Sunday, July 09, 2006

Last post

This will be my last post here on The Kidney Bean. This blog was intended to be dedicated to my pregnancy and be a way to document the pregnancy separately from the rest of my life.

Now that Seth is here, he is my life (naturally), so I'm switching my focus back to my regular blog, Please visit to find out all about Seth -- and the rest of my life, assuming any future part of my life doesn't revolve around him!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Birth story continued

So as it turned out, the on-call anesthesiologist was one of the slow ones. It took him an hour and a half to appear. Just my luck, but hey, at least he showed up. He must've given my lowest possible dose to begin with, because I still had feeling in my legs. This was fine at first, but as the transition stage kicked in, I became more and more uncomfortable. I was actually having to breathe through my contractions. The OB on call was fine with that ("You gotta have some feeling to be able to push."), but fortunately it wasn't up to him. We finally got another anesthesiologist up there to turn up my dose. That man is an angel of God sent from heaven. Epidurals are the best. They totally rock. Without them, I'd be buried in adoption paperwork right now.

After three hours at 9 1/2 centimeters, Dr. Wilcox said, "This baby isn't coming. You can continue to labor this way if you want because there aren't any signs of fetal distress, but it won't make a difference. I recommend a c-section."

I'm glad I agreed immediately because by the time we made it to the operating room twenty minutes later, the baby was in distress. He'd had a bowel movement and swallowed a ton of meconium. He probably aspirated some, too. After delivery, they grabbed that kid and started working on him immediately. They didn't even ask Bob if he wanted to cut the cord. Then they brought him over for a glimpse (I thought, "Dear lord, he's blue!") and whisked him away.

Seth spent two days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU, pronounced nick-u).

It broke my heart to see all the tubes and machines.

I got to hold him the next day.

There in NICU, they gave him formula, in a regular bottle, and a pacifier! --every uptight breastfeeding mom's nightmare.

Still more photos to come, but for now, Seth is crying. He wants to be fed. :)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Welcome Seth Jacob

Hi all,

Here he is! (Sorry the picuture quality is so bad. I'm working on getting better stuff posted.)

ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH! Blogger won't post the photo! Okay, how about this. Here's the link to the hospital's online nursery:

UPDATE: Here's the photo that the above link goes to:

Born in June 2006 by c-section at 1:14 PM.
6 lbs. 10.7 oz.
19 1/4 in.

Sorry about the long wait for information. If I'd had internet access while in the hospital, I could've kept everyone updated. (I was there for four days with lots of time on my hands.) After being released on Monday, I unexpectedly found myself in a lot of post-operative pain, which has kept me from coming online to post pictures. (In fact, I started this post yesterday but had to stop to go to the doctor.) Bob and I are living with his parents right now, who are taking good care of Seth and me.

Okay, details.

From my last post, you know I visited my OB on Wednesday morning. She told me I was 2 cm. dilated and 70% (75%?) effaced. She pulled me off of work, and I admit I was actually pretty relieved to have a week to prepare.

But then I went into labor at 1 AM the very next morning. And there was no slow, gradual lead-up to the real deal. From the very beginning, my contractions were a minute and a half apart. I couldn't believe it! My original plan had been to putter around during early labor -- you know, pack my bag, pack a diaper bag, make cookies for the labor nurses. Basically just killing time. Nope, no time killing for me.

At 3 AM, I called the midwife on call to ask, "Hey, what's going on here? I'm a first timer. Why are these contractions so close together. A minute and a half apart for the last two hours. Is this false labor? If so, it really sucks." She convinced me to labor at home a bit longer, which I did in the shower until the hot water ran out.

By 5 AM, Bob was trucking me down to the hospital, asking me how fast he should be driving. (Between contractions I told him that normal speed was fine, but I think I mentioned something about getting a move on during one of the contractions.)

So to make a short story long, we arrived at 5:30 AM. (Thank you, Amy and Kristi, for convincing me not to go to TC to deliver. You were both right. A two-hour drive to TC would've been the longest car ride in my life.)

At the check-in station in the Emergency Room, I asked the woman if she had the epidural paperwork. She laughed and said, no, they would have tha paperwork upstairs. Then a nurse from OB came down to walk with me up to the OB floor. I asked her if she had the epidural paperwork. She smiled. No, I needed to be evaluated first. Plus, I had to get to 5 cm. before they would give me an epidural. I remember whining something about "Can't I get it at 4 centimeters?"

Bob says my face lit up during the initial exam when the nurse told me, "Well, you're dilated to five. Do you want me order the epidural?" I couldn't believe it! I was already dilated to five centimeters! Hot damn and hallelujah! Yes! Give me the paperwork!

Unfortunately, it took the on-call anesthesiologist an hour and half to arrive, so I continued to labor, and not like a trouper, either. I said many bad words under my breath. I found myself wishing I'd paid more attention during the breathing parts of the childbirth education classes.

Well, that's it for now. More to come. I have lots more to tell, and lots of pictures to post

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Thirty-nine week visit

Dilated 2cm.
70% effaced

K.B. has dropped a bit, but I'm still carrying pretty high. And K.B. is unfortunately still in a posterior position.

Dr. Rider made the following pronouncement: "A week from Saturday, you will no longer be pregnant." So come hell or high water, I will be a mommy by July 1st (or should I say, "come induction or c-section"...).

The good news is that if she induces me, I can have an epidural at 3 cm.! That really lifted my spirits.

In other news, she's really concerned about the swelling in my hands and wants me to take off the wedding band. You may recall how I feel about that. I explained how I bought the ring specifically so it could be a nice cheap ring that I didn't care if it was cut off. Oh, yeah. I gained five pounds last week! Better be water weight.

In the funniest part of the visit, she suggested that perhaps I have a high pain tolerance. Ha! Her reasoning? I'd already progressed to 2 cm. and 70% effacement without reporting any contractions. Just so we're clear, I do not have a high pain tolerance. I still remember the gallons of Johnson and Johnson's No More Tears Tangle Remover that my parents used to comb my hair when I was little. "Ow, ow, whine, ouch, etc." -- the whole time they tried to brush my hair!

The reason I'm not reporting any contractions is that I'm not having any. The last two nonstress tests showed no contractions. I haven't felt anything that I would call a contraction (based on the way contractions have been described to me). Just some discomfort while standing, walking, or rolling over in bed.

UPDATE: Okay, I decided to look it up, and maybe I am having contractions. Weird ones. What do I know? I'm a newbie.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Baby clothes

I washed some baby clothes today for the first time (otherwise K.B. will be naked when we bring him/her home from the hospital).

It was a weird a feeling to toss those tiny little t-shirts, hats and sleepers into the washer. Less than two weeks to go, and it still feels so unreal.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Not ready for prime time

This is a recurring theme: I am so not ready for motherhood. Case in point...

Last night while having dinner with friends, I decided to help out with the ten month old, who was sucking on an empty sippy cup. (Heart of gold. Get the baby more juice. Where's the line for the halos?) As I took the cup, a never-ending line of drool formed from the kid's lip to the sippy cup. The farther away I pulled the cup, the longer became the line of drool.


What kind of mother gets grossed out by drool?? It's not even snot, for crying out loud, which is really gross. How am I supposed to wipe snotty noses with my bare hands (a prerequisite for motherhood, is it not?) if I can't even stand the sight of drool?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Worst fears

Some of my worst fears could come true. But before I start whining, perhaps I should share the positive news. Although still slightly elevated, my blood pressure is holding steady. Therefore, I've dodged the induction bullet for now.

The bad news? She's not confident that I'll go into labor on my own, so induction at full term is still on the table. What's worse, Kidney Bean is posterior. Translation? Back labor. If K.B. doesn't turn around, I'm facing an induced back labor. Have I mentioned that I already have no faith in my ability to cope with normal labor?

The worse news? Although by no means certain, her gut feeling is that if K.B. remains posterior, we'll have real problems with a vaginal birth due to the blood pressure issue. C-section City for me.

I'm trying not to be discouraged, but pessimism is in my nature. The doc tells me to lie on my left side and stand leaning forward to hopefully get K.B. to rotate into the proper position.

Dilated 1 cm.
60% effaced

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Totally bizarre

This one is listed in eBay's "Totally Bizarre" category.

Yup, eBay has a category called "Totally Bizarre."

Generally, people pay doulas/labor coaches to be present at a birth. This future mom is actually trying to get someone to pay her $1,000 for the privilege of attending the birth.

Bad photos

Be prepared to see just how unphotogenic I really am. These photos are soley to demonstrate belly size.

Notice how I look nothing like my profile picture...

Third trimester

Where are the Tums?
I didn't know that you could get stretch marks on your stretch marks.
Do I really want to pick that up off the floor?
I mean, would it really hurt to just leave it where I dropped it?
Where's the bathroom?
Are you going to eat that?
How many Tums am I allowed to take in one day?
I can't believe I have to go to the bathroom again.
Is that a foot behind my ribs?
Seriously, what is that behind my ribs?
Huff, puff -- did they add more stairs since I was here last?
Why didn't I take the elevator?
I forgot to bring the Tums with me.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Prebirth appointment

Last Friday I went to the hospital for what's called a prebirth appointment. There, I preregistered so I won't have to register when D-day arrives, and then I had an appointment with a nurse to go over my medical history, learn infant CPR, share my birth plan, install the car seat, etc.

The nurse wasn't ready when for me when I arrived, so they sent me to the waiting room. You'll never believe it. There with her family was a woman in labor that very moment. She was awfully young. She and her baby-faced hubby were probably twenty or twenty-one. I think her belly was even smaller than mine! And her legs were so tanned and shaved. I thought there was some kind of rule that by the time you went into labor, you were supposed to be too fat to bend over to shave your legs.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Thirty-six week visit

My blood pressure is down a bit more -- 112/74, which is good news. I have high hopes that they won't feel the need to induce me. I have no desire for an induction b/c you can't walk the halls or use the jacuzzi. Based on the ultrasound, Kidney Bean is roughly 5 lbs., 10 oz. Imagine that! At that weight, K.B. remains right there in the 50th percentile, which is a great sign, I imagine.

In other news, they're concerned about the swelling in my hands, face, feet and legs. I'm skeptical that I have any swelling in my face, even though both the doctor and the midwife have mentioned it. I mean, come on -- I've always had a big round face! I will certainly admit to obvious puffiness in my hands, feet, and legs, but I don't see it in my face. The midwife has encouraged me to remove my wedding band, but I hate the thought. I already bought a new one that was 2 1/2 sizes bigger than my regular one, but I obviously underestimated just how much I would swell. Plus, they didn't have any bigger sizes in stock. :) Oh, well. They can cut it off me if necessary. That's why I bought this cheap one. Who cares if they have to cut off a thirty-dollar ring?

Not feeling well

I just looked at my countdown from the tickerfactory. I think I'm going to have to get rid of that thing. Twenty-nine days? I'm so not ready.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Five days of full bed rest

I've been out of commission for five days b/c Dr. Wilcox (not my regular OB) recommended full bed rest. When I saw my regular OB today, Dr. Rider, she was in shock. When I told her that Dr. Wilcox ordered full bed rest, she literally said, "No! He didn't!" Yup, he did.

Yes, my blood pressure was five points higher than the week before, but she didn't think that seemed like cause for full bed rest. "Oh, but it wasn't the blood pressure," I said. "He didn't recommend the bed rest until he saw the protein in my urine."

But it turns out that the amount of protein in my urine falls into the totally normal range! Someone nonpregnant is likely to have the same amount of urine in her protein. She finally concluded that Dr. Wilcox "must've had a brain freeze." She could account for it no other way.

So good news all around: My protein levels are fine, I don't have preeclampsia (not yet, anyhow), and my blood pressure has gone down slightly, although it's still elevated. (Last Friday it was 124/90, which is officially high. Today it was 118/80, which is merely elevated again.)

I still can't believe I did five days of total bed rest for no reason...

In other news, Dr. Rider seems to think I won't be going much past 38 weeks. I'm not sure why she thinks this, but she seems to think it'll be necessary to induce me around that time. I wish I'd questioned her more on this. I won't be able to ask at my next two visits b/c they're both with someone else. And my next visit after that is my 38 week visit, which could be D-Day.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Partial bed rest!

Last Friday my doctor placed me on work restriction (four hours a day) and partial bed rest (two hours down, two hours up) due to elevated blood pressure. I didn't see it coming. If this is supposed to relieve stress, I don't know how. Having to worry about work and having to lie down for two hours straight to do nothing -- well, it's much more stressful than what I was dealing with before.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Main symptom? Fetus growing in uterus

At my company, maternity benefits are handled as short-term disability. Therefore, to receive maternity benefits, I have to complete a short-term disability form. Diagnosis? Pregnancy. Symptoms? Well, I'm leaving that part blank, but I desperately want to write down, "Morning sicknes, cessation of menstrual period, fatigue, breast tenderness, emotional distress (e.g., mood swings, weepiness), heartburn, frequent urination, rhinitus, insomnia, swelling of hands and legs/feet, tingling and numbness in hands, nerve pain (e.g., sciatic), stretch marks, elevated blood pressure, reduced immune response, and fetus growing within uterus."

Friday, May 05, 2006

Thirty-two week visit

Good news. As you probably know, I've been measuring large, so I was scheduled for an ultrasound today to see what's up. The ultrasound is much more exact than the crude uterine measurements they've been doing thus far.

According to the ultrasound, I'm right on track. Kidney Bean is right there in the 50th percentile for weight. No due-date revisions for me! K.B. weighs in at a healthy 4 lbs., 5.5 oz.

In other good news, K.B. is now presenting normally, which means s/he's transitioned to the head-down position and is no longer breech. I reported at twenty-eight weeks that K.B. was still breech, which was no cause for concern. I've since found out that 25% of babies are still breech at twenty-eight weeks, which is less than I thought. Oh, well. Doesn't matter now, because K.B. is no longer breech.

Remaining news from the visit: I've gained another five pounds, for a total of twenty-five pounds so far. Also, today was the first time ever that the nurse didn't say "Excellent" after taking my blood pressure. Yes, my pressure is elevated. It's not high, but it is considered high for me. Previously, my dialstolic pressure (the bottom number) has been in the sixties. Suddenly, it's jumped to 82. I'm scheduled to go back in a week (instead of the usual two weeks) to have it checked again.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Go forth

I'm sure you've heard or read this passage before:
On the sixth day, God created man and said, "Go forth, be fruitful and mutiply. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and everything that creepeth over the earth."

I'm about to share with you a much less famous passage:
And in the seventh month, God said to Eve, "Go forth, be miserable and fat. Have insomnia during the night, eateth Tums like candy, and I dare you to try to take a full breath."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Weepiness and other weirdness

It's like I'm back in the first trimester. Just about anything can make me tear up. Yup, I'm back to crying when the puppies on the news are rescued. I don't know what my problem is. I've never read that this is a common third trimester occurrence, so perhaps I'm just weird.

Speaking of weird, on Sunday night I was suddenly struck with the chills. Even though it was 71 degrees in the house (a temperature I would normally describe as "sweltering"), my teeth were actually chattering. I took a shower to warm up, and soon after I realized that I had a fever, too. No other cold symptoms. Just fever and chills. A couple of hours later, I called the midwife on call, who suggested I take Tylenol. Now here's the weird part. Within a half hour, fever and chills were gone, and they never came back. What the heck? Who gets a fever and chills for only three-and-a-half hours?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Babes in Blogland

I'm totally intrigued that my blog made it onto Babes in Blogland. Apparently, she just stumbled upon my blog and added me. It's grouped by due date.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Childbirth education

Bob and I started childbirth education classes last Monday night. Except for someone who is due in August, I had the smallest belly there! I'm officially fixated on the size of my belly. I keep thinking, "What if the baby is not getting enough nutrition, which is why I'm so small?" Thank goodness I'm getting an ultrasound my next visit (two-and-a-half weeks from now) so I can get a better idea of what's up. Why can't I be satisfied with, "Every baby develops differently and every woman carries differently?"

I don't know why I'd be concerned that Kidney Bean is small. I've definitely felt a transition over the past couple of weeks. Fewer kicks and more squirms, which would indicate that K.B. is already starting to feel a little bit cramped.

Monday, April 17, 2006

What the baby looks like now

According to, the baby looks like this. Personally, I can't imagine how Kidney Bean could possibly be that big. I still imagine something tiny in there.

Note: The picture is referring to someone who is seven lunar months pregnant (i.e., twenty-eight weeks). In general, I am ignoring lunar months and measuring my pregnancy by calendar months. In calendar months, I'm six-and-a-half months along.


Over the weekend, I saw several people who I hadn't seen in awhile -- my grandma, assorted aunts and cousins, etc. Everyone says I don't look pregnant. Fine. I don't look pregnant. Give me a month.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Looking pregnant

I caught a glimpse of my profile in window of one of the offices in the hallway. I really do look pregnant. Finally. It's hard to believe what a difference a week or two makes. Not long ago I was whining about looking fat instead of pregnant.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Twenty-eight week visit

Blood pressure remains good. Gained five more pounds for a total of twenty so far. Uterus is still measuring large -- thirty-two weeks. That's an improvement over last time, when I was twenty-four weeks and my uterus was measuring thirty weeks. In other words, I'm currently measuring only four weeks ahead of schedule instead of six.

I'm scheduled for an ultrasound at my next visit (i.e., thirty-two weeks, four weeks from now) to see how big the baby really is and measure stuff like fluid volume. At that point, they'll revise my due date if necessary.

Judging by the placement of kicks and other movements, Kidney Bean is probably breech, but it's far too early to be concerned. As I understand it, it's common and perfectly normal for a baby to be in a breech position at this point in a pregnancy.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Asked of elementary-school-aged children:

Q. Why did God make mothers?
A. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

Q. What ingredients are mothers made of?
A. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.

Q. What kind of little girl was your mom?
A1. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
A2. They say she used to be nice.

Q. What did Mom need to know about Dad before she married him?
A1. His last name.
A2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
A3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Q. Why did your mom marry your dad?
A. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Q. Who's the boss at your house?
A1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because Dad's such a goofball.
A2. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than Dad.

Q. What's the difference between moms and dads?
A1. Moms work at work & work at home, & dads just go to work at work.
A2. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
A3. Moms have magic. They make you feel better without medicine.

Q. What does your mom do in her spare time?
A. Mothers don't do spare time.

Q. What would it take to make your mom perfect?
A1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
A2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

Q. If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
A1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
A2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
A3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on her back.



I was out walking with my four-year-old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took it away from her and I asked her not to do that.

"Why?" my daughter asked.

"Because it's been lying outside, you don't know where it's been, it's dirty, and it probably has germs," I replied.

At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Wow! How do you know all this stuff?"

"Uh..." I was thinking quickly. "All moms know this stuff. It's on the Mommy Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a mommy."

We walked along in silence for two or three minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information.

"Oh, I get it!" she beamed. "So if you don't pass the test you have to be the daddy."

Friday, March 31, 2006

More on stretch marks

When I told my friend, Sherri, last Monday that two stretch marks had appeared, she literally gasped and said, "Already?" She then advised me to get used to it. New stretch marks would be a daily occurrence.

I might as well own the truth: I didn't believe her. I thought she was exaggerating. I thought to myself, "How bad could it be?" I guess my friend, Amy, is wearing off on me. She's an eternal optimist, always asking questions such as "How bad could it be?" or "How hard could it be?" and truly thinking all the while that it -- no matter what "it" might be -- could never be that bad or that hard.

Well, I now know how bad it can be. New stretch marks, albeit small ones, are appearing almost daily. Good grief. I'm not even very big. Not compared to other six-month-pregnant bellies that I see online.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Another milestone

I knew I was forgetting something yesterday when I was talking about milestones. Here's a dubious one. My first stretch marks appeared this past week. People are saying it's early. Sigh. It's not exactly unexpected. I've seen my mother's stomach. I already knew I didn't have good genes for stretch marks. Contrary to what some might think, you can't control, reduce, or eliminate strech marks by applying lotions, cocoa butter, etc. (Products claiming otherwise are lying.) You either have genes that are resistant to strech marks or you don't. Apparently, I don't.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I've neglected to note some important milestones. On Friday, March 10, Bob thinks he felt the baby move. The following Wednesday, Kidney Bean was kicking really hard, and Bob felt four really strong kicks. Since then, I've been able to see my own belly move during some of the stronger kicks. K.B. is kicking incessantly this very moment.

Last week, the upper part of my belly popped right out. Previously, only my lower belly showed much growth. Even so, I still don't look pregnant. I never realized just how important maternity clothes were in contributing to making one look pregnant. If you're clothes look like maternity clothes, then you look pregnant. If you're clothes don't look like maternity clothes, then you might just look fat instead. :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I'm going to have a baby in less than four months. Me, of all people. A baby. And by "have a baby," I don't mean deliver one. I mean I'm going to have one. A whole baby. To take care of. It won't survive without me to take care of it. The reality of the responsibility is overwhelming.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Big baby?

Just came from the doctor's office. Saw a fabulous OB named Dr. Rider. She's the best! I love her to death and wish she could deliver me.

Gained another five pounds, which makes fifteen pounds so far this pregnancy. Blood pressure remains excellent. However, baby appears to have had an early growth spurt. I'm twenty-four weeks, but my uterus is measuring thirty weeks! This was unexpected because so far, every ultrasound and uterine measurement has been right in line with my due date.

Even though Dr. Rider didn't say so, gestational diabetes springs immediately to mind. The sugar test is standard at twenty-four weeks, so I was scheduled for it. However, if it weren't standard, I'm sure she would have ordered it for me. You can't ignore such sudden growth. If I'm still measuring large at the next visit, she'll order an ultrasound. If my sugar test show high-blood sugar levels, though, I hope they won't wait until my next visit to tell me.

Oh, yeah. Fantastic news! You know how you're not supposed to eat undercooked eggs? Well, that rule only applies to egg whites! I can start eating my eggs over easy again! Laugh if you will, but eating them scrambled has been a real sacrifice for me. :)

Forgot to mention: Slight hint of edema.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

New milestone

My wedding ring has been getting tighter and tighter, so last night I finally pulled it off to see if I could still get it off. It almost didn't come off. I really had to pull, and it hurt like crazy.

I don't know about you, but whenever I've gained a couple of pounds in the past, my ring would be hard to get off, but it would slide back on fairly easily. Not this time. I almost didn't get it back on, and then I started crying. Not because I was fat, but because I couldn't wear my wedding ring. I finally forced it back on, which was a really bad move. My finger was now throbbing and went numb overnight.

I tried to get it off using the dental-floss trick this morning, but I couldn't remember how the trick worked, and I did it wrong. Then I tried dishsoap and hand lotion, but to no avail. Finally this afternoon I looked up the dental-floss trick. I found a message board with a ton of tricks, such as wrapping dental floss around your finger to bind it, using Windex, soap, warm water, cool water, etc. Apparently though, the secret jeweler trick is Preparation-H -- yes, folks, that right, use hemmorroid cream to reduce swelling and remove your ring.

I decided to save that one as a last resort. I wrapped some floss around my finger and soaped it up. It took a couple minutes of painful tugging, but I finally got the ring off. I think I'm going to buy a bigger replacement ring, because I can't stand the thought of walking around without a wedding band, especially not when I'm pregnant. I'm way too old to be walking around looking like I got pregnant by accident. :)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Another big weekend

I took Kidney Bean snowmobiling this weekend. The adventure began with something as mundane as my snowmobile suit. Who knew it would take a team effort to get me in it? After ten minutes of trying by myself to zip up my bibs, I finally asked Bob to zip me up, which he accomplished after some effort. And naturally, the moment I got into them, I had to pee, so off they came. After Bob helped me into them again, I discovered that they were so tight I couldn't sit down on the sled, so I had to unzip them partially just to sit. Next, I needed help to zip up my coat. It barely fits without any layers under it.

I'm not sure what Kidney Bean thought of the ride. It was a little rough in one spot. I could actually feel the contents of my belly jiggling. After that, I told everyone we had to slow down. Of course, for how many millennia have pregnant women ridden horses, donkeys, camels -- or more recently, ridden by horse and buggy or train? It probably didn't bother Kidney Bean a bit, but the midwife had recommended I stick to groomed trails for a smoother ride, and groomed this trail wasn't. Afterwards, my legs were killing me, because I spent more time than usual squatting above the seat to absorb the shocks with my legs. My throttle hand had a terrible cramp, too, because by riding slower than usual, my hand and thumb were at an awkward angle. Still, I had fun, and maybe I'll get to go one more time before the end of the season -- and before I grow out of my suit completely.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Pregnancy Q & A

Pregnancy Q & A & more!

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children are enough.

Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after s/he finishes college.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: No, not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Twenty-week ultrasound (3D)

No print-quality versions yet. Check back soon.

Twenty-week ultrasound (profile)

No print-quality versions yet. Check back soon.

Oh, yeah. In other news....

...I'm wearing my first official pair of maternity pants today. Thanks, Tiffani, for picking them out for me at

Big weekend

Friday afternoon was the big day. My keyboard tray was pushed up against my belly, and I felt the first little flutters of life! I was writing an email to my friend Brynn when it happened. I knew immediately what it was -- no doubt about it.

I felt a couple more little flutters that afternoon, along with a few little pokes. After feeling all those pokes, I knew for sure that I'd actually felt the first movement last Tuesday. I was in bed trying to sleep when I felt a little poke followed by another weaker one. I wasn't sure, though, because it didn't feel like fluttering at all, and that's what I was looking for. I mentioned it to a coworker the next day, who assured me that it couldn't have been the baby, so I dismissed it as a muscle twitch. I didn't feel anything else until Friday afternoon.

Since then, movement has remained sporadic. Kidney Bean was active during dinner Saturday night, providing several little kicks for my entertainment. Bob seems happy about it, although I think he just thinks I'm cute for being so excited.

In general, I don't seem to feel fluttering unless something is pushed up against my belly. I only feel the more definitive pokes.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Twenty-week visit

Kidney Bean is three-quarters of a pound. S/he's active and a bit stubborn, reluctant to pose for many photos. That didn't stop Linda, the ultrasound tech, from getting some good ones, though. I'll post them on Monday.

I gained another five pounds since my visit five weeks ago. :( The midwife, Julie, was perfectly unconcerned, but I've read plenty that says I should only be gaining a half pound per week. She encouraged me to take a bit of exercise and eat better. My blood pressure is great, and the screening from the last visit tested negative for Down Syndrome.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Another dream

Lots of dreams these days. In the latest, the baby got stuck in the birth canal, so doctors had to perform a C-section. The nice thing about dreams is that they don't actually hurt.

Speaking of hurting, I've been having pains that I think are due to my ligaments stretching. I felt a really good jab this morning when I crawled out of bed. After crying out in pain, I was dismayed to realize that what I'd just felt was probably comparable to the tiniest, weakest little nothing of a contraction.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Speaking of dreams

Near the beginning of my pregnancy, I dreamt that I was returning to work after maternity leave. I completely forgot about my infant twin (twin??) boys and made no arrangements for them whatsoever. Five hours later I remembered them, and when I returned home, they'd already cried so hard for so long they couldn't cry anymore.

And no, I'm not having twins.

Friday, February 03, 2006


There's a giant case of fundraiser candy bars in the kitchen. Fortunately for me, I can't tolerate chocolate or other sweets. Unfortunately for me, I still want to eat mountains of the stuff. The only thing keeping me from doing so is the knowledge that I'll feel terrible afterwards. Maybe I'll have a stick of gum.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dream kicks

I had a dream last night that I felt the baby's first kicks. Nothing in real life, though. I haven't even felt anything that I thought might have possibly been a kick.

A couple of nights ago I dreamt that I forgot I was pregnant and drank half a beer. I never even drank beer before I was pregnant. Hate the stuff -- although flavored beers (i.e., "premium malt beverages," such as Smirnoff Twisted Raspberry) are good.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Congratulations, Danielle!

I just got word that Bob's cousin, Danielle, a regular visitor to The Kidney Bean, gave birth to a boy, Tommy, on Wednesday, the 25th. Sounds like there were some problems, b/c the poor guy had to spend awhile in neonatal ICU, but I understand he's doing great now. Congrats, Danielle!

Fat 'n' happy

What can I say? I've never been so happy in my life to be fat. Earlier today in the women's restroom, I turned sideways to look at my profile and actually smiled at my stomach all pooched out. I've even been pointing out my belly to people. Good lord, I need help. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Feeling fine

I want to mention that I'm feeling pretty good these days. No more morning sickness, and my stuffy nose is not nearly as bad as it was. (So, Danielle, you were right. It did ease up!) I'm not so tired anymore, and I'm not crying all the time, either. I could almost forget I'm pregnant but for the cold sore and frequent heartburn and the desire to eat all the time and the people in the hallway calling me "mom"...

I take it back. There's obviously no way I could forget I'm pregnant.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New shoes

I bought two pairs of no-tie, slip-on shoes for when I get too fat to bend over. My boss asked if I bought them three sizes too big. Sigh. I didn't. Does that mean I've wasted my money?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Resurgence in morning sickness

It's more frustrating now than previously because I'm now nearly sixteen weeks and shouldn't be having any more morning sickness. Maybe I'll be one of the lucky few who have morning sickness the whole nine months. How nice.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Fifteen-week ultrasound

Here it is -- the fifteen-week ultrasound. The baby is in mid-kick.

It was an abdominal ultrasound instead of a vaginal ultrasound, so it's not as clear as previous ones. I really ought to label it.

For a printable version, click here.

I wasn't actually scheduled for an ultrasound this time, but the midwife couldn't pick up a heartbeat with the handheld doppler thingie she had. It turns out the placenta is right in front, which prevented us from hearing anything. It's also going to prevent me from feeling the kicks as soon. :(

Other bad news: The midwife informed me that only five percent of their patients get epidurals. Five percent! The national average is sixty percent! She said the national average is so high only because most people go to big metropolitan hospitals that have expensive OB anesthesiologists on staff, which they have to pay for somehow. In other words, hospitals encourage women to get them unnecessarily to help pay for the anesthesiologists. I have money! I'll pay for the epidural!

The five-percent thing upset me so much that I actually started crying right there, which was humiliating. Now that I'm pregnant, I cry all the time, and I hate it.

You know, my previous OB (who I left b/c I didn't like him) said that half of his patients get epidurals. What have I done?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pop goes the uterus

I had an OB appointment today, where the midwife informed me that my uterus has "popped right out." I guess that means if I didn't already have a belly, I'd be "showing."

Got a new ultrasound today, too. I'll post the pic tomorrow. (Have to go home to scan it.)

Other news: I gained five pounds last month. Waaaaaay too much. I shouldn't have gained any weight. I wasn't supposed to start gaining until now (second trimester), and I'm only supposed to gain half a pound per week. Sigh. Blood pressure is good, though, and my previous blood tests all came back normal. She was very pleased, in fact, with my iron levels.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Endless stuffy nose

I've had a stuffy nose for about seven weeks now. What to Expect When You're Expecting says it's a common complaint during pregnancy. When I first read about it, I didn't pay much attention b/c I didn't have a stuffy nose yet. Last night, I finally looked it up again b/c I wanted to see how long this was going to last. I kind of expected it to fade away after the first trimester like so many other ailments, such as morning sickness. Bad news. It's not going to go away until I deliver! I'm going to have a stuffy nose for the next six months!

Sigh. I suppose it's better than morning sickness for the next six months.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Another baby

My friend Amy is four weeks pregnant with her second baby. (She's an eternal optimist who does not fear the ever-so-remote possibility of miscarriage.) Her boy J.R. is fifteen months old.

She and her husband were talking about getting pregnant again when I told her about my pregnancy -- so she stepped up her efforts so we could be pregnant at the same time. True friendship. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Leading names

Okay, here are the names that in the lead:

Boy - Agamemnon Lucius
Girl - Agatha Lillehammer

Bob and I are both huge Texas A&M fans, so we've picked names that we can call "Aggie" for short. (The football team at Texas A&M is known as "the Aggies.")

We expect that people are going to try to talk us out of these names, but we're pretty steadfast.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The OB/midwife dilemma

Locally, my choice of OBs is really limited. We have two single-doctor practices and one group practice with three doctors. That's a grand total of five OBs, and because three are in a group practice, you can end up with any one of them for the delivery. So in a way, there are three choices: Dr. Cook, Dr. Sypniewski, and Drs. Rider-Wilcox-Wilder. Of these three choices, one is the jerk I mentioned in a previous post, and one advocates natural (drug free) births, so that has left me with Drs. Rider-Wilcox-Wilder.

When I saw Dr. Wilder last week, I liked him a lot. He asked if I'd considered the midwife route. "Oh, no," I said. "I don't want a natural childbirth." He smiled and replied, "Our midwives aren't the granola-eating, natural-childbirth type." So I started thinking hard about midwives. I think I just might get a midwife. I like the idea of knowing who's going to be there for my birth and that she'll be there the whole time.

The trouble with midwives is that my choices are even more limited. The local hospital has exactly three affiliated midwives. (Two of them are associated with the group practice of Drs. Rider-Wilcox-Wilder.) Of these three midwives, one is on maternity leave! Two midwives in the whole town... I have an appointment with one next month.

Of course... that I've told everyone, I'm no longer "Jessica." I'm "mama" or "prego" or "baby lady."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The big announcement

Yesterday was the big day here at work. I went around and told everyone about the baby. It's a relief. It was tiring to be carrying around such a big secret -- literally and figuratively!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Can you see the family resemblance?

At my eleven-week ultrasound, the baby was exactly four centimeters and weighed roughly a quarter of an ounce. Readers on my other blog thought the baby looked like a kidney bean. :)

During the ultrasound, the baby amazed me by doing some acrobatics and turning completely over. Once second, it was facing me in the monitor. The next second, it had its back to me.

If you can't see anything in the ultrasound, click here for a labeled version.

Click here for a print-quality version.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving announcement

Bob and I drove all around Northern Michigan through a Thanksgiving Day blizzard to announce the baby to family.

Monday, November 14, 2005

My first OB visit

My first OB visit held quite a shock. I walked into the waiting room and my jaw dropped. Standing there was Bob's Aunt Marilyn and his cousin Danielle, who is a brand new mom. My OB was her OB! This could have been a disaster because I hadn't told anyone about the pregnancy yet. We were planning to wait until I was at least eight weeks!

I simply pretended to be there for my annual pap smear. I think it worked. :)

I received an ultrasound during this visit and saw the baby move for the first time. I also learned that if you have irregular periods, doctors merely guess at how far along you are by measuring the size of the baby and uterus. Thus, I walked in believing I was seven weeks and walked out with a revised estimate of eight-and-a-half weeks and a due date of June 29, 2005. I left those ultrasound pix at my Aunt Cindy's house downstate, so I can't post them for your enjoyment.

Oh, yeah. I also quickly realized that my OB was a jerk, so I vowed to find someone else. I wonder how cousin Danielle feels about him...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My first ultrasound

Well, this was a miserable experience. They made me drink four times as much as my bladder could hold but then wouldn't let me pee. I wrote about it in my other blog.

This ultrasound revealed that I was about five weeks and three days pregnant. The doctor wasn't able to see an actual embryo, but he could identify a gestational sac and a yolk sac.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Pregnancy test

I'd been sick all week, so I took a pregnancy test. The digital readout says, "Pregnant." My husband laughed at me for taking this photo.

I'd actually been having other symptoms for three weeks, but I thought I was PMSing. Go figure.

I rushed to Quick Care for a definitive blood test, but doctors know that false positives on home pregnancy test are almost unheard of. (The false negative is the only thing you have to worry about.) The blood test really narrowed it down by revealing that I was anywhere from five weeks to twelve weeks pregnant. (I'm really glad I bothered.) Fortunately, a simple bit of math was able to help. I couldn't be more than five weeks along because a blood test on October 3 came back negative.

After spending most of the day in a state of elation, I started spotting that night. Generally, spotting at five weeks isn't much to worry about (it's known as implantation bleeding), but half of all women who spot eventually miscarry, so I couldn't help worrying. Worse, I spotted for four days, which is longer than usual. A subsequent blood test revealed that my pregnancy hormones were on the rise, so all was well.