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wow, life is moving along at a fast pace.

Just came back from the doc and found out that I’m already 2cm dilated and 70% effaced.  Its amazing to me but the doc could actually feel the little guy’s head right there!  Thankfully I’m not having painful contractions so i’m counting the progress thus far as ‘free’ centimeters in terms of dilation.  And I’m hoping for even more ‘free’ ones before the painful contractions come 🙂

I’m thinking there is no way we’re doing to make it to the due date on the 17th or even my hope of giving birth on Obama’s inauguration day on the 20th.

My students’  grades  are turned in and the semester wrapped up at work, my hospital bag is packed, the baby’s room is in decent shape (even though we’re still waiting for the mattress and mattress pad to arrive), but I still don’t feel ‘ready’.  I don’t know if I ever will actually.

I’ve had horrible sleep for the last two nights.  I’ve woken up in anxiety attacks worried about the baby and unable to sleep again. Its wierd because until now i’ve been pretty possitive and able to sleep quite well through the night.  I don’t know where this fear is coming from as it seeming to hit me from nowhere.

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Yesterday i passed the 12 week mark and I breathed a muted sigh of relief for surviving the first trimester!!

I leave for Kenya in less than 24 hours (still no apartment lined up!) and I’m really wondering if this is a dumb thing to do. To commit to over 20 hours in the air with another 10 hour layover.  Doesn’t sound like its good for pregnancy but they say it is.  Its usually a hard journey to make even without the additional exhaustion of pregnancy. Not to mention I am still in the throes of pretty intense ‘morning’ sickness with constant nausea and heartburn and assorted other maladies.

What if I start bleeding again while on the airplane?  Or while in Kenya? Will I be able to get the medical care I need?

Its a real battle in my head. On one hand women give birth in Kenya on a daily basis and children survive and thrive. I was born there and turned out well for all practical intents and purposes.  I really dont’ want to fall into paranoia.
Then again I now have two friends in Kenya who have lost their babies in pregnancies that I’m convinced could have been saved had they been in the States. There is no doubting that the medical technologies are far more advanced in the states.

Am I being a bad parent by traveling and not ensuring that my unborn child has access to these medical technologies?

Mzee seems to be o.k. with my traveling. I wonder though if he’s not speaking up because he doesn’t want to get into an argument about it. It must be rough to not have that control. The welfare of his child is completely dependent on me and the decisions I make at this point. I had never thought of the challenges of fatherhood in that way before. The only point he has completely emphasized is that I am in no way to lose weight while pregnant. I had this idea in my mind that I could still lose some pounds in the first trimester and it wouldn’t matter. Boy did he make a stand! Surprisingly, I’ve been able to maintain the exact same weight for the past three months. All thanks to the nausea.

Anyway, am I being reckless by traveling and denying my unborn baby access to the best medical care possible? What if something happens to me while i’m there? I’ve gotten dysentery during a trip in the not too distant past. How would getting it again affect the baby? What if I have to take medications when i’m there? What if I’m raped? I know its far fetched but I know enough to know that rape is a real problem that hardly anyone talks about. And I’ve been threatened before….

worry worry worry

Night before last I couldn’t sleep so I stayed up making calls to Kenya and chatting online with a friend in Sudan. It was 3am by the time I got to bed and I noticed I had started bleeding.

Mzee and I decided it was not worth going to the E.R. for but to wait to talk to the doc in the morning. Well the bleeding continues and by morning i’m completely freaked out. We had to wait until the afternoon to have an ultrasound to see what how the kid was doing and if I was starting to have another miscarriage.

I had already started preparing myself and convincing myself that I’ll be o.k. even if we lose this one.
Thankfully the ultrasound revealed a kicking healthy baby. And I literally mean kicking. S/He was jumping around in there, doing loops and just having a good time.
I”m now 9 weeks 5 days along but have a condition called Subchorionic Hematoma
The doc is not worried about it since mine is quite small but I’m to take it easier than usual and, unfortunately for mzee, join the B. train for two weeks! That will be hard! (pun intended!)

Other than that, here is a pic of peanut as S/He develops. The growth has been phenomenal. There are arms and legs and a cute round belly.
I still marvel at the technology that lets us see details this small on a munchkin that is barely 1 inch big deep inside me. Wow

And i must admit, this past scare is really helping me shift my focus from being ambivalent to kind of even excited about having a kid.

Whats wrong with me?
I”m not feeling this bright jumping for joy feeling at the prospect of being a mother and I feel guilty for not feeling it.

See, the thing is, I LOVE my life! I’m perfectly content with the way things are going. I’ve finally finished grad school, I have a job that i’m really excited about, I’m financially comfortable, and i’m married to the best hubby on earth!
Its taken me years to finally achieve this and i’m not sure that throwing a baby into the mix is not going to ruin it all.

Far from those couples that have a baby to try and fix things, I am really content and happy and i’m worried that having a baby will throw me and my life off the comfortable balance that its in right now. I know its selfish to think that way but at this point i’m still not at a place where I identify peanut as a distinct person separate from me. It still feels like this strange alien thats hitching a ride in my body.
I keep reading all this psychology stuff that says that after I feel the first kicks it will become real that there is a baby in there but for now I’m focused on wondering how much all this is going to change my life.

I must admit I also feel very isolated in not having someone I can talk to about what I’m feeling. I’m a complete extrovert in that I process my feelings on the outside. I feel like admitting to others that I feel this ambivalent is automatically going to mark me a bad mother. I mean surely, its not normal. is it? The texts say it kind of is but I haven’t heard anyone else admit that they felt this way when they first got pregnant. I mean I’m supposed to be overjoyed right? The maternal feelings should have kicked in by now and I should be glowing. I’m not. Instead I’m terrified and unsure of whether this is a good idea.
Whats wrong with me?

Whats up with the term ‘morning sickness’. Nothing about it is happening in the morning for me. Its more like all day sickness. In fact, the only time that i’m not feeling like throwing up or actually worshiping the porcelain goddess is in the morning when I first wake up.

Oh, and nobody tells you about the killer heartburn. Now heartburn sounds like a polite problem that should be easy to deal with. Not this stuff. Its constant! It feels like someone has lit a bonfire in my throat. Peanut (the euphemism that Mzee and I use for him/her) better be taking all this time to grow. Damnit! I’m going to be so pissed if all this is for nothing!

On to happier topics; In the meanwhile i’m having a good time visiting with old friends, spending alone time in my old haunts, and writing in my journal. Its been a fantastic vacation though I must admit some of the lunch meetings with (soon to be former) professors have left my stomach in knots rather than relaxed me. I still have a lot of anger about how unnecessarily hard this process has been and the major damage that the last seven years of stress has done to my body.

O.k. Back to being positive: Tomorrow is the big day. I will be a Dr. Mwananchi Mkenya at 4pm tomorrow and thats a good thing. Woohooo!!!!!

This is actually my second pregnancy.

I had a miscarriage two years ago.   Strangely enough the hardest part about that was not losing the baby, but rather the month we went through where we didn’t know if the pregnancy was viable or not. It was excruciating not knowing if we needed to change our lives around to accomodate a little one or to keep going with the plans for our lives we had already made. Not knowing whether to emotionally get attached, or stay numb and view the whole pregnancy as a medical malfunction of my reproductive organs. The pregnancy ended at barely two months.

I comforted myself about losing Ephraim (we decided it was a boy and gave him a name) with the thought that had he made it through the pregnancy he would have been deformed so it was better for nature to take care of a situation that wasn’t right. Its strange because from the very beginning the doctors could tell that something was wrong with the pregnancy so I never let myself get too attached to the pregnancy. I felt numb throughout the process because of that. Naming him brought some softness to the situation. And after the miscarriage we brought Ephraim to Kenya where he is now buried.

Even though this pregnancy feels different and there aren’t the warning signs we had with the previous one, I’m still cautious and not allowing myself to get excited quite yet. In the back of my mind is still the ‘what if’ question. Especially as I wait for bloodwork to be done on Monday and Wednesday.

In the meanwhile, Mzee and I are off on vacation to sunny San Diego!!!! I’m excited because I bought him private golf lessons on the Torrey Pines golf course where this year’s US Open is being played in just a few weeks. yep. its a smug smile of self satisfaction i’ve got on.