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.

Tests, tests, and more tests

As I was monitoring today, I received a phone call from my OB's office saying that my results for my one hour glucose test for gestational diabetes were "slightly elevated". Now I have to arrange to go and sit through the three hour test .

I suppose I really should not complain, after all I don't have an actual diagnosis of gestational diabetes. However, it still sucks that I may and it sucks that I have to get poked four times for my next test!

Anyway, I need to get out of the house right now, so we are taking my portable chaise lounge and going to The Farm At South Mountain for lunch.

I will return later this afternoon and tell you all about my typical day in pictures.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bed rest, television and clothes

11 weeks down, 11 weeks to go...
of bed rest that is...

It is amazing how solitary life is to someone on bed rest. I am so relieved to have finished the eleven weeks, but the thought of eleven more is awful.

Yesterday, I spoke with three people on the phone; in my previous life I would have had many different conversations with many different people. We are social beings, after all. I wonder if there is any way to deal with just how quiet life gets, I know that TV helps, especially shows like Ellen (who saved me during my hospital stay), Oprah and the Jane Pauley Show, where your mind is made to think about issues and process a little. Then there is also the Food Network which is great to watch and I am adding to my 500,000+ recipes I want to try. I hope to get to use some of them when I sign up for the LINKS program at the Junior League of Phoenix when this is over. Many other shows are just mindless by comparison.

Now, I guess I should explain how Ellen saved me in my hospital stay. If there is one thing that can help one when times are unsure it would be having a sense of humor. I saw the Ellen show for the first time my first day in the hospital, and I laughed pretty hard. Now, I love the surgeon and the other doctors in the perinatology group (not my OB, who I really love too, but she is in a regular OB/GYN practice), but each and every one of them gave me a different story, from the one who told me I needed surgery to the one that told me I need two cm to get out of the hospital. Some doctors told me I could maybe go to lunch, others said no lunch, one would say reclining is ok, another would say no, that I had to lay flat the whole time. These conflicting stories were a major source of frustration for me. Ellen reminded me that laughter was important. She still does.

Me watching Ellen, while working on the Ellen portion of this Blog Posted by Hello

I also added Old Navy Maternity to my links section. Well, part of being able to survive this is getting up and putting on real clothes every day. There are not a lot of clothes that I can wear anymore, so I had to buy some to at least get through this winter. Living in my husband's pajama bottoms and t-shirts are just not acceptable, as would be living in summer dresses that are blousey in winter. So, I got some ad mail for old navy and it was also something my OB had mentioned to me when I complained about not having much to wear. Well, the nice thing about old navy is that since I am pretty darn sure I won't be going anywhere, I could buy from the bargains sections and was able to buy what I hope will get me through the rest of my pregnancy, and buy some baby/infant clothes for a very reasonable price. The site was also pretty friendly, in respect to sizing too, so I could guess what I would fit into and they have an excellent exchange policy.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

10 weeks of bedrest

Hi everyone,

I wanted to wait for a major milestone to write. I reached 28 weeks. I also “celebrate” 10 weeks of bed rest this week too. Baby is doing cartwheels, but seems to love being in breech position most… and is especially active when people are talking to me (which means that it knows that TV voices are different from real people voices, and I think that is so cool).

The surgery has still been a miracle; I am doing better than before the surgery at this point. I am still monitoring for contractions, and they are getting more “painful” though they manage to ebb and flow enough that I have not had to take anything more substantial than ibuprofen… yet.

I will stop taking the ibuprofen on December 2nd; this is because at this point the medicine has been associated with heart problems in the baby… so it is best to stop it at this point. When I told my doctor that this was a great birthday present to me, she said “Don’t thank me yet! You will probably have to take something stronger.”

I managed to get a flu shot when there where still some available. Most people have heard how people love to touch the bellies of pregnant women, and I thought I was going to miss out on the experience of having that happening and knowing if I hated it or not. When I was filling out the forms, a woman reached over and touched my belly, which, truth be told, reduced me to tears… I still don’t know how I feel about it, but in a way, it was one of the coolest experiences, because it somehow was a public acknowledgement of my being pregnant, that I showed and it was recognizable.

I also had a terrible cold, mainly a head cold, but took cough syrup anyway, plus since I am taking ibuprofen, I couldn’t take Nyquil and such because they have Tylenol… so, I took Benadryl which kept me in a fog for a week. Thank goodness it is over, and that it did not really reach my lungs, apparently coughing uses the same muscles as labor… go figure.

I have reached a stage where I can’t see my feet if I look down, though I can still see them if I move a little forward… for some reason this is exciting to me. Bending over is out of the question too. I think that if I were able to move around and interact with people, that I would love being pregnant more than I do (even with the nausea I still have).

I have also had to deal with a wounded pet, my cat Hannibal (picture below), and getting him to a vet and home and taking care of him with all that is happening to him. He had ear mites so bad that he got an abscess from it. For a while I felt my maternal skills were lacking, but he and I are resting comfortably together and I can tell he doesn't hold it against me for letting his ear get so bad that it got an infection and... well, it got gross but I will save you from hearing just how gross.

Hannibal wanting to have bedrest after his ord"ear"al Posted by Hello

Bed rest has been the strangest experience of my life. One would think that being resourceful while on bed rest would not be needed, but I can tell you it is. I can’t believe physicians put women in this position and don’t give us coping skills or strategies, not to mention the whole other plethora of things that women on bed rest go through.

Did you know that it took 6 weeks to even receive information about support groups? I was lucky that I had a computer and could research this on my own and managed to get the support group link after only two weeks, but I did this on my own. I have looked at all the pamphlets in the various doctor’s offices I visit and I have not seen a thing. And the shocker, for me at least, was that when I finally received something it was from the folks that do the monitoring service and it was in a book they gave, no one mentioned it. My OB was not aware of it, but she told me of another patient she had that is in a similar situation so I made sure she knew about it. I must admit, that I had a friend who is a nurse that read Prevention magazine that had a section on bed rest and, it appears I did manage to find the few resources out there, plus a couple more that weren’t. I am lucky I have been able to continue working, but I can only imagine all the other issues related to working and legalities that some women may face. With all the information and stuff they hand out in OB offices one would think they could manage to give women on bed rest something other than the bad news… Since we are not all Julia Roberts (who is also now on bed rest) and have her resources (not that this is really any easier for her), I want to see what I can do about this, it would be so easy to work with places like the March of Dimes, Sidelines, hospitals and doctors offices, to tell women what is out there, what they need to think about (everything is just no longer as available as when you could stand, walk and drive), what to tell friends, how to deal with visitors, how to get things done, how to buck up and ask for help (the hardest thing for me, and still is).

So in the spirit of my new skill set… Anyone want to help me with this next year? It is pretty much a matter getting a group of people together and seeing what we need to put into a resource manual, finding physicians and hospitals willing to work with us… any one have connections that could help?

Another thing is that if you have called or stopped by and I have just talked and talked, please know that I know I am doing this on some level (usually after the fact), and it is OK to tell me you have to leave, I won’t hold it against you, I promise.

Now, for the most exciting news… I have a new nephew... Jacob Ellis was born on October 15th. See the pictures of the precious angel below. I have been able to see him twice, and I hope that dotcom is as good as he is. pictures removed per second party request

I hope that everyone is doing well!