pregnancy fatigue
I think I must be growing
a superhero

Well, I’m pregnant! We knew that. But now it’s all official with my doctor who said, “Congratulations!!!! Let’s talk about your uterus.” And we did. Let me tell you what I learned about it.

Here’s a diagram of the little love-shaped life-giver.

My uterus

It’s made up of mostly muscle at the top and connective tissue (not so much muscle) at the bottom. It’s made this way so that when a baby is in there and wants to come out, the connective tissue can get soft and thin and the muscles at the top can contract and push it out.

My uterus tried really hard to do that when Julia was in there, but it didn’t work out. So, the doctor cut my uterus open and pulled Julia out. She did this at the bottom of my uterus which was a really good idea, because those kind of incisions are good incisions. They heal really well.

The good incision

And so she did the same thing when Lucy was born.

But when she went in to get Phoebe, she found a surprise. The bottom part of my uterus was covered with horrible and nasty varicose veins.

Horrible and nasty varicose veins

It was too risky to cut them, so she cut my uterus higher up, in the part with all the muscles.

The bad incision

So now, when my uterus contracts it compromises the incision.

Contractions!

This means there’s a chance that this could happen.

Not good.

Uterine rupture. This is bad. And in the words of my doctor, “potentially fatal” for the baby and me.

And so, we don’t want my uterus to contract. This isn’t a problem right now. But as we near the end of my pregnancy, it becomes a concern. So, my doctor has made a few recommendations:

1. I should stop breastfeeding Phoebe by the 24th week of pregnancy, because breastfeeding produces oxytocin and after the 24th week, oxytocin causes contractions.

2. I should allow the baby to be delivered early at 37 weeks. (I would need to have an amniocentesis to determine that the baby’s lungs are mature first.)

It’s some stuff to think about and we’ve got time to do that. Meanwhile, I’m counting the days until my first ultrasound and contemplating baby names. Got any suggestions?

Family Haiku

by Leslie

Dave comes home from work
and keeps me up all night to
make up for lost time

I’m dragging today.
Too tired for paragraphs.
Haiku has to do.

Lucy hugs me tight,
“That baby in your belly
makes you beautiful.”

Julia mulls genes.
“You’re my mom and I’m like you…
Do I have to be?”

Phoebe can do it.
Don’t even think of helping.
“I do it MY-TELF!”

I have no idea how this is happening, but we have 1) made it to bed, 2) woken up and 3) gotten Julia to school on time every day so far this school year. All five days of it. (Although I probably just ruined it with that bold statement!) We pretty much always got Julia to school on time before, but there was all this unpleasantness. I’m not sure what changed. Something certainly has, but I can’t figure it out, so I just keep trying to replicate the initial routine that spawned this miracle as precisely as possible.

“Wait, Lucy! No. No! Use the red towel. The red one. Julia, you use the blue one. And, yes, I’ll read The Monster at the End of This Book, but we need to do it last, okay? We can’t break the streak!!!” I’m like a superstitious sports fan, but with bedtime.

Because our mornings lately? Have been…wonderful. Joyous, even. We’re waking up at the same time as always, but somehow, magically and all of a sudden, there’s time to watch Bee dance as we’re getting dressed and to let Lucy help flip the pancakes.

This morning, I listened to the girls tell me about their dreams over Coco Wheats. I really listened. I wasn’t just half-listening with my real focus on the clock, because we’ve got to get moving!

Maybe my attitude has changed. Maybe I’ve just surrendered to The Schedule, rather than fighting it. Instead of feeling pissed off that we have to get up early and we have to be on time, I’m just…not pissed off. I’m just up early and on time. Maybe “we only have fifteen minutes” has become “we have a whole fifteen minutes!”

Maybe.

There’s enough doubt in my mind that I’m still going to get the girls’ blue nightgowns washed so they can wear them again tonight. Because it could be the blue nightgowns. Maybe.

We’ve been sick. And I mean SIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK. It was a total puke-fest for about four five days – It’s been a total puke-fest. I’ve cleaned vomit off every imaginable surface. Wood. Tile. Carpet. Plastic. Vinyl. Rubber. Fabric. Skin. Hair. Fur. (Poor Picasso.) We now have official sick blankets and couch coverings, and back-up sick blankets and couch coverings. (And to think, a few weeks ago as I tried to organize the linen closet, I shook my fist and cried out to the sky, “Why, oh why do we have so many blankets?!?!” (I have my answer.))

Amid the sick, there were some gestures of kindness I didn’t expect.

While I was switching loads of laundry, Phoebe woke up and threw up. I returned from the laundry room to find her wrapped in a towel and Lucy cleaning up the mess. (I will remember this the next time she rips a toy out of Bee’s hands. Or pushes her off the couch. Or the swing.)

And later, after Lucy was sick, too, and Julia was asked if she wanted to go to the high school football game, she said, “I would, but my sisters are sick, so I should probably stay home to help.” (I shall not forget this, especially if she convinces them to slide down her “Rapunzel hair” (that she fashioned from her bed sheet) from the top bunk. Again.)

Then there was Dave. He spent his whole weekend at home playing nurse to all of us. He even sent me to bed early Saturday night so I could get some rest, even when he knew that trying to get Bee to sleep without me would be a near-impossible mission. (I’ll keep this in mind the next time he dumps soggy cornflakes in the sink.)

And now I will go and scrub my floors. (I hope everyone will remember this when I’m too pregnant and tired to do it.)


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