Thursday, November 17, 2011

We Made It To 31 Weeks!

So much has happened since my last post.  No delivery still (Phew!), but lots of other things have happened.  For one thing, this morning I had an ultrasound of the baby.  We hit 31 weeks today, meaning we’ve held out for exactly one week.  Huge accomplishment!  The doctor performing the ultrasound did a full anatomy scan (the baby’s third).  Again, everything looked wonderful.  There is no evidence of any potential structural problems, the placenta is providing adequate blood flow to the baby, and the umbilical cord is right in front of the baby – exactly where they want it to be.  I have a fabulous picture of our little guy’s left footprint, as he kicked hard at my ribs right as the doctor was snapping a picture of the top of the uterus.  It’s adorable.

Perhaps the most important thing we learned during the ultrasound is that our little chunker is weighing in at 4 pounds and 14 ounces!!!  That puts him above the 90th percentile for a 31 week baby.  The doctor said that our baby is as big as some small full-term babies and, given the lack of evidence of any problems associates with his size, this is the best possible scenario.  If I was going to go full term, his size would be worrisome.  But that isn’t going to happen, so we are thrilled that we’ve got a beefy boy on our hands.

A couple of people had commented on my last post and suggested that it was time to call my doula.  I thought the same thing you all did.  So, when I got stressed out, I called the doula.  I didn’t write about it, even though I placed the call before my last post, because I was still angry about how things went with her.  Our doula has turned out to be a huge disappointment during this situation.  After spending hours crying over my stress and the pain of the heavy contractions, I called the doula for support.  I was crying to her, letting her know what was going on.  Her response was silence.  I asked if she was still there, thinking that the call had been dropped.  She responded that she was still there…then silence again.  I dragged the conversation out for ten minutes, hoping that she was just busy doing something when I called and I would soon have her full attention.  No such luck.  When I asked her to give me some advice about how to deal with my pain and frustration, she said “This is a horrible situation.  It’s really too bad.”  That was it.  No advice.  No significant empathy.  No encouragement.  It really seemed like she was talking to me while playing solitaire on her computer or something.  I got off the phone, called a good friend of mine, and got the support I needed from my friend.  I’m not sure if I will be calling on the doula again.  I would still be angry about the situation, but I honestly don’t have the energy to even be irritated.  So, I think I am just going to ignore her and my feelings about this, until things have settled down after the baby’s arrival.  Then I’ll try to figure out how to address this with her.

On a more positive note, the nursing care has improved drastically since my last post.  Though it sucked to be moved to a semi-private room, the beds are more comfortable, the showers are better, and the nurses are nicer.  I also now have the big side of the room, with the large window and window sill…more space and more sunlight.  My first roommate (the one with all of the visitors) ended up being REALLY religious.  I’m not judging, and I’m not going to say which denomination/religion she was.  What I am going to say is that I have my own spiritual beliefs, but they do not include religious services or things like that.  In the one and a half days I was in this room with her, I sat through two church services that were each two and a half hour long.  My roommate and her family attended the services via SKYPE…meaning I listened to hours of hymns and scripture readings.  At first I thought “That’s nice.”  But hours into it…not so nice anymore.  There was no place to escape to (except the bathroom).  I spent A LOT of time in the bathroom.  Yesterday morning they told my religious roommate that she was being moved to a private room, as her blood count was still dangerously low and they needed to have her right next to special equipment in case she went into labor or started hemorrhaging.  I was actually a little sad to see her go.  Then I moved to her side of the room and instantly felt better about my situation.  Sunlight and a little privacy go a huge way to improving one’s outlook.

Two of my good friends visited yesterday and that made all of the difference too.  I had been isolating myself, but I realized a couple of days ago that I couldn’t continue to do that…not if I was going to be stuck on bed rest for a long time.  One of my friends got me food for dinner and an enormous bag of cheese popcorn (something I never eat because I think it smells like stinky feet, but which I have been craving for two days…last night I assuaged the craving in a MAJOR way).  Now that I know that I really am up to visitors and I have confirmation that my friends are going to be okay if I break down in tears in front of them (even on my happy days…it happens), I am more comfortable asking people to come visit…or at least I anticipate that I will be soon. 

Another thing that happened is that the doctor ordered recreational therapy for me, so a woman came down to my room and gave me the option of all kinds of activities and crafts to fill my free time.  Today I painted a porcelain piggy bank for the baby and a Thanksgiving door decoration.  Tomorrow I am going to be taught how to knit.  I feel really silly being “prescribed” these activities, but the doctor is right…I need something to focus on other than what is going on with the baby and what is coming up after he is born.  Besides…when am I going to find any other time in my life to learn how to knit?  Right?  And, as dorky as it is, it really has helped.  I’m so grateful to be in this hospital, where they have a whole separate wing for women on long term bed rest, an extended menu for pregnant women (which I just found out about today…SO happy!), and things like recreational therapy.   We’ve determined that I can’t work from here and I have to go out on leave, but even that isn’t devastating me like it normally would because I am getting a lot of support from friends and from the hospital.  I’m a lucky girl (and that time I said it without any sarcasm).

I’ve saved the “best” for last.  I was told last night I would be getting a new roommate.  I was afraid that would happen.  At least my religious roommate was really nice and her family tried to be friendly.  The new roommate never showed last night, but she did come this afternoon.  It turns out, she was in this room before me…that is, she was here until she just disappeared from the hospital without letting the doctors or anyone know she was leaving.  In fact, this is her third admission to the hospital within the last two weeks, as she keeps just leaving (even though she lives two hours away) and then coming back in an ambulance when the baby goes into distress.  Her baby’s daddy (her term, not mine) is also here…and he is going to spend the night each night.  YAY!  (As if on cue, as I am writing this, he just let out a huge belch.  Nice!)  When they walked in, the smell of alcohol and cigarettes filled the room.  In the first two hours she was here, she snuck outside for two smoke breaks.  I think she is used to smoking more than cigarettes, based on her very erratic behavior and really fast talking, but I have no evidence to back up my assumption and I should probably keep those thoughts to myself.  She and her hubby (?) keep coughing like they are going to hack up a lung, which then makes me paranoid that I am catching some awful disease like tuberculosis.  On the upside, if history is any indication, she likely won’t be my roommate for long.  She should be taking off any time now.  But, until then, I have to listen to her talk about her friends not knowing who their babies’ fathers are, about her baby’s likely developmental disabilities and clubbed foot, and about how stupid it is that they can’t just give her a blood transfusion and send her home (like my last roommate, this one has a bleeding problem…but that’s where their similarities end).  In short…my new roommate is the embodiment of all things women who have dealt with infertility despise.  She is a reminder of how unfair life is sometimes.  I’m not going to let her bring me down because it would be bad for me and for the baby, but if I had been put in a room with her one year ago…there may have been a smack down going on.

So, that’s my update.  As usual, it is a little disjointed, but I didn’t want to wait any longer as I know some of you worry about me the same way I worry about you when I hear about your trials.  Thank you again for all of the support and prayers.


S said...

You sound like you are in a better frame of mind! And congratulations on making to 31 weeks with such a good-sized baby. I know every day counts at this point.

I think it's great that you are allowing your friends to support and visit you and getting something out of your recreational therapy. Hang in there!

ceecee867 said...

So glad to see your post ! Was getting worried about you :/ Hang in there... everyday is a bonus and a blessing.

Michelle D said...

Agree with the first post that you seem in a better frame of mind (despite the newer roommate...ughhhhh on your behalf). I am impressed with you and your baby. One of our twin girls was only 4 lb 14 oz at 38 way to go Hamish! Keep up the great work. I love the idea that they give your recreational treatment...they should do that in more places for situations like this :) Make lots of wonderful things.

Lindsey said...

I LOVE LOVE this news (well minus your new classy roommates of course...) I think you should make a game of interacting with them. For example, "geeze do I miss crack, I listened to my doc and gave it up after the first trimester but I can't wait to pop this baby out so I can take a hit!" Then wait for their gaurenteed to be hilarious response.

China Doll said...

Wow, that was an action-packed post! So good to hear you're hanging in there at 31 weeks :) And to hear that baby boy is so big! Great news :)
The room-mate situation sounds like it should be part of a sit-com, if I didn't know it was real and probably causing you much stress/annoyance/ concern. I hope the new one heads off soon or gets transferred somewhere else.
On the upside, the recreational therapy sounds like fun (though I know fun is probably not the right word at this point)... it's great that they have that service available. Make the most of it, I say :)
Thinking of you xxx

Ciccolata said...

I am so HAPPY to hear your great news! It's so funny how these blog posting have become the "support group" I've been looking for over the past few years. Infertility is a bitch, but it's even worse when there are no people around you who can truly empathize with your situation. I will continue to send positive karma and energy your way. :-)

Unknown said...

Hi! I was doing some research online on doulas, trying to decide whether or not to gain certification. I also wanted to read other women's experiences, good and bad. While I am super glad that you now have a lovely boy, I am so sad that your doula did not seem to deliver on her promises. Did you end up talking to her afterwards? Was there some sort of explanation?

Thank you so much for any insight you can provide.