The TL;DR version – I have been sans PC for a few months now, because we moved. We sold our condo and bought a house. Also The Crumb does not nap. She catnaps, but naps are not really her bag, baby. Which means I get nothing done during the day. And lastly, I have been dealing with a lot of mental and emotional baggage. Every time I begin a blog post, all that spews forth is anger and bitterness. Which is weird, because right now I am happier overall than I have been in years.
I’m hoping to catch up on all the news from you folks soon and get some of my own blogging in.
make no guarantees.
Now the rest of this story is probably going to get very fuzzy. The truth is, I don’t really remember much of what happened once my contractions started. I have a vague recollection of the sequence of events and a lot of this has been pieced together from what Milk has told me, and from my contraction timer on my iPod.
We started timing contractions. There’s an app for that! They were about five or six minutes apart, very intense, but once they faded, the back pain remained. Yup, even though the Littlest Hobo was positioned well, I was in back labour.
Here is a piece of advice. If you are about to go into labour, avoid eating one of your favourite meals, if you would like it to remain one of your favourite meals. I started throwing up. A lot. I will never be able to look at fried onions again. If I pass them on the street, I will fidget with my cellphone, and avoid eye contact. If they call out to me, I will pretend I didn’t hear them. Fried Onions will probably be confused, but if I keep up the silent treatment, eventually they will get the hint. They, along with fish eyeballs and Aero Mint (in what shall be forever known as The Maggot Incident – ’nuff said) are now on the list of foods I will probably never eat again if I can help it.
By 1:45, they were mostly three and a half minutes apart, lasting about a minute each. Occasionally they would slip back to six minutes, but on the whole, I couldn’t tell the difference between a contraction and my backache. The only difference in the level of pain was where it was located (everywhere) and what my brain was doing (nothing) and how many words I could get out (none).
Time started to do weird things. Milk asked when he should call the midwife again. I remember looking at the clock and saying “Twenty minutes?” (more numbers out my ass) He replied with “Okay, I’m calling the midwife now.” Just as I was about to yell at him – I freaking said twenty minutes, dammit! – I glanced at the clock and realised twenty minutes had actually passed.
We called the midwife just before 3am. She asked a few questions, but there was a “geez, first time parents” kinda edge to her voice. Finally, she decided she would pop over to our place and check on me. She was at our house by 3:20am, and watched me for a bit. She checked my cervix and said I was at 3cms. She gave me the option to either stay at home a bit longer, or go to the hospital.
The original birth plan I had in my head kinda went like this: Stay at home for as long as possible, go to hospital and do whatever is necessary to have a healthy baby. I probably could have hung out at our house for a while, but there were two reasons I decided to go to the hospital asap. Due to all the discomfort I had experienced during the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I hadn’t really done much around the house (okay, I hadn’t done much around the house the entire pregnancy, the slatternly housewife that I am) and I really didn’t want the midwife stepping in dust bunnies the size of a brown bear. That was the first reason.
The second reason was one of the comfort measures Milk and I had discussed: the whirlpool tub in the labour ward of the hospital. Wait, no, that should be ☆The Whirlpool Tub☆. In my mind, during the first few hours of back labour, I built ☆The Whirlpool Tub☆ into a magical, mystical, ‘mazing piece of awesomesauce that would take away all the aches and pains and would transport me to Cuba* where I would drink a Tom Collins, while lying in the sands, soaking up the sun.
After throwing on some clothes, I started the long walk to the car. Our garage isn’t connected to our house. It’s around the back of the building, maybe a 30 second walk when you’re not having your spine replaced with molten mercury. When you are, it’s a slow, agonizing shuffle that lasts infinity times a billion.
Driving to the hospital wasn’t fun either. The hospital is literally a five minute drive from our house. I briefly considered walking there as part of my birth plan, but Milk pointed out that it would be the middle of January, and where would the hospital bag go? Lucky I married the man before some other flake snagged him.
While he swears that he did 10km/h under the speed limit, to me, sitting on a towel in the backseat, it felt like I was on a roller-coaster built by someone who has had too many Monster Energy Drinks. Again, time warped like taffy in a taffy pulling machine and I swear I was in that car long enough to claim my pension. I was going to turn up at the hospital and give birth to a middle-aged matron.
*I’m Canadian. Cuba is our Hawaii or our Spain, but with rum.
When Milk asked me when he thought our baby would be born, I reached deep into my Feminine Intuition and pulled a random date out of my ass.* “January 8th”, I said. “Oh, you think you’ll go a week early?” “Yes”, I replied, with all the earnest conviction of someone bullshitting mightily. Our due date was January 14th.
So when week 38 rolled into week 39, and still no sign of baby, I assumed that my first baby would be late, as many first babies often are. On the morning of the 7th, I turned to Milk and said “Remember when I thought it would be the 8th of January? Yeah, not a chance.” He probably made some consoling remarks, but I couldn’t hear them over my own beluga whale-like squeaks as I attempted to roll out of bed.
That afternoon, we went to visit my sister. I had a constant, dull ache in my lower back. The 30 minute drive, however, exasperated the issue. By the time we got sis’ house, I was in agony. I assured her that I’d had back pain for weeks now, and really, all I had to do was get down on all fours and the Last Starfighter would rotate back around into position and I would feel better. I spent the visit kneeling over a chair with a heating pad on my back. After a while, I felt much better. The drive back home wasn’t as bad, but the pain still ramped up.
We had intended to go to dinner and a movie with K, Milk’s heterosexual life partner (ie: the best man at our wedding) that evening, but I decided to bail. My back was sore, and I didn’t relish the thought of sitting in an uncomfortable movie theatre chair for a couple of hours, even for the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law and homoerotic subtext. “You go,” I told Milk. “Spend some time with your buddy because once the baby gets here, movies will be a thing of the past.” Milk, being the paranoid worrier that he is, decided to skip the movie, just get dinner, and bring me take-out on the way to dropping K off at his house.
I went to bed early and spent some time reading, watching TV and generally having some quality Me time. Lying down eased the pain of my back considerably, and when Milk showed up, food in hand, I told him to go hang out at K’s house for a bit. I tucked into the takeout meal (my favourite from the restaurant where Milk and I had our first date). I only managed to eat half, and put the second half in the fridge for later.
Milk came home about an hour later, and I went to bed at 11pm. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out. He stayed up and read until midnight, then turned the light off and tried to get some sleep. Apparently it took him a while.
At 1am, I felt a pop in my pelvis, and a gush. I went from fast asleep to on my feet in about 0.0025th of a second, and ran around my side of the bed for a bit, leaking amniotic fluid everywhere. Yeah, I’m not the brightest spark in the bonfire when I’m suddenly woken up. Milk, hearing my panicked footsteps, goes, “Whaaaa?”, having just fallen asleep about 20 minutes ago. I froze, in mid-scarper, and said “My water just broke!”
After checking with me about half a dozen times that I was sure that it was my water, and not me peeing myself, Milk paged the midwife, while I attempted to not leak all over our tiny house. I had visions of our furniture being washed away in a flood of ewwwww. The younger of our cats remained fast asleep on the bed. His animal instincts are about as sharp as my feminine ones. I have no clue where the other cat was, but again, if the house ever caught on fire or if a burglar broke in, I doubt we could depend on the furry inhabitants of our house to step up and save the day.
The midwife called us back pretty much immediately, though she had been woken up from a solid sleep. She asked what the colour of the fluid was (clear), was there blood (yes, lots of pink blood), were there any contractions (none at all), any pain (nope) fever (nuh-uh). She determined that I was not in labour, and that labour would start some time in the next 24 hours. Since I wasn’t in pain, or having contractions, and since the waters were clear, I should take some Tylenol and perhaps a Gravol and try and get some sleep. If I had no signs of labour by the following evening, I would be induced.
Disappointed that we might have to wait an entire day, Milk and I went to bed, after doing some cleaning and putting a towel down.
At 1:15am, my contractions hit.
*Yes, I store my Feminine Intuition in my ass. That way, when Milk asks if I farted, I can respond with “No, no, that was my Feminine Intuition.”**
**Yup, my Feminine Intuition stinks. No gaydar, either.
BLOG NOTE 1: TRIGGER WARNING! I’m going to briefly touch on infant and child loss in this post. I know a lot of us are raw from what happened with Mo’s Nadav, so please proceed accordingly. If you don’t want to read this post, the summary is as follows: I was pregnant. I was in pain. The End. This is a pretty boring infodump post.
BLOG NOTE 2: I started this post weeks and weeks ago. I didn’t hit publish. Somehow I couldn’t bring myself to. I’m in this weird limbo place between being an infertile and being a mother, and I’m still trying to find the middle ground: that nice sunny patch in the garden of Mother Who Is Infertile. Zucchini, mulberries and gooseberries grow there. Butterflies flit through the warm summer air, under canopied oak trees. Ryan Gosling* is weeding the sweetpea with his shirt off.
However, it is silly not to blog. I started this blog to make sense of my infertility. I’m still trying to do that. Hence, I should still be blogging. I know you guys missed my cutting wit and debonair banter. Plus, pictures!
Since the Crumb is now officially over two weeks old**, I figure it’s time to update my blog. I’m going to do this in a few shifts, the first being about the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Like I mentioned in a previous post, I started prelabour pretty early (32 weeks). My mucous plug was slowly dropping out in gross gloobs of yucky (the scientific term), my back was killing me, my hips were killing me and I was starting to get actual contractions, not just Braxton Hicks. By around week 34 my midwife took a look at my list of symptoms and decided to warn me about going into labour at any time. She talked to me about steroid shots and how narrow my window was to get them. Eeep! We had the hospital bag packed and in the car, along with all our paperwork. Of course, it was around the holiday season, so we had a lot of traveling to do.
Around week 36, I had a day of regular contractions. Every 45 minutes apart, lasting about a minute, but the pain was very mild. I started to get excited. Yes, we were early, but it felt like all the uncomfortable symptoms meant that something was happening. I started watching Youtube videos of babies born at 36 weeks. WARNING: Don’t do this. It’s a recipe for having a nervous breakdown, because for every “this is our son Matteo who was born at 36 weeks and now is a happy five year old” there will be a video in remembrance of little Estelle who didn’t make it. If you really feel the need to put yourself through pain, self-flagellation with a rusty cat-o’-nine-tails is more humane. YouTube comments are a kiddie pool filled with the worst of humanity, but those videos made me want to wade in and reach out to those parents.
After a full day of contractions, I took some Tylenol, and went to bed, only to wake up the following morning without a single contraction. They had just stopped. Week 36 rolled onto Week 37. No more contractions. Occasionally, the Child-Like Empress would flip around, causing me intense back pain, but if I twisted myself into a pretzel, I could get her back into the correct position.
Christmas Day, I was 37 weeks along. We were at my in-law’s for the weekend, when I got a text message from my sister saying her son had been born that morning. Kid is going to get ripped off for presents. I’m guessing he’ll have to start a snow globe collection, and will have to learn to wear novelty sweaters featuring reindeer with good grace and panache.
At 38 weeks, my midwife finally felt okay about checking my cervix. She warned me that it might trigger labour, but I needed to know that something was happening. I was fully effaced (paper-thin) and 2cm dilated. The Time Lord was nice and low, and perfectly positioned for birth. Still, nothing happened from the examination, except even more discomfort. I spent a lot of time bouncing on my exercise ball as that was pretty much the only way to ease some of the pain in my pelvis and lower back.
I have to say that I’m thankful for the pain I experienced in the last few weeks of my pregnancy. It gave me focus. Somewhere along the line, I stopped freaking out. I stopped worrying about going into labour and giving birth and whether or not the Dragonborn would be fine, and instead I started to trust my body. It was preparing for this huge event, whether or not I was mentally or emotionally ready for it, so I might as well let go and let my body do what it knew to do, without my input. I figured after all that waiting and wishing, all those long hard months of not knowing whether or not I would ever get pregnant, it was just a matter of waiting few more weeks.
My midwife set my induction date, just in case.
*”Hey, girl. If I plow your south field, we could plant some watercress and fight the patriarchy while knitting a scarf.”
**The Crumb is now over seven weeks old. Old blog post is old.
I hope everyone is ready for The End of the World (as I know it, at least)…
The Crumb was born January 8th, at 39w1d. The above picture makes her look like a wannabe rapper, but I think the sun shines out of her poopy little butt.
I’m hoping once I figure this breast feeding stuff out, I will be able to do a proper series of posts on how awesome it is to be able to drink beer again.
And, you know, how the birth went and how motherhood is treating me.*
*Hint: it took me around 12 hours to write this post, and I’m currently finishing it up, one-handed, on my iPod, at 4am, trying to avoid waking the person lying on my arm. I’m mostly naked and my hoohah hurts. It’s either a frat party or I’ve just found heaven, and her diaper needs changing….
Hey, Faithful Readers
Contrary to popular belief, Jon Bon Jovi and I aren’t dead. I have just been stricken with a really bad case of pregnancy-related Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and since I have edema now, it’s gotten a lot worse. This is what I look like when I attempt to use my hands:
Here is a whiny update on me life:
- Currently 37w6d pregnant
- Baby dropped at 32w
- Last fibroid ultrasound at 34w came back clear. They can’t find Kermit (the fibroid under my placenta), so they think it won’t be an issue during labour.
- Iron levels have risen, but combined with fibroids, I might be at risk for post-partum bleeding.
- Pre-labour has started. I’m pretty much spotting every day now. Only time I have ever been happy to see spotting.
- Am currently having a lot of pelvic and back discomfort as my pelvis opens up. To the lady who found my blog by searching for “I am pregnant with twins and cannot walk“, I feel your pain. There is no position – sitting, standing, lying down – that isn’t guaranteed agony. I am ready for this baby to be born. Whenever you’re ready, kid.
- Sister had her baby boy, born Christmas Day. He has spent the past week or so in the hospital while they monitor him. He is full term, but had a few minor health issues they wanted to watch. Today, Milk and I get to meet him for the first time and we will be driving them home.
- Despite the whiny nature of this post, I am actually very happy and excited to meet the Fifth Equestrian of the Apocalypse.
I am hoping that the swelling in my wrists and hands goes down fairly quickly after the birth, so I can start blogging and commenting again. I do read your blogs, though, so I am keeping up with the news.
Now I have to go put my wrist braces on, and fade back into the ether like a ninja.
A waddly penguin ninja.