Old News: Past Blog Posts

Sunday, June 30, 2013

L&D: Hollywood vs The Rest of Us


I spent the first 30 years of my life in blissful ignorance.  I happily assumed that when the time came to do this baby thing, it would be dramatic and terribly painful and *just* like the movies.  

Check it: My water would break on the pavement of some chic urban neighborhood, ending a critical argument with someone significant and ruining my designer shoes (what??) and I would be whisked away in a taxi (double what??), cut to me posed spread-eagle on a hospital bed, screaming and cursing at my husband, the whole scene ending with a beautiful shot of the two of us (makeup and hair perfectly situated) cradling a plump newborn (who in appearance is  probably more like 9 weeks old).

History has proved this scenario to be not only wrong, but totally laughable.  I think I can say with confidence that this is true for most women.  

Because I am not most women, I cannot vouch for the extent to which the usual childbirth experience varies from the Hollywood experience...but I can say that *my* experiences haven't been even remotely similar.  And it's not just because I would never pay 800 bucks on a pair of shoes.

For starters, no one told my boys they were supposed to stay put for 40 weeks.  There is apparently a sign posted inside my uterus claiming eviction will occur after 31 weeks and they both took it very seriously.  

PART ONE: Water breaks, Dolces ruined:

With #1, my membrane ruptured at 31 weeks and one day.  The only thing that was ruined was the upholstery on my grandmother's dining room set -- oh, and one hell of a St Patrick's day party.  

With #2, there was no dramatic water-breaking scene (until the delivery room), only a tearful admission to the hospital following failure of a scheduled non-stress test -- measures contractions -- and the discovery that I was 3cm dilated (at 30 weeks, 2 days).  

PART TWO:  Taxi cab flies through urban streets

With #1, I was chauffeured to the hospital by a very pregnant girlfriend, who got the job mainly because there was no other sober alternative, and accompanied by my not-so-sober husband.  

With #2,  I was rolled down the hallway from my peri-natal room to Labor and Delivery on a hospital bed that may as well have been drinking.  It was like when you select a shopping cart with a broken wheel that keeps pulling left...except we couldn't just swap it out for another from the cart corrale.  Calamity, all around  

PART THREE: Spread-eagle, cursing and shouting.

With #1, there was a little shouting, mainly in despair over not having made it to a birthing class or even read as far as the delivery chapter of What to Expect...  and not directed at my husband because he was out grabbing pizza at the time.

With #2, no shouting to speak of.  There were frequent attempts to crawl out of my own skin in all directions, yes... and for whatever reason the whole thing culminated with me  being denied an epidural (too late sister!) and counting to 10 over and over like a lunatic.

PART FOUR: Adoring parents and snoozing enorma-newborn. 

Here is the part that makes me cry.  Both my precious boys were whisked promptly into recovery rooms where they scored appalling initial APGARs (3 and 2, respectively) and were subsequently rushed to the NICU in isolets.  Both still had their peach-fuzzy and pruned skin, low muscle tone (from that damn magnesium) and impossibly tiny bodies.  We couldn't hold them for at least a day while they stabilized.  

Oh, and I looked like sh*t after both deliveries.


Friday, June 28, 2013

A Guest Blogger: My Crude and Evil Twin


Fair warning: excessive and arguably unnecessary use of (astericked-abbreviated) profanity just ahead.  Do not read if you are under 18, easily offended, my mother, or future versions of my children.

Let's do this...

F*ck the following:

F*ck my broken, lazy ass boobs with their pathetic supply and terrible let-down ability.

F*ck leaving a crying 4 lb baby in the care of perfect strangers.

F*ck this worthless 1200 dollar breast pump.

F*ck spending 4 hours a day pumping.

Duck you, autocorrect.

F*ck my shattered goddamn iPhone screen.

F*ck my incompetent mother f-ing reproductive system that evicts babies after 31 weeks.

F*ck sleeping for one or two 60-90 minute intervals each night

F*ck being told to 'get some rest!!' -- but don't you dare go more than 3 hours between pumps.

F*ck lactation consultants and their weird goddamn agenda to save the world through breast-fed babies. 

F*ck you hormones and uncontrollable sobbing and feeling like I have no shred of control.

F*ck my full, throbbing boobs and cramping uterus.

F*ck the Internet and it's ability to turn me instantly into a crazy person.

F*ck that stupid, smiling, lactating lady from the instructional video with her stupid 90s bangs and geyser-ass nipples.

F*ck procardia and magnesium and modified bed rest and hospital bed rest and everyone who implied or said explicitly that didn't do enough or did too much.

F*ck having to go back to work so I can afford to take maternity leave.

F*ck feeling so angry and frustrated that I can't seem to stop using the F-word.

F*ck my sore left deltoid from my Tdap vaccine.

F*ck that idiot nurse who tried to instruct me at discharge to continue taking procardia and progesterone when I got home.

F*ck being so de-conditioned that a flight of stairs or a 100 yard walk gets me winded.

F*ck drinking 30 gallons of water a day.

F*ck this blog post for making me feel better.

That is all.

* thank you for enduring that so patiently.  I totally understand if you are *over* my blog and never intend to read it again.  I plead pregnancy-hormones, if you're the sort of person who accepts excuses.  I am not and will probably personally boycott reading future posts of mine.  As for my amazingly patient husband, who has put up with quite enough of my crap already today, I apologize... Assuming you've read this far and haven't already packed a suitcase (socks are in the dryer).



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

That New-Mommy Smell



Whilst FaceTiming with my in-laws who had graciously agreed to watch our rug-ratty #1 overnight, I was told something shocking, 'mommy looks so beautiful!'

Bear in mind, I had already given birth to yet a-nother 31-weeker earlier in the day, so the shock value bar was set pretty high yesterday.  However, I had spent five days in bed, not showered in three, spent almost six hours in a narcotic/epidural-free labor, delivered a 4lb baby au natural, and haven't seen the business end of a tube of mascara in probably four months.  Still, my darling MIL is not known for blowing smoke up one's rear (will regularly point out when I - legitimately - look 'tired') just for the hell of it.  I have to assume there was *something' that prompted the comment.  Then I glanced at myself in the small window on the screen beneath my grinning toddler and saw the most enormous smile on my face I have ever seen. 

It may have boarded on 'creepy joker' big, like something was definitely up.  If in 16 years, one of my teenagers ever come home with that smile I will immediately suspect drug usage and promptly order a search and seizure of all involved bedrooms and cars.
(Yup, gonna be that kinda mom...right?)

The point is, I was grinning like a fool because despite all the shock and pain (oh Lordy, the pain!) and frustration of the day, I am a mommy again.

It's a role I wasn't sure I'd be good at (still not..at all) or even one I had felt was necessary in my life.  But as it turns out, it makes me happy.  Creepy enormous smile happy.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Why 'Incompetent' ??



Good question.

Because I think the medical term: Incompetent Cervix is offensive and well let's face it, a bit mean-spirited.  So I choose to poke fun at it.  Let's remember it's a term being applied to women who are currently pregnant and/or have experienced a pregnancy loss.  Do you really want to be the a-hole to insult them or their most personal organs during such a sensitive, hormone-riddled time in their lives?  Should we be essentially criticizing the very pieces of these women that *define* them as women?

I say no..fully realizing no one actually cares what I say.

At this point, I have not even been given that diagnosis formally.  Or maybe none of my doctors have had the balls to say it to my face.  Frankly, I count myself extremely lucky because in most cases, IC is diagnosed following one or more 2nd trimester losses, and that does not apply to me.

I did have a 31-weeker following a pPROM in May 2012 (5 weeks in the NICU and doing great, thanks for asking!) and have been experiencing a 'thinning cervix' since week 21 of my second pregnancy (presently sitting at a 1.1cm, in case you're into numbers)

Maybe it's not the best blog name, but it's most definitely not the best medical term either.  While we're at it, can we discuss 'Irritable Uterus'??  

At any rate, I arrived at the name lying in a hospital bed in the dead of night and it's certainly not the worst decision I've made after midnight.

Hope you can find some entertainment in my family's ridiculous and sometimes rotten luck.  They say sometimes you can either laugh or you cry.  I chose laugh.

BTW: I am starting a campaign that will be presented to the medical community shortly.  I say we either re-name Incompetent Cervix and Irritable Uterus to something less offensive and infuriating or start calling Erectile Dysfunction 'Insufficient Penis' or 'Crabby Dick'.

Thanks for listening.

Why Mommy Message Boards Make Me Batty



It may not surprise you to learn that today I decided to Google the term 'surviving hospital bed rest'. What can I say? It seemed relevant.

There I was, casually 'surfing the web' when I suddenly found myself gasping for air after being rapidly sucked into deeper waters by an undertow of message boards.  Damn!!  Those bitches got me again!

So now I am making a short list.  It will remind me of why I should renew my commitment to stick with an earlier vow I made to steer way clear of mommy message boards once and for all.

Two Reasons Mommy Message Boards Make Me Batty:

1.  Grammar snob, coming through:  Okay, I am happy to admit that my writing is probably not always the picture of ideal grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  I also fully understand that message boards are not intended to be scrutinized for appropriate comma placement or use of upper case letters.  But I just can't keep myself from wondering what 5th grade teacher let these people move onto middle school without some basic understanding of the use of apostrophes.  Really??? 

Shoot.  I just realized the Magnesuim is making me dizzy, standing up here on top of my soapbox. Plus, you people don't care about grammar anyways, right? It's a dying art.  The word 'you' will be completely extinct, fully replaced by it's lazy counterpart: the letter 'u,' by the time my son reaches Kindergarten.

2.  I don't need more things to keep me up at night.  Lying awake listening to beeping IV poles, the clicking and whooshing of SCDs, and being badgered by vital checks and full bladders is plenty, thanks.  Now I can't stop worrying about 'Elizabetty' from NJ and her 9 weeks in trendelenburg and wondering why she couldn't see her 3 -year-old.  

Incidentally, once I was able to come up for air from the message board pit of despair, I did find some nice tips from bloggers and 'legit' websites on 'surviving' bed rest.  

Because I am forever an optimist, I will hold on off blogging my response to these sites and suggestions.  Word on the street is that the magnesium will get the boot tomorrow morning and if my uterus cooperates, I could be headed home before long!













Day Four of My Captivity: When is a hand not a hand...?


Day four of this particular party means a couple things: 

1) I have now met four different resident 'doclings' who apparently have all made it their mission to desperately over-compensate for the current Attending MFM's borderline-curt bedside manner.  It's adorabe too because they have less than six seconds to do so before they are abruptly tugged out of the room by the invisible force-field that tethers them to him. Honestly, I don't sweat his brief visits.  He thoroughly cuts the BS and doesn't seem to believe in making predictions that may just prove false.

2) Time for a new IV site!   I believe there are two types of people: those must watch the needle enter their flesh and those who can't.  I fall into the latter group.  Once the little bugger has punctured my skin, we can be total pals, but no sooner.  In the moments *during* it's mini assault on my outer layer, it's fully necessary that I chose a nice spot on the wall or ceiling to scrutinize so I don't freak.  This habit started during my blood donation days back in collage and holds especially true with the 1 bazillion gage needle presently pumping no-baby juices into my system.

Question for ya: when is a hand not a hand??  

When it turns into a pincushion.

'Our charge nurse is really good at placing IVs,' my nurse pointed out in a confident manner which should have been a clue that the universe was about to turn on me.  I only tempted fate further by joking with the poor woman as she scattered her materials along my blanket: 'I hear you're really good, so no pressure.'

Naturally, it then took three attempts by two separate nurses in two different limbs to find a cooperative vein.  

You should have seen the bloody mess my poor husband and son walked in on...the kid may only be 15-months-old, but he will for sure need therapy now at some point.

Now I have a sparkly new IV site in my right arm and a battered left hand.  If they discontinue the mag today, I might actually be bummed.




























Saturday, June 22, 2013

My 36 oz hospital mug is half full (vs half empty)

Today, I decided to make a mental list of positive things in my life right now.  
I'm not doing this to brag, BTW.

1.  Room service:  Breakfast in bed? Yes, please.
2.  Complementary wireless Internet access:  So I can finish ordering nursery essentials and connect with all of my amazing friends, family, and 'outlier' acquaintances who have suddenly started cheering for me (you are all appreciated beyond what I could possibly ever express in words) 
3.  FaceTime:  So I can feel like I'm right there in my living room watching my little monkey terrorize the bejeezus out of the dogs.  
4.  Face wash: take *that* pregnancy acne!!
5.  Getting kicked in the ribs:  because it means he's strong and still posed to arrive head first.  Although, I recall being elbowed in the exact same rib by big brother...WTH? Did he leave a note behind or something??
6.  My mom: Who I suspect may have cleared Buy Buy Baby out of their entire maternity clothes section in an effort to make me feel both comfortable and human again and because she is simply wonderful.
7.  My dad: Because hospitals -- and the L&D stuff in general -- are way outside of his comfort zone, but he has taken great joy in caring for his grandson and has been perfectly willing to disregard his discomfort to bring the kid for daily visits with mama.
8.  SCDs: Go ahead and call me crazy, but I still consider them an essential part of my delusional spa getaway.
9.  My friends/family: I gotta bring you people up again because I just can't quit loving y'all.  Even the smallest gesture of support makes this whole thing a lot easier to stomach.  They say 'it takes a village,' bit apparently it can take a flippin' army before the kid even arrives. 
10.  My partner in crime:  He is only left for last because he is indeed the best.  Now, if the dude would just quit knocking me up....
















Friday, June 21, 2013

Night Three of My Captivity: Cue the Waterworks


A really amazing friend of mine recently spent the better part of two months confined to a hospital bed in order to bring one of the most beautiful little girls I've ever seen into this world.  She told me when I visited (around halfway through her stay) that her doctors were commending her on making it so far without requiring a psych consult.  Apparently most women are prone to 'meltdowns' a couple weeks into a hospital bed rest scenario.  

My friend, of course, is a rock-solid woman with a deep sense of determination, amazing sense of humor, and a pretty excellent husband too (poor guy had to drive the better part of an hour to get from home to the hospital where she was staying).  I wasn't sure that I could have respected her spirit any more than I did when I watched her plow her way through a difficult pregnancy...but now I do. 

They haven't called in the psych consult yet, but I can smell it coming already.  

My second full day here was full of measurable triumphs: early morning contractions were noted when I requested a monitor, but subsided quickly. The second round of monitoring showed small contractions about every 10 minutes, but they were undetected by me (an annoying trend of mine) and dismissed by both RN and MD.  The evening tango with the monitor proved me to be free and clear of any contractions.  Baby is sounding strong and kicking all the time, and the attending MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine doc) even made some noises about removing that damn magnesium as early as tomorrow!

All excellent news, right?  Check it: I even took a lovely shower, hung out with my lovely mama, got to see my dad and my sweet little boy a couple times, and got some quality husband time in as well.  

So why for the love of PETE could I not quit crying over the craziest stuff??  

In case you were wondering just how crazy we're talking, here is a list of things that made me cry today:

1.  The ridiculously friendly man who brought my breakfast, Robert, opened a nice 'hot hand wipe,' for me to wash my hands prior to my meal.
2.  My mom brushed braided my hair (and was gentle!!)
3.  I accidentally ran the bed into the free standing monitor while un-reclining
4.  A toddler toy found in my bed after the kiddo left for the night
5.  The local evening news.
6.  A blog post written by my dear friend and personal hero who is presently riding her bike solo from coast to coast.

Now, before you all start an online petition to have me committed for good, maybe we can review some of the facts that may have lead to my general weepiness today (big shout out to my hubs for pointing these out to me before I could pry the window opened and jump out):

1.  I haven't slept more than 90 minutes at a time since my admission on Wednesday
2.  They're literally pumping me full of mood-altering drugs 
3.  What was that last one again?  Oh right, I'm *pregnant*

So, I'm dealing with it.  I'm putting my big girl pants on (under my hospital gown, of course) and dealing with it. I think I might even try to sleep for a few more hours.  

Catch you on the flip side.  Hopefully, there will be fewer tears there ;)















Day Three of My Captivity: Winning the Husband Lottery


A recent FB comment inquiring the whereabouts of my thus-far unmentioned spouse inspired this emergency blog post.

How dare I imply his absence?  Shame on me!  Seriously, shame!!!

In adequately describing his unending sacrifice and iron-clad support style, I really wouldn't even know where to begin.  Do I rewind nearly six years to describe how he inexplicably pursued me across two different states for six months and has basically spent every spare ounce of energy since that time proving himself as nothing short of decent, respectable, and fiercely loyal?  

His sense of humor and practicality have saved me numerous times from falling off the hypothetical cliff I sometimes teeter on the edge of during difficult moments.  You may be familiar with that cliff. It's daunting and terrifying.  It's filled with chaos and imagined tragedies that nip at your toes as you gaze over the edge.  He spins me around and pulls me back to solid ground every time. He points out that every problem has a solution and maybe we should just focus on one *real* problem at a time, as opposed to twenty *potential* problems which may never even come to fruition. 

To my knowledge, my amazing husband has never once turned his back on his family.  In contrast, he's typically the first to rush to the rescue.  He has certainly been the rock holding our growing family together.  Sure, he has rotten luck so far when it comes to actual physical presence in the delivery room.  But I can take the heat on that one.  I had no earthly idea that it was possible to squeeze a child out in 15 minutes or less after resting somewhat comfortably less than an hour earlier (I insisted he join his sister for dinner). We'll also just rest a little blame on the magnesium for that...stupid ass-bag.

The poor man spends the entire school-year working his tail off (often over the course of 12-15 hour workdays) anticipating just a few weeks of 'freedom' between summer school and band camp.  During this time, he generally tackles some daunting home improvement project.

Today will be his last day of summer school.  Here's a list of extra-curricular activities he has gracefully managed over the past few weeks:

6/5: Rushed from work to GDWEU*, **
6/6: From work to GDWEU again (love that place!***)
6/7: Skipped work to rush the kiddo to the pediatrician.
6/7: Rushed the kiddo to the ER
6/11: Skipped work again, back to kiddo ER with eventual admission****
6/11-6/12: Overnight in a chair so preggo wife can sleep at home.
6/19: Rushed from work to GDWEU with eventual admission.
6/19-6/20: Another night in a similar chair

Guess how many times he's complained?
That's right, not once.  

In fact, he has approached every bump in the road with levels of calm competence beyond my comprehension.  I honestly don't know how he does it.  The only bigger mystery is how he could possibly have decided that *I* deserve to be the biggest beneficiary of his devoted character.

-------------------


*My special acronym for the Women's Exam Unit/Preggo lady ER, you go ahead and guess what the GD stands for.

**Consists of sitting in yet another uncomfortable chair in a tiny coffin room, often listening to the terrifying soundtrack of women in the initial stages of labor or (worse) me tearfully playing out various apocalyptic scenarios.  The process usually takes 3-4 hours and demands that he switch on the both the charm and un-relenting patience buttons to keep us both sane.

***Sarcasm!!

****Diagnosis of paraflu and rhinovirus, the kiddo had a little trouble kicking this 'perfect storms' scenario.  Thankfully, he's recovered like a champ. 
















































Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day Two of My Captivity:  Magnesium Is Not Invited To My Birthday Party


Me and magnesium sulfate? We are not friends.  Now, we used to *really* hate each other.  Take last March; we pretty much went balls out in a 20-hour fight to the death.  The mag dripped furiously into my veins non-stop leaving me nauseous, weak, and woozy. I couldn't keep anything in my stomach and could barely peel myself out of bed.  Admittedly, that bastard had the upper hand that time; but in my defense, I was a little incapacitated due to the fact that I was basically *having a baby*.  

This time, things are different.  We still aren't friendly by any means.  That vindictive bitch still holds a bit of a grudge.  How can I put this?  Have you have ever run 26.2 miles then stayed up all night to study for an exam, all while fighting off moderate flu-like symptoms? Me neither (at least, not all at once).  But, that's about we're we stand at present.  Still, I haven't tossed my cookies and am perfectly capable of walking all the way across the room unaided, so I think I can safely say I'm holding my own this round.  

Meanwhile, the doctors are forcing us to work out our differences and we will be constant companions until sometime 'early next week' (do those guys like to keep it vague or what?).  Will we become friends?  Will we work out our differences and develop some sort of truce?  

Well, as it turns out neither one if us is particularly fond of those damn pre-term labor contractions.  So maybe we join our forces of hatred together--you know, junior high girl style--and start picking on those bitches as a unified front.  

So far, it seems to be working.

Maybe I *will* be inviting Magnesium to my birthday party.  



Day 1.5 of My Captivity: A 3am Bathroom Debacle 


Allow me of remind you that I am a woman who is squarely into her third trimester of pregnancy.  I have 3lbs and 5ozs dancing happily (ignorance really is bliss) on my bladder, and I have a feeling the constant flow of magnesium sulfate into my system doesn't slow the urinary process.  

Plus, it has come to my attention that a full bladder = contractions, and those can just kiss my enormous pregnant a$$ as far as I'm concerned.  

So at 3am when my bladder starts talking, I am a woman on a mission.  Plus, what the hell, I just slept for almost an hour so I'm totally up for the challenge.  

Logistically, navigating this 12 foot trip will be tricky.  
Thank God I'm a professional.

In fact, I have loads of experience ambulating woozy, drugged up patients--hospital gowns, IV poles and all--to the toilet. Heck, give me a weight-bearing restriction and we can *still*make that sh*t happen.  

First thing first: get rid of those ankle pumpers.  Flexing at the hips is a major challenge and my abs are presently on strike, so I pull myself erect with squeaky, less-than-confidence-building bed rails, as if I am 87-years-old.  Then I tuck my feet in close one at a time and try to quietly remove the velcro on my SCDs (yeah, ok it's not quiet)

Now, I engage myself with the cords on the two monitors strapped tightly to my torso.  Before standing and steadying myself against the powerful muscle relaxer, I will have to push my roll-y table out of the way.  In my haste, I catch the base onto part of the bed below, jerking the table abruptly. At this point, my giant hospital mug tips neatly over and onto the floor spilling at least 20 ounces of ice water across the tile floor.  

All I can think is these two words: fall risk.  But my bladder is persistent and I am a professional (despite my bare a$$ peaking out from the gown) and I *will not* be deterred.  

I stand, mentally check my wooziness levels (tolerable) and carefully reach to unplug the monitors.  I try to play it cool as I wrap the cords around my neck, because God forbid I create yet another environmental hazard (BTW: the lights are off too).

Next, I unplug the IV pole and drag it and my happy, bare a$$ into the bathroom, taking short cautious steps and veering around Lake Stupidity, which is slowly expanding at the foot of my bed.  

It's a bit bumpy on the threshold into the bathroom, but the bathroom is lit and I feel a but more confident here.  Because the room is lit, I observe that I have somehow run over the end of my IV tubing and tangled the whole thing up with my monitor cables. This need to be addressed...but not before I pee.

Sweet relief.  Once hands are properly washed, it's time to correct the IV pole problem.  I had tried to detangle from my seated position on the toilet, but baby was in the way.  So, taking a wide stance (because I am a professional and I know how to play it safe), I reach down to lift and swivel the stand with one hand while sliding the tubing away with the other.  Please do not picture me attempting this move, it will only give you nightmares.

A few moments later, we are detangled and ready to return to bed, carefully skirting Lake Stupidity (it's just gorgeous this time of year) on the way. I manage to plug all necessary components back into their rightful spots and climb back into bed. 

The SCDs can wait.

Moments later, my nurse arrives to take my vitals.  She is about 37 weeks into her third pregnancy and on hour eight of a 12 hour shift.  

She cleans up the spilled water, takes my vitals, and brings me a new jug with fresh water. She's super nice, but I find myself secretly hating her.

Still, I return her politeness with a warm smile and the necessary niceties, 
because after all, I am still a professional. 

































































Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day One of My Captivity


It was always a distinct possibility that my second attempt to procreate would culminate with a period of time confined to a hospital bed.  The early and quite startling arrival of my first little man left me feeling anxious about future pregnancies; but not so anxious as to prevent the casual (maybe even reckless) conception of #2 a mere eight months after delivering my son a full nine weeks early in the midst of hysteria and the absence of my husband (just out grabbing dinner...no biggie)

My new OB, an unassuming young woman -- admittedly chosen largely from the fact that her bio mentioned a love of running -- with practical shoes and a dry sense of humor (another irrelevant perk), calmly assured me we would 'do our best' to make it to the benchmark goal of 35 weeks.  Her calm reassurances persisted, even after my cervix (that's the basement of the uterus) began it's mysterious disappearing act after 21 weeks.  She mildly suggested I begin to cut back off my usual high impact, highly active lifestyle, cautiously citing the recent professional criticism of strict bed rest.  This allowed me to at least keep my 'day job' as a PT and toddler-mommy, even if my extra-curricular occupation as a fitness instructor had to hit the pause button.  

Two weeks ago (28 weeks), after weekly cervical checks, we hit a short enough point that more treatments were indicated.  

Male relatives or anyone with a history of squeamishness in response to topics such as menstruation or childbirth, or if you get jittery when you hear or see the word 'tampon', may choose to skip the rest of this paragraph:  Now, in addition to my 'vag pills' -- vaginal progesterone, and no you don't need to chase that with food or water -- I was now the proud owner of an inflatable pessary.  It's a balloon for your vagina (insert balloon animal joke here). And did I mention it was the size of a small fist?  Why would I? It would just make you uncomfortable.  Suddenly siting was my least favorite thing to do.  Stick a partially deflated tennis ball up any orifice in the southern region of your pelvis and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.   

Ok boys, welcome back.  During the placement of my above-mentioned medical device, it was discovered that I was actually experiencing contractions.  Who knew?  Not me. Enter another drug (procardia) to suppress said contractions.  Every six hours, round the clock.  

Six days and four ER visits later (two for me and two for my darling little boy smacked with a double whammy of paraflu and rhinovirus resulting in Croup)  I was hoping we had things under control.  The kiddo was healthy again and at the very least, we were getting our money's worth out of our medical insurance.  

Things were calm for about a week. Last week's appointment showed no further thinning (high five to me!) and no contractions on the 'Non Stress Test'.  I was elated. Suddenly a long, uncomfortable summer carrying a baby to full term seemed like a gloriously realistic possibility.  

Then today happened.

More thinning (down to 1.3cm) and more contractions, like 4-5 minutes apart contractions.  Now I was pissed. I had done everything I'd been asked to do and here we were.  Lots of water, a small meal, and a dosage of procardia did make a small dent in the significance of my contractions, but not enough to avoid another trip to the GDWEU (God Damned Women's Exam Unit---3/5ths of that is a legit acronym, I'll let you guess which part)

A quick manual check of my cervix earned me an express trip down the hall to be admitted as an inpatient in the peri-natal unit.  As my wheelchair rolled past the doors to the NICU on the way to my cell (I mean, hospital room), I couldn't help but let the tears spill over.  Thank God for modern medicine because apparently, my lady parts weren't designed to cook babies much past 30 weeks.  

Here I am.  I am tethered to an IV pole, strapped to 2 different monitors and secured to the bed by way of SCDs; In essence, held captive by a highly uncooperative, incompetent (that's a medical term BTW), and irritable (also a flipping medical term) reproductive system.  

Let's see if we can contain this kid to a nice, ripe 35 weeks: 
4 weeks, 4 days....ready, go.