Saturday, December 29, 2007


So, the last month has been rather hellish. I obviously really pissed someone off. Charlie came down with that nasty, nasty cold that's been going around sometime shortly after Thanksgiving. This coincided with some teething so it took us awhile to figure out what was going on. We went to the doctor for his 15 month check-up and discovered that he had a little ear infection. As that cleared with some antibiotics, up he entered the OMG how much snot can one little nose produce section of the cold which wasn't that bad except for sleeping because he wouldn't be able to breathe so there was a lot of rocking.

In the midst of all this, I got The Cold. The 2nd week we were sneezing and coughing together. Luckily, Charlie had decided he enjoyed Teletubbies a few weeks earlier so we spent one notable afternoon on the couch after yet another disastrous nap. Charlie actually sat and watched 2 full episodes as well as a random cooking program while I contemplated why anyone needs sinuses anyway. This is the child who generally sits for 10 minutes tops, God was obviously feeling just a little guilty about the previous weeks. Happily, I discovered that a great deal of my difficulty was from a lack of humidity so, as long as I sat in the shower 3 times a day, my sinuses were no longer burning tubes of misery. Apparently, no matter how exhausted you are, it is unwise to deprive your over-enthusiastic mucus membranes (thanks pregnancy!) of a daily dose of humidity via the shower. Lesson learned.

Charlie and I then battled it out to see who needed the humidifier more as we entered (for the love of God!) week 3! Week 3 greeted us with my husband coming down with The Cold although he got to take all the lovely medicine so it didn't make him quite the tower of misery Charlie and I were. That week the congestion migrated down into our chests so that Charlie and I had adorable matching smokers coughs. Happily, I learned from one of my pregnancy books, the baby had already started squishing my lungs to a notable degree which explained my propensity to see black spots and wonder at what point you go to the emergency room for oxygen deprivation.

Charlie and my husband both came out of the worst of The Fucking Cold (as it was now known) by the end of the week. However, I am blessed with an immune system that doesn't attack the small being growing within me which I am so grateful for. The corollary to this seems to be that my immune system doesn't want to take any chances and is apparently debating if it should just perhaps send a strongly worded note to any other invaders. This meant that on the Friday that everyone else started to feel better, I started the day by apparently trying to cough up my toes which also triggered my morning sickness and led to my back strenuously objecting to puking and coughing at the same time. According to my back, It Simply Isn't Done! This, of course, was the day neither of my OBs were in the office and a brief chat with the nurse revealed that all I could really do was try heat and tylenol unless it got "really bad" and then I could go to the ER or call the doctor on call. While I was miserable, I doubted if 4 hours in a waiting room chair was really the way to go so, my husband stayed home from work and I lay in a stupor. Of course, the best position is flat on your back for the first day or so but when you're pregnant you can't do that because of the whole vena cava, black spots issue so I instead had to manage to lay on my side with an artful arrangement of pillows. Mind, I was also continuing to cough in a highly enthusiastic manner throughout the whole experience which just helped things so very much. My husband spent the next several nights in the guest room. Oh, did I mention that the violent 20 minute coughing fits would wake Charlie so we had to cough into pillows?

I was finally able to really rejoin the land of the living Tuesday which was just in time to frantically finish all the Christmas prep that had been going at a good clip but had, at least, seemed manageable until a few days previous. Just as our families were set to descend, my husband got a stomach bug and was completely out of commission for a full 24 hours and on limited duty the day after that. Oh, and my brother who was staying with us had a cold but a different one that we had been battling and my father was sick with an unknown illness but my mom thought it could be the flu (it turned out to be a UTI). Clorox became my new best friend. But, aside from a lingering cough on my part, we seem to be finally wandering out of illness land. I am hoping for 1 solid week in which all 3 of us are actually healthy before we start the next round. Wish us luck.

Monday, December 17, 2007


There is something particularly pitiful about throwing out your back while throwing up. Pregnancy is such a beautiful time...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bitty Bumps and Bounces

So, I've been feeling this little bit for about a month now. I first noticed her (I really think it's a her this time) after my last OB appointment. I woke up in the middle of the night trying to figure out if I had to pee or puke until it finally dawned on me that the funky feeling was coming from right about where the OB had found the heartbeat. (speaking of which... can you say "low." It was into the forest time for that doppler mic. Although, it was also nice because I finally figured out that was probably why it takes me so long to really show.)

I have come to the conclusion that noticing the really early, shivery, flippy in the middle feelings is a lot like your first kiss. It's exciting and wonderful while at the same time being a little odd and leaving you with slightly mixed feelings. In the form of the kiss there is all that wondering of where your noses go and if people really use their tongues because "Ewww!" In the form of the baby movement, since I noticed it so much earlier than with Charlie, there was the fact that it wasn't so much those fun pokes as it was a feeling that left you with the nagging suspicion that something was happening with your gastro-intestinal tract that you couldn't identfy- unsettling at all times and particularly so when you are totally in the middle of morning sickness. At this point though, things have settled into the more comforting bitty bumps and bounces; little hellos from the newest member of the family. It's not consistent by any means yet but often enough to be reassuring and make all the puking seem worth it. Charlie has taken to lifting up my shirt to poke at my belly button and I can't help but think that soon it will poke back. Whatever will he make of that?

I had another appointment today and things look good. The heart rate was in the 150s and the baby was sitting slightly higher so I am no longer worried that all those kegels were a complete waste and that my uterus was about to fall out or something. The big ultrasound won't be until January 10th which is way later than any of the other May Mommies somehow the doctor was more concerned about good images that gave really solid information about the baby's health than my desire to include the sex in the Christmas letter. Humph!

In other news, Charlie is battling a cold/ear thing/cough that he kindly shared with me and he is having a terrible time with naps because of the whole not able to breathe thing. I also decided that it would be nice to knock out 6 Christmas presents at one go and make a photo book of Charlie for various family members which is causing my computer great consternation. And there's all that other Christmas stuff to do. So, my evenings and weekends and coherent thoughts are being eaten up at a startling clip. Someday I will be coherent enough in the evenings again to post on something like a regular basis.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Morning Sickness the Second Time Around

So, I'm still struggling with morning sickness. I had rather hoped that for this pregnancy I would magically wind up with a nice, well-behaved case that would wrap up no later than week 13 and that I would enjoy the wonder that is the second trimester that I heard so much about during my last pregnancy. It doesn't seem meant to be.

However, this time it doesn't seem as awful as last. I think the big thing is that I didn't really expect it to end this time. Last time, I kept thinking that it would surely only be a few more days, a week at the most and then all would be smooth sailing. This time, if it ends before the 7th month or so, I'll be pretty happy. Zofran has made all the difference as well. I know that I will only allow myself to throw up twice and then I can stop. I still might feel a little iffy for the rest of the day but I can leave the house without wondering when I will be making a sprint to the restrooms (even more exciting with Charlie in tow). I also have plenty of strategies this time. There are days that the refrigerator is just too much so there are bottles of ginger ale out on the counter for me. It means that some days Charlie gets to carbo-load for lunch but there are worse things and even on the worst of days I can usually manage to cut up his banana. I have a near encyclopedic knowledge of what foods are most likely to stay down or at least not be so bad to re-visit.

I also know the up-sides to months of morning sickness. At no point do I really have to worry about my weight gain. I know enough tricks to sneak calories in to keep myself from loosing weight and when I start being able to eat more normally, I can cut those strategies out. For instance, while I'm still getting sick regularly, I only drink things with calories. This means that I am beyond sick of gingerale but I also haven't had to be hospitalized or get stern lectures from the OB. And, I can look at all food with the attitude that if I think I can keep it down, I can eat it. If that means I have a day of french fries (only Wendy's please) and chocolate milk shakes (Ben and Jerry's, of course!) so be it. After all, even the most conservative pregnancy books encourage you to follow your cravings during the more difficult days. I also seem to get to skip over some of the aspects of pregnancy that plague other women since I seem to basically just hang out in the first trimester for the better part of 6 months. Heartburn was a total non-issue until at least the 7th month. I could give myself at least a rudimentary pedicure until the very end. The lower weight gain also meant that I shed the baby weight with little effort. I hung on to the last 5 pounds or so until Charlie started solids and then, off it slid. I am one of those rare women who gets to look at pregnancy and breastfeeding as this odd sort of delayed weight-loss plan where you eat way more than usual and then at the end of 15 months or so you're 2 pounds less than when you started with bigger boobs to boot. And, I know that I apparently come into the pleasant part of pregnancy just as everyone else is gearing up to be miserable. I found the 7th month to be quite nice really and even a hunk of the 8th wasn't that bad. Finally, puking just isn't nearly as objectionable an activity as it once was. Apparently, familiarity does breed contempt, or at least neutrality. At this point, the biggest issue for me is that the receptacle be clean. There is perhaps nothing quite as miserable as being in the middle of an unfortunate event and being completely without ability to escape your failings as a housewife. So, should anyone ever want to inspect my bathrooms for cleanliness, the time is now.

Now, this isn't to say that extended morning sickness doesn't suck. It does. There are definitely mornings that I simply delete that damn perky e-mail telling me how wonderful I feel now that I'm in my second trimester. I still wish a violent death to any woman who dares tell me how she simply didn't allow herself to throw up or asks me why I don't just make sure I keep food in my stomach and God help anyone who suggests I try some nice crackers. Really, at this point I have had morning sickness for at least 9 months. I have tried it all. If you have a baby yak I could sacrifice to the Goddess of whatever and happen to know of a nice chant I could try, please share, otherwise, trust me, I have sooo tried it. But, at least this time I have some perspective and realistic expectations.