Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mini Freak Out

Today I made it my goal to contact a list of potential photographers for a maternity and newborn photo sessions. Simple task, right? I'd already looked at their online portfolios and narrowed it down to a select few. I realized nobody was going to have everything I wanted. Basically, for a less expensive session I was going to expect to only walk away with a few photos because they were expensive. Those who charged more per session had less expensive photos. Each photographer had something about them that I liked. And, the one I like the most really approaches his work as art, which is something I can appreciate and am looking for. At first I was looking only for newborn sessions, but I really do want to capture this time. He does some nude maternity photos that look like they belong in a gallery. I'd like to do some of those for the Brain, because they are intimate and if there is one thing we discovered during our pregnancy, is intimacy. So, I checked that off my list and moved on.

Item two, mohels. Researching men who I have never met, who I am going to hire to perform a sacred ritual on my tiny infant son. He has to be willing to work with not only a lesbian couple, but also an interfaith one. This means that there will be people there who have never been to a bris. He has to convey how special the moment is to people who think of a circumcision as something a doctor does to remove the foreskin, when in fact, it is so much more. And yes, I have to choose the man who will take a scalpel to my baby's penis. I read one profile of a pediatrician/mohel who approaches it the same way it is done in the hospital. Local anesthetic injected into the penis and the baby is strapped down. I've witnessed this done on the second day of life and found it cold. In a bris, the baby is held on a pillow by an honored guest. It is warm and full of love. It is not a medical procedure, but a mitzvah. And with this, the freak out began.

I couldn't compose my list of questions for the mohel even though I basically just have to copy them out of The New Jewish Baby Book. It just seemed like too much. And because it seemed like too much I worried that I was putting it off. And because I was putting it off, I wasn't going to have enough time to do everything that needs to be done. And this all stems from the fact that we're running out of time. Wednesday will be the first day of my third trimester. Which means we're 2/3 there. Which means there is only three brief months left. And I still haven't folded any of the baby clothes I washed!! Do you see where I'm going here?

I decided to calm down by taking a nice relaxing shower. My little dog insisted on not leaving my side so I brought her into the bathroom to lay in there while I showered. That wasn't good enough because she insisted on sitting on the edge of the bath. But then she jumped into the shower and stood on her hind legs for uppies. This is how the Brain found me, freaking out in the shower holding my dog. She dried her off and joined me. This extended the shower time, and the water was too warm, and I was freaking out. So by this time my heart was racing and I was dizzy, but not fully showered. I finished washing up and was nauseated. I vomited all my breakfast, although I had eaten it almost three hours prior.

And this is how a to do list of two things ends with your head in the toilet.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


The other day, one of my patients asked me what I thought about the Duggars. It was an interesting question coming from someone waking up from anesthesia. I paused, and really thought about it because my opinion has changed. I told this patient that her children are all well educated, clothed, fed, have good morals and values, are well behaved, respectful, supportive of each other and love their parents. They are not on government assistance, and have found successful ways to make money and live debt free. You can tell that they aren't putting on a show for the camera, because even the smallest of children behave, and little ones just aren't good at lying. (Just ask balloon boy's parents). The main problem I have with the Duggars is that I think Michelle Duggar's body is trying to tell her not to have children, and I'm worried that she's not listening and this will effect her mental and physical health. The last baby she gave birth was premature. If I remember correctly, she had her baby around 25 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. She then became pregnant again and miscarried. But, it wasn't long ago that I would think about the Duggars and feel nothing but jealousy and anger. I thought, how selfish that they have so many children when there are those of us who would give anything to have just one child. I despised their happy homes because it just wasn't fair. What a difference coming to terms with my own anger, and becoming pregnant has made.

Today we saw the reverend who preformed our wedding ceremony for the first time in five years. We have some infrequent contact through facebook. Mostly, we read what the other person is up to and don't comment. She's been doing amazing charity work in Nepal, elevating the status and education of women, bringing equality to the casts, and using goats as a means of women making money for themselves. Please check out this link, it really is an amazing charity. She was surprised to see that I was pregnant, and thought she must have missed it on facebook. I informed her that I still have several friends who were struggling with infertility and was trying to be respectful of their feelings, and therefor trying not to post too much about the pregnancy. I see it all the time on the resolve boards, women who have not yet conceived complaining about people posting pregnancy announcements on facebook, talking about their pregnancy, posting belly pictures and other such pregnancy related posts. They are so hurt by these postings, and while I was still trying, I remember feeling jealous, but not personally offended. I never considered canceling my account over it, but many women do. And now that I'm the pregnant person, I understand why people post so much about it on facebook. Pregnancy is a life altering experience. It effects every part of your life from brushing your teeth to walking to the mailbox and everything in between. Even when you're not trying to think about it, you end up thinking about it because the baby will kick you in the cervix, or will kick you right where you've laid your book, sending the book bouncing. It's joyous, scary, overwhelming, awe inspiring and miraculous. How do you not share about that? It's difficult. I know because I have to try and figure out ways to be vague enough when I post. I have other friends who have asked for belly pictures and I haven't posted a single one. There are however a few photos of me that show my belly because others posted them after we hung out. But, I wonder if it's really reasonable to become so angry and hurt over pregnancy posts while you're struggling with infertility, and experiencing jealousy. I mean, we post photos of our dinners, of our pets, of the sunset, of a new outfit or a room we just decorated. We talk about new jobs, current jobs, old jobs, looking for a job, getting fired from a job. We don't cancel our facebook accounts because we're unemployed and a friend keeps going on and on about how wonderful her new job is. If friends post a picture of a drink they order at a bar, why not post a photo related to the life I'm carrying inside me? Am I denying myself an experience for fear of hurting a few people's feelings as opposed to celebrating with the majority?

It's amazing how my views have changed. And not just because my perspective has been effected by pregnancy. If you go back through my blog, I was overcoming my anger prior to pregnancy. I had come to realize jealousy and anger had no place in my life anymore. But, I'll admit, seeing the world from a different angle, the other side of the coin, in retrospect makes me stop and think about how far in this journey I've come. And for this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Aches and Pains Weeks 24-27

When I got pregnant, I didn't think of all the pains that are associated with pregnancy. Morning sickness didn't surprise me. The aching uterus didn't surprise me because I knew it was now housing my baby and needed to make room. But as this pregnancy has progressed, I've experienced some things that literally take my breath away. Some things don't hurt, but worry the heck out of me. I've turned to Dr Google, which sometimes helps, but always end up with a long list of questions at my appointments. I thought I'd share some of my concerns and the PA's responses.

Sometimes it feels like the baby is scratching my abdomen or my cervix with a very sharp nail. It takes my breath away, and I fully expect to see blood when I got to the bathroom, but don't. I wouldn't be surprised if he's born with a shank.
-This is normal. Other women complain of this too. There isn't really an explanation of what causes this.

Sometime it feels like someone is scraping the inside of my vagina.
-Same answer as above.

I get frequent braxton hicks, especially when I'm super busy at work. I can't stop, drink water and lay down when I'm in the middle of hanging blood and fluids, contacting anesthesiologist and surgeons because my patient is unstable.
-It's ok to have braxton hicks. Even though the books all say to contact your doctor if you have more than 4 in an hour, it's ok as long as they aren't strong. You could have one per minute as long as they aren't strong.

Is it normal for the baby to have quieter days. Days where I don't feel him move much at all?
-As long as you feel him move 10 times in two hours than it's ok. If you don't feel him move 10 times in two hours, go to the hospital.

Sometimes it burns before I urinate, but not when I urinate or after. There is no blood in my urine.
-It is probably just the pressure of the baby on your full bladder. It's ok as long as you don't have painful urination, which would indicate a UTI.

I've been getting floaters in my vision for the last week. I took my blood pressure at work and it was normal.
-Monitor the floaters. If I have a headache with it, or high blood pressure notify the doctor.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Love Taps

The aching of my hips usually wakes me up between 8:30 and 9:30 in the morning. I usually try and reposition myself to find a comfortable position so that I can continue laying down. I don't like to get up, not even to pee if I can help it because little mister wakes up and starts moving around. It's those little love taps that I enjoy the most because they are the first ones of the day. When they slow I get up for breakfast and then put my feet up on the couch. He starts kicking again and I can just sit back and enjoy it. This little morning routine that is my favorite part of the day. Later I know that I'll be at work and my back will ache, I'll be busy and it will be difficult to feel him kick, His favorite place to kick while I'm at work is in my cervix, and besides being uncomfortable, it puts a lot of pressure in a place that I'd rather not be feeling pressure. I worry about incompetent cervix, so I'd like him to lay off it as he gets bigger. I asked him to kick me higher during our nightly conversation, and the next day (yesterday) he listened and kicked me high up in my abdomen. I still use my doppler when he's having quiet days, and it's reassuring and cute. He often pushes the doppler away or turns away from it. Back to my morning routine!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Riding the Hormonal Roller Coaster

It happened somewhere after 20 weeks. Suddenly, and without any warning, anything could make me cry. The Brain would just have to have an intonation in her voice and I'd be convinced she was mad at me and then there came the tears. It's my number one trigger these days. Last weekend when I was so upset that something might go wrong that I burst into tears because I'd realized I'd become crazy. Last night I watched the movie "A Little Bit of Heaven" and burst out into full on uncontrollable sobbing. We're talking crying like the protagonist was my close and personal friend. I even got a nosebleed from it. Why I thought watching a movie about a young woman (around my age) being diagnosed with terminal cancer and then finding love was a good idea..I have no clue. Then last night we tried perineal massage for the first time (as advised by my doctor). I felt vulnerable and uncomfortable, so the flood gates opened. This morning over breakfast I told the Brain about last nights strange dream. She told me she had a bad dream about us. I couldn't leave it at that so pried further until she told me that I had told her that I was leaving and taking our son with me. I burst into tears and sobs and told her I would never do that. And then lastly, I became overwhelmed looking through slow cooker recipes in order to pick out easy meals since I'm going back to work. I was looking through five ingredient recipes, it doesn't get much more simple yet I threw body dramatically on the table and declared it was too much. Yep... pregnancy hormones have taken over and gotten the best of me. Poor Brain...she hates to see me upset and always wants to make it better and she just keeps asking "What can I do to make you feel better? What do you need?" And the answer is always "I dunno." And...we have 17 more weeks of riding this hormonal roller coaster followed by the postpartum hormones.