Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Surge in Anxiety

Since the big ultrasound two and a half months ago, I've done a pretty good job reigning in any anxiety. But suddenly in the last week or so, I find it surging again. For example, if I don't feel any movement for a few hours, I start to panic that she has died. Sometimes I panic even if I feel minimal movement rather than significant, visible from the outside of the stomach kicks. She moves less during the workday when I'm moving around or preoccupied by meetings or other tasks. So I tend to fret all day, only to be reassured in the evening as she likes to perfect her karate moves while I'm relaxing. Then what's funny is that I'll complain to my hubby that his daughter is kicking me, but the reality is that I love to feel those movements more than anything.

I'm not sure what exactly has triggered my anxiety as it has come on most unexpectedly. By my OB's standard of 10 kicks within an hour during the most active part of the day, Miss Jillian is scoring all A's. So I don't think the movement is what triggers my fears, although I think I dwell on it more during those times. Rather, I think that I've reached a point where the thought of losing her is unbearable to me. I know she's a girl. She has a name. She has a bedroom. We've had a baby shower. I've spent 7 months planning my life around her arrival. If she were to be born today she has an excellent chance of survival. I often find it impossible to fathom that her arrival is pending in just a couple short months, and yet I cannot imagine the pain of losing her.

I know that it is rare to lose a baby so late in pregnancy, but I've read the stories. Just knowing it can happen is enough to scare me. I suspect that this fear won't disappear with her birth either. Babies die too, so my fear will simply morph into that anxiety instead. Perhaps it isn't about eliminating anxiety, but learning how to set it aside so that you can continue enjoying life. Because no amount of anxiety beforehand would make grief any easier if the worse did happen.

Now that I've been sitting at my desk for a little bit writing this post and eating my lunch, I'm feeling some small movements again. A few small kicks and hiccups I think. So I can set my worries aside for just an hour or two, I think.

Monday, July 28, 2008

To Do Lists Gone Wild

I'm afraid that my to do list has gotten a little (or a lot) out of control. The past two weekends have been rather busy between baby showers, BBQ's, family reunions and birthday parties, leaving me little time to play catch up. During the evenings I've been exhausted from work, so I've neglected cleaning, errands and projects to get extra sleep or simply veg out in front of the TV. But now, with Jeramy's birthday party on the horizon next weekend, I'm beginning to regret my failure to accomplish anything of significance for the past two weeks.

Rather than panic, I've written down everything that needs to be done by next Saturday night. Then rather than panicking by reading that list, I'm trying to get what I can done one thing and a time without pushing myself over the edge. For example, last weekend I managed to get about half the laundry done, ran a load of dishes, got some shopping done and wrote all of the thank you cards. If I can keep chugging along at that same pace, I might have most of my list checked off come Saturday. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, July 25, 2008

3/4 of the Way There

Monday marked 30 weeks. It is hard to believe that there are only 10 weeks left. In some ways I feel very ready: the nursery is almost finished, exhaustion has set in, Jillian has taken to kicking me in some rather painful places and I'm having trouble focusing on anything that is not baby-related. At the same time I have no idea (well an inkling maybe) of what I'm getting myself into. Whenever Jeramy and I start discussing the prospect of becoming parents in a mere two months a wild sort of expression of fear spreads across our faces. It's taken ten years of marriage to become good at being a couple. How long will it take us to get this parenting gig down?

With only two weeks between appointments now, it was shocking how quickly my last appointment on Wednesday arrived. Everything went just fine; perhaps my OB will consider giving me the most boring patient of the year award. BP was 108/70, weight was up a little and my belly is measuring right on target at 30cm. She also gave me the results from my 1-hour GTT, which was a lovely 107. Considering that neither weight or family history are on my side, I'm quite satisfied with that number.

This weekend is packed with outdoor activities from family reunions to birthday parties. Usually July is a safe bet in Seattle, but unfortunately it looks like we're getting cloudy skies and highs in the 60's. Hopefully the rain will stay away, and I'll be able to find something with long sleeves that fits me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Desperately Seeking Crabbing Advice

I'm thinking of writing the following letter to the captains on The Deadliest Catch:

Dear Sig, Phil, Keith and Johnathan,

Like you, I too am the captain of a crab fishing vessel and lead a family-based crab fishing operation. Now granted the vessel in question is a sixteen foot 1988 Bayliner Capri, the family in question is my husband, Jeramy, we have a grand total of four crab pots and our annual earnings are $0. But nonetheless, I admire your work and feel that you all will have insight into a problem I am experiencing.

My husband Jeramy is the Deckhand on our ship. He prefers the terms Deck Boss, but as there are no personnel to actually supervise, I feel the label Deckhand is more appropriate. The problem I face, is that Jeramy has become a bit of a "backseat-Captain". He is always telling me to go left or right, forward or reverse, faster or slower, etc. Of course this all becomes quite irritating, especially considering that most of the time his directions are wrong and he is interfering with my supreme capabilities as Captain. I also find that Jeramy believes that I should steer the boat in a manner that is most conducive to him. For example, yesterday I had to go forward and reverse over and over again so that the boat stayed in water of a depth of 60' while Jeramy tried to undo a knot in the line attached to one of our pots. I found this very exascerbating since as part of his Deckhand duties he should have check the pots for such knots ahead of time and been ready to throw them overboard at precisely the right moment. Pulling pots onboard is also infuriating as I must be quite careful about steering the boat just close enough but not too close to the pot. I notice that you get to steer your boats where-ever you want and at any speed, and that figuring out how to get the pot in the boat is entirely the Deckhands' problem.

I notice that you all do not put up with this type of behavior on your boats. Please, tell me your secrets in the management of crab fishermen! How can I attain such a surly and fearsome manner that just a hint of a scowl sends my husband flying into action. Unfortunately firing my husband from his Deckhand duties is not an option, as it is unlikely that I'd find a replacement since this is a non-paid position.



Monday, July 21, 2008

Baby Shower

On Saturday I attended a shower thrown for a baby that...can you believe it...currently resides in my belly. It was surreal, a ton of fun and exhausting. I don't know quite what to say about it all, so I'll let the pictures do the talking.

I'm having a good time, even if I was just drinking a water.

My sister and I. Jaime was the hostess and pulled the whole event off beautifully.

For dessert we had cupcakes from here. They are seriously the best cupcakes ever.

The guests. Can you find me? It's like Where's Waldo.

I was overwhelmed by everybody's generosity. If the gifts are any indication, then Jillian will be a very loved little girl. On Sunday, Jeramy and I took inventory after the shower and found that we have very little left to buy.
Jeramy and I after the shower. He had met up with a couple friends at a bar nearby for a celebration of his own.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Well let me start with the bad first. I came home yesterday to a letter from my OB saying I'm anemic and to start taking 325mg of iron a day pronto. Really this is not so bad nor unexpected. I'm always borderline anemic anyhow, so the results really weren't surprising. If anything is surprising, it is that the blood work performed during my first trimester didn't show any anemia. And if the OB feels comfortable informing me of this via snail mail, then my iron levels probably aren't too horribly low. I do, however, see another battle with constipation looming.

This news does lead to the good, however. If my OB can manage to mail me a letter regarding my anemia, I must be in the clear on the gestational diabetes test. I can continue eating carbs without guilt AND I don't have to fast for a 3 hour test!

And for the ugly, it is stretch marks. I spent some time examining my belly in the mirror the other day, and things are just not looking good down there. I think that maybe I'll have to follow Jeramy's advice on abandoning my dreams of becoming a supermodel.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Whole Lot of Nothing Going On

Well there haven't been any posts for the past few days. I wish I could say that I've simply been too busy living my glamorous life full of excitement. But really things have been pretty slow lately. I pretty much did nothing over the weekend. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And if you come take a look around my house, you'd see that there was plenty to be done on the housekeeping front at least. Unfortunately my motivation seems to be lacking though.

I've been trying to master kick counts as instructed by my OB. I'm supposed to do them once a day when Jillian is the most active and call if she doesn't kick more than 10 time in an hour. It sounds pretty straight forward. But it seems like just as soon as I decide she is very active and start counting, little missy decides it is time for a nap. Then there are times that she is quite busy, but I'm in a meeting where I have to concentrate on things other than my baby girl's each move. Oh and trying to figure out what constitutes a kick is fun too as when I feel a small movement, I'm always wondering if that should count or not. I suspect that I'm over analyzing this a bit.

We are 2 days working days post 1-hour GTT. No calls from the OB's office yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...and indulging in some sour patch kids.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flat sugary liquids and brain freeze

I got to experience the joy that is the 1 hour glucose screening test today. Like a good girl I chugged the glucola 45 minutes before today's appointment. Luckily the taste was not overly repulsive, but it was so cold from my workplace refrigerator that I got a small case of brain freeze. I hate that feeling!

So now I'm just hoping that I don't get a call from my OB as I'd rather not get to experience the joy that is the 3 hour GTT. I'd also rather not have anemia, although maybe that would explain a little of the exhaustion I had this week. I actually suspect that drinking the glucola made me even more tired than usual, because after I left the doctor's office I could hardly keep my eyes open to drive home.

Anyhow the rest of the appointment went well. The heartbeat and blood pressure are fine. The weight gain is reasonable although I'm feeling more and more Oompa Loompa like everyday. My belly is measuring right on track at 29 weeks.

Tomorrow a friend is having surgery for her unicornate uterus, so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. If you've heard anything about that condition it is a tough battle IF-wise, and I hope this at least goes smoothly for her.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Today I decided to work from home because I did not have any meetings, and I've been feeling more exhausted than usual lately. It was a good decision, and I honestly got much more done than I probably would have in the office. I also got a very different view point of what Jillian does while I work all day. I spent the bulk of my day in the recliner with my laptop perched what felt like light years away thanks to my growing belly. This turned out to be the ideal position for watching my belly twitch with her harder kicks, which are quite frequent these days. It was bizarre and perhaps one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. Really this whole pregnancy has been amazing even on the relatively rare bad days.

Over the past several months, I've become very grateful for the journey I took to get to this point. I would never wish fertility problems on anybody, but because I struggled my happiness now feels even more complete. I also realize how very lucky we really were. Our problems were easy to diagnose...all evidence pointed to an ovulation disorder. And although we were never able to identify why I have this condition, it was easily fixed with a little Femara. There were a whole host of more complicated conditions or more expensive treatments that we never had to contend with but many of you have. Plus once pregnant, things have gone very smoothly, and for the most part I've been able to enjoy this pregnancy free of worry. The only thing that would make this happiness more complete would be to see my friends who are still struggling reach a similar end.

Perhaps the biggest lesson I've learned through all of this is that worry is a pointless waste of energy. Bad things happen to good people all the time, and worry does nothing to brace yourself for it. It is better to enjoy the good times to their fullest, so that you have those memories to fall back on when hard times hit.

Anyhow, enough of the sappy, emotional stuff. It's a couple days late but I finally remembered to get Jeramy to take a 28 week pic of me today. Admittedly I'm not looking particularly photogenic, but I didn't bother with make-up and hair today seeing as I did not go into the office.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Third Trimester

By all methodologies of trimester calculation, I am now officially in my 3rd trimester at 28 weeks. I have the 1 hour glucose tolerance test at my next OB appointment on Thursday, and then I have appointments every two weeks until mid-August when it moves to every week. My allergies have been alleviated by some much needed rain over the holiday weekend, so I'm feeling quite well at this point. It is astonishing to think that this little being who enjoys kicking my insides will actually be a real-live baby in a few months.

Our Fourth of July weekend was packed with three BBQ's on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Jeramy set-up the new Wii, which he got as an early birthday present. I wasn't overly excited about it, until he went and bought Guitar Hero. This game is completely addictive, and I spent far too many hours rockin' out with it. As a result, my house is still a mess, the dishes need to be unloaded, the laundry did not get done, and the weekly grocery shopping trip never happened. This is seriously going to disturb any hopes I had of entering a nesting phase.

Oh and the funniest thing happened Friday afternoon (or at least it was funny to me because nothing I owned was damaged). We were waiting in line to launch our boat to pick up the crab pots we had set out in the morning. Of course there were all sorts of clueless idiots launching their boats so that they could enjoy the fireworks shows that night. One guy who did not even seem to know how to back-up his boat trailer was launching a particularly large boat. Jeramy said to me "watch, he's going to lose the boat off the trailer." I dismissed his comment, but then a minute later the boat slipped of the trailer and onto the concrete with a women and a few kids inside of it even. Apparently he unhooked the safety chain when he should have waited until the boat was in the water. It took several guys to help push as they winched it back on the trailer. Jeramy snapped these pics (sorry they are a bit small...cell phone pics):