Doctor Merry-go-round

Last couple of appointments have been pretty interesting.

First, a midwife checkup at House O Babies a week ago Friday. First thing out of the midwife's mouth was "I want you to have your next appointment with an OB instead of a midwife". To which I replied that my next appointment was with an OB.

I had scheduled several appointments in advance as I knew that I'd be going every week for a while. So I knew that my next appointment was with an OB/GYN and it was during this meeting that I was to discuss birth options - particularly c-section. Vicky, the midwife, said that I had been discussed during a meeting amongst the midwives and OB/GYNs and because of certain elements, I might want to consider a scheduled c-section.

After my meeting with Vicky, I needed to get a Non stress test. If you don't know, this involves a recliner and a monitor. The preggo lies calmly on the recliner while the monitor is strapped around her belly monitoring the baby's heartbeat and activity. My problem is that Spider Monkey is at a weird angle, so the only way the monitor picks up her heartbeat is if you have the monitor on the left side of my belly button at a weird angle. The straps holding the monitor won't keep it at the exact angle required no matter what we do, so I have to sit and hold it exactly at that spot to pick up her heartbeat. So 40 minutes later, my arm is killing me and I'm about to go crazy.

After this appointment, I picked Moo up at the train station and we drove to his folks house for the weekend. They live about 2-1/2 hours away and I really looked forward to getting out of the house for the weekend. I figured it would be the last time I was more than 30 miles from the house for a while.

We spent a couple of days with them and were gifted with a huge box of onesies and outfits for Spider Monkey. Mom-in-law also had a high chair, a little wagon filled with books and a weenie little chair that's just the perfect size for a Raggedy Ann and Andy doll to sit. I rested, ate the most awesome watermelon ever and read this book.

Last Tuesday had us back at the Perinatologist. It was the first time since I started going there back in January that I've actually seen the perinatologist and not a member of his staff. After a very thorough ultrasound, I met with him. For all that he's a gruff old fart, I really like him. The baby was now a whopping 7 pounds 15oz. YES, ALMOST EIGHT POUNDS OF BABY and we were only 35 weeks 3 days.

The doctor explained that we were getting to crunch time. He explained again that gestational diabetes causes the placenta to degrade faster and that insulin injections increase the rate of degradation. He also explained that my age added another factor to this rate and that the baby's size also aggravated the situation. At the current rate of growth, we could have a 12-14 pound baby by my due date. Everything is working the way it needs to and SM looks completely healthy but the risks are mounting.

To this end, he wants to do an amniocentesis during my next appointment to evaluate lung function. If she comes back with good function, we could deliver immediately. The point is to avoid an emergency situation and keep everyone, baby and me, safe.

So with this information and the thoughts of amnios and c-sections in my head, I went back to House O'Babies this past Friday to see who I will now call Dr Asshole.

My blood pressure was a little elevated which upset me because my blood pressure has been so good to this point. Additionally, I've had a trace of protein in my urine over the last couple of appointments. I've read enough pregnancy blogs and consulted with Dr Google enough to know that these are possible signs of preeclampsia.

Dr Asshole came in and introduced himself to me and then began to freak out about my blood pressure. He pissed me off from the very beginning. He said he hadn't read any of my chart nor looked at the report that the perinatologist had sent over. He didn't know that I had gestation diabetes and he also discounted the Perinatologist's information regarding degradation of the placenta. Then, he tried to make me feel guilty about being pregnant in the first place remarking that because of my weight, I may not tolerate labor and I may not survive a c-section. When I told him that I couldn't teleport the kid out of my uterus, he just looked worried.

In short, he pissed me off.

I've had nothing but good things to say about this practice. I've felt very comfortable there. I've been praised by every midwife about my control of both my weight and my blood pressure. I've felt like I was getting the best care possible until now. Until Dr Asshole walked in.

This asshole, who can't be over 30 and has only been out of residency for a couple of years decides it's his job to put the fear of God in me. He didn't like it one bit when I told him that I respected the opinion of my perinatologist more than his. He also wouldn't talk more about birth options because "we need to wait and see".

After this, he wanted to complete the strep b test and a quick cervix check. I almost said "hell no" but decided to go ahead. Surprisingly, he was very gentle and completed the test and the cervix check quickly. My cervix is still shut tight and he said that the baby was head down at -2 or -1 station. Next, he wanted me to go over to Labor and Delivery because he wanted some bloodwork completed immediately to see if I have preeclampsia. While I was there, I could have them do my non-stress test too.

So off to the hospital across the street. I got to triage, stripped down, gave some blood and urine samples, found that I was spotting a little, got the monitor on and held it for 40 minutes because she's still in a funky position. The monitor showed I was having some pretty strong contractions, but baby was fine. Dr Asshole never mentioned that I might have some spotting after the swab and cervical check, but luckily I assumed as much and mentioned it to my favorite midwife who was on call at the hospital, who confirmed my assumption.

The bloodwork that all came back fine, my blood pressure was lower, the contractions were calmed with a lovely vat of ice water and then I became the recipient of a giant container. A 24 hour urine collection was needed to rule out preeclampsia and I need to go back to House O'Babies on Monday for another check and more bloodwork.

I live in Atlanta and it's June 30th. In other words, it's hot as hell and twice as humid. The collection has to remain cool - preferably refrigerated. So as I write this, I've got a giant Styrofoam cooler with ice and a container of pee here in my cubicle. My co-workers keep walking by saying, "hey, what's in the cooler?!? Goodies?!?" to which I reply, "No, you don't want to know what's in this cooler".

So it's back to House o'Babies today. Off to the perinatologist tomorrow for an amnio and after that? I have no idea. I have to admit, I'm happy with a wait and see attitude. She's due in less than a month and the longer she stays in, the stronger she'll be. I really want to bypass NICU and I know even if she's got good lung function, there's still a chance that a 36 week baby will spend a day or two in NICU. But at the same time, I don't want an emergency of any kind.


In case you haven't figured out, I use my blog as a kind of therapy.

I was in therapy for 1-1/2 years after my mom died and found it to be helpful but not something I wanted to continue. For one thing, my therapist, a lovely lady, liked to bring up things that I either didn't want to deal with or wasn't ready to deal with or thought I had dealt with. Sessions rarely made feel better and I generally felt more depressed than when I went in.

I went to counseling about 4 months after my mom died. I felt that losing one's parents a scant 22 months apart was a bit much to deal with on my own and felt that professional assistance would be helpful. It was helpful. My therapist was genuine in her concern and care and I felt connected to her at once. But as the weeks went by and I got better and my grief slowly healed, I found myself not wanting to disappoint her when I had a bad day or a small set-back.

So, I stopped going. Since then, I've found it necessary to get my feelings out. I subject Moo to a great deal of it and sometimes I wonder when he will start charging me an hourly fee for his excellent psychoanalysis.

But sometimes, I just have to put it all out there and I need to wrap my feelings and thoughts around a thing and writing helps me do that. I can put my thoughts out, let things marinate, look at my thoughts again and refine them. A lot of what I write never makes it to this blog. I decide they are too private and save them to a file where I keep such things until I feel like I can let them go and then I delete, delete, delete.

Whether I post or delete, for me, the result is the same. I can get the thoughts out of my head and exorcised like a hoary demon. Once they are out, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. And unlike therapy, I don't feel like anyone is disappointed, I don't owe anyone a co-pay, and I always leave happier.


My brain persists in moving about 4000 miles an hour. I was awake at 3:30 this morning wondering at what point my husband should start calling our "Must call" list after the baby is born.

Let me explain: We, according to all the books and websites, have dutifully put together a list of the people - folks like Moo's parents and sister as well as my aunt and our close friends - that need to be notified ASAP that the baby has been born. A number of these folks have also been instructed that it's their job to then call a few more people - a call tree if you like. I've also created a list of folks that I need/want to call myself when I'm able - like the Short Term Disability provider for my company and other folks who won't feel neglected if I wait to call them until I'm up to it.

At 3:30, I'm awake for the bathroom which is what you do when you are 34 weeks pregnant with a linebacker and she's got her head firmly pressed on your bladder and my mind starts wandering.

I had a appointment with the perinatologist's office yesterday where we decided to increase my evening insulin intake (blech!) and that Spider Monkey is now an estimated SEVEN pounds.

Yes, she's grown 1/2 pound in the last week - which is wonderful actually - she was averaging a pound a week before that... But, we're still inching closer to the criteria everyday that a C-section goes from possible to probable with my OB/GYN group so I'm thinking about the c-section itself.

Anyway, I had an appendectomy when I was 17 so I have some idea of what stomach surgery is like. According to my midwife, the experiences (time in the hospital, healing time, etc) should be similar except for the fact that I'll come out of the hospital with a shiny new baby in addition to a brand new incision and eventual scar.

My appendectomy was largely a walk in the park. I felt pretty ok within 48 hours of the surgery and didn't need much of the pain medication (Demoral) that was prescribed. Now, I understand that it's been - MY GOD, has it been that long?!?! - 20 years since I had this experience and that I am now older (YIKES) and fatter, but I still have some expectation that within a few days, I'll be up and about although probably not running marathons, shingling the roof or playing the piano - none of which I am capable of now.

But how will the addition of a newborn play into this? Surely, I'll be tired and sore from the surgery, as well as excited and apprehensive about the baby. I'm sure that the fatigue of dealing with a newborn and all the toys/accessories that come with her and her care will kick my ass. But, I've been told there's some downtime and that I should bring magazines, books and other activities to occupy my mind those first few days in the hospital. This is when I assume I'll be making calls to the second list.

Back to when Moo should call the Must Call list - right after birth? No, we're going to want to spend time with the munchkin before she gets sleepy (all the books say they are wide awake for about an hour after birth and then get REALLY sleepy). Right after that? Likely. I'm assuming I'll be begging for pain medication about that time. We've made a worksheet for Moo to use to call people that includes a little script for what he'll say (well not an actual script, but has a place on it for the time of birth, birth weight, length and all the other things folks generally want to know right after birth).

Thinking this way is probably as futile as putting together a birth plan for a perfect birth (check out Julie's thoughts about birth plans here.) For the most part, there is no perfect textbook birth so yes, birth plans are pretty futile. So I can sit here, 34 weeks 3 days pregnant and make lofty plans about how I'll feel and what I'll do in the hours after they cut open my body and rip a human being out of my gut.

My problem, of course, is that I am a control freak and want to monitor/control everything I possibly can. But I'm learning that pregnancy and childbirth is largely about surrender. You can't control pregnancy any more than you can herd housecats. You can have good intentions and the outcome will generally be successful, but it's probably not going to look like the outcome you envisioned.

Things get curiouser and curiouser...

Had another visit with the perinatologist and House O'Babies yesterday.

At 33 weeks gestation, Spider Monkey is a gigantic baby - weighing in at around 6-1/2 pounds (for comparison, most babies weigh about 4-1/2 pounds at this point). I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes a couple of weeks ago, so we know why she's so big. Of course, you add in that my dad was 6'6" and all of Moo's folks are over 6 feet tall, then - yeah - you get a gigantic kid. To slow down the growth and to prevent any further issues, I was put on a strict diet and yesterday, we've added insulin to my routine. So, while I've lost almost 4 pounds since my last perinatologist's appointment, she's gained 2!

Big babies have a greater chance of shoulder dystocia - which means they get their shoulders stuck in the birth canal. Because Spider Monkey is so big now and because most babies gain around a 1/2 pound to a pound a week during the last month, our chances of a scheduled c-section were just increased drastically.

With my doctors, putting a pregnant mom on insulin adds more doctors visits (now 2 each week!) and means that the baby will definitely be born before her due date. My perinatologist's office doesn't want me to deliver any later than 7/20 and my OB/GYN wants to induce or schedule a c-section sometime between 7/13 and 7/20 so that narrows down the date - unless she decides to come earlier!

Otherwise, she is perfect in every way. She's very active and all signs point to her being completely healthy at this stage. With the exception of having to stick myself with a lancet for a blood sugar test 4 times a day (I know Moo, you've been doing this for 8 months - oh how he suffers! :) ) and give myself 3 shots a day, I'm feeling pretty good. We're picking up the crib tonight and the changing table is being delivered tomorrow.

Off of bedrest and ready to SHOP!!

Visted House O'Babies late yesterday afternoon and I'm officially off bedrest!

The contractions have calmed down and they took me off the Procardia - thank goodness!! That stuff had me jacked up.

So I'm back at work and everyone wants the story. What did I eat? (My guess is the leftover Chinese food I had for lunch Wednesday) Was it something at my baby shower? (No, my shower was on Saturday. I started getting sick on Wednesday) Do I feel ok? (Yes, i feel fine) Did I eat tomatoes? (No, I don't like tomatoes unless I can't see them in food.)

During my time on bedrest, I surfed a lot, slept a lot and worried a lot. I know, worrying doesn't help anything, but you can't help it when you hear the words "Pre-term labor" coming out of your midwife's mouth.

I've since had a very stern "discussion" with Spider Monkey demanding that she stay put for at least another 5 weeks. 5 weeks until she's considered full term. 5 weeks to get my crap together and get her room put in place.

We still don't have her crib, although Moo and I did make a decision. If you'll remember, Moo and I had a lovely crib and changer picked out that were subsequently recalled by the manufacturer. We went back and decided on this one. And this morning, I ordered this changer/dresser combo.

I'm to the point that I don't care - which Moo hates to hear me say. I do care though. I care that we get a safe crib. I care that it looks good in the room. I'm just to the point that any crib will do as long as it fits these criteria and we get it in the room and put together. I'm more interested in getting everything together than if it's the most stylish thing I've seen.

For one thing, from what I hear, spending tons of money on a crib hoping that it will live a long life is almost folly. Kids chew them. They get beaten up. Kids run their toys into the legs. If you think the crib/toddler bed/daybed/full size bed will make it to be a cherished heirloom, you probably live in Utopia and take far better care of your furniture than the rest of us. So for this reason, I haven't wanted to spend a small fortune setting up the nursery.

So we're frantically trying to pull everything together. I've created a master list of wants and needs and the items are prioritized based on whether the item is a necessity or a luxury. Where have all my good intentions of being totally prepared gone?

Tag! I'm it!!

I got tagged by Katie from The View from the Hill so here we go:

  1. What was I doing ten years ago? 10 years ago, I was working for a long distance company and had just gotten out of a relationship. I was at a turning point in my life where I was learning how to be happy by myself. I met Moo shortly after this.
  2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order): Take meds, Try to poop (yes, this is a concern now that the diarrhea is gone), Rest as much as possible, Try to figure out what I need for the kidlet since I just had my first baby shower, Do a load of laundry (from a sitting position)
  3. Snacks I enjoy:Chex mix, french onion dip and chips, pickles
  4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:First, I'd take care of my family and be sure they were comfortable for life. Secondly, I'd start a non-profit organization that helps folks with terminal illness get hospice care that don't qualify for other assistance but don't have insurance.
  5. Places I've lived: I've lived all over Atlanta, Georgia and the suburbs.
  6. People I want to know more about: I'm going to forward this to a few folks that I'm interested in.

Showers and Contractions

Saturday was my first baby shower at my fabulous sister in law's house. It turned out to be a garden party on a beautiful day.

Here's a picture of Moo opening a onesie that says "Captain! This diaper can't take anymore!"

Seeing the folks there made me so happy and I really enjoyed myself. It was a little bittersweet - a couple of folks who told me they would be there weren't there because of other issues. And the whole day made me really miss my parents.

I was particularly glad to see one couple at the shower. My parent's oldest friends came and Mary sat by me the whole time. It was one of her gifts that was particularly poignant. She brought me a box of salt!

The story goes like this: My parents loved these folks dearly. They practically raised me and I always thought of them as second parents. Mary and Jim had their own trouble having kids and thought of me as part theirs. Mary is about as outspoken as I am and was always full of advice on what she would and wouldn't do.

When Mary finally had their own child, my father took her a gift - a box of SALT! He said, "Remember all that advice you gave? Well, this salt will help all those words you're gonna have to eat."

I was REALLY wiped out at the end of the party. Moo and I went home (with a quick stop by Georgia Baby and Kids - still looking for that crib you know) and I immediately got my jammies on and crashed for the evening. I did not sleep very well however.

Since Wednesday night, I've had some vicious diarrhea. It didn't really alarm me so much as be irritating. The books and websites said that diarrhea was just as common as constipation so I really didn't get too concerned. But after being up and down all night Saturday night/Sunday morning in and out of the bathroom and then feeling hung over the next morning, I got a little concerned.

Before the party, I took 4 (FOUR) Imodium and they held it at bay during the party, but then it came back with a vengeance. By Sunday morning, I was feeling a little dehydrated and not too good.

A call to the midwife on call sent us to Labor and Delivery to evaluate me for dehydration. We got there pretty quickly and got put on the monitors. Baby was fine, but I had SALMONELLA poisoning and I was having CONTRACTIONS!!! A quick cervix check showed that I was still closed and my cervix was nice and long. But my irritable uterus had the midwife concerned.
Two bags of fluid, an antibiotic and two different meds to slow down the contractions and I was finally allowed to come home.

Moo had fun taking my picture on his iPhone before and after the drugs that made me drunk as a skunk...

Before the meds...

And after the drugs....


Because of the gestational diabetes, I can't take the normal drugs given so I'm taking Procardia. It makes me a little loopy and gives me a terrific headache. I'm on bed rest until at least Wednesday when I go to House O'Babies for a follow-up.