Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Guess That's a "No" on the Sleep Patterns

For three days in a row, Snapdragon was awake and squirming at 10, 2, 6, and 10 (and probably 2 and 6 again, but I was sleeping then).

Today, she has decided to kick me all day long.

So I guess, that whole 4-hours-at-a-time thing was too good to last. Either that or she is just getting bigger, so I am better able to feel her when she does move.

No real outside movement yet. I keep checking because FB wants to feel for himself. It's very sweet — he asks about it every other day or so. Maybe in a couple of weeks, when all of these squirmings and rumblings turn into real kicks and jabs, he'll be able to feel something.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Awesome

Knife-Throwing Mom and Her Daughters

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sleep Patterns?

I wonder — does Snapdragon have regular sleep patterns already? I think she might. For the last few days, I have been feeling her squirming around in there for several minutes at a time at four-hour intervals. Today, I noticed her at 2:00, 6:00, and 10:00. I'll have to keep charting the movements to see if the pattern stays consistent.

Let's hope it stays true right through birth. A newborn who sleeps in predictable four-hour blocks would be lovely.

My First Separation Anxiety Dream

I had my first separation anxiety dream last night.

I dreamed that Snapdragon was four days old and we took her to my parents' house for an overnight visit. I went to sleep in my old bedroom, which was set up the way it was when I was in high school, not the way it is now that it belongs to my sister. When I woke up, I realized that it was noon and that I hadn't fed the baby yet. I looked in her bassinet, but she wasn't there. Then, I realized that I hadn't fed her in four days. Since she was only four days old, I soon realized that I had never fed her and wouldn't know how to do it. I ran downstairs, but no one knew where the baby was. After a long search, we found her displayed in the window of a daycare along with two other infants whose mothers hadn't fed them.

I've been having plenty of weird, vivid dreams lately, but this was the first one that specifically revolved around Snapdragon. I guess that means she's seeming more real to me these days.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It's a Girl!

We had another ultrasound yesterday and found out that Snapdragon is a girl!

In other good news, my ovarian cyst has not gotten any bigger. It is still between 5 and 6 centimeters in all directions, which is not tiny, but it isn't growing. That's good news and means that I probably will not have to have surgery.

We have to go back for another scan on May 7 to check on the cyst and to get better images of Snapdragon's face. Every time the sonographer tried to get pictures of her lips and nose, she would hide behind her hands.

Yay for a girl!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Snapdragon at the Movies

Last Friday, FB and I went to the premier of a movie directed by a college friend of ours. It was a loud, action-y fantasy film and they had the sound in the auditorium turned up to an obnoxious level. The bass was so heavy that my waterbottle was shaking in my hand.

Snapdragon was not a fan. I have been feeling him/her squirming a couple of times a day, but during the movie, it was non-stop somersaults. I actually had to leave halfway through because I was worried that he/she was upset. Also, it felt like I had a giant snake roiling in my gut.

So, I guess we know that the baby can hear. Or, at least, it can sense vibrations strong enough to shatter glass.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alpha Thalassemia Trait

I got a call from the genetic counselor at the Big Hospital today, telling me that I have Alpha Thalassemia Trait of the trans variety. This was not a big surprise — it is common among people of Mediterranean descent and I was tested when I was a young child, but I did not know the specific results of those tests (other than that they were positive).

This is not a big deal for Snapdragon. FB is not a carrier, so Snapdragon will either be unaffected or will by a symptomless "silent carrier."

It's not that big of a deal for me either. My red blood cells are still small and I will always show up as anemic on blood tests, no matter how much iron I have in my system. Now I just have to make sure that my midwife understands this, because the last time we saw her, she seemed pretty confused by the whole thing and wanted to put me on iron supplements.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nearly Halfway There

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, time has seemed to crawl by. Weeks 5 through 13 dragged. I checked my ticker every day, watching the days go by one by one. I wasn't showing, had no morning sickness, and didn't really feel pregnant.

Then, on Wednesday I woke up and was 16 weeks pregnant — 40% through my pregnancy. Since then, I have started to feel like there really is a baby in there, even though I can't feel it moving most of the time. My big ultrasound is in less than two weeks, and after that, the halfway mark is just around the corner!

It feels more real now.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Looking Pregnant

The other day, FB came into the kitchen while I was cooking dinner and said, "Hey, you really look pregnant!"

It's true — over the past week or so, I have clearly gone from normal belly chub to that rounded, protruding shape that announces that there is definitely a baby in there. I haven't had any strangers ask me when I'm due, but I imagine that will happen in the next week or two. I've started to dress differently, making no effort to hide my bump. In: loose cotton dresses over leggings. Out: trying to squeeze just one more week out of my normal clothes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Things I Like About Being Pregnant

  • Not getting my period.
  • Eating what I want (weight gain as of 15 weeks: 2 pounds).
  • Having an excuse to take naps.
  • Feeling like I am accomplishing something 24/7.
Seriously, we'll see how I feel four months from now when I'm carrying a watermelon-sized child around in the August heat, but right now, I think I would be happy to be pregnant forever.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Feeling Movement?

For the past few days, I think I have been feeling Snapdragon moving around in there. I'm not completely sure because it is still really early (I'll be 16 weeks tomorrow), but I think I could be feeling him/her.

Once or twice a day, I can feel a little movement low down, just above my pelvis. Sometimes, it is on the right and sometimes on the left, but it is always right in front. I know people say they feel flutters, but I definitely feel squirming. I don't know whether that means it's not really the baby or if I'm just not as romantic about it as other people. Probably the latter.

I felt it twice today, two little squirms about a minute apart. We'll see if it gets stronger over time.

Monday, April 5, 2010

FB's Joke

On Friday, the sonographer told us that she would try her best to tell Snapdragon's gender, but that it was a little early. She tried her best to take a peek, but Snapdragon was moving so much that she had some trouble. She got a few halfway decent shots, but nothing crystal clear. We couldn't clearly see the 3 lines that indicate "girl," but there was definitely no obvious penis. She said, "I can't be 100% sure, but it looks like a girl."

When the sonographer left to get the doctor, FB and I had a long conversation about the ultrasound — he hasn't been obsessively examining other people's photos on the internet, so he had a harder time determining what we were seeing, so I explained to him where the head was, the feet, etc. Several times during this conversation, we talked about the fact that the sonographer had not seen anything that looked like a penis.

Later, when we were leaving, I said to FB, "I'm glad she thought it might be a girl — I won't get totally excited yet, but no obvious penis gets my hopes up for a girl!" He looked at me like I was crazy. "What do you mean?" he said. "She said she thought it was a boy."

Um, no.

By this point, we had discussed the lack of a penis about 5 times. The sonographer CLEARLY said "girl" when she was standing not 3 feet from FB. Why on earth would the LACK OF A PENIS make you think it was a boy? I understand being hesitant to say it's definitely a girl until you see some clear girl signs, but there was literally no evidence for boy.

Yet, FB is convinced that she said boy and that I have lost my mind.

I have considered the possibility that this is a belated April Fool's joke intended to make me doubt my own sanity, but he assures me that he heard her say "boy." He is deluded.

Well, we'll find out for sure in three weeks. As FB says, "If it's a girl, I'll be happy because it's a girl. If it's a boy, I will be happy because I am right."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Drama!

All of a sudden, there is drama in my family.

Two weeks ago, my cousin brought his new girlfriend to a family gathering for the first time. This week, he announced that she is pregnant and due in November!

They are adults (he's one year older than I am), but they have only been going out for a little while — they were not together at Christmas and his parents only met her at the beginning of March.

Of course, everyone's excited that we will have not one, but TWO babies by Christmas, but we're all a bit surprised. This sort of thing may work out for the best in Judd Apatow's universe, but it's a long shot in real life. Still, a baby is a baby and everyone loves a baby.

It's a strange situation. They are thinking about getting married, which I think is a terrible idea. By all means, move in together and see how you like one another, but I hope that they are not feeling pressure from anyone to get married just for the sake of the baby. If they move in together and still think they'd like to get married six months after the baby comes, that's one thing, but I hope they don't feel like they have an obligation to be married before November. Of course, some people get married in a hurry and have wonderful, loving, fulfilling marriages, so I'm not saying it's impossible. Still, babies need happy parents, whether those parents are married or not, so I hope they put happiness first, whatever they decide.

Frankly, I'm surprised she didn't have an abortion. I used to think that I could never have an abortion, but since I got pregnant, I know I definitely could do it during those first 12 weeks. I'm certainly excited about Snapdragon and am even growing to love him/her/it, but there was no magic moment of creation in which it became a separate person. It had no life apart from my life, no interests apart from my interests, no existence apart from my existence. If I had not wanted it, I could have aborted it without the slightest twinge of guilt. For those first 12 weeks, it was nothing to me but a bundle of hopes — without my emotional investment, it was just a tiny parasite. I suppose some people find that pregnancy strains their pro-choice political commitments, but it certainly hasn't done that for me.

I have no idea why she decided to have her baby and it's none of my business.

I guess it will be nice for Snapdragon to have a little second cousin. I was a little sad that he/she would not have anyone to play with at family gatherings. Who knows whether this baby and his/her mom will become permanent members of our family, though. We'll just have to wait and see.

One funny thing: Apparently, my cousin was planning on telling everyone at the family party two weeks ago, but when we butted in and told everyone about Snapdragon, he decided not to break the news. FB and I agree that this was a bad move on his part. Who could hope for better cover than another baby announcement? When everyone was crying and clapping and hugging me and FB, he should have just piped up, "Hey, us, too!" and piggy-backed off all the celebrating.

Medical Stuff Update

On Thursday, we met with the midwife for Snapdragon's 15-week checkup. Everything looked fine. Snapdragon's heartrate was a strong 160 and my uterus measured at a perfectly average 16 centimeters. All of the pregnancy books say that my uterus should be 2 or 3 inches below my belly button at this point, but I am short, so it's actually less than an inch away.

On Friday, we went to the big hospital for an ultrasound with the perinatologist so she could check on my ovarian cyst. The good news: Snapdragon looks perfectly healthy. The bad news: my cyst has gotten slightly bigger. It's about the size of a baseball, which isn't such a huge problem at the moment, but will be a problem as Snapdragon gets bigger and takes up more of the room in my very short abdomen.

So, long story short, I have to have my anatomy scan at the big hospital instead of at the birth center. If my cyst is the same or smaller, they'll let it stay, but if it hits 8cm, the perinatologist wants me to have surgery, which will mean general anesthesia, a 3-inch incision in my abdomen, and 6-8 weeks of bed rest recovery time. Not fun.

I've been reading online and thinking about it for a few days now, and I think that I am inclined to refuse the surgery. The perinatologist assured me that the cyst looks simple and benign and that it does not threaten Snapdragon in any direct way. The major issues are that it could break, which would hurt like hell, or it could get twisted and cut off the blood supply to my ovary. Either of these things would be extremely painful and dangerous in terms of my ovary, but not necessarily bad for Snapdragon. The surgery will definitely be extraordinarily painful as well, so there's no net gain there. I would like to save my ovary if possible, but I'm fairly unexcited about having major abdominal surgery in my second trimester. The doctor told us that they couldn't do laparoscopic surgery during pregnancy, but wasn't very clear on why not.

We'll see. I'll be back at the big hospital in three weeks for the anatomy scan and we'll see if it has grown more. If it's about the same, there will be no talk of surgery, but if it is still growing, I'll need a second opinion.

Saturday, April 3, 2010