Sunday, September 21, 2008

Who knew?

*37 weeks, 5 days - only 16 days to go!*

I've heard the complaints about the last few weeks of pregnancy, but I swore that once I got pregnant - after everything - there wouldn't be a single complaint out of me, and I think I did a pretty good job of sticking to that.

Well, that was before I hit right around 36.5 weeks...

I have SUCH guilt for my complaining, when I have dear friends who are still struggling to conceive. I am so grateful to be pregnant, albeit in such an uncomfortable - strike that - miserable place at this moment. My son is growing inside of me, which still freaking boggles my mind. And he could be here at any moment!!

But in the meantime, blech! My belly hurts - I feel like my skin might rip right off. My hips, knees, and ankles are succumbing to the added pounds. My back aches all. the. time. I am chronically uncomfortable, and I don't know how else to explain it. I want him out!!

I talk to him every day and tell him how much mommy and daddy and his furry brothers want to meet him (well, at least mommy and daddy do). I ask him what he's waiting for and what I can do to bribe him to come out. I promise hugs and kisses and lots of love from lots of people. But I got nothing. People keep saying "he'll come when he's ready". Well, what about me??? I'm ready now!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bouncy baby

*36 weeks, 6 days*

As I type this, my son, the monkey, is bouncing off the walls. The uterine walls, that is. I think he's about as ready to get out as I am ready to get him out!

We saw the doctor again today. My BP is still normal, baby's heart rate is still good, and I'm growing and gaining weight appropriately. And that's all. The doctor said he won't check my cervix until 39 weeks, which I'm kind of happy about, because I've heard how painful that can be, BUT part of me would kind of like to know if there's anything going on in there....

I think I'm growing especially anxious because babies seems to be popping up (or out) everywhere. First, Ben's cousin's wife, then my friend Jodi, then one of the therapists I work with, plus two ladies from my IVF message board, and one of Mar & Chris's friends, all in the last few weeks!! Julie's friend Lisa is expecting twins and could go any day, but I keep telling her she has to wait because I'm due first!!

And so we continue to wait. We're trying to be patient, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's making it really hard!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

McCain/Palin Oh-Never

Okay - so I said I was going to post this later, and I guess later is now. I wound up posting this to a Pregnant after IVF message board that I'm on, so I'm just going to cut and paste. Hopefully my thought process is clear. I encourage comments and communication on this one. I *strongly* believe in being a well-informed and educated voter. I apologize in advance that this is sort of lengthy and rambling...


i am a die hard democrat from illinois and have been a proud obama supporter from the first time i saw him speak at the DNC four years ago. i've been really interested in politics since college and the debacle of 2000, when i actually lived with two GWB supporters, who both realized the errors of their ways and i believe voted dem in 2004. :)

my first reactions to the announcement that palin was mccain's running mate were 1) wow, he picked a woman (intrigue), and 2) wow, he picked a woman (disgust). disgust quickly won out on intrigue. in my opinions, mccain is playing a game- he's trying to reach out to the undecided female voters who may be uninformed, naive, or (for lack of a better term) ignorant. i don't mean that as a slam again women - i mean that, in general, i think americans are ignorant and uninformed as it pertains to politics. i think a lot of people align themselves with their politics and beliefs for the wrong reasons. they think "she's a woman/a mom/a parent of a child with special needs - she's going to fight for me", and that's the end of it. they don't look at her record - having cut funding for special education and sex education in alaska, for starters. in my opinions, this "game" that mccain is playing is a slap in the fact to women. maybe i'm looking into it too much, but as the days wear on, it makes me more and more angry that mccain thinks women are going to bite at his bait.

the only night of the RNC i watched was the night palin spoke, because yes, i was still a little bit intrigued. i don't necessarily want to say she shouldn't have accepted the nomination because she's a mother, or because her son has down syndrome, or because her daughter's pregnant, but putting myself in her shoes, i can't imagine having five kids, a very young child who will have a lifetime of special needs, and a grandchild on the way, and thinking this is a good time to advance my career. i know everyone has their own goals and priorities, and i don't necessary slam her for doing so, i just know that if i were in her position, i don't think the timing would be right.

so anyways, i watched her speech just to see what she was all about. i wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, even though there was no way they were getting my vote.

when she played the special needs card, my jaw fell on the floor and i'm sure my blood pressure went through the roof. this is what she said: "To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House." so says the woman who over that last few years has cut special ed funding by 62% in alaska!

i am a service coordinator for the early intervention (birth to three) program in illinois. i have a number of families on my caseload who have children with down syndrome among other devastating developmental and medical disabilities. i also have a coworker who has a son with down syndrome. it pains me to think that palin is trying to reach out to parents of children with special needs to serve her own purpose. her record shows, as does the republican record, that they don't serve these populations. they repeatedly cut funding for social services and disability services. now don't get me wrong - the democrats aren't always great on this one either. the state of illinois has raked us over the coals the past few years, and cut funding for EI and DD services, which is sickening, but the dems have historically been far more likely to support our cause than the GOP ever has.

again, i feel like it's a game they're playing. they're playing to women who want to see a female in one of the nation's highest positions. they're playing to parents of children with special needs who want to desperately believe that the government will step up and start taking better care of their children.

i just hope upon hope that mccain loses this game he's playing. for the sake of my unborn son, this country needs to change. we cannot keep going in the direction we are going. for better or worse, experienced or not, obama gives me hope. it makes me ache. it makes me feel proud to be an american for the first time in a very VERY long time. i want so much more, so much better for my son. i know i've had a good life and i've been able to overcome a lot of struggles and pain, but my goal is to still give my son better than i had. i want him to live in a world that's safer and more peaceful than the one i've lived in. i want him to be proud of who he is and where he's from. i want him to be able to believe so strongly in something that he someday feels the same ache that i feel. i have to stay hopeful that we will win and change will come, because i fear nothing more at this time in my life than mccain winning the white house. i fear it for myself, my son, my family and friends. something needs to happen to turn this country around, and i know for certain that that something is not john mccain.

so that's my two cents. hopefully my passion and my point were clear.

Home stretch

*35 weeks, 4 days - only 31 days to go!*

It's been awhile since I've posted, so I'll apologize in advance for the long post!

I cannot believe this is actually almost over! These past few weeks have dragged, and I know the next few will as well, but I know the end is in sight, and that both excites the hell out of me and terrifies the hell out of me.

I've started getting "nervous" recently. I'm a little nervous about labor and the pain and everything that goes along with that (though I'm getting an epidural as soon as humanly possible), but I'm more nervous about taking care of the babe and of how my body's going to react, post-pregnancy. My arthritis has generally been in remission thoughout my pregnancy, which has been amazing. The pain I have from time to time is annoying, but tolerable. My fear is that I'll become so debilitated that I'll struggle to move and to take care of the baby. I'm also afraid of whether I'll be able to breastfeed, knowing that I'll have to go back on some form of medication within a few weeks after he arrives. I have an appointment to see my rheumatologist at the end of October, and at that time, he said he'll probably put me on a low dose of steroids (I'm assuming Prednisone, which I've taken once before). He said a low dose will help me feel better and will also be safe for the baby to continue breastfeeding. However, I recently read that steroids can reduce the amount of milk that's produced, which I know can be a frustrating experience as well, from my friend Kari who experienced a reduction in her milk after having to take Vicodin (or something like that) for kidney stones. I know I shouldn't worry about it and just play things by ear, but I can't push it out of my mind...

In general, I'm still feeling pretty good. My hips have been hurts a lot again lately. When I wake up in the morning and again at the end of the day, I just feel like they're going to pop right out of socket. I know that's normal, but I wonder if it's worse for me because of the arthritis. All I know is that it's making it really hard to get comfortable and fall asleep at night. My nights are hit or miss these days. Some nights I sleep really well and some, not at all. Of course, I have to get up 2, 3, 4 times a night to pee...

I'm also starting to hit a phase of heartburn and gas, which SUCKS! I'm taking rolaids, which helps a little, and trying to watch what kinds of foods I eat, but it isn't really helping. I know it all just comes with the territory...

Baby K's latest thing is HICCUPS!!! For the past two weeks or so, he gets hiccups everyday. Sometimes just once a day. Last Saturday, it was FOUR times! It's the weirdest feeling that can really only be described as a very rhythmic "flick" from the inside. Last Sunday morning, I lost count at 110 - they go on for minutes and are very consistent. I always feel them low and on the right side.

Baby's still moving up as much as he can in his cramped quarters. He's getting LONG. I can tell by the foot that lives in my right ribcage. I can sometimes push on it, and he'll move it, but other times, he's stubborn and refuses. The doctor says he is head down, and I can sometimes feel what I'm guessing are arms or elbows poking me on both sides.

My belly's still measuring on target. I've officially gained 20 pounds, and I can definitely appreciate that it's all boobs and belly! Hopefully that'll make it easier to lose the weight after baby comes. The last few appointments we've had have been non-eventful. My blood pressure is consistently perfect and the baby's heartrate is consistently in the 140s! I'm still having pretty regular swelling in my left foot and ankle, but the doctor's not worried about it, since that's really the only swelling I have. I think my left knee was a little swollen last night, but I wonder if that's from being pregnant or from the weather.

We are moving right along on our "to-do" list. We've officially signed up with Viacord to store the baby's cord blood, and I received the collection kit a few days ago. We've also applied for life insurance. We have to have bloodwork, urine, and a medical history done now before the underwriter will approve our app. We still need to pick a pediatrician. I have a short list of people to contact, but work has been insanely busy for me the past two weeks, so I'm *hoping* to call some docs this week. We also still need to meet with the lawyer to write a will. I need to pack a bag for the hospital, and yes, we STILL need to pick a name for this kiddo! I promise, he will have a name by the time he's born!

I definitely wanted to post my reaction to the whole Sarah Palin thing... blech... but I'm not going to go into that now. I definitely have a few things to say about her and the games that John McCain is playing. Let's just say that, as a woman, a mother, and someone who works with the special needs population, I am sickened by what the republican candidates are trying to do and by how ignorant and naive they think female voters are. More on that later...