Friday, February 26, 2010

Alternating Joy and Frustration

I promised pictures...and they're in here. I had a lot to post about though, so grab the safety rail and hang on.

It has been quite a week, full of highs and lows. Which can take a serious toll on a woman in her 9th month of pregnancy.

First, the highs:

--- My final day of work was Wednesday. I didn't get much actual work done on Tuesday or Wednesday, as I was trying to tie up loose ends, go over things with my secretary, finish up or pass off projects, etc. Everyone was very sweet and I got a lot of hugs as I left on Wednesday. Bittersweet, since I really enjoy my colleagues.

--- Thursday morning I had an OB appointment with the doctor who will assist the surgeon in my C-section. All remains well with baby boy. I got to ask my surgery questions and I feel comfortable with the process.

--- Thursday afternoon I went through the tons of gifts we received at the two showers last weekend. I sorted, hung, folded and stashed. I took several duplicate items back to the store and bought some other items we would need.

--- My DH and I are counting down the days. We say, "X more days to Baby BWUB!" Today I said, "Twelve more days to Baby BWUB Eve!" It's fun to know he is so close!

--- The baby is really responsive to my touch these days, and I just love the little intimate moments we have together, despite the fact that I am enormously uncomfortable most of the time.

--- This weekend we will buy the remaining items from our registry that we will need. Even if there is no crib or dresser yet, we will be ready!

--- Here are some pics: diaper cake, baby things, my gigantic belly

Now for the downs/frustrations:

--- My DH has been super, supportive and helpful most of the time. But we had a little tete-a-tete over some financial paperwork that pissed me off and drove me to tears...30 minutes before I was to leave for last Saturday's baby shower. Of course I am extra prone to tears right now anyway (kooky hormones), but when one person (me) invested the better part of a year pursuing, handling and following up on a matter that involves Giant Financial Corporation, it really pisses said person off when the other person (DH), who did none of the work or time investment, is now uncomfortable with the current status of the matter and wants to simply give in to Giant Financial Corporation. Fortunately, we've found common ground upon which to deal with the matter that appeases us both, but I went to my baby shower with puffy, post-crying eyes.

--- DH also promised to do the taxes this year. Unable to wait for Mr. Procrastinator, I've done 98% of the background work - gathered, organized and added receipts, did all the Schedule A math and even penciled in a 1040. Yet weeks later, here it all still sits. And we'll be getting a nice refund! Grrrr.

--- My mother has drained me dry and gnawed on my last raw nerve. I don't think I have posted much about this because, well, I have a baby coming and the baby has (fortunately) absorbed most of my attention. Here is the bullet list short version:

* My mom lives in another state, is about to retire and she planned (before she knew I was pregnant) to move here to be closer to me.

* When she learned I was pregnant and due in March, she decided to put her house on the market with the goal of selling and moving here around May.

* Too cheap to use a real estate agent, she put her home on the market in a "for sale by owner" manner. She doesn't exactly know what she's doing, so she called me several times over the past month or so for advice (I used to practice real estate law). I did what I could from here, but never saw or read actual documents.

* She and a buyer signed a contract, with escrow set to close the first week of April. Mom didn't closely read every line of the contract carefully enough and is now flipped out angry over some HOA items she might be responsible for.

* Meanwhile, she has consulted with a local real estate agent here, and has done some online research herself to find a house to buy in my city. She is extremely picky (which is fine), but her expectations and reality are not lining up well. This is causing her much frustration. Plus, the agent is not doing everything my mom wants, causing more frustration.

* Mom will be here next week, from the 3rd to the 9th (yes, up until 2 days before my scheduled C-section) to be carted around by real estate agent to look at homes. Except real estate agent hasn't provided her with enough homes that meet mom's criteria (more frustration). And I'm not sure just how much time Mom expects me to spend with her while she is here....but I can't walk fast or far these days, can't spend all day taking her to see possible homes, and wanted to spend this time nesting and relaxing before baby comes.

Bottom line: My mom is very stressed and frustrated, and every communication I have with her consists of my getting about 5 minutes to talk, and the rest of the time (oh, like nearly 2 hours on the telephone each time) is her ranting, complaining, bitching, and spewing negativity about every little thing that isn't going her way. Honestly, it wipes me out. This isn't anything new - it's how she is.

She rarely stops to ask how I am doing, and so it came as a great surprise to her when I told her last night that I am taking 6 months of maternity leave and so I won't be returning to work until approximately September.

Her response: Gee, if I had known that, I wouldn't have hurried up to sell my house so fast.

My (silent) reaction: Gee, if you gave me a minute to talk or asked about my life, you might have known.

I'd really like to say, "Mom, I love you, but I can't handle the constant stream of negativity, so please don't unload it on me anymore."

But you know, everyone needs to vent...and I'm the only person she's got. I didn't ask her to move here, and I surely didn't ask her to be desperately searching to buy a house the week before I'm due to deliver. But here she is, trying to move to a new state, and of course she needs some help and support. I get that. With a baby coming in a mere 13 days, I sure would like to enjoy this time and not feel pressured to make sure everything in her life works out to her satisfaction.


My DH and I will do what we can to help my mom, but I also intend to be selfish to some extent, taking care of myself and my baby, and not letting these precious last few weeks slip into the Negative Vortex that is my mother.

If you've made it through this whole post, thanks...I appreciate the shoulder.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend Happenings

The weekend went quickly.

----Saturday: Baby Shower #2----

This shower was largely attended by former co-workers from the law firm where I worked. My MIL, Wacky P and the 6-year old daughter also came to this one. We had brunch and mimosas (I had 1/2 glass), which were delicious. Everyone was very generous with the gifts, and I was excited to get some of the "necessities" from my registry as opposed to the cute-but-already-have-too-many newborn outfits and blankets (although there were still several of those).

There were quite a few guests, so I was able to avoid getting cornered by MIL and Wacky P most of the time, at least until the bulk of the festivities were over. Of course Wacky P couldn't hold back forever, and at some point she had to get in my face. She asked if we were going to use a diaper service, because she used a diaper service, and it was the best way to go, and they can provide different size diapers and how fluffy and soft the diapers are and ....blah, blah, blah.

She knows my plan is to start with disposables until life settles down a bit and then try out the B.umGe.nius brand cloth diapers. But she had to get in my face about it.

Oh, and when the hostess offered the guests coffee to go with the cake, Wacky P's daughter started whining that sheeee wanted coffee. At first the hostess tried to play if off with a sweetly said: "What? Noooo, kids don't drink coffee." But when Girl persisted, the hostess finally said, "Well, not at my house. Kids don't get to drink coffee here" and she turned and left Girl standing there.

I grinned. Girl usually isn't told "no" so bluntly.

One of the best things about that shower was that when it was winding down, a friend of mine who has a 3 year old and a 9 month old came and asked whether I would be interested in any of her hand-me-downs....she said she wasn't sure if I'd be insulted at the offer.

Are you kidding? I jumped enthusiastically at the chance to take her Bumbo seat and tray, breast pump, second car seat, etc. Useful things! Woohoo!

----Sunday Morning: Visit from MIL and Wacky P----

Yep. They came over to visit. This time Wacky P asked if we had chosen a pediatrician. I said yes, and named the doctor. BTW, this doc is (1) someone I worked with at the hospital years ago, and (2) the pediatrician of one of my OB's children. But kooky Wacky P had to tell me how she used this pediatrician for Girl several years ago, and proceeded to criticize the doctor's office, nurses and practice.

This is the pattern. One: She asks your choice/opinion. Two: Whatever your choice/opinion is, she will criticize it and tell you why her choice/opinion is superior.

I ignore her.

----Sunday Afternoon: Baby Shower #3----

This shower included about 10 of my close friends whom I've know for about 20 years. As in, the hostess wore sweats with her hair up in a clip because we are like family. It was very relaxed, we laughed, we teased, we got caught up on each other's lives. Along with the requisite baby clothes and blankets (more!), toys, gift cards and other items, they got me my stroller and a fabulous rocker/bouncy seat that converts to a toddler seat. Cool.

The most memorable gift and moment was when I opened the last gift. It was from the daughter of my friend (who was my matron of honor). Her daughter will be 15 years old next week, but she is a really sweet, innocent, kind girl (I guess I say that because so many teens barely talk to their parents, much less their parents' friends). Anyway, I opened the gift and it was a framed poem, written by Teen Girl. There was a handwritten note from her on the back. The poem welcomed our little baby boy, both into the world and into the lives of my DH and I, and into the lives of our group of friends.

I knew I wouldn't be able to read it out loud, but I felt it was called for, because of the personal nature of the gift. So I handed it to my friend to my right and said, "Ann, will you please read it...I'll cry if I try to read it."

Ann began to read. There was a line about Mommy and Daddy...forever taking boy....

Okay, I lost it. My nose wrinkled and I knew. I started to cry. Then sob. My friends started laughing at me (which was completely expected since we are so close) and then I started laughing too. I mean, I was both crying/sobbing (hard!) and laughing (just as hard) at the same time! It was the strangest sensation. And when I looked up, two or three of my friends were crying too! We laughed and cried and in fact, Ann had to hand the poem over to someone else to finish reading! Poor Teen Girl stared at me, looking a bit stunned. Later she told me, "Auntie BWUB, I never saw you like that before and it kind of scared me." I reassured her it was hormones and I was okay and that I LOVED LOVED LOVED her present.

----Monday (today)----

I broke the news to my boss (and her boss) that my C-section is scheduled and that my last day of work will be in two days from now!

Next post: Photos.

Friday, February 19, 2010

He Almost Had Us Fooled

I had my OB appointment this morning.

As I was led into the exam room, I noticed they had not put the u/s machine in there. I reminded the assistant that we needed to check my baby's position and would need the u/s. She brushed me off with a "Well, let's see what the doctor thinks."

Doctor comes in. The practice I go to has seven OBs. Five are women (which I love) but I had not previously met today's doctor. She measured my belly and used the doppler to check baby's heart beat. All is well.

She wanted to do a pants-off exam. She took a culture (Beta strep? Maybe.) And she checked my cervix. One centimeter dilated. Honestly, the manual exam wasn't bad at all.

Then she said, "I feel his head. He must have turned."

Me: "That's fantastic! What great news!....but....can we do an u/s just to verify? It would give me some comfort."

Doctor: "Sure."

She left the room to get the machine. I got dressed and climbed back up on the table. I rubbed my belly, cooing to baby boy that he was such a good baby for turning. Doc came back in, flipped the switch, booted up the machine, gooed my belly...

Baby BWUB must have a round, hairy butt that feels like a tiny baby head.

He is still breech.

The doctor said we should schedule the C-section. So now my boy has a birth date. March 11th. I got to choose the surgeon, which is nice.

My husband is really excited that we have something certain to look forward to. In just 20 days. He said "We have to get our nest all ready!" Yes, honey, we do.

And even though this is not what I would have chosen, if the choice had been mine, I will make the best of it. And in the end, I'm just looking forward to finally meeting my sweet little baby boy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


With less than 30 days to go until my due date, here is a snapshot of my world at the moment:

* Physically: Belly, tight. Back, achy. Chest pains (?) when I lie on my left side. My belly button is really tiny, but still an innie! Maternity pants barely fit anymore. And now, nightly Braxton-Hicks contractions, I think. They started this past weekend and are quite uncomfortable.

* Sleep: Not much.

* Mental status: Positive. Happy and excited, regardless of anything else.

* Work: Ready to be done and start my leave. I have a colleague who makes me laugh because every day she checks on me and tells me her most recent plan for who will drive me to the hospital, and who will sit in the back seat and hold my hand, if I go into labor while at work. I must confess I will miss her and some of the others while I'm gone.

* Baby: Wiggling, rolling, hiccuping and growing. Yesterday I was almost convinced that he had turned to head-down position. Today, not so sure.

* Next OB appointment: Friday morning.

* Baby's room: Ugh. Shipment of crib is delayed at least another 8 weeks. That's 8 weeks from now. Dresser/changing table should arrive in 3 weeks. Hopefully. Good thing we got the convertible may just be here by the time he goes to college!

* Husband: Doting. Particularly in light of probable B-H contractions. Calls me twice a day to check on me. Happy that my mat leave will begin soon. He is even protective against my MIL and Wacky P, who wanted us to come to Wacky P's for dinner Friday night. Nights are not my best time, and the last thing he thinks I should suffer through right now is having to sit for hours at Wacky P's house, being hassled by her in-your-face, without-boundaries, loud, dirty-fingernailed children, and being subjected to incessant questioning by my MIL. Thanks, honey! Instead, MIL and Wacky P will come to our house Sunday morning for coffee (no kids!).

* Presents: One of my sisters, who lives in Texas, sent me a box of really sweet baby presents. Here's one of the items she sent, pastel green and softer than soft!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thirty Days to Go

Today was a better day.

My rotten neighbor experience the other night paved the way to a crappy day yesterday. I just couldn't shake the funk, and I felt hyper-sensitive to every little thing. I had a little tearful episode and ended up napping much of the day away while my DH mowed the lawn, did some grocery shopping and made dinner. He even brought me home some mint chocolate chip ice cream and a pot of beautiful pink azaleas.

My mental breakdowns always bring out the best in my husband. :)

Today he went to work while I got to stay home (President's Day holiday). The sun was shining. It was warm enough to be outside in a t-shirt. The newly mowed lawn was green and fresh smelling. I pulled out a patio chair and just enjoyed the feeling of the warm sun while the dogs sniffed and ran about in the yard.

It was heaven.

In the afternoon I ran some quick errands, did some laundry and began gathering items (finally) to be packed into the suitcase for our trip to the hospital.

I can definitely tell that the baby is growing. I am uncomfortable more often than not. I am out of breath most of the time. I move very slowly, and can feel the baby waaaaay down in my pelvis if I move too fast. I can't get comfortable sitting, reclining, lying down or standing. The neighbor was quiet last night, but I still didn't get much sleep. Yup - I'm entering the final 30 days.

This upcoming weekend I have two baby showers. After that we will have to review the registries and go purchase the necessities we still need. That will probably take another week. Then we will be in the home stretch. Time to hunker down, rest, and wait.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Neighbor Rant

Usually I can blow off bothersome neighbors with a dismissive whatever.

But, crap, after last night, I'm thinking about what the heck things are going to be like around here in 2 months when I have a newborn to care for.

We live in an older, established neighborhood. Narrow streets and property lots that are much less than 1/4 acre in size. Several months ago, a group of young people moved into the house directly across the street from us. I haven't actually met them, I am not sure how many of them there are, but I can say that every stinking day there are are 4 to 6 vehicles parked between their driveway, in front of their house and in front of our house.

I hate looking out my window every day to see vehicles parked on the street in front of my house. Pet peeve.

So last night, around 2:30 a.m., slamming car doors and loud voices woke up my dogs, who immediately begin barking. I lurched into a sitting position - which is not easy given my large belly protrusion. I was trying to shush my dogs as the voices outside - probably less than 100 feet from my window, shout and carry on. More car door slamming. Then, a siren? I thought, oh, cool, cops? Arriving to give them citations for disturbing my peace?

But no....those f***ing idiots have some sort of siren installed in their truck - that was parked outside my bedroom window - and a bullhorn to boot! Oh yes, a bullhorn. Loud siren whirrs were followed by girls' voices, which suddenly boomed forth on a loudspeaker. Cursing at someone. Drunk. More slamming doors.

You know, part of me wanted to march outside and ask WTF is wrong with them. But I don't want my tires slashed, or a drunken fist in my face (or worse, in my belly). Who knows what people are capable of.

I peeked out the window, debating whether to call the police myself, as two more people got into the truck. And then they drove off. I finally got back to sleep.

Two hours later, at 4:30 a.m., more car door slamming, more voices, then silence. My dogs barked again. I lurched upright again. These people come and go at all hours. They party, they have company, they carry on and they wake me up.

I am envisioning their noise, plus my barking dogs waking up my newborn who just fed and went back to sleep. I am envisioning getting no sleep whatsoever. Summer is coming - warm weather and people wanting to be outside more often. Parties and drinking. I am envisioning leaving piles of dog poop on their windshields, front door step and even throwing loads of it up onto their roof. In the summer. I am envisioning blasting some Ne il D iamond music outside thier bedroom windows at, say, 8 am, when surely they are deep in slumber.

This morning I told my husband we may need to move the bedroom to the room at the back of the house - even though that room is way to small and is hot in the summer.

I am fed up, sleep deprived and angry.

Friday, February 12, 2010

On the Horizon

Thanks for all the flattering comments. I swear, though, my belly feels so big, as though it will pop like a balloon at any moment!

So, yes, indeed, my due date and the arrival of Baby Boy BWUB are on the horizon.

As I mentioned, he is still breech and my DH is now convinced that a C-section will be on tap for the birth. He is quietly delighted about it. Of course we both prefer a non-surgical birth, but here's what he said that made me realize he's pretty happy at the idea of a C-section:

"So, if we have a C-section then we'll get to skip the part where I would have to time the contractions at home, racing to the hospital, all of that breathing stuff and the slow dance [this is his term for his labor coaching responsibilities] and we'll just go in and have the baby?"

Well, yes, dear, I guess we would skip the major labor chapter of childbirth and move right to arrival of the baby.


I had to remind him that if I have a C-section, my recovery will take longer. I won't be able to drive for at least 2 weeks. I won't be able to pick up anything heavier than the baby for a while.

Please, those of you who have had C-sections feel free to chime in!

I will be in more pain and will need more help for several weeks after we come home. All of which means he will have more post-natal responsibility to take care of things that I won't be able to.

He seemed readily amenable to all of this.

Otherwise, things are pretty quiet here. My next OB appointment is next Friday. I'll be 36 weeks by then. Although I'm sure baby boy is still breech, he is wiggling and poking and stretching regularly (and has hiccups 2 or 3 times each day!) so I'm content that he is okay.

I still plan to work through the end of February (just 2 more weeks!) but I am SO looking forward to having a little time to relax, rest, and prepare for the momentous occasion.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

34 Weeks

Well, that's me.

Yesterday I had an OB appointment. Baby BWUB is still breech. The doctor said there is still time for him to turn, but it is likely that he will remain breech. If so, my two options are manual version or C-section. As I posted previously, I will opt for the C-section.

Now that the taste of a possible C-section is becoming more of a reality, and visions of labor and vaginal birth are dwindling like a fading dream, I'm a bit disappointed. But as I've always maintained, the most important thing to me is getting the baby here alive and healthy.

If I have to go the C-section route, the doctor said they like to deliver between the 39th and 40th week. I thought 3/10/10 might be a good birth date. Unless, of course, I go into labor before then, in which case, the baby will decide his own birth date!

I also asked the doctor when I ought to quit working (after all, I am becoming more and more uncomfortable and there is no place to lie down in the office). She said in a very matter-of-fact way that in California, pregnant women automatically qualify for disability leave as of the 36th week of pregnancy. Therefore, she said, when I have my next appointment (at 36 weeks) I can decide what I'd like to do and the doctor's office will complete and file the paper work.


But I think I'll do the extra week and finish out February.

We're still waiting for delivery of the crib and dresser. The earliest we might expect them is the first of March! Who knows. The baby may very well arrive before his furniture! Just in case, I've been washing clothes and putting them in his closet. It's not very neat since everything has to be jammed in there until we get the furniture, but even in its chaotic state, I love looking at and touching all the sweet things.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shower #1

Today was the baby shower put on by my current co-workers.

I must say, it was quite sweet. I've known these people only 6 months, yet there they were, showering me with cake and presents and "It's a Boy!" decorations.

I got to the third or fourth gift, and as I opened the gift to find a precious little bib and soft matching blanket....yup....I lost it. In front of all my co-workers, male and female alike, with my boss to my immediate right, I started to cry.

Then I laugh/cried. Then I was better. There was a chorus of "Oh, it's okay, it's just your hormones" ringing in my ears. No one batted an eyelash. I was a bit embarrassed, but the moment just got the better of me.

I am not used to being the center of attention, so it felt a little awkward to rip open gift after gift as they were set before me. And it was even more awkward when I received three booster seats (how did that happen?) - especially since the third one I opened was from my boss (I think she felt a little disappointed).

Anyway, I noticed that only one of the guys brought a gift (although they all showed up to eat cake), and I later chuckled with one of my girlfriends about "how guys are." When I got home, a package had been delivered by UPS. I opened it to find one of the cutest, sweetest blankets from my gift registry....from two of the guys in my office! That'll show me!

Tonight, after eating a piece of leftover cake from my party, I sat here watching Baby BWUB roll around in response to the sugar. My DH's eyes got huge when he saw the lump in my belly rise, fall and roll about.

I know that I am very lucky and blessed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Answering Questions

Oh yeah, I'll surely check with my doctor about early leave. I have several important things scheduled for next week, but if I can just finish out the month of February and be done, I would be really happy.

I had a coffee date this morning with a young pregnant woman who works in my building. We ran into each other in the elevator one day and quickly learned that our babies are due only 4 days apart. So we planned a coffee date to engage in some baby chat.

She was such a nice girl, and as it turns out, we have a few things in common: we are both having boys and we live pretty near to each other. I am hopeful that after our babies are born and we are both settled, we can meet for strolls in the park with the kids. We compared notes on morning sickness (she had it, I didn't), maternity leave (she's taking a year - I'm so jealous), and various other things.

I felt a little awkward, though, I have to admit, because she asked me some questions that I didn't really want to answer with the full truth, but did not want to outright lie about either.

First of all, you must realize, she is YOUNG and fertile. She and her husband basically got pregnant on their first try. She was so wide-eyed and innocent and sweet, I couldn't hold my battle scars against her.

Since our babies are due only 4 days apart, she asked me if I know what day I got pregnant. She excitedly told me she is pretty sure it was June 28 for her. Well, um, yeah, I kind of know precisely the day, hour and minute I got pregnant. As in, July 1, 2009, 2:40 p.m. There were 2 doctors, a couple of nurses and some assistants in the room. My husband was off getting a snack at a nearby restaurant.


I just said, "Oh, I guess it had to be end of June or beginning of July."

She asked if we were trying to get pregnant.


It's weird because I'm totally comfortable with all of the hows, whys, wheres and whos of my pregnancy. I'm thrilled with the whole embryo donation/adoption concept. I'm even excited at the thought that my DH and I have no idea what this baby is going to look like. He could just as easily be brunette with brown eyes as he could be blond with blue eyes. Heck, there's even a real chance that he could be a redhead! The donor profiles and pictures of his siblings make any combination a real possibility.

The thing is, it's just not something you launch into with every person you meet or every person with whom you have pregnancy discussions. The whole history and process is complicated, both factually and medically. Not everybody wants to, or is interested in, hearing that. And certainly not everybody needs to know our personal medical history.

So I just play along, answering people's innocent and seemingly general questions as best I can.

Yesterday a female co-worker (who has a 6-year old) came into my office to check on me, see how I am feeling, and offer some advice. At some point she asked how old I am, and when I told her, she leaned over my desk and said very seriously, "Wow, you are almost 44 years old? BWUB, this pregnancy is such a blessing! I mean, to get pregnant at 43, thank's a miracle...really."

"You have no idea" I replied. And I assured her I absolutely do thank God for this miracle.

I'm meeting the young woman again on Thursday for another cup of coffee and to pick up our conversation where we left off. For the time being I'll just answer her questions as best I can.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dreaming of Early Leave

The baby was moving a lot today. It made working uncomfortable. I think he is still breech, and his round little head kept bumping up underneath my ribs. The maternity pants I wore were the kind with the low band - they cut into me, making my discomfort worse. My skin felt so tight it seemed that it might just split open.

Ugh! I longed to be home in my way-too-big sweat pants, lounging on the couch.

My hope is that all this movement means that baby boy is warming up to do his triple-twist-front-flip, landing him squarely head down on top of my cervix.

I really want to be a trooper - showing my bosses that I can work up until the last minute. But secretly I'd LOVE for my doc to insist that I need to stop working sometime sooner. Like at the end of February!

Meanwhile, opposing counsel Mr. Meanie continues his practice of sending me demanding, accusatory, hateful and rude letters. He wrote and sent one to me by fax today, in response to a letter I sent him last Friday. My only consolation is the knowledge that while I was enjoying sunshine and shopping for baby things over the weekend, he was stewing about my letter, researching case law to throw at me, and writing me another hateful letter.

I am nearly giddy at the thought!

But seriously, dealing with him is another reason I'd prefer to go out on mat leave sooner rather than later.

My next OB appointment is this Friday. I'm going to see what my doc has to say.