Incubator

Thursday, November 30, 2006

To all those who endured the last months of your pregnancy in the hot summer months, kudos to you.

My office building is one of those where if you walk five feet, you can experience a variation of 20 degrees, easily. My desk is situated in a spot that I swear receives the most heat in the whole building, yet you walk ten feet away and the people there are freezing. This is nothing new, and it really limits my ability to, say, wear sweaters in the wintertime, no matter how cold it is outside, because once I’m in the office at my desk, I’m burning up. The change of seasons is perhaps the worst parts of the year because the heating/cooling system can’t keep up with swift changes in temperature outside, so apparently it freaks out and superheats the office. It’s not unusual for me to have my personal fan blowing on high, even during the winter here. None of this is pregnancy-related.

But add a third-trimester pregnancy on top of all that? Yeah, it’s a challenge to sit here at work enduring the heat. It’s been in the 70s outside for a week or so (very pleasant for late November), and a big cold front is supposed to come through tonight and cool things off dramatically–and I can’t wait! Maybe then I won’t be nearly as hot sitting here at work.

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Under the microscope

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I have a confession: I don’t have much experience with kids. I love them, but just don’t have much hands-on experience with them. I’ve never changed a diaper, unless you count the baby dolls I had when I was little (but baby dolls tend not to be very squirmy–nor do they have real poop, for that matter). I’ve never fed a bottle. I don’t think I’ve held an infant that was younger than six months old. I’ve never fixed a toddler’s boo-boo. I did some babysitting when I was in high school, but it was for kids that were a little older.

So, even though no one actually came out and said it, I knew I was under the microscope over Thanksgiving weekend when spending time and playing with my 22-month-old niece. No doubt everyone was watching me interact with her as an indicator of how well I’ll do with my own child.

I was nervous about it at first, especially since I knew I’d be watched. And especially because I’d only seen my niece two other times (once at six months old and the other time at ten months old) and it’d been a whole year since I’d seen her, so I’m no better than a stranger to her since she lives so far away. The last time I saw her, in early November 2005 (just three days after my miscarriage…ug), she bawled anytime I’d even come close to holding or touching her. She was very much in her “I want my mommy” stage, and I clearly wasn’t her mommy, so she wanted nothing to do with me.

But things went much better this time around–much to the delight of my silent observers, I’m sure. My pathetically weak biceps were so sore by the end of the weekend because of how much she wanted me to hold her. (Note to self: Work on bulking up biceps–and fast!) She squealed with delight when I’d take her in my arms as if giving her a hug and we’d roll around on the bed together. She loved it when she was lying on her back and I would pull her across the kitchen floor by her feet. It was definitely a confidence-booster to have a good experience with her at this point and to hear both my sister and brother-in-law say we’ll be good parents.

We also had another test this weekend: how our dog would react to a young child. He’s seen kids around the neighborhood but hasn’t really had a chance to play one-on-one for any amount of time. I’m not too worried about him, since golden retrievers are known for being good with kids, but he’s just barely over a year old, so he has a lot of excitable puppy in him still. But I’m glad to report that he LOVED my niece (who also loved him)…they became best friends instantly. She’d try to share her sippy cup with him, and he’d offer up his favorite toy to her. When we’d go back to our own house each night, he would look around the house for “his” little girl, but she was nowhere to be found. I’m sure he’ll be glad to have a little girl at his own house soon. He still hasn’t been around babies, so that’s an unknown in this equation, but I think he’ll be fine as long as we still give him the attention and walks he needs.


75% done at 30 weeks

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

There’s something about the number 30 that triggers a sense of panic. In most people, it’s the prospect of hitting the big 3-0 age-wise that causes night sweats and convulsions. I’ve got that milestone coming up in June, but so far I don’t have any problems with turning 30. But turning 30 weeks pregnant? That feels somehow different, like I’m so much further along than I was even just yesterday at 29w6d. It’s funny how a simple number can mess with your mind like that.

Being at 30 weeks brings a reminder that this *could* happen at any time. It’s very unlikely to happen this early, of course, and naturally I hope it doesn’t, but I’ve heard stories of births that did happen this early. And I’m sure it doesn’t help that I found out one of my friends was supposed to be induced early yesterday morning, which means it’ll be my turn very, very soon. The first feeling I get when thinking about that is a brief, mild sense of panic, but thankfully it’s followed quickly by excitement and joy. It’s the anticipation that’s the worst part–it always is–sort of like right before you have to give a speech or go through a job interview. You’re fine once you get started, but the anticipation is a killer. Likewise, I know I’ll be fine once things start setting into motion, but the many “what ifs” that arise in the meantime leap to the forefront.

I’ve been feeling pretty good during the past week. I haven’t had any problems with heartburn/acid reflux (which was mild anyway), and the Braxton Hicks haven’t been bothersome. My hips are still sore at night, and my energy is starting to wane, but overall things are pretty good.

(Hey, the weight gain could have been a lot more during Thanksgiving week!)

Weight loss/gain:
3w5d starting weight
5w (-1.2 pounds)
6w (-3 pounds, -4.2 pounds total)
7w (-2.4 pounds, -6.6 pounds total)
8w (-1 pound, -7.6 pounds total)
9w (-2 pounds, -9.6 pounds total)
10w (-2.6 pounds, -12.2 pounds total)
11w (+1 pound, -11.2 pounds total)
12w (+3.6 pounds, -7.6 pounds total)
13w (+1.0 pound, -6.6 pounds total)
14w (+1.2 pounds, -5.4 pounds total)
15w (+3.4 pounds, -2 pounds total)
16w (+2.0 pounds, no change total)
17w (+2.0 pounds, +2.0 pounds total)
18w1d (+2.0 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
19w (-1.0 pound, +3.0 pounds total)
20w (-0.4 pounds, +2.6 pounds total)
21w (+1.4 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
22w (-0.4 pounds, +3.6 pounds total)
23w (+3.4 pounds, +7.0 pounds total)
24w (+0.8 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
25w (+0.0 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
26w (+4.2 pounds, +12.0 pounds total)
27w (-1.0 pounds, +11.0 pounds total)
28w (+3.6 pounds, +14.6 pounds total)
29w (-0.6 pounds, +14 pounds total)
30w (+1.8 pounds, +15.8 pounds total)


Iron woman

Monday, November 27, 2006

I had my 30-week appointment this morning, the first of my bi-weekly appointments, and everything went fine. It was mostly just the usual: urine test, weight (ug, no fair being weighed on the Monday after Thanksgiving!), blood pressure, and doppler check. The doctor measured me at 29 to 30 centimeters, right where I should be. He went over my glucose and iron results in person, saying both were within good, normal ranges. He did recommend that I start taking an iron supplement in addition to my prenatal vitamin because he said it’s a good idea at this stage of pregnancy, so I picked that up while I was out running my errands today. Back for more of the same in two weeks.

On a related note, I consider myself very fortunate that one of my regular days off work is Monday, so I don’t have to take time off for these appointments, which obviously become more numerous toward the end. Even getting the very first appointment of the day (which I always try to do) would force me to be away for at least two hours, possibly more. Not good considering I have the type of job where I have the same amount of work to do each week whether I’m there more time or less time. Being there less time just forces me to be more stressed and feel more pressure to get the workload done within the deadline.


And the Surprise of the Day Award goes to…

Monday, November 27, 2006

Big-time congrats to Alli, who got some good (though understandably overwhelming) news at her ultrasound this morning. Check out her blog to find out more!


Hip, hip (oh, my hip!)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I’ve noticed a definite difference in sleeping during the past few days: My hips get incredibly sore during the night. (I’ve always been primarily a side sleeper, so it’s not that the sleeping position itself is new.) In fact, that’s why I’ve gotten up when I have the past few mornings…I could’ve easily slept longer, but my hips were sore.

Yesterday I received a beautiful baby quilt (in sage green, pink, and yellow) that one of my mom’s childhood friends made for us. I’m incredibly humbled by this gift, as I’ve never met this friend of my mom’s, yet she took the time to put this together for us. I like writing thank-you notes, and I’m especially eager to write this one!

Also worth noting: My new favorite food is homemade cinnamon sugar toast–and boy don’t I whip up a good batch of it?! Pair it with some hot chocolate and mmmmmm–I’m set! πŸ™‚


Look out, Mr. Turkey

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone has a good one! πŸ™‚


Hell really hath no fury like a pregnant woman scorned

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I’m a little annoyed at a work situation right now, and I need to vent for a bit. I need to explain some background information, though, about my co-workers to give a better idea of the whole picture. It’ll probably confuse you, but mostly this is just for my sanity that I’m writing this post, so I apologize if I’m not providing all the info you need to get it.

I am a magazine copy editor, and I work with three part-time proofreaders who work throughout the week to assist me. Proofreader #1 is talented, is a big help, and almost always comes through if I need her to work extra hours or something. She and I get along the best, I’d say. Proofreader #2 is good at her work, but she is the kind of person who doesn’t like to plan ahead, so if I need her to work more hours, she says she doesn’t know if she has plans yet if I ask too far ahead of time, but then she pulls the “oh, if you’d asked sooner, I could have” if I wait to ask her about it closer to time. So, I can’t ever win there. October is a busy month for us, and I asked if she could work just ONE of the Sundays in October as an extra reader (I needed an extra reader for all five Sundays), and she said no to all of them. Proofreader #3 is pretty worthless, to be honest, but she’s better than if we just pulled someone in off the street.

Our magazine’s weekly deadline is on Sundays. The number of readers I have throughout the week can vary as long as we get the workload done, but there have to be two readers on Sundays because of the deadline. Usually that’s me and Proofreader #3. If either of us needs a Sunday off, we just have to see if Proofreader #1 or Proofreader #2 can fill in for us. This usually isn’t a problem, especially because, as I said, Proofreader #1 really steps up in situations like this.

That being said, I try not to take off many Sundays throughout the year, just because it is our deadline day, and quite frankly, it’s best if I’m there then. In 2006, I’ve taken off exactly one Sunday: my one-year wedding anniversary. Proofreader #2 covered for me that day (#1 was unavailable), but only after she got the feeling that I was pissed (I was) that I was going to have to work on my first anniversary (she’d originally said no to working for me).

So, back to the present. My hospital offers a series of childbirth classes (newborn care, infant CPR, etc.), and most of the classes are offered during weeknights. However, the breastfeeding class is only offered once a month on Sunday afternoons and no other time. The best time for me to take this class is December 10 because the next class isn’t until mid-January, which may possibly be too late. About a week ago, I asked Proofreader #1 if she would work for me on the 10th, and she said she should be able to. However, yesterday she suggested that I check with Proofreader #2 instead to see if she could work for me since I’ve already got Proofreader #1 working this coming Sunday as a third reader (because it’s a busy weekend) and on December 3 filling in for Proofreader #3 (which just came up yesterday). (Confused yet?)

So, I asked Proofreader #2 yesterday about the 10th, telling her why I needed that day off. Her response? “There’s no chance of that happening because I’ll still be recovering from the convention.” This convention, which is work-related in San Antonio, ends on the 6th. Yeah, thanks again, #2. I asked Proofreader #1 again if she could work for me since #2 won’t, and she said she would–but then she still laid some guilt trip on me, saying, “I just hope no holiday parties come up that I’ll be missing.” I’m sorry, is the timing of my baby not convenient for you? Should I just reschedule everything to make everyone else happy here?

So, that’s the first annoyance. The second involves my actual maternity leave. I’ll be taking off a full 12 weeks, which means 12 Sundays that I won’t be able to work, leaving #1 and #2 to fight it out between themselves as to when they’ll each be filling in (#3 should be there most Sundays as usual). Proofreader #1 was kind enough to initiate correspondence with #2 and #3 to ask them if they knew of any Sundays during the time I should be gone that they know for sure they won’t be able to work. You know what Proofreader #2’s answer was? “I don’t plan that far ahead, so I don’t know when I’ll be available. Sorry.” It’s not like this is a surprise; they’ve known for a while now that they’re going to have to fill in for me while I’m gone. I’d also brought up the fact that it’s possible I may go early, so they’ll need to have a system for who’s on standby in mid- to late January, just in case I miss those Sundays. Proofreader #2’s response was, “I sometimes go to Pittsburgh then, so I don’t know if I can commit to anything.” I’m afraid it’s going to come down to Proofreader #1 filling in for me 95% of the time, which isn’t fair to her.

What ticks me off the most is that I put so much into my job and look out for these specific co-workers–and take very little time off that would require them to cover for me (I haven’t taken a week off since our honeymoon in July 2005, and I’ve taken exactly two weeklong vacations in five years)–yet I feel like I get nothing but crap in return sometimes, especially from #2. (And no, there’s not really anything I can do…while they work under me, I’m not technically their supervisor, and they’re all contract labor and not technically considered employees of the company, so I can’t force them to work certain times.) To think that I’d actually considered taking just six weeks off so I wouldn’t inconvenience them any more than I had to. Ha! What a joke. I wish I could take six months off instead. Or longer. I hate feeling like I’m being considerate of others, then not getting it in return. Maybe that’s selfish of me, or maybe it’s naive of me. Either way, I hate being made to feel like I’m inconveniencing everyone here.

(It’s worth noting that all three of these women I work with are unmarried, older than me [#1 in her 40s, #1 in her 50s, and #3 in her early 60s], and have never had children and generally give off an anti-child vibe. So, no, they don’t understand what it’s like, in case you were wondering. I’m sure that could explain some of it, but I don’t see why that should be taken out on me.)


Ah, there’s the girl gut at 29 weeks

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Looks like I finally have a belly picture that shows an actual belly–finally at 29 weeks (this was taken yesterday). It still doesn’t look as big as a lot of 29-weekers, but ’tis all I’ve got to offer! πŸ™‚ (And bask in my pasty-white skin while you’re at it!)

Still feeling pretty good. The acid reflux/heartburn has been mild to nonexistent the past few days, so that’s good news. I’ve had a minimum of Braxton Hicks contractions, so again, nothing to worry about there. I can tell I get tired a lot faster doing normal things, but it’s not anything disabling.

I called again this morning for my glucose results, and they said everything (including iron and other things they were testing for) looked normal. My glucose number was 86, well under the threshold for concern. Bring on the pumpkin pie!

Weight loss/gain:
3w5d starting weight
5w (-1.2 pounds)
6w (-3 pounds, -4.2 pounds total)
7w (-2.4 pounds, -6.6 pounds total)
8w (-1 pound, -7.6 pounds total)
9w (-2 pounds, -9.6 pounds total)
10w (-2.6 pounds, -12.2 pounds total)
11w (+1 pound, -11.2 pounds total)
12w (+3.6 pounds, -7.6 pounds total)
13w (+1.0 pound, -6.6 pounds total)
14w (+1.2 pounds, -5.4 pounds total)
15w (+3.4 pounds, -2 pounds total)
16w (+2.0 pounds, no change total)
17w (+2.0 pounds, +2.0 pounds total)
18w1d (+2.0 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
19w (-1.0 pound, +3.0 pounds total)
20w (-0.4 pounds, +2.6 pounds total)
21w (+1.4 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
22w (-0.4 pounds, +3.6 pounds total)
23w (+3.4 pounds, +7.0 pounds total)
24w (+0.8 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
25w (+0.0 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
26w (+4.2 pounds, +12.0 pounds total)
27w (-1.0 pounds, +11.0 pounds total)
28w (+3.6 pounds, +14.6 pounds total)
29w (-0.6 pounds, +14 pounds total)


How I’ll hate going out in the storm

Monday, November 20, 2006

We got our first snow that stuck to the ground overnight, and while it wasn’t much (you could still see the grass easily), it was a definite reminder that winter is well on its way–and along with it, a winter baby.

I live in Kentucky, where we don’t get a ton of snow each year–maybe a handful of times where it will cover the grass completely and then plenty of times where there’s not as much accumulation but it still makes the roads hazardous. Every once in a while, maybe every 8-10 years, we’ll get a BIG snow–the kind where you could easily lose a big dog because it’s so deep. Not counting recent ice storms we’ve had (which are another headache), our last big, big snowstorm was in 1998, when I was in college. It was bad enough that the university canceled classes, which hadn’t happened in an insane amount of years, for a couple days. I remember I had a Saturn at the time, and a snow drift had completely engulfed my car.

I’ve said all along that, with a February baby on the way, I just know we’re going to be hit with our long overdue snowstorm at just about that time. I hope I’m wrong, of course, but just you wait and see. Isn’t that how these things go sometimes? πŸ™‚


Belly talk

Friday, November 17, 2006

In the last few days, I’ve really started to note the onset of Braxton Hicks contractions, with my lower abdomen tightening up noticeably from time to time. It’s not with any alarming frequency (maybe a few times a day), but just something that I wanted to make note of, since this is essentially my pregnancy milestone journal. (I’m not keeping anything handwritten…this is it.)

Anyone here ever used the BabyPlus system? According to the company’s website, it “is a series of 16 scientifically designed rhythmic sounds that resemble a mother’s heartbeat. The rhythm of the sounds increases incrementally and sequentially as the pregnancy progresses. The BabyPlus sound pattern introduces your child to a sequential learning process, built upon the natural rhythms of their own environment.”

Supposedly, babies develop better sleeping patterns, more readily nurse, have increased ability to self soothe, are more interactive and responsive, and are more relaxed and alert at birth. I’ve looked at reviews at other sites, and everyone seems to rave about it.

This isn’t something I would have seeked out myself (or even known about, to be honest), but my sister-in-law let me borrow hers, and I received it yesterday. You’re supposed to use it twice a day for an hour each time, though I just don’t have an extra hour in the mornings, so once a day will have to suffice. My sister-in-law’s baby was a dream baby as far as sleeping well, not crying a lot, etc., so hopefully this system had something to do with it. I tried it out last night, but I don’t really have enough of an opinion yet to decide how I feel about it. I’ll continue to try it, though.


Hunka, hunka burnin’ throat

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Looks like I’ve gotten to the point to where acid reflux/heartburn is starting to hit. I was hoping to avoid it altogether, but no such luck. Thankfully it’s been very mild so far, so I don’t really have reason to complain about it, but this isn’t something I’ve ever had to deal with before, so it’s quite a new symptom to me.

I haven’t yet noticed a specific pattern to it (it’s not just a couple hours aftera meal, for example), but sometimes my throat will just start burning right above my collarbone. The burning will last for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes at a time, then will go away and return almost immediately (sort of like bursts of burning). I had this same thing happen a little toward the end of my morning sickness, but I attributed it to all the vomiting I’d done and didn’t think much of it. Once the vomiting stopped, so had the burning. But sometimes now this burning happens and it makes me a little nauseated (not nearly as bad as before), though I haven’t thrown up from it. I have no pain or burning in my chest or abdomen, so at first I wasn’t sure if it was acid reflux/heartburn, but after asking around and doing some research, it sounds like it is. So far Tums has helped, and hopefully it won’t go beyond that.


Stares on the stairs

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I have to say, everyone at my work has been very nice with their pregnancy-related comments so far. One girl said to me yesterday when we passed in the stairwell, “Wow, I’ve got to give it to you, girl, still using the stairs!” I admitted to her that it had gotten harder in the past week or two (I notice I get winded a lot easier than I used to walking the two flights to my floor), but she said by this point she was definitely using the elevator when she was pregnant a few years ago. Truth is, the stairs are a little harder now, but using the stairs is a way of proving to myself that I’m not much different than before. (Don’t worry–if the stairs ever become overwhelmingly difficult, I won’t keep using them out of stubbornness or anything, but for now, I feel it’s still well within my capabilities.)


Random news and notes at 28 weeks

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nothing much of note today, really, since yesterday’s update was pretty substantial. So, just some random thoughts and observations today:

*I’m still annoyed at not really being able to find clothes that fit. More and more XL shirts are becoming too tight, but then what little stuff there is beyond XL absolutely swallows me.

*It makes me sad to see people at the OB who look like they would rather play poker in traffic than be expecting a child. I thought one woman’s face was going to break yesterday because her frown was so pronounced. (Not that I expect everyone beaming from ear to ear, and I don’t know what other things this woman was going through in her life, but I just didn’t get a good vibe from her in particular.)

*The sound of a metal spoon hitting the sides of a ceramic mug is driving me crazy as I type this. How much stirring does this co-worker really need to do? It’s been going on forever. I’m waiting for the moment when I lose it over something like this.

*I’ve had to start using baby powder under my boobs regularly because they get so hot and icky. The problem, however, is that I hate the smell of baby powder and haven’t been able to find any that’s unscented. But, the boob problem is worse than the smell of the powder to me, so I continue to use it.

*The Husband starts his new job today. He was nervous leaving this morning, but I know things will go just fine. It helps that he’s very outgoing (unlike me!) and will make friends in no time.

*I think I’m finally starting to comprehend the difference between kicks and other movements.

*Holy crap, I’m 28 weeks pregnant. Seven months. Just 12 weeks (in theory) to go.

*There goes that freaking spoon again. *clang, clang, clang*

Weight loss/gain:
3w5d starting weight
5w (-1.2 pounds)
6w (-3 pounds, -4.2 pounds total)
7w (-2.4 pounds, -6.6 pounds total)
8w (-1 pound, -7.6 pounds total)
9w (-2 pounds, -9.6 pounds total)
10w (-2.6 pounds, -12.2 pounds total)
11w (+1 pound, -11.2 pounds total)
12w (+3.6 pounds, -7.6 pounds total)
13w (+1.0 pound, -6.6 pounds total)
14w (+1.2 pounds, -5.4 pounds total)
15w (+3.4 pounds, -2 pounds total)
16w (+2.0 pounds, no change total)
17w (+2.0 pounds, +2.0 pounds total)
18w1d (+2.0 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
19w (-1.0 pound, +3.0 pounds total)
20w (-0.4 pounds, +2.6 pounds total)
21w (+1.4 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
22w (-0.4 pounds, +3.6 pounds total)
23w (+3.4 pounds, +7.0 pounds total)
24w (+0.8 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
25w (+0.0 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
26w (+4.2 pounds, +12.0 pounds total)
27w (-1.0 pounds, +11.0 pounds total)
28w (+3.6 pounds, +14.6 pounds total)


Hook me up!

Monday, November 13, 2006

I had my 28-week appointment this morning, the main point of which was the one-hour glucose tolerance test. I arrived at the lab at 8:30 a.m. as instructed, but I wasn’t taken back to register and get the drink until 9:10 a.m. I couldn’t have any food or drink after midnight last night, but in reality it was around 10:30 p.m. when I last ate or drank, so I was pretty hungry this morning–but mostly thirsty. They gave me the sugary orange drink, and I had to consume it within ten minutes, but I was so thirsty that I’m pretty sure I guzzled it in less than three. It didn’t taste too bad, but mostly it unsettled me for a few minutes because of it going on such an empty stomach. The icky feeling passed pretty quickly, though. I had to wait an hour before my blood could be drawn, so I proceeded downstairs for my doctor’s appointment (that was supposed to be at 9 a.m., but obviously I didn’t make that because the lab was so slow).

The doctor’s appointment was routine at first (urine sample, blood pressure, weight, measured belly, doppler), but then he didn’t like the sound of the heartbeat on the doppler; he said it was around 180 and should have been around 150. So, he took me to a different room and the nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitor for a non-stress test to check the heartbeat for about 20 minutes. (At least I had some time to kill anyway.) I also had to push a button any time I felt movement. I had some of my strongest kicks during the test–and it was neat to hear the movement on the monitor just a split second before I felt it. The doctor looked at the printout and was satisfied…he said the heartbeat was generally around 150 and then would go up to 180 when there would be movement. He said if that’s the reason it’s around 180, then it’s fine, but if it were around 180 all the time, then that’d be reason for concern. I suspected all along (and he and the nurse both agreed) that the higher heart rate was because of the glucose drink, but I’m glad he wanted to check it out anyway, just to be safe. He sent me on my way, and I now have my first NST under my belt.

After checking out, I had to return to the lab to have my blood drawn, which was pretty uneventful (not fun by any means, but nothing really of note there). I forgot to ask how long results would take, but they’re not supposed to call if it’s okay. I figure if I haven’t heard anything by Friday, then I’ll give them a call just to see.

I’m now to the point of having appointments every two weeks, so I’ll return on November 27. I’m very thankful that I don’t work on Mondays, so I don’t have to take all this time off work since I’ve been able to schedule all my appointments for my day off during the week.


More waiting, but on a list this time

Friday, November 10, 2006

Today on my lunch break, we went to visit our first daycare. (What do you mean we can’t just put The Baby in a crate during the day like The Dog??) We live in a part of town where daycares are very scarce, and while it’s fantastic that we live so close to where I work (about two miles), that means that pretty much any drive to a daycare will be out of the way for me, and not that convenient for The Husband, either.

That is, except for this one daycare that we literally can see from our back deck.

I had some initial reservations about this daycare because it’s affiliated with a church–and we are not church people. I think I wasn’t as much nervous about a religion-heavy curriculum (which obviously wouldn’t even matter as an infant anyway) but the possibility of being looked down upon for not being members of either that church, or any church, for that matter. But, it was very nearby and the best choice at least as far as convenience is concerned, so we decided to check it out.

We both loved it. The director was helpful and knowledgeable, and the teachers seemed friendly and caring with the children. The center voluntarily adheres to better-than-state-regulation requirements (for example, they’re allowed to have ten infants per two teachers, but they choose to keep it at eight). The facilities were new (the center just opened in August) and tidy and seemed to offer a lot, including a decent-sized gym for playtime when the weather is poor and going outside to the playground is not possible. There seemed to be children from a wide range of ethnicities there, which I think is great for kids who are learning to be social with others their age. They’re also planning to implement an afterschool program soon, which would come in handy when that time comes. Although the center is located at the church and it is owned by the church, there’s very little actual association with the church, and religion and prayer are not incorporated into the curriculum. They keep their doors locked at all times and someone from the staff has to let parents/visitors inside the building. And, one of my favorite parts is that in addition to an open-door policy where you can visit anytime, they have webcams in all of the classrooms, and parents get a username and password that allows them to access the webcams from any computer, so you could check in on your child from work if you wanted. I can’t tell you how much I love that.

The catch, of course, is that there’s a waiting list and there’s really no way they can tell us if we’ll get in by early May when we need it since it depends on so many things. They’re about to start cleaning the list to get rid of people who put their names on multiple lists but never called back to say they didn’t need a spot, but that may or may not help us significantly…it’s just hard to tell. But between the convenient location and our positive visit to the center, it’s definitely our first choice, and we added our names to the list. We were told to call back in mid- to late January to check on our status on the list, though they still might not know if there will be room.

More waiting.

While looking for back-up options, I accidentally stumbled upon something else that may or may not work out. I did a search on our local jobs site, intending to check the availablility of in-home providers as a possible option, when I ran across a job listing for a daycare that’s due to open in January and is in the process of hiring its staff right now. The big disadvantage there is that there’s no track record for the facility because it’s new, but it’s possible that others don’t know about it yet (they haven’t advertised about accepting children yet, just for staff positions) and there might not be a waiting list (yet). And the good thing about this one is that it’s about a mile from my office (so, about three miles from home). It’s definitely something we’re going to look into, though I think the first daycare is still our first choice, at least for right now.

What we may end up needing to do is find a daycare that can get us in when we need it, and stay on the list at Daycare #1 until they have an opening, then switch to that one. It may mean driving out of our way (pretty significantly) for a while until a spot opens up, but it doesn’t seem quite as bad if we know it’s temporary.

Are you really sure I can’t just let The Dog and The Baby share a crate while we’re at work??


One year ago

Thursday, November 9, 2006

***Note: If you potentially get squeamish with TMI details, it’s probably better to skip this post.***

On this one-year anniversary of my miscarriage, I want to chronicle the events of that week last year because even though it was a time that caused great pain, I don’t want to forget what happened. It has helped shape the person I am today, and I cannot deny that.

I had my first prenatal appointment on Monday, November 7 at exactly 8 weeks. I was weighed and had my blood pressure taken, met with the doctor, had a pap test and pelvic exam, gave urine and blood samples, and was sent on my way. I was warned that I might have some spotting from the pap because the cervix can be sensitive during pregnancy. So, when I woke up on the morning of Tuesday, November 8 with some spotting, I wasn’t too concerned at first since I thought it was the spotting that the doctor has warned me about. I didn’t feel the need to call the doctor quite yet.

The spotting continued throughout that Tuesday, though it was pretty light…light enough for just a pantyliner. It got a little heavier as the day went on, but still nothing that I was overly alarmed about–not even close to what a period would have been like. I decided if it wasn’t better by Wednesday, I would call the doctor. I knew there was nothing they could do if it was a miscarriage, so I didn’t feel the urgency to call immediately. (Incidentally, I’m glad I didn’t call on that Tuesday. I likely would have been brought in for an ultrasound, where we would have seen that the baby had died, and I would have been faced with the decision of having a D&C or letting it happen naturally. I had no idea it would happen the next day–it can often take weeks to pass–so I’m glad I didn’t have to make that decision.)

Things started getting a little worse on Tuesday night. Though the bleeding still wasn’t what I would consider heavy (it never was the entire time, which is unusual from stories I’ve read), I started getting light period-like cramps in my lower back around 9 p.m. and also had a mild fever (around 100 degrees, I think) for a couple of hours. The cramps weren’t strong, but I knew something was up then. I went to bed around 11 p.m. and ended up going out around midnight to the local gas station to get some pads–I only had tampons and pantyliners–in case it got much worse overnight. I switched to pads, though I still didn’t have that much bleeding.

After one of my least restful nights full of worst-case and best-case scenario dreams, I got up at 7 a.m. to get ready. I already planned to call the doctor’s office when they opened that morning because I knew from checking overnight that the bleeding still hadn’t stopped. However, when I used the bathroom before taking my shower, I wiped…and I passed the tissue sac. I knew what this meant, of course, but I still, somehow, held out hope. I put it in a small plastic bag, took my shower, called sick into work, then waited impatiently until my doctor’s office opened at 10 a.m.

Finally talking to the nurses was when I cried hard for the first time. I knew what was happening, but somehow saying it out loud made it all the more real. I had to repeat myself several times because they couldn’t understand me through my sobbing. They told me to come in immediately and they would fit me in. The Husband asked if I wanted him to come with me, I said yes, and he also called into work, then we headed to the doctor’s office. Before we left, I had to find something to put the bag with the sac into to take with us…but nothing seemed appropriate. Something you could see through? Definitely tacky. A cheery birthday gift bag? Just doesn’t cut it. The closest we found was a plain brown paper gift bag (that I felt I needed to cut the handles off of and tape shut).

There was a lot of waiting involved since they had to fit us in, and of course every blissfully pregnant woman was within a 20-foot radius of me. The nurse took us back, and I had to tell her what happened, and I started crying then, too. We were taken to the exam room, and the doctor finally came in (and of course with a student observer, at one of my lowest moments). He asked me to tell him what happened, from the beginning, and he listened quietly as I recounted the events of the past 24 hours. He told me that he’d heard people with my story who did miscarry, but he’d also heard people with my story that went on to have a healthy baby. He sent me for an ultrasound to see what we were facing. The logical part of me knew that the jig was up, but the hopeful part of me was thinking maybe it was originally twins, and I’d just lost one of the twins. But realistically, passing the sac had really been the indication that this did not look good.

After more waiting to be called back for the ultrasound, we were taken back and I changed clothes and sat on the table. There was a monitor right above the table, presumably for all the people with more fortunate pregnancies than mine. I’ve always had trouble seeing what I should be seeing on ultrasound images–they’re like those awful Magic Eye things that I could never, ever see–yet I knew exactly what I was looking at on the screen: nothing. No sac, no baby, no heartbeat–just an empty uterus where a baby once was. The tech wasn’t allowed to say anything, but she didn’t have to. I already knew.

I had to wait for the report and images to be printed to take back to my doctor. Other people there that day got the photos of their healthy babies, but there was a different plan for me that day. We were given the report and looked at it before going back to the doctor’s office. Right at the top, in all capital letters: NO FETUS FOUND. Even though I knew it to be true, it made my heart sink. We returned to the office, waited yet again, then waited in an exam room for the doctor to come back and go over the report with us.

He told me what I knew to be true, that nothing was there and it looked like I had miscarried. He assured us that this would not be likely to affect our chances of conceiving the next time, and told us to wait at least two cycles before trying again. He ordered blood work to be done until my hCG levels returned to zero (which took 12 days after I miscarried), which I had before we left the hospital, then sent us on our way.

I remember driving through the local university campus on our way back home. The students were between classes, so all the youngsters were shuffling to and from the classroom buildings in order to make it to class on time. I couldn’t help but think how significant they all probably thought their life problems were–yet how truly insignificant their issues felt to me at the time. I had just lost my first child. Getting a C on a test? Doesn’t so much matter in comparison. If only they knew how cruel life could really be.

We stopped first at a discount store so I could get more pads. I still never had that much bleeding, but I needed to be prepared just in case, and in any case, I wasn’t allowed to wear tampons for fear of infection. Then we stopped at my work (which was on the way home) because I felt like I needed to talk to my supervisor in person–in a way, I needed her to see how distraught I was so she wouldn’t question why I needed to take the rest of the week off. I know she wouldn’t have questioned it even if I’d just called, but it was what I needed to do at the time. She sent me home and told me not to worry about a thing. And I really didn’t think about work again until I returned that Sunday.

We went home to the eerily quiet house, and I had to make the phone call I was dreading, to tell my mom what had happened. We hadn’t told many people that I was pregnant, just my immediate family and a few of my closest friends. So, there weren’t many people to “untell,” but I dreaded it all the same. I called and told her, “I can’t really talk about it right now, but I called to tell you that I had a miscarriage this morning.” Naturally and understandably, she started asking questions, but I wasn’t up for talking about it without crying, so I told her what I could but couldn’t go into great depth. I left it to her to spread the word to the rest of my family.

I had to tell my friends next, but again couldn’t get up the strength to say it out loud, so I chickened out by sending a very brief e-mail with the news. My best friend L called as soon as she got the e-mail, and I could hear she was crying for me before I even said hello. She insisted on coming over that night with dinner for us and to make herself available for whatever we needed. I don’t remember much about that afternoon other than laying around, alternately crying and pouting. By the time L came over with a casserole, salad, and brownies, I was a little more composed, though definitely still distraught. We talked about what had happened, giving the not-so-great recap, and I was able to get through it without crying. After that, we talked about her recent trip abroad and looked at her pictures; it was nice to have a distraction like that to end such a crappy day.

I don’t remember much about Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. I think I was in a general fog. Each day, for the most part, got a little easier, but it was still a tough time. I returned to work on Sunday, which was both the most difficult thing and the best thing for me at the same time. I was glad I had a few days to retreat within myself, but getting back to the routines of the real world reminded me that life doesn’t stop just because my baby’s life did.

I don’t remember a specific time when I suddenly felt better; I guess it happened gradually. Getting my period for the first time helped, since that was an indication to me that my body was getting back on track and geared up to try again. That second period helped, as well, since that was when we could try again. Again, it felt like life was finally getting back on track. Getting my long-awaited golden retriever puppy in December certainly helped, as well. And obviously it doesn’t hurt that I’m just over 27 weeks now with what seems to be a healthy pregnancy so far. I won’t lie; that helps cushion the blow significantly.

I don’t think about the miscarriage and the baby I lost every day now, but it does enter my mind at various times, sometimes catching me off-guard because it sneaks up on me when I least expect it. I think there’s a part of me that will always wonder, to a degree, what could have been. But then there’s the part of me that knows I have to keep plodding along, pushing forward. It’s the only thing I can do. It’s helped shape who I am, and I cannot change that–nor do I want to.


Denied

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Well, I found out today that my request for getting an extra two weeks paid (as was the case under the old maternity policy) was denied. They’ll give me the six weeks paid under the new general disability policy and the rest I have to cover with accrued vacation and sick time, which I’ve been saving for a long time now (but it’ll pretty much completely wipe me out of that time). I didn’t honestly expect them to revert back to the old policy for me, but it’s still a little disappointing nonetheless–especially knowing that I would have been covered by the more generous policy if my first pregnancy had worked out. I shouldn’t complain, though, because I know a lot of people don’t even get six weeks paid, so I do feel fortunate that I’ll have that much.


Space invader!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

I had my first unsolicited belly grab last night when I went to get my hair cut. My hair stylist couldn’t believe that I didn’t have much of a belly when I told her I was 27 weeks, so she tried to feel for one herself. Needless to say, she was unsuccessful and said I was right.


Hope for the finances at 27 weeks

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

First, the delay in writing the past couple days is because Sunday and Monday were my two busiest days of the year at work, and I didn’t have time to even think about making a post, let alone do it. Things should calm down between now and the rest of the year.

Anyway, to my updates. This past Friday, I was called into the office of our company’s editor/president. He’s a nice man but is very quiet and our jobs don’t intersect all that much, so I think my longest conversation with him in 5+ years was the interview I had before I started. I didn’t think it was about anything bad, but you never know! It turns out it was about what I expected it to be about. Whew.

Some background: Our company previously had a specific maternity policy that allowed for 6 weeks paid for a regular birth and 8 weeks paid for a birth “with complications.” Usually that means c-section, but I know that it’s not necessarily limited to that. I found out I was pregnant at the end of May, but our company’s policy changed on July 1 to get rid of a specific maternity policy and that instead would fall under 6 weeks paid for short-term sick disability (I can’t remember the official name, but something like that) with no additional paid time for “complications” (well, not beyond whatever vacation and time time you choose to use, which we have to use before we can take unpaid time). When I talked to our HR person about my pregnancy, I mentioned this change in policy to her. She had said that if it looked like I would find myself in a situation where I would have gotten the additional two weeks under the old policy to let her know and she’d talk to our company’s owner and see what she could work out. Once I had my pregnancy-related gallstone attacks, I had planned to see about getting the additional two weeks paid.

Well, our HR person put in her two weeks’ notice last month, and I had no record of having had this conversation with her. Before she left, I asked her to look into it so I could get something in writing, and she asked for my permission to pass along the situation to our company’s editor/president so he could take over what she would have done about it. Honestly, I kind of didn’t expect it to go any further than that, and I probably wouldn’t have pressed it if it had stalled. I understand that the company has a right to change its policies and make them effective whenever, but I just figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.

So, on Friday afternoon, I was called into the editor/president’s office, and he was asking me questions about what was going on. I told him the basics of the gallstone attacks and that they want it to come out soon after birth–all the stuff I’ve mentioned here a few times now. I again stressed to him that I understood the company’s right to change policies as they wish, but since the policy changed while I was pregnant, I had wanted to ask about it. He said he’s passed it along to our corporate office’s HR department for them to look into the legalities of it both in their state and ours and see if they could come up with something that would help, maybe an extended disability policy (just extended more than our current one). If they come back and tell me there’s nothing they can do, that’s fine; I’ve got vacation and sick time that will cover my time off, but I’d rather not use it unless I have to. But at least I know I’ve given it a shot by asking. I really had nothing to lose. He also took the time to ask me, not in any official capacity but just as general conversation, how things were going with the pregnancy, if I’d been feeling well, etc. It was the longest non-work conversation I’ve had with the man ever! (And funny to note…I find that it’s more likely to be men than women who ask how I’m doing. I’m sure there are a number of reasons behind that.)

In other news:

*It looks like The Husband may have a job very soon. He received an offer yesterday from his #2 choice, and he’s hoping to hear from his #1 choice this week. The #2 choice still has a lot of advantages and is a good job, so even if #1 doesn’t pan out, there should be an additional paycheck returning to the household soon. Baby B can have diapers! Hooray!

*I was again told that I still don’t look pregnant (by that infamous tell-it-like-it-is co-worker). The conversation went as follows:

Co-worker: “You still don’t look pregnant.”

Me: (intentional pause) “Thank you?”

Co-worker: “Well, you don’t.”

Me: (laughing) “I know what you mean. I’m almost 7 months, though.”

I raised my shirt up a little (since no one else was around) so she could see I really didn’t have much to show.

Co-worker: “Yeah, it looks like you’ve had a few too many doughnuts is all.”

In a way, it’s good to hear stuff like that, just because it confirms my own thoughts that I don’t really look like I’m as pregnant as I am…that my self-image isn’t way off from what other people are seeing, you know?

Weight loss/gain:
3w5d starting weight
5w (-1.2 pounds)
6w (-3 pounds, -4.2 pounds total)
7w (-2.4 pounds, -6.6 pounds total)
8w (-1 pound, -7.6 pounds total)
9w (-2 pounds, -9.6 pounds total)
10w (-2.6 pounds, -12.2 pounds total)
11w (+1 pound, -11.2 pounds total)
12w (+3.6 pounds, -7.6 pounds total)
13w (+1.0 pound, -6.6 pounds total)
14w (+1.2 pounds, -5.4 pounds total)
15w (+3.4 pounds, -2 pounds total)
16w (+2.0 pounds, no change total)
17w (+2.0 pounds, +2.0 pounds total)
18w1d (+2.0 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
19w (-1.0 pound, +3.0 pounds total)
20w (-0.4 pounds, +2.6 pounds total)
21w (+1.4 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
22w (-0.4 pounds, +3.6 pounds total)
23w (+3.4 pounds, +7.0 pounds total)
24w (+0.8 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
25w (+0.0 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
26w (+4.2 pounds, +12.0 pounds total)
27w (-1.0 pounds, +11.0 pounds total)


Drawing a blank

Friday, November 3, 2006

Amazingly, I can’t really think of much to write about today, but I didn’t want to have two days in a row without a single post. I’m still feeling pretty good, movement has become stronger and more frequent, and I’ve thankfully slept better the last couple nights. Not really much to complain about on this finally-sunny Friday. Have a good weekend!


I’m quite becoming as a zombie

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Less than an hour after I made the previous post about how crappy I felt today, I got a very genuine compliment from a co-worker (and from that tell-it-like-it-is, brutally honest co-worker, even!). She said, “You look fit, healthy, happy, and just glow-y today. Have you been feeling pretty good lately?” I laughed and told her that overall I have been feeling well, but that it was funny that she commented on this today when I didn’t get much sleep last night.

If this trend keeps up, I’ll look AWESOME as a sleep-deprived new mom! πŸ˜‰


A day late on the zombie thing

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

I don’t really know what zombies feel like on a day-to-day basis, but I suspect it’s not far off from what I’m feeling right now. A combination of issues disrupted my sleep more than normal last night, and I’m feeling the effects of it this morning. Some of the oh-so-wonderful things that conspired to keep me awake for half the night included (in no particular order):

*waking up to pee about twice an hour

*sneezing and sinus pressure from either allergies or (more likely) sinus issues

*back pain around 3 a.m. that I was terrifed was going to go into a gallstone attack (that’s how they’ve all started), but thankfully it didn’t go that far and the Tylenol kicked in to take care of it

*my mind racing, thinking of all the stuff we need to buy and do in the coming months (including Christmas) and not sure how we’re going to pay for it all

*a snoring husband (usually not too much of an annoyance unless the things listed above are already bothering me)

I say this at least once a day, but I’m going to bed extra early tonight. And this time I really mean it!