3 Days, 15 Hours: The Countdown is On

Alright friends, the countdown is on!

Today’s appointment was both eventful and uneventful in that I went differently than I expected. This culminated in Dr. Ahmad asking if I wanted to go the induction route…and…well…Friday, 5 a.m., we will be checking into the hospital to begin the process of birthing our Minnie.

Yes, that’s right.

Friday.

At 5 a.m.

 

As the ultrasound revealed last week, we have a ‘healthy size’ baby (Dr. Ahmad’s words, not mine) and since it also revealed that TODAY is 39 weeks…well…

To be honest, I’m a little bit caught off guard. I thought that we would be discussing options today. And I suppose we did.

Option #1: Be induced this week.

Option #2: Wait for spontaneous labor.

I think that the word spontaneous makes it seem more exciting than it actually is.

Frankly, with Jon working on the other side of the state, three and a half hours away and with my normally cheery disposition suffering in the last week as I reach my ‘done’ point on the pregnancy spectrum, I’m just ready to get this show on the road, be un-pregnant AND meet our Minnie.

So, October 14 she should be here. Latest she’d arrive is October 15.

I’ve already talked to my boss, let her know my last day is Thursday so I’m busily wrapping up some tasks I was procrastinating for whatever reason.

Jon and I just installed the car seat base in my car (which he’s driving this week) and tomorrow I’m dropping his car off to be detailed and cleaned up and then will install the base in his car (which I’m driving for the week).

Jon will head back to work tonight about 6 p.m. and will come home Thursday night and we’ll head to the hospital in the middle of the morning on Friday to begin this process.

CRAZY.

SURREAL.

I’m going to be a MOM by the time Michigan-Michigan State kicks off this weekend.

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I couldn’t sleep last night. That seems to happen when Jon’s home. Having company in bed, after most nights NOT having company in bed, is weird and I feel bad because it takes me EONS to get comfortable and fall asleep. And I move around and around…so I fell asleep on the couch and then headed to bed about 2 a.m.

But, well before that, I found myself feeling…well, scared, honestly…about the impending arrival. I don’t know another word to describe it, and I really want to capture my TRUE feelings here. It’s scary. This is a forever gig – and one I’ve been waiting my whole life for and I just am scared about the unknown.

I can’t put my finger on whether I’m scared of the laboring more than the actual – ‘we’re sending you home with a baby’ – part. But, intimidated by the idea. The thought of how it’s all going to come together, the lack of control over the situation on the whole. All well beyond my comfort zone and things I’d like to control a bit more.

~~~~~~~~~~

Dr. Ahmad did a pelvic exam today. I’m a half centimeter dilated…which I think is really just him being generous. I mean, what is a half centimeter anyway??

Anyway, he referenced my Bishop Score, which I hadn’t heard of before. Here’s a wikipedia link to more info. Based on what I’ve read just now, my Bishop Score of 5 is sort of a number that is right in the middle of being a good one for induction. Every site I checked out had a different threshold for making it an induction option. So, I’m trusting my doctor on this one. Feel like I haven’t been steered wrong yet. We’ll see.

I did just place a call to the office to ask the questions that have now popped into my head. I think I just want to know what to expect will happen when I arrive to the hospital on Friday. Again, from the reading I’ve done, it seems like doctors recommend induction when they feel as though your chances for vaginal delivery still exist, but going into spontaneous labor (as measured by your Bishop score, among other things) isn’t something that ranks really high on the list. So, we’ll see. I’m hoping to get some more insight from Dr. Ahmad or his nurse when they call back.

Baby’s heart rate is good…my weight gain, not so much. I had eaten breakfast before heading to the doctor, but that put me at 27 pounds gained total…which is SO ANNOYING. Hate being over that 25 pound threshold. But, whatever. We are nearing the end of the being-pregnant weight gain journey.

 

Well, we’ll meet our girl this week. That’s a for sure.

CRAZY!

 

The Weekly Visits

Well, had another weekly visit this morning, first thing.

Saw Dr. Neubeck – which is always a treat. I find him funny and engaging. I’m glad he’s been my primary doctor throughout this, it’s definitely made the pregnancy something that is not a worry on my mind in any way.

Next week, on Monday, I’ll see Dr. Ahmad. Who I like as well. I like all of the doctors in the practice – all for different reasons.

Anyway, my blood pressure was up again. I mentioned again that I see these black ‘floaters’ like bugs/flies from time to time, so Dr. Neubeck did a little checking and said that there was no constriction in my blood vessels in my eyes or anything, so he wasn’t TOO concerned about it. I had gained another couple of pounds (WTF!?) so I think that the quick weight gain here at the end is contributing more to the hike in blood pressure than anything else. Need to make a concerted effort to lead a less sedentary lifestyle.

Jon is home today. It’s his one day off from work each week. I made a point to work yesterday so that I was ahead of the game today so I could spend some time with him.

Oh, back to the appointment…(hello A.D.D.)…

So, they did the beta strep test, which will take two days to determine if I have beta strep. It’s no big deal either way, it’s just an antibiotic they’ll give to me prior to delivery so that it doesn’t get passed on to the baby. So, we’ll know next week if that was positive or negative. He also did a pelvic exam and quite literally pushed our Minnie up into my rib cage. I said “Um, you’re pushing her up — I’m going to push her back down if you keep doing that!”. He explained that it’s because she’s not engaged yet, so she hasn’t fully committed to her head in my pelvic region (while I don’t blame her, she could hurry up and decide to do that ANY time now). He called it something that started with a b…it sounded like bobbling, but it wasn’t that. And I’m too lazy to Google it. So, she’s bobbling around in there. He had me push on my stomach to feel her butt (‘she’s got a big ass’ he says…just like her mom, I respond) and then had me feel down in my pelvis where her head is. It’s definitely weird to know where her body parts are for sure. I mean, I knew where they were before, but to actually FEEL them and have a doctor make it ok to press on them (Jon doesn’t like it when I do this, but whatever).

I also commented to Dr. Neubeck that for all the things that he and his doctor friends know, they should really know a good way to get these babies to come out. His response? “Sex.”

Fine and well.

Only, did I mention that Jon is home ONE DAY A WEEK? For approximately an 18 hour stretch? Yeah, ok. Good advice. I’m going to opt for walking a lot now that I’m not on the road and I’m also going to blow up my exercise ball and sit on it all day long. Why not, can’t hurt (if all else fails it will engage my ab muscles and if it works, we’ll have a baby girl sooner rather than later!). I’m starting my campaign for her arrival now because I just am over this back pain and weighing as much as a cow.

Speaking of back pain, I am on a Tylenol regimen daily and I think it is contributing to my ability to sleep the last two nights. I’m going to keep taking it because it really seems to be providing some good back pain relief for me.

Beyond that, I’m just trying to not be too ‘nesty’ — I have the linen closets organized, under the bathroom sinks cleaned and organized. I’ve got bottles washed and dried and put up in the cupboard. I’ve got all the receiving blankets and fluffy blankets washed. Washed all the crib sheets and changing pad covers. Packed her hospital bag, my hospital bag, made a list of Jon’s hospital bag stuff and the last minute stuff that I can’t pack. We’re ready to go. Now, just need to convince this Minnie girl to get on the bandwagon.

As Neubeck said, “Women want to be in labor, want to be in labor, then they go into labor and really DO NOT want to be in labor,”.

Touche, Neubeck.

Dr. Ahmad – First Visit

Well, today was my 29-week check up. Officially, today, I am 29 weeks, 1 day. And when I tried to say I was counting as 30 weeks, Dr. Ahmad was not thinking I was funny. And so, let’s delve into that.

The practice that I go to has Drs Perry, Neubeck and Ahmad and Nurse Practitioner Sue. I began with Neubeck and saw him through the first 25 weeks. Last appointment, I saw Sue, the nurse practicitioner and was thoroughly impressed and content after my visit with her. So, week 29 I get Dr. Ahmad. Andrea had told me that he was extremely smart, was to the point (which Neubeck is not, but that’s one of my favorite things about him) and had an accent that could be hard to understand.

Well, I definitely got the to-the-point part.

He got in my stuff about why I wasn’t taking my thyroid medication. A look back at my thyroid travels and this is the summary: my doctor in Naperville was overly cautious on the thyroid thing, prescribed the pills and upped my dosage…though my numbers continued to read on the high side of normal. Because of this, I stopped taking the pills (a daily regimen) on my own, because I didn’t want to take a pill while pregnant, really, if I didn’t have to, and if my TSH levels were fine, then why was I messing with my body? So, I chose to stop taking the pills. Haven’t taken then since probably before the baby was born in any meaningful, daily way. I started forgetting, then realized that the pills were making no difference in my way of life or living and felt BETTER. So, in charge of my own body, I made a decision.

And today, Dr. Ahmad slipped in this lovely little comment (to the effect of): “Well, it’s really important that your thyroid hormone is regulated because it can cause abnormal brain development in the baby in the first trimester.”

Really?

That’s what you just said to me? So now, in addition to all my other fears that stand between me and delivering a healthy baby girl (i.e., will the cord be wrapped around her neck? what if she is born with some sort of physical impediment? what if she’s albino? blind?). So, thanks, doctor, you’ve now added ‘dumb’ to the list of things to fear.

I should have called him out. I should have said something. I DID say something when, as he was sort of trying to be done with me I said “I have a list of questions” and pulled out my blackberry and the MemoPad.

Question #1: I have severe tailbone pain. Is that normal? Is there anything to do to relieve it?

Ahmad: It’s normal. Your center of gravity shifts when you’re pregnant so you don’t tip over forward. It will get worse.

(INTERNAL DIALOGUE: Awesome. Great delivery on that one, doc.)

Question #2: I have a discharge that I have some questions about. It sort of has an odd odor to it.

Ahmad: We will take some cultures. [Insert here the part where the nurse comes in so the exam can be done and Ahmad says, “If I see anything abnormal, I will tell you right away. Otherwise, the culture work won’t be back until Monday or Tuesday and then I’ll call you with the results.]

Ahmad: How long have you been with your partner?

Me: Three years.

(INTERNAL DIALOGUE: Ok, so now you’re insinuating that Jon – JON? – could be a culprit in my late-pregnancy-onset discharge issue I’ve just asked you about? Could Jon be the culprit? Stop it, Lindsay. That’s stupid. Why the hell would the doctor ask me that and leave it hanging out there??)

Question #3: I have a history with hemrhoids – the inside kind. Could the tailbone pain be hemrhoids or is that separate or what?

Ahmad: The hemrhoids will get worse. We don’t do anything about them – but keep an eye on them and if they turn black and blue, then we’ll drain them. Hemrhoids are actually inflamed blood vessels (or something medical like that – my words, not his).

(INTERNAL DIALOGUE: This guy is a piece of…)

Me: You know, you’re really a breath of fresh air this morning, I just have to tell you.

Ahmad: laughs.

Question #4: Talk to me about breastfeeding. I’m a fact-based, research-driven person and people SAY breastfeeding is best, but I’d really like to see the research. I’ve done my own scholarly searches and can’t find much except for this one study that was ordered by the NIH and while it did list some benefits, I just am not sure…

Ahmad: It is better, from what I have seen over the years. I understand what you mean and I will try my best to have some research – at least one good article for you – at your next visit.

(INTERNAL DIALOGUE: Wow, a doctor who is going to provide me research at my next visit, like he’s planning that far in advance?)

Ahmad: This is my pager. Someone is in labor, so I need to answer this.

Me: Ok, you do that.

I walked to the front to schedule my next visit and the women who run the office and I had a good laugh about how Dr. Ahmad had really made my morning. At least I laughed…I don’t know if it was a good one or not.

In the meantime, I was also concurrently having my glucose tolerance test (GTT) done across the hall in the lab. I arrived at 8:40 to have my blood drawn while fasting. My doctor appointment was at 9 a.m. So, I had the blood drawn and then drank the 75 gram sugar solution thing. GROSS. Choked it down is a better description. The cross-eyed phlebotomist who is normally cranky but seemed pleasant enough this day was doing the draws. Ok, fine. Good. She tells me to have my next draw done at 9:40 a.m. Ok, can do.

After my 20 minutes in the Ahmad show, I was back to the lab. So, at this point it’s like 9:20. Literally. So the cross-eyed phlebotomist says ‘oh, we have some pre-employment screenings coming in and I don’t want to have to draw you while they’re here, so I’ll draw you now.” I say “I thought I had to wait an hour from the first draw?”. She says “I have 10 minutes to play with on the draw, so I can do it now, we were at about 8:30 when I drew the first labs.” Ok, that’s a lie lady. I was still in my car, on the phone fighting with AT&T about our UVerse service until 8:35 and my car clock is three minutes fast and I had to get the paper work from the doctor’s office. But whatever, get me out of here quicker. Let’s do this.

So, I sit in the lab with my iPad and am feeling icky because of the sugar water solution thing and not eating. And you can’t drink more than a few sips of water. All awful. So, at around 9:45 the pre-employment screenings come in (good we hurried to get me out of the way…I was the ONLY person there for blood at this point of the day). There are five women who are getting pre-screened for different jobs working in various labs. Cool, something to distract me.

It’s now 10:25. I say to the other phlembotomist that I need to have my final draw done. I mean, the woman said she had 10 minutes either way and that my first draw was at 8:30. Right? This all transpired. I was NOT imagining it. The cross-eyed one comes around the corner – while still managing the other pre-employment screenings – and says “NO. You have to wait until 20 til.” The other person and I look at each other innocently. I respond, “You drew at 20 after the last time, so it’s been an hour and then it’s been an hour and 55 minutes since you said the first draw was done and I thought you said there was a 10 minute window” This is the response that comes from ol’ cross-eyed: “Miss, I KNOW how to do my JOB.”

OOOOOOkkkkkk. This is the woman I remember dealing with at other labs. Right. Ok.

So, I’m now in the room waiting to have my blood drawn and I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to go sit down, I’m ready to get this going. I’ve got like 3 minutes now until she can draw. Oh no, she tells the other one to tell me to get out of the blood drawing room. SERIOUSLY lady?

I walk out and look at her (or try to — can’t really tell where to look) and say “You are a REAL charmer, I have to tell you.”

So, I sit back down and watch this woman carry cups of urine of the last six ladies back and forth into and out of the blood draw room, hoping to God that she’ll remember to change her gloves before she draws my blood.

Finally, she says to no one in particular, “You can come back now”.

I sit there and do my normal routine when getting blood drawn. I ignore her and close my eyes. She says if it hurts tonight, to put a warm compress on the spot where she is applying pressure. Ok. Fine. Just let me the HELL out of here, lady. I’m over you.

“Thank you” I tell her.

Because that’s just the kind of sweet bitch that I am.

Anyway — today’s experience is now committed to the annals of history. Not that anyone should care, but it has been therapeutic to get this all out of my head as I’ve been pissed about it all day. And feeling icky after that sugar water. And worrying about my ‘dumb’ baby. Great day at the doctor’s office.