Thursday, December 14, 2006

Further adventures of a wacky womb

I just realized that I double-posted my last post. Totally annoying. Sorry.

Thanks for all your thoughts re: flu shots. My OB was no help whatsoever. She said that ACOG recommends that all pregnant women get one and that she strongly encourages all her patients to do so. "We had a pregnant woman die of the flu a few years ago," she said, ever the optimist. But when I tried to pin her down on the whole thimerosal issue, she said she hadn't done the research on the topic so couldn't make a firm recommendation. Argh! I think I'll ask my dad for a final opinion, but considering he's one of those super old-school doctors who prescribes antibiotics at the drop of a hat, he'll probably say I should get one.

I'm leaning toward getting it. I liked Robbie's take, looking at overall mercury consumption. I haven't eaten tuna (well, maybe two bites total) since 2003 and am super neurotic about mercury content in fish in general--and frankly, have not really been able to stomach much seafood at all this whole pregnancy--so I'm guessing my overall body burden may be below average.

What it really comes down to is control. There are so many big things with this pregnancy that I can't control, that I'm spending a lot of time worrying about the small things I can control--organic food, vinyl in baby products, etc. (Yes, I've become one of Those People--total freak about plastic. On my budget, though, it seems to be a losing battle. Vinyl is in or on EVERYTHING.) But at the end of the day, I can't control anything. Nothing I do will guarantee that my baby will be healthy and happy and prosperous forever. I can only do the best I can--and it's impossible to know, beyond the basics (like, I don't binge drink or mainline heroin or starve myself), what is really important in the end.

My flu shot appointment is next Wednesday, so I have another week to decide.

***

I started out this post intending to tell you a little about what it's like being 30 weeks pregnant with a unicornuate uterus. I seem to have largely sidestepped the visible lopsidedness that Y has experienced. When I lie down flat, you can tell the baby is mostly on the right, especially when I'm having a contraction, but I'm mostly even-looking otherwise.

The lower part of my uterus has expanded to the left side, as evidenced by all the kicking I feel near my left groin. But above the belly button, it's all on the right. The top half of my uterus extends, like a big bloated banana, from just right of my belly button (where I think Bat Girl's head is) to up under my ribcage far to the right, above my right kidney. (During a contraction, you can see the banana-shape quite clearly standing out from my body.) It goes so far to the right that when I lie on my right side, I can actually feel the top of my uterus pressing into the mattress, especially during a contraction. And I need no propping up with pillows, as the bulk of my uterus rests directly on the mattress. Lying on my left side is nearly impossible--even bolstered with pillows, my uterus almost immediately contracts from (I think) the strain of flopping over to the left.

It's pretty freaky, I have to say. I wonder what it's like for women with UU who are pregnant but undiagnosed--do all the weird shapes and odd angles confuse them?

***

I've started looking for a post-partum doula. Initially I had thought to spend the money on a labor doula and rely on friends and family for help during the post-partum period, but given that I have at least a 50 percent chance of having a C-section, and that my friends and family have proven to be not so helpful during this bedrest period, I've changed strategies. Also, my mom offered to pay for us to hire someone for a month, as her new-baby present, "since I can't come be with you for a month." (She still works, so can only spare a week to come visit and help out after the baby is born.) Of course, if my mother actually did come stay with me for a whole month, one of us--her, me or my husband--would not make it out alive. But we won't tell her that.

3 Comments:

Blogger Rachel Inbar said...

It seems to me like the month after makes a lot of sense. Having been so restricted for such a long time, it will be nice for you to feel energetic (help = rest?) and able to do some of the things you haven't for so long.

My husband & I were offered a free doula and we wondered whether she would make us feel that the birth was less intimate, so we never got back to her (not very nice, I know, but she didn't call us back either) As it turned out, I had a surprisingly short time at the hospital and she never would have made it & would have had nothing to do anyway... It's really the recovery afterwards that gets you back on your feet :-)

Your banana descriptions are interesting. It seems like by a certain point in the pregnancy a doctor would notice a UU, no?

Take care, you sound happier now :-)

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm also considering a Doula but didn't realize you could hire them either as Labor of PP. I'd love any info you find out cost, time, etc. Given I have been on bed rest now since 11 weeks (so 17 weeks so far and counting) I think afterwards might be the best route to go also. I too have a worthless family/friend support system so feel comforted that others exist out there like you :)

I'm so happy you are 30 weeks, I'm thinking a healthy 37 full term for you!

Go for the thimerisol free flu shot as an fyi, I did a ton of research and felt very comfortable with that version. I got it back in October.

3:35 PM  
Blogger electriclady said...

Unfortunately, thimerosal-free isn't an option for me--I wouldn't have thought twice if it was. I just don't have the ability to chase all over town trying to find one. I decided to get the regular flu shot, tomorrow.

So far the doulas I've talked to seem to charge $35-40/hour, with a minimum of 16 hours total (3-4 hours/day minimum block). They may be less expensive where you live, I don't know.

4:29 PM  

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