Well, it's been a gloriously normal week! I've had nothing to write about because I've been living a normal life! What a treat that was!
I had great days Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week. Sunday morning I was sick again, and then from Sunday afternoon all the way until this morning (1 whole week!!!), I was sickness-free!!! I had a couple of bouts of "almost" but they went away on their own.
It was wonderful! The first several days I really struggled with fatigue, so I pretty much did nothing but sleep, but by Thursday, I felt like myself. I ate chicken and salad twice a day, every day (I hadn't been able to keep down either in months), I exercised, I went to work, I socialized with friends, I made it through an entire worship service at church, I even made it through 3 days without napping! It was WONDERFUL!!! It was such a wonderful gift of rest from the Lord, and restoration to all parts of me-my mind, my heart, my body, my soul, my spirit. I really think that this was a precious, precious, GENEROUS gift from God.
Today I woke up and it was all back with a vengeance, but I even think that was God's timing. I asked DH to hang out with me a little this morning--we have this tradition on Monday mornings where start late. We wake up together (which only otherwise happens on the occasional Saturday) and we get up at a reasonable time but then we just lie in bed cuddling, talking about our week, digesting the weekend, eating breakfast together, etc. It just starts the week at a much slower pace and for both of us, it's one of our favorite parts of the week. It almost feels a little bit like it's stolen, because Mondays are "supposed" to be so harried and busy. We've noticed we both have a better outlook on the week when we make this time for each other. It's not much, and we always hate when it ends, but it's ours. We just take our time enjoying a last few quiet minutes together before the week starts. Well the sickness started as soon as I woke up this morning so that sort of ruined our routine this morning. DH is self employed so he sets his own agenda. I asked him if he could do his at-home part of his job first this morning so that if I got a wave of relief, we could still have a few minutes together. He said yes. I proceeded to be sick for a while, clean it all up and go sit back down.
Shortly thereafter, I noticed something smelly (my nose works in overdrive these days). Sweet DH set out to investigate and determined that ALL of the plumbing-showers, toilets, sinks, dishwasher, washing machine and even outdoor drains at the house had backed up and liquid was rising back up into everything. So he set out working on it. He tried our "green" remedies first with no success, so he ended up having to the orange big box store for something more heavy duty. He tried that a few times, too. He finally said "I give up" and set out to call a plumber. WHILE he was on the phone with them, I heard the "burp" that a drain makes when it suddenly starts draining and simultaneously, all the levels started going down immediately. We've since run the dishwasher, washing machine, both toilets, all the sinks, and both showers with no problems, so we think it's fixed. But isn't that cool? If I hadn't have been sick, DH would have surely been off and running this morning like normal. He wouldn't have been here to fix the plumbing. And if he had been here, he'd have been in the driveway painting a car (which when in process, can't be stopped in the middle) so he wouldn't have been able to drop everything to run to the store or to immediately deal with it. With my oversensitive nose and gag-reflex, I wouldn't have been able to do anything here by myself, and the levels of water probably would have just kept rising, making a gigantic mess. And more than that, if I HADN'T been sick, then I'd have been at work too, and we could have come home to a really big mess. Then when we were about to call a plumber, everything just "happened" to start working again. So, though it was weird, I'm actually grateful I was sick. It kept both me and DH home so that the problem could be dealt with right away. But, it was definitely a comedy of errors. I'm sick, I can't use the plumbing, and the smell of everything is making me MORE sick. Poor DH was so sweet and forbearing.
DH also learned to never put rice down the drain. He put some down the garbage disposal the other day--and today our system decided it didn't like it and it had a little NVP of its own. There was rice everywhere--in the sink he dumped it in, but also in the shower, in the bathtub, in the drain out back--it was actually kind of funny. The nice thing is that it does seem to be incident-specific to the rice, so hopefully, it doesn't mean our whole system is going to break on us. And I'm so grateful DH was able to fix it--it just took $15 of big box store plumbing solution and some elbow grease! He's so handy!
We had our first childbirth class tonight. We chose the Bradley method, not because I'm sold yet on unmedicated childbirth, but because from everything we learned, it gives the best education about what's happening to you during labor and birth. As I shared last week, I'm definitely a "knowledge is power" kind of person--I always do better with more information, not less. I figured if I at least knew what was happening, I'd feel more confident in whatever I did decide. I definitely know I don't want an induction or a C-Section. Beyond that, we're still learning and deciding. The thought of a giant needle in my back freaks me out, as does being strapped to a bed and monitors, but the pain of labor freaks me out, too :P So I figured that arming myself with information would be the best way to go so that whatever we decide, I'd at least feel like it was OUR decision, and not one made out of ignorance or fear.
The class was...interesting. It's definitely one sided. I know it's to be expected but it makes me nuts anyway. I almost feel like I have to take a "rah, rah, rah, hospital births are AWESOME and doctors always do the right thing" kind of class just to get the other extreme and maybe find the balance that's right for me in the middle. Does anyone have any recommendations on good, accurate information on a more clinical birth experience? I feel like in all cases my choices are either fear tactics-from each sides toward the other (unmedicated birth advocates seem to tell you that all doctors and hospitals are out to get you and if you listen to them you don't love your baby, and doctors and hospitals seem to tell you you and your baby will die without their care and how dare you consider leaving yourself in the care of some hippie), or you get the "our side is infallible, don't question us" stuff. And honestly? I hate that kind of information dissemination. I hate it in big things and little things. I feel like they either prey on your fear or your ignorance. And frankly, if what you have to sell is that awesome, then you shouldn't need to resort to those tactics.
The truth (talking little t truth here, not Absolute Truth) is almost always somewhere in the middle of both extremes. I wish there was some resource that just laid everything out--all the pros, cons, and neutralities of all your choices. No agenda, no bias, no exaggeration or understatement. Just the facts, ma'am. But, who would ever make money that way?? :D So anyway, if anyone DOES know of good NEUTRAL books, videos, or other resources, I'd love to have them.
It's also pretty....crunchy, shall we say? And let's just say that I'm not and leave it at that :D
I'm just going to have to really pray over this class. I feel like it could really be a trap for me for my two big pitfalls-fear, and guilt. Fear because I honestly think they try to scare you out of some hospital procedures. I hear stories of them passing epidural needles around the circle so you can see how big they are and promptly freak out. They quote c-section rates of hospitals and say how much better babies born their way are. Honestly, I feel backed into a corner in situations like this. I feel like I end up making a decision out of fear, rather than empowerment. And I wonder-what if I DO end up needing or wanting something outside the Bradley allowables? Will I feel disappointed in myself? Will I feel guilty? Will I feel I have the tools and courage I need at that time to deviate from my plan if need be?
Bradley is big on nutrition. As pregnant women should be. But I can't check off all the stupid little boxes on their chart. HG is just a different ballgame. You think in terms of what will stay down. You don't get the luxury of choosing the most nutritious thing or the thing that rounds out everything else you've eaten that day. The teacher and the book laid it on a little thick tonight about how bad it is for you and baby if you're not eating this and that every day and it looks like it's part of the curriculum every week. And Bradley is anti-medication in general, not just medication during labor. Well, the zillion pills I take a day to stay functioning kind of throw that out the window. So, I just have to keep telling myself that all of that is well and good for a normal pregnancy, but I am just responsible for MY pregnancy, and doing the best I can with it. God knows that, I know it, DH knows it, and hopefully one day baby Matthew will know it too. But the Jen-guilt-monster was really shouting from the back of my head during all this "See, look at all the bad stuff you're doing!!"
That all makes it sound like the class is awful, or awful for me. It's not. I think the teacher and the other students are really nice, and I do think I'll learn a lot and that in the end, I'll be better prepared for WHATEVER birth experience we have, even if it's 100% not-Bradley. I just think I need to really practice active filtering. I did learn some new things to try with stretching, relaxation, exercise, etc, and DH is so earnest in going along with whatever I need, whatever they suggest he try, etc. And I think I'll learn a lot about what actually happens physically and physiologically in labor, even if I ignore everything else they say.
I guess this is a good lesson in parenting. I'm sure we'll run into this same kind of stuff with vaccines ("vaccines will kill your baby!" v "without vaccines, you'll kill everyone else!"), with discipline ("spanked children grow up to hate their parents" v "children who aren't spanked grow up to be hellians!"), with education choices ("kids who go to public school end up corrupt!" v "homeschooled kids are sheltered and weird!"), etc, etc, etc. :D Honestly, I get so afraid of making sure I'm not making a fear-based decision, that I just run around in circles! I really think my head is screwy sometimes :P I wish I just knew everything about everything, and could write perfectly neutral books on all this stuff so that tightly wound people like me could have a resource! =D
So anyway, THAT was a tangent.
I've been sick again tonight, so I probably should go to bed before it gets any later-getting too tired is just asking for trouble.
I'll end with what's been happening with Matthew:
Your not-so-tiny-anymore brilliant baby (about 2 pounds and 14.5 inches long!) is slowly rotating in preparation to “head out.” Obviously, this doesn’t happen overnight, but when you start to feel an unfamiliar pressure on your cervix, you’ll know you’ve got a fully flipped baby locked and loaded for the countdown to their birthday! Even now, at the beginning of the third trimester, their little lungs are already capable of breathing air while the pulmonary vascular system can provide sufficient gas exchange and the central nervous system can generally regulate rhythmic breathing as well as their basal body temperature. For what it’s worth, at this point in a healthy pregnancy a premature child (with intensive care) could easily win on the show: “Survivor: The Early Years.”
And 28 weeks:
You know how you’ve been feeling a bit like a barn with legs? Well, that feeling won’t subside before… well, you know, when you finally give birth. For the time being, you’ve got yourself a baby in the business of collecting fat and lots of it! In spite of the dubious joys of being a human-barn, this baby fat business is very serious and you’ve got to put up with it because it’s going to keep your little porker warm and healthy after birth. Other good stuff from inside: their eyes are doing lots of blinking this week because they’re now able to respond to light and dark. Also, their industrious little bone marrow is now a major construction site for developing red blood cells, while their super-cute adrenal glands are actually producing androgen and estrogen—which will stimulate your hormones to begin milk production. Can you say, “Moo?”
And lastly, here's picture--28 weeks! The third trimester! I can't believe it! My weight still hasn't changed (still weigh the same I did the day of transfer) but when I look at the pictures side by side, I can finally start seeing a difference, and I think I'm graduating to full-panel maternity pants instead of half panels. And my goodness, I can FEEL a difference. This kid is killing my back and tummy muscles! That's one awesome thing about Bradley--they teach and instruct DH to massage me whenever I need it, and he's a sweet enough guy to do it! I see lots of massage in my future--how can I get that to continue after birth ;)
Hope you all are well!