Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Ad Wizards missed the Target

Yesterday, while at the doctor's office, I was sitting in the waiting room when my eyes fell upon a magazine that caught my fancy.  It is called Conceive.  The magazine is completely geared at getting you pregnant.

I kind of laughed to myself, because how in the world have I not heard of this publication.  I have spent a lot of time researching fertility issues and visiting sites about how to get pregnant and those that offer tools to help track fertility.  I have had visits with fertility doctors and conversations with my OB and internist about getting pregnant. 

I am the ideal target for Conceive magazine and I didn't even know it existed.   The magazine comes out quarterly and offers tips for trying to get pregnant and strategies for couples to cope when it doesn't happen the way you planned.

I perused the issue in the waiting room.  They had diet recommendations, yoga poses, and an article on something called the Fertility Ball, which was invented by Brenda Strong, the narrator on Desperate Housewives.  Apparently she has a line of yoga fertility DVDs.  The reviews on Amazon are favorable.  I did a search for the Fertility Ball (looks like a small medicine ball) and one site said it isn't available to June.  Here is a link to on of the videos if you want to learn more about her approach.

Personally, I think Conceive Magazine might be a good investment. It isn't expensive and had a lot of information.  I also like how they include articles on coping as a couple with infertility.  It can really take a toll on a marriage because it is such a stressor.  Even for couples to know it is normal can be a big help.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What Goes Bump in the Day?

I have had what one might call a cautious pregnancy.  Though not consider high-risk by my doctor, you know the one with the medical degree, I have decided I am a delicate flower.  My self-prescribed delicacy has manifested itself in many ways.  None more obvious that footwear. I have pretty much warn two types of shoes since getting that little pink line- Uggs and flip flops.  I ventured out in heels a couple weeks ago and skidded, only to be cushioned by a friend.  Thus I was proud of my decision to throw fashion to the wind for the majority of my pregnancy.  And I stopped working (which explains how I got away with the most casual of foot attire).  I got laid off during this time and decided it wouldn't be fair to start some place and only have a couple months to work before going on leave, so we decided to put it off until after the baby arrived and I had a couple months at home with him.  You should have seen me walking outside during the winter, I assumed any and all surfaces were ice sheets, waiting to wipe me out.  And finally, I have given up heavy lifting, save my dumb bells (16 pounds total) and my adorable niece (maybe pushing 20 pounds). 

So now Spring has sprung and I pretty much decided I was in the clear. Last week my parents were in town.  My dad left on a Monday and my mom was staying an extra day because we thought, though wrong, that the nursery furniture would be delivered and we could set up the room.  At this point I am slightly convinced the baby is going to be sleeping in a drawer.

Since we didn't have a room to decorate and I have purchased all my essentials and washed all the baby's clothes and linens, my mom and I had nothing left to do after we dropped off my dad at the airport.  She finally came up with an idea- to go to this store in a suburb about 40 minutes away, because they had something she couldn't find back in Florida that she had been wanting. 

It was a beautiful, clear day and we finally arrived to the picturesque suburb, you know the type, with a full-on main street filled with unique stores.  We come to a light and stop.  I am the only car there.  And then bam.  Rear-ended.  We jerk forward.  Admittedly, it wasn't a hard hit at all. 

We get out of the car and see this older SUV and the driver, a woman around 65, is just sitting there.  My car doesn't have any visible damage.  But I start getting worked up about the baby. Now you might be thinking, you were just bumped, your car isn't damaged, why are you freaked out.

I am a somewhat believer in signs, not a full-fledged believer, but that taken with my ill-founded belief that I am semi-psychic sent my mind reeling.

So here are the signs in no particular order:
1) In the child birth class my husband asked, one, yes, one question.  The teacher mentioned a condition where the placenta detaches from the uterus and it is very dangerous.  He asked, "well how does that happen?"  She looking him dead in the eye, and with no inflection or emotion retorted, "car accident".

2) My husband and I are big fans of a bread of dog called a Wheaton Terrier.  They look like little teddy bears.  If we were ever to get a dog, this would be the one.  Well they aren't that common and when we see them, we act like it is a harbinger of a good day.  The morning of the accident I was driving him to work and we see not just one Wheaton, but the Wheaton twins, who must live in the neighborhood but I seldom see them.  I said to him, "remember we say a Wheaton the day [our niece] was born?  Maybe this means we are going to have the baby today."

3) About 5 years ago, I had this dreaded feeling for a couple months that I was going to get in an accident.  It really weighed on me.  About 3 months into this feeling I got rear-ended after a bizarre series of circumstances.  That bad feeling went away, until about 2 months ago, and it came back.  Weird, right?

Okay, so now I am thinking, let's say this bump detached my placenta, I need to get to the doctor so she can determine if all is okay, or if I am having a c-section and having this baby today.  Time was of the essence.

The driver doesn't get out of her car.  She rolls down the window and looks at me and I was starting to cry because of the baby.  And she looks at me blankly (btw, I am hugely pregnant, so it isn't like a big freaking mystery as to why I am upset).  My mom, who loves to exaggerate says, "she isn't crying about the car she is crying because she is nine months pregnant."  Truth be told I was 8.5 months pregnant.  But she loves to get sympathy on my behalf.  Such as after fibroid surgery, I would say I am doing better than expected and she would be on the phone to one of my aunts saying, "she is just so uncomfortable, poor thing can't get any sleep and it really hurts to move."  Got to love her for that.

The woman says, "Did I hit you?"  This is when I realize we are dealing with a world class space cadet.  I ask for her insurance card.  She goes through every signal membership card, credit card, business card, and possibly coupon she has collected since 1987 and finally hands over an expired health insurance card.  I said, "this is you medical insurance."  She looks at me blankly and says, "what did you want?"  I further clarify the need for her car insurance, when I notice she has a busted up front head light, from clearly another accident. 

I go in my car to call the doctor's office.  A couple minutes later I get out of the car and go to the passenger side to get her insurance card.  She can't open the window.  She literally cannot figure out why.  Here's a tip, you need to turn the car on in order to open the window.  Not an exaggeration, it took her about 35 seconds to realize this fact.  She confessed she didn't have a card, hands me her business card, and says her husband is driving over the insurance card.

There are 2 big reveals.  According to her business card, she owns a company.  She must have mental faculties because she works and presumably employs people.  She is the boss of someone.  Even more alarming than her at the helm of a business is that she had a car seat in the back.  Someone is allowing their child to be driven around by this woman.

Her husband rolls up and looks at me in all my curvy glory and says, "oh sweetheart, are you ok?"  He was super nice.  I tried to take a picture of the insurance card with my phone but the lighting was bad, so he opens the car door and we put it on the baby car seat.  She had her gaze forward the whole time, never spoke to her husband, and this nice man didn't even acknowledge the space cadet, who herself had just been in an accident.  I further deduced from their interactions and the busted headlight that this wasn't the first time he had to come clean up her mess.

My mom and I spent the next 40 minutes in route to the hospital discussing what we think she was on.  Our bet was prescription drugs.  And in case you are wondering, my mom didn't get the platter, I did offer, but she refused and just wanted me to get to the hospital.

We got sent to triage.  I had to change into a gown and they hooked up the Non-Stress Test (NST).  Essentially it is a big belt that measures the baby's heart beat.  About an hour into it, they said he looks like he is fine and the nurse would call my the doctor from my practice that was on call.  The doctor wanted me to stay one more hour and have an internal exam, they kind where they tell you if you are dilated and effaced.

I was secretly hoping I was one of those lucky first time moms that unbeknownst to her was walking around 3 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and when in labor, the nurse would be screaming for the doctor because the baby was going to slide out with the first push.

I have been warned that these exams are very painful.  It wasn't ice cream and elephants, but it was okay, I was so eager to hear that I was progressing more than anyone could have hoped, that I just grinned (more like panted) and bared it.

So the verdict, 0cm and 0% effaced.  Like I could keep my cervical information to myself.

Bottom line, you can wear sensible shoes, walk with the greatest caution on hazardous terrain, not lift anything heavy, avoid caffeine, alcohol, avoid the sugar I really really really want to be eating every day, and some drugged out lady can send you into a tailspin.

Luckily he was perfect.  In 2 days I am going for an ultrasound to see his position and hopefully I will get another 3-D image to share.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shell Shocked

Yesterday we attended the 8 hour birthing class called "Great Expectations". It honestly felt like a rite of passage.  Since pretty much everyone I know has a baby, I thought I knew what the class was all about.

Well, I was not prepared.  It left me wanting a c-section. I am only half kidding.  They showed several child births and all of them were natural.  No epidurals in the bunch.  The funniest part was not one person in my class was planning on going sans drugs.  Questions included, "At what point would I get the epidural?", "If I am having contractions seven minutes apart but they are horribly painful, can I come in for an epidural or will  I be sent home?".

My husband made noises like he was being sickened and averted his eyes during the crowning and delivery.  I cannot blame him.  After that scene, one expectant father inquired, "Is there anything you can give the dads so they don't pass out?"  The nurse leading the class looked at him in a judging way and answered, "a chair,".

The class and hospital tour just made everything much more real.  I have 7 weeks left until my due date.  In some ways, I feel like I have been pregnant forever but in other ways, I can't believe there is an end in sight.