Monday, September 29, 2008

Third Trimester!!!

I can't believe it . . . today is the first day of the 3rd trimester for me! It is unreal how far we've come, and I'm so excited to meet this little guy in a few months. I'm surprised by how fast this pregnancy is going, and just looking forward to becoming a mom!

In other news, this little baby finally decided to cooperate and let Grammy feel him kicking a few days ago. I can tell how big and strong he is becoming - his kicks are growing in strength, and I'm feeling him everywhere from my ribs on down!

Update on me - everything is progressing well. I go back for a repeat urinalysis this week so they can tell me I still have a UTI and put me back on antibiotics (this is what is meant by positive thinking, right?). My indigestion has kicked into high gear, and the medicines no longer seem to work. Ah well, one more thing I can hold over this little one's head when he grows up! Nevertheless, my endless craving for macaroni and cheese persists. While previously a fan of good ole' Kraft mac-n-cheese (it's the cheesiest!), I have recently discovered Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese and seem to have moved on to this new obsession. Pre-pregnancy, I never would have allowed myself to eat such a fat-laden concoction, but I seem to have a get-out-of-jail-free card with respect to calories right now. My biggest complaint is that it takes over an hour to cook! Don't they understand that is torture for a pregnant woman? At least Kraft is ready in under 10 minutes! Regardless, the thick cheesey sauce seems to be hitting the spot these days. My only complaint is that I think they should make the 10-person size bigger . . . it makes me feel awful that they advertise the portion for 10 people and well . . . let's just say it doesn't take me 10 days to eat the whole thing!

I've been trying to be so good about avoiding carbs and unnecessary fat this pregnancy, but ever since my last appointment (when they yelled at me to gain weight) I've been eating all kinds of junk! Probably not what they had in mind, huh? I'm still not gaining weight (I've always wondered what is what like to have a metabolism like DH), but with my luck, I'll have given myself gestational diabetes the past few weeks. We shall see!

Tonight is an important holiday for me . . . it begins the Jewish New Year. What a perfect day for us to begin the 3rd trimester! In preparation for the holiday, I spent yesterday making homemade applesauce, an apple pie, and kugel for our family dinner tonight. Unfortunately, I could have killed DH when I first entered the kitchen to start cooking . . . he has a way of overstuffing our fridge/freezer, so there was no room for me to put any of the vats of applesauce away! Also, he left me with a dirty pot with caked on/burnt black beans all over the bottom so I had to scrub the darn thing for 3 hrs before I could even attempt to make the applesauce. He did apologize and try to make up for it by stopping off at the grocery store for me on his way home. He also helped a bit with the pie - he used our apple peeler/corer/slicer and cut up the apples for me while I was rolling out the pie crust. I'm at least glad he loves to cook, and he always tries to help me in the kitchen while I'm baking. It was a long, exhausting day, but the food looks delicious!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dancing Baby

Tonight I am sitting here and watching my belly . . . the baby is making my belly dance!! He seems to be kicking and punching, and my big ole' belly is moving all over the place. I'm quite amused by this, and I can't stop smiling. Now if we can just get him to play when my mom is in the room, he'd have a happy Grammy!

What else can I report? We are finally making progress with our house - for the first time, I have hope that it will be finished in the next few weeks. We have ordered the baby furniture, and we are actually planning to go and start registering for stuff this week.

Other than that, I'm feeling well, but still not over the morning sickness completely. Suddenly, this week the indigestion has kicked it back into high gear, and every time I eat anything, I'm feeling over-full, like there is just no room in my tummy anymore. I have my next appointment in two weeks, and I'll be having the gestational diabetes test done. After that, I start going in for appointments every 2 weeks!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Babymooning and a scare

Many people I know go on a last-chance pre-labor fancy vacation, often called the "babymoon." Well, DH and I decided that we wanted one last chance to get away, too. Unfortunately, we couldn't quite schedule in the big fancy honeymoon level vacation we were originally hoping for (Hawaii will have to wait yet again!), but we did find time to get away for the weekend to a fancy mountain resort!

We decided to drive out there, and we left on Friday around 11:30 in the morning. Along the way, I noticed a sign for a scenic drive I've been wanting to do, so DH and I detoured along the route. Unfortunately, my morning sickness is not completely gone, and too much time in the car seems to exacerbate it . . . so, of course, we had to pull over so I could throw up! After that, I made sure to take my phenergan, and I was feeling better the rest of the ride. Here are a few of the scenic views we saw on our drive:

We arrived at the resort at 4:30 pm . . . just in time for a complimentary afternoon tea and pastries! We indulged ourselves then checked in, and off to our beautiful little villa we went. I have to say, this must have been one of the nicest places I've ever stayed. Somehow, we were upgraded to a villa on the property, and we had a private "cabin" all to ourselves - complete with living room, a 50 inch television, wood-burning fireplace, huge bathroom, dressing area, walk-in closet, and big master bedroom. The decor isn't quite my style, but you can see the luxury of the room:

We settled in, changed our clothes, and then decided to head to the main dining room for a fancy dinner. The dining room was beautiful . . . but dinner was a bit of a disappointment. Not to complain, but we had pretty high expectations for such a high-end resort, especially for the prices they were charging for the food (and they required a jacket and tie at dinner). The service was unbelievably slow, the bread was stale, I was totally unimpressed by the salad I ordered. It was supposed to be a romaine salad with parmesan cheese dressing and asparagus. Sounds lovely, right? It was a ceasar salad with chunks of parmesan and the smallest pieces of asparagus I've ever seen (I needed a microscope to find them, and I think we only found 5 in the whole salad - less than a full piece of asparagus!). I did order a delicious glass of zero proof pinot noir wine . . . basically, red grape juice made from pinot noir grapes. My main course was good . . . it was an interesting pasta (I believe it was a homemade spinach papardelle) with a madeira mushroom sauce and some other vegetables, but to my dismay, the pasta was unevenly cooked. Some of it was really mushy, some was perfect, and some was hard as a rock. We passed on dessert - nothing looked overly enticing to us. I guess I just expected more! Nevertheless, we had an extremely pleasant dinner, and we were thrilled to be on vacation.

After dinner, we wandered around the hotel a bit, enjoyed a quick little dance by the bar area, then went over the the hotel movie theatre to watch the newest Indiana Jones movie. They had an old fashioned popcorn machine in the back, so DH loaded up on popcorn. It was a fun evening, although I apparently fell asleep during the last 5-10 minutes of the movie . . . ahh, the joys of pregnancy! After dinner, we decided to head back to our villa, and light a beautiful roaring wood-burning fire! We spent the rest of the evening in front of our fire.

We woke up early on Saturday, and headed off to brunch. I woke up STARVING! I think I was eating off the buffet before they even seated us! The food was delicious - I was particularly in love with the waffles! After breakfast, we decided to tour the property. Our tour turned into a full 2 hour tour of both the inside of the hotel and the outside premises. It was quite fascinating, and we really enjoyed learning about the history of the resort, but I was exhausted! I guess 2 hours on my feet wandering around is harder than it used to be! After the tour, we stopped off at the museum, then wandered down to the golf club and made dinner reservations at the club restaurant, and wandered around the pool, golf and fitness facilities. Here are some pictures we took:

We finally made it back to the room, and I was EXHAUSTED and sore. I stretched out for about 15 minutes, then we decided to change into our bathing suits and move our lounging to the indoor pool at the hotel. On our way to the pool, we were sidetracked by a cooking demonstration. I then left DH and headed off for a luxurious spa treatment! I ended up getting a body mud mask . . . so relaxing and refreshing. DH apparently wandered around the property, and managed to get access to the Presidential Suite and the fanciest villa on the property. We met back up at the indoor pool after my spa treatment, and spent an hour in the pool.

On our way back to the room to shower/change for dinner, I started realizing I was having some strange cramping all over my belly. It dawned on me that they might be contractions, so I had DH start timing them. In the meantime, we stopped to play a game of croquet on our way back to the room (we weren't 100% sure of the rules, so we may have invented some). DH claims to have won our game . . . . of course, I think he cheated, and when we discounted his treacherous, cheating turn, then I won! Since we couldn't agree on who won, we called it a draw - but at least we had fun! I have a feeling we are terrible croquet players. Here is a picture of the croquet field, and you can see our villa just up the hill on the left:

In the meantime, I had a few more contractions while we were playing croquet. After DH checked his watch, we learned that lo and behold, I was having contractions every 20-25 minutes. I was a bit worried, but I lay down for a bit in the villa, and started drinking water and juice. Unfortunately, that did not seem to slow the contractions down at all. We decided to keep our dinner reservations, keep pumping me with fluid, and then call the midwife if the contractions either increased or failed to stop by the end of dinner. Like clockwork, the contractions continued throughout dinner. I have to say, however, that dinner at the golf course restaurant was AMAZING!! The bread was delicious, we skipped appetizers, I ordered a wild mushroom crepe that was unbelievable, and we shared a side of boursin cheese mashed potatoes that were heavenly. We almost ordered the snickers pie for dessert, but we were so stuffed! The atmosphere was perfect, and the dinner was so much better than the previous night in the main dining hall. I made sure to eat lots of food, drink tons of water, and I enjoyed another glass of that delicious pinot noir grape juice! We were at the end of dinner, and I was realizing that a phone call to the midwives was imminent. I did remember that alcohol used to be the "standby" to slow/stop contractions, so I decided to have a few sips of DH's wine. I have no idea if it was the wine or coincidence, but I had one more contraction at the 40 minute mark, and then they stopped completely. I can't tell you how relieved I was! I was so worried during all those hours of contractions. Here was our view of the golf course from dinner - if you look closely, you can see some deer on the edge of the course:

Anyway, with the contractions in check, we decided to head back to the hotel movie theatre for the evening screening of Get Smart. It was cute . . . nothing spectacular, but a pleasant movie. After our movie, we again went straight back to our villa and lit a beautiful fire and spent the rest of the evening planted in front of it!

We woke up again early on Sunday morning and decided to take an early tour of the bunker they have ensconced under one of the wings of the hotel. It was a fascinating tour! We really learned a lot, and just were amazed by how they hid the bunker in the hotel. After the tour, DH stopped to do a few putts on the putting green, and then we went for a brunch buffet at the golf course. The food, again, was absolutely amazing! We were disappointed that the snickers pie was not on the buffet . . . we were regretting not seizing that moment the night before!

After lunch, it was time to check out. We packed up our car, checked out, did a few last minute pictures on the property, then went on our way at 1:30 pm. Here is a picture of a beautiful monarch butterfly I saw in the gardens and just couldn't resist!

Once again, the road signs called to me, and I made DH take a detour to see a natural bridge on our way home. Here is one of the pics we took there:

It was a beautiful site, and I'm so glad we stopped! We did not arrive at my parents' house until 7:30, unfortunately, because our detour sucked up a lot of time. We had dinner with my parents, picked up the dog, then headed home. I was ready for bed about 5 minutes after we got home, but it was truly a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The cat came back . . . .

Okay, I'm not really talking about a cat. I got a call yesterday that my UTI is back AGAIN, and stronger than ever. I'm back on antibiotics, but I really do not have any hope that it will stay away. Even worse, I'm fairly worried that we are creating a nice superbug with the continual exposure to different antibiotics, which increases the likelihood I'll pass some nasty antibiotic-resistant bug to this little one when he is born. I'm prone to getting antibiotic-resistant infections, and since I'm pregnant, they can't use any of the "strong" antibiotics that could possibly knock this out. I also keep getting the midwife who does not want to put me on preventive treatment, and then at my appointments the other two say "I thought we were going to put you on preventive antibiotics." I guess I'll have to call back and speak to one of them soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

25 weeks and a funeral

I am struggling with some pretty significant mixed emotions today. I am THRILLED that today we've hit 25 weeks - the home stretch of the 2nd trimester, and we are now kissing viability if this baby were to arrive today. It is such a relief to know I've made it this far. Overall, I'm feeling well, and I am truly loving being pregnant, UTIs, morning sickness and all!

Yesterday, I was at a birthday party for my friend's son's 2nd birthday, and as I looked around the room, I was filled with joy to see how much has changed the past 3 years . . . we all met someone, got married and now either have children or have one on the way. I'm not sure any of us could have predicted these wonderful changes 4 years ago.

But at the same time, these past few days have been tinged with sadness. On Friday, I learned that a family friend died. To be more exact, the husband of a girl I grew up with died from cancer on Friday. They are my age, and had been married about 7 years. They have 2 young children, and I can't even imagine what she will be going through the next 3 years. His funeral is today. I am sitting here choked up and crying, and I feel terrible for that - as if I do not have the right to be upset. I hardly knew him - perhaps I met him 5 or 6 times over the years they were married. As I said, we were family friends - I grew up with her, but it is our parents who are friends. We mostly saw each other for a few hours once or twice a year at holidays or family celebrations. I was not part of his fight, nor did I serve as a support to them during this terrible, long struggle. I mostly passively sat back, read his blog, asked for updates, and silently cheered him on, hoping against hope that he would beat the odds and survive this battle. And yet . . . I find the news of his death devastating, and still feel that this has hit part of my family. This shouldn't happen to someone our age. She should not have to be facing this situation, and their children should not have to grow up without a father. Sometimes life just seems so random and unfair.

So I guess I would say today I am thinking about how precious and precarious life is, and how you never know what life has in store for you, both the good and the bad. Life can change in a heartbeat, and none of us really know what our lives will be like in 3 years. I guess all we can do is appreciate where we are today and what we have in our lives now, and hope for good things for the future.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Surprise, surprise!

This morning we woke up nice and early to take my puppy in for her surgery. She was all peppy and spunky, and couldn't stop BEGGING for breakfast. We arrived at the vet, and he asked how we were. I told him I was having second thoughts because she seemed to be doing so well, and I asked him to reassure me that we had no choice but to do the surgery. The doctor said he couldn't do that, and if I wanted we could wait until next week (but I'd have to monitor her and bring her in for emergency surgery if she got worse).

We talked about it, and I didn't want to put off the surgery and keep her unnecessarily sick just because I was uncomfortable with proceeding. He suggested doing another xray to see what her stomach looked like today, and if we could still see all the blockage then he would recommend going forward. So, we did the xray . . . and her stomach had shrunk back to a normal size, and there was no evidence of any food backed up in her tummy! He could see tons of food and the barium in her intestines. He said he thought it looked like the blockage was passing, although he couldn't guarantee that the blockage wasn't hiding and her stomach wouldn't back up again. He also said the blockage could have moved lower, and she could still end up with a new blockage in her intestine, but for right now, it was looking okay. The other vet was there (he came in to help with the surgery) and they both agreed that surgery may not be appropriate right now.

So . . . we checked her into the hospital for the day so they could monitor her. They fed her small amounts of food every 1/2 hr, and tracked her bathroom habits all day. DH and I went to the furniture store, and we ended up buying couches for the house! When we went back, they told us she was eating normally and moving her bowels and they released her. I have instructions to feed her normally and see if she stays stable for the next few days. We go back again on Wednesday for another check/xray - hopefully there will be no emergency visits before then!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My poor doggy . . .

Well, we just got back from the vet, and the news isn't great. My poor doggy has to have gastric surgery tomorrow morning. There is a giant blockage in her tummy - it is about 2 inches thick, and 4-5 inches long (perhaps bigger). On the xray, he noticed her stomach had not yet emptied, so then he decided to give her barium and do a 2nd xray. It became quite obvious that about 1/2 of her stomach is totally blocked, and it is preventing things from digesting and passing through to her intestines.

So, tomorrow morning, we will get up and go take her for surgery. While the doctor is fairly sure this is something she ate, he said that he cannot rule out cancer until he goes in there and looks around. Wish us luck! I hope the surgery isn't too awful and that the blockage is nothing more than things she should not have eaten.

24 weeks 2 days

Today I am 24 weeks 2 days pregnant! We had another appointment today, and we finally managed to record the heartbeat again. He was playing keep away with the doppler, and even kicked it a few times before running away. He kicked so hard the probe actually moved! There are actually 2 recordings - the first one is the actual heartbeat, and the second one is the baby moving around and kicking the doppler. Hope you enjoy!

I did get in "trouble" today, however, for not gaining weight. Or, perhaps more accurately, for losing another 1/2 lb. I'm still pretty surprised I haven't been putting on weight considering how big I'm getting, and I'm not really sure what else I can do! I eat . . . and eat . . . and eat, and the weight doesn't seem to go up yet. I think this baby has DH's metabolism! I also had gained so much weight before getting pregnant that I wonder if this is just my body stabilizing . . . kind of like an advance on a paycheck or something.

Other than that, I'm still worried about my dog. She hasn't passed the blockage yet and still isn't eating. We go back tomorrow for another xray, and I'm hoping they will say she is okay.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Still worried about my dog

I know this blog is supposed to be all about the pregnancy . . . but right now I'm concerned about my other "baby." I mentioned yesterday that my dog was not feeling well, so I took her to the vet. After explaining to him that she hadn't been eating all day and was completely lethargic . . . she promptly bounced into his office, ran up to greet everyone, wagged her tail, and went scavenging for new discoveries all over his office. They had a jar of doggie treats, and they started tossing a few to her . . . and lo and behold, she scarfed ALL of the treats down immediately. Naturally, I felt like an idiot, but was still convinced she was sick. They took her temperature, and it was really high (102.5), so at least that gave me some "proof" that I wasn't completely insane. After checking her over, the vet determined that she has a skin infection (she ALWAYS has a skin infection) and that the medicines she takes to try and help keep her skin in order might be causing a mild gastro infection. He took some skin scrapings to verify the skin infection, and then we talked about a new treatment plan. We are going to switch her from daily prednisone pills to a steroid injection of dexamethasone every 2 weeks. The side effects should be far less than the daily pills, and will hopefully bring her the same benefit. He gave me a 20 day course of antibiotics for her to see if we can get her skin to heal up, and he sent me on my way!

I was filled with newfound relief that my dog would quickly be back to her old self. Since her appetite had returned, I thought I would give her a treat. We dropped by my parents' house, and there they have a bag of dog food for my brother's dog . . . my dog tends to think of this stuff as "McDonald's" - you know, kind of like the junk food mom never lets you eat. I put out 1/4 c for her, fully expecting her to scarf it down . . . and nothing. She didn't even want to sniff it. She sat around and wallowed for about 1 hr before we left, although on the way out the door, she did eat 1 or 2 bites of food.

We got back home here, and again, no eating. I made her a big thing of white rice, thinking maybe I could coax her into eating that, but again, we barely got her to eat a tablespoon. Before bed, she did finish off the little bit of food that was in her bowl . . . maybe 1/4 cup?

This morning, we woke at the usual time, and she seemed much peppier. She followed me to the bathroom, and watched me while I got dressed, and when I suggested we go for a walk, most of her usual gusto returned and she bounced after me for our walk. When we came downstairs, I did a quick search for any vomit patches . . . and I found one. Except, it wasn't normal vomit . . . it was a GIANT hairball, about 4 inches long. Naturally, you must be wondering why I was so convinced this was vomit (well, perhaps after you get over your disgust as I describe a giant puke hairball). Well, it was in her normal puke spot, and it was mixed with the rice we fed her last night for dinner. Clearly, this came out of my dog, undigested. What concerned me the most was that it appeared to mostly be MY hair, not her fur. In recent months, she has developed a nasty habit of licking the carpet in the living room. Back and forth, all day. I thought it was gross, but haven't really bothered to stop her. Of course, now I'm wondering if she managed to ingest enough of my stray hairs from licking the carpet that she now has a giant human hair blockage in her belly. Of course, seeing the hairball also gave me some relief. I mean, she threw it up, right? That must mean the blockage is gone and she should be feeling better.

After cleaning up the nasty hairball mess, we head outside for our walk. She has the normal spunk in her step, she keeps trying to eat everything disgusting, so I figure we are all good. She even "did her business" so I took that as another good sign that everything was working properly. We came back inside, and I scooped her food into her bowl - and much to my surprise, she looks at it and walks away. Still not eating! Have I mentioned that my dog NEVER doesn't eat? She can have severe pancreatitis and spend 24 hours vomiting . . . and all she wants is to keep eating. In ten years, I have only once ever seen her lose her appetite . . that was following the great Father's Day debacle of 2005, when she developed a severe case of gastroenteritis (thanks, in part, to 6 different family members deciding to feed the dog lox under the table all day!)

I called the vet again, and I think we need to figure out how to get back there for ANOTHER visit - and I need to bring the hairball. I'm a little afraid of the hairball . . . I think it might be alive, and it could possibly out-muscle me on the way to the vet. It is days like this I wish I took the dog to a more conveniently located vet. Wish us luck - hopefully, it isn't anything significant, but right now I'm worried that we are dealing with a blockage and a possible surgery.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Whirlwind continues

The past week has been quite crazy. The baby is kicking and moving around, and my belly grows larger by the minute. I discovered this the hard way . . . apparently, it IS possible to catch your belly and bruise it when trying to stand after sitting at a dining room table. Who knew? I need to practice backing away from the table BEFORE standing now.

I'm officially 24 weeks pregnant today! I can't believe how fast time is flying. We have an appointment on Wednedsay to see the midwife again, and my gestational diabetes test is coming up soon. DH has been crazy all week with work, and we are still fighting with the contractors over getting the house finished. I'm not convinced we'll be able to move before this baby arrives, but supposedly, they will have everything but the vanities and backsplash done this week - I'll believe it when I see it!

DH and I are actually making progress on getting things in order - I actually would not be humiliated today if someone came into my house, which may be true for the first time in quite a few months. We have appointments set up with our organizers for the next few weeks to help us with packing and moving . . . assuming we are ever able to move.

This weekend we celebrated my niece's 2nd birthday. Here is the Dora cake I made for her:

DH was a big help - he did the baking, and I did the decorating. We make quite a team!

Today, however, I am worried about my dog. She is lethargic and not eating . . . and she ALWAYS eats. We'll be heading to the vet this afternoon, but I hope she is okay.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hypnosis Dropout

Yes, it is true. . . I am officially a hypnosis dropout. I am a bit torn right now - I keep vacillating between thinking I'm a quitter and the certainty that I did the right thing. I think I made the right decision. I just felt that this "doctor" was a total quack, and the process wasn't working for me. I tried very hard to be open-minded, but her techniques just weren't working for me. She spent a lot of time having me repeat phrases that basically boiled down to "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me." In case you haven't noticed - I don't have a self-confidence problem. She spent the first 35 minutes of the session today lecturing me about the conscious mind v. the subconscious mind, and she must have thrown about 50 bad analogies at me. I spent the whole time thinking "let's get on with it." I understood her point - fears are rooted in the subconscious. We build perceptions (sometimes false) based on our experiences, and then we develop subconscious behaviors/emotional reactions in response to the perceptions we create. I think that point did not warrant 35 minutes of lecture, but then again, perhaps her other patients are a bit dim-witted. My response was . . . fine - how do you change the emotional reactions? What steps would we be taking to accomplish that goal. She then started to give me another analogy, and then told me it was like making a pee-pee or a poo-poo on the potty - you just have to let it go. Yup, she said that to me. Did she think I am two years old?

So, after asking her to speak to me like an adult and to drop the potty training analogies, I stayed on for ANOTHER 20 minutes trying to do the session. We got nowhere. She did not try to talk to me about my responses to a needle situation, or how to let it go, or give me coping techniques, or anything like that. She suggested that I repeat phrases like "it is okay to be afraid" and she suggested I hit my emotions out in a pillow to release my spirit. I know it is okay to be afraid - however, I can't seem to figure out how to get beyond the fear and passively let a medical professional stick an IV in my arm when I need it. Hitting a pillow isn't going to change that. I have an irrational fear, I know the root cause, and none of that seems to change the panicky feeling I get when in a needle situation, and no one has yet told me what I can do to stop or control that response, or to create a new response.

I finally had enough of the crap, and when she told me I needed to be willing to make a poo-poo on the potty, I thanked her for her time and left. Besides . . . I had some errands to run so I can make and decorate a cake for my niece's birthday this weekend!

I have no idea what is next for me. I am certain I will probably slug any phlebotomist that tries to put an IV in me when I go into labor. The odds of me slugging him/her will go down if we can use a topical anesthetic to numb it first. It will completely disappear if they dose me with laughing gas. So . . . I'm going to request the laughing gas - I think it is safer for all involved.

Feel free to suggest other options . . . because I'm thinking that my next best bet is to explore other options beyond IV antibiotics.