Friday, November 30, 2007

Whining time

If you don't want to hear me bitching and moaning a lot, read no further...

I feel like crap. I've basically been sick for half this pregnancy. No idea what it is, except that my head always feels stuffy, I have headaches a lot, I can't ever breathe easily and I've had a cough for all but a couple weeks since around July. Did a round of antibiotics to no avail. Still taking my allergy meds. Cough medicine did nothing. So I suffer. Most mornings I feel like I've got the flu... by the evening I'm feeling better, but never normal. Also have a lot of heartburn. And have I mentioned the dreaded H word thanks to my screwed up system? Those of you who have been there know what I mean.

I'm exhausted. I barely sleep at all. The baby keeps me up until after 2am every night because he gets super-active and beats the crap out of me from the inside. Once I finally get comfortable enough to fall asleep, I have to pee. And so it begins again. Numerous times throughout the night. My daughter doesn't nap, so I can't either. A pregnant body needs more than the maybe 5 hours I'm managing most nights.

I'm in constant pain and discomfort. This kid feels huge and though my weight gain is right on track I'm huge. And it's all belly, all out in front. I can't get up from sitting without doing the as-seen-on-tv-rise (you know the one, where you skooch to the edge of the couch, then push your belly up in front of you), which I always thought was not real. I have to roll on my side and push up with my hands to get out of bed yet I still manage to hurt myself most times. Finding a comfortable position sitting or lying down is impossible. The baby has been pressing on my sciatic nerve for a long time so I constantly have pain, though oddly enough the worst of it runs into my thighs. Which makes it hard to stand and walk. Getting up from the floor is a joke. But I still have to do it several times a day. I can't bend over to do anything so I have to squat - which means it hurts like hell getting back up because my thighs hurt so bad. To empty the dryer I have to get down on my knees and press my belly into the dryer door to reach everything and pull it out. I have to squat down to help my daughter in the potty several times a day. It sucks.

Despite all that, I've gotten everything ready for the baby (nursery, washing and organizing clothes, making blankets and hats, recovering the glider), done all the Christmas shopping, wrapped and packed it all up and gotten it shipped, gone through all the stacks of mail, magazines, etc, re-organized drawers, done some much needed dusting (though not all), gotten baby announcements and Christmas cards ready to mail, done my best to keep up with my hyper-active 3 year old, and now at almost 38 weeks pregnant I've been outside helping put up all the Christmas lights and doing all the inside decorating, which still isn't done. It's crazy.

It's so hard to walk around stores and handle my daughter when we're out, that we are basically homebound. I'm sick of eating toast and chips for lunch every day the last several weeks when we used to go out for lunch a couple times a week. I'm starving, but I'm sick of the same crap all the time. And I'm going stir-crazy being stuck home all the time. My daughter and I are used to going out a couple times a week, even if just to walk around Target or something. The key is just getting out of the darned house on a regular basis. But it's too hard to do now. And she's suffering too, because I haven't been able to get down on the floor to play with her for some time now. She needs a change of scenery now and then too. She has taken to begging to go out to eat all the time, but we don't eat out very often. Macaroni & cheese and pizza have become the standard dinner food around here. Yuck.

I also attribute a lot of her attitude problem lately to not getting enough attention. She has been terrible to deal with and I'm sure a lot of it has to do with her barely getting played with and rarely getting out of the house. I know I get depressed spending all of my time in our living room, so I'm sure it affects her too. But it's not like I can just let her get away with being a snot, so I have to discipline her. Which turns into a huge ordeal every time. Which is hard on both of us.

Oh yeah, did I mention the swelling has gotten worse? I get this weird thing where my hands and most of the fingers turn a reddish color, but the knuckles look white. Like my fingers are striped. For the heck of it I tried to put my wedding ring on. Yeah, it goes about halfway to the second knuckle. Tried in on my little finger and it won't go all the way down.

I almost have everything arranged for the day we're scheduled. The bags are packed and I have the early morning shift covered for my daughter as well as the second shift running from when she wakes up to around 1pm. I haven't worked out after that yet, in case my husband can't make it back to pick my daughter up by then. Considering there's no absolute guarantee we won't get bumped until later in the day or to another day altogether, I'm pretty worried. It's not like I can just call my Mom or something last minute to watch my daughter. I have to work it out with friends and neighbors who need definite times on things because they have their own families to take care of. It's causing me quite a bit of stress worrying about this. I'm a little worried I'm going to end up alone in the OR and no one will be with my son while I'm in recovery. I'm also worried about being in the hospital after the baby is born. I'm having a c-section so I will be completely bedridden until at least the next day and then will still have a very hard time getting around. But I'll be alone at the hospital most of the day and all of the night. And the baby will be with me the whole time - there is no nursery, you are expected to keep the baby with you at all times. How am I supposed to care for a newborn when I can't get out of bed? Did I mention they also won't let you sleep with the baby in bed with you? Um, hello, what other choice will I have?

Damn it, I'm tired! I'm supposed to be taking it easy to prepare for after the baby comes, which is a tough time with no sleep and plenty of pain. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy about the baby, it's just that I am so ready to have this over. I want to be able to relax like I did with my first pregnancy, not constantly be on the go and doing stuff. And worrying about everything. It was so much easier the first time around. All I want to do is crawl into bed and not move for several days, but there's too much to do.

I'm ready for my reward now. If I had it my way, this baby would be born tonight. Once he's here and healthy, it will all be worth it.

Okay, I guess that's it for now. I can't promise there won't be more, but I promise I'll try not to unload too much. I know no one wants to hear me whining, especially when I'm lucky enough to have this to whine about.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I got it!

Went back to T@rget around 10am.... they had 5 of the tvs I wanted sitting in the front of the store! See, you don't have to wait in line all night! Apparently people who waited in line and got a number never picked up the tvs. I imagine some people just got numbers for a bunch of stuff and then decided what they wanted after getting in the store. Or perhaps gave up on waiting in line.

We were able to get a couple of other things we had wanted from the early bird specials too. Not everything, but we're pretty happy with the deals, considering the time we showed up at the stores. And we didn't even have to wait in line long! Actually, not at all at T@rget - we went straight through the express checkout. But K0h1s was still ridiculous after brunch at noon.... walked in, started towards the back and saw that the lines were still wrapped throughout the whole store, so I turned around and walked back out.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Bl@ck Frid@y

I've never gone out for the 'early bird specials' on Black Friday. Seriously, never once.

This morning I made an attempt.

Boy have my eyes been opened wide! I have come to the conclusion that Black Friday sales are for the clinically insane. Seriously, you must be insane to wait in those lines. I expected long lines at places like Be$t Buy. We drove by last night around 8:30 and the lines was already wrapping around the store, with tents set up and all that. This morning the line wrapped around the entire store and behind, down past the backs of several more stores. I expected that. I did not, however, expect there to be just as long of a line at T@rget this morning, almost an hour and a half before they opened. I definitely did not expect to arrive at K0h1s an hour after they opened to find the checkout lines wrapped all the way around the store. Seriously, there must have been 300+ people in line just to checkout!

Considering that there were probably 500 people (no joke people!) in line at T@rget, just waiting for the store to open, I opted to drive out to the other Target in a smaller town, hoping to catch a break. The line there was shorter.... by maybe 200 people. But still, 300+ people waiting in line before the store opened was too much for me. I opted to come home. Ye, if I had gotten in and gotten everything I wanted, I would have saved a couple hundred bucks. But to my 9 months pregnant a$$ I just didn't see how I could possibly do it. I value my time and sanity more than that.

So, being as that I am hopped up on caffeine (as is the little guy!) I'm going to see if I crash soon (doubt it)... and if not, the plan is to wake our daughter up a little early (maybe 8am), not too early because she went to bed late, get her a quick breakfast and head out as a family. If anything on our list is still available, awesome. If not, oh well, we'll grab some IH0P and maybe drive out to the cool yarn store some people we know own. Then hopefully we can come home and start pulling out the Christmas decorations! Or I'll take a much-needed nap.

So, that is my Black Friday experience. And may I just add that I will NEVER AGAIN make this mistake. At least not until my kids are older and I need to get the 'it' item. Maybe then.

Anyone want to share their experience with Black Friday? Good or bad?!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just call me Suzy Homemaker...

Well, not really, since I don't really cook or clean very often. But hey, look what I can do:

I finally got the glider done! For someone who had no idea how to use a sewing machine, I think it turned out ok. Not perfect, but I'm happy with it! There's actually a second set of covers in a different pattern that isn't shown.

Here's another blanket I made for J... this one worked up so nice and quick! It took me less than a week to make...

I have to admit, I am very relieved to have the glider done. That was my biggest project for the nursery and I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do it. Now that it is done, I can breathe a little easier - everything that technically has to be done before the baby comes home, is done. Of course, that doesn't mean I haven't started other projects! ;)

Monday, November 19, 2007

We have a date!

We scheduled my c-section at my appointment on Friday. I'm the first one on the schedule for December 10, so hopefully we will meet our little guy that morning. The doc did say that because of the shortage of doctors and such, it's not uncommon to get 'bumped', especially if there are emergencies, but since we are the first of the day we will take priority aside from emergencies. Hopefully, even if there is an emergency we will still be able to have the c-section sometime that day.

So, 3 weeks from today this little guy should be in my arms! I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The proof is in the shoes....

My feet are usually quite skinny, so they may not look swollen to most people.... but when you see them in my favorite comfy sandals that I've had for a year and a half you can tell something is wrong!

See how they are bulging out? They don't normally do that!

See the imprint they left?

My poor sausage feet. Think I'd better prop them up!

Monday, November 12, 2007

35 weeks (Correction at bottom)

Today is the 35 week mark for Baby J....

I am definitely feeling ready! I can't walk for long without being quite uncomfortable and in pain. Mainly in my thighs, oddly enough. And lower abdomen of course, where the baby is pushing down. I thought it would be my back... which does hurt, but not nearly as much as my thighs and abdomen always do! Sleep is very difficult to come by... once J finally settles down, usually after 2am, I still can't get comfortable. When I finally do, I have to pee! It's a never-ending cycle and I'm ready for my reward, this beautiful baby boy in my arms!

I've avoided taking my blood pressure when I've been out.... I suspect it is still a bit high, but I don't know that it is over the mark for preeclampsia. I'll find that out at my appointment next Monday. I'm definitely having more trouble with my feet and ankles swelling, which I remember being one of the things my doc noted the day I ended up being induced with my daughter. But my blood pressure was also high that day and ultrasound revealed my amniotic fluid level was low. And that was at 39 weeks.

I imagine I will probably be stuck hanging in there for another few weeks... but a hugely pregnant girl can dream right? ;)

Here's a pic I took last week, at 34wk4d:

CORRECTION: Turns out my appointment is this Friday! Good thing I double checked! ;)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Story

This is my contribution to the My Story Project, as part of Infertility Awareness Week. As hard as I tried, I couldn't make it any shorter because it was a long, hard journey that had a huge impact on my life.

When my husband and I got married, we decided we wanted to start our family immediately. We both dreamed of having a family. We each even had a name picked out for our future children. Almost 2 1/2 heart-breaking years later, I finally got a referral to a gynecologist who specialized in infertility. Almost immediately she discovered what was wrong - I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, which causes irregular hormone levels, anovulation and various other health problems. I had officially received my diagnosis, and with it another one - infertility. My husband and I were absolutely crushed. Luckily, the doctor had an idea - Clomid. However, after 3 cycles of increasing doses and increasing side effects, I was still not ovulating. The gynecologist had exhausted her knowledge - we needed a reproductive endocrinologist.

When we first saw the RE, we were obviously excited... but we were also terrified. Because we had to see a civilian doctor, our milit@ry insurance was very limited in what it would cover in regards to Assisted Reproductive Technology. However, we found a loop hole, because based on their definition ART did not mean fertility medicine, it meant assistance in the physical process of reproduction, ie IUI and IVF. As long as we were relying solely on intercourse to put the sperm and egg together, then medication, testing, doctor visits, everything would be covered. The RE proceeded to do another trial of Clomid at the highest dose, combined with an injection of hCG to force my body to ovulate. I responded poorly to the Clomid again, but we went ahead with the hCG shot to try. As expected, we didn't get pregnant. At this point, the RE believed our only shot at pregnancy was through IUI, using injectable fertility medicine. However, the cost of the medicine alone was astounding and we didn't know how we could afford it. We decided to try one monitored cycle of injectable medicine before proceeding with the IUI. We figured that if I responded well to the new medication, we could justify the debt we would incur for the IUI next cycle. As luck would have it, after 2 straight weeks of injecting myself in the stomach every night followed by the hCG shot, I got pregnant and our beautiful daughter was born later. Our dream had come true. The RE was amazed that we had managed to conceive without the IUI. We were amazed that we were finally parents, 3 years after deciding to start our family.

Two years without birth control later we knew we needed help again. I went to see my doctor about my depression (caused by infertility) and left with a referral. Thankfully, we were now living near one of the few milit@ry hospitals that has a fertility clinic. Because we would be going to a milit@ry treatment facility, and not a civilian doctor, IUI would be covered. Another trial of Clomid revealed what we expected - I still did not respond well - but we did manage one IUI on Femara before I stopped responding to it as well. I ended up needing injectable medicine again. Because my husband was on short deployments a lot, it was very difficult trying to schedule my cycles around when he was home. Combined with the 'intercourse on demand only' and not having childcare for appointments, we were under a lot of stress. On our fourth IUI, we were told that after 3 cycles on the injectable medicines, we would not be allowed any more IUIs - our only option would be IVF, a good portion of which would not be covered by the insurance. Yes, it would be cheaper than what most other couples pay who have no coverage at all, but still a hefty amount. We knew there was no way we could do it. In other words, this cycle was our last chance.

Can you imagine the joy and relief when I got a positive pregnancy test that last cycle? If it hadn't worked, we would obviously have still been blessed to have our daughter, but our dream was to have two children. Thankfully, because of our insurance, our dream has come true. For the average couple, it is an easy dream. Having a family is taken for granted, because everyone assumes it will happen easily. When you learn that you may never have the family you have dreamed of, it is like someone has ripped your heart out and torn it to pieces. Both times we went through treatments it was painful and stressful - emotionally and physically - but compared to the unnecessary pain and stress that other couples without insurance face, we know we got off easy. Without our insurance coverage, we would not have the beautiful 3 year old girl who can make any day better with a silly grin. We would not be expecting the baby brother she is so excited about getting this December. We can't imagine our lives without our children and we can't believe that in this 'modern age', in a country so defined by family, so many people have to face a life without their dream because through no fault of their own they were given a medical condition rendering them infertile. Having children isn't necessary to live? Without my children, I wouldn't want to live.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Have I mentioned I have 4 cats?

Yeah, that's right, 4 cats.

Why am I stressing that? We got the results of my daughters allergy testing Friday.... she's extremely allergic to cat dander! And highly allergic to dog dander... not that we have plans to get a dog. Oh, and she's also moderately allergic to mice, which probably means she's allergic to our hamster. Great, we're just surrounding this poor girl!

For now, the new allergy meds seem to be working. Doc says as long as that is the case, and we are keeping the cats out of her room (we always have), we're ok. But if the meds stop working at some point.... which may be what happened to cause the doc visit this time, where we added a second allergy med.... then we'll have to take more extreme measures, because we are pretty much at the limit of what a 3 year old can take for allergies.

I love my cats....

but I love my daughter a lot more!

If we have to, we will get rid of the cats. For now we are keeping our kitties - she refuses to consider getting rid of any of them too, even the not-so-friendly one. She cries whenever we mention it. We do, however, plan to get an air purifier for downstairs, where we spend most of our time. I believe we already have some kind of central filtering system in the house too. And we'll have to be more diligent about cleaning the hamster cage (apparently the allergens get into the air when the urine dries - who knew?), and vacuuming. I used to vacuum every day, but the pregnancy has caused me to slack off big time. So, I'll be doing it more often again. I'm also planning to hit the pet store this week for some special shampoo or wipes that help eliminate/lower the amount of dander. According to the internet, they work.

Hopefully everything will be ok. She's been doing a lot better since we started the new meds. But God, am I dreading the day she starts becoming immune to those meds too! Pray that never happens!

Congratulations to....

Furrow! Miss Zora made her arrival on Nov 1. Please head over and take a peek at the beautiful baby girl and leave some congrats for the proud Mama!