Tuesday, January 31, 2006

39 weeks 1 day: the waterworks have begun...

...but I am not talking about amniotic fluid. No, unfortunately, I am talking about a level of emotionality previously unheard of by humankind.

It started with an email from the rabbi, suggesting that I convert the baby during the bris so that a mohel can do it. I freaked out for numerous reasons that have been rehashed a million times. I cried while reading the email, I cried for an hour or so after reading the email, I cried so hard after we had gone to bed that I woke Dyke Two up. I cried two more times in the middle of the night. When I woke up this morning, I cried again.

Then I picked up a birthing book, and cried while reading a birth story. I checked my email, and cried while reading an email from a friend.

I took the car and carseat to the fire department for installation. They told me that my car wasn't a great choice for a car seat because the back seat is so small. You guessed it, I cried...

Dyke Two came home for lunch and told me that her HR folks told her that if we can get the courts to award her a custody agreement, then she can put him on her health insurance. Yep, more tears...

Then Dyke Two told me that she was talking to one of the assistant principals at one of the elementary schools after their meeting this morning, and mentioned to her that I had been crying for the better part of the last 15 hours. She said, "Oh, that happened to me right before I went into labor."

When Dyke Two told me that, we both cried.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

38 weeks 5 days: a brief moment of excitement

We had a minute of panic/excitement a little while ago. I had been sitting on the edge of the bed watching a particularly good episode of Law and Order SVU. I got up to post the random box of office supplies we uncovered on freecycle, and Dyke Two called me back in the room with a touch of panic to her voice. "Honey, you're leaking." I looked at the bed, and, in fact, there was a small wet spot on the bed, right where I had been sitting.

We looked at each other, and I said, "But, that's impossible. My boxers are dry."

After she made me show her my dry boxers, we determined that I must have been sweating in the fold of my knee, or at my ankle, and that the wet spot was sweat.

I told you it was a particularly exciting Law and Order...

Friday, January 27, 2006

38 weeks 4 days: Another appointment...

blood pressure 140/78
urine clean
heartrate 145
weight up 1.5 (10.5 pounds total)
uterus 38

The GBS test was negative. What a relief! No IV needed unless something goes wrong...

This whole pregnancy, I have said that my due date is Feb 6, and the doctor has said Feb 9. Well, today, he said, looking at his chart, that it is Feb 8, so I guess I am between 10-14 days from my due date...

He did not do another internal, but said he will do one next week. He said everything looked great, that the dilation and effacement I had is probably continuing, so I should just keep doing what I am doing. He mentioned that since my uterus has been the same height for a few weeks, yet i am clearly still gaining weight and baby is still growing, he must have moved into my pelvis at least a little bit.

And then he said, "Well, we'll see you next week. Unless we see you at the hospital before that!"

Next appointment: February 3 at 3:15. We also have an appointment with the pediatrician at 4:30 on February 3. I am not too worried about what the pediatrician says in this "pre-natal interview." I just want to give them a heads up that I had a weird neurological issue in pregnancy, so that the peds can monitor the baby for neurological functioning in the early days of his life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

38 weeks 2 days: Cover Your Ass

Red finally has diapers. We met with the diaper lady yesterday, and have 70 diaper service cloth diapers and 7 eensy-weensy diaper covers sitting in the dining room.

Red also has a doctor. We have an appointment for next Friday to meet with the pediatrician. We are beyond lax about it, especially since the office has a legion of doctors, so it is just a matter of finding one we like. And, if he comes before the appointment, the office will still do his hospital exam, so we're feeling pretty good about it.

Oh, yeah, and my blood work came back normal. No signs of pre-eclampsia, liver problems, kidney problems, or sugar issues. As Dyke Two said, "I knew all along it was all in your head."

In non-baby news, my pre-lim paper has been turned in. Now I just need to read and critique the journal article and create my presentation about it and my paper.

I am actually hoping that Red stays in place until February 2nd, since the lesbian baby shower is this weekend, and my prelim meeting is Feb 1.

Friday, January 20, 2006

37 weeks 4 days: Sticks and Showers

We had an appointment yesterday with the NP.

GBS test--yum.
Internal check: 50% effaced, fingertip dilated.
Uterus: 38 cm
Blood pressure: 145/86
heartrate: 150s
weight: up 3 and a half (9 pounds total)

The NP also sent me to get a blood draw to make sure that the vision stuff and headaches are not due to blood pressure/pre-eclampsia. So, I was swabbed with a q-tip in my hooter and bumhole, poked in the cervix by the NP. (I think she used three fingers) AND I was poked in the arm by a needle, drawing TWO vials of blood.

After all those invasions of my personal space, we also had a shower. Dyke Two's office hosted it. It was so sweet. Dyke Two had never been to a shower before, and she was completely overwhlemed. She cried. Twice. Maybe three times.

In her defense, this is a pretty traditional office, and the support and acceptance of her as a mom was really nice.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

36 weeks 6 days: seeing double

Friday morning I woke up and realized that I was seeing double. My head hurt, the room was spinning a little, and there were definitely four devoted and protective dogs lying on the floor by the bed. Last time that happened, I could definitely attribute it to an alcohol induced state. This time, the only controlled substance in my system is pregnancy tea. Dyke Two was at the doctor, but as soon as she came home, I cautiously told her that I was seeing two of everything...

I had just seen the OB the day before, so we called my optometrist, assuming that my prescription was changing in the end days of pregnancy. They told me to call my OB. We called the OB, who said, "Well, if you come in, we'll just take your blood pressure and make you pee in the cup. Since everything was clear yesterday, there is no reason to come back today."

Back to the optometrist. Dyke Two drove me across town to the optometrist, which is a good thing, since I kept flinching because I thought parked cars were driving toward us in our lane. Long story short, optometrist determined that there is nothing wrong with my prescription, no signs of swelling or damage to the back of the eye, and no eyeball related explanation for this. He sent me to a neurologist.

We spent 3 and a half hours with the neurologist, Dr. Crazyman. Seriously, the man was loud, wore a gigantic yellow bow tie with his pants pulled up to his rib cage, and spoke into his dictaphone the entire time. He was writing his chart notes as he interviewed me, but he never asked a question, since he would just trail off mid-sentence, waiting for me to answer. I did all sorts of fun tests that involved lights and buttons and pointers. Finally, we were sent home with a diagnosis of paralysis of the VI cranial nerve, which is preventing me from moving my right eye properly. Dr. Crazyman said that normally, he would have sent me for an MRI that day to rule out stroke, tumors, lesions and viral/bacterial damage, but since I was pregnant, we just need to wait it out. If the symptoms are still there when the baby is born, then he will order an MRI. In the meantime, he occluded the right lens of my glasses. Turns out that is just Dr. Crazyspeak for "put scotch tape over the lens so you can't see through it." Words can't describe the hotness factor. We have strict orders to check for changes and call immediately if any symptoms get worse or new ones develop. In that situation, the OB can take the baby out and I can get the MRI. I freaked out a little, until I realized that, in fact, the baby could be taken out, since he is full term tomorrow.

Then I really freaked out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

36 weeks 2 days: Don't call us, we'll call you

I called the mohel last night, and we finally talked today. I am not optimistic right now. He said that he will have to do a conversion. Whatever. He also didn't sound too comfortable with the idea of doing OUR bris, regardless of my Jewish status. He said he was going to call me back, but I'm not holding my breath. He tried to make me feel better about the conversion by saying, "No one will know it is happening but you" but in reality, I'm the person whose feelings and thoughts matter most here. I recognize his attempts to make sure the baby is accepted as Jewish so he is spared this later, but I can be spared it right now, by using my OB and the reform rabbi.

I am disappointed, but in truth, kind of expected it. I guess we will be talking to the OB tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

36 weeks 1 day: Now I Feel Guilty

After calling my advisor an ass yesterday, I got an email from him. Turns out his wife is recovering from surgery and had to go back into the hospital with complications from it. Much as I want to believe it, I guess the world doesn't revolve around me.

Can I amend yesterday's sentiments to: My advisor is difficult to work with, but apparently is human, just like me.

I have been having non-stop headaches for the last three weeks. It is beginning to make me a little irritable.

Today's to-do list:

find a hotel for my parents to stay in when they visit post-birth.

call the mohels on my list

pay some bills (and go buy the more expensive stamps...)

call the pediatricians on our list

maybe, just maybe, do a couple loads of laundry

Let's see tomorrow how much of it is actually completed. I am betting that the accomplishment list will look more like:

took a shower

watched "Bringing Home Baby"

played on the internet

Monday, January 09, 2006

36 weeks: Hibernation has set in...

I have literally been sleeping for 12 hours a day. Every day. I feel like I am back in high school, but then it was only on weekends. Perhaps it is the massive amounts of sleep, but I am feeling pretty good. I have been fighting off migraines for the past three weeks, but they are at a point where they are annoying, but not debilitating. Dyke Two came back from a doctor's appointment this morning with fresh flowers and donuts for me. Her doctor gave her a good bill of health in every way but her weight. I am at a loss as to how to help her get over the hurdle of beginning to lose the weight. I suggested that she call her old therapist and get suggestions for a new therapist or coach who might be able to give her a tune up. The flowers and donuts were so thoughtful. I didn't have the heart to tell her that the flowers set off my headache, so they have to stay out of the bedroom...

I did a news interview yesterday for our local station, talking about how the anti-gay bills that have been introduced to the legislature will affect me and Dyke Two. I think the reporter was ready to cream himself when I told him that we had gotten married in July in Toronto, and that I was 36 weeks pregnant. Then I got pissed at the station, because they used footage of a drag queen throughout the story on civil unions and marriage. I politely told them in an email that drag queens are a celebrated and well-loved part of gay entertainment, but have little to do with a story on gay families and partnerships.

I have been going back and forth with my advisor about my prelim exam. He is being less than helpful, and not at all forthcoming about expectations and requirements. He won't tell me if he will approve the topic for my paper, he won't tell me his availability to schedule the actual event, and he told me to just find out everyone else's availability for the meeting, but won't give me a timeframe. I would attribute it to anger about me being pregnant, but he told me that he was like this way back when we met in August. I didn't tell him until October that I was pregnant, so I guess we can attribute it to him just being an ass.

Friday, January 06, 2006

35 weeks 4 days

We finished our Childbirth class last night. I was strangely comforted by the fact that the instructor said that 20% of women experience post-partum depression, and that her experience is that while women with a previous history of depression/anxiety are at greater risk, they are also better equipped to handle it.

We talked to the instructor directly about our concerns about her language, and she admitted that she caught herself, and had wanted to be inclusive, but habit often kicked in before she realized it. We told her that we learned so much from her, and really enjoyed the experience, but that we are hoping that the hospital will provide instructors with better diversity training. Luckily, she understood and didn't take it personally. Dyke Two is such the diplomat. You'd think it was her job or something...

The hospital tour was also very exciting. We got to see the labor, delivery and recovery rooms, the nursery and get lots of reassurance that the things we want for the birth are routine: rooming in, visits from the lactation consultants, immediate breastfeeding, delayed newborn testing, having it done in the room, not the nursery, waiting to cut the cord until it stops pulsing, lots of opportunity to move during labor, perineal support, mama-led pushing, etc.

I just got an email from the executive director of the state gayrights group. I nearly lost it a few days ago when I heard that a bill is being introduced to prevent unmarried women from accessing "medical procedures" to get pregnant. No ultrasounds for ovulation, no IUIs, no donor sperm, no IVF, no fertility testing. She asked me to consider coming to Lobby Day to speak at the press conference. the only problem is that Lobby Day is scheduled when I am 38 weeks pregnant. I really want to be there, but I am not sure that Dyke Two and my OB will be as excited as I am.

I think Red is excited about Lobby Day. He has been dancing around in there since I got the email.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

35 weeks 2 days

We went over to a friends' house last night to watch part of the Orange Bowl. (OK, we went to socialize and eat because they promised to be serving my favorite spinach and artichoke dip). We had a surreal moment when another friend told us about her commitment to her music this year. She is getting over a rough breakup and has decided that it is finally time to focus her energy on her music, since she is going through so much transition anyway. She excitedly told us that she had played at a private Christmas party at a local bar/music venue, and the owner had approached her to be the opening act for a performance in February. This is an awesome opportunity for her, as she has played in the band for countless regional acts, but has never had her own billing. She told us to mark our calendars for February 1, and make sure we are there. Of course, we want to be there, but it felt very weird to say, "We'll plan on going, but we won't buy advanced tickets, because we don't know if we'll be available..." She understood, and is excited to meet Red, but it still felt weird.

Monday, January 02, 2006

35 weeks 0 days: I don't know how she does it...

I have realized in recent weeks that I am suffering from an almost paralyzing indecisiveness. I am sure it stems from my anxiety. I have seen it manifest itself in my freaking out about the circumcision, in my inability to settle on sleeping arrangements, on my freakouts about what type of sling to order (the list could continue, but I will spare you all the details). Thank goodness for Dyke Two. She is the ultimate procrastinator, but once she makes up her mind to do something, she does it.

So, this weekend, we ordered a crib. I have been hemming and hawwing about the crib for weeks. Dyke Two looked at my list of possible cribs and picked one. Five minutes, start to finish. We chose the recommended "good" one from the Baby Bargains book, and ordered it from target.com. Then, we had to buy a mattress. I had a whole long list of possible mattresses. We drove up to Target (a trip that we often delay because it is soooooo far from our house, up through the congestion and sprawl that is the northern part of our city. We could take the backroads from our house in the south east area up to Target, but the road is so curvy that it makes me motion sick, so we must travel along the busy congestion shopping center-lined road that is the bane of our city).

So we get to Target, and I am freaking out trying to decide which mattress to buy. Dyke Two pulls the two (yes, I was freaking out deciding between two mattresses) that are in stock off the shelf, and presses on them. She announces that there is no difference in firmness. She reads the number of coils in each mattress, and picks up the cheaper of the two, which has the recommended number of coils, and puts it in the cart.

Off we go to toiletries to buy post-partum pads. I won't even go into the 30 minutes I spent in the feminine hygiene aisle. But, suffice it to say, I have worn tampons since my first menstrual experience, and pads are something I have never considered before. We bought some though, after Dyke Two returned to the area, and grabbed something and put it in the cart.

But, this morning is when she really saved the day. I have been freaking out about diapers. Freaking out. Disposables? Cloth? If cloth, do we buy our own or use a diaper service? The choices are so staggering that I have been going along in life, apparently assuming that an elimination communication diaper-free baby is in our future. Not that we were choosing this, but because Red would arrive and would end up diaper-free by default because his mother was too neurotic to buy him something to cover up his cute little ass.

So, Dyke Two called the diaper service in town, and talked to the very nice woman who runs the service. She hung up the phone, and said, "We have four weeks of service lined up."

The skies opened up with the swell of the heavenly chorus. "The perfect solution" I exclaimed in my head. "If after 4 weeks, we love it, we can keep going. If we hate it, we can switch to disposables. And, after he is out of newborn sizes, if we are totally loving the cloth, we can buy our own."

I just keep shaking my head, as I realize again that Dyke Two really comes through when I need her to. I guess I can forgive her for her computer game obsession.