Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thursday's Treat

I don't know if I've mentioned Saint John much.

John is our Nurse Practitioner at the OB/GYN clinic where we go for the baby stuff. He was very nice and helped us with lots of ultrasounds when Jacob was with us, and John was just crushed when he heard about our loss, since once we found Jacob's problems, we ended up moving up the medical food chain to a Perinatologist instead of John or any of his regular OBs John works for.

John's been such a saint to us -- when I called and told him of this pregnancy, he was instantly upbeat. I told him I was scared and he said "Of course you are. But the there's still only one way to have a baby of your own" (well, there are other ways, but it sure can get complicated, right?).

So John's seen us a few times, and has offered to let us see an ultrasound whenever we want, to put our minds at ease.

The last time we saw our little one was April 6, so by this past week I was getting a little edgy. It's hard to explain how my brain works (isn't it always?) but I'm able to think everything is pretty much fine for about 2 weeks, and then I start to worry.

So Thursday, we went in and saw our baby again.

It's nothing short of a miracle how much growth goes into a baby at these early stages. Our little one has bones forming (you can see them because they're whiter than his/her other outlines), we saw arms, legs, fingers & toes. At one point, Saint John said "We got a thumbsucker!" and sure enough, there was our baby, sucking on his/her thumb, which at this point must be about the size of a pepper seed.
Then we saw it was rubbing his eyes, and moving a lot the whole time.

Relief.

I'll tell you, if you have a crappy doctor or nurse -- keep looking. There's nothing like having someone care enough about you to say "call me if you need anything, here's MY direct line" and assure you that you can get the medical care you need when you need it to put your mind at ease. Anyone else, especially in pregnancy, is a waste of your time and money.

Thankfully, we have our Saint John.

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Last Day At Work

I was taken to lunch by some managers from work today after a few hours of work.

Lunch was fairly fun even though I went with three guilt-ridden managers and another gal getting laid off...and one of them seriously said "I'm trying to look on the bright side of all this" like three times (til I finally said "I'm so glad YOU can look on the bright side of this, B.") but I said it with a GREAT deal of dripping sarcasm/humor.

I came back and found my checks were ready for my severance and last paycheck, etc., and I decided I was done. I sent a few e-mails out to customers to let them know I was leaving, asked my boss if I could go, and I said my goodbyes and left around 3-3:30. I got a lot of hugs and people asking me to keep them updated about the baby (I told them about Pumpkin this past week).

One of my customers (Ron from a big liquor store here in town) was so mad he called me and told me he "reemed" one of the managers about letting me go. He asked who his boss was, and ended up asking for the VP's phone number (the one who I want to work for), so I told this customer to "ease up on the VP" since I'm trying to get a job as this VP's assistant. LOL Ron called me later and said "I talked to your boy Greg" and I asked how it went, and he said "Good!" So I don't know what that means.

As for the job -- I sent an e-mail to the VP & the Director who were supposed to get back to me today and thanked them for the enjoyable interview, and that I could tell they were stuck in a meeting, but I needed to leave for the day and asked them to call me at home with their decision since today is my last day. I haven't heard from them today, but then I didn't expect to. Every newspaper moves slower than Congress.

I went to the bank, went home, and just napped a bit til Brian got home. We just got back from a very nice dinner at our favorite cheap eats Middle Eastern place down by DU. He's been working his second job a lot, and Friday nights are nice because he doesn't have to work at UPS so we can see each other and sleep in the same bed all night and act like we're married.

I wore one of the maternity shirts my friend Deb H sent me with my drawstring capris out to dinner...amazing how much MORE pregnant you look when you bite the bullet and wear the maternity wear! HA

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Bump

Well, there's no doubt I'm starting to show. My fat pants are too skinny.

I've started getting the few maternity clothes I own out of the basement. A friend sent me some more, but I just haven't been able to wear them yet. I find myself not really willing to go there yet, and I don't quite have to.

I'll tell you what though. There is nothing in the world quite as cool as hearing the baby's heartbeat whenever I want to with the Doppler. It sounds like galloping horses...and I hear the swipes s/he takes at the wand. It is too cool!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Fill 'er Up

I couldn't get full tonight.

I ate dinner. About a half hour ago I ate a bowl of Lucky Charms (healthy, I know).

I'm going to bed soon and I still can't get full, in fact I just feel empty-stomach.

So I made a nice big glass of organic milk with some Hershey's syrup in it. (healthy, I know).

But I haven't had a glass of chocolate milk in decades. And it was really good.

And I feel full enough to sleep now.

This kid is probably in there going what is THIS?

Oh wait. Kids love chocolate milk. Right? I know I do.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Off My Butt (Today).

Wow, I hit the end of my 12th week of pregnancy today, and this morning I actually woke up with some energy.

Exhaustion is part of that first trimester package that comes with nausea and oddball food cravings, because when you think about it, in a matter of 84 days, this kid has gone from two cells to 2 inches tall, with all his/her organs in place, limbs formed and a heartbeat going crazy...and it all came from me. Well, except that one part.

But the birds & the bees is not what this is about.

So, I've been tired. So very tired that I've needed a nap after a nap. But today was different. I finally hit that magical day when energy returns, and while the nausea hasn't subsided, at least I can get a few things done.

So much for a restful Sunday.

Today, I've done a million loads of laundry (one of those days when you decide to wash ALL your blankets AND your clothes), helped Brian clean the house (he's been handling way too much of it lately), then went to lunch with a friend (who I haven't seen since New Year's, shame on me).

THEN I drove to the store and bought Brian some badly needed socks (he'll wear them til there are holes in the holes). So, I know his brand and I buy them for him because I know he never will.

AFTER THAT Lucy and I went for a walk at the park, (because there's nothing like seeing a dog's face when she realizes the leash is coming out and she gets to GO!). Besides, it must be 75* outside today, and there is absolutely no excuse for sitting around on a day like today.

Somewhere in there, I figured out our budget to get a real feel for how much money we'll need to scrape by (if I land on unemployment for any stretch of time).

Just making a couple of lists and talking them over with Brian helped me a lot. It may have scared the shit out of him, (but at least we're on the same page).

NOW, I want a nap!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Just Shoot Me.

I thought my previous post was all the news I needed for this year.

But instead, I found out today I'm being laid off from my job at the end of the month. And the company doesn't have the goodness to even pay my benefits for an extra month or two.

This sucks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"You BETTER Be Paying Attention To This One!"

Yes, those are the precise words I said to God Himself.

That is, when I discovered I was pregnant recently.

That's right. And I still am.

And for no particular reason, other than God listening to not a prayer, not a plea, but that rather righteously indignant mouth of mine, as of today everything is going fine.

I am almost 12 weeks along today.

I've been hiding under/behind a rock for the past 8 weeks or so since we found out. I've probably puzzled more than a few people by not being around, not going to get-togethers, not doing much of anything.

Part of it was abject fear, not wanting to share any news until we had something good to tell, and part of it was just flat out pregnancy symptoms that include my incredibly tired body needing some 11 hours of sleep a night, and getting it.

So, here's what we know so far.

We did what is called a Nuchal Fold Test -- or Nuchal Translucency Test, which recently gave us some idea of the danger our child was in (or not) without actually doing anything horribly invasive like an amniocentisis or CVS test. The folds on the back of a baby's neck are measured with ultrasound, and at 11 weeks (when we took it) anything near 3 millimeters would have been very worrisome, under 2 would have probably been cause for further testing, and under 1.3 mm is considered ideal.

Our baby measured .9 mm on most of its measurements (they took several), and 1 mm on the last one. Very good results!

Taken with some bloodwork measuring two different pregnancy protein levels, our genetics counselor Joy gave us some figures to deal with that would give OUR baby specific chances of whether it had Down Syndrome (the familiar name for Trisomy 21), or Edward's Syndrome (Trisomy 18, which our son Jacob had before he died last summer).

So, yesterday afternoon Joy called said "We have CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION!"

The results were give to us in two stages -- one to tell us what our "average" odds are if we hadn't taken the test (for all women my age and history), then the results given our measurement and the bloodwork. The important thing is for the chances to be smaller (for example, going from 1/50 to 1/1000).

For Down Syndrome for women my age -- odds are 1/47 on average -- for ME with my test it's dropped to 1/810. She said that's the same as a healthy 27-year-old!

Trisomy 18 -- What Jacob had -- given our history, average odds would be 1/73 -- with my test, we bottomed out, to 1/10,000! She said the chances are even smaller, but that's the smallest number they give out!

I hope that makes sense. It basically all but rules out any dangerous markers for the two major genetic defects we were worried about. We'll wait til 18 weeks to get an ultrasound to look at everything. I am 12 weeks now, so only 6 more weeks til that test. But this was VERY good news.

Here's a picture of our little one as of last Friday. You can probably make out the profile and the leg & foot on the upper right hand side of ultrasound. This baby is measuring a few days ahead (which is a very good sign too), and has a fast heartrate of 163-170 beats per minute that we can already hear with the Doppler my friend Becky loaned me.

As it turns out, old wives' tales say a fast heartrate points to a girl, but personally, I've been dreaming "boy" a lot, so who knows.

All we want is healthy.

So there ya go -- I'm out of the closet with this one. Prayers & positive thoughts, whatever you're capable of, are always appreciated.

But you don't have to shake your fist and yell at God, "You BETTER be paying attention to this one!"

I've already done it, and I'm pretty sure He is.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Spring Has Sprung!



This morning I woke up to yet another round of "Oh look, honey, it's snowing".

Happy Easter!

I decided to start putting a date stamp on my snow pictures so you and I can both tell the difference from one snow storm to the next.

Do you know how you can tell Spring is here in this picture? That's right, look at the big tree above the car and on the bush across the street. See the green on it?

Despite all the talk of global warming, we're not seeing a lot of it here yet. And really, a spring storm in the Rockies is just not all that unusual. The sheer numbers of storms we've had this year is what's amazing to us.

Oh well. As Brian said, June is still coming, RIGHT?

Yes. But whether it snows in June is yet to be seen.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Cheesecake Misadventures, Or, "No Need To Call The Fire Department!"


I was invited to a friend's house for Easter dinner, and offered to bring whatever my hostess wanted, and she asked if I'd bring dessert. Well, I make a pretty mean cheesecake with my Mom's old-fashioned add-all-the-fat-and-calories-'cause-it'll-taste-better Better Homes & Gardens cookbook from 1960.

Well, since I decided to make a chocolate swirl cheesecake, I didn't want to use the lemon-based crust like I usually do, and instead make the graham-cracker crust that was in the pie section.

Now mind you, I didn't put any flour in it, just graham crackers, butter & sugar, and when I made my cheesecake (prebake the bottom, then attach the spring form part, and make the rest) I discovered that a BUNCH of the butter was melting through the cracks of the springform pan, hitting the burner at the bottom of the stove, and during that first 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees, I was in just a wee bit of danger of a fire starting in my kitchen.

I have NEVER seen so much smoke in my life! It was just BILLOWING out of the oven, and filled the kitchen. I popped open the kitchen windows (it's about 30* outside), and found that wasn't enough.

I put a pizza pan under the cheesecake, and that's when I discovered the leaky butter.

I turned down the oven and Brian started fans and opened up windows and doors all over the place. I wondered out loud if all the smoke billowing out of the house would prompt the neighbors to investigate whether they needed to call the Fire Department. I could just see it now, Brian yelling "No need to call the fire department, my wife's just baking again!"

Once I turned down the oven and had the pizza pan to catch the drips, it did fine.

The picture posted is the actual photo of today's adventure. Looks good though, huh? I hope it doesn't smell as charred as my house does!

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