Wide awake and gasping for breath

Well, it’s midnight, and I am wide awake. Can’t say I wasn’t askin’ for it, either – after all, when I woke up this (err…yesterday) morning feeling as if I’d been run over and with loads of back pain, I knew a nap would be in order. So I squared things away at work, went home at lunchtime, and laid down by around 1:30 pm, snoozing into what I assumed would be an hour or so nap. JUST an hour.

Almost four hours later, I woke up to find my entire afternoon dwindled down to nothing and my back pain completely gone. Magical, indeed, if not for the fact that I knew my usual bedtime would be awaiting me just 5 hours down the road. It was probably stupid that I even thought I’d be able to fall asleep at my normal time, but I did (doh) and naturally, here I am.

But honestly, I think I would’ve eventually konked out if not for the fact that I can’t get a full breath! Seriously, what the CRAP is that? The minute I lay down, Russ starts dancing around in there in his cute little way, but all the movement is concentrated low in my abdomen. Russ just isn’t a high-riding baby, never has been and I doubt he will be before the pregnancy is finished – he likes to hang out very low in my tummy. But if that’s the case, I just don’t get why I’m having such a hard time breathing. Sometimes it’s just in the midst of the day, sitting at my desk, when I realize that I haven’t taken a good, deep breath in what feels like hours. But then every few nights, I end up doing the same thing and it’s a HUGE pain in the butt. Usually I end up either chilling out and eventually falling asleep, or I end up (like I am right now) on the couch with the dog and the remote until I feel like I’m ready to go try this sleep thing again.

Ugh.

I know I shouldn’t complain and that there are a lot of women out there that would give just about anything in order to be dealing with the side effects of pregnancy. But it’s still not necessarily pleasant. All totally worth it, but not always 100% enjoyable. But I guess that’s how life goes, and you have to weather some kind of adversity to get to the wonderful stuff on the other side. If the least I have to deal with during this pregnancy is a little, ya know, difficulty getting a full breath…well, that’s not too bad.

Now I’m signing off to go raid the pantry for a bowl of cereal. Til next time, peace, love, and DEEP BREATHS!

Getting bigger…

Well, 24 weeks has finally arrived, and that means two things – 1) Russ has reached the date known as “viability” (when the baby could hypothetically survive outside the womb with neonatal intensive care) and 2) I’m huge. Yeah, yeah, I know what all you mommy veterans are saying out there: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, sweet pea.” Well, I understand that, but I still feel huge. Not as huge as I expected to feel, since I expected to feel enormous ALL OVER by now, but my tummy is getting pretty tough to handle. These days, things in the neighborhood of my navel feel stretched, tight, and scrunched – my ribs seem to be closing in on me more every day.

I can’t handle as much food these days, a fact that I’m learning the hard way – like today, when my lunch out with my friends bit back in a big way. Two hours after demolishing a grilled shrimp BLT at MaryBeth’s at McBee in downtown Greenville, I was on the phone with my doctor’s office, bleary-eyed, frazzled, on the verge of tears, and barely able to catch my breath due to the pain under the right side of my ribs. The verdict? Gall bladders don’t like fat-fest lunches, it turns out. Who would’ve guessed, right… :-/. So I guess you could say I am right in the middle of this learning experience. I’ll try to keep things a bit more bland from here on out. I’ll just have to eat smaller meals more often, I guess. Staying away from anything involving bacon might be a good idea, also – though it pains me deeply to do so, that’s for sure!

Looking back and looking ahead, I’m starting to realize how quickly the time will arrive when Russ is actually here. Talking to the nurse on the phone today after my mysterious gall bladder yuckiness, we were discussing how the size of the baby plays into their handling of late pregnancy. She told me that, being aware already of the fact that Russ seems to run 2 or even 3 weeks ahead of schedule on growth, she was sure the doctor’s would consider that fact as I reached full term and began the inevitably agonizing wait for labor pains to start. The general gist of the conversation was that if Russ’s size warranted it, the docs might allow an induction at 38 or 39 weeks. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about it, but I’ll talk with the doctors when the time arrives and we’ll just try to make the best decision we can. I don’t want to birth a 10-lb. baby vaginally, but I also don’t want to do anything that will dramatically increase my chances of needing a c-section. I guess the moral of the story for this post is that Russ is driving this runaway train. Me and my stretchy belly are just along for the crazy and wonderful ride.

Until next time, peace & love!

Becky

Prenatal classes: 1 down, 4 to go

Today was the first of 4 prenatal classes that Jonathan and I are signed up for through Greenville Hospital System. It would’ve been just 3 classes, but today’s Infant CPR class for me had to happen sooner rather than later, as GHS suggests that expecting mothers not take the class during their third trimester. Considering that today’s class was the last one happening before my third trimester begins (in June), and they only had one spot left, Jon and I ended up signed up for separate CPR classes. Such is life.

A funny thing happened as I pulled into the entrance at the hospital – this feeling of warm fuzzies that I have never before associated with hospitals. I patted my tummy and said “Hey buddy, this is where we’re going to be meeting in just a few more months!” The truth is, I’ve never actually seen Greenville Hospital before, but let me say I am deeply impressed. Coming from the land of dinky little Conway Hospital (a wonderful place with great people, but still a very small hospital), GHS strikes me as almost hotel-like. The lobby looks like a mall food court (smells like it, too…yum), and the welcoming atmosphere makes me feel really comfortable, especially when you consider that, ya know, I’m gonna be pushing a watermelon out of a very small tube in one of the cushy rooms there in their labor & delivery wing. In situations like that, well, comfort is much appreciated. I already located the labor & delivery parking lot (Right next to the entrance! Score!), so it’s nice to at least know where to go.

The CPR class itself was great – only $20 per person, and you get 3 hours of friendly and comprehensive instruction, covering adult, child, and infant CPR, rescue breathing technique, and airway blockage/choking aid. The instructor was really nice – though her eye make-up kind of took me off guard at first – and had a very laid back attitude. She knew she was dealing with a room full of preggos, so she wasn’t a nazi about the bathroom breaks, either. Though in a class of 8, you’d think that the conversation would’ve been perhaps *slightly* stimulating during breaks, it was kind of disappointing. People were pretty much keeping to themselves, but I guess that’s just the world we live in these days. It’s just not as common for people to slow down and speak to each other, even at a time as special as when you’re anticipating the arrival of a child. Oh well! :-/

Overall, I feel prepared for when Russ arrives, should he (God forbid) ever need immediate CPR or airway blockage attention. The teacher also covered a few non-specific topics like baby safety. She emphasized keeping nursery air circulating, through the use of fans (ceiling or freestanding), and by avoiding falling asleep with the baby (a big strangulation/suffocation hazard that she said she had unfortunately seen some of her own students experience with their own babies – very sad). She reminded us that NOTHING is supposed to be in the crib with the baby when he or she is sleeping – not even those big, thick bumper pads. The truth is, federal regulations are in place for all cribs, and the current regulations negate the need for bumper pads by making crib slats close enough together that a child really cannot fit their head through the slats. Jonathan and I are considering the “Breathable Baby” mesh bumpers, but we’re not 100% on them yet. Finally – and very importantly – she talked to us about the importance of a properly installed car seat. In other words, install your car seats sooner rather than later, and have your car seat checked to ensure proper installation (visit www.seatcheck.org – it’s worth the time, 98% of car seats assessed are improperly installed!).

So that was class #1! Jonathan’s solo CPR class will be coming up in mid-June, and then our “big show” comes up July 17th and 18th. The 17th will be an all-day baby birthin’ extravaganza (9-4 pm, to be exact…yup, like an entire workday) for our Prepared Childbirth class and hospital tour, and then the 18th will be a 2-hour breastfeeding class. I told Jon to bring a book on the 18th, because if I get to that class and he’s the only dad that showed up (hey, the person that signed me up said that dads come all the time, but I don’t know if I believe that 100%), I’ll let him have a pass on it. Wouldn’t want to make the other moms uncomfortable, anyway.

So that’s what’s going on with the “education” front of this baby journey. Very exciting. I’m 23 weeks along now, and it’s starting to hit me that I’ll be full-term in (get this)…only another 14 weeks. Eeek!!

Until next time, peace & love.

Becky

A big scare and a HUGE relief

I guess I should’ve learned by now that this little man is going to keep me guessing! We had a big scare this morning, and all I can say after the whole experience is…WOW, I must in love, because I didn’t really know I could freak out to that extent.

Warning: Remember my inaugural blog post where I said there would extensive discussion of bodily functions? This is one of those posts…better vacate the premises if you’re not down for the dirty details. 😉

So today at work, just before the lunch date I had planned with a lady from our new church, I saw blood. On the toilet paper. Big, bright red splotches of blood – the kind that I hadn’t seen since my last period in December. For lack of a better phrasing, I was scared sh**less. My entire world revolves around my two men – Jon and now Russ. And the thought that he might be in danger sent me running out of the bathroom, completely hysterical. Luckily, I have some of the most amazing women in my office, and – Angela, Erin, and Jen, if you’re reading this, thank you gals so much – they really took care of me while I called Jonathan and my doctor’s office.

Our doctor’s office, which has an amazing and fabulous staff that I appreciate so much more each time I see them, fit me right in. Dr. Stamm (not my usual doctor, but one of my favorites that I’ve met as I’ve rotated through the different physicians on my monthly visits) came in with a reassurance that he thought things would be okay. It’s extremely rare for someone as late in the game as I am (22.5 weeks) to have a fetal demise, but he knew I was still scared to death. First things first, he pulled out the doppler to give me some quick comfort in the form of a heartbeat. Sure enough, there was little man (or “baby-man,” as I’ve taken to calling him lately, though I don’t know why), scooted up towards my belly button. He was chugging along at around 145 bpm, and he kept swatting at the Doppler where it was sitting on my tummy.

Imagine the biggest sigh of relief you’ve ever taken: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew. That was me, at that moment.

Dr. Stamm explained to me, after a, um, not-so-pleasant exam that the vajayjay (cover your ears, boys) is a pretty complex little tunnel and if there were any spotting whatsoever, he would’ve found it in the exam. Since he didn’t find a speck of blood, that meant I probably had what us preggos unlovingly refer to as an internal…(am I REALLY going to type this?!)…hemorrhoid. Yep, call me Granny and hand me some prune juice, because pregnancy has officially taken over my entire body. *hmph* But the truth is I’d happily accept 20 internal hemorroids if it meant that Russ would be okay.

But still, not the most pleasant thing, and certainly not the most fun topic we’ve ever had to discuss here on the “Baby Makes 3” blog. But you know how that goes…the good with the bad. It could’ve been so much worse, and I continue to be amazed and humbled that God seems to think I’m up to this challenge.

I am now at home resting a bit (and typing this blog for you fine folks) and just kind of enjoying feeling my little boy kick me. The truth is, I feel fine, so I don’t really even feel like I should be home, but the doc wanted me to take it easy for the rest of the day, and skip the workouts (of ALL kinds, if ya know what I mean) until the weekend is over.

So, with that license to sit on my butt for the rest of the day – and the amazingly awesome knowledge that my son is still doing fine in there and is only about 17 weeks away from being in my arms – I’ll bid you guys good day. But thanks for checking in – I promise I’ll update this blog more often. Having the wind knocked out of you for a few minutes can sometimes fill your sails twice as much on the other side. 🙂

Until next time, peace & love.

Becky

Waiting to cash in my reality check

A brief and random thing I’m thinking of today:

In my head, I think I know what life after Russ is born will look like, feel like, be like. I tend to find this place of comfort and trust and reassurance, and I think that perhaps, just maybe, this child will enter my life in a whisper and not in the actual shrieking cry that is far more likely to exist.

And then I realize that I haven’t got the slightest clue, because my head is still screwed on straight. And yes, I am unequivocally saying that all mothers are CRAZY, but in a really, really great way. Or maybe I’ve got it wrong, and it’s actually just that they’ve found a level of sanity that I can’t even understand yet – where everything that ever really mattered rises to the top and the rest fades into the background. And I’m just not “crazy” yet – or at least, not in that way. Nothing in my conscious being has been pulled apart, realigned, and glued back together in the amazingly crooked, beautiful, and completely insane way that a mother’s being is, once she meets her child. For the rest of my life, there will be whole new levels of mommy guilt, worry, concern, stress, worry, more concern, sympathy, joy, anger, anguish…it’s intense. And I’m just studying up for it at this point. This is the calm before the storm!

So I’m waiting to cash in my reality check until after Russ gets here, because until that day, there’s no real reality. Sure, I can feel him squirming around in there, and it’s probably my favorite part of the day – the mid-morning jumps when I drink hot decaf tea and he seems to enjoy the warmth, or the late evening stirring when he seems to be at his most active and I, at my most tired. But there are so many things that I won’t be able to quantify or explain for months, years, or decades to come. Such an overwhelming inventory of experiences that I just can’t even comprehend right now, except to know that I’m not always going to know the right answer, and that there WILL be days when all I really want is a nap and a margarita.

Somehow I know things are just going to be okay. I can do this. 132 days to go.

Five down…four to go

And yes, I know that pregnancy is technically a bit longer than 9 months, however, I’m going to stay happily in denial for now. 🙂 It is now May, and considering that can only logically leave May, June, July, and August before my September due date will be a mere 11 days away…well, I say we’ve five months down, four to go. Even if pregnancy can actually go to 42 weeks, which would take me through almost the end of September…but there will be no bursting of my bubble this overcast Saturday morning, darn it. Russ and I have already discussed an August 29th (38 weeks) arrival, so I will continue to remain ridiculously optimistic until August 29th has (potentially) come and gone without a sign of Baby Wilhoit. Until then, I’m forging ahead with my happy little illusion.

Russ is kicking a lot as I type that, which I will choose to take as his affirmation that yes, August 29th is still “the date.” Good to know, kid!

We had quite a Monday to start off week #20. I barely got any sleep Sunday night, as my lower abdominals were cramping and my bladder felt completely squeezed all night long. Now, I know both those things are somewhat normal symptoms of pregnancy, but it seemed odd to me that a) they both showed up, simultaneously, on the same night and b) they showed up at all, given that I’m only 20 (now 21) weeks. That “My bladder is hanging out, isn’t it?” feeling lasted most of Monday until the nurse at my Ob’s office asked me to come in Monday late in the afternoon to “check things out.” Well, at first I was convinced that something was wrong – either a bladder infection, or worse? Urine test came back totally normal – which surprised me AND the nurses, considering my symptoms – and so the doc wanted to check me for preterm labor (EEEK!!!). I was pretty scared, but luckily, the doc said my cervix was as high and tight as a Marine’s haircut. Good to know (WHEW!).

But then I had to wonder…what the crap is going on? Why does it feel like I have to pee the minute I head out for a walk or…ya know…MOVE? Why does it feel like this kid is kicking me in my lady parts sometimes? It made no sense…until the doc explained that all of this is totally normal pregnancy stuff, especially considering that Russ seems to be a Low Rider Baby (as in, if he were any lower, he’d be clinging to my leg). Again, not the most comfortable sensation ever, but it comes and goes in its severity – and I’m sure I’d rather have this than the stuck-in-the-ribs, barely-able-to-breathe sensation that I hear about from some of my higher-carrying counterparts.

So that was Monday. The rest of the week went by pretty quickly, and here we are at the weekend, about to head out for (what I hope will be) a nice, long, pee-free walk. The businesses in downtown Greenville and surrounding Cleveland and Falls Park have become somewhat unhospitable to non-customers when it comes to their facilities, so our formerly easy hour-plus walks have recently become a bit laborious for me. I see myself spending a lot more of my workout time inside the gym (a mere minute from the bathroom) as the Summer comes around. What can I say? I think my dear son has just confused my bladder with his own personal Boppy pillow. :-/

Heading into week #21, I find myself with a new sense of humility about pregnancy’s less desirable symptoms. Sure, finally hedging into a B cup bra for the first time IN MY LIFE is pretty fabulous, but there’s a slew of other little twinges to contend with, most of which I thought I had at least another 5-10 weeks of freedom from. I guess you just can’t predict babies, and you sure as heck can’t predict pregnancy.

Until next time, peace & love!
Becky