So, I’m at 32w3d now. And because paranoia and fear have been my constant companions on this journey, I am worrying just a weeeeeee bit about the spotting I noticed this morning.
A very soft, delicate hue of peachy-orange, like a bad throwback to the early 90s on my TP.
Fortunately, I have a midwife appointment tomorrow and I will get her to check out my cervix and make sure that it’s all nicely sealed up. This is the second spotting in the past week.
I’m fairly certain that the spotting is from the Creeping Menace suddenly deciding to drop or “lighten”* straight onto my cervix, which means I now have a baby head in my pelvis. A few frantic Google searches later, I did learn that the lightening doesn’t always mean that labour is on its way. Sometimes it just means you have a baby who likes to fuck with your head.
When she dropped, I experienced the following:
- Waking up and wondering why my bump was so much smaller (it wasn’t, it was just lower)
- Which of course meant that I had accidentally given birth while asleep (I hadn’t)
- Which of course meant that I had to spend ten minutes frantically searching the bed for any signs of premature baby (yes, I’m not very bright first thing in the morning)
- And then I had to pee (more so that usual)
- Which of course I couldn’t do because I now have a baby sitting on my urethra, giggling like a little maniac (thanks, baby)
- And then, intense back pain as the Whirling Dervish decided to position herself in the posterior position (ie: facing forward, with her giant, bulbous head*** positioned in my lower back). Head! Move!
Fortunately, pretty much every pregnancy book I have has a section about dealing with back pain caused by posterior babies. My balance ball has been a blessing.
I had my second Growth Scan last week as well. The tech was completely different from the last tech I had. She barely spoke to me, though we did have one longish conversation. Randomly, after about five minutes of complete silence:
Her: You know, the girls and I were just talking about this at lunch.
Me: Errr, I beg your pardon?
Her: Babies. We were talking about babies.
Me: Oh, yes?
Her: And how there are too many people having babies in this world.
Me: … [guilt]
Her: [goes off for a few minutes about how the world is overpopulated and people should stop having babies]
Me: … [extreme guilt]
Her: [seven billion people, resources, blah blah blah, how my child won’t be able to get a job, etc, etc]
Me: … [fighting back tears]
Her: I don’t have any kids, though, so I don’t really know anything about this sort of stuff.
Me: … [wishing I was elsewhere]
Me: … [daydreaming about claymores]
Her: [to herself] Aw, the little feet are sooooo cuuuuuuuuuute!
Seriously? Who does this? She didn’t offer any pictures and in all honesty, I didn’t want to ask her for anything, either.
I’ll find out the results of my scan tomorrow, though one piece of information she did provide was that Little Tyrant weighed just over 4lbs!!! I know that’s just an estimate, but still, I know about 85% of that is head.
* Between the “lightening” and the “quickening” going on in this pregnancy, I feel like I have the cast of The Highlander film in my uterus. I’m picturing people exclaiming “Oh, my! You’re so big! Are you sure you’re not having twins! Hurr hurr hurr!” and me responding by brandishing my claymore and yelling “Nae! There ken ainly be one!” and lopping off their heads. Head! Move! I blame the hormones**.
** I blame the hormones, but in actuality, I know it’s all me.
*** Milk’s mother has taken great relish in mentioning how, although he was a fairly small baby, he had a giant head. It’s true. The man has a massive cranium. His hats are like row boats. I’m hoping that while he will pass down his adorable dimples, the melon gene skips this child. Head! Move!
For Mo, a little Photoshop Magic!
This is what happens when I don’t get enough sleep.
So, it will come as a complete lack of surprise to anyone in the AIL community that Michelle Duggar is pregnant again. Seriously, if any one is surprised, I’d like to shake your hand because somehow, through this entire mess, you’ve managed to keep your naivety and sense of wonder. I bet you think Mickey Mouse is a real
person mouse too, and lives in Disney Land in incestuous bliss with his sister wife, Minnie.
As for the Duggars, as much as I like to riff on them, the truth is, I wish them all the luck in the world. It can’t be easy raising 20 kids (even if the older
ones girls are raising the younger ones), living all on top of each other like that (even in a giant house), with that many mouths to feed (even with a lucrative TV show that pays the bills). Do I agree with the lifestyle they lead? No, of course not. Do I think their daughters are being raised to be good little mommies and not given much other choice? Yes, I totally do. Do I think they are raising kids who don’t have that close familial bond with their parents that the older kids might have had a chance to foster? Yepperoo!
The thing is, I don’t have to support their lifestyle. I just have to support their right to make choices. Michelle and Jim-Bob Duggar don’t owe us an explanation. They don’t owe us an apology for what they have chosen to do with their family, and specifically with Michelle’s body. They don’t owe us an explanation of how they raise their kids. Just as I don’t owe them an explanation of what I’ve chosen to do with my own body. I’m sure there are things I have done that would horrify them and take the curl right out of Michelle’s perfectly coiffed hair.
I can criticize what they have chosen to do, because they have gone public with their story, just as I can be criticized by my own blog readers for going public with my story. That’s how free speech works. I say something, and if you don’t agree with me, you get to tell me so. And then we fight it out on a narrow ledge over a pit of scorpions, while dramatic music plays. Of course you will lose, because I graduated magna cum* laude from the University of Pit Fighting. And I cheat.
However, I can’t find it in my heart to say that Michelle and Jim-Bob don’t have a right to as many kids as they freaking feel like. Because I would like to think that I have a right to as many freaking kids as I would like, even if that number is two or possibly three if Milk and I are celebrating our anniversary and we get a bit drunk on champagne and forget the condom**.
Her choices are not choices I would make, and my choices are not necessarily choices that she would make. If my choices of what I’m doing with my body are to be valid, Michelle Duggar’s choices should be just as valid. We are both choosing to have children. Her number is just a bit higher than mine. I can’t say that she and Jim-Bob should stop in their quest to have kids, because where is the line that says Milk and I should stop in our own quest to have kids?
I don’t have to like their choices, but I do have to support them, because that’s how it works.
*heh heh, cum
*Because fffffft, yah, that’s how babies are made!
Last night I dreamt I was in an infertility musical on Broadway. I can’t remember all the details, but when I woke up, the following lyrics were flowing through my mind:
I am the beautiful reflection
Of my RE’s dedication
A walking illustration
Of his medication*
Yeah. I know.
*If you don’t get the reference, this might help. Just skip to 3:10.
So the ultrasound went pretty well. My tech was super chatty and nice and let me know that all the measurements seemed to be correct to her, so baby is growing as it should. She was also training a student tech, and it was the first time I’ve ever been scanned by a man since starting this roller-coaster ride of
resentment and bitterness infertility.
I say “man”, but truth be told, he looked to be about 15-years-old and was terrified to touch me. He also wielded the wand like he was trying to scoop very frozen ice-cream out of my belly. Fortunately, no dildocam. While I was pretty laid back about having a male student there, I dunno if my sluttiness extends far enough to have a strange man fishing around in my Cave of Wonders in the name of science.
The female tech did most of the driving, and she showed us pretty much every internal organ of our girl. She also confirmed for Milk that yes, The Growing Menace is in fact, still a girl. He’s been a bit terrified that he’s been cooing at his baby girl, when it turns out he actually has a son. It’s not so much the cooing that’s the issue. The man will babytalk any small human, and often small animals, too. I think it’s more that he’s coming to terms with the idea of being a parent, and specifically a parent to a little girl, who has, unfortunately, inherited my chin, though the nose is up for debate. Knowing the sex of our fetus has made it all a bit more real for him. Whereas with me, the endless kicking at Miss Piggy has sealed the deal. The kid hates that fibroid as much as I do. High-five! Let the female bonding begin!
I will admit, though, for a brief, irrational moment, when the tech was showing some strange man our daughter’s nether regions, I wanted to ask her to scan her ovaries and uterus. To check for any signs of PCOS. To check her tubes, and make sure everything was as it should be. To make sure that she won’t suffer as I have. Every fetal development website I’ve read has always gone on and on about how, between Week 14 and Week 18, your baby girl is growing her ovaries and uterus, and the eggs that will one day be my future grandchildren! I want to ask “Can you put that in writing for me?”
Part Two of the growth ultrasound has been scheduled 2 weeks after this first one. I’ve also got my appointment with Dr. Hellooo Nurse coming up, plus our prenatal classes. The next few weeks are going to be hectic, especially as we head into the holidays. To be honest, I’m looking forward to the distraction of being too busy to think.
First off, my WordPress subscriptions have been acting a bit weirdly, and I haven’t been getting notifications of updates for a few blogs. So I’m a bit behind on my reading/commenting on certain blogs. Anyone else having this issue?
Secondly, tomorrow I have the first of my two growth ultrasounds to check on Baby Buttkicker* and how she’s growing. This is a routine ultrasound that was scheduled months ago by Dr. Hellooo Nurse** to check that Kermit the Frog*** (the fibroid under my placenta) hasn’t gotten to the point where it’s interfering with fetus growth. Tomorrow’s ultrasound will be followed by a second one in two weeks to compare and contrast.
To be honest, I’m really scared of what these ultrasounds will reveal. I feel like things are going too well, and Fate is waiting to bite me in the ass with fanged mouth. I know this is a manufactured fear. Things are going well, and thus, my asshole brain, which has become addicted to fear and panic, has decided to create drama where there is none. Bulldust, I say! Bulldust and poppycock! I refuse, Brain, you hear me? You can’t make me! I remain defiant in the face of your fear-mongering and general shit-disturbing!
I’m feeling a bit more positive about actually getting through this pregnancy without losing my shit (more than I already have, I mean). Oh, I still live with the fear that this is going to be taken away from me. I think I’ve just learned how to manage it a bit better. I think I’m starting to accept that I can worry and fuss and cry and wail and weep, and this pregnancy is simply going to go the way it was always going to go. Nothing I feel will change the outcome, so why spend that much energy on negativity and pain?**** I need to store up energy for the labour and delivery, and all those sleepless nights coming up where I will do nothing but clutch the baby monitor with white knuckles to listen for the quiet inhalation-exhalation-inhalation. It’ll be like watching my panties for spotting, but will involve a living human being who is not my husband (seriously, don’t ask).
*Omg, I am such a dweeb!
****Disclaimer: Of course, I say this, but I am struggling with this idea of letting go quite a bit. I know in theory what I want to do, but in practice, well, I’ve had more practice being an emotional wreck than I have being a stoic, fulfilled human being. Guess which path is easier?
I’m officially in the third trimester now. Hurrah! More good news: I passed my Glucose Tolerance Test! Apparently feeling like death warmed over is not a sign of gestational diabetes. I also passed my second liver enzyme test! I’ll take it! However, my iron levels are spectacularly low. So low, in fact, that an anesthesiologist might actually refuse to perform an epidural on me during labour. Plus, it puts me at risk for bleeding post birth. I have to take cherry-flavoured cough syrup (okay, iron therapy suspension) twice a day until my levels rise back to a normal zone. In an effort to help my levels rise faster, I’ve cut out my ranitidine pill temporarily. Ranitidine is a stomach acid inhibitor, and it’s the only thing keeping me from the most awful heartburn in the world. Considering it’s only been one day and I’ve already had a few flareups, I don’t see this plan lasting long.
We’ll also get to see Disco Fetus again next week, as our midwife is following Dr. Hellooo Nurse’s instructions and ordering a series of ultrasounds to see what the Womb Worm is up to and how she’s growing. Next week’s ultrasound is going to be followed by another one two weeks later, and then possibly a third one, in another two weeks.
I feel like three major headaches have been removed from my plate after visiting with the midwife. The first two being the cholestasis and the gestational diabetes. The third is something I didn’t really blog about. About ten days ago, I had a major depressive episode. Milk confessed to me something regarding our relationship that at any other time I probably would have agreed with him. The man makes sense when he talks. Unfortunately, I had my Depression Ears on. What he actually said was “I feel like I need XYZ right now” and what I heard was “You suck, what’s the point of you?”
This just triggered a massive depressive episode that I just spiraled into, deeper and deeper. I haven’t had a major episode in at least ten years. Oh, I’ve had a few minor ones here and there. The kind where you struggle, but you somehow get out of bed anyways, and fumble through until the Dark Fog dissipates, usually anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Nothing I couldn’t ever handle.
However, anyone who has ever had major depression knows that when you are majorly depressed, the best parts of you get replaced with a sort of sinister, creeping goo, designed to only think negative thoughts. I wasn’t quite expecting to have such a serious episode after ten years, though. It caught me by surprise.
I’m not proud of the things I thought about myself, but I have thought those thoughts before, and I know they come from an unnatural place, and it was nothing new. What I wasn’t expecting were the negative thoughts I had about the Uterine Shipment. Guilt is not good for depression, and since then, I’ve felt a pretty good dose of it. Logically, I know that those thoughts aren’t real and they are not a true reflection of my feelings, but I can’t shake the hurt and guilt they caused.
On the plus side, though, I pretty much only spent that one day seriously depressed. By the time I woke up the next morning, I was feeling a lot better. Within a few days, I was back to normal, which surprised me, since major depressive episodes tend to stick around like bad house guests.
I did tell Milk, a few days after the fact. Unfortunately, I kinda used shorthand when talking with him about it. “Oh, I had a depressive episode and I thought the thoughts one thinks when one isn’t thinking properly.” It kinda blindsided him when, at the midwife appointment, she asked me what exactly I had thought about, and I told her. Something else Milk needs: A wife who doesn’t assume that since pretty much everyone she knows has had depression at one time or another, that Milk would get the shorthand.
Just talking to the midwife helped ease my mind. I felt like if I needed help, she would get it to me. She also made me do a mood assessment questionnaire. I scraped by with a very low pass. Which surprised me. In all honesty, I feel better now than I did at the beginning of this year, when I was struggling with my infertility diagnosis. I feel like I’ve come so far since then. I feel like I’m on the road to healing my heart and mind, and the little kicky Bundle of Benevolence has helped with that quite a bit (but the largest portion of healing has definitely come from this blog).
That questionnaire showed me how broken I am in reality. I’ve spent the last few years comparing myself to the myself of the last few years. Those last few years haven’t been the most healthy ones, though. Sure, I’m doing better than I was six months ago, but am I really doing better than I was six years ago?
The answer is no. Six years ago, I was really, really happy with my life. I lived downtown, where there was always something to see. I walked everywhere. I read a ton of library books (that weren’t all escapist junk). I went out with my friends a lot (most of whom have moved out of town now). I cooked. I danced. I baked. I had hobbies. I had self-confidence.
Long, crappy hours at work, combined with my Very Serious Illness and the infertility has robbed me of the person I used to be.
Yet, slowly, I seem to be regaining some interest in my former life. I broke out my fabric and sewing machine and sewed a little case for my MP3 player. I took photographs at the park. I did a rough plot outline for Nanowrimo this year. It feels like I’m slowly waking up again after a long winter spent hibernating. The cold hasn’t passed yet, but I can smell spring in the air.
It kinda makes me excited to see what sort of person my daughter will be when she is born, but also what sort of person I will be.