Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I pass.

A boring doctor appointment update: My belly is measuring where it should, the heatbeat sounds like it should, my blood tests all show what they should. So, in the words of my doctor, I am passing pregnancy. This means I get to keep the baby?

There were actually two exciting points to my appointment. The first is that for the first time since becoming pregnant, my blood pressure was back in a normal range. Typically, my BP is around 110 or 120/70, but its ranged between 135 and 155(!) at every appointment. Today it was 120/74. Yay me. According to my nutrition in pregnancy book, increasing your protein and calcium intake can help reduce gestational hypertension. So for the last few weeks I've been snacking on lowfat cheese, drinking protein smoothies, and taking a calcium supplement. Guess it helped.*

The other exciting point is that we set an appointment for The Big Ultrasound. This is the one where they look again for appropriate development etc. And, of course, they can usually identify the gender. My doctor reminded me that they can't always tell, and sometimes they can misidentify the gender (My friend Dayle has a story about someone she knows who was told they were going to have a girl, so went pink with everything, only had a girl's name picked out, etc. And ended up having a boy.). Anyway, the appointment is on January 16th. Look for a big gender update about then.

* I am a dedicated stair taker. If there's a choice between taking the stairs and waiting for the elevator, I generally take the stairs. Today, I decided to wait for the elevator. That might have also contributed to the lower BP. Sigh.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Frogs, Lullabys, and Tomatoes.

There have been a plethora of baby gifts this Christmas. The books were the first to roll in. Yesterday, Jill gave us a copy of the Nine Inch Nails Rockabye Baby CD - lullaby renditions of NIN songs. Definitely something Morgan will enjoy sharing with the baby. It was fun listening to the CD in the car on the way home yesterday with Morgan trying to identify songs and singing along with the glockenspiel etc. They also have Nirvana and Pixies albums... We'll be looking for more of these before June.

Today we got Susie and Dane's Christmas package.

As I've said before, Morgan gets a lot of frogs, because, well, he likes frogs. But this frog fairy and its matching night light/wall sconce are adorable, and I'm having fun thinking up nursery themes around them.

Thanks, everyone, for a wonderful Christmas.

Tomorrow marks the start of week 15. Our kid has grown to the astronomic size of a beefsteak tomato! Or a softball. We'll stick to tomatoes. The kid can now sense light and pressure from outside my body, which means its probably a good thing I ordered a pillow for my laptop, so its not in my lap all the time. In theory, I can shine a flashlight at my stomach and the kid will respond. Since I haven't felt any movements yet, I'm not sure what purpose this would serve, except to piss it off. But I am making an effort to be mindful of the music I play, with the knowledge that our baby can now hear it.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas. We've actually stayed home this year, which is weird. But while we miss visiting with Susie and Dane in Bakersfield, with Morgan's grandparents and Maurine in Reseda, and with Morgan's mom in Camarillo, we've been happy at home thinking about how much different our life will be by this time next year. A friend of Morgan's advised him to enjoy the calm this year; his response was to remind her of the excessive pet situation in our house and the lack of calm inherent there (see above photo). But everything will be different next year, and we're very happy about it.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby's First Book* **

Yesterday was my family's holiday gathering/gift exchange, and there amongst the other presents was one labeled for the Junebug, from Aunt Harriett and Uncle Tim. Since our kid will be raised with an appropriate understanding of snark, I think that a Steve Martin and Roz Chast alphabet book is the perfect starting point. Thanks, Hatt & Tim!

* In the interest of full disclosure, I have kind of been collecting children's books for years. Six or seven years ago I picked up the Edgar Eager box set - I loved these books when I was a kid. My stepmom turned me on the them when I was seven or eight, and I checked them out of the library repeatedly. I think I read them out loud to my college roommate at one point. I also picked up the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle collection at a yard sale a while back, and a few years ago, Morgan brought home most of his grandparents' collection of children's books. Some of these are kind of dated, but there are gems like the complete L. Frank Baum, Louisa May Alcott, Lewis Carroll...

Here's hoping the kid doesn't hate books...

** I'm a bad blogger. Morgan pointed out that this is the second book lucky baby has received; the first was from Morgan's manager Tasia and is called "Froggy's Day with Dad." It should be immediately apparent to anyone who knows Morgan why this is the perfect gift; Morg said it almost made him cry when he flipped through it. The back of the book has a list of the dozens of Froggy books out there; I think I see a very froggy future for our kid. Sorry for the lapse, Morgan and Tasia.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Week 14 and the Disbelief

This week our lucky baby is the size of my fist (also the size of my heart, then, right?) and weighs about an ounce. There haven't been any new major developments, except the neck is a little longer (if the kid takes after my sister and me, it will have a ridiculously long neck) and the ears have moved from the neck to the sides of the head. Sure am glad about that.

In the past few weeks, I have been feeling considerably better. The constant low-level nausea seems to have subsided (I was actually pretty lucky; while I felt sick all the time, I never actually threw up...) unless I go too long without eating. In which case I end up curled up in a ball nibbling on toast. I am no longer taking a nap everyday, though I am still glad to not have to work quite yet. I will definitely be looking at temp work in the new year, but for the next two weeks, I am going to milk being barefoot and pregnant at home.

Its humorous to me that the most common reaction to our pregnancy news (at least when its delivered by Morgan) is disbelief. Morgan told our friend Christine over instant message; she immediately demanded to talk to me and informed me that it was a cruel joke. Um, no joke, hon. Similarly, Morgan told a couple of his former co-workers when we were at the Arhoolie holiday party last night. The shared reaction was to laugh, and then look uncertainly at me and my belly - I'm not really showing yet so there wasn't much information to be gathered there. I'm still not sure Jonathan believed us, but then we did tell him mid-banjo jam on our way out the door (Arhoolie parties are strange things).

Monday, December 15, 2008


We're up to week 13 now, which officially marks the transition from first to second trimester. (Don't get me started on figuring out exactly when the second tri starts; pregnancy is 40 weeks, so 13 weeks and how many days? Dunno.)

We decided early on that we wanted to do the early screening to look for markers that would indicate birth defects, Down's Syndrome (Trisomy 21) and Trisomy 18 (another chromosomal defect that is incredibly life-threatening). We had no real reason to think we were at risk, but we wanted to know. The screening is a combination blood test and ultrasound, so I went and did the blood test last week, and the ultrasound was today. When giving us the results, the perinatologist didn't even factor in the ultrasound, because the results of the blood tests indicated so resoundingly that we were not at any risk. The ultrasound just confirmed this.

So we got to sit back and enjoy the ultrasound.

That whole thing last week about the baby reacting when you poke it? Yeah, it really does. We got to see our little junebug dancing around, arching its back, and turning away from the ultrasound paddle. It also kept bringing one of its hands up to its face; we weren't sure if it was sucking its thumb or just touching its cheek. The perinatologist initially told us that the kid was being very cooperative, but started laughing a couple minutes later, because the kid was doing some "wild" stuff. (Should I start researching gymnastics classes now? Or just not drink a cup of decaf coffee with eggnog on my way to my next ultrasound?)

Here's our bug proving how flexible a fetal spine is:

And in case anyone is wondering, it is too soon to determine gender via ultrasound; we'll be looking at that in late January, probably. But if we want to look into some old wives tales, some people believe that the fetal heart rate can be a predictor of the baby's gender: the theory goes that if the heart rate is 140 or above, its a girl; below 140, its a boy. Today, the bug's heart rate was 150. Draw your own theories.

And for the text book stuff: this week the kid is the size of a small peach or a large shrimp (definitely more the shape of shrimp...). The junebug has its own distinct fingerprints, and its head is now only 1/3 the total length of its body. And the baby can dance...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baby's First Present

courtesy of Aunt Jill:

I don't think you can read it, but the front t-shirt is embroidered and says "dog gone cute" on it. Considering one of the first things I said after taking a positive test was "Pace, you're going to be a dog!"* I figure dogs (and cats) will loom large in this kid's life. So "dog gone cute" is pretty fitting.

Thanks, Jill.

*Yes, Pace stared blankly at me. I know he's a dog. But now he's going to be some kid's dog. See?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Week 12

The baby is still citrus-y this week, in the lemon-lime range (a new fruit next week, I promise! New pictures too!). This kid is really starting to look like a human being this week; its eyes have moved from the sides of its head to the front (thank goodness), and its intestines, which have been developing in the umbilical cord, start migrating into their proper place. Yay? We can also officially bug the kid this week; apparently if I poke my belly, the junebug will squirm in response. Maybe I should make more of an effort to keep the cats from walking across my stomach?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby's First Field Trip

Mom and I took a trip to the new Academy of Science today, and what with the mind boggling number of strollers and babes in arms, I started thinking about how much fun it will be to take the junebug there when its old enough. I went to the old one frequently on school trips or with family (usually over Christmas vacation, I think...). While I have tons of happy memories there, its amazing how much nicer the new aquarium is, without the overcrowded dolphin tank and the vertigo-inducing round tank. A family membership is in order, I think, in a couple years.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Week 11

Lucky baby has reached the epic size of a fig or a lime this week. Its fingers and toes are all unwebbed (presumably) and the kid is dancing and jumping around. I won't be able to feel movements for about another month, but apparently the kid can get the hiccups now that it has a diaphragm.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Definitely grateful for our family this year, both the ones already celebrating with us, and the one on the way.

I called Dad today for a Thanksgiving chat, and told him about his new grandbaby. I think his gasps drowned out the football game in the background.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So far the only thing I've craved is tater tots. Really? Can I crave something I don't know if I've ever had? Regardless, I came home from the grocery store today with a bag of frozen tater tots and a jar of ranch dressing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Week 10

We have a fetus! This week officially marks the end of the embryonic period and the start of the fetal one. The kid is the size of a kumquat, and most of its organs are present. Its arms and legs can bend now, and its brain is superhuge (baby genius) and causes the head to take up half the length of the body.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More ultrasounds

Week 9 - we went in for our first official OB appointment today, and got another chance to see the baby.

Everything continues to look good for the pregnancy, and we have a due date of June 20, 2009. This week, the kid is the size of a grape or a cocktail olive (the kind filled with blue cheese and marinated in vermouth).* Most of the organs are accounted for, though they will still be evolving a little bit over the next few weeks. Sadly, the tail is gone.

Since we've had two successful ultrasounds, we decided to start telling the rest of the family. Virginia is planning knitting projects, David is shopping for Chinese baby clothes, and Harriett laughed hysterically for a minute straight after I told her. Walla was looking at a baby picture of me when I told him, and immediately called mom to celebrate. Morgan's grandma and aunt Maurine are planning the baby quilt, and his grandpa wants input on what name we choose. I think everyone is happy for us.

* Please note, our child is not filled with blue cheese and marinated in vermouth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More pregnancy fortunes

Mine: If I bring forth what is inside me, what I bring forth will save me.

Um, save the fetus, save the world?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Telling the moms.

We planned to tell our mothers about the pregnancy as soon as we had the first ultrasound, but since my mom was on vacation, we waited until she got back (Morgan actually asked if she had her cell phone with her. Probably, but I'm not sure how the reception is in Greece...)

We knew they would both be thrilled, and they were. According to Morgan, his mom's voice went up an octave when he told her. She also called back later to make sure she hadn't dreamed it. My mom had been up for almost 24 hours when I told her, so I was kind of expecting her to call back for verification too.

In week 8, the baby reaches the size of a gummy bear or a kidney bean. This week, the kid has webbed fingers and toes and has almost lost its tail. Go, evolution...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pregancy Fortunes

We both have head colds this week, so Chinese takeout is the preferred food right now.

Morgan's fortune: A new relationship is about to blossom. You will be blessed.

My fortune: There are big changes ahead for you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Feeling better

about the world this kid will be born into. That's all.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Starting the photo album

We had our first ultrasound this week; the blueberry isn't particularly identifiable as a person, but we got to see (and hear!) the heartbeat. 144 beats per minute. Hearing it just blew me away; I knew we were growing a person, but to hear that strong, fast heartbeat was breathtaking.

This week, the baby is about the size of a blueberry, and has little paddles where its arms and legs will be. Its brain has two hemispheres, and its appendix is complete. Wonder why a completely useless organ is one of the first to form?

Our little rock star also had its second concert experience today; She & Him at Bimbo's. If the kid loves retro indie pop, its because it takes after both its parents.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week 6

Fetal age 4 weeks (ya'll see where I'm going with this, right? I'm going to stop after this post).

The baby is the size of a lentil this week (growing by leaps and bounds!) and is working on growing a nose, some ears and a mouth. It also has little buds where the arms and legs will be.

The humorous event this week was my uncle Walla's birthday party. As my family members are big wine drinkers, I had some anxiety about turning down drinks and the attention that would draw. I recruited Morgan to be my designated drinker; if anyone offered me a drink, I would accept, and then subtly hand it over to him. But no one offered, and I just sipped ginger beer all day (the bottle looks remarkably like real beer). I don't think anyone noticed...?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week 5

Fetal age 3 weeks

This week, the kid is the size of a sesame seed and looks more like a tadpole than a baby. Neat. A little bit of nausea has started to set in, but mostly we just want to be able to start telling people...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baby's First Vacation

Week 4 (Fetal Age 2 weeks)

This week, we had the official confirmation - both an at home pregnancy test and an official blood test. This week, we also had a trip planned - my (belated) birthday getaway to the East Brother Light Station - a bed and breakfast on an island housing a working lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, about 10 minutes offshore from Richmond. Because Morgan had booked this way in advance and requested the in-room champagne and chocolate package, our innkeepers out of necessity became the first people to know about our pregnancy (they kindly replaced the champagne with sparkling cider). And please, baby? I hope you continue to travel so well on water.

This week, the kid is about the size of a poppy seed and is busy growing the bits that will eventually become all its major organs. Grow, baby, grow!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Week 3

Yes, I know. The kid is only a week old, but I'm in my third week of pregnancy. It makes no sense, but get used to it.

Week 3 (Fetal age 1 week)

This week, the baby is the size of the head of a pin, and is just a clump of cells, rapidly dividing. Its parents are hopeful, but don't actually know it exists yet. Trust me, there are no pretty pictures to demonstrate this.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baby's First Rock Show

If this kid either loves or hates loud music, this will be why.*

S/he was only about four days old, and we weren't sure actually existed yet, but the My Bloody Valentine reunion show at the Concourse Center made us worry about the possible baby trying very hard to grow and get itself implanted - there were serious vibrations and feedback. I could see the water vibrating in my water bottle; I could feel the vibrations in my teeth. What on earth was this doing to a possible baby in my uterus? Luckily, our little rock star made it through the night.**

* If the kid is completely indifferent to shoe-gazey discordant untuned feedback, its because it takes after its mother.

** The rock star's mom, however did not - I ended up sitting against the wall people watching while Morgan stayed up front to watch the band.