38w4d: Plans

Still here, blogosphere, and still pregnant!  I would be a liar if I said I’m not the least bit uncomfortable.  It seems this child is much more fond of breakdancing on delicate lady parts than Rex who preferred to kick ribs and things of that nature around this time.  Neither are particularly fun.

We’re much better prepared this time around than we were with Rex.  Part of that is knowing what to expect and part is not letting the fear of Bad Things take over the planning aspect of things.  We’ve bought lots of clothes. We’ve put up pictures on the wall in the nursery.  We even – gasp! – set up a registry.  We’ve scheduled parental visitations to help out with Rex and the new baby for the first few weeks and I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and freezing to have meals ready for all of us when no one feels like cooking.  In other words, we’re actually treating this an event that will happen.

As for a birth plan, well, I have none except to have a healthy baby in the least dramatic way possible.  I had the exact same plan with Rex and due to my complete lack of expectations about the whole process, I had a very positive birth experience.  Hell, I progressed from 2 to 10 cm in an hour with my epidural and pitocin while playing Cash Cab with Mr. X. That to me is just about as close to heaven as you can get.

Like last time, I have no desire to have an unmedicated, watered, or home-based birth. I don’t care about being hooked up, monitored, or stuck in the bed due to an epidural.  Whatever it takes to get this child out in one, healthy piece is what I’ll do even if that means a C-section. This isn’t about my experience – it’s about getting her here as safely as possible.

Some might say I have an inflated trust in the medical profession.  At my core, I’m a deeply practical person.  I don’t pretend to have medical knowledge beyond that which Dr. Google has shared with me.  I’d like to think that I have picked doctors who share my basic practical philosophy and won’t bullshit me about my options.  I trust their knowledge and experience and  expect them to trust that I have am making informed decisions about my care.  It also helps that I am not prone to high risk complications which necessarily escalate possible intervention nor am I adamantly against medical intervention.

Whatever the case may be, this is perhaps the only area of my life that I am willing, even happy, to cede control to someone else to ensure the best possible outcome. Just as long as I get my epidural, we will all get along just fine.

31w4d: Getting There

Good Lord, where has the time gone?  I’m already in the third trimester – three weeks into the third trimester to be exact.  This also means that we’re in single digits for weeks left.  November still seems so far away but it’s approaching really fast.  That’s good news for the election since we’ll finally be over that, but it’s bad news for our baby preparedness!

But, there has been some progress.  Baby Girl’s room has been painted a lovely shade of yellow (Honey Pot to be exact), we’ve ordered the crib, the car seat has already arrived and we went baby girl clothes shopping.  With Rex, I had to be practically dragged to the baby clothes section and even then refused to get more than a few things since even I in my denial that we would take home a living child understood that on the off chance that we did, he would need to be clothed.  This time was much easier and much more calculated. We knew what we needed and what sizes would probably work.  And, holy crap, little girl clothes are so freaking adorable.  I did draw the line at animal print, though.  I will not outfit my newborn in leopard print.  When she’s old enough to make fashion decisions, she can wear leopard, zebra and tiger print all in the same outfit, but for now, hell no.

As the belly grows (and grows and grows), sleep has become harder and harder to come by.  I’m not the only one affected either.  With Rex, I developed a terrible snoring problem that drove Mr. X to the other bedroom every night.  It’s officially started again and I frequently wake up in the middle of the night alone in the bed, except for the kitty who doesn’t mind my snoring.  There’s also the pee thing, the limited position thing, the funky dreams. But, all par for the course and totally welcome if it means baby stays put until it’s time.

I’ve also had the incredibly ironic post-partum birth control talk with my OB.  Mr. X and I are pretty convinced that this will be the last baby for us.  I know, I know, I said Rex would be our last one.  But, this time, we’re both pretty certain.  I’m 36 and being pregnant isn’t as easy as it was even at 33.  Plus, we never had designs for more than two kids anyway.  And, with this child, we finally managed to do what we set out to do in the first place – have an unassisted conception. This has also been the emotionally normal pregnancy that I didn’t have with Rex and it’s been wonderful.   In that respect, Baby Girl is our victory baby.

I made the mistake of sharing this discussion with my mother who shared it with my father who offered his very unsolicited advice that my husband should get a vasectomy.  Mr. X and I talked about getting him snipped but one of us is firmly against the idea, and it’s not who you think it would be.  No, Mr. X is perfectly fine with it. I’m the one who is adamant that he shouldn’t get a vasectomy.  There are a number of reasons why I want him to keep his fertility intact – what if I die and he marries someone else who he wants to have kids with?  What if we do want to have more kids down the line and IVF is our only way to go? It’s a whole lot easier when the sperm factory is still churning.

So, once the girl arrives, I will either have a tubal ligation if I happen to have a C-section, which is not currently planned, or I will go in later for the Essure procedure.  Full circle, we have come.

26w1d: Still Kicking

I’ve caught myself several times thinking how much easier, more enjoyable and overall less stressful this pregnancy has been than my one with Rex.  The Been There Done That factor cannot be underestimated, but it’s also that I’m not waiting for the other shoe to drop this time around.  I was religious about doing my kick counts each day starting in the second trimester. This time around, I note that she has a vigorous kicking period whenever I’m sitting, driving, doing anything at least once a day and otherwise pay general attention to things but don’t get overly stressed.

I’ve already met with the new OB in my New Town and she is so far turning out to be what I wanted: no nonsense, efficient and calm.  Her office is actually run better than my old OB’s office. Mr. X and I also toured L&D in the new hospital where we’ll be going.  I use ‘new’ in the sense that it is new to us.  It is by no means brand new like the hospital where I delivered Rex.  But, it’s clean, well staffed, has a Level 3 NICU and has all of the modern conveniences.  It even has a sofa bed for Mr. X which the other hospital did not have.  He will just have to get used to the fact that it smells like a ca. 1980s Motel 6.

We also had a follow up ultrasound to determine if my pesky placenta had started its journey north away from my cervix and for Mr. X to see more evidence that we are in fact having a girl.  Placenta was on its way up and bebe is still a girl. Silly boy Mr. X questioned the prior ultrasound that he did not attend, being in another state and all, because girls are are not what the family is known for producing.  Given the testosterone-y history of his family, I can’t say I blame him, but still, I told him again that I knew from the start that were having a girl and subtly implied that he should trust me on this one.

Glucose test is next week.  I will be drinking the Kool Aid and should hopefully live to tell the tale.

21w0d: Mover and Shaker

As a general matter, I do not recommend moving households with a toddler.  I especially don’t recommend it when the moving truck gets delayed because the driver is not authorized to come into the new state you’re moving to, and you are without your household goods for four days.  Add into the mix two cats, one elderly Golden Retriever and gestating another human being and it is freaking hard work. Thank goodness for my mom, good friends and meticulous planning.

Before we moved, I had the anatomy scan with the MFM who shares office space with Dr. Uterus.   I was pretty certain going in that we were having a girl.  Mr. X was pretty certain we were having a boy.  In the X family, there has not been a girl born since 1932.  Yes, there has not been a girl born in the family in 80 years.  The girl in question, however, is still kicking at 80 despite a regrettable smoking habit.

So who won?







Me. Of course. We’re having a baby girl.  My mother-in-law was beyond herself.  After three grandsons, she’s getting a granddaughter.  I for one am not looking forward to onslaught of pink frills that will inevitably invade my home. For her part, baby is a mover and shaker.  I’ve been feeling her move since 13 weeks.

The scan did show a marginal placenta previa, but hopefully that will resolve itself by 28 weeks.  No restrictions other than no sexy time.  Which, considering all of the crap we’re going through, that is the last thing on the agenda.



15w2d: Change is Good, Right?

We finally got the Materni21 results back and they were negative. I wasn’t actually that concerned about them or even preoccupied waiting for them because at the same time, we were looking for a new house in another state. That’s right, it’s not enough that we’re having another child this year, we’ve also decided to move back to Louisiana.

We’ve always known that we would be moved and were essentially living on borrowed time. We also knew that the best position that we could secure for both of us – besides where we are now – is moving back to New Orleans. And that is just what we’re doing. Mr. X has gotten a job with a new facility that his company has purchased and of course, we are going with him. I will also be able to get back into my office which I haven’t been able to do in the last 6 1/2 years.

I was initially really excited about the move but our trip back to find a house was a real eye opener. Despite Hurricane Katrina, the housing market is strong, almost overpriced. We have more money this time around to buy but we also have more criteria (and people). Given that we have an almost school age child, school districts were of great concern and unfortunately, New Orleans is still a place with exceptionally poor public schools and exceptionally expensive private schools. So, we found a house in a different community that has good public schools, but is short on other amenities…. like quality day care.

Rex is currently in the center that is associated with Mr. X’s company. We consider it the Rolls Royce of daycare and we knew going in that it would be hard to duplicate. What I didn’t anticipate was that there doesn’t appear to even be something close to the lowest denominator of what we have now. I went from being mostly excited about our move to crying in the middle of a potential daycare. I could blame the hormones, but mostly it was realizing that we were so incredibly fortunate and it will be really hard to get that lucky again.

Most of my sadness was also because I got very attached to the center where he’s at. I’ve never had to worry about him (except for the unfortunate biting incidents) or what he was learning. In fact, they taught me so much about raising a child that it’s like they raised me too. I’m really going to miss that.

But, change is good. For all of us.

13w: Scanning & Scurrying

The NT scan we had with Rex featured the word “surreal” many times. Surprisingly, it was no different this time around.  It never ceases to amaze me how the tadpole blob of 6 weeks transforms into something closely resembling a baby as early as 12w4d.  We saw the profile, including the distinctive X family chin, the beginning of the nose, legs, arms, hands and little fingers.  It was too early to tell gender.

Unlike the MFM we saw with Rex, we were given genetic counseling about the most common chromosomal abnormalities and the various tests now available.  We told our sordid conception history, including the parts involving the man down the hall, aka Dr. Uterus.  We told of the conception success we had up the street with his rival.  And, we all marveled that this time we ended up where we were all by ourselves.

The NT measurement varied between 1.8 and 2.4, which we both found alarming but didn’t seem to phase the tech or the doctor.  Baby was measuring ahead at 13w3d.  She said that everything looked “great” and was unconcerned with the measurements.

As for the blood test, we opted for the Materni21 blood test.  It finds and isolates free floating DNA from the baby and evaluates it for Trisomy 13, 18, and 21.  The results come back as a “yes” or “no” rather than odds. It’s being billed as the no risk amnio. I prefer to think of it as the yes/no test.  We get the results in about 10 days.

As surreal as the scan was, being back in the waiting room at Dr. Uterus’s office was downright bizarre.   The staff remembered me and seemed glad to see me as a patient of the MFM rather than Dr. Uterus.  I couldn’t identify any fertility patients waiting, but I could definitely pick them out from the departing patients.  The lack of a big belly was a clue, but the dead giveaway was the consistent half-run they all made to get the hell out of that waiting room.  They all looked straight ahead while making a beeline for the door.  I was so sad for them because I knew so well what they were going through. I wanted to give them a hug and a referral card to the far more compassionate Dr. Salsa who doesn’t make them run the gauntlet of bellies.  I also wanted to punch Dr. Uterus for still making his patients put up with a waiting room of disgruntled, pee-prone pregnant ladies.  He obviously has learned nothing.

So, all in all, a positive experience.

10w4d: Live to see another day

Quick update to report that baby is still there, measuring 10w3d with a heartbeat of 180. 

Moments of the absurd:

– Sono tech banging on my belly to wake up the baby and it responding with outraged wiggling.
– I’m being referred to the MFM who shared (and still shares) office space with Dr. Uterus for my sequential screening. AWKWARD.

9w4d: Waiting

Vacation has numerous advantages, chief among them the ability to make time go at warp speed.  We’re already back from our cruise and the sunburn from St. Thomas is fading – although I still feel like I’m on the boat .  We had a good time. Slept in, read, took in the sights, drank fruity (non-alcoholic) beverages, and basically tuned out the real world.

Rex had a ball with the grandparents, putting them through their geriatric paces like the lively, active two year old that he is.  They also got to experience the new phenomenon of four-word sentences (“Rex car fall again”, “All done Rex bed”, etc).   Our absence has made his heart that much fonder, and vice versa.

The end of vacation also means that we’re just one week away from the next OB appointment.  Cue ominous music.  While I have no evidence that things have gone south, I had no reason to think things were going south with my first pregnancy.  Which they did.  Right about this time.  Of year and pregnancy.

The parallels of this pregnancy to my first pregnancy five years ago are eerie.

Parallel No. 1: Both times, I got pregnant in February and was due in November.

Parallel No. 2: Two days after I found out I was pregnant this time, my mom had an episode of Transient Global Amnesia which is very scary, but very short lived.   She had her first TGA right before I got pregnant five years ago.

Parallel No. 3: I ended up on a cruise in my first trimester.

Parallel No. 4: Around this time, a student shot up their college killing their classmates.

Parallel No. 5: After said cruise, we had an appointment to check on the pregnancy.

This is of course, where the story may follow the same path or verge off into a new direction.  No one knows what will happen, but it’s hard not to look to the past to predict the future.

There are quite a few differences, too, though.

My HCG was much higher this time, baby was measuring well as of the last time we got a peek and we know so much more about the whole process.  Of course, the most important difference is that this time we already have a child.  We’ve already been granted our greatest wish.


7w1d: Embracing Reality

I refused to even consider maternity clothes when I was pregnant with Rex until I was into the second trimester.  I couldn’t understand how ladies with a barely dry, positive pee stick ran out and started loading up on maternity wear.    What better way to tempt the Fates, than to buy maternity clothes in the first trimester?  I knew how the world worked when it came to the dreaded “m” word and damned if I was going to prove the axiom right.

This time, though, fear has given way to a sort of dress-in the-moment attitude.  The moment currently is that I’m pregnant and I need to dress in something other than flowing dresses because I don’t have that many and my summer tops are feeling neglected from lack of use.   Enter the two Old Navy Maternity shorts that I ordered this morning with no twinge of fear.   At least I’ll be comfortable for the next few weeks – especially on our vacation next week in the Caribbean – and if things don’t work out, I know where I can sell them.  It’s a win-win.

Mr. X and I have also had preliminary discussions of planning for where Baby Lagniappe might sleep, when to tell Rex, and how to handle day care.  We talked about giving breast-feeding another try and what we might need to stock up on again.  And you know what? It didn’t bother me one bit.

Defcon 3: 6w4d

The unbelievable dream continues.

We had the ultrasound this morning and there is a baby in there, measuring right on target based on my cycle length and likely date of ovulation.  And a heart beat of 130 bpm.  We even saw the flicker.

Unlike during my RE days, we’re not having another appointment until four weeks from now.  Normally, this would have sent me into a spiral of angst and worry that I would not have any information during the time when our previous miscarriages had happened.  But, this time, I’m ok with it.  No matter what happens, we’ve already won the lottery with Rex.

If Little Lagniappe decides to stick around, we will be thrilled but we won’t be crushed if he/she does not.