Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Co-Sleeping Lesbians on a Full-size Bed

Our family lies on a full size bed. Our family currently consists of two mommies, one toddler, three stuffed animals, and a big belly that holds a baby. That makes seven of us in one full size bed, and I am even not counting the three extra pillows I require for sleeping each night (plus, I think Darah's legs need to count as an extra person since they kick us so often). It's tight. Cozy when we're watching television and reading books, cramped when it's 4:30 AM. We didn't plan for this when we decided to buy another full size mattress. Who knew that Po and Da Duck and Lambie (also known as "Wihmie") would be joining us! See, poor stuffed animals. They get all the blame for our nighttime discomforts and they cannot even defend themselves and their little, soft bodies, which, surprisingly, do pack in a lot of heat. Last week, Darah tried to add Pinkydog to her current collection of bedfellows. Luckily, though, I have managed to steer her away from adding Pd to the pack.

The real trouble, for me, with sleeping has been -what a surprise- pregnancy! I have three weeks, officially, until my due date arrives. It's kind of surreal. The days seem to be moving by quickly and the nights seem to be SO slow. The pains that I am experiencing with this late stage of pregnancy primarily occur in the night. It's amazing how lying down on my side, even with a pillow between my legs, can become extremely uncomfortable in such a short time. I usually fall asleep around 10:30 pm and wake up around (or before) 12 am to go to the bathroom and change sides. Then I wake up again around 2am with aches (that I try but fail to relieve by going to the bathroom), but it usually takes me another hour at least to fall asleep. And then Darah starts tossing and turning, calling out for "Mah-meeeeee" around 3:30 or 4 am. She ends up in our bed by 5 am, and it's usually around that time that I climb into her bed to sleep until 7 am. We have enough room in the bed, but she tends to sleep as close to me as possible. Somehow I always end up with a tiny amount of room and my belly suspended in the air over the edge of the bed. Not that the whole idea of it doesn't have it's endearing qualities, but it is hard to appreciate the coziness of it all in the middle of the night. I love having Darah snuggled into me...if only it weren't for this giant belly and all of the aches and pains!

About a week ago, I had an awfully painful night. It followed a moderately painful night. I thought I was going into back labor (but I was wrong - I am not yet one cm dilated). I woke up with EXCRUCIATING pains in my left pelvic region and lower back. I moaned and groaned and moved around and nothing helped. I started feeling like I had the chills and a fever, as well as painful menstrual-like cramps. I felt like I was going to vomit or have diarrhea. (And the pain was going down into my left thigh, too.) So after a while, I decided to soak in the bathtub. I moaned and groaned in there. Sandy came in and sat at the edge of the tub, feeling helpless and wishing she could do something. Then I stretched a bit and got back into bed. I moaned and groaned (hey, people, when I'm in pain I don't hold back!). Sandy thought that it must be the position of the baby. She was moving, and seemed to be posterior (front-facing, which is not the preferable position for delivery). So Sandy tried to move her around by pressing on my belly in different areas. It started to relieve some of the pain and then the pelvic pain started on the right side...which gave us the idea that my pain DID have to do with the baby's position. After a while I was finally able to fall asleep. I was so scared in the morning when I woke up and still had the chills that my nights might be like this from now on. The pain, for a few hours, was so intense that I considered calling the hospital. But since I was able to fall asleep, I figured it wasn't labor. But my mother wasn't convinced. She was ready to jump in the car the moment I described it to her. And she urged me to call my doctor.

Thinking it couldn't hurt, I called the office and spoke with a nurse who said things that just annoyed me...like, "Well, women who are in your stage of pregnancy often have pelvic pain," to which I responded, "Yes, I know. I have been having pelvic pain for a long time but this was different. It was so much more intense and it was accompanied by symptoms a., b., and c." She also suggested that I just had contracted a flu virus, which definitely annoyed me. She said that it is happened again, I could call the hospital. I asked what they would do for me - would they check to see if I was dilated or anything like that? "Well, they could check if you asked them to check." So, I am learning - slooooowly - that when it comes to health care, a proactive approach is best. You have to ask for it or they (probably) won't do it. I was spoiled with my last ObGyn, who talked very reassuringly about all sorts of issues and concerns I might have...I did not have to ask about my blood pressure when the nurse took it. I've always had a bit of a problem with asking, but I am getting so much better. I think my fear was some form of backlash from witnessing my grandmother, Grandma Mel, DEMAND EV-ER-Y-THING, everywhere we went. Her motto was and is "the squeaky wheel gets the oil." But I don't think she has realized that if SHE is the squeaky wheel, she's likely getting a lot more with her oil than she is aware of (like a little piss and spit in her meal at Perkins). I tend to be a squeaky wheel on my blog...where it's not oil I'm looking for, it's just a chance to squeak. In fact, I may change the name of this blog from Mason is my Middle Name to The Squeaky Wheel.

Well, this may be my last blog post for a while since Elanah is on her way into the world. If it is, I leave you will the charming words of my precious first-born daughter, Darah: "Goodnight, Orange ("owndinge"). Goodnight, Purple ("puhpow"). Goodnight lights ("wites"). Goodnight, Pumpkin. Goodnight, Books. Goodnight, Zebra ("zeeba"). Goodnight, Barney ("bahney"). Goodnight, Elanah ("wanah"). Goodnight, Grampy ("dimpy"). Goodnight, Sue. Goodnight, fairy ("fae"). Goodnight, Po. Goodnight, Lambie ("wihmie"). Goodnight, Duck. Goodnight, Pooh. I love you, Si. I love Mummy. Goodnight."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pregnant Belly Art: Henna on the Belly

This henna tattoo was created by my friend, Aparna, during one of our playdates. She did it all by hand while the baby in my belly kicked her (basically tried to jump out of my skin and make it as difficult as possible for her) and while her eighteen month old son climbed all over her back...not to mention while I had to change positions frequently to keep from passing out and while Darah cried for me to hold her. Impressive, yes! And just look how huge and round my belly is - it's hard for me to believe I still have six more weeks to wait. I brought up the baby clothes from the basement, and now have to find somewhere to put them (I may have to hang some up in the laundry closet). I definitely have more anxiety during this pregnancy than I did with Darah (I was much more even and calm with Dar), but I also have more energy. During my last pregnancy, I did not bite my nails at all. During this pregnancy, I have bitten them (or at least three of them) since the third month. I think my hormones are different this time around, but Darah's presence has also energized her. I am so glad that I feel confident that I haven't scarred her or neglected her in any damaging way because of the difficulty of this pregnancy. It's almost time for Elanah to get her little tush out of me and out into the world. I'm ready.