Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Baby got all dressed up for Halloween!


One last note about the doctor visit

I should have mentioned yesterday that when I made my next appointment, I was first offered the option of having my appointment with "fabulous" doctor again. I declined and requested the first doctor I was seeing. She's great, and I really like her nurse a lot. First doctor (who I am now renaming to "more fabulous than fabulous doctor") looks me in the eye and answers my questions no matter how silly they might sound. I may just see her for the rest of my visits instead of this round the world tour of doctors. Seriously, when it comes to delivering the baby, I probably will get poked and prodded on by a million strangers that day anyway and won't really care who gets the baby out as long as we get it out!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Week 14, Day 6

Well, the baby and I had our second doctor visit yesterday. I don't know how the baby feels about it, but I can describe how I felt about the whole visit in one word... Dumb.

I really should start by saying that we got an "everything's normal" verdict from the doctor. So, that's good.

And, I was looking forward to this appointment because this visit was with a doctor that I had heard was just fabulous. I really liked the doctor that I had my pre-pregnant and first pregnant appointments with, but evidently I'm supposed to "get to know" all of the doctors because I really have no clue who will deliver our baby.

Now the dumb part starts.

I arrived to my 3 PM appointment the prerequisite 10 minutes early. To set the stage, I have to tell you that there are four "greeter" windows at the doctor's office. Each window has a handwritten label like "Pregnant Pts" with an arrow pointing sort of towards the left. Another window says "OB Pts only". (Seriously, aren't those the same thing?!) I figure whomever looks at me from whichever window first wins. Pregnant women really don't need these kind of complications. Anyway, window number 1 wins today. Window number 1 informs me that I was supposed to sign some papers in the financial office. The key words there are "was supposed to" as if I had forgotten to do something. She said I could do that today though after my appointment. Dumb moment number 1.

Ok, hurdle number 1 hurdled. I retreat to the waiting room to wait my turn.

After quite a bit of wait, the "fabulous" doctor's nurse comes out to retrieve me. She is fairly pleasant, but she seems distracted and like she can't wait to be done with patients for the day. She weighs me (that's enough for a whole different rant, so I'll leave that alone for now) and then ushers me towards the bathroom with a sticky label in hand and instructions to pee in a cup. One problem though... I can't pee. I went while I was at the office because I really didn't think about having to give a urine sample. Unsuccessful, I leave the bathroom with empty Dixie cup in hand. The nurse looks disappointed (probably foreseeing that I would somehow make her day longer) and says, "You'll need to give a sample at every visit." This would get counted as "Dumb moment number 2", but it gets worse later.

The nurse asks me if I would like to have the quad test screening. When I talked with a different nurse at my pre-visit, this really didn't sound like an optional test, so here I am feeling dumb (again). I mention that we're having a sequential screening done in Tacoma, so I'm not sure that we need both sets of tests. She tells me what the quad screen screens for. It sounds identical to what the sequential screening screens for. I'm sitting there trying to figure out why I have to figure this out. We decide that I can figure this out later because I have until 19 weeks to decide. Here's what I've decided... the nurse is a moron. She never asks me how I'm feeling; however, she does manage to ask me if I've done any shopping. When I mention buying larger clothes, she says, "No, I meant shopping for the baby." Perhaps I'm being hard on her, but she's just not nearly as good as my first doctor's nurse. "Not so fabulous" nurse leaves a paper with my purse that says I'm supposed to come back in six weeks for an ultrasound. I should be excited about this, but now I'm getting annoyed and feeling dumber by the second.

She leaves. I wait. A long time. Wondering why I feel so dumb today. I really don't know what to expect with this visit, and no one really seems to want to help me out.

"Fabulous" doctor finally arrives. She mumbles something about sorry for taking so long, and I think she mumbled something like "How are you?" All of this was mumbled while facing the cabinets and looking at my chart. I decided not to feel even more dumb by answering a question that I wasn't even sure she really asked, so I just stayed quiet. She tells me to go ahead and lie on the table, mumbles something to tell me to unzip my pants, and tells me that we're going to listen for the heartbeat. She pokes on my belly a bit and then puts the freezing cold gel on there. We listen to the heartbeat a bit, and she musters up enough bedside manner to tell me that the heartbeat sounds normal. She wipes off the gel stuff and kind of closes the fabric of my pants. I guess this is where I start getting used to people adjusting things on me that I can take care of perfectly well myself.

"Fabulous" doctor turns towards the chart again and starts flipping through papers. She says something about ultrasound results. "Not so fabulous" nurse had to be told about the ultrasound, but it seems that "fabulous" doctor has a whole paper in there about the ultrasound we had in Tacoma. "Fabulous" doctor asks me if everything was normal. "Fabulous" doctor has a paper right in front of her that tells her if it was normal or not. These people are seriously starting to hurt me. I ask her (in the least smart-ass voice I can muster, I swear I was trying my best), "What does the paper say?" She says that it says the results are normal. Dumb moment number 3. (I'm giving this moment to the doctor, not myself.)

On her way out the door, "Fabulous" doctor sees the ultrasound paper sitting by my purse and says, "Oh, you won't need this since you're having the extra tests." She takes the paper that I haven't really even seen with her. Some polite goodbyes. The end.

Sort of.

I still need to pee in a cup. Attempt number 2 is also unsuccessful.

Well, I still need to visit the financial office and make my next appointment (which no one really told me when it is supposed to be).

The visit to the financial office is enlightening. Financial lady says that I'll need to prepay my OB charges by March. She says that she'll need the full amount of my $1500 deductible because we'll start a new calendar year and a new deductible. My insurance deductible is supposed to run from August 1 to July 31. She insists this is what my insurance people told her to do. She says to bring in an insurance paper on my next visit. I sign some piece of paper in hopes that I can get out of there. Dumb prevails.

AND I STILL NEED TO PEE IN A CUP. I decide to wait and try the appointment making instead.

Window number 4 has an "appointments" label. I try there first. She's on the phone for what seems like an endless amount of time and finally says "You can go to window number 2 to make an appointment." Someone is already at window number 2, so I wait some more. Someone tries to send me back to window number 4. I mention that she sent me to window number 2 in the first place. I stay at window number 2. When it is finally my turn, window number 2 asks me "How many weeks did the doctor say before your next appointment?" The doctor didn't. I just say 4. I have no clue if this is right, but I'm tired, and I want to go home. She makes the appointment, and I trek to the bathroom again, Dixie cup in hand.

You may have seen this coming, but seriously, I still can't pee. This has gone beyond dumb to plain old ridiculous. I thought pregnant women were supposed to be able to go every five minutes. Even my bladder is dumb. I crumble the dumb little Dixie cup with the dumb little label into a dumb little ball and shove it into the dumb little trash can.

I quietly exit the bathroom and head out of the office, all the while waiting for the Pee Police to catch up with me. Evidently the Pee Police are focused on closing shop for the day because no one even gives me a second glance.

I bet you can't wait for my next doctor's appointment. I can.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Week 14, Day 2

One little bump, a whole lotta trouble. I went shopping for pants last night and started at the maternity section of the department store. Big mistake. And big wide visions of things to come. I quickly retreated to the non-pregnant sections of the store to buy some big-girl pants.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Let's Do a Happy Dance!

I've been celebrating for a week now, but it's officially official today. My first trimester is OVER! Woohoooooo!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Week 13, Day 6

Twice this week I forgot I was pregnant. Sure, it was only for a second or two, but I actually felt so normal that I had to think about it for a minute afterwards.

I'm going to enjoy feeling normal now because from what I hear, the next few months are the best part. I'll take what I can get!

AND, a big thank you to my husband for not only putting up with me for the past few months, but also for the last three great years. Happy Anniversary, honey!

Monday, October 22, 2007

You'll never believe it

I actually took the vacuum out of the closet, plugged it in, turned it on, and pushed it back and forth across the rugs. I know, I can't believe it either. And I hope you're sitting down for this news because I also cleaned out the dishwasher, reloaded it, dusted the living room, and cleaned at least half of the kitchen.

The good news is that I didn't collapse from exhaustion. (Ok, I did have to rest several times, but what do you expect after two months of self-imposed bed/couch rest?)

The bad news is that while that may sound like quite a bit (well, at least for me), that still leaves about 4,500 square feet that haven't been touched yet. Oh well, there's always tomorrow. Still looking forward to that smaller house someday.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy Advanced Maternal Age to Me!

I think to celebrate the baby was turning somersaults this morning. Ok, it was probably gas, but my belly was completely lopsided and seemed to be moving around this morning. I couldn't feel it, but it sure looked funny.

Anyway, the happy news is that I've been feeling pretty decent for the last few days. Hopefully this is the magic moment that everyone kept telling me to wait for. I'm not 100%, but at least a good 87% or so. I can live with that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Disclaimer

In case anyone is concerned that I seem to be worried about all kinds of things, I can put a positive spin on the whole thing.

The fact that I can finally complain about things besides feeling crappy all the time is a good thing. I think it means my brain is finally starting to work again. (It's about time!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And on the topic of obsessing over decisions, I forgot to mention...

We have to get a new car soon too. I'd love to say this is something I look forward to, but I just don't. Sure, I love a new car just like the next person (that strange, but strangely good plasticky, leathery new car smell, comfy seats, and ohhhh, SHINY), but the whole hassle of picking one is just flabbergasting. I mean, do they have to have twelve different kinds of each model? Ok, this one is the xii model with the blah-de-blah liter engine, and this one is the xiii model with the something-or-other wheels, and THIS ONE is the xxx model with features so sexy that it's too pornographic to describe here. I suppose you get the idea.

I think I'll just say to Doug, "Honey, it needs to have four doors and be a pretty silver color. It must have a large trunk for all the crap we're going to tote around for this kid. It must have leather interior because our child is going to throw up on it and think it's fun to smash little fishie crackers into all the nooks and crannies with his/her little hands. Please just go get a car for me. Thanks. P.S. A nice stereo system and BlueTooth phone hookup thingy so I can talk hands-free would be super-cool. Thanks again."

Week 12, Day 7

Well, we didn't hear any news back from the early screening, so I'm going with what they told us, "No news is good news!"

I wish I had x-ray vision so I could see what's going on in there. In one of the ultrasound pictures it looked like the baby was flipping us off, so I think someone should be keeping an eye on this kid. More on x-ray vision later.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

To move or not to move? That is not really the question.

There's a decision we've been pondering. OK, Doug's pondering, I'm obsessing. We know that we're going to move closer to family in the midwest at some point. The real dilemma is when and where.

Uncertainties make me anxious. (You can imagine how this could make pregnancy complicated, but we won't go there right now.) In order to lessen my anxieties over the moving subject, I decided to write some of it down. (As a teenager it always seemed to help with whichever boy I was obsessing over, so perhaps it will work here.)

What I think I know:
  • Our move will be to Topeka, Indianapolis, or Columbus. Any of these locations would be a million times closer to family than we are now.
  • The moving part doesn't scare me. We've moved enough times to know that it's stressful, but it has an eventual end. Plus I know that Doug's job will take care of the packing and moving, and we can hire people for the cleaning.
  • The company I work for now is great, and I enjoy my job. However, if we move, I might work remotely. I worked remotely after we moved here from South Carolina, and I found it to be a miserable experience. It could have been miserable because of the job itself rather than the remote part, but I'm just not sure. Oh boy, now this has to move to my "what I think I don't know list".
  • Contrary to the problem most people have when they have a baby, we have TOO much space. Our house is way too big, and I look foward to finding something more manageable and a little cozier.
What I think I don't know:
  • If we will move before the baby is born (yikes) or after the baby is born. If an opportunity for Doug comes up before the baby is born, will we take it?
  • Will my current employer let me work remotely? And if they will, would working remotely from home be better this time?
  • Will I be happier? I've had a hard time settling into life here far away from my South Carolina friends.
You might be thinking, "Hey Shelly, you're really just obsessing about this too much. You really need to just be patient and see what happens." In which case, I might be thinking, "This is what goes on in my head. It is a force to be reckoned with and is beyond yours or my control. It cannot be stopped."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Week 12, Day 5

Well, the "blog silence" is due to nothing to report. I suppose I could have logged on to gripe about still being tired and how I need to just suck it up and so on, but I decided to spare everyone. In the words of my husband (not words he said recently, mind you or his head would no longer be attached to his body), "You're a tough girl. You can handle it."

5 days and counting until I officially reach "advanced maternal age". I'm so excited. {sigh}

I'm having a mini-Pepsi right now, so perhaps the day will get more exciting from here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not-Flat Stanley, Meet Marshmallow

To help with my 3-D visualization process, I went to Target at lunch and bought Marshmallow.Marshmallow is a tiny rabbit who has a crown to rump measurement of 2 inches. Just about the size of our baby, Not-Flat Stanley.

I think I need some of those 3-D glasses

Last night I told Doug that I could only imagine the baby as flat. You know, like what I saw on the ultrasound. I was getting ready to fall asleep on my tummy (thinking that I'd better do it while I still can) and seriously thought "the baby won't care... it's flat". In my defense, I was sleepy.

So today, I'm working on visualizing the baby as a real 3-D (but very tiny) human being. I'm sure it still won't mind if I sleep on my tummy while I can though.

P.S. According to Doug, this might prompt a name change to "Flat Stanley". Just thought I should warn everyone. (To further explain, Flat Stanley was a nephew's school project that was sent around in an envelope from place to place with friends and family. Flat Stanley got to go on a cruise with Uncle Doug and evidently went further than any of the other flat people.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gimme, gimme...

I saw an epidural commercial today. Well, it wasn't exactly a commercial, it was one of those baby shows on TLC. The pregnant woman was having painful contractions for about 23 hours, and when the doctor checked her she was only 2 centimeters dilated. She started begging for drugs, but her husband was completely opposed to any kind of "unnatural" birth and talked her out of having the epidural for another six hours. The final straw for her was when she was in terrible pain and found out she was only 4 centimeters dilated (with her husband continuing to try to convince her that she didn't need drugs). She finally told him to get over it and got the drugs. Things got better for her from there, but when she finally delivered a girl, I swear I saw a look in her eye that said, "Someday when you're in labor, demand the drugs, my girl..."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A different view

Since it's baby's photo day, I thought it might be time to post what baby looks like from the outside.

P.S. Doug and Mom both figured out that my chart reading skills are not exactly up to par. We're at the 50th percentile on the neucal fold chart, not the 25th. Still have no idea what the whole thing means though! Patience, grasshopper.

Week 11, Day 6 - Ultrasound Day!

I sent this out via email, but though I'd post it too...

We went for our ultrasound this morning and from our inexperienced view, everything looks ok. We saw a heartbeat right away. The baby was kind of just hanging out in there, not really moving a whole lot at first. They had me come in with a full bladder, so it didn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room.

After they got the first measurements, I got to go to the bathroom (YEA!). When we looked at the baby again, it was moving around quite a bit more. Now that we could see the relationship of the baby’s head to my bladder, I can understand why pregnant women have to go to the bathroom all the time!

The baby measures 45 mm (a little more than 1.75 inches) and the nuchal fold measurement came in at 1.2 mm. We’re not exactly sure what that means other than less thick is better, but I did find a chart online that seems to say that we’re around the 25th percentile. (Here’s the link: http://www.fetalmedicine.com/11-14scanbook/Figures/fig01-09.htm If you read it to mean something different, let me know!)

They also took a little blood. That gets sent off to a lab right away and they usually have results back in about three or four days (well, they told us 48 hours, but the nurse didn’t sound too confident in that timing). If we don’t hear anything, that’s good. Otherwise, they will call us. We gave them about a million contact numbers, so they shouldn’t have any trouble reaching us if they need to. If they do call us, that means that we fall into the “high risk” bracket. If that happens, we’ll make an appointment with the genetic counselor to talk about more tests. If we don’t hear from them, we have some more blood drawn and another ultrasound at the end of November.

So, we think everything looked good, but we’ll go into waiting mode until we don’t hear something. It seems like for something like this they should call you either way.

Enjoy the little alien’s photos! It was much cooler to see it moving around on the monitor, but at least the photos are something!

Ultrasound details:
- The one on the top left is a close-up of the head and shoulders. The nuchal fold is the dark line on the back of the neck. If you look at this one sideways, it bears a strong resemblance to E.T.
- The one on the bottom left is a sort of blurry view with the head on the right, but you can see the whole uterus (and my very full bladder – the big dark blob on the upper right)
- The one on the bottom right shows the head on the right and the funny looking “horn” sticking out of the front is its hand.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Week 11, Day 2

I wish I could say I'm turning cartwheels today, but no such luck. I did have a really great day yesterday all the way until after dinner which really didn't settle well. So, back to the bread, cheese, tomato sauce, and grease diet!

I really don't feel horrible, just tired and a bit off kilter. And this week went by very quickly, so I really don't have any complaints.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Week 11, Day 1

It's too early to tell if it's the greasy diet or the end of feeling gross, but...

I FEEL GREAT THIS MORNING!

I'm sure that comes as a welcome change to the general griping of my previous posts. I plan on continuing the greasy diet until the weekend, and then we'll taper off over the weekend. Hopefully the food obsession (or at least the continual need to report on it) will taper off too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

And...

We conclude this day of superb eating with a bean burrito plus sour cream from Taco Bell. And there's a cheese quesadilla in the refrigerator calling my name right now.

The baby had better do some extra fat burning today because all I've done since I got home is finish reading a book (the first book I've finished in a very, very long time - Water for Elephants) and read blogs (mainly Mama Daisy).

Post quesadilla, we'll round out this eventful day with 10 hours of sleep. See?! Now I can remind myself that this pregnancy thing isn't so bad after all.

Week 10, Day 7

Eat, eat, eat. My new hobby. They were out of bagels at the cafe by work that a lot of us go to for breakfast, so I asked the girl behind the counter, "What other options do you have?" She said croissants and english muffins. I had both. With butter and jelly.

Doug brought me two grilled cheese sandwiches and onion rings for lunch. I think he has learned the beauty of greasy food. Well, at least what it does for his pregnant wife.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Week 10, Day 5

The doctor appointment went really well. All the blood tests came back fine, and we heard the baby’s heartbeat. It would have been fun to hear for longer, but I imagine the doctor has other things to take care of besides holding a microphone thingy to my belly.

I haven’t gained any weight since my last visit, so the pizza diet hasn’t been too damaging so far. I’m trying to do a little better though. Emphasis on “a little”.

Even though we don’t have a bunch of risk factors working against us, we’ve decided to go ahead with some early screening tests. We’ll have an ultrasound and some more blood tests next Tuesday.

On the “how am I feeling today” front, I’d say not a whole lot better. I’m still very tired, queasy and have trouble concentrating. Yes, I know... It will pass, it will pass, it will pass.