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June 11, 2013

Owen was born five weeks early. He is beautiful and perfect.

On Tuesday, June 11, I woke up at 5:05, a normal time for me, and started to get up to have a shower. As is quite normal for someone who is eight months pregnant, I was in need of the loo.

Also normal was an achey reluctance to get up and do that right away. But after dawdling for a second, I realised that the sensation was a little different. Pardon the ickiness, but I was certain that I was leaking. I did a quick search on this feeling with my iPad while I made my way to the bathroom.

There was some pink fluid that rather frightened me. I woke hubby, who called his mum after I spoke with mine–whom some may recall was out of the state. I showered, dressed, took medicine, and then we went to the hospital.

None of us–least of all me–thought that I’d stay. We all expected me to be sent home. But then a nurse did a test to see if my water had broken, and before I knew it, I was being whisked out to the Women’s Pavillion to be admitted.

I was shocked and worried about my mum being in Phoenix. She caught a plane (spoiler, she made it in time) Originally, she was going to be back that day, but had had to change her plans to stay for a funeral.

Hubby was exhausted. My contractions didn’t start right away, but once they did, I tried hard to go without pain medication. Jeromy took the day off work to be there as the representing Jones (Stephanie and Abbie had to stay in Phoenix), which is one of the nicest things. I love my family.

My doctor was not on call, so I had a different one–a partner/colleague -type person. She was nice, and good at her job.

The pain got really bad. I had intended to forego an epidural, but gave in eventually. It was a good thing, too. Even with the epidural, I was in agony. Numbed the crap out of my legs and made the labour a little harder, though.

Owen was not enjoying labour. He was under stress, and decelling, which IIRC, means that his heart rate would decrease after a contraction. That’s not supposed to happen. I had to keep changing position, which would often be nearly impossible, since I couldn’t move my legs. The doctor called him a stinkpot, and I agreed.

Throughout all of this, I was rather quiet. I put mysef in a sleepy state and moaned quietly or whimpered when I had a contraction. Twice, even with the epidural (!), I cried. But I never screamed or raised my voice above a speaking volume. I’m both surprised and rather proud.

Twice, they told me I might have to have a c-section. Mostly because Owen was stressed. The second time they warned me, the doctor said we’d try pushing, and then move me to an OR if it was a no-go.

Two contractions of me pushing, and he was already crowning. They made me stop (holy heavens the pain!!) and then bustled around like crazy getting everything else in place. Someone moved the ceiling mirror so I could watch.

One more contraction, and Owen just flew into the doctor’s arms. This is apparently amazing, because no one seemed to have seen a baby do it before. Including the doctor, who had just made the obligatory “catching” joke. I believe my son is a superhero.

Unfortunately, he is a tiny one. 4.8 pounds and 18.5 inches. Likely thanks to our preeclampsia scare, which resulted in shots to help his lungs develop faster, Owen has been breathing on his own since birth. This is immensely good. Because he was born premature, he went straight to NICU, where they are still taking care of him.

He is able to breathe and regulate his temperature on his own, which are two of the things he has to be able to do in order to come home. He developed a little jaundice, which is quite normal even for full-term babies, so he’s gettin phototherapy. Right now he is working on eating and gaining weight. Premies don’t have a lot of energy, so that’s one of the really hard things.

I was discharged two days after giving birth, but they let us “board” for an additional two days in order to stay close to him. Those additional days are up today, and my heart is breaking as I prepare to go home without my son.

He is here, and we love him. We are optimistic that he’ll get to come home soon.

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Pain, the Great Demotivator

When I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to be a hard day. So far, I’ve run into a larger number of speed bumps than usual. It took me nearly ten minutes to stand up. This includes psyche-up time, of course. Although I managed to get through my morning ablutions, I only got the most essential pills. I needed a benadryl and my prenatal pill, but there was no way I could have gotten a bowl of cereal put together and carried it anywhere, and it’s not like I could stand in the kitchen long enough to eat.

Basically, I needed hubby help almost immediately upon waking up. Good thing I woke up at 6:00. Unfortunately, that does mean I couldn’t get in the shower and refuse to come out until 10:00. I can probably do that now, though.

My hands and wrists are so swollen that I have to take a break from typing about every 5-20 seconds. Something horrible seems to have happened to Freerice, so I can’t do that part of my normal routine (listening to a narrator reading while playing Freerice), which I find a bit upsetting. On a range from “vaguely” to “derailed morning”.

Thirty-five weeks in, and thirty-five days to go. I am so plumping for Owen to be three weeks early. It’d make his grandpa happy–Dad’s birthday is the 22nd.

My blood pressure actually seems to have gone down, as yesterday it was only 143/95 according to the little machine that I can’t help distrusting. I’ve been feeling Braxton Hicks more often, which is interesting. I’m still fussing over baby movement, but I’m not really worried. I’m just a fusspot.

At a standstill on many things. When I’m hurting this much, it makes it hard to work on Desiderata, and I can’t use the iPad at all, nor read any paperbacks. Good time to get a superlight Kindle. I use it with one hand and occasionally pass out on the couch. The only thing I have trouble with is the hold button.

Today might be a nothing sort of day. I just hope that I can get myself feeling well enough to walk around for a few minutes, for the sake of keeping my knee from relapsing.

I wish I had a more interesting topic for blogging today, but I hurt too much to really think.

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Slow in thought and action

Didn’t get to bed until roughly midnight. Dither set up the couch so I could sleep in sitting yet reclining postion. It was mostly glorious. Only ‘mostly’ because I missed him being rght there through the night. Little lonely. In fact, it made it kind of hard to sleep because at first I just felt like I was in a darker version of waking up early.

But as I had finally reached 200 gold, I could read on the Kindle Paperwhite. Either the backlight is as powerful as Superman, or it was really dark, because I had the backlight at its lowest possible setting and could see/read quite well. A sincerely ringing endorsement.

I picked a sample I’d picked up a while back and passed out before reaching the end of the firt chapter. Woke up around 3:00 and then managed to fall asleep again. On the couch, feet up on my rocking (literally) ottoman, with a big fat comforter to keep me from tilting or tipping onto my side. It still seems kind of weird, and I was up again at 6:00, so I just showered and got some water.

Later, I read until I passed out again, so I can officially sleep just fine this way. And I probably will until Owen’s arrival. It’s so nice not to dread bedtime.

Still have two library ebooks to read that I can only access on the iPad or my phone. Oh, epub. I have used this fomat so extensively for so long. It feels a bit wrong to go properly mobi. That turn of phrase also sounds stupid.

I’ve started quite a few book series this year, and for some of them it’s about time to continue, or I’m fair into them.

Mind is wandering, and typing on the iPad is getting annoying, so I’ll stop here.

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Another early start

Not quite as early thought. Quarter to five this time. And I went to sleep around half past ten or eleven last night, so I’m pretty sure I got a decent night’s sleep.

Which is why I’m mystified by my sudden spike in sleepiness just now. I was set to not take a Lortab today, but then the hurt settled back in and I reasoned that there’s no good reason not to keep it at one a day. So that could be part of the drowsiness. Then there’s the usual reason. And I’ve been a bit moody past couple of days. Hmm.

Yesterday was rather productive, considering I spent so very little of it asleep. I burned through my daily tasks as I keep track of them on HabitRPG. These are a mix of health things and just stuff that I feel I ought to do, like taking a prenatal pill (I used to forget sometimes) and putting time into FreeRice.

But I also managed to put about an hour of work into Desiderata while listening to the audiobook version of And Then There Were None. Yeah, I just read it, and I think I actually started the audiobook later that same day. I like the book. Also, it’s read by Hugh Fraser, which is terrifically perfect.

Dither made the maps that I had been bugging him about, so I am happily empowered to finish the quest I started the other day. It doesn’t offer any reward (at least right now, that might change) but it’s a fun bit of dialogue and cutscenes. Without those maps, it would have been left hanging by one. I’m going to try and do that one today.

With new maps in place, I have to populate them with NPCs. The first one is about… I’d say half done, in that regard. There’s the quest-y lady in it, which I have not started on, and then about six around her.

Finished reading Abarat. For some reason, every time I stopped doing other things to read it, I got really sleepy. It’s also good enough that I focus and read slower–and one of those books that really, really ought to have been edited better. Clive Barker has a strange relationship with grammar that I occasionally find irritating. It’s why I read The Thief of Always as a graphic novel first.

Now I’m on the Hunchback Assignments. I had an audiobook for that ages ago, when I was still working at the post office. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get into it. Seems I just needed a print-ish version (library ebook). And to skip the prologue.

Anyway. Still feel sleepy, so I’m either gonna read and keep nodding off, or just lie back and be a couch tumour for a little while.

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The Usefulness of Worrying Needlessly

It’s just about official. I love worry. Not to worry. Not worrying. …What an absurd concept. I had better elaborate.

Pregnancy is such a precarious state, and my own less than enviable health has certainly made it either more interesting or more difficult. Stuff comes up all the time, and there seem to be millions of things that can complicate or go wrong.

Seems that every time I stumble upon something that could be disastrous or terrifying, I worry like mad, only to find that it isn’t going to happen or is not a big deal. I talk it up until it blows away.

My appointment yesterday went fine. Doctor took a strep culture (so uncomfortable) and both she and her assistants were all sympathetic and sorry to see me wheelchair-bound. They all accepted the explanation quite easily as well. In fact, my doctor didn’t do much of anything to check if Owen had dropped into position–she just believed me when I told her that he had.

That makes me happy. People often don’t believe me when I say things, self-evident or otherwise. This is her business and she has every reason/right to want to double-check, but she just took it in stride and did all the other normal appointment-y things.

Instead, she just listened to my complaints about the debilitating pain and told me she could prescribe Lortab. The side effects, symptoms that would indicate I’m allergic (I’m not, thank goodness), how it affects Owen, and she agreed with my judgement that I ought to take as little as possible.

Oh, and it is not too early for him to have moved into position. Doctor says that his lungs are fully developed, and though she certainly wouldn’t say we should just induce me today, if he were decide to be born on his own at this point, he’d be just fine.

Also had more blood drawn to check on my thyroid. I think at this point, I can practically invite the lab people out to lunch. I know them better than I know my neighbours, haha.

Time to worry about the daily slog, now. I used to joke that Owen would be two weeks late, but now I’m pretty sure that’s not going to be the case. At lunch, I joked about taking bets.

My mum and dad are going to Phoenix on Friday to visit Grandma, and they’ll be back about Tuesday, so Owen needs to wait at least that long. And my doctor is going to be out of town in three weeks, so I’d really rather he not pick that week to arrive. This is easier to worry about. Not in that I’ll really do it. In that it doesn’t really worry me.

Except if he were born while my mum is out of state. Someone asked me what would happen if he was, and I think my immediate response was, “I’d be in trouble.”

Or maybe I said I’d go to jail. I was really out of it. Lortab is weird.

Dunno if I want to try to nap on the couch or not. I woke up around half past two and was afraid to go back to bed, because of PAIN, so I’ve just stayed up. Mostly reading. Clive Barker is not an author I trust often, but I’ve been enjoying Abarat. I think it’s best in a state of not being entirely awake or rested.

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Pregnesia (it’s a book, haha)

There is actually a history behind this, for me. Which is why I bought it last night and read it in about an hour or so. It’s not a great book, and it certainly isn’t much of a romance, but it is amusing. Particularly to me, as I said.

Years ago, I think well before I met my husband, I was at the library looking at the discarded books for sale. There are always any number of completely unwanted titles, but one caught my eye. It was in a section of mass-abandoned romance titles, but I think it was one of the few Harlequin Intrigue books on that shelf.

I picked it up because the title was weird, and the heroine on the cover is (rather amusingly) pregnant.

pregnesia-carla-cassidy-book-cover-art

I really ought to have gotten it right then. It was only a quarter. But then again, I didn’t really read any genre of romance at the time, so maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated it. There is a certain way to appreciate this book.

Aside from the funny (and much-linked, apparently) review on SBTB. In fact, and this makes my incredibly low opinion of amateur reviewers even lower, there exists at least one “review” on Goodreads that is just some sad jerk linking to that review. Sigh. But I digress.

One thing that actually kind of baffles me is how the title makes people giggle. It is funny. She’s pregnant and has amnesia, that’s the whole premise. And it is a funny word.

But neither the publisher nor the author made it up. And nobody on the internet that I’ve come across seems to actually know this. It makes their giggly enjoyment look really stupid. Especially since they snort and trumpet on about it like it’s Smekday or something.

Anywho, the way to enjoy this book is to not really expect anything. The tension keeping the hero and heroine apart is more contrived and artificial than an imaginary styrofoam wall, the villain comes in at the last minute without ever having much presence and then acts like he’s not even sure he actually wants anything, and the characters act hilariously stupid.

The hero is an ex-Navy SEAL, but the problem with that is that I know guys like that. Not only does he fail to really fit the bill IMO, but he also spends way, way more time angsting about his childhood than is really plausible. It kind of made me want to watch early episodes of Burn Notice so I could remember what it looks like when that kind of character and backstory are done competently.

Really, I’m glad I read this now and not when I first found it. It’s a lot funnier while I’m pregnant. Some of the pregnancy details are off or from the realm of fantasy, which of course I don’t really mind. My hormones are also around to make me sympathise when the attempts would probably have fallen flat otherwise. Probably other things.

But if you’re a stickler for Show Don’t Tell, stay very very very far away. The majority of this book is telling, to the point that some parts of it look more like a summary than an actual book. There are entire conversations that are reported to the reader. I found this more baffling than annoying. I don’t have the right industry savvy, but I have heard that this type of book is not very long.

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What a day

Oh, the pain. It’s really quite impressive. I feel like I can do literally nothing for myself, which isn’t quite true. I managed to shower, dress, and eat breakfast, without waking up the hubby. At high cost of comfort, of course, but it hurts and I can hardly ask him to walk for me. I need to keep from going stiff. Much as I want to curl up and sleep until my doctor’s appointment on Monday.

Just finished reading And Then There Were None. I saw the movie a long time ago with my mum, the sort of thing we did together. But I didn’t recall much, and I had the most wonderful time buzzing through it from start to finish. Took a little over an hour and a half, mostly because I had to rest my arms and hands more often (my copy is a paperback, not an ebook), but I could feel myself reading very quickly.

It’s a sensation I would liken to pretending one is a candle flame.

There’s still quite a lot of things I could and should do today. Thankfully, I don’t think I have to go anywhere to accomplish them, particularly working on that first chapter of Harley’s story. My Esperanto studies are going better, reviving rather fully (I hope) from the neglect they fell into. It helps that I only really want to learn to read and write the language.

Desiderata work is stalled a bit, since I’ve sort of hit a point where I’m not quite sure what I want to do. So I’m including making notes and journalling a bit about it on the side. I’ve been working on this one city for so long that I need reminding that there are a good number of places beyond it, and the game probably isn’t even at its halfway point in the story.

It’s necessary, really. I’ve got dangerously accustomed to having a comprehensive checklist for what needs doing that when I finish ticking off all of the boxes, I might feel a bit lost.

Ugh, this is the hardest that pregnancy has gotten. The absolute worst is coughing–that violent action that is hardly fun to begin with–I have to brace myself and heaven help me if I’m standing. I nearly fell over from how much it hurt to cough.

Not even arthritis taught me to hate my pelvis. Life is very interesting. I say this because it was suggested to me that the arthritis might be making it worse or causing it, but nope, this is all pregnancy. I’ve never had pelvic or back pain from my arthritis.

Now I’ve gotta walk about a bit, and dreading it. When I sit down again, I’m sure I’ll either read some more or work on Harley. If the latter, I might share a paragraph or two later today.