Monday, March 29, 2010

That was fast

We bought a car yesterday--a 2010 Subaru Forester. Our first choice was actually a Hyundai Tucson, but there were waiting lists to get one, and the Forester wasn't really a step down. I'll post all of the pros/cons, test drive stuff, etc later tonight. That's one thing off the pre-baby to-do list!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Also, we are going car shopping tomorrow--woo hoo! Tim's truck has been undriveable for over a week, so his dad lent us his old truck (it's a 1998 that has only a fraction of the miles that Tim's 2001 has...)

We've got our list, I ponied up and bought the Consumer Reports online car subscription thing, and we've lined up the bank (so I guess it will be the bank's car...). Sophie's going to hang with my mom tomorrow, and Tim and I have to test drive a ton of cars in one day. We probably won't buy tomorrow, but we need to narrow down the list.

For all those who offered Facebook recommendations, thanks! We've made a list of those.  I'd love any other feedback. We're looking at small SUV's/crossovers with good gas mileage. The frontrunners, in no particular order, are the Forester, Rav4, CRV, Equinox, Escape, Santa Fe, Tuscon, and Terrain. If we find a good one this weekend, I'll let you know! I'm crossing my fingers we'll find a deal.

Nothing like writing a huge check, only smaller than the two house down payments we've had to write...


I guess I will need to exercise some patience for the next few weeks. I saw my doctor today, and she said unless my health goes down the tubes (like preeclampsia or diabetes), she won't induce me. She does think Josh is big, but she's not in favor of inducing early. I guess if he gets stuck, we'll section.

I'm pretty bummed by this but not surprised. I read up on fetal macrosomia (big baby) on the other day, and it sounds like inducing early didn't lower the number of fetal injuries (like shoulder dystocia) and did increase the rate of c-section and associated complications. I knew that induction raised c-section rates, but I was hoping a big baby would justify the risk. Unless the mother had uncontrolled diabetes, there hasn't been any proven benefit to inducing early.

I'm a scientist, so I am all in favor of research. I was just hoping it would come out more the way I wanted it to :) Such is life, I deal with unfavorable data all the time! And I would really prefer to avoid a c-section if possible. I know sometimes it is unavoidable, but it is so much better for me and baby to do it the old fashioned way if at all possible. I'd hate to push for an induction before I'm ready. Then again, I did need to max out on pitocin when I was already in labor with Sophie, so I'm sure I'll probably need some sort of help this time too.

My doctor did say that, minus the more rapid weight gain I've had at my last two visits, she's happy with my pace of weight gain. And she said the last two visits (gaining 10 pounds over six weeks) were probably more water than anything, considering how swollen I've been. So that's a positive after my recent weight gain rant.

I guess I'm just going to have to hang in there. I've got another appointment April 9, and then they are every week after that. She said she'll check me at my next visit and see if I'm dilated/effaced. I was with Sophie at 36 weeks, and I'll be almost 37 weeks at my next visit, so here's hoping. Not that dilating/effacing early got me anywhere productive with Sophie!

So, maybe we won't be having an April baby after all. That gives me more lab time, which is good, but I am so ready to have this kid. My abdomen has exploded in the last week--pants and shirts that I could wear comfortably are now tight. The thought that I have about 5 weeks to go is depressing. But I felt this way with Sophie, and I think most people who have gone through it would agree that pregnancy is about a month too long.

And I would've liked to have a scheduled induction so that I could put it on my calendar and plan. Big shock, right? Me, need to plan? But, I'm trying to just let it go. He'll come when he's ready. I'm just hoping he doesn't get too much bigger...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cracks me up

Here's an excerpt of what I actually said when we got our ultrasound with Sophie:

"Everything else looked good. We're 36 weeks 2 days, smack on with the original due date (and the one we've been using) of October 16. They checked her heart (heart rate 138, good flow), kidneys, bladder, stomach, brain, etc and it all looked good. They estimated her weight at 6 lbs 7 oz by femur length, which is just under 50th percentile, and her head was just about 50th percentile too. Nice average baby."

That was on 9/20/2007, just over a month before I delivered. And as I mentioned, she was 93rd for both height and weight when she was born. I was 33 weeks 6 days with Josh's ultrasound, and he is about the same size now that Sophie was 2.5 weeks later in the pregnancy. Maybe that means I'll get to go 2.5 weeks early...I'm not counting on it though.

Tim says I should print that out and bring it to my visit on Friday to convince my doctor to let me go early. I'm not sure I'll go that far, but we are definitely talking about a plan this week!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Birthing a linebacker

Well, we had an ultrasound to guess the weight of the baby. Turns out he's a linebacker. For history's sake, we had one with Sophie around this time to see if she was breech and guess the weight. She was breech, and they were guessing she was about 55th percentile for height and weight (so, not big). At birth, she was 93rd percentile for both height and weight.

With Josh, they measured today and he's high-80s percentile (I forget the exact number) for both height and weight. They estimated him, right now, at 6 pounds 2 ounces. He should be about 5. (I was 6 pounds 14 ounces when I was born!) The technician was moving pretty fast, but most of the gestational age predictions for leg length, BPD, belly size, etc were putting him at 35 week 4 days to 36 weeks and a few days. I'm not 34 weeks till tomorrow. And the doctor, who runs the division, checked me and said ultrasounds will underestimate--they are much less likely to overestimate. So basically, he's big. And he won't be getting smaller--if anything, he would gain about 1/2 a pound a week from here on out (or potentially more).

There was some guessing after my first ultrasound that I may be running a bit ahead on my dates. We didn't change my due date then, but if I was running ahead then, and I was likely to have a big baby anyway, it's not surprising I'm measuring so big.

He was head down though, and there wasn't a lot of room to move, so I'm guessing he'll stay that way. No external cephalic version this time--woo hoo!

I see my doctor this Friday, and I'm hoping we'll talk inducing early. She promised if I was big that I wouldn't go overdue, but I'm hoping (if all looks ok) she'll induce me a week early. Heck, I'd take two weeks early. Either way, considering I was due May 2, I'm pretty sure Josh will be an April baby. Tim wants him on my birthday (April 19) or April 25 (so Josh and Sophie would be exactly 2.5 years apart). I don't know that we'll have that much of a say in it, but I'll take the earliest day possible. I'm sure we'll want to make sure we're past 36 weeks so the lungs are okay, but I'll take the first day they say it is safe.

Good thing we got the nursery painted yesterday. Now there's even more of a push to finish that room up and get everything washed and ready.  I'm not nesting yet, but I can fake it! My body is wishing I wouldn't have waited so long to paint--not a fun time--but it would have been worse if we had put it off another week or two.

Of course, my thought was, "Crap, now I'll probably have a week or two less time in the lab to get everything done." Guess that means I'm going to have to find a way to be as uber productive as possible. That may involve finding a place to work where I am not bothered by departmental interruptions. Not sure a place like that exists, but I'll try.

At least it justifies me feeling so pregnant! And it also means I am mostly baby/fluid/placenta/uterus, etc. Hopefully that means the baby weight will come off relatively fast.

I'll keep you posted! I don't know that the doctor will do an internal check this visit (I didn't get one till 36 weeks with Sophie), but if she does check, I hope Josh cooperates with the dilating/effacement plan as well as Sophie did. That will definitely help this to be an induction instead of a c-section.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wish I had something exciting--sorry!

Sorry, again. Ask anyone with a blog--the more time goes by between posts, the harder it is to come back. I feel like after a few weeks off I should have some interesting news to share. Nope, not really. It's been the same thing every day, which bores me, so I didn't figure you wanted to hear about it :)

Lab is still moving forward. There are so many loose ends that need to be tied up--I am capable of multitasking, but what I prefer is to complete one task in its entirety so I can cross it off my list. And boy, do I have a list at the moment! Instead, I can only do things here and there, so while things get done, nothing ever leaves the list.  But, at least it's progress, even if it isn't the type I prefer.

My committee hasn't changed their minds, so I am working to finish experiments for the paper so I can send it in before I go on maternity leave. A few weeks ago, I thought I'd be done by now. As of right now, I think it'll probably go right up till the end. There are just too many things that come up suddenly, both lab-wise and departmentally, on a regular basis. Those are real time-suckers, and there isn't a lot I can do about them. Mandatory is mandatory.

I am down to my last two patient clinics. I'm finished at the end of March, and it's sad. I've really enjoyed the years I've spent seeing patients one afternoon a week at the VA hospital. I had an excellent mentor, the patients have (mostly) been very understanding and willing to have me learn, and it's such a gratifying experience. Compared to science, where results coming to fruition can take years, seeing a few patients in an afternoon and helping them get their health under better control is definite immediate gratification.

I'm also about six weeks away from my due date. I think Josh turned head down last week, judging by where he is now kicking (and how much more heartburn I have). I'm hoping that means we'll avoid the breech issue this time. I did have a vent session last night with Tim about things though.

Don't get me wrong, despite the third trimester complaints (heartburn, insomnia, hip/back pain, water retention), I feel much better than I did in the first trimester. I'm a lot slower and I can't bend, but at least I can leave the house. Having said that, the end of pregnancy was frustrating for me with Sophie, and it's shaping up to be similar with Josh.

Let me offer a piece of advice if you ever run into a pregnant woman: don't tell her how big she looks, or how she looks like she won't make it to her due date. We feel like whales. We know we're big; we deal with it constantly. You pointing it out doesn't make it better.

I know people are just trying to make conversation. But like I told Tim last night: I don't expect people to tell me I look tiny, but please give me a little credit for not turning into a balloon. I'm almost 34 weeks, and I've gained less than 20 pounds. And a lot of that is water weight: I wake up with 1+ edema, and I'm at 2+ pitting edema by the end of the day. Nothing I can do about the water retention, so that weight I have to deal with. But I'm watching my simple carbs, my blood glucoses have been very good, I'm not eating out much (about once a month), and I'm trying to be healthy.  To do all this and then be constantly told how huge I am makes me want to give up and grab a huge shamrock shake from McDonald's.

People mean well, I know they do. But a little recognition of how hard I am trying would be nice. At my last doctor's appointment on Friday, it was a total bummer. I hadn't seen her in 4 weeks, and I had gained 7 pounds by their scale (4 by mine). My blood pressure was good (actually a little low), and my sugar was good. I was really swollen that morning and said so. When my doctor came in, she said that she wanted an ultrasound because I was measuring big for dates and gaining weight rapidly. Her explanation was, "measuring big could just be because I am measuring you plus the baby." She's a nice woman, and I know she didn't mean what I took from that, but I hear, "your fat belly is screwing up the measurements." And she did say that she thought most of the recent weight gain was water, but I've never had a visit where she's commented on the fact that my weight gain has been pretty well controlled. One visit like that would be nice.

I have been petrified of having another big baby. I've done everything I can on my end to try and prevent that, but at this point, I'd almost rather have him big. One, that means I'd get to schedule an induction and not go overdue. Two, it means that the weight I have gained is mostly baby. But I'd also be disappointed, because it means that nothing I have done has worked.

I'm frustrated to the point where I think I should've just eaten whatever I wanted, consequences be damned, and gained 60 pounds. At least then I think the size comments would be justified. I knew I'd never be one of those people who gain seven pounds and look all tiny through the entire pregnancy. But if you're going to paint me as someone who isn't trying hard enough, at least let me enjoy the benefits of not trying!

Anyway, I'm just tired of the comments. Again, I know people don't mean nasty things. But every morning at day care, at least one person comments about how big I am, how I'll never make it to my date, etc. This morning it was, "Wow, you look really tired!" Thanks. Thanks a lot. I am tired, and I needed you to remind me of that.

Tim's been really supportive about this, and he knows how sensitive I am to all the weight comments. That's why I can vent to him. But knowing I have six more weeks, and remembering how I blew up with water retention at the end with Sophie, I am sure things will get worse on that front before they get better. On the other hand, I have yet to take an official pregnancy picture because I've felt so un-picturesque, but that isn't going to improve either.  I've been very careful not to talk about any of this in front of Sophie--the last thing I want is for her to learn my body image issues--but it hasn't been easy.

I hate to whine, and I'll try not to bring this stuff up again. It's just that pregnancy is so tough on its own--I don't need other people making me feel like crap on top of it. Yes, I am uncomfortable. Yes, I am tired because I can't sleep. Yes, my ankles are swollen to the point that I can't get my shoes on. Yes, I walk at a glacial pace because my hips and back hurt. You don't need to point it out, thanks.

Anyway, I'm really not oversensitive about it most days. I've done a pretty good job of just smiling and letting whatever comment roll off my back. Yesterday was just one of those days. Both Tim and I are stressed out--he's been working nonstop, including nights and weekends, on this never-ending, undead, frustrating job. He had a rough day yesterday, so I think we both needed a vent session. I'm glad we get along so well, because it's easy to understand what the other person is feeling.

We're both taking Friday off--not as a day of rest, unfortunately, but to try and get stuff done in the house before I am completely immobile. We're finally going to paint the nursery, move furniture, set up the spare bed, and try to get ready for Josh. I did buy size1-2 diapers at Costco last weekend, so if he comes early, we'll have those. I need to sterilize all the bottles and the pump pieces, buy new bottle nipples/pacifiers, and go through all the clothes to pull out the gender neutral things he can wear. Of course, even with those, Sophie was a late fall baby, so we have a lot of heavy sleepers and things he won't need. We do have some white onesies, so if all else fails, that'll be his uniform for a while. My cousin is going to kindly lend us some boy's clothes, and I am hoping Tim's cousin (who has twin boys) will offer us some too. If not, craigslist it is!

Overall though, I have been thankful for how well the pregnancy has gone, and how healthy we all are. We've been surrounded by health issues--Tim's cousin's twins were actually both diagnosed with a very rare genetic disease that may cause them to go blind/lose an eye. They've both already had surgery, and thank god it's not something like retinoblastoma, but that was a wakeup call (they are six weeks younger than Sophie).

And then one of Tim's coworkers had his two year old daughter diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. I don't know the type, but she's already had surgery, was in ICU for several weeks, and just this week traveled to Philadelphia for a very uncommon form of radiation treatment. I guess the recurrence rate, best case scenario, is about 50%, and she may have permanent brain damage if she does make it. And she's 5 months younger than Sophie. I was a real mess when I heard about what was going on with them--I can't imagine what they are dealing with. I was distraught when Sophie went back to surgery for 15 minutes to get tubes in her ears. I just can't imagine--it breaks my heart.

Three kids, all around Sophie's age, with very rare diseases. I feel like we are due for something. I'm thankful every day that we have a healthy, strong-willed toddler, even if she is a handful on a regular basis. But I don't know how we are lucky enough to have a healthy child when there are so many other people dealing with life threatening issues. Really, after taking embryology in medical school, it's astounding to me there are so many healthy, "normal" people in existence. So much has to go just right, at the right time, for a person to be born healthy (and stay that way).

And so, in the big scheme of things, I'd rather deal with two healthy kids who gave me issues in pregnancy/delivery. I'll birth another nine pounder if I have to, if that's what it takes for him to be healthy. We've been blessed to be able to have kids relatively easily, which I know many people struggle with, and we're blessed to have lots of people around to help us take care of them.  Feeling like a whale for a few months isn't the end of the world. And I know I've done what I can, even if everyone else assumes I've been living it up in the drive-thru lane. That'll have to be enough.