Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week 33: My Ducky Pineapple

The average baby at 33 weeks weighs 4 or 5 pounds (the size of a pineapple, or a duck) and is about 17 inches long. Our sweet little baby girl is in the 85th percentile, so she may be a little bigger than that. When she's up against my belly button and her daddy makes me laugh (which is often) I can watch my belly button go back and forth from innie to outie like a pen cap.

I'm going on full bed rest starting on Monday, due to my increased pain and inability to walk without doubling over. I'm mostly fine at home but at the office, it's too much. Plus the weight of the baby is putting pressure on my cerclage and as my doc said, "We've invested too much time and effort into this pregnancy to stop taking care of things now."

Baby Girl, I love you very much and it makes me feel so happy to know that even if you were born today, you'd have excellent NICU care and most likely be able to come home with us in a few weeks. But please wait at least another 4 weeks or so. We'll see you soon, Ducky!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Week 29: Thumper has a face!

So I'm 29 weeks today, with 11 weeks to go!

I haven't been feeling the baby move as often or in the same place as I had up until last week so the OB decided to have me come in a week early for my 30 week ultrasound (I'm 29w today).

Power to the People!
Turns out she's breech with her little feet jammed into my crotch, kicking and wiggling her toes against my cervix and bladder, just as I'd suspected. We actually saw the little punk's toes WIGGLING against my bladder. But seeing it on the screen made me feel so much better somehow. Her head is above my belly button to the right and her back is to the left of my belly button, so her hands are moving around but not in place where I can feel them anymore. Plus she's getting bigger so has less room to jab.

Our Apple Cheeked Beauty
I was surprised at how clear the u/s pictures were of her face! She has these chubby little cheeks and in one of the pics, she appeared to be smiling!! She was breathing, and she balled up her hand into a fist, which the u/s tech said were all good signs that she wasn't in any distress at all. Colby and I were crying and sniffling.

She's measuring a week ahead, with a big head and belly, so she's gonna be a chunky monkey. She's at about 3 lbs, 7 oz now and I think the tech said the projected weight at birth would be about 9 lbs. I was only 6 lbs when I was born, but Colby's a lot taller than me, so I think she's getting my bulk and his height.

 I just hope she spins around in the next few weeks. I want a natural birth!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Week 28: In which Thumper takes up jack hammering

On Friday, 11/12, I was feeling pretty well until the early afternoon when I started feeling some extra pressure and thuds about as low as it can be. Because the baby usually was kicking semi-regularly around my belly button, this struck me as unusual.

I went home a little early and lay down on the couch. I was still feeling these tremendous spasms in my bladder and cervix and it was making me cry out a little. I went to bed but after several "dead baby" dreams I decided to call the doctor on-call at 3:00 a.m. She was asleep but called me back 1/2 hour later, saying it sounded like the baby was breech and was just kicking me really low. Because of my history, she said I should at least come in to the office to be checked out, but offered to call the ER if I wanted to come in right away. I decided to hold off a few hours because I was starting to feel some flutters in the belly button region and presumed that was her hands.

The Doc saw me at 10:30 and he said the baby was just low, and that now might be the time to start thinking about bed rest. He wrote me a letter for work, advising me to reduce my work hours if that's affordable to me, but said I could play it by ear. He recommended bed rest and bon bons for the rest of the weekend.

I watched the first 2 seasons of "Weeds" on Netflix and by Monday I was feeling better. I worked a little more than a half day at the office and the remaining couple of hours from home. Tuesday I worked a full day but have been feeling jack-hammered again this morning, so I should probably head home soon.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Week 26: Honey, oh sugar sugar!

Babygirl is 1.7 pounds, and 14" long (hot house cucumber size). She can hear and breathe a little. She's getting to the point where if she decided to show her face now, she'd had a pretty darn good chance of making it. Every day, I breathe a little easier!

Glucola: The Pukemaker
I had my 3-hour glucose tolerance test (GTT) on Monday, November 1. Three hours. Four blood draws. One bruised, hungry, nauseous mommy.

For three days I had to follow a very strict diet of way too much food (fruits, veggies, bread, meat, dairy, juice, snacks, cheese) and no sugar. Happy Halloween! Colby handed out all the treats so I wouldn't have to look at them. We went with full size candy bars... the good ones, too, not Pay Days and Baby Ruths. I did miss seeing the costumes. We had relatively few trick or treaters and most of them sounded old.

Then I fasted from 8 pm Sunday to 8:30 am Monday. The phlebotomist at Quest was amazing... so sweet, friendly, called everyone "sweetie" and remembered each time I had an hourly blood draw. First was after the fast, then I had to drink the orange flavored glucose drink. Chilled, the stuff isn't bad, especially when you're starving. Unchilled, it's like cough medicine. I made a face and the phlebotomist said, "I know, it's naaasty, isn't it? You've got 5 minutes to drink it. Let me know if you need to throw up, sweetie."

I didn't need to but it was nice to know it was an option.

First draw from my right arm, second from my left. I asked her if they move to hands for the other two and she said, "Most people just do them all in the same arm." So I thought, really? For #3 I tried my right arm again (the left had hurt a little, maybe because I'd just had last week's blood draw from there) but that was so painful, I actually said, "Ow!" in the middle of a sentence I was uttering about the weather. I told her the last one would be the back of the hand.

I got the results back the next day... NO GESTATIONAL DIABETES!! I celebrated with a fun size Snickers (our backup Halloween candy, since we usually run out... plus we started out with several fewer than we'd bought... which might be in direct correlation to the reason I failed my glucose screening....) and a McDonald's Quarter Pounder. And a fun size peanut M&Ms.

I went to Mary Kay training and made a new friend. Yay!

Last night (Tuesday) I went to Penny's Noodles in Oak Park with my friend Jennifer. I highly recommend them, especially the Beef Fried Rice. Sooooo good. And we had ice cream at Peterson's afterward until they kicked us out.

Maybe it's all the sugar I was finally allowed to eat but dang, Sarrazine has been a crazy woman inside me! Rolling back and forth, poking things out of my belly button, just non-stop. It's awesome!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 25: A Series of Unfortunate Test Results

This week, Sarra is a Rutabaga! 13" long and 1.5 lbs, approximately. She's getting more hair, and if we could see inside, she'd have her own hair's color and texture now, not just the white Fetus Hair she had before.

On Saturday, October 23, I got my glucose screening, TSH, and iron bloodwork drawn. On Monday, October 25, I got my test results back.
  • Failed the glucose screening. 3-hour glucose tolerance test scheduled for Monday, November 1.
  • Borderline anemia. Iron rich diet recommendations sent.
  • Underactive thyroid. Thyroid meds upped.
  • UTI infection. Antibiotics prescribed.
I also had a horrible cold with coughing so bad I thought I'd broken a rib, and didnt' sleep for an entire weekend. Took 2 sick days in a row (Friday and Monday), which I never do. OB prescribed cough syrup with codeine. I took it one night and slept 5 blissful hours in a row. But I felt weird taking codeine with a baby inside, so I only took it the one night. Robitussin will do.

On the up side, I did a 1/2 hour survey for Kindermusik's new website and got a $50 Mario Tricoci gift card for my time!! Yay, half a haircut!! See you in a couple months, Amelia!

Special thanks to Miss Cathy for cluing me in to Kindermusik! One day I may even sign up to be a teacher! Combining my love of Musik and Kinder!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Week 24: Our Little Footlong!

I'm kind of over the fruit analogies to the baby's size, so I'm going with a footlong reference. Mmmm... hotdogs...

Sarra apparently now has fingernails and toenails, and is basically fully proportioned. Her hearing and inner ears are developed so I'm trying to talk to her more. She's most active later at night when I'm done on the computer and just relaxing in front of the TV. I think she feels more neglected then and wants to make sure we know she's still there. Last night Colby felt two massively strong kicks and that satisfied him for the evening.

I'm starting to picture what sort of a mom I'll be... What sort of disciplinarian will I be? How temperamental and headstrong will she be? Will I be a good diaperer?

Colby and I are signed up for all the baby classes so we're looking forward to those. Hopefully his work schedule won't be affected. Our first is a Lamaze class, starting November 22. This is going to get real: real fast!

I've gained a total of 20 lbs which my doctors and nurses all say is just right for being 24 weeks. I am hoping to keep it to 1 lb a week from here on out.

This week's craving: Mexican food. I had Taco Bell Wednesday night and Chipotle Thursday (1/2 burrito for lunch and the rest for dinner). This morning Colby bought ingredients for me to make salsa, and I'll probably go to Tacos El Norte for a couple tacos.

I wonder why I have heartburn all the time lately?
 BabyFruit Ticker

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Week 23: Mango!

Today we are 23 weeks along.... only one more week until "viability"!

She is the size of a Mango (almost a foot long, and over a pound of kicky love!) and is getting to the point where she can hear voices, music, and other noises. She was very active yesterday but is taking it easy on me today.

As for me, my fingers and feet are just swell. I mean, swelling. I should have a TV installed in the bathroom because I spend so much time there. And all I want to eat lately is thick-cut french fries. They had some at work yesterday and were JUST DELIGHTFUL.

Last night I enjoyed sitting in on an Adult Non-Dancer Dance Class, taught by Debbie Goldman, and attended by a number of my theatre friends. Thumper enjoyed the music ("Razzle Dazzle" and "One") and we both enjoyed chicken tacos and S'mores at Trax afterward.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

High five!

Last night Thumper was all over the place... lower belly, belly button, side to side. Like she thought she was on a hamster wheel or something.

I called Colby in to the computer room where I was sitting and lifted my shirt for him to put his hand on my belly. After a moment or two, he felt three solid kicks on the left side of my abdomen. Very sweet!

After he went to bed, I kept my hand on my belly, pressing and prodding every once in a while, just having a little game with Sarra. I rubbed my hand over my belly button and right at the top of the belly button, I felt a little tiny bump sticking out. I couldn't see what it was shaped like, but I was feeling thudding in the lower part of my belly so I can only imagine it was a tiny hand.

I gently pressed on it and it retreated, only to return seconds later. I pressed gently again, and it went back.

Up high, little one! Way to go!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Week 22: Oh, My Papaya!

Baby Girl is the size of a papya this week. Mmmm.... delicious papaya!

She weighs about a pound of feisty activity and according to one site, she's as long as a bag of Oreos (I think I'll have 3) and as heavy as a large bag of tortilla chips. Which sounds like dinner to me.

She has long, strong legs and big ol' feet that I can feel poking out every once in a while. I had a dream weeks and weeks ago that I was playing the Poking Game with my baby, where she would poke her foot out my belly and I'd push it back inside. Now we're playing it, for real!

Our little Thumper is loving music a lot, I can tell. We were watching "Glee" on Tuesday night. The big Britney Spears episode. And she was kicking up a storm during every musical number. The first one, I put my hand on my bare belly and felt her from the outside! I'd felt her from the outside last week for the first time, but this time, Colby was sitting next to me. I grabbed his hand and put it on my belly. We sat there silently for a few seconds and I felt a good thump. I said quietly, "Did you feel that?" and he said, with surprise and stunned delight, "I did!" and we both giggled.

Monday night and Wednesday night this week I rehearsed for the Big Deal Cabaret benefit I'm singing in next Monday night, and she was dancing along with the music then too.

She also especially loves to play bouncy castle on my bladder, as well as whatever side I happen to be (trying to) sleep on at night.

I've gotten to 22 weeks, which is a few days longer than I got with Esther Virginia, and my last check-up revealed that the cerclage is holding just fine. I go in every 2 weeks to get that checked, but I'm taking great care of myself and Sarrazine, so I feel very confident and happy and excited and optimistic!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 21: Our Little Acrobat

I was scheduled for my "big" ultrasound (20 week gender and anatomy scan) for today, but due to my suspected problem a couple weeks ago, and my Level 2 ultrasound that happened to be scheduled for the following week, I really wasn't "entitled" to this ultrasound. But because this is the one where they tell you to bring a DVD in to record video, the techician gave me a "freebie"! WE LOVE HER!

All the measurements are exactly average (57% actually, so just slightly above average in terms of size) and once again, Sarrazine was an active little girl. I had only had about 1/3 a cup of McDonald's orange juice along with my Egg McMuffin, but honestly, she doesn't need much sugar to get her going.

I'm going to try to include the video below... at about 3:09 she appears to be sucking her thumb, or at least resting her hand on her face. At 6:00 the scan settles in to see a "baby," not just body parts and organs. And at about 7:00, she starts to TURN A SOMERSAULT. She ends up facing downward and puts her arm in in a "Rosie the Riveter" pose. At 8:00 she moons us, and then proceeds to try to kick her way out.

Oh, she's a cutie!

Last night I made beef stew in the new crock pot. Colby said it was too much and maybe he should be put in charge of future meals. It gave me new respect and sympathy for my mom, trying to cook for us ungrateful kids all those years. But he ate 3 helpings between then and today and I had 2. It's good stuff and will keep for a while in the freezer. When we're ready for red meat again, I'm going to make noodles with it. It was SO GOOD.

I also made apple crisp tonight. So I am determined to become a domestic goddess mama.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 19: Thumbs up from doctor (and Baby!)

Wasn't feeling quite "right" on Thursday, so called the nurse. She and the doc in the office were concerned enough to call me in immediately to check me out. When another nurse took my weight, she said, "So, we think your water broke?"
Um. Do we?

Doc took a sample to check for amniotic fluid, and came back in moments later to gave me the Thumbs Up (also some cold water and a cup of M&Ms!) and let me cry it out in the exam room until the ultrasound room was ready. :)

Everything's A-OK, Mom!
I was called in for my ultrasound, so... bonus pictures! My fluid level was perfect, baby looked perfect, and the tech (Kathy) confirmed 100% she's a girl. So our little baby is named Sarrazine Michelle!

She was VERY active (maybe from the M&Ms), waving her arms in the air and kicking and stretching her long legs like crazy. Got some good pics, but my favorite was the last one the tech took.... Sarra was giving me the THUMBS UP! :)

The tech said, "OK. Now that makes me cry."
At least right now, Sarra has slightly longer legs than average
(and a slightly larger noggin. I said, "That's to fit in all her brains!")
According to, at 19 weeks, Sarra is the size of a large heirloom tomato. The ultrasound revealed she is on target for 19 weeks, maybe a little over (she's got long legs and a slightly large head.... oh, joy.)
But she's starting to be able to hear, so I've been singing more to her. However, I think she's going to think that Carolyn McCormick is her mommy, because I've been listening to "The Hunger Games" trilogy on CD for the past few weeks, non-stop.

Our little drama queen is giving the "Woe is me!" arm across her forehead.
I'll be singing more often now that I'm going to perform in two cabarets this fall... one in Buffalo Grove (Monday, October 4), and one in Deerfield (at Kevin's Place Diner, Friday & Saturday, October 29 & 30).

That's right. I just plugged my gigs on my baby blog.
A Profile in Baby

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Baby Name Dilemma

If we have a girl, we want to name her after my late mother. Colby suggested we use her last name.... Sarrazine (the "e" is silent) and call her "Sarra". The spelling would be tricky, but it would at least differentiate her from other Sarah/Saras. Her official name would be Sarrazine (although I would be concerned she'd be called "Magazine" by the other kids).

I've always been slightly annoyed by weird spellings of names, because it just adds needless complications to a child's life. I still remember being TRAUMATIZED in 3rd grade when a teacher mispronounced my last name, and I was too polite to correct her, so she and a new kid in class called me by the "wrong" name for several weeks until I broke down in tears and told my mom, "I did a terrible thing!" She thought I'd murdered someone, or at least stolen their milk money.

Or we could just call her Sarah and be done with it. I've always liked the name, and it means "princess."


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Week 18: Our little sweet potato

Baby is getting bigger and I am feeling more movement. I can't be 100% sure it's all Baby, but I think it is. I am going in for a Level 2 ultrasound and high-risk consult in a couple weeks on the recommendation of one of the doctors in my office, due to my age and high risk for Down Syndrome. Hopefully all will measure out OK. Looking forward to seeing my active little Sweet Potato again soon!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Week 17: Don't Turnip your nose at me, Baby!

Annnnnd, we've got Turnip!

Baby is weighing about 5 ounces,  cartilage is turning to bone and sweat glands are developing. God knows, my sweat glands have developed. Poor Colby freezes every night because I need it 70 degrees to sleep.

I also self-diagnosed my.. self today with Restless Leg Syndrome. I always thought RLS was a pharmaceutical scam, but I've read that it's common in pregnancy. I don't get tingling or burning legs, per se, but if I sit or lie too long, I get super antsy and have to shake it off, literally. Someone on said bananas help, and coincidentally enough, I'd had a banana last night before bed... and slept for 4-5 hours AT A TIME. A new pregnancy record for me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kicklines in my belly make me happy

Totally forgot to post about my 16 week ultrasound on Saturday (8/21)!

So, first I had to drink the glucola drink to get my early glucose screening. Sort of tasty, but then, I was really thirsty after fasting for an hour. I got to the lab 50 minutes after drinking it, knowing I had an hour (exactly) to get the blood draw. I won't go into it all, but this particular lab needs to be mystery shopped the hell out of, because their customer service was a-trooooo-ciouuuuuus. 15 minutes of me yelling and crying and sweating later (not to mention walking over to the doc's office across the hall, twice) they finally got my lab orders and sent me in. THEN the lady has the gall to snap, "You haff a ten-minute window. So you haff nothink to worry about." Let's try that once again with tact, shall we? At least she was a really good phlebotomist (even though she yelled at me for haffing bad veins). Very gentle and no pain or bruising. So THAT will also go in the report I send to Management. Gotta be fair!

Seeing the baby on the ultrasound screen made up for it completely. All that sugar water made Baby Avocado daaaaance! Kicking and bouncing up a storm. I could feel the kicks while I watched them. Colby was with me and got to see the baby and hear the heartbeat for the first time. It was a bit overwhelming for us both.

Had a hard time getting Avo to show us the "goods" but Kathy the U/S Technician said she's 80-90% sure it's a ..... _______(???)

Baby Avocado did a little shuffle-off-to-Buffalo dance step across my belly button last night and then proceeded to try to kick a hole out of my right side. :) Too small to feel it on the outside yet, though. So cute!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Week 16: Holy Moly, Avocado Baby!

So it's week 16 (actually, tomorrow is) and my baby is an Avocado! 4.5 inches and 3.5 ounces. Its eyes are almost in place and it's growing toenails!

Apparently it's going to double in weight over the next few weeks. Every time I whine or complain about how I feel, Colby always holds me gently and whispers in my ear, "It's gonna get so much worse."

I'm starting to think about registering for baby items, but it's so overwhelming. I saw a convertible crib that can change to a toddler bed and a full size bed, but the reviews online are mixed.

Our 2nd bedroom is too furniture-filled now, but we talked about putting Baby in the dining room at first, so we can be within eyesight in our bed. Also, because AVOCADOS ARE DELICIOUS!

I bought a Boppy full body pillow last night. It's weirdly shaped like a gigantic embryo. It wasn't as nestle-y cozy as I'd hoped, but  I will say, I got the best night of sleep I've had since I've been pregnant! so I say it was $60 well spent. Hopefully that wasn't just a coincidence.

Colby and I need a get-away really badly. Now that I'm feeling better and it's still summer-ish, hopefully we'll be able to do that while it's Still Just Us.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Onesie Giveaway!

Onesie Giveaway! My friend Kate designs the cutest onesies you've ever seen. And you can enter to win this one here!

Visit Baby Steps
Baby Steps Blog is giving away a MoMoPics hand-stenciled onesie!
Click to Enter.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baby Dream

I'd been annoyed that I hadn't had any dreams about Baby yet, or its gender or anything. But this morning I had the cutest dream (albeit a little bit "on the nose"). I was looking at myself in a full length mirror, naked, and I looked AMAZING. Skinny legs, perky breasts, and the tiniest hint of a baby bump. You know, the exact opposite of how I actually look.

I saw this little protrusion in my bump and upon closer inspection, it was a perfect little one-inch foot (much larger than a 15w foot would be) sticking out. I poked back and it flipped and then I saw its face, looking at me like through a fishbowl. Its face was perfect, like a 6 month old child's face, eyes open, looking at me, smiling, full head of hair, dimples, beautiful. I fumbled for my camera and took some shots. The flash made Baby flinch, and I said I was sorry.

I said, "Hi, Baby! It's Mommy!" and the baby said, "Hi, Mommy!" I asked if it was a boy or a girl. He looked down and then said, "I'm a boy!" We played the poke-and-flip game for a while and then I said, "This is hurting me a little. Can we watch TV for a while?" He said, "OK. What's on?" I said it was a Mel Gibson action movie, and he said, "That sounds GREAT!" He talked just like his daddy, but with a little child voice. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Aliens vs. Exorcists vs. Ginormous Tatas

So I don't have a full length mirror in my home in a location where I generally see myself unclothed. It's in the kitchen, which is one piece of evidence that we may be rednecks. The only mirror I regularly look into only shows me from the cleavage up. If I stand on tip-toe I can see how my breasts are transmogrifying into something horrible and frightening. I don't do that very often.

But today I went to Motherhood Maternity in the mall to return some bras I'd bought the other day that fit when I was standing up in the dressing room, but not so much when I sat down.

I returned the bras for store credit, went to eat some lunch, and came back to try on jeans, which were on sale, Buy 1, Get 1 Half Price (plus the Illinois State Tax Holiday is going on until Sunday).

I miraculously found 2 pair of jeans that fit and that I liked. The pair I was wearing was an ill-advised Ebay purchase, a size too big, and they have been literally falling off me all day. I looked like a rapper with an unattractive blouse.

The sales lady also tried to find me some bras. She measured me and I told her the bras I'd just returned were 3 sizes LARGER than I was measuring and that when I stand up with my arms straight up, the bras fit me GREAT. But not so much when I sit down. Not believing me, for some reason, she handed me 3 bras in the size I measured. Um. What did I just say, lady? I handed them back to her over the door. "This one is 3 sizes smaller than the one I just returned. This one is 3 sizes smaller than the one I just returned. This one is 3 sizes smaller than the one I actually liked, even though it just fit on the last hooks." I asked her to find the one I had been about to try on when she decided to measure me.

I stood there, naked from the waist up, and decided, I haven't seen a horror movie in a while. Let's see what we look like in the full length mirror.

Well. I won't even describe what I saw, but suffice it to say, I would rather see all the "Saw" movies back to back for 3 days in a row.

Stretch marks? Really? Bright red claw marks down the sides of my stomach? Is something trying to get in, or get out? I've only gained FOUR POUNDS, people. Why the face??

I finally put my shirt back on and went back to help the sales lady find my bra. She was standing in the middle of the store, YAWNING AND STRETCHING. Huh. She said, "Did those work out?" (I was carrying out one of the first ones she'd handed me that I'd told her didn't work out).

Anyway, long story short, I bought 2 pairs of jeans and left. The other sales lady referred me to Betty Schwartz's, so I'll go there when I have gathered my getting-my-boobs-measured-by-trained-professionals strength (plus saved up some money, 'cause damn, its costs some MONEY to find a bra that actually makes you not want to rip your boobs off).

Also?  Two hours after a hearty lunch, and I'm starving. Is this the beginning of the end for me?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Week 15: Apples & Oranges

According to, Baby is now the size of an orange. According to BabyCenter it's an apple.

Either way, I'm hungry for fruit!

Not much else to report.... just trying not to gain more than a pound a week. I haven't been able to exercise, per doctor's orders, but I want to call and see if I am allowed to do anything at all, besides walking (and how much walking is allowed).

Last night I slept 4 hours in a row!! Been a while since I could say that.

Not feeling any movement yet. I might have to much pudge in my baby bump to feel anything for a while.

I am attending a friend's wife's baby shower this Saturday and Colby and I are going to "Shrek" the musical downtown on Sunday. We usually take the train and walk to the theatre, but I think this time I might insist we drive.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Week 14: Easy peezy, lemon baby!

So at 14 weeks (as of Thursday), my baby is apparently grimacing, stretching, and peeing inside me. It's 3.5 inches long, about the size of a lemon. A squinting, grimacing, peeing lemon.

This morning (Saturday) I woke up and was feeling my gigantic bump and above my belly button I felt a little hard lump. It's not there now, so I can only imagine it was the little one pushing its little foot out at me.


I thought at 14 weeks, it should still be below my belly button... that's where they find the heartbeat on the Doppler... but now I don't know. I'm carrying an awful lot of Bump in the upper part of the belly, and it's definitely hard. Very mysterious things going on in there.

The good news is I've only gained 3 pounds in my first trimester. If I can keep it to one pound a week, I'll be super pleased.

Colby is cleaning the bathroom now, as we have prospective buyers looking at the house this evening. The house is cleaner than it's been since I moved back in this spring. Great motivator!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week 13: Cerclage: A Love Story

So yesterday, July 27, was my cervical cerclage. In this procedure, my OB places a purse-string type stitch around the opening of my cervix, to keep the baby from falling out, like my first child did 10 years ago. I'd done too much reading on the subject and of all the Internet articles and posts about this baby-saving procedure, I happened to find the two articles that mention its "effectiveness has recently been called strongly into question," and that it can stimulate miscarriage. So Colby and I have been tense for the past few days.

Colby took me in at 6:15, and I got prepped for my 7:30 surgery. The nurse, who turned out to be my favorite, put in my IV and told me they'd be back to bring the medicine. I asked what medicine, and she said, "The stuff to put you to sleep." Oh dear. I told her I was just getting an epidural, and that I shouldn't be getting any medicine or going to sleep. However, part of me was really excited with the prospect of being asleep for this. Unfortunately, she was mistaken, and I didn't get anything, not even to take the edge off.

She and another nurse tried to Doppler my baby's heartbeat but couldn't quite find it. I told them the doctor had told me it would be hard to find, and because they don't do them every day, they told me they have a hard time with it, anyway.

The anesthesiologist, who will be played by Lucy Liu, came in to explain the epidural to me, and the 1-2% chance I could have of getting a "very severe headache" from it. She was very serious and straightforward and when she said, Colby said, "Comforting."

Because this procedure is done with an epidural and totally awake on my part, I was actually walked into the operating room. The only time you should have to see all that equipment is if you are visiting the set of a hospital drama. Very disconcerting.

Dr. Ong (?) the anesthiologist whose name I think I heard somewhat correctly, had me sit on the edge of the table and hug a pillow with Nurse Cara standing in front of me for support. I was asked to curve my back into a C-shape or like a cat's back, so the vertebrae would separate for the needle to get in there.


Even in physical warmups onstage, I can't do that curve the back thing where the vertebrae unstack. So despite all my very best and most strenuous efforts, I couldn't do it. My neck and shoulders became extraordinarily tense and sore, I broke into a sweat, and I think I might have cried a little. The doctor would stick me and I'd feel weird sensations of achiness down the left side of my back and thigh. I'd gasp or moan and she'd say, sharply, "What is it? Talk to me. What are you feeling?" Freaked me the freak out.

Dr. Dominicis, my OB, was in the room watching this for a while, and I felt bad because my stupid vertebrae were holding things up.

I sang "Solla Sollew" from "Seussical the Musical" in my head all the while, trying to find my Happy Place. Nurse Cara rubbed my shoulders and whispered encouraging things to me. Finally I felt a very bizarre fireburst of white tingly elecricity spread across my left kneecap, and I gasped loudly. She asked me what it was, and I said, "My left knee just exploded!" Then I said, "Oh, my feet are going numb. Both of them. That's a good thing, right?"

She sat me there for a while so the anesthesia would gravitate downward to just my waist down. She said that with Cesarians, they lay you down immediately so your chest is numb, too.

I was so relieved, and the rest of the procedure was smooth. They strapped me into some weird stirrups, strapped my hands down outstretched (a little uncomfortable with an IV in one) and went to work cleaning me off. I could see my own legs splayed out above me in the reflection of the white lighting fixture on the ceiling, but once they covered me up, I couldn't see it anymore.

I closed my eyes and continued to sing "Solla Sollew" in my head. Occasionally I'd feel a weird tug or vibration as the stitch went in and out and I'd make a face, anticipating pain. Dr. Ong asked if I was OK, and I explained I just make faces. She chuckled and said, "Just let me know if you feel pain." I said, "Oh, trust me, I will."

The procedure was over before I knew it, with no miscarriage. Dr. Dominicis asked if there was a Doppler in the OR, because the nurses have a hard time finding the heartbeat in Recovery. The nurse said she could go get it, but I think he said not to worry about it. He had places to go, I'm sure, but I was a litle disappointed.

The nurses stuck a pad between my legs for any residual blood.The doctor asked if I had any questions and I asked how many days is normal for bleeding. He said, "At least 3 days is normal." I had a couple similar questions and after he left, Dr. Ong said, "I think you were asking, 'at what point should I become scared?' I don't think he got that." I loved that she showed such understanding.

The nurses had to lift me onto the gurnee to take me to Recovery because I had zero feeling or mobility in my lower half. I hope I will one day get to play a paralysis victim, because I know how it feels now. I have new understanding and sympathy.

I spent about an hour or more in Phase 1 Recovery, listening to a variety of people wake up in confused disorientation from their surgeries (lucky bitches). One girl, Jenna, was saying she had a Spanish final the next day, and didn't understand why she was so weepy. The nurses said, "The medication does that," but i wanted to lean over past the curtain, take her hand and say, "Sweetie, you're feeling disoriented, small, vulnerable, scared, relieved, and you want your mommy. And so am I."

Eventually I was able to move my knees a bit and lift my hips off the table, so they moved me to Phase 2 Recovery, where I got ginger ale (but no snack) and they brought Colby in.

Colby read me the letters he's written to Baby, and he made me cry. He's going to be a wonderful daddy.

Eventually I had to pee, but didn't think I'd be able to due to the numbness down below. But the nurses said we could try. They wheeled my recliner to the restroom and helped me stand and use a walker. I was very shaky and said, "I'm getting a taste of what 85 will feel like."

They sat me down but I wasn't even aware if I was sitting on the toilet. They assured me I was, and they waited. I asked if they could please step outside and I'd call them when I was finished. Unfortunately, it was a no-go, which didn't surprise me so they took me back to try again later.

After about 45 minutes the numbness was wearing off slowly but the pain around my cervix and pelvis was increasing. Like, really bad. I asked the nurse if this was from the surgery or the having to pee, and she said it could be both. We tried again, but I could barely stand or sit upright, I was in so much agony.

I got back to the room and the nurse said she'd see if the doctor would allow a catheter. I was writhing and sweating on the recliner and poor Colby was trying to be encouraging and asking if he could do anything .I told him he needed to just sit there and not talk. Then I apologized for being so snippy and mean. He just laughed and said, "if you think that was mean, then no wonder you sometimes think I'm yelling at you."

The order was approved and I was taken back to Recovery 1, where my favorite nurse greeted me with a hug and an "Awww!" The cath was a little big and so they had to get a smaller one, and after a lot of effort, it went in. And the relief was instantaneous.

I filled up the whole container, 700 mL worth. "No wonder you were in such pain!" they said.

When I was wheeled back, the nurses didn't exactly applaud me, but it was kind of the same thing.

After that I was a smiling, giggling little girl again. Dr. Ong had been the doctor to approve the catheter, and she actually took the time to come see me and ask if I was doing OK. She asked Colby if he'd gotten anything to eat (he had) and if I had (I had not). She asked if I wanted cookies, crackers, or graham crackers ("daycare snacks," she called them) and I said, "Whatever is handiest." She came back with an armload of snacks for me, which she placed on my lap, as well as a fresh ginger ale.

Even Colby was impressed, especially that she'd asked if he'd had anything to eat. "Now that's caring," he said. The fact that she was so serious and no-nonsense made it all the more touching.

Anyway, an hour later I was ready to pee again, and was very scared, but a quick feel down below revealed some feeling, so I had higher hopes. And this time there was success! I was even able to walk almost unassisted. The nurses teased me about not liking an audience, and gave me my privacy. I peed like Seabiscuit ("Juno") and they brought me a fresh pad, and my pants, so I wouldn't have to continue holding it between my thighs.

I was wheeled back for the rest of my clothes, Colby signed some papers, and was sent out for his car at 2:30. And they gave me some chicken noodle soup on the way out, which I thought was a cute touch.

Anyway, now I have to call the doctor to find out how much bed rest i should be involved in. Lying down is making my back hurt. My epidural spot is really hurting, and my thighs are also sore. Bed rest for half a day was really awful, and I was sitting up for much of it. I can't imagine full bed rest for months and months.

This kid better freakin' appreciate this! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week 12: Limebaby!

So after nearly 20 years of being a potentially child-bearing grown-up, and 10 years after my only other pregnancy, I discovered, on June 22, that I was With Child. Not having been blessed with a clockwork-like reproductive system, it might have taken me a while to make this discovery, were it not for the Prometrium I'd been taking every month. In May I had a very light, short feminine experience (I thought I might be going through The Change) that I kind of enjoyed. In June, I started spotting but even the Prometrium didn't kick my uterus into gear.

The OB nurse suggested I get my TSH tested again because I admitted I hadn't been taking my thryoid meds. This also explained the fatigue and weight gain, I thought. As an after thought she suggested taking a pregnancy test, just to rule that out.

Now, I've taken more pregnancy tests in my life than I can count, and I always keep a stock of several on hand. I've seen so many single lines on pee sticks, I don't even watch the line progression excitedly anymore.

But this time, something told me to keep an eye on this one. I'd been commenting to my boyfriend that he needed to "mind the baby" and "be careful not to punch me in the unborn child." And I kept feeling my fat stomach to see if it was hardening or not. That was the first sign I'd noticed when I was pregnant 10 years ago, although I didn't realize it was a symptom (and I didn't realize I was pregnant until my cervix proved itself incompetent. Stupid, murderous cervix).

As of today, I am 12 weeks along. My baby, according to the baby sites, is the size of a lime, and will squirm if I poke myself in the uterus.

I have been in a theatre production that opened last week, and my costume only barely fit by last Sunday's performance. It sort of fit during dress rehearsals. I have serious doubts my jacket will meet in the middle tomorrow through Sunday. So that would be interesting.

I haven't announced my new mommy-to-be status to the world yet, because I am having a cerclage next week, so I want to wait and see how that goes.

I'm a little scared of the risks and what the next few months hold. Will it hurt? How long until I can return to work? Will the doctor recommend bed rest? What if the stitch doesn't hold? What if I'm meant to miscarry but the cerclage prevents that from happening?

Plus, I'm 40, so, all the potential babyhealth problems are top of mind. Do I get amniocentesis? Will that hurt? Will it harm the baby? What if we get a false negative (or positive) result?

And then there are the money/care/work issues.... and my family is so far away....

My plan for now is to use The Secret and just think positively. And to pray, pray, pray. And eat more vegetables.