Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
- Z is 6 weeks old today. He's starting to cluster-feed in the evenings, and is getting fussy around this time as well. Clusterfeeding as in he constantly wants to be on the boob, and can't wait the customary 2-3 hours he normally does. At the moment he's on my chest, resting, not quite asleep, and will probably want to nurse again in another 15 minutes. I used to worry about this behavior, before I researched, before I found out that it's so common that it actually has a name. It happens in the evenings, before he goes to sleep for 5-6 hours straight. What's great is that he started sleeping for these long stretches at 4 weeks, without any training from us. We are the luckiest parents in the world.
- He's an angel. And I'm not saying that because I'm his mother. I was prepared for the worst. I was prepared for constant crying, sleepless nights, and other terrible situations that new parents go through. What I go from the first second of his life outside the womb was a calm, Zen-like baby. When they took him up to the nursery he was the only child in there who was not screaming his head off. He was also bigger than most of the babies, but that's another bullet point. In the beginning all he did was sleep, eat and poop. He only cried (and cried is a strong word, whimper/whine are probably better descriptions) when he needed to be nursed. (He also latched onto my nipple right away, and has also not had any problems being fed expressed breast milk from any bottle.)
- One of the ironic things is that I'm not a Zen mother. I constantly worried over him in the beginning. I didn't sleep the entire two days I spent in the hospital because I was way too nervous. I analyzed every detail. Everything seemed too perfect. I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I also experienced the "baby blues" during the first two weeks, which did not make things any easier. I was constantly crying about nothing. I expected the mood swings, but I also worried that it would last longer and turn into post-partum depression. Luckily, my hormones normalized after two weeks and I started feeling like myself again. I also lost 30 pounds, and was back to my pre-pregnancy weight after two weeks. Yes, I'm a lucky, lucky gal.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Water broke at 7:30. It was a small gush. At first I thought I peed myself but it was a lot of liquid. I had S smell it b/c my nose is clogged. Not pee.
Contractions are 10 minutes apart and mild
Have appt with Dr. Pepper at noon. Think the plan is to go there at that time, have him confirm that I am indeed in labor. (It just seems too good to be true.) Then its off to my friend's upper east side apartment to labor in comfort until I get to 5-1-1 or 4-1-1. That is, when contractions are 5 or 4 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute and have been consistent for 1 hour. At that point its off to the hospital.
I'm off to bake a cornbread and maybe some muffins.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
So, now I'm hoping to go into labor after the cold is gone. I can't imagine having to deal with a stuffy nose and contractions. Plus I don't want to hold my baby for the first time with any sort of infection.
I should be over this thing by Thursday. *fingers crossed*
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Spent the morning grocery shopping solo
Lost my mucus plug
Met S for a walk in Prospect Park
Went out to a birthday dinner with a few of his friends
Met a few of my friends at a bar for another birthday celebration
Came home around 10:30, exhausted and with a pain in my lower back that wouldn't go away.
Pain lasted all night. It was on the left side, the side I usually sleep on. I spent the night tossing and turning in pain, half hoping it was back labor, because I want to get this labor business over with, half hoping it wasn't, because I was too exhausted to efficiently deal with labor at that point.
The pain went away at some point in the early morning hours. I feel fine again. I don't want to feel fine. I would like to get this labor over with. Just when I think my stomach can't get any bigger, it does. I look ridiculous:
Hopefully he'll come out at some point this week. My mom yesterday told me that I was overdue by two weeks! I'm hoping that this is because they didn't calculated correctly. I can't go to 42 weeks. The idea is just inconceivable.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I think I'm going all the way to my due date. Even though my tummy is HUGE, Baby Z is a normal size baby. There's just a lot of fluid in there with him. As much as I want this over with, and want to move onto the next phase of this journey, I can wait until he's ready.
Friday, September 25, 2009
As expected, the rate of women getting epidurals vs. going all natural was high: 80-90%. The cesarean rate is 40%. This is not a hospital that's natural-birth friendly. There are no bathtubs in the delivery rooms, and only some of them have showers. Once you're checked into the hospital, you are hooked up to IV lines and a monitor, although you can have your MD request that you be periodically taken off so that you can walk around. There are no battery powered monitors.
All of this is going to make it that much more difficult to birth naturally, and I shudder to think that I'll be spending the most intense part of labor on the hospital bed. But, I still fully believe that I can do this naturally, without drugs or an epidural. S and I have been preparing, getting all the essentials ready to go, both for me and for baby Z.
We also bought a car! We had been looking intensely for the last 2 weeks, and finally found the perfect little car for us. S doesn't have his driver's license yet, (not uncommon for someone who's lived in Brooklyn his whole life) but his road test is scheduled for the end of October.
We're seeing the doctor later this afternoon. I'm two weeks away from my due date, and I feel fine. I've been looking out for the signs that labor is impending, but so far I've just been feeling like myself, only rounder. My tummy is stretched to its limits, as I'm still carrying high, and all in front. So far, that's my only complaint, which isn't too bad. Easy breezy!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Have been getting prepared for the Big day, whenever it comes. I don't feel like it's going to be in my immediate future. I have at least a week to go. Worked out a birth/labor plan that just might work. I might have mentioned before that I was a little concerned about the distance between our apartment and the hospital. I don't want to get there too early, because I don't want to get tied to a bed, but I also don't want to give birth at the side of the road. Then I remembered that a friend of mine lives a few blocks from the hospital! I asked if I could use her apartment as a "labor center" where I could get through the early stages of labor in comfort before going to the hospital for the big moment. She happily agreed!
I bought a birthing ball and a few hot and cold compresses. From what I gather, bouncing on the ball, and doing the breathing exercises help to cope with the pain by getting you into a rhythm, and giving you something else to concentrate on. It was particularly helpful to speak with one of S's friends, a mother of a 1 year old, who birthed naturally and was strengthened by the experience. She reminded me that the contractions are just one minute apart, and you have to remember that they are going to end. In between the contractions there is a rush of adrenaline and other chemicals to the brain, so you feel really good! You just have to remember to live in the moment, and not concentrate on the future contractions. Talking to her left me with a boost of confidence, because she was able to deliver a 9.5 pound baby boy without a hitch. Also, because Dr Pepper loves reminding me that my son has a huge noggin, we've been doing nightly perineal massage to stretch out the Kegal muscle. No episiotomy for me!
I feel confident. Let's do this!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Dr Pepper says his head is very low so he's definitely not breached anymore, although he is in the occiput posterior (OP) position (facing upwards instead of the more favorable face-down position.) It's okay though, either he'll turn by himself or Dr P will turn him. I'm sure with all the movement I've been feeling recently, he's going to move into the "correct" position all on his own. My baby's a smarty pants. :-p
At yesterday's visit he weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces, which is right where he should be at this point. I gained a pound since last week's dr visit, but it looks like I didn't really gain anything--Z gained it all. My weight has normalized--I'm not gaining the usual "pound a week" I did the first 20 weeks. I really thought I was right on track to gain 40 pounds, but total weight gain so far is 29 pounds, and it looks like it'll stay around that number. Yes!
I'm not working right now, and quite honestly, I don't know how I'd be able to manage if I had to. Earlier this week I tried to walk to the grocery store and almost fainted. We don't live in the most convenient area and we don't have a car. The subway stations are 10-15 minutes away (on foot) and so are the grocery stores. The walk has never been an issue in the past--walking has always been my preferred (read: only) method of exercise.
So I couldn't possible imagine having to walk to and from the subway every weekday. Not to mention enduring the subway ride. Ugh, and having to sit in an uncomfortable chair all day long! These days, my preferred position is lounging on my left side. I can't imagine doing that at the office!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Last week's doctor's appointment was great. My low carb attempts paid off! Baby's size has normalized and he was over 5 pounds last Thursday, which is right where he should be. My next appointment is tomorrow, where Dr Pepper is planning on doing a strep test.
I can't believe how close to delivering I am. Have been getting mild contractions, that are too far apart to even mention. I feel the pain and think, "He's getting ready!"
I'm also not adequately prepared. Have not visited the hospital, have not taken birthing classes. And yet I'm planning on trying to deliver sans drugs. The birth plan is very loose, but it hinges heavily on me laboring for as long as possible at home, or somewhere close to the hospital, but not actually in the hospital. The issue with that plan is that I live in Brooklyn, and I'm delivering at a hospital on the upper east side of Manhattan. I've been reading stories of babies born before the mothers were able to make it to the hospital (like this one). I can just imagine going through the second stage of labor stuck on the BQE during rush hour. Oof.
Monday, August 31, 2009
"Any day now, right?"
These and similar comments I get from friends, family, strangers on the street, etc. In truth, Z is bigger than average, but he's not ready to come out. I still haven't dropped. My belly is still high up, resting right up against my breasts and stomach, making it impossible to eat more than a little bit at a time. Of course, that hasn't stopped me from indulging. Yesterday we attended a Hindu wedding of a friend of mine, and ate the most delicious Indian food I've had in a while. We ate during the ceremony, because I had forgotten all about eating lunch, and Z wasn't so happy about that. S graciously pulled the pregnancy card and asked the caterers for food for his baby mama. I got the most delicious sag paneer and chicken tikka masala I've ever eaten. For the rest of the ceremony, all I could think about was the food. I had two plates of hor dourves, followed in a couple of hours by a full dinner and yummy resmilai for dessert. I totally overate and felt bloated and disgusting for a few hours but it was so worth it.
Z is a lot more active these days. And when he moves, my entire belly moves. It's fun to watch and to feel. I've accepted my stretch marks. After going through the trauma and itchiness of PUPPS, a few blemishes on my belly is nothing. (Thankfully, the PUPPS is still at bay.)
I see my doctor again on Thursday. He's had me on a low-carb diet because Z is getting so big, and I'm anxious to see if it's done anything. I haven't gained my normal pound-a-week for the past two weeks, so hopefully his massive head hasn't gotten too much larger.
This weekend we held a small gathering in our apartment and received a ton of presents for Z. I am so grateful to everyone for their generosity. We haven't had to buy one single item so far! We also arranged our bedroom to accommodate Z when he decides to enter infanthood. He's got his own little section, with a view, plus 24 hour maid and room service. What more could a boy ask for? ;-)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I'm so grateful. The thought of having to spend the remainder of my pregnancy covered in an itchy rash was nightmarish. I don't know if it was the soap, or maybe the rash ran its course, but I don't really care. I'm just glad it's not there anymore. I see Dr Pepper tomorrow to find out the results of the blood test. Since the rash is gone, I'm not that worried anymore. I will deal with the results when I have them.
WOOHOO, THE ITCH IS GONE!!!!!!!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Pepper did give me a prescription for a numbing cream that he said may or may not help. Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done medically to help me. However, he did put me in touch with another one of his patients, N, a woman in her sixth month who got PUPPS at 20 weeks. She went to a herbalist, got a few remedies, and the rash and itch disappeared!
Right now, I'm waiting for my pharmacy to fill the prescription. It was out of stock and pricey, even with my insurance. I'll see how that works before trying the herbs. I have been using Pine Tar soap, which looks like it's helping with the rash, although not so much with the itching. That's one of the products that N is using.
What does help with the itching is cold. I've taken to sleeping in a very cold air-conditioned room and taking frequent cold showers. It works, but it's also really impractical. I don't want to be stuck indoors for the duration of the pregnancy. Hopefully the prescription or the herbal remedies works.
Dr. Pepper also did a quick ultrasound and we found out that Z is back to being breach. He just doesn't like being upside down. Pepper didn't make a big deal out of it; I guess it's the least of my problems at the moment.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I've had an easy pregnancy so far. It's been drama free, and I've just had to deal with mild discomfort. I should have known better. Last week, I started getting an itchy rash on my belly. I had gotten a similar one a few months back, and it was from excessive cocoa butter use. I figured that it was the vitamin E cream I was using instead so I stopped. But the rash didn't go away. Instead it spread to my thighs, arms, hands, feet and back. Basically everywhere except for my palms, chest, neck and face. (Which I'm very grateful for.)
The itch is unbearable. In all seriousness, I'd rather go through the pain of labor than have to deal with an itch I can't scratch. (Of course I say this now, never having gone through labor pains) The itch is continuous. So far, nothing has helped. I've been through a bottle of calamine lotion, tubes of cortizone 10, gold bond ointment, benedryl spray, oatmeal baths, black tar soap, and benedryl tablets.
As someone who has always avoided medication whenever possible, that's quite a list. The benedryl spray works best, but I can't take it in combinaton with the benedryl tablets, as they have the same active ingredient. The Benedryl tablets take about 2 hours to work, and all they really do is put me to sleep. I wake up itching.
As for the cause, I've ruled out everything environmental. I'm pretty sure it's PUPPS, which is a rare condition that affects pregnant women carrying boys. If it is, then I can look forward to being itchy and looking like a leper until I give birth. That's nine more weeks of this torture.
I seeing Dr. Tepper tomorrow. He wants to get a blood test to confirm.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Came home to a letter from my insurance company questioning a $65 charge because they believe it to be a "pre-existing condition." It's a little puzzling, as the letter doesn't mention specifics, and I have no medical issues or have ever had any medical issues. Of course their office is closed so I get to mull this over until tomorrow morning. Yay. And FYI, pregnancy is not considered a pre-existing condition.
Ack. I got stretch marks. They are on the lower part of my stomach, below my navel. It's the part of my abdomen I can't see anymore without a mirror. So it took me a while to realize that they were even there.
When I did discover them, it hit a little harder because I wasn't expecting them. I had thoroughly convinced myself that I wouldn't get any, because my mom didn't get any and none had shown up by the end of my second trimester. Ah, but my mom only gained 15 pounds the entire length of her pregnancy, an amount I gained in the first 15 weeks of mine. Damn her for giving me false hope.
I don't have a good reason to be upset. My baby is healthy, and this pregnancy has been a breeze so far, with no complications. But darn it, I wanted to be able to bounce back to my former self with little or no evidence of having pushed a human being out of my body. The kid should be evidence enough. I don't want a pouch, or stretch marks, or saggy boobs! I want my body back!
"Vanity, definitely my favorite sin."
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I entered my third trimester with little fanfare. No big changes with the pregnancy, except I'm more uncomfortable and the heat is unbearable. Stairs are my enemy. Walking up one flight leaves me breathless. My belly is stereotypically a "boy" belly: I'm carrying high. This means the baby is pressing on my lungs, making seemingly easy tasks a nightmare. I'm about ready to move past this stage.
Other memorable July events: went on my first cruise, took and passed a glucose test (Yay, no sign of gestational diabetes!), stopped working (Mid-July).
There is much to write about, and hopefully it won't take me a whole month to post another entry.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The Baby Jogger City Mini, in red. The thing folds with one pull and is lightweight compared to other strollers out there. Plus you can maneuver with one hand and it's spacious enough to accommodate a growing baby.
At the top of our list of things that we don't need but want really, really badly is this: Rockabye Baby
Specifically this: Lullaby Renditions of Bob Marley
They even have Metallica! Bjork! Zeppelin!
Each album is $16.98 a pop, but priceless really, when you think of the musical education the kid will be getting, straight out of the womb.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I believe that the one job parents have is to teach their children how to be self-sufficient. If you can do that well, then you have succeeded. You teach them the difference between right and wrong, you enable them to learn about the world and its ways. You teach them the simple skills and send them off to learn about the more complicated skills. You expand their minds.
Then you let them go and hope that they make wise decisions.
The letting go part was the step my mom wasn't the best at. She was wonderful at making sure that I got the best education possible. She made sure I had an innate sense of what's right vs. what's not. But she wasn't able to let me go make my own decisions, to be confident that I would be able to handle those tough choices on my own. The thing is, if you do your job well as a parent, then you need to have the confidence in your abilities. You need to let go.
I woke up thinking of this parallel with the religious ones of the world. The thing is, if you believe that God created you, that's fine. But I think that you should also recognize that maybe God created you, then left you on this earth to make your own decisions. One thing I absolutely abhor are those who refuse to help themselves because they think that God will take care of it all. I think the whole point of the human race is to just live and let live. Just like a parent would like his child to succeed on his own, maybe God as a creator would like you, as a member of the human race to do it on your own, instead of calling out his name every five minutes.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I've already started making a mental list of all the things I'll be able to do with myself now that my presence won't be required in Midtown East. First on the list is a bunch of career/academic related stuff, for life post-belly.
Then there's New York in the summer. I spent last year's summer in India, and while that experience was amazing, I'm looking forward to being in my city with all the time in the world.
We are also making a trip to Georgia at the end of July to visit S's cousin. I'll be 30 weeks at that point. I'm a little worried though, because I have been hearing not so good things about the airline we are flying. A fellow blogger complained about her AirTran experience, and I've been reading even worse reviews online. I guess that's the hidden cost of dirt cheap tickets.
Then there's, of course, preparation for baby Z. The list of crap we will need grows daily. Oy.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Our apartment is coming together, slowly. We have been collecting baby stuff. There's already a crib halfway set up in the bedroom, some early baby presents, and a bassinet, waiting to be put together. The crib has become a clotheshorse, collecting random pieces of clothing that S and I have been too lazy to put away or throw in the hamper. I'm waiting for the nesting phase to set in, at which point I'm sure I'll be all about getting the apartment Z ready.
Peanut has been renamed Z. My bladder is now called peenut, for obvious reasons.
I have taken to watching natural births on youtube, and every video makes me cry. I'm still hoping to have a drug-free delivery. I watched a video of one mother who was in labor for 12 hours but still managed to resist the epidural. She still opted for an all natural birth the second time around. These stories give me strength.
One of my biggest fears is that Z will be too large and will require a C-section. He's already too big for his age, and apparently I'm too big also. I spoke to my mom, who told me that she gained a grand total of 15 pounds when she was pregnant with me. And I weighed seven pounds, six ounces. I've already gained 22 pounds and I'm only in my second trimester!
Monday, June 8, 2009
This weekend I sucked up my pride and went shopping at a maternity store. I was looking exceptionally sloppy at work with my pants unzipped practically all the way. Now that I will definitely be working through the summer, I needed to look a little more put together. The maternity store experience was relatively painless. Of course, just as I suspected, the majority of the clothes were gaudy and matronly. I am not a 50 year old woman! They did have a few items that looked decent and actually fit. Even though I've gained more weight than normal, I've only gained in my abdomen. The rest of my body is still slim. Hence, I'm still a small. Whew! I left the store with pants, capris, a jean skirt, a dress and a blouse. Not a bad shopping spree!
Monday, June 1, 2009
I wasn't expecting much, but I daresay it went well. Yay.
Last night I also started to feel peanut kicking! The feeling is hard to describe...it's like I swallowed one of those high bouncing jacks balls and feel it bouncing around in there. It's a gentle kicking, a sweet reminder that there's a living thing swimming around in there.
I've also been developing other pregnancy side effects that aren't quite as gentle. I already know how I'm going to feel when I'm eighty. My bladder can't hold much liquid and I have to make frequent trips to the bano. Allergies have been kicking my ass this Spring, which isn't necessary a symptom of the pregnancy, but my violent sneezes frequently cause my tiny bladder to squeeze out a little pee, making me feel like I should start wearing depends.
I'm also achy. I get uncomfortable when I'm in one position for a long time, and its equally uncomfortable to shift positions. I can no longer climb long flights of stairs without running out of breath. Hell, I can't even walk at a normal (New York) pace!
It's all worth it though. I may complain and whine (especially to S) but the little things like seeing him on the ultrasound and feeling him make it all worthwhile.
Friday, May 29, 2009
This is the BeltzBib, a bib that attaches to the seatbelt, so that you can comfortably eat your greasy nachos in your car without getting it all over your clothes. When I first heard of this all I could think of was, they should totally market this to pregnant women!
My belly serves as a crumb catcher. Last week I ate an everything bagel with cream cheese on the train. Instead of just falling through my legs to the ground, the crumbs ended up on my stomach. It wasn't until hours later, while I had already been at work for half the day, did I discover a glob of cream cheese on my underbelly. And it wasn't until later when I was sharing this experience with a co-worker that she noticed a second glob of cream cheese on the back of my pant leg!
So maybe someone can invent a chic bib for mothers-to-be? One with a bin at the bottom, like the BeltzBib, that keeps the cream cheese off of maternity clothes? Pretty please?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Took some pics yesterday. I'll post them as soon as S gets up off the couch to send to me. :-p
Tomorrow is the ultrasound. Yay!
I started SNORING! Apparently loud enough to keep S up at night. The first time it happened he left me alone and tried to sleep through it. Aww, how cute is he? At some point soon I fully expect to be awoken to him repeatedly punching me in the ribs. :-D
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Am excited for the warm weather.
Am leaking from the breasts. This is normal but not very common. So far I'm the only one who's started this early. Am taking it all in stride. Seems to happen at the most inopportune times.
Told my supervisor on Monday. Looks like I'll be working past the end of May.
Trying to cram everything into the second trimester before I start feeling tired again. Am not looking forward to the massive weight gain. At least I don't anticipate stretch marks. My mom never got them. Woohoo.
Mother's Day was one of the best I've had in recent history. My friends sent me "Happy mother-to-be day" texts. It was cute. Also managed to get my mother a present she actually appreciated and will use. That hasn't ever happened. Also saw my grandparents and the rest of the maternal side of the family.
Anatomy scan is scheduled for next Friday. He's going to look like a real human being when we see him! Can't wait!
Friday, May 1, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I understand that hospitals need to take precautions. But these precautions are put in place not with the mother in mind, but to mitigate against potential liability. Childbirth is treated like every case is a potential disaster, when we really should be celebrating the joy of life being created.
So, with all this in mind, I have decided to forgo the drugs and attempt to deliver naturally. I pondered a home birth delivery for a while, but I really like Dr. Pepper (I'd have to get a midwife otherwise) and since this will be my first delivery, I don't know what to expect. If something goes wrong, at least I will be in an environment that can get me through it.
We spoke to Dr. Pepper about delivering naturally, and he had no problem with it. He even agrees that its better because epidurals delay the contractions anyway, and would make my delivery longer than it needs to be. Ideally, he'd like me to go through the bulk of the contractions at home, and only come to the hospital when I'm sufficiently dilated. This way I won't have to fight too much with hospital staff who want to strap me in and drug me up.
So now the next step is to adequately prepare myself for the pain. I've started prenatal yoga, which helps to strengthen and stretch the muscles I'm going to need. I'm going to sign up for birthing classes. A friend of a friend who is a doula suggested I have a close friend or family member in the hospital with me. Someone who knows my needs and will make sure the hospital staff doesn't talk me into something I don't want.
I want to feel. I don't want to be numb. I want the entire experience of giving birth. Watching all those women in the documentary gave me a renewed sense of pride. I am woman. I can do this.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
S and I used to laugh at women who opted for natural childbirth with no anesthesia. It just seemed kind of silly not to want to utilize modern medicine. Why go through all that pain when you don't have to?
Then one day I was browsing through prenatal yoga videos on Netflix and accidentally came across the movie The Business of Being Born. That movie opened my eyes and changed every view I thought I had on the topic of childbirth. Ricky Lake (of talk show fame) had her first child in a hospital. She was unhappy with the experience and decided to explore other options for her second baby. The film explores the differences between having a baby in a hospital, with all the advances of modern medicine, and having a home birth, with a midwife present. The film also shows in graphic detail, the births of five or so babies. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. Nothing else comes close.
What fascinated me about the movie was the way that hospitals treat laboring mothers. Pitocin is a drug used to induce labor and speed up the contractions. There are significant risks with using Pitocin, including fetal distress. Also, because the contractions are being sped up, it becomes more painful for the woman. Because of the pain, an epidural is administered. In addition to numbing the lower body, epidurals also slow down contractions, making it necessary to again use Pitocin. Which in turn brings on the pain, requiring more anesthesia. And the cycle continues, benefitting only the hospitals, which get a faster delivery and a free bed sooner.
Another alarming trend is the increase in cesarean sections. In 2007 one in three births in the United States has been through C-sections. This is an all time high. One reason for the increase is the use of Pitocin and epidurals in the delivery room. Labor induction too early, before the mother and baby are ready can cause fetal distress, which increases the need for a surgical delivery. Infant mortality rates are also highest in the US than in other developed countries.
Hospital staff will often recommend C-sections, even when it might not be needed. This is to prevent liability issues, because a C-section confirms that they did everything that they could do. Also, nine out of ten women who had C-sections, have repeat C-sections because health professionals are unwilling to offer the choice of VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean sections).
Although one can argue that the documentary is one-sided, it doesn’t make the facts any less true. A co-worker of mine went through the exact steps listed above. She was a healthy 26 year old mother-to-be in labor. She was given Pitocin and an epidural, which caused the baby to be in distress. She needed to have a C-section. When she became pregnant with her second child, her doctor did not even give her the option of a natural delivery, he instead scheduled her delivery again via C-section.
I could go on, and I will, in a future blog post.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Nonetheless, there is much to say.
- I'm in my second trimester, and life is back to normal. I no longer get mood swings, and I have energy to spare. And! My libido is back! S is quite pleased about this.
- I have decided not to renew my contract at work. I put a lot of thought into this, and there are just too many negative factors involved with me staying. The only positive is the paycheck, which I admit, is a big positive. However, the reasons I left this job a year ago are still valid. If I don't move forward with my career goals now, I will find myself stuck doing something that I hate for longer than I'd care to.
- Along those lines, I have also decided not to "announce" my pregnancy at work. The two co-workers closest to me know, and there is really no reason for anyone else to know. After I leave (again), I won't be keeping in touch with anyone else here. It's fun hiding my bump. It's not outrageous as yet, so scarfs and shawls have been doing the trick.
- I've been taking advantage of my new found energy. I spent the weekend at happy hour (albeit sober), celebrating two birthdays, watching a baseball game at the newly constructed Citifield in Queens and walking through Flushing Meadow park with a few girlfriends.
- We have picked out a name for Peanut. We are keeping it under wraps for now, to avoid the usual negative opinions that are bound to come from all sides. I sometimes wish we could wait a little longer before naming the kid, at least until his personality starts to show. That way we can tell if he's a Bob or a Storm.
- On Sunday I rode the train with a toddler who did not want to sit in her stroller and wasn't afraid to let it known. She threw a tantrum, screaming her head off, taking off her sneakers and throwing them across the train, all the while the mother calmly ignored her. Yikes. I don't know what I would do in that situation. I guess I'll find out soon enough.
Friday, April 3, 2009
I've gotta say, I don't look that pregnant today though. I don't feel pregnant either. I think it's the second trimester kicking in. I feel normal.
Making another lame attempt to reclaim my social life. I'm going to my regular Friday happy hour destination, my Cheers, where everyone knows my name. I haven't been since last year. Hopefully they still remember my name.
My last lame attempt:
Last Saturday I made plans to go out with a girlfriend. S went off to work, then a concert, then realized that my wallet (read: money, driver's license, credit cards) was in his jacket pocket. So there I am stuck in Brooklyn.
Undeterred, I remember that my metrocard was not in the wallet. Aha, I can still travel! And since alcohol is a no-no, I don't actually need any cash or credit cards. And I have my passport! Wahoo!
I get dressed, and dolled up and was quite pleased with the results. Tight jeans, high heeled knee high black boots, a red halter top with an empire waist that minimized my belly while showcasing my newly ample bosom. I was ready.
I walked to the subway station and swipe my metrocard and swiped only to get the following message:
Curses! My monthly metrocard chose that day to expire. Still determined, I walked all the way back to the apartment (did I mention it was also raining?) to find eight quarters.
Then I realized that it just wasn't meant to happen. I'm all for creating your own destiny and paving your own path. But I also know that sometimes you have to give in, and let the universe have its way. So I settled in for the night, watched Made of Honor, and waited for S to come home bearing french fries and the promise of a massage.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Friday's ultrasound screening went very well. It was amazing to see our little boy on the screen, moving around. Yes, I said boy. :) The technician, although earlier said that it was too early to tell the sex, did notice a protrusion between the hips that was too large to be girl parts. :) She told us there was an 80% chance that it is a boy. I plan on posting the ultrasound photos, as soon as I get motivated enough at home to scan them in.
They said that although the initial neck measurements look good, they won't have a comprehensive picture until they also run blood tests. I got my finger punctured and blood painfully squeezed out to mark five dots on a card. Dr. Pepper will get the results in two weeks, at which point he will give me the okay to tell the world.
At this point we are telling more and more close friends and family. I am about to tell my supervisor at work, because my consultant contract ends at the end of May and I need it renewed to the end of the summer. It's also getting harder and harder to hide the baby bump.
Yesterday the first ever stranger noticed my pregnancy. She took me by surprise when she asked me when I was due. So I guess that means I am officially showing. Time to start shopping at maternity stores?
Friday, March 27, 2009
This is the one where they test for downs syndrome and measure the fetus to determine the exact due date. I'm aware that there could be something wrong, that perhaps I shouldn't be referring to Peanut as my baby just yet.
But I can't help feeling excitement. It's like a loved one returning home from a trip abroad. I'm waiting at the airport, and the anticipation of seeing him/her is growing as the minutes tick away.
First trimester is almost over and I feel fantastic.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Continuing the previous blog, although my father claims to be okay with the fact that I won't be getting married, he would like us to have a big, fat, fake wedding.
He wants some sort of ceremony, (he suggested a Hindu one), to please the elders and the religious fanatics in the family. He says it doesn't have to be a legal marriage, just a religious one.
Considering the fact that I'm an atheist, and my boyfriend is not Indian, going through the motions all the while rolling my eyes is just not going to happen. I told my father that he could just give me the money he would have spent on this charade.
I won't get married just to please other people. If it happens, it will be on our terms.
I don't understand how people can go through their whole lives just trying to please others. I'm just too selfish to live this way. This may be a negative trait, but I can't imagine the kind of person I'd be if I didn't carve out my own path.
A coworker friend mentioned that perhaps I should have never left the firm. Then I'd have health insurance and paid maternity leave and a job to come back to. Yes, this is true. I perhaps might have still met my boyfriend, as the circumstances surrounding our meeting were not extraordinary. I'd have job security.
But I would have never stepped out of my comfort zone. I would have never wondered a strange and foreign country. I would have never experienced the kind of freedom that comes from living life on your own terms.
I am ready for the life ahead. I am ready for motherhood, ready for a steady relationship with the father of my child(ren). And I can look ahead without any regrets, without any desire to do things differently.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
A few weeks ago I told my parents about the pregnancy. My parents live in the same house, and are legally married, but do not speak to each other and sleep in separate bedrooms. Much of this is due to my mother's inability to move past the past. I thought it would be only fair for me to tell them together.
Ha. I underestimated my mother yet again. She got offended that I didn't tell her first, and alone. She, of course, made it all about her. Just as I predicted, she didn't even ask me how far along I was, or who the father was, or anything even remotely related to the baby, until the next day. She instead spent the next few hours talking about herself and about how she's going to be viewed by her family, and about how much of a non-relationship we have. I listened to her until she got tired of talking.
I expected all this to go exactly the way it went. But that doesn't mean it didn't affect me. She called the next day, calmer at first, but that quickly changed into the same song and dance. This time I was less patient and lost my temper. That was the last time we spoke.
I will eventually speak to her again, but it won't be for a few more weeks. I'm waiting until my second trimester. These next couple of weeks are critical, and I don't want to be stressed out by my mother.
My father took the news like I knew he would. He's happy at the prospect of being a granddad. I told him that we weren't planning on getting married anytime soon, and he seemed fine with that.
Seemed being the operative word.
...to be continued.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Things I need to write about:
Telling the parents
Soon, soon, I hope.
Ten weeks and counting...
Monday, February 23, 2009
This behavior reminds me of my mom at her worst. I've been thinking a lot about her, and I'm beginning to understand more and more her behavior and the way she is. Maybe there is hope for a relationship between us after all.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I've become clingy.
I'm so attached to my boyfriend that it scares me.
I don't know what to do to make myself feel better. I don't know what will help.
I know the feeling will pass. It usually does. They say the second trimester is mood-free. I can't wait.
These days, I just want normalcy. He's house-sitting at a wonderful penthouse apartment in Dumbo. The plan was for me to stay there with him. I've been there since Tuesday and I hate it. I hate the lumpy bed. I hate not being able to make myself a decent meal. The owner is an architect with old world taste. He has a nice kitchen but no modern appliances. He has no non-stick pans. No kitchen utensils.
So obviously I need to go back to my apartment, where I'm comfortable, where I feel at home. It's what's best for me and peanut. I'm making myself miserable because I don't want to leave him. I don't want to sleep without him for the next ten days.
I'm a hot mess.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Things are great with us. We spend ALOT of time together. He's planning on moving into my apartment at the end of this month. We will live there for a few months then move into a bigger space. My lease isn't up until December but I live on the fifth floor of a walk-up so I'll have Dr. Pepper write a note saying that it's become medically impossible for me to walk up all those stairs. Right now the debate is over where to live. I naturally prefer Queens, because it's what I know and where all my family lives. For this same reason, he prefers Brooklyn.
Physically, I feel good. The mood swings are becoming less frequent, and I don't get nauseous anymore unless I go long periods without eating. I gained another pound, but that's probably from the red meat/carb overload this weekend.
Friday, February 13, 2009
I've gained two pounds. It's all water weight and all in my belly. And I'm tired all the time. So far, that's the most annoying part of the pregnancy. I have cancelled afterwork plans multiple times this week because I was just too tired to do anything but go home and go to sleep. I also have lame excuses for my friends since they don't know about the pregnancy as yet. They must think I'm such a flake.
I'm also still dealing with mood swings. I try to "reason" myself out of them though, telling myself that I'm not really mad/sad, that it's just a symptom. Thankfully, this passes relatively quickly.
The nausea hasn't been too bad either. To keep it at bay, I need to eat every few hours. My fridge is now stocked with lots of fruit, veggies, milk and yogurt. I get a wave of nausea when taking the vitamins in the morning, but that passes after five minutes, and I haven't yet thrown up. [knock on wood.]
My Pregnancy for Dummies book (recommended my Dr. Pepper) says that the fatigue, mood swings and nausea will go away at the second trimester. Yay! I can't wait to be less tired again!
Today I'm telling one of my closest friends. She's been away and we haven't seen each other for about a month, which is rare for us. I'm excited to see her reaction, especially since she's always warning me about the dangers of the "pull-out" method. I believe it was early January that we joked about me already being pregnant and having a Virgo baby. Hehe.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
It's not perfect, but it feels right. I'm 28. He's 35. It's time. But every once in a while I wonder if we are both crazy. This is a total lifestyle change.
How will it affect our relationship? We did everything quickly. We met, and it was such an instant connection that we didn't wait the customary three days to call, or wait to see each other. From the beginning the chemistry was so palpable, that it was (almost) love at first sight.
So it makes sense that this would be fast as well. The pace of our relationship is just different from what is considered "normal."
Everything is just so new. We are not telling anyone else. Only one person (yes you!) knows about this blog. Two of my girlfriends know. His mother and his best friend know. I want to keep it that way for now.
I see a doctor next Wednesday. One of my boyfriend's client is an OB/GYN and he has agreed to see me even without insurance, and won't charge us. He said that he would take whatever insurance we get. That's a huge weight off my chest.
I just can't deal with negativity from other people right now. I just need to believe that what I'm am choosing for myself is right without other people's opinions clouding my outlook. This is why I am not telling my mother as yet. I have no idea how she will react. I don't want to deal with it right now.
I just want to be healthy. These are the most crucial months. Anything could happen.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
It was positive.
I expected it. I'm not so much in shock as I am stressing about how to get health insurance. I signed up for insurance from the Freelancers Union. That won't start until March. I guess I could wait until then to get my first exam, but I don't want to risk it. I know I got pregnant in the month of January. I'm hoping I'm just three weeks along now, but I could be five weeks, which means I'd be nine weeks by March.
I will have to pay for the first exam myself. So now I'm trying to find the right place with the right price for me. And also trying to relax.
This is good. I am ready. I have a good man by my side. Everything happens the way it's supposed to. I am going to be a mommy.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I told him that this method was fine, but if I ever got pregnant, he would be a father. I am pro-choice, but I know I'd never be able to live with myself if I got pregnant and didn't keep the baby. Especially not at age 28.
I'm mentally ready for children. With my current boyfriend. That's why I didn't object. I know that if I did not want to get pregnant, I would have chosen a safer birth control method.
I realize now that I never wanted to have children with my previous boyfriend, whom I dated for four years. If ever there was a possibilities I'd get pregnant, I would get morning after pills. I took no chances.
Of course the timing is anything but ideal. I have only known my boyfriend for two months. I don't have health insurance and make too much to qualify for public health insurance. My job is ending soon.
But I have a sense that this is right, that this is how it's supposed to happen. Maybe this was where my journey meant to take me. There are no mis-steps in life.
Monday, February 2, 2009
I've been dealing with eratic mood swings and irrational food cravings. I chalked it up to a severe case of PMS. Until it lasted longer than usual and my period never came.
On a whim I took a pregnancy test on Friday evening. It was the first I have ever taken. It was the kind that creates a plus sign if you are and a minus if you aren't. The first test showed a faint vertical line, but it was so faint and I had no experience with this sort of thing.
Two tests came in the box. I had plans on Saturday night that included drinking, so I decided to take the second one just to be sure. This time the plus was so prevelant that I had to sit down.
I'm going to a doctor on Wednesday to take another one. I'll know for sure at that point.
...at which point I'll either shut down this blog or have something to write about for the next 9+ months.