Friday, July 30, 2010

Who's that Lady?: A Birth Story

I have been happily absent for the last three months and I think it is time to catch up on the exciting conclusion of Inconceivable.

May went by quickly with my birthday and wrapping up things at work and the general excitement of preparing for Fancy Fetus. A week and a half before my due date, I started having contractions late one Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning. They were uncomfortable but not unbearable. I waited it out and finally decided to go into work late. I put on this summery dress that really accentuated my lovely lady lumps (in the back the back and in the front) and some tall boots. I thought I looked pretty hot for being 15 months pregnant. My husband went into the city with me and when we got on the train, this guys starts singing a little loudly: "Who's that lady? Sexy Lady, with the baby. She got her high boots on." I figured it was about me when he said "with the baby", but the high boots clarified it. Matt swiftly spirited me to the next car.

I was scheduled to start training my replacement that day as well as run a group, so despite the contractions, I had to be on. I worked until 8:30pm and the contractions really kicked in on the way home.

During the night the contractions got progressively worse and sleep became impossible. I had my check up that morning and my dr. put me at 3 1/2 centimeters and fully effaced. So rather than go into work, my husband and I went to Bouchon Bakery (the same place where we celebrated my first IUI round and the discovery that I was having a girl) and then to Baby Gap. At this point the contractions went from uncomfortable to painful, but still not unbearable. It was a beautiful day to be in labor so we walked around a little more and then proceeded home.

Next Up: Arrested Development

Friday, April 30, 2010

Remedial Birthing

We have completed our birthing class and are now allowed to have our baby. Before we "graduated", however, we attended a film night at the hospital. It was birthing for dummies. I suppose if I hadn't read a book or taken classes it might have been useful, but then there still would have been that awful woman leading the class. Her commentary between the film was so painfully annoying that I was ready to ask for an epidural to get through the rest of it. She even carried on about how ugly her granddaughter was at birth. 3 hours of my life I will never get back. I also couldn't help but notice that if you want to be in a birthing film, you have to be hefty, have a bad haircut and own a pair of overalls. I've got the bad haircut right about now, but I'll have to put on a little more weight and scare-up a heap of denim before they'll film me pushing out a baby.

Despite the overalls and the scary stretch marks in these films, I get teary-eyed when they throw that crinkly, gray baby up onto the mother's massive bosom. I have seen my share of vaginal births, including the Ricki Lake's, so you would think I that would have built up an immunity to this, but it gets me every time.

I made 36 weeks yesterday. So far i have gained about 16 pounds and my blood pressure and urine tests have all been in the good range. I hope I can keep my winning streak up for a few more weeks and carry it into that tiny delivery room.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Do I Make You Sleepy?

It seems that whenever I get on a train these days everyone with a seat is suddenly narcoleptic. I have never seen people fall asleep so fast! The minute I get seat, however, everyone wakes,refreshed from the 10 minute nap. Adolescent boys are the rudest. They will look right at you and not budge even though they may be getting off on the next stop. I swear a pregnant woman on crutches could be standing in front of them and they wouldn't move. Overall I have found that women between 30-50 are most likely to give up their seat. But it is a damn shame how lazy and/or oblivious people are to their fellow commuters. I know we are all tired and no one wants to stand for 35 minutes, but when I have to give up my seat for on old lady, something is wrong. Yes, my 8 1/2 month pregnant bum stood up so a lady with a cane could have a seat, and not one other person offered to trade their seat for me.

The newest peril of my commute is the subway stairs. My legs have become jelly blobs that give out in protest after about 10 steps up. A low-grade incline is leaving me breathless. As a relatively active and athletic person, I am dismayed to be waddling up stairs. I haven't even been doing any yoga and when I went to the gym on Sunday, I didn't think I would last 10 minutes at level 1 on the elliptical.

But those are all minor inconveniences because throughout the day, I get to feel my little girl's knee, elbow or foot nudging me. And despite the annoyance of her constant hiccups, I am so glad to know she is there!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Baby Phat

I think I need to put my baby on a diet. I had my 32 week visit on Thursday, and she is measuring in on the large side - already a pound more than at my 30 week visit. Here legs are also measuring at 34 weeks. I am fine with her having long legs - she has been a called a Rockette before, but I really hope I don't have to push out a 9 lbs baby. I know the ultrasounds aren't always accurate, so I am trying not to be too nervous about this. Everything else looked good on the scan. We were able to see her eyes move around which was a little creepy but also so amazing. I checked out ok too. I have yet to have any fearsome bloating, (I hate to write it because I don't want to jinx it) and haven't gained much weight. I know I am going to get bigger and may even get puffy, but so far, I have been happy with the pregnancy from a purely vain perspective.

We also started our birthing class last week, in a really overheated, crowded room (why would you cram 10 pregnant women and their partners in a stuffy room for hours? I guess they wanted to mimic the suffering of labor.) It's a five week session and lasts 3 hrs per class, so I am hoping that my labor isn't as endless as these classes. The teacher is an avid Lamaze advocate and little quirky as I suspected she would be. Overall, the first class was okay. Much of it was a review of things I had read in the "Girlfriends Guide of What to Expect When I'm Pregnant for Dummies!" So spare me the 30 minute detailed play by play of effacement.

The most useful part was getting to practice some labor positions. My favorite one was what I call the Knocked-up Prom Picture:husband behind wife with his arms around the belly. When we first started practicing the positions, I had a terrible feeling that, like at my tango classes, they would make us rotate partners. Thankfully, I didn't have to pant with a stranger. At the start of each contraction, we were taught to take in a deep "cleansing breath." I am quite possibly the only yoga teacher that would role my eyes at that, and I did. Cleansing breath? Breath of Fire maybe. Or maybe I could get on board with calling it breathing with the pain, but cleansing breath makes it sound so tranquil and healing (say tranquil in a low/slow whisper). Let's get real here, I think once those big ass contractions get going, there will be no zen in the vicinity. After about 6 cleansing breathes, I needed to get my husband off of me because it didn't feel all the cleansing to be held and stroked when it was 95 degrees and there was sweat pooling in the little space left between my massive cleavage and my watermelon belly.

I can't believe I am already 8 months. The weather is starting to warm up and the sun is shining bright today. Damn, I am lucky!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Confetti Eyes

I have had some weird physical ailments throughout the pregnancy (allergies to the F train, pregnancy induced claustrophobia, phantom whiplash) but the latest one is by far the strangest. I call it Confetti Eyes. On Friday, I was at my computer nearly the entire day and by the day's end, I had this dancing light in my left peripheral vision. At first I thought it was spots from talking to someone who was back lit by the sunshine, but then it got worse. There was an arc of a bubble-like static that went where ever I looked and then it started to look like confetti falling in my cornea. I must admit, I was a little concerned. I could see, but it was becoming uncomfortable to look at things or to focus. The thought of commuting home with a station sign-off pattern in my field of vision was making me almost as jumpy as my eye. It finally resolved itself after I sat in a dark room with my eyes closed for a few minutes despite the fact that with my eyes closed, I could still see the confetti.

I am not really sure if this is pregnancy related or why it came on and went away so suddenly. It was probably fatigue from staring at the computer - which is why I probably shouldn't be on the computer now, but if this is going to happen again, I want it to be after I have had the baby and am adequately sloshed so that I have a good excuse to see gold foil raining down.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Long Walk

Several weeks ago, I had my 20 week anatomy scan. As I was walking to the hospital, I had a flashback of going there last memorial day weekend for my laparoscopy. This coming memorial day weekend, I plan to be back at that hospital for my baby's birth. While the lap did nothing to further my ability to conceive, it seemed like a necessary step. As I got closer to the hospital, I started going through all of the other steps that got me here, on my way to literally peak inside my baby's heart.

Whereas memorial day didn't come through, labor day did. I thought of that weekend and those two very long walks to my other hospital for my retrieval and transfer. They were both beautiful days full of promise. M turned to me at one point on our way and said, "I know I would be happy if it was just you and me." It was a wonderfully sweet thing to say, and we are very happy just the two of us, but I still wanted to cry a miserable tear or two because I couldn't say I would be happy knowing it would only be the two of us for the rest of our lives. Thankfully, we have good reason to hope that neither of us has to find out if we were right.

After the sentimental stroll down infertility lane, my practical side kicked in and made me nearly as grateful for fact that I don't have to trek all the way to the eastside in the freezing weather at 8:00 am. Infertility treatment in the summer is the way to go.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Bermuda Triangle

In a last ditch attempt to get in some world traveling before we become teethered to a 7 (hopefully) pound meatloaf, M and I are on our way to somewhat sunny Bermuda. With the reasonably priced airfare, short and direct flight, off-season hotel rates and temperature that is at least above freezing, it seemed perfect. Beyond that, we have no plans or ideas of what we want to do when we get there. It's a long weekend, so we jumped on it last week. With the added bonus of it being Valentine's Day while we are there, so I am sure we will squeeze in something somewhat romatic. I am thinking a sunset or sunrise - maybe both; it may get crazy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mother Kicker

The last few weeks, it seems I have popped straight out. A mere two weeks ago people were telling me that I didn't look pregnant and now people are looking at my belly on the train and avoiding eye contact lest they are guilted into giving me their seat. The baby has also started really kicking and each day she is stronger. It was so cute at first; I had everyone touching my belly, but now it is starting to feel like someone is constantly poking at me. Despite the mild annoyance, I was still supremely freaked out when she finally laid off the jabbing one Saturday. I swore I wouldn't be that type of person who flipped over ever normal thing, but I was almost crying at lunch when she hadn't kicked at all that day. She finally resume her regular programming later that day and I resumed complaining about it. All was right with the world.

In protest to my complaining she is kicking at me now.

I have also recently diagnosed myself with pregnancy on-set morning claustrophobia. I need to look that up, because it is getting to be a daily nuisance. Each morning, about a 20 minutes into my hour commute, I start to feel dizzy with a large helping of get-me-off-this-train. As the train gets more crowded, I start to feel worse. So I have started preemptively getting getting off the train before I feel like I am going to blackout. The thought of blacking out by alone in lower Manhattan does not appeal to me. My dr. said that it is probably low blood pressure combined with becoming overheated. I usually remove my coat and winter apparel when I get on the train, but it hasn't really cured it. This has also happened in church and was the same sensation I had before I lost my breakfast all over that poor Delta galley right after New Years. The common denominator seems to be stuck in one space, surrounded by people, with limited movement. There is little I can do to avoid or change my commute, so I guess I will do everything I can to not fall face first onto some stranger who was busy pretending not to notice I am pregnant and standing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Holiday ReCap

I have been offline for while with the multi-city Christmas extravaganza and haven't been updating, but there were a very cherished holidays moments that deserve to be recorded for posterity.

1. Being dismissively told at LGA that we didn't have seat assignments and that they might be able to get us out "sometime this week."
2. The blizzard that kept us huddled at my in-laws for what seemed like 2 weeks.
3. The Delta crew forgetting to de-ice our plane which caused us to miss our connection by 10 minutes, but then resulted in first class tickets for the next leg of the trip.
4. Birthday cake disasters
and finally
5. Puking on the return flight. In the back galley of the plane ...everywhere.

Notice how the worst ones involved air travel. That last one really endeared me to the flight attendants who, by the way, COULD NOT FIND A BARF BAG for me. I gave them ample warning and desperately tried to wait until the bathrooms were unoccupied. I think they thought I was still hungover from New Years because the guy appeared to not believe me when I told him I was pregnant.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fancy Fetus

When we last left off, I was sitting on some important news, but because I know there is at least one person out there who still reads this, I kept it to myself until I could tell her in person. So now that she knows, here is the big scoop.

At my dr's appt at my 17 week check up, I talked my dr into telling me the gender despite the fact that my husband couldn't be there and my dr's insistence that people from Brooklyn always want to be surprised. He asked me if I had a preference to which I of course replied: "I just want a healthy baby", and then told me it was a girl. I then squealed: "well I really wanted a girl." He advised me not to decorate the nursery until my 20 week anatomy scan, but he was pretty certain it was a girl.

Fast forward 4 weeks later for the full anatomy scan (which was creepy awesome by the way), and I was slightly nervous that the ultrasound would reveal a developmental problem, but I was really nervous that they would be like, "um, it's a boy. " I was already invested in it being a girl baby - I mean REALLY. Much to our relief she is still a girl. We have had a girl's named picked out for a while (since I was like 20 years old), but couldn't settle on a boy's name. We have also been calling the baby Fancy Fetus and it is starting to stick with family and friends, and it just seemed wrong for a baby boy, so crisis averted.

I am so thrilled. Another May girl, just like me, my lovely twin and my fabulous mother!