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So…

1 Feb

I’ve written about 5 blog posts in the past week and published none of them.  I’m beyond being cheerful or positive.  That’s your fair warning…

I’m past my due date, and I’m not happy about it in the least.  There is nothing that will mess with your head like going past the date you thought for sure you would have a baby… and still not having one.  I guess she is just really cozy in there.  At least one of us is comfortable… cause I’m certainly not.

Every muscle in my body is sore, especially the ones she is using her feet on like a meat tenderizer.  I’m having contractions, but they’re not regular or time-able.  I’m getting phone calls and texts from people asking if I’ve had that baby yet… I promise you, at this point, everyone will know when I have “that baby.”  The whole world will know.  People who really do not care… they will know, too.

I’m hungry, but I have no room to put any food in my stomach.  For lunch I just ate a half of a thing of $0.20 ramen noodle soup.  That’s all I can manage.  The upside to this is that I haven’t gained any weight in the last 3-4 months.  So I don’t dread the weigh-in part of my doctor appointments.  We have eaten out every day this week, which is ridiculous, but the thought of cooking, not being able to eat, and then having to clean up the dishes just makes me angry.

I went to the doctor yesterday.  The poor lady walked in and said, “Yaay!  It’s your due date! Congratulations!” To which I responded by bawling.  She was very understanding and helpful, and said she would schedule me for an induction in 7 days.  February 7.  She checked everything out and only a little progress since last week – but the baby is in -3 station, which is super low, and I could have told you that from the way it hurts anytime she moves, but whatever.  So the doctor went to go call the hospital at the end of my appointment and came back with the news that their induction schedule for next Thursday is full.  But you know, 80% of people go into labor before their induction date once they’ve been scheduled, and she would call me today to give me a time to be there once someone else delivered.  Awesome.

I’m running out of things to do.  I’ve been on walks.  I’ve shopped at Target.  I’ve painted.  I’ve cleaned.  I’ve done the laundry and (GASP!) put it all away about 3 times.  I’ve started my taxes.  I’ve watched everything on the DVR.  I’ve had lunch with friends.  I could, and probably should go clean the house again.  That is not happening.  So, to anyone who comes to visit me, just know that about 2 weeks ago, my house was spotless.  Bathrooms were sparkling.  Floors were mopped.  Clutter was gone.  Toys were put away.  That’s not what my house looks like anymore.  I won’t apologize for it, but just know that it WAS clean at one point.

I’ve spent hours on pinterest picking out recipes I won’t make for months, crafts I won’t do for years, plants I will probably never be able to find, and quilts I have no clue how to make.

In short… I’m done.  My poor family – I’m probably making them miserable.  So, now that I’ve had my pity party and made you miserable, too – maybe you can help me out.  If there’s actually anyone who still reads this blog because I am terrible at keeping it updated…. Leave me a funny story, a joke, something to make me smile…

I’m going to go buy myself flowers and chocolate or something dumb like that.

The post I wrote, but got deleted somehow

27 Sep

So, there was this day, about 3 weeks ago, where I went to the doctor.  We were having our anatomy ultrasound, so Joel was there with me.  Ultrasounds are always fun – you get a peek at the little creature that’s causing so much change and insanity.

We’d already had an ultrasound saying that we were having a boy, so we were just expecting confirmation of that, along with seeing the heart beating, moving around, and various other things.

So, you can imagine my shock when we were informed that we are, in fact, having a GIRL, not a boy.

I wrote a long and emotional post about my feelings on the matter a couple of days later, but when I went back to edit and publish it, it was gone.  Maybe that’s for the best.

Basically, I was a complete and total disaster for about 3 days.  Crying.  Sitting at my kitchen table crying.  By myself.  Because right after the ultrasound, Joel had to leave me, still at the doctor’s office, to go to class.

I should mention, I have a ton of great friends and neighbors.  My neighbor, Sarah, came over to sit with me for a few minutes and make sure I was ok.  And our neighbors Jodi and Todd brought over chocolate for me after seeing a facebook post about how I couldn’t find any in the whole house.  I am so appreciative of the people who care enough to do things like that.  Thank you guys.

It wouldn’t have been so much of a shock, and certainly not a disappointment, except that we had already been told it was a boy.  I had set some expectations.  I had the little boy with a personality, a face, plans for a nursery… well, you get it.  So, when all that was shattered, I was crushed.  I kept repeating to myself that the important thing is that she is healthy.  And it is.

I had several friends who, absolutely correctly, reminded me that whatever this baby ends up being, it’s exactly who God intended to be in our family.  They are right.  I knew that.  But my heart was having a hard time catching up with my head.  And, if I’m completely honest, it’s still getting there.  I’m sure that this little girl will be beautiful, adorable, precious, and just what we need.  But I’m not quite to the point of excitement that I was when I thought we were having a boy.  I will get there.

I suppose there’s a good case here for not finding out what you’re having.  Maybe we’ll go that route if we have another.  I guess we’ll figure that out later.

Anyway, there have been other things going on, too.

We had Clara’s 2nd birthday party last weekend, which meant a ton of family in town to help celebrate.  Cake baking.  Decorating.  Cleaning.  Busy-ness.  It was a Sesame Street themed party, which turned out perfect.  When my parents got in on Friday night, I had already baked and prepped the cakes and was just waiting for the icing tip my mom was bringing.  Once they arrived, I got busy creating Cookie Monster cupcakes and an Elmo cake.

 

 

 

 

Before they got there, Joel put together Clara’s present from my Grammy.  She got her a trike – which is awesome.  This late-night assembly project just reminded me that we have entered yet another new phase in our lives.  I call this one the put-together-complicated-toys-and-riding-devices-the-night-before-a-big-event phase.

The next morning, we put out the rest of the food.  Seriously, the easiest party food/decorations I’ve ever done.  Meet Oscar, Big Bird, and Grover!

 

 

 

  

 

 

The cupcakes were a huge hit with the kids, and the cake (my rum cake) was a big hit with the adults.  I call it a success when the kids recognize the characters on the cupcakes and the food table.  And aside from a crazy tantrum and swatting off half of Elmo’s face before we got to sing happy birthday, everything pretty much went off without a hitch.

 

 

 

Anyway, other things… let’s see… I’m still doing Crossfit, about twice a week.  I love it there.  They’re really good about making sure I don’t push myself too terribly hard, but still get a good workout.  I’ve definitely gotten slower, but I think about it like this: if I can finish a workout, I call that a victory.  I don’t know whether it’s just that this pregnancy is so very different or if the fact that I’m keeping so active has something to do with it (the opposite of what I did with Clara), but I’m feeling really good.  I’m 22 weeks and just have a small bump, which is weird to me, and people keep asking me if I’m sure I’m pregnant.  That’s a weird question.  Are you sure you’re pregnant?  Just think about that for a couple of seconds.  Yep.  I’m sure.  I don’t really know how to answer those people, but I guess they mean it as a compliment.  Strange.

We’re about 1/4 of the way through Joel’s last year of law school.  I can’t tell you how happy I will be to see him walk across that graduation stage.  I’m not sure that I’ll have words for it.  But I do know this, they should put my name and Clara’s name on that diploma, too.  There’s a lot of uncertainty about what will happen after the bar exam.  We’re not sure what the job market is going to be like – without getting too political, I’d be inclined to say it will have a lot to do with the outcome of November’s election.  If you happen to know someone who does federal law enforcement, works in a DA’s office, or works for the US Attorney’s office, I would love to talk to you.  Joel would love to work in one of those fields and he has a law enforcement background.  Right now, I feel like all I can do is pray, iron his dress shirts on interview days, make sure he has a hair cut before an interview, and pray some more that there would be some job for him after graduation and passing the bar.  I guess we will see…

Look out later today (or maybe tomorrow) for a birthday post.  Today is Clara’s real birthday, and we are taking her to the children’s museum, out to lunch, and to get a milkshake (because she drank half of the one I got last night and totally loved it).  I’m bringing my camera, so I should have lots of fun things to share.

Clara and the week that wouldn’t end

5 Sep

I hope that at the end of this post, I will be able to declare the week ended. Finally.

Last weekend, and for a few days before that, Clara wad being kinda fussy and just not herself. I figured it was because she was teething, and I could see how swollen her gums were where those 1 year molars were trying to come in. So I was giving her Tylenol and ibuprofen and that seemed to help a bit. We even made it through Monday, which is Joel’s long day of class, thanks to Heather and her kiddos making the trek down to Sunni sky’s and over to holly springs to hang out with us for a bit.

Monday we also found out that Joel has been invited to the phase 1 selection process for the FBI. Crazy, and (again) another story for another time.

Tuesday rolls around, and Clara’s still not feeling great, and I’m still giving her ibuprofen. She had a low grade fever – maybe 99 or so – but again I thought it was just her teeth. Until that night.

When I picked her up to get her ready for bed, she was burning up. Just so so hot. She wad still in the middle of a dose of ibuprofen, so it was a bit worrisome. We took her temp and it was almost 103. So we made a frantic call to the pediatrician, heard back from a completely incompetent nurse, and decided to go to the emergency room.

Why do kids always get sick after normal business hours??  Seriously.

We were put in a room almost immediately, and she was given some Tylenol, with her having a fever of 103.5, but didn’t see a nurse or even a doctor for almost 2 hours. Not a soul entered our room. Eventually a nurse did come see us, took Clara’s temp again – still 102 – and then the PA finally came to see us. He said he thought the fever was from her teeth, too, at which point I started to feel really stupid and silly for bringing her in. But he also mentioned that there was a good possibility that she could have a UTI. They would need to do additional tests to determine that.

What followed seemed more like torture than treatment… but that’s probably just because it was my baby in the ER screaming as they took a urine sample (with a catheter), blood sample, and chest x-ray.  Oh, and then the lab screwed something up and didn’t keep the rest of her urine for a culture, so they had to come back and get some more.  Awesome.  I felt terrible, and as much as I wanted all the tests to come back negative, I would have felt like a complete and total idiot, not to mention a terrible parent, for putting Clara through all of that.

The end result was that they decided she did have a UTI after all, and I felt slightly better about making her endure those tests, since they found something.  They gave her antibiotics and sent us home.  At 2am.

End of the story, right?

Wrong.

Friday morning we headed down to the beach for the long weekend.  We were excited to spend some time with friends, enjoy the pool, the beach, and the sun.  That afternoon, I saw that Clara was getting a little rash on her belly – it was very faint, but red and kind of raised.  I gave her the antibiotics again that night and when I got her ready for bed I noticed that the rash was getting worse and was spreading to her back and neck.  I called my mom for about the 50th time that week (she’s a pharmacist, and super smart) to ask her what she thought.  Drug allergy.  So we called the pediatrician again.  They refused to call in a different antibiotic for us, I think because they were not the original prescriber… but still.  Frustrating.  They told us to go to an urgent care in the morning and give her benadryl that night.  Easy enough.

In the morning we went off in search of an urgent care.  Well, as it turns out, with the new hospital in Brunswick County, all the urgent care places have closed.  ALL of them.  So the ER was our only choice.

On a separate note, I feel like I should write reviews of all the hospitals and ERs we’ve been to.  Brunswick County takes first place by far – for speed, staff, cleanliness, and room size.  It was really the best possible experience you could have in an ER.  They were very quick all around.  They prescribed a different antibiotic, benadryl for days, and steroids and we were out of there in 45 minutes.

End of the story, right?

Don’t I wish.

We picked up all the meds and went back to the beach house to give them to Clara.  And she threw up immediately.  All over the carpet.

I almost lost it.  Ok, maybe I actually did lose it.

We made a few more phone calls – me to my mom, Joel to the ER – and were told to wait 30 minutes or so and give it to her again.  So we did, but we withheld the steroids.  After a while and no throw up, we put her down for a nap.  When she got up, we fed her lunch and tried the steroids again.  And again, it was immediate.

We stopped giving her the steroids and everything seemed better.  Generally it was, aside from the screaming and waking everyone up at 1am because of a nasty case of diaper rash… but that was pretty easily remedied .

On a positive note, we now know that Clara is allergic to a couple of drug classes and doesn’t tolerate steroids well.  I am thankful that the reaction wasn’t worse than it was.  It could have been a life threatening situation, and thankfully it wasn’t.  I am thankful that my mom is a pharmacist, and doesn’t mind if I call her at all hours with questions, concerns, and more questions.  I think the worst part was thinking that the situation was coming to a resolution every time, and then some other crazy thing would happen.

It has just been an exhausting week.  But Clara has seemingly made a full recovery, and got a clean bill of health from the doctor at the follow up appointment.

I’ve had my fill of hospital time for a while. Let’s just leave it at that.

A Sigh of Relief

13 Aug
Caution: Incredibly Long Post Ahead
We made it.
It has been a whirlwind 2 days, but we made it.
On Wednesday, we decided that we’d take Clara swimming as a kind of last hoorah before her surgery.  She loved it as always, and seemed to have a really good time.  We got a phone call that we needed to be at UNC at 7am.  Early = good.
As part of our instructions for pre-op, we had to wash Clara with this anti-bacterial soap they gave us the night before surgery and again the morning of.  Clara loves the bath, much like she likes the pool.
I wanted to get a before shot of the spot she was having removed.  That is tough with a wiggly baby, but I think you can see it ok here.  It’s that bald pink spot just above her ear.  It used to be bright red and really bumpy.
Clara loves to look at herself in the mirror.  She thinks that baby in the mirror is hilarious!
Her new favorite thing to do is to climb up the stairs.  She’s pretty quick at it.  And that crazy crawl she has – she climbs the stairs the exact same way.  Right knee up on the stair, left foot up, repeat.
So, after a little play time, everyone went to bed.  7am arrival at UNC meant leaving at 6am, which meant getting up at 5am.  I tried to go to bed early, but couldn’t fall asleep.  When I finally did fall asleep, I woke up 4-5 times in the 5 hours I was in bed.  Not very restful.
Clara was awake when I got up.  It’s almost like she knew something strange was going on.  When I got her out of bed at 5:30, she was freaking out crying.  She seemed scared, like she was having a nightmare or something, but she was wide awake.  I managed to get her yet another bath, dressed in the outfit with the largest neck opening I could find, and all ready to go.  No food, formula, or liquids, or we’d have to delay the surgery (which apparently happened to someone who was at the ACC with us – the dad was walking around mumbling something about having to wait 3 hours for some “stupid applesauce”).

We made the trip over to UNC, seeing an amazing sunrise on the way.  Since Clara’s surgery was outpatient, we were at the Ambulatory Care Center.  Let me tell you, early is what you want over there.  (By the time we left the place was buzzing, people were waiting 30 minutes just to get checked in, and it just seemed much more hectic.) When we arrived there wasn’t even anyone at the information desk to tell us where to go, but a nice nurse pointed us in the right direction.  We checked in, got our arm bands (or ankle bands), and were sent to our very own little waiting room with toys and kid-sized chairs.  It was awesome.

Right at 7am, they came and called us back into the Pre-Op area.  We were put in a little room with a bed, a computer, and a couple chairs, and given a little hospital gown to put on Clara.  Seriously, couldn’t they pick a better color for these gowns?
Clara did pretty well, but she did start to get hungry after a while and was fussing when she wasn’t distracted by something more interesting.  We talked with the surgeon, the nurse, the anesthesiologist, and the nurse anesthetist and signed more consent forms than I can count.
My favorite thing about this? The neon yellow leg warmers that were meant to be socks for an adult.

She started to get really hungry and I think figure out that something wasn’t quite normal.  That little tear just about made me cry.

Practically everyone who came in our pre-op room made some comment about how cute Clara is, which was sweet, and somehow made me feel better about letting her go… I don’t know, maybe I figured that if they thought she was cute they’d take extra special care of her.  Not that they treat patients preferentially like that, but in my head it made me feel better.

I thought that we would get to go back with her and hold her until she fell asleep, but it may have been for the best that we didn’t.  The nurse just wrapped her up in a big blanket and took her off to the OR.  Before she left she asked me if it would be tragic if we didn’t get the pacifier and strap back.  I told her that as long as I got Clara back, nothing was tragic.  Seriously, who cares about a pacifier?

The surgeon had told us it would take about 30-45 minutes for the anesthesiologist to get her to sleep and monitor her, and then it would take him an hour for the surgery, and 15 minutes or so afterwards before we would see her.  We planned for 2 hours before we would hear anything.

Joel and I headed out to the waiting room where my parents were.  I think the first 15-20 minutes I must have looked at the clock about 50 times.  The time just seemed like it was going so slowly.  They have a cell signal blocker there, so I couldn’t get online to pass the time until I finally found their guest wifi.  I just played some solitaire to keep my mind busy and then all of a sudden, our surgeon was walking up to us.  He was practically skipping.  It was only 9:00, so we weren’t expecting to see anyone just yet.  He said that everything had gone great and that she was in recovery.  She just needed to keep the bandage on her head until the next morning, but if she pulled it off in the night, it was no big deal.  Then we just have to put some neosporin-type stuff on it twice a day.  She can swim, have baths and really anything else she wants.  With that, he skipped away, and out came the recovery nurse to take us back to get Clara.
You could hear her as soon as you walked into the recovery area, but it was a cry that I didn’t recognize.  We walked down what seemed like the longest hallway I’ve ever been down, and saw my baby, being held by a nurse she didn’t know, shaking, and crying.  Still hooked up to an IV and a pulsometer, and not liking one bit of it.  I took her from the nurse and sat down in the rocking chair.  She was shaking and crying, and if there hadn’t been someone there to tell me that is normal when a baby comes out of anesthesia, I really would have freaked out.  It was so sad, and it just about broke my heart.  She was petrified – surrounded by people she didn’t know, in a strange place, and I’m sure feeling like crap.  She was shaking and convulsing so hard that I had to hold her tight to my body to keep her from flailing all around.  Joel went back out for a minute to get her sippy cup so we could give her some apple juice, and I started bawling.  I think the nurses were more worried about me than Clara.  They kept reassuring me that she was fine and all this was normal, and I kept telling them I knew, that I was fine, and that it was just sad to see her like that.  I don’t think they believed I was fine, or that I knew she was ok.  

They finally unhooked her IV after she started drinking the apple juice, and she really didn’t like that, but did calm down after it was out.  I gave her her turtle too, and as soon as she saw him, she seemed to know that everything was going to be ok.  Funny the things that comfort a baby.  They gave her some tylenol, and after she had calmed down some more, they gave us instructions and said that we could go home.
Doesn’t she just look pitiful? My dad has a way with kids… they love him, and as soon as she saw him, she reached out for him.
She fell asleep after about 2 turns on the way home.  She didn’t make a peep.
The nurse was very proud that she’d found a pretty pink hello kitty bandaid to go where the IV had been in her hand.
She woke up as soon as we got home, and the only thing she wanted to do was eat.  I can’t blame her – she hadn’t eaten since 8:00 the night before.  Poor baby!  The little thing on top of her head made her look like Gonzo or a teletubby.  Between that and how loopy she was, we got a lot of laughs that afternoon.
Clara, you are one heck of a resilient kid.  
My Grammy had some balloons and a bear sent over.  Clara loves stuffed animals and balloons too!  She was enthralled!
Unless you’re a big stuffed animal, Clara’s not much of a cuddler.  She just wants to be moving all the time, and doesn’t have time for suggles.  She still wanted to be on the move, but every now and then she wanted a little hug and kiss from mommy.  I loved those moments.
She also loves to look at herself in the mirror and has recently started kissing the baby in the mirror.  Hilarious!
I tried to put her down for a nap, but I think she was scared.  She just freaked out!  So no naps all day, aside from the 45 minutes home from the hospital.  But she was surprisingly happy considering all she’d been through.  We gave her tylenol several times throughout the day – you could tell when it would start to wear off, and she would get a little cranky.  But overall, I have to say, it was a much better day than I expected.
Our awesome neighbor, Sarah, and her sister-in-law brought over dinner for us, which was super sweet of them.  They also brought one of Sarah’s world-famous pies… and oh, let me tell you, it was AHHH-mazing!
She slept all night long and didn’t wake up until about 9:30 Friday morning.  I could hardly stand to wait until that morning to take the bandage off her head.  The surgeon had told us that he wouldn’t have to shave very much of her hair off – maybe just a centimeter around the spot he was removing – which was welcome news for sure, but I tried not to get my hopes up until I saw it for myself.  The bandage slipped back a bit while she slept, so we decided to just go ahead and take it off when she woke up.  

You can imagine my happiness when I saw that she still had ALL of her hair!  It really doesn’t look like they even shaved any of it.  In the grand scheme of things, it definitely wasn’t the most important thing on my mind, but it is nice that he was able to let her keep it all!
She did great, and wasn’t bothered by it at all until we had to take the tape off of her head.  It was stuck to some of her hair, so I’m sure that hurt a little as we took it off.  There were a few tears…
And then she was fine.
Warning: if a little bit of blood freaks you out, don’t look at the next photo.  The little spot on her head is now just a little thing that looks like a scratch.  This was taken before we washed her hair, but it looks even better now.  The surgeon used dissolvable stitches underneath the skin so she won’t mess with them – and it barely looks like anything happened.
By last night, Clara was back to her normal, crazy, silly, energetic self.  She’s really doing well.  It doesn’t seem to bother her to have it washed, or even when I touch it to put the medicine on it.  She is such a trooper.  And I am so glad to not have to worry about it any more.  I would check that spot every single day to see if it had changed.  It was always in the back of my mind.
Clara seems back to normal already, but I still feel like I got hit by a bus.  I think after we got her home and knew she was going to be ok, I just had a lot of nervous energy to get rid of.  I am so thankful that she’s ok and bouncing back so well.  It’s behind us, and man, I am glad of that.  I’m not sure I really have the words to accurately describe how I feel right now.  Relieved.  Thankful.  Blessed.  Exhausted.
Thanks for all your love, prayers, and support.  We appreciate it so much.

Birthmarks and Dermatologists

18 Jan

As a few of you probably know, we had an appointment with the pediatric dermatologist a couple weeks ago.  When Clara was born, there was a little birthmark on her head, just above her right ear, that was super bright red, kinda bumpy, and had no hair.  As a cosmetic issue, I don’t really care.  Her hair will cover it up eventually, and the redness has faded a bit.  But the texture of it was just a little weird, so I asked about it at her 2 month appointment.  The pediatrician told us that it is probably just a birthmark, but there’s the possibility that it could be something that a dermatologist would want to keep an eye on, so she referred us to a pediatric dermatologist.

Just after New Years, we headed over to Chapel Hill to see him.

On a quick sidenote, it was an interesting experience because we had a resident come in to check her out first.  Since my sister is in medical school and will start doing her clinical rotations soon, and in 2 years will be off doing her very own residency.  He was really great, very professional and personable.

Anyway, basically the short of it is this:  The little spot is called nevus sebaceous.  Let me just offer this little bit of advice – don’t google it.  Some of the pictures are really kinda gross.  Clara’s little spot is pretty mild, I think, it looks nothing like those pictures.

The doctor said that it’s mainly a cosmetic issue.  It’s a birthmark that basically is an overgrowth of cells, and they don’t know why it happens.  But there is the chance that it could develop into a type of cancer later in her life if we don’t do anything.  He recommended that it be removed before she is 2 years old.  The advantages to doing it early in life are that it will heal better, she’s less likely to mess with it, and once it is excised, there’s no further cancer risk.  She’ll just trade her little birthmark for a smaller scar.  The disadvantage is that she will have to have general anesthesia for the procedure.  And that is the part that scares me the most.  I know she will probably be fine, but there’s something a little unnerving about putting a little baby under for surgery.  I have friends whose children have had surgeries and been just fine.  I have full confidence in the doctors.  It’s just one of those things as a mom that you never want to have to do.

The dermatologist said that this is what he would do for his kid.  That, to me, means quite a bit.  It won’t happen until she’s about a year old or so, and we’ll have another appointment to discuss more specifics about the procedure, ask more questions, and set a date for the surgery in a couple months.

I have to tell you, it’s the risk of cancer that pretty much made the decision for me.  We do have some family history of cancer, so the ability to remove that risk from her, at least this specific risk, is compelling.

So that’s that.  I’ll keep you updated when we know more about when the procedure will happen.

Clara is beautiful and perfect.  10 fingers.  10 toes.  Infectious smile.  Hilarious giggle.  Skinny little chicken legs.  Ginormous head.  She’s quirky.  She’s ours.  And that makes her perfect in my book.

Thanks for reading, friends.  

2 Months and the First Law School Finals Week

8 Dec

That’s right, my munchkin is 2 months old.  Actually, she’s 2.5 months now, but who’s counting?

Pediatricians like to see kids when they are 2 months old, apparently.  Along with a lot of other month-mile-markers.  It’s kinda fun.  You get a chance to see how your baby is growing.  In Clara’s case, at 10lbs 5 oz, and 22.25″ long, she’s growing well.  She has a big head – in the 85th percentile – which you don’t really notice until you look at how tiny her bottom half is or put her beside a kid with a normal sized head.  It’s kind of hilarious actually.

The other thing that happens at these appointments is vaccinations.  She had her 2nd dose of Hep B at her one month appointment, and it didn’t seem to bother her too much.  She was just extra snuggly.

I didn’t mind that a bit.

So I was completely unprepared for what happened when we went in for her 2 month appointment.  She got 2 shots and the oral rotavirus immunization.

And her face turned every shade of red you can imagine.

And she didn’t breathe for 20 seconds.

Because that is how angry she was.  Ohhhh she was not happy.  Not ONE little bit.

So we took her to Target.  Because Target makes everything better, right?  Well, I guess she hasn’t learned that lesson yet.  Our visit to Target and a ride in the shopping cart worked temporarily, and she slept for about 2 hours, and then she woke up A.N.G.R.Y.  That’s when we started the Tylenol.  You know, Tylenol takes entirely too long to kick in.  They should really work on that.

My sweet, mild-mannered, happy baby became a very unhappy, sad baby who didn’t know what had happened.  You could hear it in her cry – what happened to my world, and whyyyyy?

The timing of this appointment was extremely poor planning on my part, because it fell right smack in the middle of Joel’s final exams.  His first semester’s final exams.  Law exams.

I’m not sure I quite understood what exam time would mean for our little family.  As it turns out, it means that Joel disappears for 2 weeks to study – holed up in the office or the bedroom with books, flash cards, and notes – and Clara and I hang out.  That could be fun actually, for a little while.  But not knowing this, I scheduled photo shoots and other things to happen this week.  Things for which I needed to have Joel watch Clara.

Thank goodness that Pam came in on Wednesday and was able to stay and help me with Clara while Joel studied.  And even more because Clara was just miserable for about 3 days.

I have to say, I am a believer in vaccines.  I know there are other opinions out there, and I suppose you’re entitled to your opinion as well.  But I think that if it is possible to remove the threat of diseases that kill people, then it’s worth a few days of sad baby.  It breaks my heart to see her in pain, but it would be even worse to lose her to something that could be prevented.

So, lessons learned here?
1. Do not, under any circumstances, schedule Clara’s shots during exams.
2. When she does have them, clear my schedule for 3-4 days, knowing that I will need to focus on her.
3. When Joel has exams, plan for his mom or my mom or someone to come and help me with Clara.  Or go on a trip somewhere.

As far as exams go, I think Joel is doing pretty well.  He has been working so hard, and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort he’s putting into it.  We’ve learned some lessons about being prepared for any circumstance.  You should always take your computer in case the professor forgets to leave bluebooks, and take pens and pencils both.  You know, just to be prepared.  Also, he should be doing more during the semester to outline his notes, create flash cards, and just generally be studying more in addition to completing assignments so that the end of the semester isn’t quite as stressful.

But you live and learn, right?

Law school and parenthood are definitely learning experiences.  We try something, find it doesn’t work as well as we wanted it to, and try something else.  Or we luck out and find something that works well the first time, only to find it doesn’t work the next time.  It seems like life is that way sometimes.

My Clara is back to being her normal, beautiful, happy, mild-mannered self, and I’m so glad!  And we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of exams as well.  His 4th one is this morning – Contracts – and then there are only 2 more left.  We’re going to celebrate when they’re done!

 

In other news, how is it that Folgers always has the ability to make holiday commercials that make me cry.  Dangit.

3D Ultrasound!

15 Jul

See, all it takes is a day… I’m inspired, at least to show you these fun pictures we got at the doctor’s office today!

While we were getting these done, I started feeling really weird – short of breath and getting really hot, and then, when my vision started to black out, I realized I was going to pass out.  I guess baby girl is getting big enough to cut off my blood flow when I lay on my back.  It took about 3-4 minutes to start to feel normal again… but it was totally worth it to get these pictures.

Enjoy!!

Sugar Drinks and Glucose Tests

1 Jul

One word: yuck.

I should preface by saying that I am really thankful for doctors and medicine and technology and testing and all the things they can tell by looking at a little bit of your blood these days.  I think it’s amazing, and I would do any test they asked me to do to make sure that my baby is healthy.  But, I did promise you, dear readers, back at the very beginning of this blog, that I would be real with you.  So this is reality.  The good, the bad, the ugly, and the completely ridiculous.

Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of heading back to the doctor’s office for the notorious glucose tolerance test.  I had heard horror stories about the nasty stuff they make you drink, people not passing and having to go back for the 3 hour test, etc.  Honestly, I thought, really, the stuff can’t be that bad.  It’s probably just like drinking regular soda after you’ve gotten used to drinking the diet stuff.

Umm, I. Was. Wrong.

I have now joined the ranks of all women who have ever been pregnant and had to take this test.  These women know exactly how bad this sugar drink is.  If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about.  The one they gave me was a 10.8 ounce, Fruit Punch flavored, thick, sugary bottle of nastiness.  And you have to drink it all within 5 minutes, but they prefer you to chug it.  Something about it metabolizes differently if you take your time versus chugging it down.  It’s kind of like drinking the syrup that goes into soda all by itself.  Thick. Sugary. Ick.

As I was sitting there in the lab’s little waiting area, trying to choke down this drink, one of the office workers walked by, and I guess the look on my face must have been terrible, because she knew immediately what I was having to do and said in true southern fashion, “Oh, I am so sorry, honey.”

I did manage to get it all down, and within the alotted amount of time.  And then the waiting began.  I was supposed to return to the lab at exactly 9:08 for them to check my blood for the test.  In the meantime I was to have an appointment with one of the doctors, so off I went for that part of my morning.  Talked to the doctor, but by the time she came in, my raging hormones in combination with coming down off the highest sugar high of my life had me feeling downright awful.  It was one of the quick visits, just a belly measurement, a quick listen to the baby’s heartbeat, and a couple of questions, and I was back out the door and walking down the hall to the lab.

Blood drawn, and a promise of a phone call the next day to tell me the results.  Well, today is the next day.  Just got my phone call, and I am SOOOO happy to report that all is well.  Glucose metabolism is normal, and I don’t have to go back for the longer, more torturous test.

My poor husband had to deal with the consequences of those hormones and sugar crash though… he came downstairs shortly after I returned home to find me crying my eyes out on the couch for no good reason.  I just felt terrible, and having not slept well the night before (I’ve been having a hard time with back and hip pain while I sleep) were a bad combination.  There wasn’t anything traumatic that happened or anything, and I knew it.  It leaves me feeling completely ridiculous.  But I guess those random crying spells are part of being pregnant.  Joy.  Lucky for me, Joel is really good at dealing with me, even when he can’t figure out a reason that I’m acting the way I am.

By the way, if you happen to experience the same kind of sleeping difficulties I have been having, I’ve found a couple things that help.  It’s not perfect, by any means, but at least I can get a few hours of good sleep now.  My doctor recommended getting a memory foam mattress topper, which I was skeptical about, since we have a Sleep Number bed, and that should pretty much adjust to anything I need.  But I went and got one anyway, and it really did make a big difference.  I just got one big enough for my side of the bed.  Also, a big, puffy pillow to put between your knees.  No secret, right?  Lots of people sleep with a pillow like that.  But make sure it’s big enough that it can also keep your ankles apart.  That helped significantly.  And when the bed finally became uncomfortable again in the wee hours of this morning, I moved to our recliner, which provided some relief and allowed for a couple more hours of sleep.  Yay!  And taking tylenol before I went to bed didn’t hurt either, I’m sure…

Boring Cardiologists…

22 Jun

The cardiologist I have seen now 3 times in the past week is quite a character. Just picture a tall, skinny, lanky man, late 50’s.  Dress pants and a short sleeved button down dress shirt.  Pocket protector.  No I’m not kidding.  Big plastic framed glasses, and unruly salt and pepper, slightly longer hair.  Goofy smile.  Laptop in hand – typing in the hunt-and-peck style.

My first visit, when we were scheduling the other appointments for testing, he told me that if I came for my echo on a Monday morning, he would be there until he had to leave for to do his “treadmill tests with the old geezers at the other hospital.”  Ha!  But the best part was that one of his “old geezer” patients heard him and yelled from the lobby “I heard that!”  Joel and I cracked up.  He is just a funny guy.

The staff from the office called me last Friday to tell me that the results from my holter monitor were normal.  They didn’t see any events, and apparently everything looked good.  Good news.

Yesterday, I went back to the office to have an Echo done.  It was pretty cool to see my heart beating on the ultrasound screen.  The tech was great and pointed out the different valves and told me what was going on.  And then toward the end, he asked if I wanted a peek at my baby.  Ummm, yes?!?!  Any chance I get, I want to see that cute little face.  He didn’t really know what he was looking at, but I could see the head and arms and legs and she was squirming around.  I love seeing that little girl, even if it’s just a peek.

So then the cardiologist came in and his opening words were “This is going to be really boring.”

Coming from a cardiologist, I’ll take the words boring, normal, and uneventful ANYTIME.

Basically, he told me that I have 2 valves that have a very minimal amount of leakage.  Nothing to be concerned about.  He sees it in 85-90% of the people he does echos on.  Mine is probably just a result of the extra blood in my body due to the pregnancy.  He said he wouldn’t have even told me, but that he didn’t want, “20 years from now when you move to Syracuse” (ummmm WHAT?) and have me find out about it, and call him and ask why he didn’t tell me.  He said that he doesn’t need to do any additional testing or monitoring, and that he hopes to never see me again.

To which I replied, “I hope to never see you again, too.  Nothing personal.”

So, despite me getting myself all freaked out by reading the internets, everything is fine.

27 weeks and so far, so good.

Couple Suggestions

17 Jun

Dear person-who-designed-the-holter-monitor,

I wore one of your devices for the last 24 hours.  Being a former engineer and designer of medical devices (true story – crazy, I know), I have just a few suggestions for you on how to improve your device.  I think these improvements would benefit everyone, and would make this thing a lot more pleasant to wear.

1. Make the lead wires longer. (Or at least make one model that has longer lead wires.)
See, there is this thing about pregnancy… your belly grows.  Like it or not.  It follows that it is farther around your body than normal when it is in this, let’s call it “expanded,” state.  Thus, the wires that would fit around a normal person’s body don’t go easily from one side of a pregnant woman’s body to the other.  Just a couple extra inches would be nice.  Enough that I could stretch out or twist a bit without pulling the leads off my skin (ouch!).  Also, I’m just thinking that a some of the people who wear your monitor are probably on the larger side, and might have that problem without being in my current “expanded” state of 26 weeks pregnant.

Or better yet, go wireless.

2. Fix the cell phone problem.
I know that it should not be a problem to be without a phone for 24 hours.  But when your job requires you to talk to brides about their weddings, phones are sort of mandatory.  Also, it’s not just the talking part.  I’m not even allowed to text.  We don’t have a land line (yet).  My only form of communication was this computer.  I’m just saying – technology has advanced significantly enough that you should be able to avoid any interference to your device from a cell phone.

Side note to mention – it’s possible that my cardiologist (ok that’s a weird phrase in itself) just has old holters… it wasn’t like shiny and new or anything.

Those are my main suggestions.  Thanks for listening and taking them into consideration.

Sincerely,
Rebecca

Note to my readers:
I’ve heard from several of you that you have had a similar experience while pregnant with heart palpitations.  Thanks for telling me that.  Seriously.  It has calmed my nerves a bit and made me feel less like a freak to know that other people have had the same issues.  I totally appreciate all your kind words and especially your prayers for my health and our baby girl’s as well.

My 24 hours with the holter monitor is over – I couldn’t be happier.  Not that it was all that bad.  My main complaints about the thing you’ve already read if you’re still here, and they’re minor, considering that it’s my heart we’re talking about. I’m thankful to have doctors who are thorough and want to make sure that this won’t be a problem later on.  I should hear something this week about the monitor results, and Monday I am going back for an echo (ultrasound of my heart).  I’m kind of looking forward to that one, having worked on a cardiac device for 3 years, the heart intrigues me, and I’m really interested to see my own heart in motion!  Should be really cool.

I have gotten an email or two from some ladies that are having the same experience now… I’d just say, be sure you say something to your doctor, and if they suggest that you do this test, be encouraged, it’s not that bad.  And maybe you’ll even get lucky and get a brand spankin’ new holter that is wireless and that you can use your phone with! 🙂