Stretching my limit

I feel like such a lola these days. Everything seemed to aching all over my body. I didn’t feel this much discomfort or pain when I was pregnant with Mischa. My mantra for the last couple of weeks: All for Baby’s sake. Sigh!

Good thing I have a very high tolerance for pain. It seems to me that the slightest movement causes a creak in my joints. My singit and tailbone feel the brunt of all the extra weight. Sometimes I wonder if they would just give way, you know. Getting up from the bed and waddling to the bathroom take so much effort. I always have to hold on to the bedpost, steady myself for a full minute and ready my pelvic joints to cooperate. It is so not easy.

As is midnight and early morning bathroom trips when I am in the middle of dream land.

Or Braxton Hicks contractions that often knocks the wind out of me, or makes me want to take go to the toilet again.

And the irritating rashes on my tummy. Although they are less serious now than when I was preggo five years ago, they still itch like crazy! To soothe them, I also scratch like crazy. Some of them had begun oozing blood with the way I am scratching them. Bad. Very bad.

I really can’t wait for these last five weeks to go flying by.

Placenta accreta

My pregnancy journey this time has really tested our family. With my first, except for that terrible bout of pregnancy rashes, I was otherwise fine. I was just…big.

Now, it’s just so different. I don’t know, but I feel like I am encountering all probably complications known to pregnant women. Well, that’s an exaggeration, but it certainly feels like that. For a while in the beginning, I thought I was going to lose the baby again. I bled a lot, I was hospitalized, and was put on bed rest for the better part of the first trimester. My myoma is growing alongside the baby, and for the life of me, I don’t know how my uterus can accommodate a growing child and almost half a foot of benign tumor.

And now, this.

During my 13th week ultrasound, the sonologist who did my scan suspected that the myoma may be overlapping with the placenta since they were adjacent to each other. And so on my 18th week, I was ordered to undergo color mapping or another form of ultrasound using a doppler. There, though still hard to confirm, it seems that about a centimeter of the placenta is indeed attached to the myoma, which is part of the uterine wall. It is just plain luck that I possess many of the risk factors for placenta accreta. I probably have uterine scarring due my previous cesarian section, had a D&C procedure due to my miscarriage last year, I am 35, and been carrying this myoma for God knows how long.

My OB has not said much, except that my condition is definitely dangerous and difficult. So of course, I took it upon myself to research and turn to everyone’s friend, Google. The prognosis is not too bad. It is not common, but neither was it unheard of. There are ways to treat it, and the good thing is that, I have been diagnosed now rather than later, so that both I and my doctor can aptly prepare. We could plan something akin to a troop preparing for war.

Truth be told, I am definitely scared. Of dying in particular, as I have read that placenta accreta can sometimes be fatal due to possible hemorrhaging after giving birth. I am so afraid of leaving my young family–my husband and two babies–fending for themselves. Families need wives and mothers.

As I am now on my 21st week, I have to be closely monitored and regularly undergo the doppler sonography, instead of the normal ultrasound. I am praying for some miracle of God, that somehow the myoma and placenta would separate at some point, and not fully join together. But I think it’s all anyone can do right now, to pray for my uncomplicated delivery. And to believe that the Lord will spare me and the baby.

Quickening

Since I am, ahem, a veteran mom, I felt the early moving around of the baby 15 weeks into the pregnancy (am now 16 1/7). I think it took longer than that with Mischa. But then, I would say that I am now more familiar with the gentle tugging inside my tummy, and can distinguish baby movements against hunger pangs or gas. And Mischa was more suplada even then.

Dance your way around, anak. I can’t wait to do our melody together once you are outside mommy’s tummy. Just 24 weeks to go, give or take a week or two.

Haggling with the Almighty

Please Lord. Balato mo na sa kin to.

IMG_4657

I don’t know what to think and feel anymore. While I jumped for joy for the two positive lines (albeit the other one is fainter than ideal), there are still the telltale signs that not everything is on track. I wish I am just paranoid. I wish I could ignore the light spotting, the absence of a heartbeat at the very first ultrasound, the larger than life myoma that has permanently taken habitat of my reproductive system that leaves very little space for my would-be babies. It would be absolutely great if I could just concentrate on the absence of my period for the last six weeks and four days, or the extreme fatigue I am experiencing, or my very sore mammary glands, or my burgeoning tummy, or the intermittent nausea.

I would be so happy one minute, then immensely depressed the next when I think about how painful it was to have hoped and lost. I do not want to feel this and this anymore. I do not want to feel that crushing defeat again. I definitely do not want history to repeat itself.

Fingers crossed

Even toes, if it was possible. I am praying with all my might that these are true:

21

We have been praying for this for the longest time. Now that it is within our grasp, I can’t breathe for the real results. You see, since my period was delayed for about two weeks now, I had pee tested and these are what came out. Unfortunately, when I had an ultrasound yesterday to confirm it, the OB-sonologist was unable to detect a sac 😦 I don’t know what to make of that. She said it might be I conceived late, and the “baby” could not be detected yet. Since I tested positive in two pregnancy kits, that should mean I have high levels of HCG right? The hormones that only pregnant women have? I sure hope so. Can my body fool two different testing kits?

The thing is, though, I have been having brown discharges almost everyday now. I don’t know if that’s my period? But it was too meager to have been it. Plus it still doesn’t explain the positive results.

Badly confused and anxious right now.

bigger feet

one of the things i wasn’t expecting post-pregnancy is the change in my feet size. my body is almost back to normal, and have lost 22 lbs. with no effort. it’s still some way off from my pre-pregnancy weight of 105 lbs. but what the heck. i was on the chubby side anyway since i spurted into my teens, and having a slight bulge round my middle is oh so usual for me. it just now comes with a vertical scar where my mischa came out and stretch marks that are beginning to thin out and fade.

feetbut back to my feet, i noticed this when i bought shoes a week ago. i got into wade and found this cutie peep-toe black leathers with mini-kitten heels, and immediately tried it on. what a perfect fit! i got some assistance and asked for the other foot of the shoes, and was i surprised when told that it was a full size bigger than what i usually wore. when i was pregnant, i just wore flat sandals and my trusty havaianas. while big feet is a symptom of pregnancy, i didn’t count on it lasting way after i’ve given birth. well, maybe it’s an excuse to get more new shoes, don’t you think? (wink, wink)

on a more serious note, i think i now have bigger shoes to fill in connection with motherhood. although i now have become a mother, i still remain and will always be, a daughter. as i’ve noticed during our 3-week refuge at my parents’ house because of the nanny going away, my mother, mischa and i could not stay under the same roof for a long period of time. occasional visits and a few days’ stay at a time would do, but long term residency is a no-no. my mother and i clash when it comes to taking care of mischa. i don’t want that to happen. while i know deep in my heart that mama has mischa’s best interests at heart, i think, as her mother, i know what’s best for her. and it is very imperative that what’s best for her happens to her. this means not only providing for her physical, emotional, social and whatnot needs, but also developing her skills, temperament and other aspects of her personality, including self-discipline. i know mama is trying to make up for not taking care of me personally as i was growing up but you can’t make amends to compensate for long-gone opportunities. and while i want to be a good mother (trying so damn hard), i also don’t want to be a bitch daughter by trying to butt heads with her over mischa. her ways are different than mine, and i know this time, mine should prevail.

the ups and downs of pregnancy

this post may be a bit late as i’m due to give birth anytime soon (soonest i hope!). i’ve been carrying this bundle for the past 37 weeks although i was only made aware of her presence in the last 32. somehow during those past eight months, nothing has ever took a place of honor in my and michael’s attention. it’s really funny how that teeny speck of life has turned our lives upside down, and has demanded our complete attention. our wedding comes only at a distant second. i’ve already said that it was the happiest day of my life but i know in my heart that seeing and holding my baby will surely top that. even inside the womb, my little girl has already wrapped me ’round her little finger. she’s number 1 in my book at the moment.

preg3i will forever be grateful for the honor, joy and happiness bestowed upon me by whatever forces of nature so that i could carry this child in my belly. it’s a great feeling knowing that you are responsible for one helpless being, and molding her physically and emotionally. yes, the genes are already there, but i always get to thinking that everything i eat, take in, get out of my system affects her. i was religious about drinking my milk, prenatal vitamins, veggies, and going to regular visits to the doctor. i totally stopped whatever vices i have. i just had a hard time getting off coffee. but what the heck, the ob said two cups are ok. so i sneak a cup every now and then behind hubby’s back 🙂 if there’a anything i missed, it’s the morning coffee and occasional starbucks fix.

not everyone is given this privilege though, this rite of womanhood. it’s like being in a secret society where only those who have gone the same rite of passage will fully understand you and your quirks as you go along the same albeit different, journey. mind you, it was never all honey and roses. it was more like being in those thrilling rides at some theme park or carnival that leaves you gasping for breath while feeling your stomach drop a hundred feet. at the same time you feel the exhilaration and you want to do it over and over again. although some would throw up at this point and vowed never to get near any of these damned machines.

cartoon14i enjoyed this ride for the most part. you could say that i was a little different than most “normal” expectant women have for the duration of my pregnancy. i didn’t go through the normal symptoms. for one, it was pretty much smooth sailing for me during the 1st and 2nd trimesters, except for the fact that i found out i had uterine fibroids and had some very mild spotting and internal hemorrhage in my 9th week. aside from that, there was no morning sickness that besets almost all pregnant women, thank god! i also didn’t have cravings or aversions to food, smells, people and whatnots. i didn’t have mood swings although this, in my opinion, is only psychological and really doesn’t have anything to do with one’s pregnancy (though some would claim hormonal imbalances). i’m overly emotional for most of the time but surprisingly, pregnancy blues did not hit me during this phase in my life. i was generally cheerful because i really felt good about all this. (maybe i spoke too soon). i even have the “pregnancy glow” as people keep on coming up to me and saying “wow, must be girl inside” because i was exuding a happy aura. i wouldn’t have thought i was pregnant, except of course, i have been missing my period for the past months already. i was really really lucky because our wedding preparations demanded attention to detail, setting up appointments, having taste tests, makeup trials, meetings with suppliers, fittings, endless shopping, and the list goes on. i was my normal self, only my burgeoning tummy is a dead giveaway. not that we were trying to hide her. oh, and i have this need to go to the bathroom about 50 times a day. twas okay except when i wake up at night and had to maneouver my body from the bed to the bathroom. likewise, i was mightily glad varicose veins did not make their appearance at all, and so has those dark underarms and neck whew! as i said, i was pretty much glowing like a light bulb.

preg2but enter the 3rd trimester and the tranquil life i’ve known was blown to bits. for one, people kept on asking me if i was due to give birth anytime when i was just in my seventh month. i’ve never been rail thin and always bordered on the chubby side. but in the last stages of my pregnancy, i became the epitome of B-I-G. gosh, thank god my face, arms and hips remained the same. or almost. and as she grows and gain the needed baby fat to fill her up, the harder it became for me to move around. standing a little below 5 feet, baby’s size began taking its toll on me. walking, climbing even a flight of stairs or taking public transportation became the bane of my existence. i have constantly aching hips, back and singit. everytime i stand up, i feel like baby compresses my bladder and my lungs at the same time. nice huh?

and have i already mentioned my rashes? my ugly, red rashes that erupted all over my body??? they appeared round my 32nd week, first on top of my already itching stretch marks then eventually spreading their way up my arms and down my thighs, legs and feet. arrrggghhhh!!! itchy wasn’t the word for them. i was constantly scratching and scratching. my husband and mother wanted to slap my hands and fingers all the time to stop me from doing so. i had to keep my nails short. even then, my skin became raw that scabs formed on some of them. i felt that there wasn’t an inch that didn’t itch. i wanted to claw at myself and rub my whole body up on the wall or any rough surface for that matter. this went on for weeks and weeks (it felt like forever to me). i wake up at night just so i could relieve myself of the itching. i could say that this was the hardest and most irritating i’ve ever felt during my whole pregnancy. it didn’t help that we’re right smack in the middle of the hottest summer ever, making the sweat passing through the rashes on my skin. it felt like my body is on fire. i tried every bit of safe medication i could think of and get my hands on such as baby powder, lotion, cornstarch (that one used for cooking) and tried showering five times a day. i waited for two weeks before i went to two dermatologists (one of which i feel is an old fraud who prescribed expensive medicines but didn’t make me feel any better). the second one luckily, although gave me the bad news that these would all go away when i give birth, managed to diagnose me with pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PUPPP. what a mouthfull! the important thing is, she gave me some antihistamines and topical lotion, and now my skin is healing nicely, although a few rashes remain here and there.

but all these annoyances and irritants dim somehow when i think about her. anything for her. i would have gladly done it all over again just for the love of her. hmmm, on second thought i would have to think twice, thrice, about a hundred times before i consider having another baby. heehee… but it makes it all worthwhile when i feel her inside me, when the husband and i would watch my tummy go up and down following her movements. she’s gonna kick ass someday if her antics are any indication of her temperament. anyhow, the home stretch is upon me. i can now wait for labor or my scheduled cs (whichever comes first) in rash-less peace.
preg1