Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Quick Update

I used to get bulk emails about home decoration and photography and the latest sales, now I get emails entitled, "100 foods that can harm your baby while pregnant." I recently got this pip of an email, which is helpful explaining the fire that is often scorching my throat, but is not the most sterling example of prose ever penned by the good people at I especially love the part about my, "now gigantic uterus, which has taken over (my) abdominal cavity." I suppose it is true-- if any other organ in our bodies grew as exponentially as a woman's womb does during pregnancy, something would be seriously wrong.

"Many of the early pregnancy symptoms you thought you'd put behind you are coming back to haunt you: like the need to pee all the time (because your baby's head is now pressing on your bladder), along with the tender breasts (as they gear up for milk production), the fatigue, and the heartburn. And no one — not even a regular at the corner greasy spoon — does heartburn like a third-trimester pregnant woman (except, of course, a pregnant woman who's a regular at the corner greasy spoon).

During pregnancy, the muscle at the top of the stomach that usually prevents digestive acids from splashing up into the esophagus relaxes (like all those other muscles in your digestive tract), allowing digestive juices to back up. That's the burning sensation you feel when heartburn strikes. Add to that your now gigantic uterus, which has taken over your abdominal cavity, forcing your stomach to practically reach your throat, and you've got good reason to be feeling the burn."

Lovely, huh? They make pregnancy sound so delightful and such a beautiful experience.

I think I must be getting really big, because the other night at GEMS at church, these 2 little girls that I had never met before came up to me and the older-- who was about 4 patted my belly, to which I replied, "Oh, can you tell there is a baby in there?" And she patted it again and her younger companion leaned in and called out, "Hello!" into the general region of Noah. My GEMS girls, who are all 2nd and 3rd graders all love to say hi to my little boy. They all forget about greeting me and say, "Hi Noah James," and one asked me the other day if Noah would move if she patted me. I told her that yes, sometimes he does, but that he was sleeping right then because I had been on my feet all night. They are so sweetly excited about Noah, even though I knew they wished he was a girl at first.

"Did you know, that when you are just born (she meant conceived) that you are the size of a bug?!" one of my girl's excitedly told the others last night. At times it takes a little skill on my part to avoid telling them more than their parents would like, or to quench the conversation where one girl who may know a bit more than the others will "educate" the others about something that their parents may not be ready for them to know. :)
Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Guess I Need to Eat More Nails

My doctor called me on Friday-- officially a week after my last appointment (one of the detriments to the practice having two offices doctors work out of) to tell me that I am "just a very, very little anemic."

Great. Anemia isn't a horrible thing in pregnancy, as long as is it counteracted by taking a quality iron supplement and eating iron-rich food, such as spinach and liver. Yum. Basically, as my blood level has increased to help strengthen the baby, my body was not able to produce enough iron, so the baby stole it from me and left me depleted. According to all of the books, 20% of women become anemic during pregnancy and it can cause weakness and paleness. I have been experiencing a little bit of both, but I thought that was normal Minnesota-winter and late pregnancy feelings.

Accoring to the lovely people at

"Unfortunately, most women start pregnancy without sufficient stores of iron to meet their body's increased demands particularly in the second and third trimesters. If you get to the point that you no longer have enough iron to make the hemoglobin you need, you become anemic.
Your risk is even higher if you have morning sickness severe enough to cause frequent vomiting, if you've had two or more pregnancies close together, if you're pregnant with more than one baby, if you have an iron-poor diet, or if your pre-pregnancy menstrual flow was heavy."

The latter of those is probably the likeliest cause of my issue, and I may have also contributed to my body not absorbing the 150% or so of iron in my regular prenantal vitamin by my inclination toward taking my vitamin with milk, rather than water or light fruit juice. I have typically heard that it is bad to take medication with foods and beverages rich in Vitamin C is bad because it can prevent absorbtion into the body, but it seems that this is the opposite.

I am now pill-popping like a GNC customer. I now take 1--my regular prenatal vitamin, 2-- a B6 supplement to counteract any lingering traces of nausea, 3-- A Fish oil supplement for baby's brain and nervous system and 4-- my new iron supplement's green color looks like a small corroded penny, or a rivet from the Statue of Liberty.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Wonderful Surprise

The past few weeks have been extremely hectic for us, which may seem odd considering I am currently writing from home, but am otherwise unemployed, however, the blessings that I have received during this time have made up for all of the running around, and planning, budgeting and running around that have been going on.

We were so blessed to receive a package recently from my parents, which at the top had a wonderful card and the admonition to open the contents of the package when we were together. We opened the first blue-wrapped package and immediately oohed over an achingly adorable outfit for our son. It was only then that we noticed that Noah's outfit had something sticking out of the pocket. A check! Our baby was coming with money. How thoughtful of the little guy. And how thoughtful of my parents. I set the check aside and felt the extreme softness of his new outfit against my cheek and moved to the next package.

Jim asked to open the next one, and he opened the next entirely adorable outfit and we awwed again, all before we noticed that there was once again something in the pocket-- another check! We had simply assumed that the one was the entirety of the monetary portion of the gift. But no, for each of Noah's 4 new uber-cute outfits in different sizes, there was a check enclosed in his pocket! Being as hormonal as I am lately (probably even without being hormonal I would have done the same) I began to cry. At times it is hard to be so far from family and close friends with children who we can look to for guidance on what to buy, what questions to ask my OB, how to not get overwhelmed with impending parenthood, and it has been so nice very time our families have shown us such care and love.

The outfits are so cute. All but one came with its own fancy hanger, and one of the outfits in particular I'm intending to keep nice for next year's Christmas. My mom thoughtfully picked out outfits in various sizes, so that he will be able to wear these clothes for almost a whole year. My favorite one has an extremely soft white top, that if used regularly will be destroyed by a baby who will have just begun eating baby food, but used just at the holidays it should be perfect for photos and cuddling by friends and family.

As for the monetary gifts, we think we will be getting our chosen nursing chair, which bounces softly, and our favorite crib and some other incidentals. It is so odd that I am finally coming up near the end of this pregnancy.

I have one appointment three weeks from my appointment on Friday, and then I will begin having appointments every 2 weeks, which has seemed like a milestone from the beginning of my pregnancy. All of the thought and planning now needs to be matched with action in these last few months, and as most new parents feel at this time, the sheer amount of things to ready has me nervous. I am so thankful to have a family that has been so supportive of us in this time of great change, and I can only look forward to other greater changes that are soon to take place.

Thanks again mom and dad!
Sunday, February 8, 2009

27 Week Appointment

Last month I did this for my doctor's appointment and people on facebook seemed to really enjoy the format that I chose, so I thought that I would stick with it this month.

On Friday I was at just 27 weeks and had my regular prenatal checkup, but I also got to experience the joy of my:

Glucose Screening Test: If it has been a while for you since babies or you just don't know all of this information, basically what happens is you drink what I have read called "boiled down 7 Up" with extra sugar added. Then after an hour of allowing your body to process the sugar in the drink, blood is taken to see how your body is doing at controlling the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. After my normal peeing in a cup, blood pressure and weight I got to drink the much-hyped beverage, and while it was gross, it did not make me "almost throw up" as many of the other preggos on my May mommies message board attested to. I was able to go through my regular appointment with no problem, and only felt the slightest bit sugar-buzzed as I sat for the remainder of the hour in the waiting room. I was also surprised because many of the May Mommies have said that they had to wait a day to find out the results, and they were able to tell me after just a scant minute's wait that I had passed with no issues.

If I had failed, it wouldn't mean necessarily that I was destined to have GD or need a special diet-- many women I know have failed the one hour, and then have to endure the annoyingly long 3 hour test where blood is taken for each of the hours to give your OB a better idea of how you process sugar. Most of these women pass this secondary test with no problems. I am happy that I didn't have to count the minutes for three hours in my OB's office, and that I believe this means good things for my non-pregnant ability to process sugar. This is simply my assumption, but it seems that if you are more likely to be diabetic during pregnancy and you are not, it means that you are most certainly not nearing diabetes in a non-knocked up state.

Weight: I am pleased as punch to report that I have gained 6 pounds since my last appointment! I am now up a total of 2 pounds since my first appointment at 6 weeks, but what is really important is that finally now in the third trimester I am gaining even some of the weight that I am "supposed to." I have never been told to eat more by my doctor or chastised for not gaining more, but personally I have felt that there might have been something wrong if my body has been changing as much as it has been without any additional weight.

Jim was so pleased that he told my doctor that it was all due to the Belgian Waffle Maker we received as a Christmas present from my parents. I think it may partially be the butter and syrup of this, but in general I feel more hungry and have incorporated additional snacking into my day, and am now going through an even more mammoth amount of milk than I did before. (Like the gallon in our fridge was purchased Friday at 4:30, I used 2 cups in Alfredo sauce I made, Jim drank a glass or two, we were gone nearly all day on Saturday and now there is about 2 glasses worth of milk left in it. and we managed to down a carton of light chocolate soy milk in there too.)

Fundal Height: 28 cm. Still right where I should be. My OB says that as far as she can tell from feeling the baby-- which is wonderful that she can do now because he is so large-- and from feeling me that I am right on track. Baby should be around 2 pounds and approximately 14 inches.

He has approximately doubled in weight from the last appointment and is now entering the portion of pregnancy where he will be growing by leaps and bounds-- which is what he is apparently doing in there. I have been trying to capture the wild movements of my abdomen on camera, but whenever I get up to grab our P&S he seems to halt his movements as if he knew just what I was up to. It is also funny to be lying on my side and to be able to feel him touching the "floor" or whatever I am laying on" as well as touching the other far side of my womb. Jim laughs because he purposely will put his face up to the movement and talk to Noah in hopes that he will be kicked or hit by his son. When hearing that his son had kicked Jim, Jim's friend Slicker (not particularly a baby fan) said, "I think I might like this kid after all."

Fetal Heart Rate: Dr. Ambur doesn't use the feature on the doppler which gives an actual number, but it sounds right on with last month's number of 130 bpm. Yay!

General Health: I have been really surprised that I have not had any horrible colds this winter thus far, despite working with my 2nd and 3rd grade GEMS every week. Could it possibly be because of the- gasp-- flu shot I tried to avoid, but eventually gave in on? Jim has actually been sicker than me-- poor guy, and during a week that would have been very inconvenient to miss at work.

My back has been the most annoying symptom as of late-- with spasms from sitting in the car, sewing too long, or simply being upright too long. I am hopefully getting a lovely belly support band soon, which is something I swore never to get, but am now convinced is the most wonderful invention ever made for the pregnant woman. I can really feel where I have filled in upwards under my bust, and the pressure up there also hurts my ribs at times and forces me to adjust how I am sitting. On the whole, I would take the annoyance of a sore back instead of the heartbreak and possible complications of Gestational diabetes any day, and so I consider myself fortunate.

I have also begun to think about labor as an impending reality, and am still convinced that no epidural will be the best for me and my child, and I hope that this is something that I can follow through on in the heat of the moment. My mother did it twice, and countless other women have done it over the years, and thankfully soon we will have our hospital tour and begin labor and delivery classes that will assuage some of my fears and equip me for labor when it arrives.

I have always had debilitating cramps and pain associated with "my womanly cycle" and one of the few positive symptoms of pregnancy has been the cessation of this pain. If I was not pregnant I would have had to suffer through this pain for days an additional 6 times (because of my long cycles) and with nothing to show for it except for having annoyed my husband with my PMS symptoms. Now I am looking at enduring something that will be the culmination of these un-experienced cycles of pain, all coming together in one or two days. There is one big difference between this pain and the former though-- at the end of it I will have a wonderful child, my son, to hold in my arms. For that, for him, I can endure this pain. For the idea of him I have endured all of this former pain-- with merely the hope of children at some point in the future. It is so wonderful to have that idea and that hope of him finally here to redeem the pain of all of those times.

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