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I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head about our recent loss.
Most of the time, I think I just feel plain sad and upset about the situation and missing the things I “should” be doing. Today I saw a cute “Big Bro” shirt on sale at a local store. It had long-sleeves and would have been perfect for Colton to wear, if we were still having a November baby. I thought about buying it, but then I felt like there was no point – Colton probably won’t need long-sleeves by the time we have a new baby.
But then, I remembered I parked in the “Stork Parking” spot at a local grocery store. I had to run in to buy yogurt, and all the spots near either entrance were full. Then I saw the Stork spot, open. I thought, “hey, I’m pregnant, not very pregnant and not visibly pregnant, but I’m pregnant. It counts.” So I parked there. And I remembered it today, and I was happy I did something in that short pregnancy that was “normal,” something I’d be doing at a later point in pregnancy.
I bought a pair of maternity pants this week. I was browsing Ann Taylor Loft’s maternity section, not because I’m a glutton for punishment, but because I have a coupon from them and will get a $20 gift card from them for my birthday next month. I don’t want to use them to buy regular clothes that won’t fit me when I’m pregnant again, so I thought I’d use them to get some good maternity staples. So, I was browsing to see what options they had. And then I found a pair of $70 corduroy pants, in my favorite cut, on sale for $14, with an additional 40% off. Now, normally clearance clothes are size 000 or something that almost no one can wear. These, were in my size. When my husband came home, I told him I just HAD to buy them. Bless him, he just said, “you need to do this don’t you? Do it if it will make you feel better.” So I bought them, and they are en-route to me now. It may seem strange, but to me buying those pants is like me saying, “I believe I will be pregnant again, and I will be pregnant long enough to need maternity pants.” Those pants represent my hope.
And then, sometimes, I feel like my pregnancy was a waste of time. I hate that I feel that way, but I do. If I hadn’t gotten pregnant at the end of February, I could have gotten pregnant at the end of March, or get pregnant at the end of this month. Maybe I wouldn’t have had a miscarriage then. And I’d be closer to actually having a newborn than I am now. And then I feel terrible and awful and think what I really want is to be pregnant now.
People have told me, and I’ve read, that most miscarriages that happen before 8 weeks occur due to a severe chromosomal abnormality that would have prevented the baby from developing properly. Isn’t a healthy baby better than one that will die shortly after birth or be severely handicapped and have a poor quality of life? Logically, maybe. And I can handle people telling me that now, and I can sort of see their point, but in the middle of all this, I wanted that baby, and I would have taken whatever having that baby meant.
I actually found a great online resource today, pregnancyloss.com. I’ve been doing a lot of looking for something like this for a while now, and I’m so glad to have stumbled upon it. Seriously, good information about what to expect following a miscarriage has been hard to find.
I was pregnant. Until I wasn’t.
Today, I should be going for my very first ultrasound, seeing our baby for the first time, and excitedly telling people about my pregnancy. Instead, I’m looking forward to my bloodwork on Friday and finding out if my hormone levels have returned to normal.
It’s been over a week since I found out for sure we lost the baby, two weeks today that I suspected that might be happening. The past two weeks have been so very hard, scary when I didn’t know what exactly was happening or what to expect, then just hard in so many ways. But my husband really stepped up to the plate and took care of Colton for an entire week while I laid in bed. Friends brought us meals, and two great ladies sent me a “box of love” with various special things for me to enjoy. Colton is also the greatest toddler ever, and I am so very, very thankful he’s around.
I’m expecting today to be hard. And other days like my estimated due date and Christmas, when we’ll have one child when we would have had two. But, I am also confident that things will get better. Eventually, I’ll be pregnant again and eventually we’ll have another child.
But waiting is hard, until then.
Hubby and I took six labor and delivery classes; each one lasting 2 and a half hours. Even so, there was a lot I was not prepared for in the labor and postpartum recovery process. I know some people don’t really want to know what’s going to happen, but I am not that person. I want to know as much as humanly possible so I can be mentally prepared.
That said, this post is meant to both be reflective of my experience and hopefully prepare some other people for what may come (you know I wouldn’t forget you Erin!), and hopefully have a little humor in it as well!
And now, what no one told me, but probably should have.
1. You know how your body changed drastically, but it happened over 9 months? Yeah, expect the reverse to happen in about 9 minutes (not literally). And the hormonal changes? Soooo fun. Night sweats, weepiness, etc. are all part of the normal recovery. Personally, I feel emotional now than I did when I was pregnant.
2. Labor is a hot, sweaty business. It was frigid in our room, and I was still burning up the whole time I was pushing.
3. Speaking of pushing, it hurts. It is so not like pushing out poo, or anything else you’ve experienced, though people will tell you it is. Basically, you will push until you feel like your bottom is going to rip into millions of pieces, and then you will keep pushing. Personally, I felt like I couldn’t breathe and might throw up, and just had to push through it.
4. Once you’ve had the baby, you will still be in pain. You may not be able to sit down. You may not be able to pee sitting down because it hurts, so. stinking. bad.
5. If you tear or have an episiotomy, get a script for the strong drugs. Yes, even if you don’t take them in the hospital. Even if you think you’re resting a lot, you are doing more than you did in the hospital, and you will be in more pain. You’ll thank me later.
6. Everyone worries about pooping or screaming or doing something else embarrassing during labor. Don’t bother. When it happens, you will not care. In fact, you probably won’t notice you’re screaming. You definitely won’t noticed if you poop — there’s too much going on and too much pain down there to notice.
7. I heard a lot about how horrible the first post-birth poop is. Maybe it was the stool softeners, maybe it was just me, but the the first was not bad at all; it just kind of came out. It’s the second and third ones, the ones you have to start working for, that are bad.
8. You will need a squirt bottle to clean off after you “eliminate.” Seriously, no use of the TP except to pat dry.
9. If you want to walk while you’re in the hospital after your water has broken, they’ll give you mesh panties and a giant adult diaper. You get to wear this same get-up after you give birth until you go home as well. Even though it doesn’t sound attractive or fun, you may possibly grow attached to them and want to take them home with you. You know, just in case you don’t think you’re ready for big girl panties yet. Or maybe that was just me.
10. Before discharge, you’ll get a few basic instructions about pain medicine, cleaning, and what not to do, but nothing about what’s normal and what’s not as far as bleeding and such goes. You’ll be home, wondering if what’s happening to you is normal or not. Chances are, it will happen on a weekend, when you can’t call your doctor. Good thing though, is that more often or not, you’re totally normal.
Oh, and as a bonus, probably half of what you think you want to do during and after labor or while in the hospital won’t happen. Life never goes according to plan, so things change based on what’s happening. For example, I sent Colton back to the nursery pretty much right after I was finally sewn up. He was born at 2:30 am, and after about an hour of fixing up, I was exhausted and couldn’t even fathom the idea of holding him for more than 10 minutes without falling asleep. Don’t worry, after a little nap I had Hubby bring him back to the room. I never would have imagined I would kick out my kid in favor of sleep, but oh boy was it exactly what I needed.
This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday. Go check out Amanda’s blog for more fun lists, and her new “Wilder” series – totally awesome!
Interestingly enough, according to my doctor, I’m already 40 weeks pregnant. His chart has me 6 days ahead of where I have thought, for nearly 40 weeks, I was.
I am probably the only person on the face of the planet who thinks their due date is a week later than it really is, and is actually a little upset to find out that it’s earlier.
So this week’s doctor’s appointment was full of fun! I didn’t get checked, and since I’m not having any contractions (that I can feel), it doesn’t seem like I’m in labor in any way, shape or form.
So we got to talk about induction!
We also talked about sweeping my membranes at our next appointment if things don’t seem to have changed.
I’m more okay with the second option than the first, but I need to research it more to be sure I’m really more comfortable with that than an induction.
I’m still hopeful, especially based on my last visit, that I’ll go on my own in the next week. Before my appointment. Or, actually the day of my appointment. Because how fun would that be!?
I’ve been trying to walk and do other things that are supposed to get labor going, no luck yet.I can feel a lot of pressure from his head, especially when walking, so I think that’s good. I’m also having a lot of rear pressure, which is not so much fun. Let’s stop that.
Other than that though, I feel really, really good. Now that I can sleep in and rest during the day I feel a lot better and a lot less tired. I feel like I am waking up slightly more frequently than I was, but I am almost always able to fall back asleep easily, which is really nice and makes the middle of the night wake-ups not so bad.
We got our curtains yesterday, and once we get them up the room will be finished! I can’t wait to share photos. The room just makes me happy; I love to sit in there and just admire mine and Hubby’s hard work and imagine what having a baby in there will be like.
While I was in the bathroom, leaving my “sample” at my last doctor’s appointment, I heard a commotion in the halls; something about a delivery and hoping he made it. Turns out, my doctor had to run, literally, to deliver a baby. It’s a good thing their offices are in the hospital!
Because he was gone, I had to see one of the other two doctors in the practice. On the one hand, I was excited because there’s a chance one of the other doctors will deliver my baby, and I’d like to see him before he shows up and I’m pushing a baby out. On the other hand, I was not excited to have to see a new doctor on a day I was scheduled for an internal.
No need to worry though – the doc was FABULOUS. He came in and plopped himself down on the stool like he was in a recliner. He put us at ease, and even went over a few things with us our regular doc hasn’t. He felt the baby and said right now he thinks he’s between 6 1/2 and 6 3/4 pounds, and that he’ll be between 7 and 7 1/2 pounds at delivery. Not a bad size I hope!
And the dreaded internal? Not nearly as bad as last time! I was almost dreading it this time, though I really, really wanted to know if I’d made any progress. So, not only was the exam not half bad, neither were the results! I’ve progressed pretty significantly in the past two weeks, and am now 2 to 2 1/2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Yes! Go uterus! The best part is that I feel pretty normal, haven’t had any Braxton-Hicks or really anything that atypical from anything else that’s gone on this pregnancy. I’m hoping this means I’ll labor like my mom, who didn’t know she was in labor until her water broke. If she passed nothing else on to me genetically, please Lord, let it have been that.
The doc said I may not make it two weeks sans baby, which is really, really freaky. I knew I was getting close, but this is crazy. In less than two weeks we could have a BABY? I mean, I know we’re having a baby, but an actual outside-of-me, sleeping in the bassinet in our room baby? It just seems so hard to believe. In fact, during the internal he said, “I have my fingers on this baby’s head.” I thought “HOLY COW! There really is a baby in there!” Even with the ultra-sounds and feeling movements and everything, it just doesn’t seem quite real. Having someone say they can feel the baby makes it feel real in a way it hasn’t been before.
How far along?: 37 weeks. Almost there!!
Total weight gain: I don’t ask, the nurses don’t tell. I’m thinking 25 pounds.
How big is Baby?: Should be around 6 pounds or so. I’m hoping he doesn’t get too much bigger!
Maternity clothes?: Pretty much constantly. I did wear a dress last week that wasn’t maternity. Funnily enough, my maternity shirt I wore under it wouldn’t cover my belly, but the dress a great fit!
Stretch marks?: Ugh. Yes. Just a few around my hips, on each side, but still, I was hoping to avoid them all together.
Sleep?: Not too bad. Nothing to be excited about, but nothing to complain too much about. I mean, I’m uncomfortable, and it is a production to roll over, but that’s to be expected at this point.
Best moment this week?: My baby shower with friends, and seeing all the love there is for the bambino already. Plus, now we are pretty much SET to have this kid!
Movement?: He’s still going strong! It’s funny, because now some of the kicks and jabs will HURT.
Food cravings?: Donuts, chocolate. Basically, anything I shouldn’t have.
What I miss: Honestly, my pre-pregnancy body. I didn’t realize, I guess because pregnancy creeps up on you, how large I’d gotten. I also didn’t realize, until I looked at old pictures, how good I really looked physically. Why couldn’t I have appreciated that body when I had it!?
What I’m looking forward to: Checking out that cute baby face!
Milestone: Only one week of work left!
Gender: Mess maker, bug catcher.
Labor Signs: None that I can really tell. 2 weeks ago I had dilated some, but not more than 1 cm. I feel like I’ve made some progress, since it seems like I’m loosing bits and pieces of my mucous plug, but I didn’t want to be checked again to confirm that.
Belly Button in or out?: In, but the top seems to be starting to poke out.
Weekly Wisdom: Try not to worry too much about what other people think about decisions you make. Make the choice that’s right for you, your child, and your family. That’s what’s important.
Its no longer a bump y’all, its a bulge. Or a basketball. Take your pick.
I’m still feeling ready, but really ready now. Last week I was feeling ready to be done being pregnant, and now I’m feeling ready to have a baby. As ready as you can be at any rate. It still doesn’t really feel like this baby is going to come out of me, or even that he’s really there.
I had my first internal exam this week, and my doctor said baby boy is head down, and things are moving in the right direction (I’m about 1 cm dilated, so nothing to really get excited about). When he said he could feel the head, I thought “so there really is a baby in there!” I really and truly cannot explain how surreal all of this is to me.
This week has been really, really good. I haven’t been as tired as I have been, and have felt quite comfortable. Hubby and I have also had some really great times together this week too. Even though there are still plenty of things I want to do while its still just the two of us, if Junie came before we had time to do them, after this week I’d be happy.
We went to our church picnic on Sunday evening, had a nice, but quick, dinner out before our last childbirth class Monday night, and had a great breakfast out on Tuesday before our doctor’s appointment. Sure the food was good and it was nice to get out, but we just had a great time being together, talking and just enjoying each others company. Since Hubby’s not really a talker, having free-flowing conversation isn’t always that easy for us, much less to have it three days in a row! Its just felt like a special week, and I’m thankful for those times.
35 weeks, and 35 days that is!
The finish line is getting closer and closer, and I’m feeling more and more ready for Junie to make his appearance!
I’m feeling like he’s getting a little lower, but not much — he’s still got a ways to go. When I go to the doctor on Tuesday, he’ll check me to see if I’m making any progress. I’m trying really, really hard to keep telling myself that I’m not making any progress and that Junie is going to make a late appearance, but that’s getting harder and harder.
Lately I’ve been having some major heartburn at night, but only when I roll over. I don’t have heartburn during the day, or if I do, its super mild and passes quickly. My night time heartburn? Not so much. Its long, super painful, and often times makes me feel nauseous. Even though rolling over has become quite the production, it seems like the heartburn is overkill.
Other than that though, I’m still feeling good. I haven’t had any swelling, don’t have any Braxton-Hicks contractions, or any other significant discomforts.
Recently I’ve felt like I’m not in a good place with my gestational diabetes. For the most part, my numbers are still fairly good the two times a day I test, but when I know I don’t have to test, I don’t do as well and I don’t feel like my attitude about it has been good lately. Yesterday, I had ice cream and cake with my dinner, even though I knew it would make my blood sugar and that I would have to test. It wasn’t crazy high, but my attitude of “I’m pregnant and I’ll eat it if I want it” bothered me a lot. So I’ve put myself back on testing four times a day for the time being, until I feel like my attitude and diet when I know I don’t have to test are better.
Speaking of cake, I ate it at a little “shower” my boss had for me with the kids Wednesday night. All of our adult teachers and outreach leaders went in and got us a pack n’ play and a diaper genie, and well as a few other things, like some newborn onsies. Several of the students brought their own gifts as well, which was really sweet. One of my favorite girls was even able to make it after she told me she wouldn’t be able to because of band practice. But, she decided to miss part of it so she could come! Hubby got to come too, which made it extra-special, since I’ve gotten to do all the opening and admiring so far.
Afterwards, some of the boys were asking me if we’d picked any names out yet. Yes we have, but we can’t decide! So they decided to give me some naming advice — something short, manly and Biblical. Hmmm…Boaz?
Only 6 more weeks to go! I really cannot believe we’re this far along and that in a few short weeks we’ll have a baby — it still seems surreal.
One of my co-workers told me it looked like the baby is heading down, but I really don’t think I’ve dropped yet. I’m still feeling a good bit of movement up under the girls, which seems quite high to me, even if it is just Junie’s feet. Speaking of movements, they’ve started feeling a lot different, like someone’s pushing against the inside of my stomach and pushing down. Its totally weird. That, and I’ve seen my belly jump at least an inch while I’ve just been chilling on the couch. Craziness.
I’m still feeling like I’m winding down; I’m tired, and my back, shoulders and legs seem to always be sore. And after a nice, long hiatus, my heartburn seems to be back. Bummer. But, luckily for me, these things are all still pretty mild, so I’m still pretty comfortable and happy most of the time.
The Gestational Diabetes is still being well controlled with diet. In fact, my doctor was so pleased with my numbers last week, that he’s allowed me to test only twice a day, as opposed to four. In a weird way, I miss testing just because I liked to know what was going on in my body. But I think I’m doing a good job of keeping my diet the same when I’m not testing, I have noticed that the finger prick seems to hurt more, instead of less, as I’ve continued testing, which seems counter-intuitive. I think its mostly because I’ve been using the same finger primarily for most of my tests.
Even though I’m tired and sleeping more, I still have quite the list of things I want to do before the baby comes. I want to freeze meals, but I also want to do a lot of things with Hubby while its still relatively easy to get out and while its just the two of us. I’d love to go to a local baseball game, play putt-putt, have a picnic, go to the movies, and have a “last supper” at my favorite upscale eatery. Of course, our weekends are jam-packed, but I’m hoping we can squeeze most of them in. Is there anything else you think we should add?
Also, what is the deal with the circle around my belly button? It doesn’t seem to be noticeable looking down, but looking at the picture makes me cringe a little. Yuck.
People have started to tell me that I’m waddling, which is WONDERFUL. Yes, that’s what every pregnant woman wants to be told — they waddle. And please, if you must tell a pregnant woman this, or point it out loudly in her presence, please do not follow it up with laughter.
I’m feeling it this week.
Last week, and even early this week, I wondered if I would feel ready to be done. I was comfortable, not real complaints, and not really anxious to have a baby here.
Now? I wonder at just about every move I make — is this necessary? Is there an easier way to do this? My feet hurt. My shoulders hurt. My hips hurt. And I’m tired.
Maybe its just the end of the week though. I’ve noticed Mondays are some of my best feeling days since I’m rested from the weekend.
And, even though I feel ready to no longer be pregnant, I’m not certain I’m ready to have a newborn at home either!
The highlight of my week was finding soynut butter at a local grocery store! I’ve been craving peanut butter for a long time since I’ve been pregnant, but because I had a childhood peanut allergy and Hubby has a severe nut allergy, my doctor recommended I stay away from nut products. Even though I’ve been dying for something, anything, with peanut butter, I haven’t been able to have any. Until now.
Now, soynut butter doesn’t taste the same to me as peanut butter, but on toast, with a little bit of strawberry preserves, it is super, super tasty.
I still haven’t had any Braxton-Hicks contractions, or any other labor signs, but at my appointment this week, my doctor said he thought Junie had moved from my left to my right side, and was head down. I haven’t dropped or anything yet, but the fact that he’s moving that way is a good sign! It almost makes me excited for my first internal in three weeks.