Monday, April 28, 2008


and waiting...

having contractions that won't regulate, although they are fairly steady. as of 8am this morning when i went for my regular doctor's appointment, the baby was fine and i was fine. things are progressing normally for a first time labor--that is, slow as shit.

meanwhile the hospital was supposed to call me at 7am to tell me when to come in for my induction. no one called. at 8pm i called them, got put on hold forever to learn that there were no beds open and there are many deliveries in progress as we speak. so. someone is supposed to call me by 10pm to tell me when to come in. nothing like going in in the middle of the night when you aren't exactly in labor yet.

although who knows, maybe it will give me enough time to go into labor on my own. i am half way there anyway. i am going to go take yet another walk to keep from losing my mind. then i am going to eat everything in the house since the hospital won't let you eat anything once you check in. plus, i have been inexplicably starving all day.

my blood pressure is fine. everything's fine. we're just waiting...

ps--if you've called and failed to reach me, please don't be offended. i just can't face being on the phone right now. i will let everyone know once there's something to tell.

UPDATE 11:27pm--no call from the hospital. fuck 'em. i'm going to bed. this baby's going to come out on his own anyway--contractions are getting closer and stronger without interference, so i am just going to go sleep while i can. sometime soon we'll have a baby, but god only knows exactly WHEN at this point.

Friday, April 25, 2008

happy due date to me!

baby bolero, FO

baby bolero, motif detail

a belly, a bolero, abima

40 weeks. hard to believe. and now all i want to do is get this baby out asap. come on baby! go go go! all of y'all, light candles, build altars, pray, and hope with me that this baby comes out this weekend all by himeself.

and since i am tired of talking and thinking about my pregnancy, here we feature the finished baby bolero, the only newborn sized garment i have knitted for the baby. and soon, he will be in it, stylin' and looking all cute. the pattern is from leigh radford's one skein book, and i knitted the body of it in about a minute. I changed the top shoulder seam from a real seam to a 3-needle bind off, and i had intended to change the sleeves from the way they are written to top-down and in the round. however, i stalled on that, as it required thought and math, and i just decided to go for the easier path and make them as written. i have read before that it was difficult to attach the sleeves, and i think the cause is generally that the row gauge is different for so many people. but me and leigh radford--we have identical gauges. always. in every pattern of hers i have ever touched. so anyway--this is one skein of blue sky alpacas organic cotton in willow, knitted with 8's and 9's. i love the little motif on the back, and i love how well it came out. i think it's going to fit my baby for maybe 5 minutes, but that's ok. i wanted him to have something to wear that i had made for him from the beginning. :)

as for the bottom picture, that's my belly eclipsing the bolero being modeled by my favorite of the baby's toys so far: abima. he's one of two uglydolls we've gotten for the baby, and i LOVE him. he's coming to the hospital with us...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

knowledge is power

so i had another doctor's appointment today, and it was with my favorite doctor. and well--he kind of brushed off my concerns and questions and didn't tell me a lot. he talked about scheduling an induction for me for next week, and i was like--why so soon? a month ago, the same guy was talking about letting me go for two weeks past my due date. and the explanation was the same as i keep getting from all of them: we don't like to let hypertensive patients go too far beyond their due date. to which i ask--why? what can go wrong? if the baby is fine and i am fine, then why interfere? and he didn't really answer these questions--all they tell me is that i could develop complications. and i have to say, duh. you can always develop complications--why am i any different than anyone else? no one at the practice has ever really answered that.

so he went ahead and scheduled an induction for me for next monday night, when the doctor from monday will be on call. i objected, of course, but was over-ruled with this assurance: don't worry--he's a good deliverer.



i came home to google. and after reading a LOT, i think i actually finally understand the concerns they have. and after understanding the concerns, i actually AGREE with the doctors. this baby needs to come out soon.

here's the thing: i have chronic hypertension--i have had it since i was 17 years old, and for the past 6 years (since a VERY scary BP spike that gave me an unstoppable nosebleed and a trip to the emergency room where my BP was still 172/120 two hours after the bleeding stopped--this was later described as a stroke in my nasal passage), i have been on medication for it. it's well managed. when i got pregnant, the first thing i did was change medications, and all was well. in the past month and a half, the BP has been very slowly creeping up. they upped my meds, but it's had little effect. and while my BP is still in the non-dangerous range, it IS still going up, and what's key here is the difference between what it was early in my pregnancy versus what it is now. from reading this awesome (although scary) page that actually explains this, it seems like i am developing gestational hypertension on top of my chronic hypertension. this is actually a worst case scenario for both me and for the baby. it means that in addition to the complications i already know about (pre-eclamspsia, low fetal growth, premature aging of the placenta, low amniotic fluid levels), none of which i have at all, there are also a host of complications that can develop in the 11th hour, even if my whole pregnancy has been nothing but healthy and beautiful. these are the Bad Ones (HELLP, eclampsia, and the like) that can cause seizures, liver and kidney failure, and death of me or the baby or both. the more my BP goes up, the more likely these complications become, and the longer i remain pregnant, the more my BP will go up--it's on a very predictable curve right now. the cure? get the baby out. so. yeah.

you see what i mean? what a difference it makes to know and understand that! it really IS dangerous for me to continue this pregnancy much longer, in spite of the fact that i feel fine--great even. hypertension is a hidden dragon, and if it strikes--it can happen so fast that there's no time to react.

why is it i have to figure this out for myself instead of getting it from my doctors?

and so--to that. the interesting thing here is that my monday doctor, who i still believe royally screwed up, is the only one who listens to my questions and answers them seriously. and looking back at my conversation with him after The Incident, i now get that he was actually starting to explain all this to me. he was saying that they would want to induce me soon after my due date because the complications that could arise in a case like mine were fast and unpresictable. and i think he could tell that i was too upset at the time to really hear him. he said--i think i am getting ahead of myself trying to discuss induction when you are so upset. and he was right. i just wish my doctor today had really explained the WHY of things to me better before just going ahead and scheduling the induction and kind of railroading me. all i need is communication and understanding. and oddly enough, i think i am more likely to get it from the monday doctor than from just about anyone else. so maybe the fact that my induction is scheduled with him on monday is a Good Thing.

i have been a good patient with these guys, and very cooperative. i have done EVERYTHING they have wanted me to. i have asked a ton of questions the whole way through. i have gone to every appointment, missed none, been late for none, taken the recommended classes, read the recommended reading, monitored my blood pressure at home religiously. it's a little sad that things with the doctors have become so tense and difficult here at the end. i feel like they are communicating things worse now than ever before, when i am actually developing some potentially very serious complications that, to me, warrant more explanation, not less. now is no time to NOT take the time to explain things to me. i still believe that the doctors in the practice are good doctors. i believe that they will take good care of me and the baby, no matter what happens. i just wish they would communicate my care to me better.

sometimes it is pretty hard not to look at doctors and say--i am as smart as you are, man. my degrees are just in different subjects. and it's MY body and MY child's body on the line, and you need to make me understand wtf is up. maybe i should try that...


the bottom line here is that i am feeling awesome, and the baby is doing great for now. i am having some contractions, but they haven't regulated. i am hoping and praying that i go into real labor asap and that this baby gets a chance to come on out on his own. i am hoping and praying i will be able to help him out with that without drugs or intervention of any kind. but you know what? if not, then well--he's still gotta get out of there. and if that means induction on monday, then ok. and if that means i have an emergency c-section because that induction doesn't work out, then ok, too. i just want a healthy baby and a healthy me.

and i am pretty calm. my BP is holding steady and i am checking it evvery couple of hours. i am packing things to go to the hospital as soon as it's time to go. i am hanging onto images of putting the baby's fat little feet into the sand, images of him sleeping like a bean on my chest, images of him walking unsteadily across the floor scaring the crap out of the cats... everything's gonna be alright.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

better day

i REALLY appreciate all the comments and stories from yesterday, people. it makes me feel so much better to know that others would feel (and have felt) similar rages over things like this, although it deeply saddens me to learn how common such things are. of all times to feel like the doctors aren't listening to you!!!

just for a quick update, i wanted to let you all know i feel SO MUCH better today. the bleeding i have had since The Incident on monday has finally subsided, and the cramping has tapered off, and i am actually back to feeling really good physically. the baby's low, and i have some pressure, but now it's back to me being able to read the signals my body is sending me. my head is in a much better place as well--after an hour and a half on the phone venting everything out to my best friend, i feel like i am mentally ready to face whatever comes. i am guesiing that this baby is going to be born pretty soon, although probably not in the next 24 hours. tomorrow i have the second of my two weekly doctor's appointments, and it's with my favorite doctor in my pracite--the one i trust the most and the one whose treatment philisophy is most in line with what i want and feel is right for me and our baby. i am actually looking forward to seeing him. today is a way better day...

ps--jackass goes off call at 5pm tomorrow. think good thoughts for me having this baby friday night when the fave doctor's on call. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


what do you do if a doctor you have known and trusted for years tells you he's "going to do a quick cervical check" on you and then starts stripping your membranes without thought, warning, discussion, or consent and against your explicity stated desires? if you are me, you throw the biggest fit you have ever pitched in a public place and become so angry you can't stop shaking and crying and screaming. i am still so angry about this, i can't think or talk about it without my face turning red and my eyes tearing up. he didn't get far, due to me realizing somthing was up, asking questions, and writhing away from him across the exam table the second i knew what he was doing. and he surely will not be doing anything like this to me again since i plan never to see him again--ever. this is just too much of a trust violation for me to overcome. now i am doing everything i can to avoid going into labor until he's safely off call at 5pm on thursday--we'll see how that goes. i am sitting or lying down all the time, not lifting anything at all, being as still and calm as i can be, considering how horribly angry i still am.

i know that to some women, stripping of membranes is not a big deal, but to me, it is. and i have made that known. to have it done without my knowledge or consent or even any warning that it was coming is a violation akin to rape. not to mention how painful it was. the ONLY good thing i can say is that the doctor admitted fault, admitted that my anger was totally justified and did not try to minimize my reaction in any way. he admitted that he still had a lot to learn.

i had a whole discussion with him afterward, through my weeping, in which i made it very very clear that i want NO invasive procedures, NO drugs, NO anything done to me or the baby without discussion, strong medical need, AND consent. i thought i had already made that clear, but apparently not. it sucks that we live in a society where you have to defend yourself, your body, and your unborn baby against the people who are supposed to be taking care of you.

you know, the thing is--i am not against medicine, and i am not against intervention. thank god that intervention is available when it's needed. what i AM against is intervention when it's unnecessary. and it seems to me that the doctors are so afraid of being attacked for not doing enough that they end up doing TOO MUCH instead. for me, if i am ok, and the baby is ok, then get your goddamned ungloved unsanitized fingers the fuck away from my cervix.

the worst part is that now i am filled with dread about going into labor too soon when the doctors i don't trust are on call. and here at the end, when i have been feeling so good and loving my belly, i should be excited and filled with anticipation. instead, i am angry, frustrated, depressed, and i feel like i have lost control of my experience before labor has even begun. i am worried and filled with anxiety. i am cramping and bleeding, when i was totally great right up until he started messing with me. it sucks and it's not fair, and it makes me want to become an advocate of medical rights.

anyway--enough ranting about it. what will be will be. i am going to go lay quietly on my side, neglect all the things i would be doing were i not afraid of going into labor before 5pm on thursday, and just try to be calm. i need to let go of all this anger, but i am not sure how to do it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

39 weeks

i feel like a ripe peach. i look down at my body, and i feel like i must resemble one of those african fertility goddess statues i have seen carved from soapstone and tiger wood and the like. it's so odd. amazing and cool, but still odd. i am not tired of being pregnant. i am not dying to get the baby out. i feel pretty good, even though he's lower down now, and things are moving. as of last monday, i was 85% effaced and dilated 1 cm. i'm having some contractions here and there, but nothing regular yet. this baby could come today, or he could come in a week. it's unclear. the only clear thing is that my belly is a big ol' thing now:

wait, there's one other clear thing these days: i am damned tired of going to the doctor's office. i have been going twice a week for a few weeks now, and i am kind of done with that part. DONE. i am sick of the two idiot nurses and wish i could somehow guarantee that i could get the Good Nurse every time i go in there. i am tired of the one doctor i don't like who over-reacts and talks too much about invasive and unnecessary procedures and uses words like fetal demise in my presense. in fact, i told them flat out i do not want to see her anymore. she stresses me out. i wish i could talk the baby into coming when one of my two favorites is on call, but i am well aware that the little beastie will come when he's ready, not when i'm ready. that said--this weekend would be awesome--one of the favored two doctors is on call all weekend, plus bonus--meredith will be here. nearly ideal.

anyway. the baby is doing great. i am doing great. in sppite of my high blood pressure, which continues to creep up, there's no sign that it's negatively impacting either me or the baby. good. keep that up, body. the two doctors i love are on board with us just letting things unfold as they will. the other two like to talk about inducing me and stripping my membranes and all kinds of things there's no reason to do. don't get me wrong--if this baby goes into distress of any kind, or if i start demonstrating any signs of problems, then by all means, interfere! get the baby out if we need to. but as long as all these tests i keep having every 5 minutes say everything is fine, then you know--shut the hell up, medical people, and let me just do this. and quit running negative scenarios for me, too. i can read, and i am reasonably intelligent, and i know the scenarios. i can run them just fine for myself, thanks.

yeah--i think i am getting a little grumpy over here. it's been a long week. people i need keep flaking out on me. i am so happy it's the weekend. i want some Down Time, and some time away from people constantly asking me, "when's your due date? do you know if you are having a boy or a girl? what will you name him? are you miserable yet? are you just ready to get that baby out?" somewhere areound 32 weeks, i should have just had some shirts made up with the answers to these questions on them. (yep. definitely grumpy.)

in other news, it's going to be something like a month before i get my car back. boo.

in still other news, it's friday, and i think i am going to go home early.

Friday, April 11, 2008


i don't know what could be better than wrecking your brand new three-week-old car two weeks before your due date, do you? i mean really... is there a better way to spend a glorious and blindingly sunny spring afternoon than dealing with police reports and broken cars? i can't think of a SINGLE ONE. *sigh*

the good news is--no one was hurt unless you count the cars themselves. the baby's as kicky as ever, so he's fine, too. mostly, i feel like an asshole as it was definitely my fault. but i am trying not to beat myself up about it and just file it under the "shit happens" category. the cars will get fixed and i will deal with the subsequent rise in my car insurance and all that. just not a good time for me to be adding any more pain in the ass factors to my life.

by the way--the irony here is that i was in the location of the accident because i needed to stop by the car dealership to show them a little missing pin from one of the car door seals. i had been there at the new car joint literally 15 minutes before i calmly drove the car into someone else's new car. life is often just totally ridiculous.

Monday, April 07, 2008

sweet face

3D face
this is from the march 25th ultrasound. the tech was nice enough to turn on the 3D imaging for us so we could see the baby's little face. he looks just like a real baby!

Friday, April 04, 2008

full term

today is the end of week 37, which means that if i go into labor now, they won't stop it from happening. from now until may 10th, it's all a waiting game. that said, this baby is up in my lungs and hasn't dropped a bit, so i am nowhere near delivery yet. and he better not come in the next couple of weeks until i can get my temp trained to take over! (hear that, baby? don't be born till the 26th!) people keep asking me--are you miserable yet? that's how they ask. not--how are you feeling--but--are you miserable? and the truth! i feel better now than i have in ages. no coughing. no sickness. the baby is high and active, and i am loving watching my belly pitch and roll every time i sit still for 5 minutes. he's so active that i have become something of a rock star at the doctor's office. all the doctors and nurses ooo and ahhh over my nonstress charts, and how much he moves, and how well his movements match up with his increases in heart rate. as of next week, i will have one ultrasound and two nonstress tests (NSTs) a week till he comes. this is utter overkill, but it's the doctor's office protecting themselves agains malpractice.

this week's appointment was anything but non-stressful. when i have an NST and a regular drive-by exam scheduled, the entire visit should take about 30 minutes. this week it took over two hours. i waited 40 minutes to have the NST, and then the nurse left me alone for the 20-minute test--for 45 minutes. after 30 minutes, the baby flipped over and the fetal monitor lost his heartbeat, so i rang the little bell she gave me to call her in in case something was wrong. no response. rang it again. no response. 5 times. then the alarms ont he fetal monitor went off because it thought the baby was dead since it's gone with no heartbeat for so long. loud beeping went on for 10 minutes. finally, i just gave up. i unstrapped myself from all the stuff, lumbered up out of the recliner, wiped the goo off my belly, turned off all the monitors, and went in search of the nurse. she was up front checking in new patients. further, she failed to keep an exam room open for me, so my doctor ended up doing my drive-by in the testing room, which was both weird and awkward. lord, but i was ANGRY! i have to say that if they want me in there twice a week--they are going to have to be more efficient. i am all for my doctor, but i am not loving his negligent nurse. anyway--both of next week's appointments are with different doctors who have different nurses, so we'll see...

all tales of medical woe aside, i can tell my body is getting ready. it's pretty amazing. aside from all the physical stuff you expect at the end of a pregnancy, i think something in my head is working on getting ready, too. i have been having dreams about birth. not stressful dreams, but more like rememberances from past lives or something. last night i dreamed i gave birth alone in the woods. i was leaning up against an enormous tree with these huge gnarled roots--half leaning and half squatting in between the roots. and the baby was a girl and she fell a few inches when she was born into this pile of leaves i had made for her. i picked her up and used my hands to clean the gook out of her mouth and pat her on the back so she could get started breating on her own, and then i lifted her up onto my chest and leaned back against the tree with her on me. it was messy and earthy and felt unbelievably real. i woke up and my first thought was--oh, that was that other birth. bizarre, and oddly, kind of cool, too.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

hats, hats, hats

i have the attention span of a gnat lately. hats are perfect for this. i've made many, and have many more in my mental queue. here are the hats of the year, so far...

pink umbrella hat
this is the third umbrella hat i have made. the pattern is from leigh radford's one skein book, and i just love it too much to stop making it. the yarn is malabrigo in the colorway called molly. somebody needs to have a little girl soon so i can give this hat to them. i had no reason at all for making this other than the fact that i fell in love with the color of the yarn. does that happen to everyone?

foliage, fo
this is the foliage hat from also malabrigo, in the colorway polar morn. this one's for me! i am trying to learn to keep a few knitted items for my own self, and i really needed a winter hat. i am fast coming to the conclusion that malabrigo is the best hat yarn of all time. it's so soft, and the colors are fabulous. plus--two hats from one skein--can't beat that!

soy silk baby hat
this is some yarn i got at earth guild, a store up in asheville, a few weeks ago. it's a blend of wool and soy silk, but i can't remember for the life of me what it's called. i will have to find the label and come back to update this. i can't even find it on ravelry, so you know it's something weird. the woman at earth guild was telling me she got it to try ti herself, and i decided to do the same. it's not the best to work with--it fuzzes up in your hands pretty badly, and i think it's going to be pill-y as all hell. but it's soft and pretty and will look good on some baby's head. it's just a little beanie hat loosely based on the gauging and decreasing in the ann norling fruit hat.

foliage, the second
and last but not least--one foliage hat is not enough when you can have two. this yarn is the hippie's, but he got too busy with work and more work to make this hat--he asked me to make it for him. and since a) it's malabrigo, and b) i loved this pattern, i jumped on it and knitted this up in like two days. i did a better bind off on th is one than i did on my own, which is good because mine would be too tight on anyone other than me. i love this color of yarn, although i have no idea what it's called. the only downside is that the pattern is far less clar with the variegated yarn than with the semisolid above. still--i am pretty pleased, and so was the hippie. maybe some day, we will get it into the proper recipient's hands...

that's all you get for now, as i am off to meet my friend emily for dinner. there's other knitting in the works, but alas, you must wait for it. life is just too rushed lately for words--literally.