Archives for the month of: May, 2015

How did I go from writing every few days to writing twice a month?! I guess between the family visits, the high-risk appointments and work I’ve just been feeling worn out. I hope to write a lot more for the rest of the pregnancy.

I’m still not sleeping well and my hips have started throbbing again. I’ve had a very emotional few days, too. Monday was Memorial Day, but as it was dreary in LA and we’d had very little time at home, we decided to spend the day nesting. I went into the nursery to try to sort out baby clothes and try to organize the books and toys. I got so overwhelmed not knowing what to do with what that I just lay on the floor and sobbed for no reason. J was really supportive. She knew I’d been having some new hormonal symptoms – colostrum leaking from my nipples being the biggest one – so while I took a sad nap on the couch, she hung bookshelves, put away the books, cleaned out the dresser and put the baby clothes away, and vacuumed the nursery. She’s an amazing partner and continues to read The Birth Partner, give me natural birth pep talks and talk to the baby through my stomach every day.

Anyway, I have some major blog catching up to do. May 9th was our baby shower. I had just gotten out of the hospital and couldn’t do much housework. My mother and sisters came for the weekend and were very helpful. They picked up and arranged the catering, decorated the house, served mimosas exactly how I wanted them served (with a raspberry in each one) and kept the shower low-stress. I didn’t have any games; instead, my friends who are, respectively, an art therapist and a life coach, put together an art project in which each guest decorated a paper butterfly in the colors of our nursery and wrote a message to Glitter on the back. The butterflies will be strung together into a mobile for the nursery. It was beautiful and thoughtful. My little sister introduced a little blessingway ceremony, inviting people to read a poem or words of parenting advice aloud. Only a few people did but it was sweet. Then came the gifts! I’ve never been showered before and have never had so many gifts on one occasion! A lot of our friends came up from San Diego and it was amazing to see them and share our baby excitement with them. A friend from LA also brought her amazing camera and photography skills:

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Oops! Not ready yet but pressed the button by accident!

I got through a week of work on “modified duties” which proved to be just as busy as regular duties, but with me having a more relaxed perspective and fiercely guarding my sanity with strict boundaries. My office was very supportive but it’s just not a low-stress job. Of course, whose is.

If you’re positive for Strep B, which I am because I had a UTI in my first trimester, apparently you must be on antibiotics during labor. J has done a ton of research on this and does not want our baby to be born on IV antibiotics. A very user-friendly site she used was this:

http://thecontrarianmom.com/2010/09/10/group-b-strep-simple-treatments-for-group-b-strep/

I’ll be tested again in a few weeks and if I’m negative by then, they will not administer them. J has me on a regimen of probiotics, garlic and yVitamin C capsules, plus a no-sugar (well okay, probably more like low-sugar) diet. I’m also drinking apple cider vinegar in my water and eating fermented foods like pickles and a lot of plain yogurt.

I asked my mom the midwife about this and although she believes in natural birth with few interventions unless absolutely necessary, she thinks the antibiotics are necessary in this case. However, she then reflected that in he the seventies when my sisters and I were born, they didn’t do a Strep B test and that she was likely positive for it and didn’t even know. Well, my sisters and I are all fine (at least in this way); we didn’t die because my mother didn’t have antibiotics. Only a very small percentage of babies whose mothers are positive for Strep B contract it, and of those fewer than
4% actually die.

If it were up to just me, I probably wouldn’t risk it, but I respect J’s viewpoint and it’s certainly worth a try to get rid of it. I like healthy eating anyway and after so many sweets over the baby shower weekend, it’s nice to scarf vegetables and not pastries.

Last night we watched Birth Story, the documentary about Ina May Gaskin and the Farm midwives. We’ve watched all of the episodes of The Business of Being Born and there’s a great episode also about The Farm. When I was little, my mother’s copy of Spiritual Midwifery started at me from the bookshelf but I’ve never had an interest in childbirth or babies so I didn’t pay much attention. The fact that my mother delivered babies was beautiful and amazing, it just had nothing to do with me. Anyway, the movie both terrified and inspired me. Watching a breach birth was really scary – my vagina actually hurt. But there were also some peaceful and happy births. It made us want to have a home birth. We probably won’t due to a number of factors, but in a perfect world I would have a birthing tub in my living room or at least go to a birthing center. These mother are amazing and make labor into something empowering and sensual, not medical and scary.

To prepare for this gargantuan task, we’ve been doing hypnobirthing exercises. This week i went to my car on a lunch break to do a hypnobirthing meditation and was in such a deep trance that I locked my keys in my car. I used it to get through a painful dentist appointment today and it helped. We’ll also start perineal massage in a few weeks to prepare the vagina for stretching and birthing sensations.

My posts about my high risk appointment and my baby shower are coming soon!

It feels weird to have been in the hospital. I actually missed it last night and this morning, missed hearing Glitter’s runaway horse heartbeat and missed the nurses checking up on me. Thankfully I have good friends, including you bloggers, who helped the last 24 hours feel less lonely. I slept for 11 hours last night, then took a 2-hour nap this afternoon. That’s more than I’ve slept since last fall! I was so wiped out from my all-nighter the first night in the hospital. My hand is bruised from the IV and my butt has a huge black spot from one of the two steroid shots. I’m also having serious hip pain, not just at night but throughout the day now, and some leg and stomach cramps. I’m very grateful to have come home still pregnant though, and for baby girl to be healthy and still in my womb.

This morning I made coffee and got to work on stuff I rarely have time to do because of work, like plan meals for my upcoming family weekend, buy baby shower gifts for my yoga friends, do some budgeting and finalize my baby shower catering order. Throughout the day several packages were delivered for the shower, including the replacement crib part for the one that arrived broken. I did four loads of laundry (carefully and slowly), ate comfort food and emailed my boss about a modified work duties, which she was supportive of. I even watched a Netflix movie in the middle of the day, the kitties curled up into balls on the couch with me.

I can’t wait to see my honey, who should be walking in the door from LAX in about an hour. I’ve missed her so much and I know she’s been struggling with not having been here while I was in the hospital. Last night we talked about how to move forward for the rest of the trimester in terms of her work schedule and doctor recommendations. I know we’ll be okay, but I am concerned about pre-term labor now. I’ve been looking over our hospital paperwork, refining my hospital bag list and doing some more nursery nesting. It’s not the same without J though and really looking forward to having her home with me. She’s planning on working from home tomorrow while I’m still recovering, and taking a break to put the crib together and hang the artwork I ordered from Papaya Art in the nursery. We received our crib mattress today, and I anticipate the room coming together a little more by tomorrow!

Despite the dreary LA weather and melancholy day, I’m really excited to see my mom and sisters this weekend. My mother is arriving tomorrow night and coming with us to a midwife appointment Friday morning. My midwife, who I saw yesterday in the hospital, told me she is going to put some acupuncture needles in me when I arrive at her office before my prenatal appointment (she also does Chinese medicine) to help me relax. I have to do a Glucose test as well, and in the afternoon J, my mother and I have an appointment here at home with my awesome doula. My sisters get in Friday night.

To put a little cheer in this post, here’s my baby shower menu and a few pics:

French Brunch:

Quiche Lorraine, Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

Roasted asparagus

Roasted potatoes with herbs

Rosemary Demi and raisin walnut loaf with honey herb butter

Assortment of pastries – Chocolate croissants, almond croissants, pain an chocolate

Fresh fruit salad

Lemon tart

Apricot blueberry tart 

Mimosas 

Sparkling lemonade

Most of it is being catered by La Maison du Pain, a great French bakery, and we’ll put together the rest. I’m excited to see friends from San Diego and all over.

Fetal monitor:
 

Hospital room service menu:

Here’s the nursery artwork:  

Here I am in labor and delivery, but I’m not in labor.

J and I had a fun weekend with my father, who was visiting from Connecticut. On Saturday we went hiking in Topanga Canyon and got lost. It was 85 degrees and we ended up doing six miles instead of four. I felt like I couldn’t go on due to difficulty breathing, the heat and my protruding stomach, but we eventually made it out, went swimming in Santa Monica and went to a wonderful dinner.

Yesterday I felt really tired. J had to leave for a business trip and we were sad. We talked about how to prepare for later on in the third tri when she’s on a trip – staying near the phone, when she’ll stop going out of town, etc.

After she left I went to the bathroom and felt some gushing blood. I was bleeding bright red. I told my dad we had to go to the hospital and called J on the way. She was already on the airplane and they were announcing that the doors were about to shut. She almost got off but I told her not to, that I’d be fine. She ordered in-flight wifi so we could keep texting. My father and I went to L & D triage and they did an ultrasound, inserted an IV hookup in case I need fluids or blood, and did a pelvic exam. After two hours they admitted me to a room and said they’d be monitoring me for a couple of days. My first thought was that I have to go to work of course, but I got over that. Mostly I was worried that I would go into labor which was terrifying; the baby isn’t ready and we’re not ready.

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The doctors said it was likely a placental abruption which can be serious. I spent a lonely and sleepless night in a dark room. I sent my dad home to feed the kitties and get some sleep. Right after he left I did have a good cry. I slept no more than an hour. They hooked me up to ultrasound monitors that keep constant tabs in the baby’s heart rate and breathing, as well as contractions (which I’m not having). I kept bleeding a little with minor cramping but my cervix wasn’t dilated and I wasn’t in labor thank goodness.

I was awake alllllniiiight, 11pm, 1am, 3am, 5am… The night went on and on. I missed J so much and worried about going into labor. I finally slept from 4 to 5am. In the morning I was wheeled on a gurney to radiology and they did vaginal and abdominal ultrasounds. The good news is that I don’t have placenta previa, my placenta has risen to 3.5 cm above the cervix, which is good news for the possibility of a vaginal delivery, the baby’s head is down and my cervix is closed and long.

I had a long day of monitoring, nurses, and ordering fun room service food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My father came bearing fresh fruit, knitting and phone chargers and spent the whole day in the hospital room with me. We talked to the doctors and everything seems optimistic, but things can change at any time. For now, as long as the bleeding continues to subside, I can go home tomorrow night. I’m going to be considered high risk from here on out and there are going to have to be some lifestyle changes that will be hard for me, like giving up kickboxing and weights and having a much lower stress level at work. They have suggested I stop working but have also said I can work but need to reduce physical and emotional stress. Not an easy task for me but I just want to focus on the baby and becoming a mom. This experience has made things feel very real.

They’ve given me two shots of betamethasone to help Glitter’s lungs develop in case she’s born, one last night and one tonight. Shots in the butt hurt! They were wonderful enough to take me off the monitors tonight and give me an Ambien. I hope sleep is in my near future. Good night.

Glitter is about as active as can be, jumping and rolling around every day, especially at night. I know 28 weeks is the peak of movement, so I did a kick card – 10 kicks in 19 minutes, although this is a pretty arbitrary exercise. I’ve started to feel some bigger kicks, but a lot of quivers and rolls still. The other night I watched my stomach move around for twenty minutes straight. She must have been dancing or kickboxing!

We painted an old dresser to match the crib and saved hundreds of dollars. We also bought a rug for the nursery and my father, who is visiting, brought us the co-sleeper my sister’s baby slept in. Hand-me-downs are the best! My boss brought me a bottle sanitizer, bouncer and more baby clothes. Things are starting to come together.

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I’m reading Bringing Up Bebe, a book about an American woman bringing her child up in Paris. My sister highly recommended it. Some of it conflicts with my beloved attachment parenting, but it makes so much sense. I’ll try to keep up with posting and describe it.