Friday, October 31, 2008

OB Appointment & Moving!

On Wednesday, DH and I met with one of the OBs connected to the midwifery practice we are using. I have been quite upset about this whole c-section possibility, so I thought going to meet with the OB would somehow put me at ease. I think it was a great decision! The OB we met with was so nice, and relatively young (late 30s/early 40s). He came into the room with a laptop, so DH liked him immediately. We explained our situation, and he reviewed my test results. He agreed that all the medicines we have been using are exactly right, and he talked about my options. Immediately, he seemed to agree that he thought I could (and should) continue to 36 weeks. He said that unless the baby was in actual danger, he would not encourage doing a c-section at 34 weeks. That was a HUGE relief to me. We also talked about the different pain medications, and he said that there has been no proven harm to babies if you limit the heavier pain meds to either no more than 1 week of continued use, or you can do 2-3 weeks of occasional/sporadic use. So, if the pain worsens after 33/34 weeks, there are several pain management options I can use.

He is fairly certain that when I stop the terbutaline at 36 weeks, the contractions will come back. At a minimum, terbutaline can cause a "rebound" effect with the contractions after keeping them suppressed for so long. He felt that if the contractions continued more than 2-3 days without me progressing into full labor (or if they became quite painful), he would not let me continue on that way any longer. They would start bringing me in regularly once the contractions begin to monitor me - check the fetal stress levels, see if the contractions are productive, etc. If after 2-3 days the contractions do not turn into full labor or do not subside and disappear, he would hope to induce at that point (assuming that my cervix appears to be "receptive" to induction). There are several different ways they could induce, and they will not make that decision until after they see what my body is doing. If they cannot induce labor and the contractions continue, a c-section would be necessary. We talked about anesthesia options, and he agreed that he could work with the anesthesiologist to identify a short-acting inhaled anesthesia that would knock me out sufficiently to get the spinal/epidural in, and then allow me to be lucid for the birth of the baby. That was a huge relief to me! So, hopefully a c-section will be unnecessary, but I feel better knowing that 1) I will not have to walk around contracting and in pain for weeks and 2) If I have to have a c-section, we can find a way to do it so I can see the birth of my son!

I have actually been feeling really good most of this week. I've been vigilant about taking my medicines on time and not letting it stretch beyond 6 hours. Unfortunately, right after I commented about what a great week I was having and started to hope that Frank was shrinking or disappearing, or that I could hold him at bay with just a bit of Tylenol, today I am definitely starting to hurt more (although I am able to do another course of Indocin any time I want). We have another midwife appointment next week, and another ultrasound, and we will see where we go from there! Four more weeks left until we stop the medications.

In other news, we attended our first hypnobirthing class last night! I really hope this helps me, and I am excited to explore ways to relax and try to embrace this whole process in a confident and stress-free manner. We are in the class with another couple we are friends with, so it should be a wonderful experience. We were taught 2 breathing techniques, and we have to listen to this deep relaxation CD everyday to practice the self-relaxation techniques. Now, if I could just keep DH from snoring during the relaxation exercises . . . .

And best of all . . . it looks like we are finally moving! We started packing up the house, and we are going to start making our first runs with boxes this weekend. I think I will probably schedule the "big" move either next weekend or that following week. The carpet was installed last night, and the floors are being finalized today along with the touch-up painting. They still have to replace the one kitchen cabinet (it should be in Monday) and fix up the tile backsplash, install a light and accessories in the powder room, install the baby's vanity (which should be in today) and install the shower panel (which should be in Tuesday) and finish tiling the master bathroom by the shower panel. That means by this weekend all the big stuff will be finished, and by Wednesday of next week, all the "little things" should be done. Also, our living room couch arrived, so that is being delivered on November 11! It is finally coming together. I am supposed to have a friend from out of town coming to stay with us the weekend of November 14, so it looks like we will be sleeping at the house by then!

Monday, October 27, 2008


I'm a person who likes to make checklists . . . I don't always do the things on my checklists, but I am constantly making them. I make a checklist when I pack, when I go shopping, when I am running errands. I keep checklists for work activities, and calls I need to make and appointments I need to schedule. I keep checklists of gifts I want to buy for people, and cake ideas I have. I make checklists for working through problems, or dealing with our contractor, and pretty much for anything that I can track or analyze with a list.

So . . . ever since our ultrasound appointment last week, I've been making lists of all the things we need to do before this baby comes, such as:

  • Buy a glider
  • Finish registering (and pick a bedding set!)
  • Arrange for a pediatrician
  • Meet with the OB to discuss birth options in case a midwife delivery is not an option
  • Schedule day care tour
  • Get contractor to finish renovations
  • Finish packing and prepare to move
  • Pack bag for hospital
  • Get information for pain management doctors, just in case
  • Buy a "coming home" outfit for the baby
  • Get car seats and get them installed
  • Pick up bassinet (or pack 'n play) to have something for the baby to sleep in
  • Buy gift for my niece's bat mitzvah

As you can imagine, many of these items have sublists . . . I have started a list of items I need to pack in the hospital bag, and a list of things that still need to be done on our home renovations, and a list for packing to move, etc.

Well, I am happy to report that today I accomplished several things on my lists! We called and arranged for a pediatrician for the baby. We are planning to call and schedule a tour of the office, but we did speak to the doctor on the phone, and at a minimum, we are all set there. We have an appointment scheduled this week to meet with the OB (and I hope that is the only time I have to see the OB!). We are going to go over the "what if" scenarios . . . what if I have to have a c-section, how can we deal with my needle phobia and anesthesia? What if I start contracting at 36 weeks, but do not progress into labor - what are my options there if the midwives won't induce that early? (Can you tell I have a list of questions for the OB, too?)

On Friday, we did finish registering and we ordered the glider for the baby's bedroom. We have to arrange a time to pick up the bassinet and the car seats from our friends, but hopefully as of this weekend, we will have a house to put the things in! Now - if only we could actually agree on a bedding set . . . . but I digress.

I just really hope that whenever this baby comes, I can have a vaginal birth. I know lots of people think c-sections are no big deal, and if I have to do that, I will. I'm just so awful with needles that I'm fairly certain they will have to completely knock me out if I have a c-section, and I'll completely miss his birth, and I just don't want that. . . . it isn't on my list.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another Ultrasound

Today was our appointment with the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist and another ultrasound. The good news is, my cervix is holding steady, and Frank is not growing in size . . . yet. The bad news is, Frank isn't shrinking (and is highly unlikely to shrink at this point). We did not get such good pictures of the baby. Today he is head down, facing upwards, with his feet up by my ribs and his hands on either side of my pelvis. Every time she tried to snap a photo of him, he arched his back and looked kind of like an alien. I may try to scan and post the picture later.

I am supposed to do a few more courses of the Indocin over the next 1-2 weeks, and then I have to stop taking that. According to this doctor, his goal is to get me to 34 weeks, and he is not convinced I'm going to make it to 36 weeks. He seems to think a scheduled c-section shortly after 34 weeks is in my future, but for right now, I have different plans. I'm going to do whatever it takes to get to 36 weeks, and then hope when we stop the meds I can go into labor on my own. I'm not sure what I'll do if I stop the meds at 36 weeks and I am contracting but not getting anywhere, so I am trying not to think about that. The bottom line is I might not be able to have that nice natural birth with a midwife I had planned.

I should have known this wasn't going to be easy for me . . . I think the "other shoe" I've been waiting for has finally dropped.

In other news, we went out with my parents to celebrate DH's birthday last night. The restaurant was wonderful - good atmosphere and the food was excellent! We stopped by the house on our way home to check on the renovations, and I'm thrilled to say we have real progress! Two of the four bathroom sinks are installed (with faucets and everything), the lighting looks like it has been completed, the floors were refinished, and some of the hardware for the showers was in place. There was 1 broken light fixture and the toilet in the master bathroom is cracked, but I'm starting to believe there is an end in sight!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

30 week prenatal appointment

Today we had our 30 week prenatal appointment. It was just another run-of-the-mill appointment. We discussed my medication, and I am supposed to stay on the current dosages of the Tylenol and the Terbutaline. I am measuring 29 cm, which is right on track. The baby is head down and slowly descending - I think he already knows the way out, so we are going to have to convince him to hang in there a bit longer. We got to hear (and record) the heartbeat again, so I am posting it here if you are interested in listening!

The good news is that my last urine culture finally came back negative! We sent out one more today to see if the "maintenance" dosage of antibiotics I've been taking is keeping this infection at bay. I really hope it does! On Thursday, we go back to the Maternal Fetal Medicine office for another ultrasound. I will find out if I am allowed to do any more courses of Indocin, they will be checking on my cervix to make sure I am not starting to go into labor, and they will also take another good look at Frank to see if he is growing or shrinking. I am also going to ask them to search for Fiona, because I think she is in there somewhere.

So . . . . for right now, all is well. I am back to appointments every 2 weeks unless there are new problems with Frank and contractions. For those of you who have been asking, here is my 30 week "belly shot":

My only other thing to add was that we stopped by the house to check on the progress . . . I really hate our contractor. He got the wrong granite in again, but at this point, we might just accept it because if we don't, he really won't ever finish the damn house! We are still hoping to start moving in next weekend, but I'm still uncertain if that is just a pipe dream.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Time to Celebrate!

So today was DH's birthday! I took it easy most of the day . . . Frank has been a bit temperamental since we stopped the Indocin, and I have a feeling he may have a girlfriend Fiona lurking in there, too. I suspect they are fighting today, so I've been trying to give them some quiet time to work out their issues.

I've been having difficulty finding the "right" gift for DH this year. He has been wanting this USB external, self-charging hard drive to backup his computer, and I found a good deal on one on Amazon, so I've been thinking of ordering that. I decided to ask him to make sure it was the right thing - I hate ordering things to find out I didn't get it quite right. So, when we sat down together, I told him what I wanted to get him and asked him if I had the right thing with the right specifications. He is currently on the fence with that gift - I was going to order him a 320 GB drive, and he kind of wants the 500 GB drive, but that is a bit more money than I wanted to spend right now (since my "real" present is the other gift I'm about to discuss). I'm still waiting for a decision from him on the backup drive. Perhaps I'll save that and buy it for him for another holiday!

The 2nd present is a joint gift from my parents as well. DH desperately needs a new grill. He doesn't actually realize it, but his old grill died. The grates have rotted through, there are layers of scum (and now cigarette butts from the contractors) and just flat out poisonous decay, and I firmly believe it is too dangerous to ever fire that grill up again. The problem is, he truly loves his grill, and like everything else in his world, he hates parting with anything. Part of him sincerely believes that he will be using that grill again. I'm sorry to say, he isn't going to win this battle. So, I did some investigating, and I identified what I think is the "perfect" grill for DH. But, again, I know how much his grill means to him, so I decided to let him select his next grill instead of dictating which one I thought was best for him. It turns out, he really liked the one I picked out and showed him online! There is one other one I saw, and he is trying to decide between the two. He asked me for a few days so he could go see them in person and decide which one he likes best, and if he finds something else he likes even better, then I will get that for him. There is one we saw that is really cool, but super-expensive. It looks kind of like a built-in grill - it comes complete with a stone facade workspace! I'm willing to spend the money, but DH won't let me . . . he thinks it is cool, but not worth the money. We'll see . . . perhaps I'll buy that one anyway.

So, we've been trying to figure out how to celebrate DH's birthday for weeks now. We had hoped to be all moved into the house and invite a bunch of people over for a bbq dinner in our Sukkah. Needless to say . . . we haven't moved, we have no Sukkah this year . . . and so we didn't have a party. DH was extremely disappointed - he just loves to have everyone over for his birthday dinner in the Sukkah. Once we realized the Sukkah party was out, we discussed other options. We talked about going out for a nice dinner somewhere, but DH has been crazy busy with work and running around, and hasn't really been in the mood to go out for dinner at night, and Frank has been making my life difficult, so I get nervous planning anything specific since I never know how I will feel from one minute to the next.

After much discussion, we decided that I would make DH a nice dinner at home. We didn't get the place cleaned up enough to set the broken dining room table for a romantic dinner by candlelight, but I was doing well enough to cook for him, and we sat together on the couch and ate dinner. I decided to make Chicken Marsala (well, a vegetarian version of Chicken Marsala with veggie Chicken), rice pilaf, and broccoli. For dessert, we had chocolate lava cakes and a side of ice cream. I didn't have the energy to cook up a full cake yet (I've been fighting a cold all day, thanks to a good friend of ours who was at the Sukkah party last night). I'm hoping to bake that for him for Wednesday night when we go out to dinner with my parents to celebrate his birthday.

Unfortunately, just as DH got home and we were preparing to have his birthday dinner, our contractor called. He was extremely pissed off, and we ended up fighting with him on the phone for 45 minutes. Long story short, he works with my cousin, and I finally contacted my cousin about all the problems we've been having. He must have ripped our contractor a new one, because he was PISSED. He tried to tell us that all of the problems with the house were our fault, not his. It was a HORRIBLE conversation . . . and I certainly did not need to get that worked up or upset. Frank was quite unhappy for the rest of the evening, but at least DH & I got to have a nice dinner together. Too bad our contractor ruined his birthday :(.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Volunteering, Dinner, & Contractions

Today was a crazy busy (but wonderful) day. I serve as the Special Needs Liaison on a Commission for a local youth group, and we are in the process of launching a new project to allow Jewish teens with multiple and significant disabilities to interact in a social setting. The program we planned was in honor of the holiday Sukkot, which celebrates the Fall harvest. We planned a "Sukkah party" at one of the local synagogues. A Sukkah is a big open structure with a relatively open top. The sukkah was originally intended to serve as a shelter during the Fall harvest season, and you leave the top somewhat open so you can see the stars at night. The inside of this Sukkah was decorated with lots of harvest decorations, and there were picnic tables inside. We started off with a 2 hour training session for the teens who would be volunteering, and I thought it was an incredible session. We had over 20 teens show up and participate, and they actually seemed very enthusiastic about the new project! 10 of the teens stayed after the training for the actual program, and we had 10 additional teens with disabilities join the event. We started off with an art project - the "typical" teens worked with the kids with disabilities to make a clock. Then, the kids paired up and made a fruit salad and then ate it. The program ended with one of the teens playing guitar, and the entire group sat around singing songs together. It was such a rewarding program, and I was so impressed with how well it went! I'm quite excited for this program to continue.

The program ran a little late, and towards the end I was experiencing some pain and contractions. I raced home so DH & I could head out to our 2nd event of the day . . . a dinner in our friend's Sukkah. DH was running late from his volunteer event, so, of course, we showed up an hour late to dinner. I was in a lot of pain, and we had to refill my terbutaline because I was almost out. The contractions/pain continued the rest of the night, but I really was feeling better by this morning.

Feeling Wonderful

I have to say, I love taking Indocin . . . it just puts Cranky Frank right to sleep. I started feeling great on Friday, and then Saturday I was able to run to the jewelry show with my mom and go check out the progress (or lack thereof) on our house renovations. I was feeling so well that I actually forgot to take my last dose of the medicine on Saturday! I even managed to reduce my anti-contraction medication (Terbutaline) to half the dosage and space it out longer than 4 hours! It was so nice to feel human again!

I have a big day planned for Sunday (I'm volunteering at an event all day, and then I'm off to a dinner at a friend's house).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Relief in sight

I spoke to the maternal fetal medicine doctors today, and I get to do another 48 hrs on the 2nd medicine (Indomethacin). So, for the next 48 hrs, I should be feeling pretty good! I can't believe how close we are getting to meeting this little guy!

Are we really moving?

According to our contractor, our house will be finished this weekend. Now, we've been hearing this since . . . May. But for some reason, this time I think it really might be true! I would love to finally be able to move into our new house and settle in. We shall see if the contractor is telling the truth this time.

I'm feeling okay today. Frank seems to be sleeping right now (he was awake and contracting most of the night), so let's hope he stays quiet. The nausea is what is making me feel the worst today. According to the scale, I've lost another 2 lbs . . . I cannot for the life of me figure out how that is possible. I swear, this baby must have DH's metabolism (which is much better for him in the long run). I'm sure going to miss eating with impunity.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cranky Frank Strikes Again

It is official . . . we decided to name the fibroid Frank . . . or Cranky Frank, or Frank the Crank. Funny how easy it is for us to name things other than our son! Well, Frank has been quite crotchety the past 2 days. It all started late last night . . . I fell asleep on the couch and was 2 hours late taking my tylenol. Frank was definitely unhappy about that, and decided to punish me with stabbing pains and contractions from 4:00 am until about 8:30 this morning. I finally managed to subdue him with meds, but he let me know he was pretty displeased on and off all day.

Tonight, we went out to celebrate my mom's birthday! Just a quick little dinner. Apparently, Frank did not want to go out to dinner, so back to cranking he went. I was pretty miserable by the end of the meal. We did stop off at a new gelatto place, but even that didn't satisfy Frank. We came home, and Frank is feeling a little better (thanks to some tylenol and some anti-contraction medication). I hope he decides to let me sleep tonight.

I've been having a fair amount of contractions tonight - I think they have mostly been small, but still . . . I'd prefer it if they went away. I'm counting down the days until our appointment next week - I just really wish we could cut the little bugger out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Naming Dilemma

Many of you have asked about names for this baby . . . . and the truth is, we don't have a name for him yet. But, even if we did, we intend to keep the name quiet until after he is born. Truthfully - well, we don't want any opinions on whatever name we decide. We have discovered that prior to birth, people feel quite free to tell you what they think of the name you have selected, and then they start to lobby to convince you to change the name. After the baby is born, even if they hate the name, the worst that most people will say to your face is "how unusual!" We're okay with that, and sufficiently superstitious that if we actually pick a name, we'll be keeping quiet.

Now, in all of our attempts to come up with a name for this baby, we have identified a number of "joke" names for the baby. We've been far more successful at agreeing to these names than real names, so we have focused our efforts here. In the spirit of full disclosure, I thought I would share our 4 favorite "joke" names with you:

Name #1: Our first name for the baby is PGeorge. And no, the P is not a typo. First, we thought of "George" because of the looney toons cartoon (spoofing Of Mice and Men) where the abominable snowman is chasing bugs and hugging him to death while he desperately tries to escape and saying "I will love you, and hug you, and kiss you, and squeeze you and call you George." DH and I have been obsessed with that line since his 3 year old nephew came to stay with us a few years ago and spent the entire weekend chasing my dog around and hugging her to death, and she had the exact same expression on her face as bugs in that cartoon. So, we just kind of imagine all the little nieces and nephews (and aunts, uncles, grandparents, and us) doing that to this baby, too. We added a "leading silent P" because both of my nieces have names that begin with P, and we didn't want him to feel left out.

Name #2: Giodie (pronounced Jodi or Jody). DH has 2 sisters-in-laws named Jodi/Jody (one spelled Jody, and the other Jodi). They both have the same last name as this baby, and we joked that we didn't think there were enough Jodis in our family, and since Jody can be a boy's name . . . well, you get the drift. So then we started to think how we would differentiate this baby (the family calls the others Jody "y" and Jodi "i" when we talk about them), so we were thinking Giodie "G" would be funny. And the "ie" on the end . . .well, we wanted to be different - we don't have a Jodie either, yet.

Name #3: In light of the American financial crisis, one of DH's friends was discussing the fact that China owns most of our national debt, and one day, China will call it in and the US will become part of China. The friend suggested that in order to ease the transition for our child, we should have a Chinese name for our son . . . so we decided on Ming-Ha. There is another joke in there that relates to our religion . . . the Chinese name Ming-Ha sounds a lot like an americanized version of the Hebrew word for afternoon prayer service (Mincha), so we joked that could be his Hebrew name. We also joked that his Hebrew middle name could be the word for the prayer service that closes out the Sabbath (Havdallah).

Name #4: Last week, we were watching some cooking thing on PBS, and Gwyneth Paltrow was on it and needed to go feed her daughter, Apple. I started laughing hysterically (don't know why it was SUDDENLY funny to me) and I told him that if Gwyneth can name her child after fruit, perhaps we should name the baby Melon. We had a long debate about types of melon, and different kinds of pears, and other silly types of fruit names, but I decided I liked Melon - Mel for short. DH then told me it looks like I swallowed a melon, so it was very appropriate.

Hope you enjoyed our name discussion!

Today's Appt

Today was another follow-up appointment to monitor my contractions. Last night was a rough night - I was in a lot of pain and I had contractions pretty steadily throughout the night. Yesterday I tried to reduce the anti-contraction medicine, so today we are going to return to taking the maximum dose at scheduled times (every 4-6 hrs) to see if that helps. I am also staying on the tylenol every 6 hours. I'm still measuring right on target, but I seem to have lost another pound this week. They also sent out another urine culture to see how my UTI is doing. I have to call the maternal fetal medicine place and ask when I can do another course of the 2nd medicine. Other than that, I seem to be doing okay. They don't really know if the contractions/discomfort will continue throughout this pregnancy or if they will magically disappear, so I'm supposed to focus on each episode at a time and not try to project for the rest of the pregnancy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Perhaps I spoke too soon . . .

Well, after my great sense of relief that everything has been going so well, my fibroid (you know, it kind of feels like it needs its own name . . . please feel free to offer up options) started to get pissed off again. It hurts. It stings. It is stabbing periodically - I'd say, it is generally displeased with my current state of being. Around 4:00 today, the contractions started back up. I had been emboldened by the past 24 hrs, so I had dropped down to only 1 pill of the anti-contraction medication "as needed" - so perhaps that approach is now letting these contractions sneak in there. I'm not so happy about it. I took one pill at 2:00 today, and I took a 2nd pill at 5, and the contractions do seem better, but I may need to think about returning to my structured regimen of 2 pills every 4 hrs. And to think I was having visions of stopping the medication, just taking tylenol, and avoiding future bouts of contractions. Ahhh . . . how foolish and cocky I can be.

Hanging in

I stopped my medication for the fibroid yesterday afternoon, and so far, so good - no hospital visits yet! I am definitely uncomfortable, and the contractions have increased, but I am not in excruciating pain, and the contractions are not regular. Let's hope this continues along like this - I could manage the rest of the pregnancy like this.

Next step . . . let's make it to my appointment tomorrow morning without any more trips to the hospital!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wish me luck!

I'm a bit nervous. . . . since I started taking this 2nd medicine on Thursday afternoon, well, I've felt pretty good. I hardly have any pain/discomfort connected to my fibroid right now, I'm tolerating the side effects of the medication well, and the contractions are few and far between. I was able to resume "normal" activities today . . . I babysat my nieces (okay, I made DH do all the work, chasing and lifting) but we went to play at a friend's house, and we ate dinner, and then we put them to bed. After we finished babysitting, we stopped off at a friend's housewarming party, and finally got home. I'm tired, but feeling great. Tomorrow, my mom and I are going to run to a jewelry show we've been wanting to attend, and I'm hoping I feel well enough for that.

I will be taking my last dose of this wonderful medication at 11:00 am tomorrow, and the medicine is due to wear off around 5:00 pm. I'm just worried that the pain and contractions will return, and that we'll end up back in the hospital. Let's hope the medicine did more than mask the problem and actually did some healing the past few days. We are supposed to attend a birthday party tomorrow night - I hope we make it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Our renovations

Many of you have been interested in our home renovations. The background is that DH bought this house over 12 years ago. When we met, the house was a mess, and we couldn't sell it, so we decided to renovate it. Our goal is to move in there for up to 2 years, sell my place (which might be bigger, but it is a townhouse/condo) and then move into a bigger house that we actually can fit in. This house is a "cape cod" that was built in the 30s, and at some point, it was expanded with dormer windows to create an upstairs. All in all, it has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs, a kitchen/living room/dining room/powder room on the main floor, and a rec room/laundry room/bedroom/full bathroom in the basement. So, it is kind of a tight fit for us, especially since we both work out of the house.

So, here is the "tour" - these pics were taken a few weeks ago. We are really hoping this will be finished next week . . . but I'm not holding my breath. I called the contractor and yelled at him from L&D at the hospital! When you walk in the front door, the stairs leading upstairs are right in front of you.

If you look down the hallway to the right, there is a closet and it leads to the 1st floor powder room:

Powder room:

To the left of the powder room is the kitchen:

We removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room, so now it is more like an eat-in kitchen:

The dining room connects back to the living room (here is a view of the dining room/kitchen from the living room):

The living room is just to the left of the front door:

When you go up the stairs, the baby’s bedroom is the first door on the left at the top of the stairs:

Just across from the stairs (and immediately outside the door of the baby’s bedroom) is the baby’s bathroom:

There is a long hallway upstairs (view with back to baby’s bathroom) – there are two half-closets that will be linen closets on the left, there is room under the window before the closets for a window seat, and the door at the end of the hallway on the right leads to the master bedroom:

When you enter the master bedroom, the main room is to the left, the master closet is to the right, and the door to the master bathroom is straight ahead. This is a pic of the entranceway to the master bedroom from inside the room:

This is a picture of the master bedroom from the back end of the room (the entranceway would be to the left):

This is a picture of the master bedroom standing in the entranceway with the master closet behind:

Here are pictures of the master bathroom:

Here are pictures of the master closet:

From the main floor, just across from the powder room and before you enter the kitchen, there are stairs leading to the basement. The basement is pretty open, with the laundry room to the left, a rec room area and a bedroom to the right:

Rec room:



As you can see, we still have painting, carpet, cleaning, and we have to finish the wires/lighting and vanity tops.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Finally . . . an answer

It has been a rough couple of days for me. I returned from the hospital yesterday and took a nap. At 3:00 pm, I awoke with contractions and excruciating pain in my lower right abdomen. I went ahead and took another dose of the medicine (1/2 the dose they gave me in the hospital), and the contractions improved but didn't stop. I took the 2nd dose 1/2 hr later, and still the contractions did not disappear. The pain in my lower abdomen gradually worsened. I called the midwives, and they told me to drink more water, wait for my next dose at 7:00 pm, and call back at 8 if the contractions did not improve. This was, of course, one of the worst possible nights for all of this to be going on - it was Yom Kippur, one of the most significant holidays we celebrate. DH went to services and left me on my own to rest (and I was actually able to call in and listen to services).

At 8:00 pm, I was in pain, but the contractions were feeling better. I ended up calling the midwives again, and was told to get in the bath for 1/2 hr, keep drinking water, and take my next double dose at 11 pm. By 10:30, I was in excruciating pain, and the contractions suddenly started to be 3-4 minutes apart again by 11. We called the midwife, and she said I would probably need to go back to the hospital. She suggested taking 2 tylenol (thinking it would help the pain of the abdominal strain) and take another double dose of medicine at 11, and give it no more than 1 hour. I sent DH to walk the dog and we started getting ready to leave for the hospital. While DH was walking the dog, I lay down and relaxed . . . and for the first time since we got back from the hospital, I started feeling better! The contractions slowed, lessened in intensity, and were fairly spaced out. The midwife suggested I try going to sleep, I take my next dosage at 3:00 am, but that if the contractions woke me up to head to the hospital. She said if I made it through the night, I needed to go into the office in the morning to be checked. I slept until 3:00, took my next dosage, and then slept until 6:00 am . . . when a contraction woke me up. I had contractions over the next hour, took my next dose at 7:00 am, and then started feeling better at 7:30 am.

We went to the office at 9:00 to be checked. My contractions seemed to be controlled, and I was relatively pain-free at that time. I kept feeling these "mini" contractions and some pain radiating out from one spot on my uterus, and I just felt like something else was happening. After talking about our options, the midwives decided to send me for an ultrasound at the Maternal Fetal Medicine office to check my cervix and see if there was a problem with my placenta. DH was able to drop me off for my bedrest and get over to services for several hours before we needed to go to the appointment. Poor DH - this holiday is a fasting holiday, so he had to do all this running around while fasting (you don't fast if you are pregnant).

At 1:45, we went in for the ultrasound. The good news is, they identified the problem! Apparently, since my 20 week ultrasound, a big giant fibroid grew on the outside of my uterus. I did know that I had a small fibroid on the outside that was about .5 cm before I got pregnant, and I was told it was nothing to worry about. Well, it decided to grow . . . huge. It is almost as big as my fist now, and apparently, it is angry and pissed off and causing all the problems/pain/contractions. The good news is that I do not have an abdominal strain. The bad news is, it will be difficult to treat this fibroid and it puts me at greater risk for pre-term labor. I will probably have contractions on and off throughout the rest of this pregnancy, and the fibroid will likely cause me pain. They added another medication which I can only take for 48 hrs at a time until I'm 32 weeks along. It will help the pain and help control the contractions. I started it tonight, and it does seem to be helping some - I hope the next 48 hrs really puts me in a better place and that the pain holds off. I can live with staying on the anti-contraction medicine, but I really don't want to spend the rest of this pregnancy in pain from the fibroid. Oh . . . and I'll probably have to have surgery after I have this baby to get rid of the fibroid, since it will probably cause issues with future pregnancies too (not that I can think about that now). So . . . odds are good this baby will make an earlier appearance rather than a later appearance. I really hope the contractors finish the house and we can move before this baby comes.

Anyway, we did get some good news . . . the fetal fibronectin test (the vaginal swab they did to check for pre-term labor) came back negative, so I should be safe for at least a few weeks! Also, I passed my gestational diabetes test . . . barely, but I still passed. Let's hope the meds work and I can keep this baby in at least 8 more weeks . . . and that they are not 8 miserable weeks for me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Little Scare - Unexpected trip to Labor & Delivery

Well, I just got back from the hospital - I spent the night in Labor & Delivery last night :(. After my appointment yesterday, I ran to 2 stores trying to locate the support brace for my abdominal pull before I started my mild bedrest orders, and by the time I got home, I was in EXCRUCIATING pain. Even with the support on, it kept getting worse. By 4:00, I could barely move, and I was so miserable. I started to wonder if I was also having contractions (my belly kept feeling tight) but then I thought it was just the support belt I was wearing. I remained pretty uncomfortable no matter where I was sitting.

DH and I went up to bed around 1:30, and when I got into bed, I couldn't get comfortable. I started to realize that I was having contractions . . . about every 2-3 minutes. We started to time them to be sure, and I tried drinking water to see if that would chase them away. At 2:00, I decided it was time to call the midwife. I was told I could try drinking more fluids for 1/2 hr, but then to go to labor and delivery if they didn't stop. Part of me couldn't decide if I was being crazy but we decided to go on in and get checked. I was a little concerned they were going to hook me up, laugh at me and tell me I was having gas pains or something ridiculous like that.

Good thing, we went in . . I was having pretty intense contractions every 2-4 minutes. They had me on the monitor (and my midwife was so nice and considerate of my needle phobia - she agreed not to immediately put me on an IV if I would drink 40 ozs of water, and she gave me the anti-contraction medicine orally). Luckily, the meds worked, and about 1/2 hr later, everything receded. They kept me there for observation the rest of the night. I was released about 1 hr ago to a day of bedrest and I have more anti-contraction medication I'm supposed to take. The good news is there were no significant cervical changes, and the baby is fine, but I'm just exhausted!

I was getting worried about having this baby at 28 weeks. They did a vaginal swab test to assess my risk of preterm labor (apparently they can detect a protein that is 90% accurate in predicting labor in the following 2 weeks). Those results won't be back until today or tomorrow. I have to take the meds as long as I have contractions, and if the meds don't control the contractions, I'll have to go back to the hospital. I have to go back for another checkup next week. If they start to see any cervical changes, I'll be put on bedrest, and if the swab test comes back positive, they may admit me to try and keep me from going in to labor.

So . . . that is my update. I'm going to nap now. Let's hope this is just one of those things, aggravated by the UTI and the abdominal pull! I'm NOT ready to have this baby yet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Appt Update

I'm trying to stay positive, but today was a slightly rough day for me. It was my 28 week appointment - fairly routine, gestational diabetes test scheduled, and not much else to worry about. HOWEVER, last night, I began to realize that the dull ache on the side of my abdomen that had been bothering me since Sunday had escalated to the point of excruciating. After much debate, DH & I decided I should tough it out until our appointment this morning.

I arrive for my appointment, and quickly discover that the nurse forgot to give me the glucola to drink at home BEFORE my appointment. So, at the appointment I have to quickly inhale the horrific orange goop without vomiting (quite a task), and then sit and wait an hour so they can draw my blood. We went into the room for my appointment, and then things went downhill. The good news is, the baby's heartbeat was great, and I'm measuring right on target. I did not gain any weight again, but this midwife seemed totally unconcerned by my lack of weight gain, so I did escape the yelling/lecture. We quickly moved on to more "fun" subjects . . . including the return of my UTI. Yup, it is back. Or perhaps it never left this last time. And my numbers were through the roof - the infection just keeps getting worse. So, I'm being placed back on antibiotics . . . for the rest of this pregnancy. Fun, huh?

So, after discussing my lovely UTI, I brought up the pain in my abdomen. After some discussion and a quick check, I was informed that I have pulled a muscle in my abdomen. I have to go out and buy an abdominal support brace, which she thinks I'll have to wear for the remainder of the pregnancy :(. I'm definitely not pleased about that either. And it looks like I have to drop out of yoga class now, too :(.

Next bit of fun? We talked about my morning sickness and other tummy issues I've been having . . . and I was basically told there isn't much more we can do. I'm supposed to stay away from fiber/veggies (haven't heard that one too often, right?) and understand that the antibiotics will probably just make it worse.

So then it was off to visit with the nurse to have my blood drawn. Let's just say she was not quite adept at drawing blood. Four (yes, I said 4) stabs later, and lots of moving the needle around, she finally got the blood, but it involved tears and hysteria from me. I have good veins . . . any competent phlebotomist should be able to draw blood from me without incident. I was really unhappy today, pretty worked up, and now I look like a junkie with track marks. It is days like this that it is difficult to keep the thrill of being pregnant and not get caught up in the bad stuff. Let's just hope the test comes back negative and I can at least avoid having to do the 3 hour test!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A registry!

We did it . . . we finally started a registry yesterday! Yes, we have been putting it off, and no it isn't anywhere close to complete, but we started it! DH was a bit of a maniac with the gun . . . if he could shoot it, I think he put it on the registry. Of course, he has no idea that I have the power of edit on the web site, so many of the items he placed on there may have "magically" disappeared. He initially registered me for 4 different breast pumps! I think he can't wait to go back so he can have the gun again for more play time. He is also currently obsessed with strollers - I'm not exactly sure what the fascination is about, but he can't stop investigating strollers, and was quite upset that I wouldn't go inspect and select the strollers yesterday.

We still have another store we want to go to and start another registry, and we may put some things online at Target, too, to make it easier for out-of-town friends and family, but we finally got the ball rolling. We also went ahead yesterday and bought a reclining chair for our living room - so that will complete our living room furniture. We still need to go back to the other baby store and pick out a glider, but we hope to do that this week.

As for me . . . . today I am 28 weeks pregnant! Overall, I'm feeling well. This little guy is kicking up a storm. For some reason, he seems to have a fascination with my cervix - he continually likes to poke it and make me uncomfortable. I'm sure when I tell him that during his teenage years, he'll turn bright red with humiliation and say "eww, mom, do you have to say things like that!" Is it wrong that I am looking forward to embarassing him like that one day? I also have a pain in the lower right side of my abdomen - I hope it is nothing, but it is extremely uncomfortable. I guess I probably pulled a muscle or something . . . I think it started yesterday - I'll have the midwife check it out at our appointment tomorrow! Here is my latest belly shot, taken today:

Tomorrow we go back to the midwife for my gestational diabetes test (wish me luck!) and a regular checkup. As of tomorrow, we will now be on a 2-week appointment schedule. I can't believe how the time is flying! Now . . . if only we could get those renovations on the house finished, we'd really be in business!

On another note, I'm obsessing about my dog again. She has skin and allergy issues, so back in July, I switched her to a high-quality grain-free diet. I'd tried all the other tricks, but read an article indicating that many dog skin allergies may be caused by the grains in commercial dog foods. I think her skin has been better, but she has also had a skin infection that won't quite go away, and has been on antibiotics, so it is hard to tell. My one worry with the new diet is that it is very high in fat, and I was afraid she would gain weight. Today I took her to the vet, and we have to go back on antibiotics for the skin infection. But, I learned that she did put on a bit of weight - maybe .4 lbs. So, of course, I'm wondering what to do next! I'm not ready to give up on this grain-free diet, but I don't want to make her fat, either. I think DH is ready to kill me for obsessing this much over dog food.

After our vet appointment, I went to the pet food store (since we are almost out of dog food anyway), and found a different grain-free brand that has a low-fat version, but of course, it is even lower in fat than the food she was on before switching to this diet (and if the fat content is too low, it can give dogs dry skin and make them itch!). So . . . I couldn't decide what to do! I know it isn't a good idea to change dog food too many times, but I also want to do what is best for her! I can't believe how indecisive I'm being! So, I was an overwhelmed pregnant lady in the dog food store today. The saleswoman kept making suggestions, and all I wanted to do was strangle her. First, since the new dog food we've been on has double the calories of her previous food, she suggested cutting my dog's food intake in half. Great idea . . . when you are dealing with a big dog. My dog is tiny - and only gets 3/4 c. food per day. And she is already pissed about that, because back in her younger days, I used to give her more like 1 1/4 c. per day. She now KNOWS when I cheat her out of even just one piece of kibble, and is not afraid to cause a raucous if she doesn't get her share. She has made it quite clear she will not tolerate any more reductions in quantity, caloric count be damned! And my favorite comment from the saleswoman - why don't you let your dog taste the new brand and decide which she likes better? Um, yeah, my dog will eat rabbit poo, vomit, and dead frogs - exactly WHAT makes you think she has discriminating taste and will "prefer" one over the other - it is food, she'll eat it (or rather inhale it), probably within about 3 seconds after I place it in her bowl!

So, after coming home and doing some research, and discovering that this new low-fat dog food also was given 6 stars by a pet food analysis web site (that I've decided is reliable and have been consulting for the past few years), I decided that perhaps we will try switching to the new low-fat grain-free dog food. For some reason, I felt the need to share this piece of information with DH - whose response was the classic "okay." Men! I might even be able to give her closer to 1 full cup a day, so she will probably love that. Do you think she realizes how much agony I go through for her? And to think she gets pissed at me when I put the food down 5 minutes late.

Oh . . . and here is a pic of my adorable spoiled princess, taking a snooze on the couch:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The best phone call!

Tonight, my 2 year old niece decided to give me a call, just to talk! Okay, she had help . . . she asked my brother and SIL if she could call me. I can't stop grinning - she said hi to me when I answered the phone, and we talked about how she went to school today, and was going to be taking a bath. It is so cool to be able to speak to her on the phone now! I can't believe what a big girl she is becoming!