Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mmm, orange.

Week 15

Feeling pretty good these days. Still tired - had our Fantasy Football draft today and then went to H3's for family BBQ and to see her newly-remodeled kitchen and great room. It's absolutely beautiful and I'm so jealous of her giant kitchen! We left her house at 7 and I was barely able to stay awake in the car on the way home. Took a nice little nap the minute I hit my comfy chair and am awake now for the next few minutes before I actually get into bed and sleep for at least the next 8 hours. Had a great dinner at H3's - good food and I was actually able to eat a fairly good sized meal (for me, anyway). Tomorrow's weigh day, so we'll see if I've managed to gain any weight this week.

I have determined that Peanut must really have a thing for synthetic cheese flavor or possibly FD&C Yellow No.5 because even when I couldn't eat anything, Peanut still wanted Doritos. Now we seemed to have switched to Cheetos, although Goldfish are also popular as is anything colored orange, except for actual oranges. The excellent thing about being pregnant is that while we're grocery shopping I can throw crap into the cart and assuage my self-inflicted guilt by saying to Mr. F, "the baby wants Double Stuff Oreos!" Unfortunately, this is having a bad effect on Mr. F because inevitably I end up eating three of whatever it is and he eats...more than that.

I've been telling Steve about the weird things Peanut wants me to eat, like ice cream and Cheetos and such, and today he said, "I'm tellin' ya, I like this kid already!" Hee. He is going to be the best Uncle ever.

Got the results of our first-trimester screening test in the mail this week. All good news, everything within normal limits, so that's great. You get those tests done and then you basically have a low-level worry in the back of your mind for the next ten days until you get the report in the mail. I'm so glad it all came back normal so we don't have to do any more. Although, of course, due to my ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE, they recommend further screening. But even before we got the results, Mr. F and I decided not to do any further testing regardless because it's riskier than just a blood test and ultrasound.

This week Peanut is as big as a navel orange and weighs a little more than two ounces. Apparently, baby is moving around like crazy this week but because he's so light, I still can't feel it. Books say that should start happening about week 19 but I wish I could feel it now! Right now the only indication I have of actually being pregnant is feeling bloated all the time. So my pants are starting to get a little tight but my belly's still soft and so I mostly just feel like I'm getting fat. Which, logically, I know isn't happening because the scale isn't moving. Sigh. Next appointment is 9/10, although I don't think I'm having an ultrasound then. Maybe we'll hear the heartbeat again.

Also scheduled for an "EGD consultation" on 9/8 as follow up to the bellyache situation. Not really sure what all that entails - I'm assuming we're just going to talk about it as opposed to doing the actual procedure at that time. Which means I have to wait longer to see if they think anything's wrong when I'd really like to come to some sort of conclusion. Arrgh, voodoo.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sweet! Obama

My cousin Dan got to meet Barack Obama this morning! Unfortunately, even though he looks like a slavering fangirl in the picture, he is still a Republican. *shakes head sadly*

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hm. Well, no news news.

Finally heard back from my doctor regarding Monday's gall bladder ultrasound. Basically, they can't see anything remarkable or any reason for me to be having pain. So, on the one hand, no gall stones and I don't need my gall bladder out...but on the other hand, what the hell? It's not like I'm making this shit up. I would like to find out WHY this has been going on. I'm scheduled for an endoscopy around Sep 8, and my doctor said he wants to wait until after that to decide on next steps. Well, great. That's entirely unhelpful to me right now. Sigh.

At least I've been able to eat, although I'm not really eating a lot - still haven't managed three protein drinks in one day yet. But I have gained back a pound of the six I lost, which means my total weight gain so far for the pregnancy is -5. Meh. I'm working on it.

As for Peanut, we've just started week 14 and he's about the size of my clenched fist and might possibly even be growing hair. My skin is clearing up, my boobs hurt much less and I'm less tired. Still peeing a lot, though.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Say cheese! Or not.

Got to hear Peanut's heartbeat at this week's 3-month appointment - 151 beats per minute. Was very exciting and of course made me all teary eyed because I am a giant sap. Also got an ultrasound, although we didn't get very good pictures. They were trying to get some measurements and the girl kept pressing harder and harder with the thingy - I swear eventually Peanut got fed up with it, because at one point you could actually see him get all huffy and flounce over onto his side, turning his back to us. Aww, my little angel is camera shy! That must come from the Fantastic side of the family because you know it doesn't come from mine! Next ultrasound's at 20 weeks.

Sadly, Dr. Murahata told us she won't be doing deliveries after the end of this year, so I decided to change over to the practice she shares an office with - Consultants in OBGYN, where my old OBGYN used to be until she moved to Parker. They have a number of doctors that I'll rotate through, hopefully getting to know each of them so I'll be comfortable with whoever does my delivery. I'd have preferred Dr. M but I'm sure I'll be in good hands.

Saw my surgeon, Dr. Snyder, this week also. He and Dr. M both say the baby's fine and my trip to the ER is a totally separate issue. I'm scheduled for a gallbladder ultrasound on Monday, which will hopefully give us some conclusive answers. Plus, judging by the quickie look they took at my gallbladder in the ER, I'll also get to see Peanut. Apparently, he's got the condo next door.

Bellyache aside, I'm feeling pretty good - able to eat again, sort of, not as tired and best of all, I think my skin really is clearing up. HOORAY. However, the whole bellyache thing has blown the food plan entirely out of the water, so I guess I need to try and get back on track. I've lost 6 pounds since Sunday - not a very good start on gaining 15! Now I have to gain 20.

One of my books tells me Peanut is about the size of a lime this week, the other says he's the size of a plum. I don't eat either of those things so now I have no concept of the size. Both books affirm that all systems and such are formed and for the next 28 weeks, Peanut'll be concentrating on getting bigger and putting the organs to work.

More Adventures in Medicine

Hoo boy. Ugh, had me another visit to the ER this weekend. Everything was fine, I was minding my own business, doing nothing out of the ordinary, when whammo! Was awoken about 6 a.m. Sunday morning with awful, horrible pain in my belly, just like what happened to me at the end of Februray.

Awful, awful stabbing pain in my front going all the way through to my back, and I couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did - lay down, sit, stand, nothing helped. I thought maybe it was dehydration like last time so I tried to drink some water, but just like last time, even a sip of water gave me a stabbing pain the second it hit my stomach. I was also feeling really bloated and gassy but nothing was happening - no movement, couldn't even force a burp or anything. The pain feels like the worst gas pain you've ever had. Like a constant dull ache with periods of sharp stabbing pain, especially with any food or drink.

I tried to get on with my life and do stuff but it was hurting too much and I sent Mr. F off to his mother's for a BBQ without me. By about 4 I'd had enough and called him to come home and take me to the ER. I was hoping they'd get an IV in me and that would fix me right up.

They were much quicker getting me back this time, but maybe that's because it was Sun vs. Fri night and because I couldn't stand up straight and had Mr. F wheel me in. They got an IV in and gave me some pain killer - fentanyl again - which helped a lot but didn't make the pain go away.

They did some tests and stuff but basically couldn't figure out what was wrong. They sent me home after 4 hours with an Rx for Vicodin and another for Protonix, which I guess treats heartburn, acid reflux, etc. Even with the vicodin that night, I had a terrible time sleeping. The only thing that helped was to sit up cross-legged, hunched over a pillow in my lap with a heating pad on my back. Mr. F helped a lot by rubbing my back and also by pounding on my back - almost burping me like a baby. That helps for short periods of time but isn't lasting.

As before, it just got worse and made me nauseous. Ate nothing at all on Sunday and had a few sips of water. Monday was much the same - felt generally crappy what with both my stomach and back hurting and not having gotten much sleep. Didn't eat or drink anything all day Monday either, although Mr. F convinced me to eat two crackers on Monday night. It hurt but it did help the nausea. Had a lot of Vicodin and Gas-X and what sips of water I could manage. I called my surgeon on Monday but the soonest they could see me was this morning.

Slept a little better Monday night and things felt less bad on Tuesday. I managed to drink a whole Gatorade and some more water and two more crackers. Took less Vicodin but more Gas-X. The pain was still there but not as bad. Stil felt really bloated and gassy, though, and it's hard to explain, but my stomach feels unsupported. I actually put on my swimsuit and slept in that Monday night and Tuesday night. Somehow the slight compression made things hurt less. Maybe I ought to look into some sit ups.

Tried to have some chicken soup on Tuesday but it was an unmitigated disaster that caused hours of pain. Just for spite, later I had a couple oz. of milk and an oatmeal cookie, which, surprisingly, didn't bother me at all.

Finally saw the surgeon this morning. I've lost about 6 pounds since I saw him last week. I know most of that's water weight which is very, very bad. He's not sure what's going on either, especially since it's been four days and hasn't gone away. I'm going to have an ultrasound to look at my gall bladder and also an endoscope to check for ulcers or anything else out of the ordinary. And he told me to keep taking the Protonix and gave me something else specifically for ulcers which he wants me to start taking right away, just in case it is an ulcer.

I have been able to drink quite a bit of water today without too much pain and am now working on a protein drink since I've still had basically no nutrition since Sunday. Still having the pain but it's about a fourth what it was on Sunday. I hope we can figure out what's going on because I seriously don't want this to become a habit. I wish I could figure out if I did something wrong - did I eat something I shouldn't or eat too fast or not get enough water? I don't know and would dearly love to be able to correct my diet if possible so I can avoid ever having to do this again.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

From the Conversations with Mr. Fantastic Files...

Today Mr. Fantastic was telling me about a weird Olympic event he saw last night that he was unfamiliar with.

Mr. F: So, it's basically like a horse...walking around in a rectangle.
Me: Oh! You mean dressage.
Mr. F: I can't believe you know that. *facepalm*

And I didn't know, but apparently he thought it was hilariously geeky of me to know immediately what he was talking about and also actually know the name of the sport. So tonight, we were hanging out with my brother and I overhear Mr. F starting to tell this story, making fun of what an enormous geek I am.

Mr. F: *mockingly* So, I'm telling her that it's bascially like a horse just walking around a rectangle--
Steve: Oh! You mean dressage.
Mr. F: ... *headdesk*

LOL! Poor Mr. F, surrounded by geeks.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's all about the compromise.

Okay, we seem to have made a compromise on the peanut butter issue. I made it a chocolate peanut butter smoothie and used half as much peanut butter. One hour later and I still feel good. Yay!

In other's entirely possible that my skin may be slightly clearing up the tiniest bit somewhat. I am trying not to celebrate pre-emptively. I also seem to be able to eat regular food a bit better now and I'm way less depressed about the whole "food plan," which is good.

This week Peanut is two inches long - half of which is the head, but the book promises that's normal. Also, progesterone, while very good for the baby, is not my friend. Apparently, that's what's responsible for the gassy, burpy, bloating business.

Monday, August 4, 2008



The baby hates peanut butter. *turns green*


OMG, peanut butter protein smoothie, where have you been all my life? How is it I've been having a minimum of one protein shake a day for 15 months and I never added peanut butter? Y-U-M.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Reflections on my brother

As many of you know, roughly a year ago, my brother Steve got sick. At the end of last July, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was removed and found to be malignant - a form of melanoma. There were long, worrisome days in the hospital, then more at home as he recovered and went through chemo for six months. Then, this year in March, he had the bottom lobe of his right lung removed to take care of a tumor there that hadn't responded to the chemo. There were more long, worrisome days in the hospital and then again at home as he dealt with an infection.

Finally, at the end of April he was pronounced No Evidence of Disease - the closest the doctors will get to saying he's cured. We still have follow up appointments to do for the next year to keep an eye on things, but in general, it's over. For now, and for ever, hopefully, we're done dealing with this. Steve's back to his old self, back to work, back to living. To see him today, you would never even know he had been sick. I cannot be more thankful for how well he's come through this.

It has been quite a year, for him obviously, but for me too, and my family. Watching him go through all this has been incredibly scary but also amazing - seeing his strength as he faced a life-threatening and life-changing disease. He was always in good spirits even after weeks cooped up in the hospital, after two operations, countless poking and prodding, frighteningly severe reactions to medications, painful procedures and most of all, just plain not wanting to be there, wishing he was at home in his own bed - through all of it he never lost his good humor and sweet demeanor that those who know him find so endearing. I was so impressed at what a model patient he was. So good natured - but that's who he is, who he always has been.

I know it was frightening and life-altering for him, but it was for me, too. While I did my best to be there for him, to be supportive and do whatever he needed to get through it, I felt so helpless knowing that really, there was nothing I could do besides care for him in all the little ways I could and make sure he knew I loved him. I hated feeling so helpless and I hated being afraid that we were going to lose him. I'd spend days with my heart in my throat, afraid to leave the hospital for fear that something would happen while I was gone but unable to stay because my own life was still moving forward outside. It seemed like things would get better only for something else to happen and I'd be back there, scared to death.

Going to the hospital nearly every day was so difficult. At first it was hard for me to see him like that - so helpless and hooked up to a million tubes and wires and machines. But even later, when he was doing better, some days it was hard to make myself go - I was so sick of the hospital and what it meant, what it could mean. I took some days off but not being there was just as difficult - I felt guilty for leaving him alone there, knowing how much he hated it, knowing that life is fragile and anything could happen while my back was turned.

Coming so close to losing him reminded me just how much I love him and how much he does for us. How much I would miss him if we were to lose him. I did my best to let him know in deed and word how much I love him and how important he is in my life. I hope he does know.

When my mom died in 1997, I remember vividly how much I grew up practically overnight. I have always said that if losing my mom hadn't been the most awful thing that had ever happened to me, it would've been one of the best. I know that sounds weird, but what I mean is that it forced me to find myself, to face the absolute worst thing I could conceive and find that I was up to the task. I was 24 and still a stupid, spoiled girl who never lacked for anything. People - my mother, especially - took care of me. I had barely any concept of misery or loss or pain. I had never been tested because the people who loved me protected me from it. I learned so much from my mother's death. I learned that I could help my dad and brothers make decisions I had never even considered. I learned that I could write and give a dignified eulogy to a church crowded with friends and family without crying. I learned that I could give comfort to others even when I needed my own comfort. I learned that I could make up my own mind. I learned that I already knew the right thing to do. I learned that I could get up every day and go on even though my world had just ended.

I learned so much about so many things but mostly, I learned that I was capable of so much more than I had ever really given myself credit for.

Everything that happened this year with my brother served as a reminder to me of what I learned so long ago. I can do it. It doesn't matter what it is or how much it hurts, I know I am strong enough for whatever comes my way. Almost as much as I am thankful that we get to keep my brother for a little while longer, I am thankful for the reminder of who I am and what I can do.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's a "food plan," not a diet...

Okay, so I'm getting depressed about this thing. Not the 20 pounds part, that I can deal with - but the sheer frequency and amount I'm supposed to be eating.

Even if I wasn't still feeling pretty meh about food, it would be hard enough to eat as much as Dr. S wants: 5-6 meals a day plus 3 protein shakes. And these meals are supposed to be 6-8 oz of food each, which is a huge amount for me. Normally my meals consist of a handful of nuts or some string cheese or a couple slices of lunch meat. Nowhere near 6 ounces. I eat a large meal like that once a day and am very full - I can't imagine eating that six times a day.

In between all the eating and protein shakes, I also have to drink at least 64 oz of water a day, but I have to wait an hour after I eat before I'm allowed to drink anything. That particular rule really throws a wrench in the works of the new food plan. I actually had to sit down and write a schedule so I could figure out when to do what to make sure I got it all in. Behold:

9:30 AM Protein shake
11:00 AM Meal
12:00 PM Water- 16 oz
1:00 PM Meal
2:00 PM Water- 8 oz
2:30 PM Protein shake
4:00 PM Meal
5:00 PM Water- 16 oz
6:00 PM Meal
7:30 PM Protein shake
8:00 PM Water- 16 oz
9:00 PM Meal
10:00 PM Water- 8 oz

Ugh. This is very daunting. I get discouraged just looking at it, trying to imagine actually sticking to that schedule every day for the next six months. I don't want my life to revolve around when and what I eat any more than it already does! Anything for Peanut, right?