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In your dreams, when you are running as fast as you can from that thing chasing you? But you look down and see ants moving faster than you are? And they’re carrying mint chocolate chip ice cream in waffle cones? And you want some? But in Belgian Cholate instead? And then you remember that thing? And look back? But now it’s a giant clown fish? With teeth? And scary movie background music? And dangit, where do you remember that music from? And then you re-realize you’re not running fast enough? And the ants are giggling? And you hope that your alarm clock goes off before the end of this scene?
That’s my pace these days.
Belly Shots at 34w0d.
We had my first I-am-not-the-boss-of-me-anymore scare last week at our prenatal appointment. I told you these weekly appointments are unnerving. Upon arrival, and after the dreaded weigh-in (which, by the way, I’ve gained 38 pounds, which is smack dab in the middle of the you-should-gain-this-much chart in Dr. Barbara Luke’s book Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy), I got strapped in for the Non-Stress Test (NST).
I have previously referred to this as the Labor Lie Detector test because it monitors any contractions you might be having – know it or not – as well as the baby(s) heart rates. All this is recorded onto a strip of paper (like an EKG strip) over a period of 20 or so minutes.
Because I ask a lot of questions, I peppered the doctor as to what they look for. They want to see at least two ‘accelerations’, or reactivity, per baby during a twenty minute period, and those look like little peaks on the strip. There is a good description of what the non-stress test consists of and what they look for here.
Well, apparently, little Birdie appeared too calm (and when compared to our little Taz, also known as Eagle, well…DUH! I mean, this has been a consistent personality pattern since their first ultrasound at six weeks). And, in fact, there was a deceleration which can be indicative of cord compression or other fetal distress. And just as I was asking how they go about getting reactivity and the nurse was answering “good question”, THEY TASERED MY BABY!
Not only did she respond, but we had this chain reaction of then Taz thumping me and me coming a bit off the table. Had I known that was coming, I might have been able to tell them that SHE IS JUST NOT AWAKE AT 8:30 IN THE MORNING!
Just to be sure, though, the doctor ordered a biophysical ultrasound. And if you want a good scare, you can read about why they do those here. As I was getting ready to walk down the hall for that, I asked about the criteria and scoring and what the consequences would be if the score wasn’t what she expected. She said “well, then we’ll take a walk down to the fourth floor.” Think. Think. Think. Crap! That would be THE LABOR AND DELIVERY FLOOR. And then I was thinking to myself “Self, you should have packed the damn hospital bag so this wouldn’t be happening!”
Longer story shorter, Birdie hit all the criteria with flying colors. She’s merely a bit stubborn and likes to do things when SHE wants to do them – can’t imagine where she got that from.
Crossing my fingers, AND PACKING A BAG before the next appointment.
Friday morning, as I was driving to work, I was saying my morning prayers. Something I learned from the Beloved. And as a bonus, it helps one not get worked up while sitting in traffic. Because it’s hard to be pissy and self-righteous when you are in the midst of giving thanks.
And that’s what I was doing. Giving thanks for our neighbors for what they did for me on Thursday. That morning, I was in so much pain, that I couldn’t finish getting ready for work. And instead, I crawled back into bed, all cold sweats and shaky, to try and sleep it off. That didn’t work.
By 10:15am, the pain had not subsided at all. So, despite my best efforts to not be one of those women, I called the doctor’s office and left a message. I typically have a pretty high tolerance for pain, so either it was a lot of pain, or I was having an uncharacteristically wimpy day.
I knew I needed to eat lunch, but had no energy to make anything, much less get out of bed. So I sent a text to the back neighbors, who often go home for lunch to check on their pups. The same neighbors who can see the deplorable condition of our ungroomed, over-weeded back yard and STILL LOVE US. And despite them having plans, they said they’d bring me some lunch anyway. Is that not SO SWEET? Our neighbor brought me lunch and was setting it up on the tray for me in the bed when the nurse called me back. She wanted me in.
Having overheard this, and correctly assuming that I wasn’t really in any condition to drive myself, our neighbor cancelled her own appointment and drove me to mine.
As it turns out, all is fine. Had my first 3rd trimester pelvic exam – completely uncomfortable, but over before I knew it. They put me on the monitors during which time I learned the RJBs DO NOT like being confined (they get THAT honest!) as they were trying to kick the dopplers off the entire time. I was having some contractions, but nothing out of the ordinary. And my cervix was closed. I did have some blood in my urine, typically indicative of a bladder infection, but I’ll learn more when the culture results come in. And the fetal fibronectin swab came up negative, meaning I am not at risk for pre-term labor, at least not in the next couple weeks.
At the end, the doctor said “unfortunately, I think one of the babies is likely sitting on a nerve that’s causing the pain.” But my response was that that was GREAT news, because for me, the pain is relatively temporary. The fortunate thing about that diagnosis is that (a) the RJBs are doing well, and that (b) I’m not currently at risk for pre-term labor. DID YOU HEAR THAT, MOM?
And I am grateful for having wonderful, loving neighbors - without whom I could not have made it through the day – that helped me, took the dogs out, fed me, drove me to the doctor, and tucked me back in bed.
Taken at 26w0d on January 30, 2008 .
Because nothing says “kicker” in Texas like jeans and a white shirt. And nothing says “woman” universal than an inappropriate amount of flesh showing.
OK, this was not my work attire on Friday. This is just the only full-frontal belly foto that will be published. Ever.
A special thanks to robalyork, one of our 2 1/2 husbands, for the borrowing of the shirt.