Category Archives: Oh baby

Finally, answers.

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Where to start, where to start? I suppose for you readers it starts when I first mentioned I haven’t been feeling so fantastic, back in December. And from there things quickly spiraled downward with hospitalizations, surgery, medications and horrid side effects, breakdowns and visits to seemingly every doctor in town. I received numerous tests and diagnosis that didn’t seem to fit and tried drug after drug that didn’t help my pain. I’ve been in agony, and was starting to think that I was going to have to learn to live with chronic pain. But I desperately wanted answers, answers that made sense and rang true and I fought for them. And finally, I know with certainly what is wrong, what is causing this awful pain.

Let’s go back to the beginning then, on that sunny Friday in September when a beautiful baby boy entered the world. What did I share about his birth? Not much, but I’ll tell you now. You guys know me, I’m not a big gal. On that Friday, I birthed an 8lb 7ounce baby after 3 hours of pushing. And when he finally came out, he did some damage. I remember holding Devan while being stitched up and after 45 minutes requesting to know what exactly was going on down there. You tore pretty bad, I was told, but don’t worry about it now. Well, I worried about it plenty when I got home. I moaned to my mom that she should have warned me how horrible childbirth was. How I lost my bladder control for weeks, how it hurt beyond belief to stand, to walk, to sit, to be awake. How I would spend weeks relying on a sitz bath and frozen veggies for a small measure of comfort. It was horrible, but I though that was what childbirth was all about. By six weeks I could move about without as much pain and eventually things returned back to normal except for the burning hip pain that I first experienced in the third trimester of pregnancy.

I went about life: moved, lost a job, found a new one, lost a pregnancy, and became pregnant with Leah. The first half of my pregnancy with Leah was characterized by vomiting and nausea, and so I barely thought of anything else. But as the second trimester drew to a close I started having intense pain through my hips and pelvic area. I was told it was normal and so I relied on my heat packs, thermacare wraps, and lidocaine patches to get through the days. At 40 weeks and 2 days, Leah Ellen arrived at 8 pounds 6 ounces. Childbirth was substantially easier this time around, but I still experienced a level 2 tear. I was thrilled to have an easier recovery than the first time though, no loss of bladder control and only a week of discomfort before I started to move around better. I even walked to the park less than a week after her birth, where it took me months to be able to walk any distance comfortably after Devan was born.

But here is the thing- I have never felt like myself again after Leah’s birth. For awhile, I thought it was still recovery from childbirth. Then I blamed hormones and sleepless nights. And then I saw an RN and was told it was an infection. And finally in December, with pelvic and hip pain so searing that I could think of nothing else during the day, I knew I needed to find some answers. That’s the part of the journey that I shared to lets skip ahead to what you all want to know- what is going on.

First of all, I don’t have Fibromyalgia. I have Endometriosis, but lots of women do and it is not the cause of the pain. I’m not crazy, I don’t have chronic fatigue, or pelvic congestion syndrome, or IBS, or internal cystitis. It has nothing to do with my hormones, or my thyroid, or my cycles, or my diet. I thought that doctors were taught to look for the most straight-forward answer and not the rare diseases and I think that certainly would have helped in my case. Because the answer was obvious, and easy to find when the specialist knew what to look for.

So pardon me for putting this so plainly, or embarrassing any guy who doesn’t want to read this, but simply put my two big babies pretty much just completely destroyed my vagina. Well technically, my pelvic floor. I have been walking around the past few years with bilaterally torn pelvic floor muscles, and was told I experienced a level 4 tear with one of the births that did not heal properly and I have residual scar tissue. My pelvic floor muscles have not healed at all, are in a constant state of spasm, and are causing me mind-blowing pain whenever I do anything. It makes sense, and I feel relief and validation for finally knowing what is going on.

The best news ever is that I’m not going to have to live with this pain much longer. And there are ways to fix this and it is going to solve my pelvic pain and my hip pain. And that my lower backaches and shoulder aches are referred pain and should go away when my muscles heal. I won’t need maintenance medications, or anything long term. I’m going to feel better in a matter of months. I am ecstatic!!

I thought for a fair number of days whether to share or not, but I did because so many of you have been pulling for me. And because I’ve learned this isn’t all that uncommon. And maybe someone else has been though this and will feel a little less alone. I’ve lost a lot of family time due to this and the truth is I have had a really hard time, and just hanging on has been a challenge. The process has been exhausting, demeaning, embarrassing, painful, and expensive. And I’m one of the lucky ones, who found my answers relatively quickly.

Now I am going to start the healing process, it’s time to move forward. I look forward to a life without chronic pain and worry. I’m ready to be present for my friends and family. I’m ready to talk about some other topic on this blog! And if the major life changes that I suspect are in store for me do in fact come to pass, I suppose I am ready for that as well. Just like I’ve been saying all along, Spring is almost here and life is again very, very sweet.

41 weeks, 3 days

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No picture this time. Trust me, I am huge. Enourmous. Gigantic. I probably have a 10 pound baby in this belly.

Well, this is my last post before we head to the hospital tonight. I will admit I am pretty frustrated that two days of mild contractions never turned into real labor. But hey, I have my fourth 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle to finish so whatever.

As you might imagine, I am SOOOOO ready for this and even though I am extremely disappointed in the way things have gone so far, I’m pretty sure that it won’t matter one bit once that sweet little baby is finally in my arms. Right now I can’t think of anything that I want more than to be woken up by baby cries rather than my bladder and swollen feet, and I even welcome washing all of those poopy diapers. (Please remind me of this in a few weeks). I am ready for baby Nelson to have a first name, and to add the finishing touches to our nursery. I am so anxious to meet this little being that we have created and now it really won’t be long. It is finally time to be a mommy.

Think good thoughts for us.

Not long now

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We are growing a big one. Yesterday was our ultrasound and NST to make sure baby is thriving as he/she hangs out in my womb in no apparent hurry to exit. Estimated weight? 8 pounds, give or take a pound. I’m fine with7, not so much with 9. Everything looked great with the baby and so they will let me go until Friday with hopes of something happening before then. I must say, I am not counting on it. For whatever reason baby is perfectly content to stay put.

I am dealing with this all much better after chatting with the nurse. We asked her how many people she saw post-dates for these tests and she told us it was pretty rare. I was surprised but she said that a mixture of women’s impatience to have their pregnancies over with combined with doctors wanting to have births scheduled for their convenience meant that most women are induced a few days after their due dates, and mostly without any medical merit. It used to be much more common for women to carry an extra week or two but now people just don’t have the patience for it. So I walked out of there feeling like a rock star. Not only is there nothing wrong with me for still being pregnant, but I feel pretty good about sticking it out even though I am miserable. I feel pretty strongly that I want to give the baby a chance to choose his/her own birthday even though it is taking it’s sweet time. It just felt selfish last week to go through with the induction, and I think it would have been.

Another reason that I feel better about this is that at church, our pastors granddaughter was born 6 weeks early. Even though she was healthy, she has to stay at the hospital for another month. It made me realize that though I feel like my body is failing me for not getting the baby out by now, you can look at it another way and say that I am just doing TOO good of a job carrying the baby. It was a good reminder that I should feel truly blessed to be able to carry a healthy baby to term and all of my complaints and gripes are fairly minor in that light.

Like I said, I’m pretty sure that I am going to end up being induced regardless. But the doctor won’t let me go past Friday so I will always know that I did my best to hang in there as long as possible and do what is best for the baby. Only 3 more days now until little Nelson is here!! I am sooooo excited.

41 Weeks

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This is beginning to feel like a cruel joke. It makes it worse when all the pregnancy newsletters I have been getting have switched over to baby news letters- Congratulations on your new arrival!! Hey, it’s not completely unheard of to go 42 weeks, give a girl a chance. Though at this point I have resigned myself to the fact that this baby is stubborn as heck and will not be coming on his/her own. We have testing today to make sure everything is holding up okay, and then we will be evicting him/her on the 28th. And this time I can promise I won’t back out. Though it makes me sad that I won ‘t be bringing home my September baby until October. You can bet money I am going to be thinking twice before doing this again, knowing that moms who take longer to grow their babies will likely go late again in the future. 40 weeks is plenty, thank you.

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My feet are no longer cold. They are hot, burning hot. Literally. It is 3:30 am and I am sitting with them in an ice bath because they burn like fire. And they are so swollen and stiff and purple that I can’t bend my toes and can barely walk. So this is what I get for reading all those natural childbirth bullcrap websites with their stupid mantras like “trust your body and it’s ability to birth your baby”. I trust my body about as much as I trust Lizzie to go 2 hours without destroying something in our house. That is to say, not so much.

I called the doctor yesterday with the concern that I might possibly cut off my feet with a hacksaw if I have to put up with this much longer and the advice from the call nurse was to drink lots of water and hang in there because giving birth would cure everything. Giving birth, huh? Well, that obviously isn’t going to happen so what is plan B? Oh yeah, I did have a plan B. Had I followed plan B I would have given birth already and would be coming home today.

I could end this post by commenting on what not to say to an overdue pregnant women. There are lots of things I can think of, but I think I will save them for my 41 week post- which I feel quite confident that I will be around to write. I think the best advice is for everyone to recognize that I am a hormonal, sleep deprived, moody, irrational, miserable, and unreasonable shell of my formal self and the very best thing to do is to keep a healthy distance, the only exception being if you yourself went 11 days overdue (this is how late I will be by the time the next induction rolls around) and then you have my permission to call and share that you know how much this really sucks.

Cold Feet

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Last Wednesday at my doctor’s appointment when it first looked quite likely that I would go overdue, we set an induction date. Wednesday, September 19th I would head into the hospital and start Pitocin on the 20th. And yet, here I am typing this blog.

At about 6:00 tonight, half and hour before we were supposed to leave for the hospital I decided I didn’t want to do it. I have been conflicted about it since last week but was feeling like my discomfort would win out over the reservations I had. But really, as anxious as I am to meet our baby and have this pregnancy over with, I also know that an induction is not the birth experience I want. There is a chance that the baby’s head is too big for my pelvis and this is why things are not progressing, but there is no way to really know this in advance. And while there can be medical reasons for needing an induction, I am just not convinced we are to that point yet.

As much as it really, really sucks to be overdue I did some googling and found a statistic that the average first time mom is overdue by 4 days. So- am I right in feeling like it is rushing things a bit to be induced at only 3 days?? I want to give the baby a chance to come on his/her own. (Even though by the looks of things baby is not so very interested in making an appearance any time soon.) My doctor agreed that if I am really having reservations about the induction, then I shouldn’t do it.

So. I could have been holding our baby in my arms tomorrow evening. And instead I am going to be watching bad television while scratching my swollen, itchy toes and moaning about every sore part of my body. And I know by the hit count for the website that you all are pretty dang anxious to hear some baby news. Believe me, Craig and I are pretty dang anxious to share it. But in the end, I feel confident that I made the right decision.

My plan of the moment is to pretend I am not even due until next Monday, and do my best to hang out, relax, enjoy this time with Craig, and pray that our baby comes when he/she is ready. If, in the end I still end up with the induction or worse yet-the c-section, at least I will know that I hung in there and gave God’s timing a chance.

40 weeks

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…and no baby. I have to admit, I am a little disappointed to be here to write this post. I was really thinking I was going to be in the slim minority of women who are lucky enough to pop out the kiddo before the actual due date. I’ve read that for first time moms, 7 in 10 babies are late. But hey, I was early and Craig was early…guess I just have a very nice uterus.

I know that I am ready to have the baby TODAY because the house is completely clean and organized, so with nothing left to putter with I had to nest in my dream. Yup, I dreamed that I was cleaning out a freezer. I did discover an entire shelf full of Ben and Jerry’s pints that needed eating before the expiration date, and I was happy to oblige.

Ah well, I do know at this point it really won’t be long now even though it doesn’t feel that way. We are just so incredibly anxious to see who it is exactly that we’ve got in there. And everyone else is getting anxious as well judging by the disappointment we hear every time we call someone and can’t start off the conversation with “it’s time!!!”

Baby, it is time. I’ve put in the 40 weeks, fair and square. You need to come out. How about today? That would be great.