Friday, May 29, 2009

BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Mum called to say that an ambulance had just arrived to take Nan back to the hospital for reevaluation.
The pain hasn't really gone away and as of Thursday she's been incontinent every time she's stood up.
The urologist who came out to see her yesterday suggested there's something more going on than just the fractured pelvis, possibly nerve damage.
They went to take her in today, but couldn't get her to move: Apparently the pain she's describing as "worse than childbirth."
Thus the ambulance with the nice strong men and pain drugs.


And me? I'm at the unfun part of being pregnant. Can't breathe properly. Can't fit more than a half cup of food or water in my stomach at any one time and not more than a few times a day. Feel like I've got both a pulled stomach muscle from coughing AND a floating rib in the back there somewhere. And the lovely Braxton Hicks contractions are starting to HURT now.
Can't even sit in a position that's comfy to blog about it, and crying is hard to do when can't breathe very well, so that's adding to the anxiety and miserableness that I can't get it out in my usual ways.
Off to blubber on my obgyn's shoulder. {sigh}

There's been other stuff going on, both good and bad, but see unable to blog.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Bit o' this, bit o' that.

Yesterday I was feeling somewhat less sore and sorry for myself. So, I made sure I took my new way of doing things under advisement. Don't do what I think I should be able for, do what I can! Because, really? Going like a bull at a gate trying to get everything done leads to one or more recovery days. Days that I could have had the same amount of work spread out over them with a lot less pain and aggravation for all concerned!

Thus, I went to Ralphs to pick up the puff pastry I forgot on Monday. I also checked out a local Motherhood Maternity in case they, by some freakish chance, actually had some clothes in my size. Besides walking/waddling--mmm nice cool mall--is good for a sore back, or so I'd heard. My back was definitely less irritated with me because I remembered to take a thinnish cushion to support my upper and middle back. (Thanks to pedal extenders, I can put seat back to where legs and belly are comfy, but as of about a two weeks ago, arms are now too short and I'm hunching forward to barely reach the steering wheel.)

After no luck then I almost gave up and went home, but instead of pouting I went to Costco. The thought of pushing one of those big trolleys around, in the heat especially, had me feeling nervous. But I psyched myself up with thoughts of what women have to do in other parts of the world with a toddler on each hip AND one in the belly! Pushing a trolley? Piece of cake!

Luckily it was only a few staples like milk, eggs, chicken (whole and breasts), fruit'n'veg, nuts etc but those bulk packets add up pretty quick! When I got home, I remembered to use the hand truck this time, AND even one better, left it at the top of the step or two coming up from the garage. Threw all the stuff on it, then up the elevator and inside. Wasn't able to put the truck away though as lifting it back up out of the horizontal and reconfiguring it to vertical position was beyond me at that point.

I did get the groceries put away. and ate some lunch. Mmmm cheese and crackers with fresh pear and kiwi fruit, plus Ribena with sparkling mineral water.

I debated with myself about doing some dishes and/then cooking chickens, sausage rolls and or soup (or cook all of the above and ignore the dishes), but again forcefully reminded myself of my new manifesto for more even work habits rather than fits and starts So I compromised, I roasted the two chickens and left the rest of the to do items alone.

Speaking of, I wonder if I've been eating enough fat recently, or if it was just something about the chicken fat yesterday that had me going hog wild? I like crispy chicken skin, but in small portions and only straight out of the oven. Usually I have my piece of chicken with the skin on and I'm satisfied. The rest of the chicken I eat is skin free, even if I go back for more in the same meal. Yesterday, for afternoon tea I ate all of the skin from one chicken, and one drumstick skin portion of the other. (plus two drumsticks, one thigh and two wings.) Also hinting to lacking in something, I then went and slept off the 'snack'. Dinner was again what I was hungry for but simply almonds, fruit, and yoghurt. (This has also been continuing to amaze me, this wanting so much fruit when it's hot. A pregnancy dietary change I hope I can continue once Kiddlywink arrives.)

I didn't want to have to buy any more maternity clothes, but yesterday I realised that if the weather continues this hot, I'm gonna needs some more shorts and tops. (Normal cut, but larger, ones aren't comfy anymore. Belly needs the support from the pregnancy clothes.) Oh! And plus nightgowns for when visitors are here. Oddly enough, in the plus size clothes the ONLY clothes they have for nursing are nightgowns and bras. Plenty of nursing tops/blouses/workclothes etc for slim women but NONE at all for plus size. NONE! (Overweight women only nurse in the bedroom, obviously.) I thought I couldn't be any more shocked about clothing discrimination...and then I find out the next level.

A completely disgraceful amount of money later, I have a blouse/shorts set, 2 nightgowns (one I'll have to alter to short sleeve), 1 pair Capri pants, and 1 tank top. Thankfully, with sizing I did allow for these to be worn after the birth also. The disgraceful amount of money looks truly shock worthy once I converted it to Australian dollars. (Used up the birthday and Christmas money I had stashed away there, as well as some of our Aussie trip spending money left over from last time.) With needing to buy blinds for the windows, hopefully to cut down on enough of the awful heat in Kiddlywink's room, (as I discovered yesterday during afternoon nap,) and possibly need to also purchase an air conditioner, I didn't feel justified hitting up any of the other budgetary categories for the money for these clothes. Especially when there was money in my Aussie account. (Also bought another indoor clothes airer last week with the account as well, so now it's looking kinda deflated.)

After an instant messenger convo with Dr Kay, plus then a virtual shopping trip with Raina (both looking at website and comparing things we like via instant messenger) at one of my new favouritest shops. Santa will DEFINITLY be doing shopping there later this year! I felt much better.

Felt even better when I realised in two weeks Raina will be having a layover at LAX on her way to somewhere else in the US. (And she then confirmed her family trip to California is ON for later this year. YEEHAW!) So, no coffee/snacks after the virtual shopping trip, but we're saving it for the layover.

And that's part of what I've been missing lately. Everyone has been so busy lately, me included, either working, being sick, having operations, or with just general life stuff, that we really haven't had time for our regular phonecalls/emails/IMs etc. And when we have connected up, me and Alaskagirl in particular {pout}, we've sort of been ships in the night. Timing for one has sucked for the other.

No WONDER I've been feeling lonely! The little social life I do have had fizzled badly over the past 6 weeks or so and I hadn't really noticed, other than subconsciously, because of how busy/tired I'd also been.

Come bed time? Was SO very glad I'd drawn the line with the chores. My hip was even less happy than the night before. (At one point I didn't know if I'd be able to complete cleaning myself after the toilet, let alone get back up off the thing!) So, first thing this morning I went for a swim again. (literally, was up at 7:30am, almost unheard of these days!) Back enjoyed that once the kinks and aches stopped hurting.

This afternoon I have a maternity tour of the hospital, thankfully only an hour long, but will be driving home in peak hour. Will see how the bod goes after that. May end back at the pool again this evening.

Happy Thursday!(Friday if you're in the Southern Hemisphere!)

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ups and Downs.

The nesting instinct is a bitch. Especially when coupled with looser joints/ligaments.

Frustrated by how fickle my energy levels have been recently, I celebrated yesterday's high energy day by going grocery shopping. I covered Ralph's but skipped Costco in favour of coming home for lunch. When I got home I realised it was probably the smartest move to make as it took me four trips to and fro to just get those groceries into the house.

Had lunch, threw one corned beef into the freezer and put the other two on to cook. Yes, that's three of them. Considering we haven't been able to find any since February, I took my chances while the getting was good! (At least the brand we get, which is the only one we can find with their spices still contained in the little plastic packet instead of mixed in with the beef. They all used to do that. Why change? Ruined the flavour completely the one time we went ahead and bought one anyway.) While that was cooking I called mum to natter a bit. Have been feeling a bit down lately and it kinda came out when I blubbered on the phone at her. (funny aside, our family is known for it's twilightzone-like coincidences..and what did mum pull out of the fridge and put on to cook while I was on the phone? A corned beef. Again, something they haven't had in ages and just happened to pick up the day before.)

I know that I have chosen, and continue to choose, to live in this city with Alaskaboy. That fact doesn't change how I FEEL. Especially not here and now with pregnancy hormones adding their own unique impetus to things. I feel lonely. Engagement and Marriage was bad enough with both families spread so far apart. At least in some small way we had nearby friends to help fill the gap a little.

Now, there are no friends nearby.

Mum and Dad had hoped to be able to time their holidays to come out for the birth, but that just wasn't feasible. Mom and Dad aren't sure if they'll be able to come out now at all because of the knee-replacement surgery Mom had a few weeks ago. Especially with this latest flu scare. Mom must avoid any chance of catching any form of viral or bacterial infection, else her knee could end up all kinds of screwed up. And Alaskagirl? She had jury duty the other week which has hampered her efforts to try and get enough work done to take some time off to allow for her own family commitments as well as possibly coming to visit us for a week. Dr Kay, apart from never having had children, also has family, social and work commitments, as well as a new relationship on her very full plate.

After visiting Alaskaboy's work last week, I realised just how lonely I have been feeling. Not just lonely, but also uncelebrated. To Alaskaboy and I, this is our first wanted pregnancy and is extremely special. To the rest of the world, it's nice and all, but they have their own lives to lead. (Which is as it should be.)

Logically, I understand all of this stuff. Emotionally? Fuck no!

Last week at his work, hearing all the "pregnant lady coming through" comments. Or having people ask how it's going, giving advice, telling their own stories etc etc It hammered home the loneliness. I know I have my virtual workplace with all of you guys encouraging me along. I have family and friends to be grateful for. I have a wonderful supportive husband. But apart from that husband, there's only me and Kiddlywink here.

Where's the icing on my cake? I want the baby shower with all the fun and games. A cake for wishing me well on my maternity leave at work. I want to go shopping with family and friends. I want people to rub my belly. I want it to be easy to receive hand-me-downs instead of paying a fortune to ship things. I hate hearing the wistfulness in Nan's voice as she wishes she could come and visit. I hate getting all that advice to truly "let" people help you when they ask is their anything they can do when they 'drop on by'.

I feel like I did the eve of my actual wedding. When it finally hit me, that I was going through an important rite of passage, and all my female peeps were elsewhere. Through my own actions/choices but again it didn't make it suck any less. (I've even looked into getting a doula, because I really would like one. But holy shit are they way out of our budget!)

Most days I'm fine. And I truly do mean most. But there's been a day or two here recently where I've started to fret. And I finally blubbered about it to mum on the phone. Alaskaboy copped it the other two times prior. Once in a baby furniture parking lot where I'd just parked the car prior to entering the store. LOL

All the what ifs are coming up in my mind. So far, of the necessities, we only have some baby clothes, a dresser, a breastpump, car seat and stroller, plus one mysterious package that has arrived from the baby registry. (As yet unopened as we're waiting for any other packages that may arrive, to do more than one thing per episode.) Myself personally, I was born five weeks early and most people I know had their children some form of early. So, in the back of my mind, the "due date" is only a possible date that may or may not be reached.

Nine and a half weeks, from today, possibly, if Kiddlywink comes "on time". That's not much time. And I'm starting to panic. I already have a hard time with waiting till a reasonable time before starting to prepare for visitors. I like my t's crossed and i's dotted days before a lot of visitors have even started thinking about packing their own suitcases. LOL And that's for a visitor! Imagine how I'm getting for this new person, whose arrival date/time is so up in the air!

On top of all this is knowing how much hotter the weather's going to get. How much more unwieldy my belly is going to be. We'll be doing some pre-childbirth classes on some of the upcoming weekends too, so even less time for stuff. AND not knowing how much more tired/fatigued I'll be. Pre-birth let alone afterwards.

Case in point. After I got off the phone with mum, I cooked some bolognese sauce, did a heap of dishes but still didn't get them all done (SIGH!), swept the kitchen and also made a meatball mexicana casserole. (see pre-prepared dishes in freezer running low.) I HAD planned to go back out to Costco and get the rest of the groceries, but it was late at night and I was stuffed from "all" that I'd done that day.

So stuffed, I had a warm bath before bed, but was then too tired to ice any of the aching bits.

Last night had a shitty sleep. Every hour on the hour I was awake. Couldn't get comfy, too hot, too cold, weird dreams, Kiddlywink danced the night away, I peed, etc etc ad nauseum.

This morning when I got up? It was like I'd never transitioned to the airbed. Each toilet trip during the night was a painful hobble with me worrying each step would see the sacroiliac joint give up the ghost.. And by morning I had managed to get out to the freezer and bring an icepack back in with me, which helped only a little. Today's Costco trip? A non-event. Too bad for the rest of the cooking and cleaning I'd also planned. Too bad for the remainder of the April birthday presents we still haven't finished wrapping. Too bad for Mother's day stuff to go out on time.

I spent the day alternating between dozing on the bed and sitting on the yoga ball. I didn't even dare get in the bath in case I couldn't get out again. By evening I felt okay enough to gingerly drive down to the pool. Again a little improvement from an hour spent in the water.

All of this is only adding to my fears and sense of loneliness. Feeling useless because I can't do even half the things my nesting instinct is wanting me to do. Needing Alaskaboy's help for so many simple things is driving us both nuts. As is my constant use of the phrase "I meant to." Thing is I do MEAN to do those things, but I'll forget, or only half do it before getting too pooped to continue. I've almost given up planning/promising/or attempting to do anything that he may have foreknowledge of. That way IF anything gets done even half right, hey it's a bonus! (Was so proud that I managed to ask not only if our insurance covers doulas, but alsoremembering to ask for a list of paediatricians and how to add kiddlywink to our health insurance once s/he arrives. Very impressive since I was on hold for half an hour, at nap time, and nodding off so bad I'd drop the phone/pen every other few minutes or so.)

And as I said, I've only felt like this a few days on and off so far. (We won't even mention the niggling worries that are starting to crop up about the actual delivery and aftermath.) I know a lot of these things I'm feeling a normal, and that I'm feeling them to a lesser degree and nowhere near as often as some women do.

I don't like this sense of feeling out of control, or that my body is no longer my own, or that I'm having to juggle what does or doesn't get done, while in fact nothing ever gets completed fully.

OH!

Wait.

Did I really just say that?

This is just practice for the years to come, isn't it? Welcome to Being a Parent!

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

SO Angry, I Actually Spluttered.

Went out on location for lunch with Alaskaboy yesterday, and ended up staying to wrap. (7 hrs later) I didn't realise I hadn't seen everyone since the end of season party last year! No wonder we had stacks to talk about.

As I'm typing this, I realised the main drive behind me going out to his work for lunch was threefold a) the location was easy to get to and park right nearby for free, b) because on location is catered. Rather than just the craft service truck which is mainly a sandwich bar with snack stuff/drinks etc. and c) I really had reached cabin fever point about a week ago and needed to get out of the house for a reason other than shopping, doctor's appointments or baby stuff. You know, socialise.

The secondary underlying drive was simple, I couldn't face waiting around the house for Mum to call with further news on Nan. Just. Couldn't.

Glad I didn't! Got home VERY ready for falling into bed. Started to listen to message on machine but didn't get beyond "Hi it's Mum" because Dr Kay called for news. Promised to call back asap, then called Mum right away.

Now. The bit I was fuzzy on yesterday? Not fuzzy anymore. My blood pressure wishes I was still though.

Nan has been a little doddery on her feet recently, even stumbling on totally smooth hardwood floors. (She has a walker but hates to use it.) This is the reason Aunty who lives with her has said "there's nothing you need to do outdoors all the plants are watered, any chores you want to do, PLEASE stick with the indoor ones while I'm not home." (trying to help but probably a red flag to the bull.) Ironically, she's fabulous on stairs because she's extra careful to pick her feet up properly. So yes she did get tangled up in her slippers and/or stumbled while turning around to come back into the house and fell.

She crawled up the three back steps to the porch, and then managed to use the back door to lever herself up onto her feet. (Angry point number one: she's s'posed to have the phone out in the kitchen with her during the day, not sitting up in the lounge room cradle..but habit prevails and it always goes back into the bloody cradle. I suggested months ago that she get a second handset FOR the kitchen, but that went nowhere.)

She's somehow made it as far as the lounge room, traversing the whole length of the house, but then sat on the couch because she literally couldn't go any farther. There was no "good timing" or "soon after" about the phone call from Aunty. THREE HOURS SHE SAT ON THE CHAIR! THREE HOURS! With a torturous break to commando crawl back up the hallway, past the kitchen, to pee in the shower and then back to the chair.

{continue outraged spluttering}

When Aunty did call she only just managed to get to the phone in time from the chair. She refused to call an ambulance, even when Aunty said you need to call one right now, because she'd only had a "little bit of a fall" and didn't call anyone else because she couldn't remember anyone's numbers. (Logically I know she was probably in complete shock and wouldn't have remembered to use the rolodex either. But am betting there was also the underlying "don't want to be a nuisance" thing she does so well. Hopefully now she'll let them implement another suggestion we had years ago which was all the important numbers in large print stuck to the wall right near the phone.)

When she wouldn't listen to Aunty, Aunty hung up and went up the next rung in the sibling ladder, my mum. Mum called back. Sometime between calls the t.v. was all of a sudden turned on. (Sneaky ol' bugger trying to pretend she was all normal!) BUT the volume was too loud and when she stood up again to go turn it down, mum heard all of her pain noises, moans/howls/oohs and ouches etc. She didn't make it past standing before sitting back on the couch.

Aunty by this point had spoken to her bosses and told them she was going home. Got Mum on call waiting to let her know and called the ambulance while she was on her way home. (How DO the emergency services get into the house if there's no one capable of letting them inside?)

We're hoping it's been a lesson for Nan, without destroying her confidence completely. And also a foot up the bum for Aunty to go down to the housing department and get her name put on the lease as co-renter.

Mind you, it should be no surprise she survived this. Legionnaires Disease didn't kill her when the Dr misdiagnosed it as a cold on the Friday and sent her home for the weekend. (when she lived alone and again she didn't call anybody and subsisted on nothing but jelly beans and water for the whole weekend before giving in and calling someone Monday morning.)

She's stubborn in the wrong ways, but thankfully stubborn in the right ways too! I love her dearly, and alternately curse and praise her stubbornness.

Really good news: Nan's been moved to the rehab centre part of the hospital. Decor and locale are dreary, BUT they don't just slob around in gowns. They're breakfasted, showered and dressed before attending any rehab sessions. (I know the gown thing would depress nan totally!) They're think she should be good to come home in a couple weeks. YAY.

After all that I called Dr Kay back, we spluttered together as did Alaskaboy hearing the story while I related it to her. (didn't have energy to tell it twice and it was past all of our bedtimes.) Went to call back Alaskagirl who'd also left an earlier message on the machine, but realised it was way late for her too.

So we stumbled off to my room to make space for Kiddlywink's chest of drawers that are due to be delivered today and then fell into bed.

SO very glad I wasn't nearby to get that phone call earlier in the afternoon. Would have worked myself into a fine state by the time Alaskaboy got home.

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