When people ask how I’m doing, the short answer is Fine! And I am fine, for the most part. With every week (Thursdays!) and half-week (Sunday nights!) that passes, I worry less that this baby will be born prematurely. She is on the move all day long. Her movements can be seen through my tank top. Her kicks and rolls make me gasp at their force at least once a day. Not bad for a tiny human who weighs about two pounds. One thing’s for sure: she’s strong.
I still can’t relate to a lot of pregnant women. In fact, I probably relate less than I did, but I’m more comfortable with it. I can’t do prenatal yoga. Can’t join a pregnancy fitness class. The only birth class we’re taking is infant CPR. I’m not dreaming about a birth centre birth the way I was. I skip entire sections of books and websites that describe childbirth. I do feel sad sometimes that I’ve had to given up so much of my dream of what this process was supposed to be like. And then I remember that Baby is healthy. Baby is strong. Baby is alive and kicking. Everything else is secondary.
I’m focused on having a wonderful caesarean, and felt happier when I read that I’ll still experience the same natural high that vaginal deliveries evoke. I expect to get the shakes afterwards, and I expect to be in a lot of pain. But physical pain doesn’t scare me as much as emotional pain, and, barring the odd moment of intense anxiety, I think I am in a good place, emotionally.
But I do have moments of crazy —
What if the car crashes?
What if I trip and fall down the stairs?
What if I slip as I’m getting out the bath?
— and I try to remember that what I’ve signed up for is a lifetime of worry…
I’ve been preoccupied with three things this week: diastasis recti, hysterectomy, and gestational diabetes.
The diastasis recti leapt out at me in a book on caesareans. Oh, so that’s what that is! Wait, that’s not normal? The past couple of weeks I’ve noticed a little soft point below my belly button when I sit up from a reclining position. I assumed it was normal for your abdominal muscles to separate as the uterus grows. Apparently not. And apparently they won’t necessarily go back to their original positions. I wasn’t expecting to have a flat stomach after carrying a baby, but nor was I expecting to have a lumpy one! My OB says there’s nothing I need to do or avoid, hopefully it will resolve after pregnancy. Hopefully. For now, I’m being very careful to not exert my stomach muscles in case I aggravate them further.
Hysterectomy. This is probably my biggest fear (after delivering Baby prematurely). I’m frightened that they won’t be able to stop the bleeding after she’s born and I have visions of being told they’re going to need to remove my uterus, and I’m hysterical (yes) and DH is pulled out of the OR as they put me out, and the next thing I know is I’m waking up with no uterus. And maybe a very sick baby.
There. I said it. Begone, dreadful anti-fantasy!
Yet it keeps creeping back into my brain. I can’t shake the feeling that, with everything else I’ve kissed goodbye, why wouldn’t it be my uterus too? I have a reputation in my family for weird things happening to me. Remember the lumps in my breast? When I told my mum they were complex cysts, she rolled her eyes and laughed, Of course they were. Nothing is simple with you! The other day, my dad’s response to the confirmation that I would need a caesarean was similar: Well, we always knew this wouldn’t be straightforward. Nothing ever is with you, Lolly.
DH hugged me and scoffed at how ridiculous such statements are, but they still haunt me.
So, naturally, I expected to fail my two-hour glucose test today. On the way, I was preoccupied with the idea that if I passed it, and didn’t need further testing to confirm that I had gestational diabetes, then it would be a very good sign indeed that my body was cooperating, and that I wouldn’t need a life-saving hysterectomy in 10-11 weeks’ time.
By the time I got to the clinic, I was hungry, faint, and cranky. I’d resigned myself to two months of finger pricking, not eating what I wanted, and more belly injections. The woman who did my first blood draw was a pro, and watched me down 75ml of the most disgusting lime syrup vileness. The woman who did my second and third draws is the worst phlebotomist in the place. She’s poked me before, and my heart sank twice today. She said I’d get the results in four hours, and that if I needed to come back someone would call me.
Two hours later, I’d had a sugar high, a post-prandial crash (surely a sign of diabetes!), and a bruised vein and headache were well under way — was the latter caused by the glucose spike, lack of food, or lack of caffeine? I crammed a string cheese into my mouth as I made my way back to the car. I didn’t care that it was warm and salty, like cafeteria pasta. It settled Baby (who kicks when she’s hungry) and got me home in one piece. There, I made myself a cup of tea, toast with loads of butter and a little Marmite, and then passed out on the sofa.
I woke up a couple of hours later and realised no one had called me with bad news. Hmmm… And not 15 minutes later, an email came through telling me to log in to view my test results.
They were actually pretty good!
|GTT 1 Hour
|GTT 2 Hour
I DON’T HAVE GESTATIONAL DIABETES! MY BODY METABOLISED THE SHIT OUT OF THAT NASTY GLUCOSE DRINK! WHICH MEANS I MIGHT NOT END UP WITH A HYSTERECTOMY!
Not that I think having GD would have caused me to have a hysterectomy — I’m just so relieved that my body is cooperating on this one thing. So far it’s managed to provide a comfortable home for Baby V, and I’m thankful that it hasn’t alarmed me with any bleeding either, but I’m taking this as having cleared another major pregnancy milestone.
Speaking of which, according to one calculation, as of today, Tuesday August 12th, I’m now in the third trimester.
Baby V kicked, right on cue :)