Tuesday, November 26, 2013

20w3d - Relief-a-palooza!

This post includes an ultrasound pic. Feel free to skip if you're not in the mood.

First, I have reached the Bon Jovi portion of this pregnancy. I'm not going to bother with typing out the lyrics.

Breathing. Sighs. of. Relief. Kid just ACED his 20 week anatomy scan.

Four chamber heart? Check.
Kidneys? 2
Fingers and toes? Five per appendage, totalling 20.
Eyes? 2 gaping black holes (apparently how they're supposed to look)
Legs, arms, bladder, all that good stuff. He's a properly forming baby. Amazing.

J and I opted out of any early risk assessments - nuchal translucency, MaterniT21, and the like - at 12 weeks. I was on the fence and welcomed reassurance (though terrified of bad news) while J felt very strongly about not doing testing. His reasoning? We get what we get and we'll love who we get. Let's not spend the next 6-7 months worried about something we can not change. We will deal with whatever it is when the baby is born. We knew that we didn't want to terminate unless we found out without a shadow of a doubt that the baby's condition was incompatible with life. How do you find out without a shadow of a doubt? Through CVS or amnio, both of which carry very small risks of miscarriage. We just weren't game for all of it. J's strong stance on the issue made me gradually feel more comfortable. Lingering in the back of my mind were those "incompatible with life" syndromes. A hell of a euphemism. As this pregnancy has progressed seemingly normally and Kid is now big and strong enough to make me feel him moving around (despite a stubborn anterior placenta), I've been in a pretty good place. I really have trusted that he's healthy and normal. All that said, whispers of horror stories danced in my head leading up to today's scan. What if, what if, what if... And then, nothing. All good. A happy (I project), squirmy boy nestled right where he should be. My cervix is nice and long and my OB announced my risk of preterm labor "as low as anybody else's."* 

I feel a little weirdly relaxed. Very happy. Like I just had a glass or two of wine. It's the warming juju of relief.

Without further ado, here's my boy...

Looks like he's smiling, doesn't he?

*I admittedly had a freakout of a cervical nature that I shan't go into on these pages. Long story short, I had images of babies, keys and cell phones falling willy nilly out of my short gaping cervix. I don't know why I do these things to myself.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

19w3d - Of Milestones and Stupidity

The pregnancy milestone that I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for has finally happened. About a year later than everyone else, I've started to feel lil' guy moving around. It's been very subtle - a few thumps here and there. My friend likened those early sensations to that of a balloon hitting a ceiling. Yup, sounds about right. Something small, blind and slippery keeps on bumping around. Occasionally, I'll feel a distinct and sudden movement. That's pretty rare so far. I've spent the last week or so wondering whether or not my sensations were due to gas (honestly they still frequently are) or to the kid. On Friday evening, I lied down on my bed with my doppler (best friend for life!) and placed it on my lower right abdomen where I kept thinking I felt something. Like magic, kid kicked hard and moved the doppler! I felt it inside and saw it outside. Confirmation. Since then, I've been trusting myself more and paying more attention. There's movement in there and it's weird and completely awesome. J is completely obsessed. He places his hand on my belly and swears he can feel something. I don't really think he can since the sensations are so subtle for me but it makes him happy. Why mess with it, you know?

And speaking of milestones, we're running into another. J and I have started looking into daycare. It would be lovely if one of us could stay home full time to take care of kid. Unfortunately, our finances simply won't allow this. The cost of a nanny is prohibitive so we've been checking out daycare centers. This may seem way too early however we'll simply be placing our name on the waiting list for July. Chicago parents are a rabid bunch of planners. I'm convinced some of them are putting their names on the lists before they even get pregnant. How can you get a leg up on these folks?

The child care search is terrifying on several levels. First, cost. It is cray-cray expensive to send your kid to daycare full time. Think private college tuition expensive. The places we're looking at - not fancy in the slightest, mind you - cost as much or more per month than our mortgage. Second, you are leaving your super tiny infant with a stranger. I don't even know this kid yet. I worked so hard to get him. I have to hand him off to strangers before he's even able to sit on his own? I know that everyone does this and it will be fine, it just gives me a bit of a sad. Third... I don't think there is a third. I'm sure there is, I just can't think of it yet. Contagious disease or something. So perhaps there aren't several things to be worried about, just two big ones. If you think of more, please keep them to yourself. I'm sure I'll come up with them soon on my very own.

Back in the first trimester, my sister asked me if I was "stupid yet." She, apparently, was dealing with classic pregnancy brain. (A scary note: she's a nurse in an impressive sounding department at a large hospital. I won't tell you which one.) I was all, "Why no! I'm sharp as a tack!" Fast forward to now. I am, on many days, dumb as a bag of hair. It hurts. My brain gets covered in this thick layer of green mold and I forget things and bumble around like I'm blind-folded. There's nothing I seem to be able to do about it. I fake myself out with a decaf coffee (living on the edge). I take the occasional walk. Helps slightly. It comes and goes. Yesterday was a really moldy day. Today is not. My job, while often intense and stressful, does not involve life or death decisions or the fate of nations. For this I am grateful. I apologize for any doubt I have cast upon other pregnant women who may or may not be battling the gradual molding of their brains. I'm sure they're all fine. It's just me. Or not.

Final note: anatomy scan on Tuesday. I'm a leetle bit nervous. Please be ok. Please be ok. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

17w6d - The Mother of Invention

Necessity is the mother of invention. Some genius said that. Ah yes, wikipedia says it was Plato.

I have an invention that is not really an invention that could revolutionize maternity pants. You see, those vaguely elastic panels don’t actually hold anything up, they just cover and smooth the belly. I’d say they do about 3-5% of the pants-holding-up responsibilities necessary. Your own hips and ass are responsible for the rest. Also problematic is the fact that the waist of the pants must be large enough to fit over your ass and thighs therefor, on most women, being slightly larger than that small but crucial stretch between bump and the spread of your hips.
Fact: this not-actually-pregnant model hiked her designer maternity jeans up between every frame.
Depending on the stretch of the material and your girth, the panel + gravity combo is often not enough. Leggings are a rare exception. I find myself scotching up my pants 7 times a day. And that’s just because I don’t care about the other 28 times when I need to. At first I thought under-the-shirt suspenders were an option but then considered my lopping mammaries. Then I remembered those adjustable tabs that were on hideous carpenter pants. You can adjust them to be tighter and cinch in your pants at the waist. In my perfect world, three maternity pant tabs would be placed on the pants - one at each hip and one at the back (located your tramp stamp). These tabs could be adjusted throughout the day as necessary to accommodate meals, gas, etc. What do you think? Genius! Now someone should manufacture them for me. I can't really sew and do not own a sewing machine. Also not in the market for one. Thanks for the offer.


I figure my options to solve the problem of ever sagging pants are as follows:
  1. I actually figure out where to get real pants tabs and sew them on by hand. I'm exhausted just thinking about this but it might be the only way. 
    Don't solve the problem. There's nothing wrong with low-riding the crotch of your pants at mid-thigh. (To answer your question, yes, I am wearing the correct size pants.)
  3. Use giant diaper pins to cinch the small amount of fabric that needs cinching. Do they even sell these now? Will I get stabbed twice a day? (This was my supervisor's suggestion. He has been dragged into the issue against his will. I feel he has an inherent interest in my pants staying on at the office.)
  4. Suspenders. See boob issue and general fashion concerns.
  5. Dapper Snappers. These are super awkward, bulky and of questionable value. I would squeal with delight if any of you have actually used these. Clips are available for pants without belt loops (98% of maternity pants).

What is the solution to this? Why is this a problem that we as a society have not addressed? Can I just wear maternity overalls and is that a thing?