Monday, September 12, 2011

Body, Betrayer

Last week, I had another ultrasound, which showed that my placenta still has not moved. At the doctor’s appointment that followed, a C-section was scheduled for me at the end of October, at 37 weeks. I will continue to have scans right up until then, so there’s still hope, but still. My doctor also prohibited me from traveling, warning me that if I went anywhere I could be stuck in a hospital there for the rest of my pregnancy. Also, because she revealed that the awful belly discomfort I’ve been having in the evenings is actually contractions, I’m now to “rest” in the afternoons. She has three children, but I suspected for a moment she’d never been around a toddler.

So, no good news, just worry—and a search for a mother’s helper to allow me my afternoon “rest.” The search so far has been unfruitful; Park Slope is full of mothers, which is probably the problem—finding a mother’s helper just may be as competitive as finding a good apartment. The woman I was slated to interview tomorrow cancelled tonight because she’d just taken a job with another mom.

Low placenta, stubbornly contracting uterus—and, next, terribly burning eyes. Andrew, Lucia, and I went to Rockaway Beach Saturday morning, which was wonderful—it was a cool, cloudy day, and we spent over two hours there. Lucia adores the beach, just adores it—running into the waves, laughing if they knock her down, sifting small clams (which she calls stones) in her sifter, collecting shells in her bucket, carrying shovels of sand from one place to another. She could have stayed all day (and, indeed, tried, making our departure a wrestling match with a boneless, shrieking tangle of toddler limbs). Once home, she took a two-hour-and-fifteen-minute nap.

This was a very good thing, because this is when the irritating cloudiness I’d been experiencing all morning became excruciating pain. I’d put my contacts in that morning after applying sunscreen (washing my hands beforehand, of course), but thought nothing of it; I assumed my contacts just had to be tossed out. When I took them out, however, I was still gazing out through fog. And then my eyes started to burn, so hideously that I wondered if I should go to the ER. I couldn’t open them. This went on, without improvement, for the next nine hours, which I spent lying on the couch with a cold cloth over my eyes. A Google search revealed that getting waterproof sunscreen in your eyes can lead to days of terrible pain. Fortunately, by the next morning, I was okay.

Anyway, I’m fine now, but I relay this story not because it’s likely to be of much interest to anyone but because it just adds insult to injury—as if I weren’t already uncomfortable enough, I had to get sunscreen in my eyes. I’ve kind of had it with my body. It is not doing its part to help me live my life. It is, instead, in revolt.

Andrew, already picking up the household slack as I try to “rest” every afternoon, had to deal with everything all afternoon on Saturday. Lacking supervision as he’s shopped and cooked the past few days, Andrew has become a regular patron at a very expensive gourmet grocery store nearby, returning home with $7 pints of ice cream, $5/pound New Jersey peaches, and $4 quarts of organic milk. On the bright side, he’s been making some amazing food.

Lucia was very sweet on Saturday when she woke up from her nap and found Mama “sick” on the couch with a washcloth over her eyes. She approached quietly and snuggled. Then she piled all her favorite stuffed animals by my head. She tucked Bibi at my shoulder. I then felt her little hands again—she was handing me my lip gloss. Then she handed me my glasses. She let Andrew feed her dinner, and then they took a nice walk. All very cute.

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