Monday, August 31, 2009

34 weeks

"You look like you're about to pop."
"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

32 Weeks

Well, the rash is gone. The itch is very minimal. And I didn't end up using anything except the pine tar soap.
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.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

PUPPS or bust

Yesterday's visit to Dr Pepper was not as fruitful as I had hoped. He didn't really do much, just took a look at my rashy skin and sent me to a lab to get blood tests done. He said it's either PUPPS, or another more serious condition. The more serious condition results in infant mortality, and they would have to induce me at 37 weeks to make sure that that doesn't happen. PUPPS, while really annoying and uncomfortable for me, is harmless to both me and Z. I find out the blood test results in a week.
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

Itchy and Scratchy

Silly, silly insurance company. They need to find out my medical history b/c my dr tested for gestational diabetes. The test was negative. As in, I don't have gestational diabetes, or any other form of diabetes for that matter. So why do they need my previous medical history if I don't have the condition? If I don't have it now, then how can it be pre-existing? I don't understand this logic at all. All this for a $62 charge. Pain in my butt.

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

30 week check-up

We saw Dr. Pepper this am. Baby Z was breached, but Dr P worked his magic, using his hands against my belly to move Z's head and spine and now he's upside down again, the way he's supposed to be. He weighs 3 pounds 5 ounces, which is a little bigger than the norm (30 week old fetuses are usually less than 3 pounds.) Dr P says it's fine though. I'm still gaining a pound a week, which puts my total weight gain so far at 30 pounds.

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.

Vanity / Self-pity

I was/am mentally prepared for a baby. I was not prepared for the toll it would take on my body.

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

July / 30 weeks

July came and went and not a blog post to remember it by.

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.