A Day of Frustration

February 28, 2007

Please forgive this post that I know already will be a long, rambling rant. I hate being this negative, but I’m just in one of those moods. I’m having trouble finding the silver lining today.

To start with, I’m having a particularly yucky day. I know part of it is due to being up so late last night–another rant–and the subsequent lack of sleep. Knowing the reason for the ickiness doesn’t make it go away, though. The worst seems to be over for the moment, as I was finally able to eat something a few minutes ago. Yes, the first food in my mouth all day was after 2:00. And I had to fight to keep those few bites down. Goodness, I’m ready for the second trimester.

Okay, about last night…it actually started yesterday morning. I woke up with a headache. No “safe” medicines get rid of my headaches, so I decided to just wait it out. By late afternoon, the mild headache was throbbing, and I knew I had to try something. I turned to caffeine as a non-medical remedy. It usually works better than most medicine anyway. The problem is that I haven’t had caffeine at all in months, long before getting pregnant. I had half a cup of weak tea and then gave up. Half a cup! It dulled the headache a little, and I hoped that by having so little it wouldn’t affect my sleep. Obviously that didn’t happen. I grew increasingly frustrated as each hour passed and I was still awake. It was after two this morning before I felt the least bit drowsy. I don’t do well on that little sleep normally, much less when I’m pregnant. I want a nap, but I know if I get one, I’ll have just as much trouble sleeping again tonight.

I’m also frustrated because PJ’s first trouble-free night in his toddler bed was a fluke. We fought him for three hours last night to keep him in bed, with me pushing the “no lifting” limits repeatedly, before we just gave up. We waited until there was only quiet in his room and then crept in to move him to bed while he still slept. He took his morning nap on the floor, and I suspect his afternoon nap is going the same way. I have no idea how to keep him in bed. I don’t have the patience–or the physical strength–to deal with this right now.

And did I mention that I puked again yesterday? As bad as the nausea has been the last few weeks, I’ve managed to keep from actually vomiting. But yesterday it hit while I was in the shower, and I couldn’t choke it back. One whiff of the clean shower smell (before even pulling out shampoo or soap) and I was done for. Yeah, I’m not showering today. M can just put up with a stinky me. That was also the first puke this pregnancy with actual food in my stomach. Those are so, so, so, so much worse.

I hope we baby-proofed PJ’s room well enough. I hear him thumping in his room right now. I’m scared to find out what he might be getting into. He is so sleep-deprived right now after staying up three hours late last night, not napping very long this morning, and refusing to sleep now. I wonder if it would be bad to give him some Tylenol to encourage him to sleep better. I might if I didn’t think he would fight that drowsiness as much as he must feel right now.

And the worst frustration is that my other blog–all about PJ–hasn’t seen a word of this toddler bed drama. I vowed not to write about that stuff here since that’s what the other blog is devoted to. But my MIL doesn’t know about the bleeding or the pelvic rest or the toddler bed, so I can’t write about it on the blog she reads. It saddens me that my son has hit such a huge milestone and only my parents and you guys know about it. I hate that my MIL is starting to miss important events in his life because of her own demanding, manipulative ways. The worst part is that when she finds out something major happened that she didn’t hear about right away, she’ll blame us and try to make us feel guilty about it. This situation is really testing my patience.

Okay, I just put PJ back in his bed, and the funniest thing happened. I was scolding him for crawling out of bed again, complete with finger-wagging. I was really getting into it when from his position in bed (for the moment) he lifted his finger and wagged it back at me, smiling the whole time. I think my uncontrolled laughter may have undermined the lecture, since I already hear more thumps from his room. This may be a very long afternoon.

Taking the Plunge

February 27, 2007

Part of the reason for my frustration last night was due to M. I’d been thinking all day about ways to work around this whole pelvic rest issue, but M was letting it overwhelm him. When he heard the words “pelvic rest,” he flashed back to the last pregnancy when he was forced to take care of me. The never-ending nausea combined with the scares that led to pelvic rest kept me pretty much bedridden, and I did almost nothing for myself. M immediately assumed that would be the case again, and how he had a toddler to factor in as well. He was overwhelmed and not ready to even think about our situation at the time.

On the other hand, I heard “pelvic rest,” shrugged because it’s what I expected, and started working out solutions to the problem. I never once thought about what M might think because I was too busy creating ways to still take care of PJ despite the restrictions. It was a massive failure to communicate. Once we were finally able to talk it out, then the action began.

Despite the dismal results of my research, M wanted to check out the crib we had to see what it would take to convert it. Even though PJ had been in bed for hours. So we woke him up to see what we thought about his crib as a toddler bed. PJ was remarkably content being awakened in the middle of the night. Although we were wary of how well protected that side of the bed would be, it looked like an easy fix, so we took the plunge and converted his crib in the middle of the night. I guess M finally understood that we couldn’t sit around trying to decide forever.

Naturally the easy conversion wasn’t nearly as easy as it originally looked, especially when one of us had to be chasing a toddler around at the same time–and I’m not really supposed to lift PJ or the heavy parts we needed to put into place on the crib. We also found out mid-conversion that it probably wouldn’t convert back to a crib very easily if the toddler bed didn’t work as planned. Too late to turn back, we shrugged and kept going. By the time we finally finished, PJ was quite ready to go back to bed. He was definitely weirded out by the missing side on his crib and sat leaning over the edge crying for a long time while I lay on the floor next to his bed. Eventually he gave up. It’s like all of a sudden he decided to give it a try. Lying down, the bed looked familiar to him, so he was perfectly content almost immediately. From there on, he slept like a pro all night.

The “bed rail” that was provided only sticks up a couple of inches from the mattress, so we’re less than impressed, but as there was no better solution, we decided to just see how he would do. We left pillows and blankets and all sorts of soft stuff on the floor next to his crib so that if he rolled or crawled out, at least he would have a soft landing. It turns out that for the first time, I’m glad for his naturally timid nature. I’m certain the only reason he’s not walking yet is that he’s too scared to try it, the same reason it took him so long to crawl and hit every other milestone. Last night, he was too scared to try going over the side, and I think that timidity will continue until it’s not even a temptation for him any longer. I’m starting to be very glad that we decided to try him in a toddler bed as early as we did. At least that part of the plan works fine.

Back to Square One

February 27, 2007

I’ve spent the afternoon and evening scrutinizing my idea to move PJ to a toddler bed. After much research into bed rails, toddler beds, and the like, I have determined that I need a new solution. I could use the crib we have, converted into a toddler bed. It is low to the ground, familiar surroundings for PJ, and is a cheap option. Unfortunately, it does not come with any bed rails. Since PJ can’t even walk yet, I’m quite concerned about him rolling out of bed. I doubt he could crawl back in if he rolled out.

Therefore, I looked at all the options for bed rails I could find. Several sound quite sturdy–until I read the reviews. Embedded somewhere in each of the list of reviews was someone quite frustrated because it does not work on crib mattresses. The instructions apparently clearly say not to use on toddler beds because they also use crib mattresses. (Huh? Isn’t the point of bed rails supposed to be so they can be used on beds intended for kids who aren’t ready for “normal” beds yet?)

Finally, finally, I found one bed rail at one site that clips on the mattress, not the box spring (nonexistent with crib mattresses). Again, the directions apparently advise against using on a crib mattress, but since it technically fits, somebody tried it of course. They said it works, as long as you don’t mind that the weight of the bed rail tips the mattress to one side. That particular bed rail has some other possible issues as well, but could possibly work okay anyway, as long as you don’t mind that your mattress doesn’t lie flat.

So I looked at toddler beds. I was specifically looking for one with either a sturdy bed rail that extended pretty much the length of the bed or one that could accommodate a twin mattress. Why not go all the way if it would be safer because we could use a good bed rail on it? It can be done, if we’re okay with some corny theme bed that is way overpriced–not including the mattress. Full bed rails just aren’t done on toddler beds.

We can still try converting our crib and just accept the fact that PJ will probably end up on the floor the first few nights (probably intentionally at first) and we’ll have to either rescue him or let him sleep on the floor. Or we could get the one bed rail that technically works but tilts his mattress. Maybe we can buy heavy stuffed animals to pack in the far corners to help balance it. Or we can buy an official toddler bed and hope the half-bed rail is enough to keep him in bed. Other than openly defying the doctor’s orders not to lift him, I don’t know what else to do.

It also turns out that my plan to keep one joint of the pen tied together won’t work. The hinge parts keep getting in the way of any tying strategy, and it’s much too loose for me to feel comfortable with. PJ loves to cruise along the sides of the pen and bounce up and down while holding on to them and even shake them violently when he thinks he’s not getting enough attention. That weak joint would not stand up to that stress. Tomorrow I’m going to try opening it and closing it the right way to let him in and out, but I’m worried that’s going to be too difficult. I’m not sure what we’ll do about playtime if it doesn’t work.

I’m reluctant to go to any great lengths to keep from lifting him if the pelvic rest only lasts two weeks. I don’t want to buy baby gates (two normal ones and one long one) to close off our living room–not to mention all the work it would take to move out the bookcases and breakables on our side tables. It would all be useless if in two weeks I’m feeling better from the morning sickness and the pelvic rest is officially over. I just don’t know how to temporarily adjust to our new situation without putting PJ at risk or risking the life of the unborn baby.

I’m still open to ideas, actually desperate for them. Please be thinking about my problem if you find yourself with some extra time (yeah, right…).

Now What?

February 26, 2007

I called the doctor this morning, first thing after I woke up and took my Zofran (priorities…). I didn’t even pee first, and anybody who’s been pregnant knows that’s a big deal. It turns out my doctor is out of town for the week, so they weren’t eager to cram me into the other doctor’s already-jam-packed schedule. After getting all the info about what kind of bleeding it was, how long it lasted, the problems with the last pregnancy, etc, they decided I probably wasn’t an emergency case. I will just keep my appointment with my doctor in two weeks instead of going in for a last-minute appointment today. That was fine with me; I wasn’t eager to go sit in a waiting room with a hyper toddler for hours.

Unfortunately, I am on some strict precautions until then. If anything unusual happens, I am to call right away, and they will fit me in after all. And I am on “pelvic rest.” I’ve never had it fully explained to me, even though I was put on pelvic rest for part of the last pregnancy too. The only part I remember is the no sex part, of course. (I’ve been too sick most of the time for that to be an issue anyway.) I’ve already been taking things easy most of the time because of the morning sickness, so I suspected very little would have to change.

And then I thought to ask about lifting heavy objects, like a non-walking toddler. It turns out his scrawny twenty pounds (-ish) are too much for them to feel comfortable with me handling. I can sit with him on my lap, but I’m forbidden to lift him in and out of his crib or high chair or play area. Obviously I broke that rule twice already this morning since calling. How else am I supposed to change his diaper and feed him breakfast? I’m way too vertically challenged to be able to do all that without lifting him out of his crib.

So I am now desperate for suggestions to modify our life to minimize any lifting. Here’s what you need to know:
1. PJ is an expert crawler, although he can’t quite walk yet. He is also very disobedient when given free range and insists on crawling to places that are off-limits.
2. He spends much of his play time in a large fenced-in corner of our living room so that I don’t have to chase him when I’m pukey. The pen has no gate, so I have to step over it or lift him in it.
3. Our house isn’t baby-proofable, at least not with any reasonable amount of effort. It is a huge open floor plan that would require many, many baby gates to block off an area large enough for both of us to comfortably spend the day.
4. While he is a good sleeper, PJ will NOT sleep at all unless he is in his crib, preferably alone in his room.
5. I don’t know anybody with time off during the day who can come help. Part of this is due to my hermit-like tendencies, but it’s a little late now to force a relationship with someone just to ask them to come help out.
6. My MIL still wants to take PJ for an undetermined amount of time until I can properly care for him again, and this must be avoided at all costs.

Even if your idea sounds silly, I want to hear it. I’m at a loss what to do, so maybe one of you can see a way out of this that I haven’t thought about.

Update: I had a brainstorm, but I have no clue whether it might work. PJ’s crib is convertible, which means that theoretically it should turn into a toddler bed relatively easily. Do you think a kid this young (nearly 17 months) who can’t yet walk could sleep in a toddler bed? What if I kept one of those rail things along the open edge unless I was getting him in or out of the bed? He should be able to crawl up to it and in it with little assistance from me. I’m just more worried about him finding a way out when we’re trying to keep him in. As far as his pen is concerned, I can unhook one corner and tie it shut or something so that PJ can’t open it but I can open it like a gate more easily. Then I won’t have to lift him over the top. And the feeding problem is easy to solve. We have a booster seat thing to take with us to restaurants that I can set up on the floor. It’s low enough that he should be able to get into and out of it easily, but the straps keep him where he’s supposed to be until we’re done eating. What do you think? Is it feasible, especially the toddler bed part of it?

Better News

February 25, 2007

As the day progressed yesterday, the little bleeding there was started to taper off. By bedtime, it was gone altogether. The cramps, too, disappeared in the middle of the afternoon. There is no way I actually miscarried yesterday. The bleeding could still be a sign of something wrong, but I doubt it is.

I felt differently about the nausea all day yesterday too. Every time it went away for a little while, I started to worry. What if I wasn’t nauseous because the baby was dead? Then I’d start feeling icky again, and I actually felt relief at it. I most certainly felt pregnant still. I was just glad that the nausea never got worse than what I’ve gotten used to the last few weeks. I know sudden severe nausea or vomiting could indicate a problem as well. It felt like the bleeding was most likely just a fluke.

Still, I’m being cautious today as well. M has been running around like crazy doing dishes, laundry, vacuuming, etc, since we decided it was best if I take it easy. In the meantime, I’ve been crashing on the couch, watching awful weekend TV, blog-surfing, and catching regular naps. M has even taken over nearly all of PJ’s care. I’ve helped feed him a few times, but otherwise I have had no responsibilities whatsoever. We’re worried that lifting him too much might not be good for me.

I feel lazy–and guilty for being lazy. I hate watching M get stressed out while he’s doing all my chores. I wish circumstances could be different. I wish I could be lazy and feel content to be so. I’m looking forward to when my mom comes to help out for a few days in March. For some reason I don’t feel as guilty when she helps out.

What Else Would You Expect?

February 24, 2007

I woke up this morning (afternoon?) to discover that I had started spotting. It’s extremely light, and not the scary bright red spotting. It was accompanied by cramps, though. I tried to remain calm. This wasn’t at all like it was last time, and I knew it wasn’t enough bleeding to signal a miscarriage. Still, as the cramps continued to get worse, I started to panic. I gave in and called the doctor’s emergency line after about an hour.

I fully expected the doctor to tell me what I already knew, that there wasn’t much that could be done either way. I could either try to wait it out at home or go to the ER, wait all afternoon, and finally get a sonogram that would tell me whether I was still pregnant or not. Neither option would save my baby’s life if my body had decided to miscarry. I was reluctant to bother the doctor when I knew what they would say, but I wanted some reassurance. If it had been the middle of the night, I doubt I would have called and bugged the doctor. But in the middle of the day, why not?

Sure enough, she told me pretty much what I thought she would. She also verified that something like 80% of the time, bleeding like this is insignificant. The fact that I had so much bleeding during my last pregnancy raises those odds considerably. I was quite comforted when I hung up. I’m staying at home and will likely go see the doctor on Monday to make sure everything’s okay. If things get any worse before then, I’ll probably go to the ER.

Please be praying for me. The cramps aren’t going away, although they have gotten better than they were at first. I’m still worried that something is wrong. This seems about right after yesterday’s post, doesn’t it?

New Template

February 24, 2007

I know, I know. Yes, I changed things again. Shut up. I got bored. Do I like this one? I don’t know. I don’t have as many color options as before…basically none that look halfway decent. That alone may make me change back pretty soon. In the meantime, does anybody have any opinions? Maybe the pink will be a good omen that I’m baking a girl in here.

Oh, completely random, but speaking of that, I found out today that my college roommate is having a little girl. She’s elated, and I now have an excuse to buy a frilly dress now and then, even if I have a mini-PJ in here as I expect. Good news all around!