Hard to believe it but it’s only 2 days until I’m at week 36 in this pregnancy. I’ve had so many things going on – so many things I’ve wanted to blog about – that I haven’t given myself the opportunity to write about any of it. Today, I’m going to do my best to catch up on the things that I’ve been remiss in posting about.
Henry’s Baby Shower
Saturday before last, my wonderful sister-in-law, mother-in-law, aunt-in-law, and Mom threw us a baby shower. It was awesome!
There was fizzy sherbet punch with duckies in it, chocolate covered strawberries, fried chicken, a huge cake that was half red velvet and half vanilla, white chocolate covered pretzel rods, croissant sandwiches, and so much more in the way of delicious food.
Adam and I set up our Dropcam (best baby monitor EVAR) and broadcast a live stream for folks who were interested in attending virtually, though, to be fair, it’s not tons of fun to watch people eating and then opening presents.
We were very pleased to spend time with those folks who were able to make it, and many folks who were not able to make it were in our thoughts.
No one from my family was able to come other than my mom, but their presence was definitely felt! My Aunt Barbara sent presents and made a “diaper cake” of disposable diapers that was adorable on the gift table. Aunt Caren sent a pop-up book of the Wizard of Oz (which was Grandpa’s favorite story) and is providing us with a rocking chair (once Adam and I find one that fits the nursery). Aunt Debbie sent loads of really thoughtful presents like pacifiers that came with their own sterilization boxes and some of the cutest baby shoes I’ve ever seen.
Please forgive me for only posting a handful of pictures. Less than 48 hours after the shower, almost everyone who attended ended up sick with norovirus (2 day stomach flu), so Adam and I haven’t had the opportunity to sort through all the pictures that were taken with his camera. We’ve been very busy organizing all the presents, figuring out what else we need for the kiddo, buying that stuff, and trying to figure out where to put everything. The nursery is now about 70% ready!
I have to give my mom extra thanks for sending me the pictures she took with her cell phone, and getting them to me so quickly, as well as the list of who gave us what presents. To those awaiting thank you notes – I assure you, they are forthcoming. I bought stationery this weekend, and Adam’s picking up stamps today.
Truth be told, I’ve been absolutely bowled over with the love and support of friends and family. There’s no question that I need to bring Henry to Memphis sometime this coming year because he has a whole tribe that he belongs to there too… and still another in Los Angeles.
There’s something bittersweet about having so many places that I’ve called home. I miss so many amazing people, but I’m really grateful that the internet keeps us close. And I know that I’m lucky that I have such a large family here in Chicago and so many friends here who feel like family.
It feels like this pregnancy has been relatively calm, and then just suddenly, right now at the end, everything is coming together all at once. Hey, at least it’s coming together.
Adam’s 36th birthday is this weekend to boot, and I’ve got to make a party happen for him or he’ll just let it pass like nothing’s happening. It’s his last birthday without a kid! If he doesn’t take the opportunity to get sauced with friends, I will feel like I failed him as a wife.
Speaking of parties — Adam and I (in all of our interfaith/irreligious non-duality) have planned to have a “Welcome to the World” party for Henry in lieu of a bris or baptism to welcome him to our family and the community, but aside from having the idea and thinking that the 23rd or 30th of May would be a reasonable date, no real work has gone into it. It’s hard to plan something like that, not knowing when he’s going to be born or who would be able to attend anyway! (Do we rent a party room at a hotel? Do we have it at a park? When do we send invitations? So many questions.) If you have any thoughts on this, I’m all ears.
Acid Reflux from HELL, Super Itchy Palms, and Other Shit Pregnant Women Don’t Like To Talk About.
I’ve come to the conclusion that if women openly discussed what pregnancy is really like, more women would choose to remain childless. I’m not gonna lie; if I had any idea what some of this physical stuff actually felt like, I’d have downright insisted on adoption. I can handle barfing. I can handle sore sides and an achy back. I can even handle gas and poop that smell so bad that I occasionally wonder if something is actually dead and fermenting inside of me. But a couple of the pregnancy symptoms I’ve been dealing with in the last week have driven me absolutely nuts.
For the last few weeks, my GERD has developed mutant superpowers. Many nights, I get 2-4 hours of sleep, tops, thanks to acid reflux. I’ve moved my 20 mg of omeprazole to the evening. I’ve been super careful not to eat anything fried, spicy, bubbly, acidic, made with citrus or tomato after 5 p.m. (a good 6 hours before bed). Doesn’t matter these days.
The routine has become omeprazole at 10 p.m. 1000 mg of Tums at 11:00 (bedtime). 2 tsp of Gaviscon at 12:30 or 1 a.m. 1000 mg of Tums between 3 and 4. Sometimes, I take Gaviscon again when Adam leaves for work between 5:30 and 6:30. Getting back to sleep is not easy. Most nights, I pretty much lay in bed just resting, hoping for sleep to come. And just in case you’re wondering about this medicine regimen, I’m not setting alarms. No, that would be silly. This is me waking up because there’s bile in my throat or vomit in my mouth. I wish I were exaggerating.
The weirdest thing, though, is that I’m perfectly fine most of the time during the day. As long as I’m vertical, there’s no problem. So, you’d think if I made enough of a pillow fort to keep me at a 45 degree angle, I’d be fine, right? Apparently not. I’ve actually been fantasizing about purchasing a recliner just so I can sleep in it.
The biggest problem with me losing sleep is that it leads to seizures… and I’ve had more than a handful of complex (read: time travel) seizures in the last week. Fortunately, I didn’t have any yesterday and I haven’t had any today.
What I have had today is itchy palms. I teased Adam this morning that we’ve got to be coming into a lot of money because of how badly my palms were itching. (It’s so bad it almost feels like burning and woke me up repeatedly.)
I immediately thought, “Great! A new MS symptom!” but it looks like it’s something called cholestasis that happens in 1% of pregnancies. (There I go, being that special case again!) This might mean that the doctor will want to induce or do an emergency c-section next week (at 37 weeks). And before anybody else responds telling me to use Benedryl or that it’s probably an allergic reaction, please allow me to inform you that there’s no way that it’s an allergic reaction because I haven’t eaten anything new or used any new skincare products and cholestasis does not respond to antihistimines. It’s a build up of bile acids.
Needless to say, I’m concerned about it. I mean, aside from the fact that I’m genuinely afraid for my son’s life, I also can’t stop scratching my hands, and now my ears, forearms, and inside of my upper arms are itchy too. And it’s not like a regular kind of itchy or anything that would respond to lotion or tea tree oil. It’s an intense, almost a burning feeling. I actually feel like I’m doing something wrong by not scratching. It’s taking a lot of self-control to just sit with it. It’s helping to type, but it’s still making me feel like a crazy person.
I called my OB’s office at 6 a.m. to let them know about what’s going on, and I’m still waiting for a call back at 2:45 in the afternoon. That seems like a crazy amount of time to have to wait for a member of my care team to call me back. I know that I need a blood test to check liver enzymes. I want to go ahead and go in and do it because it takes 5 days to get the results. At least I have an appointment already set up for Thursday. There’s really not a lot that I can do right now, though. I just have to be patient. *sigh* At least the kid is as active as always.
In the meantime, I’m gonna try to ignore it and attack my massive to-do list, starting with making sure that my hospital bag is packed as well as possible, putting up some laundry, and getting started on those baby shower thank you notes. I should probably eat some lunch too.