we made it home safely.  I think we've had enough trouble today.  There's four inches so far and due to dump a whole lot more before morning.  Hello winter in FrontierLand. 

In other news...Jerry felt the baby kick for the first time tonight.  It was pretty awesome.  I don't think he's ever felt a baby this early before.  Usually it's a few weeks from now.  Not all of the kicks are visible from the outside, but the really feisty kicks are.  This little fetus is feisty.  Still being very careful not to give away the gender until I get the post up.  

I'll be back later with another fascinating complain-y post. Baby is incubating away.  Mama is not so cozy, but plugging along.  Here's to an uneventful 3 weeks and 2 days followed by several more uneventful weeks. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Testing...

Umm....hi Internet.  I never intended for it to be so long between posts, but here we are.  I need a really long catch up post.  When you are busy it can be difficult to update the blog on both past and present events.  I think I'm going to do it in bullets this time:
  • Everything is fine, pregnancy wise.  So far.  I'm 20 weeks and 4 days today.  Need to get a ticker up on the blog but I am a bit paranoid.
  • I did find out what I'm having during my last ultrasound but I feel that deserves it's own blog post at the very least so I will reveal soon.
  • The gender reveal is awesome, but I have seen a huge spike in my anxiety levels in the two weeks since then.  I didn't really know if I wanted to find out but Jerry really did so....we did.  It literally turns the baby into a person when you hear.  I've spent the first part of my pregnancy (okay, the first 16 weeks or so really) just taking a "wait and see" approach.  I didn't say shit like, "Oh, when the baby comes..."  But now I'm in deep, my friends.  I WANT my baby and the "wait and see" approach is flying out the window.  With it is going any serenity I felt about this pregnancy.  I'm still trying to take it day by day.  I'm just not that good at it.  Do I sound like I'm panicking?  I'm definitely panicking.
  • I moved a little over a month ago.  Four days after the move, I hit a deer on the way to my doctor's appointment.  Totaled my car.  The one I just made a very expensive engine repair on.  I had Kiddo with me and I am so grateful we were both (all 3 of us, I suppose) ok.  We stayed in our lane on the interstate the entire time and I never lost control of the car.  I was going the speed limit but it was still pretty fast.  The deer was dead before it hit the ground.  I can't even kill a bug that makes eye contact with me so I felt badly.  And I really liked my car.  It could've been so much worse, but it has still been a huge problem to lose a car.
  • Adding to the fun, less than 2 weeks later the engine on Jerry's old truck finally gave out.  I seriously used the AAA membership twice in 2 weeks.  It was the first time we ever even had to use our AAA membership.  I almost didn't renew it this year.  Thank goodness for small miracles.
  • So I've spent a lot of time talking to my insurance company lately.  I really dislike insurance companies.
  • I am very glad to finally be living with Jerry again.  We ended up living separately for 15 months, and it wasn't fun.  It's so nice to be living under the same roof again.  We are tough, but our relationship took some serious hits and I am happy to say that we have started to rebuild.  It's not anything specific that went wrong.  It's just really easy to grow apart when you both lead your own busy lives, and you are never seeing each other.  It's hard to feel like the other person understands what you are going through.  It's hard not to feel alone.
  • I read my last post.  It's always a bit ironic to look back on past posts where I thought I had big problems.  What I really needed was a bit of perspective and I guess I got it.  Between the pregnancy, the relationship "struggles," the vehicle issues, and the move it's been a rough time.  I've been having a rough time.  Not the melodramatic kind.  The real kind.  I'm going to just leave it at that instead of trying to write some whiny nonsensical post about my woes.  Bullet points.
  • Jerry's family?  They are excruciatingly difficult for me to deal with sometimes.  I think they really felt like I abandoned Jerry over here when I didn't quit nursing school and follow him when he changed jobs last year.  The truth is I felt terrible for not being here with him.  I wondered a million times if it would cost me my relationship, staying and finishing school over moving to be with him.  Between us we knew that I HAD to stay and finish and we wholeheartedly agreed on the reasons.  If you've been reading since last year you may remember this post.  Number 2?  That was Jerry's family, my friends.  I was too tactful (classy? discreet?)  to say it out loud back then.  I guess we are past that now.  They have certainly been less than tactful about the matter, to say the least.
  • Apparently there are certain family members who did not feel I hustled over here quick enough after graduation in June.  I haven't actually taken the opportunity to defend myself to them (and I'm not sure I should even dignify their opinions with a response at all.  It's none of their business in the first place) so I will defend myself here.  Because I'm sure the whole world is interested.  I graduated June 9th.  We went on vacation.  Then I followed him over here and we stayed several weeks into July.  I went home to study for my NCLEX.  I got a positive pregnancy test July 20th (?) I took my NCLEX July 26th.  I put my little house up for sale the DAY after NCLEX.  I sold my house by September 8th and we moved October 4th.  I'm sorry, did I dally too much?
  • In their defense I must say, they did not know I was pregnant until last week.  Because I don't really enjoy their opinions so when I was being criticized I didn't want to explain that I was pregnant and not feeling all that perky on top of everything else I was handling this summer.  Because it wasn't their business and I'll be damned if I was going to let them have an opinion on my pregnancy too.
  • Also I temporarily blocked my mother-in-law's phone number from my phone.  For a few days.  Because I'd had all I could handle over the last 7 years and I just. needed. a. freaking. minute.  I did feel a little bad about it after a few days and I unblocked it. 
  • As you've likely deduced, these are females I am speaking about.  And part of the problem stems from them not understanding why I fought and kicked so hard to get through college.  Neither of them have college level educations and they simply do not understand my kind of female.  To my knowledge they have no desires outside the home and never have.  I'm not trying to bash SAHM's ya'll.  I just don't want someone to turn around and judge me for wanting to become a nurse.  Something I wanted long before Jerry came into my life.  There, I'm done.   
  • What do you think?  Do I leave it alone?  Or do I say my piece?  I've spoken up before about another matter and REALLY went off to both females.  They seemed to respond well at the time and truly made an effort to act differently towards me.  But here we are again.  Over a month has passed already, so I've given it time to cool, but I am still so angry and hurt about it.  
  • What else?  In the interest of not throwing my career to the wolves while gestating, I am now officially enrolled in an ASN to BSN program.  I recently started my first classes and they are a pain, but I'm really glad to have something to focus on besides the above hot-button issues.
  • I should really be studying right now.  That's probably why I was inspired to finally put up a post.  Because I should be doing something else.
  • Kiddo is amazing and beautiful and healthy.  She has several loose teeth on the bottom that really need to come out.  She won't pull them.  She is willing to let me wiggle them and pull on them, but even wiggling them causes me to feel dizzy and nauseous so I'm pretty sure I don't have the gumption to pull it.  To be continued...
  • Now I'm really glad that I didn't just throw my gender reveal in this messy, nonsensical post.  But look look!  I've pushed my suspicious and anxious nature to the side and added a pregnancy ticker to the top right of the blog.  Behold!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Don't Touch the Door!

Am I the only one who sometimes wishes I could slip into a sleep-coma for a couple of days?  Just until everything blows over?  No?

Today the Kiddo locked me out of the house for the second time in about 6 months.  The last time my neighbor helped me pry the screen off the only unlocked window in the house and I had to crawl in through the kitchen window.  I decided that the extra key I previously only left with them when I leave town should stay with them permanently from then on.  You know, just in case I am faced with the possibility of having to break a window in order to get to my child again.  Then I gave Kiddo a serious talking to about NEVER TOUCHING THE DOOR when Mommy is outside and you are inside.  She seemed to really take it to heart.  So imagine my surprise when it happened AGAIN today. 

The irony of it all is just too cruel.  I dropped my car off for repairs this morning and left with the loaner car (A rather boat-like Buick that my granny would love).  I realized shortly after leaving that I had left my house key on the keychain at the dealership.  I decided that since I am moving in a week anyway, I might as well round up my spare keys.  I stopped at my mom's and grabbed that key.  Then I stopped at my neighbors to get theirs.  "There," I thought to myself.  "Now that's all done and out of the way."  I had that sense of accomplishment you get when you cross something off your to-do list.  Tonight I was talking to my brother on the phone and stepped outside to call the dogs inside.  A giggling little girl shrieks something about not wanting to let the dogs in and slams the door.  I don't get to the door fast enough and I hear the lock turn.  AAAH!  I have never given her a tutorial on how to lock/unlock the door so she just turns shit without understanding what it does.  Are you supposed to teach your 5 year old how to do that?  I've always just told her not to touch the door.  I guess in the new place we'll be having a little teaching moment regarding the doors.

Since I was now locked out and knew I had no backup keys to save me, I was forced to scale my way into a slightly open bedroom window.  Needless to say, I was immensely irritated and the Kiddo was sent to bed.  Poor little thing was really sad since she really hates when I'm upset with her and I was upset.  It's pretty scary when you feel like you CAN'T get to your child.  When I managed to resolve the situation without breaking a window, my fear turned to anger pretty quickly.  I wouldn't blame her if she was wishing she had locked the windows too the whole time I was yelling at her.  She curled up in a miserable little ball beside me in bed after that and sniffled until she fell asleep.  My baby.  Big enough to lock me out of the house.  

The car needs a lot of money's worth of repairs.  Part of me is grateful that at least I have the loaner car (I insisted on it when I made the appointment) and that thank goodness for once we don't have to scramble to come up with the money.  For many years we've had to scramble to come up with the money.  So there's that.  The pregnant hormonal part of me wants to scream though.  It's always something, isn't it?  We are  trying to shop for a new car so that our vehicle situation will be greatly improved.  My car (the one that is being repaired) will then become Jerry's commuter car.  Promising, but car shopping is only adding to the pile of crap I'm trying to juggle right now.

Moving is just this big disaster right now.  Not the packing part.  The notices that have to be given for all the utilities.  The final negotiations with the buyer.  What a mess.  And the packing part isn't fun either.

Some of my family relationships are also really in shambles right now.  I've always had a really rough relationship with my dad and it's all sort of coming to a peak where I feel like I can't be a part of the relationship anymore.  I feel like I have to take a step back until I can reconcile the father I always wished my dad would be and the father I actually have.  Because there's quite the difference between them.  Some of it stems from childhood, but truthfully most of it is from the last few years.  The way he manages to just NEVER GET IT when it comes to Matthew.  I need to stop wishing he will suddenly change and understand me and be more compassionate.  He just isn't.  And he never will be.  I could live with the disappointment for myself, but now it's starting to involve the Kiddo and Jerry and other family members.  I would like to find the time to write a post about this specifically in order to organize my thoughts a little.  I plan to write him a letter but I want it to be well-thought out and not bogged down by little things that I should let go.  Key issues only.

Hopefully tomorrow I can come up with something a bit more cheerful.  I am expecting a large shipment of maternity clothes and my doppler so it might be a good day.  I've just been feeling exhausted and really stressed and anxious the last few days.  Above my baseline, I mean.  A potent combination of moving and school admission stuff and cars and a seriously increasing level of pregnancy terror.  Ugh.  All my posts shall heretofore be titled "Ugh."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Feeling a Bit Overwhelmed (or 14 Weeks)

I had a strong desire to title this post "Ugh." but I'm not sure I haven't already used it.  Anyway, I'm going for eloquence, I guess, and avoiding the urge. I feel like this post could be split into more than one but since I keep letting nearly a week pass without posting, I've got a bit of a blogging build-up.  So once again, I will exercise my right to brain-dump all over my own blog. 

First of all--I'm officially 14 weeks today.  I've been feeling a lot less sick and exhausted the past week or two.  I guess I finally got that 2nd trimester lift I was hoping for.  The down side of feeling better is that the paranoia has really kicked in.  Have you seen these?
geekologie.com
Yes, my friend, that is an ultrasound attachment for your smartphone.  It retails for approximately $7300.  Pocket change, right?  There will probably be a bargain-priced version available a month after my last pregnancy.  Alas, that kind of constant reassurance is not available to me.  I had delayed getting a doppler because the constantly feeling like crap is actually a lot more reassuring than it sounds, and as long as I was doing ok I didn't deem it necessary.  But now I'm freaking out a little.  It's still two weeks to my next ultrasound (where I may even find out the sex!) and I can't take the wondering if there's still a baby in there.  So I just reluctantly forked out quite a chunk of change for a doppler.  I was going to rent one again, but since I'm hoping this won't be my last pregnancy and I know I'll want to keep it through the end of this pregnancy I figured I might as well buy.  I'm hoping that it is able to provide the reassurance I seek.  You never know with me.  I know there are those who claim to start feeling movements around 14 weeks (or earlier), but I don't even start to feel little flutters until about 16-18 weeks and nothing truly solid until around 20.  And I just have to say that since bone ossification doesn't even start until around 14 weeks, I'm not sure how much I believe people who claim kicks at 10 weeks.  It's just not evidence-based to me.  But to each their own.  Anyhow.

Today was an aggravating kind of day.  I didn't expect it to be.  It was one of those days where I was on the phone for HOURS trying to sort my life out with no real productivity happening.  My friend and I have decided to branch away from The Nursing School from Hell to complete our bachelor's degrees and we thought it would be fun to choose a new school together.  My other two girls from school aren't ready to jump back into school just yet.  So Kate and I applied together and have been having a heck of a time with this new school's admission process being really disorganized.  I spent an excessive amount of time on the phone between the two schools today trying to figure out where the transcript that I requested 3 weeks ago was because both schools only seem interested in blaming me or each other.  Like I said.  Ugh.  I am up against a serious deadline here because I really really want to start by the end of October and I do not know if that's going to happen right now.

I then proceeded to panic about the fact that I only applied to one RN to BSN program and convince Kate that we should apply to a backup.  Immediately.  Then we filled out our applications together.  Tomorrow we are making the commute up to The Nursing School from Hell to try to get both of our potential BSN programs some fricking transcripts.

Next, it was onto ironing out the details for the sale of my little house.  Moving time is upon us and it's just stuffed full of 30-day notices and projected move out dates and a million little details.  Plus I'm moving to Nowhereville (in case I haven't mentioned it yet) so I'm trying to do some fall shopping for the Kiddo and maternity shopping for myself.  I'm also in the market for a new sofa.  And the car needs a tune-up.  I've barely gotten a start on the packing.  And I want the Kiddo to get to enjoy the perks of living in a city that I know she will be missing in a few months time.  I'm exhausted from just trying to write this list.

Kiddo was pretty much left to her own devices the entire day.  Poor little lady.  I feel like I've missed out on so much quality time with her over the last few years and I really want to soak it all up in the coming months.  I'm wondering how I'm going to manage to do that between being so busy and being the kind of person who has a difficult time just being still.  Five years old is such an awesome, mind-blowing age.  She is just the funnest, cutest, smartest little whipper-snapper ever.  I am just so grateful, so LUCKY to have her and I don't want to miss the whole show.  I hate feeling like I'm not doing right by her.  Today was one of those days. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Are You Blogging For?

I've noticed that as many bloggers come to the end of their blogging road, usually shortly before writing their final goodbye post or unceremoniously abandoning their blog altogether (by the way, that is super frustrating), their posts start to consist of a lot of rambling-out-loud about the point of blogging.  They wonder what they had hoped to get out of having a blog and they wonder if they've achieved it.  Or they realize that they just don't have the time to do the blog justice anymore.  I also commonly see IFers and baby loss mothers who feel like they should stop blogging or at least start a new blog that marks the delineation between being an infertile/grieving-childless parent and being a parent.  I believe this sometimes stems from some subform of guilt because they've finally succeeded where others still have not.  Sensitivity to one's audience, if you will. 

If the last paragraph seems a bit judgy, I don't mean it to be.  I really do understand when people decide they are done.  Or when they just don't have the time anymore.  I often feel guilty when it's been a few weeks since I've been able to update.  It's disappointing for the audience, but audiences, after all, can be somewhat fickle.  For instance, now that I am all pregnant again and stuff I sometimes avoid the blogs of other baby loss mamas on days when I feel really anxious about the pregnancy or when I've awoken from another birth defect nightmare that morning (you know the ones).  This happens more with the baby loss mamas who have had very recent losses than the ones who lost babies around the time I did 6 years ago.  The recent loss bloggers can just bring it all screaming back for me some days because their grief is still so fresh and raw to them.  And I'm a baby loss mama!!  Sometimes remembering is a positive experience for me, but when you are 13 weeks pregnant?  Sometimes it isn't.  The sad thing is that the bloggers I avoid on days I feel more sensitive are the ones that could probably use my support the most.  After all, I am 6-plus years away from my loss and in some ways, ways I never would've imagined when Matthew had recently died, my life is better than I ever thought it could be.  I went back to (and finished!) nursing school when I never thought I'd even be able to stomach entering a nursing school or a hospital ever again.  I had my full-term healthy baby girl in a way that was safe and doesn't give me nightmares.  Jerry and I fricking made it.  That by itself seems like a miracle some days, and at the very least it's an accomplishment.  Ever google the statistics for relationships that endure the loss of a child?  The odds were/are not in our favor.  And....we are brave/stupid enough to try again. 

Yes, fellow bloggers, readers can be fickle.  Readers will stop reading your posts because you've annoyed them or stirred some emotion in their psyche that they can't/don't want to deal with right now.  Of course there are really loyal readers too... And I follow many blogs that I am convinced the writers could never do wrong in my eyes.  They seriously couldn't throw a post up on their blogs that annoyed me or made me want to stop reading.  I heart them. 

I've kept a journal since, I don't know, junior high at least.  I don't pick it up and go through it like a photo album or anything, but I still have it.  A few months ago, I spent a bit of time reading back on my 12 and 13-year-old emotions.  Honestly?  It was pretty embarassing.  There was an awkwardness to both the writer and the subjects that I have no desire to relive.  Most of the events are things that I obviously felt were significant enough at the time to warrant a journal entry, but I have no recollection of the events now-- even after reading the entry.
 
But somehow my preteen diary seems-- even in its embarassing awkwardness-- to convey many of the bigger issues I was struggling with during those years.  Knowing I was forcing myself to fit in with a crowd that I didn't really have anything in common with at all, but not knowing how to be an individual and just be myself without worrying about what everyone else thought (because you will never make them all happy anyway, Younger Reese).  Wondering when I would finally grow some boobs (never, Younger Reese, stop holding your breath.  Well actually, pregnancy will do a fair job of it but they won't be the fun, bouncy, made-for-a-triangle-bikini-top kind.  So yeah.  Just move on.)**.  I do think the memories of the issues and emotions have some importance in my life today, especially as I raise my own little girl.  And a surprising amount of the issues are very much still relevant to my adult life.  Like the negative relationship I have with my father.  Or the roots of my never-good-enough mentality.  Or the way I still often feel like I don't fit in.  Yep, it's all there folks.
 
I switched to journaling on the computer because I can type faster and with less hand cramping than I can write.  Then I started a blog because there were so many cute ones out there.  I love when I feel as though I've made a connection with a fellow blogger.  It often makes my day to receive a comment.   But the truth is, I don't blog for anyone but myself.  For me, blogging is simply a way of marking time, of keeping track of things I want to remember. To that end, I don't feel like I'm doing a good enough job (A shrink would point out here that I chronically do not feel like I measure up and these feelings may therefore be a result of my unstable emotional self rather than an actual crappy job at blogging). My blog has never had a goal other than a way of writing about the issues I am struggling with and the simple comings and goings of my everday life.  If I wanted total privacy I would stick to journaling, but I've kept my anonymity here as much as I can.  Sometimes during nursing school I felt frustrated that I couldn't just post about whatever crap The Nursing School from Hell was putting us through without giving up my anonymity, but I am glad I didn't do that now.  I want the freedom  to post about whatever I freaking feel like.  Yet, I don't think I am utilizing that freedom.  I don't think that I am managing to convey many of the bigger issues I am dealing with as I inch frighteningly close to 30 and attempt to have another child.  Issues like the negative father relationship, my fears as a mother, or how much I am questioning my spirituality.  Sometimes I wish that I was the author of a blog that was endlessly positive and optimistic, an inspiration to anyone who stumbles across it.  I've read blogs like that and that is awesome (but don't act too perfect or I'll remove the bookmark.  Seriously, I will. I'm fickle like that). It's just not me. 
 
Inspiring is not the goal here.  This will probably never even be a blog that can be put under a specific label:  mommy blogger, foodie, design enthusiast.  Nope.  Here, I just talk about whatever I feel the need to talk about.  I just want to move a bit more towards talking about the things I struggle with and the things I want to remember.  It's not important to me that I post weekly pregnancy updates (Is it just me, or are those kind of a snore?  I'm too bored to write them anymore.)  It's important that I post about my last days parenting only one child.  It's important that I post about how I struggle with depression sometimes and have so far managed to avoid medication.  I want to continue to post about Matthew and the aftermath of my loss.  I want to talk about my pregnancy fears and my hopes and dreams for my daughter.  I hope that people read.  But if they don't?  Oh well.  And if you are related to me whether by blood or marriage, please leave.  Immediately.  This place is not for you.  It's for me. 
 
**I can't resist this one.  One entry from when I was 13 recalled me to one humiliating bus ride home when one of the older high school boys grabbed a copy of the junior high yearbook that had been handed out at school that day and started flipping through it, loudly commenting on all the pictures.  When he got to my photo he loudly mispronounced my name and called my picture "ugly" and proceeded to make several other unflattering comments about my appearance. He may or may not have known I was sitting a few rows up.  I assume he probably did.  I ducked way down in my seat and my little friend sitting next to me pretended she hadn't heard.  I was humiliated.  Reading that entry, I wished so badly that I could travel back through time and tell my 13 year old self this:  that in 7 years that same jerk-off from the back of the bus will run into you in a bar (which if you can do math you will realize that I was at illegally.  Yay me!) where he will beg you and then your friends for your phone number.  It will take him nearly a month to talk you into giving it to him because you will recall the bus incident and act extra nasty to him for a while (as he deserves).  He will deny any recollection of the bus incident.  He will tell you that he had a crush on you back when you were in high school, but he was too afraid to approach you then.  You will date him for nearly two years and then YOU will dump HIM.  Don't bother going home and crying.  I'd call that a win. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Twelve Weeks

On Friday I had my first doctor appointment with Small Town MD.  It went very well.  Driving to the appointment, I was absolutely terrified.  I mean, I hadn't heard a heartbeat yet and I really didn't know for sure that things were coming along the way they are supposed to at this point.  I really didn't know for sure that a baby was in there.

Small Town MD was very pleasant and didn't seem too overwhelmed by either my history or my barrage of questions.  He is young and seems somewhat inexperienced.  When I expressed my desire to not deliver in his town, he seemed more than eager to NOT deliver my child :)  The plan of care he recommended was almost exactly what I was envisioning (discussed in the previous post) for this pregnancy.  He didn't act like he was even slightly in a hurry even though I took up much more than the average patient slot.  I was uncomfortable with what was obviously a lower level of experience than my other post-Matthew doctor...but in a small-town pinch I'm hoping he'll do.  I don't know if I mentioned that the perinatologist who delivered my daughter passed away a year after she was born.  He was spectacular and I wouldn't even be considering moving and finding new doctors if he was still an option.  Bummer. 

The plan is for me to get into see the perinatologist that is out-of-network soon so that we can all agree on the plan of care.  So far so good.  

He was very aware of my anxiety and offered an ultrasound.  Which I immediately took him up on.  I kept my eyes closed until I could convince myself to look at the screen.  I said, "Oh my gosh, there's someone in there!" and the tech burst out laughing. 

There was that little heartbeat.  Love.

I just tried to upload the pic but it won't orient correctly to the screen.  Will try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prepping For Battle

I don't know about other women, but ten weeks is when I start to think The Embryo may just stick around for awhile.  Actually it's almost a fetus now...maybe that's the landmark I unconsciously wait for before taking the pregnancy too seriously.  As in, I haven't rushed out to buy a car seat just yet. 

At any rate, it is now time to begin the barrage of doctor's appointments and to decide how my medical care is to be juggled during hopefully the next 28-30 weeks.  

A little history:  With Matthew, I wandered into a regular OB at the end of my first trimester.  Why?  Because I was caught unprepared to face pregnancy, and I felt fine.  Obviously that changed later on.  With Kiddo, I was hyper-monitored.  HCG levels, trans-vaginal ultrasounds, progesterone levels, monitoring for incompetent cervix, weekly appointments and ultrasounds throughout.  You name it, I had it done.  While I found all the second trimester and beyond medical interference to be reassuring (since my problems, after all, occur in second-third trimester), the first trimester stuff really freaked me out and made me worry.  And as you must know, dear Internet, worry doesn't get you anywhere in the first trimester.  You can't count kicks.  Until the end of the trimester you can't use a doppler.  There just aren't many medical interventions to prevent a train wreck at 6 weeks along, and there just isn't a lot of reassurance that anyone can give.  It's sad, but it's true.

So after Kiddo, I decided that next time I wanted a few weeks of pregnancy where no one messes with me.  Or with The Embryo.  And so it has been ten weeks of silence from the medical field.  Just me in my bubble.  It's not that pleasant in here, but I've been hunkering down anyway.  Preparing myself for battle if you will.  I quit drinking caffeine, I take my vitamin, I stay away from lunch meat, and I joined Baby.Center.

Now?  It's go time.

Although I am currently covered by my own health insurance policy, I'm worried that it might be a bit flimsy.  Jerry and I decided it would be best if I get on his and maintain my own as well in order to have the best coverage possible.  Both policies will cover my pregnancy, and his group policy cannot count my pregnancy as a preexisting condition (Because HIPAA says so).  I researched this right when I got a positive test, so I think we are as covered as we are going to get.

The next problem to overcome is our new location (well, my soon-to-be new location) in The Middle of Nowhere.  Allow me to elaborate.  

The Middle of Nowhere is located approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from Small-Town Hospital.  Small-Town Hospital is capable of performing prenatal care for low-risk women and delivery for low to moderate risk women.  Small-Town Hospital is also the hospital Matthew was born at.  And let's just suffice it to say they took a ridiculously long time to decide that hemorrhaging really IS an adverse event and a 27 week newborn really SHOULD be sent to another hospital with a large NICU.  So I would really like to avoid any sort of future situations where my life and/or my baby's life are in their hands. 

However.

The closest hospital that employs a perinatologist is two hours down the road from Small-Town Hospital.  That's 3 hours and 20 minutes from The Middle of Nowhere.  I don't think it's too far to drive to get prenatal care, but it is too great a distance to try to make if an emergency situation were to arise.  It is also the hospital that houses the NICU where Matthew spent his little life.  I am mostly satisfied with the care they provided so if I/We have to spend time there again I can live with that.  As long as I leave with my baby this time.  Otherwise I might kill them all.  

This is the best plan we've been able to come up with so far:

1. Be seen for weekly or biweekly appointments at Small-Town Hospital so that OB can get familiar with my history in case I show up fully dilated at 3 am.  Again. 

2.  Small-Town Hospital is affiliated with Large, Appropriate Hospital and can, therefore, refer me to the appropriate perinatologist that I have in mind.

3.  Large, Appropriate Hospital with perinatologist will monitor monthly and plan on delivering infant if all goes as planned.

4.  To minimize my risk of being in labor in Small-Town Hospital, I will be parking it in the city for approximately the last trimester of the pregnancy.  In the hopes that proximity to Large, Appropriate Hospital will prevent any and all issues. 

Friday, September 7th will be my first appointment at Small-Town Hospital.  It was pretty harrowing even making the appointment.  The receptionist cheerily asked me what doctor I wanted to see.  I said I needed to see an OBGYN.  She says, "And what for?"  "I'm.....pregnant.  Last menstrual period June 18th, 2012."  Yep, I even said the year.  "Oh, Congratulations!!" she squealed into the phone.  I did not respond.  

Then there was some transferring and I was all, "Hey, remember me?  Allow me to spell my name for you so you can say, 'Oh.....' when my name pops up and then put me on hold to figure out what the heck to do with me. "

And after all this, I realize that the perinatologist I want is out-of-network.  Forehead slap.