Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Looking in From the Outside

Dear 'A',
We had a "boutique" ultrasound done of you this past Monday night. We haven't seen a picture of you since going to the fetal specialist at about 21 weeks gestation (which was a little nerve-racking for me). We were able to share this moment with friends and family and had the following audience: Grandma Peters, Grandma Rogers, Papa, your Uncle Hunter, Sara & Robert (who you will probably grow up thinking is your aunt and uncle). Grandpa Peters had to be out of town, but we'll share all the pictures.

You were 31 wks 4 days according to our due date, but you were measuring more like 33 wks 6 days (EDC 02/03/09). It estimated your weight at 5 pounds even ALREADY! And we still have ~8 more weeks to go! I've always thought you would not be a tiny baby. So I've decided to take a poll on what people think: are you going to be closer to your mama's birth weight or your father's?


Looks like you're going to have your Mama's nose and chubby cheeks

And your Father's bottom lip

Look at that scowl

Rubbing your eyes

Look at that big foot!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rogers' Christmas Present

Dear 'A',
You are one lucky little girl to have so much family living so close by. You are already surrounded by a large loving family. We spend quite a bit of time with the Rogers family. They plan a lot of family events like dinner every Sunday night and summer vacations. The really wonderful part is that we all have so much fun when we are together.

Our last Rogers family vacation was Fripp Island, SC for Thanksgiving. The morning after Thanksgiving, Grandma and "Papa Daddy" (you will just call him Papa) transformed the day into the Christmas spirit. The harvest smelling candle was replaced with a Christmas one. Grandma was in the kitchen cooking Christmas imprinted pancakes in antlers and Papa was surfing the Internet in antlers. Later that morning we started making Christmas ornaments (Grandma always has fun crafts for everyone). The drive to Fripp Island was about 5 hours and on the way back home, I still had Christmas on my mind....I was trying to come up with gifts for Grandma and Papa.

Then it came to me.... a family portrait! Grandma LOVES family pictures (unfortunately your father is not a fan of having his picture taken). We were going to take a family picture during our Thanksgiving trip, but time got away from us and the weather turned rainy. So, I scheduled an appointment and texted everyone: "I need you at 10:45am on Saturday, 12-20." I soon told the brothers and sisters what was going on, but kept it a secret form Grandma and Papa. Finally, the week before they were told to wear dark jeans and a blue long-sleeved top (I figured they had to have some warning in case laundry had to be done). Grandma suspected pictures after she was told what to wear, but was unsure due to your father dislike.

Well, today was the today. And I have to say we have quite a beautiful family! The pictures are gorgeous (I'll try to post some later- I have to get Grandma to send me some via e-mail)! I am excited at the thought of our next family pictures for two reasons: #1 (the most important reason) is that you will be in that picture with all your cousins and #2 I won't look so much like a boat! We had so much fun laughing at each other trying to get the grandchildren to look at the camera and smile- we looked certifiably crazy! Then we all went out to lunch at the Macaroni Grill and we both enjoyed some yummy fettuccine alfredo.

So, we all had a great time together as we made a lasting memory of our family. Also, the outing taught me, I need to carry my camera around to snap pictures for you and our posts. (I've included some of the Thanksgiving trip).


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Old Wives Tale?

Dear 'A',
I try to be so healthy to make sure you are healthy. I hardly take a Tylenol for a headache, but I broke down big time yesterday. First off, I've been sick with a head cold and just been eating chicken noodle soup, pushing the fluids, and trying to rest as much as possible. Yesterday I had to work and couldn't take the pressure in my head so I took one Mucinex (it's on the list of ok medications to take during pregnancy). Well my head wasn't so clogged, but I don't think my patients appreciated me constantly dabbing at my nose so I wasn't dripping on their charts.

Then in a not so healthy impulse, I stopped to get a pepperoni calazone on the way home. You will one day understand that your father makes pizza and calazones that are like crack... sometimes you just have to have one! I grabbed a Sprite to wash it down and drank about 1/4 of the 20 oz bottle with the calazone. Shortly after eating I went to bed to read and ended up falling asleep about 8:30pm (again the head cold did me in). It was not restful sleep as I kept waking up with some heartburn. About 10:00pm I got up to take some Tums and in desperation I mean to say some was really 6 Tums. About 11:00pm I couldn't handle it anymore. I had the lovely searing heartburn with a slight Tums taste now (it kept getting worse).

So I came downstairs in my night clothes (which consists of a T-shirt and underwear because anyone ever pregnant understands that your body is no longer 98.9 degrees, but 989 degrees especially when you sleep) to look for a very important paper. You father looked at my desperate half-naked search and asked what I was doing. I was searching for the list of ok medications to take for heartburn. I was searching for something a HUNDRED TIMES STRONGER THAN TUMS BECAUSE I WAS I ON FIRE! And I pleaded for your father to go to the store armed with the paper to buy me anything strong to extinguish my fire. It really didn't take much pleading. He could see the desperation in my actions and eyes and had his shoes on by the time I found the paper. He returned with Mylanta and Zantac. I took them BOTH! I took 2 big swigs of Mylanta (no time for measuring) and one Zantac. I didn't really get to sleep until almost 2 am and then it was sleeping on an incline which is always a funny way to sleep. I also got to wake up twice to go to the bathroom in the 4 hours before my alarm went off. Heartburn has stayed away today, but I carried the Zantac with me to work like a nice lovey (security blanket).

So, the question is this..... Is the old wives tale true? If you have bad heartburn is your child going to be born with a lot of hair? (I would enjoy seeing comments on if you had heartburn or not and if your child was born with hair or not). 'A', I'm not holding my breath. I was bald until I was 2, sorry.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Good News!

Dear 'A',
As you get older and have to fill out your own medical forms you will be checking several boxes about diabetes. It seems my side of the family has some "sweet blood" ;) In addition to our family's prevalent history, I have two risk factors myself. I've had quite a few hypoglycemic episodes since early college and PCOS is associated with insulin resistance.

About 2 weeks ago, I took my second one hour glucose tolerance test (I took the first one around 13 weeks gestation due to my risk factors and passed) and then found out I did not pass this most recent 1 hour test. So, I had to go back in for a three hour test this past Monday. A three hour test is not fun. They took a total of 4 venous blood draws and I couldn't leave the office during the entire time (which ended up being a total of 3 1/2 hours). The doctor's office said they would only call if it was bad news. I was nervous when I saw their number call me last night. But they knew I was nervous about the results and called to tell me I passed!

This is great news for you as well. My body won't be feeding you excessive amounts of glucose causing you to be a large baby (not to say you won't be big because your father was a 10 lb baby at birth) and you won't become hypoglycemic after birth when the umbilical cord stops nourishing you. You are also lucky to have your dad as your father. It seems he is the healthiest man on earth. When he applied for life insurance they quoted him the second lowest tier of monthly costs because "no one ever passes their physical enough to get the lowest tier." Turns out your father did and we received a refund check in the mail because he is so healthy. He also likes to brag about how healthy he is!

The other good thing about the time spent at the doctor's office was I got a lot of knitting done (actually finished two projects and started a third) which is good because Christmas is fast approaching.

Also, last night was our last hypnobirthing class. I feel better prepared and glad we took the class together. It sparked several good conversations between your father and me and we feel more confident knowing what to expect of each other on your birthday. However, we still have more practice and preparations to do... good thing we still have two more months.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let's start at the beginning

I've finally been broken.... to start a blog (you can thank Megan & Susan). My decision to blog was to preserve all the special moments in our family life. 'A' is our unborn daughter, to arrive sometime in February. So, let's start at the beginning....

Dear 'A',
I am 30 weeks pregnant with you as I write this first official letter to you. Seems a little late to begin writing, but I'll get to that. I want to start by letting you know how much you are loved and wanted even before you were conceived.

Your father and I always knew we wanted children and we began preparing before we even started "trying." Trying took longer than we expected. Waiting for that positive pregnancy test was difficult. We finally got a positive pregnancy test in May 2007 and our due date was February 19, 2008. But in July 2007, we found out we had miscarried. We never got to see Sam's heartbeat and my body did not want to let go of Sam. So, one week after my 29th birthday I had my first surgery. The D&C was traumatic. It meant the end of our first pregnancy, the death of a baby that was already loved and we envisioned as a part of our family, and the uncertainty of what was going to happen next. What did happen next was a very dark and sad time of my life. The world seemed so unfair. It seemed even more unfair when I still was not pregnant by February 19, 2008. Your father and I decided to take that day off work to spend time together and we drove up to Raven Cliffs to hike that day. I remember the day seemed very still and quiet as we hiked in the cool, crisp woods. My thoughts were full of the baby we lost and the hope that we would one day have a baby to hold. Soon after we became proactive in our fertility.

We saw a fertility specialist who diagnosed me with PCOS. I was put on some medications and monitored very closely to see when I was ovulating. Our first cycle with the specialist proved worth while. We got pregnant! Our new due date was/is February 19, 2009 (that's you!). I went back to the clinic several times to check my blood hormone levels to make sure the pregnancy was progressing. I remember asking a nurse if my levels were "where they're supposed to be." She replied, "Don't worry honey. You are VERY pregnant." At our first ultrasound we found out what she meant by "VERY pregnant".... we were pregnant with twins! We even got to see both heartbeats (something we had never seen before). Your father was over the moon thrilled. He had been teasing me all along that we were going to have twins. I was shell shocked and full of questions on how we were going to handle two newborns, but still extremely happy to finally be pregnant. We had one more appointment scheduled with the specialist. Again, we had an ultrasound and saw two heartbeats. They were able to measure the beats per minute and both of you were right on track. The doctor gave us two silver spoons to congratulate us and "graduate us" from them to our regular OB/Gyn. It all still felt like a dream as we walked out of that office. We joined a woman who worked in another office in the building as we got on the elevator to head to our car. She took a look at us (what I wouldn't give to see how she saw us at that moment) and then looked in your father's hands and saw the two pink and blue boxes (that held the silver spoons). Then she said, "Congratulations, you're having twins right?" We must have had the biggest, goofiest grins on our faces as we both said "Yeah, twins." We could hardly wait to tell someone. So as soon as we got in the car, I called Sara and your father called Robert. We waited to tell our family in person. Telling people you are pregnant is great fun, but it's even more fun to see their expression when you tell them "there's two in there."

This giddy, dream-like state lasted until our first appointment with our regular doctor. We had another ultrasound, but were told that there was only one heartbeat. The other baby stopped growing. You continued to grow. I immediately began to feel that dark cloud moving back towards me and I wasn't sure what to think or how to feel. I had just lost another baby, but I still was pregnant with you. Your father's and my goal was always to have a baby. We were still pregnant with you. I decided that I could not let that cloud overtake me and you. I could not go back to that sad, dark place. It was not a healthy place for me to be and not a healthy place for a growing baby to be. We were told the lost baby would slowly get smaller and my body would reabsorp it all.

For a long time I held my breath. Tried not to get my hopes up too high. I didn't fill in the pregnancy journals I had for fear they wouldn't be finished (like the first pregnancy). We had another scare with you. At our 20 week anatomy ultrasound we got some unexpected results. Our doctor informed us we would need to see a maternal/ fetal specialist for a more accurate ultrasound to make sure you didn't have an amniotic band floating around with you. (The risk of an amniotic band is the baby can be born with deformities where the band touches the baby.) Our regular doctor told us, they weren't sure if they saw one in the ultrasound and not to worry because she's never seen a baby with ABS. The scary thing is I knew what ABS was as soon as it came out of her mouth and I know two children with it. Your father was very confident that everything was fine and helped to reassure me when I felt unsteady as we waited for the appointment with the specialist. At the appointment we were told some great news and some surprising news. The great news was no amniotic band! What the first ultrasonographer saw was the edge of your sac pushed up against your twin's sac. The surprising news is your twin is still there, the same size as the day it stopped growing. You were sharing amniotic fluid with your twin. The specialist told us the twin is safe to still have there and should come out during your delivery.

So, now you know why it took me so long to put words down. But please don't think we ignored you until now. We read a book to you most nights (we've been slacking off lately), I talk to you all the time (especially in the car), your father talks to you when he gets home from work (and before I leave in the morning if he's awake), we painted your room about 3 months ago and have been working on your room, I rub my belly often and push back on you when you push on me, and we are almost done with our six week Hypnobirthing class sessions. I finally feel like I've exhaled (even though I still want to keep you inside me until you are full term). I feel like a little kid on Christmas eve when I think of you with all those wonderful expectant butterflies in my belly (and I'm not confusing this with your soccer ball kicks or tiny little punches). Both your father and I are giddy and excited as time gets closer to meeting you.


Raven Cliffs Hike (February 19, 2o08)