Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Worst Nightmare

I have a bunch of different dreams that would be considered nightmares. Well, some aren't as bad as others.

There's a certain set of repeating themes.

(1) I have to pee, but all the toilets are either filthy, don't have stall doors for privacy, or are physically impossible to reach. I end up searching for that one, clean toilet in a HUGE bathroom full of filthy ones. Or I end up wishing I'd taken gymnastics, as I try to get my butt over some toilet that is bizarrely placed high up in some impossible alcove.

Sometimes these toilets are in a public restroom. Sometimes they are scattered in some house.

(2) I'm running late for work, but all the shower stalls don't have walls for privacy, or there's some other issue with them that makes it difficult to take a shower and get cleaned up prior to work.

Sometimes these showers are in a public shower, like a gym or a dormitory, and sometimes they are in different bathrooms in a house.

(3) I have an apartment separate from the home my husband and I share. For some reason I spend alot of time there. My husband comes to visit. I keep wondering why the heck I'm spending this extra money on this apartment when I have a perfectly good house. It just feels really weird and wrong.

(4) I am living with my parents, even though my husband and I have our own house. My husband comes to visit sometimes. I'm in my old bedroom from when I was a teenager. This one makes me truly shudder.

(5) The place I'm living has rodents and/or cockroaches. The wood is rotting away or eaten away by termites. Cleaning up the mess is nearly impossible. Trying to clean it up w/o wearing a HAZMAT suit is inadvisable.

(6) I forgot I was taking some classes at college. I don't even know the schedule in order to try to attend those classes, and catch up on homework. Not even sure where the final exam is or when.

(7) I have an argument with my Sister. Pretty simple, but that's a big one. I can wake up crying from that. Ditto if it's an argument with my husband, although that dream is much less frequent.

I usually have a strange combination of the above. Usually (1) plus (2) plus (4), with (6) tossed in for good measure. Then, with (2) and (6), there's the knowledge that not only will I have to stay late at work to make up the hours, but I will also have to take time out of the day to go to the classes, whose schedule I don't even have on me, and then work even later after I return from those classes.

Sometimes it's (3) plus (5), and the rodents or roaches could be at both home and the apartment.

I don't understand the whole apartment thing. I think it's more a remembering what it's like to live in my apartment alone, and then, in the dream, remembering I'm happily married and have a home... what the heck am I doing HERE???

I understand the whole living with my parents thing: it's like a failure, like I majorly screwed up if I'm back at home in my old bedroom. No offense to my parents, but that's exactly it.

I moved back home with my parents once in real life. It was ok, but it was a major ego-hit. I did it because I wasn't feeling confident at my job at the time, was in the middle of a difficult project at work, and felt like I should move home and try to pay off some credit card debt. I also was thus able to give my folks a little rent money, which helped them as well. But it was still just not right. I moved out after 6 months. My parents were really cool, both about me moving back home and moving out, but moving back home just wasn't the right thing for me to have done. There are less ego-destroying ways to save money!

If my husband isn't even in the dream at all, where I'm stuck with my family again, it's a REALLY bad dream. Because then, on some subconscious level, I know things are REALLY screwed up if my husband isn't in my life.

Ok, quick side-step into real life here:

I failed the 1 hour Gestational Diabetes test, getting a score of 164 when I needed to have below 140. My ObGyn thinks it was because I had some sugar a few days prior to the test. I've barely gained any weight while pregnant... it seems I'm replacing fat with this kid! I.E., the kid is getting bigger, and my overall weight is only slowly getting larger. So I'm losing fat and gaining baby. I consider this a good deal! Anyway, the fact that I'm not gaining weight like a mad fool makes my ObGyn think that I'm probably ok.

But, just to be sure, on Monday I had to take a second test, the 3 hour Gestational Diabetes test.

Now, the 3 hour Gestational Diabetes test involves the following:

(1) 3 days prior to the test, go on an Atkins-like diet. Avoid all processed/added sugars. But also do carb loading, where you eat 5 servings of GOOD carbs. Apples count, as does wheat bread. And cereal. Not sure I did a good job on the carb loading thing... I re-read that part of the instructions last minute while I was sitting for the test, and started worrying. :P

(2) Fast for 8 to 12 hours prior to the test. Other than swallowing phlegm, did a great job on that.

(3) Get first blood test.

(4) Drink sugary drink.

(5) Get 3 more blood tests, each an hour apart from the last.

(6) Pass out due to not having had food, giving blood 4 times, and having had a sugar spike and then an insulin spike on an empty stomach. While 6 months pregnant. And that baby inside you is HUNGRY, and making you HUNGRIER.

They can never find the veins on me. I figured out I have a vein underneath this pockmarked area of my right arm. I advised the first guy to drill there. He said he had to drill where he felt the vein, and went to the right of that first. No blood. He took my advice the 2nd time and voila: blood.

Everyone else thankfully either took my advice, or felt the vein in the pockmarked area. So, 5 pricks of the needle for 4 vials of blood. Whew! That's the most blood tests in the shortest span of time that I've ever had.

Unfortunately, just found out today that I do have Gestational Diabetes. But it's not so bad that I'll have to be pricking my fingers, or taking insulin. Just need to go on a special diet. Well, if that's the worst thing that happens with this pregnancy, my husband and I will be truly blessed.

So, I get to see a dietician. Weeee.

I started sniffling Monday morning, and it only got worse throughout the day. At first I thought I was allergic to something in the waiting room where I had blood drawn. But now I think I caught a relative's cold.

Trying to continue working Monday afternoon after that blood test and with the sniffles was just hell. I SO badly wanted to lay my head on the desk and just go to sleep.

I spent Tuesday sleeping all day, and also ended up staying home today, Wednesday. Just feeling wiped out. Mostly just a little stuffed up today, and drained. Bleah.

But oh, yeah. The reason I even posted about nightmares in the first place:

So I had a doozy of a nightmare Sunday night, the night before the lovely blood tests.

I was staying with my parents and my sister (and not my husband... automatic nightmare formula right there, due to being surrounded by family, whom I love, but where the heck is my husband??), in Nevada, in one of my co-workers' houses (and no, I don't know which of my co-workers has a house in Nevada), and it's the night before the Gestational Diabetes test.

FYI, I don't live in Nevada.

The dogs are with me.

I arrive late to my co-worker's house. My Sister and Dad are already asleep. Mom is still up, watching tv in bed. I can't find the dogs. I assume someone fed them, after they figured out I was going to be really late. I crash.

Friends of my co-worker wake me up by their talking loudly in the patio area. At 5am. I try to go back to sleep, but can't. I get up, and hunt down the dogs. They are locked up in some strange room, and are very glad to see me. I talk to my family as they wake up, and find out that they were not fed dinner last night!!!! I freak out. Then I figure out I forgot to pack any dog food for this trip, so no-one could have fed them in the first place!

My Sister drives me around town to pick up some dog food. We bring it back. I'm getting hungrier and hungrier, but I'm supposed to be fasting before this blood test. I realize I don't even know where I should go for this blood test in Nevada... will the form I'm carrying even be understood by the local clinics? [I had a situation back home where I went to the place I was used to getting blood drawn, and they couldn't take the form my ObGyn had given me! Not kidding. True story. I had changed ObGyn's, and found out from now on, I could only get blood drawn from such-and-such clinics.]

I'm freaking out. There's some donuts on the breakfast table. I'm soaking the dog food in preparation for feeding it to my poor hungry mutts, and I absentmindedly take a bite of a donut.

I then panic, spitting out the piece of donut into the sink, trying to wipe all the sugar frosting off my tongue, and worrying that I had swallowed some of it, and therefore would not be able to take the test today! But would instead have to redo the 3 day preparational diet prior to the test.


It was at that point that I woke up in real life and started wimpering!!!

I'm honestly surprised that just having blood drawn is not a nightmare for me anymore. But I've had so many blood tests since getting pregnant, and had a bunch back in 1995 when I had mono, that I just can't get the anxiety levels up for it anymore. The childhood trauma I underwent when I was really little has, thank God, finally been overwritten by too many normal, if unpleasant, blood test experiences.

When I was a kid, between the ages of 0 and 5, those lovely formative years, I was in the hospital every year for one or two weeks while they checked to see how I was handling this genetic disease they thought I had. [I don't think I ever truly had it anymore... long story. I was a sick little kid, but I just don't think that was the reason anymore. Either that, or God healed me of it.] Often, they would draw blood in the middle of the night, holding me down to do it. My parents weren't there during the night, and didn't know it was happening, and couldn't comfort me before or after, therefore.

This trauma wasn't my parent's fault, and the hospital felt the blood tests were necessary, so it technically wasn't their fault, either. But it messed with me pretty badly at the time. Has that whole "torture" feel to it. And little kids don't always understand why things are being done to them. I just knew I was powerless to fight back, had no choice in the matter, didn't know why they were doing it to me, and I knew that it was going to hurt.

I think most things are more awful if they happen to you when you are a helpless child. When you're an adult, and you know you could kick the ass of the person currently drawing blood from you, it's just not as traumatic anymore! :)

Hmph. Maybe I'll make sure my son takes karate at a young age. If he knows he can kick the phlebotomist's ass, maybe he won't be as afraid of needles as I used to be. :)

That, and knowing what can happen to children at night alone in the hospital... well... I don't think I'll let my son be alone at night in a hospital until he's old enough to do some ass kicking.

He's probably not going to have similar experiences. He'll probably have a whole new set of traumatic experiences that I can't prepare him for, as I won't be expecting them. Sigh. Guess that's how life works for most of us.

Ok, and on that note, what are the formula's for your recurring nightmares?

Wow. This is a much darker post than I'd intended. Sorry, guys. Maybe I can blame Anne Rice? I just finished rereading Interview with the Vampire, LOL! :)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Freaking Out

I'm a little spooked about my and the baby's health right now. I normally have a bit of IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome. But being pregnant makes you, uhm, have alot of constipation. Ironically, when my IBS isn't kicking in, I normally kindof have to consciously push.

But now, with pregger constipation, I have to push more, or accept it not coming out in a more, uhm, timely manner.

Every time I push, am worried about accidentally starting contractions. :P So far, no problem, but I think I'd better, uhm, start eating prunes or something, LOL! Start thinking of myself as an elderly woman. :)

Fiber, anyone? ;)

I heard that the prenatal vitamins can also cause some constipation. All the extra iron.

You know it's bad when you find yourself ensuring you get some dairy on an empty stomach to have your slight dairy intolerance give you a little, uhm, boost, LOL!

A fellow pregger told me that I can't push the baby out that way. Your cervix is going to get in the way, LOL.

The other thing that's freaking me out is that my heart murmur seems to be a little more worse past few days. I hoped I was just hearing things last night. Like maybe the extra hard heart beat was my esophagus contracting. I sometimes get some acid reflux. Or plain old heart burn, especially now that I'm preggers.

This morning I took a stethoscope out, listened. Yep. It's my heart. It's like listening to someone jump rope, and then trip. They stumble for a few hard steps, then get back in gear. Same sorta sound.

I ironically have a heart ultrasound scheduled Monday at 8am, thanks to my ObGyn. Heart murmurs can need extra special care during the birth. Not sure if there are also pregnancy concerns.

A coworker told me, before I got preggers, that some friend of his died from a heart murmur. Of course, this morning, that's what I was thinking about, LOL!

I thought about how heart problems can be made worse from lack of sleep. I had tried to get up early so it would be easier to get up early Monday morning. I crawled back into bed and slept for another 2.5 hours, and when when my husband woke, I told him about it. Didn't want to freak him out that early, so had waited for him to wake. He and I had some really good cuddling. He also called the dogs onto the bed, and we had some good doggy cuddling, as well, LOL. :)

My friend Kenya, a fellow fanfic writer, called during a lull in a sci-fi/fantasy convention she's been attending since Friday. We had a good, funny chat, in which I also did some venting. That helped. Hopefully didn't stress her out.

I vented on another friend, a coworker. And I vented on a Pregnancy site.

I am SO female. Once I vented on my husband, two friends, and a Pregnancy site, I felt better, LOL! Problems aren't solved, but I felt better! I think I needed to, uhm, spread the stress around.

Same pregger person who told me I couldn't accidentally push the baby out, also told me that when you are preggers, you have about 50% extra blood. Your heart increases in size a little to try to tackle that. So, my heart skipping a beat is probably totally normal, considering.

Pregnancy is SO weird.

Anyway, that's been my life. Ah, pregnancy stress. :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Super Slide

Every time I turn over in bed, say going from sleeping on my left side to my right, I can feel the baby slowly slide to the other side!!!!

I can't decide if I'm creeped out by that, or just highly amused. :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Where do I put the moat?

I saw my ObGyn Thursday of last week. She reminded me that the specialist, who zeroed in on the "3rd leg", during my last ultrasound, had determined my due date was no longer November 29th, but November 21st. I'm ahead a week. I'd sorta spaced on it... like I heard it, but it didn't really click.

Tripped me out. Means I crossed 23 weeks last Wednesday... 24 as of today, Wednesday 8/1/2007. I'm well over halfway there.

Each month is approximately 4.5 weeks. 40 weeks == 8.88888 months. Hmph. If 40 weeks is supposed to be 9 months, maybe that should really be 4.44 weeks per month? Well, anyway...

So, 24 weeks == 5.33333 months. Yeah, over halfway there.



I quit reading "What to Expect when you're Expecting". My shrink said that was probably a good thing, considering I have OCD, and might focus on one item in the book and start worrying about it happening.

However, I also haven't read any books on how to care for babies.

Instead I've been re-reading my Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter collection, trying to re-familiarize myself with the series in preparation for reading the latest book, book 15 in the series.

And I've got about 3 other books waiting in the wings, including the latest Harry Potter, so no-one spoil it for me, LOL! :)

But I am going to sign up for some quicky classes on the whole birth process, taking care of babies, and also baby CPR. My husband will be going with me. And I've got friends and family who have kids, so I think everything's going to be ok.

But it's just a really, really weird experience, this whole pregnancy thing.

Sometimes I have a panic attack over the fact that there's SOMETHING ELSE ALIVE inside of me. Just feels a little creepy.

Other times I'm happy talking to our future son, saying things like, "How yah doing, kiddo?", or, "What do you think?", or, "Hey! Quit kicking me in the bladder!"

My husband was on travel Sunday night thru Thursday night last week. I guess the "motherhood" protective instinct kicked in, because every night, I made sure the doors and the sliding glass door were locked. And kept a loaded revolver near the bed, with 6 extra bullets nearby in case I needed to reload. And brought the machete that normally sits next to the sliding glass door (I got it after going nuts trying to cut up huge bushy weeds next to the side of the house, prior to having the house tented for termites), and placed it next to my side of the bed.

Because, you know, all that training in machete-fighting would come in handy if someone broke in, LOL. :) And no, I have no clue how to fight with a knife, much less a machete. I took some Tae-Kwon-Do, but never got past white-belt. But I DO know how to shoot. Well, at least with the machete in the bedroom with me, a perp couldn't find it in the living room to try to use on me.

I also had a flashlight near the bed, and a lighter, so I could light a candle. And my cell phone and a portable phone nearby, even though the landline phone is at the head of the bed.

And did I mention the 170 pounds of fur, fang and claw that sleep with me at night? That would be one 70 pound female German Shepherd and one 100 pound male German Shepherd. And they are in their prime... if they wanted to take someone down, they could do it.

And they are 100% on my side. ;)

Yeah, I am probably as safe as a person can be, with all those things nearby!

When my husband came home, he teased me when he was kissing me goodbye one morning and said, "Love your machete". :)

Anyway, the OCD+pregnancy of late has been making me a little extra protective of myself, i.e., me and the fetus. And it showed by the amount of hardware/tools I insisted on taking with me into the bedroom each night, LOL!

Heh. Funny. I didn't even think about taking the fire extinguisher into the bedroom too! Man, how did I forget about THAT????