Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Well, we told the kids about Muse.  It might seem a little early since I think we waited until about 7 months to tell Chuckles about Bobo, and if Bobo were our only child, I'm sure we could have waited again.  BUT...we have Chuckles, and he point-blank asked me why my tummy was so big. haven't even seen big yet.  Also, we were going to see all the grandparents that weekend and I am in maternity pants pretty much full-time now.  Someone would've said something.

So, we told the kids on Friday night (after pumping them full of pizza and ice cream because we like to soften a blow).*  Bobo was like, "La la la, babies are tiny, let's build with Duplo riiiiight now!"  Which is really kind of how he rolls. 

Chuckles was nearly in tears.  He said he didn't want a baby and hated the baby.  At toothbrushing time, he elbowed me in the stomach because he said he wanted to hurt the baby**.  He was promptly and unceremoniously tossed into time-out (I would like to point out how nurturing and reassuring of my love I was prior to that lest you think, "Of course, he reacted chose the baby over him").  In the morning, he was a little better but told me he had a nightmare about the baby turning into a monster and trying to get him.  However last night, he was looking forward to me taking an extended maternity leave and being home next summer.  He even was trying to come up with names for the baby.  He's adjusting.  We all are.

Bobo, however, would still like you to build with him, OK.

* Our entire little family of 4 went out for dinner at Pizza Hut and then for ice cream at the local stand for under $20 including tax and tip because of the magic of coupons (and the tip was on the pre-discount amount).  I hadn't been to Pizza Hut in about a year, and really, it's not awful (for a once a year kind of thing).

** You can see why this took me almost a week to write it up.  I was a little stunned, kind of saddened, and maybe a wee bit horrified that I was raising the next sociopath.  I had to wait to find out how the story ended.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Well, I had my first official OB visit.  Here are the stats.

I was 10 weeks.  I'd lost 2 pounds. My blood pressure was 115/80 (high for me, but they'd had me waiting for almost an hour so I was a bit miffed).  We could not get the heartbeat on Doppler though I swore he got it last time at 8 weeks.  I told him it was OK, I was thinner in the midriff back then. 

Then I suggested he get the nurse to roll the portable ultrasound in.  Who doesn't like to play with their gadgets?  He was shocked I hadn't gotten an ultrasound earlier for dating purposes and because of my ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE.  I am pretty sure my AMA is going to be a theme since everyone kept bringing it up.  Anyway, there is one singular embryo in there (in 3 days, I will begin calling Muse a fetus).  I did not hear a heartbeat, but I saw it.  I also saw a lot of wiggling and shaking.  It took me a while to put my amateur sonographer hat on.  It's been 3 years since I looked at an ultrasound.  You get rusty.

Anyway, I also saw a spine, feet, legs, arms, hands, and most impressively: two hemispheres of brain.  I was offered a regular ultrasound and a fancy-pants ultrasound at the perinatalogy practice for the NT scan (I could have had both of those, in fact).  I turned down the regular ultrasound since scheduling these things is difficult, and it's less than 2 weeks until the NT scan (which is really no big deal this time around.  Last time it was an ordeal finding someone locally who did them.  This time, they gave me a paper of two places they use who do electronic records sharing.  The march of's good for something.).

I am to continue with the progesterone until 12 weeks (and getting that script filled is a nightmare, but I will spare you the story of the (young) pharmacist who told me she had called other pharmacies to find out how to make the suppositories).  There is scant clinical evidence to say that the progesterone supplementation does anything, but no one wants to stop it since it doesn't hurt.  And good luck finding double blind subjects for your trial who are willing to take the placebo (kind of how they are having a hard time doing studies on whether bed rest is a good thing).

The doctor told me I'm his favorite patient because I have a good feel for statistics and risk.  We talked about placental issues (accreta and previa) because I am at increased risk for both, but again, a doubling of the risk is still a small absolute risk.  At the ultrasound, I will ask where in the uterus the implantation is so that I can prepare myself.  I'm hoping for top of the uterus toward the rear because that minimizes all kinds of bad things and means I will feel kicking earlier.  Oddly, the risk of placenta previa is 1 in 200, regularly.  I've had it before, I am over 35, and I have had two previous uterine surgeries, but my risk is still only 3% according to the March of Dimes. 

My personal risk of placenta accreta is probably on the order of 0.5%.  I've already given my doctor the go-ahead to perform the hysterectomy, if necessary.  He said accreta and before he could say another word, I said hysterectomy.  He was impressed.  I'm decisive and have no more use for my uterus.  Oh, and I don't really want to die. 

As to my advancing maternal age, my age-related risk of a trisomy (21, 13, 18, X, and Y) is 1 in 156 (probably actually higher than that as the number refers to pregnancies that are live births not miscarried or stillborn).  That's only about 0.6%, but we have screening tools for the trisomies, so I am going for the NT scan.  They will check CRL, NT, bowel (bright/not), choroid plexus (cysts/not), umbilical cord (number of vessels), and nasal bone (present/absent). I think I am also having blood drawn for the complete test, but I'm not entirely sure.  I do better with lots of information, but whether or not I am having blood drawn doesn't really matter unless any of the tests has the "wrong" result.

When I called to schedule the NT, the receptionist asked the reason for the appointment, and I said advance maternal age.  She actually replied, "Ohhhh, so you're a young mother then?"  And I was like what?  Did she just call me old?  I responded that I was actually, "a third-time mother."  Wow.  You would think she hears that every single day and would've learned not to comment at all.  In 1970, approximately 3% of babies were born to women over 35.  Today it is about 14%.  That's 1 in 7, so it's not like I am a two-headed hydra.  (Side story: my grandmother was first married in 1951 at age 38.  10 months later, she had my father-her first and only child-at age there's a woman who was a statistical outlier on maternal age and probably a circus curiosity at the time.)

**** The asterisks are my way of indicating a slight topic change.

After Bobo was born, I got rid of all my maternity clothes (and tiny baby clothes).  So, I have no clothes.  I went over to Goodwill and bought some tops and pants.  All-in-all, I spent about $30.  I was feeling very bad about spending that money (because I am so ridiculously cheap, thrifty, fugal cheap), but then I remembered that recycling clothing is a green alternative, and the $30 I spent there pales in comparison with the costs to have and raise Muse.  I still need pajamas and a dress for the holidays, but I think I can beg/borrow those. 

Some might ask why even both with pajamas...why not just wear your husband's sweats or no jammies at all?  I always wear pajamas.  I love pajamas.  And I get large.  Like very large.  Much larger than any piece of my husband's clothes.  And not just big like buy some 2X jammie pants big but pregnant with a future linebacker big.

I went to the baby shower of a woman once who was 7 months pregnant with her first and she said she just went out and bought some "really big" clothes a few sizes up from her normal size.  The dress she was wearing at her shower was supercute.  Then she mentioned it was a size 12.  My normal size.  *Sigh*  Anyway, she was young.  I'm sure she bounced right back in to her size 4 jeans.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Here's the promised photos whose copyright I now own. I can't believe how young we look.

It's a conspiracy. Blogger will not upload photos right now. I'll wait and try again.

OK, I'm back. Let's try again. Insert Image. Browse. Wait. Spin little symbol. Spin.

These are not the photos I wanted to share, but the good ones are bitmaps.  Blogger does not support .bmp files, just proving that I was married a long, long time ago.

I'm ten weeks tomorrow, and I have a doctor's appointment (with the man in the practice).  I hope we get the thump thump on Doppler.  I'll ask about continuing the progesterone.  I'll ask about getting the NT screen (I got one with Bobo but finding a provider was a bit of an ordeal...of course now, I know where I can go).

I was negative for the toxoplasmosis (I believe it was reported as less than 0.9) and our cat, Lisa the Loud, has been treating our whole house as a littler box, so it's awesome to walk past a pile a cat poop and not be able to clean it up (doesn't sound so bad until you realize sometimes my husband isn't home and it can be hours with crap in the middle of the floor and me keeping two very active kids out of it).  Lisa is very sick.  That's what I keep telling the kids.  One day, Lisa might go to live on a farm.  For now, I'm going to go lock her in the basement while I sleep lest she poop on my bed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nine (for the gold)

I'm 9 weeks today.  I am still a nice pale shade of green most of the time.  My jeans no longer zip so I'm going business casual to work in khaki and olive drab pants.  It's a good look with my metatrsal boots and flame retardant jacket.  There is general churn and turmoil in my department, so I am waiting to see how the inevitable re-org works out before I mention anything. 

Here is a photo of Bobo at his new gym class today.  His form is bad.  He’ll never beat the Bulgarians for the gold medal this way.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Friday marked my ten-year wedding anniversary.  I now own the copyright on my wedding photos.  So, I guess I could call our photographer and go get our negatives.  I could post pictures for you right here.  But, you know, the photos are on the other computer so that seems like a bit of a pain.  Maybe another day.

Since it was our super-romantic wedding anniversary (Tin....or as I told him: "Happy Sn Anniversary"...I also tried "Happy Tinth Anniversary"), my mother-in-law insisted that we go out for dinner.  We went somewhere we had a gift card for (romance! and thrift!).  We haven't told our families that I am in a delicate way, so I was all, "Ohhh, the malbec was so good" when we got 8:15.  We had worked all day, we were both exhausted, and we work in a factory.  It was 95-degrees out on Friday.  It was draining.  Nevermind that I have morning sickness starting promptly at 3:45 every afternoon lasting until I go to sleep.

So, we went out for dinner.  It really wasn't bad.  It took about 2 hours.  The food was good.  I only ate half of everything so I had leftovers.  Did I mention that I look approximately 4-months pregnant?  Well, I do.  I was reading pregnancy week-by-week (I feel as though I should treat this the same as the last two, so although I could probably write it and I find stuff that's not true in there, I still read), and they said that if it's not your first pregnancy, you might already have a pooch.  Never were truer words written.  I was in my regular clothes with Chuckles until 17 weeks.  I just went to read my archives to figure out how far along I was with Bobo when I surrendered to the elastic pants (14 weeks, really?), but all I noticed is that how I was with Bobo is exactly how I am this time with Muse.  Yes, I think I have just given this embryo a nickname.  Muse.  And I am sick and tired and happy and grateful and on progesterone, so if you want to know how I'm doing, April 2008 is a good place to look.  And I guess it goes from 17 weeks to 14 weeks to 11 weeks for maternity clothes (if in fact I can make it 3 more weeks...I am 8 weeks today).  The pants, they are snug.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

I owe you all an update

So, who in their right mind announces she's pregnant and then disappears for 2 weeks?  Exactly.

So, I had my appointment at the doctor's office but only with the nurse practitioner because the doctors are far too important and busy to see you that early.  First you see the nurse, get the blood drawn, get a super-awesome internal exam, pee in a regular cup, pee in a clean catch cup, and other super awesome fun stuff like getting weighed and having your blood pressure taken.

After all that totally normal stuff was done, it was decided I needed two more non-routine blood tests with my history, so they checked for progesterone and something because I had a cat (toxoplasmosis, I think and I am way too lazy to google it). 

Two days later I got a call on my cell phone while I was at work: "ObGyn" said the display.  Of course, I excused myself from a meeting and took it (I actually walked outside to take it).  The progesterone was 15.4 which does indicate I ovulated and can be OK for a pregnancy, but let's say that a number that lower doesn't inspire confidence.  They wanted to make sure I hadn't been spotting (no...a pregnancy first for me) and ordered me onto supplemental progesterone (suppositories...or bullets as I call them).  I then had to locate a compounding pharmacy (it's OK...I know where all 4 of them are). 

All is well, and I started them and still no spotting.  Because of no spotting, I didn't get an ultrasound.  I have never gone without an early fluttery ultrasound.  I need that ultrasound.  How do I know this is real without some kind of confirmation?

I was then supposed to fill a script for pre-natal vitamins (free at Meijer even if you have insurance.  Yay Meijer) and make an appointment for my "new Ob" with the same old doctor I had the last two times.  The practice is a man and a woman.  The woman delivered both of my boys (performed the c-sections).  Our kids used to go to day care together.  I could not get in to see her before 12 weeks.  She's just booked.  I want the nuchal translucency test (since I will be 36 come April) and I really need to get in at 10 weeks to have time to schedule with the perinatalogist.  Same thing happened with Bobo.  So, I will again do all my prenatal visits with the man, and just hope the woman is on-call when I start hemmorhaging or however you know it's time to go to the hospital to have the baby extracted.

ACOG just came out with new guidance saying that VBA2C is safe.  I'm not interested for a variety of reasons but the #1 reason being I don't like the way safety is calculated.  Pretty much the only complication that matters to me is death of mother or baby.  Infection, longer recovery, and all that is great, but I don't care.  From a strictly mortality perspective, the planned repeat c-section is safer than the VBA2C.  Also, totally frivolous but I know what to expect from a c-section, I get two additionl paid weeks of maternity leave for a c-section (though people who've had babies both ways tell me those two weeks are wasted not laughing and holding your stomach when you cough), and my nethers have never had a baby pass and my abdomen is already ruined, so why destroy a second geographic region?

Also, Chuckles started first grade, and it's OK.  It's really still too early to tell.  I'm not thrilled, but I might be eventually.  I really wish there was some kind of half-day first grade option because the half-day format suited him so well last year.  Also, they do a 90-minute reading block every day where they drill phonics and whatever other theory of teaching reading is popular right now.  I just hope they leave him alone and let him read.  He gets really irritated after about 5 minutes of review.  I get his point, but sometimes you need to be a team player and just go along with it, but he reads, so leave the kid alone. 

The teacher said they'd be doing 5 weeks of review.  Another mother and I were joking that we're just holding our breath for the end of the 5 weeks.  I hope they hurry up and put her kid and my kid in a reading group.  I know there are 3 strong readers in his class who did pull-out reading last year.  I requested that they be put in a class together so that they wouldn't have to do pul-out (because Chuckles hates being singled out and felt punished by having to do "extra" work last year).  If there are 3 (or more!) of them all doing the same things, I don't think he'll feel persecuted (and maybe he'll stop acting out...he rushes through his circle-the-letter work and then disrupts class...he's a handful, but I'm rather fond of him).