Wednesday, June 30, 2010

37 long weeks

Here I am, 37 weeks. Technically full term, but you wouldn't know it by hanging out with me. Babies are still active, and doing great at their NSTs, but no signs whatsoever of impending labor. Yet my feet are still giant marshmallows, and now my ankles and calves are included. I dread seeing the scale at the OB tomorrow.

Life in general is good, though. While it has been TWO MONTHS and the damn contractors STILL haven't finished the bathroom, at least they've made enough progress so that I can tell that it's looking good. They still have to put on the cabinet doors and hardware, finish tiling around the edges (the "baseboard"), grout, install the shower and sink faucets and the toilet, put up the glass shower doors, install the mirror, install the light fixtures, and I guess install towel bars, which no one has talked to me about, so I don't know what's going on with that. That's a lot of stuff, considering that first they were supposed to be done last Wednesday, then by the end of this week (and all along they've assured us it would be done by the end of June). I am starting to wonder if we'll have a kitchen in time for Christmas, and I've completely given up on the idea of having Thanksgiving here.

My mother's helper has been coming almost full-time (which is actually part-time, since we hired her for 20 hours per week). It was great for helping with unpacking and cleaning and getting our old apartment straightened out and such, but I've started running out of things for her to do. These days I'm having her mow the lawn and plant ground-cover, and might have her clean the garage. I feel bad, but I know she needs the work and the money, and until the babies come I am just a stay-at-home wife who doesn't have that much to do. I'm also not all that comfortable having someone around just to help me, although I admit it has been a blessing for anything involving hard labor or heavy lifting.

And now here I am, waiting and twiddling my thumbs and swimming and not sleeping and trying to fit into some of my regular clothes because I'm SO SICK of my maternity clothes and I'm not going to buy anything new at 37 weeks. The nurse today told me that hospital protocol is much better for 38-weekers than for 37-weekers, so my current goal is to get to July 7 (or 9, since the 8th is my mom's birthday) and at least that way I have a date to aim for. And then I want my body back. Got it, babies? They are incredibly stubborn, just like their father. And still strong, too - their kicks and movements are unbelievable and sometimes painful. Well, only a week to go! Please!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Belated 36 weeks!

No theme this week - all the usual ones continue, especially the insomnia and the swelling.

We moved into our house last Sunday! And I didn't really sleep for the first two nights, and there are contractors here all day drilling and sawing so it's impossible to nap. So then I started taking Ben.adryl, and I don't know if it was the reason, but I've been sleeping all night and only getting up once or twice to pee. It's glorious. Except for waking up at 5:30 this morning, my first chance to sleep in for about two weeks.

I'm so swollen. I had two NSTs this week and an OB visit with u/s. The first NST was a pain - baby B would not sit still, and they kept coming in every 10-15 minutes to adjust the monitor and start over again. I ended up taking a 45-minute nap (heavenly!) when they finally got him to stay put. Then yesterday the doctor decided to order a urine test for protein at the OB appointment, and they had trouble with both babies at the NST. My blood pressure was also high during the NST, so I am going back tomorrow for another NST and blood pressure check. I'm wondering if they're suspecting preeclampsia.

In the meantime, I'm swimming laps. It seems to help a tiny bit for my swollen feet, as long a I swim over 500 yards (any less doesn't do much). I've worked my way back up to 800 yards and hoping to keep going. Especially since I'm really hoping the babies are born around 37 weeks, which is only a few more days away. Since we'll start talking induction as we near 38 weeks, I'd much prefer to get labor started on its own this coming week. Also, my mother will be out of town, and that's one less stressor around for me when the babies are born. She can come back and see them when things have settled down and the babies are a few days old.

The house is coming along. The contractors are behind schedule in finishing our bathroom, and I'm doubting they'll even meet their new and improved deadline for this week. Also, they haven't done things the way we agreed, and I don't know if it's worth asking them to make changes since it will create even more delays. Remodeling is the most frustrating thing.

I'm feeling a bit stressed and unsettled, and have a bit of the blues. My entire life has been turned upside down in the last few weeks, and waiting for the babies makes me realize that whatever normalcy is still here will shortly be gone. In the space of a few weeks, I've left the job that I've been at for three years (and therefore all the friends that I saw on a day-to-day basis), left the apartment where my husband and I first moved in together and have lived for over five years, and am now dealing with contractors who are much older and more experienced than me and yet seem to need constant supervision and correction, which I am a little uncomfortable with.

Our mother's helper also started working for me, and that is going well, but it's weird to have someone around all the time when sometimes I just want some alone time. I'm constantly having to find things for her to do (not that there's any lack of things that need doing, but at this point, I need to be involved very closely since she just started) and it's exhausting. I've just spent a week unpacking and organizing and cleaning and I'm tired. I even found time to squeeze in a few "fun" projects, like pulling out some major overgrown bushes and planting flowers and herbs instead. But even still I have that unsettled feeling of being in a new place and being all alone (or rather surrounded by strangers) and I'm looking forward to life feeling more normal again. Ha! At least I have two days to spend with my husband and no contractors or mother's helpers around.

The best thing right now is knowing that soon, I will get to see and hold my babies. I'm so curious to know what they will look like, these little creatures that have been beating me up from inside for so long now. And along with that, I'll get my ankles and feet back, and I'll be able to start exercising again (eventually) and I just know that things will get better and I'll have a beautiful family that I've been wanting for so long. And in another ten years when the contractors finish, I might have a house worth living in, too. I have so much to look forward to, I just have to shake this malaise that's settling for the moment.

I think I'll start with going back to bed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Getting closer

Yesterday's appointment at the dr. went well. First to the hospital for a non-stress test (NST). That was pretty cool - they strapped three monitors around me - one for each baby and one for contractions, and then left for 30 minutes while I read a book and hung out. The babies did well, and there was a lot of movement, which showed up as sharp peaks on the screen that sort of interrupted the more regular heart-beat charting. That was pretty cool. The nurse came back and took a look and said "Two happy babies!"

Then I had to wait forever for the doctor because she was on call. I read a couple entire magazines before finding a really interesting article on childbirth, when of course she came in. She did an ultrasound to check the fluid, although she didn't do any measurements so I have no idea of how big the babies are. She also did a Group B Strep test, which was more painful than I expected, and asked if I wanted a cervical check (yes!) which was less painful than I expected. My cervix is down to about 1 cm, and she felt that it was thinning out and ripening as well. While she wouldn't guarantee it, she said she wouldn't be surprised if I went into labor in the next week or two.

OMG! I could have babies in the next week or two! That would put me at right around 36-37 weeks, which is perfect.

In other news, our new house is coming along, but s...l...o...w...l...y. Nonetheless, we are moving in tomorrow. We need to be ready for babies. The bathroom that they have been remodeling is at least starting to look like a bathroom, but I can't see how they will even come close to meeting their estimated "almost finish date" of 3.5 weeks (we hit 3 weeks yesterday). So far, they have textured and painted the walls, and tiled the floor of the shower. They still have to tile everything else, install the cabinet, sinks, faucets, lighting, etc. In a few days! Based on past performance, I'd guess it will be at least another week, and probably two. We haven't even picked out sink faucets or lighting yet.

I know we are still missing a few things for the babies and the nursery, but at this point, it's getting to be a bit much. We have all the basic necessary stuff, I think, and we'll figure out the rest as we go.

So I am about to start a crazy busy weekend of packing, unpacking, directing friends to different parts of my under-construction house, and cleaning my old apartment. Luckily, I've been pretty on top of things and have almost everything done (except cleaning, ugh), so yay me! At this point, the rest is getting thrown into boxes and hastily labeled, and I will sort it out when it gets there (or after the babies come).

Wow, we're going to have babies soon!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

35 weeks, celebrating and still not sleeping

I missed my 35-week post by a few hours. I'm also up in the middle of the night unable to sleep. Which REALLY sucks because we are at a conference for my husband's work and we have to check out of the hotel tomorrow, so I won't be able to take a nap.

The celebration is because Wednesday was our 3-year wedding anniversary! Yay! It was not the most exciting anniversary ever, but it was still a great day because I was spending it with the love of my life. I watched him give an excellent presentation, spent some time reading and relaxing, took a nap in the afternoon, and we went out for a nice dinner. The last 3 years have been the best of my life, along with the 3 years before that (when we were dating), and I would not exchange them for anything. I'm so excited to see the children we've made together.

Then tonight I couldn't sleep, and I got super-hot and the babies have been kicking the crap out of me for the last few days, but hey, things could be worse. I don't know if I'm noticing their kicks more because I'm sort of "on vacation" at this conference and don't have much to do, but it seems like they have been very active and beating me up in the last few days. And they are really trying to stretch out when they move, I can't believe how far they push out my skin. They're strong little buggers.

My feet are still permanently swollen, and my wrists and fingers still ache and are stiff. Typing is getting hard, and writing is almost impossible. It's not so much fun, but I know it won't last forever. 35 weeks is a big milestone, and I'm ready for the babies to come almost any time, hopefully in about 2-3 weeks. So far no real signs of labor, aside from what I think are Braxton-Hicks contractions (no pain, my belly just gets really hard for a little while).

So yeah - sleep is still eluding me, and while I now treasure nights when I sleep a good 6-8 hours, I dread nights like these, when I've slept only 2-3 hours and it appears that I may be up for the long haul, or will only get a few more hours at most (since the alarm is going off in two hours, and I don't feel sleepy yet). I know this will be my life in a few weeks, but goodness, can't I enjoy a few last weeks of decent sleep before it is banished for a couple years?

Tomorrow (Friday) is my first non-stress test - will update about that and how the rest of life is going soon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

34 weeks and emotional

I wasn't sure what this week's theme would be until today. I've been gradually getting more and more emotional over the last week, and things are just not going well. I know this can be normal, and I'm not upset about it in and of itself - I'm more worried about post-partum depression.

All in all, things are good. I had my 34-week appointment today, and the babies look great. Now Tadpole is slightly bigger than Turtle, but since they are so close, it doesn't really matter. Tadpole is 4 pounds 12 ounces (up from 4 pounds 1 ounce), and Turtle is around 4 pounds 8 ounces (up from 4 pounds 4 ounces, which means he only gained 4 ounces in the last two weeks, while Tadpole gained 11 - hmmmmmm). The doctor was fine with it.

I start non-stress tests next Friday. I'm happy to be going in more often to make sure all is well. I'll be going twice a week after that. Next Wednesday is also my third wedding anniversary, and I'm really excited for that, as well. My wedding ranks as one of the best days of my life, right up there with meeting my husband, finding out I was pregnant, and then finding out I was having twins. Yep, those are probable the 4 best days of my life, and I'm looking forward to adding #5 - holding my babies for the first time.

My own health is decent - BP is good, weight is slightly high in my own mind but no one has mentioned it. My biggest problems are very swollen feet and hands, and insomnia. Last night I was awake for at least 4 hours. I'm exhausted, and I'm starting to dread what it's going to be like with two babies up all night. At least then I'll be holding the rewards in my arms (instead of having them kick the hell out of my ribs).

I'm trying to find some strength (which is hard, due to my insomnia). Incidentally, one of the biggest problems I'm dealing with is my mother. I think she has Borderline Personality Disorder, as she is a master manipulator, always has to be the center of attention, and has made me feel guilty my entire life. I've never been able to sustain any kind of defense against her, and I've always thought I needed help to learn to do that. Now that I'm about to have kids, I really want to learn to handle her. I don't want the kids using me as an example - I'm insecure, a people-pleaser, and not good at standing up for myself. I want them to be stronger than that, more like their father. I also don't want my mother affecting the kids directly, through even more guilt and manipulation. I have no idea what to do though - do I find a therapist? How? Can anyone offer any advice on how to learn to deal with destructive, manipulative people?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

33 weeks and swollen

I guess each week will have a theme. This week is definitely "swollen". My feet are big puffy pillows. I can only fit into one pair of sandals, the ones that adjust with velcro. I can't even wear flip flops, b/c my feet won't go into them. My hands don't really LOOK swollen, but my wedding ring was stuck on for several days and I only managed to squeeze it off last night. I wake up every morning with my fingers totally stiff and painful. I don't know if this is just a phase or if it will last up until delivery.

I have another check-up in one week, and then I start twice weekly monitoring at 35 weeks. I can't believe we're already almost there. 35 weeks is only 3 weeks away from being comfortably full term. 35 weeks is also my 3-year wedding anniversary with the best husband in the world. We hoped their birthday might coincide with our anniversary, but that is really too early to be born.

Our house is coming along, but very slowly. I could write a whole list of complaints about our contractor, but I won't. I now understand why everyone hates contractors. Things are just taking forever. The good news is that I've done a lot of work on the nursery. Besides painting it a nice peachy-orange color, I've moved in all the babies' stuff, and the husband and sister moved in our armoire, which is still in the middle of the room since the contractor hasn't put in baseboards yet (sigh). I got two crib mattresses, and cribs are on the way. We brought over our wonderful Peruvian wall hanging, which is perfect for a children's room, and also goes with the wall color. I'll put up some pictures as soon as we have baseboards and cribs.

In the meantime, I'm really enjoying having time off of work. I really hated working. I'm not used to spending my day alone, and having it so unstructured, but it's been so wonderful for catching up on naps and getting things done. I haven't exactly been bored!

More updates soon, and hopefully pics, too.