Saturday, June 14, 2014

growing, changing

My brother moved out of suburbia to the city a few weeks ago. I think after having lived on his own for years, he'd had enough of his (and my former) roommates asking if he'd eaten, whether he'd be home for dinner, where he was going and if he needed his work pants ironed. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me, but to each his own, I guess. Even though I didn't see him too often when he lived in the next town, I now miss him as if he had up and moved to New Mexico. Especially because I am on limited activity (they won't let me drive and going up/downstairs is for when I get to leave--only for work), I feel kind of trapped in the house. 

This week, Madelyn loaded up all her stuff into a van and moved to the city. The door to her room is usually closed, but now it stands open. The room is bright and so, so empty. It makes me a little sad. But I walked in there after she had left and immediately got the feeling that yes, this should be the baby's room, something I hadn't really let myself think about too much.

Last week I had a little freakout with some odd, shooting pains and went into the hospital. Turned out I was having contractions, but they were so mild they barely registered. While I was feeling guilty about scaring everyone, the peace of mind knowing that all is ok was totally worth it. I have started feeling little taps from my belly; a crazy, amazing feeling. It blows my mind that I'm walking around with a separate person inside of me who will have its own dreams, opinions and ideas. 

The day all of Madelyn's stuff was boxed up in the living room and being loaded, Jon and I went to see the doctor for our baby's 20-week checkup. We had to wait a long time to be seen, and I kept telling Jon that they only attend to you right away if something is really wrong. My cervix looks to be healing nicely and staying together at a decent length. The baby is measuring to be right on schedule to come out around October 30 if she stays in there that long. That's right, we are growing a little baby girl.

People have babies all the time; it's happened billions of times, actually. But I've never gotten this far before, and everything seems so insane and amazing as if it's happening for the first time, just to me. I'll bet everyone feels this way. I don't know what it is, but finding out the gender of the first baby made things hurt all over again, and finding out the gender of this baby makes the whole thing seem different, somehow, and very very real. It's harder not to think about the name, or the nursery or what kinds of stuff I can manage to make for the kid before she emerges. I'm trying to rein myself in, but it's tough.

I just hope everything goes ok. Thank you all for your good wishes and love.  

Thursday, June 05, 2014

hotdog bun

So they've been monitoring me very closely. This time. Finally.

And thank God for that, because last Thursday I went in for my every-other-week (why does "bimonthly" have two meanings?) ultrasound to check cervical length. Basically, a long and closed cervix points up toward your baby. It keeps your kid and the bag your kid is in on the inside of you. If it starts to shorten or open up, the bag can get pushed out and even pop. Last year they never did figure out what happened; my cervix looked closed after that baby's amniotic sac burst. And then the second child came and went. Plus, I'm of "advanced maternal age" now. Thus, the monitoring.

The last few appointments have gone great. I almost felt silly hopping on the table for two minutes, the technologist taking measurements and then some quick peeks at the baby, then the doctor saying everything looked great. I was assuming the same routine for this last check, but as soon as my insides showed up on the monitor, I knew something was wrong.

Normally, my cervix kind of looks like a closed hotdog bun with no hotdog. But this time, it seemed as though some curious little person wanted to see what was inside the hotdog bun and started prying it apart. And that curious little person was now vigorously sticking its little feet and legs into that opening, using it as a springboard to launch itself around.

The tech was tightlipped when I asked if that was normal (knowing it isn't) and she said I could discuss it with the doctor in a few minutes.

The doctor said that my cervix hotdog bun was "funneling," and that kids--she called mine "the little dickens," which I love--have a tendency to stick their arms and legs where they don't belong. And oh, if I hadn't eaten a huge, dairy-laden lunch, do I think I can go straight to the Operating Room?

So Jon and I went upstairs to the OR, they gave me a spinal sedation, they flipped me nearly upside down and my physician did a surgery to put a stitch in the cervix, in the part that was still closed so that it will stay that way. Hopefully. The whole thing took less than an hour.

The entire time, the anesthesiologist and I were having a very detailed discussion about great dining in the city of Chicago (He wants but hasn't been able to get into Schwa, but enjoys the housemade sausage at Table, Donkey and Stick. I sang the praises of The Bristol). The nurses call him Dr. Justin Timberlake, and I can see the resemblance. I kept looking at my doctor squintily (no glasses), and for all the OR gear, all I could see were her eyes behind a shield. She has some of the most beautiful eyelashes I have ever seen, and doesn't look to be using mascara at all. Then it was over. Doctor said she could see the baby bouncing around in there. I wasn't going to be able to feel anything from the waist down for a while, so they kept me overnight for observation. I didn't sleep, and for all my whimpering and the aggressive air conditioner, neither did Jon.

The last week has been pretty much bed and couch rest; they wouldn't let me even go downstairs. The pain is pretty much gone now, but they did have me on some anti-contraction meds the first few days--apparently when they monkey with your business down there, your body may go into labor. That which they were trying to prevent (cervix opening, baby-bag bursting, contractions, labor, delivery) is possibly what happened with the first baby.

Today I went in for a checkup and everything looks good, if you think a hotdog bun that is flopping open on one side and pinched shut on the other looks good. We saw a little booty wiggling around in there, and the doctor said I don't have to be on bed rest, but I can't really do anything, either.

Jon keeps telling me, and I keep telling my parents, this procedure is a GOOD THING. They did this to keep bad things from happening. But I will be honest, I am scared as hell. I don't want to think about a nursery color theme, I don't want to pick out a crib, I don't really want to think of names--at least until we make it to 24 weeks, when I know he or she has a shot to survive outside of me. I really don't want to think about the alternative.