Thursday, February 24, 2011

Seeing Spots

More scary stuff.

The spotting had completely stopped Sunday night, all of Monday, and Tuesday morning. I thought we were in the clear. A one-time, freak thing, and baby was fine. Well, Tuesday afternoon, I started spotting bright red. The ER told me to come back if it was red, so, as an avid direction-follower, I went back.

They took more blood. They did a pelvic exam. My cervix was closed, according to the doctor. But seeing the speculum come out covered in blood was not a comforting sight. And when my blood test came back, my levels had risen, but were nowhere near where they should have been (Tuesday it was 11,800, and Sunday it was 15,900 - it should have doubled.)

Anyway, they sent me home, said go to your doctor's appointment in the morning, she'll give you an ultrasound. So that's what I did. The in-office ultrasound machine wasn't strong enough to see our tiny bean, so she scheduled me for an "internal ultrasound" (read: up the hoo-ha!) at the hospital.

Once there, I hoisted myself onto the table, spread my legs, they shoved the "probe" (that's really what it's called!) in, and there it was: my little baby with a tiny heartbeat, fluttering away! I almost cried. I had been expecting bad news. I had psyched myself up for the worst. And then I saw the amazing! Baby was measuring 6 weeks, 1 day - 1 day bigger than expected. Which in turn pushes my due date up to October 18th, the day BEFORE Declan's birthday. :)

We're not totally out of the woods yet. My numbers still didn't double like they should have, and I'm still spotting on and off. But my doctor says that once they see a heartbeat, the level of concern about those things drops considerably. Once there's a heartbeat, your chance of miscarriage goes down a LOT.

So I'm returning to work on Saturday, though I certainly won't be lifting heavy people by myself or running through the hallways or anything. I am just so happy to have seen that little bean. I hope that he or she sticks around.

Monday, February 21, 2011


So I mentioned how we've been sick?

Well Friday evening I started running a fever. I didn't take my temperature, because we were out and about, but I could just tell by that achy, chilly feeling. Finally about 10 pm I sent Aaron for Tylenol.

All day Saturday I laid around, miserable. I didn't want to take *too* much Tylenol, so between doses the fever would come back full force. It had me shivering and sweating, too weak to get up, absolutely pathetic.

On Sunday morning I noticed a little spot of pinkish-brown on the toilet paper when I wiped. Of course I made the mistake of googling "fever during pregnancy" - which resulted in me bawling, reading story after story of fevers causing miscarriages. I spent most of the morning going pack and forth to the bathroom, inspecting my toilet paper like some kind of spotting detective.

Around 1 pm, it was a much scarier shade of bright pink. I called the ER in tears, they told me to come in immediately. No question.

Well, my DARLING husband was at the gym and wasn't answering his phone. So I called my sister-in-law, who is also pretty much my best friend up here. She dropped everything, left her four kids to fend for themselves (don't panic, the oldest is 12 and he's really good) and came to pick me up.

My luck being what it is, her car got stuck in the mud in our driveway. And of course, Aaron had taken the new car (read: automatic, the only kind of car Lindsey and I can drive) so we had to take the truck (read: stick shift. Bumpy ride.)

We get to the hospital and go through the usual routine. Check in. Gown. Vitals. She asked me to pee in a cup and leave my toilet paper on top of the trash can. Well, wouldn't you know it, there was barely any pink that time. I know it's because I'd been wiping like a manic just before we left, trying to see how much pink was coming out. But I'm sure the nurses thought I was crazy for freaking out over *that.*

They obliged me and drew blood to check my HCG levels. One level (11,800) won't tell us anything. I'm going to my OB's office on Wednesday to get more blood drawn, and they'll tell me if the levels are going up like they should, or if they're dropping.

The good news is that I haven't had even the slightest spot of pink since I got home. I've also stayed horizontal 90% of the time, so that helps. I am slowly becoming more confident that this is NOT the end. I won't be totally calm until I see the my HCG is rising appropriately. Scratch that, I'll never be totally calm again. I'm a mom.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cough, Sneeze, Cough, Whine

We're sick.

I feel like I got run over by a truck, had sand poured down my throat, and got my nose filled with glue. Sounds pleasant, huh?

And to top it all off, we've got constant crying and whining from the sick toddler. The sick toddler who wakes up to cough every few minutes at night, squirms around, wakes me up, pacifier in, pacifier out, change positions, sneeze, gasp for air... You get the picture.

I am so ready for spring, warm weather, and good health. So ready.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Week Five

Pregnancy Week Five: February 9-16, 2011

Symptoms: Nausea, hunger, fatigue, headaches, cramping, dizziness, sore boobs

Thankfully, week five went by much faster than week four. I kept myself busy working, cleaning the house, and not obsessing about the new baby. I have finally chilled out - I'm not checking the toilet paper every time I pee, or running to the bathroom every time I have a cramp to check for blood. Every day that goes by makes me more confident that this little bean is thriving, especially when each day brings a new bout of symptoms.

The nausea wasn't terrible this week, but when it did hit, it hit hard. Mostly when I overate (which doesn't take much these days... my eyes are much bigger than my stomach) or if I smelled or saw something really foul. For example, I clicked a link on a blog that I read and made the mistake of watching the video it led me to - the popping of a giant pimple. I won't give the gory details, but it definitely had me running for the toilet.

My boobs aren't sore all the time, but once in a while they feel really achy, and they're definitely fuller. If I didn't know better, I'd say it feels like my milk was coming back in. It doesn't help that Declan loves sticking his hand down my shirt... and by love, I mean it's the only way he can fall asleep. That will have to stop before long.

I think the main difference between week four and week five is the belly - I mean, the bloat. Today, the scrub pants that have always been loose to the point of falling down were cutting into me uncomfortably. I swear I'm as big now as I was at 20 weeks with Declan. I asked a coworker of mine who had three boys all very close in age, and she said with the 2nd and 3rd, she started showing as SOON as she got pregnant. I think I'm in the same boat!

I can't wait until we catch up on bills a little bit so that I can invest in some cute maternity clothes. Hard to believe that I need them already!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dancing Fool

Declan River,

At almost 16 months old, you have become quite the dancer. When you hear any music - even background music on a TV show - you start shaking your little butt. You are especially fond of the iPad commercials.

And you have a lot of moves! There's the butt shaking, then there's the up and down bouncing, and, my personal favorite, the zombie. You put your arms on the sides of your head but let your hands dangle, then kinda jerk around like... well, a zombie. Sometimes you just hold out an arm and shake it to the beat.

It entertains your daddy and me to no end. We hope you never stop.

Love, Mama

Friday, February 11, 2011

Faulty Memory

I now feel intense pressure to remember everything that I learned during Declan's first hours, days, and weeks. And I'm finding that I don't remember much. I know that this will only get worse as I develop baby brain. So I'm going to start making posts to remind myself of things that I DO still remember.

This one is for the hospital bag. I overpacked. I mean, I way, way overpacked. I had a stuffed to the brim diaper bag, plus a carry-on type suitcase for myself, plus pillows, Boppies, laptops, cords and cords, etc.

What I brought and did not need:

- Birth plan. I didn't even take this out of my bag. It's a ridiculous concept. The nurses will ask you your preferences as they go. They do not need a print-out of your "rules." Everything went perfectly without it.

- So many baby clothes. I brought at least 6-7 outfits. My justification at the time was "Well, we don't know how big he'll be, so I need both NB and 0-3 outfits, and if I have a c-section we'll be there 5 days, so I need at least 3 or 4 outfits in each size." Well, no. I was wrong. The hospital onesies are perfectly fine, and more convenient for the nurses who have to check the baby over and take vitals every few hours. One cute coming-home outfit and one sleeper would have been plenty.

- So many clothes for me. I think it was the possible c-section thing that threw me off. I felt like I had to pack for a 5-day stay, so I packed myself 5 day outfits and two pairs of pjs. I ended up wearing one dress, one shirt, and one pair of pants. I had him on Monday and wore the hospital gown all day. The next morning I took a shower and changed into a sundress, then Wednesday morning I showered and changed into yoga pants and t-shirt, which I wore home that afternoon.

- Underwear for me. I wore the hospital's mesh panties.

- Pads. The hospital's giant diaper pads were way bigger, and therefore, made me feel more secure. I took a stash of them home and wore these until they ran out.

- Breast pads and creams. My milk wasn't in yet, so I definitely wasn't leaking. Actually I never used breast pads, but that's for another post. And my nipples never cracked. I tried that lanolin stuff, but it was just greasy. Breastmilk worked much better.

- Breast pump. Maybe some moms use these to stimulate milk production in the hospital, but I had my baby with me at all times and his nursing schedule was demanding enough. I think a pump would have just caused me way more pain.

- Too many pillows. I like to have two pillows under my head at home. So does Aaron. Therefore, we figured we needed four pillows. Ha! We needed a maximum of one each. The hospital has pillows. I liked having mine to add on top of theirs, but we definitely had too many. We ended up leaving a couple in the truck.

- Socks. This is basically the same as clothes, but so many people stressed to me that I would want thick socks or slippers for in the hospital. Well, I didn't. I am a barefoot kind of girl, I hate wearing socks in bed, and bed is where I spent the majority of my time. I wore flip-flops to the hospital anyway, so if I had wanted to wander the halls for some reason, I could have just slipped them on.

**I'd like to address the myth that all hospitals are freezing. Mine was not. I wore a strapless sundress all day Tuesday, went barefoot, and was not cold at all - and I get cold easily. Maybe my hormones were just raging, I don't know.**

Things I wish I had brought:

- More dresses. I don't know why I thought I'd want to wear pants after delivery. I brought one sundress with a ruched top, and it was the best idea ever. Here's why. No one tells you that after delivery, the nurses come in and pull your panties down while they squish your tummy to see if stuff is still coming out. They also liked to check my stitches down there. It's very strange and awkward. Having a dress on makes it easier for them to just pull the panties down and check it out.

- Nursing shirts. I just brought regular t-shirts (besides my dress) but my boobs were super sensitive and the pressure of a tight shirt was uncomfortable. I wish I had brought a looser top, specifically one made for nursing.

- iPod dock. I actually didn't own one at the time. But next time, I'd like to have a dock in the room so that I can play music during labor and in our room later. I hate silence, I mostly had the TV on, but that gets annoying when you're up at 3 am with the baby and have to watch infomercials.

Things that I was so glad I brought:

- Sundress. We've been over this.

- Toiletries. I almost didn't bring a full on toiletries bag (I was just going to bring toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant, and send Aaron home for the rest if I had a c-section. Don't ask why the same didn't occur to me with clothes.) I guess I figured that I wouldn't get the chance to shower with a newborn, and I could just shower when I got home. But ew. Labor is a sweaty, fluid-filled process. I only waited until the morning after because I was exhausted. That was the best shower of my life.

- Laptop. Almost didn't bring this, as well. But there were times when it was just me and the baby (Aaron slept at home the second night) and I got bored of crappy tv. I was glad to be able to post pictures of him, give FB updates, and play games.

- Camera & phone. Duh. I wish I had taken more pictures and video. That time in the hospital was so heavenly.

- Boppy. Another item that I questioned. But I wore that thing constantly. It kept him snuggled close to me, but I could still have a free hand or two. Plus it was awesome for nursing without my arms getting sore.

- Makeup and brush. This kind of goes with toiletries. I don't know why I thought that I wouldn't care what I looked like after delivery. There are so many pictures being taken! And you *will* have time to shower and do your makeup. They take the baby to the nursery for checkups more than I expected. And other people want to hold him!

Okay I had to get that out. Excuse the length, it's for my own documentation purposes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Week Four

Pregnancy Week Four: February 2-9, 2011

Symptoms: Nausea, hunger (sometimes at the same time!), fatigue, cramps, dizziness, moodiness

I had my first doctor's appointment today, at which I peed in a cup and got (yet another) positive pregnancy test. Dr. K, our family doctor, then referred me to Dr. T, the Ob-Gyn at the hospital. Apparently Dr. K is "getting out of the pregnancy business, but staying in the baby business." So he'll still be our doctor, as well as the new baby's, but I'll see Dr. T during pregnancy.

I go in two weeks for my first appointment with Dr. T, and she'll give me an ultrasound to make sure everything is on track. If I calculated right, my due date is October 19th, otherwise known as Declan's second birthday! :)

For now, I am just a nervous wreck. Even though this baby is a surprise, I am really in love already. I know that early miscarriages are common; I have a few friends who have recently lost little baby beans. Every time I use the bathroom, I check the toilet paper for spotting. With each day that passes, I'm a little more confident that our tiny baby is sticking, but it's still so early.

Despite it being so early, Aaron has already told the world! Everyone knows, from family to friends to coworkers. Aaron literally told his buddies at work the same day that I got the first positive test. I waited a couple of days to tell my mom, because I wanted to tell her by showing Declan's big brother shirt on Skype. We did that on Sunday night, and it went over really well. Everyone is excited - surprised, but excited!

We already have name lists going, of course.

Aaron's picks: Archer, Tristan, Ronan, Kieran, Angus, Fergus, Finnian, Liam

(Aaron hasn't picked girl names, because he thinks he only makes boys. Haha.)

My picks: Archer, Jonah, Leo, Sawyer, Sullivan, Tristan
Annabelle, Audrey, Clara, Evelyn, Georgia, Maren, Rosemary, Scarlett, Violet


I have babies.

One is currently eating orange slices and watching Jon Stewart. The other is in my belly, developing its neural tube and circulatory system.

That's right ladies and gentlemen, I'm pregnant. Declan is going to be a big brother!

I'm going to do weekly pregnancy updates, so I won't go into details here, but we are thrilled to be expecting another little baby.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Before I Forget

Tidbits for me to remember, whether in the near or distant future:

- 15 months is an amazing age. He can take some commands (I think he "gets" most stuff, he's just obstinate.) He can kind of express himself. He's so extraordinarily funny. And friendly. He cracks himself up. He is still baby-cute, but with toddler capabilities.

- Next kid, don't forget about the Graco Bumper Jumper. It popped into my head today that this house, with its abundance of doorway molding, would be perfect for it.

- ...

- I guess that's it. I thought of those two things and figured I'd think of more as I wrote, but I really need to clean up a little before I go to bed, so I have to abandon my mission.

Medical Mystery Drama

Yes, I'm turning my life into a TV show.

A few weeks ago, it would have been a sitcom - the trials and tribulations of dealing with a hyper toddler and a husband who has the maturity of a ten-year-old. But now, it's much more along the lines of House.

As background info, the nursing home where I work is currently under quarantine due to the stomach flu. Pretty much everyone is getting it. The symptoms occur in this order: diarrhea, fever vomiting, fever breaks, patient is well within 24 hours. Trust me, I've seen in play out in about 60 different people over the last week, and it always goes that way.

Well, my version has played out like this:

Friday night I felt a little nauseous, but I was staying up too late watching scary movies and I'd eaten a little too much pizza. So I blew it off as being over-full and tired.

Saturday I went to work, cleaned up vomit for 8 hours, came home, and fell asleep on the couch. When I woke up, I started getting ready to go out for my sister-in-law's birthday, but I was quickly returned to the couch care of a crippling bout of nausea. I thought for sure I was coming down with the tummy bug - I called my SIL, cancelled our plans for margaritas, and laid on the couch moaning for a few hours. No diarrhea, no fever, no vomiting, but I just *knew* it was all coming. Then, around bedtime, it went away. I felt fine. I thought that maybe I was okay.

Sunday I had waves of nausea on and off, and I noticed that it seemed to be better after I ate. But it was never anything like Saturday night, so I figured I was just getting over it.

Monday, I woke up feeling fine, but within an hour or so, I felt like throwing up. I was so queasy that I couldn't even dress one of the residents at the nursing home, because she was coughing up phlegm and it was making me gag (normally I have an iron stomach, people call me in to deal with gross thing that they can't handle.) Anyway, that nausea lasted until about 11:30. At that time, I ate a couple Starburst, drank a glass of water, and felt totally fine. I came home, ate lunch, and sat down to relax. Then in the evening, it came back, though not as strong. But this time, I felt very feverish - achy, shaky, and my eyes were burning. Unfortunately, the thermometer is lost. SO I'll never know whether or not I ran a fever that night.

Tuesday, I felt great. Mostly. There were some random spells of nausea, but nothing strong enough for me to avoid eating like normal. Wednesday was the same. This morning I feel okay, but when I went to eat my scrambled eggs, something strange happened. I took one bite, and it was delicious, yummy, I wanted more. I took another bite, and my body totally rejected it. I knew that if I swallowed that bite, I was going to puke. It was like my throat closed up and wouldn't let any more food in. So I spit out the eggs, and put my bowl in the fridge. Within minutes, I ate half a blueberry bagel with no problems.

HOUSE! Solve my mystery!

It's obviously not the 24-hour virus that is going around, since it's been almost a week now. BUT, the strongest of the nausea seems to be over (Saturday night and Monday morning), so maybe it was a watered down, drawn out version? But I've had stomach viruses before, and the nausea is usually relentless, at least until you throw up, because that's your body's way of getting the germies out.

For those of you readers who are like, "Uh, DUH, you're pregnant!" - that's not what this is. While it would be stupid of me to deny that the thought had crossed my mind, I've had it confirmed by multiple experts (my mom, who's had morning sickness twice, and my SIL, who's had it four times) that nausea on day 19 of my cycle (aka, only 4-5 days after hypothetical sperm met hypothetical egg) could NOT be related to pregnancy. Plus I don't have any other symptoms (early symptoms with Declan: cramps, sore boobs, peeing more.)

If this doesn't get totally better in a few more days, I'll be making a doctor's appointment. I wish it could be with House, but he'd laugh me out of the hospital. So I'll have to settle for our local family doctor. I don't know what he'll tell me - an ulcer? an allergy? a tumor? - but at least he can give me some Zofran or something.

Just kidding about the tumor, by the way.