Some things I feel the need to get off my chest. Or belly, since most stuff falls off, or completely bypasses my chest, only to land on my belly.
I had all these huge plans to better document this pregnancy. For one, this is the first pregnancy where I had a blog, as opposed to being an editor and guest contributor (the now-defunct-blog-and-is-a-boring-resume-site-justinrummel.com). Two, I like to talk a lot. Three, I’m obsessed with pregnancy and babies already. And four, since Justin wasn’t documenting some of this pregnancy, I knew I needed to step-up so that this kid didn’t think we weren’t just as excited about his impending arrival as we were for his older brothers. But then Justin started traveling all the time, leaving me to play single-mom. And stuff at work ramped-up quite a bit, leaving me working close to 50 hours a week. And Gavin had the nerve to grow up and join this cult, called Kindergarten, and thus I was required to start helping him with homework instead of slacking off and letting him watch cartoons each evening while I prepared dinner. And then I would get writer’s block and weird, hormonal self-doubt, because, honestly, who else is as obsessed with your growing baby as much as you? Nine times out of ten, even the father isn’t as interested as you are. Not that that’s a bad thing…but you dads could at least pretend you’re interested in the in-utero hiccups, how a well-placed baby kick can trigger a fart that would impress most frat boys, and occasionally call your wife a sexy lady even when she’s reduced to wearing the XXXL pit-stained t-shirt you wear to do the lawn.
Now, some things have changed at work and I seem to have a little more time on my hands. Not because my work-load has lessened (because it hasn’t), but some changes in titles, exemption statuses, and other decisions from the Grand Pubahs have forced me to reduce my hours back closer to 40 per week (though there’s now a weird balancing game I have to play and a new time-reporting system that has gone all sorority girl on me: seems nice and pretty, but is really a pain and no one understands it). While Justin was home for a while, he’s starting to get back into the traveling thing again, but some other changes at his job seem to be on the horizon, too, that may make it easier for him to be home more…please pray for us! And I seemed to have mustered past my self-doubt about obsessing about my own unborn child now. Must be because I’ve passed the “Sick as a Hairball-Ridden Cat” 1st trimester, the “I’m feeling fairly happy and mentally balanced” 2nd trimester, and am now well into the “More Hostile than a Sleep-Deprived Badger” 3rd trimester. So here are a couple thoughts I’ve had recently:
Names and Size
This may go for other pregnant women, but please, please, please, if you are not a close friend and I only see you in the waiting room at the OB’s office, or I’ve never considered going out to have drinks with you, please don’t ask for what names we’re considering for this child. Or worse, offer us some of your outcasts and hand-me-down names. Earlier in the pregnancy I would smile politely and say stuff like, “hmmm…we’ll have to think about that one!” Now, though, I can barely find a shred of decency in me to say such things, and will instead probably respond with, “no thanks. We’re not white-trash enough to pull off that name, but feel free to keep it on your short-list, eh?”
As mentioned, I’m past being nice, no matter how hard I try. So please don’t say to me, “wow! you’re getting huge!” Thanks, Captain Obvious, I hadn’t realized that despite the fact I lost sight of my feet back around Election Day and I’ve developed a blind spot where I lose sight of children under the age of 3, and any animal smaller than a Newfoundland.
C is for Ceasarean, Which Really Ain’t For Me
I’m terrified of c-sections. For me, that is. I’m fine if other women have them and fully support it as a very routine, safe, and viable option for gettin’ that baby out, but I have a ridiculously irrational fear of having a c-section. I mean, if I had to have one…if I had a medical reason for one, obviously I would have one because my number one priority is the health of this baby. I know women who ASK for c-sections because they’re terrified of labor, and to some extent, the actual vaginal delivery. Can’t say I blame them because frankly, while the human body is wonderfully and beautifully made, even after delivering two good-sized babies, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the notion that my body was specifically made to do just such a thing. But major abdominal surgery while fully aware, just for the heck of it? Not for me!
With both kids I told my doctors and the LDR nurses that I was more interested in trying all other tactics, like the salad tongs, the vacuum-plunger, implementing the use of feet braced against my exposed back-side, and even bringing in the maintenance staff for ideas, and just saving the c-section as the absolute last resort. I just never told them I was so against it because I was scared of it. And I just realized recently where the fear is stemming from: my vagus nerve.
I’ve got a bit of a tricky vagus nerve. When I get really upset, I can’t eat and I feel faint. Nearly every time I have to get my blood drawn, despite how comfortable I am with blood, needles, and medical staff and procedures (thanks to my mom, the nurse), I nearly black-out. And I’ve tried looking away from the needle/syringe, I’ve had a lovely and well-meaning phlebotomist put some numbing creme on my arm so I wouldn’t feel the needle stick, I’ve tried diversionary tactics like eating or drinking or talking, but in all cases, my dang vagus nerve detects some “danger” and I start sweating, getting clammy, feel my heart pound in my chest and hear the blood rushing in my ears, and stuff starts getting dark. I have a similar response when that vagus nerve gets pressed on by the baby if I find myself on my back for more than a few moments. Or even if it gets pressed on by a cat sitting on the left-side of my lap “just right”. And now if I eat quickly, like breakfast on a weekday morning (despite the size of the meal), it seems to overstimulate my vagus nerve and I get the same symptoms…thankfully I figured out if I follow that meal with a quick dose of caffeine, it seems to get my blood pressure back up a bit (because even 7 months pregnant, I’m still sporting my 100/65 BP…don’t be jealous, unless you like fainting, of course). The only time I’ve not had this response is when I’ve been sedated, even mildly sedated (as in sleepy codeine sedated…haha).
So how does this correspond to my fear of a c-section? Because I’d be on my back and getting, not a needle-stick, but a full-blown incision while awake. I am absolutely certain that I would pass out entirely, send the medical staff into a crazed frenzy thinking they nicked an important artery (as opposed to somehow realizing my vagus nerve hates me) and would completely miss the birth of my child. And I don’t want to miss that for anything in the world.