Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Comfy Pants

On Friday, I wore jeans and a top to work. On Saturday, I decided I would wash my jeans and wear comfy pants instead, so I pulled out a pair of yoga pants. I threw on a maternity top just so I could see what I had in the house. Sunday, same thing. Monday, it was warner, so I located some shorts and put them on. After needing to lay on the bed to zip them, I realized if I ate or drank anything all day, I was not going to be able to zip them up again (and I was going out to lunch, so eating was on the agenda). I located a pair of maternity shorts and wore those with a maternity top that would cover the big elastic band.

Tuesday came and it was time to go back to work, so I pulled out the same pants I wore on Friday and headed in. About 4 minutes in to my commute, the pants were unbuttoned. So, today, I am wearing maternity jeans. With a regular shirt that pretty much covers the elastic band but only if I don't move much. I guess I am entering the realm of maternity clothes (and can I say that I am SO glad I pulled out the "big bras" on Sautrday, oh my gosh, yes).

When I was expecting Chuckles, I had an office job whose dress code was business attire. So, I realized I have a lot of transitional slacks (larger size regular clothes) that don't really work for me now. I have suits, and blouses that need to be ironed and khaki pants, and black pants, and everything is for winter since I was pregnant and in special clothes from November until May which is all pretty much winter in Chicago. So, now I am looking for jeans and shorts and tanks and polos and maybe some capris. I hit the Goodwill a while back and bought out everything in my sizes that wasn't a jumper, wasn't a dress, not a muu-muu, not a tent, and featured no duckies. I went back a week ago and they didn't have anything nice/new. So, I guess I need to hit another GOodwill or make some mom friends who want to give me their clothes. People don't keep this stuff, so everyone always wants to get rid of it all. I know I did. I guess I am glad I only gave away a little bit of it.

As far as "am I bigger this time than last time"? Nope. Weight gain so far is less this time around (although starting from a higher place, so I think actual weight at 14.5 weeks is the same). Busting out the Comfy Pants at the same time as last time (although I am in actual "maternity" clothes sooner just because the transitional clothes aren't working for me). I felt movement at 13.5 weeks this time (not every day, which is a mindfork in and of itself). Last time, it was around 16 weeks, but both of those are on the very early side. I'm sort of in-tune with that and I sit quietly a lot, so I have the opportunity to feel it.

It really is the little things

For "lunch" today I packed the following (I say "lunch" because it is the food I bring to work with me and eat all day long):
  • Brownberry Dark Dark German bread with a piece of Colby Jack cheese
  • A pear
  • A plum
  • A baggie of Bugles
  • A granola bar with a lot of nuts
  • some cherries

The pear had gotten bumped and bruised and tasted like it had begun to ferment, so I tossed it out after a few bites. The first plum I put in my lunch today had a big mold spot on it, so I relegated it to the compost bin this morning and replaced it with another one that upon eating, tasted and smelled like the husk of corn on the cob. So, just, ewwww. And now, I am hungry.

This actually is a fairly typical lunch for me. Three pieces of fruit, a treat, and a sandwich. Very typical for me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I ((Heart)) Everything

It's funny what a difference one phone call can make in my mood.

My awesome ob, who I think I love, just called me personally. Not a nurse, not a receptionist, but the actual doctor (and this rarely happens to me).

Bear in mind that these results are only preliminary and need a second blood draw to be truly accurate, but whatever.

My age-related risk for Down Syndrome is 1:380 (I've seen other numbers quoted like 1:330)
My risk of Down Syndrome (preliminarily, mind you) based on my NT and blood work is 1:1,800 (one out of 1,800 would have it when their results are like this, so it doesn't mean Fetus doesn't have it, just that it is unlikely and less likely than it would appear given my age alone)

My age-related risk for Trisomy 18 is 1:1,300
My risk of Trisomy 18 (preliminarily) is 1:10,000 (which even if the second blood draw is bad, you can't take a risk like that and make it all that bad really, maybe 1 in 5,000 then, so we're pretty good).

I will be doing the second blood draw. But that's OK. I don't mind, really. I just wanted some answers before my CVS time ran out.


HEre are two recipes for the same thing that I call homemade.

My very own special vinaigrette
  • One packet Good Seasons Italian dressing
  • Fill cruette to the Water Line with Balsamic vinegar
  • Add Packet
  • Add anothing 3/4" of red wine vineger
  • one tablespoon water
  • Olive Oil pomade up into the neck
  • Shake
  • Serve on Mixed greens
  • Optional - add 1 T of Dijon or horseradish mustard before shaking

My new lighter version of my very own special vinaigrette. It's only lighter because the color is lighter.

  • One packet Good Seasons
  • Fill cruette to the water line with Chardonnay vinegar (purchased at the winery)
  • Add packet
  • One tablespoon water
  • About 2 or 3 T canola oil
  • Shake vigorously
  • Serve on Bibb or Butter lettuce

Good Things

There is much joy and happiness in my life to go with the grumpy, griping part. Here, in no particular order, is a list of good things.
  • Creamy Danish Havarti Cheese (which is made with pasteurized milk)
  • Chuckles
  • Cherries, which are now on sale
  • Sleeping through the night without getting up to potty
  • Chuckles sleeping through the night without coming into my bed
  • Weaning off of progesterone
  • PLaying outside
  • Pretty flowers

That is all I have right now, but I am thinkful for the good things in my life and there are far more of them than there are crappy things. But the crappy stuff does suck.

This is the Winter that Never Ends

There are sandals in my closet that miss me and want to spend quality time with me before my feet are too swollen to be pretty.

It's the little things that kill you

Sure, the thing with the MFM is disheartening, but it's really the little things that can spoil your day.

On Tuesday, I decided I was hungry and I wanted Bugles (you know, disgusting cone shaped deep-fried fat). I donned all my safety gear at work and set out for the vending machine. They had no Bugles, so I decided to get the TGIFriday’s bacon and cheddar potato skins for $.65, I pressed B-1, but they didn’t drop down, so I had to come back to my office to get more money.

I only had ten-dollar bill and 5 more pennies.

THe next person who bought them, probably got two, and I bet he had a great day after that. I'm happy for him.

The Frustration, It Burns

The Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor office called to tell me they got the preliminary results back yesterday, but they can’t give me the results because they want me to have more blood drawn between 5/31 and 6/14 in Orland (which while not far, is not close and certainly not convenient). That kind of makes 1st trimester screening irrelevant if you’re going to wait and do second trimester screening with it (which I am already scheduled to do here, near home). So they have the results but they won’t give them to me. They say that have faxed them to my doctor’s office, so I called over there and to see whether anyone would give them to me, but the office never got a fax. The MFM doc won't be returning my call until Thursday (and entire week from when the results were in because I have no idea why). The whole point of first trimester screening is to have results NOW. If the results indicate that a CVS is warranted, I need it Tuesday because time is a-wasting.

I have never heard of an UltraScreen combined with the 2nd trimester screening. Maybe I'm just not into obstetrics enough, but please. The point here is results early.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lucky 13

  • The UltraScreen rocked the house. If you ever get a chance to have one, I completely and totally recommend it.
  • At the UltraScreen, I saw the following (and was so good at making out baby parts, the technician actually asked me if I was an ultrasound tech....HA!): two arms, two legs, an unknown number of fingers (don't care....fingers are totally unimportant to me), two hemispheres of the brain, four chambers of the heart, jaw bones, eye sockets, a non-bright colon, a nasal bone, a crown-rump length (CRL) of 80 mm at 12w5d, a nuchal translucency of 2.0 mm (largest NT of 3 readings), movement, finger sucking, spine, Doppler blood flows that my husband believes indicate rain, an umbilical cord (but I forgot to ask how many vessels it had), some random internal organs whose locations and functions are a little hazy, and that was about it.
  • For those of you not studying for your genetics counselor credentials at home, let me tell you that a NT of 2 mm with a CRL of 80 mm is great. It does not raise any red flags at all. I had blood drawn as well for that part of it. The blood was overnighted to Genzyme in NM. I have no idea when the combined results will be in. I believe the results are being sent to my regular doctor's office, and I will get them there. I know my office has no experience with these results since I am their first patient to ask for the UltraScreen, and I had to find and refer myself to a doctor myself since they were unhelpful on that front. The results will be in the format of you have a 1 in X chance of a baby with a chromosomal abnormality (a trisomy like Down Syndrome or Patua's syndrome...I think I spelled that wrong and am too lazy to check, basically trisomy 18 or 21 plus some other rare ones). I am hoping for an X greater than 10,000 but who knows.
  • Also, for those of you not in the know, a CRL of 80 mm at 12w5d indicates a relatively "tall" baby. Considering Chuckles was about 22" long at birth, I am not suprised.
  • I still plan on doing the Multiple Marker Screening (Triple Screen/Quad Screen) since UltraScreen does not check for neural tube defects and Multiple Marker Screening does. I am all "knowledge is power" over here.
  • The blood was not drawn at the office so we went to some little blood draw lab place in some strip mall, but I don't care about the hassle.
  • Oh, after the NT, we went to Buca Di Beppo for lunch. I had eggplant parmesan. We did not sit at the Pope's Table. It was awesome to go out to lunch with my husband...alone. And it was like a date. My husband had no idea how neurotic I am and how much I worry, so he was really surprised to see me smiling and happy and excited about this thing. At about 11 weeks, my blood sugar stabilized, the fatigue went away, and I felt...fine. Like nothing. I was sure something was wrong. horribly, horribly wrong. How did this man not know what a whackjob I am?
  • Of course, when we got back from our date, we took Chuckles to the pediatrician because he just wasn't right (up 11 times in the night vomiting (of the cough-cough-puke variety), fever, cranky). He has strep. He's getting brand new toothbrushes tonight. Woo woo. After only one dose of antibiotics, he was looking and feeling much better and slept through the night (a little Motrin is a good thing). Since puking and fevers are no strangers here, we knew what to do, when to worry, and I had the suppository acetominophen at the ready should it be necessary.
  • Strep is not dangerous in pregnancy if treated promptly. So far, I do not have a sore throat, although the ped said it is very common for parents to get it. He was sleeping in my bed and puking on me the night before, so I imagine I am exposed.
  • We had an impromptu BBQ at our house today. Brats, polish, hot dogs, bean salad, guacamole, chips, cake, drinks, corn on the cob from Florida, and some other random food we had in the house. It was fun. And exhausting.
  • I swear to you, about once a day, I feel the fetus (it's oficially a fetus longer an embryo) move. Just a tiny bit. I know I felt it early with Chuckles too. It's not much, it's not strong, and it could easily be mistaken for something else, but I know what it is. It feels like someone tapping their fingernails on the desk inside my body.
  • Chuckles napped on the Living Room floor today. Yesterday it was upside down on a pillow on thh hardwood in my room. I have no idea about this kid! I should say that my floor was after an hour of trying to get him to sleep and at one point, I am sure I feel asleep for a half hour and woke up to him playing cards next to me. Very funny, that.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Bulletized Points

  • In honor of MOther's Day, my son slept until 8:15 this morning (after 5 in my bed with no diaper, but nothing of note to report about that).
  • In honor of Mother's Day, my quiche is in the oven. We have two quiches, French Toast Casserole, and banana muffins with cream cheese frosting. The only person coming is my dad. Odd, that. But hte brunch is for me so it doesn't matter.
  • In honor of Mother's Day, Day Care made cards where the kids said, "I love my mom because..." and then they all filled it in. We got a copy of what everyone said.
  • Chuckles: She hugs and kisses me.
  • Meghan: She gets the fungus out of my ears. (!!!)
  • Jim: She buys me things. (Now that's a man with priorities.)
  • Robbie: I love my mom. (Robbie is not necessarily the brightest bulb in the box.)
  • Name so unique I cannot use it: She takes me fun places and lights me. (OK, then.)
  • The class picture also came home and I must say, my child is FREAKIN' adorable and so grown up. Makes me want to have another...wait, good, then.
  • It's raining, so outdoor activities will be curtailed but I did finish planting all my pretty perrenial flowers yesterday, so the rain will do them good.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bullet Points are a Tired Mom's Friend

  • Had 35 people in for Chuckles's 3rd birthday party. It rocked. As he was born on Cinqo de Mayo, we had amazing tacos and tamales. So tasty and good. The leftovers fed us for days.
  • The pinata at the party was a big hit. There were prizes for kids and adults. Someone went home with a 200-ounce jug of laundry detergent. What's not to love? Someone else got domino magazine (home decorating). And teh kids got kazoos and stickers and little bit of candy.
  • I blew the day care party on Monday and did not send a cake. I sent fruit leather, Pirate Cannon Balls, and Veggie Booty. He wore a crown and they all sang to him. He seemed fine with his lack of cake but one of the girls at school was bummed that there would be no cupcakes.
  • In honor of his birthday, school declared Monday pajama day, since I believe I mentioned that sometimes Chuckles wears jammies to school. He's been getting dressed really well since then because jammie day is only on your birthday so today is clothes day at school. Why i didn't think of that line sooner, I'll never know.
  • I have my UltraScreen scheduled for somewhere in Orland Park with a maternal fetal medicine specialist who is on my insurance. Huzzah. It's a week from today. I am not worried. I am zen. Zen, dammit.
  • Chuckles went on a sleep strike for a couple of days and it was rough, but everything is as good as it has been lately. He was in my bed this morning, but for most of the night in his own bed, so that's good.
  • I have technically been released from pelvic rest, but with the continuation of progesterone supplementation (you do know where I put those, right) for the next two weeks, I am unable to figure out the logistics of it. And let's face it, my libido is toast. Although I am sure my shoulders would be a lot less tense if I had a rhymes-with-smorgasm.
  • My mother-in-law fixed us dinner on Wednesday and sent the leftovers home with us, so we ate again today. Woo Hoo.
  • My land line telephone in the house has not had a dial tone since Sunday and the internet connection is hit or miss. They say it will be back by tomorrow at 7pm. I sure hope our bill reflects credit for this period. We keep getting random ringing (like an auto-dialer or a fax) in quick succession with no one there.
  • I forgot to pay day care, but no one confiscated my child, so that's good.
  • Our tax rebate thingamajig came, so I guess we can fill up the tanks. I spent over $50 on Tuesday putting gas in my vehicle. But I'm not complaining. Higher prices spur conservation.
  • Oh, the phone just's teh auto-dialer again. That means they are working on the line. Whee.
  • Oh, the internet went down when the phone rang. Oh, it's back. Neat-o. I'm liveblogging my life. Yipee.
  • I voted on Tuesday. There were irregularities in Lake County, Indiana, my county of residence and voting. I voted for Ron Paul. I don't necessarily agree with him and I don't think I'd want him to be President, but I am trying to send McCain (and Obama and Hillary too) a message about Vice-Presidential picks. Think outside the box or even outside the party. Evan Bayh might be a good running mate. He's all "The Third Way". I also voted for a guy whose name on the balloy was Mike "The Waiter" White. I figured with a name like that, he was a mobster and I'd better vote for him, if I knew what was good for me.
  • I have a boy name and a girl name picked out. Now, I just need to wait 6 months. Yes, that won't kill me at all. I am not the queen of instant gratification.
  • About the c-section, thanks for the support. It's nice to know people have my back. I did know that they cannot make me have a c-section but I want to stay on good terms with my provider so I don't want to show up at the hospital in labor and have him watching his watch so he can leave. I want a provider who is on-board with the VBAC. Supportive would even be nice. My aunt is actually a Certified Nurse Midwife (no longer practicing) and we talked about it at Chuckles's party and some of her former colleagues would be willing to deliver me; however, they are in the City. I am not sure how onboard I am with doing all my prenatal care in teh City and then needing to go to the hospital in November (in snow?!?) in the City, in traffic, over what will probably be a holiday weekend. Happy Thanksgiving. It's a toss up between convenience and my desire to avoid major abdominal surgery again. I really just wish that I hadn't had teh c-section the first time because then this would just be a VB and not an AC. If only my doctor had repositioned my son with forceps, I'd be sitting here thinking about to epidural or not. Instead I am contemplating getting a whole new doctor. I am going to call L&D at the hospital (which publicly supports VBAC) and find out who in teh area actually does them, and then I might switch doctors. And get a doula. There's a DONA registered doula in my neighborhood (two streets over and a block down), so I might hire her if I opt out of the scheduled section. I need more support than my husband can give and I found the nurses less-than-helpful last time. One of them yelled at me for not telling her I was having back labor (like I knew the difference). And I think someone else told me I couldn't say it hurt if I wasn't going to take pain relief. When the contraction was over I mentioned that it didn't hurt now. So, yes, a doula if I am going to do that again. Yes. Go doulas.
  • Other than all that, things are good. The internet appears up right now, so I better post before the auto-dialer strikes again.
  • Oh wait, one more thing... I invited my moms and MIL over for mother's day brunch but no one can RSVP since our phones are down. French Toast Casserole and Quiche on Sunday with champagne and orange juice.

Friday, May 02, 2008

I = Dork

Q: Do you know what is better than getting comments on a blog post?
A: Nothing, that's what. Wait, no, I take it back, useful comments are even better.

On the last post, I asked if anyone knew of a specific place in greater Chicagoland where I could get an Ultrascreen (NT measurement, blood test) and someone actually had one done in Chicagoland and told me. Thanks, Bobbi. I happen to love Evanston hospital. I've actually never been inside, but I distinctly (barely actually) remember tailgating right outside that hospital one cold Saturday morning in 1995 at then-named Dyche Stadium. I was the drunk girl just to the left of Mustard's Last Stand hot dog stand. So, I will call Evanston Hospital and see if I can't find a doctor to get me in there. I actually have a friend who had a baby in that very hospital in 2006 and she's coming to my house this very weekend, so I may pepper her with questions and doctor's names as well. I'd love to go to Evanston. I could make a day of it. I could get Tapas at that Tapas place and go to Whole Foods. Oh, yes. I feel much better.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sir (or Lady) Squirms-A-Lot

The new baby is squirmy. They were unable to get a heartbeat with a Doppler, so they slid an ultrasound machine ito the room and gave me a quick little peek inside. Still no heartbeat (too squirmy) but a moving baby is a live baby with a heartbeat. The little guy (or gal) is much higher than anticipated. We were all searching with the Doppler for the heartbeat down low by my c-section scar but when they actually found the baby, it was up near my belly button.

My blood sugar is low but it's not a concern. Keep eating.

My doctors do not do VBAC, so I guess I am scheduling a c-section for some Monday in November (they do scheduled sections on Mondays). I'm not thrilled about this, but I know that finding somone to let you have a VBAC is getting harder and harder, despite everyone's contention that the c-section rate is too high and they should get it down (safely). Apparently, the insurance companies run the show. It's OK. I'm a little bummed but there are up-sides to scheduling I guess.
And here is squirmy for your squinting and viewing pleasure. Head is on the left (two dark circles are eye sockets, then a bright nose, and the mouth).

Oh, and there is no one qualified to do the Ultra-Screen in NW Indiana. If I can find someone who will do it, my doctor will write me the order. Apparently, measuring the nuchal fold takes training. I am willing to travel up to 2 hours to have this test done. Does anyone know of a place from Indianapolis to Milwaukee where this is done (someone in Chicago must do this, right)?