Saturday, June 27, 2009

30 weeks, 2 days: Checking In, Again

Hi, everyone!

I'm afraid that my blogging life has really gone on the backburner (for both blogs) over the past month or so. I really apologize for that, as I wanted these blogs to contain a good record of my pregnancy. However, not only is our schedule quite busy right now (MOMS club, finishing up loose ends at work, church, family visits, etc.), but I am still working maniacally to try to get our life "in order" before baby comes - i.e. house projects, unpacking (this goal seems further and further away all the time), getting organized, getting my mostly-post-morning-sickness self back to my normal routines, etc. - all while pregnant and chasing a preschooler! And that doesn't even go into our rebelling septic tank issue, our scorpion infestation problem (and now their eggs are hatching so we're getting baby scorpions), and in-process car repairs. So computer time has really been scaled back.

All seems to be well with baby; she is very active and getting bigger all the time. Her position is terrific - a nice LOA (left occiput anterior) which is optimum for birth, and a great heartbeat. My one grief is that I am so busy that I often forget that I am pregnant! I want to find a balance between getting things done and taking time to slow down and enjoy this pregnancy, so hopefully that can happen in the next month or so. But I don't want to leave things undone any more than possible - I know that they simply won't happen after the birth!

One lovely thing is that I can BREATHE during this pregnancy! Last time I had horrible breathlessness issues from about week 15 on. This time I feel great! Baby is carrying lower, and I'm showing a TON more (that's what happens when you've already stretched out your tummy with baby #1!!), so I guess that leaves more room for my lungs. Hurray!!!

In another month I'll have to start seriously preparing for the birth as well, in terms of gathering supplies, etc., so that will be something else to throw into the mix.

I forgot to say a few weeks ago that I had a simply lovely church baby shower in the beginning of June - it was terrific! Wonderful food, fellowship, games, gifts, and a lovely bead ceremony. It made my month - thank you, Jen!!

In HG (hyperemesis) news:

This week I had an interesting exchange on a birth group. A woman wrote in trying to get advice for her sister, who is in the middle of severe hyperemesis. I wrote back talking PICC lines, IV hydration, Zofran, etc. Other advice was given talking about herbal teas and high protein snacks and taking brisk walks (!!!!), and the like. I have to admit, I was so upset about the whole thing that it nearly brought me to tears.

I guess two points come to mind: (1) As always, there is the belief that what works for morning sickness will work for hyperemesis. IT WON'T. For most hyperemesis mamas, herbal teas or solid food will cause uncontrollable vomiting. Trying to force these things (which may work just fine for normal morning sickness) will just make the situation worse. (2) I guess that the one downside of being part of the natural living community is that sometimes intensive allopathic medicine is rejected when it is actually needed. I know that interventive practices in pregnancy and birth are harmful when overused - but they are sometimes very much needed. A PICC line can be a godsend to an HG mama, as can hard-core pharmaceuticals. Let's use them when they're needed.

The moral of the story: If you know a hyperemesis mama (that is, a pregnant mother who is experiencing severe, out-of-control nausea and vomiting), PLEASE observe the following:

(1) Do not urge her to eat and drink if she says she can't. If she can, she will. If she can't, she can't, and trying to do so will only make it worse. At that point, it's time to go for IV hydration or PICC nutrition.

(2) Please know that most morning sickness remedies do NOT work for hyperemesis. In fact, they usually make things much worse.

(3) Don't reject intensive pharmaceutical treatment when it is needed. It can be the difference between a hellish nightmare of hyperemesis misery and a tolerable pregnancy. Sometimes it can mean the difference between life or death (for mom or baby).

Enough said. I'd love to get comments on the above in case I am off-track in any way.

Well, as usual, I'm procrastinating on something I should be doing while I blog! And so farewell for now! I'll do my best to check in as often as I can.

Monday, June 15, 2009

28 weeks, 4 days: Time is Moving Too Quickly!

Hello, everyone! I just wanted to do the quickest of check-ins to say hi. My parents are coming in town tomorrow, so I will most likely be maintaining radio silence for the next week (my blogging life is something in which I do NOT want my parents involved - nothing against them, just a personal thing). We are gearing up for a housewarming party this weekend (all locals, consider yourselves invited) which will probably take up most of the week (trying to make the house look presentable, that is!).

We are keeping very busy... A summer class for DS, fixing our irrigation system, normal social/church engagements, and on my part, working madly to unpack/organize the house before baby arrives. For some reason I seem to work most days without any visible improvement (a small but over-energized three-year-old tearing around the house might have something to do with it), but I have hopes that my goal of unpacked-before-baby might be reached sometime this summer. As far as decorating, that can wait - for years, if necessary - I don't have time to dust pictures and knick-knacks anyway! (Last time we moved I was too sick with HG-remnants to decorate, and the luxury of halved-dusting time was so lovely that I never put them up! A bit bare, perhaps, but what a relief to be relieved from the chore of dusting china.)

We are now well into the 3rd trimester, and our visits with our midwives are down to 2-week intervals. Hurray! But rather nerve-wracking! I can't say that the thought of another natural birth doesn't frighten me - it's not the easiest thing in the world. I need to get busy practicing!

I notice that with this baby I have more time to actually think about the baby. Last time it was "Sick-sick-sick-sick, oh wow, here's a baby!" This time, not being so ill, I have had more time to fall in love and look forward to meeting her. A nice switch!

We're still vacillating on names. The problem is that all of our favorite girl names, planned since childhood, are (oh, curses!) on the list of top-ten baby names. In fact, our favorite name had to be jettisoned since it is currently the number one baby name - and we didn't want to do that to our little one. Several others have bitten the dust for the same reason. Thankfully, our current first-choice boy name is something like #694 on the list, so we don't have to worry about that one!!! (That'll leave you guessing!)

By the by, we have decided to keep our name a secret this time (not that we've settled for sure with either gender). This is not because we object to friends knowing, but simply because last time we had "the name wars" within our family - and we're going to avoid that by not announcing the name till it's on the birth certificate (and the birth certificate is signed and mailed, LOL!!!). But we will post as soon as that happens.

Well, I'd better get to doing something productive! Love to all!!

P.S. Both of my blogs have been neglected of late (probably because the sound of the keyboard wakes DS up from his naps, something to be avoided at all costs), but I hope to remedy that soon (not this week, though!). However, a commenter (Michelle, right?) left a great question on my birth blog about the daddy-doula dynamic, and I wanted to let her know that I am going to post on that very soon! (Or as soon as I can.) It's a great question, and I've been wanting to address it for some time. I am not ignoring you!!!!

Have a great week!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

27 weeks, 0 days: Inching Closer All the TIme!

This week I decided that it was time to face some demons from my past. That's right; you guessed it.... I opened my fridge's vegetable drawer and looked inside. Yikes!

Actually, it wasn't too bad, considering that I haven't really opened it since Christmas. This time I sensibly stopped buying vegetables when I got a positive pregnancy test, unlike last time, when I kept doggedly at it, thinking that "any day I'm going to feel well enough to eat this!" So the sum total wasn't nearly as bad as last time. Some celery gone over to the dark side, a bag of carrots covered in roots, something that used to be an orange, and a bag (thankfully Ziploc) of something (???) that was now entirely liquified. Not bad for a five-month sabbatical!

I'm still not buying any vegetables (except for premade salad mix), but hopefully that will come too in the next month or two.

My diet has taken exactly the same path with each pregnancy (just not as severely this time).... Degeneration into total junk food and/or prepared food (due to my inability to cook), followed by a gradual climb back out of the pit to my usual crazy health-food experiments, which seem like a far-off dream at this point (I can hardly believe that six months ago I was eating kale and making homemade yogurt!). Right now our diet is at the "Standard American Diet" level (a.k.a. "SAD"!!!), but I hope that it will continue to move upwards as the months progress.

I can hardly believe that I only have three months of pregnancy left! It is going by WAY too quickly!! I wish it could last another two years! (Now that I'm feeling better, that is! LOL!!)

I have noticed that I am having to fight a distinct tendency toward what I will term "second-time mom conceit," i.e. "I've done this whole labor thing before, so I don't need to practice relaxing/do labor exercises/etc." What a laugh! Several moms have told me about this phenomenon before, and how it actually made their second birth harder because they were then caught off-guard. And the truth is that not only did I not handle labor particularly well last time, but I am probably one of the biggest wimps around with regard to pain. I can't even have a mildly uncomfortable Braxton-Hicks contraction without thinking, "Ack! Epidural, now!" So I really do have a long way to go.

However, I do have two lovely doulas signed up to help us out, so hopefully that will make a difference.

We have a busy month ahead of us! My baby shower on Saturday (hurray!!!), DH's dad's birthday, my birthday, DS's birthday, our anniversary, a visit from my family and hopefully a housewarming party, and then a trip in early July to go camping and visit DH's family up north. Whew!! And we may or may not be going to California for a wedding (if it's in July, yes, if August, no - I'm not going to be that far away from our midwife once week 36 hits!).

We are going to see our midwife next week, which should be a blast, and we get to see her new office as well! She has just taken up residence in the same set of offices (which are actually an old farmhouse) as our CPA, so that is a fun coincidence and we're looking forward to checking it out. Her last office was actually where our pastor had his first office (before the church had a building), and that was a fun coincidence to find out too! We're looking forward to that, and also to the fact that our appointments will go to every two weeks at that point (hurray!). I've also badgered her into bringing along her model pelvis so that she can show us the cardinal movements, so that should be a lot of fun (I just can't figure them out from a book.... too dense, I guess).

So life is good! Busy, but good. Every week I get more and more back to normal, so hopefully life will be up and running again in another few months - just in time for the baby to bring it crashing back down again for the next year, LOL!!!! But it will be fun.

Love to all! Have a great weekend!!!