Friday, January 29, 2010

The First Cm!

Our little tigress looks just like her dad! Or I think so, at least.ü I'm so thrilled about this because Jai was such a (frowny but) very adorable baby as you can see here:

Yesterday I had another appointment with my OB. She figured I might be needing an admitting notice soon for me to bring to the ER when the time comes (a note informing the hospital to put me under her service accompanied by some preparatory orders). She gave me one because there's some good news: I'm now 1cm dilated! That's about the size of the tip of the index finger. Finally, some progress! This is a relief because at least this pelvic pain is up to something good. Painful, but good. I also learned that my placenta is now fully mature (Grade 3) and we're all just waiting for me to go into labor. They also noticed the increase in discharge which is another sign that the big day is coming... sooner or later. Nobody really knows, because nothing gives any assurance that I could be in labor in a matter of days or even after a week. Some mothers even stay dilated at 1cm for 2 weeks or more and in some cases even get past their due dates. I maybe having some progress but it's just different for everyone.

According to the ticker I only have about 20 days til I'm due but I'm hoping that the baby will come much earlier than that. I can't imagine 20 more days of lugging myself around with a dysfunctional pelvis like I need a hip replacement. My husband has been a great help though. He's always there to assist me as I walk, go up and down the stairs, rub my back, help me turn in bed and get up from lying down or a sitting position. He wipes my tears when the pain becomes too much to take. He's been by my side all the way. He's the one who has made my pre-mommyhood experience wonderful.

An update on the "nesting" thing... I think my mother-in-law is going through it for me! This afternoon I found her in our bedroom arranging the baby's stuff and checking our bags to take to the hospital. I don't mind, I actually think it's sweet and I'm thankful that she's looking out for me. I helped her gather the few last things and realized I forgot about a few necessities after all. I was so confident and thought all along that I already packed everything but thanks to her I got a wake up call. Who was I to question an experienced mother or four?! She really made sure we have everything we need to bring and reminded me to get the necessary papers photocopied (Philhealth forms and receipts, our birth certificates, etc.) for the hospital paperwork. So thanks, Mama.

Now our bags are ready (for real this time) and we're keeping them in the living room from now on so it's just pick up and go. It seems there's only one thing I overlooked... I forgot to sterilize the formula powder dispenser. lol

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nest for Success

I'm afraid I won't be going into labor anytime soon. So far the "nesting" instinct hasn't kicked in yet and it's bothering me. Or maybe because I'm fully aware of waiting for it to happen so it feels like it's not coming?

The so called nesting instinct is a sort of a DNA-engraved ritual that a soon to be mother psychologically goes through and subconsiously acts out. It's nature's way of saying: "You're having this baby soon. Get off your ass and get started!" A pregnant woman who is near her due date suddenly feels a burst of energy and frantically cleans everything she can get her hands on, or sometimes can't stop rearranging things. I've learned that for most mothers it usually happens just days or hours before they go into labor and they don't really realize it until they tire themselves or when someone notices how weird they're acting.

But my question is this: Is it possible to NOT experience nesting? Because frankly, I don't feel like it's coming for me. In my case, I've already prepared all the stuff we need to take to the hospital for me and the baby last month, so I feel like I don't really need to do a lot of packing and rearranging anymore. Also having this unbearable pelvic, groin, and inner thigh pain doesn't give me much of a choice but to rest for as much as I can in between meals, chores, and occasional walks. To be quite honest and brutally straight, for days I've been feeling like the baby is gonna fall out of my vaj. There is a constant and incredible pressure in between my legs and it's hard to walk, bend over, climb stairs, lift or carry things, put on panties, shorts or leggings, and worst of all--turning in bed and trying to get up. How can nature expect me to nest with that?!

Maybe it's the physical pain that's keeping the nesting instinct from coming. To tell you the truth, I've never felt more ready in my life to have this baby. People have been telling me stories of how painful labor & birth can be, but now it's all just blah to me. I've finally taken that huge leap over my worries and now I'm just looking straight ahead for the big finish. But yeah.. my mind is ready but my body just won't raise the flag.

Or maybe the baby's just not ready yet.

I'm wondering how much more ready should she get?! She's already full term and has a hundred percent chance of survival if she decides to come out anytime soon. Now I don't know which one to expect first... The physical signals or that frickin nesting instinct!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Start of Weekly Check-Ups

So. My doctor told me to call her once I start to feel it.

She said I could give birth anytime now!

I can't believe this is finally it! This is what we've all been waiting for (and what I've been dreading about) for the entire length of my pregnancy. I'm almost at the finish line. In a few weeks I could finally hold my baby girl. Right now I'm 36-37 weeks pregnant, on my 9th month of pregnancy--which is the final stretch in this wonderful journey of pre-mommyhood.

Yesterday my prenatal check-up went better than I expected,
except for when I found out I have a Urinary Tract Infection and when I felt the pain of being Internally Examined. But anyway our visit went great. We didn't have to wait too long for our turn because we got there early so there were only a few patients waiting before us.

My scan was wonderful. Our baby was showing off--and that's something new! For most of our check-ups she didn't really like to show her face. But this time her face was so clear and she was even sticking her tongue out and opening her mouth like she was yawning! Her chubby cheeks were so adorable you just wanna pinch them! It was exhilarating to see that only after a month she seems to have grown a LOT bigger. But they assured us that her size is just right for her fetal age so that's a relief. We thought all along that she was too big because a lot of people have been telling me I look like I'm carrying twins. I assume there's gonna be a small chance for me to get a c-section because the internal examination also concluded that I could go into trial labor for a normal delivery. Translated that means my baby's head could fit in the birth canal down there.

I keep playing the ultrasound video over and over again (my husband recorded the scan with a digital camera). I can't get over it... My baby girl is almost here. She's not the size of a peanut, a shrimp, or a mango anymore. She's going to be born soon. She's going to see the world and exprience the best life that me and her dad could give her.

My OB told me to come back next Thursday for my weekly check-up if by that time I haven't gone into labor yet. I'm not saying I won't make it to February, but I'm guessing I'll be giving birth before my due date which is February 18. Or I could be wrong. Whatevs. At this point my baby is already considered full-term but I still want her to come out whenever she's ready.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Mind of a Soon-to-be-Mom

● When will I give birth to this baby? How will I know if it's the real thing?
● Will I still feel the contractions and the urge to push after I get an epidural? Will I feel pain as the needle is being injected in my back? For how long does the epidural effect last?
● What's better? Intrathecal, epidural or the plain old pudendal block?
● Will the baby's head fit in the birth canal? Or would I have to get sectioned to get this baby out?
● Will an episiotomy hurt? For how long will the pain last?
● How does the intensity of the labor contractions (especially the 8-10 cm dilation part) feel like? Is it really hair-pulling/hand-biting/cursing inducing?
● Does morphine really get rid of the c-section post op pain like my mom says? If so, for how long?
● Does the crowning of the baby's head really feel like there's a ring of fire down there?
● How painful is the first latch-on of the baby? Would it really feel like she has teeth? How painful are the uterine contractions while breastfeeding?
● If I undergo a normal spontaneous delivery, what happens after they take the placenta out and stitch me up? How will they prep me for the recovery room?
● Will I feel drowsy from the spinal anesthesia while being sectioned?

These are only some of the hundreds of questions whirring in my head right now. I'm only four weeks away from my due date and there are so many things bothering me. I don't know if this is what you call fear of the unknown but all I know is at this point I'm afraid of a lot of things. They say an increased level of anxiety can worsen the pain of labor, but how can I help it when I just can't get decent answers to these many questions?

Every answer I get just seems so vague. And most of the time they say, "It's all gonna end up fine." But what if it won't? Sure, there could only be a small window for anything bad to happen because these days obstetric technology is high end and secondly my OB is a family friend of ours (not to mention our ninang sa kasal as well) so the trust is there.

But still. I'm driving myself crazy with this bottomless pit of questions. I'm hoping some of these will get answered tomorrow. I'll be paying my OB a visit again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Baby Shower

This is my latest Facebook status:

"Just got home from my BABY SHOWER! Jai and I are so happy (and very very surprised!) Thank you so much to everyone who made this possible! Sorry po hindi ko kau maiisa-isa, ang dami! :)) Basta, kulang pa po ang sabihin kong MARAMING SALAMAT sa family ko & sa in-laws ko (who set this up!). I love you all! Our baby loves you too!!!"

Jai and I were quietly eating pizza at the dinner table while watching the news earlier this evening. I had no idea why there were so many containers of maja blanca on the table but I didn't bother to ask. My mom-in-law works for the local government so I thought she was involved in some kind of feeding program or there was some kind of potluck party she was going to attend.

Little did I know the hunch was almost accurate.

She was looking through a pile of hand towels not too far from where I was standing when she asked me to get her two bibs.

"Bib po?"

I turned to my husband.

"Parang wala ata tayong nabiling bib..."

My mom-in-law (or Mama as I like to call her) said, "Meron akong nilabhan."

My husband then asked, "San kukuha?" I knew he was as puzzled as I was.

Then I remembered one of our cabinet drawers full of hand-me-down baby clothes. "Dun po sa cabinet namin?"

Mama nodded.

I hurried upstairs to retrieve the bibs and handed them to mama. Then, back to pizza.

A few minutes later I decided to ask her what the bibs were for. I couldn't help it, I was too confused. She replied with a simple "May gagawin lang ako."

I had no idea why she needed those bibs. But then I thought maybe she was going to a feeding program, and she was gonna give away some hand-me-down stuff for the less unfortunate babies.

When my sis-in-law Yayie appeared I asked where they were going because she was dressed up. She replied, "Ewan ko sa Mama."

A few minutes later the househelp emerged from the kitchen with bowls and bowls of food. Jai even helped them load all of it into the car, but just like me he didn't bother to ask what all the food was for.

About after an hour I got a call from Mama. She told me Nonoy (bro-in-law) was going to pick us up. Uh ok. "San po pupunta?" She gave me an honest answer and said, "Dito sa mga inay," pertaining to Mendoza compound.

I don't know why but I had this weird feeling that she was smiling while she said that.

When Nonoy came to pick us up I asked him, "Anong meron?" He just said, "Ay awan!"

By this time, the question marks in my head were on top of each other.

As we parked in front of the Mendoza compound gate, I noticed someone in the car in front of us got out. A familiar face. Ninang Mayet! What was she doing here, I wondered, but again, I didn't ask. I stepped out of the vehicle and warmly greeted her with a kiss on the cheek. In the car was her family, and they got out too. Again, my head was spinning. Why on earth are they here in Batangas all the way from Paranaque at this hour??

As Jai and I entered the compound, I saw a lot of details all at once.

The whole Mendoza clan. Gang's all here.
Pabitin. Who's the party for?
Food. Is it someone's birthday?
Videoke machine. So it must be someone's birthday.
My cousins. Then my sisters. Then my MOM.

What are they doing here?!

At that point everybody applauded and yelled and whooed. That was when it hit me.


I was in shock. Speechless. I didn't know what to do or who to thank first. I snapped out of it and pulled myself together. I greeted my family, and then kissed my mom-in-law on the cheek at told her my heartfelt thanks. They were all asking me if I knew what was up, but the answer was always NO. Jai and I were so clueless!

Then, dinnertime. The games started right after. And before everyone went on his way home we took a few family pictures and then the party was over. My baby was showered with beautiful gifts by the end of the night. :)

This has been a very wonderful experience because it's the first time I've been given a surprise party. And what makes it extra special is that it's not only for me, but for my daughter as well. I didn't even think there would be a baby shower at all because I never had the chance to talk it over with Mama, and because the Batangas City fiesta and my little sister's singing recital will take place this coming weekend so I was certain that the timing was just screwed. Well apparently I was wrong all along. I am so touched that people actually made time and effort to make this baby shower possible, and no words can explain how grateful I am for this incredible gesture. Surely this is proof that my husband and I are loved and so is our baby Girl. She's a very lucky child to have so many people love her.

I wanna get this baby out NOW!!!! I've never been so excited in my life!!!!

January 12, 2010

*more photos in my Facebook account

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Pregnancy Diaries 6

Welcome to my first blog entry for 2010!

As of now I am 33-34 weeks far along in my pregnancy. There's only four to seven weeks to go, but somehow it feels like the big day is taking too long to come. My body can only take too much of the pregnancy pains. I wanna give birth like... now.

If it's up to me I'd choose a cesarian section straight off the bat. Nowadays it's practically a painless procedure and there's always morphine to kill the post-op pain. And the best thing about it is I get to choose my baby's birth date. Downside? A c-section never comes cheap. So it's gonna be the natural way for me. The "ohmygodi'mleaking" or "itfuckinhurtstakemetothehospitalnowgoddammit" way.

I know someone who gave birth as early as 36 weeks. Thirty freakin six weeks. That's only 3 weeks away from now. In three weeks I could be a mother! But actually every pregnancy is different. In some cases the baby doesn't even descend into the birth canal until after the 40th week (which happened to my mom that's why she was sectioned to give birth to me). So it's either early or late, or just at the right time. There's no telling. And that's what's so freaking annoying.

Moving around has never been harder. Waddling is supposed to help maintain balance and make it easier to walk, but surprise surprise! It's still as exhausting as normal walking. The heartburns come frequently and the rib kicks are just... great. I'm sure my liver is as happy as I am, being punched and kicked and stuff.

It's frustrating whenever I learn that a friend on Facebook has already given birth. I feel jealous every time. I wanna get this pregnancy over with as soon as possible so I can finally be free from the pain, but most importantly so I can finally hold my wonderful little tigress. I know she still has a few weeks to get herself ready for survival outside my womb, but I hope she does it quick. Momma is itching to be with you, sweetie!

And by itching I mean literally itching all over. I don't know what the problem is but I hope it's not cholestasis. I've also thrown up a couple of times this week and my latest blood pressure reading turned out to be higher than my baseline, so it's a bit scary. Preeclampsia can be very very harmful to me and the baby. I've consulted this to my mom and she said I should run to my OB-GYN for advice because you never really know how serious things are until you get checked. My next appointment is on the 21st and actually I have no idea why my doc hasn't asked me to come before that--on the 21st I'll be exactly nine months pregnant. Wouldn't that be odd? But, I just decided to trust my doc and no matter how impatient I'm growing each day, I'm hoping I won't go into labor before my next appointment. Or else things would seem messed up in so many levels.

According to the ticker there's only 44 days to go before I'm due. Fourty-four looooong days left.