mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week sixteen, from BabyCenter:

2007.02.07. sickly

Ohhhh.... now I'm so not ok. Oh my lord. Yesterday I was fine, but for a dash of a yellow-snot-throat-hurts-a-bit cold. Nothing terrible. Jonathan was having dinner with his grandma and great-uncle, so I was stuck finding food for myself. Only first, the kitchen!

I cleaned and scrubbed and picked up Care Bear cards everywhere and made myself leftovers, yummy potato soup, with lots of peas, whole grain toast. Then I sat down and...

Oh. My. Lord. It hit me. In an hour I was whimpering and considering a race to the hospital (don't worry, it wasn't really, ever, that bad). I had a fever and my stomach hurt, not nausea, not contractions, not that sharp pain of something really wrong, just this hard feeling that it was about to explode. Ick.

Nothing was making me feel the slightest bit better, not tea, not water, not, well, that's all that I felt like putting in my body. I thankfully watched Jonathan bathe the boys and put them to bed and fell asleep.

This morning, I awoke late and felt ok, for about 20 minutes. Now the fever's hit again and I feel low, not oh-I-can't-sit-at-the-computer low, but more like, please-don't-make-me-walk-anywhere low. I keep reaching for the phone to call Dr. Kehoe and then feel silly. I could just take a little Tylenol, after all, but I have this terrific fear of taking Tylenol while pregnant. I'm sure it's awful for the baby (yet I'll drink wine, and beer -- in small amounts of course. Go figure).

So I sit here, worrying and Googling "fever while pregnant" (take Tylenol! call your doctor! say most websites cheerfully, nothing's-wrong-y) and worry.

In other news, I finally went to the calendar and wrote down the number of weeks I am according to date-of-last-period. Sixteen. Sixteen weeks pregnant. Only ten to go until the baby's chances of survival outside the womb are better than 50%.

Ten is a lot of weeks.

2007.02.07. but, not THAT sick

Niki told me to call the doctor. Amey told me to call the doctor. Everyone's vibes told me, "call the doctor!" Finally, around 1 p.m., I did call and, hours later, the nurse called back. "What's your temperature?" she asked.

"Umm... I don't know. It's high enough to be uncomfortable!" I answered, because, that should explain it all!

She seemed VERY displeased with me and told me she has to know what my temperature is, and to go get a thermometer and call back if it's over 101 after taking two extra-strength tylenol.

I am sufficiently shamed and I wrap myself up in sweaters and coats and walk the two blocks to Walgreens, obtaining a thermometer and a huge quantity of extra-strength store-brand tylenol -- two-for-one sale.

And I go home, and take my temperature. Surely that's wrong! I take it again. I have a fever of 97.3. I keep taking my temperature every 20 minutes for the next three hours -- after all, I'm SURE it's really high. It never gets over 97.6.

Later, Larissa tells me she never had a fever, she was just exhausted. What a nasty bug -- it doesn't even give you symptoms to hang your hat on. SNEAKY.

2007.02.08. baby: good. me: not so

at the whiskey soda lounge, with vietnamese fish sauce wings
I should have had a lovely day today. I woke up and felt some kind of better. I worked for several hours, then headed out for a whirlwind bus-and-errand tour with Everett. Downtown to drop off photos, Lloyd Center for ballet clothes (Everett telling everyone "I'M in BALLET!" so proudly, I wanted to squeeze the moment and not let go), doctor's office, downtown to pick up photos, home again, home again, jiggety...

But no jog. The doctor's office came and, though Everett was being goodish and everything was going according to plan, I felt awful. Jonathan was angry at me (a big bust-up over discipline the night before, he decided giving up -- on everything -- was the best option) and being entirely un-helpful, and suddenly I was struck with a dizzy headache.

"So, how are you feeling?" asked Dr. Kehoe brightly. "Fine...." I said, trailing off. "That wasn't very convincing, was it?" I asked. "No."

I owned up to feeling tired, and headachey. She reminded me to take my vitamins (check) and not pile up the carbohydrates (not so check). She let me off the hook for exercising (phew).

Heartbeat time worked out well, although it seemed to take forever (probably 20 seconds, SO LONG) to find the heartbeat. When she found it, Everett cutely put his hand to his ear and leaned in. Entirely Norman Rockwell.

After that good news, there was more: she gave me the green light to ride my bike, as long as I was careful ("as long as you remember that every motorist is gunning for you" was the exact quote), saying that she didn't really think a small accident on the bike would cause an abruption -- it's another thing "we really don't know what causes." Well, when I get my energy back, the bike it is.

I got home around 5, just enough time to check my mail (no emergencies), load the dishwasher and head out to mama's group. Yes! I reinstated mama's group. It was lovely, a few of us met at the Whiskey Soda Lounge (we'd all been dying to try it), we ate fab-tastic food, we knitted. For dessert: Vietnamese ice cream with espresso poured over, served with unsweetened doughnut sticks. PERFECT.

After dinner, we spent an hour with yet another mama at Mabel's, and it was relaxing and so nice to talk together and all was well. With the exception of a sharp pain in my belly, lasting long enough to really worry me but not long enough to send me to the hospital.

I got home, Jonathan was still mad, the boys were still insanity itself (though, very happy to see me, and Everett was wearing his ballet clothes -- they made him happy, he said, while I got him changed into jammies. I think I'll need a couple of extra pairs of tights).

At least I have energy, enough to finish up my most important work, enough to empty the dishwasher, enough to make the bed and fold a few clothes and take a shower and write a blog post. Enough.

Having the money to hire a parenting, umm, "coordinator" has suddenly gone from distant 10th to 2nd (mortgage and all) on the money priority list. I'm searching.

And oh yes, no more pains. Pray they don't come back.

2007.02.08. so, can you feel it?

The other day when I spoke to the advice nurse, she asked, "is the baby moving well?" and when I didn't answer, taken aback by the thought that I might be feeling the baby already (after all, the doctor has me at only 15 weeks), she corrected herself. "Oh, you're still early."

Again at the doctor's office today. "So, are you feeling the baby?" "I think so," seemed to be the right answer.

But really, am I? I should be, it seems as if I was feeling Truman at 14 weeks -- or earlier -- and, certainly, I should be nothing but more sensitive this time.

Either I'm not paying attention, or I'm just... unfeeling. I only wish I had more presence with this baby.

2007.02.10. feelings

Nothing happened yesterday. Well, that's not entirely true: after a morning of still-not-really-talking, Jonathan and I finally argued it out. We're not totally on the same page, but we're a lot closer. And, thanks to the pregnancy hormones, millions of tears.

Then he was off to work and Everett and I had a "challenging" night. I've started to connect his worst behavior to the times when his daddy is the most like him -- i.e., explosive, a little irrational, quick to anger. Later, I get it back in spades. Jonathan and I don't agree, but it's certainly my truth.

In any case, we're at a bit of peace and, because of our heated negotiations, I got precisely nothing done yesterday. And somehow, everyone awoke early today, I busily making healthy breakfast (granola, chicken sausage, orange juice) for the boys, readying Everett's gear, tidying the kitchen, even preparing my knitting for the day ahead.

I lived in fear, total abject fear, that our difficulties of the night before would present themselves as an obstacle to ballet, and I was fighting a silent battle to keep this one thing for Everett, one thing that was wonderful.

Somehow, despite a few swear words over my refusal to let him go down the up escalator at the mall (I could only imagine where that would lead), we got to ballet in A Good Mood. I tied his ballet shoes and tucked under his laces and there was another boy! and when the receptionist rose to take the new children to meet their teacher, Everett was so excited that he dashed off into the room, ahead of the teacher and the rest of the students. I waited a few minutes and, oh heavenly thanks, no one came back. A blissful 45 minutes by myself, while Everett was happy.

The baby and I walked to the Bakery Bar for lentil-and-kielbasa soup (heavenly) and a lemon cupcake (too sweet, but still delicious) and luscious, perfect, wonderful coffee. For the time, all was entirely well. As I walked past the giant windows of the warehouse-style buildings in the industrial neighborhood, I could see my belly sticking proudly out beyond my raincoat.

Everett came out, calling for me as I chatted with another mom, and as we put his shoes on said, "I loved ballet today, and next time, it's going to be even better!" He learned that "plie" means "bend." He was so happy.

The day didn't turn into perfection, but things were gradually better. We stopped at the library, we came home, we ordered pizza, we all sat on the couch eating and watching TV. And I had a feeling, a pushing on my lower right rib, a pressure in the left side of the top ofmy pelvis. I reached up to feel my uterus but it was soft, pliable, not the tightness of even a Braxton-Hicks contraction, not the pain I feared. Ummm... d'ya think it might be the baby? Yes. I'm pretty sure that pain I felt on Thursday was... the baby.

I pushed back, pressed down on the baby's feet, pressed up on the baby's head. I guess I have been feeling the baby.

2007.02.11. malaise

Sundays are usually my favorite days. None of the business of Saturdays (since our accidental church hiatus began -- it's really hard to get to church as a family when daddy's working 'til 4 a.m.), and Jonathan never has to leave for work much before 3. I can make breakfast, fetch coffee, loll about reading and knitting, sometimes spending a few sunny hours at the coffee shop, where the south-facing windows let in plentiful swaths of winter sun. The hours seem to stretch forever, time for blogging, cleaning kitchens, catching up on work, watching my favorite shows while I snuggle with the boys.

Today was no different, yet it was different. Everett and I were at odds all day; I let him play Thomas games on my computer while I cleaned the kitchen, brewed coffee, got breakfast; he wouldn't let it go without a fight. I had so many plans. So much I was going to write, so many things buzzing about in my head that had to be translated into HTML, work to catch up on, photos to upload.

Instead I sat at the end of the couch stewing and reading, a book full of sorrow and pain and human misery, but joy too, and strength, and fortitude (The Midwife's Tale. It was a lovely book, but as I finished it I was weeping, fat tears falling down my face, and my boys were sitting not even a few feet away, eagerly watching Diego search for fruit to feed the dinosaurs. I just had to sigh. And go and wipe the tears off my face, looking at my face in the mirror and feeling low.

It was just one of those days, when nothing seems to perk your spirits. I was now paying attention to the baby, and feeling the pokey kicks from time to time. I knitted, making great progress on my actual real follow-the-pattern-this-time blue ribbon scrap wrap, and as I progressed, just started to hate the color combo. It was too (as Larissa would say later) "Shrek," which is good if you like that sort of thing, but I didn't, not for my actual real follow-the-pattern-this-time going-into-the-book wrap. So 12-some rows of the work I was doing (and, obsessively, timing each row) would just get torn out whenever I found the right shade of Frog Tree Alpaca.

So, there I was, malaise. Feeling sad and out-of-control all day, arguing with Everett 'til I thought I'd clench my teeth to shreds, getting things done but getting nothing done. I ordered pizza to eat, and didn't put it away until Jonathan got home. I was tired, but didn't go to sleep until nearly 2 a.m.

I dreamed, badly, and waited for the morning. The morning would be better.