Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of a Decade

The fact that we're ending a decade has caught me by surprise. I remember so much media coverage of the end of the 80's and 90's but have not seen much for the end of the ...well what do you call this decade anyway....the 00's? Of course I seem to miss a lot of current events these days since my toddler interrupts my TV viewing by wanting me to pretend to talk on her cell phone or sing the itsy bitsy spider for the thousandth time.

For me the first ten years of this millenium have been transformative as one might expect from somebody who spent the bulk of the decade in her twenties. The first part was spent finishing school and building a career, and then in recent years adding to our family. Here is a quick re-cap:

  • I entered the decade at 21 years old. Jeramy and I had been married for 1.5 years. I was going to school at the University of Washington, and working at a mom and pop owned canoe and kayak store where I'd been since age 17. We lived south of Seattle in a small apartment.
  • April: in anticipation of my graduation I took a part-time job at a biotech firm that would go full-time when I graduated.
  • June: earned my B.S. in chemistry
  • July - November: Dispised my job and my evil, bitchy co-workers. I hated working in a lab in part because being a lab technician can feel rather limiting (I was essentially a production worker) and because I'm a complete and total klutz which doesn't mix well with working in a lab.
  • December: Took a job with my current employer as a Program Assistant
  • October: in the wake of 9/11 we decided to buy a house. It seemed to come together way to quickly but within a couple weeks we had made an offer and moved in.
  • February: Got Cujo and I experienced my first taste of parenthood, which I found so stressful I nearly had a nervous breakdown. Okay, maybe that is exagerrating it. Maybe.
  • March: After working at one dead end job after another, Jeramy applied for a Pipefitter apprenticeship and managed to beat out loads of other applicants.
  • Nothing special that I can remember. Jeramy was working and going to night school, and I kept growing in my position at work and received a few promotions over the years.
  • June: I had jaw surgery as part of my orthodontic treatments. My jaw was wired shut for a few weeks nearly driving me insane. Unfortunately the surgery did not go as smoothly as planned and would require a repeat surgery down the road.
  • July: I was accepted into the Executive Master's in Health Administration program at the University of Washington. I'd spend the next two years working full-time while going to school.
  • Spent the year in a haze of stress from work and school
  • August: Graduated with my MHA!
  • September: Started in my current Project Manager position in a different department
  • October: Jeramy's graduation banquet from his apprenticeship. I don't think he was officially a journeyman until the following year, but he finished all of his schooling!
  • December: After years of putting it off we began TTC. I was never optimistic that it would be quick given my history of sporadic cycles. I was never casual about TTC and began charting and using OPKs immediately.
  • May: Went to my primary care MD about my irregular cycles and charts showing a late O
  • June: Tests show nothing wrong. Referred to an OB but scheduled an appointment with an RE instead
  • August: Clomid cycle #1...ovarian cyst #1
  • October: Clomid cycle #2 w/IUI...ovarian cyst #2. Switched to Femara.
  • December: Started Femara cycle #1 w/IUI on Christmas Eve
  • January: BFP!!!
  • January - October: Happy pregnancy and relatively easy pregnancy. Jillian born 10/7/08!
  • October - December: Maternity leave and coping with a fussy newborn
  • December: Almost on a whim we decide to look at houses closer to my MIL who would be watching Jillian after maternity leave. Within a week we find a house, get approved for a loan and have an offer accepted.
  • January: Move to new house
  • February: Jeramy gets laid off which we expected. He devotes his time to getting our old house on the market. We get a couple offers within a few days of listing it!
  • April: We officially own just one house again.
  • April - July: Jeramy devotes his time to adding on the master bedroom
  • August: A surprise BFP!
  • August - present: A happy and relatively easy (albeit stressful lately) pregnancy with Hayden
Presumably the 2010's will bring us more good times watching our two girls grow. By the end of the next decade they'll be 9 and 11!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Small Sign of Relief

Thanks everybody for your comments and reassurances on my last post. I keep reminding myself that statistics are on our side for a healthy baby. I think it was the whole chat with the genetic counselor that had me worked up, because such conversations are bound to be focused on the negative and what if scenarios.

The good news is that the fetal echo went great yesterday. We were doing it because of a history of heart problems in Jeramy's family (we did one with Jillian also), but I certainly made sure to mention how the other ultrasound went so they could be on the lookout for anything else negative. Luckily all they saw was what appears to be a perfectly healthy little heart. Phew! Hopefully the follow-up ultrasound in a couple more weeks will only bring more good news.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ways to Frighten a Hormonal, Emotional Pregnant Woman

*I'm posting twice in one day as I didn't really want to combine this post with our Christmas post. So don't forget to check out all the pics of Jillian's holiday fun below*

I'm in an emotionally precarious state these days. I can't think of the last day that went by that I didn't cry. I cry over movies. I cry over the local news. I cry over television shows. I cry over commercials. I cry over books. I'm a hormonal basket case. And my ultrasound last Wednesday nearly put me over the edge.

As I mentioned before, we went for an ultrasound at the maternal fetal medicine clinic (rather than our OB) because Hayden is not a photogenic baby. She prefers hiding at the bottom of my uterus behind the placenta to getting her picture taken. The same held true at the MFM clinic so much so that they even hauled out the transvaginal wand to get snapshots of her brain since it was crammed up against my cervix. This is clearly a stubborn child.

The hour plus of trying to photograph my child I could handle. What I couldn't handle were the words "marker for downs" and "marker for Trisomy 18". They said that they thought my OB sent us in because the nuchal fold seemed to be measuring a bit thick (5 cm) and at their office it was measuring between 5-6 cm. They prefer to see it less than 5 cm but that measurement is really only valid until 20 weeks and both ultrasounds were taken just past that mark. Plus some doctors consider 6 cm the cut off so really the measurement is borderline. There was also some other brain part that was measuring at the upper edge of acceptable, which could be a marker for Trisomy 18. However, usually you would see other markers of that condition and none were found. Plus my nuchal fold testing and blood work from the sequential screen put Hayden's risk at both conditions at 1 in 20,000 so during the ultrasound I wasn't really too worried.

But then they stuck us in a room with the genetic counselor. She was nice enough for sure. But somehow sitting in that room and listening to her throw all these numbers at us sent me over the edge. She said that a marker like this would typically increase the risk of either condition 20 fold (and really since both measurements were borderline abnormal maybe even less) meaning that the 1/20,000 went to 1/1,000. She then told me that amnioscentisis was an option if we wanted to know for sure. But of course when I pressed her on the risks of that procedure, she told me that the chance of miscarriage was also 1/1,000. I told her that I didn't want to do the amnio since it didn't make sense statistically, but of course I was in tears at that point and she pressed me about whether I felt comfortable with that decision. In truth, I really felt like they were steering more towards the amnio...this is the U.S. after all. The more tests and procedures the better, right?

Anyhow, Jeramy and I decided not to do the amnio. Like I said it didn't make sense statistically, and I don't think we would decide to terminate the pregnancy based on the results. Plus as I got to thinking about it more, at 1/1,000 the risk for Down's is not even elevated over the normal incidence of the condition, and they certainly don't recommend amniocentisis for every pregnancy. I feel fine about this now, but it was not a good feeling to be sitting in that room working about a .01% risk and being pressed to make a quick decision.

I do go back in a few weeks for a follow-up ultrasound to measure the part of the brain that was borderline as a marker for Trisomy 18. They want to look to make sure it is growing at a normal rate. And tomorrow is the fetal echo. For the first time ever, I find myself wishing that I didn't have to do any more ultrasounds. I'd rather close my eyes, not think of the risks (which are always there in any pregnancy) and imagine a healthy baby girl at the end of this.


We had a very good, albeit busy, Christmas this year. On Christmas Eve we hosted my mom's side of the family at our house. It worked really well to have everybody at our place because Jillian is much friendlier to unfamiliar faces at our house than at other people's house. It is like she went into instant hostess mode, and there wasn't a single person's lap that she missed. On Christmas day we ran all over the place to my Dad's, Jeramy's mom's and Jeramy's dad's. Starting next year it is my goal to stay home on Christmas Day and we can host whoever wants to come over sort. It is just too hard to go to so many places, and I want to start building traditions with my children other than hanging out in the car and throwing tantrums when mommy won't let them touch people's breakable objects.

Jillian was completely spoiled, of course. Here are some pictures of her fun...

Christmas Eve she got a Pelican pull toy with balls in its mouth from her great aunt and uncle. She really liked taking the balls out of the pelican's mouth and throwing them down the stairs. Luckily she also thought it was fun to retrieve the balls, which thankfully she can do by herself. We took down the baby gate at the top of the stairs before company came over, but I think we're going to leave it off since she is so mobile on the stairs now.

Christmas morning, Jillian woke up to find that Santa brought her a play kitchen! She likes it almost as much as the real one...more maybe since these cabinets don't have locks on them. We moved the changing table out of her room and into Hayden's to make room for toys (Jeramy already painted Hayden's room if you can believe it). I figured that I would change her diapers in there, and after the baby is born we'll set up the pack n play as a second diaper changing station.

She and her cousin Julia got life size dolls (well bigger than life at their current size). They modeled with Aunt Brittany/Julia's mom because it is pretty much impossible to get a decent shot of both of them without adult intervention.

Jeramy's mom made Jillian the coolest rocking motor cycle. It turned out really great (which is good given the countless hours that went into it!). At first Jillian was uncertain about sitting on it, but once Julia showed her how she was fine.

Riding her new quad. She could figure out how to hit the button to get it to move but only in little spurts. Jeramy practiced with her last night, and she was getting the hang of holding it down longer. Not too much longer until she can ride a real one!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Bump has a Name

We have officially come up with a name for baby #2. Drum roll please...

Hayden Catherine

I, of course, reserve the right to change my mind about the name at any point in time because I am a hormonal pregnant woman after all. And yes after three "J" names we are going with an "H". I never meant to start a theme by picking the name Jillian the first time around. We just happened to like it.

I've now reached the halfway mark amazingly enough. My back is really starting to feel it too, as little Miss Hayden seems to be burrowing into my lower right backside causing sciatica and pain. It can be especially bad on the weekends as I tend to be on my feet more cleaning and running errands. Jeramy got a quick pic the other morning. The picture quality isn't great because apparently the flash wasn't on but you get the idea. For comparison you can find my 20 week belly pic with Jillian here. Pretty similar, I think.

In other news, it seems that we have a peeping tom at our house. We'd call the cops, but she's kind of cute.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


We are actually getting a second anatomy scan done with a better machine at the maternal fetal medicine clinic, because it turns out this little girl was a bit difficult to photograph. This time the placenta is on the outer wall blocking our view, and she was not in a particularly good position. So there will be more, better pictures, to come!

In the meantime everything else looks good. Heart rate of 140 bpm and measuring right on target at 20.5 weeks!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And it's a healthy baby...


I must say that I'm pretty damn excited to be getting two little girls. Hopefully Jillian and her little sister love each other. Or at least don't kill each other before they grow up :)

Jeramy, on the other hand, is nervously stockpiling weapons to ward off boys when they become teenagers.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tomorrow is the Big Day

I can hardly believe that tomorrow we will hopefully be finding out the answer to the boy or girl question. It seems that most of you are guessing girl, and I cannot say that I'm guessing any differently. This pregnancy just seems too much like the last one for me to think otherwise. Well unless you count the whole "spontaneous" thing as opposed to the RE's office thing as different. Jeramy is so adamant that we're having another girl that he has been referring to baby #2 as Jillian's little sister since the test came back positive. I can't say that I would mind since I have fond memories of having a little sister close in age despite the fact that we spent most of the time arguing and punching each other. A boy would be great to, since then we'd have one of each. Either way, I don't think we can go wrong gender wise.

This pregnancy really has flown by in comparison to the last. My day consists of work, chasing Jillian around, and then a precious hour or two of relaxation with Jeramy after she goes to bed. Weekends are more of the same. I love it, but it is busy. I lack the luxury of sitting around and contemplating the wonder that is this pregnancy unlike last time. In a way I almost feel a little guilty that being pregnant at times feels like more of an afterthought rather than my constant focus. But really I think it is more of a function of being busier. It is feeling more and more real though, probably because I have really began feeling movement. I felt flutters earlier this time around since I knew what I was looking for, but the real distinct movements did not begin until a week ago.

Now that Jillian is sleeping like a champ, I have been knitting more in the evenings since I know this will all come to an end again in a few short months. I finished Jillian's Helena sweater. It is a little big (although it is supposed to be long), but I think it should fit well by the spring.

And a sock! I'm now knitting the matching sock. And if I finish that sock it will be the first complete pair I've ever made.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Because I'm a Cruel Mom...

I forced Jillian into another Santa Photo-op. This really never gets old for me!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jillian's Likes and Dislikes

Jillian turned 14 months old today. Here are a few things that she likes:
  • Food. Especially strawberries, cheese, potatoes, cheetos, and beef. And whatever mommy, daddy or Cujo is eating. Dog bones are considered a delicacy in Jillian's book.
  • Spinning in circles to get dizzy.
  • Climbing over the top of the couch to stand in the window sill.
  • Cujo. If only he felt the same.
  • Bedtime. Hallelujah!
  • Peek-a-boo.
  • Saying "mamamamamamamama." Finally!
  • Making a mess.
  • Spilling her milk onto the ground and then playing in it.
  • Showers.
  • Turning on the electric fireplace in mommy and daddy's room with the remote.
  • Smiling at strangers to make them think she likes them...until they want to hold her.
  • Tickles.
  • The book Hand Hand Fingers Thumb.
  • Songs with motions like the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the Little Green Frog
Something Jillian does not like:

Is it wrong to love this picture so much?

By the way I finally, at 19 weeks, got around to adding a ticker for this pregnancy. The 2nd time around is a little different. Not because I am any less excited but rather because time is limited. Typing a post is impossible until after bedtime as Jillian likes to help you type. She has taught us computer commands that we never knew existed.

Also, the anatomy ultrasound is next Tuesday! I'm hoping not only for a healthy and happy baby but to get a glimpse of one particular part of the anatomy in particular. Any guesses as to what I'm having? There is a poll in the upper right corner. So far this pregnancy is just like my last one. Practically no symptoms at all. I keep forgetting that I'm even knocked up, although my growing belly is starting to make that more and more difficult.