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I dropped my basket yesterday.  That’s a polite Southern term for, “I went bat-shit crazy for no apparent nor discernible reason and/or demonic possession.”  Not because of anything particular – not grief, not worry, not sadness for Babies A and B, not concern for Baby Girl – I just lost it.

Yup, I was possessed by pregnancy hormones.

It hadn’t happened to me yet in this pregnancy were I act like a total irrational bitch and burst into terms for no apparent reason.  Well, lemme tell you, last night was the night.  I went out in a blaze of glory.  I often wondered how people could claim they killed someone and had no memory of it.  Now I know.  It was a daze of feet stomping, huffing and puffing, and I can’t even tell you why it started but it ended in me sobbing on the couch, screaming at Hubby, “you don’t care that my feet are swollen!  They look like Frodo feet!  I have Frodo feet!”  My face was bright red, hair was sticking to my wet and snotty face and I used the Puppy as a tissue (he had climbed on the couch out of concern and ended up leaping off like a bolt of lightening when I wiped my snotty nose on his ear – poor Puppy).  Seriously, it was like a scene from “The Exorcist.”

As you should do with all living beings having a tantrum/demonic possession, Hubby walked away.  He went into the office and left me alone.  When I stopped sniveling and sobbing and crying, he came back out and said, “you need to get in bed.”  At which point I actually said, “I don’t wanna!”  It was so awful and embarrassing, I can’t even tell you.  But I got up, crawled in bed, Hubby put a pillow under my legs to elevate the Frodo feet, massage them for about 10 minutes, handed me some hot cocoa and my Kindle and said, “Relax.”

When he came to bed about 30 minutes later, I was quiet, relaxed and calm.  I apologized to Hubby and said, “I can’t even tell you what happened….”  He said, “it’s okay, I think you just got tired, your feet hurt and your back hurts and you lost it.”

I love Hubby.  I’m totally going to have sex with him again……..in 3 months or so.

At my appointment yesterday I tried to sound sane when I asked, what I am sure were, some of the dumbest questions a Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellow has ever heard.  Of course, Dr. B was super nice because he’s incapable of being anything but nice. 

1) I asked about my depression and anxiety meds, do I bring them with me or do they administer them to me.  He said they give them to me – hospital policy. 

2) When’s my next ultrasound/appointment and when do I tell you I want an epidural?  He said from now on, I come every 2 weeks again, like in the beginning and he’s writing down the epidural thing.

3) Finally, I asked if I have to take the birthing/parenting classes that they require?  “No,” he told me, “you were waived out of that requirement.” 

Wait, what?  Really?  I was “waived out of” that requirement?  By who (or is it “whom?”  Nevermind)?

Apparently, at the morning rounds when I first became a MFM patient oh those long 18 weeks ago, they decided I had been traumatized enough and didn’t need to unnecessarily visit the hospital where I delivered my stillborn twins or watch a graphic video of a birth.  Dr. B said the discussion boiled down to this, “we don’t need a medicated, hormonal, red-haired pregnant woman with PTSD going bat-shit crazy in the hospital.  It’s bad for business….”

Made me a little paranoid to be talked about though…

My Aunt, who I spoke about yesterday, met me after my appointment today (everything is great, normal, on schedule, on track – it’s weird).  We were talking about the normalness of this pregnancy and how people in my life have been handling the impending arrival of Baby Girl.  Aunt G said something to me that made me take a breath, she said:

“TRUST me, you, your mom & I did not have a “normal” bring wonderful children into the world experiences the first time around.  We will over indulge and love every minute of it….we are definitely ENTITLED.  People in your life who hurt with you when you lost the boys are entitled to a little joy with Baby Girl.”*

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that Baby Girl is healthy and kicking all the time but as some point, I’ve figured out that I deserve this and I deserve to be her mom.  Hell, everyone reading this blog deserves to have a child and be a mom or dad – by whatever means!  But I think my aunt’s comment made me realize that I’m entitled to smile like a jackass in the middle of line at Target and look around at all the people around me and say, “she’s kicking me.  It’s awesome.” (So what if they didn’t ask and don’t care and I end up in Dorothea Dix Mental Hospital.  Oh well).

Guess the point of this post is that I’ve fought like hell to enjoy this pregnancy, to make myself believe that she will be here, alive, screaming and healthy in January.  I’ve taken medication daily to function for my sanity and for her well-being.  I’ve gone to therapy, I know what triggers fear and anxiety and I avoid those things.  I’ve talked about being pregnant with people instead of pretending it’s not happening.

I think what I’m feeling is happy.  Oh shit.  It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten what happy feels like.  Well, I’m entitled, right?

*I am not so self-centered to think that the birth of Baby Girl will be a ground moving experience for everyone but Aunt G is right, there are people in my life who’ve literally held their breath, held my hand, or held me throughout the past 28 weeks.  They are entitled too.

I was emailing my favorite aunt this morning about Baby Girl (she and my Uncle were 22 when I was born, I was their practice baby – that is until my Uncle died of leukemia when I was 9 – seriously, nobody in the family is over that yet and it’s been 25 years – that’s how I learned that grief takes as long as it takes – oh and they lost a baby at 36 weeks, so we get each other).  She’s a neonatal nurse of about 30 some odd years, her new husband was the head of the NICU (retired now) and the two of them met working on a mist that helps preemies with under-developed lungs.  If you had a preemie in the last 15 years, you benefitted from their research.  Anywho, she said something to me today that outside of the world of deadbabymamas would be totally upsetting and weird but for me, it was awesome:

Aunt G: “How far along are you?”

Me: “28 weeks and some change”

AG: “Perfect.  White, female, 28 weeks – totally viable in the NICU.  We don’t want Baby Girl in the NICU but if it happens from this point on, she’d be good.”

Me: “Great!”

Oddly comforting in a scary way…

When you, random stranger, ask me, “is this your first?” and I answer “sort of…”  I”m not being “cheeky,”  I’m sparing us both the story by not answering what I really want to say.  What would your reaction be if I said, “no, I should be buying 2 little tiger costumes for 2 year old twin boys but they died.”  If you continue to push me into telling you about my boys by saying, “what’s that supposed to mean?”  or flippantly say, “oh okay, well, whatever!”  I will tell you about my boys.  I will tell you about how I’ve never been this pregnant before, how I grieve for them even though they were so little when they left us or how every second that Baby Girl doesn’t kick, my heart stops, just for a minute.  How I’m so grateful to Baby Girl when she kicks me so hard I can see it on my belly.  Or how I bargain with the anxiety and ration the pills so I don’t take more than I should because let’s face it, I could take a 1/2 of one daily until delivery.  But I’m trying.  I’m trying and so instead of unloading on this person when they ask, “is this your first?”, I say, “well, sort of – we’ve been waiting for Baby Girl for a long time…”

But push me and you should consider yourself warned.

It has occurred to me on more than one occasion lately that I should be doing something.  I didn’t make it to the third trimester last time with the boys.  Straight from second trimester to delivery, do not pass “Go” and you certainly do not get to leave the hospital with your babies.  Now, with Baby Girl, I’ve cruised right through the second trimester into the third.  Now what?  I’m lost.  I don’t have the books…I mean, I do but they are the nursery and I can’t bear to look at them but it does seem like I should be doing something to prepare.  Shouldn’t I?

I didn’t get to the part in the book about what to take to the hospital.  Is that even in the book?  When do I need to pack a bag?  I don’t think I have a bag.  What goes in the bag?  I’ve seriously become obsessed with The Bag.  I don’t have a diaper bag yet either and that seems important for the hospital.  And the boob things.  You know, the boob covers?  Where do I get those?  Do I need them for the hospital?  What are they for?  I have a sleep nursing bra that I’m immensely proud to say I purchased all on my own, thankyouverymuch but of course, it dawned on me in the middle of the night that I bought my normal size.  If I remember correctly (and it’s really fuzzy as I was beyond doped up when I came home without the boys) but don’t your boobs get really big?  I remember looking down and thinking, “I look like Pamela-fucking-Anderson, what the hell?” and promptly bursting into tears.  And what about jammies?  Do I take cute ones?  I didn’t have the option last time.  Are cute ones even an option?

I have a mother and I think to myself, “shouldn’t she be telling me these things?”  As you know, we’ve got an odd relationship that I have to say, has gotten markedly better since Baby Girl’s conception.  I will say that she forgets sometimes that I’ve been part of the way down this road.  Maybe she thinks I don’t need any more guidance because I recently said to her, “you know Mom, I’ve been pregnant before…”  In my defense, however, she was trying to tell me what it felt like to have the baby kick you.

I seriously feel like everyone else just knows this stuff and because I’m so freakn’ damaged, I can’t muddle my way through it to figure it out.

last night.  She didn’t kick me for a whole 45 minutes.  In my world, that is an eternity.  Longest 45 minutes of my life right there.  I realize how silly this sounds, I know but I was actually going over the conversation I would have to have with Hubby – that’s how convinced I was she wasn’t okay.  I drank water, I drank milk, I laid down flat, I sat “buddha-style,”  I paced, I even jumped (did not feel great on the boobs lemme tell ya).  My heart was pounding so hard, I could see it on my chest.  And I was home alone.  Obviously.  Had Hubby been home, I would have never acted like a loon (who are we kidding, yes I would have).  It was too late to take half a Clonopin because my usual whole dose was due in about an hour. 

So how did I talk myself down?  I dimmed the lights, sat “buddha-style” on the couch, took 5 deep breaths and put on my DVR’d episode of Grey’s Anatomy (yes, the one with the angry uterus).  Next thing I know….thump.  Thump.  Thump.

It’s been a while since I freaked out that badly.  I don’t know if it’s because I came out on this blog or because I saw a dead butterfly in the parking lot or because 20 minutes earlier or because Duke Fertility called to say they had a donor for us.  Of course, my polite response was “no room at the Inn!” and the nurse laughed and quickly remembered I was pregnant already.  I have it in my head that if I get to 28 weeks, I will be fine.  I will instantly turn back into that carefree woman I was 2 years and 7 months ago who thought my world would never come crashing down.  That’s not going to happen, is it?

An hour later, I crawled into bed and she was kicking me so hard I could see my belly move.  I cried for the first time in a really long time.

a lot.  If she goes more than a couple of minutes without kicking, I massage my belly and she kicks in response.  I need her to kick.  I’m panicked if she doesn’t.  That’s how I knew Baby B was gone.  He stopped kicking. 

That’s right.  I’m pregnant again.  I’m nearly 27 weeks.  I’ve held out talking about this on my blog for two reasons.  First, I know it’s painful for a lot of you to hear about someone being pregnant.  Second, I didn’t want to jinx it.  I know many of you understand that fear. 

I don’t know her BT status.  We tried to do an amnio and the sac wasn’t totally fused so it didn’t work.  We went back for an 18 week scan and the doctor said this was clearly not a Trisomy 13 baby so we elected not to do it.  What difference would it have made at that point?  I was already in love with her just like I was with the boys.

She’s been alive longer than either of the Baby Boys.  I still panic despite the meds that I’ve been prescribed – Zoloft and Clonopin.  I was resistant to the meds but had a full blown freak out meltdown at 12 weeks – seriously, it was bad.  Think Sally Field in “Steel Magnolias” – you know the scene after the funeral.  Screaming, crying, hair pulling.  All because of a small smear of blood.  A kind and caring doctor and nurse came in and said, “we need to get you calmed down.  You need something.”  At that point, I thought, “hell, admit me to the psych ward for the next 6 months and keep me doped up.  Just let this baby live to see the light of day.”   They didn’t admit me.  They referred me to an ante-natal loss counselor – a nurse practitioner who can prescribe meds and counseling.  She’ s been wonderful.  I’d have loved to have her around 2 years ago….

But she kicks.  A lot.  I’ve seen the third trimester – somewhere I didn’t get to go before.  According to Dr. H, my high-risk Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor, I’m his least high risk patient.  I’m easy, they just didn’t know where to put me so they stuck me with him.  I’m happy about that…he seems like nothing much phases him but I guess when your other job is an Army Trauma Surgeon with 2 tours in Iraq, you are pretty unflappable.

The nursery is in shambles because we can’t bring ourselves to do a ton with it yet.  We are using my mother in law’s visit in November as an excuse.  I will be almost 30 weeks then.  But I’ve also forced myself to enjoy her.  I’ve bought her clothes – my favorite are little pink high top sneakers that hang with the doggy slippers I bought Hubby when I told him I was pregnant with the boys.  Three pairs of shoes.  I’m a mother of 3.  That’s a weird feeling.

But she kicks a lot and that’s good.

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