Monday, March 31, 2008

I Miss my Momo

My grandmother, better known to us grandkids as "Momo", passed away on Friday night at the age of 72. She had been battling kidney cancer for two and half years, and while I'm glad her pain is gone, I wasn't ready for her to go. Today, my sister and I fly down to Alabama to be with family this week. I had trip planned to visit her at the end of this month, as I was worried and wanted to see her before I was too far along in my pregnancy to travel. Sadly, it seems it was a little too late.

As the oldest two grandchildren by 10 years, we were lucky enough to spend thirty years with grandparents who always seemed so young in comparison to others. As the oldest grandchild, I had the all important grandparent naming rights. Hence the name Momo, which I think was simply an extension of mom. Perhaps more strange was my choice of D-daddy for my grandfather, which stemmed from my inability to say "Granddaddy".

It would be difficult for me to imagine a grandmother more ideal than Momo. She was endlessly cheerful and in good spirits, even when dealing with horrible side effects from immunotherapy drugs to treat cancer. Whenever things went wrong, she just uttered her trademark term "oh well". I, who was much more impatient and temperamental, always wished I could better emulate her.

I always felt that she was a key connection to my mom, who passed away nearly ten years ago. She and my mom were similar in their calm attitude in an environment of chaos. (My mom could withstand a peanut butter sandwich in a VCR, while Momo had 4 children some of whom especially kept her busy). Of course, mom was a little more fiery and ready for debate, but I'd say she got that from D-daddy. I am glad to know they are together again.

Momo offered the best sympathies as I struggled to get pregnant. She would tell me with annoyance how her friends kept telling her that "things would happen when the time was right" and would instead relate to my frustration. She was the second family I told when I finally got that positive pregnancy test in January, and she was so very excited about the prospect of her great-granchild. She immediately began crocheting a girl baby sweater, and after that she completed a boy's one too. When I mentioned my nervousness about the potential for miscarriage, she advised that it was pointless to worry. She said that cancer had taught her to embrace good news whenever it comes your way and not to fret over the bad unless you had too.

I miss you Momo.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I miss ibuprofen

I've had a headache since Tuesday. Not a horrible, migraine or anything. But a low grade, constant headache. I think its hormone related as opposed to the usual tension headache I get, because its in a different place in my head, is an all day thing (as opposed to afternoon thing) and sleep does not relieve it. It pretty much sucks.

Since I didn't have any meetings today, I decided to work from home to see if the more relaxing and quiet environment helps. It has helped in terms of my energy level, but the headache is still there. The nurse said to keep drinking water and take extra strength Tylenol every 4 hours. I'm sure hoping this works.

All of this just really makes me miss my ibuprofen.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Support Needed

My friend Nancy just had her first IVF cycle cancelled. Go send her some hugs and support.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Random Baby Thoughts

First of all, I'm sorry if my blog has been a bit baby-centric lately. I would like to expand my blog topics to include the non-baby related items of note in my life, but lately it seems that everything I do or think about relates to the being currently residing in my uterus. So I'm afraid that you are are going to have to bear with me for a little while. That or stop reading.

I'm 13 weeks today. "Only" 191 days to go per my ticker...I must admit that I find the "only" clause a bit ironic. By the most conservative measure, this is the last week of my 1st trimester. Baby Center tells me that I'll start to get that infamous burst of energy soon. I really hope they're right. As Jeramy pointed out, I was already pretty lazy and this whole pregnancy thing isn't helping.

We spent a lot of time with Jeramy's family this weekend between his Aunt Em visiting and Easter. Aunt Em is definitely my favorite of Jeramy's aunts as she has a very sarcastic sense of humor which suits me. So of course we spent a lot of time discussing pregnancy, babies, labor, etc and somehow through all this we came upon the issue of babies with big heads. Have I ever mentioned that Jeramy, like his father, has a really big head? And I mean physically large here. Being the paranoid prone person that I am, I suddenly find myself worrying about trying to birth a baby with a enormous head and the potential for C-section. I've been watching a lot of baby birth shows on the Discovery Health channel these days, which has led me to decide that a C-section is not what I want. I really think Discovery Health can be nearly as dangerous as Dr. Google.

Talking pregnancy with families, or at least our family, always seems to lead to discussions as to whether people want a boy or a girl. For some reason these discussions never cease to irritate me, especially when somebody states a preference. I mean for one, I have absolutely no control over gender so it does no good to tell me that you prefer a girl over a boy or vice versa. Two, I can see advantages and disadvantages to having a child of either gender and will honestly be happy with whatever I end up with. And I'm not about to procreate endlessly until we end up with the "ideal" gender combination in our family. Finally, is somebody really going to love a baby more or less just because they are a boy or a girl? Perhaps, but I certainly hope not. So whenever somebody states a preference, I usually retort by saying that I can think of a whole lot of wonderful things about having a baby of the opposite gender and leave it at that. But I still let myself get worked up about it afterwards.

Saturday night we went to a birthday party for our friends' 7 year old. It was at this large warehouse filled with those enormous inflatable toys. Even adults got to go on them...well non-pregnant adults per the signage. So I got a bit of a glimpse of what kind of dad Jeramy might be one day as he bounced around and ended up in a rubber-ball war with a bunch of little boys. ("They started it", he told me). Admittedly there were times it was difficult to see him, since he was surrounded by a mob of 1st graders. Unlike me, Jeramy is really a lot better at playing with kids and seems to enjoy it. Perhaps we'll balance each other out. I joked that we should rent the place for his 30th birthday, especially when we found out you could bring alcohol if you brought a banquet license. Tipsy adults and large inflatable toys would be a very amusing combination. Provided that nobody got sick, that is.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Crocheting Along

I've spent the past few weeks working on the crocheted baby blanket for Spot. Yup, the brown one. Somebody in my knitting circle pointed out that it will camoflauge baby messes quite well. Yet another bonus of the chosen color, I guess. I've got about 20 inches done, and I need to get it to 30 before doing the edging. It is all single crochet and admittedly a little boring. But on the bright side, I can watch the T.V. and listen to DH while working on it without losing my place. I really love the yarn (Blue Sky Organic Cotton), which is amazingly soft. Plus being crocheted it is very sturdy and thick, which should make a nice blanket for the winter time.

I went to the orthodontist this morning to get my retainer tightened. When they went to schedule my next appointment in 9 months, they asked if I wanted the usual 7 am time. I suddenly realized that it will be December and the odds are that I'll have a baby and be on maternity leave so a later time would be better. It was just so strange to think of that as a reality.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Houston, we Have a Heartbeat

The highlight of today's OB appointment was hearing the heartbeat with doppler for the first time. It took a little while for Dr. C to zero in on it as the little bugger kept moving around. But once she did we heard that beautiful sound, and she said it was somewhere in the 160's. She confirmed that the NT measurement of 1.0mm was perfect and declared my pelvis average (nobody has cared quite so much about my pelvis before). Also, the phlebotomist (who I may have to start calling Vampire Amazing) was able to painlessly draw the tube of blood with the first poke, and we chatted about the incompetence of the big haired vampires at the clinic doing the NT scan. Apparently I'm not the first patient who had problems with their inability to draw blood. Now I just have to sit tight until my next appointment on tax day, when I'll be 16 weeks.

Our friends threw a big St. Patrick's Day party on Saturday night. Most of our friends did not know that I am pregnant, so the highlight of the evening was definitely sharing the news. Everybody seemed really excited for us, especially since they know it wasn't an easy road. And I don't think this news came as a shock to some of them, since I've been drinking lots of water and no alcohol for the past couple of months. Plus there is a bit of a baby boom right now among our group of friends, so its not hard to find somebody who is willing to discuss pregnancy and babies for hours on end.

Oh and I actually cleaned my house just a little bit this weekend. I think Jeramy is pretty happy about this given the dearth of clean underwear. This probably doesn't sound like a very big deal, but lately I've been content to just sit around and bask in pregnancy. Mostly this involves sleeping. So it would be fantastic if that whole 2nd trimester burst of energy could show up just a smidgen early, as I have much to do.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Simply Amazing

Yesterday I had the nuchal translucency screening done, which also represents my last ultrasound until May 15th. 2 months seems a long time to wait after having 4 scans done in that same amount of time. But we're hoping to hear a heartbeat with doppler at my next OB appointment Monday, and I imagine that sound will help get me through the wait.

Anyhow, the ultrasound was simply amazing. Not only did the baby grow tremendously in the last couple of weeks, Spot was now moving around a ton. S/he kept wiggling, flailing around and waving hello. Jeramy said Spot was rockin' out in my belly and suggested placing headphones on my stomach. After all, he had just read a pregnancy magazine in the lobby stating that babies can hear sound from the womb. Yes, reading material in the waiting area was limited...there was not a single car or tattoo magazine to be found.

Here are a couple of the pics:

Is it me or does my child look a bit like an alien?

At least Spot has cute legs.

Now I consider myself to be pretty patient with our health care system, but admittedly this appointment tested that. It took nearly 2 hours. The first half hour was spent in the waiting room. Then we went back for the ultrasound. That took about 30 minutes, but it would have been much shorted if they had not tried to do it externally first. The images of Spot were just not clear enough that way, so in the end the tech resorted to the ever friendly wand. She then went to get the doctor, which too another 20 minutes as I waited half naked on the table. But it turned out that he just wanted to chat in the consult room, so we were taken there and waited another 15 minutes. Then it turned out that the conversation with the physician was completely unnecessary, so it took about 2 minutes. Oh but there was still blood work to do. So I waited 5 minutes for the vampire who poked me 3 times without getting any blood. She kept swearing that my veins were at fault, but I've had blood drawn 4 times in the last 2 months without problems so I have to wonder if it was just her. Anyhow, we decided to have my OB's vampire do the blood draw on Monday at my next appointment. Oh and did I mention all the women working in this clinic appeared to have graduated in 1988 and never gotten over the big hair phase? If you live around the Seattle area, you'd definitely identify them as "Kent" girls. Thankfully this should be the only time in this pregnancy that I need to go to this clinic.

All I can say is that this really does feel real now. The heartbeat was still going strong at 167 bpm and Spot was measuring a couple days ahead at 12w5d, which corresponds with my IUI date. Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic, but this is starting to feel very real me now. I can actually begin to believe that in 6 months we'll be taking home an actual baby. And I can't begin to describe how wonderful of a feeling that is.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Our Neighbors, They're Weird

When I got home from my knitting circle last night, Jeramy said that B from across the street had come over asking for help. B was quite distressed and said it was an emergency. I guess that B's wife C likes to go with her friends to the beach occasionally to get really drunk. She then proceeds to drive her drunk ass home. B asked Jeramy to come over to witness C's intoxicated state and tell her to stop doing that. Apparently when B complains to C about this she threatens divorce.

Now how B thought Jeramy would help this marital crisis is beyond me. He's certainly a wonderful guy in my mind, but a far cry from a marital counselor. But Jeramy went despite the obviously uncomfortable situation. He saw the drunken C lying on their couch holding her dog. He asked her if she was all right. She said yes. He went home.

Now I'm getting this story second hand, but isn't this weird? Keep in mind that we are not particularly close to these neighbors who moved in a little over a year ago. I had been under the impression that they were rather normal (well except for B's lawn mowing fetish). But I'm starting to wonder if a divorce is on the horizon. Regardless, from now on I should probably pull my car over when I see C on the road!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend in Review

Every year my dad and stepmom gather up all the adult kids (all 6 of us plus spouses and children), rent a house and make us vacation together for a weekend. Normally we go some place a few hours away. But this year was different as my stepbrother's wife is pregnant and due in a couple of weeks (although likely to give birth any second now). So this year we journeyed to Federal Way. Since many of you are unfamiliar with the Puget Sound area and where I live within that region, I can tell you that we had to cross one city border and drive all of 5 miles to reach our vacation destination. The downside of this is that it does not make for a particularly exciting trip. Plus it is weird to sleep in a strange and rather uncomfortable bed when your own is such a short distance away. But on the bright side I did get to shower at home, which rarely happens when your "out of town" for the weekend. And I'd also have to say that our bowling excursion was rather fun.

I did skip out of the family getaway for a few hours to attend my friend Debi's baby shower. I couldn't miss it, especially since I'd knitted all of those adorable baby things for her. If you don't remember, you can check them out here, here and here. It was the first baby shower that I've been to since I've gotten pregnant, and somehow by complete coincidence, I ended up sitting on a couch with 2 other pregnant girls neither of which was Debi. One was due in July and one in August...I'm due in September but felt like a complete imposter. The one due in July had the cutest preggo belly. The girl due a month later was not so obvious, but given her build I'm sure she'll have a belly just as cute. I am insanely jealous of super skinny girls and there adorable bellies, especially as I'll be at least 20 weeks along before anybody realizes that there is anything more than my existing belly fat hanging out around my waistline. But I digress. Only a couple of other gals there know about my "condition" so perhaps I was the only person picking up on the irony of our placement during the shower. I'm about ready to begin telling a broader group of friends, but I really did not think that making such an announcement at another person's baby shower would be appropriate. Besides, I'll feel much more secure about going public with such information after my NT scan on Thursday.

About the only other thing going on lately is that I've been on a mission to increase my fiber intake, as part of the ongoing effort to combat the lovely pregnancy symptom of constipation. As you may remember I tried prune juice, but gave that up due to my abhorrence for the taste. Then I tried metamucil, only to discover that it only adds minimal fiber to your diet. I added the prenatal with stool softener, but that helps only a limited amount. So starting last week I began adding in anything high fiber and aiming to get 25 - 35 grams of the stuff a day. This has required a daily dose of bran flakes, oatmeal, fruit, and crystal light live action (3 grams of fiber in every packet!). But I can finally claim success. I just need to keep it up for another 7 months.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Scared of Becoming a Parent

We were married 8 years before we even began trying. Then it took a year and fertility meds to actually get pregnant. Obviously this was planned. And I'm definitely excited about finally becoming a parent. So why then am I also so damn scared? It isn't just me either. Jeramy commented the other night on how he is about to lose his freedom.

Now I'm not talking about the fear of miscarrying or having something else horrible happen during this pregnancy. I am scared of those things too. Rather, there are definitely days when I have to wonder if we're going to make it as parents. As it is, we can barely manage to dress ourselves in the morning, work all day, make dinner, and maybe (just maybe) clean the house up just a little bit. How on earth is a baby going to fit into all of this?

We both work, and with the exception of my maternity leave that won't be changing. Jeramy and I make the same amount of money (okay he beat me by like $200 or something last year, but whatever), and losing 50% of our income is simply not an option for us. IF one of us were to stop working it wouldn't get to be me as I'd lose too much wage-earning power, and my job is much more stable as it is not as subject to the whims of the economy unlike his construction job. I'd be fine with Jeramy quitting his job, but he wouldn't be fine with the toll that would take on his toys. So even if we drop the NK from DINK, we're keeping the DI.

Obviously there are ways to make this work but it does feel a little overwhelming at times. Luckily there are two of us, so it isn't like it is just me that has to make this work (how single parents do this is beyond me). Perhaps some of it is about lowering standards or changing assumptions about how parenthood should be. I don't know. But I think I'll be finding out sometime this fall.

I'm sorry if this post sounds whiny or ungrateful. That is not what I was intending. I'm incredibly excited about being a mom, and I want this more than anything. At the same time I do have to be realistic. I just know that raising children isn't all rainbows and sunshine, and after it being just Jeramy and I for nearly ten years, this is going to be a major adjustment. And if anybody out there wants to share how they managed this transition, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Into the Double Digits

Today I hit the 10 week mark. I've hit the double digits. I'm a quarter of the way there. On one hand it seems like January and February have just flown by. On the other, it feels like I've been in the first trimester forever. I do have to disagree with my ticker's statement that there are only 210 days remaining. That sounds like an awfully large number to be qualified by the term "only".

On Friday, I went to my favorite yarn shop to buy supplies for a baby blanket I want to crochet. I realize that earlier, I proclaimed that there would be no knitting for this baby until the second trimester. But I said nothing about crocheting! Anyhow I've decided to go ahead and start the Tiramisu baby blanket that I spotted on Ravelry. I'm using the Blue Sky organic cotton yarn in brown, which is incredibly soft and luxurious. When I was paying for it, the little old lady next to me asked what I was making. When I told her a baby blanket, she exclaimed "Brown, for a baby? How odd!" A bit irritated I told her how brown was a more popular color these days, and how the ribbon that will go along the blanket can be tailored to whether the baby is a boy or girl (I'm thinking a nice pink for a girl and a teal for a boy). She is probably thinking some mom out there will be horrified by this blanket for her shower gift, not knowing that I'm the mom.

The rest of my weekend was rather quiet and uneventful. We went and saw Juno on Saturday night. I really liked it, but I'm sure glad that I didn't go pre-pregnancy. The teenager's comments on being pregnant and having a baby to the adoptive mom, were scary insensitive even if they were very true to the parts being played in the movie. I thought the ending was good and it ultimately shed a good light on adoption, which seems to be an option that fewer people consider these days when faced with an unwanted pregnancy.