This is a scan of the sonogram from 1/21/00, about 8 weeks LMP, 6 weeks gestation!

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Pregnancy Journal

Early pregnancy
From about the time of conception on, I've had to pee all the time! Yikes! Some people say that getting up at night to pee is the way you learn to get up at night to take care of the baby...I don't know about that :). I celebrated the "dawn of the new millenium" (aka the biggest hoax of the 20th century, given that the REAL millenium will show up NEXT year and no one will care anymore) with only a finger or two of champagne. How out of character! But there was a good reason! BABY ON BOARD!!!

January 27th
So far I'm doing great, a few bouts of morning sickness, occasional vomiting but not really bad...serious fatigue, though! Oh, and I've noticed a definite change in my much for having a nice wardrobe! It's time to get stretchy clothes! More updates will be posted here as they become available :)

January 29th
I guess I have to take that back about no bad morning sickness. Yesterday I threw up six times, argh. I have obtained some new clothes already but today Michael and I went and looked around a maternity store and saw all kinds of really cute stuff. I think it's still too early, though. Anyway, I'm still doing ok, although I'm very tired all the time. Walking around short distances leaves me breathless and I feel very out of shape! The doctor says it is hormones making my respiratory muscles relax. Whatever. At least the baby is warm inside my uterus during all this cold weather we're having!

February 1st
Still hanging in there with our little "spud" as we have started calling it :). Michael took some pictures of my little "baby belly" but I think they just make me look fat, not pregnant :( I'm not noticing any new signs of pregnancy...just the usual constant peeing, major hunger interspersed with nausea, and extreme fatigue. This neurology rotation I start tomorrow is really going to be tiring so I am not looking forward to it. I heard from my OB that all of my bloodwork is normal, so that's good. I'm toxoplasma negative though so I have to be extra-careful not to get infected during the pregnancy! What else? Oh - DREAMS! I've had two crazy pregnancy dreams. First, I had this weird dream that the baby was born and everything was great but the baby looked just like a laboratory RAT, and we got it mixed up with one for a while!!! Then, I also dreamed that we took the baby home and put it down for a nap and forgot about it for like a whole day, and hadn't fed it or anything :(. I guess my subconscious is worried about all the new responsibility or something. It was a rather unpleasant dream. Hopefully I will stop having these vivid, disturbing dreams sooner rather than later!

February 3rd
Oh, by the way - Michael also had a baby dream - he dreamt we had 8 boys and 2 girls, and I had to feed them all, and no one would help us! ARGH! What a nightmare! Today was not such a bad day; I was really feeling queasy at the bus stop but felt better after I got to school. I fell asleep during neuro rounds - oops. I had to walk home from the bus stop through an unexpected snow shower!

February 6th
So I'm about 10 weeks along and still feeling pretty tired and sometimes dizzy and queasy...but overall pretty good. Yesterday we were "outed" when we ran into someone from the place we both used to work for - we were looking at books of baby names at Barnes and Noble! It was funny to see the look on Steve's face. Yesterday I also went out and bought two pairs of pants to accomodate my little belly, and a big shirt to cover the ever-growing you-know-whats. I worry that I'm growing fatter and not growing baby, but those who should know disagree. So I guess I will try to stop worrying about that. It's not like I can fight the hunger anyway -- when it comes, I have to EAT NOW and nobody better get in my way!!! I just don't want to be hugely fat after the baby comes!

February 9th
And it just keeps going on, just like the books all say :). Today I felt really queasy all day, almost lost it at the bus stop, but of course now that I'm home safe and sound I'm perfectly fine. If I have to be ill, why can't it be at home? . I also felt a lot of those "growing pains" in my abdomen today - I'm told it is stretching of the round ligament. Funny. I think of the round ligament as something I want to break, not something inside of me that I want to stretch out! :) I had great news yesterday from an old friend (whom I will not identify, for her privacy's sake) - she's 9 weeks pregnant! How exciting! We'll have babies around the same time. It will be great talking with her as this progresses :). Oops, gotta go - the PIZZA is here!

February 13
Oy. I thought I was tired before but some SERIOUS fatigue set in about the middle of last week. I fell asleep during rounds several times in a row. On Thursday, we were (amazingly enough) let out early, at 2:30 PM. I got home at about 3:15 and fell asleep til about 7:30 PM! Then I was up long enough to watch Friends and ER, then I fell right back to sleep. The fatigue is just overwhelming. I mean, I rested all day yesterday. Today, I got up at about 7 AM (to pee, of course) and then I went to sleep again for another hour, then I got up for two hours and just sat on the couch reading, and then I had to take another one hour nap before leaving for brunch. We met the family for brunch, and then afterwards Michael and I went out shopping for about an hour, and then came home, and I am totally ready for another nap. But since I can only go for about 2 hours maximum without running to the bathroom, it impedes any serious sleep activity :). THANK GOD I am just starting a two week vacation. I mean, I have some job interviews (ack) set up, and a doctor's appointment and stuff, but I should be able to take it pretty easy during this time and hopefully I'll feel better when I start my ES rotation in March. One can only hope...

February 14
I got some more exciting news yesterday but I've been sworn to secrecy. That said, I'm sooooo happy about it! :)
I also got an email today from a friend's mom (Hi, Mrs. Shore!) who just found out about our little spud by reading my web page (hee hee) and wanted to congratulate us. That was so nice! One of the nice parts of being pregnant is how everyone keeps congratulating you and telling you all these wonderful things about how great it is to have a new baby. Of course, then there are the other people who start in immediately with the tales of their aunt Bessie's 76 hour, excruciatingly painful labor which culminated in a 4th degree tear and a horrible hemorrhage due to some doctor's horrible incompetence. THAT'S what every pregnant woman wants to hear (NOT!!!). Luckily, there are some very informative websites out there with lots of birth stories on them, and while some of them do list a lot of terrible stories about painful difficult labors, there are also a lot of stories about nice normal uneventful labors, so I take comfort in that. Let's see, what else is new....Oh, today is Valentine's day! Our last one without a little baby hanging around :). We exchanged cards and gifts this morning and will go out to dinner tonight. Perhaps I will have a sip of champagne, what the heck :). I feel pretty good today, although not very energetic. I don't know if I'll make it off the couch before dinner. We'll see!

February 16
No changes to report...I went on a practice visit today, to a potential job site :). It was fun! I observed some appointments and surgeries, and met the "house dog" and all of the staff. Then I sat down with the practice owner for a chat. I hadn't yet told them about the pregnancy so I was a little nervous, but it went really well, and she told me she'd be willing to offer a part time, full time, or combination position to me! I have some other interviews lined up so I will be calling her back in a couple of weeks to discuss it further, but she definitely was interested in hiring me so it was a real confidence booster. Plus, everyone there was really nice. I'm tired this afternoon, so I'm just hanging out on the couch watching "A Baby Story" on TLC :)

February 18
ACK! I'm turning 30 tomorrow. How old do I feel??
I saw the OB this morning. It was a fun visit. The nurse remarked that last time I was there it had just snowed, and today it was snowing too! All of my tests from the last visit came back within normal limits. We chatted briefly about whether or not I want the triple screening test done, to look at my risk for having a baby with neural tube defects or Downs syndrome. Michael is pretty much decided that I should have the test down and think about it later; I don't know. The thing is, about 5% of women in my age group will have "positive" tests (that is to say, tests that show an increased risk). But with this test, only about 1 baby out of 50 "positives" is actually affected. The rest are normal. You'd need an amniocentesis to set your mind at rest. The amnio has a risk of miscarriage with it; that risk is probably higher than the risk of having an affected baby.... We'll have to think about this some more, if it is done it will be at my next visit. Our next ultrasound will be at week 19 (visit after next) which can look for gender (don't think so) as well as structural abnormalities.
So, we also talked about FOOD. I'm surrounded by back seat eaters! :). The doctor ok'd rare steak (I'm probably immune to anything it could give me by now), he ok'd basically everything except unpasteurized dairy products. We talked about listeria and how rare it is. I know most of that stuff from my public health classes. Then we talked about my concern about exposure to the volatile anesthetic gases - he said he personally wouldn't worry. There are no studies suggesting that vets have increased risk due to exposure; the only studies showing a problem are the ones about OR nurse anesthetists who work during their pregnancy - they have an increased risk of miscarriage in the first trimester. So the doc believes that the minimal exposure I will get in the 2nd and 3rd trimester will not be problematic. Of course, there is always the "no one knows for sure" factor, but I think I can live with that. I mean, I could get hit by a car tomorrow, right? Anyway, the most exciting part of the visit was that we got to hear the baby's heartbeat! Funny thing is, I thought it sounded SLOW because I'm used to hearing cat hearts going at 200-220 bpm, and this was only going at about 160. But then he moved the probe over my abdominal aorta to compare, and my pulse was only about half the speed of the baby's, so I guess it was pretty fast after all! Michael was very excited to hear the heartbeat :) :). Doc said that the pregnancy seemed to be right on schedule, everything looked great, he fully expected us to have no was very encouraging. Oh, and I only gained about 1 kg since my last visit, which is also good :) (of course, I *do* have this poochy belly...)
As we were walking out I remembered about the insurance hassle. I told him I needed a letter to give my insurance company, to prove that prenatal vitamins are medically necessary. He said "you're kidding, right?" I said "nope." The doctor was pretty peeved but they are writing the letter for me.
When we got home, I filled out some paperwork to register for our childbirth education class - it's a special one for patients of this particular practice, it's run by Stork Educators. We'll do that in one day at about week 33. I also am signing us up for "how to take care of baby" and "how to breastfeed" classes at Pennsylvania Hospital, as well as a tour of the L&D floor. Hopefully by the time the spud arrives, we'll have some kind of clue...right? RIGHT??? :) :)
OK, I've prattled on long enough. I'll leave it at that for now!

February 22
OK, so now I'm 30. I don't feel that different but someone asked me how old I was yesterday and I felt very strange saying "30!" Anyway, things are much the same. I had a big birthday party on Saturday at Mom's house - it was a lot of fun, overall. Yesterday I had to go to school for the day and that was lame, but I'm home today. I didn't sleep well at ALL last night. I had *severe* pain in my - er, in my - breasts! I mean, it was *awful*! It kept waking me up! So this morning I was pretty tired and just hanging out on the couch for a while. Then I tried to clean the bathroom because I promised I would, but in the middle of cleaning I was overwhelmed by nausea again and puked my guts out. So that wasn't any fun. I *thought* the morning sickness was over but I guess that was a bit of a premature thought. So now I'm sitting on the couch again, in my fuzzy blue polarfleece robe that I got for my birthday, feeling sorry for myself. I hope I feel better soon!

February 25
Grrr. I'm totally exhausted tonight and I didn't DO anything today. I'm very grouchy today because my health insurance company is horrible and I hate them. They FINALLY contacted me after about a month of my trying to reach them. They were reading me a list of stuff that they won't cover and they said that Tay Sach's testing wasn't covered. I said it was in fact medically necessary for Jewish people and the guy said "well, we don't cover it for normal people so you'll have to get a letter saying it is necessary, from your doctor." I flipped out. Not covered for NORMAL people? He apologized and told me he was Chinese and he didn't mean to offend. Whatever. I'm still offended and grouchy. I'm going to bed.

February 27
A pretty good weekend after the blechiness of Friday. We spent the weekend taking care of Regis at my parents' house - and his friend, Chloe. I wasn't sick at all, although I was tired. We went to the mall Saturday and I got a pair of maternity pants which I think I will really need very soon! Today, I got dressed in a pair of blue pants that I just got last month because I needed some "big" pants, and they are already too tight! Michael says my belly doesn't look different today but it sure feels different. We'll see how it goes but I bet in a couple of weeks I'm going to need all new clothes.

March 1
Busy past couple of days....but I caught up on my sleep last night, finally! Unfortunately, morning sickness returned with a vengeance today. I can't believe it, my mom NEVER had a minute of it, and it just keeps coming back to me! Bleah bleah bleah. I'm lucky that I'm on ES this rotation; I've been wearing scrubs this week instead of regular pants, and that has been pretty good but today I notice that the front of these scrubs is a bit tight across my belly! Yikes! These are mediums, though, and I think I have some larges somewhere lying around, too, so hopefully I'll be able to wear them a while longer ;). Oh, something funny happened the other day - I saw someone I hadn't seen since around Xmas time, and she said to me "Oh wow, your breasts got really big!" Hehehehehe. I thought that was pretty funny. I guess they are still more obvious than my belly, although to me the belly is really obvious. I guess in a few months, everyone will find it obvious :). In other news, we saw a couple of movies recently - we saw The Whole Nine Yards (very funny) and Hanging Up (not as funny). It's nice to get out and see a movie now and then, just to be able to not think about all the things going on in my life! ah, the joys of escapism :)

March 2
Hey! I just realized, the second trimester started today, or yesterday, depending on how you count! I mean, 40 weeks divided by 3 trimesters is 13.333 weeks per trimester, and 0.33 weeks is 2.3 days, so 13 weeks, 2 days has to be the last day of the first trimester, yes? That was yesterday! Woo hoo :). I think it's sort of funny I finished the first trimester and put the 100,000th mile on the car on the same day :) I can't believe we're 1/3 the way through this pregnancy. When this amount of time passes twice more, we'll have a BABY!!! I found out today that at they have some maternity clothes - I think they are pretty nice :). Oh, another funny thing. I had this weird dream last night that I went to the doctor (it wasn't my actual doctor) and he insisted on giving me Depo-provera shots to prevent something bad from happening to the baby. I was very worried about the hormonal influences and was certain that the baby would be born with a hypospadia. I don't know why I had this dream, and have no idea if exposure to this drug during pregnancy would cause this defect in actuality, but I was damn certain of it in the dream!! What else to report? Oh, I got the letter from my Dr about the genetic testing being necessary, so I am preparing some paperwork to fax to the schmuck at the insurance company. We also got the address to mail the receipts for the vitamins to - it's so annoying to deal with this paperwork. Bleah. Oh well. Oh, to top it off, the insurance company sent me new insurance cards today - in the name of "HR Gorman." They KNOW my name. I do not know why they keep screwing up or being such a pain in the ass. ah, beaurocracy.

March 3
Today was a good day! We walked around the city and I found a cool new store to buy stuff from :) It's called soapbox - and they have a web page, too. I got some really wonderful smelling new soap and a bath fizzy. The owner/manager told me they are coming out with a new line of baby products soon! Yay! So, in pregnancy news, I have had some annoying new symptoms. I sometimes feel like all of my internal organs are being painfully squooshed up against my diaphragm. That's really annoying. I'm sure that will only get worse! I've also been having some headaches, and some stuffiness when I wake up in the morning. I guess that's all there is to report. Oh, well, I guess I can report that in a surprise move, the insurance guy completely and utterly failed to follow through on getting back to me. SIGH. But otherwise it was a very good day!

March 5th
I forgot to mention something - the other day we were watching the unexpurgated version of American Pie on DVD and in the scene where the party guy pukes, the mere sight of it made me almost lose it completely. I guess I just have a lower puking threshold than I normally do. Today when I was getting ready to go to school I was also feeling very very queasy and when I got to the emergency room all the smells REALLY bothered me. I feel a bit better now (almost noon), though. Yesterday I went wedding dress shopping with Jamie - that was fun. Her dress is SO beautiful. I also went later to JC Penney's, and got a LOT of really really cute maternity clothes! I really like them all, and can't wait to have a chance to wear them :). Ta ta for now!

March 10
I'm 14 weeks, 4 days, and counting! 25 weeks and 3 days to go until Labor Day! :) :) :). I've had a busy but really educational week in the emergency room this week. I'm really enjoying myself there. Of course, one fun night we had a slowdown during which the clinician tried to do a sonogram on me. "I think that's the head. wait, no no, maybe that's the uterus over there..." :) it was funny but really we did see the baby moving around, we just couldn't tell what part was what very well. Pregnancy symptoms....haven't had one of those horrible nausea episodes in about a week, which is great, but I've had some sciatica and occasional numbness in the lateral digits of my left foot too, which is a little disturbing. I'm having a REAL problem getting a decent quality of sleep - but at least I'm not so tired during the day that I can't function. So that's basically it. I can't wait to feel the baby move! In other news, Michael went to visit some friends so it's just me and the spud here with Kanga and Rufus. We're sort of lonely.

March 12
YAY! Michael is home!!!! Today I had to work in the ES but when I got home, he was here waiting for me. We weren't so busy today at school so that was good, I had time to do a sonogram and saw the spud sucking its thumb!!

March 14
Well, we're at 15 weeks, 1 day. Two days into a surgery rotation and nervous. I didn't do so hot yesterday, I got queasy during a cystotomy and had to scrub out. They said it was ok but I know they judged me for it and it upset me greatly. But there's nothing I can do about it - I really was going to vomit! I'm anxious now about lasting through surgery tomorrow. I get these hot flashes where I feel really hot and sweaty and the gowns we wear in the OR make it much worse. Then I get dizzy and queasy. I hope I do ok, I don't want them to think I'm not interested in surgery and I could really use all the experience I can get as I near graduation!
My belly is getting huge. OK, not huge but really it seems huge from here! It started itching today, I think it's stretching. Also, today I felt more bubbly feelings that may or may not be baby moving. I think it's not, I mean, that is the only reason I think it might be is because I keep feeling this odd sensation in the same exact spot. I can't really tell what it is. I am still having a hard time sleeping, I'm sort of top-heavy and I get really uncomfortable when I lie down :(
The good news is that I didn't get called in at all Monday night when I was on call. That was a huge relief. I have a hectic schedule for the next week and a half, but after this busy time it should be smooth sailing through til graduation! We have a doctor's appointment Friday - I hope I remember to ask all my questions!!

March 19
OK, made it through another week! Tomorrow starts week 16 of this pregnancy! Woo. We had a nother doctor's appointment two days ago - we heard the heartbeat again and I asked a lot of questions. I found out that it is apparently normal for arms to fall asleep randomly during pregnancy due to "increased nerve sensitivity" (??) and it is also normal to have basically all the other weird things I have. He offerred a referral to a physical therapist for the sciatica, which was nice. Now if I could find time to go to a physical therapist, we'd be set. Sigh. Also last week an ultrasonographer friend of mine scanned me when Michael was with me and we saw the spud sucking its thumb again, and then I redirected the probe to find the heart because she couldn't find it, and I found it and saw it beating. I like to see that part, it's a comfort. She printed out a few pictures on a piece of x-ray film for us. Let's see, what else? Oh, for the past 10 days or so I was REALLY incredibly craving a steak. So Friday night we went to the Palm (Michael's wonderful idea) and I had a double cut prime rib and yes, I ate the WHOLE thing. It was excellent. Friday was a good day overall, actually, because it was our spay day and I'd been very worried that I'd feel sick in surgery again but actually I was able to spay a 6 year old bitch who'd had at least two previous litters and I made it through the whole thing. BOY did I have to go to the bathroom after that, though! And then, talk about nerve-wracking, I had to neuter a classmate's cat while she watched! Yikes! But I did that too, and didn't feel sick or pass out or anything. Thank goodness. In fact, I haven't felt any real nausea since last Tuesday (today is Sunday.) Maybe, maybe it's gone for good?? I cleaned out my closet upstairs today and put all the clothes that will not fit for the rest of the pregnancy, for sure, into bags to store elsewhere. Then I put into the closet the maternity clothes I bought. That made me feel better. The other pregnancy news I have is that I am starting to feel these little flutterings in my lower abdomen when I lie down to go to bed at night. I'm still not 100% sure it's baby versus peristalsis or whatever, but it does feel consistently unusual and I think it might really be baby. The next few weeks are sure to bring more definite findings, though!! Oh, and also, the skin on my belly has gotten sort of dry and itchy. We have increased the cocoa butter belly massages :). Bye for now!

March 25
Almost 17 weeks and I'm still not 100% sure that I've felt the baby move. The itching has increased and been accompanied by a new development - SEVERELY PAINFUL FEET. I soak them, put them up...Michael rubs them...but they still hurt. Argh. My school schedule has been grueling with way too much in the way of standing around in the OR. Thankfully this rotation ends tomorrow (after this 4-midnight shift) and I will only have oncology, derm/behavior, and radiology left - none of which are so bad. My belly is getting bigger day by day and people are noticing. A bunch of people at school have come up to me and asked about it in the past week! Luckily, despite all the stress, I'm still feeling reasonably good - no major problems at this time. I wish I could feel kicks or something though. I am still worrying a lot.

March 30
Well into the 17th week and still no DEFINITIVE movements. I have still felt a lot of this fluttering stuff that I think MIGHT be baby but which I can't say for sure isn't GI peristalsis or something. I've been sitting more and my feet are a bit better although really they still are painful at times. Another couple of people "just found out" about my pregnancy and it was funny to see their faces. One of my clinicians on the oncology service was so surprised when she realized! It depends what I'm wearing how much I show. So anyway, about all of my worrying -- it was really dragging me down so today I had a really quick/short scan and saw the fetal heart beating and the legs moving and I feel SO much better! It makes me feel a lot more comfortable, that's all. I have a new sense of joy about the whole pregnancy!! Otherwise, I have been feeling great, although the fatigue of early pregnancy has been replaced with...the fatigue of the middle of pregnancy! :) :) Seriously, I do get very tired and am finding myself sleeping more and more. I also cry more and more. I cried during HUP oncology rounds the other day when the presenter talked about patients who fail chemotherapy and go home to make scrapbooks or write letters to their children...I cried today when a client talked about deciding to put her cat to sleep...I cried the other day watching Ally McBeal, for heavens' sake! Oh well, it's hormones :)
In other news, Michael has been very solicitous. He makes sure I eat ok and he gets me treats like apple pie or low-fat Starbucks Latte ice cream, and he rubs my feet at the end of the day with the special foot cream I have. What a guy.

April 6th
So, most of the way through week 18 and still hanging in there! We've had some HUGE news - we bought a new house! So I have a lot of stuff to do now - pack up all nonessentials and take them away so we can make this house presentable and sell it! On the pregnancy front -- The past few days have been awkward. I think the spud is having a growth spurt. My belly is definitely visibly larger and I have been feeling uncomfortable. I can't sleep very well at all. I develop pain in my "down" shoulder and hip after about an hour or two and it hurts SO much I have to get up and walk around til it goes away - just turning over isn't good enough. I am going to see if I can find my old featherbed - I think it might help. Last night, I was sooo uncomfortable - I had a bad headache and couldn't get into a good position. Michael packed pillows under my belly and stuff and got me all situated, and then rubbed my head - I fell right to sleep - but then I woke up in two hours.... Also, I have been having nap attacks at school again, probably because I'm not sleeping well. I fell asleep during oncology rounds the other day and was so embarrassed. But I couldn't help it! I just can't seem to feel comfortable in any position at any time and it's really annoying. I think it should pass, though. I hope! Time will tell.

April 11
19 weeks, 2 days and we had our ultrasound today...everything looked great! We got new pix which we'll scan in soon. We didn't find any problems of any sort (although I've gained 22 entire pounds! yikes! Dr M. says that's perfectly fine, though, so I guess it is ok. He says tall people lose the weight afterwards faster....). I've been using the featherbed, by the way, and it has helped a bit. I also got a body pillow. I'm not sure if I will keep using these things because it makes me feel so distant from Michael! There's all this stuff between us!
I think I have found a job, which is exciting. I go on Sunday for a final discussion with the boss to work out the details. That's about all I have to report!

April 12th
OK, finally got the u/s pix scanned in! You can see a side view or a frontal view of the face :)

April 19th
The 20th week is going fine! It was so cool the other day when I realized I was 20 weeks - exactly half way! Now I'm MORE than halfway - which is exciting but a little sad, too. Not to mention the frightening part! I got a lot more tired this week - I've been going to bed at about 8 pm!!! and falling asleep during school again. It's just a soft, pillowy fatigue that surrounds me. I've also gotten larger and that's probably why my back started hurting while we were packing the other day. It got worse overnight and now I can't bend over - argh. I'm trying to be very very nice to my back so it doesn't get worse!! Beyond that, things are fine. I'm thinking of getting a Tshirt made that says "fine, thanks; September 4th; sex unknown" because people keep asking "how do you feel? when are you do? is it a boy or a girl?" - I'm sure it will get old FAST! Tata for now.

April 25
Into week 21....still tired a lot, fell asleep yesterday while restraining a cat for an ultrasound. My back got better from before -- but it has been hurting again for about two days :(. I'm trying to do some exercises and stretching to make it feel better. I've been feeling little kicks every day, but never as strongly or as many as that one day when Michael felt it too! That's kind of strange but I guess it has to do with positioning. Anyway, that's all for now, it's past my bedtime!

April 30
I forgot to mention this weird morning sickness I've been having. Some time between 9 and 11 am I get very nauseated and even throw up. I spoke to the nurse at the OBs and she told me I had a bug or virus and it wasn't morning sickness but I've had it a few weeks now... . The other new thing is that kicking has been keeping me from falling asleep, and sometimes even waking me! Yikes! This can only get more significant. Oh well, I'm off to school!

May 7
*SIGH* What a week. The stress is almost painful at times. Honestly, I have been feeling like things are going so very well that something horrible is about to happen - and that's a very weird way to feel. Yesterday I had a painful experience with a potential future employer (should get feedback in a few days, all extremities are crossed in anticipation - it may turn out that this was the bad thing waiting to happen). It's been extremely hot outside and I'm starting to worry about the summer. I've also had a lot of worries about dying during childbirth, which I know is stupid but there it is. *SIGH*. Oh, I've also continued to have occasional morning puking, which makes it even more clear to me that it isn't "some bug going around." But I see the OB in three days so we'll talk about it then. I got a couple of cute new maternity sundresses for the summer, but I'm still looking for the perfect thing to wear to graduation. Michael thinks I'm being silly and I don't need anythign special, but I can't help thinking I should look spectacular, it's going to be the last time I get all the attention! :) Oh, another thing I forgot to mention - the baby seems to like Tchaikovsky, just like me. It always moves around a lot when we play the 1812 Overture! :) :) :)

May 11
Well, we had our 23 week appointment yesterday and all is well! The spud is growing right on target and I have gained 30 lbs since the start of this pregnancy!! Dr. Ufberg, who I saw instead of Dr. Mellen, said not to worry about the weight gain AT ALL. He said I look to be right on target and that if average gain is 25-35, that means half gain more and have gain less, right? So I'm not going to worry about it if he isn't. We heard the heartbeat again and it was steady and strong. Next visit, I have to have the glucose tolerance test . Hopefully by then all the insurance stuff will be finalized too so I won't have to deal with the losers at Chickering.

May 14
My first Mothers' Day! Yay! Michael got me a gift set of Clinique Happy products and a really sweet card. We went out for brunch with the family, and the hostess gave roses to all the mothers, and included me! How exciting :). More news, folks. Yesterday we had a momentous occasion - I was lying in bed in the morning and feeling the spud move -- and then we SAW my abdomen moving along with the baby's movements! Today it happened again! It's so weird, but really cool! I had another milestone of sorts last night which isn't as nifty - I had a really REALLY bad leg cramp in the middle of the night. BOY did it hurt. I was nearly in tears. Also last night I had a terrible nightmare that some guy was after me, and he pointed a gun right at my bladder. I woke up really really really having to pee at about 3:30 AM. heh. I think that's all the news for now. Later!

May 15
24 weeks and all is well :)
I forgot to mention, a couple of days ago I got rid of a lot of stress. The job thing seems to be settled - the stressful situation is basically over. I'm pretty sure I will be working part time at a nice practice a little further from home than I'd like, but with excellent hours :). I should be finalizing this today. That's all for now...
May 19
OK, I keep forgetting to mention this I think...the HEARTBURN has been really unpleasant for a while now. At least three weeks ago I started to have significant reflux, although I never felt any burning sensation, it was more of a really unpleasant esophageal fullness. But for the past week, I have felt burning and it's been bad. I mean, really bad. Like, I take a sip of water and then feel all this stuff bubbling up the esophagus to my pharynx. BLECH! So yesterday I had a killer headache all afternoon. I had to go to a meeting at 6 pm and I barely made it through. After the meeting Michael and I stopped to pick up a few things at the store and went home. He made me a plate of spaghetti and I tried to eat it - took a few bites and then puked my guts out and went right to bed. I had some cream of wheat for breakfast this morning and have been sitting on the couch, relaxing - and feeling only fair. I have heartburn. It's really yucky.

May 24
Well, I'm a VMD now! Woo! Got through graduation ok although sitting up there in the chair on the stage, SOMEONE was kicking my abdominal wall and my tailbone was aching a lot. The past couple of days have been pretty much a blur, as I have been trying to ensure that all of my licensure stuff is happening per SOP. Today I had a pretty good day until this evening when I started having some severe abdominal pain - like, I had to stop and sit down while walking home from two blocks away. It feels a lot better now that I am lying on the couch. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. I do feel some kicking, so I know the spud is doing ok for now!

May 29 - Memorial Day
So today I found out that dry eyes are a pregnancy-related condition - and I've had that for about a month now! Ack! I should have figured . I'm going to pick up some eye drops tomorrow. Here I kept thinking my eyes were stinging because I was overtired or something. I'm so dumb sometimes. That pain I had on the 24th did get much better after I laid down, btw. It hasnt recurred, I have no idea what it was. What else to report....Oh, we got some new CDs the other day - an old remastered Santana album (Abraxas), a Grover Washington Jr album, and a "baby genius" classical compilation. I put my abdomen up to the speakers when some of the classical music was playing, and the spud kicked :).

June 1
Yesterday I had a maternity massage - boy was that nice. The baby was moving a lot during it, and has been moving a lot ever since! I mean, a LOT! I spent 20 minutes last night watching my belly move around on its own! Michael hasn't been feeling well - he has a bad cold or something, so we've been staying close to home. Today the spud woke up when our burglar alarm went off at 6 am - and it has been kicking me ever since! what is UP in there?? I like it. It's comforting. Oh, I had another charley horse - I was stretching out in bed, and suddenly my leg cramped up really badly. Ugh. That and the heartburn are the worst things about this pregnancy. I really like how Michael keeps asking about how the baby is doing though - he comes home and says "so how is the baby doing today? Is it moving around? Did you have any good discussions with it?" It's so cute :).

June 13
Week 28 and all is well! Well, mostly all is well. The heartburn is CRAZY bad! ACK! Work is going well and I am very happy that my shifts are only about 3 hours long, because after standing around for that long my feet are tired, and the rest of me is tired, and I want to go home and veg out. Interestingly, just the other night i had another very bad leg cramp. I think the leg cramps are what remind me to write up a new entry here! :) My last doctor's appointment went very well. I had the glucose tolerance test, which I guess was fine because they haven't called me and it's been 5 days. They also re-drew blood for a rubella titer because the lab lost the original sample - nice, huh? Dr. M. said I looked fine, everything seemed normal, and the heartbeat was nice and steady and loud. I'm feeling ok aside from the heartburn, the back pain, and the ligamentous pelvic pain. I'm starting to have real mobility issues, though - it's hard to get out of the car, or out of chairs, or to roll over in bed. Bleah.

June 18
Almost week 29! Today is Fathers' Day! Michael says he isn't a father yet but the spud and I are giving him a card, anyway :). Guess what? Leg cramps again last night - BOTH legs, bad enought that I woke Michael up with my cries of pain. He rubbed them and they got better really fast, so that was good. He doesn't remember it this morning but I still have aches from them. Figures! I am continuing to have that pelvic pain I alluded to before - it's actually more like the feeling of having been kicked in the crotch and badly badly bruised. I hate it. I've been singing all kinds of songs to the spud, but no lullabyes or anything. I suppose I should get some baby songs to learn or something sometime soon. That will be the next project! June 25
Tomorrow starts week 30 - that's just 10 weeks from the big day! Well, not that I think the due date is carved in stone, but it's a good landmark anyway. I have had some stuff going on that I should mention. I went swimming at Kitty and Joe's house about a week or so ago and got to wear that cute maternity bathing suit I have :) - it was fun. I also have finally developed that "always hot" symptom of pregnancy. That is to say, I can't go outside in our >80 F, >90% humidity weather without feeling like I'm going to keel over. I still need a light sweater in those overly-airconditioned movie theaters, though :). Let's see, what else... Oh, the neck. Two days ago I woke up with neck pain from hell. The doctor says I can only take acetaminophen, no really good NSAIDs or muscle relaxants. Sigh. That does nothing. So Emily took me to her trainer and he showed Michael how to massage it. It helped a bit. At least it is getting better, although I still can't get comfortable at all lying down or turn my head when driving, etc. Sigh. Oh, more news - the night before last, apparently, Michael couldn't sleep because my tummy was up against him and something kept hitting him. He turned around and said "cut that out" and I woke up and said "what?" and he said "I'm not talking to you, go back to sleep." Apparently, the spud was very active and was kicking so hard Michael felt it on his back. Hehehehehehe. I thought that was pretty funny. Also, I've checked my blood pressure a few times at the CVS where they have a machine, and it is generally low - like 95/65! I'm not at all surprised; I have been more surprised at the "normal" readings at the OB because normally I have some "white coat hypertension." I guess I have that pregnancy induced hypotension that some people get. I'm not dizzy or passing out so I suppose it isn't a big deal but I will mention it to my OB. I guess there isn't much else to report. I still have heartburn although not as constant as a few weeks ago. Oh, I have to pee like every hour and a half again. Ack. I'm nervous about moving to the new house, but it's exciting. Maybe my next update will be from there, we'll see!

June 30
We ordered the baby furniture today! This was very exciting. We chose a crib, dressers, changing table, a really cute rug and bedding set. We hope it is available for delivery at about the same time as the baby is, but it might not be! Apparently it takes 12-14 weeks to get baby furniture. Who knew? Sigh. Anyway, in other last OB appointment was fine - no problems. A funny thing happened, though - he asked me to reposition on the exam table and as I did that, my foot popped out in front of me and my toes felt something sort of soft and then he said, in a strained voice, "you don't have to kick me in the balls, you know." Oops. I was dying. I mean, I felt terrible but I certainly didn't mean to do it! But then we heard the hearbeat and that was exciting and we were all happy again ;)
One thing that kind of bugged me was that I weighed in at 195 lbs - but the doctor says I have absolutely not gained too much, that everything is perfect, and anyone who says otherwise should go pound sand. So I guess it is ok. We'll see!

July 10
Phew, long break from writing -s o much going on! We moved on 7/3 and don't have our DSL back up yet so internet stuf is on the back burner. We "matched" with an au pair named colleen, that's very exciting. We can't wait to meet her. We've had a couple of sad things happen - Michael and I each have a friend who lost a mom in the past couple of weeks. So we have been out on the funeral circuit, unfortunately. Being pregnant at a funeral feels odd - I mean, I feel like such a "symbol" of life, it is almost embarrassing to be in the presence of the bereft. But I guess that's my own personal problem. As far as the pregnancy goes, no news is good news and nothing bad has happened in that respect. The baby movement seems to have slowed down - I guess because the fetus has less room in the uterus these days. The need to urinate has become even MORE constant, if you can believe that. Sleeping is actually a little better these days, probably because I'm just so worn out that I sleep despite the pains. My feet have been getting really sore again, just like they were early in the pregnancy during my surgery rotations. I rub them and elevate them a lot. I don't stand that much so I don't know why they hurt like this but worse things have happened so I'm not complaining too much :). The weather is HOT and I'm really starting to feel it. Water ice is my best friend! Yay, Rita's! :) :) "Got to get a Rita's, got to get a Rita's!" . Oh, also, my fingers are just a tiny bit swollen - enough that my rings, while they fit, are uncomfortable, so they've been transferred to a chain around my neck :( that kind of bums me out, but hopefully after the baby is born I can put them back on pretty soon. I guess there isn't much else to report - at least, nothing I can think of right now. Later, then.

July 17
Short entry today: just wanted to mention that I forgot to mention one new pregnancy symptom - falling down! I have fallen down at least four or five times in the past two weeks. I just trip and down I go. Today I fell in the driveway and skinned my knees and they really hurt. I don't like this part of pregnancy at all.

July 21
Ack! The OB says the spud now weighs in at about 5.5 lbs, and is head down! That's HUGE! No wonder my back hurts so much; no wonder I'm such a klutzy moose. Sheesh. I'm also almost up to 200 lbs which is very scary but again, the OB specifically said my weight was absolutely fine. I hope he knows what he's talking about. We bought more furniture yesterday. It is an addiction. I hope some of it shows up before the spud arrives!

July 31
35 weeks, and all is well :)
I thought I had problems sleeping before! Well, let me tell you something - sleep is but a fond memory these days. Honestly, I toss and turn so much poor Michael is getting battered and bruised. And then I try to get out of bed only to feel these horrible pains that I think are separation of my pubic symphysis. Bleah. We had a busy weekend - we had a visiting photographer come to the house to take some "pregnancy photos" which we hope will be fun to have in the future. We also had Sharon come to visit from California which was great, as always :). We had a party at Mark's house at which I was so tired I just sat in a chair for a while and then we left pretty early....oh, and we took our photographer friend down to Old City to see all the historical sites, hoping no one would think we were there for the Republican Convention! What else did we cram into our busy weekend? Um, Oh! I went to a baby shower for Joy, and someone actually brought ME a present! Tee hee! That was a nice surprise. Anyway, not too much to report that is directly related to pregnancy. Stretch marks are present and accounted for, by the way.... beyond that, well - still hanging in, hoping for some furniture to arrive, hoping for us to get some baby stuff ordered and ready to go for when baby gets here, hoping to get nursery redone...all in 35 days to go before our due date! Yikes!!

August 2
OK, this is getting ridiculous! Not last night, but the night before, I had a Very Bad Nightmare that lasted all night. I kept waking up, quaking in fear, unable to sleep - and then I'd go back to sleep and dream more of the same dream, which was about some serial killer who was coming to get me, and kept singing some creepy song to me. It was horrible and it kept me up a long time, but after Michael got up at 6:30 and comforted me, I was able to go back to sleep for about 3 hours of uninterrupted, non-nightmare-infested sleep. I was tired all day yesterday and thought I'd sleep well last night but - well - more tossing and turning. No nightmares, but this stupid left hip thing that's been plaguing me the whole pregnancy has progressed into a situation where really just 3 minutes of lying on my left side results in numbness followed by an hour of shooting pains over the lateral aspect of my left hip. So I try to avoid lying on that side but sometimes in my sleep I roll onto it and then I end up being up for an hour. ARGH! To top it off, I woke up at about 4:30 to pee and couldn't get back to sleep at all. It's about 6:30 right now, and I've been downstairs since 5:30 when I decided to come down for some graham crackers and milk (my new favorite snack, by the way :)). At least it's peaceful down here. Kanga is sitting with me.
I forgot to mention something from before - about the time we were moving, I took my rings off my finger and put them on a chain around my neck, just because they were feeling a little bit tight. I was at the time still able to put them on. As of this past weekend, my wedding ring really won't go onto my finger - or, that is, I COULD get it on but I don't think I'd be able to get it off easily so I'm afraid to force it on :(. Also, in the mornings when I get up, my feet are swollen, and it feels weird to walk on them. After I walk around a little bit, the fluid moves out of my feet and it feels better. We have a doctor's appointment today at 9:30 AM so hopefully I'll remember to talk to him about all this stuff!

August 2
Went to the doctor today...all is well! We had the group B strep culture done today so we'll know in a week or so about whether I'll need antibiotics during labor. I hope not. Dr. M says the baby is now about 6 lbs, 5 oz! Woo! He estimates it will grow to about 8 and a half lbs before it's born. We'll see! So far no dilation or anything, which is good. I weighed in at twohundredpounds today which was, on the surface, disturbing...but really is only a gain of 1 lb in two weeks which when I thought about it was actually concerning in and of itself, until Dr. M. told me that actually at this point in gestation, many women stop gaining, and that much of the change could just be due to fluctuations in edema fluid. Anyway, he's not worried so I'm not worried. My feet do feel swollen's about 90 and sunny outside and I was outside for a while, that's probably why. Anyway, we made it through to the hospital fine without encountering any protestors or republicans, just saw a lot of police. Stupid convention. The whole RNC thing will be over before next week's visit, though, so that's good :).

August 6
Yesterday, Michael and my dad painted the baby's room a nice yellow color. It looks really really good! My mom also got a "going home outfit" for the baby - although I'm making her keep it at her house, I don't want it sitting around here! It's really cute, with little teddy bears all over it, and a matching hat and blanket :). I spent most of the past two days at the mall walking around and BOY is that painful sometimes! I mean, my pubic bone is just aching and aching. The only time I really feel comfy is in the bathtub, but I'm turning into a prune! Ack!

August 13
So...last week's appointment went well - no signs of impending labor, so I was able to go to my USDA seminar in Harrisburg; also Dr. M. estimated fetal weight at 7 lbs! The rest of the week was reasonably uneventful. Yesterday was fun, though - we went with our moms and Emily to Kids 'N Cribs out in Wayne, and ordered tons of stuff - a car seat, a stroller, a boppy-type pillow, a breast pump, some bassinet sheets - I don't even remember what all of it was, but we put it all in a big pile, and when I go into labor someone will go get it :). On the way back from there, I noticed that I have pitting edema in my ankles. Bleah. It is really gross. My legs do hurt more lately. My mom keeps telling me to cut salt out of my diet because she doesn't understand that that will not help. The problem isn't related to my sodium levels. Oh well, she means well. I am feeling a LOT more awkward lately, and a lot of pelvic pressure. The baby is still kicking but not moving around as much as it was a couple of weeks ago - it's probably running out of room! I'm very tired all the time and a lot of it probably has to do with the ever increasing discomfort when I lie down to go to sleep. I sure wish we had a recliner or something I could try to sleep in instead of the bed. That might be a lot better. Oh well. We don't. Michael scared me the other day and told me my belly button looked like it was about to pop out. I don't think it's THAT close to popping out, but it is starting to flatten. I REALLY hope it doesn't evert! That will really freak me out. Bleah. Oh, also, I forgot to mention, the strep culture from last week came back negative, so that's good - no antibiotics required during labor. Phew.

August 16
Today's appointment went well. Spud is up to 7 lbs, 6 oz according to Dr. M. I'm still weighing in at 204 (ARGH) which is, I admit, same as last week - although we're CERTAIN that 4 of those pounds are edema. Anyway, Dr. M makes a pretty precise fetal weight measurement by abdominal palpation, I think! We'll see how close he ends up being :) Still no signs of impending labor. Today I was out and about with Lisa almost all day, running all kinds of errands, and BOY does my back hurt now. I feel like the baby is trying to escape from my abdominal wall, and it hurts in my pelvis, back, and lower abdomen when I walk. It's not good. I'm hoping I feel better tomorrow. My ankles still still have pitting edema, too, but that probably won't go away til the baby's born. In other news, our kitchen stools that we ordered are here! They look great next to our counter but will look even better after the rest of the kitchen furniture arrives. That's pretty much all the news I have to report, so more later.

August 17th
Nothing really new to report except that I got a couple of tops on sale at Sears today - certainly my last "maternity clothes" purchases for a while! I also got a nightgown and robe to take to the hospital - also on sale at sears, with nursing slits in the gown. Tee hee. I've started a "hospital pile" and hopefully we'll pack the bag this week. If I can get motivated. It's still painful to move around but I don't want to be too sedentary, that can't be good for me. I've had this dull backache since yesterday, too, that worries me a little - UTI vs early labor vs DJD... my differential list isn't that optimistic. . Anyway, that's all for now.

August 22
Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary, and we had a great day! We had to get up pretty early to make it to a 9 am appointment with an estate attorney, so it was also a very LONG day, but I got to sleep in today so that was ok :).
First thing we did was - I gave Michael the present I got for him - a wine lover's cookbook, which he really liked, and a card with heartfelt sentiments expressed inside, which of course he also enjoyed :). My poor husband has not had five minutes to himself to prepare his gift for me, so he's planning to give it to me later this week, which is fine, because then I will get an extra surprise later :). Besides, spending the day with me instead of going to work should count as a gift, IMO.
So first we headed out to the main post office in Philadelphia to pick up a package, which had been erroneously delivered to our old house, whose new owners had called to notify us about the notification they found on their door when they got back from vacation. It turned out to be two free sample bottles of Similac infant formula! Weird. What a waste of time. But it was amusing at the time. THen we went to see the estate attorney about drawing up wills. That was sort of depressing, as the attorney was very thorough and talked about things like what could happen if Michael died, and I remarried someone his family didn't like, and had a falling out with them, and how this could affect my financial stability...I mean, who wants to think about that, especially on their anniversary? But we got it all dealt with and out of the way and in some way, I think it was a good thing to do on our anniversary because it made us really think about our relationship and committment to each other and stuff. Not that we don't think about it anyway, but you know what I mean.
So, after that, we took a walk back to our old neighborhood in Philly, ran some banking errands, hung out at Barnes and Noble's cafe (my old haunt) where I bought some books to pack in my hospital bag (laugh if you must, but I guarantee you that yes, I WILL at some point want to read some trashy novel no matter how tired or busy I am!). We saw the daughter of the new owners of our old house on the street and said hello :). Eventually, it was time for us to go to lunch - we had reservations at Le Bec Fin which is basically the best restaurant in Philadelphia and probably the USA if you like very fancy French restaurants, which I do! We'd been given a gift certificate for a wedding present and it seemed like using it for an anniversary lunch would be fun, so we did! We had a leisurely and very relaxing and romantic lunch there, and of course the food was indescribably delicious (including the desserts - from their dessert cart I had some of the macadamia brittle chocolate cake, some of the "le bec fin" chocolate cake, some of the grand marnier frozen souffle, and some of the bing cherry fig tart, as well as eating some of the chocolate buttercream layered napoleon from Michael's plate :). They have about 30 desserts, see, and they keep trying to get you taste more and more of them!).
After lunch, we managed to pick ourselves up out of those comfy chairs and go for a nice walk. It was a beautiful day in Philly yesterday! Cool for August, since we had sunny skies and a high of about 76 or 78 F (that's about 24-26 C I think). For those who know Philly we walked from about 16th and Walnut down to about 6th and Chestnut, through the Jeweler's Row area, to look at a jewelry store where they had some bracelets my dear husband had heard about and wanted to check out :) :) :). We browsed there for a little bit, and I had a glass of water given to me by the nice saleswoman who felt just horrible for me when she noticed that my fingers by this time had swollen up like little sausages (they were in fact starting to really bother me).
Then we walked over to one of Philly's art movie houses - the Ritz - where we saw a very funny movie called "but I'm a cheerleader." See for more on that. It's about a teenage girl who, unbeknownst to herself, is a lesbian, and whose parents and friends figure it out first and send her to a training camp to become heterosexual. Riotously funny movie! Plus, I got to relax in a nice air conditioned movie house with soft cushy seats and I even sneakily put my feet up (I never do that, I know it's not polite, but my ankles were very swollen and I figured for all the times I have been to the movies and dealt with chair arms dirty from other people's feet, I was entitled this one time!). By the time we were out of there, my fingers were back to their normal size (well, not normal, but normal for 38 weeks!) and I was feeling fine.
From there, we went back to our old neighborhood and met a friend of ours (Vern) in the park (Rittenhouse Square). We went back into the same Barnes and Noble cafe to have some iced tea and chat with our pal about his work (he works for the veterinary school; he's one of the sysadmins for the network there) and mutual acquaintances and so on. After a while, we realized it was 10 minutes before our dinner reservation at the Brasserie Perrier . Now, those of you familiar with Philadelphia or Georges Perrier may laugh at us for going to both of the man's restaurants on the same day :) but we had sentimental reasons. We wanted to use that gift certificate on our anniversary, and it was a lunch sized gift, so that's why we went to LBF; and we wanted to have dinner at BP because that is where Michael proposed to me. So, we went there and were seated at the table right next to the table where Michael had proposed :). We met my parents there - their anniversary is the day before ours, so we were celebrating with them. We had another wonderful, memorable meal, which on my part ended with a pineapple tart tatin topped with coconut ice cream :).
After all of that, we headed home - allegedly we were going to eat a (very very small piece of!) our anniversary cake together, but we were so tired we forgot! So we'll have to have some today. It'll have to be a whole week long anniversary celebration :)
I'm just grateful that we were able to spend such a wonderful day together and that everything (the weather, our friend, the restaurants, and of course the baby!) cooperated to allow us to do so. It was really great.
I'm spending today dealing with more home-oriented administrative tasks, and also packing the hospital bag!

August 23
Saw the OB again today and got the usual response... "looks great; see you next week!" ACK! No changes or signs of impending labor. Sigh. The spud is now estimated to weigh in at about 8 lbs. Sheesh. No WONDER my back hurts so much these days! Aside from the backache and the pain in my hips and pelvis when I try to walk around, really I'm doing ok I guess. I sure am tired a lot, and I've been having mood swings - actually, thinking about it now, I'm pretty sure that the past few major crying jags were completely due to pregnancy, rather than being due to what they seemed to be due to at the time (stupid stuff).
I've packed a lot of stuff for the hospital; still need to throw in a pair of slippers. I hope we remember to grab some Frozfruits to bring with us when we go, I know I will really want one! Some people think that preparing the bag is going to make it take longer for me to go into labor :) I hope not but I figure whatever, I may as well be as prepared as possible anyway.
So after the OB appt today I came home to deal with the plumber, who was supposed to be installing a sink for us in the kitchen. In actuality, he took out the old sink but couldn't put in the new one because it turned out to have a small defect no one had noticed before. Argh. So I have to go return that and have a hole in the kitchen instead of a sink for the rest of the week while we wait for a new sink. The other thing I have to do is go deal with MOtherhood Maternity - I bought some underwear there and it came in a fourpack. Well, 2 pairs fit fine, and 2 were so tiny they ripped when I put them on! They say all underwear sales are final but this is absurd. So I have to go to the store with the underwear and show them and get them to give me two new pairs ;) I guess that's about all there is to report today.

August 26th
So, I woke up today (Saturday) at 4 am and couldn't get back to sleep, so at about 5 I had some breakfast, then went back upstairs at about 6:30 and took a shower, then crawled back into bed at about 7:30 hoping to catch a few z's - accidentally woke up Michael, though, but did still get about one hour of sleep before we had to get up and go meet Kitty at the local window/carpet place to look at window treatments. We chose blinds and stuff for 8 rooms in our house, which took a couple of hours, and then we went out to lunch at a pizza place with the slowest service on earth (it's normally not so bad, no idea what happened today). Then we went to Kellmers so Kitty could get Emily's watch fixed...and while we were there, Michael got me a beautiful bracelet for an anniversary present! :) Then we went home and got ready for this party we had to go to tonight. It was interesting. This party was about an hour away in south NJ. It was a surprise birthday party, a 50th birthday party, for one of the guys who drives one of the trucks for Michael's family's business. The DJ was playing a great mix of Sinatra, oldies, and newer music... at one point they made the birthday boy do a Chubby Checker imitation so I was doing the Twist, which I think made a lot of people laugh, but I can't sit out a Twist. They also played that Eminem song "Slim Shady," and I think the baby thinks it is the real Slim Shady because it kept trying to stand up - at least it felt like it. I also danced to YMCA (Village People!) and that old song "do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight!" whatever it is actually called. I couldn't get Michael to do any real dancing with me, he likes to hold me close for that and really it isn't possible. We did do the cha cha together when they played "Hot hot hot!" though :) Now it is almost midnight and I'm completely exhausted. Why am I posting this now? Oh, because otherwise I will just forget the entire thing and I don't really want to do that, so :).

August 27
Yet another update...just writing to say that darn it, I woke up early again this morning. It must be some kind of early training my body is doing to get me used to lack of sleep. The spud is bouncing around like a maniac in there, too. I don't know what we're going to do today; hopefully we can put together our new gas grill and get it set up. Then maybe we could barbecue..although since we still have no kitchen sink, that might be a pain in the butt. We'll see. I can't believe I have to go to work tomorrow. I'm thinking that could be really uncomfortable. .

August 29
Just a quick note - I can't believe this. I just got home from my last day of work! Today was a Tuesday and my patients were all friendly and everything went pretty well (even the followup on that Chihuahua with the corneal ulcer I was worried about!) - and now all that's left for me to do is HAVE THE BABY!!! I mean, it's a whole change in identity. It feels weird!

Later the same day...:
OK, so, the "large and in charge" thing is getting seriously old... I went to work this morning for the last time as a childless woman (unless by some really bizarre chance I end up having to go in again to see one of my patients before I have this baby, which I seriously doubt will happen). I was there for three whole hours and I think I had to pee after every single appointment I saw.... When I stand up, I get stabbing pains in my cervix, it feels like I'm being head-butted or something. I also have the return of the evil sciatica to deal with, ack. So I was happy to leave work but when I got home, boy did I feel weird. I mean, suddenly I don't feel like a "real person" anymore. I'm just this giant egg waiting to hatch or something. I have absolutely no serious responsibilities to deal with for once, except for getting this baby safely out of my uterus and into the world. I don't like this! So I spent the day puttering around the house pretending that I needed to do various household tasks - but I can't really do anything because I'm so big and awkward and such. I mean, I can't bend over to get the cleaning supplies out of the cabinet, so I can't clean much; I can't reach into the bottom of the boxes to unpack stuff and if I could, I couldn't walk up the stairs carrying it because I'd need a hand to hold onto the railing with... so I brushed the cats for a while and pretended that was a job of vital importance to the nation :) Then I took a bubble bath because heck, if I'm going to be a lady of leisure then I'm going to try to do it right. Well, that freaked me out because (and this is surely more than you wanted to know) I got into the bathtub and yes, gross as some of you may find this, sticky yellow colostrum started to leak from my breasts. I mean, I can't deal with this. If I were a mare, I'd expect that this means I'm going to deliver within 48 hours and I'd put myself on stall rest and a video monitor :) but I'm a person and I don't know enough about humans to understand the significance or lack thereof of this incident. I'm betting it's probably completely insignificant, though. Just sort of sticky and gross. The baby is either very active or very quiet which is also freaking me out. When it's quiet I am always wondering if it is ok and it makes me nuts because I know it is normal for it to have quiet times but yet it still makes me nuts when it isn't moving around. Then when it's moving around I'm relieved for a while...until it starts banging on my cervix or punching me in the kidney or whatever... I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. If he examines me, smiles, and says "see you next week" again, I think I'm going to throttle him! Bear in mind that all of these "get it out of me NOW" thoughts are shot through with random "OH MY G-D I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO CHANGE A DIAPER, WHAT AM I DOING" thoughts...

September 2nd
So, I DID see the OB on August 30th as planned, and yeah, he said "see you next week." No throttling occurred, however. I wussed out on that one. Basically he said everything was still fine, the baby was over 8 lbs now (and I was 208, ack ack ack ack ack! But I can tell a lot of it is edema.) I'm scheduled for a non-stress test on Wednesday the 6th if I haven't delivered by then. They called it in to the prenatal testing folks as an "NST for post-dates." Sheesh. That's only 2 days later. They do call it "estimated" date of delivery for a reason, right? Well. Anyway. Last night we went to the Pearl Jam concert in Camden. You know, it just HAD to be the hottest night all week, didn't it? Ugh. It was humid and hot and I got all swollen up - even my sandals felt tight for the first time this summer! The music was great (well, Pearl Jam was. Sonic Youth, who opened for them, completely sucked). The baby really danced around to the music the whole time :). I had to keep going to the bathroom during the concert, and once the line was really really really huge and I just went right to the front and cut in front of like 150 people or something - I really couldn't have waited :). Then when I was going back into the seating area one time, the ticket guy said "hold on, you need another ticket, ma'am." I got confused and started to explain that I'd already been seated, and had just gone to the bathroom, and that the stub I had was in fact correct, when I realized that he was telling me I needed an extra ticket for the baby. Har dee har har. Everyone's a comedian these days!

September 3
I haven't mentioned it, but for the past 2 or 3 days, I've had this back pain that's really uncomfortable. It feels like disc pain, very similar to what I felt when I had the prolapsed disc the summer before vet school. It's not constant now like it was then, but when I'm having it, every step I take I get a knifelike pain in my spine. Urk. Yesterday I *finally* organized the master bathroom and I think I overdid things a little bit with respect to moving things from shelf to cabinet and such, and that didn't help my back at all either.
Michael was very cute yesterday - he's getting all excited about the baby and when I got up out of bed in the morning he said "don't leave, you have my baby, don't take it away!" - so I got back into bed for a while :)
I still have no signs of actual impending labor, as far as I can tell. The spud is moving around and seems fine, it's just not ready to come out I guess. I think *I* am the only one who is ready around here. I just want my fingers and toes and feet and legs to stop feeling so swollen and gross! Any time now!!

September 5
No baby yet! Yet another sleepless night, too....up at 2, 4 and 6 just to go pee...and then feeling sort of weird so I couldn't really sleep well in between. I kept feeling like the right side of my belly was being pushed in on or something weird. I walked around a little bit at about 4 am and it went away for a while. Now I'm up, waiting for all kinds of contractors to come by again. I guess we WILL get our refrigerator before we get the baby after all, since the fridge is scheduled for delivery today!
Yesterday was sort of disappointing. I mean, I knew the baby wasn't likely to be born ON the due date, but still. I woke up yesterday with a low backache that felt more diffuse than the disc pain I have, and I thought maybe...but it went away with a little massage. And nothing since then suggests to me that labor is starting any time soon. Sigh sigh sigh.

September 6th
Well, I had the non stress test today - everything looked great, it was "reactive" with plenty of fetal movement and good heartbeat, and I saw a couple of uterine contractions on the monitor but didn't feel them (guess that's the best kind of contraction, huh?). Dr. M told me I'm 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced. So there's been a little bit of progress! We have a tentative appointment for Monday the 11th for a biophysical profile. Hopefully, we won't have to use the appointment....
Less happily, I've gained SIX more pounds - which the doctor believes is all edema fluid. Bleah. The spud is estimated to be 8 lbs, 6 oz. We'll see... September 7th
I'm still pregnant, Mom!!! :). Sheesh, it seems like the whole world thinks I'm going to have the baby in secret and not tell anyone about it. Listen, folks - you DO NOT HAVE TO CALL every couple of hours. If you MUST call, you do not have to leave messages like "call me if the baby is born" or "hope you aren't on the way to the hospital but forgot to call me" or whatever it is that seems amusing at the time!! It's really NOT NECESSARY AT ALL!!!!
But yes, I *am* still pregnant, and feeling relatively crappy. None of my shoes fit anymore. Not even the big stretchy sandals I have been wearing for the past month - they hurt my poor swollen feet! Several of my maternity items are looking seriously small on me, too. It's not good. I have to have this baby soon or I'll end up having to sit home naked all day because nothing fits...
When I walk, I feel like I'm put together by rubber bands instead of ligaments and other fibrous connective tissues. My pelvis pops and cracks when I move my legs, it feels like it is going to fall apart any minute. My lower back disc pain is a little better since I spent some time in the bathtub last night sort of approximating the position of lying on my stomach as best as I could without drowning myself. I'm still achy, though. My *knees* are starting to wear out, too - must be all this extra weight, but they really burn when I rise from a sitting position.
Ok, enough complaining. I just wish that things would move a little faster, that's all. Is that wrong of me?
Update as of noon...I've noticed the appearance of small amounts of mucus...hopefully, this means things are still progressing in the right direction!

September 8th
Sigh. Still pregnant. I woke up at quarter til 5 this morning feeling yucky and crampy. I got up and came downstairs for breakfast after about half an hour of trying to go back to sleep. I once again had a bad backache, til I got out of bed, now it's gone... I'm starting to think this baby just doesn't want to be born or something. Michael and I spent a while last night trying to tell it how much we want to see it and hold it and give it hugs and that we promise to take good care of it when it comes out - we'll feed it and clean it and massage it and dress it and carry it around and stuff, just like we do now sort of, but it has to COME OUT first! It didn't listen...

4 pm and all is...weird. I've felt kind of gross all day but went shopping with Lisa, I had to get out of the house, and I thought walking around might be useful, in getting labor going. I think maybe it was because on the way home, at about 2 pm or so, I was having funny feelings in my abdomen, that I thought maybe, just maybe, were contractions. I didn't feel what they call a "tightening" or a "hardening" though - I just felt a diffuse lower abdominal pain coming and going. Now, I've been home about an hour and a half and I tried to lie down for a nap, but I'm still having intermittent pain AND I've passed some blood-tinged mucus. So I think this is probably early labor. I keep having hot flashes, too, which are very uncomfortable. I'm a little excited and also a little scared. I hope I can take it, I really don't feel good right now and I know the throes of labor won't feel even this tolerable. I hope this is the start of the real thing, though. I don't want to wait around a few more days...

September 16th
well, he was born!! I guess that is not a surprise, given my last entry ;) Here's his story:
The story of Jacob Samuel Israeli Warning: this is long and somewhat graphic. So, Friday I wasn't feeling so hot most of the day, and I started having serious contractions some time around 3 PM. If you talk to Lisa she'll tell you I was having them when we were out shopping in the early afternoon - but in my book, the earliest thing I now can definitely say was a contraction was what felt like a sharp abdominal pain through my lower abdomen at about 2 pm when I was driving home from lunch :). At about 3:30 or so I had a rough time when I felt like I was in the throes of some horrible food poisoning or something - but that only lasted about 10 minutes and then I felt much better. During that time, I lost the mucus plug, though. Anyway, I called Michael at about 4 and told him not to be late coming home from work because I thought I "might" be "starting labor soon." Little did I know! By 5:30 PM I was having painful contractions ever 3 to 7 minutes, we called to talk to the doctor who said we could go to the hospital to get checked if we felt like it, or we could wait - it was up to us. I decided to wait, but then another contraction came and I decided to go :). We ended up getting there at about 7:15 PM, and when they checked I was 4 cm dilated and fully effaced - so they sent me to the labor and delivery room! I was excited to be having the baby but was noticing the contractions getting very close and developing more "full body" effects. They weren't getting more painful necessarily, but they were accompanied by hot flashes, feelings of nausea and dizziness, and a generally unpleasant full body sensation of being close to an agonizing death. This started happening shortly after we got to the delivery room - I was in the bathroom and it seemed so hot and stuffy in there I ripped off my hospital gown and threw it across the room. Then I ripped off my watch, and threw it to Michael. I briefly considered, but rejected, the idea of ripping off my bra and throwing it somewhere, too :). I thought about a shower but the idea of being all wet didn't appeal. So I went to the bed and tried to getcomfy - not possible. Not on my back, not on my side, not on all fours - not with Michael rubbing my back or my feet - I did not like it, Sam I am! So, at some point (it seemed like only 5 minutes after we'd arrived!) I asked for an epidural. I just couldn't accept the idea of having to deal with the horrible sensations I was having any longer, no matter how much I tried - and I did try. I had been vocalizing with contractions, focusing on a focal point, doing breathing exercises, trying to relax my whole body - basically all the stuff they teach you about, and it all helped, don't get me wrong - but not enough. And then I vomited a large amount and poor Michael cleaned it up and I thought I might feel better after that, but I didn't... I also was trembling, so that must have already been transition I guess. I remember telling Michael I just couldn't take it any more, that I had to have the epidural, and feeling really bad about it. I knew we'd already gone more than halfway without it and I was worried that I'd miss out on something by numbing myself up. But Michael was encouraging and he said that he could tell from my face that I was going through something very intense and that if I really thought I needed relief, I should have it. So the OB came back to check me and I was at 6.5 cm already, and they said that was great, I was going at about 2 cm an hour, pretty fast. Dr. Debbs said that since my water hadn't broken, he would like to break it, to reduce the risk of the impending epidural causing my labor to slow down. I gave him permission to do that and then, as he was unwrapping the AmniHook, my water broke! So he didn't have to break it after all. So they got everything set up and started some fluids (after a brief period of difficulty with the IV catheter which, by the way, I am SO glad I let them put in early - I could NOT have sat still for it at that point) and let me tell you, after the epidural was in everything seemed MUCH better. I could still feel contractions and move my legs and everything - I just didn't feel pain but only pressure and tightening sensations. I think some of the narcotic from the epidural got into my systemic circulation too because I felt a transient mild euphoria :). Shortly after this a nice med student named Steve came in and was chatting me up and was showing Michael how to read the monitors and stuff. The monitors weren't picking up my contractions well at all, though - they were worried that maybe the epidural had slowed my labor, but I told them I was feeling the contractions very regularly and then we were playing "find the contraction" on the monitor strip for a while :) Steve was pretty nice and we talked about veterinary medicine vs human medicine and so forth. He explained to me how I might know when I was ready to push, and I thought that maybe I was feeling that way, but I wasn't sure. We had a little debate about the difference between rectal pressure and perineal pressure at this time - ah, the things that seem important at times like this....but seriously, I was being told that I should feel rectal pressure. I was feeling perineal pressure. Why I felt it necessary to have a discussion about this is beyond me but we did talk about it - this was about 11 pm, I think - and finally even though I didn't have the requisite rectal pressure, one of the nurses decided to go get the doctor to check me again. Thinking back, I now realize that I should have just been more assertive and said that yes, I felt the urge to push - but at the time, well - I just couldn't commit to saying I felt ready to push because I kind of thought maybe they'd check and say I wasn't ready and then I'd feel stupid. How stupid is that? Well, by the time he checked, he couldn't assess cervical dilation because the head was practically crowning and the doctor said "you're not ready, you're past ready! You'll have it out in two pushes!" When he told the nurse to set up the delivery tray, I got really really excited! I was also pleased as punch when Dr. Debbs told me he didn't believe in cutting and that I wouldn't be having an episiotomy. This was the one thing I'd disagreed with my regular doctor about. So, the pushing phase was pretty intense - that is some seriously hard work! I remember telling Michael to shut up a couple of times, and I remember shouting out to the doctor, after he said "push, push" at one point, "do you realize how absurd it sounds when you tell me to push? Of COURSE I'm pushing!" And I was! Then the doctor told me to stop pushing because he realized it was an anterior presentation - he had me pant and he reached in and put his finger behind the baby's ear, and turned him around! Boy did that feel weird. And it wasn't long before they told me "reach down and feel your baby's head" which was a big relief, because I thought ok, the head is the worst part - and you thought I'd be numb from the epidural, right? No. The "ring of fire" is true - the head coming out was very painful. After that I thought I was home free - I'd never considered the shoulders! This time when they told me to push, I remember I yelled out "but it feels like I'm being split in half!" and then I remember the doctor said "no, you're not, you're doing great" and then a minute later, I felt a big sense of relief as the baby was completely born! Then I wanted to know immediately if it was a boy or a girl and I asked several times until finally Michael took it upon himself to look at the baby, and proclaim "it's a boy, we have a son!" - and then we said "Hi, Jacob!" and well - the rest is history :). They stiched up my small tear (half the size of an episiotomy, so there!) and I would like the record to reflect that although the epidural was still in place, the right side of the torn tissue was NOT numb. I declined a local, though - I hate that stinging, I figured I could just deal with a few needle sticks for the suturing and I was right.

There were some post birth issues - Jacob was hypoglycemic at birth. They told me his glucose was 21 and I couldn't believe it. His APGARs were 9 and 9, he was vigourous and yelling his head off. He appeared to everyone present to be a completely normal healthy baby (who weighed 8 lbs, 15 oz and was 20 3/4 inches long!) I said "could that be lab error? Wouldn't be be passing out or seizuring?" They said sometimes in babies this happens and they don't show clinical signs (I didn't really believe them though). To make a long story short, I fed him an ounce of formula to get them not to take him to the NICU and start a dextrose IV. They basically refused to allow me to breastfeed him at that time and I didn't argue much because I did want to treat his hypoglycemia, and not waste time in that, so I figured it was better to give him the formula right away rather than some colostrum after an hour of arguing. They rechecked him after he ate an ounce of formula - 27. I asked them to check again on a different machine - so then it was 35. Well, normal in a newborn is apparently 40+. So they insisted on taking him to the nursery for close monitoring and rechecking until he had 3 normal readings. They brought him back to me at 6 am, and he was all sluggish and sleepy and somnolent - and wouldn't nurse. I've since been told that extreme somnolence is very normal in a newborn for the first 24 hours, but at the time I was slightly concerned about this. His nose was very very stuffed up and the few times he DID wake up enough to try to latch on, he couldn't breathe well enough. So I ended up pumping and bottle feeding him colostrum all day Saturday. By Saturday night, though, he figured it out and was nursing like a champ. Boy can he suck! We are thinking of sending him to Hoover for research purposes (just kidding). Seriously, the whole "rooming in" thing they do at hospitals now with babies being able to stay in mom's room is really great. It was wonderful being able to get used to Jacob and his routines and preferences while I was still in the hospital with nurses just a call button away.

Sunday went by pretty quickly in the hospital - we were told that we'd be able to go home Monday morning before 11 am. Then, at 12:30 Monday morning (that is to say, just after midnight, when of course I was there alone with no one for moral support) some insensitive pediatrician came in and notified me that, in her opinion, we needed a genetics consult to rule out Downs Syndrome, because Jacob has a "simian crease" on the palm of his right hand. She explicitly said that he could still be affected even though he doesn't show the other more obvious signs such as mongoloid eyes, low set ears, etc. She couldn't or wouldn't offer any information as far as prevalence of this "simian crease" in the general population or what percentage of people who have the crease also have Downs or some other genetic anomaly. In fact, when I tried to question her about these things she just kept saying that these were questions for the specialist, and that she was very sorry to give me the bad news but that really I would have to talk to the genetics people to get the details. Suffice it to say I was up all night crying. Thankfully, when morning rolled around, a rapid succession of nurses, med students, obstetricians, pediatric nurse practicioners, and pediatricians came through and told us that there's no way this kid has Downs. Apparently, he's too strong and vigorous and advanced! :). What topped it off was when the head of genetics at Children's Hospital called and told my nurse that he was refusing to send a geneticist over to check out Jacob as per the other doctor's request, because there was no reason to do the consult based on the single finding of a simian crease in one hand. That made me feel a lot better, even though the whole rigamarole ended up causing us to stay in the hospital an extra 5 or 6 hours.

Jacob has been doing exceedingly well at home. He's still nursing like a champ and has already gained back 4 ounces from his discharge weight of 8 lbs, 15 oz so he's almost back to birth weight! He's pretty yellow still, and we're going back to the pediatrician tomorrow to recheck his bilirubin (which was 12.6 at the time of discharge, and was 14.6 today) to make sure he doesn't need phototherapy, but since he's gaining weight so well and he's so active, we're not particularly concerned. [update: just got back from the pediatrician again on 9/13 - he gained another ounce and they think he looks fabulous :)]

The Bottom Line: we're overjoyed and amazed. We of course just love our son to pieces and can't get over the fact that we created him, and that just a few days ago he was INSIDE MY BODY! It seems so sci-fi :). We have gained a whole new appreciation for our parents and the jobs they did raising us (thanks, mom and dad!). We're hoping to be up to the task!

Photos are available at photopoint.