Thursday, May 27, 2010

California Trip

Last week, FB and I flew out to California to attend his brother's grad school graduation. We were there for a whole week, visiting friends in San Francisco and Seattle and spending lots of time with FB's family. Some highlights:
  • Up until this point, I had not sent FB out for any strange foods at ungodly hours. Our flight left Boston at 7 Eastern and landed at 11 Pacific, meaning that all I had for dinner was airplane food, so I was starving by the time we got to our hotel. There was a McDonald's next to the hotel and even though I am not a big McD's fan, I was desperate. I sent FB out for hamburgers, but only the drive-thru was open, so he had to walk through the drive-thru lane. He was successful and now we have at least one cute husband-goes-above-and-beyond-for-pregnant-wife's-food story.
  • We managed to keep Snapdragon's name a secret, despite my FB's mother's many inquiries. She accepted that we would not reveal the name, but still pressed us for the initials, the number of syllables, etc. The only clue we gave was that the first name is not in the top 1,000, but is in the top 20,000. We also realized that Snapdragon will have the same initials as FB's father, but that will be a nice surprise for the in-laws on her birthday.
  • It was rainy and in the 50s the whole time we were in Berkeley. In May. We lived in the Bay Area for two years and it never rained except in March, so we packed inappropriately light clothes. We were able to get by with new Cal sweatshirts and every poncho Walgreens had to offer.
  • My in-laws do not fly, so they took a cross-country train to California with their best friends, B and K. B and K are train enthusiasts and they all had a lovely time. However, B and K are not very adventurous eaters, so meals with them did not take advantage of the many wonderful food options on offer in Berkeley. At least that meant that I was never tempted by the sushi I love so dearly, but cannot have.
  • We got to see several of our friends from when we lived in San Jose. T is getting married in August and I am bummed that I will not be able to go to her wedding, but glad that we got the chance to sample cake from her favorite bakery. L is pregnant too (about 12 weeks ahead of me), and most of our visit was at an ideal pregnant-lady pace: air-conditioned movie theatres and very short walks around Seattle.  
  • I did not enjoy the flights. I am not a good flier at the best of times and this was not the best of times. I feel huge and awkward, have trouble with temperature regulation, and have to pee all the time. These facts, combined with the fact that all four of the flights were more turbulent than average, made me fairly unhappy. I was glad to see my friends, but am very glad that I will not have to fly again in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Medical Study

Today, I had a 3D ultrasound as part of a medical study I'm participating in. The doctors running the study are researching the causes of preterm labor and cervical incompetence by applying pressure to the uterus, taking measurements, and then following moms to see if they can correlate the early measurements with preterm labor.

It was not a big deal. I suppose I am so used to being poked and prodded that I hardly mind. It did involve a vaginal ultrasound and a catheter with a balloon on the end to measure the pressure, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I thought they would push much harder on my stomach, but it wasn't much more uncomfortable than the pressure from accidentally rolling onto my stomach during the night.

I was supposed to get a 3D ultrasound pic of Snapdragon's face in exchange for participating in the study, but she refused to participate. As she has done at all the other ultrasounds, she stubbornly covered her face with her hands and refused to budge. I think it's possible that she doesn't like the ultrasounds themselves. Perhaps she covers her face in distress when she's getting poked with the wand? I don't know, but I now have an adorable picture of Snapdragon hiding behind her fingers.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Names More Popular Than Amalia

Since 2000, there have been 1,970 girls named Amalia born in the United States. According to the new popularity lists, this means that Amalia is ranked #1,167 for the decade (tied with Karma). Its male counterpart in ranking is Vladimir.

I am having lots of fun looking over this list. I especially enjoy looking for unusual names that are more popular than Amalia. These include (all from the girls' list):
  • Malaysia (#1154)
  • Treasure (#1115)
  • Yamilet (#1073)
  • Fabiola (#1001)
  • Unique (#999)
  • Galilea (#987)
  • Rocio (#977)
  • Montana (#880)
  • Meadow (#844)
  • Emmalee (#746)
  • Tyler (#649)
  • Litzy (#622)
  • Justice (#515)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Real Kicking

I've been feeling Snapdragon move since week 17, but these last few days have seen a real change. She is obviously getting stronger — I can finally feel her kicks from the outside. This morning, I lay in bed with my hands on my abdomen, feeling her thump away inside. There was no doubt about it.

Yesterday, we went for an ultrasound to check on my cyst and get pictures of Snapdragon's nose and lips. For the first time, I could see her move and feel it at the same time. Very cool.

The ultrasound tech confirmed that Snapdragon is still a girl. Since it is unlikely that a boy could hide his junk for three ultrasounds in a row, I feel like I can now stop fearing that there has been a mistake. We are definitely getting a little girl!

My cyst looks to be about the same size, which is good news. The current plan is to let it stay where it is for now and drain it laparoscopically when Snapdragon is about 6 weeks old (if it hasn't gone away on its own). Since everything looks good, I am cleared to fly to California next week for FB's brother's graduation.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dancing Snapdragon

Over the weekend, I got a little worried about Snapdragon. She wasn't moving around very much or, at least, I couldn't feel her. I was afraid to break out the fetal doppler for fear of not being able to use it correctly and making myself even more scared.

There's no need to worry, though — she danced all day today. I hardly went an hour without feeling some squirming.

I guess she just has quiet days and active days. I shouldn't worry so much.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Abortion Doulas

This strikes me as a great idea. Apparently, some doulas in NYC made the decision to support women in all of their reproductive choices and are now attending women during abortions. Since the job of a doula is to act as an informed advocate and provide emotional support for the pregnant woman, there is a lot they can do during an abortion: explain what is going on, answer the woman's questions, and be a friendly face attending to her emotional needs. It seems that this would also free the doctor to do his/her work efficiently and with good concentration, without having to worry that the patient might be afraid or have questions that aren't being addressed.

The author of the article linked above seems to be uncomfortable with the whole idea of abortion doulas, but it sounds like a good idea to me. If I were getting an abortion, I would be happy to have a doula in the operating room with me.