Saturday, October 30, 2010

The end of an era...

Well, this is officially the last post as a pregnant woman. I haven't quite accepted that yet. Though, I'm very ready to see my baby and end the pregnancy, I am very anxious about how she'll get here.

For the last few months, she has been growing ahead of schedule. These last few weeks, Doc has been monitoring her twice a week to make sure she isn't in any distress. She's been fine, but her ultrasounds have shown that she is very large. Well, after much consideration, I have decided to induce. So, this Monday, November 1st, I will be a mom to a baby girl, Maggie Melissa Conner.

It was a tough decision, but it made me feel good to make it. It did actually decrease the anxiety that I was having, which at times was nearly paralyzing. I even convinced myself that she would come this weekend, now that she has a deadline. It doesn't look like that's going to happen. While I have been having contractions, nothing has been steady.

I am tired. I have been resting, not washing ceilings or anything. But, I'm still tired. My body is a freak show. Haha. I consider myself lucky that all these weeks and months have gone by and I have had very little to complain about. I haven't suffered any back pain, leg cramps, lack of sleep or incontinence. I was able to work until this past Tuesday. I haven't been too uncomfortable to drive or eat. That was until these last 2 or 3 weeks. Now, nothing I have experienced in the last 3 weeks has been intolerable, but I guess I was spoiled to the normalcy I had been feeling.

I haven't been sleeping as well as I was before. I toss and turn to get comfortable and get up to pee about 4 times a night, but that's not so bad.

I even had a little twinge in my lower back for a few weeks that hindered my ability to lay flat on my back. Well, that only happened at the doctor's office, so that wasn't a problem either.

The largest problem has been my stomach. No pun intended. Nothing else grew on my body. I have the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This is been my downfall. What has caused my greatest discomfort.

There is a huge physical change that occurs in your abdomen while you're pregnant. Most prominently, the diastisis recti. In the non-pregnant anatomy, your rectus abdominus (the 6 pack) bellies are neatly stacked parallel to each other. In the pregnant anatomy, as the uterus grows, the abdominal muscles separate to allow for expansion. The larger the uterus, the larger the separation. That's why no one should believe the Octo-mom when she says her abdominal muscles went back to the way they were before she had a litter of 8 children - without medical intervention. Google it. It's a freak show.

The rectus abdominus is a large muscle, spanning from the base of your sternum all the way to your pubic bone. My diastisis recti has been pulling mercilessly at the attachment on the pubic bone. It HURTS. I can't stay idle for too long because using my abs to get up or lift my legs after a period of rest is very uncomfortable.

Other than that complaint, my overwhelming anxiety has been my biggest challenge. I tell myself every day that women all over the globe go through this and they all have their fears and worries, and it all turns out ok. Then, I think of pushing a child through my vagina.

Well, enough about the bad's the good stuff!

I have packed my bags and am ready for the hospital. I brought like 8 outfits to put Maggie in. Just in case. :)

The house is on its way to being clean - thank you, Jackie, in advance for your help.

My marriage hasn't imploded from my anxiety. In fact, Mike and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary last weekend. He took me and my Great Pumpkin out to dinner. It was wonderful. The food was incredible and we had a nice, private table.
He also surprised me with jewelery. A matching necklace/earring set. He's got a good eye for stuff I'll like. :) Then, we watched Cain Velasquez become the first Latino UFC Heavyweight champion, beating out Brock Lesnar. It was like baby Jesus himself had a hand in making our anniversary perfect.

I am almost done organizing Maggie's room. It's not much. Just putting clothes where they belong. No big deal there.

I'm on the edge of the cliff, about to jump. Before I do, let's take a look back at the many months of pregnancy and the progression of the Great Pumpkin.

I threw in a shot of me doing the laundry last night, from the rear. Just to brag that I don't look pregnant from EVERY angle. :)

The next blog post will be about my tuned....this baby has finished brewing!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Too much paranoia....

Yeah, yeah, I know I posted yesterday, but I've been saving up some good stuff for the last month.

On our September 14th ultrasound, Doc measured her up, and calculated that she was 5lbs 4oz. At 32 weeks, that put her about 2lbs larger than most babies her age. It explained a lot. Mainly, why people are constantly telling me how huge I am. Now, at least I can blame it on the baby!

Well, that news started a little fire. A little fire of anxiety. Most babies gain about 1/2lb each week in the womb during the 3rd trimester. So, I calculate that at this time, she weighs 7lbs, 2oz, which means by her due date, she would weigh 10lbs, 2oz. Whoa. I mean, seriously? All along, I've had this idea that I would want a natural childbirth. But, do I want to naturally push out a 3 month old??? So, I start to panic. What if Doc wants to induce early? What if I actually make it til the due date and she's huge and gets stuck (shoulder dystocia)and I have to have a C-section?? What if, what if, what if??? I get heart palpitations writing this.

Well, no sense in getting too scared, right? Talk to me after you push out a 10 pound baby out of your vag.

Luckily, Doc wants at least one more ultrasound, and we're going next week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that her growth has slowed and that she's not reaching Godzilla-type proportions in there.

And, save your faces. Don't tell me how huge I am. No more free passes. I will claw out your eyes.

Just the whole delivery process in general is giving me serious anxiety. I thought that if I educated myself to all possible scenarios, watched videos, read the books, took the classes that I would be more ready. I am ready, don't get me wrong, but I don't know if I'm ready ready. It's this huge event that I can only prepare so much for. The rest is out of my hands, and I have a hard time accepting that. Who's a control freak?? ME! Just ask anyone who helped me plan my wedding. My way or the highway, even if I wasn't Bridezilla, I was still very adamant on how I wanted it to be. I never compromised my vision.

Birth isn't like that. You have to give in. Go with the flow. Meditate. Relax.


As if that wasn't enough, there's the different viewpoints, family traditions, historical data and styles of parenting. I think I've found something that I truly like and believe in. It's called Attachment Parenting. It's like the opposite of how most of us were raised in the Dr. Spock era. Now, for all you baby-boomer Mommas out there, this is NOT an attack on how you raised us. I just like this new philosophy. In 30 years, they'll have Detachment Parenting, or Umbilical Parenting or Conjoined Parenting or some such nonsense and my daughter will be schooling me.

Among other things, Attachment Parenting advocates babywearing. Simple explanation, the closer baby is to mom/dad, the more confident she becomes in her "need signals" and therefore grows up to be a more independent child. One of the ways you can wear your baby is with a sling.

The sling has always made me nervous, so instead, I registered for a carrier.

Well, the more I read in my book about the sling, I decided that it is a must have item for my little baby and I to have a good relationship. As I'm reading about the benefits of sling-wearing, I get to the "HOW TO" section. I'm reading up,looking at the pictures, all the while my heart is beating faster and faster. I have successfully stressed myself out reading about how to put a baby in a sling. Well, the directions are written half in Latin and half in some physics language I can't understand. All I know is that I'm not smart enough to successfully put my baby in the sling without serious damage to her neurological function.

So, I email my friend Joan. She's a lawyer. She's smart enough.

And, boy, am I glad I did. She did not disappoint! She sent me links from YouTube that demonstrate how to put the baby in the sling, and no Latin or Physics was involved. Some regular lady put her baby in a sling with no diving, flipping or triple salchows.

Joan, thank you. The anxiety is still there, but at least I have the self-confidence again to at least give it a shot! :)

As the delivery of my baby nears, I'm getting very anxious to meet her. I'm very ready. I dream about breast-feeding some kid (and sometimes animal) every night. The nursery is done. All of her laundry is clean. I'm packing her hospital bag tonight. Mine too. I'm not sure there's anything left for me to do but wait.

And, in the words of Tom Petty: "Waaai-aaai-tin is the hardest part."

Friday, October 8, 2010

The finish line approaches....

Seems like nothing and everything has been happening. We've had a busy month!

Isabella turned 3! I'm sure she had an incredible birthday. I mean, it lasted more than a week! It started with Mimi coming down to the Bayou for Labor Day and lots of arts and crafts and "getting away with murder" occurred. I'm exaggerating, but Izzy sure does love her Mimi. The following (her actual birthday) weekend, she had a party at Chuck E Cheese. And, even though she was scared witless of the big mouse, she had a great time dancing, playing, slurping down cake icing and reveling in all the attention. At home after the party, as her father and I tried to figure out how to get her toys out of the boxes (it's like safe-cracking), she sat on the couch, surrounded by Disney Princess Barbies, eyes drooping, very content. When it was time to go to bed, she didn't even argue. Just grabbed Belle and headed upstairs. She was pooped!
The next day, her daddy and I went to Academy and bought her a swing set!

She spent some of that day with her mom, so we had the set partially assembled when she got home. After we finally convinced her it was a swing set, she ran up to her daddy, wrapped her arms around his legs and said "OH MY GOD! Daddy, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!" Daddy was smart and gave credit where credit was due, and informed her that it was my idea, so I got big hugs and loves too. :)

Well, that was the end of the lovelies. All hell broke loose very shortly after. In the form of poop. Yes, poop. And we all know how I feel about poop. Especially 3 year old poop.

Poor girl, this story may haunt her for the rest of her life. Briefly, there were 3 outfits involved and waay too much Clorox.

Her and I were sitting on a blanket, watching Daddy put the finishing touches on the swing set. Izzy never seemed uncomfortable, but suddenly she was very sad. I asked her what was wrong and she said that she couldn't tell me. I was confused. Since when does a 3 year old know how to keep secrets. So, I switch modes, letting her know that it was ok and that she could tell me anything. That didn't work either, she still had her head down, and she couldn't tell me. Then, I got a whiff. I asked her if she poopooed in her panties and she said yes. So, very calmly, we went in and cleaned her all up. It wasn't pleasant, but it was very quick and calm. That was the last time I could use the word calm to describe this evening.

We go back outside, and I tell her to help daddy because I have to start dinner. I tell her to tell her dad if she has to poop again. She was cool with that. So, now in outfit #2, she heads over to her daddy and I go to begin dinner. She had this "sign" that happened when she was about to poop that night....quick crawfishing into the garage. I'm not sure why she picked that, but it happened. I hear crying and I go out and she's upset, so I know she pooped again. So, I inform Daddy that it's his turn, and we all go into the bathroom, where Mike promptly begins taking off the dirty panties. I see this all going down, but there's nothing I can do to stop it. The poop begins to fall out of the panties, backwards onto the floor. On it's way down, it takes a detour down Izzy's leg. This is where the fun begins. Izzy doesn't like to get dirty. She will use 25 napkins at a meal to avoid anything being anywhere. So, she was HORRIFIED to have POOP on her leg. She starts wailing. Mike is prostrate. She gets plopped on the toilet, where the wailing gets worse. Round #2 comes to a close. Two pairs of panties are now in the trash, the poop has been cleaned from all parts and the floor. We put on her favorite PJs and she and daddy go back outside to play on the newly finished swing set, again telling her to let daddy know if she has to poopoo.

Thinking that she couldn't possibly poop anymore, I continue cooking and Mike and her get some play time in. I take some pictures and go back inside. Very shortly after, I hear "I HAVE TO POO! I HAVE TO POO!" and Mike comes running inside, Isabella tucked under his arm like a football. Well, the effort was valiant, but too late. Mike doesn't know this yet, but I do. He pulls down her pants, and all I see is poop, but his only interest is to get her on the potty and doesn't check for poop. The next thing happened in slow motion. As he's putting her on the potty, her panties stick the the toilet, poo side out. I try to stop him, but it's too late. My toiled got stamped, and stamped hard with that poop. But, being the wonderful husband that he is, he listens to me and pulls her away from the toilet again, but only after the entire front had been coated with a layer of poop. At that point, all I could do was laugh, grab a roll of paper towels and the Clorox.

The rest is history. Isabella got a bath, we all ate dinner, and kept our fingers crossed that our evening of poop was over. Thankfully, it was.

Unfortunately, Isabella seemed to have some more anxiety about pooping and gave a repeated performance for her teacher and mommy in the days to follow. No offense guys, but glad it wasn't me.

Fate intervened and we were able to keep Izz for the majority of the month of September. This past week, she pooped THREE times all by herself. I had to "instigate" it by pretending to poop myself once, but it WORKED, and poop ON THE POTTY followed. Hopefully, we'll never have an evening like the evening of her third birthday. It was memorable. For sure.

Luckily, the weather is getting mild enough for her to actually PLAY with her new swing set. One evening, I was at work, and Mike and Izz were playing outside. She had brought one of her Princesses outside to swing and slide with her. She took such good care of her Barbie, carefully holding her on the swing so she wouldn't fall down or mess up her hair. Izzy gently placed her on the seesaw so Barbie and daddy could seesaw together. Barbie even got a ride down the slide. Izzy was so sweet and took care of her little friend while they were playing. Mike said, at that point, Izzy saw a mosquito and proceeded to smack that mosquito to heaven with her Barbie's perfectly coiffed head. Afterward, she smoothed her dress and her hair and asked her Daddy was he was laughing so hard. What does Izzy hate more than getting dirty? Bugs.

I could tell stories about that child all day....she's the funniest thing I've ever met.

Two days after Izz's birthday, we had an ultrasound. And, for the first time in 32 weeks, we legitimately got to see our baby's privates. The first thing I saw when Dr. Russell put the US wand on my belly was a nunee! No doubt about it, we're having a girl. All I remember is feeling this weight lift off me. I didn't realize how I had stressed not knowing what was in there. I couldn't wait....I immediately went to Old Navy and bought some clothes!

Now that we know it's a girl, there's the process of naming the baby. Naming a human is difficult. I will admit that I cause most of that difficulty. I do not want to name my child anything in the top 100 names, but I also don't want to name her something that she'll get made fun of for, either. I do some research, and nothing is really grabbing me. Luckily, I have Mike. In one evening, he had read the entire "girl" section of the baby names book and written down about a dozen that he liked.

Well, there's one we like, but we're not telling. :) p.s. If we told you, keep it a secret!

As if that week couldn't get any busier, that Saturday, I had my shower. I think I had the best shower on the planet, but I'm sure most new mommies feel that way.
I had some great food (desserts!), great company and a nice haul to help me get my life in order before my baby comes!

I finished up September with a couple of 40 hour work weeks, which led to some tears and exhaustion, but got through it. After, I had an entire week off with NOTHING to do, NO responsibilities for Blue Cliff College. There was a whole lotta nothing happening that week.

Well, we did start our Prepared Childbirth classes. I was really worried that I was going to be delivering my baby on a bail of hay in a barn. Let me explain. I have made up my mind several times over that because I live in Houma, and I was unable to find birthing classes that fit my "birth personality" that the hospital I will be delivering in was some backwoods, 1950s era death trap. Well, since I've been attending classes, I feel much much better about my options. Houma isn't THAT far down the bayou. Seems like I will be given many options for labor and delivery and no one will really look at me all that crazy since I'm not going "the norm".

These last few weeks have been stressful. For me, and our little family, but thankfully, things are looking up. I mean, in about 5 weeks, we will be welcoming a brand new addition! So, despite some of the curve balls we've been thrown in the last 10 or so days, things truly are looking up.

Even if I can't see my toes anymore.