Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Castle has recently remodeled some of their rooms and it looks like a nice laid back relaxing (?) place to give birth. We were quite surprised by the number of people there at the tour though- there must have been 30 couples! Who knew Kailua was such a fertile town? Hopefully we don't all go into labor on the same day b/c that chillin' and relaxing (chillaxin') atmosphere would disappear rather quickly...
For me, it felt like a reassuring opportunity to see the facility, and to learn things like there is a refrigerator in each private room so you can bring your own food and water... you get to labor, deliver, and recover in the same private room so feel free to bring all your creature comforts from home and set up your little nest... there are 3 birth balls on premises but feel free to bring your own if you absolutely have to have one... etc.
For Scott, it was more of a cold water in the face realization that oh-my-gosh-I'm-going-to-be-a-dad-really-soon experience. I think he's known that all along (all you have to do is look at me and it's pretty tough to miss) but that little tour raised his anxiety level a tad. Ok, maybe more than just a tad. I've actually never seen his eyes so big. We came home and decided that the car seat should be installed this weekend. Time to really get ready because this is happening!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
We decided that a beautiful Sunday afternoon required a little beach time. That, and the dog just begs us to go to the beach on the weekend. You can see it in her eyes as she stares at us relentlessly... and if she could speak she would say something like, "I know it's the weekend because you're both here and that means that we have time to go play in the ocean!!" How could anyone resist this face??So off we went.
Scott and Hoku found a 12 year old who was eager to play keep-away with them and the soccer ball. I made my way out to the deeper water and got in a little ocean water running while they played. The water was warm and nice with just a few little fun waves- enough to make it interesting for Hoku to try to retrieve the soccer ball anyway.
Here's a picture of me at 34 1/2 weeks. I believe that I have now officially passed that 'cute' pregnant belly stage and entered the 'holy moly look how big that pregnant woman is' stage. It's not funny. Another month of this and I may not be able to hold myself upright. My only choice will be to stay in the water full time where gravity is unable to threaten me.Family Foto...Upon returning home I managed to put away a whole watermelon and Oh. My. Gosh. was it good. I'm over my cheese/butter craving thing now and have moved on to Watermelon. It's officially been named the greatest food on earth.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
But truth be told*, I've been sneaking to the pool each day to swim. Just a little. Okay, 2000 meters. But that's less than the 3500 meters I was doing before. And I'm doing it all even slower than before.
Here's how I see it. The contractions are coming regardless of what I do. I get them while I'm on the couch. I get them while I'm sleeping (I wake up with a rock hard belly and and urgent need to pee every 2 hours or so). I get them if I stand up and walk. I get them if I don't drink enough water. I get them if I drink a lot of water. Nothing seems to matter in this process because my uterus is just doing what it wants to do. And apparently it is overly obsessive like me and wants to practice contracting**.
Trying to get my uterus not to contract at this point is like trying to tell an athlete training for the Ironman in Kona right now to just stop riding your bike for the next two weeks. Not gonna happen. So I figure I might as well allow myself to be mentally sane, and a trip to the pool each day helps to accomplish that. And honestly, I got a bigger contraction carrying 2 bags of groceries up the stairs this afternoon than I did while I was mindlessly lapping up and down the pool.
I'm going to see my doctor again tomorrow. She'll check to see if any changes are taking place in my cervix. I would bet money that nothing has changed. Anyone wanna bet? :)
*I really felt like I had to come clean because I keep running into people I know at the pool and they're like, "Are you supposed to be here?" Luckily I have good enabler friends and I've heard each of them say "I won't tell anybody..."
**Baby really needs to do it's little flip thing soon so my uterus gets to use all this fitness its gaining when the big D-Day comes. What a shame it would be to throw away all that strength by cutting a hole through the uterine wall.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
In more adventurous news, I've finally discovered The Land Beyond The Front Door! I figured out how to escape... the Big Black Monster is pretty good at sensing when the Woman Who Swallowed a Basketball is coming home... so when doggie goes to the door the greet her, I slip out right between her legs through all the confusion! HA! She's too uncoordinated these days to chase me down the steps, so freedom is easily attained...
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thanks to my grandma for my most favorite baby item!! I ended up going with the Bob Ironman Jogger... It was a toss up between the Ironman and the Revolution... I also got the infant seat thing so I can start running with baby as soon as I'm up for it. I'm envisioning being super-fit if I'm pushing around 30-40 pounds all the time while I'm running... ahhh. Super-fit. Can't. Wait.
In other great news, Kelley had her baby yesterday! A little girl... Sara Ryley Hatfield. No news yet other than everyone's doing really well. Check her blog in the coming days as I'm sure they'll be posting pics soon. :)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
For the last 3 days I've been burning this stuff near my little pinky toes in anticipation of my baby making a nose dive into my pelvis. Moxibustion is touted to 'encourage movement of the fetus', which indeed it does. Baby moves a lot for several hours after each burning. I just haven't felt the swift kick in the ribs yet that I've been so desperately yearning for.
But I am not one to give up easily. I will persevere, my friends, and eventually my baby will be like 95% of its peers.
And ideally, I won't have to use this stuff before I have to pee in a cup at my next doctor's appointment.
*I will admit it... I've broken the law... I am an addict... I need a 12 step program... I went to the pool to swim today... but just a little... and really slowly... I need my fix...
Friday, September 19, 2008
But the fact of the matter is that I've already taken myself off the drug and feel 100x better than I did while I was on it. I figured it would be best to be honest and just tell her that I took myself off it because it was just not tolerable. And I'm fine. Still some contractions but nothing that's causing alarm at this point. Doctors should listen to their patients desires, right?
I felt nervous to tell her that I'd made my own decision about not taking that Terbo drug. Why do we feel like we can't question what our doctors tell us? I was a pharmaceutical sales rep for five years and in that time it became quite clear to me that while doctors know a lot, and typically more than we do, that they are human and don't always know everything*... so we shouldn't blindly assume that they always do. Not that any of us know everything either. But I think sometimes when a doctor says something, we feel like we have to take what they say as gospel and not question it... Maybe even more so when you're seeing an OB about an impending birth because its not just about you anymore. It's about doing the best thing for this little baby inside you.
Anyway, the appointment actually went really well. I told her I was feeling much better, and then just blurted out that I stopped taking the drug- citing my inability to sleep due to my heart pounding through my chest as the main reason. I didn't go into all the other reasons I had because I didn't want to make it seem like I was questioning her judgement... which turned out to be the right thing because she said something about how its good that I have it so if I start to feel major contractions I can start taking it again. I nodded my head, but didn't mention that merely looking at the bottle of pills makes me feel like I'm going to puke...
Now I'm on the weekly appointment plan so she'll keep checking each week to see if my cervix is changing. So far its still all closed up. Now if we could just get baby to turn itself head down we'd be all set.
So this is how I'm spending the majority of my time these days. At least I have a cool cat to keep me company.
*Q: What do you call the person who graduates last from Medical School?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
~My contractions are coming too frequently for her comfort.
~Doc wants me to start taking terbutaline every 2 hours instead of every 4, around the clock.
~If baby comes before 36 weeks (Oct 8), I can't deliver at the local hospital (Castle). I'll have to go to Kapiolani where they have a NICU.
~My doctor doesn't go to Kapiolani so I'd have a random Dr I've never met before deliver baby.
~Baby is still breech. :(
I was kind of stressed out about this stuff last night. Upping the dose of the Terbo drug doesn't help at all as my heart rate is now through the roof and I'm more shaky than ever. Add headache and nausea to the list of side effects. It's truly the worst I've felt through this whole pregnancy so far. And the thought of delivering in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar doctor doesn't excite me in the least. And I was surprised that baby is still breech. I was sure I felt all this new pressure in my pevic area... turns out that's baby's feet stepping on my cervix. Oh. Ok. Time to start the moxibustion burning.
In more reassuring news...
~My cervix is not effaced and has not started dilating. Yea!
~Doc did a fetal fibronectin swab and it came back negative, which is great, because that is an indication that I am not going to go into labor in the next 2 weeks. Yea! That puts me at least to 35 weeks. At least.
I laid awake for hours last night... most of the night in fact... not due to stress about all this but rather because my heart was pounding so hard through my chest that I just couldn't doze off. I actually took my heart rate while watching the clock without touching a blood vessel- I could feel it that strongly- and it was 104 while I was laying down. I just kept thinking that this can't be good for me or my baby.
So I have contractions all the time. But they're not causing any change in my cervix. So I'm trying to understand why this is even an issue? Why am I on this terrible drug that makes me feel as bad as I've ever felt since before I peed on the stick? My understanding is that contractions, if they are not causing cervical changes, are fine and normal. My body knows how to be pregnant and deliver a baby. I really don't want to mess with it any more by adding pharmaceuticals to the mix when it seems to me they are unnecessary...
So then I did more research on this drug terbutaline. Turns out, it's indicated for asthma. Not pre-term labor. And in fact, there's much debate about whether or not it should even be used for pre-term labor. Apparently it has only been shown to work for the first 48 hours to delay impending labor. And in fact, I'm not even in pre-term labor b/c that's defined as cervical changes, which I don't have.
Clearly, another conversation needs to take place with my doctor. I'm definitely thinking that I'd rather deal with around the clock contractions than all the adverse events this drug is causing. I feel like I just want to trust my body... that it knows what its doing...
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday afternoon I cut my swim short b/c I just wasn't feeling quite right. A little crampy in my abdomen. So I got out. The crampiness lasted about 20-30 minutes and then subsided and I let it go as if just another weird thing that a pregnant body does.
Yesterday the same thing happened. I cut my swim short again and had a terrible eerie feeling that I wasn't going to be in the water again for a while... This time the crampiness lasted longer. I kept waiting for it to go away... I'd planned to run some errands after swimming so I just sat in my car waiting to feel better. But that wasn't happening in a timely matter so I figured I'd just come home and chill out on the couch. I made a pact with myself that if the cramps lasted for an hour I'd call doc.
An hour later...
Me (to nurse at doc's office): I'm almost 33 weeks pregnant and am having cramps that feel like menstual cramps. I don't really feel like I'm having contractions unless I stand up and walk across the room, but the crampy pain is unyielding.
Nurse: Ok, I'll have doctor call you back. She's with patients now.
About 1/2 hour later the crampiness finally subsided and my phone rings.
Doc: Go to the birthing center to have them check you out. It sounds like it could be preterm labor.
The first thing I did was call Scott at work. I calmly explained to him how I'd been feeling, told him that I was sure it was nothing, but that I would feel better having a professional check me out and reassure me that it was nothing. Yes, he should definitely still go play his soccer game tonight. Seriously, they're just going to check me out and I'll be fine. Yes. Go play.
Throughout the whole drive to the hospital, I did everything I could to overrule my irrational pregnant brain. No, I'm not having my baby today. No, don't call mom yet b/c you'll just worry her and then she'll be up all night. Call her tomorrow when you know everything is fine. I know you didn't pack a bag and you don't have any of the stuff the books told you to bring when you're going into labor. You're going to be fine. I bet they're not going to let me exercise anymore. I probably should have let the dog out one more time in case I'm gone for a while...
They were expecting me at the birthing center. Apparently doctor had called and let them know I was coming. That was kind of nice to be welcomed by name.
Right away they hooked me up to a fetal monitor and another monitor that records contractions. I told nurse Cathy that I wasn't having contractions, just crampiness. She hooked me up the machine anyway.
Baby didn't like the fetal monitor. S/he wiggled around like crazy. But apparently was not under any stress.
And the contractions I didn't think I was having? Coming regularly every 3 minutes. What? Those are contractions?? It gave me hope that I wouldn't need an epidural afterall b/c I could barely feel them. I've totally been having way stronger episodes of BH contractions than what this monitor was calling contractions...
I was told they were looking to see that I was having fewer than 4 contractions per hour. After I had 4 in 12 minutes the doctor instructed the nurse to give me a shot of terbutaline to make them stop. That's a terrible drug. Spikes your heart rate, makes baby jump around like there's money to be won in a dance contest, and then later makes you tremble all over. But the contractions stopped. So I guess it works.
Doc also then came in to check me out and see if labor had actually started 'progressing'. Good news was that I wasn't dilating yet, but I guess my cervix was starting to shorten. Apparently she trusts me as a compliant patient b/c she sent me home with an rx for the tremble drug (take 1 every 4 hours around the clock. Shaking and trembling at 4AM is a hoot.) and instructions regarding all the things I'm not allowed to do for the next 3 weeks. Which is essentially everything. I take that back. I can read or write or watch TV. And I bet I'll finally get to use up all those rollover minutes on my phone...
I might be diagnosed as having gone mentally insane in the next 3 weeks. But the goal is to deliver a healthy baby that can breathe on its own, and at 33 weeks that isn't likely to happen. After 36 weeks they'll worry less about if my body decides to go into spontaneous labor, so at that point I'll be released back into the real world. Until then, update your blogs out there so I have something interesting to read...
Monday, September 15, 2008
Scott and I were in the house (not actually our house but one that was supposed to be)... and there was this gray/white cat in the bedroom... I asked Scott who's cat that was... he thought it was Monti. But it definitely wasn't Monti. It was a nice enough cat so I didn't want to get rid of it, but I did wonder where it came from.
Then there was another cat. Again, gray/white, but this one had more white. Who's cat is that and where did it come from? Scott though it must have come from outside and needed a safe place to stay. Ok.
And finally, a 3rd stray cat in the bedroom? I remember thinking, "This is too many cats." But somehow, we managed. I took good care of all 5 cats in the house.
And then the dream expanded.
I guess I thought that if I was able to take care of 5 cats, that running a little day care out of my home was a natural next step. I was still pregnant in my dream, so mind you, had no real experience dealing with babies. But somehow I advertised to start this little in-home day care.
On the first day, moms started showing up with their little ones. Seemed like in my dream most of the kids must have been like 2-3 yrs old because they were all running around and yelling wildly. At first there were just a few moms and kids, but then more and more kept arriving. Finally there must have been like 20 moms with their kids and the scene was a complete state of chaos. All the moms were staring at me to see how I would control the situation but I just stood there like a deer in headlights with no clue what to do.
Finally, in a state of total panic, I just broke down and told all the moms that they needed to take their kids home because I was completely unqualified to care for all these kids. All the moms nodded their heads in agreement and one of them actually came up to me and told me that they were all wondering when I would come to the realization that I couldn't handle this situation... that I had no business trying to run a day-care because I didn't know how to handle kids.
I woke up feeling completely inadequate. Oh boy. Let the panic begin.
I think I knew that before, but I'm not in the habit of using the site so it didn't occur to me to check it out for baby stuff until a girlfriend (new mom!) of mine recommended it.
I think we actually have most of what we need for baby. I mean, I'm sure there's more that we could have, but a lot of the important stuff has been given to us by friends and family already. And then some of it I'm just gonna wait to get until I know if we're having a boy/girl. I really don't need more white/yellow/green clothes for baby... ;)
But this weekend I picked up an infant 'play-gym', an infant bath tub, a vibrating bouncer, and one of those jumper things you hang in the doorway... all for a grand total of $20!
Funny how my definition of a successful weekend has changed! HA!
In case any of you are now going to check out Craigslist to get those valuable last minute things you didn't get at your shower, keep in mind that people are selling used burpcloths and bibs too... and I think I saw an ad for a 'reusable swim diaper' for $3. Woohoo. That one might actually be tough to get because I bet the demand is really high for a used diaper.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Gee. What do you think that means? ;)
Apparently I've got my psychic conection already with my little baby and he/she is very happy in there. Hopefully not too happy because we do want him/her to come out at some point.
I went swimming this morning with a friend of mine and afterward floated down to the deep end to try reliving my dream. After curling myself up as small as I could I let myself sink to the bottom and relax. Problem was, I'm pretty bouyant these days so I didn't sink too far. And then there was the issue with the breathing. I just couldn't duplicate the comfort that I was feeling in my dream... Oh well. At least one of us is living the dream.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Last night, after stressing all day about sideways baby, I did everything I could immmediately think of (or had heard of) to turn baby head down.
I laid on the couch with my hips up on the arm on top of 3 pillows for 15 minutes.
I spent time visualizing baby turning head down.
I crawled down the stairs.
I put a bag of frozen peas on the right side of my belly where baby's head was.
I pressed down on baby's head with the palm of my hand while telling baby to turn.
And then... I felt it... movement!
I know I didn't imagine the movement, and I definitely felt more down in my pelvic area. And now, on the right side of my belly where baby's head was, it feels like a much bigger hard body part (like the butt or its back?). Last night, I only woke up once to pee, which is like a major miracle. And this morning, I felt this massive amount of pressure in my pelvic area. Could it be? Did baby move into the right position that easily? I won't really know until I go in to see my doc again in 2 weeks... but something has changed down there in the uterus. Maybe I have a very compliant and easy baby? Let's keep wishing!!
And I haven't even tried burning mugwort near my toes... ;)
Monday, September 8, 2008
My baby is actually just opposite of this- facing down with its spine on top rather than bottom like this picture shows. Doc said I could have a funny shaped uterus that encourages baby to hang out this way since its more comfortable. Not exactly comfortable for me when the back of baby's head gets lodged up in my ribs!
The good news is that most babies will turn on their own before 36 weeks. I've been trying some of the at home methods of turning a breech baby for the last few weeks without any success (but I don't give up easily so I'm still trying!). Doc said maybe I could try a chinese herbalist for Moxibustion treatments which according to a study published in JAMA has been successful in turning 75% of breech babies. Doc actually gave me the phone number of a woman who might be able to help me do this (doc wants to avoid a c-section as much as I do!), although if you watch that You-Tube Moxa video (link above), it appears that I could do it pretty easily on my own... maybe I'll be making a trip to ChinaTown to see if I can find some??
Last resort, if baby is still hanging out like this at 37 weeks will be to go to Kapiolani Women and Children's hospital to have a specialist work on performing an external version. Not real excited about that so hope baby figures it out and turns on its own in the next few weeks!! I guess I'm skeptical that it will since its head has been in the same place all along... But I think I'll order some of the moxa and give it a shot. Can't hurt, right?
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Now I'm the stylin' comfortable and not sunburnt pregnant soccer mom.
I actually enjoyed hanging out there on the field and watching the old guys run around kicking the ball at each other.
Afterward, we went to consumer hell.
Apparently, this is where everyone on the island with kids spends their Sunday afternoons. Scott and I aren't exactly big consumers, and the sheer volume of products in this store scared us to some degree... but we put our patient hats on and managed to get through unscathed with at least a few of the things we set out for. And now we have enough pasta/sauce to get us through a major famine.
As a reward for guarding the house while we were gone and not attacking the cats today, Hoku got to go to the pool!
3 seconds later...
Ahhh, it's a tough life for the dog.
*For the record, I've already claimed Saturday mornings for my own workouts after the baby is born...
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Me: What are you doing?
Scott: A mommy who sleeps through the night is a Happy Mommy. A Happy Mommy makes for a happy home...
And within minutes... TA DA! Check it out! How cool is this? I covered the pad with a loose sheet. My belly fits right in there and I am once again a stomach sleeper. :)
We may need to double it up in the coming weeks to make the hole deeper as I continue to grow... I have some ideas of ways to make it more supportive and comfortable too... Maybe add a couple smaller grooves just above the belly hole to accomodate the BOUS's*...
I've slept on it for a few nights now and although it's not perfect, it is the best solution I have found so far. I dug around some on the internet looking for a similar product that is made and sold, but found nothing like it. All those pregnant woman sleep aids are just versions of pillows that let you sleep only on your side. I really thought we could patent this piece of foam with the hole. Scott doesn't think so because it's such an obvious idea. Whatever. All that matters is that I'm sleeping a little bit better these days. Happier Mommy. :)
*Breasts of Unusual Size
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
So obviously I wanted to find someone good, located in Kailua, hopefully with similar values to my own... and guess who I found? I found a local competitive triathlete for a pediatrician for our little one! I was so psyched. I met her today and really liked her. She grew up here, her dad was a doctor (who knows Scott's dad, who was a practicing urologist for years on Oahu- small world) and her husband is a sports medicine MD on the island as well. She's done Tinman all 25 years of its existance (one of only 5 people who have done the local race every year)... she's only 43 so that would put her triathlon start at what, 18 years old? Her kids are all into it too.. apparently she and her husband do the local team swim/run biathlons and race against their teenage kids (who have started beat them). So cool. Anyway, clearly she and I are like-minded. :) She was really glad to hear that I'm still exercising everyday... assured me it would make labor and delivery easier, as well as getting fit again afterward... It feels good to find a doctor who you can really relate to, you know?
The funny thing was that after my appointment with her I went swimming in Kailua and then headed to the local health food store for grocery shopping and lunch... and guess who I ran into there? I bet I start seeing Dr all around town now that I know who she is. :) Heck, who knows... maybe we'll end up as training partners?
Monday, September 1, 2008
And Scott even captured a panoramic video from the water. Pretty cool.
I can only hope that in about 2 months when it comes time for my real Labor Day that I can at least have some fond memories from this place... because I can't imagine that experience will be quite as pleasant!!