The Shower

Though I was put on bed rest last Thursday night, my OB cleared me to go to my own baby shower – from a wheelchair. Given that I was expecting almost 100 people that Saturday night, this was pretty important to me.

As to how my baby shower got so enormous? It was a mixture of things. I decided from the get-go that, as long as Rob was in, I wanted it to be coed. I know there can be super awesome girl only baby showers, but I just couldn’t get this image of a boring tea party out of my head. Then I just started writing people down. Before I knew it, I had 130 people listed. Whoops? Luckily my mom and my lovely hosts, Jess and Jill, were on board. It was a bit nerve wracking to have such a giant shower, but we had been slowly planning and getting stuff done for months. The last week wasn’t that bad.  My mom hadn’t thrown a big party at the house in several years, so she was pretty ready to go all out.

We decided on Dr. Seuss pretty early on. As luck would have it, one of our local party stores was getting rid of their Dr. Seuss baby shower line and had cleareanced it. Mom and I bought.. everything.

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DSC_0617Since this was going to be a man-friendly shower, we decided on tacos, beer, and sangria. And absolutely no weird baby games. We still played some games, but nothing that involved diapers or baby food, please and thank you. They aren’t my jam anyway. We ended up with Baby Bingo, He Said/She Said, and The Price is Right.

DSC_0661One of Rob’s awesome coworkers offered to make desserts. They were amazing. I may have covered myself in whipped cream while trying to put a whole mini cheesecake in my mouth.

DSC_0666I was initially worried with how I would greet everyone, but Rob and I just formed a welcoming committee on the front porch. I’m not going to lie, it was not fun to greet everyone from a seated position, but I wanted to make sure I got a chance to see everyone that came. After everyone arrived I was wheeled back to the party, which was well underway.

DSC_0843Well, it went off without a hitch. Aside from having to make a conscious effort to pace myself, I had a blast. I got to visit with so many people I hadn’t seen in ages, including one of my best friends from law school that came all the way from Texas. Jill and Jess were awesome hostesses. They did a great job making everything run smoothly and made the games a lot of fun. I never had to worry about people getting enough tacos or being bored (both of these are things I would normally worry about).

I am not normally an overly emotional person, but the generosity of our friends, coworkers, and family astounded me. Look at this insanity.

DSC_0725Even though I shouldn’t have, I had to stand up and thank everyone after opening all of the thoughtful presents and cards. I cry a lot easier now (hello, pregnancy hormones) but I made it through a brief thank you without welling up too much.

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DSC_0881I think the last guests left around.. 1:00 a.m.? I had already gone to bed, my pregnant body gave up at about 11:00 p.m. Either way, I considered this a huge success.

Another huge thank you to my hostesses, my parents, and everyone who came. It was definitely a party I will remember forever.

29 weeks

…and more bed rest. This time for good.

At my Thursday perinatologist appointment I had my cervix and fluids checked. Fluids are great. The girls were swimming around in there, getting too big to even get a proper ultrasound picture. Cervix, however, was not good. It is effacing. It has halved in length in the last two weeks. I am 50% effaced. My perinatologist was not pleased about this. Effacing is what my cervix should do when I am getting ready for labor, not at week 29. If my cervix is effacing then I am likely having contractions without knowing. Add that to things I never thought I would worry about, going into labor without knowing it. Fun.  She also mentioned that both girls are head down, pressing right into my cervix. Probably not helping the situation.

My perinatologist sent me off to L&D to be monitored. I was hooked up to the three monitors, one for E, one for O, one for contractions. E & O were great, obviously. They always are. Annoying kids, being oblivious to all the stress going on around them. No contractions either. So what now? What do we do to stop these girls from coming early?

Weirdly, my OB was in L&D.. delivering. After a very bizarre conversation with him about baseball and socialized medicine in Norway, he went off to have a debrief with my perinatologist.

Both of them agreed that I needed to come back for a fetal fibronectin test. I may act like I know what all this high risk crap means naturally, but you bet your ass I google things and ask questions. FFN test is for a protein that is present during pregnancy. If it comes back positive it means you are more likely to deliver early. If it comes back negative there is a 99% chance that you will make another two weeks. Unfortunately, it is cervical exam and it can’t be done within 24 hours of another cervical exam. So, I was going to be coming back the next day. If the test came back positive, I was going to be admitted. If it came back negative, I was going home on bed rest.

I have gotten many questions as to what bed rest means and why I can sometimes be seen standing. To my OB and my peri, it means seated or laying down almost all of the time. I am allowed to shower, go to the bathroom, and check the mail as I would regularly. I try to lay on my side regularly, which is what is recommended. If I am seated I recline. Both my peeps don’t want me just laying in a bed at this point, mainly because of blood clots. I am sure if things continue to progress they will put me on total bed rest, but I think both of them would want to admit me for that.

So, I was sent home from L&D, on my docs’ version of bed rest, with an appointment to come back in 24 hours for my FFN. Well, Friday night, my FFN came back negative, thankfully. So, bed rest for the duration and extensive monitoring. I will be at the hospital two times a week, if not more, until I deliver. And, I am okay. Really okay. Nervous, but fine.

Before this pregnancy, I’d never had a long term medical condition. My experience with doctors was mainly, yes you need an antibiotic or no, it’s just a cold.  And that was it. I didn’t expect my doctor to know my name or remember my history. Ever. My experience with my OB and my perinatologist has been a completely different ballgame. I am still stunned and slightly confused when I call with what I think is a dumb question and my OB gets on the phone and speaks with me extensively. I am in awe when both my doctors want to go through my entire list of questions and concerns, in detail. I think my team is one of the few reasons I haven’t gone off the rails with anxiety… yet.

The big and scary take away from this is that the goal has been changed from 36 weeks to 32 weeks. That’s in three weeks. 20 days. It also means more time in the NICU and babies that are hopefully 4 lbs. It has taken me several days to come to terms with this while still holding out hope that E & O stay put longer. I am still getting there.

Onto bump watch, week 29.

photo 2I don’t ever wear my glasses in my bump photos, this would be why. I have no eyeballs!

photo 3I look as exhausted as I feel.

front porchThursday I will be posting about our amazing crazy sauce shower, here’s a sneak peak…

 

this guy…

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..is just a barrel of laughs. If you remember, last time I blogged about him, it was about his flea problem (which has since been fixed). He has since developed a puking problem. This wouldn’t be that annoying, if it weren’t for the fact that he pukes in my bed about 90% of the time. Not just in my bed, in my bed while I’m sleeping in it (feel free to skip any jokes about this preparing me for children)

So after about three weeks of straight puking I decided it was time to do something about it. I went to the pet store and I bought him cat food for delicate cats. This didn’t do anything other then waste eight dollars. I went back to the pet store and got him hairball treats. Of course the Stormy, being Stormy, saw the the hairball treats and just stared at them and then was like yeah.. no.

At this point I was starting to think maybe it would be time to take him to the vet. Now, Stormy loves going to the vet about as much as he loves taking a bath or going on car rides. I think if Stormy could speak he would say he loves all of these things about as much as he likes getting his ears eaten off. This would be why I tried the delicate cat food and the treats first.

I got on the phone with the vet’s office and the receptionist asked if I had tried the treats and the delicate food. Yep. Had I tried the paste? No. I hadn’t tried the paste. Because if he isn’t going to eat medicine masked as treats he sure as hell isn’t going to eat food covered in paste, duh lady. Turns out, I am the moron. You don’t put the paste on the food. You put the paste on the paws. He is then forced, by is psycho cat nature, to lick his paws clean. Well if that isn’t bloody brilliant. 

Stormy has puked in my bed once in the past three weeks. He also has exceptionally clean paws.

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28 weeks

Today the girls are Napa cabbages and approximately 2lbs 4oz. Maybe I had to Google what a Napa cabbage looks like. I would tell you how I feel about carrying around two cabbages that are constantly moving but I am trying to cut down on swearing in anticipation of becoming a mom.

No really, I am very pleased that E & O are still on the inside where they belong. Still moving like little maniacs and growing. Grow babies, grow! I am just so uncomfortable. I have to sit hunched over with my legs spread apart these days because it is the only way I have enough room for two babies and oxygen. Apparently the oxygen is important for all three of us. This hunched pose is very flattering. I am glowing the entire time. Fucking glowing.

My first week of modified bed rest was relatively uneventful. I ran into a lot of things at Target, while riding one of their scooters. My local Target employees love me. Sorry about that rack of bras.. and the clearance rack.

I have finally admitted that I do actually need a full night’s sleep and an afternoon nap. This was a big step for me. I kept complaining to Rob that I was tired for no reason and I refused to nap because I shouldn’t need a nap. I can’t wait until I have two toddlers that refuse to nap because they don’t think they need one because, hello karma. Either way, Rob won and convinced me that growing babies is a good reason for an afternoon nap. Weirdly, my life has gotten much better since then.

This week is going to be rather eventful for me, so I am going to have to pace myself. Thursday I have back to back doctor appointments. No complaints, I love seeing E & O kicking away in there. I am always curious to see what position they are in, it is nice to know what part of them is constantly jabbing away at me. Right now I believe E’s feet are in my ribs and O is hanging out near my bladder, but I will know for sure on Thursday.

Saturday we are having a ginormous baby shower. A lot of this has been slowly planned over the last several months, but there is obviously more to do. I anticipate lots of scooter time at Target and the grocery store in preparation. Right now I am super excited but also concerned about sweating to death. It’s totally normal to have to change your clothes halfway through the party, right? I have lots of friends coming that I haven’t seen in ages, but since I am supposed to be mostly seated I am a bit worried I am going to feel like the queen greeting her subjects. Maybe I can find a tiara in the dollar section at Target. Or I will just stand until I pass out and then it will be the baby shower that everyone remembers.

Onto bump watch, week 28.

IMG_8078This dress used to be a lot longer. This is significantly more thigh than I am generally comfortable with..

IMG_8080Eeep!

IMG_8081Babies born at 28 weeks have excellent chances of survival. But even as uncomfortable as I am, I would like at least another 8 weeks and several more pounds.

IMG_8082Everyone stay on the inside until Mom can’t walk anymore, okay?

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And now for some light house keeping..

Over the next week or so I am going to be moving around hosting and making some updates to the blog. I am hoping this goes smoothly. To be honest, it is mostly over my head, so I am just praying to the tech gods and trusting my techmaster. He’s already dug me out of glitches I have created multiple times..

tapered off..

IMG_3248is anyone surprised that this is my cat? anxiety cat is anxious. 

I have blogged about changing my anxiety meds because of my pregnancy numerous times, with the end goal to be off of them completely by the third trimester. Well, I hit the third trimester last week and am off everything. If you have been around any length of time, you’ll remember that I started with ambien and 40 mg of celexa. I also used xanax from time to time, but really hadn’t seen a need for it since I graduated from law school.

So how did this all go down? Well, my OB wanted me off the ambien the minute we found out I was pregnant. Some OBs are okay with ambien during pregnancy, given that it is listed as a Category B drug, but mine said nope. Since I trust him with my life, and the girls’ lives, I said, okay. That wasn’t actually as hard as I anticipated. Ambien is for insomnia and during my first trimester I had no trouble with insomnia. I slept like I had never slept in my life. Easy peasy.

The celexa was a lot more complicated. I was prescribed it for moderate anxiety and had been taking it, religiously, for about four years. With this kind of drug, it is not recommended to just stop taking it. There will be withdrawals. It will not be fun.  So, while the ambien decision involved mainly just my OB, the celexa involved my OB, my psychiatrist, and my perinatologist. Apparently babies born to mothers who took celexa and the like in the third trimester sometimes show withdrawal symptoms. This is just what my perinatologist and psychiatrist have told me, do your own research, clearly.

In conjunction with my team, I have successfully completely tapered off the celexa.  And I am.. okay. I can definitely tell the difference and definitely could feel the difference as I was stepping down to lower and lower dosages. I know that my anxiety is getting the best of me when I get irrationally anxious about something.  All people experience anxiety on a regular basis (duh). But for me, when I knew it was time for meds was when I would feel the anxiety take hold, for an irrational reason, and be completely unable to get rid of it. The celexa prevented that from happening almost entirely. I still had crazy sauce anxiety break through from time to time (hello, law school, Bar, etc.) but I was definitely in control.

Being off the celexa while being pregnant makes it a bit more difficult to discern what exactly is going on. Am I stressing about getting my hospital bag packed because I am pregnant or because I am off celexa? Hard to say. But, I will say that what little I am freaking out about that feels irrational or out of my control. I don’t want to show up in L&D again without a bag of stuff. So, I fixed that. That seems valid.

I am happy where I am. I am happy that I managed to do this for E & O. It was an option to just continue with the celexa on a lower dosage, but I am pleased that I was able to come off the meds completely.  For some, that isn’t a viable option. However, what I am mentally preparing for is postpartum. Knowing that anxiety is an issue for me has made me hyper aware of what issues can arise for women postpartum.  Luckily, my new perinatologist specializes in postpartum depression/anxiety and it is definitely on my list to discuss with her before the girls arrive. I don’t know if I will go back on celexa or anything for that matter. But I don’t know how my body/mind is going to react to giving birth and having twins. What I do know is that when the time comes, I have an excellent team in place.