Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Not that the images are that obscure this time, but depending which cross section we were looking at, we could see a lot more details than what you see below. Nevertheless they are good overviews.

The baby is about 5" from crown to rump, and as you can see in the bottom left image, its eyes are 2.06cm apart. Which is all as it should be. The technician said she normally didn't give out the pictures that showed the front view of the face, as it looks kind of weird, but apparently she thought we could handle it. Maybe because I was cooing over the cute little brainstem.

We also got to see fingers and toes and all their little bones, which seemed to be in the right configurations. However, I didn't specifically count them. I guess there could still be polydactyly, although I think the technician would have caught that. She seemed pretty swift. She also asked me what my medical field was, which made me feel smug.

For the past few weeks I have been experiencing extra-itchy mammary gland protrusions (euphemism out of deference to those with delicate sensibilities; you know who you are.)

Actually, it started right away with the other symptoms, but during the past few weeks has been going absolutely nuts. Every little microscopic wrinkle has turned out to actually be a tiny crevice that has its own daily flake of skin to molt, and each flake of skin has its own individual attendant maddening itch. I've taken to calling them "Itchy and Scratchy". I've also begun a bit of pre-lactation, which is much like the monthly occurrence back in the day when I was on Ortho-Novum. (Before they discontinued it--yikes!)

I can tell when I'm having a hormone surge now. I may feel really great and energetic for the first bit--including the er, dreams, the second trimester is apparently famous for. Then I'll suddenly feel crashingly exhausted and possibly a bit nauseous. When this has gone on for a couple days, it seems like I notice there has been a growth spurt of my belly a few days later. Or, should I say, The Belly, as we've begun calling it, as it now seems to have a life of its own. I guess you could say it does.

No nosebleeds since Monday's two-hour monster, thank goodness. (Another hormone surge sign.)

Oh yeah; it's been about three weeks since I could sleep on my front. One week I could, the next week I tried it and--nope. Which is too bad, as that's usually my trump card for insomnia. Luckily, the insomnia dropped off to a great extent at about the same time.

However, yesterday I discovered a work-around for the sleeping position: if I place all the loose sofa pillows on its sitting surface, leaving a gap for The Belly, I can comfortably lie on my front (and even sleep).

Monday, April 24, 2006

Week 18 Ultrasound

I'm typing with one hand, as I have another blasted nosebleed this morning. Kind of a big one.

More later when typing is easier.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

We'll Call Him (?) Wriggles

We went to have the 20-week sonogram today, although it's actually 18 weeks today (there's an acceptable range). We didn't ask to find out the sex, although I think that what I saw confirms what I was already thinking.

The technician said that she was 100% sure of the sex (with the caveat that she was really only supposed to say "99% sure") of the sex, if we did want to know, but we declined. (Although I admit I did kind of want to know if I was right.) I do know it's easier to see the presence of external genitalia than to be sure of the absence of them, so for her to say she's "100% sure" also adds weight to my supposition.

One thing I was right about is where the feet are, because for the past week or so the little kicklets have been at the left side of my abdomen. I thought that either the baby had settled down in a sideways position for a while with the feet over there, or that I was totally fooling myself and the feelings were actually from some organ or part of my guts that happened to wrap around in that area and have thumps or gurgles. Apparently it really was the baby-feet option.

We got to see a lot of various baby bits in great detail--cross sections of the brain (a nice clear corpus callosum and also a nice brainstem from what I saw), eye sockets lined up properly and lip looking whole, all four chambers of the heart beating away, femurs, hand bones, spine, other bones generally, and so forth. As always, the baby was wriggling away from observation and generally being active.

We have a lot of still images from the session, so I'll scan some and post them. Of course, they don't do justice to how nifty it looks to see the kicking, stretching, and arm-flailing live and in motion, but they're still cool.

Afterwards we stopped at Target and bought me some pregger trousers, dangit. It's actually me who's palm-dampeningly anxious about spending money on clothes, not my husband. So he did encourage me to get some things, and I'm glad I did.

Oh yeah, and I found a due-date calculator that actually uses the correct algorithm, so it came up with the correct conception date and also the exact due date that I had estimated myself. (As if there's just the one day.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Yay; no New Orleans!

One less thing to angst about. The birth is enough.

Now, back to whatever academic work I was going to do initially when I got on the computer.

Monday, April 17, 2006

16 weeks

16 weeks
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
I know; you've already seen this on my main blog. But what the heck.

Actually, I'm 17 weeks now. We took the picture last week.

Now that I have only 5 months left (!!), I feel motivated to get going on preparing for the birth. Or the Big Squeezathon, to make such a momentous thing sound whimsical. I do think of it as an upcoming athletic event for which I need to begin training.

I actually went jogging to the post office today. I didn't force anything, only did what was comfortable, and let myself quit as soon as I felt like it. I was quite surprised to find that I had actually gone a half mile!

We've signed up for the childbirth classes--sent off the deposit today. The class starts May 2 and lasts 12 weeks. There are a lot fewer potential start dates than I would like. I wanted to do one a bit later, like maybe June through August, instead, but had to take what was available.

Now I'm worried because TheLimey is waiting to hear whether he is going to be sent off to New Orleans for three weeks solid. This will screw things up a lot, as we are doing Bradley, which requires him to actually be half the team in the birth.

We're not going to be doing Lamaze, which has been shown to do absolutely nothing for the birthing mother. (As far as pain levels and necessity for various medical interventions.)

Lamaze has, on the other hand, been shown to be helpful for the medical staff, because it keeps the mother quieter, more passive, and generally more convenient for them. Screw that.

Bradley method, now, does show a lot of reduction in the need for pain meds and for other medical interventions. It teaches you what to do with your body when, and lets you listen to your own instincts, go to the bathroom, and move around, and stuff.

But it's not called "husband-coached" childbirth for nothing. He's supposed to actually be doing the coaching and know what's going on, rather than just standing around vaguely comforting you, as he might in Lamaze.

So, not to wish misfortune on his company, but I really hope this job in New Orleans doesn't happen. Missing three whole classes would be bad. This is not the sort of thing where you can cram and catch up and it ultimately won't matter that much how you do on the final.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bigger and Better

...that's me.

We did take a photo last weekend. I have to upload and crop the two pictures we've taken so far. Not enough for a time lapse sequence, but enough to see something happening. (Actually, from the tiny thuds in my abdomen, I think something is happening right now. Though sometimes I think I'm imagining it.)

This Thursday we get to see the Superduper Sonogram at the Specialized Sonogram Shack, or whatever it's called. (No, not one of those in the mall--just the ultrasound specialist.) I thought the image we previously saw (and posted) was pretty much it for what kind of image we would see, but apparently it's standard to get a very detailed one around 20 weeks or so, which is coming right up.

This is the one where people often find out the sex of the baby. However, we are not going to try for that. If it's a pain in the butt for the technician to not see it, then of course they can't help that, but we're not going to purposely try to find out.

Now getting frequent morning nosebleeds, but mild and not particularly bothersome. It Beats the Barfing Stage, which will now be my standard for rock-bottom misery.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Things I Forgot (TMI Post!)

Since about the time of implantation (as measured by sudden meat cravings), I definitely have had the increased nasal congestion, and also sundry small-to-medium nosebleeds. The congestion is akin to when I walk a block in cool weather--not enough to warrant a public nosewiping, but noticeable to my breathing. This is not a horrible symptom, except when it conspires with other symptoms to keep me awake in the middle of the night. (It gets worse then.)

Any one of them individually I could probably overlook and fall back asleep: hunger pangs, nausea (now greatly diminished, TG), being thirsty, needing to pee---but then top it all off with also having a stuffy nose, and there goes the possibility of rolling over and ignoring everything. Breathing through my mouth is too drying and uncomfortable. So the stuffy nose thing forces me to grudgingly get up and deal with all the other stuff, while I'm up blowing my nose.

I do have some constipation as promised in all the books, but it's just not something that bothers me terribly. I do eat a lot of my starches as whole grain (pasta, bread, cereal), and usually eat at least an apple daily. However, I still eat white bread or other processed foods when I feel like it. (Especially a nice Italian country loaf, toasted, with blackcurrant jam.)

I do have what is probably hemorrhoids, but again, I can tolerate that a heck of a lot better than nausea. I have further realized that the one time in my life when I will likely be glad to have a little rectal bleeding is during pregnancy, specifically because it's not vaginal bleeding. (See, I said it was going to be TMI!)

Oh yeah, also I have much darker pee than before. This became noticeable about the time I started feeling ill, so I'm guessing it's hormones as well as getting rid of an additional person's waste materials.

I didn't realize that I would already have 20% more blood volume right about now, which means my heart is working about 20% harder than before. I guess it makes sense that I have experienced a little dizziness in the past week or so upon exertion or standing up suddenly.

I've had a discussion with my husband about perinatal depression issues, and we are going to try to deal with it proactively. I want him to know the symptoms, and what helps and what makes it worse, because when I'm experiencing depressive symptoms I often don't realize it until afterwards (too late!) So I need him to watch my back. He plans to call my friends and family and gossip about me--no, I mean, make plans with them--to get me out of the house and so forth, which I think is a very nice plan. (There can be gossip, too. I don't really mind.)

Now, to go put on those maternity pants that cause people to stare openly at my ankles (back to wearing clothes that don't reach my extremities--it's like junior high all over!) and head to the clinic to try to finish that paperwork.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Catching Up

Since the last post, I have physically been feeling a lot better. Thank goodness.

I think I was really starting to get pretty depressed what with being physically ill, exhausted, housebound and lonely, and having every task in my life pile up for months. (I think my condition was also starting to get to my husband, though he felt very guilty for one day when he was less than his usual supportive self.) It also didn't help that it was miserably cold outside the entire time, to the point where it was too much energy to even get dressed to go outside for a brief walk.

I am at the stage where people aren't sure if I am pregnant or just gaining weight (only in my belly?) but some are beginning to ask--such as some people at the conference who haven't seen me since last year's conference. However, I still haven't gained any weight--in fact, I lost two more pounds since last midwife visit. I am sure I will start making up for it soon.

I have for no logical reason become convinced that the baby is a boy--I may have already mentioned this. However, we're prepared for whichever. I am still experiencing kicking, though I will be glad when it's a more definite sensation.

We got to hear the heartbeat on the Doppler last week, which was a swishing sound about twice as fast as my own swishing sound. The midwife had to chase the baby around as [s]he was apparently swimming around like crazy and being evasive, but we did get to hear it. We also heard a number of thumps, which the midwife explained were actually kicks!

I have to make an appointment soon for the bigtime serious ultrasound at an official ultrasound place. This is the diagnostic, detailed one where they may be able to tell which sex the baby is. We are considering asking them to overlook that part unless it's a pain to avoid noticing it.

Actually, I think I am still experiencing some depression. I think a lot of it is the isolation. Especially now that I live in Smalltown instead of Small Collegetown. Not only do I not really know people here, but the town itself has a weird, transitory vibe, like some place that you pass through. Only. Like the feeling when you're staying at a hotel, but town-wide.

There's no park within walking distance, and the one park I can think of isn't much of a "taking-a-walk" kind of park, anyway. More of a "picnic next to the main drag" kind of park. And the main drag is also a highway, which adds to the feeling of everyone being on their way to somewhere else. In fact, both main drags that cross one another at the center of town are highways. It's the kind of town where a kid can't walk to school, because the school is a massive building at the edge of town, accessible only by vehicle (on the main highway, of course.) It seems every neighborhood is either right next to the highway or a completely neglected-feeling rundown backwater.

We will most likely be staying here for the baby's first year. I better sign up for some Mommy and Me activities or something, as I won't have even the amount of contact I've lately had with my academic colleagues, and will be at high risk for postpartum depression (considering various factors). However--and I feel guilty and elitist about thinking this--I am afraid that I will go nuts with loneliness and annoyance having only acquaintances who are from the local-mothers population.

I think I got this idea from my exposure to some pregnancy listservs I joined. Everyone seems to use this AOL kind of dumb lingo, and just....I don't know. Really adolescent giggly conversations and ways of expressing themselves (Using the term "BD" as a verb meaning to have intercourse--it stands for "Baby Dance". Barf!) I am also on some other listservs like PhD mothers and Feminist Psych mothers. But I have a feeling that there aren't going to be a lot of those people in whatever real-world social group I may find. I think I am just having trouble as I enter this social role transition from student to married mum.

I still feel somewhat tired, but much less so than before. I do still wake up in the middle of the night a lot, which doesn't help. And I think that my two months of being a complete slug has liquefied most of my muscles. I am trying to get out and start walking again. The recent conference was at a hotel near a nice wetland wildlife preserve/park with a trail where I used to go walking when I lived in Small Collegetown. I really looked forward to getting out there and walking last weekend, and it was very nice. However, here at home, it sounds like a drag to go out and walk. Walk where? By some people's rundown houses? Or down to the main drag? Bleh.