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37 weeks!

Full term babies!

That’s all 🙂

The babies are looking good, though actually measuring a little smaller than I’d like (5.5 and 6.5lbs). They used to be really close in size and they’re both dropping percentiles kind of quickly. About 3 weeks ago Baby A was in the 51st%tile and B in the 31st. Now Baby A is in the 35th%tile and B is only in the 9th. This concerns me partially because of O, whose giant head and long legs made them overestimate his size on late term ultrasounds (by about 2 lbs. My “giant baby” was a totally average 7lbs6oz with an enormous head and LONG chicken legs). These babies are similarly proportioned, so I’m worried that those measurements are off in a bad way.

The MFM seemed entirely unconcerned (I guess. He never even comes in to my appointments. I just get messages from the nurses). They are upping the non-stress tests to 2x a week. I’m still concerned about the drop in percentiles. The nurse at the MFMs says it sometimes happens at the end with twins because they run out of room. My belly is measuring 45 weeks.

Here’s what 12lbs of babies look like (36w5d):
36w5d

My c-section scheduled for March 1st. I’m REALLY dreading more surgery. Like a lot. I was put under 5x in the course of 13 months (~2009), and I just don’t want the pain or to associate that with the birth of my kids. (If you’re keeping count, that’s 2 laps for endometriosis, sinus surgery, a colonoscopy and an egg retrieval for IVF. Really only the first 3 hurt like mo-fos)

While the pain of childbirth doesn’t phase me, the surgical pain is freaking me out a bit. Like I can’t think about it without crying. I had really bad pain with my last lap, and I guess that kind of referred shoulder pain isn’t uncommon with a c-section. I just can’t picture taking care of two babies, getting them to nurse, honestly even being aware of their existence when in that much pain. I actually have a pretty high threshold for pain (endometriosis tends to breed that), but the pain should be bad BEFORE the babies are born and then get better. This time it will be backwards. I thought I had come to terms with it, but a breakdown in the midwife’s office today would indicate otherwise…Pretty much talking about it makes me cry, so I guess any sense of calm I had gained by doing the birth plan is shot to hell as it gets closer. It doesn’t help that midwife A’s assurance that most of what I requested is feasible is probably not. Midwife B, who I love for being a straight shooter said a lot of it’s probably not going to happen. Makes me wonder why I even bothered to write the damn thing.

I also am feeling like a passive patient in the birth of my babies, which is really hard for me to deal with. I wasn’t in the room when they were conceived, and I feel like I’m going to be the least active participant in the room when they’re born.

TMI below:

I was supposed to come home and call a home health care company about coming out and teaching me to catheterize myself since I’ve been having major issues peeing. Instead the woman who watches O on Friday’s son got sick and I came and got him, met B for coffee/cocoa as planned and was completely wiped when I got home and HAD to nap. Like immediately. Didn’t even have lunch despite being famished (which may have something to do with why I lost a pound this week. Oops.) Fortunately O napped with me. I woke up too late to call home health before the weekend, which I guess doesn’t matter because I’m pretty sure they weren’t going to come help me on a Friday afternoon anyway. FML. I hope I have a few good days of peeing before Monday rolls around…It’s not always terrible, but when it’s bad it’s AWFUL.

I can’t believe I’m 10 days from the birth of these long awaited babies, and feeling like this…

I mean, I know they poop.

But I was reading something about mustard seed poop and had completely forgot that existed.

Gross.

It reminded me of a famous explosion in the St. Louis Airport. We cloth diaper except when traveling, so never really dealt with blowouts. When we went to DC for the weekend when O was about 4 months old, he didn’t poop the whole time we were there, for some reason. Then it exploded EVERYWHERE in the middle of the St. Louis Airport between flights. It was epic. And gross. And has forever colored my view of St. Louis. We ran around like chickens with our heads cut off.

It’s hard to go back once you’re used to a kid who can (mostly) wipe his own butt!

I’ll get used to this again, right?

Nobody has spit up milk on me a while either.

See, this is why I wanted my kids 2 years apart. I’m all spoiled by O’s independence now.

We have a birthday*!

March 1st. *Or maybe March 2nd. *Or maybe they’ll come before then.

I was ALLLL excited to book a date today to know when I could do exciting things like lay on my back or sit comfortably in a chair, or PEE!!!

Unfortunately, the OBs office was running 40 minutes behind (sigh.) The lady who does the scheduling had already gone home for the day by the time they called me back.

So they could tell me maybe the 1st or maybe the 2nd, but not for sure. Hopefully they can schedule it for one of those mornings, but maybe not. (OMG, if I have to fast from midnight until 3pm or something, I am going to be a raving LUNATIC WHO WILL EAT MY ARM!)

The good news is that Baby A’s butt is a bit more of a cork in my cervix than it has been, so that reduces the risk of cord prolapse, thus allowing them to schedule closer to 38w than 37.

Baby B is no longer vertex, but I guess that matters about as much as when he WAS vertex since Baby A is the one who has to be head down for me to avoid a c-section.

Oh, and nobody has any idea why I can’t pee nor any good ideas about how to fix it. They say a urologist probably can’t get me in until after I deliver and probably wouldn’t do anything when I’m pregnant anyway, so they best they can offer is to show me how to catheterize myself. But nobody wants to do that in case I cause a bladder infection. (Seriously, I don’t think a bladder infection could possibly make me MORE uncomfortable.)

Today I couldn’t pee for about 4 hours, and I desperately had to go for that whole time. At least before it was just happening during the night.

Interesting twin tidbit. I thought they delivered twins closer to 38w because of issues with the placenta(s) deteriorating faster. He said they also develop faster as a response to having extra stress in the womb because of sharing space. So a 38w twin is actually developmentally pretty close to a 40w singleton. That makes me feel a lot better about them coming a few weeks early.

As I get closer and closer to term, I hear a lot of versions of “Good job baking those babies, mama!” I wish I could take some credit, but it always makes me cringe a little bit. I picture how Moms of preemies must feel hearing those words with the silent implication that they did NOT do a good job. Really, I just got lucky. They got terribly, traumatically UNlucky.

Yes, I avoided doing cocaine, drinking alcohol and working as a prostitute, all high risk activities when pregnant, I imagine. I tried to eat well, listen to my doctors/midwives about sticking to walking, swimming, and yoga, and tried to stay off my feet when the contractions got scarily close together early on. I think not working the last few weeks probably brought me a little more time, or it at least makes me feel a lot better, physically. But preemie Moms did everything for their babies too, and they got dealt a really crappy hand.

I just can’t help thinking how frickin’ LUCKY I am, though. I was always nervous to put back two embryos because of the higher risks associated with a twin pregnancy. O was in the hospital/NICU for a WEEK after he was born, and it was the most traumatic week of my life.

So today I meet with the OB/GYN and choose a c-section date. Because of the risk of cord prolapse due to Baby A’s weird position, they may come almost 3 weeks early. No big deal, right? 37 weeks is “full term.” But it IS a big deal. There’s so much the body does to prepare babies for the world, and what if we’re rushing things? What if they are born with no sucking reflex or eating problems? Those are both things that babies born a few weeks early can struggle with. Trying to get O to breast feed in the NICU was HELL and not something I’d like to repeat. My memories of his first week are generally not happy ones. They’re stressful, painful and traumatic.

But waiting another week has different risks. If I’m dilated and my water breaks (which is how my labor with O started), the cord could slip out and deprive baby A of oxygen, obviously a big risk.

This debate over a week is such a luxury, though. I think of friends who had babies born much too soon, with NICU stays that were months long instead of days, and all I can think is how lucky I am. So YAY for 36 weeks! But fingers crossed for 1-2 more.

Riddle me this…

Question:How do you time one LOOOOONNNNGGGG contraction that just doesn’t stop?
Basically, it’s been going on since noon or so, if I’m standing or sitting, that shit hurts. A lot. And is hard as a rock.

Answer:You don’t. You just get in bed, drink some water (unless it’s after 6pm since you can’t pee after 10) and hope it goes away. I guess? My ho-ha hurts.

Yesterday (Tuesday? It all blurs together) I went to Target and got knocked over by a couple of contractions that had me leaning over the cart breathing through them.

I get the feeling that if I went on a LONG walk, it might get things moving, but it’s still a little early. It might also just hurt like a mofo and make me eat my words.

So ladies who know more about late-term development than me, at what point do I start doing jumping jacks? 37 weeks? 36 is too soon, right? Just don’t ever encourage anything and wait for the c-section date?

I’ve lost my Zen

I had come to terms with the c-section over the last couple weeks, but I think I’ve lost my zen again.

It’s hard to come to terms with being a passive extra in the birth of my children. I was not even in the room when they were conceived, and I’m having a hard time dealing with being the one who just lays there while somebody else delivers them, holds them, decides when they get to nurse for the first time, where they’ll be, etc.

Mostly, though, I’m seriously irritated that the things that I want (having the babies on my chest and with me at all times) are mostly restricted by hospital policy. Not because of safety, but because the hospital requires somebody be with the babies for the first 4 hours.

In theory a nurse from the nursery could stay in the OR after they’re born and escort us back to recovery. In practice, they’re itching to get back to the nursery so they can finish other duties.

I can’t say that much else matters LESS to me than the hospital’s routines and policies. Their policies should cater to a baby friendly/mommy friendly birth, not to convenience for the nurses.

In discussing all of this with my midwives again, it’s all kind of up in the air based on staffing that day, the individual nurses, how busy L&D is, etc.

I believe my last words to my midwife were “this is going to suck.” She said something like “but you’ll have your babies!” Yes, and the first thing they’ll learn about the world is that it’s cold, that they’ll get poked, jabbed and receive no comfort. That sucks for them.

Why do I feel like I have to go in there armed and ready for a fight?