I’m alright.

As of today, it’s been 2 weeks since I last logged in to either Facebook or Twitter. I got my first, “Are you okay? People are worried about you.” text the day before yesterday.

I was both surprised (a) that anybody was worried (because Depression would have me believe that nobody cares) and (b) that it took 12 days for anybody to miss me enough to check in. (Though, to be fair, I’ve been checking in with a lot of people and making the first move because I recognize my responsibility to maintain relationships that are important to me.)

I had hoped that by posting here about my decision to step away from social media that it would have helped folks to not worry.  And then I found out that WordPress no longer publishes blog updates to personal timelines.  It only works if it’s attached to a Page and not to a personal account.  Adam thinks I should just create a Page for this blog. He’s probably right.

But, if I’m going to put in the work to do that, may as well put in the work to revamp the site and market it to increase readership… to start daily posting again, and hope that by leaving footprints on the path that I walk, that it does anything helpful and good for anyone else.

Thinking about it makes it feel like a lot more work than it is… It also would require me to log in to FB and Twitter and weed my digital garden to curate a better newsfeed experience. Right now, I’m not sure whether or not I have the time or energy for all that. I’ve just started to not automatically reach for my phone every few seconds.

Banality

To be really frank, I’ve dived deep into housewifery and stay-at-home mom-ness in the last few weeks. I’ve been focused on my family’s health and giving Henry the educational and emotional support he needs to grow up smart, kind, strong, and self-assured.

Sure, my house always seems to me to be in dire need of a maid, no matter how often I pick up (an act that feels constant and on-going), but life is happening here in full force. Loads of creativity through messy art projects and loud, often-dissonant, impromptu music sessions. Lots of science and math through baking and cooking and LEGO and video games.

As someone who used to live her life almost strictly for the stories (Cheers to you for being entertaining, 2004-2006 Past Rae), I find myself having a tough time feeling like I have much to gab about on my public, digital diary.

There’s not much excitement to be found in the daily, constant cycle of dishes and laundry, in religiously coupon-ing with multiple apps [Ibotta, Jewel’s app, Fetch Rewards (Use my referral code, 73962, during signup and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points just for starting.), & Coupons.com], meal planning around the weekly promotions at the 3 different grocery stores in walking distance to my house, and, oh yeah, managing my health.

The one remotely interesting thing that I’m doing right now is volunteering with Detention Lifeline, and writing legal briefs is only interesting to me because of the kind of nerd that I am. Truthfully, I’m just grateful that my legal knowledge might help, well, anyone at all.

Back on the Keto Bandwagon

One of the biggest changes of the last few months for me was stopping the keto diet and returning to the standard American diet (SAD for short) while trying to conceive because my high-risk OB wanted me to just do exactly what we did to end up with Henry. (The idea being that since Henry’s pregnancy was uncomplicated and he’s healthier than any of us, I had it right the last time around.)

Well, my 38 year old body isn’t my 33 year old body, and pain and seizures from unnecessary inflammation caused by diet does not make for optimal sexytime.  There’s an order of operations here that just cannot be ignored.

So, I gave the SAD 3 months. I gained 10 pounds and started genuinely struggling with MS, seizures, and depression again. Come to think of it, if it weren’t for the switch in diet, I probably wouldn’t have had the time-travel seizure that created the desire to quit social media. So, yeah. That’s enough of that nonsense.

Do I think I’m going to keep keto throughout my pregnancy?  Definitely not. I want to make sure a developing child has everything it could possibly need while inside me. And morning sickness absolutely begs for carbs. But fertility specialists recommend the ketogenic diet for both men and women who are trying to conceive — and that’s where we’re at. Plus, it helps with MS – both with managing symptoms and with slowing progression. I’m already supplementing with a prenatal vitamin with extra DHA and also take additional folate, so hopefully, everything will work out the way it needs to.

After having a spontaneous miscarriage in August of 2017 and having to end a pregnancy in late November of 2018 due to genetic abnormality, I’m really, really hoping that the 3rd time is the charm. I’ll do whatever needs to be done to help Baby Majka #2 to join our family. We all already feel their absence, and it sucks.

But it is nice to be able to sleep through the night, so I’m not taking that for granted for even a moment.

In that vein of thought, I’m going to get to work on a brief for a guy who is detained in one of our our many American concentration camps, so that he will eventually get to have some good sleep too.

*waves*

Hey there.

Life’s been crazy. I have been writing – just not on this blog. I’ve been writing here.

modern-day-ms

Here’s a link to my most recent stuff.

I was actually just featured in an interview on that site yesterday.

Love That Hugabug!

hugabug

Henry is growing like crazy. 10 months old, wearing size “18 month” clothes. He’s babbling all the time, blowing raspberries, and pulling himself up on furniture. He’s so close to walking that I’m trying my best to appreciate how easy it is to keep up with him these days.

I’ve started working on planning his 1st birthday party, which will be a joint party with his Grandpa (my dad), since they share a birthday weekend.  I think I’m actually more excited about my parents, my brother and his awesome wife coming in town to celebrate than I am about the fact that we managed to make it a full year without accidentally killing our beautiful, amazing baby. Being a parent is hard, yo.

I’m a mess, but I’m doing my best.

My health has been frustrating and upsetting, so I’ve been doing my best to minimize the struggle while responsibly handling it.

I believe I had an early miscarriage a couple of months ago. I’m usually very regular, but had a couple of very faint positive pregnancy tests and then didn’t bleed for 50+ days.  When I did get my period, it was the heaviest, most awful period I’ve ever had.  Dr. Dad thinks I might have just missed a period. He said it happens all the time, and not to worry about it. Adam has decided Dad’s right, so I’ve jumped on the “don’t mourn something that never was” bandwagon with my conscious mind and have been dealing with terrible depression and nightmares because of the choice to repress my feelings of guilt and sadness. I see my therapist on Saturday, thankfully.

Of course, just afterwards, I had a MS relapse, complete with tons of seizures, neuropathic pain in my legs, muscle spasms, and tingling/burning on various parts of my back. A medrol dose pack seems to have done the trick to quiet most of it. Come to think of it, it’s been almost 6 years without a drip — so that’s pretty good, I guess.

My stomach is still up to its shenanigans, reminding me after almost every meal that eating is not a good idea… and that’s despite my gastroenterologist doubling the amount of Prilosec I take. I am scheduled for an upper and lower GI scope on St. Patrick’s Day.  (Fun, right?)

After 2 years of not seeing a dentist for a myriad of reasons, I finally went in for a cleaning and exam. I have 2 cavities to get filled this month as well, in 2 separate visits.

I honestly don’t remember the last time that I went to the gym to work out (though I did see a nutritionist), and today, I’m fantasizing about finding a chiropractor because my neck is super-sore from my head dropping thanks to seizures. Unintentional headbanging FTW. Honestly, I’m tired of hurting. Apparently, not tired enough to use my foam roller, but just enough to think about it and then whine to myself you.

cantwin

The bright spot in the health area is that I finally got glasses.  They’re cute and helpful. I had no idea how badly I needed them!  I now look forward to the day when Henry stops wanting to rip them off my face and throw them. I’m sure that will eventually happen someday.

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Anyway, that’s all for now. The little one is stirring, and I need to change and feed him.  Hope you’re having a good day! Be well!

Quick Post

This post is gonna be quick, because I have no idea how much longer Henry’s nap will last. I’ve already eaten my lunch, so this is bonus time. Of course, as I typed that first sentence, he woke up. He’s doing the little blinky thing that says, “Maybe, just maybe, I’ll fall back asleep if you give me my binky.”

My kid is so good. He’s so sweet, and he only cries when there’s legitimately something to cry about (hunger, needing a change, having gas, or just feeling bad from vaccinations). But being a mom with MS is hard — and I know it’s only going to get harder.

I miss 5 Hr. Energy because I’m still pumping breastmilk. My legs desperately miss nortriptyline and weed; I’m having a shitton of muscle spasms recently. I miss the freedom to nap all day if need be. But I love my son, and his health and wellness is worth forgoing medicine.

The real mindfuck for me when it comes to medicine is that we’re already discussing a second child… have been since before Henry was born. The idea that I’ll have the energy/stamina necessary for caring for 2 infants is laughable to me, but what’s the alternative? Getting back on MS meds and then off them again? The side effects are often worse than the disease without them for me, so I don’t know that they’d make anything better.

Pregnancy was pretty great as far as dealing with my symptoms goes. Adam is a fan of the idea of waiting until Henry’s 6 months old and then trying for another. That’s 3 months from now. My OB’s assistant said it’s perfectly fine to get pregnant after 6 months because of how well I have healed, but that the doc would prefer that I wait 12, and that he’s a fan of VBAC if possible. While I wouldn’t want to deal with another c-section recovery (I’m only now feeling normal, 3 months later.), and I think it would be interesting to experience birth as biology intended, the possibility of uterine rupture with VBAC scares the crap out of me. I’m so risk-averse when it comes to childbirth that I can’t even quantify it.

I’m somehow less risk-averse when it comes to dealing with MS, though. My neurologist wants me back on DMDs as soon as I am comfortable with doing so. He has said that he’s not directly telling me to stop breastfeeding and to get back on DMDs right away, but that’s only because breastfeeding is such a personal choice. He wants me back on meds, like, yesterday.

If we do decide to go for a second child within the next year, I’ll be off DMDs for at least another 2 years – and that sounds good to me. I hate how my seizure activity increased due to pseudoexacerbations on Gilenya, and I don’t miss nightly shots and tender spots with Copaxone one iota. I honestly am unsure if there’s a DMD on the market that is actually helpful for me right now…. but I am also not sure how well I’ll be able to “mommy” two kids who would both be under the age of 3. (Read: not potty trained, and not good at talking)

The truth is, I have no idea what the right move is. I guess that’s the nature of life though, right? You roll the dice, you takes your chances. I do know Henry deserves a sibling, though. I can’t imagine my life without my brother, Daniel, and Adam loves his 3 brothers. So, we’re definitely gonna have another kid, it’s just a question of when. I’m 34 right now. If I wait much longer than the suggested year, fertility could potentially become an issue, and we really don’t want to deal with that.

Hey, maybe we’ll luck out. Maybe, my MS will be stable without treatment, we’ll wait til next year to start having a second child, I’ll have the little one when I’m 36, and by the time I’m done breastfeeding, there will be a new, more effective, less awful MS treatment out on the market. That’d be awesome.

And speaking of awesome: can I get some cheers for the power of the paci? Kid fell right back asleep. That little piece of plastic is got-dang magic. Now, of course, the dog is scratching at the door that he needs to go out. A mommy’s work is never done.

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s my first mother’s day!

On 4/29/15, Adam and I had a beautiful boy.

Hi, cutiepie!

Hi, cutiepie!

Henry Rhys Majka was born at 5:25 p.m., weighing 6 lbs. 12.1 oz, measuring 20″ in length.

He was delivered by c-section because, despite all of my best efforts, the kiddo had gotten awful comfortable in breech position and wasn’t gonna turn.  He was sitting inside of me like he was meditating — legs crossed, butt down, hands up by his face.  Since I also have hypertension, MS, and seizures, my OB decided that delivering by c-section at week 39 was the safest thing to do for everyone involved.

We got to the hospital just before 9 a.m. and checked in at labor and delivery. I was scheduled for surgery at 11:00 a.m., but because there were so many emergencies at the hospital that day, the surgery was delayed by 6 hours.  By the time that I was taken in to be prepped and given anesthesia, I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink for 20 hours.  They had me take an antacid that had the most foul aftertaste imaginable, but I was so grateful to have any liquid in my mouth and throat that I was actually cheerful about taking it.

The thing that boggled my mind is that during the scariest and most painful parts of the surgery (during the time they put in the spinal anesthesia and epidural), Adam was not allowed in the room. Fortunately, he was there for the important parts.  He brought in my cell phone, so I could listen to music, and that helped me an awful lot with nerves.  To say that being mostly numb from the tits down is unnerving is an understatement.

Anyway, I had made a playlist for the surgery, but Adam had pushed “shuffle play” on it, so it wasn’t in the order I was expecting… and yet, it was perfect.  No joke, I think God was picking the song order.  Right before Henry was born, the song “Relax” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood was playing. It made me smile and joke that if he was born to that song, I’d forever associate Zoolander with his birth.  Instead, he was born to “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley… the song that says, “Don’t worry about a thing — because every little thing is gonna be alright.”  It was playing when he was taken out of me, brought to me in all of his goopy, mostly-blue glory, and then taken to be weighed, measured, and cleaned.  “Don’t worry about a thing — because every little thing is gonna be alright,” was the exact message I needed to hear at the time… and one that I’ve needed to hear many times since.

I couldn't love this kid more if I tried.

I couldn’t love this kid more if I tried.

One of the things that no one tells you about, while they’re opining over the miracle of birth is the misery, difficulty, and fear that accompanies that miracle in the form of learning to breastfeed. The pervasive myth is that it’s the most natural thing in all the world, and that if you put your baby on his tummy, against your chest, he’ll find your breast, start to suckle, and be sufficiently fed. I’m sure, for some women, this myth is an accurate representation of their experience — and good for them. But it wasn’t for me. I had no idea what I was doing, and everyone at the hospital acted like I should already know how to make the magic happen.

Unfortunately, when you give birth by c-section, your body doesn’t really have the opportunity to catch up with the rest of you and start producing milk. Sure, you already have your colostrum, but it takes a while for milk to come in afterward. It takes a while to learn how to get a good latch. (Thank goodness for Deb, the lactation consultant that taught us the teacup hold – because my breasts are too big for most regular holds.) It takes even longer to realize that there are confounding factors inhibiting your child’s proper nutrition – things like tongue ties and insufficient milk supply.

I wasn’t bothered by having a c-section. I know there are mothers out there who make a big deal about natural childbirth or vaginal delivery, but I’ve never been one of them. I’d be lying, however, if I didn’t admit to having a hard time accepting that I wouldn’t be able to exclusively breastfeed. At first, the irrational voices in my brain were telling me that it was happening because I am insufficient as a mother… but that’s a load of bullcrap. I’d been through major surgery and my body was struggling to catch up to Henry’s needs. And Henry’s needs come first. Now that we’ve started to supplement with formula, his health is much improved. His jaundice is almost gone, and it’s been incredibly helpful for Adam to be able to feed him — especially in the kinds of moments that no one ever talks about (like when you’ve been breastfeeding for over a half hour and suddenly, you really have to use the bathroom… or when your nipples are cracked and they start to hurt so badly that it makes you cry, not from hormones or emotions, but from genuine pain)

Truth be told, I didn’t immediately love my son. I was too busy thinking, “This is what birth is? Is this even real?” and “Holy shit, it hurts to move.”  But within a couple of days, I definitely did.  How could you not love this face?

So handsome.

So handsome.

I’d write more, but the kiddo needs my chest… and he comes first. ❤

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!!!

Less than 24 hours until Henry is born!!!

It’s hard to believe, but I’m scheduled to give birth to Henry in 23 hours.  TWENTY THREE HOURS.  That is crazy to me. Crazy awesome. Crazy scary. Just crazy.

Sure, I’ve got a lot of things to do today, and I should probably get to them, but it felt like it would be wrong to finish this pregnancy without a final blog entry on it.

2 and a half weeks ago. Tonight, I'll take a final bump pic. :)

2 and a half weeks ago. Tonight, I’ll take a final bump pic. 🙂

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 39 weeks. People always say, “Pregnancy goes by so fast! Enjoy every moment! Cherish it!”

Well, along the way, I’ve said those people are nuts. Pregnancy is gross, humbling, and often ridiculous… and while you’re going through it, it feels like it will last forever.  I’m guessing, after I give birth tomorrow, the whole experience will seem like it was very short.

Right now, however, Henry is digging one of his elbows into my abdomen, and all I can think about is how glad I am that he has descended, at least enough for me to be able to take a deep breath. Sure, the little guy is still breech, which is why I’m getting a c-section, but at least breathing is easier.

Pregnancy Brain Is REAL.

So, I know that I’ve said, on many occasions now, that pregnancy brain (that wonderful condition of cognitive fog and forgetfulness — or Momnesia if you will — that occurs when you’re pregnant and your brain literally stops being reliable) is real… but it never really affected me seriously until last night.  I took morning pills instead of nighttime pills. Fortunately, I am not on much medication right now, so I still had the correct amount of Labetalol, but I missed taking my omeprazole and unwittingly took extra hydrochlorathiazide.

Translation: On my last night to possibly get good sleep, I was up every hour either peeing or because I was, quite literally, choking on vomit.  It was disgusting and depressing. It did, however, make me momentarily stop worrying about dying during childbirth, and instead think, with giddy anticipation for major surgery, “SOON THIS WILL NOT BE A PROBLEM ANYMORE.”

Yes, I’m aware that I could get good sleep tonight, but let’s be real… intensely excited and scared aren’t exactly the ideal emotions to encourage your body to get a good night’s sleep.

So, the things I’m worried about…

Honestly, I’ve had an irrational fear of dying during childbirth since I was a kid.  I’m not sure whether to blame a belief in past lives coupled with nightmares or the number of movies and TV shows I have watched where the mom dies giving birth.  It’s probably a combination of the two.

Fortunately, c-sections are pretty safe.  Sure, there’s a website or two that suggests that you have a higher likelihood of dying during c-section than with vaginal delivery, but that tends to occur more for women who are put under general anesthesia and are not conscious for their child’s birth. It’s debatable whether the surgery or the anesthesia is more to blame for those deaths.

I’m scheduled for spinal anesthesia w/ an epidural backup, and I feel really confident after meeting my anesthesiologist yesterday. I explained how Uhthoff’s syndrome with MS works and how I’m more likely to seize if I am overheated, so we made plans that involve me staying cool, and instead of 3 heating sources, we’re gonna try one at a time. Dr. J and Dr. R (my MS and seizure neurologists) are in the loop and know that I’m going in tomorrow. Both have said to have Dr. I (my OB) contact them if he needs anything at all.

Honestly, the things I’m worried about today are a lot less freaky than the idea of dying, though I cannot control either of them.  I’m worried about an MS relapse during recovery and billing issues with Humana, despite the fact that I did everything I needed to do to make sure that they would cover everything for this delivery when they spontaneously decided to not work with UCMC at the beginning of this month.

I keep reminding myself that MS relapses are gonna happen one way or another, so worrying isn’t going to be remotely helpful. If I need steroids, I need steroids.

As for dealing with insurance billing well, we can only deal with things as they come. I can’t second guess this. I did the paperwork. We were told that we were covered, and I pay for a PPO.  So, even if they act like we didn’t do our due diligence, the absolute worst case scenario is that we’ll get billed at 50% of the total (plus my daily inpatient hospital copay of $265), and then we’re approved for financial assistance for UCMC, which means we’d be paying 25% of the total balance.  So, if the cost of this is ~$20K (the average cost of a c-section is $14,000 to$25,000), it shouldn’t be more than $4000 – 5000 at the end of the day, and they’ve got extended payment programs, so we’re gonna be fine. (Thank you for helping me talk myself through that, internet.)

OK. Enough of that.

According to my “Shit that’s gotta get DONE” list, I need to double check that the bags are properly packed for the hospital, clean out the fridge, eat some lunch, bake some cookies, and make a surgery playlist. And now, I can check off “Blog” from the list.  That’s right, it was on the list. 🙂

I hope you all are having a good day today, and that tomorrow treats us all well.  In the extremely unlikely event that I do end up actually dying tomorrow, please do something righteously goofy and fun in my memory and know that I’m profoundly grateful to have had a part in your life, even if it was just as entertainment.

And if I don’t die, do something goofy and fun anyway. Life’s too short to take it too seriously. 🙂

truth

38 Weeks & Serendipity

Every once in a while, I’ll get a comment on this blog that is clearly spam, but that somehow defies the spam filter and ends up in my email.  When this happens, it almost always prompts me to read the entry that the spambot decided to randomly comment on.

Today, I got a spam comment on this entry. It’s from October of 2012, when I attended the vow renewal ceremony of two of my best friends. Reading part of that entry made me cry with happiness.

A child really is the embodiment of 2 becoming 1. You couldn’t help but see the beauty, joy, and femininity of Deb in her, and the strength, intellect, and attention-commanding presence of Jason all present in her at the same time. She made me think about what a child would be like if it were a mixture of Adam and me… and it made me want one all the more.

I’ve been really hung up on getting pregnant with Adam’s child and coming off of my meds in order to do so.

It made me realize that it’s been 3 full years that I’ve been actively trying to become a mother… and all the effort will have been worth it very soon. In fact, it will be happening in 6 days.

countdown

This morning, Adam and I met with Dr. I, our high-risk obstetrician.  The non-stress test went well. Henry’s been wiggling around like nobody’s business.  The ultrasound went very well. Kiddo’s measuring close to the thirtieth percentile in size… but he’s still in breech position, and my blood pressure wasn’t good like it has been this whole pregnancy.  So, we made the difficult decision to schedule a c-section for Wednesday of next week.

Of course, if Henry flips head-down in the next week, the pregnancy will continue until I end up in labor naturally, but the odds of a baby flipping after 38 weeks are so incredibly low that we’re not terribly concerned with them. Instead, we’re busy being excited and preparing for his arrival. 🙂

 

Week 35.5

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

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Saturday before last, my wonderful sister-in-law, mother-in-law, aunt-in-law, and Mom threw us a baby shower.  It was awesome!

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Me and my girl, Patty. This woman rocks my world so hard! She handed me down at least half of my maternity wardrobe and has been only a text away for any mommy-type questions or bitching for months now.

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.

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The present-opening portion of the shower pretty much looked like this, on repeat for a long, long time. Notice my niece, running around so fast to help us that she’s a blur. Cutiegirl collected all the wrapping paper, bows, and envelopes so we wouldn’t have to clean afterward. She’s the best helper!

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.

cutestshoes

These are, undoubtedly, the cutest baby shoes imaginable. Thanks, Aunt Debbie & Uncle Phil!

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.

Newborn disposable diapers! Thanks, Aunt Barbara!

Newborn disposable diapers! Thanks, Aunt Barbara & Uncle Stuart!

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.

enjoyingninascard

Reading a card from one of my oldest friends, Nina, who I was lucky enough to enjoy time with at the shower.

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.