Monday, July 30, 2007

Well, well, well...

Joyce Grenfell wrote: "Progress everywhere today does seem to come so very heavily disguised as chaos." This is how I'm feeling these days.

Today is the day that L'il I turns 35 weeks ... one week past the point where labor won't be stopped, and five official ones until they would officially declare that he's done cooking. I'm still at home on the sofa, working on work and knitting in my free moments.

I've made a slew of knitting progress.

Allow me to present a finished pair of Unst socks, courtesy of "Knitting on the Road" by Nancy Bush. These are the first socks I've completed from the book (had a few false starts last year), and they are by far the FASTEST socks I've ever knit. I literally started them on Friday and finished them on Saturday. A sock a day. Good lord. It was a whirlwind. The yarn is STR: Obsidian in mediumweight and these were done on #1.5 needles (dpns).

I also finished up a washcloth that has been languishing.

And a burp cloth.

And the Lacy Scallop scarf that I started a year and a half ago. The pattern comes from Wendy's book.

I should point out that I'm halfway through the first leg of the next sock -- Conwy by Nancy Bush -- and, believe it or not, my STR in Downpour is doing GREAT with this pattern. This yarn has been the bane of my existence since I first tried it months ago, and it's been sitting in a bag, all wound up and waiting for a pattern. It gives me great pleasure to say it has found a soulmate and is chugging along nicely. If this goes as quickly as the Unst socks once I get moving, I will be one happy woman. I will show a picture once I'm past the heel.

And on other progress (besides knitting and baby), our massive houseclean is going well. It would go much faster if I were able to get off my butt and help my hubby, but he's doing great solo.

Back to work....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bed Rest, Week 1

Well, this is day 7 of modified bed rest, which means I can work from home, fix my lunch and use the facilities. That's about it. Oh -- and I could take myself to the two doctor appts I had this week.

Bad news is that my boss up and quit two days ago. Good news is that I've made some knitting progress. It's amazing how downtime in the evenings (translation -- I don't have to cook dinner, do laundry, coordinate big-kid showers or bedtime routines) can contribute to significant knitting progress.

Firstly, here's one -- yes, just one -- Shapely Sandal Sock. I false-started this sucker three times before actually completing one. I haven't started the second because I'm afraid I'll run out of yarn and the stress is killing me. I'll do it later. The yarn is Claudia's in "Pistachio."

Secondly, I present to you a cute pair of baby socks and matching hat. I have a vision of bringing L'il I home in them -- if I can find an outfit to match, that is. The yarn is Baby Ull, and it was leftover from the Basil blanket I did a while back (it will most likely be too warm to use the blanket for the homecoming, but I'm seriously contemplating it.

And lastly, I give you a finished pair of "Go With the Flow" socks knit with STR medium weight in the "Footzey Foo" colorway. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn so much that I have immediately cast on with STR in "Obsidian" to make a pair of Unst socks.

Now if the baby would continue making such great progress, things will be great.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mommy: 1, L'il I: 0

It's been quite a week here at Chez Spinneas, and I'm afraid I just don't have pictures to share it with you. But I'll at least try to keep it short so that it doesn't get too boring.

Tuesday was my birthday. I actually have a draft post saved that's filled with whining about work and how we make a big deal about everyone else's birthday and how the other folks manage to forget mine every fucking year. About how insulting that is, and blah, blah, blah. I got to work that morning to find flowers and a card on my desk (from the boss, believe it or not, though I admit that was awkward when people asked who gave me such a lovely bouquet), numerous well-wishes from the organization in my inbox and tons of smiles and "happy birthday" greetings over the course of the day. Lightened my mood considerably. Add too it the absolutely hilarious card that my aunt sent me and the new dishwasher my husband is getting me and it was a great day. Not that any of that really matters, of course -- my big boys gave me hugs and kisses and tons of love before heading into daycamp and that was really all I wanted, LOL.

On Wednesday, though, I woke up and it was business as usual. Except that I was absolutely exhausted all day long. Unable to get comfortable at my desk, and went to bed early. Thursday, I woke up feeling even worse -- all the physical malaise, but with the added urge to go over EVERYTHING with my assistant so that he was 100 percent up to speed on EVERYTHING going on at the office. Met with my boss about the upcoming budget process. Told him I was feeling odd (I should note that I dropped seriously overnight from Wednesday to Thursday) and that he ought to start moving in the mindset that L'il I was going to be coming sooner rather than later and that the hourglass was almost empty.

You see, I was having the earliest of contractions ... those little ones that feel like teensy weensy menstrual cramps. I had been having them all day, but I planned on telling the doc at my 3:00 appt.

At the appointment later that afternoon, everything moved along just fine. I was seeing Dr. Wonderful (as opposed to Dr. Serious) and I couldn't be happier. First they did the biophysical profile portion (I go for those every week). They hooked me up to the monitor to measure heart rate and contraction activity, and L'il I and I were chugging along. And then he did what he LOVES to do -- he spun around and positioned himself so that the heart monitor flatlined and set off the alarm. I can't tell you how much he likes to freak out the Muggles by doing this, LOL. Then I heard running. Serious high-heel running down the hall. I looked through the curtain and here comes Dr. Serious. Dashing in like a modern-day female swashbuckler, she started asking questions and generally being more than a little concerned.

"Wendy, this alarm means his heart rate is in a danger zone" (yes, I know, this happens a lot)

"Are you lightheaded or dizzy?" (No, not at all)

"You haven't experienced any swelling have you?" (Nope -- Check out my cute crocs while you're checking my ankles -- they'd be a lot more comfortable for you to run down the hall in)

Has he been moving today? (Of course he has, he just twisted around and performed his little trick.)

And then she readjusted the heart rate monitor to the other side (where he was pumping, pumping, pumping) and looked at the printout.

"Who are you seeing today?" (I pointed to Dr. Wonderful, who had been standing behind her for practically the whole exchange and said, simply, "Her," and Dr. Wonderful smiled and stepped in the room.)

Dr. Serious (who incidentally is a more senior partner in the practice) explained why she had come running (as opposed to letting Dr. Wonderful do all of the questions, etc.) and I told them that the contractions were something that I wanted to talk about if the biophysical confirmed what I had been feeling all day. I stayed on the monitor for another 15 minutes or so with my bottle of water and then headed in for the sono portion of my exam after giving yet another urine sample (sometimes UTI can aggravate a uterus, apparently).

In any event, Dr. Wonderful and I chatted about the labor pains I had been feeling all day and she did the sono. L'il I was still head-down (I had told her that already, LOL) and I asked her to do a pelvic exam to check dilation. She swabbed for fibernectin (a protein that indicates labor is taking place) first, and then checked me out. I was 50% effaced and 1 cm dilated.

I was told to get myself to ze hospital to take advantage of their monitoring system and their ability to intervene if necessary. And so I did. You see, L'il I was only 33 weeks, 3 days along -- four days short of the "his lungs are OK, let's push this baby out" deadline.

Hubby picked up Zee and the Sniffer from camp and went home to await further instruction. Phone calls were made to make arrangements for childcare should the need arise. The big winner was Larry the Appreciator, who had already said he'd be first to line up and take care of our boys no matter what time of day we needed him. He loves our boys dearly and packed a bag with his waffle iron and daily necessities (he makes a mean batch of his special homemade waffles and doesn't often have the chance to cook them up for two growing boys who can eat their weight of them) just in case.

I stayed at the hospital getting monitored and poked and prodded for hours. They tried oral hydration to stop the contractions (which were getting regular AND painful) before moving to an IV saline drip and a big dose of nifedipine (none of this worked) before they decided they needed to keep me overnight since the fibronectin test seemed to be botched up in some way. When a woman is going to go into labor in the subsequent 14 days, the cervix begins to secrete the protein fibronectin -- if the test comes back negative, you're pretty much in the clear for two weeks. However, if it comes back positive, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll go into labor in the next two weeks. A negative is what you want. But somehow, mine got botched -- and since cervical exams can cause a false positive, they couldn't repeat the test until 12-24 hours after the last pelvic check. I was doomed to stay at the hospital.

I didn't get to eat any dinner (this totally sucked -- the only real time I actually feel diabetic is when I'm STARVING) and I got moved to a L&D room that had a TV. I should point out here that I really did feel like it was D-day and was starting to worry about hubby and the boys and how they were going to handle a middle-of-the-night dash to the hospital.

Got another dose of nifidipine after my relocation, another bag of saline and I settled into bed. I spent the night alone, getting up every two hours to pee or reposition (not easy with the IV from HELL in your wrist) and to check the monitor printout for contracile activity ... which continued for another few hours (though they weren't as painful). By morning, though, things had calmed down and I was only having 1-2 an hour and they were usually directly related to my rapidly filling bladder (hey, they gave me a million liters of saline, what did they expect?). Had some breakfast, watched "Hairspray" on TV while I worked on my restart of the Shapely Sandal Sock and waited for the doc to come in and give me an all clear and let me go home where I could at least take a shower!

Bedrest was her prescription. My cervix had gone from 1 cm to a fingertip, and so I'm now laid up and stuck watching my boys finish everything that needs to be done before L'il I makes his entrance. I'm now only two days short of the deadline. So if I can make it until next week, there will be no stopping the little booger. He should be close to five pounds at that point (the Sniffer was only 5 lbs, one-half ounce), so not too teensy. His lungs will be ready to take on the world.

I'm hoping that if he comes this week, it will be on the 26th. That was my Granny's birthday, and for some reason, I'm thinking that day could be it. You see my birthday, July 17, was MY great-grandmother's birthday and I always thought that was pretty darn neat. While Gran isn't here to share the yearly call that MaMa and I enjoyed, I think she'd fight her way to the front of the spectator line above and send good vibes (the whole time poking my grandfather in the ribs and saying, "Now William, you just watch -- Wen's gonna have that boy on my birthday the same way Kay had her on your mother's birthday!") The prospect of such a scene makes me smile like an idiot.

But the truth is, there would be a LOT to do in the next four days if that were the case!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Could It Really Be?

That I have a finished object?

This morning over coffee, I grafted the toes of the Waving Lace socks. Finally, a finished pair. Part of me can't believe it.

Now these were done in Fleece Artist Sea Wool, and somehow or another they ended up being much longer than expected. I think this -- along with the health issues I've been dealing with -- may have contributed to the incredibly long knitting time. I'm just glad they're done!

I also have a Monkey on the sticks, along with the match for the Go With the Flow socks. All in good time, all in good time. And these Sea Wool socks feel pretty fine on the feet!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Speaking of Independence...

There are days when I just can believe how grown up the two big boys are:

Here they are yesterday just before marching in the Independence Day parade with their cub scout pack. The Yarn Sniffer is simply thrilled to be a Tiger Scout (Mommy will be his den leader in September) and to have a new uniform. Zee, on the other hand, was more happy than he appears in this picture...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

An Update

First of all, Happy Fourth of July! Most of my day will involve getting my little cub scouts prepared to march in our town's annual Independence Day parade, and waiting at the end with a cooler of water bottles and popsicles (which reminds me that I need to get the freezer stocked with them so they're ready). I'll be the only den leader not marching in the parade, I'm sure, but the guys understand. No one wants to deliver a baby on the parade route :)

The month of June was a wash for me, knitting-wise. Summer of Socks has started very slowly, as I've been dealing with a ton of work stress, home stress, and baby stress. The great news is that the proteinuria issue seems to have resolved (most likely a false alarm), and I'm coming to grips with this whole diabetes thing. The visit to the perinatologist was uneventful on Friday, except that I did get one of those neat-o 3-D pictures. I swear, if I had to describe the image, I'd say "Cezanne on crack meets medical imaging." If hubby would stop nesting long enough to coax our tempermental scanner into working for me, I'd post one of them. At one point, when they had the 3-D paddle on my abdomen, L'il I smiled. I melted. He's fine -- in fact, the doc said that there was absolutely nothing remarkable at the ultrasound. But, because I'm a small-framed woman who has small babies, they do want to do weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests just to make sure he doesn't get cramped in there. Enter the gestational diabetes.

You simply have to love it when the perinatologist says, "Well, the gestational diabetes diagnosis MAY be real. But you only failed the second number by one point." It kinda confirmed my feeling that perhaps this diagnosis is a CYA maneuver on the part of the obstetrician. But then he and I chatted about the numbers I've been getting (you see, I'm the pain in the butt patient who started testing in advance to make herself feel like she's in control), and he said right now it sounds like diet will do to manage this perceived risk. He did recommend going to the educational class ... and said the diet was pretty logical whether you're diabetic or not. I had been pondering that thought for a few days, and had come to the conclusion that it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to have folks take a nutrition class from the get-go anyway. We all get complacent about eating healthy.

Yesterday, I had a big day for baby. Went for the first non-stress test and ultrasound (everything was fine) and afterward had a sit-down with Dr. Serious. I explained to her that I felt as though everything was hitting like a freight train and getting extremely clinical, and how it felt to have "high risk" dropped on you with absolutely no counseling or explanation from a doctor, and how the extra stress was just, well, stressful, and that I didn't appreciate it. I also asked her why the proteinuria wasn't given the opportunity to resolve before the order was given to see the perinatologist, and she couldn't give me an answer (to her credit, it was a different OB that gave the order -- one I hadn't ever seen before). I told her that I fully understood the malpractice threats that OBs are facing (I work for a national medical organization -- urology -- and am well aware of the risks that our specialties are dealing with. Told her that I just resented the fact that I never had the opportunity to have an educated conversation with the OB before we started all of the high-risk approaches to a pregnancy that, aside from the marginal glucose, was progressing fine. She softened a bit, and then backed off a little. Said she was going to go over the perinatologist report in detail, and that she might be willing to go to a two-week biophysical scan schedule for the next few weeks and then re-bump it up to weekly if something catches her eye. I felt more reasonable after actually having the chance to sit and talk about it, and I feel like she met me halfway. She did not budge on the "high-risk" feeling ... but she's willing to move at a pace that's less frantic.

So yesterday, I went to the diabetes class. Two hours of learning about how the placenta is to blame for the whole deal, how carbohydrates should be measured, how many are best for me per meal/snack, how the body accesses fat stores when your sugar is really low, and what foods are "free" and which ones aren't. I now have to check my sugar four times a day and check for ketones first thing in the morning to make sure I'm not accessing the fat stores in my liver overnight. Personally, I think it was a pretty good use of two hours. I haven't really thought about this kind of thing since health class in high school (and that was a while ago). If they had every pregnant woman take a class like this, they might have less problems with GDM diagnoses. I mean, how many of us crave things that we don't normally eat? I'm really not a huge carb eater, and those cravings have waned a bit. It's entirely feasible to think that that glucola would shoot the numbers up and give a false positive. But, had I been eating a reasonable amount of carbs all along, perhaps my pancreas would have been more accustomed to reacting to that much sugar.

I've been tracking my food intake for the past week and monitoring my sugar, but I understand the process a bit better now (for instance, don't have fruit or fruit juice first thing in the a.m.!) and I know what I can fill up on to keep myself from starving. This will be a bit of a change for me, because I'm typically a grazer ... but now I know what I can graze on between meals without ruining my post-meal numbers. The only problem is that I can't have that afternoon jelly crimpet without sacrificing another carb :) I'll live ... and I think I'll feel better as a result. It's also good for the rest of the guys in my house ... they're already making comments to each other like, "Mommy says you should eat some cheese instead of having a bowl of pretzels" or "that has too much sugar in it and it will give you a sugar high." My hubby usually does most of the cooking and he's been focusing more on side salads and proteins, and watching his own carb portions too. What cracks me up is that I find cookie wrappers in the trash in the morning because he's snacking in the evening after I'm out of sight :)

June was a wash with knitting. Only a few socks finished, but I hope to pick up some steam in July. I have a Monkey in progress, along with the waving lace match and the go with the flow match. I hope July will bring a return to normal activities and go more smoothly than June!