Nesting? (Updated)

July 31, 2007

Any time I do anything the least bit domestic these days, M jokes that I must be nesting.  Today, though, I’m starting to wonder.  It’s not even PJ’s naptime yet, and I’m already on my second load of laundry.  Normally laundry is a week-long process.  I’ll keep forgetting I have laundry in the washer or dryer, so we end up searching for clean socks and underwear in the dryer for a few days until I can get around to folding them.  By then, it’s usually time to start over with laundry.

Today I’m washing mostly sheets.  I noticed last night that our sheets reek.  My money-conscious husband insists on keeping the temperature in the house at a balmy 80 degrees, even now that we’re at the hottest part of the year–and the pregnancy–and the heat is making me sweat like crazy, especially towards morning.  Hence the stink of our sheets.  So that was my first priority today.  I remembered while I was stripping our bed that the bed in our guest room hadn’t been stripped since my MIL was here.  My mom is coming next week and will need to use that bed, so I might as well get them done while I was doing laundry.

But those sheets don’t really fill up a load.  Okay, in reality, I used the sheets to fill up a load that I was planning to do even before I remembered the sheets needed washing.  I decided it was time to wash up a bunch of clothes for BabyN.  I’m anxious to organize the boys’ dresser and closet to accommodate both of their clothes.  (By the way, that was interesting, deciding what to wash.  I have all of PJ’s old clothes still, but they start from preemie sizes.  Even though I suspect BabyN will end up wearing preemie clothes, I don’t want to seal the deal by having them ready for him.  So I’m only doing the newborn size right now.  In another couple of weeks, I’ll probably be doing a bunch more laundry last minute.)

I’ve also made a list of everything I’ll want to take to the hospital with us when it’s time.  I kind of wish I could go ahead and pack it so I can just grab and go when it’s time, but I have too many things I’ll still need between now and then to pack yet.  That frustrates me, but I don’t really have a choice right now.  I’m also planning this afternoon to type up some basic care instructions for PJ for whoever ends up watching him when we’re at the hospital.  I don’t think we can count on grandparents to be around.  This is stressing me out the most, that we don’t have a plan for PJ yet.  Well, we kind of do, but we need to talk to some neighbors to see if they can help during the day.  It would be much easier if we could count on relatives to be around and help out.

By the way, I suspect part of the sudden urgency to get everything ready has to do with the minor worries last night about going into labor.  I started getting lots of lower back pain about the time I started trying to sleep.  That’s how everything started with PJ, so of course I paid close attention to what I was feeling.  When I had two Braxton-Hicks within fifteen minutes, I was starting to go over the plans for rushing to the hospital in my mind, even though I knew I needed to time contractions for at least an hour before panicking.  I fell asleep before the hour was up.  I woke up still pregnant, so I guess it was a false alarm.

My SIL is 38 weeks pregnant right now and having some issues that may expedite the delivery of their baby (evil SIL, by the way).  My mom says they’re talking of inducing on Thursday, at 39 weeks, if she’s still pregnant then.  It’s sad to think about, but we could very well be in a race for popping out the second grandchild first.  In a way I want to win, just to be able to say I gave my parents their first two grandchildren (and to steal her thunder since my kid would be in the NICU, thus taking more attention), but I really actually hope she wins, and by several weeks.  I’m not looking forward to another NICU experience, even if it should be a week or two shorter already.

Update: I finally heard back from my doctor about the tests she did on Thursday.  Both are negative.  I’m honestly a little surprised about both.  I don’t know why, but I figured I was one of the many carriers of group b step.  It’s good that I’m not, though.  And it’s also kind of good that I’m not likely at high risk of going into pre-term labor anytime soon.  I can get off the terb (yay!!!!!), but now I’m starting to feel foolish for telling everyone that I suspect BabyN has dropped and that the birth is imminent and getting everything ready just in case.  For the record, hearing the result of the test doesn’t change my gut feeling one eensy-weensy bit.  It’s just “scientific proof” (as inaccurate at this test is known to be) that I’m wrong.  And I so hate to be wrong, even if it’s for the best for everyone involved.

Let the Countdown Begin

July 30, 2007

According to the doctor, I’m 32 weeks today.  Tomorrow I unofficially hit 33 weeks.  And sometime either last night or this morning BabyN dropped.  I never had this feeling with PJ, so I didn’t recognize it right away.  But even M can tell I’m suddenly carrying much lower from just looking at me.  It’s an unmistakable difference.

I was already getting that feeling that at my appointment on Thursday I’d be dilated at least a smidge and would likely be put on bedrest finally.  (Honestly, it’s the best time for it to happen.  M is going out of town for business on Monday and my mom is coming to stay with us for the week.  I’ll have at least a full week of total bedrest to kick it off.)  I’m still waiting to hear from the doctor about the results of the swab she took last Thursday, but regardless of whether I was positive for the protein then, I’m almost certain it’s positive now.

It’s still early, but at least I’ve made it farther than last time already.  BabyN should be fine if he’s born now, with only a minimal NICU stay.  I think it’s time to get everything in order so that we can take off for the hospital at any time.  Hopefully these plans can just sit around for a while before we need them, but I’d rather have them ready just in case.

In My Dreams

July 30, 2007

I remember the basic idea of a lot of the dreams I had when I was pregnant with PJ.  They were all about babies and giving birth, mostly.  I didn’t have the dreams as often as I’d thought I would, but at least the themes were pretty much the same when I could remember them.

Not so much this time.  I’ve had a few dreams about having BabyN or what life is like when he’s here (and one where he was older and I’d just had his twin baby sisters…yikes!).  The pervasive theme of the dreams this pregnancy, though, is teaching.  I had yet another teaching dream last night.  In this one, I’d gone back to teaching basically as I am right now–hugely pregnant and everything.  I was taking over what would be my classes after they’d had a series of subs since the beginning of school.  Naturally they were unruly and their progress was limited.  I dreamed of discipline issues, parent phone calls, and students wanting special treatment.  I dreamed about my fellow teachers, bringing in some of the more friendly ones I’ve worked with in the past.  Despite the issues with the students, the teaching experience itself was pretty good.

But then I dreamed I had a conference period, or lunch, or something where I had free time.  All I could think about was PJ.  I was so worried about how he was doing without me that I had to wake myself up from the dream and remind myself that we were both fine and he was in the next room.  It’s obvious that in my dreams all I wanted was to be at home with my son again, even though I was enjoying teaching.

I don’t know.  It may be in my future to teach once again, but my subconscious is telling me definitely not anytime soon.  Right now, I need to be at home taking care of my sons.  In the meantime, I just need to put up with the onslaught of teaching dreams.  Maybe they’re just keeping me open to that option so I won’t rebel against it in the future if I do need to go back to work.

Hormonal and Whiny

July 27, 2007

I don’t very often ask or beg for comments, but today I actually need them.  I’m in need of encouragement from all of you.  I know between the pregnancy hormones and the yucky medicine, this is bound to happen from time to time.  I’m just so discouraged and miserable today, and I can’t manage to get myself balanced back out, even though I know I’m overreacting to everything and why.

The medicine is affecting me much worse than it has the last few days, and I can’t keep myself from shaking.  It feels like I’ve been suddenly placed in Antarctica in the dead of winter because of how much I’m shivering.  But I’m not the least bit cold.  It’s very uncomfortable.  I’ve also been nauseous agaiin, something that hasn’t happened much for a long time.  It took all my willpower to make lunch for PJ and me, between the shaking and the nausea.  All of this is making my normal, everyday mothering tasks seem overwhelming.

And add to all this that I have no clue what is really going on with my body.  I question with each Braxton-Hicks whether this is the one to really worry about, if this is the one that indicates the start of labor.  And I don’t know how much I should really worry.  It bugs me that I don’t know what comes next in my doctor’s plan of treatment and what will make her decide to go ahead with that next step.  I feel lost and out of touch with what is going on with the pregnancy.  It’s all very discouraging today, not even knowing whether to worry, what to worry about, or what I should be doing to prevent anything from happening.

So while I’m feeling altogether antisocial today, as often happens when I’m feeling under the weather and moody, I could really use some encouragement.  Or sympathy.  Maybe that’s what I’m really shooting for.  Pity me already!  (By the way, has that ever happened to you?  You start whining, and all you hear is that everything is going to be okay, and you get annoyed because you already know that and really wanted to hear words of understanding and sympathy at your plight instead?)  Anyway, maybe tomorrow I’ll be better again with my sense of humor back and I’ll be able to blog something more upbeat, and possibly unrelated to the pregnancy, again.

Confusing Appointment

July 26, 2007

I got back from the doctor a few minutes ago.  I’m not exactly sure how it went.  I’m not sure it’s a good sign when I come home confused.  Of course, I wasn’t the only one confused.  My doctor seems a bit at a loss what to do now too.

Okay, from the start.  I’m gaining weight at last, but not too much.  My blood pressure is perfect as usual, but my pulse was racing, the nurse said.  Definitely from the medicine.  BabyN’s heartbeat is the same as usual, and I’m measuring 32 weeks.  They decided to do my group beta strep test today, so I got to strip from the waist down.  I thought they’d said they usually do that test later, but maybe they just did mine early to make sure it got done before BabyN decided to show up.  After that, I was declared to be basically done and to get dressed again while they got the doctor.

The doctor came in and asked mostly about the medicine and if it was helping the contractions.  It’s not.  Yesterday was as bad as usual, with several contractions being immensely more intense (not painful, but definitely more uncomfortable).  The doctor did not like hearing that.  She decided it was a good idea to get that swab again to tell whether I was at high risk for pre-term labor in the next few weeks.  The nurse-practioner came back in after I’d stripped again to do that.  I was done with that and about to get dressed again when she decided to ask the doctor if that was it.  Of course it wasn’t.  She wanted a cervical check as well.  The good news is that I’m still closed, even though she mentioned that it didn’t feel exactly like it should.  She didn’t seem worried, so I won’t worry either.  After that, it really was over.

PJ wasn’t particularly happy the whole time, but he was a trooper.  It was only bad when he started screaming when my legs were up in the stirrups, and I most definitely couldn’t comfort him at the time.  Anyway, I guess the verdict is that I’m supposed to stay on the meds and take it easy until they get the results from the swab.  If it’s negative, as both the doctor and I suspect it will be, then there’s no point in staying on the medicine.  At least I haven’t been put on bedrest yet, and as long as the test comes back negative, I doubt I will be just yet.  The doctor seems reluctant to go to those lengths if the only symptom of pre-term labor I’ve shown is frequent Braxton-Hicks that aren’t changing anything.

Like a Leaf

July 25, 2007

Today I am very, very glad I don’t have a job that requires any fine motor skills.  I would be scared to be in surgery with someone’s life in my hands.  I would hate to ruin a piece of artwork I’d been working on for ages.  I’m even relieved I don’t have to try to write on a chalkboard in front of a class of judgmental teenagers right now.  It’s bad enough trying to pour a glass of milk without spilling or typing or even jotting something down on the grocery list.  I have little to no control of my hands right now.

At least the shakiness from the medicine is the worst of it.  It’s not fun, but why do I really need fine motor skills right now anyway?  The only sad part is that I’m afraid to pick up PJ and hold him.  The trembling is making me feel weak everywhere, and I’m afraid I will end up dropping him.  In a pinch, I think we’d be fine, though.

M claims the medicine is having more effects than just the shaking.  He keeps telling me how funny I am when I’m hyper.  I don’t feel at all hyper–sleepy instead.  But he has more of an objective view.  Maybe I am a bit hyper and don’t realize it.  I also feel just a bit nervous all the time.  It’s weird feeling like all I want to do is sleep, but when I lie down, I can’t keep my body or legs still.

So far I haven’t noticed a huge decrease in the Braxton-Hicks.  I guess I expected once I had the medicine in my system, the contractions would just disappear altogether.  They’re usually pretty moderate in the mornings, and that hasn’t changed.  I guess the real test will be this evening; evenings are usually when they are the worst.  I don’t know whether to hope the medicine helps or not.  Of course I want relief from the worry the frequent Braxton-Hicks cause, but a part of me wants to be off this medicine already.  Still, I doubt the side effects of any stronger anti-contractiion medicine will be at all preferable to the relatively minor shakiness.

Hope in a Bottle

July 24, 2007

My doctor’s office called this afternoon.  My cervix is pretty darn close to a normal length, so I don’t qualify for the home health care, and in addition, the patch version of the medicine.  That’s good because my cervix is still long but bad because they didn’t want to have to put me on the oral medicine.

Anyway, M picked up the meds on his way home from work.  I only have about a week’s supply.  I guess they don’t want to prescribe me a whole bunch when we’re living from week to week now already.  Either way, it’s $10 co-pay per bottle, so it would be nice if I could have more than one week’s worth in a bottle.

So I took my first pill about an hour ago, and I haven’t felt the awful side effects predicted yet. I’m a little shaky and just feeling antsy, but that’s all.  It turns out that it’s a medicine usually prescribed for asthma and similar breathing problems.  When I realized that, I was able to connect the possible side effects with those I get from my inhaler for asthma.  I should be pretty used to the same kinds of things I could feel from this medicine.  Maybe that’s just making this easier to cope with.  We’ll have to see how I feel after a few doses, in case the side effects get worse when the medicine has been in my system for longer.  Or perhaps I was expecting the side effects to be worse from what everyone else has said, so this isn’t so bad considering.  Anyway, so far, so good.