Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This pregnancy has been very different from my last. Not 100% different, but still kind of opposite all the same. If -10 represents a pregnancy where you suffer severe morning sickness the whole time, can't move because you ache so much and the baby spends all its time pummeling your organs and +10 represents one of those pregnancies where women are like "Hmmm, I seem to have a stomach ache. OH! Did I just pop out a baby? I never even knew I was pregnant!" then I would rate my first pregnancy as a +7, and this one so far as a -2. Emily traveled about docile-ly in my uterus, gently nudging me now and then but not really giving me any bad symptoms or aches. And this pregnancy is not by any means BAD bad, but still a bit more on the bad side than the good.

I felt the first identifiable flutter of movement about 2.5 weeks ago, at almost exactly the same gestational age (13 weeks 3ish days) I felt Emily move for the first time. Predictably, I didn't feel any more movement for the next week or so, and over the past week I have felt the baby pretty much every day but only very tiny bumps here and there and I'm never sure if they're actually the baby or my newly rebellious lower digestive system. However I am no longer able to lay on my stomach comfortably, and when I'm up walking around I feel like I have a tiny bowling ball sitting in my lower abdomen. This is in stark contrast to Emily, who always floated around up high, affording my bladder copious room and behaving herself quite nicely in there.

But today must be the day. Zippy has decided that the gagging and nausea, crippling backaches, early-onset waddling and exhaustion are not enough to REALLY make sure I know (s)he is there. I swear if I had an ultrasound right now you would see a baby with its limbs flung out in the shape of a star. It feels like when you bite into a dorito and it gets lodged across the top of your mouth, except it's happening in my pelvis. It's not PAINFUL, but it certainly feels odd. Periodically Zippy will perform some sort of spin or roll and the pressure lets up for a moment, and then (s)he will return to the original splayed position. It's neat on the one hand, because it's the first real, strong movements I've felt, but Zippy is surprising me with his/her strength and activity level already. I wonder how the next 5 months of us sharing a body will go when the baby is already pulling stunts like this now, when (s)he still has some room to float around and move. This kid had better find a new favorite position before things get too crowded in there, or I'm going to have to start poking back. And I had better figure out if this baby is a girl or a boy soon or else I'm going to drown in my own pronoun overuse.

I'm infinitely glad the baby is still in there. I'm glad to be able to start feeling the movements for sure. I suppose I'm even glad to be experiencing some of the bad parts of pregnancy so that I won't be as tempted to have a third child when I'm 97% sure I only want two. Also I will not go through life being one of those annoying women who chirp "My pregnancies were so easy, I don't know what all the fuss is about". But this pregnancy has me a bit gun-shy at this point. It has forced me to realize that I am not, in fact, a pregnancy viking, and that it wasn't my body itself being immune to most of the discomforts of pregnancy last time, it was just an easy pregnancy. Which then leads inevitably to the same questions I'd ask myself last time when some sort of new symptom showed up. How bad is it going to get? And if I'm not just naturally good at pregnancy, maybe I'm not just naturally good at labor either? If Emily was so agreeable and calm in the womb and continued to be so after her birth, does this mean this little acrobat is going to continue being crazy once (s)he is born? I've been feeling pretty smug, having been through all this before and having read the statistics that second-time mommies tend to have an easier time of it in many ways, and now my fondly-held beliefs are somewhat shaken.

Ok, and I just took a quick break to consult google's opinion on things that can be more difficult the second time around, and now I'm as terrified as a first time mom reading What to Expect... Nice job, Sara. Sheer, unbridled terror was one of the only symptoms that was much better this time around and you had to go screw that up too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blast from the present

I still live near the town where I went to school as a kid, so inevitably I run into people now who I used to know back in my school days. I am usually impressed with how time mellows people. I also have a bit more confidence nowadays than I had back when I was a shy teenager in high school, so I usually find it surprisingly easy now to converse with people who I didn't necessarily hang out with (or even like very much) back then. I still occasionally feel a little voice in my head that says "Wow, I'm talking to a POPULAR girl" or "Eeew, he used to be a GOTH kid" before I tell that voice to shut up for God's sake, this is the real world and no one cares who was POPULAR or GOTH unless they're planning on running for an elected office.

My dance class through high school was no different than what you'd expect to find when you get 10 or more teenage girls together. A couple girls rise to the title of "most popular", a couple more girls are permitted to hang around them and be considered popular by association, and a couple girls are considered "other", and are tolerated but never really made to feel welcome. I never did anything to make the other girls not like me (oops, I guess I just let slip where I fit into this little system) but I was quiet and I was a bit chubby and often that's enough. My memories of my dance years are mostly good, but speckled with instances where pranks were played, exclusions were made obvious, and all are pervaded by an angsty teenage "Why don't they like meeeeeeeeeeee?"

But this is not a sob story. I'm just laying a little background and believe me, I am over it now. But what I am NOT over is this: I ran into a girl from dance last week in the lobby of my gym, I walked by and made eye contact and smiled, prepared to say hi, and she blatantly looked at me then looked away. Seriously? Dude, your mother babysat me when we were kids. We spent pretty much every single day together at the dance studio throughout middle and high school, I never knowingly did anything to offend you (I wish I could say the same for the reverse) and NOW, 10 years later, when we're ADULTS, you still feel like you're too good to say hi to me?

I'll be fair here. She HAD been talking to some guy for awhile who was holding a sleeping toddler, and she seemed to be shooting him her best and brightest fake smile, so maybe I was interrupting her game. I was there with my very own (much cuter) toddler and my own (much hotter) man though, so it's not like she could've gotten the impression that I would swoop in and try to steal her toddler-toting guy. Still, I'd think seeing an acquaintance for the first time in 10 years even while you're in the middle of trying to get some play warrants a hi, a wave, an eyebrow raise, SOME kind of acknowledgment.

But apparently not. Apparently MOST people mellow with time, but some stay stuck in their high school roles. And I hope she is enjoying the fact that she's still POPULAR in her own head, because behavior that's accepted from teenagers is considered rude from adults in the real world. If she meant that little snub to have the same effect on me that it would've had in high school then she must be disappointed, because SOME of us have changed and all it did was leave me wondering what kind of life she's been leading in the last 10 years that has allowed her to keep such a high opinion of herself.

She must not be a mom, that's all I can say. Getting poop on your shirt a couple times will cure you of your high opinions real quick. And if she ends up getting together with sleeping toddler guy, I hope that toddler acts appropriately for HER age and teaches stuck-in-the-past girl that she's not actually the most important person in the world.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Ok. I want to get this out there right now because there are way too few people who actually come out and say this. 26 months is too early to switch your child to a big girl/boy bed! When you do your preliminary research, you will find the internet is full of parents who say they successfully moved their children to big beds when they were as young as 15 months old. Everyone you know with kids will advise you that THEY switched their children MUCH younger and you'd better switch your child soon, because if you wait too long they'll be TOO used to their crib. You will worry that if you don't switch your child soon and get them used to their bed before the new baby comes, they'll associate the switch with the baby's arrival.

However, if you search "toddler bed won't sleep" (which I probably should have done BEFORE we converted Emily's crib), you'll find even more people who are having terrible problems getting their child to sleep once they've been moved into a big bed.

I am one of those parents. Will is another.

We don't have too much of a problem with nighttime. She will, if she's tired, go to bed fairly easily, although she requires me to rub her back and hum songs to her until she's fast asleep. She will then sleep all night without a problem, and if she wakes up in the morning before we do, she'll go sit or lay by her door and wait until we open it to let her out. She seems to have grasped very quickly that we don't like her letting herself out of the room and wandering the house on her own.

The problem is naptime. She does NOT want to nap in her bed. We've averaged about 2 good naps per week since we switched her, whereas she used to reliably sleep every day in her crib. If she doesn't take a nap, the rest of the day is one fun-filled tantrum after another. She's refused to come home with us from the gym daycare (I wonder what the daycare providers think of us as parents when our daughter cries and runs away and hides when we try to take her home), she's completely melted down when she couldn't pry open her clip-on bug repellent cartridge, basically anything will set her off. I've tried laying down in bed with her, but all that happens when I do that is I fall asleep enough to let my guard down, then Emily kicks me in the face or jumps on my stomach. If I leave her alone in her room, she just pulls out every book she owns and plays for 2 hours straight.
Don't let her calm demeanor fool you

Turn your back for a second and THIS happens

I hate that she's not getting as much sleep as she needs. I hate that my little girl, who is usually a sweet, giggly, reasonable girl who makes me wonder what all the "terrible two" fuss is about undergoes a complete personality change when she's un-napped and becomes a psycho hose beast. I hate having to mutter excuses about Emily missing naps to people in line at the store as she screeches. I hate that it's been over a year since I've had one of those "I can't take it anymore, when is this day going to be over" kind of days, and now I'm having them again.

If she DOES by some miracle take a nap though, we can't get her to go to sleep at night until after 10, even though we start trying at 8:30. I'm used to having a bit of time during the day to straighten up, make calls, plan meals, relax, etc. and I'm not getting that anymore. Will and I are also used to having an hour and a half or so between Emily's bedtime and our own, and we're not getting that anymore either because instead of just tucking her in and letting her fall asleep by herself around 9, we have to stay in with her until she's all the way asleep.

I am not ready for her to give up her naps. When the baby comes, I was banking on the fact that Emily's naps would give me time alone with the baby at the very least, and at best time to catch up on my own sleep if I was lucky enough to get both kids napping at the same time. But more importantly, EMILY is not ready to give up her naps. I just haven't been able to convince her of this.

One interesting development in this whole bed-changing situation has been Emily's complete infatuation with a throw pillow I bought to go on her bed. She LOVES Birdy, and she LOVES "talking" to Birdy. She has us make Birdy "talk" to her, and she holds long conversations with him. She'll tell him things she won't tell us, mostly complaints about things I do. I don't know if she's too polite to bring up her grievances to my face or what, but she will tell Birdy. She recounted for Birdy the story of how mommy put spray and a band aid on her boo boo, and it "really really hurt!" She told Birdy how it made her mad that Mommy carried her upstairs instead of letting her walk by herself. I guess that's why psychologists use the same trick with kids.

Emily may not be doing very well in the napping department, but she's actually doing very well in the potty training department. On the days when we're home for awhile and she's amenable, I drink a lot of water myself and take her to the bathroom with me every time I go, and she rarely has an accident. She has even started telling me "Emmy have to go pee pee" and running off to her potty by herself. Our next hurdle will be to get her to do the same thing when she's wearing undies. If she is wearing any article of clothing on her lower body, she seems to think it's a diaper and decides using the potty is optional. Then we have to deal with using potties while we're out and about, which will not be easy. But at least we're making progress...

And in other potty news, Remy has decided that he doesn't care for the fancy new dog door that we spent lots of money on just for him, and unless we stay on him he will decide it's much more convenient to relieve himself on the screened-in porch rather than deal with bumping his delicate nose on the door and going outside. I remind everyone that if you have any interest in adopting two dogs from me the offer is always there.

And if you have any magic tricks to get toddlers to nap in their big girl beds, I might even consider giving you JUST the good dog*

*Ha ha, NEITHER of them is the good dog

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A monster (baby) of a post

I've started several blog posts over the past week, but most of them have just been me whining and trying to make up my mind on various minutiae that I find important. I have decided to spare you the boring details, and just give you the results of my many hours of deliberation.

#1, I think Will and I will take a trip to Jamaica in October. I want to see the Caribbean again before I have a second little kiddo to feel guilty about leaving (it has been 3 years! Waaah!) so I decided we'll hop down for 4 nights and stay at one of the super-cheap all-inclusives down there (i.e. not Sandals, unfortunately). I chose Jamaica because it is the cheapest place to fly to aside from Puerto Rico (and I don't want to go there). So now I just have to decide whether we want to go to a resort that has a higher satisfaction rating and is near town, or a resort that has a slightly lower satisfaction rating but has a really neat location with a snorkeling lagoon and lots of rocks and tide pools to hop around and explore. Not to mention it is right next to Hedonism 2, so if Will and I get tired of sitting on the beach looking at the ocean, we can just turn our chairs 90 degrees to the left and sit on the beach watching people have orgies. And then probably 180 degrees to the right because I doubt many people who go to Hedonism are young attractive people anyone would actually be interested in seeing in the nude.

#2, We are going to convert Emily's crib into a double bed, skipping the toddler bed phase altogether. She is still in a crib because she has never tried to climb out and I am afraid to mess with what works. She sleeps like a champ, and I don't want to change something for the sake of changing it, then start waking up to a little girl poking me in the arm at night just because she's tickled she can get out of bed by herself. But on the other hand, we DO need to change her bed over at some point, and the earlier we do it, the less likely it will be that she associates the change with the new baby, and there are going to be enough changes going on then that we don't need to add more.

So then I had to decide on bedding. Emily's room is light pink, so I didn't want anything that was too light pink because I don't want her bedroom to look like the Barbie aisle at Toys R Us. I fell absolutely in love with this set, but was forced to fall right back out of love with it when I realized it would cost about $700. So now I'm in love with this bedding (CUUUUUUUUUUUUTE!) but of course it is sold out. So now I have to wait. And I hate waiting. But I guess while I wait I can consider the intelligence of putting a dry-clean only comforter on the bed of a child who is probably a year or two away from being nighttime potty-trained. Hmmm.

#3, I think we ARE going to go up to Camp Gorham with Will's parents, but we're going to be staying at a different place about a mile away so that we can have our own room. We'll have to pay more than we would've of course, but it makes a fairly impossible situation actually possible so I guess we'll suck it up.

Ha! I guess I didn't really spare you the minutiae of my decisions. Except that this really is the abbreviated version...I like to make things difficult.

So now onto the main event! We got to see Zippy up close and in person today!

We arrived at the office about 15 minutes early, my bladder "comfortably full" as was instructed. We didn't end up going back to the ultrasound room until about 10 minutes late though, so my bladder was starting to verge on uncomfortable by the time I hopped up on the table. The technician started going to town on my stomach with the ultrasound thingy, and the first thing she said was "Oh my gosh, look at your bladder! It's this great big black abyss over here and it is FULL. Are you ok?" By that point I had already glimpsed a little miniature human being on the screen and it really wasn't terrible, so I bravely soldiered on. This makes the second time an ultrasound technician has been shocked at how full my bladder was, so I guess I don't have to drink quite as much water before these things as I assumed.

So we got to watch the baby kicking around for awhile, but Zippy stayed stubbornly curled up on his/her stomach so the tech couldn't really measure the nasal bone. She had me roll onto my side and jabbed me repeatedly in the stomach with the ultrasound thing, creating earthquake-like conditions in my uterus, and we finally got the baby to roll onto its back. Then she said "Stay right there, when the doctor comes in he'll want to take a look too, and since this is the best we've seen the baby the whole time just keep that position."

So yeah, then we waited for over 30 minutes for the doctor to show up. Laying in one place with your goo-covered belly hanging out and without any pillows for support is not real fun, and Will did not seem to pick up on my subtle comments that he was perfectly positioned to give me a nice backrub, but the time eventually passed and the doctor finally showed. It's always nice to meet someone for the first time while covered in goo with your pants pulled obscenely low, but at this point I am used to the fact that pregnancy robs you of all dignity. The doctor had quite a lot of personality, he was the type who will just keep going with the jokes if he has someone who will joke back, so we all had quite a humorous conversation for awhile. He was young and he seemed like someone who we would hang out with even outside of doctor's appointments, which made it all the more shocking when he started asking me about "last menstrual periods" and "previous vaginal deliveries". When I think of someone who is a High Risk Obstetrician, I think of an older guy who is very serious, and this guy was quite the opposite. That was a good thing for us, but it's difficult to imagine him breaking the news that your baby doesn't have a heartbeat anymore or other such serious things that he probably deals with on a daily basis.

The minute he put the ultrasound thing back on my stomach, he said "This baby is a pain in the butt". Apparently Zippy was laying facedown again, perpendicular to the way babies usually lay, and with his/her hands in front of his/her face. But at that point I had seen that the baby had all the expected appendages, along with a heartbeat and was moving around a good bit, so I didn't really care whether they got the measurements or not, I had seen what I came there to see! But they eventually did measure the nasal bone, and it appears that the likelyhood of Zippy having a genetic disease is quite low, so that's definitely good.

Another good thing is that while the OB told me "If you're going to have anything wrong with you while you're pregnant, treated hypothyroidism is one of the best" (woohoo?) he also said that we'd throw a few extra ultrasounds in every 6 weeks or so just to track the baby's growth and make sure things are progressing as they should. This makes me exceedingly happy, but also irritated because I had hypothyroidism when I was pregnant with Emily too, and what I wouldn't have given to have an extra ultrasound or two thrown my way! I will enjoy my plethora of ultrasounds this time around, but I already have the peace of mind of knowing that I've made a normal baby once before and I can probably do it again. Poor Sara of 2006 was a terrified wreck until she got to see her baby at 20 weeks. And I know, I know, waah waah, about 99.999% of women who have given birth since the beginning of time never saw their babies prior to delivery, but what can I say, I am a selfish American with an overblown sense of entitlement and easy internet access and I want what everyone else is getting!

I am also very glad though that someone is taking my thyroid thing a bit more seriously. My regular OB and my endocrinologist are fairly blase about the whole issue, and I know that most of the time things are fine, but there ARE issues that can arise, and if we have the technology available and the insurance to cover it, shouldn't we monitor things if we can?

In closing, Zippy pics!

The top of Zippy's head, with 2 hands (I only count 4 fingers on the one hand but I'm sure the other one is there somewhere, RIGHT???)

The elusive laying on his/her back position...poor thing looks pretty uncomfortable despite the cushy placenta bed upon which he/she rests. I don't blame him/her for preferring to curl up on his/her tummy.

This position made the technician chuckle...Zippy is working on sitting up already! Also butting me in my abyss-like (abysmal?) bladder (not pictured)

And here is the piece de la resistance. The only picture we got of Emily at her ultrasound was a front-facing picture where she looked like a terrifying skull emerging from behind a curtain that she was pulling aside with little bony fingers. I tried to find this picture, but it's nowhere to be found, leading me to fear that it's hiding somewhere waiting to quietly creep out and scare the heck out of me. Well, terrifying skeleton, meet even MORE terrifying alien with exposed brain baby:

I can already see the family resemblance.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

At least we'll have groceries

This past weekend was spent painting the town red for Kim's bachelorette party. By "the town", I mean Cleveland, OH, and when I say I painted it red, I mean I waddled around a wine festival for a few hours, stopping every 10 ft or so to hide in the shade, then had some pizza and went to bed. Rock on!

The actual party took place the night before Carolyn and I arrived, so when we rolled up at their inflatable penis-filled hotel room around 11:30AM on Saturday, people were just shuffling out of bed, sipping water and warily eyeing muffins from the breakfast buffet. The fact that most everyone was hungover made for a more subdued wine festival experience, but it was still lots of fun and I couldn't drink anyway so it was fine by me.

I had been anxious about spending the weekend with a group of girls who have all known each other for years, some since they were kids. Kim is excellent at staying in touch with old friends, so there were elementary school friends, high school friends, and college friends there, with Carolyn and I as the sole representatives of her after-college life phase, but it turned out that all the girls were incredibly friendly and we felt pretty comfortable right away. I guess when you're all drinking out of penis-shaped straws and wearing matching shirts there's a built-in sense of camaraderie that allows you to skip the formalities. My shirt, by the way, was a maternity shirt with an iron-on rhinestone decal that said "Girls night out" and had a picture of a martini glass on it. It actually looked like a Cosmo because it was pink, but it had olives in it, but EITHER WAY, it's always classy to wear alcohol-related apparel when you've got a baby belly poking out. Doubly classy when you put a sticker that says "Lust" (supplied to all of us by the people at the Seven Deadly Zins tent) on said belly. Seriously though, I HAD to put it there, nowhere else would've been half as funny.

I had also been a bit concerned about the fact that I was supposed to sleep in a cot or on a sleeper sofa in a room with 4 other girls, mostly because it takes me a long time and lots of thrashing to get myself comfortable before falling asleep at night. I also did not bring my snoogle (my gigantic pregnancy body pillow that I LOOOOVE and Will hates, but he was totally snuggling with it while I was gone). That worked out well though, because the girls ended up getting a third room just for Carolyn and me and it was a freakin' PALACE. I had my very own room with a big old king-sized bed and enough pillows to sufficiently stand in for my snoogle (Carolyn graciously took the fold-out couch, but I split the pillows evenly).

So the weekend was fun, and it was nice to get a chance to talk to Carolyn on the car rides up and back. Usually when we talk it's either over her lunch break or right after the gym in the evenings, so there always seems to be something pressing one of us has to get back to. Our husbands have been marveling that we just talked the whole way up and back...they can't believe it, but they also kind of can.

While I was away having fun, Will got to be solely in charge of Emily, which was a first. He did admirably well, taking her to the farmer's market, the gym, his parents house, then blueberry picking, and fireworks-viewing. A monumental feat with a toddler! Even still, when asked what she did this weekend, the only thing she mentions is that she shucked corn with Daddy.

So after his excellent performance this weekend, he has been rewarded with a week filled with a grueling battery of tests, but I am hopeful that we may be making some progress to finding out what's causing him to feel so exhausted all the time. He spent last night at the sleep lab in the hospital trying to sleep while hooked up to a million wires and while being watched by a girl in the other room. We don't have the results back yet, but the technician did tell him that while he doesn't appear to have sleep apnea, his legs did not stop moving the whole night. I haven't noticed this myself, but I HAVE noticed that instead of just rolling over like a normal person, Will tends to LAUNCH himself into the air and perform the roll before slamming back down, causing great unrest in the bed. Perhaps that is part of it. Some wild googling has resulted in my professional diagnosis of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, which could definitely be causing his "loss of zest for life", as they put it.

So after that last night, today he had an appointment at the allergist where they stuck him with quite a few different allergens in his arm, many of which caused him to itch horribly. He appears to be allergic to cats, grass, trees, weeds, and mold. None of these are all that shocking, we kind of suspected most of them already, but the allergist says that having all these allergies could definitely be contributing to his tiredness, and she wrote him a prescription for allegra. Let's hope that helps.

On top of all of that, today is day two for him of going cold turkey off of caffeine. It came as something of a shock to us when he calculated up his caffeine intake and realized he was taking in more than double the recommended amount per day. His days of working overnight back in the spring caused a sharp increase in his espresso intake which didn't go away when he was able to go back to working only during the day, and coupled with his (Men's Health-recommended) 6 cups of green tea of the course of the day, that's quite a lot. So now he's going through withdrawal from that too :-(

But we've finally uncovered 3-ish things that MIGHT be causing his tiredness, so I feel like that's good progress. Hopefully by the end of this week we'll be on our way to fixing most of the issues, plus I am now entering the second trimester so before long we'll be a wellspring of boundless energy around these parts, I just know it.

And I am in awe of Will for keeping track of and showing up on time to so many appointments, because I failed to make mine today and I only had one to remember. It was not ENTIRELY my fault (maybe just 99%) because my endocrinologist is named Dr. Hohl (pronounced Hall) and my dentist is named Dr. Hall (pronounced....Hall) so when I got the appointment reminder call on Monday from Dr. Hall's office, well I didn't even think about it. I of course ended up on the other side of a sliding glass window from a very confused receptionist while 30 minutes away a dental hygienist was tapping her foot waiting for me to show. Oh well. I am not fond of going to the dentist anyway, and especially not while pregnant, so I can stand to wait I think.

It also turned out that the bridal shop in Frederick does not ACTUALLY carry the maternity bridesmaid dresses that the website says they carry, so other than getting an oil change and treating myself to a yummy lunch, my day has been kind of a bust. So to avoid winning "Most Useless Person Ever", I am probably going to go shopping now because those groceries are not going to buy themselves. And with my luck today I'll show up to Giant to find that it has closed down and I'll have to scavenge nuts and berries from the woods nearby, so I'd better leave myself some time.