Any Day Now

July 24, 2007

I am 32 weeks today, according to the first ultrasound due date, even farther along if you go by my LMP.  According to everything other than the inaccurate doctor’s due date, I have entered uncharted territory.

In fact, last night at about 6:30, M and I were discussing this very fact.  Since PJ was born at 4:17 in the afternoon, I’d already gone farther than last time, even if only by a few hours.  It’s an exciting feeling knowing that odds are good that things with BabyN go better than they did with PJ, regardless of when he’s born now.  He’s already gestated longer.

I’ve entered “any day now” mode.  Even with the progesterone shots and the other meds I’ll be on soon (probably by the end of the week), I feel like BabyN could come any day now.  I hope he decides to wait three or four more weeks so we can avoid another NICU experience, but I’m already starting to hope that day comes sooner rather than later.  It will be a relief to have all this third trimester ickiness gone.  And I’m ready to finally meet this little guy who is so careful to make sure I’m aware of his presence.  I might miss some of the pregnancy dreams, though; last night I dreamed BabyN was here and had been for a while, and I was actually giving birth to his baby twin sisters.  He was still young enough to be nursing, though, so I was nursing all three at once.  (Well, not at the exact same time, but you know what I mean.)

Anyway, we have everything ready to bring a baby home here, even though there are a few more things I’d like to get before BabyN makes it.  M and I are reluctant to spend the money right now, though, so we’re waiting, hoping someone else will decide to buy it for us.  It’s too bad I won’t get a shower for this one.  I think I’m ready in every way, physically, emotionally, and mentally.  It’s just playing the waiting game now until BabyN is ready.

By the way, PJ has been acting like a spoiled brat the last few days.  Oddly enough, this frustrating behavior started with the departure of his grandma on Saturday.  He’s throwing huge fits any time he doesn’t instantly get what he wants.  Last night he actually went to bed early because he was just making himself more and more hysterical in one of those fits.  I still don’t know what he wanted, but it had something to do with his water sippy cup.  I’m tempted to blog about my kid suddenly turning into a spoiled brat on the other blog, without mentioning my suspicions about why it’s happened so suddenly, but I’m afraid my MIL will either figure out what I’m not saying or feel guilty about it and get all bent out of shape.  It’s been too long since I’ve blogged there, and this is all I can think to write about right now.  Is it better to not write anything there, just in case, or go ahead and whine about it, ignoring what my MIL thinks about it?

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Where I’ve Been, Part II

July 23, 2007

Ready for the MIL stories?  Since I didn’t vent about them every day as they happened, instead you’ll just be getting the bigger ones that I can remember now.  That’s probably all you really need anyway to get a good picture of how the week went.

  • Remember how she recently lost her job and found another one?  We were hoping she would be so focused on the new job that we wouldn’t have to hear her whine about the other one incessantly.  We were totally wrong.  I had to hear the whole annoying story numerous times in her short stay.  Each time she turned more and more into the victim.  I got extremely frustrated having to console her and tell her everything would be okay and the mean doctor would be punished for what he did to her.  Yet each time she insisted on telling the story, it felt more like she was lying about it, like she was hoping to convince herself her story was true and that it would be more realistic the more she practiced it.  I think the truth is that she wrote herself a prescription and the doctor found out and wouldn’t stand for it like the previous doctor would.  Now she’s trying to find excuses for why she did what she did and is making it sound like he misinterpreted something she did–which was most certainly not actually writing herself a prescription.  M agrees with me that she’s lying.
  • The worst time when I had to hear the whole story yet again was Friday late morning.  Unemployment called her to hear her side of the story after hearing the doctor’s, and when she got off the phone with them she had to call my FIL and M’s aunt (her SIL) to tearfully tell them what she had told unemployment, which included the whole sordid story again.  It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal, despite the fact that I had to sit through it all trying not to sigh and roll my eyes at the drama, except that moments before the first phone call I was about to go get my shower.  I needed her to watch PJ while I did so.  This was the only chance I would get to shower since I had to go to the ultrasound that afternoon and had just gotten up a few minutes earlier, and we’d be leaving right after lunch.  By the time she got off the phone and composed herself enough to watch PJ as she’d promised, I could barely squeeze in the quickest rinse-off ever before we had to rush to the hospital (to wait and wait and wait).  I acted nice but was super aggravated.
  • Friday night’s dinner was annoying, too.  PJ woke up from his late nap fussy since he hadn’t slept long enough yet, but we had to wake him up for dinner.  MIL put him in his high chair long before she had food in front of him, though (obviously a bad move), and he screamed until there was food there.  I listened as M told her not to give PJ any biscuit yet because once he saw there was a biscuit, that’s all he would eat.  He would cry any time there wasn’t biscuit on his tray, even if it was gone, and would refuse the rest of his meal altogether.  What did I see as she put food in front of him?  She started to give him a bite of biscuit.  I again told her not to–acting like I hadn’t heard M just tell her the same thing–and then watched as she did anyway.  For about two seconds, while PJ ate that piece of biscuit, we had wonderful peace.  Then he realized the bread was gone and screamed for more.  It was a full-blown hissy fit.  When we wouldn’t give him more until he’d tried at least some of the rest of his meal, he screamed louder.  My MIL apologized to him–for not giving him what he wanted because Mom and Dad wouldn’t let him have more biscuit yet.  She deliberately made us out to be the bad guys in the whole situation.  (By the way, I finally distracted him enough to get him to eat a few bites of chicken, thus winning the battle.  He ate a decent meal afterwards perfectly happily.)
  • The whole idea of beinig spoiled by Grandma was a common theme of the week.  All he had to do was appeal to her, and she gave him anything he wanted, even if we had just told her not to.  Or if she refused him something, she made it clear that she would have given it to him, but Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t let him, making us the bad guys always.  She overreacted to every hissy fit, getting anxious and rushing to get him what he wanted.  She refused to take our advice about him, instead making lots of mistakes with him that she could have avoided.  I guess she’d rather not do anything the easy way.  We’re just lucky that none of this permanently harmed him.  We’re re-training our spoiled little brat not to be one this week, but at least he can be re-trained.  When he was seven months old, she had him overnight for one night and in that time managed to turn him against bottles.  That was the last time he ever took a bottle, and I suspect made his transition into sippy cups that much more difficult.  I’m glad there was no repeat of that this time around.
  • Apparently she gave no thought into what to pack for her stay here or how to pack for airline travel.  She came totally unprepared for even basic hygeine needs.  As a result, we made numerous trips to pick up that one more thing she realized she forgot (or had confiscated at the airport), and she still borrowed excessively from us.  I don’t mind being a good host and lending out anything I can, but it bothered me that once something ended up in her room or bedroom, there it stayed.  Even if we asked her to return something ASAP since we needed it too, we didn’t see it again until she left.
  • As I suspected, she didn’t do a lot of helping out around here.  She kept PJ entertained well, so I really can’t complain, but it bothered me how she handled the few things she did.  She mopped the kitchen floor and expected immediate and repeated praise for it.  When she helped make the pasta Friday night (by stirring it every so often), she made a big deal about it to my FIL who was on the phone at the time, acting like she was cooking us dinner while taking care of PJ (she was holding him for those few moments).  M was doing the majority of dinner, and I was watching PJ most of that time.  I think it’s safe to say she was stretching the truth just a bit.
  • She kept harping on M to do certain things, like sit with her in the evenings and chat with her instead of playing his game.  If the nagging didn’t work, she moved to manipulation.  M finally gave in just to get her to leave him alone, but I know it bugged him to think he gave in to such obvious manipulation.  She also griped at him for having a cookie and milk before bed one night.  She tried blaming his weight problems on him and trying to convince him that if he has cholesterol problems, that’s why.  But she eats healthy (meaning she drank lots of water while she was here because we didn’t have anything better for her to drink), so she can criticize him.  What a hypocrite.
  • I had Braxton-Hicks bad while she was here, and my MIL was concerned, making sure I spent as much time lying down as possible.  Yet I’m positive now that she is complaining to everyone who will listen that I was so lazy and made her do everything while she was here.  In reality, she only created more work for me and let me sleep less.  And don’t mention the stress.  It’s no wonder I was having problems with contractions.

And I think I’ll stop there.  I could come up with many more gripes about her, but I’ve had long enough to vent now that I probably don’t need to tell all of you every little detail.  For the record, all this is stuff that M and I have talked about.  While he loves her because she’s his mother, he can still see her personality flaws and has trouble handling her for very long either.  In this case, the problem is all her.  I’m glad my husband can see that too and reacts the same way I do to her.  Neither of us will cut ties with her for the petty stuff she does and her annoying personality, but we work together to keep each other sane when we have to be around her.  This is not at all like the in-law problems I read about so many of you having.  There is not a problem between me and the family or the fact that they are in-laws.  It is mostly just my MIL’s personality; everyone has trouble dealing with it–close relatives and strangers alike.  Because of that, our reaction to her is totally different.  It is more a case of learning to tolerate her the way she is instead of trying to work through the situation.  At least I am definitely a part of the family and loved like it.  I guess things could be a lot worse.


Where I’ve Been, Part I

July 22, 2007

I’m still here.  I haven’t gotten online much lately, due to several things.  First, the MIL was here (lots of stories from that visit tomorrow), then fun medical stuff came up, and then Harry Potter got here.  I’d love to spoil the book for everyone, but I’ll be nice.  I just can’t see how anybody who has actually read it could claim it’s paganistic, though; the Christian parallels are obvious.  Those crazy Christian groups need to do their research before going to such extremes to discredit a book.

 Anyway, I’ll let you all know about the medical stuff first, since I know you’re probably somewhat anxious about it.  It started with the doctor’s appointment Thursday.  It didn’t seem like it would be any big deal, except perhaps for the MIL intruding too much.  The doc prescribed a cream for my itchy, rashy belly (which is working, by the way).  When she asked about how the Braxton-Hicks were, though, I couldn’t give a satisfactory answer.  After all, stress makes them worse, and I’d just spent the last two days with my MIL.  She was worried enough that she wanted to do everything possible to make sure matters don’t get worse without interfering with my life.  In other words, no bedrest or anything.  But she wants to see me every week from here until the end.  She also wants to put me on medicine to help control the contractions.  I’m not at all opposed to the idea, especially after seeing how bad it was from Wednesday night until yesterday afternoon (coincidentally enough, when the MIL left).

The problem is that the terbutaline she wants to prescribe has some uncomfortable side effects.  The doctor would rather have me on some patch thing that sits under my skin, giving me a steady stream of the medicine.  But I have to be on some home health care system to get it, and my insurance will only qualify me for it if I meet certain specifications.  One of those is a shorter cervix, so I was sent out to get an ultrasound ASAP (they can’t do that in the office).

All of Friday afternoon was spent at the ultrasound.  The hospital that could get me in on Friday (when I had free childcare for PJ, thanks MIL) was ridiculously inefficient.  I had an appointment at 2:15 that I was supposed to arrive half an hour early for.  I didn’t get into the appointment itself until after three, and it lasted an hour and a half.  The problem was that BabyN was super active and wouldn’t stay still for the tech to get a good shot.  She had to try several times for every shot she needed, which was a lot apparently.  Of course, the doctor’s order wasn’t specific enough to mention that all we needed was the cervical length, so I had the whole detailed thing.  It took forever, while the cervical length part of it took all of five minutes.  The tech was also not going to tell me anything about whether anything was normal, but I convinced her to tell me unofficially what she thought about the cervical length, and she thought it looked normal.  That means I’ll probably go on the oral medicine after all and just put up with the nasty side effects.  Better than another preemie anyway.

Of course, there were a few minutes where I barely held back my panic.  The radiologist decided he needed a few more shots of BabyN before I left.  I didn’t think it would be a big deal since BabyN had been squirming through everything and probably kept a few pictures from being very clear.  But he was sleeping when the radiologist came in, and the doctor kept looking at one place in his abdomen repeatedly.  Naturally, I’m trying not to freak out but wishing they would tell me what’s going on, even unofficially.  I was already trying to decide whether I would want to risk another pregnancy if BabyN ended up so sick he wouldn’t make it.  Then finally I got the courage to ask what was wrong.

It turns out that they couldn’t get great pictures of his kidneys, the same problem as the first ultrasound.  They could see a left kidney, but not a right one.  Apparently it often blends in with the other internal organs around there, like the liver and spleen, and sometimes they can’t get a good enough picture to separate the kidney from everything else.  Most likely, that’s the case here.  Of course we’ll be keeping an eye on things to make sure that’s the only problem, but the radiologist didn’t sound overly concerned when he was telling me.  Still, I’d rather not have that complication if I could.  And I really don’t want to have to go back for another ultrasound to try yet again to find this kidney.  This last one was enough of a pain in the butt–although that could be partly from the presence of the MIL during all of it.


Six Days

July 17, 2007

Shoot, I can’t give this post the time and thought it requires.  PJ just woke up from his nap, and I probably won’t have a free minute again the rest of the day.  Oh, well.  He can play in his room for ten minutes or so while I try to get a few of my feelings down anyway.

Today I am unofficially thirty-one weeks along (according to my secondary due date that is more accurate than my official one).  Next Monday will be the day in the pregnancy when PJ came.  I have six days to hold my breath that BabyN stays where he belongs.

Things have been better mostly.  I’m not having B-H to the point of alarm anymore.  I can even clean like a madwoman, like I did this afternoon, only having to pause once for a B-H.  I have no real reason to suspect anything is going to happen in the next week–or even month.  But I can’t help feeling this touch of fear that something will happen anyway, simply because I wouldn’t otherwise expect it.

There’s also this feeling of fear that I will continue on after next Monday, with BabyN safe inside my ginormous belly.  Next Tuesday I enter uncharted territory–for me–in the pregnancy.  I don’t know what to expect in those last two months of pregnancy, and I’m a bit worried that I won’t be able to tolerate it.  And what if by some miracle I don’t go early at all?  What if the doctor suggests inducing labor?  And what if my tiny body really can’t deliver a baby bigger than those three pounds and three ounces that PJ was?  In a way, I hope these become my new fears, irrational as they are.  They are much better than worrying about seeing another of my children fighting in an incubator, having to go visit him every day instead of taking him home like a normal mom.

I’m hoping for a nice middle ground this time around.  I have a strange feeling that this baby will make his appearance right around August 15.  Why the 15th you ask (my mom did)?  Both my BIL and evil SIL share that birthday.  It only seems appropriate that BabyN would choose to share the birthday with his family members.  It’s also just over a month early.  That sounds about perfect to me.  BabyN will almost certainly be born healthy, but not as huge as he would be otherwise.  Besides if I’m this tired of the pregnancy now, by then I’ll probably be eager to just get him out already.

That means that it’s reasonable to think I have less than a month to go.  More than a week, please God, but less than a month.  If I set that as my newest temporary goal (after next Monday), I think I may just be able to make it.


Monday

July 16, 2007

I have no creativity tonight.  I know it shows in the title.  It’s also going to show in this sorry excuse for a post, despite my great intentions for a wonderful, meaningful post today.  I guess that one will wait until tomorrow.  Anyway here’s what’s been going on:

1. I’ve been keeping plenty busy today and will probably do the same tomorrow.  Why, you ask?  It’s not nesting; it’s preparing to have a MIL with diagnosed OCD staying with us.  If she saw our house the way it is now, she’d probably have a panic attack.  I don’t fancy a trip to the ER as soon as she gets here tomorrow, so I’m cleaning in the meantime.

2. Oh, yeah, I guess I hadn’t mentioned that one yet.  My MIL is coming tomorrow night and will stay until Saturday afternoon.  Fun.  I’m trying not to stress, but it’s hard not to.  According to my mom, she will be quite angry with my MIL if she sits around all day playing with PJ while I do all the keeping-up of the house this week.  (Actually, I toned down her actual words.)  Yet that’s exactly what M expects to happen.  Urgh.

3. I’m still having spells from what I suspect is the anemia.  They force me to lie down for about half an hour each time.  It’s lots of fun trying to work consistently when I keep having to lie down halfway through a job.  It’s also fun because PJ insists on “helping” with every task I do when he’s awake, which of course makes it take twice as long.  I think I’ll be sleeping awfully well tonight and tomorrow night.

4. On the positive side of things, I’ve been working like crazy to get the nursery done.  The pictures that Chas has been doing for us should be here before long, and their shelves are full now.  I’ll have to get pictures when everything’s up to show off all the work I’ve done.  Most of it has been painting, which I’ve found to be oddly relaxing and enjoyable.  What I’ve been doing is nothing like what Chas does, but painting wooden letters solid colors seems to be within my range of talents.  Hehe.  Either way, I’m proud of what I accomplished.  I’m so not crafty that it feels special to have decorations in the nursery that I did myself.  I’m finishing up the last little trinkets I’m planning to do myself, and then I can get pictures for you.  My goal is to get these done before MIL gets here because otherwise she’ll want to “help,” and apparently that’s about as useful as PJ’s help.  I’m not particularly eager to start over with these because they’re much more detailed than plain wooden letters.

Tomorrow’s post: all about the pregnancy again.  I know.  You’re shocked.  Anyway, we’re quickly approaching a huge milestone, and I’d like to share my feelings about it before I’ll likely be forced to take a break for several days to keep this blog secret from the MIL.


Boring Updates

July 14, 2007

It’s official.  My MIL is coming to visit starting Tuesday night and will be staying until Saturday afternoon.  Pray for me.  I can ignore stupid comments on the blog, but spending nearly every waking hour with her for three and a half days is going to be much more difficult.  She needs the break, though, and I’m focusing on that.  This trip really is about her.  And I won’t mind the help around here with PJ.  Until the icky spells that I think are caused by the anemia get under control, having someone to fall back on when they hit will be nice.

And apparently, the job with New Doctor has officially ended.  We found out through M’s brother online today.  She said nothing to us specifically.  We don’t know if it was her choice in the end or not.  She is thinking about applying for a position with the school district, though.  She’s excited about the possibility.  I would be…but SUMMERS!  That’s a long vacation, and I have a feeling I know where she’ll want to spend much of her break.  Lucky me.

I have nothing new to mention about the call to the doctor yesterday.  I’m still ticked at them for blowing me off, but I guess I can see why it happened.  They called back just after their Friday hours had ended (despite the fact that I’d called hours earlier), and they were probably eager to get home.  They didn’t want to answer anything at all complicated, so I got rote answers for common problems with no personal attention.  I’ll call back Monday if their solutions don’t work.

I did some research on both problems, though, and may have found an answer for the rash on the belly at least.  My newest guess is that it’s PUPPS.  It’s totally harmless but annoying as hell.  The itching woke me up several times last night.  I tried the hydrocortisone cream as the doctor suggested, but it only made the itching more severe.  I’m looking into other remedies that I’ve found online.  Right now, it’s just moisturizing regularly with lotion heavy in vitamin E.  It’s somewhat better; we’ll have to see how well it works tonight.  Has anybody else dealt with this?  Do you have suggestions for me to try?


In-Laws and Doctors

July 13, 2007

So the story with the MIL has gotten way more interesting since yesterday.  You know how I said she was unhappy with her job?  There’s more to the story with that.

Back to the beginning…she’d worked with Old Doctor for about ten years when he started being kind of rude to her, or rude in general.  I’ve met him, and he seems like the type to have a bit of an abrasive personality.  He’s also the kind of doctor who quickly prescribes medicine for any complaint.  He taught MIL to do the same, and she takes many pills per day, many of which I find their necessity questionable.  In fact, I wonder just how legal some of these prescriptions really are, if she really talked to the doctor before calling them in to the pharmacy to get them filled.  Old Doctor was nice enough not to say anything if that’s the case.

Old Doctor’s personality finally drove MIL to find a new job with another doctor in town.  He had a new, state-of-the-art office and treated her like a goddess.  It was utopia for her–at first.  Then suddenly New Doctor started being less than super kind to her.  That has become downright antagonistic.  He’s trying to get her to quit.  It started with frustration that she couldn’t do things his way without some instruction from him.  Then it was attacks against her personality and insinuations that she was treating different patients differently.  Now he is “slandering her name all across town and trying to get her license revoked,” according to M’s dad.  In more detail, every prescription she calls in to any pharmacy in town has to be verified with the doctor.  Honestly, I can see the logic behind this claim.  I’m not sure where the license threat comes into play.

Far into the conversation with his dad last night, M learned there’s another part of the story.  His mom is claiming that the antagonism started shortly after an interesting event.  According to her, one evening after work, New Doctor approached her and put his arms around her and told her he loved her.  She turned down his advances, but apparently he feels put out that she would respond that way and this is his way of getting back at her.  In fact, the main reason she was hired in the first place was probably the doctor’s crush on her.

Does anybody else see something fishy in this story?  I don’t know for sure what the real story is, but this is not it–or at least not all of it.  I’m not sure whether she’s invented the sexual harassment charge to salvage her own reputation or she’s not telling the whole story to protect him, or herself.  Or maybe it’s something else altogether.  Either way, things don’t quite add up.  But she is definitely getting the attention she craves right now, even if most of it is negative.  Could the “hug” story be a way to play up the drama queen bit?

Total change of subject now, and I have no good transition into it.  I called my ob/gyn this morning.  I think most of you know me well enough that I didn’t call lightly.  M is starting to worry about how my dizzy spells are persisting, even getting worse, since I started the iron pills over a week ago.  Either the iron isn’t getting absorbed or the dizzy spells are related to something else altogether.  He insisted I call this morning when I showed him the rash on my belly last night.  It’s been slowly developing and spreading recently.  I guessed it was just a heat rash, but M was concerned enough that he wanted to hear what the doctor has to say.

I felt like when I heard back from the doctor that nobody there was listening to anything I said.  I was told to be careful to stand up slowly to help with the dizzy spells.  When I said that I got them while sitting or lying still usually, I was ignored completely.  They also asked if I was taking the iron with my pre-natal vitamins; I answered that of course I was because that was what the doctor and I had specifically discussed that I do.  I was treated like I was stupid for ever thinking that would be the proper way to take an iron pill.  Apparently the vitamin keeps the iron from being absorbed.  That likely explains the dizzy spells if I’m not absorbing the iron, but it bothers me that the doctor told me to do something that is supposedly common knowledge not to do.

As far as the rash goes, I was told to try hydrocortisone cream for my itchy belly.  No mention was made of the rash or whether I should be concerned or what it could be caused by.  I don’t think the doctor even heard about the rash.  I think I’m actually going to follow my mom’s advice and treat it like a heat rash.  That’s what she thought it was as soon as I mentioned I had a rash.  I’m more willing to take the advice of an experienced mom of four (who raised us all in this climate) than my doctor who may or may not have actually heard what is really going on.  If things don’t get better before Thursday, then at least I can mention the issues to her myself then.  Either way, I’m losing faith in this doctor and her office.  I’ve never liked her as much as the one I had last time around, so maybe if I’m ever in need of an ob/gyn for anything other than routine appointments, I may go searching for a new one.