Thursday, July 31, 2008

When life gives you lemons, make Lemonade


1 part placenta previa
1 part pregnancy after infertility
1 lemon
2 parts water
1/2 cup sagar
3 quarts vodka

Mix and drink. Repeat.

I find that I am a more prolific blogger when I am neurotic. If you like to read my blog, recent events are good news for you. If you don't, then maybe you should just go away now, k?

Moving on. I bought Chuckles the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 car seat for my car. I love it. He loves it. It's a win-win-win-win all around. So I want to buy another one for our other car. But the price at amazon is up $40 from what I paid. I check it every day, and every day it has a different price (always, so far, higher than the price I paid in June). I think Tuesday has always been the lowest price of the week. So, I will continue to follow it. I wish I could just put in a limit order or a Dutch auction bid that would say BUY BUY BUY if it gets down to $130 (currently priced at $169.99 but I paid $127 for it).

Question: How old is a child, usually, when their feet start to smell like feet?
Answer: About 3, if wearing rubber Spiderman sandals with bare feet and it is over 90 degrees

Question: How far along are you?
Answer: 24 weeks today. And grateful for every completed week.

Question: How does an almost-six-months-pregnant woman keep cool in 90-degree heat?
Answer: By having no shame. SarcastiCarrie can be quoted thusly, "Mom, Chuckles really wants to come over and visit his Mimi (and swim in her pool)." Mimi, obviously, had no choice but to invite us over after this blatant self-invitation to her pool.

Question: Why did you even buy the Size Medium khaki cargo maternity pants when you know dang well you're not a medium?
Answer: Hormones. They were only $2 at the Salvation Army, and I got 2-months wear out of them, and I'll fit back into them on my way down, and the Size L pants are still a little bit too big, so it would have been laughable two months ago. And shut up, ok.

Question: If you thought you were so hot as to be a medium, why are you wearing a size XL maternity bathing suit that clearly does not fit?
Answer: I held out in my regular suit as long as I could, but the gash now makes bikinis unsightly. Besdies, the suit was a hand-me-down from my sister, and I am too cheap to buy a maternity suit and I am kind of icked out about getting one secondhand from not-my-sister. Hence, we have a problem. Although the end-of-the-summer is upon us, I could probably pick one up on clearance now. I'll jump out to Old Navy online and be right back.

Twenty bucks at Old Navy (and good luck finding a top and bottom that are the right size and same pattern since they are all on clearance and sold as separates). Seems a wee bit pricey to me for a suit I will only wear a few times. Let's see, where else can I try. JC Penney has suits sold as suits for $20 too, but no weird looking for same pattern/size combo there. And the suit is nicer. Let's see what else. Kohl's has nada. Carson Pirie Scott has zippo. MOtherhood has ugly suits for $20. Gap has a one-piece for $15 but it's not very flattering. I need a little something to distract the eye, if you know what I'm saying. THe suit is a little plain. Target - $35. A Pea in the Pod - what was I thinking? THey are mega-pricey. Lo*Mart $19, not ugly. Free shipping to store or go to the store on my way home and buy it. Maybe. I don't really need a second suit. Maybe I can just throw some safety pins on the XL suit I have and call it done.

Question: Safety pins??? Are you really that cheap and ((insert name of a certain former Eastern bloc peoples))?
Answer: I guess I could sew it instead of pinning it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday at noon is the center of the workweek

My husband, upon hearing that I might discover the baby's sex and not tell him, decided he can probably make the ultrasound appointment after all.

I want to revise my set-in-stone prediction about Bobo's birth. I am scrapping the whole thing. Given new information, I want to revise (almost) everything.

Day: Monday, November 24, 2008 (Change to Friday, October 31, 2008)
Gender: Girl (change to Boy)
Length: 22" (Change to 21" long)
Weight: 8 lbs 13 ounces (Change to 7 lbs, even)
Miscellany: Blue eyes, curly dark hair, born before noon, puffy lips like Angelina Jolie and a round face that is slightly reddish (I'll stick with blue eyes, curly dark hair, and puffy lips, but I'm moving time-of-birth to the afternoon)

While not googling my self into a frenzy yesterday, I ran across this study that says that Boys are the more likely outcome in placenta previa pregnancies. The proportion of boys born goes from 50.9% to 54.3%, which might not seem like a lot, but 54.3% means that only 45.7% of previa babies are girls. So, you are about 20-percent more likely to have a boy than a girl (statistics ROCK!) with a previa pregnancy. Since I have no preference, I am fine with it either way. It's just fun and interesting and not-at-all scary to talk about.

And then, while googling, I found this salon piece about a woman who gets a placenta previa diagnosis and wants to know everything (probably including how to perform her own c-section with a butter knife, should the need arise). I think she and I are soulmates.

Oh, and here is a fascinating piece on Placenta Previa from the 1879 Transacations of the Indiana State Medical Society. Man, I love Google. Let us all now say a little atheistic prayer that we are not living in 1879. Whew.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Does This Make Me Sneaky?

I have that follow up, placenta following ultrasound scheduled for August 18th.

Prior to scheduling it, I consulted with my husband. He had a preference for time and date (I gave him 6 choices), and he voiced a preference for location (the place where he gets a chair). I did not want to go to the Chair Place because that is where I did the infertility ultrasounds and it's sort of a downer there, but the bathroom is in the room, so that helps. The other, newer places have changing rooms and whatnot but apparently no chairs. Whatever.

Now, it turns out my husband cannot make it to the ultrasound due to a work conflict (or a confliction, as I like to say). I am a little nervous about what this ultrasound will show, but I know that the tech won't tell me anyway. I'll get the results when I go to the ob on Thursday (the appointment which my husband also cannot make). So, I was thinking, just for the heck of it, how about I find out the baby's sex when I go to the ultrasound and then not tell him?!?!

What do you think?

Questions and Answers

Q: What was I doing that prompted my husband to comment, "You do know meth is not a creme, right?"

A: I was trying to dissolve the powder from a benadryl capsule in rubbing alcohol to spray on my allergic dermatitis and when he asked what I was doing, I jokingly told him I was making meth to help pay for Pampers Swaddlers. Those things are pricey. (Jokes aside, we don't buy name-brand diapers for day time after the newborn period. My kids will be just fine having their heineys covered in generic thank you.)

Q: Am I completely nuts?

A: No, not completely. I know that woman are not supposed to cut their hair when pregnant. I know that Face Puff can sneak up out of no where leaving that cute pixie cut looking a little bit more like lesbian truck driver than you wanted, but I now sport an 8" pony tail and I am dying to cut it off and send it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. I've done it before (less than 2 years ago, and I have 8" of hair already), and I want to do it again. Do you think Face Puff might come for me?

Q: How did I answer Chuckles's question: Is it hard to get the baby out of your tummy?

A: I hugged him because he has been refusing to acknowledge a baby in my tummy (which is totally fine...he keeps saying that it's just food in there but he has a baby (or five babies) in his back). Then, I told him it was hard to get the baby out, but that I would go to the hospital and the doctor would help me. That's the truth, but it doesn't seem that simple.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Well, it never is the thing you worry about, is it?

One. I mentioned the gash, no? Yes, I see I did. In that post, I mentioned that Neosporin was applied to the wound. It turns out I developed contact dermatitis (allergy) from the Neosporin. So, now I am using a Benadryl spray on the wound and topical anti-itch cream. I asked the ob what I could use on it, and he asked to see it. He actually asked if I had fallen into poison ivy on my way out of the garden. He has also forbidden from going in that garden the rest of this summer.

Two. After last summer's little visit with food poisoning at a street fair, I actually asked my husband whether he thought I was allowed to go to the Pierogi Festival. Fortunately, he agreed and now I am 10 pounds of lightly fried, filled dough heavier. And about 20 bucks lighter.

Three. I did have some concerns about the repeat c-section, but I had mostly come to terms with it. I had fantasies about getting to the hospital well-dilated and having them let me try. However, given some new information, I am completely comfortable with the c-section. At my ultrasound (wherein we stared but did not determine the sex), it was discovered that I have partial placenta previa. Julie Alittlepregnant covered placenta previa about 900x better than I ever could, so go learn what it is there. Now, that you're back, you can see that a c-section is probably a really good idea (also placental location makes it unlikely baby will turn out of its current breech position). Sure, the placenta can migrate, and often does, but I'm not a risky person and mine was identified after 20 weeks, so we'll hope it moves, but we'll have a plan in place in case it doesn't.

So, why did I get placenta previa? Well, I've thought a lot about it, and I have some risk factors: previous uterine surgery, previous pregnancy, poor endometrial vascularization, and age over 30. And I guess I'd rather it be me (with my obsessive need to know things) than someone who elected not to have an ultrasound and did not find out until it was too late.

Even when the cervix is not covered, but the placenta is just lying low, there is a real possibility of severe post-partum hemmorage requiring blood transfusion (because uterine contractions after birth close off the blood vessels to the uterus and contractions are not as effective on the bottom half of the uterus). So, my husband is on stand-by should that be necessary (probably won't be but our blood type is the same and he's a donor and we're in a blood shortage here, so I'm keeping him in reserve and eating iron-rich foods to prevent anemia if it comes to that). I have also told my husband that if things get bad enough and any choices need to be made, they can have my uterus. I seriously doubt it would come to that, but I think it's better for him to know that up front than to have to make that kind of decision himself in an emergent situation.

Julie says, "Aside from complications of prematurity, previa babies also seem to experience a higher incidence of growth restriction and congenital physical anomalies."

Because of poor placental placement, there can be compromised blood flow to the placenta, and hence the baby. Sometimes this means smaller babies than otherwise expected. Our baby is measuring over the 90th percentile (a week ahead or so). So, at this point, blood flow to the baby seems just fine. Fine fine fine. And being ahead on growth means that things would have to get pretty bad for us to wind up with IUGR.

As for the higher incidence of congenital physical anomalies, all I have to say is everything looks OK so far. And really, I am not terribly concerned about numbers of fingers and toes and cleft lips or palates. I worry about organs and brains and those are all doing well and accounted for.

So, what do I worry about? Prematurity. That's pretty much it. Once the cervix starts to soften and thin (which can start any time here although it has a long way to go), bleeding can occur. If it can't be stopped, the baby is delivered or you are placed on bed rest until lung maturity can be assured and then you are delivered. Or, you are delivered because it's safer for everyone to be out than in. That is my fear.

If the placenta does not migrate up, there is no way in the world I will be having a baby on November 24th as I predicted (foolishly). If the placenta continues to cover the exit, the c-section will be performed sooner rather than later. In a complication-free pregnancy, I was concerned about that and wanted the extra 2 or 3 weeks of development. In a placenta previa pregnancy, I will take a healthy, live baby at 37 weeks thankyouverymuch.

I will be monitored to note the progression of my placenta. In less than 4 weeks, I will be back on the ultrasound table finding out whether my placenta has migrated away from the exit. If it has, I will sigh a big sigh of relief and go about the next 10-13 weeks of my pregnancy a little lighter with a spring in my step. If it hasn't, I will stay on pelvic rest (what, I didn't mention that?) and probably have more frequent monitoring from there on out. If it stays previa, I will probably ask about the betamethasone steroid shots to prod along lung development.

Also, if I have any bleeding, spotting, staining, hint of blood at all, I am to report to the hospital. I forgot to ask whether I was supposed to go to the ER or L&D, so I guess that's what I'll ask the doctor's office when I call them on my way to the hospital should that need arise. In the general course of my life, I am never more than 2 or 3 miles from some hospital, so I am really not that worried. I will have the next ultrasound completed before our next vacation, so we can re-evaluate whether I still want to go once we know more.

Oh, and I have not been put on any kind of light duty restriction at all (other than the aforementioned pelvic rest) so I guess I can continue cutting the grass and vaccuuming. Or something.

Well, writing down my plan and reassuring both of you (how many of you are reading this?) has actually made me feel better. Woo. Who knew?

So, to recap, I was worried about the VBAC and the progesterone supplementation when I should have been worried about the Placenta Previa.

And in secondary recap: When diagnosed prior to delivery, most mothers and babies are just fine. Fine. Maybe a little early, maybe a little small, and certainly justifiably a little freaked out, but FINE. FINE. And did I mention fine.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's not yet autumn, so what's with the fall

I was in my FIL's garden picking cucumbers with Chuckles. THere were many to get. I had to move to a different location in the garden to get at the rest, so I moved a little to my left. And then, I completely lost my balance, fell forward, hit the 2-foot high metal fence (rusty, jagged metal), tripped over it, fell to the side, hit the rebar holding the chicken wire up, punctured my abdomen, and then fell over the fence out of the garden and into the grass.

I screamed. Like a little girl. Because it hurt. And I was scared, and I was basically alone (with only Chuckles who was still in the garden with me). So, I lay on the ground, gripping my side to stop the bleeding for what seemed like a really long time but was probably only 45 seconds. I did not cry. I was too scared to cry.

I got up, got Chuckles safely out of the garden and staggered into my in-law's house. I yelled at Mr. Long-Suffering that we were going home NOW. He came quickly (for him). I was already halfway to getting a ZipLoc bag and filling it with ice because I was pretty sure swelling was to follow. It was then that I lifted my shirt to show him. There was no blood. There was no puncture. But there was a four-inch long red gash that was over an inch wide at the worst, and it didn't look good. However, it is on my side not out front where I keep the baby. So, I wasn't too worried about the impact. I told my husband that if it had been a few inches closer to the middle, we'd be on our way to the ER right now, but since it's off to the side, we'll go home, ice it, and just make sure it's not too bad and that Puppet Show keeps moving.

I couldn't sleep in over-the-belly pants because the gash is right where the elastic would be. So, I slept in no pants. Whee. I noticed that I also have a similar bright red gash on my right elbow where I hit the fence/rebar as well. Mr. Long-Suffering put neosporin on my side for me (even that stung) and I slept. Puppet Show continues to move. I'm not too worried that I did any permanent damage. My tetanus shot is up-to-date, so I guess I'm good but clumsy. And I have vowed not to go into the garden again until next summer.

This could have been so much worse, and I am thankful that it wasn't. The End.

I guess I've always liked puppets

So, we decided to tell Chuckles that mommy is going to have a baby. (This is called hubris. It is from the Greek meaning whoa, you totally just jinxed yourself.) We said that there was a baby in mommy’s tummy. And since the only times we’ve talked about there being a baby in mommy’s tummy were looking at pictures of when I was pregnant with Chuckles, he asked if it was him. No, it’s not you. There’s a new baby in mommy’s tummy and when it comes out, you will be the big brother. ((Big Smile on His Face)) So, we went along like that for a while. I mentioned that the baby would be his brother or sister. He seemed unimpressed. So, I dropped it. Later, Daddy asked Chuckles what was in mommy’s tummy and he replied A Puppet Show, so from now on, the baby will no longer be referred to as BoBo, but instead as Puppet Show.

Now, the real question, whose baby book gets that story?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lest You Think....

Lest you think I've gone soft with this easygoing pregnancy attitude of mine, I'd like to reassure you that NeurotiCarrie is still alive and well.

Today I had the big ultrasound. The 20-week fetal anomalies scan. (To prove I am a little easygoing, I did not, in fact, go for the u/s at exactly 20 weeks. I am 21.5 wks.)
I grilled the ultrasound technician good. I don't think she knew what hit her. So, I learned the following good news:
  • Cervical is at least 3.4 cm long and tightly closed
  • Heartbeat is 143 and steady
  • brain is present and accounted for
  • 4 chambers to the heart are beating appropriately
  • we have a 3-vessel umbilical cord
  • the placenta looks good and Doppler flows assure us that everything is A-OK fine
  • stomach - check
  • arms, legs, and genitals are all present and appropriate (what those genitals are, I cannot say as I do not know...I looked at the them. Mr. Long-Suffering looked at them. The technician looked at them. The technician knows, but we did not ask her to divulge that information. I may google pictures later to see if anything I saw looks like anything.)
  • Bobo weighs 1 lb 2 ounces +/- 3 ounces, which is good and big. I grow them big.

So now, for your viewing pleasure, I give you the ultrasound photo of a profile of Bobo's head. Bobo is sucking his/her thumb in the picture.

And here is a photo of Bobo taken from the outside outside while i was on vacation last week.

Oh, I had ben all excited that I made it half way through my pregnancy this time gaining only 4 pounds, whereas last time, I had gained 20 (of the eventual 65) by now. However, this is not true. I weighed myself again and I have gained 8 lbs, which according to Dr. Internet is completley average and normal and that I will gain 0.5 to 1 pound per week from here on out. So, there you have it. I maintain that the entire 8 pound has gone to my chest. I dare you to say otherwise.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Is it wrong...?

That I miss wine?

That I want wine?

That I am counting the months until I can have wine again?

And Mojitos?

I think this is a craving, in fact. One which I will not indulge.

When I was pregnant with Chuckles, I did all the right things, avoided all the wrong things, thought happy thoughts, and everything. And he still didn't sleep through the night until (uhhh, still waiting on that). And was intolerant of cows' milk (almost better). And gets recurrent ear infections and refuses to take off his own shoes. So this time around I am doing the bare minimum in terms of health and safety of fetus. Here in order, are the things I am doing in rank of how much they will help.
  1. Wearing a seat belt while riding in the car
  2. Avoiding alcohol and drugs
  3. Taking prenatal vitamins (prior to conception and while pregnant)
  4. Getting prenatal care
  5. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  6. Not cleaning the litter box
  7. Not getting x-rays or handling chemicals
  8. Not eating forbidden foods like lunch meat, tile fish, and feta cheese even when I want to do those things

THings I am doing this time, that I avoided last time: eating sushi, tasting (one half-sip) wines and spirits, eating peanuts, Benzoyl Peroxide to cure the "glow" of pregnancy, exercising as much as feels comfortable, and so on.

I have put risk into perspective and am living by the statistics of what is really important, what is actually likely, how hard it is to do/avoid, and what the effects will be. For example, contracting a parasite from sushi is very rare and the consequences are not dire. Uncomfortable, yes, but not life threatening. Drinking while pregnant may not be life-threatening, but the outcome for the child is not good. Not good. Dying in a car accident is statistically more likely than a lot of things, so a seat belt I wear (all the time, regardless of the state of my uterus). It is easy to avoid tile fish and king mackeral, so it's not onerous to do that. Problems traced to that are pretty remote, but the ease of avoiding it means it's no big deal. I like lake perch and have had it one time while pregnant. Moderation on that.

So, that's where I am. HOpe you are well.