Archive | April, 2013

Week by week

29 Apr

Week by week. That’s how we’re taking things at this point, according to Dr. Kind this morning.

At our weekly ultrasound, the dilations have continued to grow (many are over 3 cm now) and alarmingly, to me at least, my amniotic fluid has shot up. We had been hearing the fluid level was normal for weeks now and had been taking that as a good sign. Today it was 27, definitely out of the normal range.

What does this mean? Well it seems his bowel is getting sicker, perhaps ceasing to function as well. There could also be a blockage developing, which would prevent the fluid from going through his system, thus increasing the amount.

It means Dr. Cohen wants to talk to Dr. S, our surgeon at Children’s. It means that 37, possibly even 36 weeks, could be out the window. It means they’re really starting to weigh what will be more beneficial for the baby: more time in the womb vs. getting the healing process started. It means that at any one of these weekly appointments, they could decide to pull the plug.

Turtle is still in a breech position right now, which is making the possibility of a c-section all the more real each day. After the appointment, DH and I decided that it’s definitely time to pack the hospital bags, and I’ll probably want to start working on a c-section birth plan as soon as possible.

At this point, I honestly don’t know what to feel. We’ve had to be so flexible in terms of when and how this baby will come out that this really just feels like a little bend in an ever shortening road. What feels easiest is to take myself out of the equation altogether and figure, whatever the doctors think is best, is what I’m on board with.

Do I want to deliver before 36 weeks? In my ideal world, no. I want him to stay in as long as he needs, I want him to emerge as big and strong as possible. But this clearly isn’t my ideal world in any fashion, and if taking him out earlier is what’s best for him, let’s go for that. Do I want a c-section? Ideally no, but if it’s best for him, I’m all for it.

All I want is a healthy baby. And as things start to get more serious with his condition, everything else just feels like noise and clutter next to that goal. So for now we continue to wait and watch, we continue to take everything as it comes, we continue to cling fiercely to the hope that everything will be okay in the end.

Starry starry nursery

28 Apr

Our nursery is (finally!) just about done. While there are a few little things we might like to add, they’re not essential to its completeness and we’re not stressing over them. Anyways, without further adieu, here is Turtle’s starry nursery!

DSC_0007

First off, let me just say, this was truly a labor of love on both my and DH’s parts. As we did when we designed our office, we really came together as a team to express our shared design aesthetic which tends to be an eclectic mix of modern and antique, new and collected. Putting together this room (THE room) will always remain a highlight of my pregnancy.

Let’s rewind a minute and take a look at the before pic of what was our guest room:

IMG_1839

As you can see, we were pretty much working with a blank slate. I never wanted to decorate this room very much because like so many infertiles, I always hoped it would become a baby’s room. When I finally allowed myself to admit that this pregnancy looked like it would be sticking around, we started making plans for this room.

Choosing a paint color. We went with Benjamin Moore's "Constellation," ironically.

Choosing a paint color. We went with Benjamin Moore’s “Constellation,” ironically.

Painting complete, DH did an awesome job!

Painting complete, DH did an awesome job!

Now we knew we wanted to incorporate wallpaper in some way. I was thinking one wall of wallpaper with the others painted. We originally liked the look of this wallpaper but when the sample came, it really looked nothing like it does on that website (the stars were all holographic and tacky looking, which is crazy considering the price of that paper). So then I started poking around some more and that’s when I found Ralph Lauren’s navy blue constellation wallpaper and we both fell in love. When the sample came, we realized it would look so much better on the ceiling than on the wall. The little white stars even glow in the dark for 30 minutes after you turn the lights off!

My Dad came up to help DH put up the wallpaper - quite the  bonding experience for those two!

My Dad came up to help DH put up the wallpaper – quite the bonding experience for those two!

Back to the finished product… here’s the crib corner with the mobile hung up. For the crib, we went with the babyletto Hudson 3 in 1 Convertible Crib in gray. It’s a nod to the Oeuf Sparrow crib at about half the price. The mobile is from Etsy. The color block curtains are from Land of Nod.

DSC_0017

Here’s his dresser/changing table corner, which is the Nyvoll from Ikea. After college I swore I’d never buy Ikea furniture again but, do you know how expensive dressers are? We really liked the look of this one and the price was so affordable. I love the white lacquer drawers and the fact that they’re slam-proof. We plan to keep diapers, wipes and other essentials in the upper left drawer.

DSC_0008

The lamp goes perfectly with the dresser and was such a steal from CB2. The astronaut print is kind of a long story but we bought it from a friend’s antique store. It’s actually a print on thick, quite warped, cardboard (believed to be from Grissom‘s memorial service) that my engineer husband had to rig up a fancy framing for. Anyways, it had just been floating aimlessly around the house but once we started putting this room together, we knew it had to be in here.

DSC_0016

Opposite the crib, we have the chair and bookshelf corner. The chair we agonized over forever, it was one of the last things we bought. We ended up not getting a rocker because we couldn’t see ourselves using it once Turtle outgrows the baby years and didn’t want to fork over so much for a semi-temporary piece of furniture. Instead we found this chair at West Elm that worked so well stylistically. It’s actually a recliner and SO super comfortable.

DSC_0019

The bookshelf is new, from Ikea. The star we recycled from our office (originally $5 from Home Goods!). The canvas baskets on the shelf are from The Container Store. If I have time and energy before he comes, I’d like to get the polar bear print framed and hung, and we’d also like a small side table (been eying this one in bronze) and either a floor lamp or a small lamp to go on top of the shelf (I love this one). And, I suppose the chair could use a throw blanket and pillow too but we’ll just have to see if I get around to those things.

DSC_0015

A couple of other little details to share… these are the beautiful beanbag bookends one of my dear friends got for our shower. They fit so well in the room! She said she got them from Etsy.

DSC_0011

This is a little antique Turtle figurine that DH bought me ages ago for some holiday or anniversary. I never really appreciated it until recently!

DSC_0012

And this is the first thing we ever bought for Turtle, a little bicycle onesie. It symbolizes our embracing the pregnancy and is a nod to DH’s love of bikes (he builds them in his spare time).

DSC_0009

So that’s our little nursery! It’s bittersweet in a way because I know Turtle won’t get to come home and enjoy it for quite some time but going in there reminds me that he will be coming home, that there’s more to our story than surgery and a hospital stay, and that life will go on.

Processing

24 Apr

I’m still trying to process the results of our appointments on Monday, hence the delay in my posting.

The good news is, Turtle is still growing right on track (even a little ahead). His dilations have not grown very much. His bowel is still moving, still appears to be alive. My amniotic fluid level is still good. He seems to be getting enough oxygen and he passed the non-stress test with flying colors. And my blood pressure is great. That’s the good stuff.

The less good is that he’s still in a breech position and we learned that with his condition, he cannot be delivered vaginally if he’s breech, nor should we attempt a version. We also learned, after a couple weeks of getting ourselves a little psyched up at the prospect of a natural birth, that Dr. Kind will want him to come out when we hit full term (37 weeks). His reasoning is, he’s full term, he’s big enough, let’s get him out and deal with the gastroschisis.

We were a bit surprised to hear this, as all along he had been saying that he wanted to get to “at least 36 weeks if not much more.” I’m not sure what changed, since he even said something along those lines at our last appointment two weeks prior. It could be the fact that he still has these bigger dilations that aren’t going down.

Either way, that means a scheduled cesarean if he remains breech, or a scheduled induction if he turns. Now lately I’ve been feeling very much like I don’t want a c-section at all. Like the very thought scared me, of lying on that table, belly sliced open, and not getting all the hormonal and emotional benefits of a natural birth. It seemed like it would make the journey that much harder, emotionally, when he is taken away.

However, I’m not thrilled at the idea of an induction either, as I’ve been reading so much about how the contractions are more painful, how you’re tied to your IV, how sometimes it fails, how it leads to more interventions and can end up leading to a c-section anyways. I don’t know why I was thinking I might be able to go into labor on my own but it’s pretty clear that unless my body magically kicks into labor fairly early, that won’t be the case.

At first this felt very devastating. Dr. Caring, while understanding that this is not the birth we wanted, went ahead and reserved OR space for us on May 28th (37w3d), which felt very scary and real indeed (that’s less than five weeks away!). The more I’ve thought about it though, the less sure I feel about anything.

I’m thinking maybe it is a good idea to take him out at that time, maybe he’s safer here in the outside world than risking fetal death (this is a fear of mine, though not directly related to anything in particular, other than once hearing that the risk of this is slightly increased – very slightly – with gastroschisis). I’m thinking maybe a scheduled c-section isn’t that bad. It definitely appeals to the planner in me. And I’ve heard that going in for a scheduled c-section can mean a better recovery, vs. being induced then ending up with a c-section anyways due to stress on the baby, not dilating quickly enough, etc. I’ve heard too that a c-section recovery isn’t necessarily that bad.

So now I’m really confused. I don’t know what to hope for anymore. I know whatever the experience ends up being is secondary to whatever is best for Turtle. I’m trying to focus on that. But do I want him to turn and then open up the possibility of an induction, which scares me? (Scared of the painful contractions, scared of maybe having to get an epidural, scared of being hooked up to all the machines, scared of ending up in the operating room anyways after all.) Or do I want him to stay breech and go with the scheduled c-section, which also scares me?

Do we stick with our doula, if it’s looking like we’ll be having a scheduled c-section? Knowing she will NOT be able to accompany me into the operating room? Is it worth the cost of her full fee if she’s not providing actual labor support or should we come up with some hybrid fee for prenatal (and perhaps postnatal as well) counseling? We are meeting with her this weekend to discuss these things.

So yeah, I’m confused. And I hate not knowing what’s coming. But in some ways it is nice to know that sometime during the last week of May is most likely when Turtle will be here. And then the healing can begin.

ps. New updates on the Turtle page, including (giant) belly shot from today!

Things are getting weird

21 Apr

Well, we’ve reached 32 weeks, another surreal milestone. It’s insane to think that I could be delivering as little as four weeks from now. As a result, I’ve been kicking my birth preparedness reading into high gear. I finished the relevant chapters in Ina May Gaskins’s Guide to Childbirth which I’m now forcing DH to read (he needs to know ALL ABOUT that sphincter law!) and now I’m devouring Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds.

At this point in the pregnancy, I’m experiencing some very interesting symptoms indeed. In addition to the boring old tiredness, achy hips, trouble sleeping, stretch marks, weird nipples, vivid dreams (last night I was trying on shoes with Jessica Simpson) etc., I’ve started noticing all this other weird stuff. The weirdest being my craving for sponges. Specifically, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers but also like a very fine baby bath sponge. What do I want to do with these sponges? Mostly just suck/chew on them though a part of me would also like to injest them, maybe. I haven’t given in to the temptation. Some of my TTC friends suggested foods that might help with this craving and Pirate’s Booty does help. But I still find myself thinking of sponges and Magic Erasers multiple times per day.

Other stuff is weird too. Like lately, I get this tactile pleasure from brushing my teeth, especially my molars when the toothbrush rubs the side of my tongue. The foamier the toothpaste, the better. The past few days we were staying at a hotel with a different kind of toilet paper that wasn’t perforated like the kind we had at home. I got this strange tactile pleasure from ripping it off.

Certain very chemical-y smells are also very pleasing to me. I have this natural hand sanitizer that I used to find very strange smelling that now I just want to smell all day. And yesterday after filling up at a gas station, DH got back in the car with his hands reeking of gas and I swear it smelled like the most delicious, beautiful flowers to me. I was like, “What’s that amazing smell!?” It was gasoline. I never hated the smell of gasoline but this was different. It smelled just wonderful to me.

I think I can control myself not to give into my Magic Eraser temptation but I sure do hope that goes away once Turtle is born because I really do like cleaning with those things!

In other news, we have another ultrasound tomorrow. Hoping for stable news.

Boston

18 Apr

356_641953298290_7853_n

I’m not sure what I can say that hasn’t been said so eloquently already. Should I preach my love for this city? The city where my parents met and fell in love, where my husband and I went to college, came of age and became adults? How we were steps from Fenway Park when the curse was reversed and afterwards during the riots?

Should I tell you about all the times I stood on the sidelines on many a glorious Patriot’s Day? Shouting “one mile, one mile!” with my friends as the race passed right by my first floor bedroom window on Beacon Street? How it could have easily been me standing there near the finish line, as we almost always wandered down that way as the race wound down? How it very almost was my coworker, standing 50 feet away from the second blast, or how my husband, a volunteer at mile marker seven on Monday, had been invited down to the finish line to welcome the runners?

I remember the exact moment I fell in love with Boston. It was one of the first times I drove alone in the city and I was going up Beacon Street from the Common toward Kenmore Square. It was late afternoon, in late spring, one of those first deliciously warm days of the year. The windows were down, the sun was pouring through the trees and around the brownstones and after four years of living there the city felt like home, like it was truly mine. And though I always felt comfortable here, even from my first orientation visit during high school, in that moment, it became home. I’ll never forget that feeling. It’s part of what keeps me here, more than five years after graduating from college.

Can I even begin to express the way this town, whether you’re from here or not, lifetime resident, college graduate or even one-time visitor, gets in your blood?

I think President Obama said it best today, when he said:

So whether folks come here to Boston for just a day, or they stay here for years, they leave with a piece of this town tucked firmly into their hearts. So Boston’s your home town, but we claim it a little bit too. I know this because there’s a piece of Boston in me. You welcomed me as a young law student across the river — welcomed Michelle too. You welcomed me  during a convention when I was still a state senator and very few people could pronounce my name right.

There’s so much I’ll never understand in this world. Violence, in any form. Voting against background checks when purchasing items designed to kill. Picketing funerals. Refusing equal rights to all individuals. These things I just don’t get and never will.

But there’s so much more good than bad. Boston will keep its arms open to all those who come here seeking history from its storied streets. To those who come seeking knowledge from its fine institutions. To those who come seeking healing from its renowned hospitals.

For me, it’s where my story started, where I learned, where I got married, and very soon, where my son will be born and healed. I couldn’t be more grateful for this city. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Finding a doula

15 Apr

A few weeks ago, in the midst of my approaching birth anxieties, a seed was planted that perhaps we should look into hiring a doula.

What is a doula? A doula is a female birth assistant or labor companion. She is present at the birth to assist the laboring mother with anything she needs, providing physical comforts, emotional support, suggesting relaxation techniques or optimal positions, and providing information. For those having hospital births, doulas can help couples navigate the medical system: interpreting jargon, helping refuse unnecessary interventions, helping keep the birthing space sacred and setting boundaries with staff and family members. Studies have shown that the presence of a doula can help shorten labor and avoid unnecessary procedures.

I had planned to look into hiring a doula should we ever have a homebirth, but hadn’t even considered it for our certain hospital birth until Belle suggested that it might really help me. I was (and am) feeling so much anxiety over not knowing how it will go (I always want to know how things will go). Will I be able to go into labor naturally? Will I have to be induced? Will I be able to try for a natural birth? Will I have to have a C-section? And if I try for a natural birth, will I be able to manage it with the stress and emotions of the hospital and of Turtle’s condition?

A doula can help with all of those things, so we decided to look into it. The next question though was, can we afford it? As I quickly found out, the going rate for doulas in the Boston area is $1,200. That’s much higher than what we were comfortable paying, primarily because we don’t know how long Turtle will need to spend in the hospital and if he stays there longer than three months, I might need to look into taking a leave of absence or, worst case scenario, quitting my job. Knowing that’s a possibility, we want to keep as much of a savings cushion in the bank account as possible.

So I just started emailing. I found doulas and if they listed their fee and it was above our price range (we were aiming for $600), I asked if they could help point me in the right direction. I figured there must be someone out there who would be willing to help us out, and potentially drop their fee. As it turns out, there are plenty! One doula posted our request to a doula message board which generated about five or six inquiries. Another doula put out our request to her network which resulted in three or four others. Almost all of them were willing to drop their fees to accommodate our needs, which we so appreciated.

At some point it got overwhelming, dealing with all the inquiries, so I just started with the first few people who had responded to me and went from there. I talked on the phone with one doula and we met with another, neither of whom felt like a good fit. Then I heard from J, who has been a professional doula for 18 years and has attended over 430 births. I honestly was blown away and didn’t think we’d have an opportunity to work with such an experienced doula. I also heard from K, who showed such a sensitivity to our situation over email.

When I talked to J on the phone, we had a good, professional conversation and I remained impressed by her experience and professionalism. J normally charges $1,200 but said she drops her fee a few times a year for those with a “true need” and was willing to drop it for us. I wasn’t sure if we had a “true need” but I explained our situation and she was comfortable dropping it. The next step would be for us to meet in person, however she said she would charge $50 (normally $100) for the initial in person meeting. I told her I’d let her know after we talked to a few more doulas.

When I talked to K on the phone, I felt like she really got it. She talked about viewing our birth as the beginning of the healing process for Turtle, which I never thought of but it immediately helped me just to frame it that way in my mind. Our conversation was long and easy and it was clear that we had a great connection. She also lives about five minutes away, so we planned to meet in person a week later.

The catch was, K has only assisted about 10 births, not including the few years she spent in training in China, where she witnessed many births, primarily induced births. Two of the births she’s attended were C-sections, and she’s had two C-sections herself. I talked to some of J’s recommendations and one admitted that while she didn’t “super click” with J right away, and while her husband never really even liked her (!), they were so impressed with her experience that they hired her. And they didn’t regret it, they’d hire her again.

So all week I have been struggling with experience vs. connection. I interviewed another doula who it turns out we can’t work with because of her schedule, but I asked her opinion on the matter and she said connection matters more than experience. This was what I was wanting to hear, I realized. Giving birth is one of the most intimate, special, biggest moments in your life and it’s a big deal choosing who will be there. This objective doula also pointed out that for an experienced doula, we’d just be another birth under her belt, whereas for a newer doula who is still passionate and not at all jaded, this would be an important and unforgettable experience for her.

The moment of truth came yesterday when we met K in person. She showed up prepared with a whole folder of info, including a questionnaire to see if we were a good fit (including questions like, are you an introvert or an extrovert? And, how do you handle stress?). The connected feeling continued and it was clear that while she wasn’t very experienced, she was very smart, savvy and passionate. Her fee is $650, but she is offering us free placenta encapsulation and two extra hours of postpartum support, plus she’s willing to be on call for two extra weeks, all due to our circumstances.

When we left, we agreed right away to end the search process and just go ahead with K. We both liked her that much. So that’s the long and the short of it. We have a doula! And I’m already feeling better about accepting our birth for whatever it will be, though now I’m hoping more than ever that it can be vaginal and unmedicated.

In the meantime, DH and I are both reading (well, I’m re-reading) Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth – which I highly recommend to all. While some sections of it I don’t agree with (like the idea that maybe you shouldn’t get an ultrasound at all), there is SO much helpful information about easing the labor process. I’m so glad I have this info to supplement the childbirth prep class we took over the weekend, which talked all about the sheer pain of childbirth, how awesome epidurals are, and where I was the only one who admitted wanting to try for a natural birth.

I haven’t been blogging as much lately as things are sort of slowing down in these last 6-8 weeks here. Kind of feels like the quiet before the storm. Everything we can possibly do has, for the most part, been done. Now we just have lots of monitoring appointments to go to and daily encouragement of Turtle to TURN. (Please, please, please.) But I do plan to share our nursery with you in the days ahead, so stay tuned for that! We’ve been working so hard to create a special place for Turtle to come home to… one day.

Have any of you thought of or had experience with hiring a doula? Did you have to make a choice between experience and connection? How did you decide?

A day.

9 Apr

So yesterday was a day. Extremely long, exhausting, informative, terrifying, mystifying and at times even relaxing, sweet and exciting.

We started at our high-risk OB’s office for another routine ultrasound. In this ultrasound, we learned that Turtle has turned from transverse to breech. I am really hoping he will continue the cycle and get (and stay) head down soon. Overall, his size and weight looked good. The weight estimate was 4 lbs. 3 oz. but this is likely skewed by the fact that his belly is measuring 2-4 weeks ahead due to the dilated portions of his bowel. His abdomen is currently in the 97% percentile.

My amniotic fluid looked good, 11.1 cm pockets of fluid (normal = 5-20). This is important because high amniotic fluid can indicate a blockage in Turtle’s bowel. The dilations are still around 2.5 cm. Up slightly but still in the same neighborhood. Overall though, Dr. Kind was pleased with Turtle’s overall growth and size for this stage and by the fact that the dilations seemed to have stabilized for now.

Next up was my delivery OB. These appointments seem a little bit pointless as all they do is record my weight and listen to the heartbeat (which we always have just seen on ultrasound downstairs). If I have a question, I ask her but otherwise they are incredibly short meetings. Still, I really like my delivery OB (I am HOPING she is the one who delivers us) and enjoy these meetings with her.

Then we had a short break before our 1 pm ultrasound at Children’s, so we hunted down a grilled cheese food truck we’ve been dying to try. We ate like little piggies and enjoyed the first really nice day in Boston so far this spring.

At Children’s, the ultrasound was about the same news. In this one, they got an amniotic fluid measurement of 15.6, which they said it changes depending on how the baby is positioned. Turtle’s femur and humerus bones are both measuring ahead (the humerus is quite a few weeks ahead at 33w1d) which we liked to see. In this ultrasound we got to watch the loops of bowel as they moved around inside his belly. We were told his movement is a good sign of activity (and not dead bowel) which is great. They showed the blood flow activity in color on the portion of the bowel outside his belly and there appeared to be blood flow there as well, which is again, good news. We want healthy bowel to put back in and get working ASAP!

Next up, meeting with our surgeon (well the one assigned to our case, he won’t necessarily be Turtle’s actual surgeon). We really like this guy. He is calm, confident, very smart and such a good listener. He said this issue of having some dilated loops of bowel is common with gastroschisis. The amniotic fluid level indicates that there’s not a complete blockage (though there still could be some level of blockage). He reminded us once again of our worse case scenario: a blockage that cannot be repaired because the bowel is too inflamed. In this case, they put the broken bowel back inside, close him up, wait MONTHS until it has healed, then take it out, repair the blockagae, close him up again and THEN begin the process of getting his bowel working and accepting and processing food again. Oh how I hope this isn’t the case for us.

Still, Turtle’s bowel is not the most dilated they’ve seen. At this point, there’s nothing that can be done but to watch and wait and see how it looks when he is born. The surgeons from Children’s will come over to Beth Israel and be present at the delivery and they will determine, bedside, whether it will be possible to repair and close immediately or whether a silo will need to be placed. They often do the surgery within 4-6 hours of birth as this is the best time to work with the bowel and assess it.

Something we learned: if they close him in the first 24 hours, we’re only looking at about a week in the NICU. If they place a silo, it’s more like 2 weeks or more. We were under the impression that we were looking at 7-10 days either way. More NICU time does not excite me one bit.

Which brings me to the next line item of the day, a tour of the NICU at Children’s and the regular floor. Well, I’m skipping the meeting with the lactation consultant, which actually was very interesting but likely something for another day. Nothing can prepare you to be in a NICU if you’ve never been in one, especially not the one at the top children’s hospital in the country. It’s like a spaceship in there, more medical machinery than you can imagine, and nestled in these giant spaceship apparatuses, the tiniest little babies. They seemed so alone in there. My first reaction when I walked in was, holy shit I’m going to lose it.

But I didn’t want to cry. Not when this was a place where people were trying so hard to bring some good and healing to these precious lives. It’s not supposed to be a sad place. It’s a magical place. It’s a place where the marvels of modern medicine work their hardest to heal the tiniest lives. It was HARD to imagine my son spending time in that place. Hard to imagine myself there day in, day out. It’s very cramped with machinery and hardly a comfortable place to sit and be with your baby. But, it is where he will be and I will get used to it.

When he’s in the NICU, we are allowed to stay in a dormitory-style room within the hospital. Once he is released from the NICU though, he will go to the regular floor, where rooms are shared and there’s only one reclining chair for one parent to stay overnight. We are still trying to figure out how we will work this, with DH being back at work and us not wanting to spend every night for two months sleeping apart. We’re hoping to work out a rotation schedule with my parents who will be here to help us out. If possible, we’d like him to never be alone. The regular floor is much busier, with fewer nurses per patient. You have to stay on top of the staff to get what you need done. And he will hardly be able to advocate for himself.

No, SOMEONE must be there. It’s going to be rough though and I worry about how much DH and I will miss each other and how we will be able to support each other through this tough time if we’re spending so much of it apart. Anyone with any experience in this arena, please reach out and let me know what some viable options might be for us.

After that, we had a few hours to kill, so we went and walked around our old neighborhood in Brookline, got coffee, sat in a courtyard and talked about how surreal this all still is on some level and how that’s probably protecting us in some ways. We had dinner at one of our favorite old places. Then it was back to hospital land for our 7:30 pm tour at BIDMC.

I have to say, I thought this would be my favorite part of the day, the “normal” part, but I actually hated it. Aside from being EXHAUSTED by this point, with horrifically swollen feet and feeling the urge to pee constantly, I didn’t like being grouped in with all the people who were getting their normal birthing experience. It was especially painful to hear about how mother and baby are never separated, except for maybe an hour or two. Knowing I will be in a different building, away from my baby for days. Hearing about what you do when you get discharged and are taking baby home, knowing we won’t be discharge from this hospital to go home two days after he’s born like most people. I’ve really started to come to terms with our lot in this pregnancy, but it didn’t help to have it laid out so plainly before us just how different of an experience we’ll be having. Plus it was like 20 pregnant ladies together in one place – not something an infertile is used to.

Anyways, I got home, showered and fell promptly to sleep. I’m still tired today! But glad it’s over, glad it wasn’t so bad, glad we learned more, and glad especially that the end is in sight. Whatever will be will be, I just want him to get here!

ps. If you made it to the bottom of this post, I applaud you. I know it was a long one but I had to get it all down. Might be too “in the weeds” for a lot of you readers and I apologize if that’s the case!