Monday, March 28, 2011

Pulled apart

I know I owe you all a post on why I chose a midwife, and I will. Possibly today since I'm playing hooky from the lab.

I spent all weekend installing new floors in our kitchen and an adjoining room. Every muscle in my body hurts and I"m exhausted. My house looks like a tornado has gone through it. Our upstairs stove and fridge is sitting on our front stoop, I'm going up and down the stairs 100x time in a 30 minute period trying to cook downstairs, but with everything but stove and fridge upstairs, this is after being on my hands and knees for 2 days laying down floors.  did I mention I'm 26.5 weeks prego???!!! WTF!

I also have a shit load of marking to do, data analyis, and data collection. I have personal finances, taxes to do. I have family functions I need to attend and help with. Oh and I have a 4 year old who I actually enjoy spending time with.  I have not seen friends in months and I can't even fathom when I will have time to.  I can't even find time for myself.All these different obligations are making me feel like I"m  being pulled apart. Each arm and leg is going in a different direction.

Between personal and "professional" obligations, I'm feeling like I am barely keeping my head above water...again. Which is why I bailed today on the lab. The scope is down, monkey woke up really late and I"m exhausted. I figure we'll run a bunch of errands today ie buy groceries, get the dogs license, moisturizer, nail gun, baby shower gift.  then I'll mark tonight and catch up on rest.  Okey dokey off to the races...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Don't say no one ever told you.

For the time first ever, I am going to write out my birthing experience of monkey. I'm doing this for a variety of reasons. (1) I want my story out there for subsequent posts I would like to do on the use of midwifery in women's health. Before I can do that, I need to have my experience out there to refer to. In follow up posts I will discuss why I choose a midwife over "traditional" medicine etc. (2) So none of you can claim to be going into the decision to push a child out your nether regions uninformed.

It taken me 4+ years to discuss what happened when monkey decided to pop out of my nether regions.  I don't really know why since I don't remember being traumatized by it.  Was it hell? OH HELL YES!!! It it was long painful and excruciating. To the point that when I think of giving birth, I reflexively cross my legs. Know I haven't thought about what its going to be like for the inmate.  However, I also remember knowing I would do it again, without question, minutes after that little boy was in my arms.  Apparently, according to my midwife, the notes from my last birth said it was traumatic. 

How did the labor start? Without me knowing. I was over a week late and at the midwife getting checked out and making sure everything was OK. They also massage the cervix to try and prep you.  When I arrived, she measure my belly and was immediately concerned that there was a change from the 3 days prior (when you're late you have to go in frequently).  Each midwifery practice has about 3-4 midwifes that all see you as the individual who delivers your baby depends on who is on call at the time, so the midwife I was seeing, called the one I had seen 3 days earlier to make sure she wasn't mis-reading the chart etc. She double, triple checked to make sure I was safe.  Since there was a change in my tummy size, possibly indicating a loss of amionitic fluid (not good) she sent me off to the hospital. She would've driven me there herself, but I did not want to leave my vehicle there and I really really needed to stop off for some Wendy's.

MW met me at the hospital and I was taken in to get an ultrasound done to ensure baby was OK and then I was set up on a fetal monitor for over an hour.  Everything seemed OK and from the monitoring it looked like I was in labor - not that I could feel it.

I was at the hospital pretty late, so hubby and awesome BIL picked up some greek food and we chilled out. I started to get pretty uncomfortable and thought maybe I had over eaten ( I LOVE souvalki).   At some point during the night I felt this incredible urge to take a shit, but nothing came out. This happened a couple time before I remembered that the feeling of having to do a number 2 is a sign of labor.

I had begun early labor at ~ 11pm on a friday.  All night, every hour or so I would get contractions.  All morning, I would get contractions 10 minutes apart for about 2 hours, then nothing and then they would start up again. These were HELL contractions, doubling over in pain, radiating from the small of back all around.  My MW kept in touch with me all day via phone advising me to conserve my energy, to eat and drink well.

At 6 pm on saturday they contractions started 5-6 min apart and got into the bathtub to try and get some relief. The midwife arrived at my house with 30 minutes. Turned off the bathroom lights, lit some candles for a more soothing atmosphere and had my husband keep a pot of water on the stove hot.  Her and Mr.SM took turns pouring water down my back, keeping the water warm, making sure I didn't slip under the water as I dozed off.  I was probably in the tub for 4+ hours. The only reason I got out, was that it was uncomfortable. If it had been bigger, I would've stayed in.  Oh and I puked about 3 times in that period.

I needed to sleep so I went to my king size bed and slept as much as I could. Mr.SM and MW dozed as much as they could in between the contractions and counter pressure. I was progressing very very slowing. At 3 am the pain was getting to much and I wanted to go to the hospital. The MW tried convincing me to go back into my tub - I should've listened to her.

I didn't want that. I was in pain and I wanted to drugs so she took me to the hospital where I was pre-registered. I immediately went into the shower, which only had a hard cold tile floor to sit on. I wished I was back at home.  I was having major back labor. Monkey's head was on my tail bone and it was excruciating.  I was progressing very slowly.  There was no anesthetist available till 7 am so I could not get an epidural till then.  By this time, there were two MW's there and it was up to me & Mr. SM to decide if we wanted to wait or if I wanted to try fentanyl with NO.  I chose the fentanyl.

At 1 pm Sunday (yes I started on friday) I was exhausted, the contractions were slowing, my water had still not broken and I was only 9 cm dilated.  I was frustrated because my body was giving out. This wasn't supposed to happen to me. I was the one who hiked up crazy mountains 5 month prego. I was running till I was 8 months. I was fit. I was strong. WTF!!! Frustrated and dejected I told MR.SM to just cut the child out of me.  At some point the MW wanted me to try and push even though I had no urge. I think she wanted to try and get some movement happening.

Thankfully he knew better. He talked me off the ledge.  The MW really really wanted to me to try letting her give picotin to try and get my labor going especially since the OB/GyN who she called in for a consult would not try forcep or vacuum unless I progressed more.

Since Mr.SM knew that I really really didn't want a C-section and since monkey was not in trouble - I was just exhausted, he OK'd the administration of picotin and waiting to recall the OB.  It was going to take 30 minutes to get the OR ready anyway so they figured they might as well get me going again.

The picoten worked. I felt the urge to push, something I was feeling before. Unfortunately I had already been signed over to the OB who ended up giving me an epidural. Why I'm not sure as it "didn't take" according the anesthesiologist and would only take "the edge" off.  Because I had progressed significantly (thanks to the picotin) the OB didn't do the surgery and used a vacuum to help monkey out.  For some reason I still ended up with third degree tears  perineal tear - perineal skin, muscles and anal sphincter are torn). I've been told by some dr that OB's should be able to prevent such severe but I don't know. 

The midwife apologized after as she felt she gave poor advice in getting me to push when my body wasn't ready and in not getting me an epidural. I was very happy with the care I was given. My only regret is getting the epidural. It didn't take and resulted in me being kept from by baby for >1 hr in recovery.  After monkey was born, all I got was a bundled up look for less than 2 minutes before he was whisked away with Mr.SM and I was put in recovery. 

The first people Mr.SM saw with monkey were his father and mine. They cried and held each other. My MIL got to cuddle with my child before I did. This pisses me off.

Now that I'm done writing this, I'm glad I did. It will help me remember what I want and why. I've been told this birth should be easier....I guess we'll find that out sometime this summer :)


Do I take the Dog or not! help help help!

OK, so here's the dealio - this evening we're heading out to our ski condo up in the interior. Its a long drive (>6hours) and it can get pretty cold when we're driving up. We take our a 4 passenger pick up truck, which has no room for the dog crate inside. 

Originally we were supposed to purchase a canopy for the truck, so we woudn't have to worry about our little gal (little for a pure bred german shepherd) getting cold on the drive up. However, because the cost of the canopy is a little high and we have to save for the added cost of the inmate, we haven't put the money into it.  However, I can purchase a blanket to wrap around her crate and then put a tarp over it to prevent the wind from going through. Her crate would be locked up against two walls of the truck bed as well to prevent cold from going through. I think she should be fine in terms of temperature.  She's a german shepherd with the a thick coat who is used to staying outside. My biggest concern is the windchill, but I think the precautions I"m taking should keep the wind chill out.

I really really really want to take her up with us. Monkey can only ski for half the day and it'll give him something to do in the afternoon - playing with her in the snow.  It will force me to get my ass off the couch and go for a walk in the morning prior trying to get some work done.  My concerns are that she is an outside dog and we have no yard in our unit. Therefore, when I'm not outside she would have to be crated. I know lots of people crate their dogs overnight or while they're at work and I have no issues with it. I just feel bad because she normally has a whole yard to play and run around in.  Is it kinder to leave her home by herself or take her with us and have her crated for longer than she normally is???

I'm so torn. I've been taking her with me to the local mountain when monkey is skiing with his daddy and she loves it. I feel like whatever decision I make, I'm going to do wrong by me!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

So Cath really just wanted to brag

So this monday, I'm minding my own business at the lab, studiously working away to try and find out where on my gene of interest a particular insert has been inserted.  The organization that inserted the exon (Fly trap - which makes freaking awesome tool for us!) has the information in one format, but our database (FlyBase - slow, but rocks and is run by volunteers) does not have it. This makes it difficult to compare where the insertion is relative to others IF you're a newbie to reading DNA like me  - leave me alone, I do more cell biology and was not trained as a molecular biologist or anything close as an undergrad.!!!!!

I was struggling to figure out what I needed when I  tweeted a request for FlyTrap and FlyBase to better communicate, which led to a reply from Cath:

I thought, Cath was just sending me an innocent reminder (though she did neglect to wish me a happy birthday, should've been my first clue!).  However, upon checking out the standings, I realize that she just wanted to be able to gloat about how well she did last week. Top point earner of the week AND edged past me for third place.   Not much has changed other than Ricardipus is now tied with Bob for 3rd. Hopefully I will not forget to change my picks again and will actually have a hope of kicking Cath back behind me again.