I'm almost officially done with work. I'm on vacation for the next week before I start my maternity leave. I told myself at the end of March, knowing I would be off for a few days in April before baby arrived...that I was going to crack down, and blog EVERY.SINGLE.DAY until I got myself caught up about life and all the feelings I've been having - and I've been off for 4 full days so far... and nuthin!
So here I am. Playing catch up. Blog world catch up. I'll never catch up in life ... that ship sailed
This Pregnancy: Status and Updates
Things have gotten better regarding fluid levels since my last post. If I have any luck left, I got lucky in the fact that the fluid seemed to regulate itself throughout my third trimester.
I went in for that "unscheduled scan" when I was 33 weeks along, and my doctor (Dr. W) did the scan herself. She sat with Daniel and me and told us that she wouldn't sugar coat anything. If something is wrong, she will tell us IT IS WRONG. She will not bullshit us in believing that things will "probably" turn out okay. I sat in a chair, across from her with the bed I would soon be scanned on between us, and I was getting a little anxious. But relaxed. Weird. But I was just so thankful I would get the real deal from her... even if it was shit news, I'd get it because of proper analysis. She assured me she didn't think anything was wrong as the anatomy scan at 20 weeks showed no signs of a clef lip, or any malfunctioning organs. But she was going to run the entire anatomy again...heart, lungs, diaphragm, liver, kidneys... and all the valves, pipes, and thingamajigs connected to each one to make sure all systems are clear.
And they were. This baby scanned perfectly healthy. He's a big kid, and was measuring in the 80th percentile...but other than the possibility of him growing up to be a giant in life, he's fine.
And... my fluids measured much lower. And, he was head down again. My doctor told me that fluid levels can sometimes be subjective, and depending on the baby's position, they can measure REALLY high because of the empty space a breech baby can create. With him being head down (and putting on some serious poundage in just a weeks time) he was occupying space in such a manner that gave my fluid levels a read of 20cm. As baby moved from side to side during the 40 minute scan she performed... she measured the fluid four different times... and it gave a different reading between 17 - 22 cm each time.
My doctor was VERY apologetic that I received "the sum of all errors" (as she put it) in how my appointment unfolded the week prior. Getting scanned by a very quiet technician + following up with a very intense doctor who analysed the scan + seeing Dr. C afterwards who was all too casual about the questionable results + NOT HAVING THE VOICE OF MEDICAL REASON COMING FROM MY DOCTOR WHO I LOVE + having a stillbirth after a perfectly normal pregnancy last year = a very stressful walk through to week 33.
And after all the stress of my week 32 appointment with the sum of all errors faced in the office... that following weekend, I took a few pix of the massive belly. Full of fluid yes, but also with a very wanted baby... and I thought even if I lose this kid too, I'm going to want some memories of this pregnancy documented.
32w3d March 17, 2013
I don't dare show a front facing view - it will shock and concern you!
I am now 36 weeks and 4 days pregnant. My doctor took over all the scanning and monitoring after that 33 week appointment. She told me she wanted to be the one taking the look on the inside, and producing the reports for the weekly BPP preformed. I was so relieved. Consistency. I like it.
At week 34, and 35, she did some kick ass scanning I must say. She talked us through every reading, and every result, and every single thing that is required for the report and score card. And so far, this baby has received perfect results at every scan. (And as of week 33, he's been head down during each scan including the times we went in to get assessed because we were scared he was dying because he didn't kick back hard enough - or at all!, so good news on that front too. But I don't dare ASSUME anything with him staying that way. He's such a crazy mover and shaker... as if he's beating on a drum with his feet... a little clown laying down, wanting to run in circles... I feel he could easily flip back up at any time).
It scares me a little. Because perfect doesn't really mean anything at this point. He's still in utero, and he's still gestating... so there's just as much of a risk of him dying, and there's just as much uncertainty of his existence on the outside as there was before all these tests, and scans.
I'm trying to take it one day at a time. One kick at a time.
It's probably not his fault that he moves and kicks to wildly. I do poke at him all the time... He's either really pissed off, or really playful.
At my 35 week appointment (after waiting over 3 hours to see my doctor), she dumped some pretty disappointing news on me. She was going to be out of town for 2 weeks, and wont see me until after the 22nd of April. We were just chit chatting after my scan, and she was letting me know that for my following appointment I'd have to go across the hall for my scan, and get a follow up with the low risk OB who would be covering her patients as she was out of town.
"Where, I'll come, I'll follow you, I'll be there, name the time and place". And then AFTER THAT WEEK, I'll be seeing her partner who will do the scan... "and then after that".... she trailed off. "And after that, I'll be 38 weeks.." I finished her foggy, inconclusive thought. "oh! you'll be 38 weeks! So, we'll have to schedule an induction! So, here's what. I'll call you on April 22nd, and we'll take it from there". I saw her receptionist gesture to her computer screen, and showed her her schedule for when she's back, and I saw her mouth "full" to the doctor. My doctor looked back to me, and said, "I'll call you April 22nd, and we'll figure it out".
I left a little shocked, and deflated. Everything had gone so great (after 3 hours of waiting to see her. Did I say that already?! It's ok. Stuff comes up. No big deal. It's just time and patience. No one died - I hope). And she lays this on me. I'm not going to see her anymore. I'm pretty much DONE with her as my OB... and the next time we'll be face to face is when I'm pushing this kid out of my body. I had a scan on Friday in the ultrasound clinic portion of the office by a run of the mill technician, and was then followed up by some chipper, peppy,
way too certain about the survival of babies OB thereafter. And this Friday, I'm being scanned and seen by Dr. C who I'm convinced accidentally landed a job on the high risk side of obstetrics because she's so out to lunch in the majority of conversations I've had with her. And then next week... well next week... next week I'll be closing in on 38 weeks, and we'll see if this big/little munchkin makes it out alive and in one piece!
At Friday's scan - 36 weeks - he weighed in at 7.2 lbs and 37.5 weeks gestation. I know these growth measurements are somewhat of an estimate... but holy cow, why is he growing so fast? I'm grateful he is.. because he's getting yanked out against his will if he doesn't pop out sooner. But my goodness... he's so ahead of himself, and I always pictured him to be the "little" brother.
I can see his face during the scans. Even though it isn't a 3D ultrasound, I can still very much see his features. His nose, his eyes, and lips. And my god, he looks like his brother. Which will lead into the next portion of this post...
As I get closer and closer, and the possibility of (maybe, just maybe) us landing a living baby in the next few weeks becomes more and more of a reality... I cant help but want Alexander more. I just still want my son. In every way I did when I first lost him, I still want him that much. I've had quiet meltdowns, and Daniel and I have had some pretty over the edge blow-ups (at each other, and at life's circumstances that come along with pregnancy and preparing for a baby), and they're all because of how much we miss him. All because of how much we just want to go back to February 2012, and somehow get our son back.
I'm not afraid that I wont love my next born child - I know I will. I already do. A lot.
I'm still afraid to live my life with out my son. I just so don't want to do it. And having no choice in this fact is really hard. Especially in knowing that
all the majority of friends and family are expecting us to be worlds and worlds better off now/soon since we'll have what we seemingly lost. And I just don't have it in me to set everyone straight.
I am still heartbroken that one can make it and the other cannot. I stayed working as long as possible in hopes to avoid too much alone time with myself and have that very clear notion be the only thing on my mind. I've cried so much over these past 4 days. Maybe because I actually have had the time to sit and cry, or maybe it's because I've allowed myself to let go of tasks and responsibilities that usually fill my head regarding work, and I'm left with what I've had to quiet down for months and months now. I'm just still so sad about it all.
As we near this next arrival date, I get sad about things that were said and done after Alexander died that I was too exhausted and crippled with grief to address. And now, my vulnerability is ramped back up... I want to confront all the things that were said that made me so sad after my son died.. all the misguided conversation coming from oblivious friends and family who thought they had a clue... all the well meaning phrases that came from people who were in disbelief of our reality that they literally had to justify it to make themselves feel better... And I want to go back and address it all. I want to stand up for myself now and say,
"What you said was NOT OK, and I'm still upset." "All you think you know is wrong, and you don't get it, you don't understand, and you COULDN'T IMAGINE what I'm feeling. And it hurts like hell that you could be so stupid and tell me otherwise."
But I probably wont. I don't want any negativity surrounding me for the next little while. So I better not go seeking it out. And the majority will probably think I'm having a hard time adjusting to life with a new baby, but in truth - baby or no baby - I just don't want to be around anyone that doesn't understand and thinks they do. And needless to say, there aren't many people left to have over for company after you weed those out.
There is one big offender in my family that has time and again proved to be oblivious. This person has tried to show acts of understanding and kindness, but unfortunately the insensitivity and oblivion took the cake. Our feelings, and the massive impact that has hit our lives is said to be something that is on this persons radar. And instance after instance, I've tried to be civil, and understanding that some people just don't know how to manage their actions around people who have suffered a loss. But I reached a breaking point, and held on to my sanity instead of allowing the relationship to continue to propel me into frustrated states of sadness and disappointment.
And I've often thought I am being small minded, and petty in shutting down the relationship so abruptly, and with so much finality. But I cant give anyone what they think they already have. This person thinks they have been one of the supportive people... one of the people who paid tribute to our son, and says that the things that were said and the lack of judgement in conversations were minor missteps.
My tolerance has gone down. Enough is Enough. And I'm afraid that I'll take this route with other people in the future ... and I'll never know anyone that knows the true grit of grief, and I'll never know anyone that knows how not to be such a piece of shit when it comes to the things they say.
And I'm private and vague, and say "this person" and "the things they've said" rather than being brutally blunt. But I don't know if any of my family members have found my blog. If they have, they haven't told me. But I don't want to use this platform to wage any wars with anyone. It's a place for me to spill my guts, and to know that there are others in the same boat.
This Pregnancy: The Complaints
I'm tired y'all. I'm tired of it all, and I'm tired because of it all. If I don't get a living child out of these past
18 9 months of pregnancy... you can count on the fact that I will most definitely fall off the face of the earth.
This belly is a massive, sagging, hard mound of discomfort. I didn't feel even a small percent of this pain and unpleasantness while I was pregnant with Alexander. The top half of my belly literally feels like it's being ripped apart. It hurts to the touch. Gravity has been a bitch to my body, and the thin layer of muscle once known as my abdominals are torn. I can feel it. It's a ripping/burning feeling throughout the day. The bottom half of my belly sags. I can cup my hand/arm under my belly and lift it a good 2-3 inches from it's resting place. And that lifted position was what my first pregnancy naturally sat at. I look back and think, "Why did I get pregnant again so soon??? It's too much. I'm not built for this. I should have done more crunches, and toned, and strengthened my pelvic floor before embarking on these next 9 months..." But I very well know I had no choice. My life was blown to smithereens with Alexander's stillbirth, and dammit I needed to be pregnant again ASAP. It seemed to be the only chance for survival. But my belly will never be the same. I have doubts of ever being able to sit up on my own ever again.
My stomach, ass and boobs. They're all shot to hell. I don't know if I had any of those features going for me prior to pregnancy(ies!), but I definitely don't have them going for me know. What they don't tell you about labour is that you lose your ass. It gets stretched open, and the muscles just fall flat like two pancakes. And yeah, butt and leg lifts weren't my priority in the 6 months before becoming pregnant and after losing Alexander. I just ran on my treadmill, and shed off the pregnancy el be's as fast as I could. I knew I'd be going right back to that 40 week pregnancy weight A LOT sooner than I ever originally thought... and I didn't want to piggy back any extra pounds to lose after baby #2.
And I did lose it all. Plus an extra 10 pounds. But I also had a flat ass, flabby stomach, and lost all shape/firmness in my boobs.
I've now almost surpassed my 41 week pregnant weight and I'm only 36 weeks. And those extra 10 lbs I lost in between pregnancies easily found it's way back on the scale with all this fluid and a massive baby. I'm really trying to focus on the big picture, and the main goal here.... LIVE birth with LIVING BABY... but I'm super bummed about what pregnancy has done to my once average body.
I'm afraid that after another birth, I'm going to be left with urinary incontinence. I always (ALWAYS!) feel like I have to pee these days. It's a sharp and painful feeling to ever hold it in. Some nights, I'm up on the hour, every hour because I had a glass or two of water right before bed. But... when I make my way to the WC, sit down and trickle a little bit out... and then... I will just sit there with what feels like a full bladder! I lean, and tilt my weight around while on the can... and somehow access that once very unconscious response to a full bladder and GO PEE. But now its like I have to let something down... or access a muscle that I cant fully feel as well as I used to. And then, on the other side of things... when I sneeze or cough really hard... well, you know what happens! And this is after one kid! And I'm not even 30! I tried to and tried to lift my pelvic floor in those 6 months between pregnancies... but I don't think I did enough work.
And it's all just not fair. I remember how I looked and how the weight came off after delivering Alexander... and I was so surprised... and horribly heartbroken at the same time. In just a months time, I was only 15 pounds away from my pre pregnancy weight. My body shrunk up with little to no effort. And as soon as I started walking on my treadmill... I got down to my starting weight in another month... I looked EXACTLY the same as I had before pregnancy not 8 weeks after losing/birthing my son. I felt so ripped off. Everyone told me how great I looked... but dammit, where the hell was my kid? Yeah, so what, I lost all the weight and got my shape back in a matter of months... but last time I checked, no one gets pregnant, makes it to term to then be thrilled about having the weight all come off. You're supposed to get a baby at the end! Not just your body back!!
We went to B.C for a few weeks when I was 3 months postpartum to try to "reset" our look on life, and get pregnant again... and while there, we walked, and hiked, and I lost more weight. Daniel's sisters told me I looked better than when they first met me. I couldn't help but look at myself - seeing that I was in fact looking in better shape than before I got pregnant - and get utterly depressed. I have to do this all over again to maybe get a baby?? How can I be happy about my appearance when I know I have to do this all over again.. blow up all over again... gain it all back, stretch it all out... all over again to maybe get a living baby?? I always ALWAYS wanted to be a young, fit, bouncy new mom (just like my mom was). And there I was, the young, fit and new mom part part accomplished... but no baby to give me my bounce.
And just like no one knew I had a son when I was x months postpartum and looking like the same old me last year ... no one will know I have 2 sons when I'm x months postpartum (looking like god knows what) this year.
And it's all just so wrong I want to scribble it all out, crumple the page... and go back to the beginning.
What I've Been Wanting To Say For A While Now:
Thank you to all you ladies out there who have read, listened, and shared. I feel like I've neglected this space here online... but I still follow everyone. I still read everyone's blogs (even if I don't post in the comments as much as I used to). I read it all, and it helps me so much. The simple posts about pets, and housekeeping... and the deep, emotional posts about the babies you've lost, and the children that will never again be alive in our lives. I read it all... and it brings me through to the next day. I honestly don't have anyone in real life that I can connect with as I do with all of you. I cry about that fact sometimes, because I do feel incredibly lonely. Not to sound dramatic... but you are really all I have when it comes to this ever changing journey that is losing a child. All of your blogs, your emails, your comments... they have helped me more than you'll ever know. But you do know... but regardless, I have to say thank you for being here... there... and everywhere you are.