Sunday, November 26, 2006

Twenty-eight weeks

Another milestone down.

Hope you all had good Thanksgivings. I must say that there is nothing like a two-day visit from the in-laws to make a girl appreciate the solitude of bedrest.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Update: 27w2d

"Back already?" TheGoodDoc said as she bustled into the room. "Two weeks goes by so fast!"

"Maybe to you it does," I replied, with only the tiniest hint of bitterness.

Cervix check was good--my external os is a little open again, but overall my cervix is long (3.9 cm!), firm, and closed. Got another fFN swab, which it seems will be a regular part of our routine now. TheGoodDoc proclaimed herself pleased, though she was a little concerned to hear that my contractions are getting more painful (though no more frequent)--I feel my "usual" contractions as a hardening at the top of my uterus, but every once in a while now, I'll get a really big one that sends pain shooting through my whole abdomen. I got my most detailed when-to-call instructions yet: any time I get five or more contractions per hour for two hours, each contraction lasting 40 seconds or more.

Five more weeks of house arrest, she says, and then she'll let me increase my activity level a little. Five weeks. I can do this.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Thank you, Meira. For this, and for your comment on my (I freely admit, totally whiny) last post. Seriously.

I think one of the many things adding to the hormonal vortex right now is that I swing wildly between self-pitying anger and frustration with people in my life who are, let's face it, only doing their best; and then the realization that they are only trying to do their best, and trying to show their kindness and love in the only way they know how, and I really am being a little selfish. Deservedly selfish, maybe, but still. And then I just feel even more horrible.

Meira wrote,
I remember having those feelings and then I remember the endless laments of my (teenaged) brothers telling (7-yr-old) me that I was selfish and ungrateful and everything else. And then you’re ‘grown’ and pregnant and people are giving you things and you hate them for it, which means your brothers were right — it’s who you *are*.

And that's the feeling my mother's horrible "you're being selfish" comment brought flooding back. I don't know if it's a cultural thing--selflessness to the point of self-abegnation being generally expected of Asian women--but my mom has been telling me how selfish I am my whole life. And maybe I am a little selfish, but I fight it so hard. I think that's one reason I've had such a hard time with this sort-of bed rest--it goes against everything I've ever been taught, to be putting myself and the needs of my body FIRST, no exceptions.

I still remember this one time, I was probably 6 or 7, and I had just gotten these beautiful brand-new pink sandals. I loved these sandals, truly. I wore them 24/7. If I could have married these sandals, I would have. And then I had a friend over to play, and for some reason she needed to borrow a pair of sandals (I can't remember...maybe we were going to the pool and she had some other kind of footwear?). I wanted to lend her another pair, but my mom said no, I should lend her my new sandals, because you always give your guest the best. And I did. not. want. anyone. else. to wear my beautiful new sandals. So I threw a little tantrum, and stormed up to my room. Not exactly model behavior, but come on, I was SIX. My mom came upstairs and gave me this huge lecture about how selfish and badly-behaved I was being. Again, yeah, maybe the most generous thing for me to do would have been to share my sandals, but again, come on, I was six years old. Could I have been more open-hearted about my belongings? Sure. But was it also perfectly understandable, under the circumstances, that I might NOT want to share? Again, yes, absolutely.

What's funny about this bedrest situation is how I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. If I try to make decisions to protect my health, my stress level, my sanity, I'm being selfish. Yet if I push myself physically just a little harder than is maybe ideal, or I express frustration with my situation, then I'm also being selfish, for not putting my baby first above all else.

And considering how very little about this pregnancy has gone the way I would have hoped, I feel more than a little like a six-year-old girl who's had to share her favorite new sandals.

I know this isn't making a whole lot of sense...I guess I just need to remember that with all the fear, all the frustration, all the stress, all the everything, I'm not in a particularly rational frame of mind. And I need to have some compassion for myself for feeling this way.

I might need to take a break from blogging for a couple of's hard for me, right now, to come up with anything to say that isn't more of the same, more complaining, more crying, more feeling sorry for myself. And the more I indulge those feelings, the harder it seems to get.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Thank you all for all the supportive comments and emails. Of course, you made me cry again, but the good kind of cry. :)

I'm doing a little better now. After I wrote that desperate post on Wednesday, I went to the Sidelines website and filled out a support request form...and it wouldn't go through because of some server problem. That was the icing on my mood, let me tell you. So I went and ate way too much food and went to bed, miserable (not the least because I'd forgotten that overeating makes me hideously uncomfortable and I couldn't sleep).

Thursday was a lot better. For one thing, the sun finally came out, which really makes a huge difference in my mood. I also got to go to work for a few hours, which was tiring, but also energizing to be around other people. Contractions seem to be holding steady, even after I got home from the office (which usually ramps up the contractions for an hour or so afterward). My husband is working today but will be home tonight and all day tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to spending some time with him.

And, I just reread this study (also linked in my sidebar) about cervical length and preterm labor in women with uterine anomalies. It's a very small study (64 women, only 12 of whom had unicornuate uterus), but it showed that women who did not have a shortened cervical length (defined as <25 mm) between 14 and 24 weeks had less than 4 percent chance of delivering before 35 weeks. So that was reassuring, as I've never measured less than 30 mm.

As a few of you delicately implied but were too nice to come out and say...yes, my friends suck. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they just don't get it, but seriously, how hard is it to pick up the phone?

One of my oldest friends, who lives across the country, just called me last night--first I've heard from her since I called to tell her I was pregnant back in July, despite the fact that I've been keeping her updated via email on all the drama of this pregnancy. My otherwise sucky local friends are throwing me a shower (considerately being held at a neighboring apartment so I don't have to travel at all) and she wanted to let me know that she was coming...and oh, could she stay with me? She said that if it would be too much for me she'd stay in a hotel instead, but she was really excited to see me. Maybe I'm being an ungrateful bitch, but honestly, wouldn't the most considerate thing have been to book herself a hotel room and then give me the option to invite her to stay, instead of putting me in the position of having to tell her that yes, it probably would be too much for me to have a houseguest a week after Thanksgiving (when my in-laws are coming to stay), and that it might be better for her to stay in a hotel.

Again, she meant well, offering to cook and clean for me (which was nice, although she doesn't know how to cook...), but she just didn't get it. She kept saying things like, "I can help you set up the baby's room! We can move all your office furniture out and set it up in the living room!" which, (a) I think that's a job best left to my husband, not my 5'1", 95 lb friend, and (b) what part of "no unnecessary activity" don't you understand? But she shut up pretty quickly when I told her that not only do I not have anything TO set up, because I'm not allowed to go shopping for furniture yet, but that I'm in no hurry to get the baby's room set up because if she's born before the end of the year, she won't be coming home from the hospital for a good long while.

Speaking of which...I'm debating whether or not to bet on this baby hanging on until 33 weeks. I have to decide whether or not to contribute to a flexible spending account for next year. It would make sense to plan for at least $1000 in delivery costs (hospital copay plus the extra cost of a private room, not covered by insurance), but that's assuming I deliver in 2007. If I ended up delivering before 33 weeks, I'd need to find some way to burn through $1000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses next year, not so easy when you're reasonably healthy and not doing IF treatment. I willing to make a $1000 bet that Bat Girl will be born after New Year's?

Updated to add: Well, apparently I am a selfish person. So said my mom, when I told her about having to tell my friend to stay in a hotel: "I think you're being selfish." So there you have it. Just ignore all my selfish whining, because it seems I am a terrible, horrible person.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This contraction crap is really getting old

Seriously. I just realized that as of Sunday, I will have been having contractions an average of every 20 minutes for TWELVE WEEKS. As in, practically an entire trimester. I'm sorry, but that's just bullshit.

I think this is the longest I've ever gone without a blog update, so I have to apologize not only for being absent from here, but also from your blogs. Things have been OK, I guess. Part of the reason I've been MIA is because I've been focusing so much on work--both to distract myself, and also because I feel this paranoid need to prove myself somehow, that I can still be an ace performer even working from home, even though I need to lie down every couple of hours.

But also, I've been feeling the need to protect myself a little. So much of my emotional energy right now is focused on myself, on trying to keep it together and not lose it and not freak out. I can feel myself withdrawing from the world. I talk to my assistant on the phone most days, and I go to the office once a week (after which I have to lie down for several hours, it's so exhausting), but otherwise I see no one but my husband and speak to almost no one. The last time I left my apartment was last Thursday. In that time I've talked on the phone to my mom once, and emailed with a few friends, and had some work-related calls. But otherwise I've been alone. My husband has worked for most of my waking hours during that time. My friends all said they'd call and visit, but no one calls and no one visits. Or if they do, they do well-meaning but stupid things that just make it harder for me. Like sit there with nothing to say, forcing ME to come up with all the conversation (I haven't been anywhere or done anything in three months, come on, help me out a little)--or asking me question after question about the pregnancy, getting me more and more agitated. Or--one friend, bless her, brought me flowers. Let me tell you something--you know how you're not supposed to bring flowers to a dinner party because then the hostess has to take time out to find a vase and arrange the flowers etc.? Same applies to visiting a friend who's supposed to be staying off her feet, unless you know her well enough to root through her cabinets and take care of it yourself. All my vases are stored on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinets, so I couldn't get one down. I ended up sticking the flowers in a plastic quart container. Then the cat wouldn't stop yowling because she wanted to eat them, so I had to put them on top of a bookshelf. Then they died two days later.

(Basically, if you're visiting someone on bedrest or modified bedrest, plan to be entertaining. If you are not an entertaining person, bring DVDs, Us Weeklys, or other forms of entertainment. Bring food that requires no preparation. Be thoughtful, goddammit.)

I have good days and bad days. Monday was a bad day. I was having lots of contractions, I couldn't concentrate, it was pouring rain (the sun hasn't come out since Saturday, another bad thing mood-wise). I had to lie down between 4 and 7 pm because the contractions were too much for me. At one point I had seven contractions in an hour, and I was in tears, phone in my hand ready to call the doctor--luckily, 30 minutes passed before I had another one.

Tuesday was a pretty good day. I guess my stupid uterus got its ya-yas out on Monday--I had my normal 2-3 contractions an hour most of the day, and I had a lot more energy. I read Beth's post and thought, hey, I have less than 100 days before I'm full-term, surely I can make it that long--I'm already at 26 weeks, I'm doing great! I got lots and lots of work done and felt really good.

Today was not such a good day. I've had more frequent contractions on and off. I can't seem to get anything done. I feel lonely and miserable. I read Julie's post about prematurity, and stupidly, read all the comments too, and was despondent. Today, it just seems impossible to me that I can make it to 28 weeks, let alone 30 weeks, let alone 32 weeks. Even though I know logically that I've been doing great so far, that my cervix has been stable...I also know things can change very quickly. I just feel so helpless and alone and scared.

And now I'm sitting here crying. This is why I've been avoiding posting, avoiding commenting, avoiding everything.

I think I need to sign up for a bedrest support buddy on Sidelines. Obviously I can't go on like this. Also, I'm going to ask my doctor if I can start coming in once a week. I can't handle two weeks of fear between appointments.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Quick update on today's OB appointment: Cervix is holding strong at around 3.5 cm. Bat Girl is measuring on target and has long legs like her mom. Although she'd been head down at every other scan, she's flipped around and is now butt down. Which explains why I've felt like I'm constantly being kicked in the crotch these past few days--I'm being constantly kicked in the crotch.

TheGoodDoc is satisfied with how things are going and says I should keep it up. However, she warned me that right now is a really critical time, since the baby is viable but we really, really don't want her coming out yet (which I'd already figured out myself, thank you very much). So we need to be extra cautious. To that end, she reiterated that if I ever have four or five contractions an hour for more than an hour, I need to call her immediately. She also wants me to postpone unnecessary activities until after 32 weeks--so I had to reschedule the childbirth classes I'd signed up for, switching from December to January. And no shopping for baby furniture--as she pointed out, 32 weeks still gives two months for the furniture to be ordered and delivered, "and if baby comes before then, she won't be coming home right away anyway" (something else I'd already concluded).

I asked about steroid shots for the baby's lungs, and she said that she hasn't seen a need for them yet, seeing as technically I haven't actually had preterm labor yet. But if I do have any indications of preterm labor, she will immediately hospitalize me and give me the shots.

Basically, it's all about getting to 32 weeks. TheGoodDoc joked that she feels like I'm having her baby, she's gotten so invested in making sure I make it at least that long.

In the meantime, I'm continuing to take it easy, count contractions...and making sure to always have enough cash for cab fare to the hospital. Just in case.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Forgive me, Alexa

For I have sinned.

In my defense, let me first say the following:

1. I live in what is supposedly the "fashion" "capital" of the "U.S." And thus, alongside all the sleekly coiffed, impeccably dressed humanity, there is a great deal of fashion victimhood. Mukluks? Prairie skirts? Gauchos? Dresses over pants? We have seen it all. I also work in an industry particularly prone to retarded fashion, to follow-the-trends-at-all-costs. And when you are surrounded by otherwise sane women wearing skinny jeans and leg warmers, day in and day out, you begin to lose your grip.

2. I hate maternity pants. They are just too damn uncomfortable. And believe me, I have ordered (not allowed to actually go shopping, remember) and returned about 20 pairs.

3. I was going to write something here very complicated about skirts and footwear and bare legs and cold weather, but let's face it, it's all just rationalization.

And so, despite the fact that I have sworn up and down that, having come of age in the darkest hour of fashion (I turned 18 in 1991), having worn more pairs of heinous leggings in my lifetime than I can count, I would never, EVER wear anything remotely legging-like ever again, what did I do?

No, I did not purchase leggings. But I purchased two pairs of the legging's cross-eyed half-sister--the footless tight. (Maternity--yes, even the preggos can share in fashion's demise.)

On Thursday, I went back to the office for a brief check-in, and I wore the accursed garment--not with a butt-skimming sweatshirt, at least I have better sense than that. With a very cute little dress and beaded flats. I actually got lots of compliments on the outfit, and [whisper]I thought I looked cute, too.[/whisper]

So, I'm sorry. I seem to have crossed over to the dark side. Pray for my soul.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Odds and ends

1. First, some good news to celebrate: Ornery is a mom! The twins arrived a little earlier than scheduled, but sounds like they are doing great so far--hope they continue to do well. And: Robbie is blogging again, and it sounds like her kidlets are doing well too (and hopefully will stay cooking for a good long while yet).

2. Up until recently all the activity, uterinely speaking, has been on the right side of my abdomen--contractions, kicks, etc. In fact, when I lie on the table at the doctor's office, it's quite obvious that Bat Girl is entirely on the right side. Lying on my left side is only comfortable for a few minutes--even with pillows propping up my belly, it seems the strain of flopping over to the left makes my uterus contract, and we don't like that. BUT over the last few days, I've occasionally felt some punches and pokes to the left of center--mostly low in my groin when I'm lying down, but occasionally just to the left of my navel. I'm hopeful that this means my uterus is starting to expand out of its usual spot a bit.

3. Recent discussions over at Julie's and Erin's got me thinking about what we will do if and when it is time to try for #2. I know, I know, the hubris...truly, I am 100 percent focused on getting this ONE baby out and healthy, and I know so many of you would be thrilled even to have a chance at one. The thing is, we have always known we wanted more than one child, whether that be through pregnancy or adoption. So even as I am hugely grateful to be pregnant now, I do think about what it would mean to try for another, especially in light of the difficulties I've had this time around.

There's the whole idea of, could I do bedrest, even this low-key version of bedrest, if I had another child to care for. But a bigger concern is the possibility of conceiving multiples. I stressed about that during the injectibles cycle that yielded Bat Girl--heck, pretty much from the moment I was diagnosed with unicornuate uterus. But at the end of the day, my husband and I decided to risk it, and I ended up triggering with two, possibly three good-sized follicles. Now, though, I'm not so sure I would be willing to take that risk again. (That is, if, depending on how the rest of this pregnancy goes, and when Bat Girl is born, I'm willing to get pregnant again at all.) Especially considering how well my ovaries responded to Follistim the first time around, and how quickly I did get pregnant (relatively speaking), it's not unreasonable to assume that I'd have a good chance of conceiving multiples on another IUI/inj cycle.

As I've said before, if money were no object, I'd go straight to IVF with single embryo transfer. That's what I was thinking about when I read Julie's post and the comments--I would absolutely not even consider transferring more than one embryo, no matter how crappy-looking, because of my particular situation. (I do think the recommended guidelines seem sensible, but agree it should always be left up to a woman/couple and her/their doctor.) But money is an issue, of course. I don't know, I really don't know.

But that's a decision that's a couple years in the future, if it's in the cards at all. For now, we focus on baby #1.