Friday, May 30, 2008

Too Much Even for Me

I'm all about ultrasounds. I love every chance I can get to sneak a peak at my baby girl. I love the reassurance that she is healthy and growing. I love to see how much she has changed over the past several weeks. I love getting the pics and sharing them (which is funny because I never cared much for ultrasound pics pre-pregnancy). But yesterday's fetal echo proved to be overkill even for me.

First a little background. Jeramy's mother and sister have a heart condition called IHSS, which apparently stands for Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis (thanks again, Dr. Google). I don't know much of the details about it, but it is a rare condition where part of the heart is enlarged and thickened which obviously causes problems. Both of them have pacemakers. Jeramy has been tested and does not have this condition. Plus onset is usually not detected until about adolescence. However to be on the safe side, my OB wanted us to get a fetal echo anyhow.

Going into the appointment, I wasn't worried about the test. I was just happy to get another opportunity to see my baby. What I didn't realize is that the ultrasound would take an hour so that the technician could make all sorts of measurements of small parts of Jillian's tiny heart. This is of course was made even more difficult since my little girl is quite active and insisted on moving from one corner of my uterus to the other and then back again. She's an obstinate girl, I tell you. Much like her mother.

Now all of this might have been better, except that the technician had to use a laptop since they operate remotely at this particular location one day a week. So I wasn't even able to watch. Jeramy could see the screen, but all the detailed pictures of the heart must have gotten boring as I caught him dozing off a few times. Heck, I had a hard time staying awake. The dark room, morning hours and boredom make for a sleepy combination. Plus it has been crazy busy at work, and the appointment completely ate into time that I had set aside to prepare for a meeting later that day.

In the end, the doctor came in and pronounced Jillian's heart as perfect. Music to my ears, of course. He said that she should probably be checked again around age 5 and 12 to see if the condition develops, but she has less of a chance since Jeramy does not have it. Oh and guess what I'm doing this afternoon? Getting another ultrasound of course. This one is at my OB's office to get a better picture of the spine.

On a less thrilling note, Jeramy's union is in the middle of contract negotiations and voted to strike last night. We're hoping that the contractors come back with a better offer over the weekend so that a strike is avoided, but I'm not holding my breath. I know we'll be fine especially in the short term, although we won't be able to save as much money as I had hoped. I tend to be easily stressed when it comes to money (who isn't, I guess), and although we are far more prepared this year than last, I never feel prepared enough. What would really help is winning the lottery, but now doesn't seem to be the best time to invest in lottery tickets. As my grandmother would say, "Oh Well!"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Back from Camping

We spent the weekend camping and riding quads (well mostly camping for me) in the sand dunes of Eastern Washington. Last summer we didn't do a lot of camping, because we took the big trip to Yellowstone. This year, I hope that we are able to get out for quite a few weekend trips because it will be our last summer to camp without children for a long time. And while it will definitely be fun to camp with kids, it is a whole lot easier when the only other being you have to worry about is an extremely lazy bulldog whose main focus is taking a snooze in the dirt.

Here are a few pics from the weekend:
My bike got a lot of use by people other than myself. Our friend Brian brought his son William who quickly learned to ride. He really did great out there!

Jeramy was loving his new quad, which he bought back in October (here is the original post). He spent quite a bit of time refining his wheelie technique.

He also spent just a little (or perhaps a lot) of time jumping the bike.

I even managed to putt around a little bit on my bike. Don't worry though. I think I was on the bike for 20 minutes total to go out and get a few pictures of Jeramy. I was very careful and never went more than about 15 mph. But of course the occasion required a pregnant girl on the quad pic.
Of course Cujo's favorite part of the weekend was enjoying the comforts of the camper.

Oh and amazingly today marks the 22 week mark. So here I am cleaned up from the dusty weekend. Let me just say that sand wreaks havoc on my now clogged pores.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pink Ribbon Added

I'm still in a bit of disbelief that I added a pink ribbon to this blanket.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Very Manly Diaper Bag

Jeramy ordered himself this diaper bag last night:
I'm taking this as a sign that he does, indeed, plan on changing some diapers. Hallelujah!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Progress on the Nursery

As of 9pm last night, both Jeramy and I agreed that work on Monday had to be more relaxing than the weekend we just had. Granted, we'd both probably rather take a day off to just lay around the house and do nothing, but that really wasn't an option.

One of the wonderful things about my hubby is that he is not a procrastinator. In fact, when he gets an itch to do something, he just goes out and gets it done as quickly as possible. That sometimes proves difficult for me, as I'd rather do just one thing slowly over time. However, in the long run I think his tendencies make us both more productive. Anyhow, the crib arrived on Friday much earlier than the expected August ship date. In addition, Jeramy found out that day that he would not need to put in any overtime on Saturday leaving an extra day in his weekend. Armed with the newfound knowledge of our future child's girlness, he deemed it time to get the nursery together.

So while I did loads of yard work (lawn mowing, weeding flowerbeds, planting annuals), Jeramy conquered the majority of the room cleaning and all of the painting. We also steam cleaned the carpets and assembled the crib. So now, instead of a room loaded with crap, we have this:

I'm really loving the milk chocolate color for the walls. Given the bedding I've chosen (here) I was either wanting to go with a beige/brown or a very light pink. Ultimately we chose the brown because while I like pink, girly things, it is very easy to overdo it. Today Jeramy is going to trim out the closet doors he installed last month, and after that we'll just be waiting for the other furnishings to arrive. I just can't believe it is all coming together already. What is even more amazing is the idea that our little girl will actually occupy this room early this fall.

I should also follow-up on the name spelling conversation from last week...I loved getting all of your input. Perhaps I was biased because there were more "J" votes than "G", and I was rooting for the former. But our real life friends (yes, amazingly we actually have some of those) and family seemed to prefer the "J" as well. So it looks like this little girl will be named Jillian Carol.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's a...

Girl! A healthy and impressively average girl! Jeramy and I are in shock and overwhelmingly happy. Here is the evidence of her girlness...or at least that is what the ultrasound tech told me as I couldn't figure out which lines represented those all important three lines of her reproductive organs. I fully plan on sharing this picture along with the obligatory bath and miscellaneous nude baby photos with her future boyfriends as part of a conspiracy to cause undue embarrassment for my future teenager.

My daughter displays impressive flexibility as she spent the bulk of her time with her foot in her hand. She must have inherited such skills from her Aunt Jaime, as I never could do so much as touch my toes. As a bonus this has scored me another peek at her in two weeks, since such posture does not allow for a good look at her spine. Otherwise she looked perfectly healthy and measured in the 55th percentile for her age at 14 oz. Her little heart was pumping away at a beat ranging from the upper 140's to lower 150's. We are scheduled to have a fetal echo done in a couple weeks because Jeramy's mother and sister both have heart problems. We are not overly concerned about this though as Jeramy had an echo in the past that showed no problems, and we believe this particular disorder requires a parent with the condition.

We have decided on a name, but the spelling is a bit up in the air. So maybe you all could weigh in. Which do you like better?

Jillian Carol


Gillian Carol

Anyhow, I'll leave you a picture of our little girl in her favorite pose:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Hunch on Gender

Last week, KCMarie left a comment asking what gender I thought the baby was. I didn't post anything then, since I didn't want to skew the poll results. But now that the big ultrasound is tomorrow, I'll share. Both Jeramy and I feel pretty strongly that we're having a boy. Now I don't buy into any of those old wives tales. Given my background in research and science, anything that is not backed by a randomized control trial is just a myth to me. Admittedly, we are both probably biased in our male inklings, as the males on his side of the family has a history of producing Y chromosomes that goes back a couple generations. The poll results lean slightly towards girl, so perhaps you all are right. I mean we all have a 50/50 chance of being right after all.

Now just because I think its a boy doesn't mean I prefer a boy. Honestly I just want a healthy baby that is either a boy or a girl. I hope I'll be the kind of parent who does not place demands on who my child is to be in life or try to live my failed hopes and dreams through them. And part of that is understanding that gender is something I have no control over. I just hope to God that I do find out the baby's sex tomorrow, because I'm not sure that I can take the "do you want a boy or girl" questions any longer. It is not the question that I'm opposed to necessarily. I think it is the skeptical looks I get for my neutral stance, the propagation of old wives tales and the opinions/preferences of the questioners that are really starting to irk me. What is perhaps even worse are suggestions that we are having twins, even though we've repeatedly told people that four ultrasounds have confirmed that only one being is occupying my uterus (not to mention the scan that showed one mature follicle at ovulation).

So while tomorrow afternoon cannot get here soon enough, it will get here. I only wish that I had a smidgen of an ability to concentrate in the meantime, but it sounds like the ultrasound will not cure that problem anyhow. So I'll leave you with this 20 week belly pic. I'm looking bigger, I think (and I'm referring to my stomach here and not my double chin or thighs).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Halfway There

Today marks 20 weeks. Unbelievable.

Over the past week, I have definitely felt the beginnings of the baby's movement. I think it actually started a week or two earlier, but it was never really strong enough to distinguish from gas or the like. Right now it feels like a subtle bump or twitch in my lower abdomen, and mostly I notice it when I'm lying down or reclining in front of the TV usually after a meal. Honestly I'm loving it. Maybe I'll feel differently in a couple of months when it keeps me up at night, but right now it is wonderful. In truth I've been very lucky to have a great pregnancy in general. I've had very little to complain of and wouldn't mind being pregnant all the time.

This weekend was crazy busy. I spent most of Saturday cleaning house and running errands so that we could have friends over that night for another friend, Shanna's, 30th birthday. She did not want to do anything big for her birthday, but there was no way we could let such a milestone slide. Plus I have great difficulty procuring the motivation to clean my house, and there is nothing like the incentive of entertaining to get me going. I think that I overdid it a bit, since I found myself rather headachey by the evening. Luckily a nap and some tylenol helped relieve it some by the time guests arrived.

Of course Sunday brought the craziness that is Mother's Day...or really any holiday for Jeramy and I. We had the usual obligations of running around to see a sundry of family members. It was strange to be actually celebrating the day myself as an expectant mother. I was absolutely shocked when Jeramy presented me with this gift...
Gorgeous, isn't it? Plus it was totally unexpected as we hadn't discussed Mother's Day at all. He bought it after I had to take my wedding rings off, because they were already tight and we're nervous about swelling. Jeramy joked that he was just sucking up to me so that he can continue getting all the things he wants (Harley exhaust for Father's Day, perhaps?). But hey, I'll take it.

Jeramy's dad has said for years that he wanted to buy our baby their first crib/nursery set. So when we were at his house for dinner last night, we took him up on that offer and ordered this. We also got the matching four door dresses. The furniture doesn't arrive until August, although the crib might come earlier. I'm just excited to have the order placed.

Oh and I got a new haircut last week. It is not a dramatic change, but it is a little shorter, which helps it stay curly. And it is layered which helps my fine hair in terms of volume. And of course I kept the bangs to cover my gigantic forehead with its deep wrinkles presumably from furroughing my brow in frustration. What do you think?

Friday, May 9, 2008

How the Birth Control Discussions have Changed

While our difficulties were minute when compared to that of some others, the year of trying to have a baby definitely changed my views on some things. One of those is birth control. I took the pill religiously for a decade. If I slipped up and missed a pill, I immediately broke out those doctor recommended secondary forms of protection. I remember my first few months on the pill and that feeling of fear as I waited for my period. I mean what if it didn't arrive...*gasp*! Certainly having a baby during that time of my life would not have been the best idea. Who knew that 10 years later such precautions relatively unnecessary. I could have probably saved myself quite a bit of money; $30 x 14 cycles per year x 10 years = $4,200.

So after Spot is born, there will be no forms of birth control for me. We definitely want a second child, so the worst case scenario here is that we'd have an "accident". But hey, at this point an accident sounds like a pretty good deal to me although my RE would probably be disappointed to lose the repeat business.

At the same time, I hear about other couples...normal couples that is...who are having their 2nd child and then getting their tubes tied immediately. A year ago I would have thought this to be completely normal, but now I'm suddenly horrified by such a thought. Who are these souls with so much security that they have no fears of the repercussions of this? It is so very permanent. I mean what about SIDS? Or random car accidents? Or something that may not happen for another 2, 3, or even 10 more years? I'm not saying that they are making a bad decision. For them maybe it is a very good decision. But it sure scares the crap out of me.

P.S. Just 5 days left to enter your opinion as to Spot's gender.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Time for a Poll

I'm anxiously anticipating the BIG ultrasound next Thursday the 15th. Not only am I desperately in need of assurance regarding Spot's well being, but I am so very curious about the gender of the being which has taken up residence in my uterus. Hence, I've posted a poll in the sidebar to pass the time. You've got just a little over a week to enter your well-educated and ever informed wild ass guesses.

I've now entered week 19, and I like to start each week off by checking the Baby Center website to learn about Spot's theoretical progress. However this week, I was taken back by the way they posed their model fetus...check it out here. I don't know what surprised me more. Was it the astonishing flexibility of a contortionist being displayed? Or was it my disappointment at their decision to such a wacky diagram. I don't know.

Moving on...there are definitely some symptoms of pregnancy that I simply never expected. For example, a heightened susceptibility to allergies. I have never had problems with seasonal allergies until now. I've been getting headaches, stuffiness and this morning even a scratchy sore throat. Luckily a dose of Claritin seems to clear things up, but the allergy to pregnancy connection seems loose at best. Then I've also been having bloody noses, which is yet another thing that I've never had before. I combed through my pregnancy literature to learn how this is caused by increased blood flow, and yada, yada, yada. But still, it seems weird.

I've been making some real progress on battling one of the less bizarre side effects of pregnancy: constipation. Does anybody out there think that maybe, this is God's way of preparing us for childbirth? Well, maybe not... Anyhow, in addition to taking 100mg of Colace each day, I'm on a never-ending search to add more fiber to my diet. Suddenly I find myself reviewing nutrition labels for dietary fiber content rather than calories or fat. And during my weekly excursions to the supermarket, I've come up with 2 amazing finds:

This cereal has 10g of fiber. And it almost tastes good.

These granola bars have 9g of fiber. As a bonus these actually test really, really good. They are actually one of my favorite granola bars ever. I've only tried the Oats and Chocolate flavor.

All right. Enough of my mundane update and symptom alerts. Go vote. Pretty please.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I've never really knitted anything for Jeramy, so when I saw this hat on Ravelry I just knew I'd finally found the perfect project for him. The only problem that I've run into so far is that it's going to be too small to fit his giant head. So I guess this one will be for me, and I'll adjust the pattern to make a gigantic one for him. The one thing that I don't like at this point is that the bottom of the hat rolls up. I'm hoping that will be fixed with blocking, but if not I may need to re-work that part too.

Jeramy and his biker friends are going to the Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee this weekend, which leaves me with the house to myself. I plan on spending a good part of that time cleaning out Spot's future nursery. Right now the room is occupied by a good portion of Jeramy's stuff, which needs to be consolidated with all of his other stuff in his office. (Have I ever mentioned that my husband has a whole lot of stuff???). I've been given permission to start organizing all this stuff over the weekend provided that I throw nothing away. And while this rule will be tough to abide by, I really want to get started so that we can start painting soon after the big ultrasound later this month. I sure hope Spot isn't bashful.