Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Waiting Game

No further progress in the baby department. After seeing the doctor on Tuesday, he said I haven't progressed much at all, maybe another cm but nothing to write home about, per se. But, we did talk about the possiblity of inducing me if I haven't gone into labor by the middle of next week. I was happy he was so open to it. And thankfully I don't have to go straight to the Pitocin. He said he would try something else first, some sort of hormone. And if that didn't work within 24 hours, then he'd start Pitocin. Both Jeff & I would like to avoid the whole inducing thing all together, but I also don't want to wait too long, and end up needing a C-section because I've got a 10 pound baby on my hands.
I took Emma to gymnastics last night. Most of the people that I know there were surprised I was still there. Most expected that I would have already had the baby, me included. One women even said right before we left, well I hope to not see you next week. I said thanks.
It was a busy evening. Right after gymnastics, we came back home to pick up Jeff to go grocery shopping. Since he's had the car all week, I haven't been able to go. I told him that if I went into labor without going, he & Emma would probably not have any food or toilet paper while I was gone. Either that, or they'd go buy it & pay an extremely high price for it when I know where are all the sales are. I think it was the shortest shopping trip on record for us. We only spent roughly 45 minutes in the store, and that included check-out time. And I got almost everything we needed. The rest can wait, it's not that important. Of course, the one bad thing to having Jeff go with me grocery shopping, is he's just like a little kid, grabbing things off the shelves & putting them in the cart, half slyly, thinking I won't notice until it's too late. Something tells me he's been perfecting this art since he was a small child. And he grabs things he never tells me he wants when I go by myself, so I can never buy it when it's on sale. Instead we have to pay full price for his convenience. Sorry, that's my "Grandpa Schmechel frugal gene" talking.
Emma's going to miss school today because Jeff has the car & he's going to be in a meeting from 1-5pm. But, it'll be ok, this is only the first time she's missed school (well, actually the second, but that was because we were out of town). So, I think she'll live. We'll have fun around here, maybe walk around the block again. And she can help me put away laundry, that's always fun! I've got about 50 loads of clean laundry all folded up down here by the computer, that I just haven't put away yet. Something about sclepping all this stuff up a flight of stairs just doesn't appeal to me right now. I probably should have asked Jeff to go it for me, but I forgot. I had a pretty rough night last night, very little sleep, and lots of aches & pains, so by the time Jeff got up for work, I wasn't thinking about anything but just trying to get up for the day. I told him, I can handle the sleepless nights when there's a crying hungry baby involved, but this "not sleeping" thing just because I'm uncomfortable isn't cool anymore. I'd take the crying baby anyday.
I think Emma has decided that today she's going to be a kitty all day. She's crawling around the house, meowing at me, and I have to refer to her as "kitty". She definitely has a good imagination. She comes up with all sorts of interesting things.
I think I spoke too soon when I told people that I thought that I had escaped the worst of my cold that I had last week. It seems it maybe coming back with a vengence, and a sore throat, too. But the sore throat I can handle, as long as I can breathe through my nose. Having a sore throat during labor might be a good thing for Jeff, so I won't feel as apt to yell at him.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Counting the days

Every day it seems I get at least half a dozen calls, from Jeff, and other family members, asking me if I've gone into labor yet. Mostly from Jeff. He calls from work, asking me if it's time for a baby yet. I hate to disappoint him. I keep telling him, I'm trying my best to get things rolling, but I really have no control over this. Emma & I went for a walk around the block yesterday (I walked, she was on her skates). It was a slow process, to be sure, but she had fun. Then she played with a ball in the driveway, and on the swing set out in the backyard. It was still a little chilly, but she kept herself warm by running around. I took some pictures & put them on our family website.
Jeff is taking the car to work everyday now. He wants to make sure I don't have to drive myself over to get him, should I go into labor. It's very sweet. But now he has to leave work every time we need to do something. Like today, Emma has preschool & I have a doctor's appointment. Tomorrow evening, Emma has gymnastics. We normally pick him up on the way there, but now he'll have to leave work early to come pick us up. So, hopefully I'll go into labor soon so he doesn't have to keep doing this for another week and a half.
With all the worry about having the baby early, now that I'm less than a week away from my due date, I'm now beginning to worry that I'll go late. And I don't want to do that. My mom comes on the 23rd and is only here for a week. I'm going to try to convince my doctor to induce me if I haven't delivered by that date. I don't know how he's going to react to that, but we'll see. And I don't like the idea of getting Pitocin again, since I know what it does to me, but if the ends justify the means, then I'll do it. I get to find out if I've progressed anymore today. I sure hope so. This baby's getting too big for her current surroundings. Although I think she likes it in there, and may decide to stay for a little while longer. We gotta shake her up & get her moving so she can get out. As much as I'm going to miss being pregnant (the good parts of it, at least), I'll be glad when my body is my own again, and I'm not sharing it with another tiny human being who gives me heartburn when I drink water.
Emma decided last night, after telling me that she wants me to have the baby NOW, that she would like to go to sleep, and then come downstairs in the morning & VOILA! Find the baby down here, just waiting for her, like some present on Christmas morning. I thought that was too funny. Jeff overheard her and said, Yeah I'm sure mommy would like it to happen that way, too. Too true. That would be great, but it's not even conceivable. Unless I have to be put out & given a C-section. It's so funny how little kids come up with explainations to things they don't understand.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Easter fun

Emma had her first big easter egg hunt yesterday at her friend Morgan's house. Her mom decided yesterday would be the best time, since it looked like it was supposed to rain/snow today. Emma had a great time. Since this was the first time she's ever done this before, she had a little trouble getting started, and basically just followed Morgan around the yard. There were a few other kids there, Morgan's brother Bobbie, and Zoe & Zack, the kids of some colleagues of Morgan's mom. They all had fun running around the yard, looking for eggs. We did have to help them find a few that were hidden, but overall they found them all on their own. Or so we thought. About 30 minutes after they stopped searching, the dog in the yard behind theirs was scratching & digging at the cyclone fence that separates the yards. Sue, Morgan's mom, went over to see what he was digging at. He had found an egg that no one had remembered, hidden under a pile of leaves. It was too funny. The poor dog was just looking at her like, I found it, give it to me, don't I deserve it? But it had candy in it, so no such luck for the poor guy.
After searching for the eggs, the kids decided they wanted to play on the swing set, while the adults stood around in the backyard talking. It was nice. It was a little chilly, but I don't think the kids noticed, since they were running around. After a little while, we all went back inside. We didn't stay much longer after that, but Sue offered to have Emma stick around so she could decorate real eggs with Morgan. That sounded fine with us, so we went home. Sue brought her back over about an hour later. And she wasn't screaming her head off, like she was the LAST time she left Morgan's house. But we had discussed that with her prior to us leaving her there. Jeff answered the door when she came back & offered to have the kids come over here this afternoon. So, Emma's going to have a weekend full of Morgan. It's nice that they get along so well, especially since they'll be seeing a lot of each other once I go into labor. Emma's going to be spending the night at Morgan's house once we go to the hospital. And she'll be going to Morgan's babysitter's if it happens during the work week. Speaking of which, Emma & I went over to meet her babysitter on Friday. Her name is Sue, too. We were there for about 2 hours, and Emma was really excited to see that Morgan was there. They played nicely together for the most part, except that Emma accidently hit Morgan in the face with some sort of toy. I know it wasn't on purpose, but I felt so bad for the kid. And I knew that probably wasn't the best impression to give to the lady who might be watching Emma all day in the very near future. But she didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal. She's very patient with the kids, but she doesn't take any crap, which is a good thing. Even while we were there (and probably BECAUSE Emma was there, and was causing a ruckus) the kids had to come into the living room & have some quiet time, where they just sat on the couch. Emma couldn't quite understand why she had to do it, too, but she didn't give much resistance.
When I had first told Emma yesterday morning that we were going over to Morgan's house, she thought that meant she was staying the night. We made an overnight bag for her, for when I go into labor. But she grabbed that & thought she was going to stay the night there. It was too cute. So at least I know there won't be any need to worry about separation anxiety with her when we leave her there for a day or so. And once I have the baby, she can come back home with Jeff.
So, now I'm a week away from my due date. It could happen at any time, Jeff's hoping that it'll happen soon (he really wants to have 2 weeks off of work) and now I have no idea when it's going to happen. It's kind of a dose of reality, after planning & waiting all this time and trying to get everything prepared, that you still have no control over when it finally happens. Unless you're having a scheduled C-section. It kinda makes you feel helpless knowing that you really can't do anything but sit & wait. But, since I probably should be doing more of that (the sitting, preferably with my feet up), I guess I can handle it.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

One Crisis Averted

Last night at Emma's gymnastics class, we got the best news I think we've heard in awhile. Our neighbor's daycare provider will watch Emma if I go into labor during the work week. Plus, my neighbor is cool with taking her & picking her up from there (since her kids go there, too) and watching her overnight. I think both Jeff & I were ready to kiss my neighbor when she told us. I am so relieved & happy. I know Emma will have a great time with Morgan, and at the sitter's, should that become necessary. So I'm going to call the sitter today & try to set up a time to meet her, and so she can meet Emma. Apparently, she's relatively inexpensive, too, so we might be able to use her for other times when we need a part-time sitter as well. Sue also said she's very flexible with times, so she sounds great.
Now all we're doing is playing the waiting game. The baby could theoretically come at any time, which is nice, because I'm very ready for her to come now & stop playing "trampoline" on my lower abdomen. But I'm still hoping that she'll hold out until my mom gets here. But that's not for another 2 weeks. So the chances of that happening are very slim. Well, whatever happens, happens. I'm not going to stress about it because that's just going to push my blood pressure up & that's not a good thing.
We got a package yesterday from my Aunt Rhonda & Uncle Brian. It had some nice clothes in it for Sarah & also some new gymnastics/dance clothes for Emma. She was really excited. She got a new pink leotard, a black chiffon dance skirt, pink shimmery tights & black ballet slippers. She immediately wanted to put them on & dance around the house. It was too cute. I had to tell her that if she insisted on wearing all of her new clothes (mostly just the tights, skirt & shoes, I had no problem with her wearing the leotard) to gymnastics, she might get them messed up. That horrified her, so she took everything off, and wore an older leotard that she has.
She was still having a little problem understanding that the baby is going to be using all of the stuff that we've been accumulating and not be using any of Emma's things. I think she's already being a little territorial. Claiming her property before Sarah can snatch it away from her. We had a little talk yesterday about how Sarah's not going to be taking any of Emma's toys or other things (at least not for the first year or so) and how Emma's things are for big girls & all the stuff in Sarah's room is for babies. I think she got the idea. So, that was one of her big worries lately, that Sarah was going to swipe her stuff. Poor kid, this must be hard for her to understand. But I think she's dealing with it well. I know we'll have some instances where Emma's not going to be happy that Sarah's here, but hopefully those times will be outnumbered by the times that she actually likes having Sarah around.
Andrea, the girl who watched Emma a couple months ago, said she had a dream that I had the baby tonight at 8:08 pm. Jeff said I better get going if I'm going to meet the deadline. I asked him what he wanted me to do, jump up & down, go up & down a few hundred flights of stairs, or maybe get someone to scare me to kick start the labor? Plus, Survivor's on tonight & I doubt even contractions would get Jeff & I to miss it.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

No news is good news?

I had my 38 week check-up yesterday afternoon. I was so excited because I really & truly thought that I was going to have progressed since my last check-up 2 weeks ago. Apparently my body had other ideas because I haven't changed a bit. Bummer. Now this doesn't mean that I couldn't go into labor at any money, because I could. But it also means that I still might have another 2 full weeks before this baby's born. I don't know whether to be happy or sad. Happy, because then my mom might be here, or sad because I'm really starting to get sick of being pregnant.
The only thing that changed since the last time was my blood pressure. It was up a little bit, which is what started happening with Emma. That forced me to not be able to get up & walk around my whole labor, which I believe stalled it, forcing me to be given Pitocin, which inevitably means an epidural. I'm not a Pioneer woman by any stretch of the imagination. I would like to avoid pain at all costs, but I want to TRY to have a natural drug-free delivery. I'm going to go as far as my pain receptors will allow me. And since I had NO breathing techniques to fall back on last time, I'm really glad that Jeff & I have been watching this childbirth video. We watched the 5th installment last night. It was all about the medical stuff that is entailed with a delivery. The different forms of pain management, Pitocin, also forceps & vacuum deliveries, and both external & internal monitoring of the baby. Jeff feels like he got a "Get out of jail free" card when the instructor told her class that most doctors will ask the husband to leave the room when they give their wife an epidural. Mostly because most men will wind up on the floor, needing a hospital bed themselves, if they saw how big the needle was that was going to be in her back. And if they don't end up fainting, the husbands could end up knocking the poor anesthesiologist upside his head for the same reason. "You're going to stick that gigantic needle WHERE? I don't think so, how about I stick it somewhere?" Jeff feels he's more inclined to smack the doctor for that reason, rather than fainting. I pointed out to him that the one time he's seen me in a hospital setting where I had an IV in my hand, I had to cover it up with a blanket because he can't stand needles. I told him that I wasn't going to be so discreet about it this time. I reminded him that this whole thing isn't about him, it's about me. He's going to have to somehow get over the fear & realize that it's helping me, not hurting me. And I don't care, stick me anywhere, I have no fear of needles. It's a good thing, too. I think it goes back to when I was in the hospital for 2 weeks after I got hit by a car at age 8. I had IV's stuck everywhere, so much so that I have scars on my arms from them. Little tiny pin prick holes in the crook of my elbow. They were concentrated on my right arm because I think my left arm is defective. You can't get a needle into any vein in that arm. Maybe it's because I'm left-handed, I have no idea. But it's always been that way.
I was really surprised when the instructor on the video told her class that she got an epidural. I had been thinking to myself that she probably is going to be the typical Lamaze instructor, advocating no drugs, you can do this, it's completely natural, you don't need help. But even she conceded that when you get Pitocin, as she did (and as I did, too) that it's almost impossible to get through the labor & delivery without an epidural. It's because it makes your contractions 10 times worse than what Mother Nature would do to you. It's forcing your body to do things in half the time, thus making everything stronger. I can attest to that. Pitocin sucks the big one. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that if I hadn't gotten it, I most likely would have had to get a C-Section with Emma, because I was going nowhere fast with her. But I would really like to avoid all that stuff this time around. But, it was really nice to hear a Lamaze instructor not be all "mafia-like" about using drugs during labor. And although I'm not opposed to using some sort of pain management therapy, I'm also not going to walk in the door & schedule my epidural right then & there.
One thing that is so frustrating about going into labor is not knowing the actual time that it'll start. It makes it really hard to plan things. I'm sure that's not the #1 complaint of pregnant women, but it's one of mine. I know I have things I should be doing, to make sure they're finished by the time I go into labor. But at the same time, I'm afraid if I do them too soon, then I'll end up having to re-do them many times before the actual time comes. Like laundry. I had all our clothes ready, in the bags, raring to go. Then Jeff gts sick & we have to use some of his clothes from the hospital bag. So now I have to wash them again. It's little stuff like that that gets me a little tired. I know that's not anything big, but when you're 9 months pregnant, already feeling like you're carrying more than one little person inside your body, carrying a basket full of laundry up a flight of stairs, trying not to knock anything off the wall in the process can be a feat. By the time I get up to our room, I'm winded, my heart is racing, and I feel like I've just ran a marathon. So you can see how I would like to avoid these things as much as possible. I do utilize Jeff & Emma during these bouts of cleaning. I ask Emma to run around the house looking for dirty dishes & she trails after me, picking up clean laundry off the floor should it fall out of the basket on my way upstairs. And I don't think I've carried the vacuum cleaner up or down any stairs in the past month or so. If a floor needs cleaning, it can wait until Jeff gets home to move the vacuum to that particular level. If he's not here, the level the vacuum cleaner is on is the only one that gets cleaned. And don't even think about asking me to vacuum the stairs, it's not happening. That requires way too much energy to even think about.
Jeff came home sick today. Apparently his "super-human" immune system may be taking a vacation. I don't think I've ever seen him this sick for this long. And he actually sounds worse today than he did yesterday. I picked him up before picking Emma up from school and he went with me. She came out of her class, saw Jeff & was so excited! I'm sure that made his day a little brighter knowing his daughter was so happy to see him. And even though he was so sick, he helped me clean up the house before the realtor showed it this afternoon. Good thing, too because I think I would have been too tired to finish on my own everything we did together. Plus, like I said before, he's the one who schleps the vacuum up & down the stairs. So between the two of us, the house looks pretty nice. So, if I can just keep it up like this until the baby's born, then I won't have to come back from the hospital to a mess. Oh wait, Jeff's going to be here alone with Emma for 2 days. That perfect scenario just flew out the window. I can't expect him to keep the house clean AND watch Emma, right? That would be way too much pressure. Hehe
Emma had a really good time at school today. She was so happy to be going back after having a break last week. And her little friend Lillie was also happy to see her. She's so funny, everytime she sees Emma, she runs over to her & gives her a big hug. I feel bad for her, though, because Emma keeps calling her Brandon, don't ask me why. I keep reminding her that her name is Lillie, but Emma's not too good with remembering names sometimes. She kept calling her friend Matthew in San Diego Ryan, and she kept calling Ryan, Matthew. It's all so confusing for a little 4 year old. But at least she's remembering Sarah's name. I keep quizzing her.
Emma got the new movie "Brother Bear" today. We really liked it when we saw it in the theater. It's such a cute movie. The moose are my favorite characters. Canadian moose, no less. They end every sentence, question, or statement with "eh?" "Beauty, eh?" I think it's funny because people around here talk like that sometimes, too. It must be because we're so close to Canada. Even when we saw the Barenaked Ladies in February, they said stuff like that, too. So much for trying to not stereotype people. It's hard to give people the benefit of the doubt when they do the things that are stereotypical.
And to be fair, Jeff also got a movie. "Matrix Revolutions". So, now they're both happy. Something tells me I won't be able to watch anything I want for awhile.

Monday, April 05, 2004

The Sick House...Again

I know that I've been seriously lackadaisical in my updating of this journal, and for that, I apologize. This past week has probably been one of the worst for my pregnant self. This week I was almost pleading with my body to go into labor, despite Jeff trying to reason with the baby to wait for a little while. I was tired & achy and generally just not feeling well. Of course, when both Jeff & I woke up on Friday morning with what seemed like a cold, I figured that was why I had been feeling so icky all week. Then I was pleading with my body to wait a couple more weeks so I don't have to try to do breathing exercises through a half-stuffed up nose. It would make it very difficult.
So, this is the 3rd cold I've had since November, yay. So, far it hasn't progressed into bronchitis symptoms like it did in January. Just the usual stuffed/runny nose, a few sneezes, and a couple coughs. I've been able to prop my head up at night using pillows, so I'm able to breathe through my nose during most of the night, which has helped avoid the massively sore throat I've had the previous 2 times. And I don't sound like a frog when I talk, which is almost a good sign. And I've decided I'm taking drugs (with my doctor's ok) this time. I'm not going to sit idly by & be sick like this for 2 weeks. I'm attacking it while I can. Because once I go into labor, there's no turning back, and I do not want to be like this when I have the baby. And hopfully this won't last 2 weeks like the other ones have.
On top of feeling icky, Emma not having preschool or gymnastics at all this last week, having to keep the house spotless for realtors coming over to show it, and the baby pounsing on my lower abdomen like a trampoline, Jeff's illness took a dramatic turn last night. He amazes me with his immune system. He'd been feeling just slighty bad, with only a small runny nose, and then all of a sudden last night around 7pm, he comes in from playing on the computer, wrapped in a blanket, shivering like he's been outside in below freezing weather for 2 hours. He was shaking like a leaf. When he gets sick, it's BAD. It hits him fast & hard, but fortunately, it doesn't last all that long. I took his temp, it was about 101.7. I made him some chicken noodle soup and some orange juice. He then wanted to take a shower to make himself feel better. After his shower, I wrapped him up in about 4 blankets & put him to bed. I took his temp again (this was only about 45 minutes after I'd taken it the first time) and it was up to 102.1. So, I gave him an Advil to try & break his fever. An hour later, his temp was up to 102.7. But, within about 30 more minutes, he said he was no longer cold, instead sweating & threw off all his covers. This morning, his fever's completely gone, but he still has symptoms of a cold. It's crazy how his body works. His immune system must be amazing. What would take a regular person about 24 hours to start getting symptoms of, take medicine for, and get over, his body did in 4 hours. But he's always been like this. He doesn't get sick very often, but when he does, it's bad. He was complaining about why he couldn't just get sick like normal people, instead of having to get this accelerated version of illness that knocks him out. I told him I think most people would rather have what he gets, and just get it over with rather than have it drag out for weeks. And the poor guy not only has to go to work today, but it's his college orientation all day. So he has to be sick, around all these incoming freshman, and deal with paperwork & getting his classes for the summer semesters. But, at least he's feeling a little better about the possibility of the baby coming sooner that my due date. For the past few weeks he's been telling the baby to wait & not come yet. But this morning he gave her the OK to come if she wants now, as long as it's after 5pm today. I found that quite funny. Everything's ok, as long as it's on his schedule. I tried to remind him that baby's don't generally listen to what their parents want, and this starts in the womb. He wonders why Emma doesn't obey all the time (or ever, as it sometimes feels like) and I think we're getting the idea of where that comes from. From the beginning of their lives, everything has been on their timetable, and I guess they figure after they're born, that trend should continue.
So, we think we might have come up with a solution for childcare for Emma should I go into labor during the week. My neighbor across the street has already volunteered to watch Emma overnight, and I thought about the possibility of her going to Morgan's (my neighbor's daughter) daycare during the day. Sue (my neighbor) is going to ask the daycare provider today about that and see if she would be willing to take her in, as a drop in, if need be. Hopefully she'll be up to it. That way, Emma could be around other kids, still see Morgan and also have a place to sleep at night. The best case scenario would be that I go into labor around 4-5pm and have her by the next morning, so Jeff could go & pick her up before she goes to the daycare & bring her to the hospital. But since I don't have a crystal ball, these scenarios aren't worth the brain matter they're thought up in.
I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon, so I'll know if I'm progressing anymore than I was 2 weeks ago. I have a feeling I am, but I don't have any other labor symptoms to go along with it. I actually don't want to wonder if I'm in labor or not, I want my water to break (very obviously, too) so I'll know when to go to the hospital. That's what happened with Emma & it was very convenient. No guessing, no timing contractions for hours, no being told to wait until the contractions got bad enough to where I couldn't talk through them. Nope, water broke, went directly to hospital. That would be the best way.
Emma has been very helpful the past week. I received 2 boxes full of baby stuff, from my friend Deanna. One was full of used clothes of various sizes, from newborn to 4T, and the other one was from my baby shower. So, Emma & I had fun washing everything & putting everything away. Of course, she still tries to take things that she likes & use them for HER babies, but she's very easily deterred from that, which is a good thing.
Well Emma's acting like she's in desperate need of some attention so I'll end this, but I'll write more once I know more.