Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The project is complete

Since Project Williams Baby is now an actual little baby boy, we are going to resume posting on our family blog at Our Life Together.

Friday, November 12, 2010


 It is so hard to see my baby like this. I haven't posted many full photos of him. I take photos of his tiny feet and his tiny hands and his beautiful face. But, never of his complete body. And you can see why. He's a tiny little thing. With all that stuff attached to him.

We saw him today and in the morning, they turned the suction off to his chest tube and we were hopeful this would be it. However, a few hrs later, he had air gathering outside his lung again so they had to turn the suction on again. Not the news we were looking for but I am glad they caught it fast. The plan moving forward is to let the lung heal for another 48 hrs. Then, try turning the suction off again.

His lung just needs time to heal. I am repeating that to myself over and over again. It's so damn hard though. I want him home. The mother in me wants to just grab him out of that plastic bed he's in and run home. But, the smart woman inside me knows staying there is the best for him for now.

Thank you to everyone who's kept us in their thoughts and prayers. We don't return your calls or emails in a timely manner and sometimes not at all. Please know it's not intentional. We're taking each day one at a time. We appreciate you and your words even though we don't say it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I am home

and Oliver's not. There's something unnatural about driving away from the hospital after giving birth, without my baby with me. It's not supposed to be like that. I am supposed to have him decked out in some impractical take home outfit, strapped into his car seat, maybe fussing because once again his warm bed is being exchanged for unfamiliar surroundings.

Emotionally, it was hell coming home. Intellectually, I know it's best for Oliver and me. For Oliver to stay there because he's getting a chance to fix his lung and come home healthy and able to take care of himself. For me because every time I heard a baby on my floor, I couldn't stop crying. I am happy for the parents with their happy (well crying) and healthy babies but it just makes me realize what I am missing.

With every X-ray, he seems to take 2 steps forward and 1 back. But, as Jeff pointed out, that's still 1 step forward each time so I need to focus on that. Today, he started taking pumped milk. Every 3 hrs, 10cc, which is great. Yesterday, he was getting his nutrition via IV only. They tried clamping his chest tube today but he started getting some more air leaking out of the lung so they took the clamp off again. As long as the air keeps getting drained out, the hole has a chance of healing itself. Tomorrow morning brings a brand new day, a brand new X-ray at 7 a.m. and brand new hope in my heart for some more steps forward.

Look at our foreheads. Thankfully, I can see some of me in him now. I can easily see Jeff in his lips, chin, eyebrows. I think the nose, ears and forehead might be mine. Like my sister-in-law commented about her newborn son, "I carried him for 9 months, he could show me something about me in him!" He is absolutely adorable though. I didn't want to say this before but now that my parents and sister have confirmed it too, I will state it for the whole world. Oliver is a 100 times better looking in person than in photos :-P. There, it's out there. So, all y'all don't go by what you see, wait till you see him in person.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oliver Gary Williams

So, as almost everyone knows, I had a c-section planed for 11/11, only 4 days before my due date because Oliver was breech the entire pregnancy, and with an anterior placenta and scar tissue from previous surgeries, my OB did not feel comfortable trying any versions.

On the 6th, we were headed to a friend's surprise birthday party. During the day, I was having some contractions and I kept thinking they were uncomfortable but not painful so they were probably Braxton Hicks. Jeff had downloaded an iPhone ap for timing contractions and since I thought I was never gong to use it because of the planned c, I decided to go ahead and time these contractions for the fun of it. Well, for 6 hours or so, I kept track and they were all over the place. Sometimes 7 minutes apart, sometimes 3, sometimes lasting 30 seconds, sometimes over a minute. So, when we left their house at 9:30ish, we told them we were probably going home, but we might call L&D because the contractions were getting slightly painful.

On the way home, I called my OB's answering service, got a call back from the doctor on call who told me to come in to be monitored. In the next 30 minutes, the contractions suddenly went from being slightly painful to  me screaming at Jeff that if there was any day he was allowed to speed, this was it. We made it home, grabbed our packed bags, dropped off Smokey and headed to our hospital 15 minutes away. Every contraction from that moment on was excruciating. They got me into L&D, checked me in, got me in the beautiful gown and strapped me the monitors. The doctor on call came in and did an internal. Uhhh 4 cm, 100% and -1!!! What that means to the uninitiated is that I was in active labor. On top of it, he was trying to come out butt first.

So, things moved fast after that. They prepped me for my c, rolled me into the OR at 11:09 p.m. Jeff did see Oliver being born, still butt first. Oliver Gary Williams was born on 11/7 at 12:37 a.m. weighing 5 lbs 12 oz and measuring 18.5 inches long. They told us they'd take him to the nursery and bring him back once I was sewn up and in recovery.

This is where Oliver once again deviated from the plan. I was rolled into recovery and was waiting for Oliver to be brought in. Instead, I had a NICU nurse come in and tell me that he was born with a pneumothorax, so there was air around his right lung and he would be staying in NICU that night. Jeff went to see him and came back shook up because he saw them put a needle into Oliver's chest to help drain the air. Apparently, that wasn't enough so Monday morning, they put in a chest tube. We think and the doctors confirmed that he looked a lot better today and was doing a lot better with breathing too. They're keeping an eye on it and depending on how it resolves itself, Oli could be in the NICU 1 more day or another week.

I haven't held my sweet, handsome boy yet and it's tearing me up every time I think about it. I can go up and see him and touch him but I cannot pick him up and hold him to my chest. I am hoping that day is tomorrow. Keep your hopes up for us too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

38 weeks and the return of old friends

Editted to add some missing things:
What old friends, you ask? Let me list them for you, in no particular order:
  • heartburn
  • waking up 6-8 times to go to the bathroom through the night
  • horrible pain in my right hip and pelvic region
  • nausea
  • how could I have forgotten leg cramps? Despite eating a banana a day, they are back and bad as ever
Eating is so much fun again. Sarcasm fully intended. I lost 3 lbs last week because of the heartburn. No matter what I eat, once again, there's no rhyme or reason to when it might hit.

This week, Oliver's been very active. He tries to stretch his head up into my ribs, which is more weird feeling than painful. Once we saw his butt sticking out from the right side of my belly. I'm also feeling him move his arms and legs throughout the day. His hiccups are louder and bigger, making my belly move visibly. Sometimes, Jeff and I just watch the ripples and bulges on my belly.

We had some maternity photos done at the Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. You can see some of the photos here, rest are on my Facebook and Flickr account.
So close. I have 8 working days and 10 total days left till my c-section. I am excited and petrified at the same time.  I still have days where I wonder what the hell I'm getting myself into and who the hell thought it was a good idea for me to be a mother. On the other hand, I can't wait to see Oliver, see what he looks like, actually get to hold him. Hopefully, Jeff and I won't mess him up too much and he'll grow up to be a respectable member of society someday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 37

According to the ticker on the left, I passed Week 37 last Thursday, but that's because I changed that due date to reflect November 11 which is the scheduled C-section. But, I'll keep doing my belly shots according to the 11/15 due date schedule. So, here's the belly, still lopsided, enough that my belly button sits conspicuously to the left of my body's middle!

New things this week:
  • The Bump has a new size, the final size for the baby, from week 37 till he's born, apparently Oliver is a watermelon! 
Baby spends these last weeks in preparation for the outside world… meaning careful refinement of the blink, suck, inhale and exhale. Meconium, which you’ll probably find in the first diaper, is accumulating in the intestines. 

  • The Tarzan's Ultimate Guide to Baby Size for the daddies out there states that the baby is the size of a car motor.

    • Oliver's moving around a lot more! I can feel him stretching into my ribs and moving his arms and legs. Today, he moved a lot during the movie R.E.D., so here's hoping he's as big a Bruce Willis fan as his mom.
    • I got my flu shot yesterday. I get them at work every year but they didn't have any time slots I liked. So, I went to Rite Aid and got it and I'll just get reimbursed by my work.
    • I find new muscles daily by the pain they cause me. Amazingly, the worst time is in the middle of the night if I get up to go to the bathroom. I think anytime I stay in one position, muscles in my hips, butt and pelvis get stuck and then when I move them, they complain.
    • We have some other new news that we cannot share yet. No, I am not having twins :-P Hopefully, in a week or two, we'll be able to tell y'all.
    And, though 37 weeks is considered full term, I really hope & wish he holds on till November 11th, grows more, puts on some more fat and comes out a healthy happy baby. I wouldn't wish an early labor and NICU stay on anybody else, so I hope nobody wishes it on us.

      Tuesday, October 19, 2010

      A precious gift

      A friend's mom made this for Oliver. I have no words to express my gratitude and love for her and the entire family. They've been great friends to us since we moved here.

      I hope Oliver appreciates and loves it as much as Smokey obviously does.

      I love the airplane faces. This is even more special considering that little planes hold a special memory in Jeff and my dating beginnings. There is no way for Kathi's mom to have known that, yet it worked out so perfectly.

      Monday, October 18, 2010

      36 Weeks

      There's the belly at 36 weeks!

      According to The Bump, this is the last week the baby's like a honey dew melon. Starting next week, I can start calling him a watermelon. Yippee. I like watermelons better.

      According to most sites, he should be anywhere from 5.5 to 6 lbs, but at our last ultrasound on Wednesday, he measured at just under 5. Now, those can be off by a lb but of course Jeff and I were slightly worried. I brought it up to my doctor today, and she said that his growth was perfectly normal and according to gestational age. His abdomen is measuring fine and that's what they go by. She told us not to worry at all. Which will be difficult but we'll try. Apparently, Jeff was a low birth weight baby and look at him now.

      Our ultrasound also showed that he's still very comfortably breech, with his head inching up under my ribs and his butt perched somewhere on my bladder. Since I am 4 weeks away from the due date, we've set a date for the C-section - November 11th, 2010. If he decides to move before that, well and good. If not, we have a plan. And, he'll forever have a US holiday for his birthday. There are ways to try and move him with external manipulation, but for all the reasons mentioned in my 35th week post, we will not be trying that.

      Saturday, October 16, 2010

      1st time ever in 33 years 3 months and 20 days

      So, for the first time ever in my life, I was surprised. Yesterday, my work colleagues friends threw me a baby shower and it was a surprise. I knew there would be something but we usually coordinate these things to fall on days we have staff meetings - Mondays. Yesterday, a Friday, was supposed to be a bowling event for our team and that's all I was expecting. Till a coworker walked in with balloons and everyone started saying "Surprise Sylvie!"

      There was a cake with a baby face; there were gifts and there were photos of gifts that should be arriving at our house soon. We also bowled and had some team building camaraderie.

      Thanks to Brenda and Jacwana and Beth and everyone else who was involved in this. Even Jeff managed to keep this secret from me for a whole day. If you don;t know us, you have no idea how difficult that must have been for him.

      I feel lucky to have such a great group of friends as my coworkers. Thank you guys!

      Tuesday, October 12, 2010

      Getting there slowly

      Oh my! I got our car seat installed today by the Safe Kids USA today. Once the seat was in, and I was driving home, it hit me. In a month or so, there'll be a baby in there. I mean, honestly, does the hospital just let us walk out with a tiny human being expecting us to know what to do? I didn't even know that those window shades that get put on with suction cups could be dangerous as projectiles! I mean, what the hell? If we couldn't even think of that with all our education, how are we supposed to keep him safe and alive and well after we bring him home.

      I am also right now addicted to reading, looking online, researching, window shopping for cloth diapers. There is at least one program online (Jillian's Drawers) that let you try a bunch of different ones for $10. If at the end of the trial, you want to return all of them, they refund you everything but $10. If you decide to keep some, you just get charged for those. I am pretty sure, almost 95%, that we'll order the trial pack closer to delivery date. But, for now, I have a small stash of my own. Most of them are the FuzziBunz. But I have 1 Happy Heinys, 1 Bum Genius, and 1 set of gDiapers. So, we have at least 4 different ones to try as well. I am really excited about this. I am also not militant; so if it doesn't work for us, it doesn't work for us and we'll be fine with using disposables.

      I want back ...

      • my waist
      • my ankles
      • my whole wardrobe
      • most of my shoes
      • my memory
      • bathroom visits spaced more than an hour apart at night
      I'm sure I'll be adding to this list!

      Monday, October 11, 2010

      Busy, busy weekend and 35/35

      So, this is one of those magical number game times, I guess. I am 35 weeks down, 35 days to go. 35 days. Can you believe it? I can't! According to Baby Center, he's like a yummy honeydew melon.

      Jeff got to meet our OB today for the first time. Since he works 2 hrs away, it's not very logical for him to take a day off for every 1/2 hour appointment I have. But, today being a holiday and the doctor's office being open, it worked out perfectly. Today was also my Strep B test to see if I am a carrier. It's found in 15-40% of healthy pregnant women and all it means is if I am positive, they'll put me on antibiotics during delivery so Oliver doesn't catch an infection. We also talked about the fact that this baby is not moving head down. We'll wait till week 37, then my options are trying to do an external version or scheduling a C-section for close to my due date.

      Some of the pros of the procedure are obviously the baby gets moved into the correct head down position and we wait for natural labor to hit me. However, there seem to be a higher number of cons:
      • According to my doc, there is a risk of fetal distress
      • Also a chance of placental distress
      • Only a 50% chance of success
      • Chance that the baby will move back to breech position
      • Very uncomfortable/painful for me
      • In my case, the position of the placenta and scar tissue form previous surgeries makes it even more difficult to do the version
      Jeff and I talked about it after the appointment and we are both against trying the version for now. Well see if the baby moves in the next 2 weeks. If not, we are scheduling the C-section for close to November 15th. The possible dates are 11/11 or 11/18. If the baby changes position before then, good. If not, good. Either way, our plan is to have a healthy baby at the end.

      This baby is also still stubborn, he sat in the back today and messed up the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundal_height. So, Wednesday, I get to go in for a growth ultrasound. I don't think there's a problem. When we got home, he was moving around and sticking his head out the right side of my belly again, so I did a measurement and it was already 2 more centimeters than at the doctor's office. So, hopefully, that'll be confirmed at the hospital on Wednesday and we'll see that he's growing perfectly well.

      In other news, this weekend was a frenzy of activity and cleaning in the Williams' household. We did Oktoberfest on Saturday, lunch with neighbors on Sunday while watching the Ravens' game, OB appointment, B12 shot for me and whooping cough vaccine for Jeff on Monday. I did at least 6 loads of laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, dusted all wood furniture, steam cleaned the hard floors ... whew. We picked up a Shark steam cleaner for hard floors at Bed, Bath & Beyond and it is AWESOME! I cannot say enough good things about this contraption. I was using those Swiffer wetjet things till now and there is no comparison. Only thing left for next weekend is vacuuming the carpets. Then, I'll feel good about the house and not worry till next year. No, you think I am joking? After this weekend, I am not cleaning till after the New Year.

      Oh, I also made some cookies from scratch. I am on a baking craze and would have made some pina colada cupcakes today but we had one single egg in the house. So, that'll be next weekend.

      Because of all the stuff listed above, there were no belly shots, sorry! Trust me, it's growing though.

      Monday, October 4, 2010

      6 weeks? you have to be kidding me

      I could have Oliver this month. I think I am in denial. I JUST peed on a stick last week, didn't I?

      The belly seems to be growing. The orange shirt photo was last week at 33 weeks, and the grey one is from eysterday at 34 weeks. I'd like to con myself into thinking that's all Oliver growing but that can't be since he's only supposed to be gaining 1/2 a lb a week now and I am gainging much more than that.

      I forgot, last week at 33 weeks, both The Bump and Tarzan's Guide to Baby Development updated their size charts. The Bump says he's a delicious honeydew melon:

      Baby’s senses are continuing to improve -- when light peeks in through your (extremely) stretched belly, those tiny eyelids and irises blink and dilate. And, baby can now recognize and react to simple songs… time to start practicing your lullabies! Growth (at least inside your womb) is starting to slow, and you may notice baby descend into your pelvis at the end of this month.

      I think I already notice him being lower. The pressure on my stomach and lungs isn't as strong and I can eat more. So, I think he's lower, but he's still headsup. Every now and then I feel him stretching into my ribs, on the right side. Yes, he's still on the right side. My belly is lopsided.
      As far as lullabies go, he's still getting to listen to Bob Seger, Reba McEntyre, Bon Jovi, ABBA, ... and he's loving them. Well, he better, he's got no choice till he's a teenager and can put his own headphones in and shut out his mom's weird music.

      For the fathers out there, look, I am carrying a shiny new:

      Monday, September 27, 2010

      33 weeks - an old friend returns

      7 weeks to go, where did all this time go? Honestly, every week seems to crawl by on 2 bloody knees draggins it's broken legs behind it but then Monday hits and I can't remember how the last 7 days could go by so fast.

      Heartburn is back, not as bad as in the 2nd trimester but still as unpredictable. My Tums are my friends.

      According to the I Am Pregnant website,

      Your baby weighs about 4.4 pounds at this point. The crown-to-rump length of your baby is approximately 12 inches and the total length is around 19.4 inches. With the exception of crying, your baby is capable of doing everything that a newborn baby will do.

      Oh, so that's something they'll hoard up to do after they are born. Yippee.

      Your baby will probably have settled into the birth position by now and your caregiver can most likely tell which way your baby is presenting.

      Nope, this stubborn child o' mine is still a head up, butt down, breech baby.

      Mmmm, food, according to BabyCenter, he's like a pineapple right now. Yummay!
      I got nothing more folks. We had a busy and lazy weekend. No belly photos, a lot of eating. Some football, though the games weren't that exciting.

      Saturday, September 18, 2010

      32 weeks: belly, cloth diapers and Billy Idol

      Holy Cow, it seems to have popped even compared to 2 weeks ago!

      So, I have reached 32 weeks, in 5 weeks, I'll be full term according to a lot of doctors. I forget to ask my doctor what she considers full term. I don't really care, she'll tell me I guess when she wants this baby out if the baby himself doesn't let us know :-)

      According to Baby Center, Oliver looks like a jicama now:

      By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, he'll gain a third to half of his birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. He now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). His skin is becoming soft and smooth as he plumps up in preparation for birth.

      That's about right, I am gaining between 1-1.5 lbs a week.

      Oh my God, how did I not find this site before? Here's a week 32 cartoon from Pregnancy.Baby-Gaga:

      Make sure to read Week 2.

      According to the What to Expect site:

      You're likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby's signature rocking and rolling. That's because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now. Your baby has also probably settled into the head-down, bottoms-up position in your pelvis in preparation for birth. That's because the fetus's head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus. It also makes it easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first. Fewer than five percent of babies prefer the bottom-down (or breech) position by full-term. Don't worry if your baby hasn't assumed the head-down position yet. There's still a good chance he or she will flip head-side-down before birth.

      So, guess whose baby is among the 5% still preferring to be butt down? If you said me and Jeff, you win. My doctor will wait till week 36-37, then try to move him by manipulating my belly form the outside. If he still doesn't move, then we'll schedule a C-section. I am not worried; either way, we'll have Oliver hale and hearty sometime late October/early November.

      Cloth Diapers:

      We took a free informational class at Greenberries on Sunday about cloth diapers. Most people, including Jeff (before yesterday), think that cloth diapering means the old style cloth and pins. In reality, that's a very small percentage of cloth diapering today. It was the first option they showed us. Cheapest, yet not the easiest. And, you have to have a cover. They showed us 3 more types of cloth diapers, and I can only remember 2 - Fuzzi Bunz and Gdiapers. We liked the Fuzzi Bunz and bought 1 to bring home. They illustrated the abrorbency by pouring 4 ounces of water into the diaper. Then, they passed it around for us to touch and the lining was dry. They also appealed to us because the one size ones fit babies form 10 to 45 lbs. So, no buying different sets as the baby grows.

      We came home and calculated savings over the next 2-3 years. I even used numbers for disposables that were really low because I got 30% off on Amazon.com last week on newborn diapers. And, with that low low price, we'd still save $3000 over 2-3 years. So, imagine if we were paying full price on diapers. So,w e bought 3 more online that were old designs and were almost 25% off. We'll build our stash up over the next few months, so we can buy them cheaper than $20 each. Our plan is to start trying them with the newborn but use mostly disposables at the beginning. Then, slowly, we'll transition to the cloth ones completely.

      We liked the place and the people at the store, so we are going back next Sunday for their Babywearing class. Yes folks, go ahead, call us Prius driving, cloth diapering, babywearing hippies. But, I promise. We shower every other day.

      Last, but definitely not the least: Billy Idol:

      We were at the HFStival at the Merriweather Post Pavillion on Saturday and saw Naughty by Nature, Everclear, Billy Idol and Third Eye Blind. By far, Billy Idol stole the show, even though he wasn't the headliner. His voice is still so good after so many years. Third Eye Blind had no chance of coming in behind him and topping his performance. Baby Oliver seemed to think so. There were some Riverdance type moves in my belly through Billy Idol's performance.

      Well, folks, we had a busy weekend but it was fun and it was productive.

      Thursday, September 16, 2010

      Shoes, leave and other things

      Shoes: Left pair I wore yesterday, right pair I am wearing today.

      Do you think I am a masochist? Do you think I'd walk around in these for my 8-9 hr workday if I physically couldn't or if I was in pain? Let me answer those questions for you, the answer is NO. I wear what I am comfortable in, even if it doesn't look that way to you. So, stop commenting on my shoes or the fact that I still dress nice for work. I am not "strutting" in my dress, I just prefer to look professional even while pregnant.


      I am planning on taking 8 weeks off and yes, that's all. There were 3 things to consider in our (my husband and I, in case you wondered who might be involved)decision:
      1. How long I think I want to take off? Answer: 8 weeks right now and I know that I might change my mind when Oliver comes around. But, the next question really overrules any change of mind I might have in November/December/January.
      2. How long can I afford to take off and still be able to afford Jeff taking a couple weeks off? 8 weeks
      3. When will my work daycare take Oliver? 8 weeks
      4. Where is the work daycare? 5 minutes from my desk

      So, based on all the answers above, I'll be taking 8 weeks off and that's it. If anybody would like to argue with me about my choice of leave, feel free to ask me how much $$$ I need to be able to take each additional week of leave and send me a check. Also feel free to give me extra money for future leave since during leave without pay, I don't earn any sick or annual leave. Thanks in advance for your kindness.

      Other things:

      Along the same lines, if you ask me my preference on breast feeding, diapering, epidurals and don't like my answer, just try to remember who's going to be birthing the baby in a couple months. Sharing your experience is awesome, I love hearing the different stories because it just goes to prove that no 2 people's experiences with their babies will ever be exactly the same. But, if you start evangelizing one way or another and get on a soapbox, that's a very sure way to ensure I'll zone out, not listen to a word you say and avoid you in the future.

      Monday, September 13, 2010

      Post 2 of 2: AFI and Epidurals

      Over Labor Day weekend, when we were visiting my sister and parents, we went to Womb's Window and got a 3D ultrasound. At that appointment, the technician mentioned that my amniotic fluid looked really low and to mention it to my OB.

      Over this past weekend, during the childbirth classes, we learned so much new information that I had a whole list of questions for my doctor. Before taking these classes, I was of the mind that why would anybody put up with pain if you didn't have to. Which meant that our plan was to yell for an epidural as soon as we get into the delivery room.

      Over the 2 day classes we just took, I learned that as soon as I get that epidural:
      • I am confined to my bed. No moving around, no walking the halls, no changing positions to move the baby into a better position, nothing.
      • I cannot eat or drink anything anymore, not even jello and popsicles etc.
      • Since I won't be able to feel part of my body, the nurses will have to help me move legs etc. and the urge to push will feel different.
      So, I went in with my list of questions today for the doc and came away with the following:
      • I can ask for that epidural up till the very end. She said I could be 10 cm and if I can sit still for it, I can get it.
      • I can also ask for other IV narcotics to relax and rest for a while, as long as I am 5 cm or less. That way, if labor goes too long, they can give me something so I can rest before starting again.
      So, now, our plan is to go in and start labor and keep laboring without an epi unless it gets too bad. But, I'd rather keep my freedom for as long as possible.

      She also sent me to the Women's Health Center at St. Agnes for an ultrasound to measure my AFI (Amniotic Fluid Index). They measured me and told me it looked perfectly fine. Oliver is measuring at 3 lbs 10 oz which they said was good.

      1 of 2 today: Week 31

      9 weeks left out of the so called 9 months they give us to bake a baby :-)

      Baby Center tells me the baby is equivalent to 4 navel oranges:

      This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

      Oh yeah, this is one active baby. I can feel him moving a lot more throughout the day. Still don't feel his kicks as much in my abdomen because he's breech and tends to kick downwards and I have an anterior placenta so I just feel things a lot less. But, he moves quite a bit and has hiccups a lot too.

      According to I am Pregnant,

      This week marks an incredible milestone in your baby's lung development. Before now, the air sacs and branches in your baby's lungs were present but not functional. The lungs were not able to inflate properly. However, now there is surfactant being produced in your baby's lungs. Surfactant prevents your baby's lungs from collapsing outside of the uterus and the baby is able to take in air and breathe properly. The fetal ear is almost completely developed both inside and out. Your baby can hear your voice and other familiar sounds that she will recognize after birth. Your baby is putting on white fat under the skin and the skin's color is pink instead of red at this point. Your baby's fingernails have grown to the end of her fingers and she may scratch herself while she is in the womb.

      Jeff and I should really start controlling our, ummm vocabulary, so to say. The baby can hear us.

      This weekend, we took our Childbirth Education class at St. Agnes. Next post to coem will be about what we learned and how that changed some of the thoughts and plans I already had, biggets one being about the epidural. So, with that, I leave you hanging :-P

      Thursday, September 9, 2010

      The Bump Checklist

      On The Bump, they provide you with a checklist of things you should be doing depending on where you are in your pregnancy. Mine looks like this somewhat:

      Now, the cry baby face means I am overdue in doing those tasks. So, here's my friends and family plan. I am going to copy the categories form their website and fill in my ideas/thoughts.
      1. Who should I invite to the delivery room? Obviously darling husband will be in there. My sister will be in there as well if she makes it up here in time. My hospital St. Agnes has a 2 person limit for the delivery room.
      2. Head of the bed, foot of the bed, or the waiting room: Depending on whether my sister gets there in time or not, this will change. If she's there, I'd prefer Jeff to stay with me and her to watch the birth, considering she's the doctor. If she doesn't make it there in time, Jeff can move back and forth. I have no compunctions about him watching the birthing. I'd rather he be able to see exactly what's going on. I mean, come on, I'd rather be able to watch. At 8 or 9 years old, I watched them sew up a 3 inch gash in my knee even after the doctor warned me to lie down. I have a bigger fear of the unknown so as long as I can see what's happening, I am A-OK. And, my parents will be in the waiting room.
      3. & 4. go together: Timing is Everything & Recovery Rules: I am very good at handling large parties and hosting multiple sleeping over people. But, I am pretty sure I don't want to do that with a newborn in the hosue and with our 2 sets of parents. So, the plan is my sister and parents will drive up as soon as I go into labor. My sister only has a week of leave :( but my parents will stay for 3-4 weeks depending on when the baby is born, because then Jeff's parents will visit for a couple weeks. I need to find out if they'd like to avoid the holiday season or if that works for them.

      This was what The Bump listed but it doesn't list friends dropping by and things like that. The hospital doesn't have a visitor rule or timings. They stated that since you sleep when you can, just ask friends to call before showing up. Which works. I am sure during waking times, I'll want to see people, so call Jeff and stop on by. After I go home, same thing. Call us and make sure I am not sleeping (or passed out from binge drinking ... just kidding).

      So, there's my friends and family plan. Guess I can check that off and remove a crying baby from my checklist.

      And, I'll ask my OB what to expect during the delivery when I see her on Monday. But, I am expecting a lot of "we'll plan for this but we'll see what happens there" answers.

      Sunday, September 5, 2010

      30 weeks, 3D scans & stubborn babies

      Oliver is going to either be a very shy boy or a very stubborn one. We were in Wilmington, NC, visiting my family and we decided to get a 3D/4D ultrasound done since I was at 30 weeks. Well, the first day, the very nice lady at Womb's Window tried every possible thing. We had a Coke, candy, we prodded and pushed my belly, but Oli would not face forwards. She said she would reschedule us and when I told her we were leaving for MD on Monday, she called another coworker and asked her to come in and open up on Sunday. I tell ya, true Southern hospitality. So, we went back Sunday. Good news! Oliver was facing forwards, BUT he had an arm and a leg and the cord in front of his face. We got some good photos but not as many or as clear as we could have if he'd just lowered a foot or a hand.

      I am at 30 weeks, 10 more to go. My God, I am 3/4ths of my way through this pregnancy. Wasn't it just yesterday that I took that Clear Blue test into the ladies' room at Paradise Indian Cuisine?

      At 30 weeks, the good people at Baby Center tell me, Oliver's like a yummy head of cabbage:

      Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and he weighs almost 3 pounds. A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds him, but that volume will decrease as he gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. His eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after he's born, he'll keep his eyes closed for a good part of the day.

      Hmm, I really think he should be weighing around 8-10 lbs already; I mean that is what my weight gain is, right? All baby?

      According to the site I am pregnant,

      Because you are getting larger, you are probably becoming slower and clumsier. You should try to be careful to avoid dangerous falls. Good posture when sitting and standing can help you feel better during your pregnancy. You also should be rolling over on your side to get up after lying down because your muscles have stretched to accommodate your growing uterus.

      Uhh yeah, if I sit down on the ground or lie down on my back for a few seconds, somebody's got to pull me up or I look like a tortoise who got flipped onto his back.

      Your baby now does `practice breathing` to get ready for life outside of your womb. If you have an ultrasound at this time, you will be able to see this. If your baby swallows amniotic fluid down the wrong passage, he will still get hiccups that are noticeable by you.

      We could actually see this in the ultrasound today. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, we saw his tongue at one point. And, he gets hiccups a lot, so he really needs to practice his breathing.

      Monday, August 30, 2010

      29 weeks; 77 days left

      The only reason I mention the 77 days is that the ticker to the left caught my eye since I was born in 77, that's all. But, since I have reached 29 weeks, both The Bump and Tarzan's Guide to Baby Development give us new items to compare baby to:

      A papaya:

      Really? The baby is not round, so why do we compare it to spherical things?

      A big wheel:

      Ah hah, a website that tells me the baby looks like:

      A butternut squash, mmmm yummy. This is according to Baby Center:

      Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain.

      Yay for more brain, but the size of the head still gives me nightmares.

      Your baby's very active now. Your healthcare provider may ask you to spend some time each day counting kicks and will give you specific instructions on how to do this. Let your provider know if you ever notice that your baby is becoming less active. You may need a nonstress test or biophysical profile to check on your baby's condition.

      Considering we've already had a trip to Labor & Delivery over this issue, this is something I intend to bring up with my doctor today. I have a hernia mesh and an anterior placenta, so movements are hard to feel. Oh, I feel him when he lands a nice jab right to my bladder, but beyond that if he's just slowly swimming around in there, I don't necessarily feel it.

      And just as I finished typing that, he rewarded me with a swift kick to my belly.

      Just a small addition from the I am Pregnant website:

      Research has shown that your baby is not only able to hear, but also able to recognize your own voice. This shows that your baby can already learn, remember and recognize.

      I think he moves more when we talk to him. We'll keep talking and singing to the belly and see if more movement occurs.

      Thursday, August 26, 2010

      Shoes & books & hiccups

      Let's start with hiccups:
      Last night, I am lying on the couch watching some quality television (Bridezillas) when I feel something weird right below my belly button. I put my hand on my stomach and just feel it for a few seconds. It felt like a slight knock, very light, but every couple seconds. It would go on for 10-15 knocks, take a break for a few seconds and then happen again. I suddenly realized it was hiccups!!! I called my mom over and she felt them too. Jeff came home and he felt them too. The baby had them for a good hour. And again, this morning, for a few minutes.

      I asked Jeff to read a book to Oliver last night. It feels weird but I know he can hear us and I want him to hear more than my work meetings and my driving outbursts. I also want him to know his dad's voice. So, Jeff read Goodnight Moon to him. It still felt weird till Oliver kicked a few times towards the end. I don't know if it was just his regular kicking or if he was responding to Jeff's voice. I'd like to believe the latter.

      Found the first casualty of pregnancy. I tried these on last night and though a little snug, they felt fine. I could walk in them and nothing hurt. This morning, I couldn't zip them up. Welcome, fat feet. RIP for a few months, shoes.

      The only thing keeping me from sobbing about this is the fact that we leave for Niagara Falls tomorrow. Yippee!

      Tuesday, August 24, 2010

      7 months, and a shower

      Well folks, we have a belly! It could be all the food I ate on Sunday, but here it is:

      7 months down, 3 to go (if you count 4 weeks as a month; if you count 30/31 days, then I have 2.7/2.8 months respectively). I think I can safely say, so far, this trimester is my favorite! That might change when I gain more weight but so far, the 1st had slight nausea all day long and the 2nd had debilitating heartburn pain everyday almost, so in the absence of those 2, this trimester is shaping up to be a breeze. I know things can change so all you naysayers, let me enjoy my bliss while it lasts.

      According to Baby Center, this week the baby looks like a Chinese cabbage. They didn't provide a photo, so I looked one up.

      Your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds and measures 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels. Your baby can open his eyes now and see the light that filters through your womb. He can hear, too, so go ahead and talk or sing to your baby.

      Oh yeah, time to start indoctrinating him in the ways of country music. Also, probably should read movie synopsis more carefully before renting them. I thought Kick-Ass was a comedy, not so much as I cringed while watching limbs get cut off and stuff.

      Billions of neurons have developed and are firing in your baby's brain, creating essential connections that will help him learn in and outside the womb.

      Thank heavens he won't be stupid ;-)

      This past Sunday, 4 amazing and beautiful women, threw us a baby shower: my sister Suheir, Brenda, Kimber and Anjuli. It was great to see our friends and feel the love, not just through their gifts but through their support and their warmth. I managed not to cry at the shower itself, but I did as I was writing our thank you cards. Days like Sunday make us glad we moved to this area. It shows us that we have a support group here that's always there for us even though we might not speak with these people every day or even every week. Thanks to everyone who showed up and made the shower so special. Here are a couple photos; most others are on Facebook but I'll put them on Flickr as well for those who aren't on FB.

      This cake was yummy, coconut on the top and lemon on the bottom 2 tiers.

      Monday, August 23, 2010

      For now

      you'll have to do with this photo. Lisa is due 11/23 and I am due 11/15. You can try to figure out when our husbands are due hehe.

      Wednesday, August 18, 2010

      Sneak preview of L&D

      So, I got to see the labor and delivery department at St. Agnes today, way before our September 11 & 12 childbirth classes which include a hospital tour.

      Backstory: My OB told me on Monday that after eating, for 2 hours, I should count Oliver's movements. I told her how I didn't really feel a lot of movement, just a couple kicks here and there. She told me if I didn't count at least 10 in 2 hours, I should call her. So, for 2 days, I counted and called her today because the maximum I could ever get to was about 7. On average, I counted 3-4. She told me to immediately go to labor and delivery.

      Oye Ve. This was at 2:10 p.m. and my parents & sis were supposed to arrive at the airport at 2:40. So, I picked them up and we all hustled to St. Agnes. Where they gave me their sexy hospital gown and hooked me up to some monitors and watched the baby's heartbeat for 45 minutes or so. It was between 130s to 150s and the doctors were happy. I was told to keep on counting movements but to see if they're "normal" for me, i.e. if 7 is normal for me, then I should be happy with 7.

      So, I guess it was an hour spent to reassure ourselves that everything was ok.

      Sunday, August 15, 2010

      Goodbye, second trimester

      Here are 27 week belly photos:

      Today marks the last day of my second trimester. Tomorrow, I start the last leg of this journey. Let me tell you how glad I am. If I could see my feet, I would bend down and touch them and do a back flip. Many times. 2nd trimester as not good to me. Till last couple weeks, I was miserable every day. Every meal I ate was followed by extreme pain and acid reflux. The last 2 weeks, nothing! *knocks on some more wood* So, I am looking forward to the third trimester, since the transition into it seems to promise easier times.

      Highlights of this past week:
      • Did my gestational diabetes test on Wednesday. I called the doctor's office on Friday and my doc wasn't in so they couldn't give me my results. However, they did say if it had been abnormal, they would have called me. I have my appointment tomorrow, so I'll find out for sure.
      • Gained more weight.
      • Measured my belly and waist and I have officially lost my waist; put on 4-5 inches each since the beginning of the pregnancy in those areas.
      • When I stand, I cannot see my feet.
      • When I drop something, I cannot bend over or down gracefully to retrieve it.
      • I have to get up to use the bathroom every hour at night.

      According to the Baby Center website,

      the baby weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended. He's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes, and perhaps even sucking his fingers. With more brain tissue developing, the baby's brain is very active now.

      Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

      I haven't felt any hiccups yet, but then again, I think because of the hernia mesh in my belly, I feel less of the movements than I would have in its absence.

      Wednesday, August 11, 2010

      GTT Yippe kai ey

      Mmmm looks like Fanta, smells like Fanta, even tastes like Fanta, but unlike Fanta, this has 50 gms of glucose in it. This is what I had to drink this morning for my Glucose Tolerance Test. Every pregnant woman gets this done between 25 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, I believe, to test for Gestational Diabetes. Which, according to that side, could result in "fat baby." I am already afraid of birthing a 12 pounder, I didn't need to read that. But, I guess I'll get the results by Friday afternoon. They'll call if I failed the test. Then, I have to repeat it over 3 hours. Really hope I pass it this time.

      Since I have had gastric bypass, I am technically not a good candidate for this test, since my body doesn't metabolize sugars in a normal way anyways. The other option would have been to do the stick test 4 times a day for 5 days straight. You know? I would have preferred that. I don't mind needles, I don't mind sticking myself. I had heard so many horror stories about the GTT that 20 sticks in my fingers sounded like heaven. Which, if I fail this round, I might ask my doc to just do the sticks.

      I don't think I had a goal behind this post, I am just rambling. Blame it on the glucose ;-)