To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Specialty Clinic Graduation

I was so excited for this appointment today that I couldn't sleep at all last night. Lady woke me up for a potty trip at 3:30 and I basically never went back to sleep. All I could think about was today's ultrasound and what would we learn. Would her heart be okay? Would I get to see the fancy 3D image of her? Is she REALLY a she?? Will she even hold still long enough to be checked out? When I got to work at 8am I had this feeling it was going to be the longest work day, knowing that after I was off I'd be heading up to Springfield for our final appointment at the Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic. What I didn't expect was a phone call around 9am telling me my appointment would need to be rescheduled. I was so disappointed. How long would it take to get me in I wondered. Well to my surprise I was bumped up and had an 11:30 appointment instead of 2:30! So an emergency call was made to Man Friend to pick me up so we could get ourselves up to the doctor!

After check-in I hardly had to wait long before being taken back for my weight, pulse and blood pressure check. This is when I was unintentionally paid a lovely complement. The nurse commented about my pulse and blood pressure.... "your numbers are so great, you seem like a runner!" Hahaha, yes, ma'am, I AM a runner -- and I'm happy my stats still reflect it since my belly and Garmin data do not reflect that right now! Next we were taken to our ultrasound room where we would get to see a very in depth look at our daughter.

When the echo-cardio specialist came in the room the first thing I told her was that I wanted to make sure SHE is still a SHE and that my shopping for adorable little girl outfits wasn't wasted. Sure enough, our little girl was more than happy to rub it in her dad's face that she is very clearly a little GIRL! Sorry, Daddy! We also asked if we could see her in 3D, and our specialist in charge was more than happy to oblige.

Her face is actually a little distorted here .... because the umbilical cord was going right in front of her. Technology is fascinating, and the tech was able to remove it from the photo and let us get a little better view of that face ..... aww, that nose!
So to explain WHY we had this appointment .... during the In Vitro Fertilization process I couldn't just go through it in the "easier" way. Oh, no, of course not. Basically the only way I would be pregnant was through IVF, and using the ICSI process. That basically means that the embryologists manually took a single sperm and put it into a single egg. For other people they can sometimes just put a batch of sperm into the dish with the egg and let nature take its course. That was not an option for us, and that leads us to today. Babies that go through the ICSI process tend to have more developmental problems with their hearts. We were scheduled for this final ultrasound so her heart could get thoroughly inspected and make sure all is well developmentally.

Come on Mom, leave me alone, I'm thinking here!
I am VERY happy to report that her heart is looking great! There were no concerns on anyone's part, which brought me great relief. We saw very detailed images of every aspect of her heart and learned way more about how the human heart operates than we could have ever expected. We were even able to see the flow of the blood going in and out. Her heart was beating great at the 138/140s bmp range, and we heard it many times ... beats from each little area of her tiny heart. 


Just like last time, she was determined to rest herself right on my cervix, which resulted in me being reclined way back with my head low and my feet raised up, in an attempt to get our girl to move up a little. It did work, and we all had to laugh when we paused to take a look at what was on the screen and what was on the table. Who happened to be laying exactly like her mom? Yeah, our girl. I have a mini-me! And could she have some dramatic flair in the works? She does go to Broadway a lot and she comes from a talented, musical, artistic family ... so perhaps that's why we have this shot?? For reference, that would be an exasperated arm up with a hand resting on her forehead. Oh what a girl we are making here!

So all in all everything was perfect! We graduated and were sent on our way back to normal OBGYN appointments. The only thing not as standard with us is that we will have another more in depth ultrasound at the 32/33 week mark to check on her progress. OH, I asked how big she was and she's about 1.25 pounds now, and getting very tall at 13 to 14 inches! No wonder I can always see my tummy moving now... even during this appointment we all had to giggle occasionally as we'd see her make a big movement, including possibly some hiccups at one point. I just can't get enough of her, what a great day!



OCTOBER 2015
SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
123
UCC20 Weeks
45678910
Obama's Visit21 Weeks
11121314151617
22 Weeks
18192021222324
23 Weeks
OBGYN**We saw the kicks!!!
25262728293031
Maternal Fetal Med.24 Weeks



Sunday, October 25, 2015

23 Weeks: She Has Stolen My Heart

The dad's interpretation of
what will be coming out of me.
I wasn't sure what to even write for this week. Work-wise it was crazy and made me forget most of my normal life. But then it ended with a bang!

But let's back up to Monday! I went to the OBGYN for my monthly appointment. Coming off of watching the terrifying documentary I mentioned last week, I was ready to talk to my doctor about birthing options. We ended the visit on the same page with things, and a mutual understanding (as of now anyway) of how things will go and how I would like labor and delivery to go. It helped reassure me a little, although I'm not gonna lie, I am absolutely petrified of actually having this little girl come out of me. I love having her in there and feeling her grow, but I'm so excited to meet her ... but damn. I mean, ugh. We all know how that happens and seriously, it's terrifying! Also during this visit we took a moment to listen to her heartbeat after my doctor took her first measurements of my growing belly. Her heart sounded great, beating in the 150s bpm range!


Early in the week I spent time looking into cloth diapers. I already had a batch of them, but wanted feedback from fellow new moms that are going with cloth diapering. After my "research" I went online and did some shopping. I was stunned when only days later I had 12 new very bright and colorful diapers at my front door. Clearly I embrace color, so hopefully our little girl does, too! I mean look at those, aren't they cute? I mean if you have to walk around wearing your own toilet you may as well do it in style. Heck, one of those prints even has Lego pieces in it. Too fun!!

During the week I noticed that she was moving All The Time. Once I would sit down at work she would start up. And then at home when I'd prop up my feet, like I do every single day, she'd wake up again. We've spent a lot of time together listening to relaxing music, singing, dancing... a lot of mother/daughter bonding time. Every time she moves it makes me smile. It's awesome! 



Friday I decided it was time for Man Friend and I to get out of town, Destination Unknown! I had so many ideas... the Oregon Vortex, Diamond Lake, the Coast, Sea Lion Caves, Wildlife Safari... I just needed to be out of the house for a while, a day for the two of us (well, technically 3 now I guess)! So early in the morning we left the house with our first stop being at Arlene's Cafe in Elkton, Oregon. Grandpa used to take us there when I was younger and it's been decades since my list visit. It seemed like the perfect place to start our day! During breakfast I had mentioned that before this football season ended I needed to go to a game to see the family and be back on my lovely campus. Man Friend replied how this was the day to do it, the weather couldn't be any better. So it was decided!

From there we continued over to Reedsport and a quick stop at the Sugar Shack for road trip donuts. Mmm, the smell in there is good enough, you don't even need to leave with anything - but of course we did. A first for me, as we left Reedsport instead of heading south toward Tenmile Lake and Coos Bay, I went north toward Florence. I've never driven on Highway 101 for more than maybe 20 miles at a stretch to get between two coastal cities. It was a really nice, perfectly sunny day to have a leisurely drive along the ocean. We almost stopped at Sea Lion Caves, a place I haven't visited in 30 years, but instead decided to save it for later. There was a lot of road construction and I just didn't feel like going in and out of it just to see some sea lions in a cave. Next time!

Continuing north we did pull over once to smell the ocean air and enjoy the waves. It was so peaceful. I loved it. It was exactly what I needed! As we approached Newport we decided to go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Usually in Newport I hang out at the old waterfront area watching the sea lions, and since it's probably been 20 years since my last visit, the aquarium seemed logical. It was a nice time. We enjoyed the eels and touching tide pool animals. The highlight was probably watching feeding and positive reinforcement training with the Harbor Seals and California Sea Lions. But soon we were done with the aquarium and heading inland toward Corvallis, my home away from home.

I made sure to not check-in or post things on Facebook, so as not to give away our location and arouse suspicion that we might arrive at OSU. I was so incredibly excited to get parked and wander through the most beautiful campus, taking in all of the colors and sounds. What sound might that be?? The 5 o'clock bells ... playing our alma mater Carry Me Back. It was strange, however, hearing this song, seeing all of the college students in their cute game day clothes carrying their drinks ... and here I am in a maternity shirt and pregnant. Hmm, that needed to change! So we made a stop at the new OSU Bookstore to get a Beaver shirt that would actually fit over the two of us. Found one!

Our plan to sneak in a visit was a success! Nobody had a clue we were going to be arriving, so the look on my mom's face was priceless when she turned and saw us walking up to the tailgate party! We hung out for quite a while, with my tummy getting a lot of attention from my mom and aunt. The little girl was even awake for it, kicking and probably listening to the OSU fight song being performed by the band when we were walking by. A great, unexpected evening!

BUT it gets better .... on the way home I was reading my pregnancy apps out loud, sharing what is happening developmentally at this time. One of the apps mentioned that the baby's movements will be getting more deliberate, and now that she is a pound and getting bigger, I'll soon be able to SEE the movements. Man Friend and I both poo-pooed this. No way, not this early. Who was wrong? WE were!! At home I crawled into bed and felt the biggest movement she's made. I lifted my night shirt up to see my tummy and I was stunned. I hollered for MF to come over ASAP. And there it was... we were watching my belly move as she kicked and squirmed. Man Friend even said, "I would never have believed this if I didn't see it for myself!" At one point it was almost like a foot or fist just gave a huge punch, and this small pointed spot came jutting out. It was insane and the coolest thing ever! I just can't get enough of this little girl!! Best way we could possibly end week 23!
OCTOBER 2015
SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
123
UCC20 Weeks
45678910
Obama's Visit21 Weeks
11121314151617
22 Weeks
18192021222324
23 Weeks
OBGYN**We saw the kicks!!!
25262728293031
Maternal Fetal Med.24 Weeks