Monday, October 2, 2017

Emmett Thomas Strong

Emmett Thomas Strong is officially 2 months old! It’s so cliché, but I feel like he’s already been with us forever. He was born 3.5 weeks before his due date on August 1, 2017 at 9:23 PM in Chicago, IL. When he was born, he weighed 6 lbs 13.5 oz and was 19.8 inches long. His head circumference was 14.1 inches--ouchie. 

This is going to be a birth story, which is possibly the longest and most boring type of story there is for anyone except the parents and the child (and very graphic, as well), so please don’t feel obligated to read any of this. My dad was so kind as to give a play-by-play account of my labor and delivery in our family group text. So most of this is from what he put down in the texts and what little parts I can remember. Please also bear in mind that I’m running off of 2 hour spurts of sleep here and there, so this writing will definitely not be my best work.

A few weeks before Emmett was born, I was diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, which means that my liver is not filtering the bile in my body the way it should be. There is no risk to me with this diagnosis—just really bad itchiness all over my body. However, it can result in stillbirth for the baby, so with a diagnosis, they typically induce labor at 37 weeks. I started undergoing bi-weekly non stress tests to monitor Emmett’s heart rate and movement. If anything changed during one of these tests, they would consider inducing labor even earlier. They took my blood weekly to see if my bile acid levels were rising.

My initial diagnosis was tentative because my bile acid levels had not elevated above the normal level and the only symptom was the itchiness (which is also a normal pregnancy symptom, so it’s hard to really know). I also had upper right quadrant pain (where my gallbladder has moved to) and I had been nauseous during the whole pregnancy, which are other symptoms that not all people get with cholestasis. But they are also considered symptoms that happen during pregnancy anyway. Everyone that I told I had constant pain in my gallbladder area just explained it by saying his feet were up there and digging in. So, basically, I was diagnosed based on very subjective symptoms—just the fact that I told the doctor my itching had spread to my hands and it had gotten worse.  One of Billy’s friends had lost her first baby due to cholestasis, and I think that Billy thought that her story was making me a hypochondriac. And I wondered that myself. 

My doctor decided to induce me on Sunday, August 6th at 37 weeks and 1 day, based on what I told him about my itchiness getting worse. This gave me such anxiety and made me feel like it was my decision. What if I didn’t have cholestasis and we induced that early and he had major problems because of it? What if I did have cholestasis and I played down my itchiness and then he died because we left him in there too long? Ultimately, his life compared to some medical problems isn’t a real comparison, but I wanted more definitive proof. I met with a maternal fetal medicine specialist and she didn’t seem to think I had cholestasis at all, but luckily my OB didn’t want to take this lightly.  After I met with the MFM specialist, my bile acid levels came back the next day and they saw that one of the levels was elevated, but typically they look at the combination of all the levels to diagnose, and the combination was still in the normal range. The problem with relying on the bile acid levels are that there are only a few labs throughout the whole country that test these bile acid levels and so the results take one week to come back. With cholestasis, your levels can triple over 24 hours, so it’s not smart to go completely off of that. Things can change so quickly and by the time you realize it, it may be too late. The MFM specialist quickly changed her tune after seeing the elevated levels and so I felt a little better about inducing early.

Anyway, my last bile acid level results were extremely elevated, and my OB got those results back on Sunday, July 30. Based on these results, and the fact that the Urodial medication he had given me relieved my itchiness, he even more vehemently diagnosed me with cholestasis. He was a little concerned with how quickly the levels had risen, so on our appointment on Monday, he told us that most experts recommend induction at 37 weeks, while some actually recommend induction at 36 weeks. So he gave us the option of inducing TOMORROW(?!?!?!) or Thursday, August 3rd because those were the days he was on call at the hospital. We decided we would wait until Thursday to let him cook a little bit longer and to get everything ready (and golf one more time) and then we went home. We started talking about it at home and changed our minds. 2 extra days in the womb is not going to make that much of a difference in his development. Plus, I knew that I would be a crazy person the next 2 days, counting his kicks and freaking out if I didn’t feel him move constantly. He was already measuring at 6.5 pounds, so low birth weight was not a worry (and as it turns out, he weighed even more than that!) I was mostly worried about his lungs not being fully developed. But, they can do so much nowadays with premature babies and when you measure the risk of treatable medical problems to the small but real risk of stillbirth, it wasn’t even a question in this anxious momma’s eyes. So, on Monday afternoon, we cleaned our house as clean as it has ever been and tried to get everything ready that we thought we had a whole other week to do. During this time, Billy confessed to me that the first thought he had when my OBGYN said we could induce TOMORROW, was that he was planning on golfing tomorrow. I’ve heard that dads take a little longer to realize that their world is about to be rocked, and Billy proved it beautifully.

I told my parents at 1 PM that I was being induced TOMORROW and they packed their bags and were on the road to Chicago by 6 PM. Oh and it was also their 41st wedding anniversary. They celebrated by eating at Roy Rogers in a gas station. I’m nominating them for the best parents award. They spent the night in Cleveland and then got to the hospital at 12:30 PM, right as my contractions were getting stronger.

Billy and I went into the hospital at 6:30 AM on Tuesday, August 1st. My doctor warned me that the induction could take a couple days if my body wasn’t ready to get going, so we were prepared for the long haul. They admitted me and got everything ready. They asked me if I was an organ donor, which is always really comforting right before you’re about to do something that many women have died from. I told my family this piece of news, and my dad called dibs on my eyes since he has cataracts.

My doctor explained to me the pros and cons of getting a steroid injection to help Emmett develop his lungs—the worry was that his lungs weren’t fully developed since he was only 36 weeks and 3 days gestational age. There was a slight risk that he would need some extra help. So, we decided to get the steroid, which they gave to me at about 7:30 AM. They then placed a small dose of misoprostol up my lady parts at 8 AM and waited a few hours to see what it did. Dr. Izbicki warned me that I probably wouldn’t notice anything until 9 AM and it may not do anything at all, especially since I was not effaced at all and only 1 cm dilated. He just wanted to ease my body into it. I bragged to him that I always respond really well to medications. At 8:30 AM I started having contractions 5 minutes apart. He checked my cervix at 11 AM and I was still only dilated to a 1, but I was about 40% effaced. Since I wasn’t dilating, he said we would try putting a balloon up me to help stretch it out, but I didn’t need any more medication. They put the balloon in around 1:00 PM. My contractions at this point were about 3 minutes apart and that balloon really aggravated my uterus. I was writhing in pain, and my mom told me that I was definitely in hard labor—she’d recognize that level of pain anywhere. At 1:30, my doctor said I could have the epidural whenever, and I immediately asked for it. I thought I could maybe one day have a birth that is natural, but no thank you. Give me all the drugs. The anesthesiologist took her sweet time in getting there, and the epidural took 20 minutes before it numbed the balloon area. But once it kicked in, holy heaven! At one point I rested my hand on my belly and thought there was something on top of my belly—but nope, it was just part of my body that couldn’t even feel my hand touching it. I highly recommend an epidural. It felt awesome. Billy was making fun of me because I totally got caught giving myself some more once I had started pushing and the nurse called me out. I just wanted to be prepared in case it started wearing off!

At around 3 PM, Dr. Izbicki checked me again and I was dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced.  At this point, my contractions were so strong and frequent that they didn’t think I’d need any Pitocin unless they started getting weaker.  The doc put a catheter in me so I didn’t have to get up to pee. I wish I had one of those all during my pregnancy—it would have solved all of my insomnia problems!

The doctor then broke my water. For the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I was also being monitored for having a lot of amniotic fluid. When he broke that water, it gushed everywhere! And it was kind of gross how warm it felt.
Emmett’s heart rate started to get too low during some of my contractions, so they put an oxygen mask on me to make sure we were both getting enough oxygen. My parents were there in the room and I think it really freaked them out to see me like that. Actually, I think a lot about the birth really freaked them out. The mask was annoying because I was trying to laugh and talk to my parents and Billy, but they couldn’t understand me. And the nurse thought Emmett’s heart rate was better when I was on my right side, so I had my back to them all.  The oxygen helped his heart rate even out, but then they took it off and it wigged out again, so I kept it on for the remainder of the delivery. At this point, my contractions were three minutes apart and extremely strong. They were going literally off the chart—we couldn’t see the peak of them on the monitor. But I couldn’t feel a thing. I think I even took a little nap at the time. At one point, we heard a girl in another room SCREAMING in agony. It sounded like she was getting tortured. Meanwhile, my contractions were through the roof and I was contently sipping my jello. Again, I cannot emphasize enough the beauty of epidurals.

At about 4:30 PM, the nurse informed us that first time moms usually dilate about 1 cm every 1.5 hours, so at that rate I would start pushing around 11 PM. At 5 PM, they checked me again and I was dilated to a 5. The doctor could feel Emmett’s head and remarked on how much hair he has. Which I already knew, because my heartburn was ridiculous from 18 weeks on. Then, they got a more accurate fetal heart rate monitor by attaching little hooks into Emmett’s scalp. Now that he’s out, I can actually see the tiny scratches from the monitor on his head. The poor little guy has all sorts of wounds from that traumatic day.

The doctor came in to check me at 6:15 PM and said I was 100% effaced and 9 cm dilated. Then he checked again just to be sure and decided that I was actually at 10 cm! He asked me to start doing some practice pushes to see what would happen. I have no idea how my cervix dilated 5 cm in 1 hour, but I think Emmett just really wanted to get out. Emmett was below 0 station, so at 6:30 PM, it was go time.

When it was finally time to push, I got really nervous. Was he gonna be okay? Would I really be meeting my baby boy within an hour? Would I feel it? Was I about to die in childbirth? Was I even pushing the right way? So much anxiety!

Emmett was face up, or sunny-side up, as they call it--which is not ideal for pushing. They prefer the babies to be face down, so their face doesn’t get caught on the pubic bone. I pushed for an hour and a half, and some progress was made, but then the contractions started getting more spread out. My arms and legs were so shaky, that if I had had Emmett then, I may have dropped him. My mom and sisters warned me that they got super shaky during the transition part of labor, so I assumed that’s what it was. Thank goodness for mothers and sisters who can somewhat prep you for childbirth.

The doctor gave me a break at 8:00 PM. I started pushing again at 8:30 PM, but stopped after a few minutes because the contractions weren’t strong enough to do anything.  They finally gave me some Pitocin to make my contractions stronger to help me push. At 8:50 PM, I started getting super nauseous and threw up a few times and then Dr. Izbicki came in and said “Let’s deliver this baby!” He checked and said Emmett hadn’t come down very much since he last checked. I started pushing again and made some good progress.

At 9 PM, the doctor decided we needed to use the suction cup to get him out, because he just wasn’t coming out quickly enough. I didn’t see any of this, but Billy and my parents said it looked like Dr. Izbicki was trying to reel in a 500 lb tuna out of my vagina. The suction popped off 3 different times. The first time, there was a loud popping noise, and I honestly thought that the baby had come out and that’s the noise that my body made when he came out. Billy and I looked at each other, both bewildered. But no such luck. Emmett started moving down without the suction, thanks to my amazing pushing (or so the doctor said to encourage me). Dr. Izbicki said if I pushed like that again, we wouldn’t need the suction.

Pushing is so freaking hard though. Not only is it tiring (especially after 3 hours), but it’s hard to really know if you’re pushing with the right muscles. Luckily, my friends all told me to push as if you are pooping, so that’s what I did. Sometimes I’d be pushing and out of breath, and I thought “was I even pushing, or was I just holding my breath and gritting my teeth?” No one told me if I did or not, but I’m sure I pooped all over that table.

At 9:15, the doctors and nurses all put on their delivery gowns. I bore down while the doctor used the suction cup. He warned that if it didn’t work during these next couple contractions, we would need to do a C-section for the baby’s safety. That may have been the biggest motivator for me to push as hard as I could. I did not just push 3 hours so that I could have a C-section. I had always thought that a C-section would be easier and less dangerous for the baby. Even though the recovery is hard, I was mostly concerned about Emmett’s safety. But then Billy told me how going through the birth canal is really beneficial for the baby—it helps his lungs to develop, which I had been really worried about with him being so early. So, I really wanted to avoid a C-section, especially since I had already worked so hard.

At 9:23 PM, with the help of a quick episiotomy (that I didn’t even feel, thanks to that glorious epidural), he finally came out. Billy said that the sound of the doctor cutting me was like ripping carpet. So gross. Dr. Izbicki announced that he hadn’t wanted to say anything earlier so as not to worry me, but the cord was wrapped tightly around Emmett’s neck, which is why it took so long for him to come. I was fighting against the cord the whole time. I actually had noticed in our last ultrasound that it looked like the cord was wrapped around his neck and asked the doctor about it. He assured me in my next doctor’s appointment that it definitely could have been the cord, but not to worry, because 1 in 3 babies are born with the cord wrapped around their neck. The doctor calmly and quickly unwrapped the cord from his neck and then plopped him on my chest. Then Billy cut his cord--all right on top of my belly. 

I’ll be honest, I have no recollection of any of this—except for the first time I saw Emmett. I didn’t know the cord was wrapped around his neck or that I got an episiotomy until Billy told me 10 minutes later. I was so focused on pushing, that I didn’t hear anything until I heard the room start saying, “Congratulations!” When the doctor plopped bloody little Emmett on my chest, I think I was even still pushing. It took me a few minutes to come back to reality and realize that this was my baby I was holding! I don’t think it really registered until I looked up to see Billy wiping away his tears. I can count on one hand the times that I’ve ever seen Billy cry. For the first time in our lives together, he was crying about something and I wasn’t, because I was so in shock. Don’t worry, the tears eventually came—especially when they took him away to the nursery because they were a little worried about his breathing. I think I was expecting this dramatic “love at first sight” moment, but it definitely wasn’t that way for me. This baby that I had been carrying and growing for 9 months was suddenly here and I felt like I didn’t know him at all. I definitely had the motherly instinct to protect him, but I mostly just wanted to get to know him more. I felt the need to learn everything about him and just spend as much time as I possibly could with him. Every day I fall more and more in love with him.
Last bump shot. 36 weeks 3 days.

Stoked on the jello

Contractions off the charts
Epidurals are heavenly

Best parents around

Sara was my favorite nurse during my NSTs and she got to help me through labor.

I took this picture when I was alone in my hospital room, waiting for my epidural to wear off. My parents and Billy had gone to see Emmett in the nursery. I hadn't been told about any of the problems Emmett was having, yet--I just thought they brought all babies to the nursery for observation. I wanted to remember how happy and content I felt at this moment. I have never felt more beautiful even with my melasma, sweated off makeup, swollen face and body, exhaustion, and unbrushed hair. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Trying to Be Positive

I have loathed being pregnant. Absolutely hated it. There was maybe only a month (and not even a month straight--they were four separately scattered weeks) when I didn’t feel nauseous. And now it’s back in full swing. My back hurts all the time. If I’m not nauseous, I have heartburn, which also causes me to throw up. I've been diagnosed with obstetric cholestasis and EVERYTHING on my body itches. I'm probably gonna have scars from where I've made myself bleed from scratching nonstop. I really don’t know if we’ll have any more biological children, because being pregnant is my least favorite thing to do. I’m gonna need my brain to do some serious repression before we start thinking about doing some more fertility treatment.

But, I realize I spend a lot of my time complaining about it, and I don’t want to look back on this almost year of my life with that much negativity. Because it’s also the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me. (But really, why does it have to be so long?)

So, here is a list of the things I’ll (maybe) miss about pregnancy:

1. Being reassured by the spastic movements. My baby is constantly moving. Sometimes, when I’m bored at work, I’ll just watch my belly convulsing. I sometimes get annoyed by it, especially when he hurts me, but it sure beats the alternative of always wondering if he’s okay in there. In fact, I have found myself googling if a baby can move too much. I even googled if it was possible for a baby to have a seizure in utero, because it sure felt like he was. Every time we have had an ultrasound or we’ve tried to find the heartbeat, the tech or doctor makes a comment about how active he is. And I’m just like “I KNOW!” 
A few weeks ago, my doctor warned me that he would start running out of room in there, so I would feel less movement. He doesn’t know my baby like I do, though. He doesn’t like to feel cramped. Whenever my bladder starts filling up, he likes to push back against it because it gets in his way. I can usually get him to move on command by pushing into my belly button. He gets irritated and pushes back. And I’ve actually felt him stronger than ever in the past few weeks. I even went to the ER again because one of his kicks had me doubling over and I was almost positive he broke my water. Luckily, he hadn’t, but I still feel like he could at any given moment. I have so many friends that are pregnant right now and they all talk about being able to tell where their baby’s head or butt is, but honestly mine is constantly doing somersaults, so I never know if he’s kicking me or punching me or if it’s his head or butt making my stomach drastically larger on one side. Our spawn is a little psycho and I love it.

2. My new laugh. My laugh has morphed into a really deep belly laugh that sounds so weird that it makes me laugh even harder. I sound like Santa Claus. It makes my laughs so much more satisfying and jolly for some reason.

3. Maternity pants! I may wear these forever. They are so comfortable. And I got some really cute maternity clothes that I’m a little sad I won’t be able to wear in a couple months. Well, if all goes as planned, I won’t be able to wear them in a couple months. At the moment, I can’t really imagine myself not having a belly.

4. Always having a good excuse to get ice cream. The other day, we went to the beach with some friends and Billy and I grabbed some McDonald’s for lunch. Before I was pregnant, there’s no way I would have eaten a Hot ‘n Spicy chicken sandwich when I know I’m going to be in a swimsuit all day. But since I’m huge anyway, and my belly actually stretches out my love handles, I didn’t even bat an eye! This mentality is probably the reason why I’ve gained almost 50 pounds.

5. Stranger’s kind comments. I get so many “Congratulations!” and “What are you having?” from the most random people. There are also some not so fun comments, of course.
“Any day now, right?”
“Nope, still got another month!”
“Really? Oh wow!”
“Thank you? If it makes you feel any better, I eat a lot of pizza.”
One guy outside my work asked me “Are you having a baby or just getting fat?”
People are crazy, but for the most part everyone has been super friendly and sweet about it.

6. Getting to cut in line at public restrooms. This is especially useful for living in the city when your baby likes to use your bladder as a stress ball.

7. Billy and I have grown so much closer through this whole experience. We rarely ever fight anymore. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so tired all the time, so I don’t have the energy to nag him. Or because he is finally in the fun part of medical school with normal hours and doing hands-on doctor crap that he loves (“Babe, I got to touch someone’s intestines today!”). But I’ve felt like we laugh more than ever—especially when imagining ourselves as parents. Our newest hobby is talking about the baby together and feeling him attack his mother together.

I have been lucky in that I haven’t had any crazy mood swings or anything. I was a little depressed the first month we were in Chicago, but I blame that on the winter and not having a job. I’m a little nervous at how having a baby will affect our marriage. I know it changes everything, but hopefully we can keep up this closeness we’ve developed. Even through the sleep deprivation and constant worry about our child’s well-being.  (And we’re not gonna even mention the possibility of postpartum. My pregnancy has been too awful that I’m not allowing myself to consider the fact that I might get postpartum depression!)

For the past 6.5 years, (not to mention the 1.5 years of dating) we have been very spontaneous. We decide we want to go on a trip somewhere, and we go. We get hungry for dinner, and we go to our favorite restaurant. We get tired, and we take a nap. We’re bored, and so we go play tennis. Now, our whole life has to be adapted around the baby’s schedule. I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep this carefree attitude and let ourselves live, but I also know how freaking nice it is to keep your baby on a schedule. I’ve been around my nieces and nephews enough to know what happens when you mess with THE SCHEDULE! When we watched my nieces 2 years ago, I made fun of my sister for printing out an itinerary and feeding and nap schedule for us. But that itinerary became my best friend! The kids were perfect as long as we didn’t mess with THE SCHEDULE!

8. The hair. My hair is so long and thick now and I love it. Although since I live in Chicago, I can’t justify the price of getting my hair dyed or cut at a salon. Plus, I don’t have much energy to actually do it, so I kind of look like a polygamist. I’m gonna start being one of those people who fly out to Utah to get all their cheap beauty needs, because it is ridiculous out here.

9. Being able to blame stuff on the pregnancy. My brain is shot. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I bet my IQ is about 30 points lower. My boss will ask me, “did you finish the bank reconciliation?” and I rack my brain to see if I can remember doing it, and I honestly cannot remember. So, I usually respond with, “If it’s been finished, then that was me. I’ll take all the credit.” 
I’m really hoping for the sake of my career that this symptom goes away, but it’s been nice to be able to blame it on the pregnancy. Because even when I’m not pregnant, I’m extremely prone to blonde moments.
Or if I start crying out of nowhere, I love being able to blame it on the pregnancy hormones (when really I am just kind of a crybaby).

And I really can’t think of anything else I’ll miss. I just want to meet this child and fall in love with him ASAP. (And not feel sick anymore).

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Prepping for Motherhood

It’s pretty miraculous to me how much pregnancy helps you prepare for motherhood. While most days I think “why the hell does it take almost a year to grow a baby?”, I’ve been shocked by how much the changings in my body have already prepared me. To be sure, I will still be in for a rude awakening (literally, lots of awakenings) once our little boy comes. But, the blow will be softened by some of these adjustments I’ve already had to make.

      1. Sleep. My biggest fear in having a baby was in not being able to get my much needed sleep. I used to need a minimum of 9 hours every night in order to be fully functional. If I got any less than 8 hours, don’t talk to me or you will get your head bitten off. Just ask my husband—the whole day, I would be thinking about those extra hours of lost sleep and basically the day was a waste.
Now, I’m sleeping like crap. I have to get up to pee at least once every night. I can’t fall asleep when I want to. And I’m getting really uncomfortable. I still sleep on my back when it’s not too uncomfortable, because a friend told me that you’ll adjust your position out of comfort before it gets dangerous. So, I’m sticking to that! Our baby is a SPAZ when I lay flat on my back, so I’m pretty sure he’s getting enough blood supply.
And now I know that I can go work a full day with only a few hours of sleep and actually survive. I actually can’t sleep in past 9 AM anymore, which if you know me, is a miracle. (I know the moms reading this are like “9 AM is sleeping in!”, but it takes baby steps to get to full zombie Mom mode, okay?) And the fact that he loves to kick me the hardest when I’m trying to relax or sleep brings me to my next point…

      2. The conflicting of wills. This baby is so uncooperative. I have been trying to film my belly movements for the past 2 weeks, because you can literally see my belly shake when he kicks. As soon as I get my phone out to record it, he stops. He’s really good at responding to Billy’s touches, but he never responds to mine. He basically never does anything I want him to. At our 20-week ultrasound, I was really excited to get some cute profiles of his face and pictures of his tiny hands and feet. But, he would not hold still long enough to be photographed. We watched him do a full-on somersault on the screen—not even exaggerating. So, we are mentally preparing ourselves for how stubborn and headstrong he will be. I’m telling you, this child is going to be a psycho.

     3. The snacks. I have had to learn to eat every couple hours to keep my energy up, to prevent headaches, and to prevent nausea. I used to eat 2 big meals a day and I’d be fine. Now, my body will start attacking me if I don’t keep it fed. In my purse right now, I have an apple, a sandwich, a protein bar, a protein drink, and a bag of carrots. And I always have my 40 oz Hydroflask on me. My body has trained me to be always prepared with snacks on hand like any good momma should be.

      4. The constant worry. I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t had to worry too much this pregnancy. Even after losing a baby and being prone to anxiety, I have been so comforted and laid back in almost every situation.
But just last week, we found out that I have a marginal cord insertion. This means that the umbilical cord attaches to the placenta on the edge instead of the middle. What it means for the baby is that there is a risk he isn’t getting enough nutrients through the cord. At our last ultrasound, the doctor said he was in the 83rd percentile (!?!), so at least he’s been growing at a good rate up to this point. There’s nothing much they can do except give me ultrasounds every 3 weeks to monitor his growth—which I am more than happy to get!
It also means that if I deliver vaginally there is a high risk of the cord ripping out of the placenta which could cause hemorrhaging. So there is a higher chance that I will need a C-section. Don’t judge me, but I really wanted a C-section anyway, so no heartbreak over that news. It seems less risky to me and labor has always terrified me. Plus, scars are cool. But now I’m in constant fear that my body is starving my baby of the nutrients that he needs and there’s nothing I can really do about it. And if that doesn't happen, then I'm just as terrified of delivering a 10 pound baby. Which is hopefully preparing me to be a mother and to worry incessantly over things I can’t control for the rest of my life.
 We had another little scare on Thursday where I was leaking unknown fluid all day long. Since it was more of a constant trickle like how I've been warned amniotic fluid leaks, we decided to go to the ER at Billy's hospital. We weren't really that worried, but we decided to go because we are in the middle of switching doctors and so it's been 4 weeks since my last ultrasound--after I was told to have an ultrasound every 3-4 weeks. We were super glad we went, not because anything was wrong, but because we got to meet our new OB. He was awesome and made me feel way less stressed about the marginal cord insertion. He also told me it was good to come in and if I leak like that again and I'm not sure if it's pee then I need to come in again. 
The staff there was amazing. I don't know if it's cause we went during the night shift and everyone was just excited for something to do or whether they just really love their jobs. But our ultrasound tech tried for 20 extra minutes to get a profile picture for our stubborn little boy--and we didn't even ask her too. She also walked us through everything, describing and reenacting all the different movements and poses he was making. We got to watch a little yawn and watch him swallow some fluid. He even peed--just like his momma. She kept telling us how beautiful his organs photograph--he was quite the showoff in that aspect. But she could also tell he REALLY doesn't like to be touched--also just like his momma. Which makes me worried that I'll pass on all my awful traits to him. So, pregnancy has taught me to worry when things are good and worry when things are bad. Or maybe that's just who I am, regardless of pregnancy.    

      5. All the STUFF. I try to be a minimalist. If I haven’t used something within the last 6 months, I donate it or throw it away (of my husband will let me). Clutter shoots my anxiety through the roof. I don’t even believe in decorating for holidays, because you store the crap for 11 months out of the year and then pull it out and use it for a month. I LOATHE storing things. I’m all about efficiency. I don’t even want a crib, because I feel like it takes up so much space and it’s another thing we will have to move. I’m thinking of putting the baby in a pack and play so it’s at least portable and has more than one function.
Has anyone been to a baby store before? There is so much CRAP in there. We got a car seat and stroller a couple weeks ago, and the store made me want to cry. I was legitimately considering getting those Finn Bin boxes for our baby to sleep in. If you haven’t seen them, they are just a cardboard box with a mattress in them.
According to all the bloggers, I need a bassinet, a crib, a heavy duty stroller, a lightweight stroller, a car seat, a glider, a bouncer, a rocker, a play mat, a tummy time mat, a pack and play, a hand breast pump, an electric breast pump, a lightweight baby carrier, a heavy duty baby carrier, 1,000,000 diapers, etc., etc., etc. I’m sweating just typing these all out. Right now, we only have a car seat and stroller that hook up to each other and they are taking up two corners of our apartment and it’s already stressing me out.  While I’m definitely not going to get even half of that crap, and I still haven’t learned to be okay with this clutter, I can see how it will be a big adjustment when my child takes over my life and leaves his toys everywhere. Oh, and don’t even mention the fact that once he grows out of certain things, I’ll have to STORE IT for my next child. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Let's Play..."Guess That Fluid!"

We had a little scare the other night. I made the poor choice (yet again) of deciding not to get my nausea medication refilled. I figured that I’m at 22 weeks--there’s no way I should still be getting sick, right? WRONG! I take Diclegis every night and it’s worked wonders on helping me not feel nauseous. It makes me really drowsy, so I can only take it at night. So, after letting my prescription lapse, when I discovered that I am in fact still getting sick, I had to wait until the next night to get relief because it makes me so drowsy. 

Anyway, I was sick all day and dreaming of going to bed so I could get some relief. Going to bed is my favorite time of the day every day, but this day especially, it was all I could think of. Billy had only slept a few hours the night before and then of course had his longest day of surgery yet (7:30 AM-8 PM). Needless to say, we were both giddy to get into bed at 9 PM and watch Vikings until we fell asleep. Now, when I say I was sick all day, I mean nauseous. For some reason, I never throw up when I’m nauseous (even though I really want to). The times that I've thrown up during my pregnancy have been from my heartburn. So my nausea combined with my nightly heartburn really set me over the edge. At 10:30 PM, I ran to the toilet to puke my guts out. When I was finally done hurling, I notice that there was about a half a cup of fluid on the floor beneath me and my pants were all wet.

At first, I thought I peed from the force of throwing up. But as I was cleaning it up, I noticed that the liquid is extremely clear—no yellowish tinge whatsoever. I went in for a sniff test—nothing. So, that’s when I yelled to Billy “Come smell this weird fluid! I’m 65% sure it came out of my vagina!” Oh, the joys of marriage. Poor Billy was so tired and did not want to get out of bed, but got up to smell whatever came out of my body. He couldn’t smell pee either, which made us both think that I may have been leaking amniotic fluid.

So, we got back into bed (after washing up and changing pants, of course) and started Googling. I found a lot of posts about women who throw up so forcefully that they pee their pants. That made me feel better and made we think I was probably fine. But then Billy started looking at his doctor crap and he was getting more and more convinced that it was amniotic fluid. And when Billy gets nervous, that makes me nervous. I’m usually the nervous one telling him that I’m dying and he tells me I probably just need to drink more water. He never suggests going to the doctor. But, since we couldn’t know for sure what the fluid was, we decided we better play it safe and go to the ER. So, we got out of bed at 11 PM and saw our fun evening plans of slipping into a coma fade away. I put a bra on, grabbed my phone charger and kindle and waited for Billy to be ready.

We were both so annoyed at having to go, but we tried to remember we were doing it for the good of our baby. Is that what parenthood is? Trying to keep your child alive, but all the while being annoyed about it? As we were headed out the door, I remembered reading on Dr. Google about a woman who took her soiled pants to the doctor to be tested for amniotic fluid since she wasn’t sure if her water broke or not. So, I grabbed my dirty pants to bring with us for testing and took another whiff just to be sure and whaddya know? PEE! I’ve never been so happy to smell urine. I excitedly made Billy smell. He HATES smelling things. And I LOVE forcing him to smell things. After he confirmed it was indeed my urine, we went back to bed and slept peacefully. Even though I’m pretty sure we had traces of urine on our noses and who knows where else. So, don’t worry ladies and gentlemen. My water has not broken yet. I simply peed all over the floor. I have lost all control of basic bodily functions. And the moral of this story is: drink LESS water so it’s more yellow and fragrant and so you can always tell whether you peed your pants.