July 26, 2016

37 weeks and counting.. and only mostly broken

Before I got pregnant, I always joked that I was prettttty sure I was going to be terrible at pregnancy. Like, my body sucks at... well... most things. Life. Not breaking any time I play sports. Not burning to a crisp if there is sun shining somewhere on Earth at any given time. You know.

So I have honestly been pretty impressed with and proud of how my body has handled things. I'm growing a PERSON! And aside from the early OHSS situation, it isn't killing me! And sure, I've had a lot of abnormal test results and lots of scares and conditions that only 1% of people get, but they've all actually turned out OK and I made it to 37 weeks a few days ago, which means my doctors no longer consider me pre-term and WE DID IT, BODY, we sustained a baby for 37 weeks and it didn't kill us!

I am officially rescinding that statement. My body is, in fact, the worst.

To be fair, I suspect this is not an uncommon sentiment for 37-week-pregnant women. This is not a particularly... comfortable time in one's life. I have 30 extra pounds dragging on my joints all day every day. I've got a large kid AND way too much fluid in there. It's currently 100 degrees outside with a heat index of 112. I'm not supposed to feel awesome.

There's a difference, though, between "not awesome" and "jesus christ, body, can we just fucking handle this like everyone else for once!?" - which is where I am at the moment. Because apparently my stupid body can't just get sore and achy like normal pregnant women. No, for me, the abs under my ribs on the right side of my body? feel like they are being ripped in half, at virtually all times.

This is not normal pregnancy aches and pains. I HAVE normal pregnancy aches and pains, plenty of them. Trust me. This feels like a hot poker being stabbed through my skin into my organs. Repeatedly. The area is inflamed and tender to the touch on the outside of my body. If I engage that muscle - say, to try and turn over in bed - the pain shoots to acute levels that make me involuntarily cry out in pain. This is not heartburn or round ligament pain, which after much googling, is what virtually every woman who has experienced this symptom was told by their ob/gyn - or had it shrugged off as just one of those pregnancy pains we all need to go through, sorry! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

(I got the exact same reaction from my ob/gyn office, who typically is really great at listening to my individual concerns. But I get the impression that once you arrive at a certain point in pregnancy, they're so used to hearing women say they hurt that they dismiss everything at this stage as normal.)

I was worried about more than just the current pain, though: how the ^@#% was I supposed to push a baby out with abs that were already so damaged that I couldn't roll over in bed?? So I turned to my doula, who thank the tiny baby jesus, believed that this was a real thing above and beyond normal discomfort. And who confirmed that it actually IS possible to pull / strain the upper abs, especially as the ligaments that normally hold everything in place continue to loosen in preparation for getting the baby out. (She also confirmed that this is something I want to get resolved before I go into labor, because yes it will suck enormous ass to try to deal with labor with pulled abs. Cool!)

And, luckily, she had a suggestion on how to get resolution: a bengkung belly wrap. This was actually something she had preemptively suggested for my post-partum recovery (which is the much more common use) since she noticed I had diastasis recti, or separated abs. But the wrap can also be used much like a more traditional belly band - although for me, less as a way to relieve pain in the lower back, and more to provide a kind of corset on the bottom of my belly to keep it propped up without as much pull and strain at the top of my stomach.

It's also really hard to get a picture of that front knotted part because it's way down under my belly.

..but hopefully you get the idea.

So, how's it working? Decently, I think. I wasn't sure it was doing too much at first, but then I didn't wear it all day Sunday and OH MY GOD THE PAIN by the end of the day. SO MUCH PAIN. So I definitely know it's at least stopping the situation from getting WORSE, which is good. I still have fairly constant pain, but it's more of a burning than an acute tearing feeling - like, as if I did indeed get stabbed by a hot poker, and it hasn't healed yet.. as opposed to the poker continuing to stab me repeatedly. Yay?

I'm still pretty worried about how this will work for the whole labor situation. Will it make labor even more unbearable than normal? Will labor pain totally overpower this, but when I finish birthin' the kid, learn that I have done serious / irreparable damage to the area? WHO KNOWS! Hopefully I can just get the region back to a slightly less inflamed / on fire place before I need to find out. Hashtag magical time.

July 08, 2016

The saga of the crib mattress

Back in early June, I was preparing our house for our baby shower / housewarming, and I was figured it was high time to start getting the nursery put together so that we could pretend like we were somewhat prepared for a baby. Chris's cousins had generously bought us a crib from our registry, and we had a dresser and nightstand from IKEA, so that seemed like a good start. We put all the furniture together, and I ordered a crib mattress, liner, and sheets off of Amazon so that we could have the crib looking fully assembled and ready to go.

Everything arrived within a day (thanks, Amazon Prime!) ... except the mattress itself. Which continued to not arrive every day leading up to the party, then eventually was given a revised arrival date of the Monday after the party. So you know, not particularly helpful, and hard to make the nursery look cute and ready for a baby without a mattress in the crib, but whatever - many many weeks until I'd actually need a crib anyway, so meh.

Except then the mattress *continued* to never show up. Like for another week. So eventually I called UPS, since I had a tracking number for the package, to ask what's up.
UPS: Ah - we never actually received that package at all.  
Me: But there's a tracking number! 
UPS: Yeah - they assigned one at the Amazon warehouse, but then never actually provided the package to us for delivery. You'll need to call Amazon, unfortunately. 
So I called Amazon next, and repeated what UPS had told me.
Amazon: Oh man, this package is really late, I'm so sorry. Well, it looks like it's been misplaced in the warehouse, and there's not much we can do about that really. I'll give you a refund for this one and your best bet is probably to just order a new one.  
Me: But.. it's in your warehouse? Can't we just... ask the warehouse to give it to UPS? 
Amazon: Unfortunately I have no way to contact the warehouse directly, and if it hasn't gone out to UPS after all this time, it means the warehouse has lost track of it too. I'm really sorry. ...Refund?  
Me: Yeah OK fine. 
So they process the refund; I waited like a week just to see if the warehouse would magically get their shit together and send the mattress... but nope. So I went back to Amazon and ordered the same crib mattress again. It was scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday.

It did not show up on Tuesday. Or Wednesday. And the order status on Amazon changed to the same vague "on the way!" status that it gave me last time, while keeping the expected delivery date of July 5.

On Thursday I called Amazon again and asked for the UPS number so I could track the package, since that information also never showed up in my order for some reason. I looked up the number on the UPS website and was relieved to see that this time it had indeed left the warehouse, had arrived in MD on July 4th, and then was scanned in at the regional shipping center in VA early on the 5th. The status was "in transit" and the delivery date was that same day.. although oddly the status was NOT "out for delivery." I figured it would be there when I got home yesterday.

It was not.

So today, Friday, I called UPS to ask what the deal was: why had it been 10 minutes away in Chantilly since 8am Tuesday morning but never delivered?
UPS: Hmm. It looks like it's lost in our warehouse.  
UPS: Yes, sorry. And since this is an Amazon shipment, you'll need to contact them to start the investigation process. 
Me: Why would Amazon be able to do anything about it if it's lost in YOUR warehouse? 
UPS: That's just how the process works - they'll start the investigation and will probably refund you your money.  
Me: I can't just like.. come to Chantilly and get it? 
UPS: Well, no, we probably don't actually know where it is. Or the label may have fallen off or something.  
Me: ......... 
UPS: Sorry. I would call Amazon.  
Me: FINE. OK. 
Soooo I did. And Amazon has once again kindly refunded me the money for the mattress.
Amazon: Is there anything else I can help you with?  
Me: Not unless you have any suggestions on how to ACTUALLY GET THIS MATTRESS TO MY HOUSE at some point!?
(I didn't actually say that. Amazon customer support has been super polite every time and getting the refunds has been quick and painless.)

So I mean, I get that having a crib ready to go is not, like, the highest priority right now: I don't even have a baby to put in it yet, and even once she's born it's not like she'll need the crib for the first several weeks anyway. HOWEVER. It would be nice to be able to actually get her nursery looking presentable and ready, and also WHY CAN'T THEY JUST DELIVER ME THE DAMN MATTRESS I HAVE ORDERED TWICE NOW I DON'T UNDERSTAND. I can't get over that two different mattresses have now been lost by two different parties in two different warehouses. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN. They are not small packages. I AM VERY SHOUTY ABOUT THIS.

Annnyway. I'm already grumpy today because my contractions have ramped up to Very Annoying Level, in that as of about a week ago I have a sustained contraction for the entire time that I am standing up, literally any time that I am standing up. And as of last night, the newest development is additional stabby little contractions that woke me up repeatedly throughout the night, so I am feeling far from rested. The contractions continue to do nothing: I had another cervical check this morning and I'm still locked up tight. So I'm sore from contracting all the time, tired from contracting all night, annoyed that my body feels the need to contract this much if the contractions are not even DOING anything, and grumpy about the fact that there is a nationwide warehouse conspiracy preventing me from getting a crib mattress.

35 weeks and cranky.
But, um, other than that everything is fine. Baby girl continues to look good, I'm actually fine (just grumpy) and we're all in good health blah blah blah WHATEVER GIVE ME MORE DONUTS.