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I Hate Tests I Can't Study For

Before I get into the meat of this post, on Saturday I received the absolutely most amazing mask from merimask  Absolutely stunning.  I owe her a phone call, but it was a problematic weekend.  When I get it properly hung with the kimono it goes with, I'll snap a picture.

So yesterday I had a glucose screening test. I was curious, because I’d heard such awful things about how horrible the glucose solution tastes, that it makes you gag, that it can make you throw up, etc. It wasn’t that bad. Frankly, add some fizz and I’ll drink it for fun. But as previously mentioned, I’ve never met a sugar molecule that I didn’t love. This time I was smart about things – I make an appointment at Quest for 8 a.m. I got there bright and early and eventually managed to get someone’s attention. As far as I can tell, they don’t keep track in any fashion of the people who make appointments – at least not the ones who make them online. I’m pretty sure that you could walk in off the street, say "I have an appointment," and jump the line with impunity. But I digress.

I got to drink 50ml of what tasted like flat orange soda and go hang out in the waiting room for an hour. Let me tell you – the conversational possibilities at Quest Labs at 8 a.m. on a Tuesday are not exactly scintillating. I think the only other person who came in while I was there who was under 60 was the girl who was driving her grandmother. It’s always like that in the mornings – right during the prime hours when people with jobs are trying to get in and out so that they don’t miss too much work. But I digress again. I had my newspaper and the crossword, and that held my attention for the hour I had to sit there. One very nice lady actually offered to let me go before her because I had been there first. I explained that I was on a timer, and thanked her very much. When my timer went off the nice man took two vials of blood and sent me on my way. Only two this time – I’m underachieving these days. The results will be posted on the hospital’s online test results page, so I’ll start keeping an eye on that in a day or two. Everything else is going so well that I’m pretty much expecting this to trip me up.  Keep your fingers crossed - I really want to pass this test.

Childbirth class was Monday this week instead of the usual Tuesday. This week the nurse went through the after care package they send home with you. I wasn’t taking notes because we’re not using that hospital, but I sincerely hope they send instructions with the bag because there’s no way I’d remember all of that. Then we took the tour. Again – we’re not using that hospital, but it was interesting. The thing that I find intriguing is the amount of pressure they exert on you to have the baby "room in" with you. They say that it’s your choice, but everything is peppered with statements like "we leave the baby with you where they belong." The comment in the nursery was "You’re wondering where all the babies are. They’re with their mothers, where they should be." Now this is all well and good, but one of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten has been from my boss who said to send that child to the nursery. She has three, and she roomed in two of them and didn’t with the last. She remembers that an hour or so after having one of her girls, having not slept in over 36 hours and being delirious with exhaustion (her words) a nurse came in and said to her "haven’t you bathed that baby yet?" Her advice was that you’ve got the next several decades to bond. In the meantime, let the nursing staff change, bathe, and otherwise take care of the baby. They’ll bring it to you to nurse and whenever you ask – in the meantime get as much rest as you can because there won’t be any respite or escape at home. If you have the baby in the room you may as well go home, because there won’t be any recuperation time for you. That makes very good sense to me. I didn’t bother to argue with the nurse at all because... we’re not going to that hospital. I’ll be interested to see if I get the same push from UConn. You never know, I may change my mind. If so, it’s an easy change to make. But I think that Diane was making an awful lot of sense.

I’m also interested watching the other couples in class. They’re all much younger than either of us. I suspect that I’ve probably got fifteen years on all of them. I don’t know if it’s the extra years, or if it’s just the weird way that I’m wired, but I just can’t seem to get as worked up about things as they do. The way I’m looking at it is that she’s coming out one way or the other – either I’m doing it, or some nice man with sharp implements is. I know what my pain control options are, I know that regardless of those it’s going to hurt like hell, and it sounds like it’s all really rather going to suck. Okay – it’s a temporary situation. If not A., then B. This isn’t complicated. I’ve got bigger things in my life to stress about – like paying for daycare. But we’ve got a couple who are absolutely terrified by the idea of labor. Come on – it’s not like they’re going to leave to die n agony.

Maybe I just can’t get worked up about it because I spent six months having non-stop gallstone attacks. There’s something that’ll wear you down. Most people say "writhing in pain" without really understanding the phrase. I’ve actually done it. It sucked. But who knew that ten years later it would come in handy? So I’m actually fairly comfortable with the idea of pain. Looking forward to it? Hell no. But I’ve already got a lot of coping mechanisms from the gall bladder and from my back. And unlike the gallstone attacks, there will be no element of watching the clock, wondering if I need to go to the emergency room, and wondering if this is the one that will require emergency surgery with no insurance. When you take the element of fear out of it – it’s just pain.

Someone remind me in October that I said all of that. It should be good for a laugh.

I was fascinated by the girl who asked what she should wear to come to the hospital because she heard that they throw your clothes away. Who on earth has she been listening to?

Next week’s class will bring us "pushing positions," and possibly a pediatrician as a guest speaker. That’s something else that I need to investigate. My sister-in-law’s sister is an RN who works for a pediatrician and got some recommendations at the office for me. I need to see if any of them are in my insurance plan and then figure out what I’m supposed to do next.

Let’s see, inventory:

Back: still have that damn spasm knifing me. I have made the discovery that riding in Bob’s car makes it worse. So hopefully by avoiding his car I can stop "refreshing" it so that the chiropractor and the massage therapist can make it go away. Other than that, so far, so good. Shoulders are really tight, but I can ignore that.
Hips: achy. As far as I can tell, this is just One Of Those Things. The joints themselves and down the thighs ache like I’ve over-exerted myself doing heavy work. It stinks, but it’s tolerable. I’m pretty sure that it’s something I can shrug off for the next three months.
Knees: killing me. I’m not quite sure what this is all about. They hurt during the day fairly often, but the weird part is what they do at night. I’ll wake up and whichever knee is on the bottom (sleeping on my side) will be locked into whatever position it happens to be in. I can’t flex or straighten it without excruciating pain at a spot at the inside top of the kneecap. What I’ve been doing is very, very carefully pulling the top leg off of it (sometimes the removal of that weight triggers the pain, or it may be the tensing of the muscles in the affected leg as I shift position. I can’t tell.) then using my hands to pick the affected leg up off of the mattress. Once I’m lying on my back with that leg up in the air I can put pressure on the painful spot and very slowly flex the joint a few times to get it moving again. It’s really, really strange. I need to spend some time with Gray’s Anatomy or Anatomica to try to figure out exactly what that spot is so that I can describe this to my assorted health care people.
Feet: fine. No different than usual.
Belly: I think I’m quite large. My husband doesn’t look at me, so I don’t know what he thinks. The two co-workers who know that I’m pregnant say that I don’t look like it, and no one else in the office has noticed anything that I’m aware of. I think they’re either blind (possible) or being polite (fairly unlikely.)
I think that’s all the major body parts that I’m willing to discuss. I’m getting two-hour catnaps at night, so I’ve got that constant nagging fatigue. I’m reliably informed that will get better in six or seven years. The doctor said that I can take a Benadryl to help me sleep, but I’m saving that for when I really need it.

That’s about it. Depending on which doctor/website you decide to believe, I am in my third trimester either today or next Wednesday. Perhaps it’s time to pick up the pace on preparations. It might also be time to talk about names.




( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 25th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
trust your boss's advice...
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
She's a very practical woman. And given that she had three kids in five years - she's got a pretty good idea of what's coming. I pick her brain about lots of stuff.
Jun. 25th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
I think your friend is very wise, send the kid to the nursery and get your rest and have Bob get his rest too.

BTW, we did a flying trip down to PA last weekend to deal with stuff at storage. Jim was asking after you both and says hello.
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
Amen to rest!

Nice to hear that Jim was asking after us. How's he doing?
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
Jim was Jim, chatty as ever. We sat and visited for a good while. I think since his mom died he's pretty lonely there by himself. He'd been her sole caregiver for quite a lone time. We told him about your upcoming events and he sends his good wishes.
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
I worried about that when I heard that his mom had passed away. It seemed like he'd been caring for her forever, and it concerned me that he'd be too alone. I know how he loves to chat with all his folks, so it was good that you had time to spare. We always budget in time for him when we're loading and unloading.
Jun. 26th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know what you mean. He was saying that he's only just now, better than a year and a half later, beginning to feel like the house is his. It had always been his mom's house and he lived there, not his own. I think he is especially lonely in the winter, there just are so few people around. Evidently he spends a good deal of time at the Johnson Sisters Cafe just up the road but in the winter they close at 7pm so he sounded like he was definitely at loose ends.

He's been traveling some and went to China with some cousins in April and had a great time. As you probably know he sells specialty foods and currently he's associated with a Mennonite noodle company from Ohio that wants to expand their business. He's going to be accompanying them to NYC for a big food show in the next month. The Mennonites have never been to the big city! :)
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
That's wonderful to hear. Sounds like he's starting to do well.

I hope the Mennonites have a good time!
Jun. 25th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Maybe I just can’t get worked up about it because I spent six months having non-stop gallstone attacks.

I've had gallstone attacks and I've been in labor. Gallstones were much worse, IMO.

I’m not quite sure what this is all about. They hurt during the day fairly often, but the weird part is what they do at night.

That sounds a lot like what my sister went though, but it was her wrists, not her knees. The good news, if it *is* the same thing, is that the condition went away a few weeks after she had her baby.

As for getting sleep at night, it won't take nearly 7 years. One or two, max. ;^D
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
"I've had gallstone attacks and I've been in labor. Gallstones were much worse, IMO."

You know, I've heard that from a *bunch* of women. I'm reluctant to *count* on it, but it's kind of reassuring in a weird way.

Jun. 25th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
Hahahahaomgthrowyourclothesawayhaaaa...What a funny girl! Seriously, she must not have much common sense, to believe a weirdo rumour like that. :)

You haven't started considering names, yet? Wow, that's the one thing I'd likely have done first...then for the rest of the time it would just be constant changing of my mind from one favourite to the next. So I'd decide...but I'd alternate constantly, no doubt. But names are my thing.
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
She's a piece of work, let me tell you. I think that she's from an adjacent galactic quadrant to your fanfic weirdos. Seriously, I suspect that this is the first time she's ever been in a hospital and has spent a lot of time watching bad reality shows. I get a vibe off of her that makes me think she's scared to death of the whole thing.

We actually haven't started looking at names. It's weird - I really thought I'd be all over it, but it's been kind of back burner. I've been browsing through the websites that you sent me when I have time at work, but so far nothing has really jumped out yet. I remembered a comment that someone in the SCA made years ago that basically said that when we're helping people pick persona names they really ought to throw out the first four letters of the alphabet - we have a disproportionate number of names from A-D because people find something that they like fast and don't look any further to see the cool stuff in E-Z. So I started with Z, and I'm working my way backwards! I DO need to get serious about that before my mother decides to "help." :-)
Jun. 25th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Any chance you can get for a few minutes uninterrupted sleep -- Take it!! SRSLY. Even with a baby that learns to sleep through the night quickly, you'll still be exhausted.

When Zeph was born, his mum said that having a baby at 39 wasn't a problem, but parenting a teenager when you're in your 50s would be. She was right.
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
That's actually been the fear. On the other hand, we've already DONE the teenager thing once. So it'll be the same old hormones and attitude with new buzz words. And no ability to send her home to her mother when we're done. But we've been exposed, so we're braced.
Jun. 25th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
I vote for having the baby room with you, but I seem to be outvoted.
Hard to know what "hurt like hell" means (I wish there were some reliable pain comparison scale). It hurt. It didn't hurt as much as the tooth abscess, or the broken rib, or the strep throat, or (in terms of relevant body part) the menstrual cramps I regularly had before ibuprofen became available over the counter. I didn't use any pain meds during labor or childbirth, and when it was over, it was over. No headache or any of the other side effects they warn you about with an epidural.
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
The nice thing is that if I send her off to the nursery and decide that it's not what I want - I can change my mind. Viva les options! I think that a lot of it is going to be situational. If my back issues decide to kick in and it's miserable, I may be exhausted and not want to deal. If it's "easy" I may be gung ho to dive right in. I can play it by ear.

Pain is so subjective that it's impossible to compare. I guess the way I'm looking at it is that it's a finite amount of time, and I'll try to roll with whatever happens. I figure that stressing about it now will just wind me up and make me unhappy. I've had gallstone attacks, debilitating back pain, a tooth abscess that couldn't be treated for three days, and used to get menstrual cramps strong enough to make me vomit (went on the pill to solve those.) So it won't be my first time with real pain.
Jun. 25th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
I had one labor I did with no pain meds and the pain was pretty minimal (but it was also real fast). The other one had me doing the "I can't do this!" wail, and then discovering that Stadol is a Good Thing. What I'm trying, very poorly, to say is that you're right, you'll have the baby, one way or the other, and if it hurts too much (and it may not), the medicos treat the pain. Some folks get all worked up about it, but as our birthing instructor put it, if you come home with a baby, it was a good birth. How you got to that point (natural or surgical, drugs or no drugs) doesn't really matter.

There is no reason at all to not send the baby back to the nursery when you need some sleep.

If you haven't had to buy maternity clothes yet, you aren't particularly large yet. Trust me. I had to go into maternity clothes by month 5 with both of mine, and that included losing 10 pounds in the first trimester with the second one. And I don't remember my jeans fitting, at least not in the waist, after the first trimester either.

I've been looking through the basement, and haven't gotten far yet, but it looks like we have one good crib mattress that you can have if you'd like.
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
Well, here's the thing. I haven't had to buy and maternity clothes yet, but that's because I count on the fact that I wear knit tops untucked and a jacket to hide the fact that my skirts don't come to within three inches of zipping up. I haven't put on much weight - I've been being very good.

My brother is buying us a new crib mattress to go with the crib and changing table that they're loaning us, so we're all set there. Thanks though.
Jun. 25th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
As a lowly male, I realize that I don't get to comment... but I can give hugs.

Jun. 25th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
You always get to comment! And I get to ignore you ;-)
Jun. 26th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
Mask arrived...yay! Call when you feel like it, I just wanted to say "hi" but I don't want to call YOU because I always pick the wrong time. :-)

You sound like you have a handle on things...as much as you can. Good advice about using the nursery. As long as they respect your wishes regarding breast feeding, you know?

A heating pad will help those joints feel better in a drug-free fashion. ^_^
Jun. 26th, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC)
The mask is AWESOME. SO cool. It looks just like it came out of a reference book. Absolutely amazing. And I know that you prefer one piece designs, but the floofy bits are just exactly perfect.

"Good advice about using the nursery. As long as they respect your wishes regarding breast feeding, you know?"

I have very few concerns about that. All of the hospitals are pushing breast feeding SO hard that I don't anticipate an argument. Besides - you've seen me stressed out and cranky. I suspect that the nurses all have a decent sense of self-preservation.

Heating pads and ice packs are my friends.
Jun. 26th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
"The nice thing is that if I send her off to the nursery and decide that it's not what I want - I can change my mind. Viva les options! "

Midstate was darned good about wheeling V's basinet in to me when I was awake and had energy, then wheeling her off to have the nurses care for her when I wanted to sleep. They taught *ROB* to do the baby-bath.
I'll ditto merimask--there's past history from some hospitals mixing up which babies are being breastfed and which are being supplemented. So as long as you're comfortable that your choice is respected (and I had them label it on the basinet!) I say SLEEP COMFIE!

Regarding names... One of my co-workers was SO laid back that they were actually flipping through a names book when she was in labor. I wish Rob&I had been HALF so laid back, it would have saved me a lot of agita.
Jun. 26th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
That's interesting, because it's Mid-State that's pushing the "you WILL have the baby in the room" agenda. Eh - whatever. I'll be interested to see what the differences are. I was really torn between the two hospitals, but two things finally decided me:

UConn has a level 3 NICU. If something doesn't go well at Mid-State, they send the baby (but not you) to either UConn, St. Francis, or maybe Yale. If something goes badly at UConn, they send the baby down the hall.

We've got the family connection. If I don't like what I'm hearing/getting, I can call Dr. Bob and have him throw his weight around. That's worth it's weight in gold.

Good point though - I'll make sure they label the bassinet.

Yeah, we'll get to names. Soon. Real soon. For now "deduction" will do, even though my mother thinks it's horrible.
Jun. 26th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
Have you seen the "Baby's named a bad, bad, thing" site? For all the names never, ever to name your child, and also a really good laugh, no matter how miserable you were feeling when you went there.
Jun. 26th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
A couple of things:

1. I hope you pass the 1-hour GTT, too, because the 3-hour GTT is more annoying. (But, I'm sure you did fine. :^) )

2. At my hospital, a nightly nursery check is mandatory. This is when they bathe, weigh, and coo at the baby, and you get a few hours of "you" time. I didn't appreciate it then, but I *really* do now!
Jun. 26th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
I hope so too, because three hours hanging around in an 8'x12' waiting room in a storefront on Route 6 might drive me over the edge. Not to mention missing three hours of work. But I'm thinking positive thoughts and trying not to obsessively check the lab results website every few hours.

I don't know yet what UConn does. Our tour isn't until July 26, so inquiring minds will just have to cope. I'm sure that we'll work with whatever the protocol is without any difficulty.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )