Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything


Doctors now think I’m crazy. Or going to kill my child, maybe.

I really hope most people don’t have pregnancies like I have.  Because this whole thing has sucked, pretty much start to finish.  I’m over 38 weeks and still have to take Zofran for nausea, which has been constant since about 7 weeks.  I had placenta previa (that resolved), then they found the fetal cyst (that is shrinking), they wrote me out on short-term disability because I can barely walk thanks to a low fetus that they have to reach around to do my (now weekly) cervix checks, and now, most recently, I had ANOTHER ultrasound because I’m shrinking.  YES, SHRINKING.  I now measure a full 4 cm behind where my fundal height is supposed to be, down from my all-time high at 36 weeks where I was on track and had been until then.  So they wanted to check growth, and fluid levels, to hopefully “avoid a negative fetal outcome.”  Don’t you love that turn of phrase, “negative fetal outcome”?

The results of this ultrasound, true to everything else they’ve found wrong with me, were fine.  Baby is still growing, and my fluid levels are at the high-end of normal.  What they said that means is that I’m just a “compact carrier”.  I prefer to think of it as a concealed carry, but maybe that’s the hormones…

And, by the way, I’m still not dilated at all, nor am I fully effaced, so there is no end in sight.

But I did learn something.  A valuable something.  When you tell your doctor that things need to start moving along because you are sick and tired of being sick and in pain, and you are about ready to get a coat hanger, they immediately start to act nonchalantly concerned because they are afraid you are crazy.  They start asking you questions about if you’re excited (yes, TO BE ALONE IN MY OWN BODY AGAIN), do you have help, is your husband excited (no, he’s done nothing but write checks to you people for procedures that turn out to be unnecessary), and to please remember they’re there for you.  I just bet they are, because that’s a billable visit.

So now I’m on the loony radar because they think I’m going to harm myself or be one of the women that drowns their child in a bathtub.  What they don’t get is that I will be so happy to just have the whole pregnancy part over and done, that I will be the happiest clam in the sea when it happens.


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Invasion of the body…somethings

On Monday I had contractions.  Real ones, not Braxton-Hicks, but irregular.  I went to the doctor, got it confirmed and had a surprise cervix check.

Was not expecting it, and WHOA.  Now I know how a carton of ice cream feels when I dig a scoop into it.

The doctor even commented how low Baby’s head was: “The head is, like, RIGHT THERE.  I have to reach around it to get to your cervix…”  He forgot to mention to brace myself, Bridget.  My vagina has never been more thoroughly felt.

I had to rest Tuesday, and came back to work today, but we’ll see if they want me to stay – I’m still having a contraction every few hours of the painful persuasion, so I have no idea.  I do know it makes my big boss nervous.  I think he’d like it if I didn’t come back, but that’s not happening unless I have a note for bed rest so I get short-term disability.  The reality is that I can’t afford to go an additional 2 weeks with no pay, and I’ve allocated all my paid leave for when I planned to start FMLA leave.  We’ll see how that goes.

At least I’ll have an answer Friday, when I have another doctor’s appointment!  Something tells me my vagina will be invaded again, but the doctor will be a lady…maybe her fingers are smaller.

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Hello again, panic

Would running into the street screaming like a banshee alter the perception of me in my neighborhood, I wonder?  Because I feel like it today.

I’m pretty sure I’m just going to have more and more moments of panic, but I can’t say I enjoy the ride.  Today’s hit when I realized I am in month 9, and there are 28 days until my due date.  That makes the whole thing seem more imminent that I’d previously considered, and I’m thinking that drugs should start NOW, as opposed to actual labor…

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Let’s talk more about your problems – dip?

Now that I’ve got less than a month to go, and no worries about Baby’s health to focus on, I am taking up a new hobby: dodging the question “Are you pregnant??”

I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t really started to show until now, and most people think I’m about 3 months along.  Go, go, gadget abdominal muscles.  But my parents raised me with the belief that it is never appropriate to comment on someone’s appearance unless they bring it up first.  I work with a population that habitually over-shares information and has less sense of personal boundaries, making it more important that I maintain strict professionalism.  As such, I do not, ever, discuss my health or personal life at work with students.

I understand that they’re excited and it’s not coming from a malicious place, but when you approach someone you only interact with professionally the exchange should not follow this script:

“Oh my, you’re PREGNANT!!!” with a hand outstretched to touch said person.

Those are the encounters I’ve been having.  I don’t know why so many labor under the mistaken idea that it’s acceptable to touch someone without their permission, but it’s the surest way to get me to move in the opposite direction and ignore you if I can.

So now I try to steer conversations to what the other person needs/wants and gloss over their question, hoping they’ll take the hint.  The good news is that I only have 2 weeks left of work before I go on leave, so the dodgeball will end soon.

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More ultrasounds

I suppose I should feel lucky that I get so many pictures from ultrasounds, since I’m now on number 5, for my dog to eat after they’re left on the counter.  But the flip-side is that they were all for issues.  I don’t know if women who say they wish they had more ultrasounds have thought this through.  More ultrasounds means they think there’s something wrong, or potentially wrong, and they want to keep an eye on it.  I don’t know many people who would take problems in exchange for more pictures, if they had the choice.

But I had my second in-depth ultrasound Friday to check on the fetal cyst.  Aside from receiving the jaw-dropping bill for the last one (clocking in at just under $675 AFTER insurance), it was a good experience all around.  The cyst is much smaller (by half!), and I don’t need to go in any longer for monitoring.  It’s such a relief; they will do an ultrasound after baby is born to check and see how it’s doing then, but it’s so “small as to be insignificant” at this point.

Bonus good news: baby is large for my due date, so it is now a bit sooner than before.  This means I get to be done sooner!  And leave work sooner, since that’s getting difficult to get up at 6:00 to go to everyday…

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Pregnancy Envy…I has it.

Normally when I hear about pregnancy envy, it’s in one context: women who want children but are unable to conceive.  Today I realized I have pregnancy envy as well, in a different form.  I am extremely envious of every woman I meet (in face-to-face contact, or over the internet) whose due date is before mine.  I want that woman’s due date.  I want it to be mine, so I can be done.

I am so damn tired of getting up, going to work, coming home, heaving myself out of seats, and being in constant pain, that if I could somehow steal a due date that’s sooner, I would stick some unfortunate pregnant woman with more weeks.  It’s terrible, but at this point I’ve got countdowns of how many days left I have to work, and days until I’m due and they are just not moving fast enough.

I should mention that I’ve always been an “eat the food you hate first” type of person; in college, I did my entire semester’s worth of homework (for all classes) in the first 3 weeks.  Procrastinating doesn’t work for me, and if you’re on time then you’re late.  I wouldn’t have thought before now that my biggest challenge would be dealing with my inability to complete this pregnancy faster.  Yes, I know it’s not good for babies to be born prematurely, but at this point, I don’t care very much.  Intellectually I know it’s for the best, but that does not stop the daily surges of “hurry up and get this crap over”.

And the platitudes?  The ones that go “yes, it’s a tough last leg, but at the end you’ll have a new life and it makes it all worth it!”?  LIES.  Those sentiments don’t make anyone feel better – they’re just trying to psych themselves into the last inning, when all they want is a designated hitter.

Maybe I’ll luck out and find out at my ultrasound on Friday that they can move my date up.  Christmas could totally come early.

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Failing my one job

I had my ultrasound appointment at the high-risk practice earlier this week.  They confirmed there is a cyst there, and they believe it’s on the spleen.  I go back in 4 weeks to see if it grew, shrank, or stayed the same.  At this point, the doctor tells me it’s small and doesn’t concern her because it’s below the diaphragm and there is excellent blood flow to all the surrounding organs, with fetal weight in the 43rd percentile.  All that is good, but I still have one overwhelming feeling.

I’ve failed my one job before this baby is born, and that is to gestate a healthy fetus.
Is that unreasonable?  Probably.  Have I done my best? Yes.  Does that make me feel any better?  No, not at all.

And yesterday, I find out that my husband has told his family about this, right before we’re due to go visit and before I was ready to say anything to our families.  It’s easy to be anonymous, and not have to face the people you’ve told; it’s not easy when I’ll have 3 days of them in front of me, wondering what is the problem/solution/how I am.  I suppose it’s nice to have people that care enough to be concerned, but I don’t feel like discussing this with anyone, or accepting sympathies.  And honestly?  I’m mad at the person my husband told, because THAT person is the one who went and told everyone else.  It wasn’t that person’s news to tell, and I feel my parental boundaries being stepped over.  It’s a shame my husband doesn’t feel that way.