Thursday, January 29, 2009

NST and The "I" Word

Today as I was driving home from my weekly doctor appointment, I passed Miller Park and noticed that the marquee out front was displaying a countdown clock, counting down the days until the Brew Crew's pitchers and catchers report for training camp. (Is it called training camp for baseball?? I'm a football girl.) I couldn't help but smile to myself...when baseball season ended last year, I often thought to myself that come NEXT baseball season, we would have a new baby in the house. And now the pitchers and catchers are reporting for training in fourteen days. Sheesh.

Anyway, today was my first of many scheduled fetal non-stress tests and happily, Tater looks great. His heartbeat galloped along at around 140 bpm and there were plenty of little accelerations as he squirmed around. He is growing nicely, measuring in at around 34 weeks (still about two weeks big, but Dr. Fab is cool with that). He is definitely head down and his little back side is pointing upwards, so if he stays put, he's in the perfect position for delivery. Also, Dr. Fab did a cervical check today because I have been having some terrible back and pelvic pain lately, and fortunately, things are still thick and closed and tilted backwards, and Tater hasn't engaged yet. Tater gets an A+ for today.

I, however, seem to have boarded the blood pressure roller coaster and I just can't seem to get off. After having pretty darn good readings for a couple of weeks, my BP is inching back up again...not to levels that are terribly dangerous, but just enough for Dr. Fab to remind me that she doesn't want to have to lecture me about taking it easy. And, for the first time, today Dr. Fab brought up The "I" Word--induction. She wants to monitor things for a couple more weeks, but she thinks that we (she, Aaron, and I) will need to decide in the upcoming weeks if enough is enough and whether or not I should be induced at 37 or 38 weeks. That's less than six weeks away. And suddenly I am in a panic about my house and cribs and high chairs and layettes and pediatricians, etc. And let's not even bring up the circumcision question. Really. I'm done talking about it.

I had really hoped to avoid induction this time around, and maybe I still will if by some miracle my BP drops and stays there or if Tater decides to skedaddle early, but I guess the whole idea is not so bad. My induction with Grace went really well--I didn't need any Pitocin or anything--and hopefully (please, God) that will be the case this time around, too. Also, one plus of induction is that I have a better chance of having Dr. Fab around for at least part of labor and delivery, assuming she starts the induction. AND, since Tater is measuring a couple of weeks big anyway, he's not gonna be a small baby, so he might be the size of a full term baby at 37 weeks. Just tryin' to see the upside...

Really, shaving a couple of weeks off of this whole pregnancy thing wouldn't be bad at all, provided Tater is ready. I am way, way uncomfortable and I'm sure Aaron is tired of listening to me grunt and whine and sigh every time I walk, roll over in bed, get up off the couch, get out of a chair...well, basically when I move any part of my body at all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Big "C"

One of my favorite blogs, finslippy, posted a link yesterday to a Momversation regarding The Big C--circumcision. I thought this was pretty fortuitous, as Aaron and I are wrangling with the circumcision question right cut or not to cut? The post on finslippy as well as the Momversation were both very interesting and thought-provoking and soon both Aaron and I were reading and re-reading the post and all of the comments that the post generated. Seems as though we are not the only parents in the world who are struggling with this.

Here's the thing...before I knew our baby was going to be a boy, I never gave this any thought. I have always thought that if I had a son, I would have him circumcised. I never really knew why...I just knew that this is what was done and as I said, I never gave it much thought. It wasn't until we found out that we are having a boy and Aaron expressed his reservations about circumcision to me that I actually sat down and asked myself, "Why do I think we should do this?" Turns out I didn't have any reason other than "This is what is done," and I decided to do some research on the topic.

Unfortunately the internet is fraught with propaganda, both for and against circumcision. I had no idea people felt so strongly about this, on both sides of the coin. In my research, I found myself getting more and more frustrated with the rhetoric and finger pointing and holier-than-thou-ness of it all and decided to check out what the experts have to say. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't really take a stance on the topic, stating that,

"Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In circumstances in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child's current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child."

Wow...that's maddingly ambiguous but at the same time tells me there isn't a compelling medical reason to circumcise our son. Dr. Sears' website underscores this fact and basically tells parents that they should use no reason other than religion or personal preference in making the decision on whether or not to circumcise their sons--the medical benefits alone aren't enough to justify the decision. Well, neither Aaron or I hold any religious beliefs that would prompt us to circumcise our son, and neither of us believes so strongly in the idea of circumcision that we feel absolutely compelled to have it done.

Then again, there is some evidence out there that suggests that circumcising baby boys can have medical benefits. Many experts suggest circumcising boys lowers the rate of UTI's. Also, it can help prevent the boy from spreading HPV or other STD's when he becomes sexually active. Some also say that circumcision lowers the chance of a male developing penile cancer later in life. These are all positives to be sure!! However, I haven't been able to find anything that has said that circumcision ABSOLUTELY does these things. One would think that teaching their son proper hygiene and how to make responsible sexual decisions would also help prevent these things.

Clearly, I am torn. This decision is weighing heavily on me and I am losing sleep over it. To me, we have three options:

Circumcise...In my mind, this is the easy choice, because it is what a majority of parents in this country decide to do with their son, and I know that if we make this decision, our son will be in the norm (although this might not be quite so true nowadays, as circumcision rates are on the decline). The procedure is very safe, and if we are going to do this, we should do it while we are still in the hospital to save our son from a more serious procedure later in life. And, let's face it, things would be easier to clean down there, both for us and for Tater and the procedure COULD prevent all the icky things listed above.

Don't circumcise...The tougher choice of the two, because it goes against the norm in our society. However, I am going to take pains (literally) to ensure my son has a violence-free and medication-free delivery, so why would I subject him to this painful procedure and recovery less than 48 hours after his birth? Also, should we do something just because it is what a majority of people do? Seems like faulty logic to's the whole "If all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you?" thing. And, I know myself. I had a hard enough time sending Grace to the nursery for a heel stick after delivering her. How will I feel if and when I turn my son over to the nurses to have this procedure done? Will I feel immense guilt and regret my decision? And AND, should this be our decision or our son's decision? I know men who wish the choice had been left up to them.

Leave this up to Aaron...In reading finslippy's post and the comments on the post last night, I was surprised to see the number of women who left this decision up to their husbands. But it makes some sense to me. After all, I have no idea what it's like to have a penis. I didn't have surgery on my genitals hours after birth, and so I don't have any idea what that would be like. Part of me is like, "This is my son too, dammit, and have as much say as my husband does," but then again, I trust Aaron and I know that he would take his research as well as his own personal experience into account. I trust and know that he would make the right decision for our son.

We have less than eight weeks to make this decision, and while that might seem like a lot to some, I am a planner and I need to know what we are going to do about this. I foresee many more sleepless nights ahead, and it's not just going to be because of leg cramps and having to pee every hour.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekend Wrapup

What a weekend! As I mentioned in my previous post, we had planned to take a much-needed mini vacation this weekend, and we definitely did that but we also managed to cram some other fun and cool stuff into the weekend. As the weekend was winding down last night and as I was putting Grace to bed, I found myself wishing there was some way I could somehow trick time and squeeze in another day of R&R with the fam...but alas, it's Monday and we're back at it.

The bulk of our weekend was spent at Country Springs Water Park and Hotel, and if anyone is looking for a fun weekend away without spending too much dough, this is the place. Last year we took our winter mini vacation in Wisconsin Dells at Kalahari Water Park Resort, and while Kalahari was awesome and probably twice the size of Country Springs, I'd recommend Country Springs over Kalahari for a couple of reasons. First, Country Springs is MUCH more reasonably priced than some of the water park resorts in the Dells. I did some research, and if we had gone to the Dells this weekend, we would have spent at least twice what we ended up spending at Country Springs, both in gas and in actual room charges and other fees (for instance, Country Springs has a free continental breakfast each morning--many other water park resorts don't offer that).

Also, I feel like Country Springs was more geared toward Grace's age group than some of the bigger resorts. Sure, Kalahari and other larger resorts have tons of huge water slides and other attractions like wave pools and surfing simulators that are fun for adults, but the water park at Country Springs had smaller slides and more kid-friendly stuff to offer (as well as a lazy river and a couple larger slides). So, Grace was comfortable trying just about everything at least once and that made me feel good because we utilized the entire park instead of just part of it. And, even though Aaron didn't get to try surfing this year, I'm pretty sure he had a good time accompanying Grace (and my mom) on some of the bigger slides at the park.

The other thing that impressed me about Country Springs was the staff. The water park itself was stocked with lifeguards who were pretty darn vigilant about making sure everyone stayed safe. I liked the fact that they actually enforced the "no kids in the hot tub without parents" rule so that when I took a minute to dangle my legs in the hot tub, I wasn't getting splashed by a bunch of unsupervised kids. Also, when Grace happened to fall asleep in one of the lounge chairs, one of the lifeguards came up to me to make sure she was feeling ok (yep, just tuckered out). I don't remember that type of surveillance at Kalahari when we were there last year, and it was nice to see.

My parents were able to spend the weekend at Country Springs with us as well and that was great! Grace had a blast going on water slides and the lazy river with my mom (and honestly, it was pretty darn entertaining for me to watch as well), and she got some good snuggle time in with Grandpa as well. Even though we did have a couple of hairy stretches because Grace was still a little tired from her bout of strep throat, our mini vacation was great fun and I wish it could have been just a bit longer.

A couple of other cool things happened after we left Country Springs this weekend. The first thing is that Grace and I (finally) joined a church here in Milwaukee. I have been searching for the "perfect" church for Grace and I to attend ever since I moved down here and I finally found that place a couple of weeks ago. I was doing a search on ELCA Lutheran churches here in the city and came across one that sounded like it might be a good fit for us. I attended services there a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with the church immediately. It is a smaller, liberal congregation but the thing that struck me right away was the number of young people and young families in attendance. Children are not only welcomed at this church, but they are included in the service and they are truly treasured by the congregation and the staff. Also, I found the congregation as a whole and the pastors to be extremely welcoming and accepting. I was a little leery to talk to the pastors about joining because I was sure they would wonder why Grace and I would be joining and Aaron wouldn't be, but I was pleasantly surprised when they didn't seem to even think twice about the fact that my husband and I don't hold identical beliefs about everything. They didn't make me feel as though my family is "broken" because Aaron and I weren't going to be joining together and for that I am extremely thankful--I know many churches would not be quite so open and understanding.

So, Grace and I joined the congregation yesterday and it feels really, really good to have a spiritual home. And as if I needed any more affirmation that I had made the right choice, during yesterday's sermon, the pastor jokingly reminded the congregation that Barack Obama is not Jesus Christ...his words were, "...I've seen the look in some of your eyes (when talking about Barack)..." and I thought to myself, "Yep, these are my homeys." And then, the pastor concluded his sermon with moving, tearful words about how he felt about the closing of Guantanamo Bay and how it is SO good to finally see us do the right thing. Amen.

One big other thing from this weekend...we made our first major baby-related purchase. We bought an infant car seat yesterday. Both Aaron and I were feeling some hesitation about the purchase, but together we mustered up the courage to let ourselves believe that this baby is coming and that he is going to be fine, and we took that leap. And just to kick some dust in fear's face, we picked up a sleeper for the baby, too.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

T Minus Two Months

My due date is two months from today--March 22nd. If my little occupant decides to hang out till then, I could very well be in the throes of labor in exactly two months, since I won't be allowed to go past my due date. *shudder* Can I just order up the pain medication cocktail now?

Had my weekly appointment with Dr. Fab today, and happily, the BP seems to be holding steady for now. Tater is still measuring big but he's not growing at quite the clip he was a few weeks ago, when he was measuring almost four weeks big. Baby's heart rate was excellent today, and he even kicked hard enough to shake Dr. Fab's hand as she held the doppler on my belly. Also, I lost three pounds this week, which was a bit of a concern to Dr. Fab until I explained to her that I have been busy taking care of a four-year-old with strep throat all week and I haven't slept or eaten well in that time. Then, she just gave me the same kind of look my mother would give me if I had just told her that same thing and said, "You look tired. Take it easy."

Fortunately, that is exactly what I have planned. Grace has off of school tomorrow for the end of the semester, so we thought this would be a good opportunity for the three of us to take a little mini-vacation before Tater makes his debut. Aaron and I both have off work tomorrow and we are taking Grace to Country Springs, which is a hotel/water park that is located about 20 miles west of our house, for the weekend. (Last week Dr. Fab gave me the green light to go as long as I promised her that I wouldn't go on any water slides and that I would keep my feet up and relax all weekend.) We're all super excited to get away for the weekend, even though we're not going far away. It'll be nice to get out of the house for a couple of days and get away from the household chores that are staring me in the face. It'll also be nice to have a long weekend away with just Gracie, as I know the opportunity to do that is quickly slipping away.

Anyhoo, next week we start the weekly fetal non-stress tests just to make sure all is still well in Tater's uterine home and that he is still thriving despite the gestational hypertension and the low levels of PAPP-A (I'll go to two tests weekly at 34 weeks). In the meantime, I'll be relaxing at the pool and pondering the circumcision question--to cut, or not to cut??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Yeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!! If I could without worrying about launching myself into preterm labor, I would be jumping up and down in jubilance. Thanks so much for your service, W, but good riddance. Today is a new day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

And This is How It's Been For the Past Three Days

My poor little Gracie-poo, making the best of her situation, curled up under her blankies and smiling even though she told me today that she is "SOOO sick!!!"

It's probably a good thing that MPS is closed today for MLK Jr. Day, because there is no way this little girl would have been able to go to school today. And, I am no longer feeling like our trip to the Urgent Care clinic on Saturday was a waste of time, because even though the quick strep test they did at the clinic came back negative on Saturday, strep grew over the weekend and so Gracie has strep throat. I wouldn't have known that had I not taken her in and she would have stayed sick, so it was worth it after all. Grace had her first dose of Zithromax earlier today (she's allergic to almost every other antibiotic out there) so I am *hoping* that another full day of R&R and some TLC along with the medicine will help her improve enough to head back to school tomorrow.

In the meantime, I am washing all of our bedding in hot water and scrubbing all sorts of surfaces in my home and praying fervently that Aaron and/or I don't end up with this...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Dancing Queen Becomes My Little Sickie

Less than twenty-four hours after watching Gracie dance wildly around the living room to her favorite ABBA songs, I am looking at a very sick little girl. Poor Grace is laying prone on our living room couch, half-heartedly watching the end of Pee Wee's Big Adventure, with her little mouth gaping open because she can't breathe through her nose, tears streaming down her face occasionally because she "is never gonna feel better!!" and her cheeks a rosy red color as a result of her fever which has been hovering between 102 and 104 all day long.

I can't even remember the last time Grace was sick. I know around this time last year, we had to take her in to Urgent Care on a Sunday afternoon because she was complaining of an earache (turns out she had a raging ear infection) but other than that, Grace is generally very healthy. I had a rough road with her from about the time she was six months old until she turned two--she had cold after cold and the colds always lead to ear infections and she had rotavirus two springs in a row. But then suddenly around age two, she stopped getting sick so often--in fact, she's only been sick a handful of times since then. She managed to build up a pretty tough immune system and thanks to that, she hasn't suffered from a lot of the illnesses her classmates at school have had to deal with because she was exposed to many of them in day care already.

And so, I'm feeling that unmistakable sense of panic that a parent feels when her child is sick and I had forgotten how terrible that feeling is. As soon as we got up this morning, I felt the compelling need to get Grace into the doctor ASAP, and when he told us that Grace doesn't have strep or any other infection and then dismissed us, I wanted to wrap myself around his leg as he walked out the door and beg him to DO SOMETHING TO HELP HER FEEL BETTER!!

Turns out, all she really wants is her mama. When we got home from the doctor, she just wanted to lay down next to me (or on top of me) and she pleaded with me to stay next to her all day. And that's just fine, because there's no way I'd let my little sickie out of my sight today anyway.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gracie Mia, The Dancing Queen

Due to the subzero temperatures and even colder wind chills that we have been subjected to here in Milwaukee over the past 48 hours or so, all of the schools in the area have been cancelled for the past two days. Thus, while I am glad that Grace doesn't have to venture outside in this weather and risk frostbite, I have been less-than-thrilled about the whole working and parenting simultaneously thing. My job requires me to be on the computer or on the phone constantly, and although Grace generally does a pretty good job of entertaining herself with coloring projects or with reading books or putting together puzzles, her patience wears thin after a while and starts demanding that I "stop working THIS MINUTE!" and devote my undivided attention to her. And then the guilt kicks in...guilt because I have always told myself that I wouldn't be one of those parents who forces her child to compete with the computer for her attention.

This afternoon, Grace's patience was wearing ever thinner, and as I was trying to run some reporting that I HAD to get done for work and find something fun for Grace to do at the same time, I reached for a last resort: the ABBA Gold CD. A couple of weekends ago, my parents came to our house for a visit and my mom brought her new fav movie, Mamma Mia, with her. Grace stayed up late watching the movie with us (I know, it's PG-13, tsk-tsk, whatever...but seriously, it's a cute movie and I managed to direct Grace's attention away during the one "PG-13ish" part of the movie) and she fell in love with all of the music and dancing that's in the movie and was really sad when Grandma took the movie home with her the next day. Last weekend when Grace spent a day with my parents, they bought her the ABBA Gold CD, which contains a majority of the songs from Mamma Mia, and the CD has been Grace's most treasured possession ever since and she listens to it whenever she gets the chance. She even chooses to listen to ABBA before listening to Laurie Berkner or her new Medeski, Martin, and Wood kid's CD.

So, today, in the midst of my desperation to get my work done but NOT plunk my kid down in front of the TV for hours on end in order to accomplish it, I reached out to ABBA and they delivered. As soon as I put the CD in, Grace was a dancing queen, strutting her stuff around the living room and lip-synching as best as she could to all of the songs. And, I was able to get a bunch of work done uninterrupted. Man, those Swedes are awesome.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

3d Ultrasound Pics

Check out these pics...they just blew me away...

Huge wake-up call for me...there is an ACTUAL baby in there, a beautiful, healthy baby, so TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!! And, I feel like this ultrasound happened in the nick of time. Just as I was starting to feel drained and a little depressed about this whole bedrest thing, I get to see our son as I have never seen him before, and suddenly, I feel rejuvenated and ready for the rest of my pregnancy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

30 Weeks

Assuming I deliver on my due date (which is highly unlikely, but could happen), I am 75% of the way through my pregnancy. A few stats, then:

-Weight gained to date: 24 pounds (this includes the mysterious 2-pound weight loss that occurred over Christmas). If I gain a pound a week from here on out, I will come in under the 35 pound weight limit for preggos and I will also have gained less weight than I did with Gracie. I've gained more than I hoped to, but hey, WHATEVER.

-Belly measurement: 33.5 centimeters as of last week Thursday--measuring a few weeks big. We'll see how we come in this week.

-Number of baby names tossed around: countless

-Number of baby names making the final cut: far. I think we have our list whittled down to our top two favorite names and I think we *may* have settled on The One, but Aaron and I are both prone to a little indecisiveness so we'll see. And, I'm so not telling what the name is till baby names his debut. Tater will suffice for now.

-Last blood pressure reading: 147/90. However, Dr. Fab called today with test results and there are no signs of actual preeclampsia, so the official diagnosis as of right now is gestational hypertension.

-Number of women who develop preeclampsia after having been diagnosed with GH at 30 weeks or less: 1 in 2 *biting fingernails*

Other than the BP issues, my third trimester hasn't been so bad thus far. I am getting quite a bit more uncomfortable which makes sleeping more difficult, and the lack of sleep and discomfort breed other issues like an overall increase in my crankiness and the occasional (ok, constant) crippling fatigue, but at least I'm not puking daily like I was during my third trimester with Gracie.

Speaking of Grace...she is SO excited to meet her little brother. She has had the opportunity to feel Tater kicking a few times, and she really got a kick (ha!) out of that. Now she will come up and put her hand on my belly and wait patiently for Tater to kick and if he doesn't, she'll tell me that he must be taking a nap, and if she DOES feel him kick, her eyes widen in surprise and delight and she starts giggling uncontrollably. She also will walk up to my belly on occasion and give it a pat and a kiss and say, "I love you, baby." So sweet. I'm not sure how she will react when the baby is actually here, but she certainly loves her little brother already and can't wait to be able to play with him, and that makes me very, very happy. It's so cool to be able to share this with her.

I am scheduled for a 3-D ultrasound on Wednesday, so more photos to come!! Maybe I'll even manage to snap a pic of my growing belly and post that as well...

Friday, January 09, 2009


Went back to the doctor yesterday for my bi-weekly prenatal visit, and lo and behold, the blood pressure is back on the rise. Ironically, my blood pressure had actually gone back down over the holidays, despite some traveling and other merry-making, but now has risen to an all-time high (for this pregnancy, anyway) now that the holidays are over and we're back in our routine. Not sure what that means, although it might say something about the stresses of working and parenting full time. *Sigh*

Dr. Fabulous actually took my BP a couple of times yesterday during my visit and it rose with each reading, even after I had been sitting in the office for quite sometime doing nothing at all, and after the final reading she took, Dr. Fab scrunched up her nose and said, "And this is what happened last time (my last pregnancy), isn't it?" Yep, sure is. So, more blood tests and the 24-hour urine protein test were ordered (again) to rule out preeclampsia, and although Dr. Fab seems to doubt highly that I have preeclampsia at this point (no swelling, no other symptoms), she is concerned and wants to cover all bases. (So glad I decided to stick with her.) She's thinking that what I have right now is gestational hypertension, which can be scary enough if it gets too severe.

We have a new plan for the rest of my pregnancy which will ensure that I will get to know my practicioner pretty well between now and the time I deliver. Instead of bi-weekly visits, I'll be seeing Dr. Fab once a week, and starting at week 32 (I'm 29 weeks 5 days today), I will be having weekly fetal non-stress tests, because of the hypertension and because of the low levels of the PAPP-A hormone that were discovered waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in September when I had my first trimester screening done. And, there are more ultrasounds in my future as well.

And, sadly, I won't be able to return to the office part time as I had hoped. Stir craziness has set in and my plan when I went to the doctor yesterday was to ask if I could maybe go back to the office a day or two a week just to get out and see the peeps that I work with and honestly miss. My plan was foiled when after my final BP reading yesterday, I laughingly told Dr. Fab that I wanted to go back to the office and she said decisively, "No. Asked and answered. You need to take it easy." Ok then.

Also, Tater is measuring big for my dates. As I said, I'm just about 30 weeks but the baby is measuring larger than 33 weeks. When Dr. Fab measured me and discovered this, all she said was, "Interesting," but of course being who I am I ran straight home and Googled "uterus measuring large pregnancy" and was promptly freaked out by everything that this can mean (an exercise that was no doubt healthy for my BP). I'm just gonna table this one until I go to see Dr. Fab again next week and I'll take that opportunity to ask her what "Interesting" means.

I'm a little bummed out right now and I can't really bring myself to get out of the sweatpants today (although it has been a craptastic week, what with the tumble down the stairs and the soreness and then hearing about big layoffs at work). I have moved beyond feeling sorry for myself for being confined to my house and I have landed at a constant feeling of concern for Tater's health and my own. In my mind, I know he's fine...he's been active, his heartbeat is good, and we KNOW he's growing. But in my heart, I have fallen in love with him and I feel the same amount of concern for him that I would if something similar was happening with Gracie. I just can't wait to have him here so I can look at his face and see that he is all right.

Ok, ONE humorous thing did happen yesterday...I had to run to the lab at Froedtert to pick up a big orange jug for my 24-hour urine test, and the pre-pubescent boy that was manning the desk at the lab seemed THOROUGHLY embarassed at what I was asking him to retrieve for me. His face flushed as soon as I had uttered the word "urine" and then he was visibly nervous as he opened drawers and cabinets in search of a jug for me. Then, as he was bringing the jug back to the desk, he stopped and opened his eyes in horror and then ran back to another cabinet to get me a bag to carry the jug in. As he brought me the bag (which was virtually see through anyway), he lowered his voice and whispered proudly, "I brought you this bag so you wouldn't be embarassed." Oh, my dear sweet boy, these things do not phase me.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tumbles and Rick Astley (not necessarily in that order...)

Now that I am working at home, I have had to find ways to deal with the deafening silence that surrounds me once Grace and Aaron leave the house in the morning. Luckily, my hubby had the foresight to sign us up for Sirius satellite radio a while back, and lo and behold, I can sign into our account from my laptop and browse the couple hundred of stations that are offered. At first, I listened to Christmas music exclusively, because, well, it was Christmas time, but now I have discovered an all-80's music station and I LOVE IT. I have heard Rick Astley not once but TWICE today. Rock on...

Well, it finally happened...

Anyone who has visited our home knows about The Stairs. We live in an older home and the stairs leading from our first floor up to the second floor are impossibly steep. Climbing them when one is not pregnant can be daunting, but when one is pregnant, climbing (and descending) our stairs is a particular challenge. Not only does one lose her breath easily while climbing the stairs, but the steepness of the staircase in even more unnerving when your center of gravity is all wonky. We are actually planning some home renovations in the upcoming year, and one of the things we plan to deal with is the situation with The Stairs.

Lots of people--my parents, my in-laws, my friends, my doctor--have pleaded with me to take our stairs with caution now that I am expecting so that I don't fall. I have lived in this house for a year and a half now, and I have been pregnant for almost seven of those months, and I have not fallen...until last night. It was inevitable. I am quite possibly the clumsiest person around.

I had just put Grace to bed, and I had just finished closing the child gate that we have at the top of our stairs. I was deep in thought about what I wanted to get accomplished now that Grace was in bed. I turned around to head down the steps, and my heel slipped out from under me when I was on the top step, and I fell on my back alllllllllllllllllll the way down to the second step from the bottom. It happened so quickly that I barely knew what was happening, and I barely had a chance to grab the railing to stop myself from falling all the way into the kitchen. Aaron came running from the living room to see what happened (a preggo falling down a flight of stairs does cause quite a ruckus, after all) and all I could do was sit on the bottom step and weep. My back hurt. My ass hurt. The hand I used to grab the handrail was throbbing. The back of my left arm hurt. And, I was terrified that I had somehow hurt the baby.

After a few moments, Aaron coaxed me off of the steps and onto the couch. After I had settled down a bit and regained feeling in my hand, I debated whether or not I should call the doctor. I had remembered reading in one of my pregnancy manuals that even if you don't hit your belly in fall, you should still call your practicioner if you fall during pregnancy. I debated calling my mom to see what she thought (since she works in an OB office), but I didn't want to alarm her. I finally decided to call the obstetrician on call, and after telling her that I fell on my back, not my belly and was not having any contractions or bleeding and that I was feeling the baby move, the doctor told me that I shouldn't have anything to worry about pregnancy-wise. Then, she told me to take plenty of Tylenol because I was going to be sore.

And let me tell ya, I am sore. The worst of it is my tailbone, which I think took the brunt of the fall. It hurts to sit down, even on our cushy sofa. I also have a nasty bruise on my back, a couple of bruises on the back of my arm, and a bruise on my hand.

Moral of the story: Pay attention when using The Stairs. Wear grippy slippers on The Stairs. Heck, for the remainder of pregnancy, just make Aaron escort me up and down The Stairs.

Also, I should probably call my mother to tell her this happened before she has a chance to read this.

Also, sadly, it appears as though Mexican food and I are no longer on speaking terms. And I can't even talk about that or I might cry.

Monday, January 05, 2009

January 5th

If I had not miscarried back in May of last year, today would have been my due date. It stings. It hurts.

I'm finding it hard to justify my feelings today. After all, there are a lot of women out there who miscarry not once but several times or who are not able to conceive again at all after a miscarriage. And here I sit, feeling the kicks and rolls and jabs of the baby that we were able to conceive, very easily and without incident, two months after I miscarried last year. I will get to meet this baby shortly. I am truly one of the lucky ones and I keep telling myself that I should be thankful. And I am so very, very thankful. Feeling sad about the baby we lost makes me feel a little ungrateful somehow.

But I'm only human and today I feel pain and loss. I can't help but think that I could be holding a baby today. I was supposed to be holding a baby today. I'm not sure how else I am supposed to feel.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

How Did I Do?

I decided not to make any resolutions this year. After all, I am going to have a very busy year ahead of me, what with expecting a new baby in a couple of months and adjusting to life with a newborn again, so I decided that this New Year's Day, I would look back at the resolutions that I made last year just to see if I was actually able to keep any of them. Here's how I did:

Resolution the First: Lose Weight...Well, I started on a weight loss plan in the early summer of 2008, but then I got knocked up so that train was derailed. I'm not chalking this one up as a failed resolution, though. I'll just be postponing this one for a while.

Resolution the Second: Baby #2...Due in 2 months and 21 days! Woot! Check that one off the list!

Resolution the Third: Continue to improve as a mother...The more I think about this, the more this shouldn't just be a resolution that I make once a year. This should be something I strive to achieve every single day. And, I think that for the most part, I do a pretty good job. My daughter knows that I love her and she knows that she is special to me. She trusts me and knows that I always have her back. That's success in my book, but I will always continue to try to improve.

Resolution the Fourth: Tell Aaron I love him every day...Done and done. This resolution, like the previous one, is a no-brainer.

Resolution the Fifth: Decide what I want to do when I grow up...Here we have another resolution that I am putting in the "pending" column due to the forthcoming baby. It's hard to focus on your future career path when you're busy organizing your house to accommodate another person and trying to keep your lunch down. However, I have pretty much decided that I want to go back to grad school for my MBA, and I have done some research on how to make that happen. I have emailed an academic adviser here at UW-Milwaukee and I'll be setting up an appointment to sit down and meet with that adviser shortly. So, this one is a work in progress and probably will be for a while. At least I've taken some initial steps.

Resolution the Sixth: Go to Bonnaroo...Aaron and I went to this yearly music festival in June, and man, we had a blasty. Probably won't make it back this June (there's that baby again), but we hope to return in 2010.

Resolution the Seventh: Turn 30 gracefully...Ya know, turning 30 really wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it would be. I had a great party with some of my best friends and we had a fabulous time. But honestly, I don't feel any older. In fact, I feel more comfortable in my own skin now than I ever did when I was in my 20's. Check this one off the list!!

Resolution the Eighth: Get involved with the upcoming elections...I didn't get as involved as I had hoped to in the elections this year. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I was really torn between Hillary and Barack up until the Wisconsin primaries, and once those were over, I just never found the time to get out the vote like I had wanted to. I did do some blogging about the election, and I did talk with some friends who were undecideds, but no volunteering or canvassing or anything like that. Luckily, Barack had enough people who took that initiative and helped him out a little more than I did. Oh well, there's always 2012!!

So, looks like I did a pretty good job last year and all in all, it was a great year. We had our ups and downs, but I'm chalking 2008 up as a success. Here's to an even better 2009!!