Tuesday, November 30, 2010


aka: rate and rhythm regular:)

The nurse practitioner listened long and hard, and we heard no trace of the arrhythmia. It seems to be gone! At least, for now. The cardiologist did say it would likely resolve, it was just hard to predict when that would happen. I did not expect it to be gone today, to be honest. The NP kept asking me all kinds of clarifying questions about it, and I kept assuring her that it was VERY obvious, and I didn't hear anything remotely resembling what we'd heard at my regular visit or when we went for the echo. I have no idea if the arrhythmia could recur- we'll still go for the repeat echo at the end of December- but for now, things all sound very reassuring.

Gracie went along with me for this visit. She was NOT a fan of mommy being up on the exam table- each time I got up there, she would whimper and say, "mama, down. DOWN, MAMA." She also made a show of her color knowledge- when we went in the bathroom to, ah, provide a specimen, she pointed at it and yelled, "wawa!! Lello wawa!!!" She also slept all the way to the doctor's office (of course she did!), but is shockingly taking a nap right now, so I think I'm going to follow suit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Various and Sundry

I have an appointment tomorrow to check Segundo's heart rate. I'm nervous. I feel like I shouldn't be. Everything we've seen has been encouraging, and the cardiologist told us the risk of anything bad happening is, like, 2%. When I compare that to the things I do and see at work that carry a 2% risk, and how often it seems like we see those things happen, I think, oh, pshaw, this is nothing! And I did feel that way for a long time. But in the last few days, I've found myself feeling sort of scared. I'm bringing Gracie with me to the appointment, and there's a part of me that feels like that is tempting fate. Just a teeny part- not enough to, say, find someone to watch her, but that teeny part of me is there. So I guess I can't deny that I'm worried.


I woke up several times last night- midnight, 3am, 5am. For really no reason. And I was annoyed and frustrated. I also thought, "In a few months, this will be a GOOD night." And I wept. Not really, but I wanted to.

Speaking of sleep, Gracie is going through some kind of Thing. I am not a fan of this Thing. Although she has never needed a lot of sleep, she had become relatively consistent, staying in bed until 6 (and sometimes even sleeping til a bit later than that!) and napping for up to two hours (with the occasional three tossed in there, just to make me think she might become a sleeper.) She was actually happy to go to bed. She seemed to enjoy the time alone- she would play in her crib for up to an hour, and then fall asleep. I absolutely refuse to call it lucky, we worked DAMN hard to get there. Lately, though? Oh man, she cries bitterly when we put her to bed. Even worse? Was last night, when she actually *whimpered* when I put her in the crib, and moaned, "maaammaaaa" as I walked out of the room. FABULOUS. She was also having some seriously wicked night wakings about a week ago- screaming like she was being tortured, and again with the "MAMAMAAAAA!" or "DADAAAAA", depending on her mood. This led to us rushing in to her room, to find her standing in her crib, just crying for no real known reason. Since it was so incredibly unusual, we'd scoop her up and rock her awhile...and she'd drift off to sleep. And absolutely *scream*, again, when we attempted to put her back to bed. Worse than when we started. That seems to have passed. I think? But the going to bed is just godawful. And? We really need to transition to a bed relatively soon. Looks like sleep is about to get a lot worse, well before March.


Last night, while I was (or was not) sleeping, Stephen was awake, because he works midnights. As he is known to do, he was baking. I woke up to warm, fresh, biscuits, straight out of the oven.

Don't hate the playa, hate the game.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

no clever title for good news

The echo went well yesterday.

Segundo's premature beats meet all the criteria for benign arrhythmia. They're all atrial, which is good, and almost all conducted instead of blocked, which is also good (a few were blocked, but the cardiologist wasn't worried). Everything she could see looked normal. It's hard to perfectly measure fetal anatomy, because fetal circulation is different by nature, but everything looks normal right now.

There is still a small chance of the baby flipping into SVT. This is something that can also happen to kids and adults, and is usually very easy to treat, and sometimes people will flip in and out of it without any cause or intervention. Unfortunately, when fetuses flip into SVT, they can't get themselves out, so you have to treat the mama with Digoxin. Blech. The doctor said that, based on our echo and her experience, she thinks there's less than a 2% chance of that happening. The official statistic is 2-5%, but she feels our risk is lower than that. She just wants us to go for every two week heart rate checks (which only means one extra appointment, as I was due to start every two week appointments in December, oh my GOD where did the time go, I am SO not ready here!!!), and we go back for a repeat echo in 4-6 weeks. The arrhythmia could resolve by then, or it might persist until the baby is born and normal circulation takes over. Less than 1% of babies needs an echo or EKG after they're born- which, considering the number of babies who need those for other reasons, I'm not sure that's any higher than anyone else.

It's a lot of details to say, everything is FINE. We get an extra peek at the baby and one extra doctor visit, and one day, get to torture Segundo by telling him/her all the sturm und drang s/he caused before birth. Of course, I planned on telling Gracie the same thing about her choroid plexus cyst one day, and then she decided to make sure she gave us far better things to tell her about one day. So. Maybe I shouldn't plan on that...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

High as a Kite

24 weeks with Grace, note the bulge waaay down at the bottom:

24 weeks with Segundo. Note that the baby is somewhere around my esophagus:

Crazy, no? I mean, WOW.

In other news, I appear to have made a tactical error. After we had a pristine level 2 ultrasound, I thought to myself, How funny that this baby is already worrying me less than Gracie did, what with her proclivity for cyst-formation. And I went to today's appointment, expecting another boring appointment where my worst concern would be how much weight I gained. And when I gained two pounds less than I thought I did, I was all excited and shifted my stress from that to getting my blood drawn on time so I wouldn't have to repeat the glucose test.


Because it turns out Segundo is lazy. I kind of already knew that, but I had no idea, the depths of the baby's laziness. It turns out Segundo cannot be bothered to, you know, keep his/her heart beating regularly. This bean needs a break every four beats. And not just once or twice, but every time. Beat beat beat beat pause. Et voila, fetal echocardiogram, scheduled for this friday.

Maureen already talked to the cardiologist who does all the fetal echos at Childrens, because she is the awesomest awesome who ever awesomed. She said I should not worry at all, that this is very common, it often means nothing, etc etc. Much like choroid plexus cysts. And unlike that situation, I've already had a normal level 2 ultrasound. So, we have that in our favor. Unfortunately, my deeply pessimistic nature, combined with my career, make it really, really hard for me to not worry. Right now, I am focusing on worrying what this will mean for delivery- because really, ultimately, none of that matters a lot. I can't worry about the baby, it's just...too much. And I have to worry about something, because hello, we all know this happened because I let my guard down.

Hopefully, everything looks good on friday, and all this means is that we get extra peeks at Segundo between now and March. And if not...I can't really think about that right now. So instead I'm panicking about c-sections, and quietly, quietly thinking to myself, please be okay...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

House Arrest

So Grace hates to nap.

No, that's not true.

Grace loooves to fall asleep in the car and then not sleep for the rest of the day. Except, when she does that, she lapses into a freaking coma. And is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to arouse. Even if it's just five minutes, it shaves a full half hour off her nap, minimum.

This means that, for the last, I dunno, six months? We have stayed within a 5-block radius of our house, unless I was prepared to pay the consequences. Occasionally, we could get away with going to lunch, and then I could transfer her to her crib for a semi-decent nap. But trips to the mall, for example? Out of the question. It's just too far away. Why not just go after her nap, you ask? Because she wakes up in the middle of rush hour, that's why. And so, I order 99% of what we need over the internet, and otherwise just deal. ("Just deal"ing mostly involves wearing underwear that I used to only wear five specific days of the month, if you get what I mean and I know you do.) It is claustrophobic and frustrating, but the alternative is no nap, and you know what? Growing another human is frigging exhausting, and I NEED TO NAP, TOO. So.

But now?! Now, she can no longer be transferred to her crib from the car at naptime. Now she wakes up, screams her brains out, and then eventually calms down and plays awhile. This means I can't nap, because it just doesn't work (I realize tehcnically I could nap during that time, but I just can't. I won't know when to wake up, because she'll be making noise the whole time, so I just can't sleep at all). So right now, she's playing by herself in her dark room, because I do think that's important. I mean, in theory. It's actually not remotely important for Grace, because she spends the entire time FLINGING HER BODY around her crib and screeching like a howler monkey, so it's not like it's down time. I think we both know who finds that time really important.

I guess the sleep situation could be a lot worse, but you know what? We worked REALLY hard to get this kid to sleep for us. REALLY hard. It sucked and we hated it, but she had to learn how to sleep, and she sure as HELL was never going to learn on her own. And it really sucks to have it still be such an issue.



Soooo, I guess I left the bag of hand-me-downs for Grace's cousin too close to her crib when she was "napping". On the plus side, this is what I found when I went in to get her (and for the record: that dress is a size 6-12 months.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hello, Segundo

I'm pretty sure I've said this before (my brain is SHOT*), but Segundo doesn't move around nearly as much as Grace did. I always knew Grace was around. On the rare occasions when she hadn't jabbed me in the ribs by noon, I completely panicked. It was just NOT NORMAL!!! Segundo, on the other hand, has only a few active periods a day. Always, always in the late evening, and other than that, it's pretty variable. But, like I said, much more infrequent, and also not nearly as vigourous. Gracie was tap-dancing, Segundo is just trying to squirm into the lotus position.

On the one hand, it's kind of a bummer. I miss all the constant reminders that Gracie was around, that there was someone there. On the other hand, when Segundo DOES move around, it's always such a happy surprise. Like, ooh, there you are! Hi! What's up?!

I was saying to Maureen the other day that it's so funny how easily she can show her personality now, instead of just being happy or mad or sad. She agreed and said, "yeah, I remember thinking, 'wow. you've ALWAYS had that personality. You just couldn't tell me.'" And she is so right (as usual). Except, in Gracie's case, her personality was aaalllllways evident. I just didn't know exactly how to piece it together. She was really active in utero, but what did it mean? Well. She made THAT apparent as soon as she was born, heh. Then she was born and she was pissed off all the time, but what did it mean? Now that she's bigger, it's easy to see that she was bored, she wanted to go go go, she wanted to DO SOMETHING. And she certainly did NOT want to fit into anyone else's agenda. It's so obvious now. And I wonder if Segundo's intra-uterine personality will have anything to do with his/her long-term personality. I mean, it doesn't seem as striking. Lots of babies are like this! But I dunno. Maybe I'll look back and think, yes. Of course. How very Segundo.

(*OMG. So today? We were at Old Navy. And the cashier asked to see my ID when I used my credit card. So I showed her, and as I put it away, I thought, hmm. I think my license expires this year. so I looked, and oh no. It expired LAST YEAR!! OMG WHAT IF I GET PULLED OVER?!?!? They'll take me in for processing and DCFS will have to pick up Grace and I will die and then Stephen will kill me for being so irresponsible and oh. That's right. I have safe driver renewal. The sticker is on the back of my license. Where it has been for the last year. Good Christ. It is a miracle I haven't left the house without pants on.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Grace is a pretty adventurous eater. Not as great as she used to be, but as toddlers go, she's really pretty good. She refuses all meat except ground beef, and she has a thing against ravioli/pierogis/any kind of smooth dough with filling, but other than those quirks, she'll eat most things we give her. And if she doesn't? That's fine too, she just has milk and whatever she does eat off her plate. I'm not a short-order cook AND I'm not getting into a habit where all she eats is oyster crackers and ketchup off a spoon.

So we're trying chili, made with veggie crumbles. It's super easy to make, and we all love it. I just scoop out a few ladles worth before I add the hot pepper and that's hers. The introduction went relatively well, and I felt like it went really well, considering it was a brand-new experience and a pretty strong taste. So when I gave her a bowl tonight, I wasn't sure how it would go, but I expected at least okay.

Heh. Yeah. She wasn't in a chili kind of mood.

So when she started holding her milk out to Stephen and asking for "choc choc", I reminded her she only gets chocolate in her milk if she eats her dinner.

Did she know what I meant? Oh yes. Yes, she did.

She proceeded to put a bite of chili on her spoon, put the verrrrry tip in her mouth, and nibble rapid-fire on the metal of the spoon, no actual chili entering her mouth. She also kept her eyes squeezed shut, for extra effect. Next, she absolutely FILLED the spoon with chili, opened her mouth WIDE, stuck it all the way in, and held it there, not actually touching ANY lips/cheeks/tongue, then pulled it back out.

Not nearly as humorously, she also put a bite in her mouth and then spit it out, but I do give her credit for actually tasting it that time.

And no, she did not get any chocolate milk. Tonight's dinner was raspberries, clementine sections, and half a cup of milk.