Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Still Waiting...

And it is driving Hubby and me crazy! Both of us are ready to be done with the pregnancy part.

No changes in my cervix, my BP was the same as last week, and the baby's heartbeat was still good. I think he is just content to hang out in there. I am actually all right with this for right now, as my OB is off this week.

I have a hunch that he is going to wait and come a whole lot closer to my actual due date. (If not later!)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Updates...

Finally got the results of my lab work for PIH back. Everything came back normal. Thank goodness. One less thing to worry about! Though I still have to rest. That is getting easier now, as I am tired more often. (And not to mention, tired of being pregnant!) My next appointment is Wednesday with an NP, as my OB is off this week.

Yesterday, Hubby realized that we will have a baby in the house soon. He told me that he was looking at the calendar yesterday, and realized that next week is next month. Then he realized that the baby could be here next week! I think it freaked him out a little bit. He put together the pack and play last night. We decided to put the pack and play in his office, so that he has somewhere for the baby down there. It seemed like a good idea.

My parents are in town this week, and they are trying to find a place to rent once the baby comes, and until their house sells. I know my mother wants to be close to us to help out with the baby, and they are looking for something short term. That is tough to find in this area.

For Christmas, Hubby got me an i.Pod touch. I love that thing! It is like a really cool PDA. (All the fun of an i.phone, without the crappy AT and T contract!) I love having some of the organization apps, and some of the games are really fun. I can sync it to icalendar on my computer, so I can keep track of appointments and things. Hubby was sort of surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I think what threw him was that I really do not use my nano that much. But the touch can do so much more! I think it was a great gift!
FIL gave us a digital video recorder, which Hubby has had a great time playing with. At first his videos highlighted his feet prominently. But he is getting the hang of it. Hopefully I will be able to get them on my computer once my firewire cable gets here. That is the hope, anyway. I really want to be able to share video with my family and friends, who are spread out all over the state.

For New Year's we are having our annual deep fry extravaganza. This year, my parents, and my sister and her boyfriend will be joining us. I think my dad is bringing a board game of some sort. We plan on deep frying pickles, onion rings, and french fries. We also are planning on having buffalo burgers. It should be a nice evening.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy New Year's!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Musings

Just a few random thoughts on Christmas eve....

This is a really weird Christmas for us. We cannot travel to be with family, and family is not coming to us. This is really the last Christmas we have with just the two of us. Next year will likely be full of Santa, and family, and a baby. (Well a toddler, really. He will be almost 1 year old.) Hopefully not a lot of travel. One thing I love about this year is that we are not traveling anywhere. It is is quiet Christmas for us, which is a gift in itself.

I think I am getting sick of being pregnant. I am a little tired of being told to rest. I want to be able to have my hands back again. The carpal tunnel of pregnancy is driving me crazy! It would also be nice to not run out of breath when I walk my dog. It would be nice to walk faster when I walk my dog. It would be nice to be able to do stuff around the house without feeling like I should be resting. Someday...

Hopefully we will actually make to a Christmas eve service tonight. I have missed going to one. I always enjoyed to magical feeling of the service and the evening.

Wishing everyone a very merry and happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh, fudge!

At my appointment today, my BP was higher than usual. (135/90) They did recheck it after letting me lay on my side for 10-15 minutes, but it was not any lower. Darn it! And things were going so well!

I had a non-stress test, which showed a happy baby. Heartbeat is good, and he is moving well. I was then sent to the lab for blood draw. I hopefully will get the results tomorrow. Depending on the results, my OB may want to see me more often. (Like this weekend.) No signs of labor. (Darn it, again!) No dilation at all. He actually seems pretty content to stay in there a while longer.

Will post more when lab work comes back. Until then, I have doctor's orders to rest. Can I just say I really miss being active?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One less thing to worry about!

I finally got some answers from my employer. Apparently, my management is willing to do personal leave, but they were worried that it would run out before I was cleared to return to work. They are fine with me coming back as regular part time. (I think because it allows them to abuse me a little. I have a hunch I will be working close to 40 hours as "part time.") If my personal leave does run out before I am able to return, they may have to "separate" from me for a month or two until I am cleared to return. They would then hire be back as regular part time. It would mean COBRA for a couple of months, but at that point it is not the end of the world for us. They actually seemed fine with re-hiring me back after a separation.

Whew! I can keep my benefits, and I get some income! That should make my holidays more relaxing!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Waiting.

I am currently 36 weeks and 3 days. My weekly "this week in your pregnancy" email pretty much said that from here on out, it is a waiting game to see when the baby will arrive. I have been having Braxton-Hicks, but they are not all that painful. Baby is moving around in there, which I enjoy feeling. My back hurts more often, so I have to sit differently. It is often more comfortable for me to sit straight up than it is to recline. My belly is huge! Fortunately, the nursery is pretty much ready. I am in the process of working my way through the baby care books I have not read yet.

We finally got out Christmas tree up, sort of. It actually is leaning against the wall, as Hubby could not get it to stand up with our tree stand. It does not help that Oscar keeps sticking his head in the tree, and then gets tangled up in the lights, almost pulling the tree over. (And pulling the lights off the tree!) Honestly, we cannot have any nice ornanments below 3 feet, because the dog will just knock them off.

We put up our tree the night of the big snow. We got over a foot of snow here. It is beautiful, but really obnoxious. We did not really go anywhere this weekend because it was impossible to get the car out. Hubby finally dig the car out on Sunday because we really needed to go to the grocery store. He decreed an emergency, as we were out of coffee. We also managed to get to the post office this morning to mail presents to my family in Reston. I sent the package express, so it will hopefully get there by Christmas. I think my parents are a little disappointed that they could not see me before Christmas, but the snow made it impossible for us to meet. I think they are headed to Reston in the next day or two.

Hubby and I talked about Christmas dinner. It is just the two of us, so we do not have to do much that is traditional. I think we are having rack of lamb, french fried sweet potatoes, and green beans wrapped in bacon. I may also slip some stuffing and cranberry sauce in there. I like both of those things with holiday meals, and it is Christmas dinner. Maybe pumpkin pie or something for dessert. The pie will be store bought, though. If Hubby asks nice, maybe I will bake biscuits to go with the meal.

Wishing everyone a very merry holiday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My weekly appointment, and some job worries.

My weekly ob appointment went well, other than me being sick. The OB could not feel the head of the baby, so she had me do an ultrasound. I love seeing the baby again! He is still head down, which is good. He is about 5 pounds, 7 ounces. Also, I am negative for group B strep. One less thing to worry about!. Now if only I could get over this cold.

I had a call from the leave representative from work. She was worried about me having enough time to recover postpartum. At the time I went out on leave, the OB put my EDD as Jan 5, so my leave would be until the end of February. The best option is personal leave, which would allow me to keep my benefits. When I called my manager, she was not sure she would be allowed to give me personal leave. She said that she would look into it and get back to me. I have a hunch that I am going to have to call someone next week just to see what is happening with the leave. She also did not really commit to letting me come back part time. (From what I could tell.) So, everything is uncertain at this point. If the personal leave is not approved, I may just not come back at all. Which will leave me worried about insurance again. I will not be heartbroken to leave that job. Not really. I think the only reason I would come back to my old job is for the insurance. I hate the uncertainty. But I would love to have some extra time with the new baby.

Edit: No news on the job front, but I just realized why I am frustrated with this situation. I am not all that confident that management will make the decision in my favor. They do not always make the best decisions. (At least from a nurse's point of view.) They recently let a couple of other RNs go, so they could decide that they do not need me anymore and not hold my job after my FMLA runs out. At this point, I really do not know what is going to happen with my job. While I would like to come back part time, I do not know if they think it will be worth it enough to give me personal leave. I know that they need all the help they can get. They are consistently understaffed, and they have positions open. It seems to me like it would be in their best interest to give me personal leave for the postpartum period, and take me back part time. (Which will likely end up being about 40 hours a week, anyway.) They are not paying me during the leave time, so I do not think it is financial, but you never know. I have no clue how management thinks.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

That was all I needed!

This past weekend, I came down with a cold. Let me tell you, having a cold while pregnant is not very fun. The only cold medicines allowed are ones which do not work very well. Sud.afed and ben.adryl will only do so much. It is only a head cold, but it is enough to drive me crazy. Between the baby and my clogged sinuses, breathing is a real issue. And I drove poor Hubby out of our bed because I snore so loudly that I keep him awake, otherwise.

I have been doing nasal saline irrigation. We actually own a neti pot now, and I very familiar with it. I think it is becoming my friend. It does provide some temporary relief. I have been using it several times a day.

At least the house is clean, though. The cleaning people came on Sunday and thoroughly cleaned our house. It has not been this clean since we moved in! I think it is great. Hubby was unsure about the entire thing, as they straightened all his stuff in his man cave. He said he felt like he had to throw stuff around the room just to feel comfortable. I love having a clean house. The house cleaner will be back this Sunday to clean again. Hooray for housecleaning help!

I decided to take a break from baby stuff this week to start on Christmas stuff. The presents I ordered last week are starting to arrive, and I think I want to start wrapping them so that I do not have to do it all at once. I also hope to finally get a Christmas tree up by this weekend. Because I felt so bad last weekend, we did no Christmas stuff. All I could do was lay around and be sick.

At the moment, it feels like this stupid cold will be here forever. I know that is not true, but it is making my life fairly miserable. I hope that it goes away soon!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nursery pics, finally!

I know, it took me long enough to get these up. I hope it brightens your Friday!


My "One fish, two fish" wall. The decals are off of e.bay. The lettering is freehand. Just some chalk and black paint. Clouds are also freehand. I used paper to get the spacing where I wanted, traced around them with chalk, and then sponged white paint inside the lines. Very easy.


My Horton wall! My sister and her boyfriend did the Horton. I love the fact that he is pink. He looks great on the wall. We also have a glider rocker on the way which will end up right under Horton.


Our crib. It is a stationary crib. It went up really easily, and is very sturdy. Hubby was most impressed with it. I love the cherry finish. The One Fish, Two fish quilt and pillow are off of ebay. I actually have a bumper which matches the quilt, but the latest recommendations to avoid SIDS are the less soft stuff in the crib, the better. So I kept it simple.


A pic of our crib and changing table. To give you an idea how small this room is, I took this pic from the door of the room. The crib has to be off the center of the window in order to get the closet door open. Hubby liked the proximity of the crib to the changing table, too. I found an elephant humidifier. I was so excited! it is so cute!


I did not post any pics of the dresser, but it is cherry finish, like the rest of the furniture. The dresser has a pile of stuff on top which still needs to be put away, so it is not as pretty as the other pics.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

OB appointment, and other stuff

My OB appointment went well. Things still seem to be on track. I had my group B strep swab and my first cervical exam. I had no idea how sensitive I was! I almost jumped off the table! My cervix is soft, and starting to efface, though I still have a way to go. (I am only 35 weeks, so there is time.) The OB felt at the base of my uterus, and she thinks the baby is head down. I hope so, too. I really want to avoid a c-section, if possible. My appointments are weekly from here on out, with a cervical check at each appointment. Hopefully things will continue to go well.

We finally got a person to come in and clean for us! I am sooooo excited! I have missed a housecleaning service, and I am really looking forward to having one. I think it will be essential for me, after the baby gets here. Our first cleaning is Sunday! Really looking forward to a clean house!

I finally did some Christmas shopping. Mostly for my family. I have been putting it off, and really did not feel like going out to do much. Most of my shopping lately has been for baby stuff, given that we will have a baby arriving in about a month. I did my Christmas shopping online this year. (Thank you e.baY!) So I should be getting all my gifts in the mail soon. I hope that they will arrive by the end of next week, so that I can wrap and mail soon after. I think if push comes to shove, I can meet my parents in Lexington and give them the gifts to take up to the Christmas celebrations. We will keep fingers crossed and see what happens.

The nursery is coming together. I know I need to upload some pics. Soon, I promise. I am in the middle of a nesting burst, so I have been organizing, purging, and pitching. I will probably run out of steam soon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The insomnia post....

Got up to pee at 3:30, and could not get back to sleep. I do not know if I was just too uncomfortable or too worried about stuff. Probably a bit of both. So instead of tossing and turning in bed, I got up and I am going to try to get it all out there.

Insurance. I know some of you will likely tell me try not to worry about this. I may be worrying unnecessarily. I think I need to call HR and ask a few questions. Here is the deal, just in case you forgot. My FMLA ends in January, which means that my benfits subsidized by my employer will end in January. As most of us know, COBRA rates are insane. Most of us are unable to afford them. I would like to try to manipulate the benefits I have with COBRA, to try to make it more affordable. And then pick up the full benefits when I start working again. I do not know if this is even possible. Also, I am unsure what happens to my position when FMLA runs out. Will I have to apply for my position again, or will they hold it for me until after my leave? Will they even let me come back as regular part time? Is this up to the manager of my department? Again, I think I need to call HR and ask a few questions. I may even need to contact my manager.

Child care. My parents are working on moving down here, but it will likely be about the time I go back to work before they finally move. My mother has to have a series of eye surgeries, and the last one will not be able to be done until January. She may not be free until right around the time of my due date. Which could work out well, depending on when baby comes. I also do not know where they are going to land. I suspect it will be somewhere convenient for child pick up and drop off, but you never know. They are debating renting somewhere close to us for the short term, which would be really nice. My mother really wants to help me recover. I would love to have her help, and I suspect that I may need her help!

Just a few very early morning musings. I think it does feel better to have it out there. And I have a record of the questions I want to ask. I think that is helpful!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Baby Stuff.

I finally started putting the nursery together! Hooray! Baby clothes and linens are making their way through the laundry. Our laundry process is fairly slow, so it can take about a week to get through it all. I finally painted my clouds on the nursery walls, and even put my One Fish, Two Fish wall decals up on the wall. I still need to hang Horton and finish one more cloud, but Hubby will not let me play with any of the big ladders, so he is going to have to finish those two things.

Hubby has an interesting reaction to the nursery coming together. The nursery now looks more like a nursery, and not just a room with baby furniture in it. I think it is all becoming more real to him. We are about a month away from full term, and that fact is just starting to sink in for him. We really are going to have a baby in the house in a little over a month. He is happy and freaked out all at the same time. I cannot say that I am doing much better, and I am the one carrying the baby!

I bought some flannel for baby blankets. I wanted blankets big enough to swaddle in. Receiving blankets are too small to swaddle anything in, and I will likely use them as burp cloths or rags of some sort. I just do not understand the purpose of the receiving blanket. The flannel I got for the blankets should make a blanket that is about 45"x 45". Way bigger than the 30"x30" receiving blanket. The blankets are easy to make and should turn out very cute! And they will be great for swaddling our little one!

I am working on hiring a cleaning service to come in and help. I really missed having a cleaning service this past year, and I know that it will be wonderful having someone come in and clean while the baby is new. I may even keep them around. After all, I am thinking of going back to work at some point. It will be one less thing to worry about.

My next OB appointment is Wednesday. I think it is just a check to see how I am doing. After Wednesday, I am every week until the baby is born. Somewhere in there, I think I get another ultrasound, too. Mainly to check baby's position and growth. Hopefully he will move into the right position at the right time. Keeping fingers crossed that will happen. I also need to get together with my doula again. I need to email her and see when she wants to meet.

Oh yeah, and there is Christmas decorating to do, too. Maybe next weekend. This weekend, I want to get the nursery done!

Monday, November 30, 2009

It is very strange not to have anywhere I need to be every day. Every now and again I have doctor's appointments, or errands to run. (BTW - I finally broke down and called a day care center. I have an appointment on Thursday for a tour and to get on their waiting list.) It is strange not to have any place to be every day, but it does feel good.

I get worn out very easily, which frustrates the crap out of me. I ran errands this morning. Nothing very exciting, just a few little errands which needed to be done, and then I did the grocery shopping. It did not take me more than two hours, and I was exhausted by the time I was done. All I could do was collapse on the couch. I had no more energy for anything else. I was done for the day. It made me very glad I was not working. I would have dropped before lunch time.

We did get an exciting piece of news from FIL. He wants to pay off our mortgage. (Or as much of it as he can.) This opens up a lot of things for us. Wade is fine with me not working for a while after the baby gets here, but I am worried about insurance. I really would like to have insurance for our child. We make too much to qualify for FAMIS (the Virginia children's health insurance) or any other public options. And then there is me. Because my FMLA runs out in January, my benefits will run out in January. I could possibly get CORBA just for me, but that would leave our child uninsured. I am not that comfortable with that.

I have also been thinking about work.
I love being an OR nurse. I enjoy working with my co-workers. It is just management which frustrates the crap out of me. Not to mention the new electronic documentation program. (Just not really sure about that damn EMR.) I could go back to my OR job part time and still get benefits. Which could work. I could work three days a week, and I would be more likely to work less than 40 hours. I would have more time away from work and with the new baby.

I will likely still look at the open positions, and see if anything comes up. It may work out all right if I could work within my employer's hospital system. The trick is that I really want to work part time, not full time.

It is really difficult for me to trust that things will work out. I hate not knowing what will happen,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holidays are here again.

This year is different for me. Expecting a child causes you to have a very different outlook on life. Last year, my holidays were filled with work and travel to family. Last year, the holidays hurt. Thanksgiving with my family was not bad, because no one else in my family have children. But Hubby's family was all about the chlidren at Christmas. How cute the babies were, and what they were doing for the children that year. (They stopped asking when we were having ours a while ago.)

Last year, Hubby and I had given up hope that we would ever have children of our own. It just seemed too impossible. After six failed IUIs, and IVF seemingly out of our reach, we figured that there was not much hope for us to have children of our own.

And then...

FIL said he would be willing to pay for IVF. That completely changed our entire outlook on things. I wish I could do something to express our appreciation. But I do not know where to start. He gave us a chance, and he gave us this child because of his generosity.

So my outlook on the holidays this year are a little different than last year. I cannot travel, as I am at the end of my third trimester. I cannot work, as my heart is already working extra hard carrying this child. (No one wants to see me have a heart attack on the job!) So I am left free to prepare for the baby's arrival and enjoy the holidays. I do not think I have ever been able to just stop and enjoy. I have always had work or school to compete for my attention. It is really nice not to have to work at the end of my pregnancy. I cannot stand for very long, my hands hurt and my back and hips hurt. Not very fun if you are in a physical job and stressful as I was.

I want to start going to church again. The first Sunday in advent is this Sunday. I have sort of missed the rituals of the Christmas season. It may be comforting for me. After all, Advent is a time of preparation. Very similar to what I am experiencing now. It would also do me good to get out and connect with people. I have isolated myself recently, and that is not good for me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Whew! Glad that is over!

I survived the weekend. I am glad I went to the burial. I think it was helpful for my family seeing that there will be another generation. I have never been to Arlington Cemetery for a funeral, and it was quite fascinating. The military at Arlington have it down pat. We got the entire procession, band, caisson, and riderless horse. We even got a bagpiper after the burial service. And in case you are wondering, I did not walk behind the caisson. Hubby drove me out to the burial site. The one thing I wish I could have done was walk behind the caisson, but it was not possible in my delicate condition.

Now that the last travel weekend is behind me, I feel like I can relax a bit. I have no more travel planned in the near future. Except to the hospital for delivery. I noticed today that my shoulders are more relaxed. I even went on a small shopping spree at Target. I bought some baby things, maternity pants for me, and a couple of little things to go in my hospital bag. (Which I actually need to start packing. I may need it!)

The baby furniture is is put together and in the room. I have not actually made up the crib yet because I want to get a crib mattress pad (or two or three). Anyone have any thoughts on this? I may just get one at Target or somewhere and hope it works. We also need to wash all the baby things we have. Not that we have a whole lot, but it still needs to be washed.

I have also not done anything with the walls in the nursery. I figure one thing at a time. It should only take me a day or two to do what I want to do. I hope.

I have printed off lists for hospital bags, and baby essentials. Just so we can hopefully have everything we need for baby and hospital stay. Need to talk to hubby about some of this, and see what he wants to order online, and what we can get at the store. It may just come together, but it will take some doing!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Frozen

I feel like it is difficult for me to do anything. Everything is changing in my life right now and it really freaks me out. I am starting to feel better, when insomnia does not strike. Last night I woke up at quarter to four to pee, and never really did get back to sleep. I kept falling asleep all day. I am starting to wade through paperwork I discovered while clearing out things. At least something is getting done!

Being off of work can feel very isolating after a while. It is difficult for me to put myself out there right now. I tire very easily, I am due in a few months, when things will change a lot. I really ought to be working on nursery stuff, but I have house chores and errands which get in the way and wear me out. I also have one more family commitment before I am through traveling. I decided to put off applying for jobs because I cannot start until March, and I want to see how I feel after the baby is born. There are things I can do now that I am off during the day, such as La.Leche League meetings. I could also make more of an effort to go to church. But it is difficult when Sundays are the only day I have with Hubby. I really just want to spend that time with just the two of us.

Another thing affecting me is that Hubby and I are not sleeping together right now. (In both senses, I am afraid.) We do get together on the weekend, but I think both of us miss the nightly contact with each other. Hubby cannot get used to sleeping on the opposite side of the bed, and he really needs his sleep to function during the day. I do not know what he will do once the baby comes, but I guess at least he will be back on his own side. Both of us feel distant from each other right now, and it hard on us. Not sure how well either of us are sleeping. Hubby said that he would try sleeping with me tonight, just to see what happens.

My last trip during the pregnancy is up to northern Virginia to bury my grandfather at Arlington Cemetery. Hubby is driving us up there, and we are boarding the dogs. The burial is Friday. I am sure that is affecting me somehow, but it is hard to tell because of everything else I am feeling right now. My family is really excited to see me, despite the sad circumstances. I suspect the pregnancy offers them a distraction from grief. Going up there makes me tired because it always seems like everyone has something they want to do with me. My aunt wants to take me shopping for a glider, and then out to eat the day after the funeral. I will try to do it, but I told her I wanted to see how I feel on Saturday. I think that is fairly reasonable. It sounds like it will be a stressful weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Doulas, scans, and stuff, oh my!

I tend to think of things in chonological order. So I guess that is how this post will be structured. I think I have a lot to cover.

Doula:
Hubby and I both really liked her. She knew what she was talking about, and we both got a lot of information. She left some reading material I have only started to work through. She put me on to a website called spinningbabies.com, which I thought was just fascinating. It gave all sorts of things you can do to try to get your baby head down. One thing the doula also suggested was spending time on my hands and knees. I have done that some this week, and it does seem to make me feel better. I have been having back pain, and just flipping over seems to help take some of the pressure off my back. I usually feel a little better after spending a few minutes flipped over. She also wanted me to think a little harder about epidurals. I am sort of hoping the tachycardia goes away before labor, because if not, I may end up with an induction. Just not sure what will happen at this point.

OB appointment/ultrasound:
Hubby really enjoyed the ultrasound. I knew that he would. This is the first one at this office he has been able to make. I was realy glad he was able to be there. Baby still looks good, he is delveloping normally, and as of right now, he is in the 51st percentile for weight. I also seem to be doing fine, with the exception of the tachycardia. The tachycardia does seem mostly under control with the beta blocker, as long as I do not do too much activity. Which drives me crazy. Oh well, at least I am resting. Oh yeah, I also got my flu shots while I was there. I got both the yearly, and the H1N1. Apparently, they just got the H1N1 vaccines in that morning. I think I am covered now. Not that I go anywhere much.

Car:
There were several things wrong with it, all of which got fixed while it was in the shop. And I got my oil changed. I got out of there for under $800, so it could have been worse. Now Hubby's car has to go in the shop. His car really needs work, too. Hopefully he will get it in soon!

Hair appointment:
I finally got the chance to have my hair cut and colored! It looks so much better! I did have a tachycardic episode while I was there, but with water, and the heat turned down, I got over it. My hairdresser was very understanding. I think she is fantastic! And she makes me look good!

I think that is about all there is at the moment. I spent the afternoon on the couch. I was really tired. I do seem to do better if I get a good night's sleep. Apparently, that was not in the cards last night. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stuff....

Tonight and tomorrow a lot of things seem to be happening. I get to meet with my doula tonight. I am very excited about that. Tomorrow I have another ultrasound, and Hubby actually gets to go with me. I also take my car in to be fixed tomorrow. It has been stalling out at odd moments. I am hoping that all it needs is a tuneup or something else sort of minor. Hubby wants to take me out to dinner tomorrow, too. I think if I rest most of the afternoon I will be fine to go out to eat. We will see.

Will try to post more tomorrow or Thursday. Most likely Thursday.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Reality.

It was great visiting my parents. And the baby shower was really nice. I thought it was wonderful that they wanted to celebrate the baby, despite the fact that few of them have actually met me. My sister made me a Horton, which I will try to post pics of when the nursery is more together. He is fantastic! I also got some baby clothes, which made me realize that we are actually going to have to clothe the boy. Maybe I should work on that...

Right before I left, my mother wanted some belly shots. Unfortunately, she does not see very well, so many of the shots did not turn out really well. I sort of look like I am standing in front of a firing line. Not very pretty. Ah well. The things we do for our mothers.

I have my doubts that my parents will actually be moving down to Roanoke. They have a very nice life in Charlottesville, and they really seem to enjoy living there. The baby may trump a lot, though. I suspect if they do decide to move to Roanoke, it will likely be temporary. They may try to rent their house in Crozet for a couple of years, and move back after a while. Even if this happens, their move will not be exactly when the baby gets here. Fortunately, my mother is willing to come down and help us with the baby for a few weeks after the baby gets here. That should make life easier for a while.

What this all means is that I probably ought to start looking at child care arrangements for baby. Unfortunately, I have no clue as to what I will be doing after baby gets here, as I do not know if I want to return to my current job. (I am thinking I do not want to return.) I do not know if a new job will be full time or part time, and that could make a difference in child care arrangements. I guess I have some time, but I really do not like uncertainty. Drives me crazy.

My mother also mentioned that she wanted to do something about my keloids after the baby is born. I am a little frustrated with this. I have some fairly large keloids on my chest which I have had for years. At some point I decided that there was not a lot I could do about them, and I would just live with them. Anything I could do for them will not be covered by insurance, and may not do a lot of good anyway, because they are likely to grow back no matter what I do. I stopped seeing them and being bothered by them quite a while ago. Unfortunately, my mother and my grandmother are really bothered by them. Why, I do not know. As long as they are paying for the procedures and attempts at removal, I am fine. But it sort of annoys me that they are so bothered by what amounts to an overgrowth of scar tissue. Because that is all the keloids are. I guess I should not look a gift horse in the mouth, though.

I am beginning to feel like a small parade float. It is really obvious I am pregnant now. I have an obvious belly, and I waddle. Sometimes this is sort of neat. Other times, I just want to feel normal again. Someday...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Letting somone else do it.

Poor Hubby. I apparently have been rather needy lately, and he could use a break. Fortunately, I have an excuse to get out of town this weekend. Not too far. My mother's prayer group really wanted to hold a baby shower for me. They all prayed for me throughout my IVF cycle, and now they want to celebrate the fact that there is a baby on the way.

I think this is going to be my last solo trip before the baby is born. Charlottesville is only two hours away from me, so it should not be too bad a drive. I can take things slow the entire time, and then I can let my parents fuss over me. Sounds like a good deal to me. And Hubby gets a break from pregnant woman whining and neediness. Poor thing. And I get a break from the dogs. I may leave after lunch. I seem to be better in the afternoons lately.

I hope that Hubby will start putting the baby furniture together this weekend. Hubby's dad wanted to help with that, too. I do not think he has an excuse to avoid it this weekend!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Results!

Echo went fine this morning. My heart still looks good. Heart rate was about 108 at the beginning of the procedure. So, I am still tachycardic, but not nearly as bad as it was! The cardiologist said that the OB should be able to follow me from here, and there is no reason to follow up with him.

OB appointment went fine, too. I got a note keeping me out of work until the baby is born! Hooray! I do not have to increase beta blockers, and I can relax during my third trimester. That makes me feel better. I do not have to worry about going back to a job which was making me miserable while I am feeling the misery of third trimester! The best part is short term disability will pay until six weeks postpartum. Nice to know that is there.

My work has the worst FMLA policy, though. Because I am starting FMLA so early, it is going to run out the middle of January. My benefits will go through the end of the month, though. After January, I will not have benefits until I start working again. Hopefully I will start working again in March (at a different job, hopefully!). At least we have time to plan for the lapse in coverage. I hope something works out.

Now I get to look for work while I am off...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another doctor appointment tomorrow.

Actually, two appointments. I have my repeat echo first thing in the morning, than I have an appointment with my OB later that morning.

I hope the echo comes back fine. I suspect it will, but you never know until it done.

I think I am more worried about the OB appointment. The beta blocker did help my heart rate some. It now only goes to 112-115 with activity, rather than the 12o-140 it was before. Definitely an improvement. I am a little worried she might increase it. I would rather stay at the lowest dose and stay off work. As long as I do not move too fast, and can sit or lie down when I have to, I am fine. I think I am at the point where I would rather be off work than have to return to work. Things at work were bad before I left, and I suspect they have only gotten worse with the implementation of the computer documentation system.

Hubby is worried that I will get bored after a while if I sit at home. He may be right, but I can look for jobs, go to La Leche League meetings, clean house at my own pace, and so stuff to decorate the nursery. (Just as soon as Hubby puts the furniture together.) There is also all the holiday stuff to do. There is Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, and lots of stuff to do for those holidays! I may not be all that idle!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cardiologist visit.

Well, today was my cardiologist appointment. The lowest my heart was in his office was 97, when I was lying down for the 12 lead EKG. It was about 108 when I was sitting up. The 12 lead EKG looked fine. A normal heart beat, just fast. The doctor felt like the heart rate was a faster than he would like. He decided to re-check my bloodwork, just to make sure that I am not anemic. He also wants to re-do the echocardiogram, just to be sure that there is no disease process going on. He also wanted to start me on a beta blocker to try to slow the heart rate. He checked with my OB before prescribing the medication just to make sure that it was all right. I walked out of the office with a presciption for metoprolol.

I took one dose, and I can actually walk around the house without shortness of breath and my heart racing. I tried taking my pulse, just to see what was going on, and my heart seemed confused. (I take my pulse with the doppler on my wrist, BTW. A little weird, but it works.) It ranged from 90s to 105. Not too bad, and definitely better than what it was! I think I am able to feel the heart rate going up and down. Sometimes I am fine, other times, I can feel my heart rate increasing and I get slightly short of breath. I was glad that I was able to clean our bathrooms and clean the kitchen without extreme shortness of breath. But I have only had one dose. We will see how I fare over time. Hopefully my heart rate will settle soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hoping..

Tonight is the evening before my cardiologist appointment. I would like one of two things to happen. I would like some reason for the tachycardia. Or medication to control it. Unfortunately, I do not see an obvious answer, and many of the cardiac meds are not all that safe to take during pregnancy. This may be a weird third trimester thing. So, it may turn out that he does not put me on any medication, and I may end up off work until after my maternity leave. I would actually be all right (mostly) with that. I am not all that excited to go back to work. The environment sort of sucked and they implemented an online documentation system I would have to learn how to use. I was sort of planning on leaving that job anyway.

The only issues I have are really this month. I would like to travel to Charlottesville this weekend for a baby shower, and I would also like to travel to Arlington to see my grandfather buried. After those two events I am fine staying home and not doing much.

I guess all I can do is wait and see until tomorrow.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I think I had enough!

I finally broke down and called the OB. A resting HR of around 100 is not good. Not to mention the horrible shortness of breath and the dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. I am pretty damn miserable because I cannot really do anything without getting tired. Some of this is pregnancy-related, but I should be able to do things like let my dogs out without shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Just saying. At the moment, the only thing I can do is rest. I think I am getting a little tired of resting.

My OB saw me this morning. Heart rate was 112 in the office. Blood pressure was normal, fetal heart rate was fine, uterus measured normal. Everything is fine except for my heart rate, which is giving me fits. It is extremely frustrating. The good news is that the OB managed to get my cardiologist appointment moved up to Monday. Until then, I just have to live with it. Monday is much better than the 17th! Maybe the cardiologist will have some answers for me. Or at least a plan of action.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Limbo

I think the worst part about this situation right now is that I am in limbo. Just told to "take it easy." I feel like the next step will be either medication or bedrest. (Or both.) I doubt they will do much more than that. Bedrest would totally bum me out. I would miss my grandfather's funeral. I would miss the shower my mother's prayer group wants to throw for me. I could not travel for either of Thanksgiving or Christmas. (Well not traveling for the holidays does not upset me too much.)

It would also be nice to know if they will even let me go back to work. Or if they will have me out of work until I give birth.

I am still waiting for the cardiologist appointment. Until then, I am just spending a lot of time on the couch. I guess there is not much else I can do. Next OB appointment is Wednesday.

Just waiting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I think I have been ignoring certain things. I took my pulse this morning after going back to bed for a while, and it was just over 100. I have been ignoring the fact that I get out of breath going up and down the stairs to let the dogs out. I feel tired all the time. And then there is the random nausea. The frustrating thing is that these symptoms are also common with pregnancy. It is hard to tell which are pregnancy symptoms and which are the result of tachycardia. I am just trying to be gentle with myself. I think that is all I can do.

Yesterday I came to the realization that I do not have a lot of control over what is happening to me. All I can do is rest, and even then, my heart still beats fast. Physiologically, I understand what is likely happening. My blood volume is increased due to the pregnancy, which causes my heart to work harder. In order for my heart to pump the increased volume, it tries to pump faster in an effort to be more efficient. Knowing what is likely happening does not make it any easier to deal with. I still feel like my body betrayed me. Again. (As if dealing with IF wasn't bad enough!) I want to be able to walk dogs and work and keep up with life. But I get tired just going downstairs to let the dogs out. I get out of breath when I walk my dogs. I just want to cry because it feels like I should still be able to do these things. I am pregnant, I do not want to be sick on top of that!

I know that heart problems are serious problems and I should take them seriously. I hate the fact that Hubby is scared for me. I hate the fact that I think I am now a high risk pregnancy. (Or maybe medium risk at least. Fairly sure I am not low risk anymore.) I suspect that I will be out of work for a while because of my heart problems. Maybe even the rest of the pregnancy. I guess it is better to have me at home and taking it easy than risk work and another misadventure at the hospital.

I honestly thought it would be my blood sugar causing problems for me, not my heart.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Heart sick?

I never thought I would be in this situation. After my SVT incident, I rested, I gave up most caffeine. (Well, I still have the occasional chocolate fix. I need at least one vice!) I also rested. All appropriate things to do. I thought I would be fine.

And then I went to my OB appointment today. My heart rate is still high. BP is fine, I am not having contractions, and baby's heart rate is strong. When Dr Sweetness measured my heart rate, she actually put her stethoscope and listened to my heart as she counted. I am fairly sure it is accurate. I was floored. She did not feel comfortable sending me back to work with my heart rate that high. All I had done was move from a chair to the exam table. So she is sending me to cardiologist and keeping me out of work.

Apparently I need to keep resting and generally taking it easy.

Dr Google is not very forthcoming on tachycardia during pregnancy. Apparently it can happen during pregnancy because of fluid volume shifts which make the heart work harder. I guess we will see what the cardiologist says. I saw the EKG, and it looks like it is a normal heart rhythm, but the rate is just fast. Not as fast as the SVT I was in last week, but in the 100s. Still not good for the heart, though. I think Dr Sweetness is afraid I will have another SVT incident. I cannot say I blame her. I do not know what to expect with the cardiologist.

This whole situation has both Hubby and I really freaked out. Hubby is treating me with kid gloves because he is scared. I am too afraid to do much of anything because it just wears me out and makes me feel terrible. I am not sure what can be attributed to pregnancy, and what can be attributed to the heart problems.

Everything seems really unsure right now. I was so hopeful that things would be good the rest of the pregnancy. I guess the other shoe has finally dropped.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Feeling more human.

Definitely feeling better today. Usually it takes me about 3 days to recover from something. And it has been about 3 days. I think I am almost ready to return to the land of the living. The good thing about all of this is that I now have a doctor's note for restricted hours. I cannot work more than an 8 hour shift, and no more than 40 hours a week. Because it is in a doctor's note, my job has to comply. I may make it even easier for them and switch to regular part time. My manager called today, and I started to discuss some of this with her. I think we are going to talk more about this on Monday when I return to work. I at least let her know what the doctor's note said. I hope she appreciates the heads up!

Looking forward to a real weekend this weekend. I have both Saturday and Sunday off. I actually get to spend some time with the hubby! Hooray! Oh yeah, and the nursery gets painted this weekend! That is certainly exciting. Hubby may even start putting together nursery furniture after the painting is done. And by the way, I did get a zero VOC paint! Lowe.s will color match val.spar colors to their oly.mpic paints! So I was able to get the Am.erican Her.itage color I wanted. Very cool!

I chose a doula. After speaking with a couple of them, and then talking about it with my mother, I decided to go with my gut. I am really excited about working with her. I think we are setting up our first meeting for sometime next week. This doula also got a recommendation from a midwife, so I feel pretty confident in choosing her.

I suspect our weekend will involve fire at some point. Hubby has a fireplace in his basement, and he recently discovered that the flu and chimney work! We had a lovely couple of hours last weekend sitting in front of the fire. I decided to step things up a bit this weekend, and I got stuff to make s.mores! What is a fire without s'mores!

Also I get to meet up with a college friend this weekend, and she is also pregnant. She is due a couple of months after I am. I am pretty excited to reconnect with her. I think we are using the same doula, too. Anyway, it should be a nice time.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Withdrawals.

Just so you know, I am not a huge caffiene drinker. I have one cup in the morning (down from 2 cups in the morning), and that is about it. The rest of the day I have water or diet ginger ale. Apparently I really needed that small amount of caffiene to wake my body up in the morning.

When I was being discharged from the hospital after my misadventure, the OB told me to cut out my one cup of coffee. I understand why. That could have been part of what triggered the incident. Probably best not to aggravate things. I get it. But damn, it is difficult giving up that morning cup of coffee. Decaf tea is not the same, though it does go down a whole lot easier. Fortunately, my co-workers do not have to put up with me during this time. It is not a pretty sight. I spend most of my time feeling like a slug and lying on the couch.

The incident did cause me to think about some things, and there are some things I may change. I have been throwing around the idea of going part time the next couple of months. Likely I will still work close to 40 hours anyway, but I will not have to use all my PTO to make up the difference. I really do not have a whole lot of PTO after I took that much needed vacation. (Unfortunately that vacation was cancelled out by the fact that my schedule was hellish after I got back. I really do not want to go back after maternity leave.) I may try to call HR today and talk to them about going part time. I think we can afford it. We may have to play with who pays which bills, but that is fairly do-able, I think. We were going to have to do that, anyway.

I am also thinking about getting a doula. Surprisingly, there are two in my area, and they do hospital births, and medicated births. I think it could be worth it, as I want as few interventions as possible, though I have a hunch I may end up with an epidural anyway. Just not that into pain, and I like most of the anesthesia providers at my hospital. (It seems most of them like me, as several came to check on me during the incident.) I am 35 and having my first child. I may not be high risk, but I think I am not exactly low risk, either. I want all the medical stuff around me. I just want to do most of stage I labor at home. I think that is what may help prevent interventions later on. Hopefully. The doula I am thinking of using also does breastfeeding supprt, which could be good as I really want to breastfeed. Still at the thinking stage, though. Nothing is definite right now.

Probably another slow day for me today. Not a bad thing, really.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apparently I am working myself into the ground.

I spent the day in the hospital listening to my baby. Not a bad way to spend the day, but I would rather not have gotten there the way I did.

I went into work, and before I even left the dressing room after changing out, I started feeling bad. And I mean really bad. Pale, weak, sweaty, with heart palpitations. I felt like my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. I thought it would pass if I rested, but a co-worker caught me in the break room and told me I looked awful. She also said I really needed to be put on a monitor, she was really worried about me. Once she got me on a stretcher and the monitors on me, she went to find an anesthesia provider. There are some good places to get sick, and the OR is one of them. I had 2 anesthesiologists, 3 CRNAs, and several nurses working on me all at the same time. And then there were the co-workers who had to come in and give me a hard time. Oh yeah, and because they knew I was pregnant, they called down a labor and delivery nurse to monitor the baby. I was well taken care of.

The following is likely going to sound very clinical, but I am just trying to process everything. It actually is pretty classic textbook treatment for SVT. My anesthesia providers know what they are doing!

Once they got me on the monitors, they saw my heart rate was over 200. It was unresponsive to coughing, vagaling, or carotid massage. The cardiologist got there, and saw what was happening and said that I should get a dose of adenosine, but he did not want to do anything without an OB present, just to make sure that was all right. The OB who initially showed up was a high risk OB. I thought she was great. No panic, and she knew what she wanted to do. She agreed with the adenosine, and that is what I got. The CRNAs and MDs knew that was likely to happen, so they planned for that circumstance. They already had the IV in the right place, and the crash cart pulled around, so the medication was readily available. The adenosine made me feel awful right after the anesthesiologist gave it, but one dose did the trick, and put me back into sinus tach. I started feeling better soon after that. No problems with baby as they gave it.

They monitored me in the pre-op area for about an hour and then transferred me to the L and D observation area. My OB showed up not long after the cardioversion. She agreed that I needed to be admitted at least for the day, just to be sure that everything was all right. Our boy had a great heart rate, and the nurse had to chase after him all day just to keep him on the monitor. My vitals were also good all day. No increase in BP, and labs all looked fine, as well. I had no contractions at all, so he is not ready to meet us yet. Thank goodness! I do not think he is done cooking.

I liked the L and D nurse who cared for me all day. She was really great. I found it fascinating that she mentioned that her favorite deliveries are for IVF babies. It amazed me that she said that. Apparently they do not get a lot of married couples on their unit. She said she liked delivering IVF babies because everyone is happy about the birth, and everyone wants the baby. I just thought that was really interesting. Hopefully I will see her again.

The high risk OB came and talked to me before I was discharged. Apparently I am off all caffeine now. I have to find a substitute for my one morning cup of coffee. I think I may end up switching to decaf tea. Likely I will have a headache the next couple of mornings from lack of caffeine. The sacrifices I make for the little guy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A work rant. Feel free to skip if you want...

Just have to get this off my chest. I think I am starting to see red because I apparently cannot catch a break!

For three weekends in a row, I have had to work at some point over the weekend. Two weekends ago it was 3-11 Friday and Saturday. Last weekend it was training to use the new computer documentation system. This weekend it was call during the day on Sunday. The Sunday call person always seems to get called in, and this Sunday was no exception. I cannot plan anything. I cannot do much of anything on the weekends because I have a work commitment, on top of the 40 hours I already work during the week. I understand the need for OT and call, but does all of my OT and call have to happen on the weekend? Seriously? When do I get to have a life.

Still waiting to hear from that other job opportunity. One of my co-workers has been talking me up to the person in charge of hiring, so I suspect they are waiting with bated breath for my application to come through all the HR stuff. I am tempted to email my resume to her, anyway. My co-worker gave me the director of nursing email. Maybe I will do that tonight and then see what happens this week.

Really wanting this other opportunity to work out because I do not think I can go back to my current place of employment! Can you blame me?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

An early morning blog post.

It seems I cannot sleep in very well, and sleeping in is almost impossible. I think part of this is from the carpal tunnel symptoms I have. I really want to change positions and sleep on my right side, but the only way both hands are comfortable is on my left side. When I lay on my right side, my right hand gets all numb and tingly. Maybe I should invest in a sleep brace for my right hand, too. The sleep brace seems to work fine on my left hand. Sigh. I have a sneaking suspicion that my sleep issues have only just begun.

I have to say it is very strange being one of the many bellies in the OB's waiting room. For so long, I never thought I would have a belly of my own, and the bellies made me sort of crazy. I think we have all been there. Now I have a belly of my own, and I find it is pretty neat. It is nice to know that my body is capable of doing something it was meant to do.

Over the past week or two, I suddenly realized that the baby actually has to come out somehow. I started researching labor and childbirth. I actually found a book written by an obstetric anesthesiologist. It outlines all methods of pain control and relief, from Bradley and Lamaze to epidurals and c-sections. I love it! One of the things I did not like about many of the natural birth books was that they do not give you all the options for pain control during labor. Most of the natural books insist that natural is the only way to go, and that sort of turns me off. I like to know what all of my options are. Bottom line is, I want a safe and healthy delivery for baby and mom. Sometimes that can invovle an epidural and pitocin. Still working out the birth plan, though I have my doubts as to how useful it will be. I think I am going to be pretty flexible and hopefully I will be able to listen to my doctors and nurses when the time comes.

I may post more later. I have hunch it is going to be a slow and lazy day for me. This is the first Saturday in a about a month that I have not had work commitments. Hooray!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Making room,

I have to say hooray for Hubby! He did a lot today! He moved both dressers out of the future nursery, and even moved his clothes out of the closet. That is not all, though. He also contacted the painter, and hopefully this means that we will get the room painted soon!

The dogs have very different reactions. Oscar is not really bothered. He is not upset very easily. Gertrude is a little on edge. But she is our neurotic dog. She has to make sure she still gets all her stuff at the regular time. She is not quite sure what the changes will mean to her. I am trying to give her as much love and attention as I can. Also, I am trying to make sure that her routine is not too disrupted. That hopefully will work for her.

My doctors' appointments all went well today. The endo is happy with how I am doing, and everything seems to be normal at the OB's office. BP is good, I have not gained too much weight, and my uterus is the appropriate size. When I mentioned the carpal tunnel symptoms, both docs said that there is not a lot I can do. Push fluid, reduce salt intake. I did use braces on my wrists last night, and that seemed to help. Will definitely continue using them at least at night. Hubby noticed I tossed and turned a lot less.

Baby has been very active today. Not sure why. It is still bizarre feeling him push out from inside. He is definitely making his presence known.

So far, so good....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Facing it.

The arrival of all the baby furniture has forced us to realize that there will be a baby at the end of all of this. With all the boxes full of furniture sitting in our living room, the baby becomes less of an idea and more of a reality. We need to make space for this little guy. In three months our lives will change as we welcome our little guy into our lives. Kind of scary. I think both of us have been putting off dealing with it. I do not think we can put it off much longer. In about three months, he will be here.

There has been some good to come out of the arrival of all the baby stuff. Hubby started moving stuff out of the designated nursery room. I think all of this has made him realize that we need to prepare for the little guy's arrival. Hopefully soon we can get the room painted. We may end up painting it ourselves. Well, Hubby may end up painting by himself unless he can find a painter to paint it for him. A friend has offered to come over and paint it. We may take her up on the offer.

I also started reading about baby care, breastfeeding, and baby's first year. I spent so many years hiding from baby stuff that I have no clue about any of it. I am slowly making my way through all the books I ordered. Slowly but surely. Hopefully it will help. I am also hoping that my mother will help. She is great with babies, and she breastfed me when I was a child. I hope that she will be a lot of help when I bring baby home. I think I am starting to get nervous.

I think I also have an odd pregnancy symptom. No one warned me about the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome developing during pregnancy. (The things you can learn from Dr Google!) I have numbness and tingling in my wrists. Way worse in the morning, but the left wrist has numbness and tingling off and on throughout the day. At first, I thought that it was because I was sleeping on my arm a little funny. But it is not really going away, so I suspect it is likely not that. Apparently fluid retention during pregnancy can press on the nerves, and irritate them. I suspect that is what is happening. I have not noticed a lot of swelling in my ankles, but my wrists and hands are a little more puffy than usual. But not by much. I think this is something I need to mention to my docs when I see them tomorrow. Not that they can do much. I cannot take anti-inflammatories or diuretics right now. I am thinking of investing in a couple of wrist braces to help with the numbness in the morning. I have been waking up and my hands feel dead. It is not fun. Hopefully the braces will help.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Houston, we have baby stuff!

Not just furniture, too! A whole bunch of baby stuff!

Yesterday we got a very large shipment of stuff from U.P.S. The crib, mattress, changing table, and dresser all came. Along with the carseat, stroller, pack and play, and co-sleeper. Um, that is a lot of stuff!

Now we have all these huge boxes in the house. We have not even cleaned out the nursery or made any move to get it painted! I suspect the shipment of baby stuff made the situation a bit more real for both of us. Especially Hubby.

We need to move these things down to the basement until we do get the nursery ready. Hubby has already told me that I cannot lift anything. Well, maybe the mattress. But that is it!

Maybe I will go buy some crib sheets! I think we will need them!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More stuff...

I finally got around to calling HR this afternoon. It took me long enough, I think. I got answers to my questions. I will do my best to accrue as much PTO as I can, but I am not sure if it will be four weeks worth. It takes 4 weeks for short term disability (STD) to kick in, and PTO and STD will pay for my insurance while I am off. PTO pays half of what I usually make. I think I will let them know as late as possible into my leave that I may not be coming back, that way I can keep insurance as long as possible. Hopefully the position I applied for will come through over the next few months. At some point Hubby and I will have to sit down and figure out our finances while I am on maternity leave. Fun times.

I think I am going to stick with my current job at least until the end of the year. It is better to have the insurance right now. I decided that it would be awkward to be without insurance right now, now that I am almost in third trimester.

The belly is fairly obvious now. In scrubs, more people are beginning to notice the belly. I have even had more co-workers come up and rub my belly. It is sort of strange, but not necessarily a bad thing.

Not much else going on. I have another OB appointment on Monday, after my endocrinologist appointment. Should be a regular appointment.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Passed!

My OB's nurse called, and said that my 1 hour GTT came back fine! I passed! Hooray! One less thing to worry about.

Also, I did not get called in last night, which was a blessing. I got to sleep!

So...
Things still seem to be going well. Baby and mom still healthy and looking good. Nothing really new to report.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stuff

My OB appointment went well. I did not gain a lot of weight at this appointment, which was a good thing. My vitals also looked good. I hope that my glucose test comes back all right. I am actually a little nervous about it. I guess I have reason, though. I will know the results in a couple of days.

I did not measure any bigger than my last appointment, and Dr Sweetness wanted to make sure that everything was all right. So I got an ultrasound while I was there. (Oh darn!) The little guy is doing fine, apparently. Though he is no more cooperative than the previous ultrasounds. Sigh. He was apparently sitting in a breech position. All I could make out was a tangle of arms and legs. No face shot this time. He measured 1 pound 7 oz, which is right on schedule.

My first day back at work was uneventful. Apparently the belly is showing through the scrubs. A few people noticed today and commented on it. That was sort of nice.

I also put in application for a job. It is a teaching position at a local LPN school. They do have full time day shift positions, and I may be able to do some of the work from home with online classes, which would be nice. They apparently have 5 week sessions, so I could potentially start before the end of the year. We will see if anything comes of it. It would be nice to teach again. It is an awkward time to switch jobs, but I figure it is worth a shot. I probably should have done this earlier. Keeping fingers crossed that things work out how they are supposed to.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vacation pics.

Finally uploaded our vacation pics. We are not avid photographers, so we so not have a whole lot of pics. But I am posting the best of what we have.

For most of the week, the beach looked similar to the pic below. Surfers were sort of enjoying it. The waves were not huge, but there was enough surf to actually surf. Most of the surfers at our beach were not that great. If they were up for a few seconds, it was pretty impressive. But at least they were having fun. Because the surf was what it was, I did not feel confident enough to go past the breakers and actually swim in the ocean. By the end of the week, I decided that it was all right. I am pregnant, and it is perfectly acceptable for me to be cautious. Most of the time, we just sat by the beach, with occasional trips to the water to cool off. The water felt really nice.


Because we were doing a lot of sitting by the beach, Hubby decided at one point to play with the camera. I have about 6-7 photos of this little bird. We never did decide what it was, and we were too lazy to actually look it up. (10 points to the first commenter to actually tell us what this bird is, and end our dispute.) The pic below is the best one of the bunch. Hubby actually shot some short video of the bird, but I cannot figure out how to get it off my Can.on Power.shot, and onto my Mac. (Any suggestions would be helpful.) We also tried to get a pic of a pelican bobbing in the water. Unfortunately, I now have a whole bunch of pics of random surf on my computer. (I opted not to post those pics.)



We were at the south end of Hatteras Island, and we were really close to the Ocracoke ferry. This was sort of fun, because we got to go to Ocracoke twice during the week. The first time was a quick trip, as we left late in the day, and everything was closing by the time we got there. The second time we went, we left earlier, and I got to poke around a little more. Hubby got hot and tired really easily, though. It was hot and crowded the second time we went, and Hubby has no patience for either condition. For that matter, I do not tolerate heat right now. So I guess it was not a bad thing. The pic below was taken on the ferry ride back from our second trip. The trip was on the Pamlico sound, and it is a nice trip.




And one more thing...
While on vacation, I found a great t-shirt! There was an ice cream shop called Happy Belly. Their logo has a budda-like figure holding an ice cone. I told Hubby that if we went there, I wanted a t-shirt. We finally got there toward the end of the week, and I got my t-shirt. One of my only disappointments was that the budda logo is not on the front. But it is still a great shirt. I had to get a 2X because they were out of XL. It is huge on me, even now. I think I will be able to use it as a sleep shirt after the pregnancy.

Now we are back home, surrounded by our cats and dogs. The beach is a nice place to visit, but I am not sure I really want to live there. I liked returning home and sleeping in my own bed. I have my 1 hour GTT tomorrow. Sigh. Hopefully it will go well. Keeping fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Starting to feel human again.

I knew I needed this vacation. I knew I needed a vacation pretty badly. I feel so much better after getting away for a while!

I loved the pregnancy massage. Apparently pregnancy massage involves a lot of pillows and not lying on your back. If I was ever uncomfortable, I could have told the massage therapist, and she would have worked with that. I was really tied up in knots. Some of those knots have gone away, thanks to the massage. Others, I think I just need to deal with. One thing I realized during the massage is that I am really freaked out. I have really been trying to take a zen attitude with this pregnancy, and that is the appearance I think I give to the outside world. But underneath it all, I am really scared. Neither my husband nor I do well with change, and this one is a biggie. I think it is all right to be scared and freaked out. It seems to be normal reaction. But it does loom large. This baby is coming at some point, and we need to adjust to it. I went online this morning and ordered a whole bunch of books on baby's first year from Amazon. They may be there by the time I get home. I do not know if reading about it will help me, but it may give me a better idea as to what to expect. I also bought the Caveman's Guide to Baby's first year for the hubby. Hopefully that will help him, too.

I am 24 weeks today. I am a little unclear as to when third trimester starts, but I must be getting close. Really need to get started on that nursery. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sand in my Bathing Suit... Finally!

I am such a water baby. I love water, and I have been itching to get in the water since I got here. Finally yesterday the weather and the water were both perfect, and I could not resist going and playing in the surf. I did not go out far, but I got wet, and it felt great. I was a little nervous to go past the breakers without a swim toy, though. I also realized that I think my perspective is changing. I am not only worried about me, I am worried about the little one, as well. I think that worry prevents me from doing things I would love to do. My balance is funky, and I get out of breath so easily, and I do not want to do anything which presses on my belly. Not to mention, it is difficult to bend over. I guess there is good reason to be freaked out. I spent a lot of time and money getting in this condition. I do not want to lose this little one because I did something stupid. So I guess no surfing lessons for me. Sigh. They looked like they were having so much fun...

I am too lazy right now to upload pics. We have taken a few. Eventually I will get them up. Really.

Looking very forward to today. I get my toes done, and I get a massage. I have never had a pregnancy massage before. I have had a regular massage, but this is the first time I have been pregnant when I got a massage, so this will be a new experience for me. Another first.

I am beginning to think that Hubby does not realize how much of a change the baby will be. It is a little frustrating. I think it is not really real to him yet. He has felt the baby kick and move, but we have not set up a nursery. It may be time to get him a baby's first year book. I think there is a lot he needs to learn. He does not tolerate change very well, so he may need time to adjust to what will likely happen. Right now, I think that he is thinking we can "board" the baby with family, like we board the dogs. I have already warned him that I am not comfortable doing that the first year or two. A weekend, maybe, but not a whole week. I want baby time as much as possible.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finally Friday!

Thank goodness! I only have to get through 8 more hours and then I can get started on getting out of town. Hello, vacation!

My OB appointment yesterday was quick. Baby is apparently doing well, and things mostly seemed to be coming along well. But she is concerned that I had a larger weight gain than expected. The two words I did not want to hear popped up during my appointment. Gestational diabetes (GD). My 1 hour GTT is the Monday after I get back from vacation so we will see what happens with that. My urine was fine, so if I do have GD it is still really early. The OB told me that I should avoid carbs, if possible. (There go my potatoes and bagels!)

After consulting Dr Google, I realized that it is no surprise that I would develop GD. I have three of the risk factors: I am 35, I have PCOS (so I am already insulin resistant), and I am overweight. I know my mother had GD with both me and my sister. Knowing all of this, I sort of feel that developing GD is going to be inevitable.

I also asked the OB if there was anything to keep in mind while traveling on vacation. She said we should stop every couple of hours to stretch our legs. I have an increased risk of blood clots. Usually we would stop about every 3-4 hours. He likes to keep going as long as possible. That is not going to be possible this trip. He seems to be taking it stride, though. He is willing to do a lot for me because I am finally pregnant. Well, except have a lot of sympathy when I complain. He is really enjoying the fact that I am pregnant.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Almost...

Thank you for all of your wonderful thoughts on names. For the moment we are sticking with Alton. Though I may try to change hubby's mind over vacation. Hopefully he will be more receptive then. We will see.

The rest of the week will hopefully be downhill. I am off at 3PM today and tomorrow. I have an OB appointment today, and my last dog class with Oscar is tonight. I hopefully can start packing somewhere in there. Hopefully.

Tomorrow Hubby and I are switching cars for the day. He is taking the day off, so he will be able to drop off the dogs for boarding. Hopefully he can get my oil changed and the car cleaned out, as well. I would like to pack the car on Friday evening, because Saturday morning, we are out of here!

Oh yeah, we also have internet at our beach house, so we should be able to stay connected. Hooray!

Can you tell I am very excited about vacation? I think we both need it!

Will try to update later with how the OB appointment went.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Name Game

Baby Smiling in the Backseat had a couple of great thoughtful Thursdays. The one that got me thinking was the Thoughtful Thursday from last week about naming children. Naming a baby is not something we thought about before we got pregnant. We figured we would have plenty of time to choose a name for the child while I am pregnant. We tossed some names around not long ago, and quickly came to the decision on a name for this child. But for some reason it is not sitting well with me. I thought I would be all right with it, but now I am not so sure.

We looked to family for name ideas. Boy names can be so difficult. We did not want anything too common, and we wanted to honor our relatives. The name we came up with is Alton Carrick. Alton is Hubby's grandfather's name. Carrick is my grandfather's middle name. For a boy's name it sounds nice, and sort of flows really well. My husband also likes how the initials look with our last name, just in case he decides to go into law.

I think what I am having trouble with is nicknames. It will shorten to Al, which will make it easy to learn to spell in elementary school. Or he could go by his initials, A.C.. Or we could call him by his entire first name, which I sort of like, but seems a little formal. I have a hunch that if we name him Alton, he will end up going by Al, which may not be so bad once he is a little older. Hubby hates the idea of the child going by Tony. He says it is too Italian.

Maybe what I would like is a first name which will shorten to something nicer, and less blunt. I would like to keep Carrick as a middle name, because I think Carrick is a solid middle name. And I have no problems with Alton as a middle name, as well. I have two middle names myself, so two middle names is fine with me. I like the idea of honoring both of our grandfathers.

Maybe I should start thinking about some different possible first names. Maybe look to literature or mythology. That was an idea I always liked. Naming the child after a Greek, Roman, or Norse god. Though both Hubby and I agree that Mars and Thor are not in the running.

On a side note, we considered telling people a fake name for the baby, considering all the crazy things people will name their children. Something like Cherokee or Sequoia. Just to annoy people and throw them off our trail.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yesterday was not too bad. I got to work with a wonderful pediatric opthalmic surgeon, so I knew the day was going to be good. I got to carry around babies all day. I was not quite sure how I would do, but I did fine. I was trying to think of it as practice. All the babies were really cute, but they were mostly born prematurely. I really hope my child is not born early! He needs to stay in there and cook until he is done. Our last patient of the day was a NICU baby born at 25 weeks. He was so tiny! He had retinopathy of prematurity, and were trying to make it so that he could hopefully see later. The little guy just was not a fighter. It was really sad to see that he would likely be intubated for a few weeks after the procedure. He apparently took several weeks to wean off the vent last time he was intubated. It was a choice between pain medication post-procedure and keeping him off the vent. The surgeon and anesthesia went with pain control. That would have been my choice, too.

I apparently was very tired last night. I fell asleep on the couch before 8 PM. Hubby had to wake me up to tell me to go to bed. Sad, but I guess that is what I get for running myself into the ground. At least I have the weekend to rest and try to put myself back together. I doubt it will happen all in one weekend, but at least I can start.

Because I went to sleep so early last night, I was up early this morning. I got done some of the paperwork I have been putting off. I now have a lot of stuff to be mailed, and no stamps to mail it with. I also discovered I need a new ink cartridge for my printer. I apparently do not use it very often, and it dried up.

OK... Just in case you are interested, here is my to-do list for the weekend. As I said, it may not all get done today.
  1. Clean bathrooms. (Top priority, most likely to get done this afternoon!)
  2. Change sheets and de-clutter bedroom.
  3. Put clothes away in dressing room.
  4. Try to get hubby to move boxes containing non-maternity clothes downstairs to the basement.
  5. Mail back returns to Motherhood.
  6. Air out or wash dog throws. (probably wash. They are fairly stinky.)
  7. De-clutter living room.
  8. de-clutter dining room.
  9. Clean kitchen.
  10. Vacuum.
  11. Errands: a. Post office: buy stamps, mail return package, b. Goodwill to drop off stuff, c. Shoe store: to get sneakers which do not tie, and can be easily slipped on! d. Target: Ink cartridge for my computer, sheets for bed in yellow room, and anything else I can think of! e. Used bookstore to get rid of some books and get some reading material for my upcoming vacation!
I think that is a lot, and I will try to get done what I can this weekend. I also need to take some time for myself. That is important too.

Off to bathe and maybe get the day started! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thank Goodness!

I have almost survived the week. One more 8 hour shift, and then I can come home and collapse. I am exhausted!

Not much to report since I posted last. Work, couch, bed. That has been my routine all week. I really need to shave, and trim my nails, but it will likely have to wait until this afternoon or tomorrow. Too tired. (Sorry if that is TMI!)

Belly is getting rounder and tighter! Belly button is starting to stretch, too. Cocoa butter does seem to help, but it cannot help the tight feeling. I guess I get to live with it.

Baby is starting to kick. I can definitely feel him moving around in there. On Monday, Hubby and I were lying in bed, and I felt some definite kicks. I grabbed his hand, put it on my belly, and asked if he could feel it. I think he felt something move, but was not sure it was a kick. It felt like a kick from my point of view. It may take a little more time for movement to be more apparent to Hubby.

Next OB appointment is Thursday morning. No ultrasound at this one. It is just a regular monitoring appointment. Hopefully it should be fairly quick.

One more week of work, and then we are off to Hatteras for our vacation! Hooray! We both need it!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back home!

It feels good to be home! And I get a day off tomorrow, which means a shorter work week for me. And two weeks until vacation. I have a few things to look forward to. I could try to take my other two bereavement days for the burial service in November. I may try to get that in writing, though.

In my frustration with work, I forgot to tell you all what happened with my wedding band. They did find it at work, which was great. But I was not able to call the hubby until the afternoon, after he had already bought another wedding band for me. He did not return it, and gave it to me that afternoon when I got home from work. He even proposed again! (I think it was easier this time. He had a better idea of the answer.) It is a beautiful 14 K plain gold wedding band. I like it better than my other one. It definitely fits a little better, too. I am thinking of continuing to wear it.

The funeral service for my grandfather was really nice. It made it more real seeing him lying in the casket. He was a member of the Freemasons, and they had a small service before the formal funeral service. It was really interesting. The friend and family rememberances during the service were really wonderful, and I know my grandfather would have loved all the family participation during the service. Family was very important to him.

Hopefully now that the funeral is over, my grandmother and my aunt can start learning to adjust to life without my grandfather. I do not think it will be easy for either of them. I think the closure with the funeral service helps, though.

Will likely post more tomorrow. I do have more thoughts rolling through my head, and more happened over the weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I think it is official...

The management at my job are idiots. They apparently cannot distinguish between the following sentences:

1. My grandfather died recently.
2. Hubby's grandfather died recently.

Now I know the above sentences are amazing similar, but there is a distinct difference in the very first word of the sentence. I think it is a very clear difference.

For some asinine reason, management thought that the grandparent who died was not related directly to me. I suspect that is why they gave me a hard time about taking time off. I was talking with the person in charge of making the schedule, and she did not realize it was MY grandfather. Not my hubby's grandfather. Another thing happened which makes me think this, too. Things were so bad at work that they had to call in the person who was covering my two hours. She wanted to make sure that I was going to get off when she came in. Apparently the idiotic charge nurse was under the impression that it was my husband's grandparent. Apparently my managers are idiots who do not listen to their employess. But I guess I sort of knew that already.

Yet another reason not to come back after maternity leave....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A little bit of a vent...

Feel free to skip this if you really want to. But I am going a little crazy and had to let this out...

I am sort of frustrated with work right now. Supposedly my employer gives 36 hours of bereavement leave. This leave does not count against you as an attendance occurrence, and does not come out of your PTO. My job gave me Friday off, which was really nice. But when I asked to leave 2 hours early on Friday so that I could start heading out of town for the memorial service, they told me I had to find someone to cover those two hours. I was not asking for the day off, I was asking to leave early. I already had to track down someone to take my call shift that Saturday night! (Do you know how hard it is to find someone to take call Saturday night on Labor Day weekend?) Just let me have those damn two hours! Honestly! Just give me the damn two hours without making me go on a wild goose chase to find someone to cover for me for two friggn' hours.

Here is what I finally did, because almost everyone is already working until 5 PM or 7 PM that day. I have a co-worker who is not working that day graciously agree to cover those two hours. Which means, if they need the coverage for those two hours, they have to call in someone. For two hours. It just seems asinine to me.

It is not my fault they are understaffed, and do not have the staff to run the rooms.

Why the hell is it so damn hard to take leave when you need it? Crap like this really makes me not want to come back to this job after my leave is over. It just sucks. This is just one more complaint in a mountain of complaints I have about my job.

Oh yeah, and just to give you an idea how crazy I am getting lately... Between mourning my grandfather, working full time, and being pregnant. I have a lot on my mind right now.
I scrubbed in and set up a case at the end of the day today. I had to take off my wedding band and my watch in order to scrub in. As I was leaving, I noticed that I did not have my watch or my band on. I retraced my steps, and checked where I dumped my scrubs, but I never did find it. I was not really worried about the watch, which was around $10 at either Wally world or tar.get. I was most upset about losing the wedding band. Hubby took it in stride, and promised to buy me a new band tomorrow. I feel awful, though. That is not something I want to do again, if I can help it. I guess I will have to keep a giant safety pin on my badge so that I can pin it to my bra for safekeeping.

I probably really need a day off, but it apparently takes an act of congress to get one at my job, and I do not have the energy for that right now.

I have to work tomorrow, and then I am off to Charlottesville, then Reston for the memorial service on Saturday. Thank goodness I get Monday off. I need a day to catch up, I think. (Probably more than one day, really.) My vacation is coming up in a couple of weeks, too. I think I really need it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thoughts on my weekend.

My grandfather's death hit my family really hard. I wrote this one morning while at my grandmother's house.

Ah, what grief can do to people.

My grandmother is lost without my grandfather, but she is hanging on. She will break down and cry, but only when she is with family. She is keeping up with responsibilities. She is also making sure that everyone is dressed appropriately for the funeral and memorial service. I think she will get through this, though it is hard for her to see that right now.

My aunt is running herself into the ground getting the memorial service together. Most of the family suspects she is headed toward pneumonia, but you cannot tell her that without her getting upset. Not only is she grieving, but she is also on high does of prednisone. Can we say immune system compromise? She says has too much to do to stop, though. I suspect she will collapse at some point this week. Hopefully she will not be too sick to make the memorial service she worked so hard to put together.

My mother is actually doing fairly well. She was here for the death. She thought it was a wonderful death. It was healing for her in some ways. My mother is mainly here to sit with Grandmother, and do some hand holding. Obviously, my aunt is not great at that, and my grandmother could use some hand holding right now. I think it is a good thing that my mother is here. Her problem is that she cannot see. She has cataracts and retinal issues with both eyes, and decided to put off the surgeries until after the memorial service. My mother always said that whatever is going on with your body is going on with you. I think there is something to that. Not sure what in this case…

Yeah, my family is quite the group in stressful situations.


************************************


Since I wrote that, my aunt spoke with a friend of the family who was involved with hospice for a while, and understands gried. Hopefully it will encourage her to take care of herself. Both my mother and myself encouraged my grandmother to be gentle with herself. We encouraged her to spend as much time in her pajamas as possible. I hope that she does. I think she needs time to process her grief.


We never did find a dress for me to wear to the funeral I think my grandmother wants us in all black. Apparently, back dresses for bigger girls are hard to find. (And apparently bigger pregnant girls in NoVa do not need maternity clothes, or bigger girls in NoVa just do not get pregnant. I do not know, but I was damn frustrated.) We did find a black skirt that everyone liked. I managed to find a black shirt I could wear with it (once I got home). My grandmother sort of wanted me to have something long sleeved, so it would be more formal. I am thinking more comfort. It is likely going to be warm next weekend, and I am pregnant. I am warm-natured right now. I am not going to want to wear a jacket or a sweater when it is hot. Just not gonna happen. Deal with it.


My mother and father are at Smith.mountain.lake for a few days. My mom wanted to get out of her normal environment and get back to nature. Hopefully this will help. They are staying in a cabin at the state park. Apparently, the cabins are really nice. They seem to be enjoying themselves, at any rate.


Unfortunately, I am back to work tomorrow. I wish I did not have to go, but I really ought to. I have a vacation coming up I need to save PTO for. There is also this baby coming. I really ought to save PTO for some leave time. Still wish I did not have to go back to work.



Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Inevitable.

My dad just called me. (Yes, at 5:30 AM! I was up anyway, getting ready for work.) My grandfather has passed away. I suspect he held on just long enough to die at home. I hope it was peaceful for him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Want to hide.

Crappy day at work today, and I am totally wiped out. After days like that, I really wish I could drink. Sigh. But maybe I will have a dove bar later. Small consolation, though.

My grandfather did make it home with hospice care. The hospice nurses place him in the later stages of dying. He is not really responsive, and his breathing is slow and raspy. My mother decided to stay up at my grandparents for the duration. Apparently my grandmother is doing better than she thought. My dad and my sister are going up to visit my grandparents tomorrow. I am trying to decide if it is worth it to go up this weekend. I guess I will see what the next couple of days bring.

Thank you all for keeping me and my family in your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate all the nice comments and support. It means a lot.