Monday, March 30, 2009

32 Weeks - A Sneak Preview

I had another ultrasound today. It was a growth ultrasound and it sounds like there will be a couple more before all is said and done because of the GD. It's funny, most women only get one ultrasound and would be psyched for more. Being high-risk, I got a ton and am starting to get a little tired of it. Only because it makes for a pretty long appointment. As the weeks tick by it's getting harder to fit all the work/home stuff in that needs to happen - so every extra trek out to St. Elizabeth's is a bit of a drag.

BUT! We got some awesome pictures today. Also, Lily came along and she was great. I was a tad worried about how it would go - since it was just she and I. But she was just awesome. She sat in the chair quietly, asked questions and was genuinely excited to see pictures of the baby. I definitely had a moment of - I dunno - sappy wonder - when the tech showed us the first 3D face picture. It was quite amazing to see this little new life growing inside me - I guess it never really gets old - no matter how painful or annoying all the little "side effects" can be.

Before I get to the pictures - here's a few stats. Heartbeat was 132 when the tech measured it. I went back and check and Lily's heart rate at the same time was 147. However, she was down around 130 at another visit a few weeks later, so there's probably not much stock in that "boys have lower heart rates" thing. So gender, still a mystery :) Also, baby's growth is consistent with my due date - and that's really good news. With the GD I'm all worried about baby getting too big. So it's good to hear that we're still on the right track there.

And finally! pictures:

When Lily saw this one she said "Baby Sleeping?"

The ultrasound tech told me that baby and Lily have the same cheeks! Yay MasterWong cheeks!

I just love this - Hi Baby Koi - we can't wait to meet you either!

And finally, a story. People often ask is Lily is excited to be a big sister or ready to be a big sister, etc. To be honest, I can't really tell. She definitely talks about the baby in my belly now and will come over and say hi to baby etc. I'm just not entirely sure that she "gets it". I think it's possible that in her mind the baby in my belly is a toy baby just like her doll (who unfortunately, is also named baby). The other day, I worked a little late, so she and Gordon were home before me. When I came in Lily said "Mommy's home! and baby too!" I thought that was adorable. Then Gordon told me that just before I walked in she was talking about me and baby coming home and they had this exchange:

Lily: "I want to bite baby"
G: "hmmmm... what would happen if you did that?"
Lily: "baby be broken"

so umm... yeah.... Not quite sure what to do what that one. The next day I picked up a big sister book at the library.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Let Me Eat Cake - or Not

I guess this blog has taken many forms over the past couple of years -sometimes just a "hey look what we're up to" and other times more of a "baby book" and then occasionally a place for me to just type stuff. Well I'll caution that this will probably end up being one of those latter, more self-indulgent type posts. But I kind of need it.

It's been a busy couple of weeks. When Discovery finally launched last Sunday things were finally set in motion for my trip to Houston to support the mission. I had been of mixed feelings about it. I really wanted to get down there for this one - STS-119 is our last major assembly mission and posed some interesting control challenges during the installation of the S6 solar arrays. So I wanted to be there to be a part of that and also to see my team one last time before I disappeared from work again for another 6 months on maternity leave. On the other hand - flying while 30 weeks pregnant is a little nerve-wracking and a bit cumbersome. In the end I'm glad I got to go, but I'll spare you all the details of my time there.

Before I left I had to make it to the hospital to do another 3 hr glucose test. I may have mentioned before that being on prednisone for my MG this time put me at a higher risk for gestational diabetes. Because of that, my doctor did my 1 hour glucose test at 15 weeks. I failed that, but then passed the three hour test a week or so later. Well by 30 weeks they were ready to test me again. This time we went straight to the 3 hr - do not pass go, do not collect $100. For those of you who haven't had this test - it's annoying. They stick you once, you drink the sweet drink and then you sit in the waiting room for the next three hours, reporting each hour for another blood draw. It's long and boring and by the end you're tired of having needles jabbed in your arm. In order to get it done I had to send Lily to day care on my day off. We missed our art class and I was really sad about that.

On Tuesday I flew to Houston and spent most of the day in mission control for Discovery's docking with ISS. On Wednesday I managed to find time to call the doctor to get my test results. Not so lucky this time - I failed the 3 hr test and am official diagnosed with GD. I was then left to my own devices to try to figure out what a GD diet might consist of and how to follow one while on the road in Houston. Let's just say that I don't think the sips of strawberry margarita I bummed off my boss or the cherry cheesecake in first class on the flight home would have been approved. I did force myself out of my La Quinta and away from the all-carbs, continental breakfast each morning, however.

I got back home on Friday and had my appointment with the GD dietitian today. It was overwhelming. I feel - ugh - overwhelmed. I came home with a little device to stick myself in the finger and draw blood 4x/day to test my glucose levels. There are strips and needles and monitors involved.

The good news is that the diet will probably be a little easier than I thought. Turns out I haven't been eating ENOUGH carbs the past 3 days and that's not good either (showed up in the ketones test). I'm still mourning the loss of my nightly bowl of ice cream, but it's only 9 more weeks - I can do this. Gone is my breakfast of cereal and fruit and OJ. But I can still have a little cereal as long as I eat an egg or some yogurt along with it. Maybe the diet part is kind of a good thing. It might be an opportunity to finally shake my soda habit once and for all and break the silly McD's once/week thing.

The bad news is that I just feel - ugh I dunno - like enough is enough. I'm tired of having to add all these little steps to my life because my body isn't functioning quite right. I'm frustrated that this GD diagnosis is most likely due to the fact that I switched from Imuran to Prednisone for this pregnancy. Childishly I just want it to all go away. I was okay with the whole thing until today, at the doctors, when the super nice nurse was showing me how the blood tester works and explaining that I'll need to keep it on my person at all times. And how I should stick a different finger each time (FOUR times a day!) - and be sure to call in and report the numbers! Somehow all these things to keep track of, these extra balls to keep in the air felt much much worse than the diet idea had just a couple of days ago. I held myself together until I was sitting in the car with Gordon on the phone. I said something about dropping off the prescription for the needles and just burst into tears.

But you know - it's only nine weeks - and it's for baby Koi - so it'll be okay. With any luck the sugar issues will go away when the baby is born. Right now I'm just hoping that changing my diet is enough. I'd really like to avoid adding any more medication to my daily regime. So keep your fingers crossed for me! When Lily was born, Dory brought me some yummy Blue Fin sushi to eat in my hosptial room. I think this time I'm going to request a big old pile of J.P. Licks ice cream!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

And Then There Was The Antibiotic....

I mentioned that Lily was sick. Turns out she was pretty sick. Her doctor kept commending me for bringing her in at "just the perfect time". He was saying how he's seen a hundred children with nothing more than viral infections so it was nice to find one who actually needed a doctor. I think he was trying to make me feel good about my instincts or something - but instead I mostly felt like, great - so *I* have the only REALLY sick child - awesome.

Which is not to say that there's anything horribly wrong with her. She just picked up a secondary bacterial infection after the viral infection that hit her earlier in the week. Thanks Dr. Brown from Toddler 411 - you taught me everything I know (seriously). Lily did a great job at the doctors and we came home with a prescription for antibiotics and strict instructions to watch her and make sure her breathing became more regular (uh - yeah - so go me for not EVEN NOTICING she was breathing faster than is normal). I went straight to CVS with her and was told, "oh we don't have that antibiotic here, we'll have it Monday". At which point I was like "uh - we need it now thanks". To make a long story short, the prescription that was called in was erroneously for a 30-day supply. We only needed 10 days. The issue wasn't that they didn't have the antibiotic at all, they just didn't have that much of it! Once that was straightened out we got our meds and headed for home. The important part (ooo foreshadowing) is that due to all the craziness it never occurred to me to ask about having the medication flavored....

So we get home. I give her the first dose. she loves tylenol, so she's going to love this too, right? WRONG. She HATED it. Refused to take it. I dont' know what to do because this kid needs to get on some drugs to fight this infection (with lung involvement!) now. So I break out the big guns - my chocolate pudding. I've had a bit of a pudding problem (I'm blaming baby Koi) lately and I reluctantly pulled out my last ramekin of pudding and offered it to her. I gave her one spoonful and then promised more - AFTER the medicine. Somehow this worked. She took it. Aha I thought - I've got this figured out. Um... no.

Evening comes - time for dose 2. So I pull out the pudding again. She takes one look at it and starts to cry. "no Mommy - i want ALL the pudding". The child refused to touch a spoonful of pudding unless I put ALL the pudding in the fridge in front of her and gave her control of the spoon. There was no way she was going to let me sneak a dose of antibiotic in the middle of her pudding fest. At this point I had a flashback to the summer after high school (eek) when we used to hang out on a friend's boat and drink beer. I hated the taste of beer, so I'd constantly eat tootsie rolls from a jar that happened to be there - to mask the taste. It was bad beer of course - the only kind one can get in high school. But as a result, tootsie rolls to this day taste kind of bad to me - like Coors Lite or something. Ugh. I think Lily was trying to avoid a similar situation with the chocolate pudding. No way was she going to let me ruin pudding for her at such an early age. Smart kid.

We decided not to push it and put her to bed without the dose. I figured - we'll just wake her up when we go to bed and give it to her then. She'll be half asleep and will comply. Holy off the mark Batman. We woke her at 10 or 11 and tried to give her the medication. She went INSANE. Like demon child from the exorcist insane. At one point she was sitting in the corner of the bed, screaming NOOOOO at the top of lungs and waving her arms in a constant arc in front of her so there was no way in hell we could get near here. Gordon remarked that if she had access to a machete we would not have survived. It was AWFUL.

We cajoled and begged and pleaded - to no avail. We resorted to holding her down and using the syringe. That didn't work so well either - she just spit it back out at us. At that point I left the room near hysterical. In the end Gordon had the genius idea of mixing it with cranberry juice and telling her that she either had to drink her "juice" or take the medicine. She opted for the "juice". I felt slightly bad about the lying to her part, but then realized that this was only dose 2 out of 20 and saw that we had no choice.

The good news is that the juice ruse has continued to work and we've now gotten 6 doses into her. She does like to tell me at night how she's "not taking medicine" and really, that's fine with me. I just smile and nod and help her finish up all of the "juice". Today she was much better and we all even got out to enjoy the spring day. We visited our favorite park and it was like a mini-reunion there. All the neighborhood families were out - it's so great to see everyone emerging from hibernation. We even started getting our deck cleaned off. Yay spring.

I haven't talked about Baby Koi in a while, but this post has gone on FAR longer than planned. I will say that I'm 29 weeks today and everything is going along smoothly. However, I cannot breathe very well and nearly keeled over walking back from Davis. I don't remember being quite this short of breath with Lily, so maybe Baby K is carrying a little higher or something. Also the heartburn - ugh. It's harder to enjoy food now because of it - but hey - that's the 3rd trimester for you. I'm feeling pretty huge these days - which reminds me - I should post a photo soon. I'll try to get to that this week. And with that thought, I'm off to bed. So I can lie there, tossing and turning (with great effort) and getting up to pee every 2 hours.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Regularly Scheduled Illness

This week Lily got sick - if you remember she was pretty sick last March too (hey - that was posted EXACTLY one year ago to the day!). All in all we've been lucky in terms of illnesses - she's been pretty healthy. But you know - it's winter, and she goes to daycare - so it's to be expected every now and then.

This year she woke up with a fever on my birthday - pretty much killing any plans we had to go out. She was what we call "sweet sick". Not super miserable, still playing around, but every now and then would come over and cuddle up to one of us for a bit. Very sweet. We kept her home Sunday through Tuesday and then by Wednesday her fever had gone away and we decided to try going back to day care. We found out that everyone else at Mimi's had been sick recently too - so it seemed something was working it's way through their little group. Lily's fever was gone, but now she was coughing pretty badly. She had an OK day on Wednesday, but had a terrible night Wednesday night. She hardly slept at all because she was coughing so much.

So Thursday morning came and she was NOT happy to be getting up. Gordon stayed home with her in the AM to give her more time to get ready to go to Mimi's. She was pretty much a beast all morning. I left sort of annoyed because every time I went near her to see how she was feeling she'd shake her finger at me and say "No Mommy! No Mommy! Go AWAY!". Grrrrrr. Not a happy camper. She did cry for hugs and kisses when I left though, so it wasn't all animosity.

A couple of hours into my day Gordon sends me this picture:

These are underbed storage boxes that I ordered recently from Land of Nod. And just as an aside, they are really nice and totally on sale right now - like deeply. I bought them as part of our "Condo V2.0" project in which I'm re-organizing, re-arranging and re-decorating to get ready for Baby Koi (more on that - and pictures! - in posts soon I PROOOOMISE). Anyway Lily was all interested asking "what is that?" "what is that?". So Gordon told her they were her new bed. Since then she's been asking "where's my bed box?" So Gordon decided to humor her during her crappy mood Thursday morning (since boxes are STILL in the hallway and not filled with clothes and stashed UNDERBED quite yet). He stuck her in a box with a blanket and pillow and she LOVED it (as you can tell by the photographic evidence) - did not want to get out. Toddlers - so odd in the most wonderful ways.

Anyway, the picture made me smile at work - so I thought I'd share.

To finish up the sick part of the story - she did go to Mimi's yesterday, but ended the day there feeling pretty badly. When I picked her up she had spiked a fever again and was really miserable. She slept with us last night so we could keep an eye on her and she was running at or above 102 all night. Today we're going to the doctors (as soon as the office opens so I can get an appointment that is). My guess is that she's picked up a secondary bacterial infection - hopefully some antibiotics will do the trick!