Wednesday, July 30, 2008

All Quiet on the Uterine Front

Well, not really, as the little bugger is flipping and twisting in an apparent attempt to prepare for Beijing (shhh...nobody told him/her about the age limits. Unlike YESTERDAY, when the stubborn little bugger would. not. budge., requiring four attempts at imaging its heart. What finally worked, I'm convinced, was Stephen vigorously shaking my stomach (not even kidding, the baby probably thought someone turned on the spin cycle, which should learn it to disobey me when I say MOVE!). All was good, though, the baby is perfect and AWFULLY cute. We got some really cool 4d pictures and if we ever get another scanner I will post them for my limited audience. S/he absolutely has Stephen's chin, no doubt about it. This is a VERY GOOD THING, as my mammoth jaw was responsible for the vast majority of my orthodontic drama. I can only hope the palate matches the jaw (especially because it'd be one weird-looking kid if it didn't, given Stephen's narrow jaw).

Stephen had second thoughts about keeping the sex a surprise while we were waiting. He kept imploring me to find out, but I really, really want it to be a surprise. I told him it was absolutely fine with me if he wanted to find out, as long as he can keep it a secret from me (I genuinely do not care), but he didn't think he could, so neither of us know. I told him we can find out next time...I guess. I was worried we'd end up seeing something yesterday that gave it away, but even when she was imaging the lower spine and butt, the tech did a great job of hiding everything, we did not see three parallel lines (girl) or an outie (boy, duh). She turned the screen away for the gender shot- I did not ask if she was able to visualize it well, the baby was in a terrible position and it's possible she really couldn't. It seem like she was getting good shots of that area, though (clearly the baby takes after me and is a massive exhibitionist, heh).

Other cute moments:

-The baby sucking his/her thumb. Those little lips were moving!
-The baby swallowing. It happened so fast, I'm not sure I would've even recognized it if I haven't seen videofluoroscopic swallow studies at work. Very cool.
-The first time she did a full-frontal of the baby's face (still in 2D), it stuck its hand out RIGHT in front of its face, right as she did it. "Pleeease, I need my PRIVACY, just leave me ALONE!"
-and I can't say it enough, those 4d images. Dannnng they were cool, I am SO happy we got those. It was NOT worth the drama of worrying about the baby, but now I know that next time, we are going STRAIGHT to the level 2 ultrasound. Ooh, yeah, also, when they first did those shots, the kid had its arm up its face, just like Henry did in all his ultrasounds. I thought that was cute, too!

I am still getting girl vibes, but a few people have said, since seeing the pictures, that they think it's a boy (maybe they don't know that ALL new babies look like their daddies?). Then last night, I had yet another dream that I had a boy. Maybe my gut is way off. I mean, it usually is, but it's supposed to be accurate when it's actually YOUR kid! And if this IS a boy, I'd like to know why I'm getting so wide in the hips. Hmph.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

You know what they say about the best laid plans...

(actually, I don't- what is the saying? Every time I think that, I end up thinking about a different expression, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Which is a terrible saying. ANYWAY.)

We had our twenty week ultrasound today. My insurance would've covered a level 2 ultrasound right off the bat (some insurance companies won't until you have a reason to need one). However, it turns out there's no actual standard definition of what it means to have a level 2 ultrasound. My doctor said the majority of her patients go with a level 1, and then have a level 2 if there's any reason to do it. That didn't really hold much weight with me, honestly, but ultimately, I decided I didn't want to go on a fishing expedition. I know myself, I thought, and a level 2 ultrasound will find something stupid that will cause me massive stress and I'll end up wishing I hadn't done it. So I opted for the level 1. A nice, well-considered decision made to minimize stress and prevent any dramatic antics on my part. This is where the best-laid plans come into play.

The baby was supremely uncooperative and they couldn't get good shots of the heart or the LOWER SPINE (which so figures...this kid HAS to be a girl, we're the only ones who are ever that vindictive to our mothers. I swear the kid was laughing and giving me the finger, too). I said s/he takes after Stephen because s/he was purposely being difficult, and Stephen said the kid takes after me because s/he's not a morning person (it was 8:30...he's right, the baby is always sleeping at that time of day, heh). Bottom line, the tech tried and tried to no avail.

Oh, but don't worry, because she WAS totally able to see the "very small" choroid plexus cyst the kid decided to grow.

Some brief medical explanation: choroid plexus is like seaweed that lives in the ventricles (fluid spaces) of your brain and makes spinal fluid. It loooooves to plug up shunts and cause them to malfunction, so it causes me no end of grief at work. Haunting me like a shadow, it has chosen to wreak havoc in my regular life, too. It's quite common for babies to have these "cysts". They were originally thought to be abnormal, in and of themselves, but we know now that they're usually a developmental variant. Spinal fluid gets trapped and forms cysts, which are entirely benign and go away before the baby is even born. So what's the problem? Well, silly, just like, oh, EVERYTHING ELSE you can see on a 20 week ultrasound, they can be a marker for genetic anomalies. Most typically trisomy 18, so far as I can tell, but occasionall trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) as well. She got great shots of the nasal bone, the arms, and I *think* the legs, though I'm not sure she was able to measure the femur, and everything else was normal. When everything else is normal, we ignore these cysts (well, I bet I'll have ninety more ultrasounds to make sure it resolves), but we have to be sure everything else is normal. And part of ensuring that involves thoroughly checking the heart. Which we couldn't adequately see today.

I go for a level 2 ultrasound next week, which is what I should've done in the first place. I like that the doctor does it, and therefore you get lots of explanations while it's going on (ultrasound techs aren't supposed to tell you what they see), you get better images, and I maybe could've avoided all of this.

I was freaking out at first, but I've since been reassured by multiple good sources that I really shouldn't worry. My friend in Texas from undergrad did research at a naval hospital in Texas and said the whole time she was there, she literally never saw a single bad outcome associated with a CPC. Obviously I'm still worried, but really, more than that, I'm just FRUSTRATED, because I wanted today to be fun and it definitely was not.

(seriously, though, if you know the full expression, let me know.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Round ligament pain is the devil.

I guess for the average person, this is uncomfortable. It turns out I must have the lowest pain threshold on earth.

Round ligament pain is really common in the second trimester. A few weeks ago, I was waking up during the night with bad right lower quadrant pain, and figured that was it. When it went away for a few weeks, I figured some, ah, dietary adjustments were resopnsible for the improvement, and it was not round ligament pain at all. This morning, I woke up at 5am in blinding pain. Hot shower, eating breakfast, walking around, none of it helped. Got to work, distraction didn't help either. I was entirely convinced that, in spite of a total absence of any peritoneal signs, I was clearly on the verge of appendiceal rupture. Then I noticed that the pain vanished if I sat for long enough. Ahhh, round ligament pain.

I ended up calling the doctor anyway, because, DAMN, it really hurts. Got a really great nurse on the phone (I am telling you, I am part of the awesomest profession on earth, because it is amazing how reassuring we can be when we do our job well. we RULE), who told me I was describing classic round ligament pain.

I did not realize until I hung up, the one common factor between now and two weeks ago when I had the pain? Running. I stopped for two weeks, between being hideously infested with virus and then exhausted from Heather's wedding, and the pain vanished. So far this week, I've run nine miles. I feel incredible- energized, clear-headed, sleeping like a baby- except for the searing pain in my abdomen, I'm GOOD. I'm going to ask my doctor if there is any correlation, because I really don't want to stop yet, but regardless of what she says, I feel like the answer is sort of obvious.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reverse Procrastination

You know how your dorm room/college apt was never, EVER as clean as it was during finals? Like, eat off the floor clean?

We're doing the opposite of that right now. We are SO SICK of cleaning the damn condo for showings, we are doing absolutely everything we should've done ages ago and had not done. This weekend, I finally put together a wedding album (just under eight months later, I am awesome), organized the pictures from all the pre-wedding festivities (pictures from the two showers, some over a year old, bachelorette, rehearsal) and threw away all the pictures I didn't want. Stephen wrote up his resume, finished about nine thousand pedals, and did his accounting for the business. We just cannot vacuum, dust, and mop one more time. The bathrooms have been cleaned so many times, I think we're going to wear the tile away.

My avoid-avoid conflict has become an "oh my god if this condo doesn't sell I will slit my wrists" situation. I am sick to death of the endless showings, particularly with the people who say, "Um, I liked it, but I dont' wanna live in that neighborhood." Then why did you come see it?!!!! Both second showings we had chose to go in another neighborhood. The person who was definitely buying in our building changed to "...or the West Loop, but really, yours was the nicest condo we saw all day." We have an awesome condo in a great neighborhood. I knew it wouldn't happen in one day, but I did not expect this much drama, to be perefctly honest. Part of me wants to say, screw it, we'll try again in another year, maybe things will be better then, but another part of me feels suicidal at the prospect of living in a loft with a newborn (even though many, many people in our building do it). Realistically, we need a basement for the business and a yard for the Sam.

I'm just really, really tired of vacuuming.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kickin' It

The baby has been perceptibly kicking for about a week now. Well, perceptibly in the sense that I'm sure it's the baby and not anything else.

It is REALLY cool.

When I realized what was happening, I was not even totally sure I believed it. My thought process was more along the lines of, "whoa...was that? I think...COOL!" And I sat on the couch, furiously poking my stomach, hoping to piss the kid off and make her kick me some more. In a confusing development, she did not kick again. It appeared she did not seem to be easily annoyed, didn't seem to care how much she got poked. This made no sense- did she get my father's personality?! Sweet! We just won the Easygoing Kid Lottery! Score one for Team R.

Then I realized: Baby heads to soccer practice when it suits her. I can poke all I want, if she's not kicking, she's not kicking. Period. She likes to kick in the morning, and at scattered intervals throughout the day, but she will determine those times. Nobody tells THIS little Chickpea when to kick anything. Right. A trait she could've easily inherited from either one of us, which is nice because neither of us can blame the other, heh.

I was sort of worried before this happened, that I would find it creepy. Because, to be totally honest, when I *really* think about the fact that there is another human being inside my body, it sort of, well, creeps me out. I feel a bit like a kangaroo. Or an alient host, or something. I know that sounds really bad, it's just the truth. Humans replicate by growing new humans inside of other humans. Think about it for a second. Not creeped out? You have a weak imagination. Anyway. I worried that feeling the baby kick would make it all a little too...vivid? I'm not sure. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be one of those women who stopped everything they were doing, lightly touched a hand to their belly, and heard choirs of angels the first time they felt their baby kick. I was right about that. I'm glad to be wrong about the creepy factor. Every time the baby kicks, all I can think is, "Do it again! That is so cool! Do it again!"

And so, of course, she stops. Turd.

On a related note, the Big Ultrasound is in two weeks. We are not finding out the sex of the baby (I've referred to the baby as female here because it's easier and "it" just sounds really bad), or at least, we're hoping not to. I'm completely convinced that, mid-ultrasound, the baby is going to flip over and spread his or her legs and we won't be able to look away fast enough. I can't tell you how much that would bum me out. So much, in fact, that it's actually distracted me from worrying about the baby having some dread condition like hypoplastic left heart or true Dandy-Walker Syndrome. Which is really only partly good, actually, because as we all know, remembering to worry about things keeps them from happening.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

VIRUS ALERT!

I have a virus. It cannot decide whether it wants to be a head cold or a chest cold, so it decided to be become both. My head weighs nine hundred pounds, I have a small bonfire roaring in my chest, and I am FILLED with goo. Seriously, if we could find a way to use mucous as an alternative energy source, I would replace the Sultan of Brunei as the richest person in the universe.

I stayed home and slept all morning and now I am sitting on the couch, tearing through Puffs and watching Law and Order. Normal saline nasal spray is my new best friend, particularly since I can't take anything stronger than a tylenol (and, let's face it, you might as well eat M&Ms for all the good tylenol will do you.)

Cross your fingers that I'm a bit less gooey by this weekend, because couch and puffs are not an option saturday.

On a totally unrelated note: please keep this officer and his family in your thoughts (or your prayers, if you're the type).