Tuesday, December 19, 2006

31 Week OB Appt

It's only been about a week and a half since the last appointment but with the holidays and my partner going out of town later this week this was the appointment we were able to get.

Blood pressure was low-normal -- which is normal for me
Baby's heart rate was 146
Fundal height was 32 -- it's slowed down since the fibroid has stabilized so says my OB. I was measuring ahead by 2-3 weeks there for a while.
Weight -- the same as last time, 163. The doc said it wasn't a big deal since we knew that the baby was growing appropriately from the ultrasound.

He asked if the baby moved a lot and we said yes. He asked how I was doing and I told him not so great right now. My stomach has been upset since last night, I don't think I caught anything, just the foods I was eating weren't sitting right with me. I think it was the veggie chili and the oatmeal actually, on top of the pizza Sunday night. Pizza hasn't been agreeing with me at all, even before I got pregnant, but followed by all that soluble fiber and my compressed digestive tract and my body was all in fits about it. I stayed home today to help let it sort itself out.

He asked if I had any questions and I asked him about anesthesia agents used during cesarean delivery. I found an article that says that fentenal (sp?) can interfere with breastfeeding in epidurals. I looked up whether it was used for c-sections and found that it wasn't as commonly used. The doc said they haven't seen any issues with it in their patients but that it isn't used for a spinal block which is what I will have. He also said that fentenal can make you feel really itchy.

Researching Infant Car Seats

There are a million models of car seats out there and I had rather skimmed than researched so I finally roped my partner into helping me pick out a car seat for our baby due in February.

There are several different models, some more appropriate than others for newborns/infants. The different types are:


Experts suggest using a rear-facing seat for as long as possible, and it seems that some States require their use for babies under certain size limits. Convertible seats will switch from rear-facing to forward facing so that can extend their use.

Some convertible car seat models claim to work from 5lbs on up, with the straps adjusting to different positions but in discussions I have seen online it seems these don't fit small babies as well.

The other option, which is very popular and I'm sure you have seen them, are infant car seats. These models usually feature a base piece into which locks the infant carrier. The carrier can be removed and taken with you to help limit disrupting your sleeping baby. The problem with infant car seats is that babies can grow out of them quickly, either height-wise or weight-wise, and then you have to get them into a convertible seat anyway.

Recent studies have shown that keeping your baby in the infant car seat for longer than the trip length itself could result in the infant being shifted into a position that could compromise their air flow. So, in spite of it being a popular thing to do, porting your baby around in the car seat actually could be injurious.

From our early research it looks like you can get infant car seats for $130 or less. The convertible car seats seem to be running in the range of $300 or so, at least of the models we were looking at based on online reviews from several web sites.

It seems as though you should get a couple years use out of a car seat before having to graduate to a child's booster car seat -- which are required if your child weighs less than 49 pounds.

Here are some links:

CarSeatSite.com -- Which Seat is Best for My Child?

BabyUniverse: Car Seat Buying Guide

Epinions.com - Car Seat Reviews

Improper car seat use can be deadly - 12/13/06

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Baby at almost 30 weeks

I had my u/s friday morning and everything looks really good. They estimate he weighs 3lbs. 11oz. already. The u/s tech kept commenting on what a good baby he was, letting her get all her images and angles. He gave a few good kicks while she had the wand on my belly and she commented on how strong he was. They probably say that to everyone but who doesn't want to hear it about their own baby.

Here he is in profile and isn't his nose that much bigger than at 18 weeks:

We ate lunch and then I had my OB appt. I'm up 2lbs from my last visit to 163. He said everything looked good. I made sure he knew exactly where the fibroid had moved to since I made the u/s tech show me. It's out of my pelvis now so it shouldn't interfere with delivery at all. My partner and I asked him a bunch of questions about the delivery -- from when to schedule it (anytime after Feb 8th), to if we could lower the drape during the delivery part (yes), to could my sister (a doula) could attend, to how long I would stay in the hospital (3-4 days), to whether my partner could stay with me (yes, all private rooms with cots), and how soon after I could hang with (as soon as they checked him out in the room) or feed the baby (in recovery).

I stopped by my RE's office after my appt and saw a couple of the support staff who have worked with me before through both of my m/cs and beyond. They both asked me "did we do that?" when they saw my belly but I assured them that we did it ourselves. The scheduler, Debbie, was excited for us and I told her about how I did acupuncture treatment focused on treating my fibroid and stopped trying for a few months last Spring and that when we tried again we got this sticky baby boy. She was going to tell my RE, the one who did my fibroid surgery -- she said they like to know what happens with their different patients. Ultimately they did contribute to the success since they helped me through my two m/cs and the fibroid surgery. I promised to bring him in in the Spring so they could meet him.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fighting a cold

My partner's been fighting something for days and now I think I'm getting it as well. It seems like just a cold right now, a little sneezing and fatigue. I was so tired that I wanted to lay down at work around 3pm but I pushed on until 5:30 pm and then headed out. I came home and crashed out asleep in bed for two hours -- yes I was hungry but I was more tired than hungry so I opted to sleep first.

When I woke up I felt so crappy but I needed to eat something. My partner's out of town so I was on my own and feeling completely unmotivated to cook. I opted to open a can of sardines and have that with a carrot and some crackers. Nice. Actually sardines have calcium and iron so they are a good thing to eat, and being smaller fish they have less build up of heavy metals such as mercury compared with tuna. For dessert, since I was still hungry I warmed up some peaches that I froze in September in slices -- good for folic acid. Not the most gourmet of meals but well rounded at least.

Time for me to get back in bed now though.

Belly at the Beach

Here's my latest belly shot taken in Venice, CA over Thanksgiving at 28w2d.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Preparing for Baby Lists

Sorry I've been neglecting you. Between travel to LA for Thanksgiving to trying to keep up with work and the demands of my body (naps, eating, rest) I haven't had too much time for blogging. I have been thinking of you though and of ideas for new posts. This is one that I thought would be helpful for many folks planning for their first babies. I've found lots of lists for what you need to prepare for baby and I figured that if I compiled them and compared to how I want to care for my baby I should have a decent shopping list -- or at least an idea of what I'm up against as I've hardly done any shopping so far.

Baby and Mom Gear from BabyCenter.com -- a page with links to multiple lists

Shopping for the First Few Weeks -- this is more household shopping

Layette Needs

New baby basics from Consumer Reports

Baby Shopping List from womenshealth.gov

The Ultimate Baby Layette Checklist

Baby Layette List

Layette Necessities


Nursery Checklist

Diaper Changing Essentials

Breast and Bottle Feeding Needs

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Perineal Massage

Or how to prepare your hooha for pushing a baby into the world. Something that I'm not going to experience first hand.

Evidently with some extra attention you can help prepare yourself manually for some of the stretching that is going to have to happen during a vaginal delivery.



Braxton Hicks Contractions

I had a few Braxton Hicks contractions Wednesday eveing. It was after 10pm and I was trying to get my partner to head home after hanging with some friends downtown for dinner. I think my body just had enough, and I think that sugar drink for the Glucose Toleranced Test dehydrated me. No pain or anything just a constrained, tight feeling about 5 times as I walked back to our car. Disconcerting though to say the least.

It was funny because my OB asked me at my appointment if I had started having any and I really don't think I had. Then again this morning, lying in bed about to get up I had another one. I guess my body is ready to start exercising the woomba now. I'm at 27 weeks today, one more week and I'm into the third trimester.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Glucose Screening and Anemia Blood Test Results

I just heard back from my doc's office. I passed the GTT perfectly (yeah!) but my hemeglobin is low (31.7) and my ferritin is way low (7!). I've got to bump up my iron supplementation, I haven't been as religious as I should be about taking it. I do eat iron rich foods but my body isn't great at absorbing it.

The nurse suggested taking Slow FE so I'll give that a shot. If not we'll just keep on working on it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

26 week OB Appt

Nothing desperately exciting, just a blood draw for my glucose tolerance screening and to check for anemia. I should have the results in the next couple of days. Here are my stats:

Weight -- I gained another 3-4 lbs in the past month, up about 24 overall.
Fundal Height -- measuring at 29, factored largely to fibroid
Baby's Heart Rate -- ranged from 155-160 bpm and he was active after all that glucola/sugar drink for the GTT.

I also brought up some questions about delivery today with my OB, just about hemorrhaging during the c-section and afterwards and making sure he knew that I'm fully aware of interventional radiology and how it can help and that I really don't want a hysterectomy. He understood what I was saying and agreed that while they have a range of meds that can help control bleeding, that they would consider IR prior to hyst should that situation come up. He says unfortunately it does still happen from time to time (not specific to fibroids).

My next appointment is in 3 weeks and I'll have an ultrasound then as well to check on the baby's growth versus the fibroid. AFter that we move into appts every 2 weeks through the 3rd week in January and then every week if everything continues as it should.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ack! The Dentist

I had my 6 month dentist appointment this morning. I only got to see the hygienist as my body started to lose it as the cleaning and curretage progressed. First things felt like they were getting dark, then I felt like I was getting nauseous, then I felt like I was going to pass out and throw up and I had to sit up twice to try to settle my body down. Finally I said that my body had enough and that was it, so I didn't even get to see my dentist. It was rather upsetting -- though my teeth and gums look great she said. I even got teary about it, and would have cried if I had let myself.

My acupuncturist's office is down the hall so I went there for a while to sit in their reception. I checked in with one of the acus I see and asked her about the blood sugar/adrenaline sensativity that I've been feeling (a little stress and I feel sick for hours, plus that's what's been waking me up at night). She said that it sounded like my kidney energy was needing adjusting so I set up a couple appointments and hopefully that will help make a difference.

Then I bought a hot chocolate on my way to the office, figuring the sugar/chocolate plus the comfort factor would make me feel better.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Belly at 25 weeks

Here's the latest and greatest. I'm starting to feel pretty big and having to use some moisturizer on my belly as the skin definately feels stretched out now.

And my belly button? It's been turned inside out for the most part and it's about one quarter the size it normally is. I still count as an inny but who knows what's going to happen to it in the long run.

Just over three months to go now.

snippets from my online posts

(over the past two weeks)

I didn't tell you that I hung out with my sis on Sunday for lunch and a little shopping. When I drove over to pick her up she got in the car, pushed aside my coat, pulled up my sweater and t-shirt to expose my belly and said "hi baby!" She's very excited. She said with her doctoral research she's been around lots of pregnant women but it's different when it's family.


My body has decided [last] week that it won't sleep straight for more than 6 hours so I go to bed and wake up in the middle of the night and then I'm up for hours before I'm able to go back to bed. Makes for an interesting work day as I'm a bit tired out by late afternoon as it is.


I can't believe I'm almost 6 months now I don't feel that big but when I look at myself in the mirror I'm amazed. Let's see what else... we bought a new car on Thursday night after work. We got a Toyota Prius and it's really quite cool. It starts with the push of a button! I spent today tidying up my old car so I can sell it.

Not too much baby things going on here. Just cooking, eating, resting -- but I did do some stretching, push-ups and leg lifts this morning (dance warm-up). Yesterday I made chicken soup and banana bread in the morning and then garlic herb breadcrumb topped snapper with mashed potatoes and black kale for dinner. This kid is eating well.

I swear I need some more pg jeans though and a new bra. My belly has gotten so big that it is pushing the demi band down all the time on my Gap jeans. My bra is just getting a bit tight all over, not sure if I need to go up a cup or a band or both

Oh, and we bought our plane tickets for Thanksgiving. Flights weren't giving us much in the way of aisle seats so we splurged and bought first class. It's the only time I've bought first class (I did manage to get bumped to business class once though) but I told my partner, if ever there were a time to get first class it was now. And, the tickets are fully refundable too, just in case.


My partner put his ear to my belly the other night to see if he could hear anything and the baby kicked him in the side of the head We both started laughing. My partner has spent more time with his hands on my belly feeling the baby move, while we watch TV or read in bed. He even noticed this morning when the baby was sleeping as there were no wiggles. I like that he's got a little bit more of a relationship going on with the baby now. He went out with his buddy and they were talking baby stuff the other night, and then talked with our massage therapist and one of his clients about the baby -- they were asking. He said it was the most he had talked about the kid out of the blue so far.

His brother's having his 40th birthday this weekend and so I have to contend with my SIL and MIL. Thankfully there will be others around to help soften the tension. I'm still not feeling very open with my SIL at all and she's not even talking to me either. I'm left feeling like if she wanted to be nice to me she just could have done, but by attacking me she showed her complete and total lack of understanding of where I'm coming from and what I've been through. I feel she owes me an apology at the least. I'm so not into confrontation that its not funny. I imagine (and probably rightly so) that my SIL is spending all today bitching about me to my MIL. Fun, fun, fun.

I also found out last week that one of our former employees, someone who worked with us for 5 years and was generously compensated, continues to talk sh*t about me and my m/c. She only knows of the one as well. What a heartless person, all I can think of is that since she's never going to have children that she really can't fathom what I've been through. Still, her mother died of cancer about 10 years ago so it's surprising that she learned such little compassion about other people's grieving experiences. I only hope that her badmouthing me and my misfortune reflects badly on her in other people's eyes.

Go figure that pg loss can have such a lasting impact in so many ways on so many relationships.


I know that feeling as well. My losses were discovered so early that the really scary "is this going to fail for me again right now" passed sort of quickly. Still, the wavering of symptoms is really common, particularly around 8/10 weeks as the placenta starts to take over more from your ovaries/corpus luteum. I'd go from feeling absolutely lousy for a few days to feeling okay for a few days -- which would just make me worry. Also, each OB appt would bring the prospect of bad news so I would start to get anxious before each one that some pronouncement about the health of the baby would come crashing down on me. But it didn't. All I got was good news, good test results, things growing right on track.

Try making a list of all the positive signs of your baby's vitality and your body's comittement to the process. HCG levels, heartbeat showing up on time, dates measuring on time, baby measuring perfectly on size. Your nausea, increased metabolism, fatigue, food cravings/aversions, little ovarian twinges, breast pain, let them help provide you with a little confidence that things are proceeding as best as they can. One day at a time. And look how far you have made it already.


For some reason as I was falling asleep last night I was starting to freak out about the glucose tolerance test. I'm not tolerating glucose well right now at all so the thought of drinking some sugar syrup and making myself feel all woozy doesn't sound like fun at all. Do you think that the fact that I'm having blood sugar issues (crashing levels and feeling woozy) is a bad sign or is it common in pg?


I did bring up the jelly beans alternative with my OB but he resisted. I could push for it if I want to. He said we could do the test later in the day which should help, so not total fasting. I can eat breakfast but have to hold off on simple carbs, juices and sugary fruit. I have to drink the stuff about 45 minutes before I go in for the blood draw and I can have something to eat right after. I just don't like that much sweet stuff, particularly after cutting back on it over the past 5 years due to the advice of my naturopath and acus.

Did I mention that I passed the 24 week mark yesterday? Only 16 weeks to go. Let's see, so if there are 4 weeks in a month then 24 weeks equals 6 months and 16 weeks is divided by 4 into 4 months then that equals 10 months -- don't you just love pg math.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pregnancy Dreams #1

Last night I dreamt that I had another abdominal surgery. I woke up from the blackness and it was days later. I saw the incision. I removed a mask from my face that was giving me oxygen and there was a scab on my nose as if they had scraped it putting the mask on me -- but enough days had passed that it was starting to peel. I kept thinking how much longer it took this time as I was only in the hospital from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon when I had my myo two years ago. It seemed like 4-1/2 days this time in my dream.

Last week I had a dream that I was looking at my breast and milk started coming out. Just a little but it was sort of interesting to me in my dream.

Weeks ago I had a dream that we got a new baby kitten.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I had my OB appointment this morning and we talked about a bunch of stuff. First thing though are my stats:

I'm up about 20 lbs in weight so far
My fundal height is measuring 25. It should be measuring 22 but we chalked the difference up to the fibroid.
The baby's heart rate was 146 and sounded like a tom-tom drum more now.

I mentioned my roster of new symptoms from the past week -- puffy ankles, dizziness, fibroid pain, leg cramps. He said cross country flying was hard for just about all pregnant women so that factored a good bit. The dizziness he agreed was just keeping up my water consumption and also if I feel a bit of a crash an hour after lunch to just eat a little more then to keep my sugar levels ups. He though the leg cramps was more likely due to lactic acid build up but I'm still thinking its the calcium supplement that is helping and he didn't have a problem with that.

So my fibroid... he said it should be moving out of my pelvis based on where it was located in the ultrasound, but it's not yet. It still might as things continue to grow -- other women with fibroids have noted changes like that over time in their pregnancies I've seen from the various message boards I follow. Since it is causing me some irritation he said that we do need to keep an eye on it and to make sure that it isn't triggering pre-term labor. Just as I thought, though so far it's just been focalized pain.

He said by our next appointment we should know which way my fibroid is going to go and whether or not it is going to cause problems. We talked a bit about fibroid degeneration, which I've learned a fair bit from on the uterinefibroids discussion group over the past four years. He said if ibuprofen doesn't help then we could try stronger pain relievers though I assured him that the pain wasn't that bad yet.

He said the fibroid isn't in the greatest position but that it shouldn't cause any issue during my c-section he doesn't think. He said we will want to monitor it more as we get closer to delivery, having another ultrasound at 32 weeks or so. He said it might interfere some with monitoring the baby's growth, I'm thinking that's because it is making my uterus larger. I asked him if as the baby grows if it might cause me more discomfort and he said it was likely.

I asked about travelling at Thanksgiving to Los Angeles to be with my partner's family and he said it should be okay, provided my fibroid isn't causing me more problems (cramping, pre-term labor). I talked to my partner about it, that we might book refundable fares and also call the airline ahead of time to get a seat that was well positioned -- aisle seat, near toilet, with leg room.

My next appointment they will check for anemia and I also have to do the glucose tolerance test with the nasty Glucola stuff.

I came back to work and was feeling a little sensitive about things but writing down what we learned here in my blog, and sharing it with you all, it makes me feel a little less isolated. Having the fibroid isn't a fun thing at all but at the end of the day we do have a baby on the way and my body is doing pretty well -- once I just figure out the minor dietary adjustments to keep it happy in this next phase of pregnancy.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Belly at almost 22 weeks

I feel like I've grown a lot over the past couple of weeks and my partner could tell as well when he saw me when I got back from New York. Between him travelling for work and my travelling to visit family and friends back East we didn't get to see each other for a week and a half.

I'm now feeling wiggles up on my sides now occasionally, a couple inches below my rib cage but the baby is also getting a lot bigger because oftentimes I can feel him wiggling up above my belly button and down low by my hips at the same time. He fairly predictably wakes up a minute or so after I do in the mornings, likes to dance after I eat meals and then around 6pm and 9pm he gets pretty active for a while. During the rest of the day I get a fair amount of movement as well. He doesn't wake me up at night, rather I wake him up when I have to go pee.

My partner spent a good 15 minutes last night hanging out with the baby wrigglng under his hand last night. That was nice.

I'm finally just about recovered from 3+ weeks of cold and flu. Everyone at the office got sick and my body was having a hard time fighting it. Even while I was travelling last weekend I was feeling run down. Gradually I'm feeling more and more like myself though. Thank goodness.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Feeling Dizzy

Yesterday as I went for lunch I started to feel a teeny bit light-headed. I ate my lunch in a park and felt okay but after that when I started walking back to work I started feeling more dizzy and weak so I went and sat somewhere for a good 15-20 minutes reading a paper until I felt I could make it back to work. At the office though I continued to feel weak and dizzy so I laid down in our conference room with the door closed and drank some water. I dozed for a little while and I was in there for a good 45 minutes until I felt well enough to return to my desk. Then I was feeling upset and lonely and wanted my partner here but he's in Spokane again until tonight (I haven't seen him since last Tuesday evening).

I called into my OB as I had felt a little dizzy in New York as well, plus I had been having a little ankle swelling. The nurse called me back and said it was most likely related to my recent travel and being out of my routine and suggested that I should drink more water and not do any aerobic exercise for a while. She said since it hadn't been a full day since I had been back that I should just see if I feel better over the next few days. My next OB appt is next Wed. but she said to come in sooner to have my blood pressure checked if I wasn't feeling better. She also said it is possible that demands on my blood volume might be increasing right now and that drinking more water would help with that.

I had to stay at work for a good while longer as I drove to work yesterday and I wanted to make sure I was okay driving home. At home I made sure to drink water and rest on the couch and then I made dinner and camped out on the couch some more. I went to bed at 9pm and by this morning my ankles swelling had gone down and I'm feeling okay.

It just made me feel so vulnerable and alone. I just want to see my partner -- and to have him understand how much things are really starting to change for me physically. He's been working too much all year long though (like 10-14 hour days) and weekends and I'm really feeling like I want him to be there for me more now.

I told him I wasn't sure if I wanted to fly to L.A. for thanksgiving after all that with my body. He has this thing though where he wants to pretend that everything is fine and normal -- but heck, I don't feel normal. I just don't know what to do about thanksgiving now though.

The kiddo is doing fine though. He's wiggling around right now.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pregnancy Update - 21.5 Weeks

My pregnancy nose is a bit picky right now and when I got home all the little smells were getting to me. It makes me want to clean the house and do all the laundry right away.

Let's see what else, my nipples are really huge and dark now, the changes have been going on for a while but man is is really noticible now. Also I've been having more heartburn. It's a combination of my stomach not emptying very quickly and also things getting squished. I looked up where I'm supposed to be at fundal height wise in Pregnancy Week by Week this morning and I'm a few weeks ahead of where they say I should be. I'm feeling wiggles up high, almost 2 inches above my belly button (which is starting to get shallower and shallower).

I feel the baby regularly now, he's getting so strong. Sometimes it weirds me out but mostly I like the reassurance of feeling the movements, wiggles and kicks. I feel him down on the left, in the middle, on the upper right and left and behind my navel. I don't feel him in the lower right -- that's where I feel my fibroid so he hasn't got room to play over there.

Oh, and I got a really nice card from my friend Deborah, my fibroid sister. We sent each other care packages when we had our surgeries two years ago. She's got a baby girl now. Another friend of mine from the online world, Marina, sent me a box of baby goodies that was waiting for me when I got home last night. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet though.

Flying with Swollen Ankles

This week brings the lovely new symptom of puffy ankles. They aren't the worst I've had in my life, my feet don't feel numb for instance but it still makes me wonder what's up. Probably just too much sodium in my parent diet.

I flew back from New York last night on a non-stop flight. Jet Blue was awesome and they got me an aisle seat in row 2 after I told them I was pregnant ahead of time by phone. I tried to get up at least once an hour to stretch and pee so it was great to have the aisle seat. I fell asleep for about an hour or so and woke up with my ankles feeling more swollen so I did more flexing and stretching to try to get the fluid moving.

Flying wasn't that much fun really. I've got to fly at Thanksgiving and then I think that's it. Sitting up is okay for the heartburn but not fun for the ankles and bladder.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Yeah so

I went maternity shopping a bit while I've been in NY. I went to one shop that carried exclusively the Maternite brands -- Pea in the Pod, Motherhood and Mimi -- with my mother and we were both shocked at the poor quality of the material, the prices and for me, also that everything was manufactured in the poorest areas of the world such as Bangladesh. I bought one sweater on sale and left it at that. On Saturday I went into NYC and found some things at H&M, they have their own maternity line called MaMa and I bought a few tops, a sweater and a skirt.

Yesterday I went to visit my friend and her twin boys in my hometown. The boys are 2-1/2 now and they are very cute. One of them was very interested in the fact that there was baby in my belly and he patted it a couple times. I told him that the next time I came I would have a little baby with me and would he like to play with the baby and he answered seriously and slowly "Yes." He said he likes babies. It was cute.

My other and I couldn't swing getting together but mostly because I'm still so run down from fighting my cold/flu virus. I took a 2-hour nap on Saturday and Sunday because I felt so achy and tired. I hope that I pull through it in the next week or so. I am gradually feeling a little better so you should know. Dang though the achy joints.

My mother dug out a little sweater she knit for my brother when he was an infant and also a little quilt my great-aunt gave me when I was a baby. That's pretty nice to bring home with me.

I can't believe I'm past the halfway point already. This is going by pretty fast now and I'm not ready at all. Work is still up in the air, I need to clean out my studio to make way for baby, and who knows what else. I think I'm just tired and a bit stressed out. I had to reschedule my flight home until tomorrow evening and it's putting a kink in my day tomorrow that I didn't need.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Baby Wearing - Slings, Pouches and Wraps

I'm pretty keen on the idea of baby-wearing. I worry about carrying too much weight as I've had whiplash twice and my neck and back can be a little persnickety though. Still, at least with a little baby it will make sense for a while. My partner seems cool with the idea as well. I've been looking at strollers but pushing around a stroller isn't my idea of a good time. I'm thinking we'll do a lot of baby wearing in the beginning and then migrate to a stroller as needed.

WearYourBaby.com (aka MamaToto.org) - an informational site that covers the broad range of baby wearing devices and technique

TheBabyWearer -- babywearing information

Kangaroo Korner -- adjustable fleece and cotton pouches and more


Moby Wrap


Rockin' Baby Slings

Maya Wrap - baby slings and carriers

The Ergo Baby Carrier

ZoloWear - baby slings, pouches and carriers

Wise Woman Sling


Little Star Baby Slings

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What's a Castor Oil Pack?

A castor oil pack is a piece of cloth soaked in castor oil that you heat up and place on your belly then cover it with a piece of plastic and then put a heating pad or hot water bottle on top of that. You usually do it for 15-20 minutes once a day, at night before bed most typically. It is supposed to improve blood circulation and increase the white blood cell count locally.

What it definately will do is get you to slow down and relax. Disadvantages are that you end up with an oily belly right before bed and heating it up if you don't have a microwave (which I don't) can be a pain.

My naturopath had me do castor oil packs for a while. I found them to be a pain and they didn't seem to change anything -- my fibroid didn't get smaller, my cycles didn't get more normal, my basel temps stayed where they were -- I'm skeptical.

The book Sex, Lies and the Truth About Uterine Fibroids mentions castor oil packs, and that there aren't any studies showing that they work. There are studies showing they increase white blood cells in the skin area that is treated but nothing more than that. Evidently it is a traditional treatment used in many cultures.

My acu asked me to do them this Spring and I wasn't into it -- I just would use my hot water bottle to apply heat directly to my lower abdomen to keep the blood flow active in the area and left it at that.


I started feeling bad two weeks ago with the sniffles and then a little cold. I wavered off and on over the past couple weeks, first missing work a week ago on Friday. This past week I woke up and went to work on Wednesday and was so tired I wanted to go home and get back in bed. Within the hour I got a call though from my sister's boyfriend that she had been struck by a minivan while crossing the street so instead I just left work crying due to the anxiety of her condition -- she hit her head -- and probably mixed in a little with pg hormones and coming down with something.

She's doing okay, but she was seriously roughed up with big scrapes on her arm, a broken finger and a huge lump and abrasion on her head. Drive carefully folks and always keep an eye out for pedestrians -- and if you are in the habit of talking on your mobile phone while driving DON'T. Pull over to talk if you must but your attention span really isn't great enough to make 60 decisions a minute while driving while talking to whomever on the phone.

Wednesday night I was starting to feel so achy and Thursday morning I didn't feel better, and felt largely worse so I stayed home all day. I had to work all day though, but I did manage to get an hour nap in the afternoon. Thursday night I was aching so badly I had to get up for a couple hours, then went back to bed. Friday I was still worse and so I worked from home again, with aching in all my joints -- but hardly a stuffy nose. I wasn't able to get a nap but I did go to bed early.

Yesterday and today I've just been sleeping, camped out on the couch or eating. I've been in PJs for 4 days and I still don't feel like getting dressed.

The one benefit is that I haven't seen my mother-in-law or sister-in-law but hell if the flu isn't a good excuse. I leave in a few days for New York to see family and friends one more time before baby comes so I hope I'm all cured by then.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

About Uterine Polyps

A new buddy of mine online just posted that she was diagnosed with a polyp. Here's what I shared with her:

Fibroids and polyps can change the microenvironment in your uterus by irritating the lining and causing a reaction akin to what an IUD does I believe. You end up with your body reacting to the "foreign" object but at the same time it's so hyper active from an immune standpoint that it disallows implantation. (some of this is sort of subjective on my part but I've read a lot about implantation, fibroid, etc.)

Do you like your ob/gyn? Don't they have a backup? If you are really feeling put off then maybe try finding help elsewhere -- though here in Seattle getting in to see an ob/gyn as a new patient takes 2 months plus.

Here are some links for you:

Emerging endometrial polyp during controlled ovarian
stimulation affects IVF/ICSI outcome

Results: In the patients with endometrial polyps, no pregnancy was achieved. Clinical pregnancy rates and implantation rates of the second group were 28.35% (55/194) and 13.05%, respectively. Fifteen of the pregnant women (27.27%) experienced miscarriages. In some of the patients, hysteroscopy was performed for removal of the endometrial polyp. In part of them, after the polyp resection, spontaneous pregnancy occurred.
Conclusion: Our results reveal that endometrial polyp <10 mm, appearing during COS is a rare complication and it may have a negative influence on the IVF/ICSI outcome. In order to improve embryo implantation, we need to remove the above mentioned endometrial polyp. Abnormalities at the endometrial level and abnormal embryo–endometrial dialogue may be responsible for some cases of implantation failure. Endometrial polyp may be an impediment to embryo implantation because it acts as space occupying lesion and/or disturbs the expression of various endometrial products such as pinopodes, integrins and cytokines. It is not clear whether the expression of such factor as the endometrial polyp is the reason for implantation failure or is just a reflection of other abnormalities taking place in complex cascade of events.

From: ESHRE Meeting, June 2006 - Implantation

Surgery is usually recommended for polyps, for several reasons:
To try to improve fertility. Polyps may interfere with implantation of a fertilised egg in the lining of the womb, so they're often removed to try to improve the chances of conceiving.

From: Uterine Polyps

Leiomyomas and polyps are growing tumours and thus produce significant plasma glycodelin levels. Uterine glycodelin flushings are elevated in patients with both polyps and leiomyomas. Elevated glycodelin levels in the follicular and peri-ovulatory period may impair fertilization and implantation.
From: Glycodelin levels in uterine flushings and in plasma of patients with leiomyomas and polyps: implications for implantation.

Endometrial polyps appear to be organized overgrowths of the uterine endometrium, although the precise mechanisms leading to their development are not clearly defined. The endometrial lining of the uterine cavity grows in response to estrogen and is architecturally restructured in response to progesterone. If the response to estrogen is excessive, either in the presence of unopposed estrogen (such as during periods of anovulation) or whenever the bioactivity of the circulating estrogen is increased (such as with increased numbers of estrogen receptors or with decreased metabolism of estrogen) overgrowth of the endometrium may occur. If these overgrowths organize and develop their own blood supply then they become polyps.

The mere presence of polypoid overgrowths in the uterine cavity may (at least theoretically) interfere with implantation and fertility. I have envisioned polyps as acting sort of like IUDs in the cavity, creating a hostile environment for embryo implantation. I remove endometrial polyps in women with reproductive problems and these women (anecdotally) seem to do remarkably well in subsequent fertility efforts. A well designed research project describing fertility outcome after treatment for different types of endometrial polyps would be valuable.

Endometrial polyps are not always benign. I removed one normal appearing endometrial polyp hysteroscopically and this was found to contain an endometrial adenocarcinoma (cancer) on pathology report. Therefore, in the presence of any atypical overgrowth of tissue it is always important to think about the possibility of cancer

From: Miscarriages - Causes and Treatments

Cloth Diapering & Elimination Communication Links

I've been bookmarking diapering sites for a while and now that we have the baby on the way we're committed to not using disposables. I was a cloth diapered baby so it's nice I can ask my mother for background information on frequency of changes, quantity, etc. -- though things have changed a lot from the early 70's.

Cloth Diapering -- by Teachingmama
A well rounded site with links to other great diapering sites and resources.

Diaper Pages -- Karen's Cloth Diapering Site

Real Diaper Association

Diaper Pin - Cloth Diapers, Tip, Reviews and More

One Stop Diaper Shop -- sew your own

Kelly's Closet - Cloth diapers and accessories

Tiny Tush - Natural baby boutique

Katie's Kisses -- Cloth diapers and more

Full Moon Baby Gear -- Diapering and more



Snappi -- diaper fasteners, covers and more

And if you are really wanting to get away from diapering there is always the Diaper Free angle:

DiaperFreeBaby -- information about elimination communication.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sick and More about the Ultrasound

Ugh, I've been sick today. I was fighting this virus that was going around the office, not having too many symptoms really but then I overdid it this week and last night I came home aching all over. I've been aching since -- my knees, my elbows, my back. Only a little more post nasal drip -- my immune system behaves totally different when I'm pg. Normally I would get the full blown flu and be sick in bed for a week. I still need to baby myself equally as if I had the full blown thing. Hopefully this passes sooner though.

My partner's been so excited about the baby since our u/s on Tuesday. He's also just gotten a web-enabled phone and has been texting everyone and mostly about the baby. He's so relieved that the baby looked so right on the scan and he's starting to bond to the idea of a boy already. He said that was the first of many characteristics our child will have.

During the u/s the scanner moved across the face front-wise a couple of times and you could see his little face. It wasn't a 3-D u/s, I was more used to the profile shots you see and didn't know that you could see stuff like that with regular u/s. He says the baby is cute and you can tell already.

The other image that I was amazed by was being able to see the
umbilical cord connection. The scan managed to capture the swirl of the arteries and it looked fairly large. For some reason it just captivated me. Though it is in part the big connection between the kid and I.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Big Ultrasound

I had my big ultrasound today and the baby looked perfect and was moving all over. It was amazing for a little while but then after it went on and on as the technician took all these shots from multiple angles of all the body parts I wanted to cry as I was so ready for it to be over -- all that pressure on my sensitive belly.

We are really pleased though and it looks like we are going to have a little boy.

I had the technician check out my fibroid and its grown to be 5x8cm (!) but wasn't bugging the kiddo at all. It looked like there was another small fibroid up top. I'm waiting for the full ultrasound report -- it had to be reviewed by the radiologist and then my OB. Brother if there is but it was pretty small still.

My OB said we wouldn't remove the fibroid (big one) at delivery unless it was pedunculated which it is not. He did say that typically they grow a lot and then around mid-pregnancy the growth will taper off some, just like for the baby.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Info About Panic-Anxiety

I'm sorry to read that you aren't doing well. My partner had bad panic-anxiety and it took work but with work we were able to turn things around for him and he doesn't need meds.

Eat regular meals and snacks to help keep your blood sugar level up

Reduce stress, incorporate activities for exercise that you enjoy to help relieve stress more

Consider any nutritional deficiencies you might have. My partner was a vegetarian for years and even though he would eat the occassional piece of organic chicken or fish, he saw big improvements when we added in zinc, arginine and carnetine into his diet.

Arginine is known to help support the adrenals though how much is safe to take in pregnancy is questionable.

Also note that from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)perspective, pregnancy uses a lot of the kidney energy. Particularly in early pregnancy as your body is making a lot of pretty monumental shifts. I noticed this in myself as I had lots of pains in my inner ankles and feet that were on my kidney channels. The symptoms you are having are also related to the kidney channel. I also found I couldn't sleep at night -- another symptom of your kidney energy being off. I continued seeing my acupuncturist throughout the first 10 weeks of my pregnancy and I thought it was a help for my symptoms, particularly for helping get rid of the throbbing pain in my ankles.

You might consider acupuncture treatment to see if it might help your body to adjust a little easier.

I've posted about natural treatments and lifestyle changes my partner made to deal with his panic/anxiety and it worked to the point that he didn't need to take meds any more.

Re: Panic attack/anxiety/ unbearable fear

Cut back on sugar, caffeine, simple carbs
Keep blood sugar levels up
Get regular exercise
Stay hydrated
Eat more protein
Lower stress levels -- reduce responsibilities, take mental breaks, don't take things so seriously...your health is more important
Try aromatherapy with lavendar and geranium
(there are herbs one can use -- Passion Flower, Kava, Valerian but I wouldn't use them in pg)
Go get a massage
Listen to music, go out with friends, smile, read, knit, paint, meditate

I also wanted to add that one of the things that helped was going to Barnes & Noble and looking up books in their health section about panic/anxiety. Amazon.com also has loads of books with reviews from people who have been able to help themselves with the information in these self-help books. We found tips for diet, exercise, attitude, aromatherapy and all together they helped.

You also might want to learn more about how your nervous system functions, particularly things that help trigger the parasympathetic nervous system which can help reduce your symptoms. Not many people understand the dynamic between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system functions. I read recently that shifting the focus of your eyes to use the peripheral vision can help to get your parasympathetic kicked in.


I also wanted to add that this past week my body was freaking out and getting more and more stressed. I don't know what I was doing to trigger it but it wasn't getting better. Finally I made an appointment for a massage in the middle of the workday (thankfully there's a spa on the next block). I only got my lower legs and feet done -- a quickie massage -- but it helped me out soooooo much. Sometimes I think we just need to give our body a hand so don't rule out getting some massages as well.

And of course you could take meds, but I'm of the opinion and have seen it work first-hand, that trying to help deal with the underlying conditions is the best way to start.

Doctors aren't trained in treating conditions in this manner so they won't even suggest it (you could be living on potato chips for all they know or care). Even today the American medical student gets less than 30 hours total information on nutrition during their education and that's dispersed throughout their curriculum.

I did think of one other thing yesterday, I was watching a documentary a few months ago on cable about panic/anxiety and it mentioned that people who experience it are much more sensitive to carbon dioxide levels in their blood. As part of the panic/anxiety reaction causes you to breath less deeply you need to try to also counter this by slowing down and taking deep breaths and filling your lungs all the way.

I hope that you are able to get results soon.

When/how to tell employEEs that I'm pregnant

I'm pushing 18 weeks now and I haven't told anyone at work that I'm pregnant. I work mostly with men and they don't seem to notice, I dress carefully and I'm not showing so much yet.

My hang up is that I don't want to be treated differently. I'm okay being a pregnant woman outside of work but within the work context it just isn't something I want to make a big deal of.

I also have to factor in that this will create some lack of certainty possibly for my employees -- perceived or otherwise. I don't want to just have it be all about me and have them feel like I'm abandoning them.

My partner (also business partner) thinks I should just casually, when appropriate, mention that I will be taking a few months off starting in February. First though we are trying to staff up my replacements so I have time to train them. We are recruiting actively but it's hard to find qualified help who are a good fit.

When and how would you tell people you are pg if you are the boss?
I got up this morning and wrote a two page letter to my SIL, I figured I should at least get my thoughts down about things. I decided to share it with my partner as anything I do or share with his family he should have some input in I believe. He thought that it was too long and detailed and that I was oversharing. He also suggested that I should meet up with my SIL in person and give it to her then so we could talk about it. I just don't feel comfortable with that. For all of what I share of my feelings online I don't feel that safe sharing them IRL due to past rejections of careless friends and acquaintances.

I tried to explain to my partner how I felt that this wouldn't necessarily go away on its own, how there are wounds that I have and that having my SIL react to me in this way was even more alienating. He thinks it was her and that she was PMS-ing or something as she even snapped at our nephew last night, something she never does. He also felt like he was being attacked as when he offered that we do talk about our pregnancy with our friends his SIL answered "I consider us more than friends, we're family".

My partner thought that maybe he should first start by calling his mother and ask her what she thinks we should do. He won't likely be phased by this exchange and we'd also be able to figure out if she was contributing to this drama behind the scenes.

I've been crying more today than I have in a long while. It's like all the infertility and loss grief are right there and I don't know if I'm supposed to do something or not. Should I share my deepest feelings? What am I supposed to be doing in my pregnancy that I'm not when I never see my SIL anyway. I'm feeling upset and frustrated.

My lovely friend Christy (newly pregnant after two losses -- send her sticky thoughts) shared these article links with me this morning:

Pregnancy After Miscarriage
The Ups and Downs of Trying Again
By Roxanne Williams Snopek

Easing the Anxiety of Pregnancy After Miscarriage

Saturday, September 16, 2006

When the Fertile World Meets the Infertile World

I was thinking about this earlier this morning, about how for as well as things seem to be going with this pregnancy, that I can't forget the pain and isolation my infertility and pregnancy losses gave me.

For instance, I was shopping yesterday and looking for a coat as my regular winter coat is a slim cut with princess seams and won't do for the winter with the belly and boobs. At this shop as I was inspecting this swing coat (not maternity so it might get some wear afterwards) the sales assistant came up to me and was discussing the fit. I decided to buy it and at the register she asked me if it was my first, to which I replied "Third pregnancy, first baby." and then she said with some understanding "congratulations."

It's not a specter but it's just that being pregnant before, and not being able to get pregnant before that, were all sources of grief, discontentment, frustration and isolation. So being pregnant now isn't really a tra-la-la life is beautiful, I'm an earth mother and everything is perfect now. I'm not that trivial. It's part of my life now, some of the most painful experiences I have been through up until this point -- and I didn't find a lot of support from my social network IRL.

Sure I'm kind of fascinated by my changing body, somewhat pleased and distracted by the new sensations of movement coming from my belly, coping with the discomforts and the like. I worry that the baby is going to be okay, that I'll be able to have the c-section and not end up dead or with a hysterectomy, and hoping that my fibroid decided to shrivel up and go away. I talk a little to the baby and my partner and I talk about it and what is to come. I'm distracted by it daily, but I'm not obsessed about it. I've learned that it's not just up to me and a good portion of this it out of my hands -- I just have to hope for the best.

So tonight I was shocked when my sister-in-law at dinner basically attacked me. I was talking to her husband, my partner's brother as he asked me about when I was going to tell people at work. She asked some question that I gave a quiet answer like "okay" to and then got all huffy and went on like about how was it okay to talk about my pregnancy because it felt like it wasn't okay and it was making her really uncomfortable. She asked this in a totally aggressive way as if I was to blame for her discomfort. I replied calmly that after four years of infertility, two miscarriages and surgery for us both that I was just feeling a little subdued about it. She replied in indignation "well if that's the way it's going to be..."

She and I are not close though I've known her for almost ten years. She moved to town five years ago and didn't continue working and just set out to get pregnant, which she did eight months later without much of a hitch. When they first told us that they were pregnant I was happy for them, for her. I brought out some books that I had and shared with her stories of how pregnancy and childbirth were dealt with in Native American culture and 19th century society. I didn't want her to have a totally medicalized pregnancy, I knew about the benefits of midwifery, doulas and different labor styles from having read articles and accumulated knowledge since I was in college. I think I overwelmed her as she never once consulted with me after that about anything regarding her pregnancy. Additionally due to the excuse of her not feeling well (and granted she might not have) they blew us off on two occasions during her pregnancy when we had dinner plans -- and once when I went out of my way to make lasagna. They never rescheduled, they never reciprocated or reinitiated. I figured she wanted space and I gave it to her. What else was to be done. We were just starting to try to conceive during that time, work was stressful and life was busy.

Her second pregnancy was announced two weeks after we found out we were pregnant for the first time. It was agonizing for me as I had the retained tissue through what would have been six months pregnant and there she was easily having her second. She wasn't there for me during that time at all and honestly I couldn't even stand to look at her. When I had my fibroid out and the repeat d&c that November and they came to visit me in the hospital I mentioned that I was finally not pregnant any longer and she just looked at me like I hadn't said anything. My friend was in the room then and commented to me afterwards that she found my sister-in-law to be a bit odd at that moment.

I think that my sister-in-law has been living in babyland and mommyhood for too many years and that has colored her vision. As anyone who has been through miscarriage will tell you, it's not all bliss after you have had the worst thing happen to you, you rather feel like you are walking with your guard up. I also think that my sister-in-law and mother-in-law have been talking, they are feeling some information deficit about our pregnancy and assume that I think that everything is going to fail at any moment -- my mother-in-law has basically said as much to my partner. I don't talk to either woman except at family gatherings, we're not close and I don't see why my being pregnant would change that.

My partner, his brother and I spent a good portion of dinner after that talking about work and trying to hire more staff so I can take a leave of absence. My sister-in-law was either annoyed that we had such things to talk about or embarrassed by her outburst (I know her husband was) or both.

So anyway, I feel a bit wounded for having been attacked so and now I have to pretend like it wasn't anything because I don't have the type of relationship with her where I can tell her how wrong she is. Besides, I have a somewhat strained relationship with my partner's family as I always feel like I am being judged and not understood. The fun part is that its my nephew's birthday next week and then my mother-in-law is coming in two weeks so I totally have to see them even though I don't want to right now.

I feel like I should go find some articles for them about how very normal I am coming from where I have. Do you have anything that you think might be helpful? Is it even worth it?

What do you think about these links?

Things We Wish You Knew - RESOLVE

Ways to Support a Parent Whose Baby Has Died - SHARE (PDF)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tough Week

I was having issues with stress this week. I'm not sure why, it wasn't like things had gotten particularly more stressful but more like my body just couldn't deal. I was completely unable to think after 3:30 pm on a couple of days at work and had to go home. I also woke up several times at during the week and couldn't go back to sleep. I even resorted to having a little red wine (the mildest sedative I could think of) at 5am one more as I was completely jacked on stress hormones.

Finally yesterday I couldn't deal anymore. I felt like crying and breaking down I was so done over -- even in the morning as I went to work. I was also soooooo impatient and minutes seemed like hours to me. Obviously not functioning at a normal level.

I decided that I had to do something but what? Acupuncture? Didn't seem to be what my body was asking for. A massage? But that's kind of a big ordeal and it was Friday morning at 11am and I had a client call in the afternoon. There is a spa on the next block over from our office and I went to their website and looked to see what they had on offer and they had a leg and foot massage that was only 30 minutes long. Perfect. I called and they did have an opening for 1pm which gave me time to get lunch, get my massage and calm down.

They did a little aromatherapy, gave me pregnancy tea to drink. There was another pregnant woman there in the lounge and we chatted briefly about clothing shopping mostly and our changing bodies. The massage was really helpful and relaxing. The woman used an exfoliating scrub and massaged it in well, then washed that off. Next came shea butter and my legs were wrapped in hot towels and then in dry towels and I was left to sit for a little while with my feet up on a foot stool. After 10 minutes she came back and unwrapped my legs and then rubbed them with massage oil. After that I could just sit for a few minutes and she gave me a heated pad for my neck and shoulders. I wished I could have stayed longer and they would have let me too but I had to get back to work. I was ready for a nap at that point.

I was much better off when I returned to work and wasn't quite so frazzled feeling. For $40 plus tip it was a huge help. I'm definately going to have to put frequent massage treatments on my agenda for the next months though.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Camping While Pregnant

I went twice this summer, first when I was 7w and just this past weekend at 16w. We did car camping, no hiking in 3 miles to a site with a backpack on. This time my partner carried just about all our gear down from the car but I helped to set up the tent and bedding and our camping chairs.

I think the biggest complaint I had was having to pee soooooo much. In July there were a lot of mosquitos and we were doing rustic camping so that wasn't fun. I stayed away from the DEET bug spray and found some that was safe for babies but it required a lot of reapplication. Thankfully there weren't many mosquitos this past weekend.

When I was 7w I was sooooo tired and wanted to nap but it was so hot in the tent. That made me feel worse. I still had to take naps this time, but thankfully it was a bit cooler, though still a bit on the hot side in the tent.

I have an air mattress (Thermarest) and this past weekend at 16w I found that it was uncomfortable sleeping on my side, though it's right around now that you aren't supposed to be sleeping on your back due to pressure on the vena cava and aorta. I woke up that way both mornings without any issues. I think if I was further along it might have been more of an issue -- or maybe I would just bring along more cushioning for the hip area.

The other thing I noticed was that bending over and moving things down low was causing me to have an achy belly.

Still, I had a great weekend and I'm glad I went. It was the last time before the baby comes, and I'm not sure about next summer though our friends were trying already to convince us to bring the baby next year. We shall see.

What's up

Camping was a lot of fun, still lot of peeing but the mosquitoes weren't bad and we had more girls there this time for a total of 8 campers and 2 dogs. Very relaxing and I'm glad I went.

The other girl I'm taking my French lessons with just found out she's pg as well. She's 7 weeks now and leaves on Jeudi (Thursday) for Paris for 10 days with her DH. She must be due in April/May I think. Now she says she knows how I felt when I was saying I had to eat now or I was going to die.

I've been feeling the baby for the past couple of weeks. First just a few stray gentle bumps (barely anything) but this week I am definately feeling it a lot, several times a day. It's kind of interesting. My fibroid is causing me to have an ache in the right side of my uterus, but not yet enough to want to take anything for it. I think I'm going to check with my OB and make sure that we are checking that out in a couple weeks at my u/s. Do you think 18.5 weeks is too early for the big one?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Belly

Here's my first belly shot from 15w1d. I don't think the angle quite does me justice but it was the clearest out of the lot I took. I know I look positively average build but it's very odd for me to be growing this much and out of my clothing. My arm is covering up part of my butt where I think you might notice a bit more heft to my figure. Normally my stomach is a few inches in, not having it's furthest part in line with my boobs.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I've got to go do some more shopping right now (RIGHT NOW), the wardrobe pickings are becoming slimmer and slimmer. It might just be me though, as my goal is to de-emphasize the belly. I had to try on 3-4 outfits this morning and was almost stuck. I'm not ready to be outed yet. I don't think I want to be treated like a pregnant woman.

Its kinda weird having my uterus grow now but not have it be like the first time where it grew really fast due to the fibroid being in there as well. My belly is about as round as it was post myo now, and a bit bigger than when the fibroid was in there -- but since the pg is softer and and more fluid than that 9x11cm fibroid it isn't as uncomfortable. Still though, things are definately starting to pick up in the belly growth area. I don't really know how large Twyla (the new fibroid) is, I'm rather assuming she's grown some but modestly.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Feeling a little more real

Hearing the heartbeat the other day really helped make it feel more normal now, like if this subtle check of the heartbeat can happen so easily then the kid must be doing pretty well in there.

My partner and I were talking, it is pretty amazing when you consider that this pregnancy is happening after:

Vasectomy in 1994
Vas Reversal in 1998
Fibroid dx 2002
Miscarriage 2004
Fibroid surgery (myomectomy) 2004
Miscarriage 2005

And all without doing the whole Clomid/Follistim/IUI/IVF/ICSI plan that four REs laid out for us. When I see my online friends and acquantainces and all the things they have tried it does seem a bit odd that we just used acupuncture, herbs, supplements, lifestyle changes -- plus our surgeries -- to get this party going.

Yes it took a long time. Yes it was emotionally grueling. but somehow taking more aggressive action seemed like trying to force it and we didn't want that. When you factor in those basic statistics (which may or may not be accurate) that post vas reversal your chances of success are 50% and after a myomectomy they are also about 50% then which percentage was left for this kid to happen?

I always felt that somewhere in the statistics there was a place for me, and I tended to think that perhaps I was in the minority but that didn't mean that things couldn't happen for us. I know that we approached the entire situation differently than many others did, but we knew from the start of our relationship that our chances might be compromised due to the vasectomy. I think that same fact made my miscarriages harder to deal with -- how can you have success and no success at the same time. How can you feel like you have proved your fertilty and still walked away without a baby?

My parents returned home Thursday night. I was nice having them here and getting to talk and share the pregnancy with them. I'm not really able to do that with too many people, other than online yet. I'll save that for another post.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The sounds

pwish pwish pwish pwish pwish pwish pwish pwish pwish pwish pwish pwish bonk PWISH PWISH PWISH pwish pwish pwish PWISH PWISH PWISH bonk pwish pwish

Kinda like that when the doctor put the doppler to my belly at my OB appointment this afternoon. The heartbeat sounded fairly swishy and sometimes it would get louder and sometimes quieter, as the baby would move around. The bonks were when the baby was crashing into me I guess. My partner was fascinated, he concentrated so much on that sound. He's a musician outside of work, and so that was right up his alley. He said he would like to sample the sound, though of course he didn't bring a recorder.

When I showed up they showed me "the routine". I have to go check in, then pee in a cup and put a little test strip in to check for glucose and protein (mine were just about perfectly negative -- just a hair off in shade for protein). I then get weighed and I was pleased to see that I've only gained 2 pounds since my last appointment, so I'm up around 10 pounds total, but I'm not absolutely sure what my weight was pre-pregnancy as I don't have a scale.

The doppler is interesting, just a little battery operated dohickie. I just had to lay back and give my doc access to my lower belly. He saw my bikini scar from my myo for the first time. I didn't need to strip from the waist down or anything. The heartbeat came up right away. My doctor was suitably pleased; it's nice how keen he is on having this go well for us.

I got my ferritin checked as well, and should have those results in a few days I hope. My doc asked me if there was anything else I wanted to get checked while we were at it, but that was all that really needed checking.

My doc said he would show me where my uterus was and I assured him that I knew exactly where it was. I guess I got familiar with it, having that large fibroid in there. In case you are interested, this site, about halfway down the page, has a couple tables showing fibroid sizes in comparison to fruit and pregnant versus non-pregnant uterus sizes:

My next appointment is in a month and they will check fetal measurements during a more detailed ultrasound. After that I'll have a regular check up.

Monday, August 21, 2006

More about my shopping trip

I went shopping with my mother at a maternity shop on Saturday. I can't deal with shopping normally and maternity shopping I don't find all that fun. I work with a lot of guys and then there's our complicated history -- so its not like I'm dying to share the news. So while I'm there, looking for things that will help me out over the next couple of months at least, I ran into someone I know who had previously, quite adamantly told me she never wanted kids. She was 20 weeks along. She tried for a year and then got assistance she said -- probably clomid or something. I mentioned that I hadn't told anyone (outside of the people I told early on) and then elaborated that after 4 years of trying and two miscarriages (not to mention, which I didn't, the fibroid surgery and vasectomy reversal) it wasn't something that felt like an easy thing for me. I said it loud enough and I swear everyone in that boutique got quiet for a second and the clerk looked at me. Yes, I said the bad word in a maternity shop. Miscarriage. Miscarriage. Miscarriage. Miscarriage. Miscarriage. Miscarriage. Miscarriage. Miscarriage.

It still feels all unreal and tenuous for me. I know I have no control over it, I just have to go along for the ride. It's weird to think that there's something inside of me -- but then I have my next OB appt tomorrow and I worry that something won't be right. And then when I think about February and having to take care of the creature that comes from within me -- all the time(!) I think that maybe I had no business getting pg in the first place. Sigh.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Still Not Out

I still haven't told anyone at work about my pregnancy but I'm now 14 weeks. It's going to be hard to keep it from people much longer but I really don't feel like telling.

My mother is in town visiting me and she asked me when I was going to tell my staff and I said perhaps not at all. Can't they just figure it out on their own?

I feel like my emotional history with fertility is so loaded that people trivially saying "congratulations" to me is just so not even on the mark.

My mother and I went shopping today and got me a few more things to wear. I now have a new long sleeve tee, stretch corderoy with a demi band skirt, brown maternity dress and maternity black jacket that is suitable for work. The jacket has zipped up darts in the front that can be opened to provide more belly coverage later on. So add those to one pair of demi panel jeans from the gap and my bigger undies and it's a start of a new wardrobe that will keep me from going naked.

It's weird how I keep moving through my closet and eliminating things as they just don't fit any more. My favorite corderoy jean jacket that's all cropped and fitted can't be buttoned any longer -- mostly due to the new larger rack I'm carrying for instance. Another Ann Taylor top that I really like is now poised for the storage closet as the "girls" were busting out the other day. Either that or else I need to become less of a prude. At least my socks still fit.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Phlegm Again

I don't know that I've really mentioned it but for the past few weeks I've been having more and more problems with post-nasal drip. It's gotten so bad that I have been gagging in the mornings. It was getting progressively worse. While I might have had a touch of some slight illness last week that didn't help, this was something else. I knew that I needed to see my acu about it so I got in this morning for a treatment.

Evidently my spleen qi was depleted and that was letting the phlegm overwhelm. She did a lot of points on my legs to help dry things up, and amazingly within 20 minutes my sinuses weren't congested any longer. Phew. I hope it holds a while.

She asked me how I was doing with the blood building foods, evidently I'm still showing signs of blood deficiency (not unexpected though). I also asked her about foods that I should be eating or not, as with the pregnancy it is a little harder to be as rigid about some of the diet, especially when my body is so demanding of food and sometimes quite specific about what it wants. She said some dairy was okay, but definately not ice cream (oops). More corn, celery, melon, rye, turnip, scallions, kidney beans...

My acu today asked me if we thought we were going to have a boy or a girl and I replied that we definately were planning on having either a boy or a girl. My other acu had guessed based on my pulses that we were having a girl but today the acu who usually sees me checked and she said she was going to say boy. She said my kidney pulse was strong for female but everything else was boy.

My french teacher also thinks boy. My early sense of it, in the first couple of weeks after the BFP was boy. I guess we'll see eventually.

My next OB appointment is on Tuesday afternoon. My partner will be there as well. I love that he is so committed to participating in this with me. He says "it's mine too."

I find this point of pregnancy is a little quieter, less nausea, body more adjusted to symptoms on the whole. Yeah, I don't fit into a lot of my clothes but if I sit still I can still pretend that it's just regular-old me that isn't pregnant right now. I kinda like that. But man, when I look in the mirror I'm just amazed at my expanding figure. The boobs! The belly! The butt!! I don't think I've ever been quite this big in my lifetime.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Today is Saturday August 12th 2006.
You conceived on Saturday May 27th 2006
and your due date is Saturday February 17th 2007.

77 days have passed since the conception,
and you are 189 days before your due date.

You are 13 weeks into your pregnancy,
and you have 27 weeks to go.

You are in the 2nd trimester.

29% of your pregnancy has passed, there is 71% left to go.

From my pregnancy calendar on the AmazingPregnancy.com site.

Friday, August 11, 2006

My first maternity purchase

After my only pair of pants that fits quit on me yesterday I decided it was time to buy something. I stopped by The Gap in downtown Seattle on the way home from work, hoping no one would see me, and ducked into the maternity area. I was looking for some dark jeans and they had a couple options, not brilliant but enough. There was one pair that matched and fit like I wanted to, a demi panel bootleg pair with room for my belly and butt to grow if they want.

I also grabbed a few other things to try on, a skirt, a sweater, but those items made me look more pregnant -- something I'm still trying to downplay. They had this odd looking thing on the wall and it took me a while to figure out that it was to help envision how big your belly would be (beige, polyester with velcro, strap-on belly falsie that it was). I tried it out for a second with one top and promptly removed it as it freaked me out to look at that body shape. I don't want to think about getting that big!

I didn't feel as awkward as I might have thought, probably because necessity was really driving my shopping trip. I decided to hold off on buying anything else until my parents come to visit next week. That would be a good thing to do with my mom.

My sister dropped by last night and told me not to shop at Pea in the Pod -- she said the store name freaks her out. Ha! I'm thinking that checking out maternity consignment might be worthwhile, there's a place nearby.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Just came across this blog post from Chic Mommy which reveals the true extent of what motherhood can mean.

Shopping for Undies

So I had a client meeting in another city nearby this morning and when I got back downtown I realized that the underwear I had on was just not going to cut it -- or rather was totally cutting into my behind and I hate VPLs.

So I stopped by Macy's and bought new knickers and three new bras -- that fit me. Well actually the knickers are a size 8 which is a bit loose, but I started out a size 6 and that's basically a no go at this point. I had some 7s that fit well from when I had my abdominal surgery, and a few 8s that are loose as well. But really, I needed more so that I wasn't having to do laundry every 5 minutes.

Bizarrely I've already gone up a full band size. I was between a 32/34 and between a B/C but now I'm between a 34/36 (favoring 36) and about a C. I'm so excited about better fitting bras.

I'm rather pleased with myself, even if the increase in garment sizes is a little daunting.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My fever went away and gradually throughout the day Monday I felt better.

My uterus seems to be a bit higher now, about 1-1/2 inches above my pubic bone. I'm sure I'm measuring ahead height wise but I've got that fibroid in there too. I'm hoping Twyla will take a break now that we are approaching the next tri. There's a chance that her growth will slow down.

I went out for sushi last night and I was dying as I wanted to eat the usual. I did indulge in one piece of raw fish only, and a couple of sips of Sapporo (beer) and was quite contented. Otherwise everything I ate was either vegetarian (umejiso) or cooked (ebi). We went out for dessert afterwards, there were three of us, and each ordered one so we could all have a taste. I came home and ate an orange as I was still hungry.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

that's funny, me at peace.

Someone online said I that seemed at peace. Rather I'm just trying to hold it together with all my work responsibilities, being short staffed and so tired all the time. I don't have enough energy to worry all that much to be honest -- but that seems a far cry from being at peace with things.

I've had a fever today and I was sooooooo tired this weekend. I'm not sure what it is but my body was really not happy about it. I'm so tired that I wonder if it is normal or not - I'm thinking not quite as if I was like this in the wild I surely would have died or been eaten by now. I keep asking myself how I could go through this again if we wanted more than one (hoping that this one makes it).

It's weird for me b/c ppl IRL that know want me to be happy and I'm just okay. (reminds me of The Smiths lyrics "and I'm not happy and I'm not sad. The dream has gone and the baby is real..."). My partner's mother asked him if I was less fearful. Um, hmmmm. It's like you can't even say anything b/c she so obviously doesn't understand what it is like to try so hard for so long and end up with death instead of life coming through you. Yes, things are happening now but nothing is a sure thing and those of us who have witnessed loss firsthand know that only too well now. My SIL was trying to be nice and ask about things last week and I don't really have anything to say other than how far along I am now. I know my parents are cautiously optimistic, hopeful but still cautious -- and they want a grandbaby so badly, at least I think they do.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Late First Trimester Symptoms

So, the symptoms have shifted over time and I thought I should post an update less anyone think that it's all the same throughout the first tri.

Around 9 weeks I slowly started feeling a little less nauseous -- only to have it swoop back in for a few good bouts. Still it was amazing to have those quieter moments. I didn't want to take my prenatals for a couple of weeks, not sure why my body wasn't into it. Now I'm being pretty good so I'm sure things are fine.

I have shifted my eating pattern pretty well -- I eat breakfast (fruit juice, toasted whole grain waffle with nut butter, fresh fruit); mid-morning snack if I need (fruit); lunch (sandwich quite often, sometimes eaten with a break in between to aid digestion when things were working slowly); afternoon snacks (ice cream, tortilla chips, soda, fruit); something as I'm heading home (fruit leather, fruit if avail.) and then dinner. I try to make sure I'm getting one good portion of protein a day, and including enough water. If I don't drink enough during the day then I make sure to hydrate a lot in the evening -- which does result in a lot of bathroom trips overnight but at least my body can do the cleansing it needs internally.

I haven't really gotten that much bigger, just a bit, from my first weeks. I guess I'm less bloated and a teeny bit more full. I'm up about 8 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight (I can't remember if I posted that yet). My breasts are a little less sore than they were, though my nipples are more sore -- at least it seems so to me. My breasts are definately bigger now, though thankfully no one seems to have noticed at the office. Skirts and dresses are working out a bit better for me as well and some pants I just can't wear to work.

My uterus has pushed a little above my pubis at this point, with the right side feeling achy from the fibroid growing in the wall -- it's familiar from the first pregnancy unfortunately. It doesn't bother me all the time, though a couple of weeks ago I felt it was aching more. I don't feel my uterus all the time, sometimes it's like nothing's going on at all. It's most present in the morning when my bladder is full -- or when I tried wearing my jeans to work yesterday and the waistband felt really uncomfortable down low on my belly.

I do have food cravings -- more like I'll see/hear/read about some food item and randomly my body will fixate on it. Right now I have an unfulfilled craving for meatballs and spaghetti, a cheeseburger and macaroni & cheese. I know that these things mostly won't make me feel great so I'm avoiding for now.

I am still tired. Tired, tired, tired. I mostly go to bed before 10:30 (sometimes as early as 8:30) but I wake up and I still feel tired. I pee usually two times before midnight, once in the middle of the night, once in the early morning and 1-2 times before work.

Sleeping, peeing and eating -- that's what I do these days. Surely there's some preparation for a kiddo in that pattern -- eh?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thoughts on the First Trimester Screening

I have the option of doing this test if I want (all tests are optional really though) and I sort of always dreaded the thought of making a decision about it. Now, being here at almost 11 weeks, the decision is in front of me squarely -- and I find my instincts, my being, is telling me not to do it.

It's taken me four years to get this far -- which is why I'm now over 36. We've had two losses, early on, but both of them were drawn out over weeks, not to say months for the first one (July-October). I also had fibroid surgery -- and I've got a new fibroid growing.

I'll have a c-section either way, due to the fibroid surgery. I'm in a major city with an excellent hospital so it's not like labor is going to cause any complications. But none of that is my concern.

Having lived through my losses, I know the stress that waiting can bring when you already have the bad news. It's not something I want to bring on myself. It would be crushing for me, and I don't see any good that will come of it. I didn't ever due ART or hormones or anything, opting instead to find other means of healing my body enough to let it be able to carry (other than the needed surgery). I think even if I end up with a sick baby, I will feel more at peace with that than with knowing -- there's nothing to prepare for, what happens happen. I would rather let fate or God have a hand in it and just live with that outcome.

Come what may.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Kid

The scan shows s/he's measuring 3.5 cm right now.

When the baby came up my partner's first reaction was "he looks just like me" LOL, what is he thinking. It's nice that he had such a strong sense of affiliation with his unborn.

The doc said that we're not out of the woods just yet, but that everything looks great.

Let's see what else, we met with a nurse first who gave us this booklet from the hospital and all these brochures to look at. Then she started asking questions and explaining things to us like we were going to have a baby. You have to imagine what it was like for us, as we were both sitting there thinking that maybe we would have a kid but then maybe the sky was about to fall again. In my head I was like "blah, blah, blah...yeah whatever if you want to pretend we are having a baby" It was very surreal as she just went on about this and that.

They asked about genetic defects and testing in several ways. I think we're going to do the first trimester screening where they look at a few measurements including primarily the nuchal translucency screening, plus some blood work to rule out big issues (hopefully). I've seen how women get online when they get results that put them in the possible range for an issue and it isn't pretty. That's my key hesitation. I'd have to do it in the next couple of weeks and they gave me all the codes to run it by my insurance company.

My doc started going on about appointment frequency and delivery and then I reminded him that I was a mandatory c-section -- unless of course he was feeling daring. He assured me that he was not. I gave him a copy of this article I read through an Ovusoft link this morning about a "natural c-section" and told him that I didn't know that I wanted to necessarily do something like that but perhaps he might find it interesting and we could discuss it later. We also brought up with the doc about how my partner didn't like being there for the d&c with the vacuum and not being on good drugs like I was -- he understood. At least this way we can address it as we get closer to delivery, about how we can make sure my partner is comfortable with the plan.

My next ob appt is in a month about. Sheesh, I would be in the second trimester then already.

Early Pregnancy Success Rates

Everyone online is always wondering when certain positives are linked with a reduction in the chance of pregnancy loss -- and a greater chance of having a baby. I've looked it up an found these references:

The loss rate after a normal scan was similar in symptomatic (10.6%) and asymptomatic patients (9.1%) and declined progressively with gestational age from 17.0% at 6 to 7.9 weeks to 4.3% at 12 to 13 weeks (P < 0.01, chi-squared).
From: Pregnancy outcome after a first trimester sonogram demonstrating fetal cardiac activity.

The pregnancy outcome of 347 patients with a confirmed, viable intrauterine pregnancy between 6.0 and 14.0 weeks, menstrual age, was determined. The miscarriage rate was 4.2% in a subgroup of patients without vaginal bleeding, as compared with 12.7% in a subgroup with bleeding
From: Fetal loss rate after ultrasonically documented cardiac activity between 6 and 14 weeks, menstrual age.

This one isn't an easy read, but it sort of looks like, in the absence of bleeding, the rate is around 4-5% chance of pregnancy failure after the detection of fetal heart activity. With bleeding it's a little more touch and go, with the miscarriage rates ranging from 11-16.5%.

There's a kid in there

My appointment went well this morning and I'll post my u/s pic later tonight. The kid looks perfect and measured exactly where it should 10w3d -- with a due date of February 17th, just like Ovusoft predicted.

More later. I've got to get some work done.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

GTT/GDM Testing and alternatives

I've read so many times online about women throwing up from the GTT and it seemed to me that there had to be other alternatives (my friend Gato just went through that this week). I did a search and came across some interesting info that I thought might be helpful. Please feel free to add in any other options you may know about.

I have to take the glucose tolerance test and drink that awful sweet drink. I detoxed from sugar before pregnancy, are there any alternatives?

You may ask your doc to forgo the GTT unless you are actually spilling sugar into your urine. It does not have to be done routinely.

Here is another alternative from Helen.

At the beginning of December I wrote to you all asking about what I should do about the glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes. I didn't want to drink the sugar drink because I know it would make me so sick. I mentioned it to my Doctor and he kind of murmured to bad but didn't give me any alternatives.

I decided to switch the midwifes at the office I go to so I can use the natural childbirth center. In the orientation they said all tests are up to me. So when I met with one of the midwifes I said I didn't want to take the glucose test that morning. She said instead of not taking it, she proposed a sugar sensitive friendly alternative. I'll pass it along in case it comes up with any of you.

She told me to fast starting at midnight. Go to the office first thing in the morning and have my fasting blood drawn. Then go out and have breakfast- protein and complex carb like I eat anyway. Then come back in 2 hours and have my blood taken again. She said that will tell her everything she needs to know. Now it is a bit of a pain because the test will take all morning instead of an hour, but I think it is worth it.

And one more suggestion from Julie

A few years ago (1999, I think) ACOG did a study that showed that 18 Brach's Jelly Beans (the small ones) had exactly 50 ml of glucose and was a valid alternative to the glucola for the gestation diabetes test. Women also tolerated the jelly beans much better with fewer side effects such as headache and nausea/vomiting. Maybe your care provider has heard of this and/or is willing to look into it to let you try it.

from: http://www.radiantrecovery.com/newsletter2/pregnancy.html

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) said in a recent statement to the media that there is not one certain method to be used to effectively screen the pregnant population for gestational diabetes. They do not, however, know what screening is best or agree on when the screening should take place.


Testing for those women who have a positive screen for GDM can take many forms. The most common is a fasting glucose after a woman has been given a drink called glucola (concentrated sugar) and had her blood drawn. About four years ago some studies were done showing that ingesting 18 Brach's® jelly beans worked just as well as the glucola. The jelly bean test is a bit more pleasant and has few stomach side effects than the glucola for most women. It is also important to note that there is not one perfect time for testing for GDM and that this should be decided between the practitioner and the woman.

Jelly Bean Alternatives for Glucose Testing

Glucose Tolerance Testing

How, when, and why to test for gestational diabetes mellitus <-- great article