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.