I’ve written about this before, but Auntie Nina pointed me to this excellent article debunking pretty much all the restrictions that pregnant women are told they must religiously follow. I wish I’d read it nine months ago!
Last night I had a peaceful, beautiful, and slightly bizarre dream — I was hanging out in a sunny, grassy field with some alpaca. The adults had wings. A momma winged alpaca (pegalpaca?) came over and stretched her wing over me and her baby, and we all cuddled in the warm sunlight.
I think this means Robin’s totem animal is the alpaca. Poor guy. You know all the other Bay Area hippie kids are gonna have wolves and foxes and cool critters like that. My little fellow gets stuck with the pegalpaca!
Well, we had some excitement this morning, and not the fun kind—but the story ends where it began, with everybody happy and healthy and the baby still tucked securely in my tummy.
About mid-morning I started experiencing some really intense pain in my right side, basically exactly where the cyst is located. After about twenty minutes of trying to manage it through changing positions, et cetera, I started feeling nauseous, my vision was swimming, and I was seeing stars. We decided to go to the emergency room. Once there they checked my blood pressure and found it quite low, so I was hooked up to some oxygen (to ensure that the baby got oxygen despite my temporarily impaired circulatory system) and an IV bag. Then I dramatically threw up everywhere, which was grody. Also I was doing a lot of moaning and whimpering. I knew it wasn’t labor; there was no sense of contractions, just a very steady, very sharp, localized pain in my right side.
When my blood pressure had stablized a bit, they gave me some morphine for the pain along with an anti-nausea medication. And…everything got better. The pain subsided. By the time the ultrasound tech arrived to check out my insides, I was basically feeling completely fine. The ultrasound confirmed that the cyst had not ruptured, nor do I have appendicitis, and the baby is looking great. In fact the technician was absolutely crowing over our beautiful baby. “I do high-risk OB,” she explained to us, “so I see a lot of…bad stuff. It’s really a delight to see a baby as perfect as this one.” Apparently he is spot on by every developmental measure.
The going theory is that the baby was kicking against the cyst, causing the pain, and the morphine shot allowed me to relax, which encouraged the baby to move, which resolved the issue. After checking my blood and urine to rule out infection, we were released. I felt a little silly about running to the emergency room, but the doctor and nurses assured us that we’d done the right thing. There’s nothing to stop it from happening again, unfortunately, but we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.
And hey, we got another look at the baby. His weight estimate right now is 7 pounds 4 ounces, and the magic ultrasound software, after taking all his measurements, predicts his delivery date as August 13 (so one day after my official due date). I have no idea how accurate that timing estimate is, but the weight estimate can be off by as much as one pound in either direction. Still, since babies at this stage put on a quarter pound to a half pound each week, the best guess is that he’ll be eight to eight and a half pounds at birth…bigger than I was, sadly (I was a very considerate 6 and a half pounds!), but not a 10 pound monster like my little brother Jesse. Hopefully!
Another week, another doctor’s visit…she (it was one of the lady doctors this time) says that my cervix may be getting a leetle shorter, but it’s still closed, and the baby’s head hasn’t engaged with the birth canal. Meaning that nothing’s likely to happen this week. “He seems very happy right where he is,” she commented. I do have another two weeks until my due date, but if the baby were born today he’d be considered full-term (not premature), and I’m ready to get this show on the road. But kiddo ain’t going anywhere in a hurry, apparently.
I gots a haircut! The picture’s a little blurry but you can get the idea:
I know Whole Foods is yuppified and pretentious, but I love it with all my yuppified, pretentious heart, oh I do I do. I just had a great time this afternoon picking out the perfect heirloom tomatoes for gazpacho tonight, and assembling the bits for a roasted beet salad tomorrow—including a lovely interlude at the cheese counter, where the Cheese Girl on duty helped me navigate the bewildering array of blue cheeses in order to pick out a nice, pregnant-lady-safe “Blue de Basque.” And then she insisted on cutting me a wedge from the center of a new wheel, because she sniffed that she “didn’t like” the way any of the existing wedges looked. And also she called me “sweetie.” Whole Foods is just nice, everything’s pretty and happy and nice, and I always walk out of the store smiling.
I stopped by the grocery store on my way back from this week’s check-in with the doc. He says that although I’m not due until August 12, I could really pop any time now. There’s no sign of any imminent excitement though: my cervix is still “long and closed,” and the baby’s head “fairly high,” although he has dropped a bit. And this concludes today’s installment of News From My Reproductive Organs.
(I just asked Sam how his reproductive organs are doing, in case anybody cares: he says they’re A-OK.)
OK, I really have nothing to say about this except “Haw! Empathy Belly!” This thing is a strap-on contraption designed to allow non-pregnant people “to experience over 20 symptoms and effects of pregnancy, including: Weight gain of 30 pounds; Fetal kicking and stroking movements; Shallow breathing and shortness of breath; Increased blood pressure, pulse and body temperature; Bladder pressure and frequency of urination; Low backaches; shift in center of gravity; waddling; Fatigue, irritability, and much, much more!” Hilarious!
I ran across the Empathy Belly while reading a really interesting article about male pregnancy, which hasn’t happened yet but totally could, someday soon.
With just a month left until my due date, I’ll be having a doctor’s appointment every week until the baby comes. Today I got my favorite of the four doctors, the pretty one who has herself been on maternity leave for the past couple months. So we chatted about her experience (she has a little girl, and she had a c-section because it was a breech birth, and she says she thought she’d be prepared for the sleep deprivation of caring for a newborn because she did a residency, but in fact taking care of the baby is harder). She took my weight and my blood pressure, measured my belly, poked around in my hoo-hah, made a few notes on my chart, and then smiled at me approvingly and said “You’re doing great medically.” So nice to hear!
Edited to add: bonus piccie of preggie me.
Robin has them. It took me a while to figure out what they were. “Ergh, he’s poking me…in this rhythm…it’s kind of annoying, it’s like he has the hiccups or something!” Then I remembered my mom telling me that I had the hiccups constantly when she was pregnant with me. The Internet says it’s common for babies to get hiccups, because they’re “practicing breathing”, which is sort of charming.
I saw the doctor again this week but it was very much a “hi, how are you, [brief examination of belly] baby looks fine, see you in two weeks!” sort of thing. He’s positioned head down, curled up along my left side. That’s really all the news from my womb that there is to report.