Monday, December 19, 2005
I noticed a few changes in Jayla during her first week of day care.
1. As I've mentioned before, her sleep habits are great. She had a hard time napping at the day care at the beginning of last week so, she passed out in the evenings. But, I think she's doing a better job of sleeping during the day now even with so much going on around her. At night, she's going down pretty easily between 10 and 11, usually. Then she wakes around 6:00 - 6:15 in the morning. It's not even a biggy if she wakes a little before that. For instance, this morning, she woke up at 5:30, I swaddled her, gave her a pacifier, and we slept together for another hour before I got up to feed her.
2. She's decided that she can sleep just fine without being swaddled, thank you very much! When I dropped her off at the day care last Monday morning, I was worried about her ability to nap without being swaddled and was giving the day care teacher instructions on how she needed to be swaddled. Ummm...maybe not...that night, we decided to try to put her down without swaddling (mainly because she punched out of it as soon as we did it and her daddy was tired of wrestling with her). She slept fine for 4-5 hours and then swaddled to finish out the night. So, we've been putting her down unswaddled for a week and she is doing great. She basically shows major displeasure if we try to swaddle her now (unless it 4:00am - if she happens to wake in the middle of the night, she loves it and drifts immediately back to sleep). We thought we were going to go through some major drama when it came time to stop swadding her. The little girl weaned herself.
3. She basically feels the need to chew and suck on anything in view except for a teether!!! She needs to have something in her mouth...her fist, my finger, the little bumble bees on her carseat straps...anything!! I think this has alot to do with not being swaddled anymore. She seems to want to suck on her hands all the time and she apparently realized that this impossible if she's swaddled. On Thursday night, she finally discovered her thumb. But, just that once - it hasn't made it into her mouth since then. She's sticking to the full fist for now. At the day care on Friday, she spent all day sucking/chewing on a doll's arm. So, Saturday, we went and bought her a lovey. I think we'll give it to her for Christmas and see what she thinks of it.
4. I think Jayla is learning/has learned her name!! She used to not respond to her name EVER. Then on Wednesday night, she responded in three different instances. I guess it's because the day care teachers use it. I usually call her, "mama's baby, pretty girl, girly, etc..." So, a couple of days of hearing her name and she's starting to recognize it, I think.
So, last week was full of developments. I was so worried about how all of this would play out but, it has just been absolutely perfect so far...
Jayla has her 4-month appointment tomorrow. I'm anxious to see how big she has gotten. I guess we'll also be talking about starting to introduce her to solid foods soon. I'm thinking sometime in January as she's approaching 5 months old!!
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
In other news, I've decided to return to work next Monday. Jayla will also be starting day care next Monday. I think I am finally at peace with my decision after going back and forth SO MANY TIMES!! Today I went to the pediatrician to obtain Jayla's shot records for the day care. Another mom was there doing the same thing. She asked me how old Jayla was. "3 months". She made a horrible face and said, "You're going to put your child in day care at 3 months!?!?". For once, I did not second guess my decision...I must be ready.
Monday, December 05, 2005
I think she's changing alot developmentally too. Since Thanksgiving, it apparently is no longer cool to lay on your back and be happy. If Jayla is awake, she now wants to be in a sitting position. It has actually made her alot more fun. I guess the next thing you know, she'll be doing it all on her own!
She still hates tummy time though. So, I basically never do it. My husband thinks I'm retarding her by not doing it but, I just can't stand to see her screaming on her face. She's a pretty strong girl and I think she just get frustrated really quickly when she isn't able to immediately do what she wants to (rollover, crawl, etc.) while on her tummy. I won't push it - she'll do it when she's ready, I guess.
So, while she doesn't like tummy time, she now loves to watch tv, watch ceiling fans, and play on the computer. Watching football became one of Jayla's favorite pasttimes right before Thanksgiving. She loves it! My guess is she just likes the flickering lights but, she turns her head away from the television during commercials. So, it's almost like she knows what she's watching!! Her daddy loves it, of course. Her fascination with ceiling fans probably comes from the fact that we never invested in a mobile for her. I think it's on her Christmas list though.
And her newest trick - the computer. A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine sent a link to games on the Fisher Price website. I took a brief look at the infant games, decided they were stupid and then forgot about them. Well, last Friday, I had Jayla on my lap while doing some email and decided that I was being selfish because watching me email couldn't possibly be entertaining for her. It then occurred to me to dig out the Fisher Price website. I pulled up the infant games and Jayla immediately fell in love with the characters that scream Peek-A-Boo when you hit any keys on the keyboard. Of course, I started out striking the keys but, as of yesterday, Jayla can hit the keyboard and knows that something on the screen will move in response. She loves it!!
We basically spend the the rest of our days walking in the park. Now that she has the head control to face forward in the Snugli, she loves to walk and hey, it kills time. When we walked last Friday, I just stood on one side of the park, near a street for about 30 minutes (literally!) and Jayla tracked the cars. She'd see one and follow it as far as she could then pick up another one and follow it as far as she could in the opposite direction. Even the people driving by her were smiling as she intently watched the cars.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I am definitely ready to go back to work - excited about it even. I've found a day care that I love and I really think Jayla will benefit from spending some time away from me each day. She loves being in new places and around new people so, I'm not that worried about leaving her. But I definitely have some concerns about returning to work:
1. Jayla is exclusively breastfed and I'm not ready to let go of that yet. I worry about not being able to pump enough for her. I worry about her losing interest in breastfeeding after taking bottles everyday. I worry about us losing that close time that we have for 6-8 hours everyday. I worry about finding a place and the time to pump while I am at work.
2. Jayla's sleep habits aren't where I would want them to be ideally. You can pretty much count on Jayla sleeping between 5 and 6.5 hours every night but, I'm still uneasy about it. I worry that she will all of a sudden decide to keep me up late or won't go back to sleep in the middle of the night for some reason. I worry about being sleep deprived and not enjoying my work as much because I'm so tired.
3. We are not used to being on any time schedule. I worry about my ability to get up early in the morning, have Jayla ready (whether I do it or my husband does it), get her to the day care, and me to work on time. I'm absolutely paranoid about being stuck in morning rush hour traffic where my normal hours usually put me on the road before most people.
I have come up with several solutions for these anxieties, including going back to work parttime in the beginning which would still allow me to feed Jayla myself more times than she is fed at the day care. Then I think, well, maybe I'd like to work parttime forever. But, I don't want to lose any of my benefits. Then I can't decide what type of parttime schedule to ask for. Then I think, maybe I should just go for it and see what happens - maybe my fears won't even prove to be actual problems.
I don't know so, I finally called my boss today and left him a message. I'm just going to lay my concerns out there and ask him to help me come up with a solution. He is very understanding like that and can probably give some insight. I'm expecting him to call back so, wish me luck...
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Jayla had her 2-month checkup last Friday and weighed in at 9 lbs, 13 oz. and 22 ¼ inches long. So, she is officially the same size I was when I was born!!
Everyday we see new, exciting things from her. She smiles more often, she has awesome head control (even though she hates to be on her tummy), she “talks” with us more often…most importantly, she has learned to entertain herself over the past week! This was big for me because previously, her only source of entertainment was me carrying her around all the time. That got old – especially since I’m working part-time from home and obviously need to get some things done during the day. But, in the past week, she has learned to play in her activity gym and be content for 30 minutes at a time. I keep the gym in the office so, I can work and she can play. It’s been awesome.
Jayla in the activity gym:
She also loves to go outside, which is great because I love the weather we’re having right now. It just really cooled off here this week so; we’re seeing highs in the 70’s and perfectly blue skies. So, Jayla and I get out for a walk daily. She loves to taste the wind by sticking her tongue out whenever it blows. It’s really cute.
We’ve got Jayla on a pretty decent schedule. She basically eats every 3 hours starting at 9am. We’re still playing around with her bedtime routine. I can’t really decide when the best time to bathe her is. For the past 3 weeks, we’ve been bathing her after her 9pm feed and then letting her nurse to sleep. Last night, we tried bathing her before her 9pm and so she went to sleep with her 9pm feed. That put us into bed about 2 hours earlier than what we had been doing! It was awesome. But, I had to get up with Jayla at 2:45am instead of 4:00am-ish, as she seems to be stuck on a 4-5 hour pattern at night. I don’t have a problem with that but, I’ve just got to figure out how to get her straight back to sleep after she nurses at night. Too many nights lately she’s been bright-eyed after her overnight feeding, which is extremely annoying because if you put her in her crib to go back to sleep yourself, she screams bloody murder because she doesn’t know how to put herself to sleep yet. Usually, I just lay down with her on the day bed in her room. It keeps her quiet and I can sleep. Once she falls asleep, I can put her back in her crib and she’ll sleep until I wake her for the 9am feeding. But, surely, there’s got to be a trick to getting her straight back to sleep in the middle of the night. That is my only issue right now, really – any ideas?
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
So, Jayla basically spent the first week of life outside the NICU in Tyler. It was great because I did have a support system there. We evacuated with friends and stayed at their parents' house. There were plenty of people to help out with Jayla, including my husband. I was almost thankful for the evacuation. Otherwise, I would have been at home by myself.
The trip back was not as painful - 3 hours + 15 minutes, door-to-door. Granted, we stayed until Tuesday where most people returned to Houston on Sunday. We just weren't taking anymore chances.
So, there you have it. In the first month of Jayla's life: the city of New Orleans was destroyed and thousands of people moved into the Astrodome - 1 block from the hospital where she lay (made commuting for us alot harder!), she endured 27 days in an intensive care unit, and she was a part of the largest evacuation (and most painful) in history due to one of the most powerful hurricanes ever! Pretty eventful...
I know I promised a synopsis of Jayla's stay in the NICU so, here goes:
The morning after her birth, my husband and I went down to the NICU to visit her (this was not without immense pain and alot of whining required to get me from the bed to the wheelchair). We were told that she would be going into surgery later that afternoon. They weren't sure yet what they were going in to operate on so they wanted to do a "study" in the morning. We got there just before they were going to take her down to radiology for the study. While we were visiting with her, one of the hospital employees in the NICU walked up to us and said that we looked familiar. It turns out that she attends our church and recognized us from when we were in leadership in the Newlyweds Sunday School class. We have since moved out of that class, obviously, but she remembered us as she was just coming in when we were going out. Anyway, she asked if she could pray for/with us before Jayla went in for her test. And that's what we did. The three of us formed a circle around Jayla and prayed. Amy (the girl) prayed that Jayla would not need surgery and would be healed if anything were actually wrong with her. Then we left and Jayla was taken to radiology.
Now, it turns out that the study that they wanted to do was to actually have Jayla consume a contrast that would outline her system on x-rays. This was in hope of giving them an idea of where her intestinal obstruction might be. The contrast doubled an enema, which was key because as they watched it go through her system, it started to unplug her. It turns out that she just had a plug of meconium that she couldn't pass on her own. Upon seeing the plug start to "unplus", they did cancel surgery - all credit given to God and Amy's intecessory prayer for us. The contrast ended up going all the way through her system eventually, which was good news. And on the 6th day of life, Jayla was finally allowed to "eat". Food consisted of a teaspoon of water every 3 hours! They were extremely conservative doctor who were ultra-paranoid that Jayla's system wasn't right. On the 7th day of life, she finally got to consume a small amount of breastmilk. Things progressed day by day but, slowly. They fed and waited for her to poop. If she didn't poop, she didn't get to increase feeds the next day. It was a painfully slow process.
Then on the 5th day of feeds, her stomach became distended again, signaling that she was having blockage/backup issues again. It turns out that she never fully passed all of her meconium. She just couldn't do it on her own. So, they immediately stopped feeds and we had to wait 3 days on them to give her an enema. That was probably the hardest 3 days. We had to wait because they discovered the issue on Sunday morning and radiologist don't work on Sunday. The next day was Labor Day - obviously they can't work holidays either. Then when they got back on Tuesday, she wasn't considered an emergency case so they didn't get to her until late that afternoon. All this time, she is starving and looking at me like, "why can't I eat!?!??" They did get the enema and did several flushes. Finally, they resumed feeds (painfully small amounts again) when she was 2 weeks old. We progressed most days, although when there was no poop, the doctors wouldn't budge. Then on day 25, Jayla was allowed to eat whatever and whenever she wanted to. It was awesome except for trying to teach her to breastfeed at 3 weeks old! Then on day 27 (Sept 20), she was released!!
That was the hardest and most stressful time of my life. I was a zombie through the better part of it. My life stopped. I was at the hospital for 12-14 hours for every single day of her stay. I wept daily for my child. I wept at the hospital because she wasn't supposed to be there! I wept at home because I missed her so much. Through it all, I trusted God and knew that Jayla was fine. I can honestly say that I never doubted Him for that. But, that didn't make the separation from my baby any easier. It would probably have almost been easier if she were truly a sick child.
So, we get her home at almost 4 weeks old, both sets of grandparents have left to return to work and her daddy is back at work. So, it was just me and Jayla. The first day was really, really rough. For some reason, it was easier to care for her when I was surrounded by nurses in the NICU! But, what made the first day with her so hard was the fact that I was trying to learn to take care of her on my own and pack to evacuate Houston for Hurricane Rita!! Stressful, stressful...
Thursday, October 13, 2005
First - her birth. I went in on a Tuesday night (August 23) around 8:00pm to get my cervix softened. That was rather uneventful. But, it was exciting as it was the first step towards having my baby. Then Wednesday morning, they started the induction process. I don't really remember many of the details anymore (maybe that's why people write their birth stories before the baby is 7 weeks old!). But, luckily, I had my husband write things down as they were happening! So, according to my notes:
At 7:20am, I was 1 cm dilated and 30% effaced. This was all from the cervadil the night before, as I hadn't begun to progress at all on my own. They started the pitocin at 8:00am. I remember them having a hard time adjusting the dosage as I was having contractions every 45 seconds OR would go too long without having one. They kept saying that they weren't getting the pattern that they were looking for. My doctor broke my water at 10:55am. That was excruciating! So painful...and it made the contractions more painful. So, I got a narcotic (stadol) at about 1:30pm. Then my epidural at 3:10pm. The stadol made me so drowsy - I was completely drugged for the rest of that day and the next!!! The epidural administration was anything but easy. I got stuck about 6 times. I don't know why he couldn't get it in "right" but, all that time I was in pain because the stadol had warn off. Throughout the day my doctor was checking my progress and I never got past 3 cm (I think I was there around the time that I got the epidural). Again, I was sleep through all of this for the most part. But, my husband said they (he, my mom, and my in-laws) were bored since I wasn't progressing. Around 7:20pm, my doctor came in and put in an internal monitor to see if my contractions were indeed intense enough to dilate me. I could have told her they were. :) An hour later, she determined that they were intense enough and my body just wasn't going to respond. The beauty of this whole thing is that even after 12 hours of this labor stuff, neither me nor Jayla showed any signs of distress. My doctor decided at 8:30pm that we were going for a c-section instead.
As soon as she said the word, people started coming out of the walls to "work" on me. One person to shave me, one person to drug me, one person to throw scrubs at my husband, one person to unhook me from my monitors in the room, etc. It was crazy! And I think I was completely prepped and being wheeled to the operating room in a matter of about 3.5 minutes. My husband was still trying to put his scrubs on as we went down the hall to the OR. I remember my nurses bumping my bed into every wall that we encountered along the way. I remember thinking it was funny. When we got into the OR, they told me that I needed to move from my bed to the operating table. I had no idea how in the world that would happen as I didn't have the capacity to move any portion of my lower body at all. But, they made it happen!! Once I got on the table (this detail just came to me), someone announced that I had on underwear and everyone FREAKED!! They couldn't figure out how I had gone through 12 hours of labor with underwear on. Well, it was a bra NOT panties!! :) So, they had to take that off for some reason. Anyway, my husband was sitting right next to my head and the anestesiologist was standing behind my head. He kept poking my tummy and lower body and asking me if I could feel them. But, I'd fall asleep before I could answer him - I was SO DRUGGED UP!!! So, I honestly thought that I was going to feel the entire operation which freaked me out. The next thing that woke me up was him saying "okay, you're going to feel some pressure". I was too drugged to think anything other than, "oh - pressure..." in a lala kind of way. I felt nothing!! - which was a relief for me. My husband said at that moment, they ripped my stomach open and pinned back the skin so that I was "open". I, of course, drifted off to sleep again until I heard, "Okay, we're getting ready to have this baby". That was my doctor speaking and I thought, "Wow - they already cut me?". God - I was so OUT OF IT!!! Then she said, "Look at all that hair". That's when I knew that she was indeed looking inside of me and seeing my child. Therefore, I tried my best to stay conscious for the next few moments. Then I heard, "Why didn't you want to come out the other way?". Oh my goodness - the doctor was talking to a person, presumably MY CHILD!! Then I felt something quickly slide out of me and immediately, a CRY!! They held Jayla up for me to see and then took her and my husband over to a table in another part of the room.
As the doctor was repairing me, I had the biggest scare of this whole process - I couldn't swallow. I remember that I had an oxygen mask on and kept yelling, "I can't swallow!" But, no one was paying attention to me! It was like a dream. I wanted to jump up and run away from the OR. I was so scared - when you can't swallow, it feels like you can't breathe. During this time, my husband brought the baby over for me to see before she went to the nursery. I couldn't even look at her because I was in such a panic. The anesthesiologist tried to comfort me to no avail. I also realized at this point how bad the drugs had given me the shakes. My body was trembling uncontrollably as they took me to the recovery room. I don't really remember when I regained the ability to swallow or when my shakes finally left me. But, I'm sure both happened during my hour in the recovery room. My nurse was great! We just talked and talked as she massaged my belly every 15 minutes. My husband came in and called all the people that we promised to call when Jayla arrived. After the recovery room, I had an opportunity to really go visit Jayla for the first time. I remember it being almost midnight or so by then. The first time I really saw Jayla, she was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) - hooked up to monitors and tubes and barely 3 hours old. Little did I know how long I would have to look at her in that condition...stay tuned for details on Jayla's 27-day stay in the NICU...
Here's a pic of what I saw that first night:
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Part of me is really, really excited - about the prospect of seeing her finally and about the prospect of taking my body back!! (It really has gotten out of control the last two weeks or so. Check my pics!) Another part of me is just hoping that everything goes as planned and I don't end up undergoing a c-section. Then the other part of me still has a twinge of concern for the health of my precious little girl. I'm also excited that my mom will be able to be here with us. She's driving in from Mississippi on Tuesday. My husband's parents are also planning to drive down from St. Louis next week. I'm BUMMED that my dad won't be here though. He has been working in China since May and is scheduled to return on September 7 - no way he can move the date up. :(
But, my dad has offered some interesting insight on this whole bowel blockage thing. He suggested that I make sure the doctors know that he and all of his brothers and sisters (13 children total) were born with umbilical hernias. Likewise, my sister and I were born with them. I've done a little research and this condition is definitely associated with bowel/intestinal blockage. I little snip and tuck and that can be fixed - although I do have a permanent scar from my surgery. But, if it turned out to be something like that, I know she will live a normal life and according to the Internet, she'd heal from the surgery in just 5 days or so. Anyway, I will remember to make sure they check for that when she born.
So, tomorrow is my last day at work!!! I've been running around all week trying to get my leave papers filled out and trying to transition things to the not-so-bright lady that just started working with us last week. She seems very overwhelmed with my leaving so soon. My boss is shaking his head because he depends on me to pretty much do everything. So, it'll be interesting to watch them survive without me. I've decided to take 16 weeks off - returning to work on December 12. I will, however, be working from home for 8 of those weeks off. I just can't leave them high and dry for 4 whole months!
On the home front, things are shaping up good with all of the last minute preparations for the baby. It looks like I'm going to be writing Thank You notes while at the hospital since I haven't finished those yet. Other than that, I really just need to get my hospital bag together and prepare my list of people to inform when she is born. My sweet, sweet husband has been taking care of EVERYTHING else around the house for us - laundry, assembling baby gear, etc.
Tonight my husband played his last church league basketball game before entering fatherhood. I missed the beginning of the game but, he said he did the group prayer (both teams come together for this) and dedicated the game to his wife and his daughter...so sweet. The awesome part is that he hit the winning shot with 3 seconds left in the game: They were down by two points, he hit a lay-up and was fouled, then hit his foul shot so they won by one point - AWESOME!!! :)
Monday, August 15, 2005
So, this morning, I go in. We do the normal stuff - weight stayed the same, blood pressure up to 128/80 (first time it's moved since I've been pregnant), baby's heartbeat still at 150 bpm, and I'm measuring 40cm!! Then she tested me for Group B strep and checked my cervix. She said that my cervix was "pretty soft" but "closed". Slightly disappointing to me but, she said for 36 weeks, I'm on track. Then we wrapped it up and she said that she would have her nurse make an appointment with the high-risk doctor so that we would at least know when we would get to find out more about our baby's condition. So, we waited and the nurse finally told us that we could go straight over there. It only involved taking an elevator from the 10th floor down to the 7th floor so, we went.
It was initially very annoying to have to show insurance and fill out paperwork and stuff. But, they got us in to the doctor in about 20 minutes, including paperwork time. The doctor started taking a look at the baby. She mentioned the regular stuff that we've heard already - lots of hair, beautiful brain, 4-chamber heart, perfect spine, even estimated her at 6 lbs, 3 oz again (I think this ultrasound estimate was more reliable)...but, she also agreed that there appeared to be some sort of blockage in her bowels/intestines. She even mentioned something about an enlarged colon - in terms that we couldn't understand, of course. But, the one thing we do understand is that she hopes it's just an obstruction that can easily be cleared but, they have to get her out of me and examine her with x-rays, etc. All they can tell from the ultrasound is that she isn't eliminating like she should be - no real indication of why. So, the doctor started by saying that I shouldn't stay pregnant to my due date. Then decided that I would probably need to have this baby this week or next week. And certainly not be pregnant for more than 2 more weeks!! Then she called my regular doctor while we were still there. My doctor agreed with her and said that she would call me tonight to start discussing options. I'm hoping that we can hold out long enough for me to dilate some on my own - unless they think a c-section is the way to go since there's an "unknown" condition in the baby.
I cried like a baby when I left that office - good thing my husband was with me. I know everything will be fine and I'm ultra excited about the prospect of meeting this little girl so very soon but, I don't want anything to be really wrong with her. I don't want her to have to undergo surgery as a newborn! I don't want her to be taken away from me in the hospital!! I don't want her to spend alot of time in the hospital!! I just have to remind myself that she is going to be fine. This time next month, this will all be settled and she will be a normal, healthy little girl. I am not worried about it and I totally trust God for healing her but, it just makes me sad that she could be uncomfortable or in pain or anything like that.
My husband's response was very different. He started to worry about all of the things that he wants to get done around the house before she gets here. It's funny but, his nesting instinct is so much stronger than mine!! He has sworn off any activities that we had planned during the evenings this week - he's preparing for his little girl! :)
So, maybe we'll know even more about the specifics of delivery after we talk to my doctor tonight...meanwhile I'm teetering between excited and scared to death!!
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
So, anyway, as of day #1 of this pregnancy, I have had this little pimple on the left side of my nose. My sister hates it and wants to pop it every time she sees it. Other people act like they don't notice it. Regardless, it has always been my constant reminder that I am pregnant - especially in the early days when I wasn't showing and needed to convince myself that this pregnancy was still viable and thriving. In my head, there was no way I could have a pimple unless I was pregnant! Well, I guess you can say that I've even grown attached to the little pimple (maybe I should name it!) in the past 8 months.
So, this morning, I wake up - and the little pimple is GONE!!! GONE!!! GONE!!! Sadly, I miss it. And with it's dissappearance, I am reminded that this pregnancy will soon be over.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Anyway, the past 2 weeks or so, I have noticed a major growth spurt. I went from barely feeling pregnant to being uncomfortable almost every time I move. I also have felt alot of stretching in the abdomen area - like my skin is constantly pulling. And my pelvis should not still be connected to my body as it aches with every movement. Most of my stats were normal today - baby heartrate = 152bpm, my bp = 120/70 but, it was no surprise to me when I had gained 8 pounds (how did I exactly estimate how much weight that cake cost me!?!?) and that still wasn't a huge deal until my doctor measured me. In just 2 weeks, I went from 32 cm to 38 cm!! Most importantly, I'm only 34 weeks + 2 days today! So, the doctor sent me over to the Women's hospital for my third ultrasound. She said that it could be one of a few things: 1. I have too much amniotic fluid. 2. The baby is really big. 3. The baby is in an unorthodox position. 4. I'm growing a cake along with my baby in the uterus. :)
So, I called work and asked them to cancel my afternoon meetings and then called my husband to tell him that I was getting another ultrasound. He, too, had a doctor's appointment this morning so, wasn't even at work yet. He came straight over to the hospital. Since I wasn't on the schedule, I was told that it would be about an hour wait and would be fine if we went to grab lunch and came back. So, that's what we did - went to a nearby Wendy's. When we returned to the hospital, they immediately called me back. Well, it turns out that this little girl growing inside of me is now officially growing like a weed! Yes, this is the same child that we had to have back-to-back ultrasounds at 18 and 22 weeks to see if she was growing. And today, she is estimated to be 6 pounds, 3 ounces already. Okay, that is a birth weight - not an "I have 6 weeks left" weight. So, I was right about the sudden onset of aches and pains and sheer growth that I thought I was experiencing. But, one cool thing about having such a late ultrasound is that we could totally see what she looked like. Her cheeks have filled out and she clearly looks exactly like her daddy! - so cute!
I don't yet know what this will mean when my doctor gets the ultrasound results. Will she retest me for gestational diabetes? Will she talk to me about possibly inducing the baby early? As of now, I am scheduled for a regular appointment on Monday, August 15.
The house (site of the shower) was decorated beautifully! There were purple and yellow elephants everywhere (the nursery is purple and yellow and my sorority collects elephants). The food was GREAT - main dish being a couple of Chick-Fil-A trays and everyone knows that I can eat chicken 7 times a day!! The games were even fun - classic stuff that I usually don't like at other people's showers but, for some reason they were fun at my own shower!! Best of all, I got lots of great gifts. Hardly anything that I could even remotely consider returning to the store! Oh yeah - and the cake was awesome, although I'm sure it put about 8 pounds on me last week. And yes, all of my hostesses liked their little goodie bags. Everyone thought they were cute. So, everything was perfect.
My friend and my aunt who just moved to town (she's only 29 so it's okay for us to hangout!) came over on Friday night and finished eating all the cake for me. More importantly, they organized all the shower stuff and got everything put away in the nursery. They, of course, left me with a pile of things to wash but, I plan to get those done tonight while my husband is out of town.
I have a doctor's appointment today. I think this will be the last one before they start "checking me" - could it be that I'm going to have a baby soon?
Monday, July 25, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Today at lunch I went to a place called The Chocolate Bar, which is exactly what it sounds like - a Bar that sells all things chocolate. Anyway, I went to finally pick out a little something for my hostesses at my shower this weekend. Well, I walked out of there having spent $83 on candy!!! Now, I rationalized this by saying that it is a gift - something that they wouldn't splurge on themselves. Plus, for me to spend $83 is nothing compared to what I will receive this weekend in gifts for the baby!
So, I was telling my friend here (we IM at work all day everyday) about my outing. Thought this convo was kind of interesting:
Brooke says: so, did you have any luck with the gifts?
Tomika says: I guess - I bought $83 worth of chocolate
Brooke says: I'd say you did then...good job!
Brooke says: what'd you buy?
Tomika says: 3 different kinds - mints in a baby bottle, a milk chocolate bar with pink footprints on them, and chocolate covered pretzels
Brooke says: oh, the pretzels sound delish
Brooke says: it all does, but that one definitely got my attention
Tomika says: I hope so
Brooke says: they'll like it
Brooke says: and appreciate it
Brooke says: if not, kick them in the shins and take it back to bring to me!
Tomika says: lol
Tomika says: My husband is going to explode when I tell him
Brooke says: why?
Brooke says: just that you bought that much chocolate or that you're even buying that many gifts for people?
Tomika says: spending that much money on candy
Brooke says: but it's so worth it...everyone loves candy!
Tomika says: certainly, it's not worth $83 to you
Brooke says: I mean, you could have equally spent that money on something like movie gift certificates, or something else NOT eatable, but this is so much more fun!
Brooke says: and something people don't treat themselves to
Brooke says: which is the whole point of a good gift!
Tomika says: yes - but, we have to establish the fact that no candy is indeed "worth" $83
Tomika says: I didn't get myself anything - came back here and bummed a TWIX off a co-worker...
Brooke says: that's totally worth it!!!!
Brooke says: I'd pay that for a glutenous treat of good chocolate!
I have to say that I had fun on the splurge and in actuality, I only spent $14 per person and they are wrapped in cute little purple and yellow bags. Plus, the gifts really are cute. I hope they like them!
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Now, if she asked me how I felt today, it might be a different story. I do believe I've gained about 3 inches in my tummy since I saw her Friday. Baby like tripled in size over the weekend or something. All of a sudden she is way heavy and starting to make me feel more uncomfortable - or at least HUGE. 8 more weeks...
Monday: This was the most vivid and the most interesting to analyze. There were actually two dreams but, both were clearly related to the same topic. Dream A - I was offered a job at another University in the system that I currently work in. The hiring manager loved me and offered me the job almost without interviewing me. She wanted me to come in and meet the other members of the team that I was joining. There were three females that I would be working with. (Interesting because I currently work with all males - and love it!) But, when it came time to accept the job, I kept thinking about how much I LOVE my current job. The new job came with a higher salary and a guaranteed pay raise in September. But, I just kept thinking that it didn't compare to what I have at my current job - great boss, great hours, great flexibility, great work...I spent the whole dream going back and forth - never making a decision. But, clearly favoring one job over the other. Dream B - I wanted to hangout with my husband and my ex-boyfriend from high school. For some reason, they got along well enough to do that in this dream. (They don't even know each other!) Anyway, in the dream, it was absolutely clear that I was totally in love with my husband but, just wanted my ex-boyfriend to be friends with us. Weird...I know - but, everyone that I have told this to thought both dreams clearly pointed to my inability to make decisions! My husband looked at it as a blanket problem where my female friends clearly tied it to the decision to return to work after I have the baby. I keep trying to explain to them that the decision has been made - I will be back at work in January! But, they aren't so convinced.
Tuesday: Not as much of a "deep" dream...and no real analysis on this one. But, I dreamed that me and a female co-worker were sexually harassed at work by my current manager. Oddly enough, it was in front of my parents and alot of other people at work. My manager had no remorse for it even though it showed what a creep he was. In real life, he's the greatest...
Wednesday: I dreamed I was going out somewhere and wanted to look cute. I was trying to roll my hair to make my ponytail curly. I spent the whole night tugging at my hair because it wouldn't wrap around the rollers. Hmmmm...could this mean that I feel unprepared for something that's coming up?
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
So, here goes:
My husband and I decided to attend a 4-week session on Mondays rather than stuff it all in one weekend. My attention span will only allow for so much (not alot) concentration on a single subject. So, last Monday (June 27) was our first one. We decided to meet there directly after work. Of course, I got there first and walked in to realize that I was the only person there without a mate. I felt like people were staring at the one single chick. The instructor asked me to sign in. Luckily, my husband walked in while I was doing that so then my pregnancy felt validated again. There were probably 30 couples in the class and most people are due in the August 20-something to September 20-something time frame. We started by introducing ourselves, telling due dates, boy/girl, and our biggest fears about childbirth. Then the instructor addressed the biggest fears that were named.
To everyone's delight, we then got to watch a video on pre-term labor. It was one of those awful educational films where all the actors/actresses apparently don't do that for a living and should absolutely never get paid for it! Yes, my husband and I silently made fun of it together but, I think we got the gist of the information that it was trying to convey.
After that, we practiced our relaxation techniques. Our husbands massaged us and we were asked to find a focal point while we learned to breathe through 30-second contractions. Again, a focal point doesn't work for a person with the attention span of a gnat! Focusing on anything doesn't really come natural to me. The one time that I did manage to focus for an entire 30 seconds, my contacts dried out which told me that I can't blink and focus at the same time! So, I'm not sure how this whole thing will work for me. I'm sure many women have had babies without a focal point...but, it probably helps...
Then we went on the hospital tour, which was really neat. We got to see the L&D rooms, transition nursery, and recovery rooms. The instructor explained the procedures for when we arrive at the hospital. Don't think I'll remember that in two months so hopefully my husband was paying attention. The hospital tour must be added to my ever growing list of "things that make the reality of having a baby seem more real".
So, I'm actually looking forward to this next one (there was no class this past Monday because of the 4th of July holiday)...after I report to jury duty that is!
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Friday, July 01, 2005
1. The lady comes to deliver our baby furniture. My husband opens the door to let them in. She asks, "Is your mother home?" I know we both look young but, not that young!! That absolutely cracked me up for about a week every time I thought about it.
2. My shoes disintegrated at the concert. When I left home, I had on platform (2.5 inches or so) sandles. When I left the concert, I had on soles. That's it!! Again, still cracking up over that one. My husband asked me if I stepped in acid or something. I have no idea!! They just literally started falling apart!
This past weekend, we were in Nashville for my family reunion. My two girl cousins that are closest to me in age have both had baby boys since the last time I saw them. One had an 11-month-old and the other had a 3-week-old. Oh my God - they were both adorable and it made me want mine so much more. I think I'm actually getting ready for this girl mentally and emotionally!!!
One last thing (I think): I felt her hiccup. Monday morning, I got up a little early to do some work before I came to work (is that obsessive?) and while I was sitting at the computer checking my email - doesn't take much to distract me even at 6am - I got these really jerky, huge, rhythmic movements going on. My entire belly was jumping around. After about the 10th one, I yelled for my husband to come see. Yeah - apparently, you can scare the hiccups out of a fetus. She stopped as soon as I yelled for him. So, she continually makes me look like an idiot when I try to show her tricks to other people. Maybe she's just a really private person...
Okay, one more last thing: I have not touched a scale since I vowed to never do it again. I feel so free!! :) I can say that I've been eating worse too but, I don't really care anymore because I feel just fine.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Other than the weight issue (which the doctor didn't even mention), the doctor's appointment was fine yesterday...baby's heartbeat = 154bpm, my blood pressure = 128/78 (or something like that - I'm officially not "good" with numbers anymore), and I took my 1 hour glucose test. I have no doubt that will come out fine. The doctor said they'd call if there was an issue with either my blood sugar levels or my iron levels.
One kinda weird thing about my visit yesterday is I felt like she was wrapping up my pregnancy. Like, I'm for real pregnant and we are approaching the end of said pregnancy. That was my first real feeling that I may be getting towards the end. She talked to me about pain control methods while she measured my belly, gave me instructions on what to do if I have too many Braxton Hicks, gave me pamphlets on blood cord storage and postpartum depression, and asked me if I had selected a pediatrician. We've just never talked about the "after" like that so, it's official - just 12 more weeks...time to start looking towards the end...
Today is my husband's 28th birthday (also the first day of summer and the longest day of the year - in terms of hours of sunlight). He took the day off of work, which is good because he's been working so late and so hard lately. Anyway, he still got up with me this morning and started working on the baby's room before I'd even gotten to eat breakfast. He finished the painting last night. This morning he was preparing for our baby furniture delivery which is schedule for 10am-12pm. He said he was excited about the room which, of course makes me very excited too!
We've got a few plans for his birthday which I'll elaborate on after they occur...just in case he reads this today!!! :)
Friday, June 17, 2005
My mom was bugging me about where the out-of-town guests are going to stay for my baby shower on July 23. First of all, it was her idea to even invite out-of-town guests but, now it's suddenly my responsiblity to figure out where they will stay while here. So, one particularly anal cousin has already booked her flight and has been emailing my mom about details of hotels. My mom then aggravates me about it. I got a little annoyed with the Wednesday email because my mom had a bit of an attitude in it. I basically told her to look on the Internet for hotels and leave me alone. She writes back and says that they want to stay near the shower site not near my house so they need the address for the shower. First, I tell her that the invitations will be there next week, which is plenty of time to find a hotel based on what's in the invitations. Then I have to explain to her that it makes absolutely no sense to stay near the shower site! Houston is HUGE and the shower is about 45 minutes from my house, which means I wouldn't see any of them all weekend except during the shower. My mom wrote back, asking where they should stay in Houston to be near shopping and close enough to my house and the shower site. Why must I play the city hostess when it wasn't even my idea to invite my family from the backwoods of Mississippi!?!?
So, as annoying as that was - it occurred to me that it was my anal cousin who had already purchased a gift for us! I was right - it was delivered yesterday. My husband was disappointed that I opened it before he got home from work - how cute...
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Monday, June 13, 2005
It's funny - I find now that it is alot easier to count down than to count up anymore. I kinda lost count right after 20 weeks. I think my pregnancy brain just has an easier time with smaller numbers. So, instead of being 27 weeks pregnant, I like to think of it as "13 weeks to go".
I have been very blessed throughout the first two trimesters of the pregnancy - no morning sickness to speak of in the beginning and no health complications of concern. I have had some swelling but, I think that is complicated by the heat here as it did not start until we hit the hot weather. Plus, it's not that bad now that I'm being more cognizant of my salt intake. I do have some achiness in my joints (primarily the pelvis) but, I think that's just from everything trying to relax so that I can birth this baby. I am so thankful that I am still very comfortable and active. I thought it might be tougher since I was a bigger girl to begin with. I just have nothing that I can really complain about and I pray that this continues through this last trimester.
I think I'm going to breakdown and order the BabyWise book. I've heard plenty of mixed reviews about it but, I was with a group of ladies this weekend and everyone that had a child swore by the book. So, I guess I'll try it...I'll at least thumb through it before she gets here so once she gets here, I can see if it could work for us...
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Monday, June 06, 2005
My husband first felt the baby move on Saturday, May 14. We were still laying in bed that morning when he felt her. That's also the day we started our registry at Babies R Us. I think he was motivated to do things for her once he could also feel her.
At my last doctor's appointment on May 25 (24w2d), my stats were as follows:
Blood Pressure: 110/70
Baby's Heartrate: 154bpm
Fundal Height: 24 cm
Weight: +10 pounds
Okay, the weight thing was a HUGE shocker!! 3 nights before I went to the doctor I weighed the exact thing that I had weighed at my April 25th appointment. Then the night before I went to this appointment, I had shot up those 10 pounds. Amazing!! I think alot of it was swelling but, it happened so quickly and coincided with our first "hot" weekend here in Houston. So, the doctor said I needed to watch my salt intake (which in reality is TOTALLY excessive - it's just never been a problem before). So, I've been trying to monitor that a little better. I've lost about 3 pounds since that appointment but, I must admit I am still jealous of my husband's 27-inch waist right now...
Finally, the results from our second ultrasound on May 16 revealed that our baby girl is growing just fine. Praise God! She was estimated to be 1lb, 1oz - which was in the 35th percentile for her gestational age. So, it looks like she could potentially be smaller like my husband. I've always been blessed with size...starting with being born at 9lb, 11oz.
So, last week I went on a mission - finally decided on some of the fabrics for her room. Yes, even that took me all week after visiting every reasonably priced fabric store that I could find in Houston over the past two months. Then, I decided to order an inexpensive bedding set instead of making absolutely everything in the room!
So, Friday I decided that my weekend plans would include buying the fabric for my rocking chair cushions (I am using the chair that my mom had with me) and finding this baby some furniture!! Friday night, we went to Babies R Us and Baby Depot for the 700th time. It's amazing how you can start to talk yourself into stuff as the weeks creep by. We decided that we finally liked a Babies R Us set. Then Saturday morning we got up early and went to a place called Baby's 1st Furniture in Sugarland. We actually went to two locations of that same store just to see if one was running a "Special" when the other one wasn't. We liked the furniture there, of course, because it was one of those fancier stores with the good, solid wood stuff. Well, of course, it takes 10 - 16 weeks to order any of that furniture (and it was a little bit more $$ than we had originally planned to spend - but, so is our house, our cars, and virtually everything we buy...we aim low but have expensive tastes). So, even if we got our furniture in 10 weeks, I'd be 36 weeks pregnant and I knew I wouldn't feel comfortable waiting that long to get her room together. So, we ended up back at Babies R Us. We finally decided to purchase the Cherry Madison Crib and Combo Changing Table. I think it is one of the more popular sets at BRU but, hey - they'll only be one of them in my house! :) It'll take 7-14 days for them to come in. Maybe that'll give us time to finish getting our stuff out of her room and get it painted - ambitious, I know...
So, we basically spent the whole weekend getting this furniture but, that's a productive weekend for me and my husband. Plus, it was very tiring in this 95-degree weather! Then I worked for about 6 hours yesterday. I am exhausted - great way to start the week...but, at least I've finally got furniture...
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Carissa had her baby girl last night!!! Yes! It was her actual due date and she is the second friend this year that has given birth ON her due date. I could not sleep a wink last night! I am so excited - you would think it was me that just had this baby!!
We went to dinner with Carissa and Adam on Monday night after our weekly run/walk around the trail at Rice University. We knew it could possibly be the last time that we saw Carissa pregnant with this baby. Adam said he would call us as soon as anything happened. Sure enough when I saw his number on the caller ID around 7:30 last night, my heart skipped a beat! I usually HATE answering the phone but, I was happy to pick this one up. He said that her contractions had been coming regularly at 5 minute intervals for about an hour. She had her first non-Braxton Hicks contraction about 3.5 hours earlier but, they had been mostly sporadic up until this last hour. Their labor coach was on the way to their house and he wanted to call and let us know that it was happening and he would keep in touch. He called again around 10:30 to say that they were on the way to the hospital. Her contractions were less than 3 minutes apart!!! He gave us a few people to call and spread the news to, which we did.
Then, he called again at 12:15am to say that she had the baby!! It all seemed so quick! My husband answered the 12:15am call and got no details for me so, I did not sleep at all!! I wanted to know the DETAILS, of course! Luckily, he did find out that the baby is a girl (they didn't find out earlier). But, what time was she born? This was important because I wanted to know if she was born on May 25 (her due date) or May 26! How big was she? Did Carissa do it without an epidural? What was her name? And the rest of the night, I thought, "I can't believe Carissa's a mommy!". These thoughts kept me up ALL NIGHT LONG. So, this morning, on the way to work, I called Adam to find out the details:
Lillian May was born on May 25, 2005 @ 11:29pm - just one hour after they arrived at the hospital! Carissa was dialated to a 9.5 when they got there. She did not use any pain medication. Lily weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. She has bright red hair - which no one expected...and our daughters are going to be best friends for life!!! :)
Now that I got that all out, let's see if I can buckle down and get some work done in hopes of leaving early this afternoon to make a visit to the hospital!!
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
It turns out that I have to have a follow-up ultrasound in two weeks. Apparently, the radiologist is a little concerned that the baby’s abdomen measurements may be lagging behind the head and the leg measurements. Now, the doctor didn’t seem worried at all and it doesn’t make too much sense to me either. The measurements from my first ultrasound were as follows: head = 17.3 weeks, abdomen = 17.1 weeks, and legs = 17.6 weeks. I asked the doctor if everything was as it should be. She said all her anatomy looked good and my placenta is in the “back” which is perfect. Since the doctor didn’t seem concerned, I didn’t think a lot of it and just took my form to order the ultrasound and left the office.
On the way back to work, I started thinking about what I had been told. Of course, I unloaded on the Internet once I was here. I started researching to find out what the big deal was. It turned out that a high head/abdomen ratio could mean that she is experiencing “nutritional growth retardation”. So, combine that with the ½ pound weight loss over 4 weeks and a first time mother-to-be starts to worry just a little bit. Am I not eating enough? Am I exercising too hard? Am I not getting enough rest? Several people have worked to convince me that I should wait until the ultrasound before I try to adjust anything. I read that one of the treatments for this type of retarded growth is bed rest so, I admit that I have been trying to get a little more sleep – back to the daily nap of the first trimester.
Friday, April 15, 2005
We woke up around 7:00am and just laid in bed until about 7:25am. After being in Mississippi for 4 days for my Grandmother's funeral, we've gotten a bit lazy about getting out of bed this week. We decided while laying there that we would try to visit one of the day cares on our list prior to going to the hospital for the appointment. That worked out well. We visited a place and thought it was fine but, we don't have anything to compare it to quite yet.
We finally got the hospital right at 9:30am and had to get our insurance verified. That seemingly took forever but, we were back to radiology by 10am - just in time to wait for 30 more minutes. Yes, my bladder almost exploded. So much so that when the technician first put the wand on me, she said my bladder was too full. She allowed me to empty it before she took any of the anatomical measurements of the baby. What a relief!!
It took her a while to get the measurements that she needed because the baby was too active for her. After about 20 minutes, she called my husband in and we got to both watch the baby on the screen. She showed us the heart, arms, hands, feet, legs, etc. But, every time she tried to see the sex, the baby kept crossing it's legs. She said that she had seen it while taking the measurements so, she knew but, couldn't get a good angle to show us.
The baby spent most of the time on its back and finally flipped over so that we could get a good look at the profile of the face and the little hands and arms curling up to the face. Then the doctor came in to take a few more measurements and also attempt to see the sex. The baby was very active but, none of the activity involved spreading the legs!! The doctor caught a glipse but, couldn't duplicate it for us.
But, the conclusion that both the tech and doctor came to is that our first baby is A GIRL!! How exciting! I knew all along but, hearing the "professionals" say it makes is so much more concrete.
So, we are so excited about her and can't wait to meet her in September!
For those of you who are wondering this Chinese Birth Calendar accurately predicts that she is a girl (I turned 26 in February and she was conceived in December). I have to admit, though, I ran across 4 Chinese charts before this one that said she would be a boy. :)
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
So, distinct movement coupled with the comment that I got last night at Chili’s makes me realize that this is really happening! Last night, I decided to pick up some chips and queso from Chili’s to eat with a few girls that were coming over. Yesterday, I happened to have on a maternity shirt and pants. Although I had tucked the shirt in at work (most people here still don’t know I’m pregnant), I relaxed and took it out at home. So, when my husband saw me, his comment was, “Wow – you really look pregnant now!”. The next thing out of his mouth was, “Make sure you’re wearing your rings when you go to Chili’s”. He is paranoid about people thinking that I am a single parent. Anyway, at Chili’s when I only ordered the chips and queso, the cashier asked me if it was a craving I had been having. That is something you only ask a pregnant person! So, I must be officially showing...
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Now, although we have been faithfully attending, contributing to, and serving in this church for over 2 years, we have yet to join. The primary reason is because the church requires that you be baptized by submersion in a Baptist church in order to become a member. That means that both of us would have to be re-baptized to join. My husband cannot reconcile this in his heart. He was sprinkled as a baby in a Lutheran church and feels that if he did it again, it would mean that his first baptism “didn’t count”. I am willing to do it again because I was baptized as a baby and would like to do it again as a symbol of me making the decision to follow Christ rather than my parents making it for me. So, my husband has been praying and studying to figure out what we should do for about a year now. Apparently, Baptists don’t baptize babies and only consider baptism to be a symbol of what Christ has done in your heart. Therefore, you decide to be baptized when you are “old enough” to make that decision for Christ. Alternately, Lutherans baptize their babies because baptism is for the remission of sins. Since we are all born into sin, babies need to be saved through baptism. The more my husband learns about both denominations, the more he realizes that there are major philosophical differences on the subject of baptism. So, in all of this studying and praying, we have come to no conclusion and now the matter is becoming more complicated because we will soon be parents.
We feel that one of our primary responsibilities for this child is to make sure that he/she grows up in a Godly home and has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My husband can’t imagine that we wait 8, 9, 10 years (as a Baptist family might) before the child is baptized. His heart tells him that that child needs to be baptized as a baby. He feels very strongly about this – and apparently his mother and grandmother do too. But, the thing is – if we have the baby baptized at his parents Lutheran church then, how do we raise the child in a Baptist church where he/she doesn’t learn the same things about baptism and its role in our faith? Plus, how do we keep going to this church that we are not members of? What does that teach the child? I don’t know how we fix this or what the right answer is. I am depending on my husband for leadership in this. I have faith that that Lord will reveal His truth to us in time for us to steer this child in the right direction.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Anyway, my blood pressure turned out to be a little higher than normal (136/82) which we kind of chuckled about because the nurse, my husband, and I attributed it to how heated I had become over waiting for an hour to get in to see the doctor. But, what blew my mind was the whopping 8 pound weight gain!! I have got to figure out why their scale is so much different from mine at home. I weigh myself casually at different times during the day at home and NEVER have I seen a number like I saw at the doctor's office!! I was shocked and appalled. The nurse merely wrote it down to be inserted in my permanent records. :(
Then we listened for the heartbeat. She initially put the doppler on the right side of my abdomen - no heartbeat but, lots of movement as we heard the fluid sloshing around. After about 20 seconds, she decided to move the doppler to the right side of my abdomen - again, no heartbeat but, we could hear distinct "baby movements". After another 20 seconds or so, she tried the middle of my abdomen - BULLSEYE!!! I saw my husband breathe a sigh of relief when we finally heard it. You could still tell the baby was moving around because as we listened, there was a distinct pattern to the heartbeat but, it would get louder and softer without any movement of the doppler. The heartrate was 154 bpm. I was kinda glad that she had to listen to different sides of my abdomen because it makes me more certain that there aren't two babies in there. My mother-in-law has prophetic dreams about babies (which is why she called us and asked if we were pregnant before we got a chance to call her first) and dreamed about twins over the weekend. So, since there was only one place on my whole abdomen where we could hear the heartbeat, certainly there is only one in there!
Then the doctor came in almost immediately. I think they were trying to be extra efficient with me since I had "complained" about waiting. She commented on my weight gain only to say that if I continue to gain 8 pounds a month then, I will undoubtedly be miserable this summer. Since I know that I have remained very active as far as working out and she didn't mention a health risk related to my weight gain, I am okay with it but, will try not to let it happen again. :) The doctor measured me for the first time - from my pelvic bone to the top of my uterus. It scared me at first because I am still in awe over this whole miracle that is pregnancy. It is amazing that I do nothing special and this person continues to grow inside of me. The doctor's comment on my 17 cm measurement was merely, "Perfect - you're right where you should be!" and then explained that I should be the same number of cm as I am weeks +/- 2 cm. Then she asked if I wanted the screening for Down's Syndrome, etc. and I assured her that we weren't interested.
Then came the way exciting part - we talked about scheduling my ultrasound!! :) She gave me the form for the radiology department at the hospital and adamantly advised me to not schedule it before 18 weeks. But, that's only 2 weeks away!! She also told us to make sure that we ask for the video tape. Apparently they tape all of the ultrasound sessions but, do not offer the tape to you - you must ask for it. We definitely want to rememeber to do that because the Grandparents will be so excited to see that! We have decided that we will digitize it and send them all DVD's of it. Then we talked briefly about the poor circulation problems that I have been having in my legs. She didn't speak of a solution but, just wrote it down. I guess that is something she will follow-up on next time. It concerns me because my mom was hospitalized and put on crutches while pregnant with my sister because of the poor circulation in her legs. I would prefer that we avoid that for this pregnancy! Then she assured me that I can fly until 36 weeks (which I knew but, wanted her to realize that I was planning to do some flying) and told me that she wanted to see me in 4 weeks. Painless - and only lasted 35 minutes once I complained to the receptionist. As I was leaving, the nurse assured me that if I ever had an unreasonable wait again to just walk back and talk to her.
So, on the way back to work, I realized that my impatient mother had called my cell phone while I was in the doctor's office. I decided to call her back but, my dad answered the phone at their house instead! How exciting!! That's the first time I've heard his voice since Christmas! He has been working in China since Dec 10 and just got back over the weekend. So, I talked to him instead and didn't talk to my mom until I was on the way home from work.
At work yesterday, I called and got my ultrasound scheduled for Thursday, April 14 at 10am!! That's so soon!!! :) Hopefully, they will be able to confirm my theory that this is a sweet little girl growing inside of me.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Monday, March 14, 2005
- How far along are you?/When are you due? - This one is the easiest to answer.
- Was it planned? - This one is fun to answer because we kinda planned it about 15 minutes before we did "it" and it worked!
- Do you plan to go back to work after you have the baby? - I am beginning to hate this question and thus the topic of this blog entry.
About 2 months before we ever tried to get pregnant, my husband and I sat down and agreed that I would continue to work my current job even after we had a baby (assuming the baby would be coming in the next year or so). It made sense for our financial situation and that is his primary concern. Plus, I was loving my job back then and couldn't imagine not going there ever day. Well, since that conversation last October, I haven't necessarily changed my mind but, I have begun to see benefits and disadvantages to both situations.
Just for background purposes: I grew up in a two-income home. My mom went back to work when I was 6 weeks old and has often told me that she was bored out of her mind even during those 6 weeks. She proceeded to work days, nights, and weekends until I was about 12 or 13 so, a working mom was a completely normal way of life for me. My parents frequently paid extra for our after school care because my mom could never meet the 5:30pm deadline to pick my younger sister and me up. But, we had lots of luxuries while growing up that may not have necessarily been attainable without those two incomes. We went on lots of vacations and trips, took all kinds of lessons, went out to eat 3 times a week, and there was never anything that my sister or I wanted for and did not get. I think having my working mom as a role model was a good thing for me. I think it has made me independent, ambitious, and goal-oriented. While I've never wanted to be like her (ewww!!!), I see myself being more and more like her and it's actually a good thing.
Meanwhile, my husband grew up in a one-income household where his father was not even a salaried worker. He was paid hourly and would forfeit overtime hours to spend time at home with the family. His mom did not work. The whole family went to everyone's basketball games, dance recitals, track meets, etc. - very supportive people. He remembers them "struggling" financially though. They never even ate regular name brand foods (which was unheard of for me as a child). They didn't go on many trips unless it was a 3-hour car ride to Kansas City to his grandmother. My husband makes it seem as though it was worlds away from the way I grew up. Just to contrast his mom and mine: I remember about two weeks after we were married, my husband went on a work trip and I was home alone for a week. His mom made a point to call me most nights that week to keep my company...especially since we didn't know anyone in this brand new city. Anyway, I remember that she spent about 2 hours talking to me about how she didn't need a career to validate her and how she could stay busy doing things that she wanted to do, blah, blah. I thought she was out of her mind. I was fresh out of college and ready to blaze up the corporate ladder at that time!
So, of course, his main consideration in deciding whether or not I work is financial stability. He says that after seeing how hard it was on his parents to raise a family, he always said that it would be easier for his own family. Meanwhile, I have this "we can't struggle because I never have" mentality that he cannot understand.
Last night, we had a pretty heated discussion about this that led to many tears on my part and a lot of visible frustration on his. All he wants me to do is make a decision so that we can start working towards a plan that will facilitate the success of that decision in 6 months. I contend that I can't make that decision until I have met this baby face-to-face. I have been praying about this for a few weeks and I really feel like God is going to lead us one way or another in his timing. I am not leaning either way right now. I am waiting to see how things unfold. Most women that I have talked to about this agree with me. They understand why I need to see the baby in order to really make a decision that I'm comfortable with. My husband doesn't understand at all. He worries about the fact that I just finished my Master's degree in December and can't believe that I would want to "through that all away". He also selfishly (he admits that) argues that whether the baby is in day care or at home with me will have no bearing on the amount of time that he spends with it so, he doesn't have a problem with our child going to day care. I totally don't agree with that statement. I also don't care that I just finished my degree. I really, really, really just want what's going to be best for this family and what will make us all the happiest (my husband argues that extra income will facilitate that). How could I know the best decision having not met 1/3 of the family members!?!?
Thursday, March 10, 2005
So, I think I have experienced a couple of obvious changes as my pregnancy is progressing into the second trimester (even if my husband doesn't think that "showing" is one of those right now):
- I have stopped running to the bathroom in the middle of every single night. I think I've only been once in the month of March in the middle of the night. Where as, I think I didn't go only once in the whole month of February.
- I have finally overcome the exhaustion that I was feeling.
My husband and I went maternity clothes shopping together last weekend on Saturday, I think. Why did I think it was a good idea to take him shopping for maternity clothes if I'd rather slit my wrist than take him shopping for my regular clothes? But, surprisingly, it wasn't that bad - probably because I wasn't really pressed to get anything necessarily. So, the fact that he liked NOTHING in Old Navy didn't bother me. I mean, he didn't like ANYTHING!!! He's so picky. So, there is a JC Penney right beside that particular Old Navy so, we just wandered in there to see what they would have. Okay, I would NEVER buy real clothes in JC Penney - just not my style but, I was loving some of their maternity stuff. Actually, I guess I only loved 4 pieces that they had and ended up buying those 4 things: 2 work shirts, 1 t-shirt, and 1 pair of jean capris. But, the best news is that I actually ended up wearing maternity pants for the first time on Monday. I was in Ft. Worth at a conference for work. Since my group and I were in "uniform", I needed to wear black pants and my regular black pants are no longer even zipping up. So, I wore a pair that I ordered from OldNavy.com about 3 weeks ago. It was weird but, very comfortable...and, of course, the maternity pants made me look more pregnant that ever! (in my eyes)