Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years Eve

We just got home from the hospital... No more oxygen nasal prongs!!! Chris got to feed him for the first time too! He is breathing room air, will get his "car seat test" (they have the babies sit in a car seat for at least an hour to see if they can do it without getting de-oxygenated) in a few hours, he is eating about 75cc's every four hours, has latched/nursed very well, is a NICU darling...

But... He is still a blili blanket bingo boy - and we (OK, the nurse) will check his bilirubin levels again at 3 am. So here is a little prayer for that to be a successful outcome!

No pictures tonight, sorry - I keep forgetting the camera in my haste to see him.

When my mother and I went to visit Josef this afternoon, it was so exciting because that is when I noticed he was at 30% oxygen with a 10% flow - and look at how much he has improved since 5:00 pm!!! My mom got to feed him, it is so nice to watch other people do this, as I strongly believe that the more people that love your child the better...

So, we still have no clue on his middle names - Chris and I think he needs at least three syllables.. But others have disagreed.. Any opinions out there?

My dad told me he would make him a turtle fetish for his umbilical cord - I am so thrilled about this. Since he has Cherokee blood from my dad's side and Delaware from my mom's (not to forget the time and devotion my great-great grandfather C.H. Ellis, MD gave to the tribes here in Arizona, the comments both are from him) - it will be most meaningful (to me anyway) to be able to have him have this token, and made by my dad no less...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

all clean and no more IV!!! Posted by Hello

First bath with Mommy!! Posted by Hello

OK, this must be the best way to wash a baby ever! Since Josef like being swaddled, this makes perfect sense to keep him swaddled, and he never seemed to get too cold from this method either! So after we put the baby in the little tub, and we only did that because there wasn't a baby tub available... Anyway, we washed the face, then we slowly pulled apart the blanket and washed his tummy, then his arms and legs, and then his privates and his back. Then we got a large syringe (without the needle and "hosed" him off). So we followed this by wetting his hair, and we had to be careful since he had his IV in his head at this point... and put on some baby wash and rubbed it in and then rinsed it off with a cloth. So he was all clean and I had to rub him dry under a heat lamp. I had so much fun doing this!

So, you may notice in the "All clean and no IV" picture above that he lost his IV at some point today, I think he may have actually pulled it out, but Carol, the nurse had thought she had seen blood when we gave him the bath, but we just didn't see any when I patted his head to see what came up on the cloth! So I get ready to have him latch on and I saw the blood, so I called her over and his IV had come out. So we took his unicorn horn off. I got him to breast and the nurse went to check with the doctor and we were informed that we did not need to put it back in, since his feedings are going up in amount (oh, and we will reach 50cc's at 5AM tomorrow) and he seems to be doing so well. So, now it is just a matter of getting rid of the feeding tube, the oxygen nasal prongs and the bili blanket! He gets another bili test tomorrow so we can hope he gets to get rid of his bili blanket bingo and we can perhaps remove the feeding tube if he handles the 50cc's well, and then... It is just that darn oxygen.
The good news in terms of his breathing is that he doesn't seem to be workign so hard at it anymore, he chest doesn't look like his lungs are collapsing with each breath he takes... He his having much less trouble breathing and he has made two accomplishments in that respect:
1. His air flow, or what can best be described as the force with which the air is pumped into his nostrils has been lowered from .5 to .3!
2. He is staying at 40% oxygen versus the 80-100% he required before!

I also saw Malcom's mommy today, we got shushed by a nurse! I feel bad, but only another preemie mom can understand just how exciting these milestones can be! So I don't feel all that bad, since both Malcom and Josef are doing so well!
Say your prayers for Malcom who needs surgery, and will get it sometime soon...

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Josef in his spaceship. Posted by Hello

Josef, sending a message to two cousins. Posted by Hello

Josef yawning! Posted by Hello

Glow worm Josef - The best and brightest bili light boy! (actual photo update at 5:00PM AZ time) Posted by Hello

Josef is doing much better today, he has an IV in his head which makes him look like a unicorn, and though a bit visually disturbing, I think it actually makes him happier since it is much easier to move his hands and try to pull out his oxygen and feeding tubes (again).

He is being feed my milk, which is a good thing since it appears that I am a big producer and have plenty. I also get to try to breast feed him, but depending on how he is feeling he is either very good or very fussy. Today Chris (dad) got to hold him and he got peed on, which was funny in a way. We are also increasing his intake by 3cc's (about 1/2 a teaspoon) every third feeding, so by the end of today he will be getting 21cc's, so that by Friday he may have his feeding tube out when I go visit him in the evening (now this is if he behaves, and they don't get even more aggressive with increasing the amount of his feedings! This also means he gets the IV out on Friday too!

His jaundice has improved and he is on only one bili light, the blanket usually... Which makes him look like that glow worm toy when he is swaddled.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The last week of the old year

I went to visit Josef this morning, and I have to say that I should not stay too long when I am alone. With hormones that are wacky, it makes for some very tearful times. My sister in law came with me today and stayed for about an hour, so I wasn't all alone for the 4 hours I stayed there. I am sure the whole experience must have been a bit traumatic for her. I am sure that my tearfulness wasn't helped by the fact that the nurse told me it would be at least a week before he is getting enough food to even think about getting his feeding tube taken out! Which means it will be at least that long before he can come home. I was hoping he could come home before that... However, the good news is that he is getting 3cc's added to his meals every twelve hours, so by the end of tonight, theoretically, he should be getting 12cc's, and as follows:
12/28 - 18cc's
12/29 - 24cc's
12/30 - 30cc's
12/31 - 36cc's
01/01 - 42cc's
01/02 - 48cc's
01/03 - 54cc's

Which is when he reaches the limit of food he can take before he can get the tube out. His bilirubin level is better and if he improves enough tomorrow, then he can get one of the two bili-lights he has on him removed.

Dare I even begin to have hope that he can do this any faster? There are some times when this just seems so incredibly hopeless, but I am hoping and praying that those are just wacky hormones talking!

I will take today as a crying day, tomorrow, I will start back on doing some work related things, maybe that will help me keep my mind off things related to my son!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Boxing Day Update

This morning when we went to the NICU we were pleased to learn that Josef is now getting my milk. Granted, it is through a tube that goes through his mouth and into his tummy, but it is the milk from my body... There is just something so important about that. He gets about 6cc's every three hours. We even got to hold the syringe to feed him. Plus I also got to let him try to latch on, which is probably the most reassuring feeling too.

Then I came home and pumped, then Chris, my mother and I picked up my nephew Sammie and went to Saba's to buy Sammie some "cowboy dud's". He looks very sharp in them and as soon as I can I will get a picture of him wearing them! He got a shirt with fringe, a belt, boots, a bandana and a hobby horse! He is one cute cowboy!!!

So We then got some other things and he came to spend the night with us. My mom is staying too so she could watch him while Chris and I went to visit Josef. I pumped while I was there and got about 90cc's from each breast... I was pretty shocked to see that I can make that much milk. But, that is four bottles he has there now. I was able to let him breast feed and it was a tremendous success, even after the pumping! He latched on well and it felt like we were able to do this for an hour! Then I changed him and we got to feed him and then, he pulled his feeding tube out! So we stayed to watch it go back in and waited until he stabilized.

I am getting ready to write my letter and I pretty much wrote what happened in as straight forward a manner I could. To the commenter, I would love to have another name on the letter, it seems like you may know you I am, so please contact me since about all I can tell about you is that you have been to Good Samaritan Hospital and experienced the rude nurses in OB Triage at Good Samaritan Hospital! I should also add that they were horrible and insensitive when I went in when my water broke!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas update

Well, it was a very eventful day, in many ways...

When Chris and I got to the Hospital this morning, we saw the neonatologist that was with him his first 12 hours or so... Dr. G! And he told us that Josef was off of the CPAP!!! And seemed to be doing very well on his own and that it was possible they would take him off his antibiotic this evening (forgot to ask when we went back).

Someone who has proved very loyal to Josef and in helping get some prayer's and positive thoughts, Nance, came to visit him... On Christmas day!! I am still just stunned by such a warm show of support... What a special gift to me to know that other people are concerned, though I am not sure why, maybe it is that this isn't just something that my family is sick about. She brought him a cute little bear toy that says a bedtime prayer.

The best part of the morning... I got to try to breast feed my little boy! It somewhat worked, but what a pleasure just to hold him against my chest and fell his skin pressed to mine for thirty minutes. I was in Heaven the whole time.

We left him and met family for Christmas dinner, which was as it can be in my family, interesting. The interesting thing was that I had engorged breasts and was in pain, even with a breast pump. The milk sure if flowing as compared to the first few times on the first day when I had about 3cc's of fluid, I can almost fill the 60 cc bottle now, and I have been doing this for about 48 hours.

My mother Chris and I went to the hospital in the evening and I got to hold him again, though he seems to hate the taste of the Lansinoh I use to protect my nipples... Guess I won't be using as much of that for a while, so he didn't semi nurse, but I got to hold him for 20 minutes of so. They are still concerned about his jaundice and as soon as I can I will be posting his "Glow Worm" picture, which is pretty endearing in a NICU baby sort of way. He has gained weight though! He was weighed and came in at 5 pounds 16 ounces (or 2.65 Kg.).

Only bad thing... Yesterday I had checked with the OB triage door at Good Samaritan Hospital, to see if I could enter there at night since walking is still a phenomena to me... I was told to just say I had a baby in NICU and that it would not be a problem... Well tonight the triage nurses were incredibly rude... And I mean INCREDIBLY RUDE! I can understand that they want to protect people from RSV, but they should also be cognizant of other needs... So, I had to go to the first floor and walk all the way around and then walk to pretty much where I started... But after having been told that "No, you can't enter here, go to the first floor" when I explained what I had been told, I was again told, "I said NO. Ma'm, you have to go to the first floor". I will write a letter and make a phone call. But I just wanted it known that the OB triage nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital can be EXTREMELY RUDE! I will write more about this when I am not so mad about it, just so you can judge for yourself!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve Update

Well, dear sweet Josef seems to be doing much better! He is called "Wild Kid Jo" by some of the nurses. He deserves the nickname, though I am so proud that he is a kid that really knows what he wants and likes and that no one can make him change his mind.

However, I am home now and somewhat more terrified since it now takes us about 13 minutes to get to NICU rather than 3.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Josef Dotcom Update

I can't think of anything as terrifying to a mother than to have her baby in an intensive care unit, much less a neo-natal one. However, I have been a mommy for a little over 24 hours, so there may be worse.

So, yes, Josef moved to the NICU around 2 this afternoon. He is just so willful and determined that he could not keep his oxygen levels at a normal range. They moved him so that they could put in a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) tube, which is essentially a tube in his nose that forces more air in to his lungs.

He has so many wires and tubes, but he is not on a ventilator. He had a temper tantrum just a few hours ago, which caused yet another tube to be added, seems that forcing all that air into his body also manages to put air into his tummy... air+tummy=GAS! So, this new tube helps relieve that pressure, especially since he isn't putting much else into his system other than sugar water.

I did manage to get about 12 ounces of colostrum for him, and it is being predicted that he may have his first meal on Christmas... So, thank goodness for machines to do this job for him. I am hoping I can get some more for him by the time I leave tomorrow evening.

So, I am so emotional,, my hormones are askew, and I am crying all the time for all sorts of reasons. I am healing well, and have great nurses in postpartum. Josef is so much more handsome now that he has a normal color and is not panting instead of breathing. He has the most incredible hair, it is so soft I just can't stop stroking his head when they let me touch him. He has not dropped too much weight... but then, I am not sure what he is weighing now.

Still no middle name. We are working on it, just not much time to have this discussion.

Welcome Josef

Josef Dotcom
Joke - no middle name yet
Born at 6:03 PM
Weight: 5 Lbs. 12.6 ounces
Length: 18 inches

Josef is in the Intermediate Care Unit for his lungs
Only three pushes!

Papa und Josef (@ 15 minutes) Posted by Hello

Mami y Josef (@ 2 hours) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Possible D (as in delivery) Day

It is almost 5:30 am, I managed to sleep some, but the contractions are waking me up. They are not very regular but are about 15 minutes apart, and painful... and my mind is fraught with worry and excitement. I can't remember any of the online birthing class things right now other than to breathe, and it helps to tense my body when I have the contractions... I am hoping this is OK to do, since the pain in my lower back is pretty incredible!
Anyway, we are still in the antepartum unit, which sucks, but Chris is sleeping and that is a good thing.

7:40 am update
I am still in antepartum, contractions still 15 - 20 minutes apart, but last for about 80 seconds and some are pretty painful. dot is still moving around a lot too.
I wish we could get this party started down in labor and delivery.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

On the sixth day of my stay in the antepartum unit my true love brought to me...

36 years ago my grandfather brought me a crib that he had made for me (I say brought because he had to bring it to South America where I was born though he made it here in AZ). Over all the years and through several continents it has broken some of the spindles, so I arranged to get it repaired for the probable use by Dotcom. Chris picked up the crib yesterday, I am so exited to know it will be available… it is very special in that my grandfather (whom I called Grandpa Honey) made it, and my Grandmother and aunt did some silver work on it too.

Chris also returned the home monitor yesterday, which made me sad, since I loved my nurse, and it just seemed like a break in that relationship. Though not really, she tracked me down in the hospital when I was admitted and asked for a picture after the baby comes. You know, I have been really lucky

This morning I was told that I had an 11 am appointment with Labor & Delivery for my induction tomorrow… Which was not the best news since induced labor with cervidil (sp?) followed by pitocin can last for a very looooooooooooong time…

The other cool thing today was that my nurse is a nurse practitioner, and actually had one degree of separation since she knows Gail and did a rotation through Breaking the Cycle, which is the clinic I used to work at when I was in college. So, I felt safe during her shift.

Anyway, about 3:30 pm, I had to go to the bathroom… now let me preface this by saying that for the past six days I have had to answer the following question: “You haven’t had and leaking?” which, DUH! I have had, my water broke after all… now this question is always followed with: “OK, No leakage with blood, odor, or accompanied by fever and or chills?”… OK, so I go to the bathroom and there is all this blood… Based on the question I had been asked at least twice a day every day, I had to assume that this was a bad thing… I pulled the call nurse cord and just broke into tears… I can just imagine the nurse, not the one I knew since she was at lunch, walking in to see me on the toilet in tears… I must have made a rather pathetic picture.

So, after I managed to calm down, I realized this was all completely normal. Good news even, as it means I may actually deliver tomorrow and it helped bump me up to a midnight transfer to Labor & Delivery… and means I may already be dilating, though we won’t know how much until I get down there for a “visual” exam since we want to make every effort not to introduce any potential infection.

So, this has been rather graphic, I can’t apologize, this is about the journey Dotcom and I (and Chris) have had. Full of tears, joy, worry, happiness, and a plethora of other emotions, and this has not come to an end, this is just beginning.

Tomorrow I will most likely have a preemie, I can only hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. I can’t even begin to imagine some of the possibilities, I spent last night looking at outcomes and got a little scared, even though I am in the best possible place…

I suppose I may have to change the description of my blog to “the story of my pregnancy on bed rest and beyond…”

Anyway, I also wanted to add that I only have a dial up connection from the hospital (which is not that fun when one is used to broadband)… so forgive me for not answering emails since I hate to keep my line blocked as I am sure I have missed a few of calls.

Happy birthday Zun

Monday, December 20, 2004

Day 5 in the antepartum unit

I am getting induced on Wednesday, though we have no idea when. It seems that you have to get in line... Interesting really, since I have not managed to go into labor on my own (a good thing in that it helped dotcom get a little stronger, especially the immature lungs). But they will put some prostaglandin in me and wait for 12 hours for me to efface, then I get pitocin via IV along with more antibiotics. I have opted for the epidural, I have heard that labor can be very painful when on pitocin, and after all the bed rest, I am not sure just how much I can manage as I am sure that my body is not as strong as it would have been if I hadn't had this pregnancy journey.

It also seems that induced labor tend to be a very long process, and I may have a Christmas eve baby, though that is not likely (or my wishful thinking). If all goes well, I get to go home on Christmas eve or perhaps on Christmas day... I do hope that I can take dotcom home with me, but that is also something that we can't know until it happens. There is another baby here, Malcom, that is in NICU... Due about the same time dot was... But came at 24 weeks... Not bad for a first roommate if dot has to stay.

On the good side of news from life in the antepartum unit at the Hospital... Dotcom keeps moving and has had a great heartbeat on the monitor. I am still leaking which is un-nerving, but apparently normal in my case, and thankfully showing no sign of infection.

Well, My Schatz is here and I am getting ready for a monitoring session, so I will post tomorrow with any more news or profound thoughts (hah, not that likely).

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Goodness gracious great balls of fire

I had a visit from the nurse that was with me when this all started, what a pleasant surprise. Though all the nurses have been very good, this one just warms my heart when I see her. For some reason, she knows what I want or need to know, and is a tremendous help. Plus, it is just nice to have something that is a constant in this whole adventure of surprises.

My aunt came to visit today and painted my toenails, they are candy cane striped. Having them feels a bit festive, which is nice. A friend managed to bring some decorations too... So it doesn't seem so stark in here.

I asked to have one of the visits from the hospital dogs, and want to see if I can meet with any of the other moms in the ante-partum unit, you know, to find out what is going on with them and all, though many have been up here for months.

The other nice thing is that apparently I am a "favored" patient... My nurse from last night came in to tell me that I get the nurse I had two nights ago, but that they argued over who got me. It is nice to be loved.

One thing that is a distinct possibility is having a Christmas Eve baby... Apparently induced labor with a cervix like mine can take a while... and it is also dependent on when they start the induction process... and it seems like I have to get in line... How interestingly bizarre.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Day 4 of the hospital

OK... It has been a whirlwind of emotions and such. I figured out how to get a dial up connection (thanks to my dear Schatz).

So... We are waiting until Wednesday to induce, it will be week 35... So now it is 5 weeks early... Which sounds so much better than 6 weeks early when I was at 34 weeks... So if all goes as planned.. We should have saved 2 weeks in NICU.

my first day in labor and delivery, with mom and my nurse Dawn Posted by Hello

It has been very scary, and last night after we all finally decided what our course was... I had too many nightmares. I barely slept at all. I am just trying to be a part of this experience, to make it whole and complete. Fear for dot is a part of that, it is OK to be afraid, but it also requires a certain amountof strength... my hat goes off to all mommies everywhere... I had no idea about what a journey I began 34 weeks and 3/7 days ago... Wow. It is pretty amazing!

One of the more interesting parts is that since there is like one teaspoon on amniotic fluid left that I can feel EVERY move dotcom makes, and there are quite a few of them.

My belly before the water broke. Posted by Hello

My belly after the water broke... I can see my toes!!! Posted by Hello

People, non family, who have come by:

  • Gail - allomother who showed up at 4:00 am after admission to keep us company and just support and for helping out with stuff for when I can take dotcom home.
  • Jennifer with TAPI/Immunizers and bought all the basics I will need to have a bay at home.
  • Lynn and Kelley from the Phoenix Family Museum and the flowers.
  • Jay and Sarah from Schatzy's work who brought a lovely present for dotcom.
  • Kevin, ein gute Freund.
  • Nance with the JLP
  • Mary who did my belly pictures in the hospital
  • Allison, Myra and Ayoko, Malcom's mommy (he is in NICU right now and is quite a precious little boy)

Other thank you's:
Scottsdale AUDI - for their thoughts prayers and kindness in letting Schatz stay with me during this very difficult time.
Lisa for keeping an eye on my four legged babies and house watching
the countless folks in Arizona, the USA, Ireland, Austria, and England who keep me in their thoughts and prayers.
Jordana, for bringing a few more prayers my way
(Updated as my memory improves... ha ha ha )

Thursday, December 16, 2004


The water broke... it is too early for dot to come...
At least I have the internet... to some degree... from my hospital room...
We are hoping to keep dot "cooking" for at least one more week.
It is scary... tests show that the lungs aren't mature yet.

3:28 pm - update

They want to induce tomorrow....
I am sure it is for the best, it is no less terrifying...
I hope dot is home for Christmas

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but 5

One last night, but FIVE this morning... I didn't do anything that could have caused this... other than drink no water, eat no breakfast and forgo the bathroom before the monitoring session. But, I have done that before without a problem... Oh dear!

I monitored again at 1:00 PM
I thought I felt 4

The results:

Thank God!

"There is only one world, the world pressing against you at this minute. There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle."

- Storm Jameson

Monday, December 13, 2004

Oh my goodness, we are so lucky...

So, in my email today I get this fetal development chart... and I look to see about how big dotcom is now and then take a glance over to see how much dotcom weighed when this whole bed rest thing went down... Dotcom has gained two whole kilos or about 4 pounds in these last 15 plus weeks of our life.

18 weeks
length crown to rump - 5.59 inches and weight - 6.70 ounces
(For my metric using friends that would be 14.2 cm and 190 grams respectively)

34 weeks
Length head to toe - 17.72 inches and weight 4.73 pounds
(metric - 45 cm and 2146 grams respectively)

The good news is - no contractions either last night or this morning... My last monitoring session will be next Monday morning. I am going to miss my nurse so much. Really, I think that having someone ask about me everyday was the best thing for my psyche. I have been so lucky in having great nurses throughout this experience. I am just hoping that the nurse I had when I had my surgery will still be at the hospital when I deliver.

Word of the Day for Monday December 13, 2004

aborning \uh-BOR-ning\, adverb:
While being produced or born.

Being produced or born.

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration from big happy buddha
December 13, 2004

When we feel the tentative passing of our days, life becomes all the more precious: the luminous gold of a sunset, the maple tree in autumn, the gaze of our beloved.
What you think upon [dotcom] grows...

Emails I received this morning, they just seemed fitting.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Cookies, cookies, cookies, cookies and even more cookies....

OK, so we have lots of cookies... I can't even begin to believe how many cookies have been decorated in my house this weekend. We are still decorating cookies, I have frosting everywhere... even on walls.

First of all, I think my mamacita gets tons of credit for all of this, and for giving in to my neurosis of not having enough. She made hundreds of cookies, made 25 batches of frosting, and helped my bed rest ridden psyche all in one fell swoop. There really is not much I can do to show just how appreciative I am of her for going through this humongous effort so that I had something to look forward to, so that I had people around me... She even made me a special pregnant cookie family... And my auntie for coming two days in a row to come decorate. And my sister in-law for bringing my nephews, one of which went into a sugar high that was pretty interesting... we even caught him eating decorative sprinkles straight with a spoon. He is still under the effects today. But, aren't we all?

For next year... we need a stocking cookie cutter, maybe a candle one too. We also need purple, black and brown frosting colors

One thing I learned is that there is a lot of value to the RSVP. I can't believe people don't really understand that a ton of preparation and expense goes in to making an "event happen"... I had four people (for a total of 8 people potentially coming) give me maybe's... one showed up, but said that she wrote maybe only because she would be really late so that is ok, one called and told me she could not... well, we made cookies for every one of them for the just in case... but... I think they were trying to be nice, but in a way it was hard, as we had to prepare for them. I am not angry or upset, but, to paraphrase a famous movie line "As God is my witness, I will never forget to RSVP again (both as a yes and as a no)."

I didn't even have any contractions last night... though I did have two this morning... only 8 more days of monitoring left... yikes!!

One table full of cookies Posted by Hello

Mama, papa and baby dotcom cookie Posted by Hello

How creative are you?

I am "Creative. You appreciate many things in the world that others take for granted. You are a warm person who has many interests." created with

Thursday, December 09, 2004

15 weeks of bed rest

Fifteen weeks ago today I was told I had to go on bed rest... even though the doctor intimated that it very well could be very temporary and I had no idea what was in store...

So, what does this "15 weeks" mean...

Well, loosely this means that I have been laying down or reclining (with very few exceptions) for:

3.75 months or
106 days or
2,544 hours or
152,640 minutes

Oh my!

My back hurts, the baby is moving and stretching and I am still just looking out my window and living virtually through what my laptop manages to bring to my life.

Chris and I are living off a lot of fast food these days, which is tough because I think we are getting lazy about ever cooking again. Which is unfortunate because Chris is such a great cook and I am a great kitchen scientist... ask me about my two ingredient fudge!

I miss people so much and am just dying to have people over for any reason at all what so ever.

I hate shopping on line, though I am looking forward to something I bought myself and that I have a matching outfit for dotcom! It might make a cute picture.


I am so grateful for my cats, they really have managed to always have at least one of them with me at all times during this whole experience... It is like they organized themselves to make sure mommy had some company at all times... and they take it very seriously. I noticed that if one shows up too early for their "shift" the cat on "duty" takes it very personally and hisses.

I am also grateful for my crows.. the ones that show up in my front yard almost every day.

I am glad I could keep working, it made me keep to some sort of schedule so that I could not spend to much time dwelling on myself.

I am so glad my family has been understanding and supportive, even when I get all stubborn and insist on doing something stupid (like my shopping trip that caused my excessive amount of contractions)... and then they work hard to make sure that I do not repeat the same mistakes.

I am grateful for the friends that have managed to send me an e-card almost every week... what a blessing to know I am in someone else's thoughts, thoughts other than my own that is.

I am so grateful that people seem to genuinely care what is going on with me, that people will go shopping for weird items for me so that I can "do things" with my hands other than type.

I am grateful my husband loves my belly almost as much as I do, even if he won't let me post the funny picture of my belly from when I fell asleep on the phone long enough to have a pretty imprint (I wonder who dotcom was trying to call?).

I am glad that I have other blogs I can look at that have similar though different stories about being pregnant with complications.

I am glad that I find life so interesting and humans so fascinating.

I am glad that I have a few folks that send me emails of funny, interesting or goofy things so that I can maintain my quirky sense of humor and incredible intellect (big smirk on that last one).

I am glad that Scotland is home to the elephant polo champions of the world.

I am glad I like technology.

I am happy that overall I am happy!

The bare bones of me at 33 weeks

I am starting to get uncomfortable now, trying to sleep is almost futile, the heartburn doesn't help and is caused by everything. But those are just the negatives. I am stretch mark free, working, not consumed with depression as is what can happen to women on bed rest, I have a supportive husband, family, friends and co-workers, I don't have other more "delicate" issues that can happen to pregnant women (yet, anyway), dotcom and I get to bond in a very special way before birth. All in all, I am very lucky.

I guess this is what they call the fun part?

I am still hanging in there, wishing that I could go outside and enjoy this weather, jump in puddles, wear warm clothes. I suppose, that if the baby comes in January, when it is "real" winter (whatever that means here in Arizona), that I may still get the chance. However, the issue will be to find what I have to wear that will still fit...

I will also have missed the holidays... The stores are often pretty or interestingly gaudy during the holidays... People seem nicer out there too, but, I suppose on the plus side, I am missing horrible traffic jams at malls and such. Shopping just is not the same when you can't feel the items, online you find out that things are out of stock and are backordered and you need to come up with plan b for a present for a loved one. In "real live" shopping, if the item is there, you can usually buy it.

I won't be able to spend my shopping day with Sammie this year either, where we frantically search out a symbol of another religion and its winter festivities... Last year we spent a day looking for menorahs, this year I figured it would have something to do with Kwanzaa or perhaps even wooden shoes for three kings’ day... but most people don't celebrate that, so I don't know if he would be interested. I will, three kings day was my favorite part of the holiday season. I guess we started the custom in Spain, where we put out Spanish wooden shoes (they are not just a Dutch thing) on the evening of the 5th. On the morning of the 6th, we (my brother and I) would wake up to find our wooden shoes filled with candies and little toys. Then it symbolized that the decorations could come down, it was a perfect way to end the holiday season... I forgot that we also coupled it sometimes with the Colombian custom of starting at the first Sunday in advent or around there, probably Thanksgiving in my house... where we have an elaborate crèche scene and we move the three kings a tiny bit closer to the manger scene every day until January 6th, when they reach the manger... well, as the story goes... the three kings (aka the three wise men) came to the manger where they put down their gifts for the baby Jesus and getting back to my original point, I think that this is why children receive gifts on this day in this particular custom. We have yet to incorporate my husbands customs (other than food related ones) into the holidays, but probably more because I haven't experienced them... maybe now with dotcom in our lives we will be able to make it a more multi-cultural event.

Now, as I said before, I try to respect all customs and beliefs, as long as they have humanistic value, respect others, avoid harm, and are respectful (to as great an extent as they can)... but having said that I did grow up mostly in very catholic countries, with rituals that really made an impression on me, but then I was a spiritual child, and loved the Native American stories my father told me, and the Greek mythology my mother read to me, and the Inca myth ancestors the Indians in South America had, and oh so many more that influence me... I was always so touched by what I saw; I saw them all as part of whole, and not separate. So, forgive me if I have said something that disappoints your religious beliefs, but know that I profoundly respect them and will honor you for them, as long as you don't hurt other people because of them.

I like cooperative behavior.

Winter holidays around the world
Winter holidays around the world for kids

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Oh dear, 6!

OK, so I had a serious lesson this morning.

I send/fax in my monitoring data every morning, in the transmission will be the morning session and the session from the night before.

My nurse called me about 30 minutes after I sent my data this morning and gave me the numbers. I was shocked to learn that I had six (6) contractions last night... this is my repeat limit! Meaning, that I should have downed a ton of water, peed and monitored again... Strange thing is... I never felt a thing. However, since I did not send the data in until this morning, and since I had not a clue it would be this high a number and this morning I had zero (0), I guess they will consider me as safe. What a shocker though.

Not a surprise though. To fight off the "starved for company feelings" I have, my mother recommended that we have a cookie decorating party... which I am very excited about but which has also turned in to somewhat of a stress factor since my mom (and co-planner) lives 0ver 100 miles away...

However, as my mom lectured me after my ominous phone call from the monitor nurse... I may be too much of a perfectionist, and that this "experience" (bed rest) is about me learning how to let go. The irony, I don't think I am a perfectionist about everything, but when hostessing... I would say I am. Also, when my mom is involved, I always feel like I have to rise to the occasion... so here is the real truth. I went shopping with her yesterday... not just to the grocery store, but also to the cake decorating shop, and to warehouse club store. She did not encourage me; I said I wanted to go. I am not entirely regretful as I have a wreath for my door, a tiny tree and a lovely poinsettia. Schatzy will not let me decorate the house for the holidays, since the baby might come and they would not get taken down for a while. There is a lot of truth in this, so I am not pulling out my boxes of decorations.

My price for this behaviour, I am not going to my nephew’s birthday party today, which in truth breaks my heart! I love that little boy so much and here I am at home alone, while everyone else is getting to watch him play and enjoy the day.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Alles Gutte zum Geburtstag or something like that

Well, I failed at the lock picks, but partly due to the impossibility of getting in a comfy position to listen to the tumblers. We ended up having to take the darn doorknob off.. Which is a good thing anyway, can you just imagine some 2 year old dotcom locked in the bathroom? Now we can put a safety knob on!
So, This morning I woke up to a dozen roses and a card from the schatzer... who then proceeded to make me breakfast. What a sweet thing. Then I had my boss and a couple of co-workers stop by, I got some treats and cards and even more flowers! Then I heard from a couple of folks I have not heard from in ages.. I have no clue how they even knew.

Historical events and famous folks (born or died) on this day. Somewhat disappointing!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Animal Behavior Lock Out

OK... so my insane, not quite normal, yogurt eating house cat Boadicea (she is more wild cat) started urinating in the bathroom since about the time I got pregnant. My cats have always always always gone outside. I suspect that she knew I was pregnant before I did, and is jealous.

So, since I have hopes that she will stop this weird behavior, I managed to talk my husband into letting her stay part indoor and not sentence her to be a purely outdoor cat. AS LONG AS I promised to keep the bathroom door shut. I suspect that the copious amounts of ibuprofen I have been taking must have rattled my brain and I forgot to keep it closed this morning. She somehow knew that I had lapsed and in seconds had deposited her lovely "gift" on the bathroom mat.
My husband was the great dicoverer of this lost puddle of gold and yelled at her and slammed the door shut.
And now we are locked out of the bathroom!

I am so glad we have a guest bathroom!

Someone is loaning us a set of lock picks. I am excited to get to try to use them. In my modesty blaise alter ego days I used to have contests with my boyfriend to see who was faster with them. (No I never used them to do wrong). I usually won, though it is entirely possible that he let me win. Anyway, I am so excited about getting some lock picks in my hands again that I think I may get them as a gift from the hubster tomorrow.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Almost 32 weeks

I miss leftovers...
That is one of the worst parts of not hosting a festivity... well, if you are the type that makes more than enough that is.

I am cheating...

...on my doctor's orders that is.

I have not taken my ibuprofen since Wednesday!
There it is out in the open.
I don't feel better about not telling my OB though.

I physically feel better and my contractions are not skyrocketing though, so I don't feel THAT bad. Yes, my gums are starting to feel like normal, my brain, though still a bit fuzzy, feels a bit clearer... everyday. I hope that this doesn't prove to have been some sort of reckless thing on my part, but taking 600 mg of Ibuprofen 4 times a day for 13 weeks just started to seem like too much for my body or even for Dotcom...

Anyway, I stopped.

Just one week early though... does that make it any better?

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thanks and Giving musings

Well, Thanksgiving came and went. I enjoyed my favorite cranberry sauce and did not have to worry about a diabetic coma. It was a small family gathering, minus my aunt who stayed home with a cold as she did not want to make either myself or baby Jacob sick. I think this was the first Thanksgiving we ever had where we stayed late and talked, though much of it involved teasing my 10 year old cousin. I remember getting much of same when I was younger; I think it is one of those things that people just do to kids that have strong reactions. At least my cousin is one tough and confident kid and I hope we can keep our love of reading as a bonding factor, though I get the feeling I love to read way more than he does. Sadly, I haven’t been able to get any of the latest books that we share a common like for… and I get the feeling I won’t for a few years.

Then there was some discussion about baby names, which apparently seems to strike a cord with my husband. I guess my desire for a name that does not fall in the top 100 names of the past two decades is odd. Maybe it is the fact that I survived my name, and feel all the stronger for it (without, perhaps, the plethora of Facts of Life jokes I got). However, it seems like I may not have to borrow my friends German baby names book, as my Mother in Law is sending one. Now, having said that… I will probably pick the more unusual ones anyway. I thought that would be obvious, but maybe people (my family) hope that I will chose something "normal".

Today, as a special treat, my mom took me to get a pedicure. What an incredible indulgence that was… especially since I can barely touch my toes now. I also can’t believe how ticklish my feet were, but, they now feel so good. It was especially nice considering that an unpleasant side effect of pregnancy that I am struck with is a complete inability to sleep very well. Last night, I [musings removed at a loved ones request] moved to my second “bed”… the evil couch. I had to since the only thing that I seem to be able to do is read to get myself back to sleep.

However, I had followed a link on THE Blog that inspired this blog earlier in the day and spent some time mulling over epistemology and how it is so affected by who, what, when, where and the why of culture coupled with origins and absolutes. Great bedtime thoughts huh? Well, I did not sleep very well last night.

On another topic related to my pregnancy... I love my stomach. I know it upsets my brother, since I tend to manifest my abdominal love by keeping my shirt lifted up and exposing by belly button to the world (n.b. the world happens to be the walls of her home to a woman on bed rest BTW), though I am not sure why. I guess I might not want to stare at a pregnant belly either. Actually, since I know how it feels, I am sure I would be more accepting. I was reading through a parenting magazine today and was amazed at how much people don’t like some parts of being pregnant… those included:
1) having the belly touched
2) offering of unsolicited advice

There were two others along that line, which I can’t remember right now, but I remember thinking that the poll was probably answered by women who had “public” pregnancies. What I wouldn’t give for any pregnancy related interaction, including the above.

Anyway, I think I will plan a cookie decorating party so that I can have people at my house. Sounds like fun. I was also thinking about donating some to an old folk’s home… maybe the one that Mr. Francis lived in. Mr. Francis was a gentleman that we visited when I was younger. He was a very handsome black man with the most beautiful hands I had (have) ever seen. He had come to Arizona in the thirties to see if we could build an underground rail system (Mr. Francis said "No, Phoenix is built on crumbly granite which would not have lent to a secure underground rail system"). He was so interesting and was such a gracious and gentle man.

I just saw a fireworks show that came from the downtown area. It was pretty magnificent and my view was pretty good. I think it might have been for the Candyland show that was downtown today at Heritage Square.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

HUAM and test update

For some reason, I have been anxiously waiting for my results from the glucose tolerance test, the evil three hour test I mention earlier... I figure if I have to go through an 8 to 14 hour fast (in my case I made it through 12), then sit in my doctor's office for three hours after drinking supersweet "orange drink" and get poked four times... Then I have a right to be anxious.
The good things about the test were, 1) I had an awesome phlebotomist, it is not easy to poke in the same area on an arm more than once, and she laughed at my heroin junky jokes as well as my vampire comment ( I told her that I was bitten by two miniscule draculas on each arm, see it wasn't funny, but she laughed anyway)... 2) it is over... 3) I don't have GD as they say in all the bed rest and highrisk rooms out in cyberlandia... 4) it is over.... 5) I was so worried about my sugar intake that I lost a pound... Which many would say is not the best, but I have plenty of nutrients stored on my body... Plus, the weight gain race is on... 31 weeks and counting!!!

Yes, I am free to consume copious amounts of healthy foods and the not so healthy holiday indulgences...

However, this all makes me wonder, what would be the adaptive advantage of allowing women to get gestational diabetes...

OK, so on to my glorified fax machine/monitor update....

I had to send mine back... We are assuming something was up with the battery system, and I would have to concur since there is a huge difference with my new machine. The beeps are louder, the light is brighter, and it doesn't run out of juice while I am wearing it. Speaking of it, you might get a chuckle out of the fact that we now refer to it as my Sumo outfit. For some reason, it just has that Je ne sais quoi that every article of Sumo couture has... Especially with my beautiful belly as my newest accessory.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Accidental HUAM techie and waiting for results

OK, my three hours glucose tolerance test is over and I am waiting for the results, then on top of that I have “issues” with my home uterine activity monitor.
I felt pretty good through my twelve hour fast and the test, so all appendages are crossed for luck!
Now, I have no idea what is up with my monitor, but lately, it has been acting up; running out of power while I monitor, charging inefficiently, and most importantly, losing my data…
I have had a couple of nights where the data just never went through… and now a morning. Needless to say, this is a little frustrating. But how interesting to have to work with tech support for a glorified fax machine and monitor. As usual, I have to wait for them to call me, and I have no idea when that will be.
And to top it all off, I want to know if I have gestational diabetes!!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


I pondered ancestors today. I have realized that Dotcom will be a first generation American, really. The interesting part is that my family has also been in Arizona since before statehood, so it will also be a native, in a land of its ancestors on American soil. I think I even have DAR qualifications...
Anyway, I always thought I would have my children overseas, but I thought that meant it would be in South America or Europe... But really, for me and schatzy it is born in a new country, since it will be born in a place that is not the birthlands of its parents. Lucky Dotcom will get to have three passports!!!! If I can fix mine one from South America that is! The other cool part is that Dotcom will have a huge history in Europe too... What a lucky baby, to have so many homelands so many places with ancestors.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

what the baby predictors say

Madame Zaritska's reading
Her Answer:
Madame Zaritska, our resident clairvoyant, wants to help you prepare for the arrival of your child. Here she does her best to predict certain aspects of your labor and birth experience.
What she senses for you The day you deliver, outside will be rainy. Your baby will arrive in the early evening.
After a labor lasting approximately 12 hours, your child, a girl, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and will be 19 inches long. This child will have dark brown eyes and some very fine hair.

Chinese gender chart: Predict your baby's sex
Their answer:

The Crystal Ball knows all
Their Answer:
SURPRISE TWINS! One of each, girl 6lb 1oz, boy 5lb 4oz

Boy or Girl? That is the question!Answer the following 15 questions to see what you will be having, according to The Old Wives Tales!
Their Answer:
67% chance of a boy
33% chance of a girl
The old wives tales indicate that you are having a boy!

Friday, November 12, 2004

Some other folks I would like to introduce...

Well, I absolutely must present Sammie. Sammie is my nephew and is Jacob's older brother. He came to visit Auntie B today, and managed to commandeer the laptop and surf the internet.
And you have met Boba and Hannibal, but here is the day guard, Moo-Moo, or as he should really be called, Mr. Moo.

Mr. Moo, has the dog-cat day watch over me.Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Photo montage of my bed rest experience

The dot marking my amniocentesis Posted by Hello

I do obsess about this a bit, but this is my "scar" from the amniocentesis. I look to see if it is still there about once a week (not sure why - maybe it is a badge of courage since I was so terrified to do it).

My usual place, the couch Posted by Hello

Monitoring on the couch

Monitoring, tummy view Posted by Hello

Monitoring, but from my point of view

Me, bed resting Posted by Hello

Here I am, this is what I do most days, though the laptop is not on my lap and would have been a more accurate picture since it is on my lap from 8 in the morning until 10 or so at night.

Boadicea "Boba" eating my breakfast Posted by Hello

Boba and I eat breakfast together every morning. It seems that eating something and drinking some water before monitoring can help prevent or lessen those pesky contractions. And just so you know, I eat first, she get to clean out the yogurt container, we don't eat it at the same time. =D

My picture window Posted by Hello

I reference this in an earlier post, there are no birds because they have been frightened by the men working on our gas line in the alley behind the house for the past two weeks.

My afternoon at The Farm

The Farm Posted by Hello

This is what The Farm At South Mountain looks like (at least the view from where we sat). It was such a pretty afternoon.

Chris, taking care of me as usual Posted by Hello

Chris bringing me our food. He loved it at The Farm, it was his first time to visit there. I have taken his parents there for lunch before, and they loved it. It seems to remind them of the restaurants that the different Vineyards (Heurigen, as they are called there) have in Austria.
The one owned/run by his sister and her husband is called Weingut Stadlmann (Chris did the English parts)

Chris and I at The Farm Posted by Hello

Schatzy (it is actually spelled Schatzi and means treasure in German) and I enjoying our lunch. I sat at the table for the picture, but if you look in the lower left corner of the picture, you will see my portable chaise lounge.