Monday, December 29, 2008

Baby update

Week 33

Had an ultrasound and OB visit this morning. The ultrasound was to check growth, again, because Dr. Owens is crazy. Okay, it was actually because she's still worried about the gestational diabetes (because she is crazy.) So the scan was great and Susie the Ultrasound Lady estimates Peanut to be about 4 pounds 5 ounces and all the other measurements she took (like head circumfrence, femur length, etc.) show him to be measuring right on target - somewhere in the 50-52nd percentile.

I asked her where various parts were because I've been so lopsided on the right. My belly is all hard on the right, and that's also where I get most of the big movement, so I had kind of figured Peanut was all crammed over on the right side there. But it turns out, he is head down with his back to my left side. There's a big hard bump right in the middle, just above my belly button, which we had guessed was his butt and Susie the Ultrasound Lady confirmed that, but said that it's his hands, feet, elbows and knees all over there on the right and that's why I feel so much over there. I think maybe he's angled in there with his back more towards my back and all the small parts more toward the front and that's why it seems almost empty over on the left.

Then we saw Dr. Guggenheim, (one of Dr. O's partners because Dr. O is on vacation) who was very pleased with the scan and with my 4X daily glucose checks for the last almost-a-month. She measured me and said I'm right on target too and was extraordinarily pleased with my progress. She used the word perfect several times and said she wishes all their patients were like me. The best part is that she doesn't think I have GD at all. However, she wants me to contine testing myself every other day for the next two weeks (until next appt with Dr. O) or until I run out of my testing supplies. Progress! At least I get to cut back the finger-sticking a bit and hopefully, hopefully Dr. O will DROP IT ALREADY by next time.

Although there's no way to tell on the ultrasound, the book estimates Peanut is about 17 inches long and says he is mostly done cooking. Now all he's really doing is some final brain development and gaining weight. And, as warned by the book, I am experiencing shortness of breath frequently as Peanut is taking up more and more room and blithely shoving my organs around. It's really annoying to be sitting on the couch, panting like I just ran a marathon. Lots of deep breaths help, and thankfully, it's not all the time.

And good news, we got some great baby stuff for Christmas - some clothes, the softest teddy bear ever, a swing and somehow, each of my brothers ended up getting us a Pack n Play. We have traded one of those in for the stroller/carseat travel system, so yay! Peanut won't have to go naked or sleep in a drawer now. And even better, Steve says we can leave the big stuff at his place for as long as we need to, which will prolly be until my baby shower on Jan 24, at which point we're going to call it quits for a while on trying to sell the condo and make room for baby.

Ok, finally, I am going to tell you something very much TMI that nobody told me until I started asking my girlfriends about it and then many of them breezily said, oh, yes, that happened to me, la la la, as if it was nothing. For the last couple of weeks, my, er, external ladyparts HURT. I am achy from pubic bone to tailbone, all on the outside. It's very weird - feels like I've been excessively riding a bicycle with a really large seat and is making me walk funnier than I already do what with the pregnant waddle I've acquired.

The books tell you that your ladyparts may get "somewhat swollen" and "may turn a darker color." Let me tell you that when I finally examined the ladyparts in a mirror last night because they were hurting so much, I did not recognize my own vajayjay. They are not kidding about the swelling - the entire area is puffed up like I've never seen before and is a super dark red color. The hoo-ha looks ANGRY. (This is especially funny because Mr. Fantastic, being ever-supportive, was holding the mirror for me so I could have both hands free to examine the ladyparts, and we both had matching OMG faces upon getting an eyefull of my junk.)

This would have been nice to know ahead of time, and trust me when I tell you that the books' timid little "may do this" and "might get that" did not do justice to the angry tiki god in my pants. I mean, everybody knows about the barfing and peeing and hemorrhoids (which I thankfully have not gotten, KNOCK WOOD) but nobody told me that my ladyparts would eventually look and feel like they'd been flogged BEFORE the baby comes. I mean, I expect some unhappy ladyparts after having the baby but I was not prepared for the startled puffer fish to happen already.

The doctor assured me this morning that this is totally normal and that I can take Tylenol to help but that basically it's going to stay this way until the baby comes. I have also tried stuffing both a heating pad (very soothing and nice) and an ice pack (horrible, horrible, OMG, NO) down my pants. Oh, and she also mentioned stretching...which, um, I will gladly try but I don't see how that is going to help some of the more specific of the parts as opposed to the whole ladyregion in general.

That's it for now, all is well and I'm preening over being a perfect, perfect baby maker. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Things are looking up! Or, 69 days left.

Week 31

I am in a much better state of mind these days, thank goodness. There has been no crying and much, much less freaking out. Hooray!

Got two Christmas presents in the mail from friends recently - a handmade story cookbook and Clinton Kelly's (from What Not to Wear) book, Freakin' Fabulous. I'm excited to sit down and read them both, and was so thrilled to get unexpected presents in the mail - one from Bolton, England! Both were really nice surprises that made my day.

Mr. Fantastic and I got most of our Christmas shopping done and wrapped over the weekend, so not only is our tree all festive and happy looking, I am breathing a sigh of relief that we've got that off our plates. And, even more exciting, we got an offer on our condo! If all goes well, we could be out and into a new place by the middle of January and I can stop worrying about my poor Little Tiny Naked Baby sleeping in a drawer. (Which, truly, I am not doing so much anymore. I'm still itching to nest but I feel much less antsy about things right now.)

We had lunch with our friends Erin and Matt and their two baby girls today. It was lovely to see them, and Erin has promised to go with me this week to complete my baby registry and help me make sure I register for what I need and skip all the crap I don't. As a mother of a newborn and a less-than-two year old, she should know. She also wisely suggested that I finish registering before Christmas in case anyone wants to get us baby stuff. (In fact, every time anyone has asked Mr. F what he wants for Christmas, he says "Baby stuff!" so it's prolly a good idea.)

My cousins have planned my baby shower for January 24 and I am very much looking forward to it. Should we happen to still be living in the condo by then, we're going to call a halt to the whole moving house proceedings until after Peanut arrives so that we can set up and make a place for the baby and figure out what to do with all the baby things I'll hopefully be receiving at the shower. As a bonus, my brother has said if we run out of room, we can keep anything we need to at his place, which eases my mind a bit as well.

Ooh, and I'm going to be an (honorary) Aunt again soon! My cousin H3 is due on Christmas Eve but it looks like she'll probably be having her baby sometime this week. I can't believe it's already her time, and it makes it seem like Peanut's arrival is even more imminent. I can't wait to meet her little boy and see her become a mama.

And finally, in Official News of the Peanut: Had an OB visit this morning. It went well. I am measuring 30 cm, which is right on target. And I have been self-checking my glucose four times a day for almost a week now, with excellent results. Only two of the readings were high an hour after eating, both times after fast food, and both of which had returned to well below the threshold after two hours. Dr. O was pleased with the testing and sees no need for me to go on any medication or to do any further follow up with the gestational diabetes specialist.

The downside is that she wants me to continue the self-checks four times a day for the next two weeks because even though the majority of my tests were fine, sugar levels can only get worse as pregnancy and pregnancy hormones progress. It's like she just can't truly believe that I don't have or won't get gestational diabetes all because of the high score on the glucose test, regardless of the fact that it's biased against me AND routinely has a 60-70% false positive rate. But I can hack two more weeks of self checks. I can handle two more months of self checks if that's what it takes.

She also wants another growth ultrasound in two weeks, just to keep an eye on the baby's size. Which, yay, we get to see the baby again, but boo, because I really don't think it's necessary since I'm measuring on track and my glucose is fine. However, when I go back in two weeks, Dr. O will be on vacation, so perhaps I can sweet talk this Dr. Guggenheim I will be seeing (and by proxy Dr. O) into not worrying about all this so much. Much as the pricking my finger for the self-check doesn't really hurt, I'm already sick of doing it four times a day. I know that all of this hoopla is mostly a CYA for the doc but it's a giant PITA for me.

Oh, and she wants me to get a flu shot, even though I never get one because I seem to end up getting sick when I get them but I never get the flu when I don't get one. Weird, I know, but it was the same way with my mom. Anyway, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give it a try this year, because should I happen to get the flu, I will be a million times more miserable being flu-ridden and pregnant.

Otherwise, I feel pretty good except for my continued lament of feeling HUGE. I am actually sleeping pretty well - have figured out a good configuration of my nine million pillows and my brain has quieted down at night. Peanut seems to have taken up residence completely on the right side of my belly - I am visibly lopsided and very solid on the right side, while the left seems practically hollow. We are apparently not worried about this right now, although it's not the best position for delivery. Plenty of time for him to get situated better in the next 69 days, according to Dr. O.

Meanwhile, Peanut is not pulling any punches in making himself completely comfortable. As he gets bigger, the movements I feel are less kicks and punches and more wiggling and squirming, which seriously gives my lopsided belly the appearance of an alien trying to escape when he starts shuffling around in there. Every day makes it more and more real that it's a Little Tiny Naked Person making himself at home in my belly. And every day Mr. F and I talk to him more and fall more in love with him and look more and more forward to the day we get to meet him.

In other news, it was below 0 all day today and ridiculously cold last night. Still below 0 right now, so I am thanking goodness for our heated mattress pad, because it gets cold in our bedroom at night, even if we run the heater. Brr! I wish my long underwear fit over my belly because I would be wearing both pairs right now if I could. But at least it feels like Christmas time with the sparkly snow and freezing weather and my happy little tree full of gifts.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Straight No Chaser - The 12 Days of Christmas

Mr. Fantastic and I heard this song on the radio today and it cracked us up.

Straight No Chaser - The 12 Days of Christmas

Friday, December 5, 2008

Television blahs

I find myself increasingly bored with all my t.v. shows lately. Heroes, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Eli Stone - I'm done with. Totally over. I don't know how it happened but Heroes became a total snoozefest that I put on in the background while I do the dishes. I figure I'll finish out the seasons on all of them, but those are three series recordings I'll be canceling. Even Chuck is somehow failing to hold my attention. I still madly love Pushing Daisies, but of course that means they've canceled it.

That said, how is it that Grey's Anatomy is finally making me enjoy it again? Oh, that's making Izzy crazy and bringing back her hot dead fiancee. Mmm, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, how I love you. Also, adding in Kevin McKidd didn't hurt at all.

House, Life and The Mentalist are still entertaining me, at least. And I still love my Stargate Atlantis, but it's bittersweet because every episode brings us closer to the end. The good part about this is that means the writers can finally stop screwing up the show. (Brain Storm, I'm looking at you.)

I even went so far as to watch the first eight or so eps of Merlin and failed to be captivated like the rest of my flist has been. Sigh. Thank goodness for books. I will happily take your recs for new shows to try watching (and where I can find them) or books to read.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Peanut: It's getting harder (81 days to go!)

Week 29

I have finally succumbed to the baby hormones. The last two weeks I have started getting alternately freaked out, depressed, stressed, etc. about numerous things. The thing with the gestational diabetes started me off and now I am worrying about everything. There has been crying. And also sometimes maniacal laughter.

Some of the things on my mind:

~ Gestational diabetes. I got a 183 on the glucose test and a 69 on the regular fasting test. They are looking for something from 70-130. So even though my regular test was fine and the glucose test is basically biased against me because of my bypass, my doctor is convinced I have GD anyway. She was ready to have me start seeing a diabetes specialist and maybe put me on insulin and everything.

I’m pretty sure I don’t have it, so we discussed it some more and the doc is going to let me test my blood sugar at home for a week before we do anything more drastic. I had to go this week and pick up the meter and testing strips and everything. So hopefully I will test fine for a week and we can forget about it. (And! The glucose testing stuff - lancets, test strips and meter - would have cost me several HUNDRED dollars if my health insurance hadn't picked up the entire tab for me. Shocking that they want over $113 for a box of 100 test strips. Yikes!)

~ I am a giant whale. No, seriously. I feel like one and here is photographic evidence. Even though my doctor keeps telling me the baby is not a giant mutant, I feel like he is. My belly is getting bigger by the minute and Peanut is getting stronger every day. Which means he is giving me some serious wallops while he does his calisthenics in there. I've taken to saying URK and clutching my side when he whacks me a good one, which freaks Mr. Fantastic out to no end, so I've got to stop doing it. Exciting discovery this week: I can't get out of the car on my own. I'm learning how to do it without help, but in the mean time Mr. F has to help hoist. It makes a girl feel like such a delicate, glowing flower.

Sleeping is getting harder, too. If my brain wasn't already going a million miles an hour, I don't think I'd be able to sleep anyway because it's so hard to get comfortable. My nine million pillows are not helping, at least until I can figure out a new configuration. I may need to invest in some flying buttresses. By the way, the neice and nephew are now calling Peanut "Turkey" and doubtless it will be something like "Bowl Full of Jelly" come Christmas.

Thank goodness for Mr. F. He's been a spectacular help by providing back and belly rubs on demand. It is unbelievable how achy my sides and belly are now that they're doing some serious stretching, not to mention the low back aches from carrying around this bowling ball. I shudder to think what it's going to feel like in three months.

So I am having these fun feelings of OMG I'M ALREADY HUGE AND I'VE GOT THREE MORE MONTHS IN WHICH I AM ONLY GOING TO GET BIGGER, seeing as Our Peanut is supposed to double or possibly triple in size between now and the end. Gack.

~ ALSO. Moving. This is the big one. I cannot anti-recommend enough deciding to move house while you are pregnant. It's killing me. I am ready to start nesting and getting ready for the baby and I can't. It may be that we end up not selling our place and actually stay in the condo for a while after the baby's born. Or we might end up selling and getting a new place before then. What this boils down to is, we can't buy anything for the baby or move in the furniture from Mr. Fantastic's cousin because we have no place to put it. At some point, we are going to have to jump ship and make a decision that we're staying put until after the baby's born, and then we'll be able to stop keeping our condo showplace-ready for buyers all the time and start setting up for Peanut. The question is, when do we do that? January? February? I don't know how long we should give it but I don't want to wait until the last minute. Not knowing if we're staying or going is really getting the best of me.

So I am also having these super-fun feelings of OMG THERE'S GOING TO BE A BABY IN 12 WEEKS AND HE WILL HAVE TO GO NAKED AND SLEEP IN A DRAWER because we as yet have nothing for him to wear, play with or sleep in. I am certain this will all be rectified sometime in the next three months. I know that for centuries, babies actually did sleep in drawers and go naked and were birthed in fields and people were fine without having everything all sorted ahead of time. I AM NOT THOSE PEOPLE. So for now, my super-organized planner brain is quietly freaking the frak out.

Otherwise, I am mostly good, except for the parts where I'm not. I'm sure it will get better. Until then, so it goes.