Category Archives: pregnancy

29 week OB check up

Uterus is measuring 30 cm, which is in the normal range. Babies heartbeat sounds excellent. Duly reported acid reflux/nausea/hemorrhoids. Nothing can be done about those symptoms but I said they were happening.

Everything is looking on track. Baby is still lying sideways. That’s not a concern until about week 36/37 when all of a sudden if it is still true there will be some concern. Of course trying to talk the baby into getting into correct head down position will happen. If the baby stays lying sideways until the due date I think that is a mandatory c-section these days. Cause you can’t get a sideways baby out of your vagina. Doesn’t work out logistically. Which would give me the neat opening for a tubal. Convenient.

Not. Having. A. Fourth. Child.

With all the fuss overall happening in my mind and body… I feel really happy about reaching the “My family is almost complete” state. For years I read women write about why they had more children and there was this phrase that felt woo woo and hand wavey “My family isn’t complete yet” and I wondered what the fuck they were on about. It makes sense now.

want three children. Why? I don’t know. Three is the kiss of death in a lot of opinions. Triangulation for the win! Lose? Something. But I want these children. I want the lessons I will have to learn in order to be a good parent to them. Is it a need?

I don’t think I would have ever figured out how to be ok with not meeting this child. Lightening, I want you so much. I know I cry a lot while making you and that isn’t the warmest welcome ever… but I’ll get over it.

I remind myself that I’m nothing near as psycho as my sister was while pregnant…. Phew that was terrifying. Talk about violence.

Eleven more weeks (ish) until I get to meet this child. That’s the bright spot. I’m having trouble caring about Christmas or anything else… I want to meet my baby. I’ve wanted this child for more than ten years. I get to meet them very soon. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to have this family that I want so very much.

I’m going to have this family. And I think we are going to move away. And I’m going to stop chasing the family/love I will never get from grown ups in the bay. I will go away and find some new normal.

I wonder if it will be better or if I will be bringing myself with me and I poison everything.

At least I’m pretty confident I won’t keep making the same mistakes. I’m not going to look for intense friendships. I have all the super close friends who know me better than anyone else I’m going to get in this lifetime. I’ll keep contact with them. They don’t need me to be in a place. They will stay in my life no matter what.

The more casual people who only want me for a few hours a year? Maybe it is better that I will lose a lot of those people. They won’t be motivated to maintain contact with me and I can’t carry the load of all these people expecting me to contact them once I move. It’ll be a natural ending point that won’t be all dramatic or mean. Because I don’t feel dramatic or mean about it… Just like it is time for me to move on and start valuing something other than getting a few hours of a few hundred peoples time.

I need to think I deserve something other than that.

I want to be something different. I am tired of trying to hold myself together in between the few hours that people want to know me. I need a different approach to life. I need to be valuable in a different way.

I’m looking forward to the next few years. Noah pointed out that whatever happens… I need to be making plans because when I’m not future tripping I shut down like a clock that has wound down. I have to be looking forward or I completely stop.

That’s part of what makes pregnancy so brutally hard emotionally. I can’t follow through on any future tripping plans and my ability to work is very low. So I can’t distract myself in the now and I feel incompetent to plan much for the future.

There is no fair.

For some reason the third trimester is bringing with it… better sleep. There goes my wacky body giving me the opposite experience of everyone else. I’ve been getting a nice consistent 7-8 hours with 1-2 wake ups for a bit now. It helps that we’ve been really consistently in the bed reading before bed and that definitely helps my sleeping pattern. We are blasting through the How to Train Your Dragon series and all of us are really engaged. These are fun pop corn books. I highly recommend them if you have kids under about 12. I can read a whole book an hour and a half in the bathtub so it isn’t that much reading material for older readers….

I don’t want to leave the bay because I hate people here. Although I hate some people here. Mostly I love a lot of people here. I want to leave the bay for the same reason I don’t want to move to Portland. Every so often I change what I’m willing to accept, how I’m willing to act, what I want and people don’t adapt with me very well. There are a lot of folks in Portland who have known me since I was 18 and interacting with their expectations/opinions kinda sucks. They don’t see me as a changing person and I wouldn’t be able to avoid those people and they would influence the community around me to perceive me in ways I don’t want to be perceived anymore. I may really like the Portland folk, but I’m not interested in spending the rest of my life being treated like I am 19 and willing to put up with assholes lifting my shirt in public places. (Clearly blacksheep is not the problem….)

I would have to break some noses in Portland in order to get some of those men to perceive that they can’t do to me what they used to do to me.

I don’t really want the fight.

So keep looking for a different place. P said she is looking near Tacoma/Seattle and I think… maybe east of there? I don’t want to land in another big metropolis. If I were 2-3 hours outside of somewhere like Seattle I could visit for long weekends when I want to deal with city fuss and I would not come into the city for anything casual. I’m sure going to struggle with lack of diversity outside a big city. Erf.

But I don’t know. We are going to travel first and see where we like it. Because we are spoiled motherfuckers and why the hell not. If Noah can hold on to this job for two more years… that’ll set up the rest of our life. I think. After that I’m pretty sure Noah can do part time consulting and we’ll be fine. I think about it this way because I don’t think Noah would ever be happy if he stopped working but I don’t think it’ll be ideal for him to need to work full time forever. It’s not ideal for anyone to work full time forever and our piece of shit country shouldn’t be doing this to people.

There is no fair.

I’m weak.

I think it is very likely that this is my last kid. So when the ultrasound technician asked if we wanted to know what genitals she was seeing… I said yes.

FMC says we are allowed to use the name we picked to assign to someone of a particular gender but we still need to refer to the kid as they/them until the kid declares a gender.

So this may be confusing for folks who are following purely online because I’m not going to announce the name here. Nyah.

Stats update

I have 16/17ish days left in my second trimester. I’ve gained 4 lbs. This is not how this should be going. I should be up approximately 15 lbs at this point. I’m barely hanging on to the 4 lbs extra because eating isn’t going so hot. I’m trying. I’m eating every fucking thing I can. I am MAXIMIZING calorie density and… just nope. No more fat for me.

I’m to the point where the baby is about 13″ long and around a 1.5 lbs. I hear it is almost the size of a head of cauliflower. (Which I’ve seen vary TREMENDOUSLY so I’m not sure what that means exactly.)

My primary symptoms of pregnancy discomfort are terrible acid reflux and nausea. Otherwise I’m not swollen. I keep getting these stabbing hot burning pains in my crotch that feel like Lightning trying to head butt their way through my cervix and I keep hissing, “NOT YET.” At this point Lightning could probably survive but they would be a million dollar NICU baby. That’s not ideal. Keep cooking, little bean.

Cutting back on driving…

I consider my massage therapist who is technically in the next town local because I can get there in under 15 minutes.

November has 5 planned drives outside of our city, not including therapy and school. Including the school and therapy (which I’m still doing a lot of but not all) there are 8 possible school/therapy drives. So 13 possible that I won’t do all of by myself. These will be split up between me and Noah depending on my level of exhaustion.

Ok, in December I will leave the city I live in 5 mandatory times if I dump Noah with the out of town therapy appointments for the kids. I will probably still do a bunch of the in town class driving for the kids because that’s fair. 13 possible drives again. I will try to help with the therapy/school stuff but I make no promises.

In January I already have 1 thing on my schedule that’s a bunch of driving out of town and I’m going to try to limit it to 1 or 2 more trips out of the city. Noah will have to do therapy. School stuff may discontinue for a bit. The out of city school classes are a pain in the ass in terms of scheduling.

I have 1 (possible) drive scheduled for February and that’s absolutely it. And I won’t go if my kid is born early because the scheduled drive is 4 days before my due date.

The kids still have a pretty busy schedule through this time period. Their in town classes are 4 days a week and they both have an out of town appointment every week and sometimes 2 or 3 more.

I’m feeling a lot of anxiety about forcing Noah to do all the out of town driving for nearly half a year. That’ll carve something like 6+ hours a week out of his work schedule and that’s going to suck. That time will have to come from somewhere. It’s going to be a big deal that I keep doing all the in town driving as long as I possibly can so he doesn’t have more interruptions. He’s down almost a full day of work per week on driving. That’s not sustainable. It’s going to negatively impact our life in other ways.

This is why I do the driving even though it hurts. I have time to burn and he doesn’t.

March and April will be completely bare. I’m not sure if I’ll go somewhere in May from sheer ennui or not.

We’ll see.

To contrast, I left the city 16 times in October.

I would be so happy…

if I could stop throwing up. This second trimester sucks.

I took a swig of the “old Amish cure for acid reflux” because my body was burning really badly and I couldn’t sleep, Now I get to go clean out my trash can.

Fucking pregnancy is horrible.

In other news…

I think that every pregnant person should be told to get a squatty potty or just put a damn stool in the bathroom. Even though I have chronic diarrhea instead of constipation, that stool makes ALL the difference between an awful bathroom experience and a reasonable one.

Poop. pooop. poooooooooop.

By month 4 I pretty much can’t shit without help.

How do I not have a tag for poop.

Had to be done

I woke up this morning and sent the OB a message saying I will be unable to be comfortable in his presence and I’d like to meet other people in the practice.

Nothing to argue with. No specific complaints to dismiss. Just “I won’t be able to be comfortable.”

I’m nervous about playing OB roulette while I’m pregnant but on the other hand I did better with the random on-call OB when EC was born than I did with my chosen birth attendant so who knows.

That did not go so well.

I met “my” OB today. I don’t like him. He inquired if Noah is a new partner and that’s why I’m having another baby. I came home and sent him this email:

“Hello Sir,

I need to let you know that the way you inquired if my partner was a new partner was… incredibly poorly done. I felt pretty insulted. It felt like you were inquiring as to which baby daddy number I’m on and after eleven years of marriage… Yeah that was not well done.

Kristine Gibbs”

He also proceeded to tell me I shouldn’t be on so many vitamin supplements. When I explained that this is a direct result of testing done within the last two months and is specifically to fix current deficits… he told me he will go check with the genetic counselor and they will get back to me with their opinion of the supplements I’m on.

He was rude when he inquired about sleep stuff. “Have you ever tried taking anything to help you sleep? Have you ever tried exercising?”

I… I am not going to fucking like this dude.

Naw. I’ve. Never. Considered. Taking. Anything. To. Help. Me. Sleep. Why. Would. I.

Fucker.

And exercise? What’s that? Clearly I’m too fat lazy and stupid to consider exercising.

Motherfucker.

Really lucky

Holy smokes. This pregnancy has been… so incredibly supported. My friends are stepping up in ways that shock me. One gal in particular, Rose, has delivered: a bassinet, changing table, a swing, most of the clothes we will need for the first year, bedding, a baby carrier, toweling, and maternity clothes.

I wasn’t looking for this support. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t beg. It just arrived as this beautiful gift from the universe. I have a wonderful friend who saved everything from her last kid and she wants to share.

I first met Rose in I think 2001ish. She doesn’t remember me from that period. We started talking a lot more last year. She has spare maternal energy lying around. I appreciate such folks.

Other fabulous friends have passed on more maternity clothes and supplies I’ll need before/after the birth.

It’s starting to look like the only thing I’m really going to have to buy are diapers. That’s ok. I love buying Rumparooz because they are the cutest darn thing ever. The prints! Oh they are so cute. There’s not much in this world I think is more precious than an enormous cloth diaper butt on a baby. It’s weird… but man that sight makes me choke up with joy.

WHEN DID I BECOME THIS PERSON. Err, over a decade ago.

And my Jenny is even going to be sending me super tiny diapers so I don’t need to get any for the first few weeks.

I have arrived. I am there in life. I have friends and family and support and love.

I feel so incredibly lucky. I didn’t think this would happen to me. But here I am.

Do you know what is incredible to me? When I started on the parenting journey some of the folks I loved the most told me they didn’t approve. They thought I was going to do a horrible job. In the past nine years of parenting what has happened is I started off doing ok and I’ve improved. I am way more calm. I am way more able to communicate in useful, effective ways that are appropriate for children (or for anyone, really).

I got my first real shot at learning and growing and developing in a stable environment. And I have blossomed. And my friends tell me so and can point out specific ways I’ve changed and grown and they can tell me why they are impressed with my progress.

I’m not sure I’ve changed my spots. But I have developed some interesting stripes to go along with the spots.

The thing about these logistics

So far my labors have been 49 hours and 9 days. I can’t pick someone for logistics who is going to have work conflict. I need to make the assumption going in that someone might have my kids for 72 hours.

Even though my labors defy sanity for length… I am not comfortable with Noah needing to take off and drive 1-2 hours to drop the kids off. San Francisco, Oakland, or even San Jose are quite a ways away. I keep being told “third babies fall out of you”. If I have my first quick birth and Noah misses it… I will be pretty freaked out.

Kids can’t go past the lobby so if my kids are in the hospital… Noah can’t be in the room with me. So waiting a long time for someone to pick the kids up is also mixed.

I think Plan A (or at least the person I’m approaching first) is a kind neighbor for whom I have babysat a number of time. She used to live right next door but now she’s a mile away between my house and the hospital. She doesn’t have a job and she has a lot of available time. She would be ideal if my kids won’t cause her to have panic attacks because they disrupt the routine in her house so much.

I’m nervous about Plan B. My first impulse is to ask the neighbor who lives down the street who babysits for us sometimes… but she has a real job.

Plan C is probably going to be seeing if someone is up for spending a few nights here around the due date. Someone who doesn’t work and who would be happy to hang out with the kids for a few days.

Plan D is probably a solid list of people with jobs who might be willing to hand my kids off all over the valley. Sigh. This plan sounds too much like my last labor where EC kept coming home and going out again because no one had much ability/interest to keep her for all that long at once. Folks only wanted her for a few hours at a time then I had to find a handoff. That was incredibly stressful during my nine day labor.

Folks having jobs is a big hiccup. I need to respect the parameters of your life. You only have to offer what you have to offer. That’s appropriate. I also have to figure out how to make sure my kids are taken care of. It’s a balance thing.

Logistics

We are starting to talk about what we are going to do during the next labor. Who will stay with the kids? If our beloved babysitter was still here it would be no question. Instead this is an incredibly tense question and I feel really anxious about the fact that Plans A & B are probably going to involve asking to impose on neighbors. Plans C & D are probably going to involve asking if there is a way to impose on friends who live farther away and that’s even more terrifying to ask for help with.

It is scary to ask for things when the “no” makes a serious hiccup in my life.

Appointment notes

Midwife said “Well your sugar level IS healthy…. but it’s incredibly low. You should probably be eating every two hours. Preferably protein.” How much you wanna bet they are going to get hysterical in a few months about gestational diabetes and BUT DON’T EAT SUGAR. Bah.

[I went and looked up low hemoglobin. Turns out it can be caused by… duh duh duh… low folic acid! You know that thing that I had tested and it said I can’t absorb it like I’m supposed to? Like that.]

She was not real keen to accept my marijuana usage. Luckily it’s not up to her. She’s not the OB. From the gist I’m getting from the midwife and the other OB I talked to… I think the dude OB I’ve been assigned to is going to be completely chill about my pot. Luckily when I spent a while going off on my various medical diagnoses and the reasons I use pot and I detailed that I fucking have tried more “acceptable” drugs and none of them work for me… She backed off. And she contradicted herself by saying that the salves are fine anyway. She uses them herself. And she gives her dog cannabis because he’s a little excitable.

BUT I SHOULD GET OFF THIS MEDICATION BECAUSE OH MY GOD.

Pregnancy is a festive time.

I heard Lightning’s heart beat. Right around 160bpm like it should be. Yay.

I now have… three follow up appointments. Because of course I do. The first is tomorrow.

Since I didn’t note it yesterday about seeing the pain doctor: I was kinda pissy because he didn’t let me know that he hadn’t gotten more results in. So I drove to San Jose, waited a half an hour past my appointment time… to be told I don’t really get much new data. I let the front desk staff know how unhappy that made me. I need a phone call the day before my next appointment or it is really stupid for me to hurt myself driving down here for nothing. It’s not a casual trip for me.

The only thing he talked about new was Epstein Barr. Apparently I’m still showing up on tests like I have active Mono. Isn’t that exciting? It would explain some of my chronic exhaustion. He wants me to do antivirals. Which can’t happen during pregnancy. He wasn’t crystal clear about whether it can happen during breast feeding or not.

I’m staying up because I have to fill the last tube with spit. I feel like I spend half of my day in medical appointments, dealing with medications, or taking fucking medical tests. It is so exhausting.

But I continue to be a wacky form of “healthy”. “Wow you are in good shape.” That’s complicated.

Oh, and I’m definitely negative for Syphilis.

hisssssssss hygiene

In our house we act like hygiene is an evil force who is coming to get you. Because why wouldn’t we.

This is coming up for me because I am starting to Plan For My Alaska Trip! I’m excited. On one hand I feel like starting to pack is neurotic because I don’t leave for 11 days. On the other hand… I don’t think I have everything I need and acquiring things you need in only 11 days is sometimes a challenge. So maybe putting everything in bags is overkill… but making sure I have what I need is not.

Specifically I’m thinking long johns. Oh you say, Pansy Ass! It’s going to be August! To this I say: yes, I am a pansy ass. I’ll be cold. 50’s & 60’s won’t be freezing, but if I don’t have enough layers I will be in pain. My body doesn’t adjust quickly to change and it’s been hella hot here.

I’m sitting in my house under a blanket. On days that hit 85 degrees. I’ll need a god damn base layer for 60 degrees. My clothes are California clothes. They do not retain warmth. Except for long johns.

Did you know that there is a conspiracy to keep pregnant women cold? Maternity long johns are not a thing and I hate the whole fucking world for this. WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYY when I search on Amazon for maternity long johns do I get humorous underwear for men? THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Fuckers.

But hygiene is part of this story. Because depending on how many clothes I bring with me… that impacts either how often I have to do laundry or how often I have to shower. Because if I’m living in wool and I shower every single day religiously… I won’t stink much and I don’t have to wash the clothes constantly. If I do my normal bathing once a week whether I need it or not… uhm… wool doesn’t like that. It gets… funky. At home I solve this by wearing clothing once, rarely twice and the stink doesn’t accumulate. A week in the same set of clothes… that gets bad. I have of course tried.

But I don’t want to bring much with me for this trip. So I’m thinking two pairs of long johns (sized up one size so they fit over my increasing bulk without pressure on my abdomen) and two pairs of pants. I can trade off which pair of pants I’m wearing to air out the other in between.

Tops I’m less concerned about. I will have two wool tops that fit. My tshirts are mostly hella baggy and still fitting just fine. I usually wear a dress over pants anyway and that’s easy to figure out. I’m just not fussed about that step. I think the warm/water proof jacket I bought last winter (my first WARM jacket… ever…) will fit for this trip if not all winter.

In non hygiene planning… I’m debating my computer. I could use the rest for my hands of not typing for a week. But how realistic is that? Will I instead be on my phone which is harder for my hands?

Hard to judge.

I think I’m going to bring art supplies and have an art-tastic time up there. I’ll have a lot of time to kill. Maybe I’ll write letters instead of blogging.

I’m so excited.

 

 

Pain

I’ve been awake for two hours because my back hurts so much I can’t sleep. People I barely know keep asking me stupid questions like “Why don’t you sleep more?”

Because I hate sleep. Sleep is so rude.

?!?!?!?!

IF I COULD FUCKING SLEEP MORE I FUCKING WOULD. OH MY GOOD CHRIST.

My kids told me they think it is a little weird that linguistically I act like there is a God/Jesus but I don’t believe in such a dynamic so they think I should stop talking like I do believe.

I told them I’m a product of my culture whether I believe all of it or not.

I keep finding myself saying Gorblimey. Because who doesn’t want God to blind them? Am I right? (Google it if you don’t believe me.)

I’ve slept 2.5 hours. God I feel so shitty.

After a fuck ton of stretching I’m going to try again. Back into the breech.

 

7 weeks

172 lbs. Come on body. I’m happy to hear from the internet that losing weight early on is super common. I don’t see an ob/gyn for 8 more days. That meeting will not be with the person who is delivering me. She’s an lgbtq specialist and I’ve met her before and she’s going to talk me through the personalities of the available midwives.

I’m pretty convinced I need to lie about the pot. The hospital where I’m going to deliver says “We don’t screen everyone. Just if it is indicated.” So I need to not indicate it. Will it complicate my care to lie? Not more than screwing my life for honesty.

I meet the pain management doctor in 6 days. I will be telling him about the pot. Partially to explain why I truly do not want other pain management medication. Could I be in less pain with more drugs? Probably. Would I be as functional? No. I’m in pain. That’s life. I want physical therapy. I want to find out if some of my old injuries are things that should have had surgeries. My shoulder is still an ongoing problem.

A friend who is a medical practitioner with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome did a physical test with me yesterday and she wants me to be officially screened for it. It would explain most of my chronic pain and my digestion problems. She explained it as, “EDS isn’t a new diagnosis. It’s the umbrella that hangs over every other diagnosis you’ve gotten and tells you why those problems exist.”

The pain management even has a blood test for fibromyalgia. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about this whole process. He may say “I can’t find anything. You are making everything up.” That could happen. But I know I’ve been in pain since early childhood.

I’m completely exhausted and I feel too weary to focus my eyes. My hands hurt and I feel so locked in my head that I can’t stop typing in various places. Come on, Krissy.

I am having an excessive amount of fun researching the progress of cloth diapers over the past 6 years. Snaps are everywhere! This is exciting! (Velcro wears out with all the washing. Snaps are my best friends.)

Also: baby carriers. Whoa. There are a bunch of new brands.

bye

Small update

I’ve lost weight. Only 2 lbs so far but I really hate that pregnancy is a weight loss plan for me. It is every time. I swear to cheese I’m eating as much as I can hold.

Still barely sleeping. It has caught up to me and I’m so exhausted my bones ache.

That freakish energy burst is over. I’m kind of grateful. That was really hurting.

Exercise is sooooooooooo haaaaaaaaaaard again.

I get to go see my buddies in San Pablo today. I haven’t seen them in a while. I fell into a hole of “house remodeling” and haven’t been up to my normal monthly visits. (We trade locations monthly so I drive every other month.) So that’s exciting. I’m going to get amazing veggies for lunch today. Yay!