Monday, October 31, 2011

Continued Update

Still very little movement from Jellybean. I get a nudge every now and then, but nothing significant. Granted, she is running out of space in there and movement should be more restricted at this point, but I think I should still be feeling some significant movement during the day and not just the nudge of a heel every few hours.

Doctor's office remains unconcerned and says they'll check it out tomorrow.

Intense contractions last night starting in my back. Really really painful - like nothing I've had before. Hoped for them to become regular, but instead they decided to stick with their normal, irregular pattern all night long and refuse me sleep. Off and on contractions today.

Tomorrow is a big checkup with sonogram and monitors, so I'm hoping they can tell me something to put my mind at ease. This no movement thing is really freaking me out and I'm losing my mind over it. I refuse to get this far just to have a fluid or cord problem cause terrible issues that we miss or don't control in time. At this point, we are 35 weeks and this baby needs to come out. I don't know why, but my body simply cannot do this. I cannot take care of a child in my body because my body fights against it tooth and nail. I need them to deliver her so we can see that she is ok and that we can take care of her in a better environment.

And for those who believe she is in the better environment right now, I strongly disagree. A good environment does not actively seek to evict the baby for eight weeks, require daily blood thinners to keep from clotting off the cord, require two types of antibiotics to stop recurring uti's, and have low fluid issues. My body is actively searching for ways to hurt this baby, and it's scaring the crap out of me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


So, there"s not a lot to report at this point. I called the Dr. last night and since, at one point, we were able to meet our kick count, they told us to wait it out. Today there is definitely decreased movement - but now they are attributing it to the uti. I still don't know what's going on, but she is moving a bit. That's all we know right now.


My three year old is sitting on the floor coloring. I'm reading in a chair.

"Mommy, do you feel ok?"

"Yes, honey."

"Do you need to call Dr. Dameron? Are you having more contractions?"

Uhm...this kid picks up on a bit too much....

Friday, October 28, 2011


Another day, another doctor's visit.

A rough day today that shows no sign of ending anytime soon. Been having a lot of contractions, pressure, pain, cramping, etc - all not good signs at this point. Usually I just have one or two of them - having all of them together, by itself, made today an unusual situation. Then we need to add to it a serious lack of movement on Jellybean's part.

Orange juice. No movement. Breakfast. No movement. Water. No movement. Lunch. No movement (you getting the idea?)

We had to go in to be monitored again. After 45 minutes, JB's heart was just flat - no movement up or down at all. So the nurse practitioner, my doctor was out of the office, gave me a couple of Lifesavers. We got a small couple of bumps upward after an hour of monitoring. She felt that was good and was ready to send me on my way. Typically, you should see two accelerations of 15bpm up or down during an hour for it to look good. We didn't get that. We got about a 10bpm acceleration two times in three minutes (which isn't the same). Asked about it and was reassured with, "Well, she moved. If she's still not moving tonight, you should go to L&D to really get checked out." Yup. That made me feel really good. So, now I'm scared out of my mind because JB has gone back to NO movement whatsoever and I feel like I have no good answers.

I did find out I have another UTI (yup, that's four now for this pregnancy), so I had to go over to the hospital for a bunch of labs. I guess we'll find out about those on Tuesday. More medication to add to the antibiotic I was already on to prevent UTI's (guess it didn't work).

Scared, anxious, and tired right now. Hoping not to go back to L&D tonight, but I'm not gonna hold my breath on that one...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

That was different...

First of all, thank you so much for the kind comments about pregnancy and medication. It's such a sore spot and guilty feeling right now that those really helped a lot. I appreciate it.

Had a new experience this morning. I actually slept for a good chunk of the night (thank you, medication - it was a nice feeling), but the contractions actually decided to start at about 4am. That was new. Usually, this is the time they start to taper off. By 6am they were regular and 3 minutes apart and stayed that way until about 7am when they became irregular again.

I have to say, the weirdest feeling is to watch and time these things and wonder each time, "is this it?" With them starting in the morning and becoming more frequent and timeable, I really thought we might be on our way to have our little girl, but, of course, my body took that opportunity to just say "gotcha!" We're getting very close to 35 weeks now (tomorrow according to the ticker on this website and Sunday by my doctor's calendar), so I'm feeling pretty good about thinking that it could happen at any time without worrying too much about if there will be any problems. Again, Katie was 36 weeks, so the closer we are to that, the better I feel.

Right now, there's a lot of pressure, but no clear contractions, so it doesn't appear as though today will be the big day (but as soon as I say that, you know what could happen ;). Going to take it easy and rest because I am sore from the round this morning, but I'm thankful for the little break right now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The longer version

So, here's how yesterday's visit actually went...

It started with me in non-controllable tears. I know; for a good visit, you probably weren't expecting to hear that. Me neither. Unfortunately, Monday night was very very very rough. There was literally no sleep due to contractions. If you're keeping count, that means that I had been having pretty constant contractions (there was a small reprieve each day - typically between about 6:00am and noon where they backed off a bit) since Friday evening and I was sore, exhausted, and at the end of my rope.

Now, I'm one of those people that no matter how I am actually feeling, I tend not to show it to anyone who isn't Brian. No matter how badly it hurts or how sick I feel, I will smile and crack jokes if you are in the room. I will keep from you how I actually feel because I don't want anyone to see it. It's just the way I was raised and I can't help it - I don't even show my parents. Needless to say, it takes a lot to see how I'm really feeling (if you're seeing it, it's bad). I was sobbing in the car because I was so tired and sore (and I REALLY had to pee - when you have to give a sample at the doctor's each time, it's sometimes hard to make it all the way to the doctor without feeling like you will explode).

Well, the doctor walked in and saw me sobbing and sniffling and immediately acknowledged that I was not doing well. The only other time she's seen me like this was during my second round of methotrexate with the ectopic pregnancy, and that visit landed me in the hospital with a pain pump. She always tries to keep the mood light (I think she's much like me in that she makes jokes and tries to make it seem better than it is just so people will feel better - I appreciate that about her because the jokes are never at my expense, they always seem to be an attempt to get a smile), and after Brian told her I had been having contractions at about every five minutes since Friday, she mentioned that I always tried to hold out and wait for appointments and that I was a trooper :) Small things. In any case, she did her usual check - I'm measuring as I should be and have dilated to about a 2 (I was barely a 1 last Wednesday, so we're moving) and then she sat down for a chat.

She said we'd monitor and then discuss our options, but did say that we were far enough along that they would not do anything to stop labor at this point. If I get consistent contractions that intensify or become a real pattern, then we will go into labor and have our little girl, which is good to hear. She said that they would normally wait until 36 or 37 for this, but that I had been through enough and that girls who are born early typically do better than boys. Of course, they can't guarantee that she would have no problems, but they've checked her out enough through monitors and sonograms that they feel pretty good about where she actually is. She did mention, of course, that we were too early for her to "help us out" at this point. I didn't expect her to be able to, but it was nice to see that she understood this discomfort (darn professional ethics :)

We did the monitoring and those contractions were big. They weren't regular (again - and they were even less frequent since it was morning - if I could do visits at 8pm, she'd see a whole different ballgame), but they were huge. Thankfully, JB was looking very good. She came in to discuss options. Option 1: go directly to hospital. Be pumped full of IV pain meds and relax until birth. Option 2: better pain meds or sleep meds. Option 3: better pain and sleep meds. She left it up to me.

Of course, I didn't want to go back to the hospital, so I took option 3. I now have Vicodin for pain and Sonota for sleep. This is very difficult for me to talk about because I am feeling very very badly about taking so much medication while pregnant. I wasn't feeling great about the Lovenox, but knew it was vital to the pregnancy. I was uncomfortable when we had to add the antibiotic to prevent future UTI's or kidney infections but I knew that a UTI could cause serious problems or preterm birth. Adding the Requip for my legs was a comfort thing - not necessary, but helped me sleep at night. In fact, I had no problems with sleep after that (until preterm labor started). Then we add in the Procardia to stop the contractions.

Well, now we've added two more medications to this and I'm very uncomfortable. The doctor has assured me up and down, left and right that the only drawback is that if the baby is born within a few hours of taking these meds, she would be a bit sleepy, but it's hard to justify in my mind. You're not supposed to take ANYTHING while pregnant except vitamins, and here I have a major medicine cabinet going on. I feel terrible and I am worried about Jellybean, but I know that a lot of her wellbeing depends on my own. If I'm not sleeping, not eating, and in constant pain, then she's dealing with all of that as well, and that's not good for her. But it feels like a weak justification. I mean, I didn't take anything other than Tums and some Tylenol PM on occasion with Katie - what if I hurt JB? What if she's born with problems? I feel like I'm taking the weak way out and it's really bothering me.

As I said, I am allowed some movement now - the doctor thinks it may even help with some of the contractions and discomfort (it definitely helps me feel much much more emotionally stable and at ease). I'm supposed to take it relatively easy this week, but she said next week I could do whatever I wanted. She felt really good about passing the 34 week mark, and so we'll do another visit next Tuesday with monitors and sonogram, and then I can do whatever I want. She even told me I could start really walking next week if I felt up to it. We're finally starting to get back to normal and that feels really nice (and Katie is just thrilled - it's been really hard on her).

All in all, just feel really guilty about all of this medication. I take only what I need when I need it, but it's just so hard to justify when everything you read everywhere is about how you shouldn't take anything unless you have to. I'm very thankful I have a doctor who is trying to help me and I know she wouldn't prescribe anything that would hurt JB. I guess this is just another instance of, "things I didn't expect or plan on in this pregnancy." I'm just no good at all at being pregnant - no matter what I try to do or plan on doing, my body just says no.

In other news, I was so very lucky to be able to leave the house and go visit with Katie's preschool teacher for our very first parent-teacher conference. I am now going into shameless bragging mother mode - consider yourself warned! The teacher began by gushing about how much she absolutely loves Katie and considers her to be one of the kindest and most caring children in the class. She said that she can put Katie with any of the other students and she will play with anyone and will help anyone and that she is always willing to help her friends. That was just so lovely to hear. We also got to hear about her development - they use something called "Ages and Stages" which evaluated her performance on certain tasks in fields like gross motor, fine motor, communication, listening, and problem solving skills. Katie scored at the very top in all of those categories and the teacher said she's at the top of her class (again, shameless mom gushing!) I knew she was a smart little cookie, but it was so neat to see just how smart and to hear someone who knows what they're talking about tell us about her. She recommended that Katie enroll in the five day a week Pre-K class next year rather than the 3 day a week Pre-4 class (she's in Pre-3 right now) and gave us some specific goals and activities to work on at home. The big goal for this year is to learn how to write her name, which is pretty exciting! She knows her colors, numbers, alphabet, sounds of the letters in the alphabet - all the things she should know. I'm just so darn proud of the kid. We knew she was verbal and that she was a stellar mimic, but it's just so neat to see the folder of work they've been collecting from her this year and to see all the other things she can do that I wasn't aware of. When she got home I just gave her a big squeeze and told her how proud I was that she was so kind and so helpful at school. She's just such a neat kid and we are so blessed to have her - I know she'll be just that helpful and kind to Jellybean and that gives me such a warm feeling inside.

So, not only did I get to go outside, but I got to hear wonderful news for half an hour about my amazing daughter. While we've been through some rough stuff, we must be doing something right :) (End shameless bragging - for now!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Very quick update...

I am now allowed "limited movement." I can run an errand or two, but the majority of the day should still be spent in a horizontal position. I don't care - this is way better than last week.

Assured that no measures will be taken to stop labor if it starts.

Dilated to 2cm.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dear Jellybean

My mind is trying to wrap itself around the thought that you could literally be here any day and be a real part of our lives. Of course, it's not like you aren't a part of our lives already - I think I speak to you more on a daily basis than I might have otherwise because you are the one who keeps me company all day. You also determine a lot of my moods and overall feelings. More importantly, Katie talks about you all the time and gives you lots of hugs and kisses. We are all ready to meet you and see who you are.

I'm trying to just count on our surgery date as the day we will finally meet you. While I do have hope that you will show up just a bit before that because I am so very anxious to see you, something tells me you might be just enough of a little diva to now wait and take your time. And that's fine. A little annoying, but fine. It is so incredibly hard to wait for you, though. I feel like I have this huge present wrapped and sitting in the middle of the room and that someone keeps telling me, "Maybe you can open it today...Nope - let's wait just a bit longer." The waiting is so hard because I feel like we've been waiting for you for years; in retrospect, we have been. We have been waiting for your arrival for three years now and it's amazing we are so close.

You are going to be one of the most loved and precious children to ever grace the face of this planet. After miscarriages, treatments, shots, tests, preterm labor, bedrest, pain and discomfort, I can honestly say that midnight and 4am feedings will be a real treat. Earaches will be a minor inconvenience. Even acid reflux or colic will be greeted with tolerance and acceptance because listening to you cry will simply be a miracle. Of course, we pray with all of our hearts that you will be happy and healthy and very rarely sick or uncomfortable, but I just want you to know that nothing you can do once you are out here with us will affect the joy and pleasure of getting to spend time with you (those of you who are thinking, "Just wait and see..." right now clearly underestimate the effort it has taken to get to this point).

I can't wait to sit with you in your room and listen to music with you. To sing to you and to feel the softness of your newborn cheek. A newborn is softer than anything in the world and I know that I'm going to spend hours just rubbing your hand or your cheek. I can't wait to feel you snuggle deeply against my chest as you relax or to listen to the humongous burps that will erupt out of your teeny tiny body. If you continue to act as you have been, I will smile at your frequent bouts of hiccups that wrack your body several times a day and at the little look of confusion on your face as you try to figure out where you are and what is going on.

I want to hold you and kiss you. I want to talk to you right here and let you know how loved and cherished you are. I can't wait for the moment that we can introduce you to everyone and tell them the name you picked out for yourself. Your sister watches TV and picks out all the things she wishes we could get for her baby sister. She's been asking a lot of questions about you lately. She wants to know what you will look like and whether you will have hair and how much you will cry. I don't know, but I can't wait to find out. I bet you'll be alert and nosy just like your sister was. Your sister cannot wait to hold you, feed you, and love you - and neither can we.

Each day, I wait with my breath half held hoping that this might be it and that you might decide to come and visit us in person. I know I can't rush you, but I just want you to know just how anxious we are and how much love there is right here waiting for you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Goal Met!

34 weeks as of today (according to the doctor's calendar - it seems like every ticker or calendar is a bit different, so I consider hers to be the official one). We have made it to the point that the doctor wanted us to get to as a minimum for safety. Yay!!!!

Now, let's cross our fingers and hope that Tuesday brings good news of modified bed rest which will allow me to start moving around and letting my body just do what it's going to do rather than fight it tooth and nail 24 hours a day.

So very very glad we made this mark!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another day

Today has been a pretty rough day overall and most of it has been spent completely horizontal in bed on my left side. Not a good day for me because it keeps me away from my daughter and husband and makes me a bit depressed to lay in a dark room and not have the ability to be social. If I do try to make it downstairs, I simply get frustrated with everything and my temper is very short, so I feel it's best to remove myself so I don't become "mean mommy."

The contractions are getting worse and aren't giving me a lot of time for rest or relief in between. After much monitoring, Jellybean is doing ok but has a relatively high heartbeat still. My contractions are moving around to my back and starting to look less like preterm labor and more like back labor since they start there for a few hours and then make their way around front. This isn't great because these can lead into full blown labor pretty quickly without a lot of warning, so it's pretty stressful. All of this started up late Thursday afternoon and has progressively gotten worse daily. Usually I feel ok in the mornings and early afternoons and then it starts to get really bad in the evening and through the night (apparently, hormones play some part in this and it isn't unusual, but it makes it very hard for doctors to catch it all on monitors at the office. When I was in on Tuesday, the dr. finally saw it in the evening and remarked, "Well, you weren't kidding when you said it was worse in the evening."

Friday it all started a bit earlier - about noonish and continued to get worse throughout the day. Today it's been literally all day. I never really slept last night because they never went away. At one point today, we were at two minutes apart with the back contractions, but we were supposed to wait until they made their way around front. As of right now, I've got the back contractions going about every three minutes and my stomach is just rock hard with no clearly discernible separate contractions that I can time. I am completely exhausted due to the lack of sleep and I hope that they will let up just a bit to give me a few hours tonight.

I'm hesitant to call the doctor because, at this point, nothing good will really come from it. Either I will have to go in to L&D and they won't see the contractions because they're primarily in my back and my stomach is rock hard (and if you've ever had this experience, you know that if they can't see the contractions, they must not exist. It's very very frustrating.) Or they will see something or call my doctor and I'm going to be stuck at the hospital until delivery. The doctor has made it pretty clear that this is more than likely what will happen if I end up in L&D with more problems. Granted, in the hospital she would give me some pain meds to help me sleep, but I'm going to be on strict bed rest and we are going to wait until my surgery date. If I can make it to Tuesday and become semi-mobile, there's a chance that just that bit of movement will allow me to go into labor just a bit sooner (again - not until she's ready and healthy, but even 36 weeks would be as far as I made it with Katie). Plus, my bed is here. My family is here. If I'm in the hospital again, I'm completely alone. We have no family here to watch Katie, so when I go to the hospital, it's just me. I drive myself and check in and go through all the tests. Brian visits on occasion when he can get away from work or he brings Katie for 20 minutes or so, but it's just me alone in a hospital room for 22 hours a day or so. It's a very bad situation.

The hardest part about all of this preterm labor has been having Katie around and not having any family here in town. I go to most of my doctor's appointments alone because Katie can't handle the wait (typically they are about an hour long). I sit on the monitors alone. I get the ultrasounds alone. I go to the hospital alone. I feel like I do a lot of this all by myself and it's very hard. I can't blame Brian because someone needs to be with Katie, but I wish I had some family here somewhere who could help out. We do have very good friends who offer to take her and a wonderful daycare provider who keeps her well into the evening when need be, but when I get checked in for more than a day, Brian still has to find a way to juggle everything. All of this is scary enough without having to be on my own while I do it all.

In any case, I'm still very hopeful that I will be allowed to move around a bit as of Tuesday. We're keeping our fingers crossed. Right now, I'm hoping to get a bit of sleep between now and then to help keep a bit of my sanity as well ;)

Friday, October 21, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about last year and where we've come since then. I took some time to go back over my old posts and to see where I was and what I was thinking...and there's a lot in my head right now, but I'm not sure I can put any of it into words. I keep going over it again and again and again and since it's still on my mind, I know I need to write about it, but I'm still not sure what I'm going to say.

Last year at this time was so very different. After having the two miscarriages in October and May of the previous year, we had decided to try again at the end of November/beginning of December. I was gearing up for yet another try and hoping and praying for the best. I was full of nerves and anxiety and just a huge sense of the unknown - what was around the corner? How long would we try? What would happen? It was all such an unsteady time.

Thankfully, we got pregnant quickly, but it all turned badly so fast. Those hCG levels never rose in a consistent way and the doctor I was working with was completely unhelpful - wanting us to wait over the Thanksgiving holiday for the followup to our beta blood draw. We were just entering yet another horrible period of pain and sadness and my heart was breaking on a daily basis. Getting that positive pregnancy test and the bleeding on the same day - going to the ER and taking a urine pregnancy test and being told it was my period and to go home (an expensive ten minute visit) - getting more bleeding and positive tests - hearing from my doctor that we'd just wait it out - it was all just so much to handle emotionally. And it was all just starting at this point last year.

I remember after the ectopic was diagnosed and how horrible those methotrexate treatments were; I still can remember how sick and how terrible those days were. I remember being hospitalized on massive doses of pain medication and wondering each day if I was going to have to have surgery and wondering how much of my reproductive organs I was going to lose. It all simply felt like, "this is it...there are no more tries...there isn't another chance after all of this." I lay there in the hospital pressing the button for more pain meds and crying about the child that I was never going to have the opportunity to hold.

Honestly, I don't know if we would have tried again if I hadn't switched doctors and she hadn't had so much hope. It seems almost silly now to have been so frustrated with all those daily blood draws and visits to outpatient labs for different tests. I guess after losing those three pregnancies, all of these tests just felt superfluous - like it wasn't going to happen so why were we trying so hard to find answers? I was just numb during all of it; I couldn't bring myself to be hopeful or to look forward to the answers because it just didn't seem like it would matter. I even remember when we got our first positive pregnancy test after all these tests and the MTHFR diagnosis and feeling a combination of excitement and sheer terror - what was going to happen this time?

I guess it's all just a long way of saying, we just can't be certain of the direction our lives are going to take or where we are going to end up. If you had spoken to me a year ago, I had all but given up hope. My body could not sustain a pregnancy, and I was starting to resign myself to that fact. I started to look at my daughter and think of her as "the only child." I mourned daily the future I wasn't going to have.

But we just never know what God and fate have in store for us. Even when it seems so bleak and it hurts to hope, I've learned that I just can't give up. If I had stuck with my old doctor and simply resigned myself to life as it was, if I had stopped searching and trying, I wouldn't be where I am today, and where I am today is nothing less than a miracle (pains, aches, discomfort, and boredom included). We are no more than 28 days away from one of the most miraculous moments of our life, and we wouldn't be here if we had given up hope and stopped trying. It seems so cliche and so silly, but it's good to stop and remember that we honestly don't know what is in store for us and we don't know what direction our life will go. We can't know, so we can't assume we do.

Is it profound? Not really, but it's a lesson that I need to carefully consider and remember. I'm such a planner and so resigned to whether or not something is "meant to be." Well, it's not meant to be until it's all over - and it's definitely not over. If nothing else, I hope I have learned to let go of a little bit of that need to control and plan everything and to accept that what is going to happen is ok. It may not be exactly what I want at the time I want, but it's what is going to happen. And that's not always such a bad thing, is it?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another fun trip...

It's just the way I planned to spend my day. Another eventful day courtesy of our old friend "pre-term labor!"

It all started last night when my contractions started to get really intense. Like - taking the Tylenol 3 and the procardia and NOTHING changes or dulls the pain. It was really bad. Then my stomach became rock hard and stayed that way. Typically, in a contraction, your stomach becomes hard briefly and then releases - mine didn't release. I managed to make it through a VERY long night by using heating pads, hot showers, lots of pillows, and crying (it's a good release when you're tired, frustrated, and in pain). Today I called the doctor and was told to come in for yet another session with my old friends the monitors.

They hooked me up and started watching. My belly was still hard as a rock, so they couldn't get much other than pressure in terms of contractions, but, for the first time, Jellybean wasn't doing so well. Her baseline heartbeat was 190 - with many forays into the 210-220 range. This is REALLY high. It stayed this way for about forty minutes. So they had me switch onto my side and it went down - baseline 180. Still way too high. At this point, I was in enough pain to be sweating with each contraction and nauseous - neither one of us was doing well.

And off to sonogram we went. Time for another biophysical profile. Jellybean did meet all her marks, but she did it very slowly - we were there for about forty minutes trying to get her to do what she needed to do. Baseline heartbeat was still at 170 (still too high) and my fluid was back down to the very low end of normal. All of this led the doctor to question the tear in the amniotic sac theory and whether I was leaking more fluid and we had infection or other stress going on that was affecting JB. So, she sent me off to L&D.

Thankfully, I got to go outpatient this time (less comfortable, but less permanent as well). They hooked me up and Jellybean was looking much better. She eventually - within an hour - stabilized and went back to normal. Lots of blood tests on me that came back normal. Just as we were about to be released, my contractions started to hit big and strong. They were still not coming in a pattern, but they were coming about every minute or so. They gave me another dose of procardia to back them off, but it didn't do anything.

My doctor was due in to deliver another baby soon, so they had me stay on the monitors until she could come in and check me. Contractions continued - irregular but strong and frequent. She finally checked me out and decided that since Jellybean's heart was good and the contractions weren't increasing in frequency or strength, we were "ok." I am starting to dilate now - just a bit - but once you start down that road, you can't really stop it. That's got her a bit concerned. She wanted me to stay the night, at least, and I had a total breakdown and begged to be released to my own home and bed. She finally agreed, but I have strict orders to be in again tomorrow and Friday if anything continues.

So, it's been another long and drama filled day. We are on very strict bed rest until next Tuesday - lie on the left side as often as possible and no extra movement at all. I'm still hopeful that much of this will be lifted next week, but with the dilation, that may not be the case. I'm thankful JB is looking good, but I'm worried about her now - this is the first time we've seen her react poorly to these situations. I just worry about such a little bitty person having to deal with so much.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Decisions and Good News

Unfortunately, the time has come to make a pretty big decision. Of course, it's not one that has to be made at this point in time, but it has to be made pretty soon. What to do after the baby is here?

Most people would think: "Uhm...simply enjoy the baby." Yes, we plan to do that. But there's a bigger decision that we have to make. To put it simply, the question, as phrased by my doctor is, "While we're doing the C-section, do you want your tubes tied?"

Deep sigh.

How do you answer that question? I'm sure for a lot of people it's a simple yes or no - as it should be for us. Since the doctor thinks another pregnancy would be extremely risky (more for me than the baby) and since Brian doesn't like that idea and has decided we need to close up shop, I should say, "yes, please do." But it's so permanent. Once it's done, it's done. There are no more children.

Ok, I know that's silly. We could adopt if we wanted more children. And we've already pushed our luck to the limit, it would appear, so having a third child naturally (or as "naturally" as daily lovenox injections and other high risk monitoring allow) is probably not our smartest idea. I just don't know that I'm ready to face the idea of "forever." We have talked off and on about Brian doing a vasectomy (since I've sort of put in my time, he felt it was the least he could do), but once the suggestion was made by the doctor, it seemed like it would be easiest to take care of it during our already scheduled surgery.

Now, the more logical of you out there are probably thinking: Why not just go on birth control or an IUD or something like that? Obviously this isn't a bad idea, but we have to be careful about "accidents." If I'm not planning on something happening and something did accidentally happen, we would have the painful experience of another miscarriage or, even worse, another ectopic pregnancy which could be deadly. When we think about it that way, permanent seems to be our best option. I just wish I could make my peace with it. I always talk about how this is my last chance to be pregnant and the last time I get to experience this, but the surgery adds a new level of "real" to it.

Of course, we don't need to decide today, but we do need to decide soon just in case I would go into labor early. This is one of those things that would have to be decided ahead of time and not in the middle of delivery. And, of course, Brian could always be the one to take the bullet on this one at a later date. But it's just such a heavy idea and I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. It really shouldn't be this hard...but I guess anything that is "forever" is hard (obviously, insurance doesn't pay to reverse anything and there's no guarantee that a reversal would even work, so we need to consider it permanent).

In other news, the appointment today was pretty good. It looks like there is a good chance I can become semi-mobile next week after my appointment, which is absolutely the best news ever. We also scheduled our surgery. If she does not come any earlier, Jellybean will be joining us on November 18. Our surgery is scheduled for 12:15pm. One month from today, one way or another, I will get to meet my baby girl :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bed Rest Bonus

You know those days when you just don't want to get out of bed because it feels so darn good to just stay there?

Well, I don't have to :) And there's no way to feel guilty about it either.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Been a while...

But sometimes I'm just not in a big writing mood :) I'm sure you understand.

Some important things have happened lately:

1.) We are now at 33 weeks. That's pretty safe, which is good. If I'm really really really really really really lucky and the doctor doesn't see anything changing next week at our 34 week appointment, there's a small chance that I could go on modified bed rest instead of strict bed rest. That would be wonderful. If not....five weeks to go.

2) Which brings us to point two: I have now completed 22 days on full bed rest. In some ways, they have been the longest of my life and in others, due to my now complete lack of comprehension of the passage of time, it seems pretty quick. Days just sort of bleed together with no real distinction, which is probably the blessing of this kind of situation. Again, if I'm really lucky, there's only about 9 more days of full bed rest; however, if we have to stick with this plan until our scheduled surgery, we're looking at at least five weeks (depending on when the surgery will take place). That would be more depressing.

3) I have read somewhere around a book a day; I have watched all of Mad Men; I have caught up on past Oscar winners and nominees that I haven't seen and meant to; I have knitted two blankets for Katie. I meant to do some photo and video projects as well, but those require more brain power than I seem capable of producing at this point in time.

4) I have passed the 40 day mark. The next time we hit one of those big day markers, it will be less than 30 (which, of course, means less than a month!). It's getting easier now that I can safely say that Jellybean could join us at any point now. She was measuring 4lbs last time we did a sonogram, and at this point she should be gaining about half a pound a week, so today she should be about 4.5lbs. Next week she should be at 5, which is typically the minimum for a baby to be able to leave the hospital (as long as breathing is ok and the baby can also regulate body temps), so we're hitting major milestones that mean she could be ok if she's born now.

Katie still doesn't understand what's going on or why I can't get up to play with her or go places with her. Her attitude has become very whiny and very angry - she gets upset at the drop of a hat (I think some of that is just simple "she's three years old" stuff, though). I'm hoping that even if I have to stay on full bed rest I can negotiate with the doctor to be able to go to her parent/teacher conference next week and to do some car-based trick or treating with her, but I'm not sure how she'll feel about that. I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope.

Tomorrow is my birthday and that has also been weird. I had hoped to spend this weekend at my parents' house as a kinda last weekend to travel before the baby was born. I was supposed to be able to travel freely up until 35 weeks, at which point it would be on a week-to-week basis. Funny how much has changed since I started planning that. It's kind of a bummer as well because my little brother is close to graduating from the police academy (Nov 4) and I REALLY wanted to be there for that (but, of course, that was already on the fence due to timing). It's all still worth it, but it is hard to miss these big events.

Contractions are not quite as constant as they were - I had a few days of almost complete quiet on Wednesday and Thursday, which was simply lovely. You know how when you're sick or you have a really bad headache for a few days and then you wake up one day and it's not there? That's a great day because you remember how badly the other days felt. That's how it is now - if I can go a day without contractions, it's a great day :) We'll be back at the doctor on Tuesday for another check-up, NST, and whatever else they feel is necessary on that given day. We ended up with another negative on our recent FFN test, so there's a 99% chance that I will NOT deliver in the next two weeks. This is really good because we know we're pretty safe (with the obvious exception of something strange happening - water breaking, placenta issues, etc), but it can be frustrating because if I get a lot of contractions, I know it's not worth going to L&D or the doctor because I have a negative on that test. I can safely say that I now know way more about preterm labor, tests, and medications than I ever wanted to know.

Anyway, I'm thankful that things have been pretty good and hopeful they will continue so I can get that modified bed rest. Whoever would think that a goal would be to get to go to the grocery store every now and then? ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I am a pregnant MTHFR

And I still cannot look at that particular string of letters without thinking of the more obscene interpretation. However, after reading many many blogs of other people who have this particular condition, I am more convinced than ever that the obscene interpretation is the correct one. When I see how many problems and issues it has caused for so many people, it simply boggles my mind.

I can't help but wonder how different this pregnancy would have been without it. It wouldn't have been nearly as terrifying and anxiety producing, but I wonder if it would have been as treasured? Any child is a blessing, but if I had simply been able to have a second child when I wanted to, would I have felt this intense feeling of being absolutely blessed with a child? I don't know because we didn't get to have that experience; however, it's something that I think about all the time when I visit the blogs of others within the RPL (repeat pregnancy loss) and infertility community. There are so many people out there with this condition who haven't been able to get pregnant and experience any of this yet, and there are so many who are anxiously progressing, day by day, through their own pregnancy right now with so many of the same fears and anxieties.

All of this is one of the main reasons that I try so hard to stay on the bright side and to look at things in a positive manner. It's been hard at times, especially with all of our current complications, but we have been beyond blessed to get this far and I never ever forget it. At any point in the next few weeks, we could end up with cord problems, and I never stop thinking about that as well, due to the clotting nature of this disorder. Even with the blood thinners, the cord can start to clot or rot away while the baby is still using it. I'm really glad that we monitor Jellybean as much as we do to make sure she's doing well so that this isn't as big a fear as it could be.

I can't believe that, up to this point and hopefully beyond, I have been able to be a success story. I can't believe that we are growing what appears to be a healthy and active little girl. Although the idea of six more weeks of this kind of pain and discomfort is really hard to deal with, I never lose sight of what is coming at the end of it all. It's just too easy to let the depression and the overwhelming nature of the whole situation to take over every now and then. But it's overwhelming in both negative and positive ways. While I may express the frustrations and the feelings of anxiety more often, I never stop thanking God for my blessing and the chance to hold her very very soon. I know that I could be like so many other people and still deep in the process of testing and trying, and I know how that process feels. There's nothing that hurts your soul and your heart more than that negative test or that wait for HCG levels or that knowledge that yet another precious baby has left you. Those are experiences that change you at the very core and you will never ever forget what they felt like or what they meant.

All of this is a long way of saying, I'm grateful. I wanted to enjoy being pregnant a lot more by avoiding sickness and complications, but that wasn't in the cards for me; however, none of that means that I don't fully comprehend the luck and the grace that helped me get to this point. I am blessed beyond belief to have gotten this far, and I will never forget everything that brought us to this point. There is a light at the end of that MTHFRing tunnel, and I'm so close I can almost touch it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Doctor's Appointment

Well, we went to the doctor again today and it was pretty uneventful, which is all well and good, but I would appreciate more answers or some kind of help.

Short answer: Don't know why it's all still going on. Cervix is still closed, which is good, so the contractions aren't causing change yet. Why are there so many and why are they so strong? Who knows. She picked up quite a few on the TOCO moniter during the NST, but said they weren't consistent or following a pattern (which I told her already). Don't know why they increase at night. Don't know anything. Best advice: hang in there.

I was able to get a prescription for Tylenol 3 to help with the pain and to hopefully help me sleep. While this is a step in the right direction, I've never had much luck with this particular drug doing anything, but I'm going to think positively and hope it does. We also did another FFT to see if I'm safe for another two weeks. We should know on that tomorrow.

So, again, we just don't know.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another day, another issue - with Update

I've been hoping this would all stop and go away, but it just hasn't. It seems like my body is just conspiring against me in every human way possible and it's getting very old very quick.

On Saturday I woke up just not feeling well. Very achy and with a pretty bad headache. Couldn't kick any of it at all that day. Saturday night, about 6pm, the contractions started. They were really bad. Painful and they got down to every 2 minutes. It went on and on for hours until I could take my pill at 8. The pill calmed them down, but they didn't stop.

Sunday - contractions all day. Headache and body aches. Severe contractions in the evening. No sleep night #2.

Today - called the doctor to let her know what's going on. We're over 36 hours of nonstop contractions now and the medicine makes them back off but not stop. I still have a serious headache. Strangely enough, the contractions back off a bit in the morning and afternoon - typically to around one every ten minutes or so and they are more pressure than pain. However, once the evening hits they come on full force and become painful, strong, and frequent.

I'm waiting to hear back from the doctor. Brian thinks they need to switch my medicine, but the other one is the one that is so dangerous and that the FDA issued warnings about in February, so I really won't feel good if we switch to that. I'm also terrified that one of these visits is going to be the one that sends me back to the hospital. How much will she let me deal with on my own at home before I end up on constant hospital monitoring? That would be an absolute nightmare and the worst thing I can imagine.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'll update when I know more.


The doctor's office just called and the nurse said that if, at present, I'm *only* contracting a few times an hour, there's no reason to come in or be seen. Didn't seem overly concerned about the fact that we are now at almost 48 hours of constant contractions. Said if tonight it becomes bad again and they're regular and 3 min. apart, we need to head back to L&D. This is extremely frustrating on many levels. 1) Each trip to L&D ends up getting me admitted which costs us $300. This is starting to get very pricey. 2) I'm sick of going there and trying to sleep in those uncomfortable beds or to just sit there and wait. It's uncomfortable and horrible. 3) I just can't face those nurses again. It's been three times already and I know them all by now. I just can't do it.

Those may sound like petty or silly reasons not to go, but you have no idea how frustrating it is. To have them look at the computer and see that I was just there and to have to go through ALL of the medical history questions, yet again, and explain the symptoms, yet again. And to sit there in an L&D room when I know that I'm not going to have a baby. I'm just taking up space for issues that they can't explain or fix.

I'm sorry. I'm in pain, I haven't slept in two days, and I don't know when this is going to stop or what this all means. I am pretty much at the end of my emotional rope here and I just can't handle it all anymore. I need my doctor to fix this or tell me how to stop it or when we can end it and she just can't do that. Frustrated isn't a strong enough word right now for what I'm feeling.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Learning about Jellybean

One of the bonus points about the high risk pregnancy is that we're getting to know Jellybean quite well before she even arrives. Over the past few weeks, she's been monitored so closely and viewed so regularly by ultrasound, that I feel like I already know her.

Of course, there was already quite a bit that we knew. She gets the hiccups often. This appears to be an family trait as her father and sister also do this. I have noticed that she is notorious for getting the hiccups first thing in the morning - around 8am - and at night before bed - about 9pm. She's almost like clockwork, and, the poor thing, they go on for a looooooong time - almost fifteen minutes. That simply can't be comfortable. She had them the other day while we were on the Toco monitor and it was really cute to watch the little blips every few seconds and listen to them.

Other things we have learned? She HATES being monitored and viewed. Absolutely positively can't stand it. She can be as quiet as possible when we head into the doctor's office, but as soon as they strap those monitors on, she starts rolling and kicking and shoving. My theories are that she a) doesn't appreciate the extra pressure that comes from them being strapped on (especially when it takes them a few tries to get them in the right place) and b) she doesn't like the extra noise. They always turn the monitors up quite loud so they can hear them in the hallway, and I'm going to guess that she doesn't care for the statick-y, thumping, noise.

Ultrasound pisses her off even more. She has herself head down and VERY curled up in my pelvis and really hates when they are trying to look at her - particularly her face (which I agree with - she's so low down that it's very difficult to get a good angle and not so comfortable for me either). I enjoy watching her onscreen when they do ultrasounds because I can watch her grabbing for the probe or kicking it away. She wants it gone immediately. It's pretty darn cute.

She also spends almost her entire time on the ultrasound with a thumb or fist in her mouth. We bought binkies. I think she will want and use them.

During our last ultrasound, we also found out that she has a cleft chin. My brother has one of these and we've always made fun of him for it, so it seems only natural that she would get this particular trait (he was thrilled to hear it). We saw it very clearly on the screen and it was very cute. I also think that she looks exactly like Katie when she was a baby. Brian says he can't tell from an ultrasound, but I think it's pretty easy to see. We don't know about hair yet, but that will come soon enough.

I know that she's long and skinny just like her sister. She's apparently at about 17in and 4lbs right now. When Katie was born at 36 weeks, she was 18.5in and 6.7lbs - so she's right on track to be a string bean like her sister if she's born early. Her legs are amazingly long - the ultrasound tech is always amazed by this, but, again, very much like her sister. Even though her head is way down in my pelvis, she can still kick her feet up into my ribs if she wants to. She appears to have larger feet and hands as well, so that helps make it pretty uncomfortable when she does manage those kicks to the ribs.

Overall, she appears be healthy, happy, and active, which is the most important part. Whenever we monitor or look at her, she has everything where it needs to be and her heart is good and strong. She is still actively teaching a prenatal Zumba or kickboxing class in there, so I know she's strong and energetic. Thankfully, it appears the Lovenox is doing its job and keeping the cord open and unclotted so she can remain healthy and active in there.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Preparing for Jellybean

Today is a much better day than yesterday, I must say. Yesterday was absolutely horrible. Every time I think that I'm starting to adjust and get used to this situation, something just knocks me back down. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm prone to depressive episodes and anxiety and panic attacks (I will sincerely love going back on my maintenance medication after she is born). Our weather has been unseasonably beautiful - bright, sunny, and warm. This is great for all those who aren't on bedrest. It's simply killing me that I can't go out and do things with Katie. I managed to hang out on the back deck for a while yesterday and watch her play, but if I'm too upright for too long, I get pretty dizzy, so it didn't last too long. It's very hard to look out these windows and see the breeze and the sun and the changing colors on the trees and to know I'm missing it all. This would be SO much easier if it were winter or even spring (as I do not care for being outside in these seasons).

In addition, Katie is still having a very hard time with all of this change and everything that's going on, and so her moods are pretty volatile. I feel like whenever I see her anymore, all she does is whine, cry, and yell. This is very frustrating for me because it upsets me and we're both in a bad mood. Brian takes her out to a park or the zoo and they have a great time, but then they come home and she's right back into that moody state. I'd like to see her happy and having fun from time to time - not just cranky.

Finally, last night it hit me that we have done almost nothing to prepare for Jellybean's actual arrival. Since I started having so many problems and sleep has been so rough, Brian has been sleeping on a futon in what will be JB's room, and so he refuses to get the room put together or put anything together. There was no crib, no changing table, no dresser, no clothes, no toys, no bottles - nothing. There are a few things in boxes (pack 'n play, car seat) and some things in storage (clothes and toys), but nothing is clean or ready. It hit me last night that in the past two weeks, we've had two instances where it looked like I was coming home with a baby and we have nothing ready. It totally freaked me out.

So, that's what Brian's been working on today. He went out and bought bottles and binkies (we were going to at least reuse bottles, but they were pretty worn out and we figured new would just be a bit better) and some diapers and wipes so we have a small supply. He's been putting together the crib (again) and rearranging the room so that our little girl will actually have a space when she does come home. Of course, another one of the annoying things about bedrest is that the room is not (and may not be) decorated. Katie's room was so perfect and ready for her before she arrived, but JB is probably not going to make out as well. There's nothing on the walls or any decorations - it's just a room with some furniture in it.

I know in the long run it doesn't really matter, but I feel badly that we're not as prepared. I'm sure this happens with a second child, but the being thrown a loop and not being mobile or able to run errands or shop has made it much more difficult. These were all things we had planned on doing this month, and, yet again, it all falls on Brian. Very very frustrating.

I feel better now that some things are put together and that we at least have the bare essentials in case she does come early. I also got a couple of care packages in the mail today which made me feel so much better. My brother sent a gift card to Pizza Hut so we wouldn't have to worry about dinner at least a couple of nights. My aunt sent me a wonderful box with some of those great fuzzy socks with aloe and a new book to read. She also made me some cookies. But the best part was that she sent a card telling me that she was on bedrest with her second child and that my grandmother was on bedrest with my father (also a second child), and so she sent me a relic from St. Gerard (patron saint of expectant mothers and safe deliveries). It's a really cool relic - first class - with a bone fragment and all (and if you're not Catholic, I'm sorry if this seems really gross to you, but it's pretty darn cool for me). This really means a lot to me because I've been very attached to my relics lately - when we first started trying to get pregnant with JB, I started wearing a bracelet with two medals on it: St. Catherine of Sienna (patron saint of miscarriages) and one of Pope John Paul II (third class relic that I received after his death). I believe that they helped us become pregnant in the first place and that they are still helping us - so having another Saint give us an extra nudge can't be a bad thing.

Overall, it's been a better day and I'm not on an emotional ledge anymore like yesterday (poor Brian is really going to deserve a medal for all he is putting up with). There have been a lot of contractions, but nothing consistent or troubling, so right now it's just business as usual. We will return to the doctor on Tuesday and see where we go from there. Here's hoping for an uneventful couple of days so we can reduce those doctor visits to once a week (not that I don't love leaving the house and seeing how JB is doing, but I'd prefer not to be at the office all the time anymore).

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Thankfully, things looked better today. The sonogram in the hospital and the one in the doctor's office showed that I have moved from "low" to "stable," so that's a relief. The only problem with this particular development is that I have been drinking enough water to literally float away, and it appears I will have to continue this particular habit in order to ensure things stay ok. But, as long as it all looks good, this is not that big a deal.

I did, apparently, pick up a little bit of a flu bug that I also had to get checked out today. I'm running a low fever (I'm usually about 96.6, but today I'm about 99.6) and very nauseous, so they LPN at the office seemed to think I've just picked something up (and with Katie going to not one but two different germ factories during the week, this is not unlikely) and that it's not a big deal. Tylenol and more water. Apparently, water is the cure for everything when pregnant. Contractions and preterm labor? Drink more water and lie down. Low fluid? Drink water and lie down. Flu bug? Drink water and rest. I think I've got this under control.

And so, thankfully we have (so far - knock on wood) a drama free day. Let's continue this trend for a while. Tomorrow we'll hit the 32 week mark and then it's just two more weeks (and a few days - my appointments are on Tuesdays) of "strict" bed rest, I hope. Even getting to do a small amount of movement would seem like a major relief (and would make me feel much better about how I'm going to recoup after the birth). Isn't it funny that I've been on bed rest for almost two weeks, but the amount of drama we've had has made it anything but boring.

I'm feeling a bit badly because Katie is having a very hard time with all of this, and there's not much I can do. Brian's parents came over today to take her out for a while so we could go to the doctor, but she had a massive meltdown when she heard I was going to the doctor. Doctor and hospital have become synonymous to her lately, and she's very afraid that when I go to the doctor I won't be coming home again that night (and who can blame her - in the past two weeks, I've spent five days and four nights in the hospital). I hope this all settles down so she doesn't start to associate any doctor with someone leaving (can you imagine how bad that could be in April when we go for her yearly check-up?).

Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers. It's nice to hear them and to know that we're not facing all of this alone. I need to just work at staying positive and stop worrying about what may happen next. We're still only 31 weeks and nothing should happen, so there should be nothing to worry about...I need to just get myself to believe that. We'll go back to the doctor on Tuesday for our regular weekly check-up and we'll do another NST and probably an ultrasound to check fluid levels (sounds like that will be a standard part of each exam now). By my estimate, we've had 13 sonograms now - Jellybean has two photo brag books that are almost completely full of pictures. She'll have more prenatal photos than most kids have in their first few weeks/months :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Preterm labor: the gift that just keeps on giving...Now with update

So, we didn't have the uneventful visit we wanted. After discussing what had been going on with the doctor, we had an exam. There was fluid present that she tested and determined it was "negative," which I'm assuming meant both amniotic fluid and UTI, but I could be wrong. I only heard "negative." We're still fully closed and tight, so that's good.

Baby was very high on the fetal monitor today, but they still weren't concerned. Most of the half hour, JB was at about 180. They said it still looked good...makes me nervous though. Seems like a lot for the poor gal.

Since I've had more discharge lately, they decided to also do a sonogram to check my fluid levels in the uterus. I had this done twice at the hospital - last Saturday and Monday. At that point, I was measuring 16cm. Anything above 8 is good, so I was double. Well, I don't know what the number was today, but it wasn't 16. They said I was on the very low side of normal, so somehow I lost a lot of fluid over the past week. I have to go back in on Thursday for another sonogram to see if this improves or what it does. Great...another thing to worry about. They told me to continue to rest and to increase my fluids to 64oz a day. Brian tried to explain to the nurse that 64 is a minimum for me - I have already had 2 liters this morning before my appointment (as I am a bit of a water addict), so I'm not sure how helpful this advice will be for us.

And so we go up and down. Now we just wait until Thursday afternoon and see what happens next. I have to say, this has been a major blow emotionally. I was doing very well adjusting and figuring out how to just "be" with this bedrest thing and was starting to feel a bit stable, but I feel like I just got the wind knocked out of me. I honestly don't know how much more up and down I can take...I feel like this whole pregnancy has been so emotionally taxing that I'm just completely drained. I have so little left for Katie right now and I find myself snapping at her for the littlest things...I just have no patience and I feel depressed and anxious. Of course, when I'm like that with Katie, it makes me feel even worse. I need some answers and Thursday cannot come soon enough. I'm absolutely terrified this will mean an early (too early) delivery or more hospitalization.

We thought my water broke (again) last night, so I got to spend yet another night in the hospital. Thankfully, I am now home, so that was clearly not the case. They seem to think I have a tear high in the sack and that I'm leaking small amounts of fluid at random times since they can't get consistent positive tests on the fluid (but many inconclusives!) I woke up in a puddle last night, so I naturally assumed my water had broken. After two inconclusive tests, they got a negative, but the doctor wanted me to stay the night. We did a full workup of tests this morning along with another ultrasound to check fluid levels. Still on the low side of normal, but "stable." We'll have another ultrasound tomorrow back at the doctor's office to check again. I was released from the hospital even though I was having regular strong contractions because I'm due to take my medicine in a few hours and they results of the fluid tests were negative. As long as they back off, things will be ok.

I had to cry as I was talking to the doctor. All of this is just so frustrating and so nerve-wracking. I'm very very happy to be home again and to know that JB has made it through another few days inside where she's safe. Now mama needs less drama. And sleep - that just doesn't happen in a labor and delivery room.

Monday, October 3, 2011

50 days

50 days left and we're 31 weeks along. That's very good. All of this is progress in the right direction. My hospital that I would prefer to deliver at is equipped to handle births after 32 weeks (provided there are no serious complications), so if I can just last a few more days, I won't have too much of a worry of having to head over to Peoria to deliver to be near the NICU at Children's Hospital. That will be a huge relief. Of course, 34 is better because the baby is pretty much developed, and 36 or 37 is even better because it's full term. The doctor still seems to think that 38 is within our grasp, so that's the ultimate goal. I have my regular appointment tomorrow - two weeks ago we said we would set our surgery date then. I think we'll still do that, but I'm not sure. I'll let you know.

In other news, life is starting to feel a bit more normal. It doesn't feel as weird or strange to just get up, come downstairs, and sit around all day. That's not saying I wouldn't prefer to be doing ANYTHING else (I got an email about what textbooks I wanted to use in the spring and it was the highlight of my day - made me feel like me again), but at least it's not as totally awkward as it was. Right now, I'm spending my time knitting and re-watching all of Mad Men from the beginning. My phone alarm goes off every six hours to remind me to take my medicine, and I just try to relax as much as possible. It's been a bit more lonely than I anticipated...quiet...but I suppose that helps with the relaxing.

Until last night, contractions had been minimal, but they decided to kick up again just to make life a bit more fun. About eight o'clock last night, they started to feel painful - not too much pressure, but a good deal of pain. They were also very continuous; as soon as one would stop, the next one would start. It was very unpleasant. Again, we decided to wait it out (since it was pain but little pressure, it was unlikely they were doing much of anything other than pissing me off) and a few hours later the pain decreased but the pressure increased. Since last night, my uterus has pretty much been one rock hard ball - the pressure just is unrelenting. But, again, these aren't mimicking actual contractions, they're just pressure, so unless we get both together (pressure and pain) or some actual contractions that increase in frequency or intensity, we'll just try to wait it out until the appointment tomorrow morning. It's at 9am, so it's not that far away. At this point, we seem to just sit on the monitors when this happens (which isn't a bad thing because it assures us that Jellybean is ok), but my body has that horrible tendency to stop doing things before I make it to the doctor, and then it just all feels futile. We'll just hope that JB is doing well in there and that there has been no cervical change when we go to the exam tomorrow.

So, the long and short of it is: emotionally we're adjusting and physically, my body is still being a pain in the wazoo. JB is kicking away and she is really upset that I'm making it so uncomfortable for her. Hopefully we'll have an uneventful visit to the doctor tomorrow and I'll tell you all about it afterwards.