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Category Archives: doctor visits

Whoa. Kid. Part 2: The False Alarm

December 14, 2009   

Saturday before the baby was born, I had my last scheduled non-stress test. The technician once more predicted that I’ll be having the baby pretty much any minute, as they were observing very regular, noticeable contractions, as they had the week before and a couple of days before.

By this time, I had become irrationally convinced the baby was just never going to make a move on his own. People warned this weird thought would enter my head at some point, but it had all sounded like crazy talk until it happened.

I suppose I knew he would eventually come out, but I wanted to know that my body was going to try to do its thing on its own at some point. All signs pointed to it doing something, what with all the regular contractions and hospital staff making bets on things moving soon, so what was the hold up?

Sometime after we got back from the appointment, my mom and I took Mobi for a long walk. While we were walking along the dogwalk near our house, I thought my water possibly broke, which was both a big relief and hugely inconvenient, given my distance from home.

We got home and I proceeded to google how to tell when your water has broken (when it’s not a huge gush) and called the on-call doctor. The doctor advised that due to my testing positive for group b strep, I should come in the next morning even if I did not go into labor, due to fear of infection.

I didn’t go into labor, even while my non-painful contractions stayed quite regular. I didn’t want my mom to worry too much, so we waited to tell my mom until the morning. We got to the hospital at 8am and proceeded to be checked in immediately instead of going through triage, as the doctor ordered.

As you can tell from the title of this blog post, it was a false alarm and my water had not broken, as we found after I got checked in and had the nurse check me out.

I really wish my water had broken and that we had stayed to be induced because this trip to the hospital was so pleasant in every way, without the fear, panic, and pain of the next day. The nurse was just so nice and made me feel at ease, and the entire process was orderly.

Whoa. Kid. Part 1: The Waiting

November 16, 2009   

Our baby (henceforth to be referred to as Burrito) is now 28 days old. Whoa.

So much has happened. I’m filled with so many emotions. I have to start somewhere, so I suppose I’ll start with the days leading up to labor & delivery.

Starting about a week an a couple of days before the due date or thereabouts, I started to have painless contractions that were starting to fall into a pattern. I’d time five hours of 30 second contractions 15 minutes apart until I got bored or had to focus my attention elsewhere, like on eating. πŸ˜€

The due date came and went, with nothing major happening, except that the baseline state of pregnancy changed from uncomfortable to fairly painful. I also started to get a little worried about the various complications that could arise from a longer gestation period.

The doctor and the two of us agreed that we want nature to take its course so we’ll just start monitoring things as we waited. We started going in for semiweekly non-stress tests.

A non-stress test is done by strapping two monitors to your belly: one for monitoring the contractions, if any, and another for monitoring the baby’s heartrate and activity level. The “non-stress” part means that the test involves no application of external/artificial stress on the baby. If the mother experiences three or more contractions during the monitoring session, then that is considered a spontaneous stress test. Apparently, there are rare cases when a stress test might be applied, but most regular monitoring such as I was getting wouldn’t involve externally applied stress.

I was scheduled for four visits before we’d talk about induction.

The waiting

October 11, 2009   

Just a week and a half ago, I was nervous and wishing the baby would arrive late, because I felt panicked and worried about, well, everything.

In the last week, I’ve come to a place of readiness and waiting (as has Seppo), which has turned to impatience to meet the little guy! Almost every night, I experience what feels like really low-intensity regular contractions about 10-20 minutes apart, which convinces me that I’m in early labor, only to have those contractions go away by morning.

We had two non-stress tests (NST) and amniotic fluid scans last week, and everything seems to be better than fine, so there is no rush to get him out of there. I know this, but this doesn’t stop my impatience! πŸ˜€ I have another regular doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and another NST on Wednesday.

I think he knows we don’t have a name yet and is waiting for us to make up our minds. Heh.

I was really stressed out during the middle to the end of this week because it turned out that the insurance company had the wrong identifying info for me. I hadn’t known I could contact our outsourced HR administrator to resolve the problem for me, so I spent several days on the phone trying to get things worked out. It was stressful because the insurance company representative stated some extremely alarming things regarding my coverage (or lack thereof, in their eyes). With Seppo’s assistance and a follow-up by our HR administrator, the issue got straightened out, but it was a stress point that I didn’t want to have to deal with. I wish the insurance company rep hadn’t been so alarming in his statements, which threw me into a panic and an embarrassing breakdown/crying jag.

I really don’t enjoy feeling/looking weak in front of others, especially strangers, especially in a business setting. I hated that it happened that way, but it is hard to discount the role of an overwhelming amount of hormones coursing through the system, as well as all the normal stresses involved with getting ready for a baby.

I’ve been napping on and off throughout the last few days. I haven’t been sleeping well because of the contractions — both the physical feelings of mild contractions and the mental awareness that they are happening — but I think I’ve also been extra tired. I’ve pretty much had the phone going straight to voicemail.

My mom is coming on Tuesday, late at night. When we booked the tickets, I assumed that we’d be home with the baby by then, and Seppo could slip out to pick her up, but now I wonder if the baby will even be born by then. Who knows, really. He’ll arrive when he wants to arrive. He’s not listening to his mom even now; can you imagine when he’s a teenager? :p

We had a cleaning crew come to do a thorough cleaning before the baby comes. They came on Saturday and did an amazing job. I can’t believe how fast and thoroughly they worked. This really helped us get the last bits of organization for the baby done, so we can focus on the big picture instead of worrying about small details. It’s such a load off my mind.

I’m still writing the thank you notes (and looking up people’s addresses) from the baby shower, but at the rate I’m going, I’ll be including pictures of the baby with the thank you notes! πŸ˜€ Well, not if the little guy refuses to come out. :p

We’ve been filling our evenings and weekends with a combination of trying to get ready for the baby and going out to do random things that will be harder to do when the baby is here, like eating out or even going to Best Buy. It’s hard not to think, “This will be our last outing before the baby, surely,” only to have the days keep passing.

Dear baby,

You might as well come out already. We have prepared a good home for you and we are ready to love you. Well, we already love you, but we want to both be able to hold you and look into your face and find out what you are thinking. I can’t speak for your dad, but I’m not too excited about the changing diapers part, but I’ll do it because I love you. πŸ˜€ We’ll show you all sorts of exciting and new things. The world has so much to offer. You’ll get to meet all sorts of wonderful people, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and little friends (most of them are bigger than you, but some will be coming after you). It’ll be much better than being inside. I wouldn’t lie to you!


Good test results

July 10, 2009   

I was always a good test-taker. :p Just kidding. I got a call from my doctor’s office on Friday. My gestational diabetes screening test came back negative for gestational diabetes, which is positive news. πŸ™‚ My 1-hour blood draw resulted in a blood sugar level of 119 mg/dL, which is well below the 130 cutoff which would have triggered a 3-hour test. In addition, I am also not anemic. Nice!

Does this mean I should stop my no-carb, all-beef diet? πŸ˜‰ I’m totally kidding.

My stomach is huge! Huge! I need to take more pics and sort some of the pics I have on my camera by date so I can post an album of the pregnancy progress.

Have I mentioned that we’re in our third trimester now? :O

Another generically-titled update

July 1, 2009   

Let’s see… Back pain is increasing in proportion to weight gain, which is to be expected. Vision is definitely a little on the blurry side. Hands and feet experience some swelling for about an hour or two a day, depending on my position, but has not been as bad as the one time when I was visiting my best friend in May.

The biggest unexpected thing from the last two weeks is pain in my hands, near my thumb joint. I think it’s because I have been using my hands a lot more to compensate for the lack of ability to use my abdominal muscles to sit/stand up or even roll over. It’s amazing how the body works in unacknowledged concert; it’s only when you have reduced function in any one part that you can truly appreciate the well-orchestrated machine the body is. I’m sure some of the pain in the hands is also due to a bit of RSI that is exacerbated by the swelling of the extremities.

The baby himself has been very active, which is really fun. He seems to shift around a lot when I roll over. I think he’s been waking me up at around 6am every morning. Or maybe I’ve been waking him up? He also is fairly active after I have a meal. So far, it’s just an incredibly neat, stupefying experience, rather than a painful one, so I am enjoying it as much as I can. It’s amazing to see my belly jump around every so often. I hadn’t expected to see this much movement externally in the second trimester (which is coming to an end soon), but it’s really cool.

Our friends H&S have said we can borrow their infant carseat and breast pump, as they will be just transistioning off them when our little guy arrives, if he’s not too early, so this is great for us. We picked up some baby clothes, a floor gym thingy, and a Bumbo seat, the last of which we’ve lent to H&S for now, since we won’t need it for at least two or three months after the baby is born.

I have to go in to do the glucose test for gestational diabetes this week. Fun! πŸ˜€

Pixelated Skeletor

May 19, 2009   

We had our 20 week ultrasound today. It was exciting because we got to see the baby wiggle around in there quite a bit as the technician searched for various bits. This is how it came down:

  • Hands: 2
  • Arms: 2
  • Legs: 2
  • Feet: 2
  • Heart: 1, 4-chambered
  • Kidneys: 2
  • Spine: 1, with lots of neat cross-sectional views
  • Brain: 1, with lots of neat cross-sectional views
  • Face: OMG, it’s Skeletor! Profile is cute, but straight on is a skull-face, which is to be expected in an bw ultrasound
  • Umbilical cord: 1, attached in the right place, 3-cord

It looks like everything is good! From a femur measurement, they told us that the baby is at 20 weeks and 1 day, not 19 weeks and 6 days as I had thought, so I’ll move up the ticker to October 5th, 2009 as the estimated due date, not that two days really matter much.


Except now we are suddenly past the 50% mark! OMG! WHAT?!

We are just so relieved that the baby appears in all ways to be healthy and growing normally. The baby is estimated to be at about 11 ounces. That’s lighter than a biggish cup of coffee. Heh. It was also surprising to see how crowded things looked in there. When we last saw the baby, it probably only took up like 1/3 to 1/2 the space and I don’t know if I could see the placenta very well. It looked like space baby floating in space land. Now, the placenta is huge (like 1/4 to 1/3 of all the “real estate” *cough*) and the baby easily takes up far more than half the space.

Roll, baby, roll

March 31, 2009   

Wow, that was exciting. Last Thursday, we went to the first of our integrated tests. As expected, they did an ultrasound, where they measured the baby in various configurations.

I’ve seen ultrasounds for my little brother, my niece, and for my friends U&C’s baby D. So I knew it could take a couple of seconds for the baby to come into the proper position for viewing. However, BAM! As soon as the technician put the ultrasound thingy to my belly, there he/she was, in perfect profile like they always show in the movies.

THEN, he/she rolled over and showed us his/her back. Then appeared to wave at us with the left hand. Obviously, these are completely involuntary, unconscious movements, but I have to say, this was the moment for me, where I was struck over the head with the reality of there being a real baby in there. The husband had this goofy/silly/dumbstruck look on his face like, “Did you see that?” I almost cried from the amazement. I definitely would have if we weren’t in there with a stranger.

Sizewise, the baby seems to be the right range. The technician said 6cm, but the fuzzy printout says 6.7cm, I think. The printouts suck to what we actually got to see when we were there… I wish I had asked her also what the uterus size was, because I was astounded that the baby could move so freely, with zero awareness on my part. It wasn’t squirming, just hanging out and rolling about freely.

I mean, I’ve known and felt pregnant for months now, but it’s really different seeing the baby in motion, while listening to the heartbeat. Now, there is a new awareness of this new being in there.

In funny news, I think my husband and I are having an ongoing disagreement on how much we want to push our kids. We had a really tense discussion the other day on what learning is, and yesterday, while we were watching How I Met Your Mother, we clearly came down on opposite sites of Lilly (wants her kindergardeners to have fun playing basketball) and Marshall’s (wants them to push to win) argument.

In pregnancy symptoms news, I will overshare and say that constipation sucks. And the nausea is definitely better than the peak I hit a couple of weeks ago, but it’s still ever-present. I have headaches and nausea. I had a 4-day streak (maybe it was longer) when I didn’t puke, but that got ruined two days ago. Boo.

I certainly don’t feel like my usual upbeat & happy self. In general, I feel like a stick-in-the-mud. I never feel up for doing anything and I’m grumpy when I hang out with people, and I always want to puke. 

But it’s still better than a couple of weeks ago! πŸ™‚

Lots o' Pills

March 25, 2009   

No, nothing pharmacological. I’ve been taking ginger pills since last Thursday, and vitamin b6 pills since about two days ago. Compared to my pre-pregnancy self, I still feel like utter crap, but compared to last week, I am much, much better.

We went to our regularly scheduled doctor visit on Wednesday and listened to the heartbeat for the first time. It’s pretty crazy. Even though I heard it perfectly when I accompanied my friend to her appointment, I failed to hear it right away for us. πŸ™‚ My husband did hear it fine though.

We told two more of our friends on Sunday at a small dinner gathering to celebrate the husband’s birthday. I also told another friend on Monday when I met with her for lunch. 

Tomorrow is the first of our integrated testing. This one will be some sort of ultrasound, where they measure the width of something behind the neck and make various other measurements to ensure that everything is going along ok. We won’t be told about their conclusions re: neck measurement or anything unless it is so severely out of wack that it’ll be obvious something is wrong. If things are not immediately noticeably wrong, they will wait until the week 16 tests to interpret tomorrow’s results, to ensure a much higher accuracy.

I’m nervous. I just hope the fetus is the expected size and everything.


February 24, 2009   

I thought about food all day today. This is not that unusual, as I tend to go on these food fantasy benders, but today, it was all about trying to think of various foods that didn’t make me gag. My food observations so far:

  • Sour/tart/vinegary foods seem to keep my nausea away. I had a couple of tiny cornichons the other day at brunch with my husband’s cousin and his girlfriend while we were down in LA, and I’m still thinking about it. I also downed a couple of pickles today. 
  • Skim milk really hit the spot today! That was weird, as milk is not my thing. I generally only use milk for cereal, coffee, tea, and ice cream.
  • Fatty things make me queasy. This was something that had almost always been true when I was younger, but as I got older, I had gotten past the queasiness to the down-and-dirty deliciousness of most fats. But now, I find that fatty, greasy things (unless in spicy or soupy form) make me really nauseated. I find breaded, fried things to be particularly off-putting. The mere thought makes me want to vomit.
  • Keeping food in my mouth, whether it’s actual food-food, snacks, gum, or candy seems to keep the nausea at bay. Barely.
  • It’s the worst in the mornings and about 20 minutes after a meal. I feel worse than I usually feel when I’m legitimately sick. It’s also bad when I move too quickly.

In other news, my doctor left me a message saying that the blood tests all came out clean, confirming being clear for various diseases (I’ll need to call back to figure out exactly what this list entailed), and that my rubella shots seem to be up to date (I had no idea you could tell from a blood test), but that I seem to have a bladder infection that needs to be treated right away. Ugh. So they called in a prescription of antibiotics for me, which I’ll be picking up and starting tomorrow.

I read up on it and it’s apparently not a big deal unless it travels to the kidneys, which the antibiotics should prevent. A kidney infection could mean premature delivery, so it’s important to get rid of the infection. And the antibiotics are supposed to be perfectly safe for fetuses, so hopefully everything is ok.

Back to appetizing food talk — a perfect segue from talk of bladder infections, I am sure… 😐 Anyway, tonight was delivery from a place nearby that specializes in Northern Chinese cuisine. We got some awesome handmade dumplings with a vinegary sauce, pork w/ preserved vegetables noodle soup, spicy chicken & dry-fried string beans, and pea sprouts. I think the preserved vegetables were mainly pickled mustard greens, which hit the spot with their tartness, as did the sauce on the dumplings.

I told you about the tart thing. 😐

I even contemplated at some point today, if I could chug a little vinegar. Would that be bad? Probably. But it provides relief. I honestly had not anticipated that I’d be overwhelmed by such crappy feelings during the incubation of our future baby. I had sort of smugly imagined a perfectly happy, healthy pregnancy, untainted by even the tiniest of discomfort. I have no idea why I was so pre-smug about things. What a humbling experience. Heh.


February 18, 2009   

Today, I went to a phlebotomist near my work (or, rather, my husband drove me) instead of going back to the lab near my doctor. This person stuck me within 2 minutes and got blood almost right away and sent me on my way. And she was really pleasant the whole time too. Ah, the small pleasures of interacting with nice people…

I sucked on Jolly Ranchers all day, which was strangely helpful. The dear husband unit ran out in the evening to get me some sugar-free candies and gum so I don’t rot my teeth out. It seems like the gum is helping! Good! I could live with that.