Thursday, April 30, 2015

An Anxious Pregnancy

Research has shown that up to thirty three percent of women experience clinical depression or an anxiety disorder at some point during pregnancy. I never thought I would be one of these women.

Here are some of the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
  • Excessive worry that's difficult to control
  • Irritability
  • Tension/muscle aches
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Feeling restless inside
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
I admit I was a little anxious with my first pregnancy. I mostly worried about if the baby is going to be okay or will I be okay during and after delivery.

My anxiety is at an entire different level this time around. I am mostly worried and anxious at work. The worries are still about the same thing and that is keeping my baby safe.

It started a few weeks ago in the cafeteria. I was pushed by a student in the cafeteria while doing duty and lost it on the six foot sixth grader. He was horse playing with an eighth grader and I was pushed. Luckily, there was a trash can in front of me because I was collecting trash and dismissing tables. The trash can caught my tummy. Although, I almost fell in, the injury was not bad. Maybe even nonexistent.

But what if... What if that trash can wasn't there? What if that huge 6th grader fell right on top of me? What if the baby was hurt? I was pissed. I was pissed at the kids. I was pissed at my boss for putting me in that situation at thirty-five weeks to begin with. And this is the second time I have been pushed while pregnant in the lunch room.

My heart was racing, and I bolted out of the cafeteria after yelling "I am pregnant" and "I am done with this." I needed to get out of there before I did something I would regret. I remember thinking to myself, don't curse, don't curse.

I headed into my Principal's office and as soon as I sat down I was having cramps. They were scary enough for me to get checked out, but surely they were because of me being angry and not pushed by a sixth grader.

Everything checked out fine but I was not doing lunch duty anymore. One pregnant girl supervising a couple hundred students doesn't seem right to me anyway.

My boss made a huge deal out of me "putting them in a bind." She even went on to say "well what can you do?" I made it clear to her I did not want to do in school suspension either but her guilt trip and demanding attitude changed my duty from cafeteria monitoring to covering in school suspension for around seventy - eighty minutes per day.

I get I am just pregnant and I should be able to do everything I can do prior to pregnancy, but this not only made me angry but terribly anxious. I am now babysitting the bad kids for over an hour a day. They don't listen to me. They walk out without permission, start fights with each other, and even throw things across the room.

I would rather start maternity leave early than have to deal with these students. I am thinking about it at night and not able to go to sleep. I am even dreaming about it and dreading going to work. The anxiety is ridiculous and deep down I know that, but I feel like I have no control over it.

I lost it again after calling an administrator when the students were not listening in ISS and no one showing up. What if there was something really wrong? What if I needed to get to the hospital and I can't get in touch with anyone? I was almost as mad as I was when I was pushed in the cafeteria.

I am finally out of the duty that a pregnant woman shouldn't be doing anyway. It took two doctor appointments, two drug prescriptions, and finally a doctor note saying I can no longer do in school suspension because of the stress on the baby.

I just hope the stress is now over. Maybe it isn't some anxiety disorder. Maybe the situation was just wrong...and I responded like I should have. I advocated for myself.

I expect there will be some tension with my boss and I since I have gotten out of another duty, but I am to the point where I don't care. I shouldn't have to leave work early over what I think is a dumb unsympathetic decision by my boss. I have so much work to do that my counseling job actually entails. The countdown for our sweet new baby started weeks ago but now I have a countdown to no more working as well. Come on baby show up just a couple weeks early!

Friday, April 24, 2015

False Alarm

I spent a good half day at the hospital yesterday. I went in at 8:00 a.m. for my weekly check up and mentioned I hadn't been feeling the baby as much as I thought I should be. They immediately hooked me up to the monitor. I assume most pregnant women get hooked up to this machine at least once while pregnant. This is my fourth time for this pregnancy so far.

Electronic fetal heart monitoring is done during pregnancy, labor, and delivery to keep track of the heart rate of your baby and the strength and duration of the contractions of your uterus. What the doctor said would be a quick twenty minute hookup turned in to an hour and twenty minutes. It was a very long and uncomfortable eighty minutes.

The baby must have been sound asleep because the heart rate was pretty constant and there was still no movement. The doctor and nurse forced water down me. I am talking about sixty ounces or so in a matter of thirty minute. They also brought me juice, a pack of crackers, and chocolates trying to wake up the baby. This baby did not want to get up. I think my husband and I are going to have our hands full if he is sleeping during the day and up all night!

What the doctor did notice was that I was having contractions pretty regularly, every four or so minutes. I could feel the contractions but there was no pain. I am guessing they were just normal Braxton Hicks.

The regular contractions also happened with my daughter a couple months before delivery, so I was not alarmed at all. My body just has regular contractions. That time, with my daughter, the doctors insisted the contractions had to stop and gave me Terbutaline. After it was too late and I already took the drug, my husband did some research.

Terbutaline should not be used to stop or prevent premature labor in pregnant women, especially in women who are not in a hospital. Terbutaline has caused serious side effects, including death, in pregnant women who took the medication for this purpose. Terbutaline has also caused serious side effects in newborns whose mothers took the medication to stop or prevent labor.

What? And on top of that my heart was pounding. It was one of the scariest feelings I have ever felt in my entire life. Please if your doctors tell you to take this say No. I am still in shock as to what they were thinking.

So, yesterday I was ready to get out of the doctor's office after they assured me the baby was okay. Instead the doctor sent me straight to the birthing center.

I just knew I was going to be stuck there for hours. One of the first things that came out of my mouth was I am not taking that awful terbutaline. Last time it wasn't even a question. It was like here is the drug you need to take, so take it. I of course listened to them. They were my doctor.

I have a total different outlook on just listening to the doctor and trusting what they tell me to do. Denying the Glucola is just one other example. I am pretty sure the doctors get annoyed with me, but I don't care. I want what is best for me and my baby even if that means going against doctors' orders.

Thankfully, this time around I had a different doctor. Different doctor = different outlook. Thank God! Since my cervix was closed and I was not in pain, she let me leave.

I honestly wouldn't have minded getting to meet my baby boy a month early as long as he is healthy. The wait continues. Four more weeks to go.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Good and Bad of Pregnancy.

The Good.

The Food. For me, it is Bojangles. The seasoned french fries, the buttery biscuits, the chicken tenders and honey mustard. I could eat it everyday, but I have the will power to stay away when not pregnant. When I am pregnant, I am supposed to gain weight, so why not?

The Pregnancy Excuse. If I want Bojangles it is because I am pregnant. If I want to stay on the couch all night and do nothing, it is because I am pregnant. If I cry at a movie or yell at my husband, it is definitely the pregnancy. I consider this all to be true but having the pregnancy excuse is pretty handy.

People are Nicer. People hold the door for you, let you jump in line, smile at you in passing, give up their seat for you, and even offer to hold your bags. I feel like people actually care about how pregnant women feel when they ask. This is something I will definitely miss after the baby comes.

No Period. I have the worst menstrual cramps, so skipping a period for over a year is awesome.

Sweats Whenever I Want. At home of course. Although, I have been getting away with dressing down at work now that I am noticeably very pregnant.

Ultrasounds. Any chance you get to see your baby is pretty great. We have seen our baby boy four times. Two were at the doctor and two were paid for. Well worth the money to get a glance at that sweet baby.

Baby Clothes. Pretty much buying anything for the baby is fun, especially tiny little outfits. I love thinking about my baby wearing the clothes in the future. He is going to be so cute it that is usually what I am thinking.

Nesting. Decorating is one of my favorite things to do anyway, so of course decorating a baby room makes this list. Even washing baby clothes puts a smile on my face.

Feeling Baby Move. It is pretty amazing knowing there is a life inside you. Those kicks and jabs are the best reminder of this. I love feeling the baby move. Around 8:00 at night is the best. He is all over the place, and it is so cool.

Knowing you will meet your baby soon. In six weeks we will meet our baby boy. The onset of labor may be scary, but knowing you are about to meet your child is a great feeling. I cannot wait until that car ride to the hospital.

The Bad.

Peeing All the Time. That baby is pressing on my bladder all the time making me have to pee all the time. I am getting up six to seven times a night. We should have stock in Charmin toilet paper.

Not being Able to Sleep. Maybe it is the getting up six to seven times or maybe it is the feeling like it is ninety degrees when it is really seventy. Getting comfortable at night is nearly impossible. I cannot wait to sleep on my back again.

Nausea. I was not sick with my first pregnancy, but this pregnancy got me. Certain smells, going up the stairs, brushing my teeth, no food on my stomach... I felt like anything and everything was setting me off in the first thirteen weeks. I even got sick just a couple of weeks ago. Not fun at all.

Swollen Feet. During my last pregnancy, my feet looked like they were straight out of a cartoon. This pregnancy they are not as bad but still swollen feet. It is definitely not a comfortable feeling. Can't wait to have normal sized feet again.

Pregnancy Brain. I for sure have it. I forget where I put my keys, purse, and shoes. I have even lost a few items I still can't find. Pregnancy Brain is For Real!

Shaving. I cannot see anything under my belly, especially my bikini line. I often cut myself and usually don't do a good job shaving. Who knew shaving would be something I miss.

Being Hungry. It seems never ending. Two hours after a big meal, I am hungry again. I have to pack two breakfasts to take to work. I feel like I have an appetite for a lot more that two.

Back Pain. I have back pain even when I am not pregnant, but pregnancy surely does not make it better. I am sure it does not help that I have a desk job and sit at my computer hours a day. I am so ready for the birth of my son and for summer to follow.

Sniffles. I have had a stuffy nose the entire duration of my pregnancy so far. Because of my weaker immune system, I have also been sick twice. I just want to be able to breathe again.

The No No's of Pregnancy. I miss a good glass of wine, hoppy beer, sashimi, rare steak, and caffeine just to name a few. Counting down the days until I can eat raw tuna and have a nice glass of sparkling.

As bad as pregnancy may sometimes be, it is so worth it. I would give up alcohol, sushi, or any of the no no's for the rest of my life if it meant I would have a healthy baby. It is all worth it when the doctor hands over that perfect baby. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mila's Favorite Foods

It is really fun and also really frustrating learning the foods my toddler will eat and not eat. I never would have thought a couple of these would be her favorites.  

1. Cottage Cheese - I am not even sure why this stuff was ever in our house, because I certainly don't eat it. My husband picked it up from the store one day, I guess for himself, and it quickly became a must on our grocery list. This girl loves cottage cheese. I think it is for sure her number one on the list.

2. Hummus - One of my favorites and now one of my daughter's. I like hummus on crackers, pretzels, celery, and carrots. Mila just likes hummus. She licks it off what ever I giver her and will eat it with a spoon out of the container if I let her. I sometimes can get her to eat a hummus sandwich but she often opens that up and licks the hummus up. Silly baby.

3. Cantaloupe - This is our go to food when Mila says "No" to the food we have prepared for her. We usually always have one cut up in the fridge. We, Mila and her preggo Mama go through at least two cantaloupes a week.

4. Sweet Bell Peppers - This is a new find that Mila's babysitter mentioned and it is true. Mila loves red bell peppers, especially when she can dip them in ketchup.

5. Pineapple - I think pineapple is Mila's second favorite fruit, but she prefers cantaloupe.

6. Yogurt - Mila gets really excited for yogurt, but I am starting to think she likes to make a mess with it more than she likes to actually eat it. Last night she stuck her hand in the container, grabbed a handful and wiped in across the counter top. Not cool!

7. Broccoli - Mila will pretty much eat any fruit but hardly any veggies. Surprisingly, this is the one veggie she usually says yes to.

8. Oatmeal - She is definitely spoiled with the peaches and cream or blueberries and cream but Mila loves this stuff. She usually finishes the bowl.

Honerable Mentions

Fla-vor-ice - I have been wanting a lot of these lately. I was just sharing with Mila but she was getting more than I was, so I decided she can have her own. She is actually a pro at eating them. I was of course worried she might choke. I just keep a close eye on her and she is one happy girl for the duration of her ice stick.

Apple Juice - I usually mix apple juice with water but these juice pouches do that for me. I was impressed that she can drink out of a pouch at 20 months. Go Mila.

Dip - I don't consider dip an actual food but Mila certainly does. Every time we sit down for a meal she says dip. It is really cute but hard to find a dip for every meal. Mila will dip pretty much anything in ketchup and eat it, even pineapple.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Real Bunny vs. Man in a Rabbit Suit

I have never understood why so many people flock to the mall to get their child's picture taken with the Easter Bunny. It is pretty freaky to think about it really. I would be letting my daughter sit in a man's lap that I know nothing about. For all I know he could be a pedophile.

Usually a toddler's reaction to this ridiculous giant bunny costume is more fear that delight. This is also true with Santa Claus. I have rarely if ever seen a small child happy to be sitting in Santa's lap or the Easter bunny's. In fact there are tons of websites out there dedicated to this. Here are just a few Easter photos gone wrong I came across Funny Easter Pictures, Terrifying Photos of Giant Bunnies, 47 Easter Bunnies More Terrifying Than a Crucified Man Coming Back From the Dead. Unless you are trying to make it big by getting on one of the websites or you want to laugh about your child screaming and crying, I feel like you should just pass on torturing your child.

There are adults out there fearful of people in costumes. Masklophobia is the fear of mascots (people in costumes), Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns, and Xenohabilzoophobia is the fear of people in animal costumes. It makes complete sense that children wouldn't like mascots, clowns, the Easter Bunny or Santa. 

Instead of making my daughter suffer and sit in a man's lap in a bunny costume, I decided to get pictures of her with a real bunny. Mila absolutely loved the bunny rabbit and the pictures turned out great. I feel good about it. I would much rather show my friends, family, and the future adult Mila happy pictures than scary ones.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pregnancy Brain is For Real

There is mixed data on whether or not pregnancy brain really exists. Some research suggests that pregnant women are no more forgetful than other women but then there are the pregnancy books and manuals that warn pregnant women to expect it.

Helen Christensen, PhD, of The Australian National University blames being forgetful on being busy, stressed, and short on sleep. She even goes on to say on WebMD that pregnancy also shuffles what gets your attention and that your IQ doesn't change, but your priorities do. I am not buying any of that.

I put my trust in neuropsychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine. He states during pregnancy, “the body grows, and the brain shrinks about six percent." It is not known why this happens. There are many hypotheses. One is that there are all kinds of lipids and fats that live in the brain and that the baby takes what it needs literally eating your brain.

It was published in the journal Endocrine Abstracts, that pregnancy affects a woman’s spatial ability, or remembering where we put the car keys. I forget where I put my purse, my phone, and even my shoes. This sounds like a perfectly good explanation to me.

It is hard to think Pregnancy Brain is a myth. I have become more clumsy. I forget people's names that I work with everyday, I mix up words, can't form proper sentences, and just last night I put our leftover chicken in the cupboard. It wasn't until my husband called me out a couple hours later that I realized what I had done.

Helen Christensen and her colleagues could be right, but this doesn't make me feel good at all. That leaves me with no excuse and I have used the pregnancy brain one quite a bit. Certainly momnesia is real. It happened with my first pregnancy, and it is surely the reason for my not so smart behavior now.

The good news is, at least for me and my first case of baby brain, this is temporary. My ability to remember simple tasks, form complete sentences, and put food in the right location all came back after the birth of my beautiful daughter. I am hoping the same will be true after this second child.