day-to-day pregnancy

[ Friday, April 30, 2004 ]

A couple of weeks ago I was silly enough to unpack all my summer clothes, which live in basement boxes during the cold months. It took me a few hours to sort, iron and hang all the stuff, and now only a handful of pieces actually fit. The scale shows 128 lbs, or 58 kg. The doctor says I am right on target as far as weight gain. I already feel like a beached whale.

One of the funniest aspects of pregnancy is my newly-discovered inability to walk past any baby product without stopping. Today, when returning a book to Target, I wandered past the baby isles and ended up buying a Pooh hat (with ears!) and a pair of incredibly tiny and cute Pooh socks. Photos to come.

[ Tuesday, April 27, 2004 ]

I started thinking about the nursery. I don't want to be too big and clumsy when it's time to work on it, so I might start a bit early. David and I agreed on Winnie the Pooh, one of my very favorite characters (personally, I like "classic Pooh" better than the recent drawings, but we are still debating). Without knowing the sex, the choice of colors is limited. I am looking at pale green, which I consider soothing and unisex. David is leaning towards beige. We certainly have lots of choice, but I loved this Classic Pooh wallpaper found on the internet.

[ Monday, April 26, 2004 ]

David and I are reading What to Expect When You're Expecting, by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hathaway. The book is considered a bible for pregnant women in the US, and from there I got the most valuable tip so far. After 3 days of non-stop "morning sickness" (that started when I opened my eyes in the morning and continued through day and night), I decided to look up ideas in the book. Among several other recommendations, it suggested the purchase of "sea bands", those elastic wrist bands that put pressure on a specific part of the wrist (commonly used for sea sickness). What a miracle! Within 5 minutes of snapping them on, the morning sickness was gone and I could enjoy a real nice meal for a change.

From WebMD, about the 7th week: "Your embryo makes great strides in size this week, growing to between 0.44 inches and 0.52 inches from crown to rump by the end of the week, or about the size of a small raspberry. Leg buds are starting to look like short fins, and hands and feet have a digital plate where fingers and toes will develop. The heart and lungs are becoming more developed, as are the eyes and nostrils, intestines and appendix. By now the brain and spinal cord are growing from the neural tube."

[ Saturday, April 24, 2004 ]

I had not given Saltines their deserved importance until today; what people call morning sickness is more like food poisoning in my book. Actually, I should correct myself. Food poisoning at least only lasts for a couple of days.

[ Wednesday, April 21, 2004 ]

Morning sickness does exist. It started last night, as a matter of fact, but I blamed it on my compulsive extermination of a whole family of Brazilian cheese breads in the afternoon. This morning, however, I believe in it very much like I believe in gravity and tornados. This morning, unlike all other mornings, I don't feel like eating. Ever again.

[ Tuesday, April 20, 2004 ]

I saw the doctor again today; she sent me to another sonogram, in hopes that the baby will be less shy this time. I am also due for a nasty blood test (6 to 8 vials of blood) sometime this week, when I feel braver.

[ Monday, April 19, 2004 ]

We just came back from the ultrasound clinic; unfortunately, the baby is still too small for us to hear or see the heartbeat, but we did get a picture, which is now posted on the photo gallery. Everything appears to be perfect, now I just need to deal with a bit of cramping left over from the exam.

From WebMD about the 6th week: "The embryo is starting to look like a tadpole. It's about 0.08 inches to 0.16 inches -- the size of a BB pellet -- from the top of the head to buttocks. (This crown-to-rump length is used more often than crown-to-heel length because the baby's legs are most often bent and hard to measure). The eyes and limb buds also are forming. A heartbeat can sometimes be detected by an ultrasound around now. This is also an extremely important time in the development of your baby, since between 17 and 56 days the embryo is most susceptible to factors that can interfere with its normal growth."

The new Photo Gallery is online, with the same pictures in a more organized way. The slide shows should make it easier for people to browse through the photos when we have hundreds of them. For now, only two galleries are available: Baby Outfits and Baby's First..., which will include pictures of all the "first" things the baby gets (first gift, first book, etc). In the future, we will also have galleries for Pregnancy photos, Nursery, Baby Showers and Family Album.

I am having a hard time again with doctors. It seems to be common practice here that you don't really have one doctor who will take care of you throughout the pregnancy and deliver the baby. When signing up with a clinic, you are actually being rotated through several doctors (male and female) and midwives, and whoever is the lucky soul on call the day you go into labor is the person who will deliver the baby. I am very uncomfortable with that idea. It's hard enough to find one doctor you feel comfortable with; imagine if that one person on call the day my baby is born is the doctor I don't like, or worse, a midwife. I've decided to get all the tests done right now with the current clinic, and then go out shopping for an OBGYN to call my own.

[ Sunday, April 18, 2004 ]

David forgot to mention that the baby won't be able to wear the gator t-shirt for about 6 - 9 months. That obviously didn't stop him!

[ Friday, April 16, 2004 ]

Well, the blood test didn't work. Poor Maggie, at Dr. Kaufman's office, was very distressed with the "pin-cushion" effect on my arms and gave up after a while. As it turns out, my new OBGYN (Dr. Bowers) wanted different tests anyway. I have my first sonogram scheduled for Monday, and a series of blood tests afterwards. According to Dr. Bowers, everything looks normal and my estimated due date is actually December 15.

[ Thursday, April 15, 2004 ]

It seems I found a better solution to the problem: new doctor. I have a blood test and OB appointment scheduled for tomorrow.

I thought I had listed in my mind all potential sources of stress this early in the pregnancy. I expected to be anxious about money, diet, less time for work, even the inevitable loss of my wardrobe. What I was not counting on was a run around from the doctors office. When I made the appointment weeks ago I didn't know I was pregnant, so it was a "routine" consultation. With a positive home test in my hands and lots of questions in my head, I called to make sure the doctor was aware of this new development. Surprise, surprise! I was told the doctor will not give me a pre-natal appointment unless I have a positive blood test result. So I hung up and called the laboratories. More surprise. No lab in the region will give me a blood test without a doctor's order. Hmm. Can't have an appointment without the test, can't have the test without the appointment. The best solution they could come up with was to have the "routine" consultation, get a prescription for the blood test, get tested, make another appointment. The time frame? Another 3-4 weeks, which puts me almost at the end of the first trimester.

[ Wednesday, April 14, 2004 ]

Today it was my turn to buy something for the baby. I was at Barnes and Noble when my feet took me to the children's section. I picked up The Tale of Peter Rabbit, from Beatrix Potter. The illustrations are wonderful. After seeing the website and all the cute bunny products, I am rethinking my initial idea for a Winnie the Pooh nursery.

[ Tuesday, April 13, 2004 ]

I may not be getting fat, or having morning sickness, but I feel very much pregnant when it comes to fatigue. At the end of each day, I feel like I've been run over by a truck. It must be nature's way of preparing me for the sleepness nights ahead.

Another reason to pig out: according to this article, scientists at the University of Helsinki, who asked 300 pregnant women to record their chocolate consumption and stress levels, found that daily treats had a positive impact on the newborn baby's behavior.

[ Monday, April 12, 2004 ]

I'm going backwards. The scale today shows 123 lbs. I have no idea where all the chocolate went.

[ Sunday, April 11, 2004 ]

The baby got its first gift, a very cute plush chick with fake bunny ears, carrying jelly beans. From Nemo, for Easter :-)

It's a cool and rainy Easter morning. I bought a gigantic box of Saltines, in preparation for a morning sickness that hasn't showed up yet. Despite my "pigness", the scale hasn't changed. I got the first offer from a friend to hold a baby shower. Since I never even participated in one, I wondered when it happens. As it turns out, baby showers (a pregnant girl can have several!) happen sometime between the 6th and 8th month. I guess they are like weddings, people start talking about it many months in advance.

[ Saturday, April 10, 2004 ]

From WebMD, about the 4th week: "Your baby is still very small, only about 0.014 inches to 0.04 inches in length. The embryo, probably in about its second week of development, has multiplied to about 150 cells. Your baby is being nourished by secretions from the uterine lining. Layers of cells already are specialized according to functions. The outer layer will become the nervous system, skin and hair; the inner layer will be the breathing and digestive organs; and the middle layer will become the skeleton, bones, cartilage, muscles, circulatory system, kidneys and sex organs. You might not feel any different yet, but the amniotic cavity, which will be filled with fluid, and the placenta, which will bring oxygen and nutrients to nourish your baby, are forming in your uterus."

[ Friday, April 09, 2004 ]

I just realized (after a few emails) that I never posted the due date. Well, according to a gestation calendar, I am at the end of my 4th week, with due date around December 13, which is my brother's birthday!

I was told to add 300 calories a day to my diet, just in time for Easter chocolate. Yay! Finally an excuse to be a pig.

No morning sickness in sight. The scale tells me 124 lbs, or 56 kg.

[ Thursday, April 08, 2004 ]

Yesterday afternoon was when we found out a baby is on the way. It was a perfect spring day, warm and sunny, with flowers and squirrels everywhere. The test result came while David was still at work, so I just waited for him to come home. We were sitting on our front steps, looking over the yard and talking about the flowers we planted a few weeks ago. "The things we are growing", he said. And then I told him we were growing something else too. Right across the street, a man was playing with his two little boys. It was a perfect moment in a perfect day. I managed not to cry. At night, we went out for dinner with Elsie, Jim and Nemo. We waited for drinks before we told everyone. I think we got stunned faces and silence for about 10 seconds. Then it was all laughter. We started discussing names. I can't wait to find out if it's a boy or a girl!

This weblog was created today (with a lot of help from Nemo) to keep our memories and feelings from the pregnancy. We hope that it will be a way to keep friends and family close to the baby, even though they are far away from us. Both David and I will do our best to translate into words what we feel every step of the way. As I write this, there are plans for a photo gallery and a calendar to keep track of all the important milestones from now until the birth. We look forward to sharing everything with you.