Saturday, November 24, 2007

I can see my feet (and so can people on the moon)

Thanks so much for all of the good wishes, and sorry for the abrupt cessation of communication. After all of my whinging about having made no progress at my last checkup, to my great shock, I passed my mucus plug and started having contractions two days later. The morning of the third day, my water abruptly broke, so off to the hospital I went. The following morning, November 19th, Eggbert arrived.

The birth was difficult, but the ending was wonderful. I'll tell the birth story in detail soon. Meanwhile, I just wanted to announce her safe arrival, and give the vital stats.

Eggbert is a little girl. Born at 40 weeks, 6 days, she weighed in at only 2.88 kg (6 pounds 5 ounces). She is healthy and voracious. We love her passionately. I'm tearing up just writing this.

While she is utterly perfect, her mama is still a bit of a mess. My feet are so swollen that I swear they actually make a sloshing sound when I move, I had an episiotomy and a tear, so things down south are a bit fragile at the moment, and my pelvis is improving, but slowly. I can now walk without crutches, but it still hurts, so I'm trying to minimize my movements. None of this matters at all, though, because she's HERE!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thank you

Thank you dear friends in the internet for your words of encouragement, and also for in some cases undoubtedly biting your tongues when you wanted to slap me upside the head. You said exactly what I needed to hear, and I am truly grateful.

It has been a hard week. I think that the thing that made it the hardest was that I genuinely did not expect this to happen. The third trimester has been so generally drama-free (other than the IUGR scare) and comfortable that I had stopped preparing for bad things to happen. And so when something relatively minor happened, I freaked out, and acted like I was the first person in the world ever to be miserable after going past their due date. Oops!

Before we moved to Korea, Mystery and I lived in southern California. His work was only about five minutes away from my work, so we drove in together in the mornings. Every day, we'd listen to the news on the way. One day, there was a human interest bit about a book on happiness. It wasn't about the philosophical underpinnings of happiness, or the meaning of life, or anything like that, but rather a series of practical tips to maximize your chances of making good decisions for yourself. The author's main thesis was that people are absolutely terrible at imagining how they will feel in a given situation that they have never actually experienced. We all THINK that we're pretty good at it, but we are wrong more often than not. Therefore, the author advocated talking to people who are actually IN that situation and finding out how they feel about it, rather than trusting our own imagination. His point was that if you're considering a new job, or a move, or what have you, you should talk to people who actually DO that job, or live in that place, and see how they like it, and give their reactions some real weight when making your decision.

At the time, I was struggling with infertility, and it really struck me how right he was about the fact that it is just about impossible to imagine how infertility feels if you're not actually infertile. I don't think it's possible to go through the day as a "fertile" and really see how many little insults and booby traps are out there. The happy moms. The pregnant bellies. The "innocent", but shockingly painful questions: "do you have children?", "do you ever think about having children?", "why did you decide not to have children?" or my all-time favorite "when do you think you'll start a family?" The commercials, oh god the commercials. Nobody who hasn't had to sit through the "having a baby changes everything" commercial the day of yet another BFN and managing not to cry, vomit, or strangle the nearest person simply out of sheer indecision as to which would be the most profitable course of action, or had to attend a baby shower after two years of trying, or endured the 25th pregnancy announcement that month (14 of which are described as "accidents"), can really understand what it's like.

Up until now, pregnancy hadn't been much like that author said, though. The conception was, rather obviously, quite different from the standard experience. My first trimester, I was so distracted a family medical crisis that I barely had time to feel the morning sickness. The second trimester, which is supposed to be such a breeze, was a bit of a nightmare. And the third trimester, which is supposed to be so hard, was rather a breeze. Add to that living a million miles from my family and old friends, and living in a small, obviously temporary, flat, so no baby shower and no decorating of the nursery (the baby will share our room), no choices about cloth diapers vs. disposables, dealing with unfamiliar baby products right and left, and it's not really surprising, I guess, that I had been feeling like my pregnancy was fairly unique in the history of the world. Well, of course it IS unique to me, but it was hardly realistic to think that mine was really that special or different, odd though my life circumstances may be.

So, I really shouldn't have been surprised to find out that the last few weeks of pregnancy are hard, and that going past your due date is frustrating. EVERYBODY says so. All of the books. All of my friends (in the computer and "real life"). All of the strangers who so generously share their experiences on the internet. My mother. My sister. My cousins and aunts. And yet, it turns out that I had been imagining myself sailing into labor and delivery and just popping Eggbert out without breaking a sweat.

Now that I'm over the disappointment, I actually think that my hubris was kind of funny. So here I am to tell you that, guess what? The last few weeks of pregnancy are hard. Going past your due date is frustrating. Labor must REALLY hurt if people mainly talk about that, rather than the week or so leading up to the delivery.

I saw my doctor yesterday. Still no signs of progress whatsoever. Eggbert is in a position that most babies reach by 28 weeks. I will be induced next Thursday (the 22nd) if nothing changes between now and then. I'll be 41w 2d.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bloggers remorse

Well, it's been only four hours since my last post, and I'm already drowning in guilt for complaining. I know that so many people would do just about anything to be in my situation. Heck, 40 weeks and two days ago, I would have done just about anything to be in my situation. I am thrilled to be here. Really I am. It's a dream come true. I'm just having a bad day, and my butt hurts.

No more Mrs. Nice Preggo

OK, now I'm just pissed off. The pain on the left side of my pelvis has gotten worse, and now it feels like I'm being stabbed every time I try to take a step. So, I'm overdue, in pain, and can barely walk, and yet people are STILL not rushing to do my bidding. What on earth is the matter with them? Why I just hobbled to the bank today (all of about 50 meters from my apartment), and people didn't even get out of the way of my mammoth form as I lurched awkwardly down the street, leaning so hard on Mystery's shoulder that I had serious concerns about breaking it. One young woman, a member of a high-heeled gaggle of college students walking in parallel, actually plowed right into the fist that I was holding threateningly at my side in an attempt to stop people from crashing into me. And I wasn't even sorry. THAT's the state I'm in.

Of course then I got to the bank, and it took me about half an hour on my rapidly-swelling feet to convince the teller that yes, I really did want to pay my bills there, even though it was the WRONG BRANCH, and they would therefore have to charge me an extra dollar, which I could easily save just by walking an extra two blocks and paying at the right branch. Unfortunately, my Korean is simply not up to the task of saying "if it's two blocks away, it might as well be on the moon to me these days", or "I'm willing to pay an extra thousand if you can induce labor while you're at it!".*

If you were ever wondering whether I am a great big whiner, or just play one on TV, please put your doubts to rest. I'm the worst. I realize intellectually that I am incredibly lucky. Against all odds, I have managed to carry a pregnancy to term (and beyond). This is incredible. I should celebrate. And I will, as soon as someone gets this long-awaited baby out of me!

Eggbert, honey, don't be upset. We've had a good run. I've loved having you in me. I cherished those kicks, my growing belly, the sight of you on the ultrasound, even the digestive issues that ensued, because I wanted you so badly, and love you so much. Being pregnant with you has been one of the highlights of my life, and I know that when it's over, I will miss it. However, all good things must come to an end, and I am now ready to take our relationship to the next level. Don't you think it's time?

* (If the whole paying bills at the bank thing doesn't make sense to you, bear with me, it doesn't make sense to me either, but nothing about the financial world in Korea does, and yet things hum along here with astonishing vitality, forcing me to admit that as foreign as the system is to me, it does work. For other people anyway.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Well, that's interesting

I had been thinking that as long as I didn't actually say how utterly amazed I was that I hadn't had any lower back pain at all during this pregnancy, I wouldn't jinx myself. Well, it turns out that thoughts can jinx too. Yesterday I woke up with a sore sacroiliac joint (the back of the pelvis), and by mid-afternoon, I couldn't even walk. So much for my plans to work right up to my due date (tomorrow). I spent today at home in my pajamas instead. Not so bad, I guess.

Only one week until induction if nothing happens sooner. If my pelvis doesn't get better, it's going to be a very long week.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Still no progress

Today, as the doctor completed my internal exam, she didn't say anything. She just gave me a sympathetic look and shook her head. Then once I was clothed again, she started talking about the induction that we'll schedule at my exam next week. So, I guess there's no need to pack my hospital bag yet.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Remind me never to leave the house

So, today I thought I'd run one final baby-preparation errand. I realized a little while ago that we don't have any diaper/nappy rash cream. So, I thought I'd run out and pick some up at the (somewhat fancy) store near our flat. Mystery said "don't you think it might be a little expensive there?" I said "yeah, probably, but how bad can it be? It's diaper rash cream!"

The answer: $34.00

On what planet are people willing to pay $34.00 for a little bottle of something that you spread on your kid's butt?

Friday, November 2, 2007

No progress

Well, I saw the doctor on Thursday, and the official cervical prognosis is "no progress whatsoever". Eggbert is still fine, healthy, and in training for a brilliant soccer career, but doesn't seem to have any interest in coming out soon. Who knew that my uterus was such a comfortable spot?