Monday, October 31, 2005

Our Little Princess

Halloween was a blast this year. Every time the doorbell rang, Athena yelled "DOOR!" and ran to the door. We dressed her up, but didn't take her trick or treating. Before I got home, Chris had given her a Sweet Tart, which she loved, and then a Life Saver, which she also loved. So if her little mouth and nose seem sticky in the picture, you know why. And before you say anything, I know she is too young for hard candy. Someone tell my husband that, please.

Speaking of my husband, he apparently had blog envy and has started one of his own. I will eventually add links to the side of my blog so you can find it easily, but for now, you can follow this link and bookmark it.

Oh, and today Chris is 30 years old. And I didn't even say Happy Birthday to him until tonight. What a horrible wife I am. Happy Birthday, honey. I love you!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Ugly Swimsuit - Part Deux

I have the best friends in the world. And I'm not just saying that because those of you reading this fall into that category. Really. :-)

On Saturday, I went to visit my friend Karen, who just delivered a handsome little baby boy about three weeks ago. Sleep deprived and milked to death, she received me with open arms and even fed me. (Hotdogs... yum!) Makes me proud to be a woman.

So as we chatted about all things maternal, I brought up my swimsuit ordeal. Having recently been through the whole pregnancy thing (right through the summer, I might add), she was completely sympathetic. And then, she went from friend to knight-in-shining-armour in one fell swoop. She retreated to her bedroom and produced two very cute maternity swimsuits! She thrust them upon me and I gratefully accepted her gift as if it were gold, frankincense, and myrrh (although there were only two of them).

Now, how shall I say this? I am... well... big-boned. And Karen is, well... not. My big bones extend into my chest area. And Karen... again... she is just not big-boned. She is tall, however, so often we can wear the same size, as long as it's nothing too tight. Sure enough, these suits are Large, and my normal size is Extra-Large. Still, I was willing to take the chance. After all, I've lost a little weight since conception, and Karen had just been pregnant... so perhaps we would meet in the middle.

So this morning, I tried on both suits, and can I just say... what is it they say in the Marines? BOO YAH! Yes, the boobs are a little mushed in, but they do seem to stay contained, and most important... these suits have BOTTOMS! And even better... those bottoms COVER MY BOTTOM! HOORAY!

So Chris and I made the ceremonious trip to JC Penney to get our $60 bucks back and send the hideous clown swimsuit to from whence it came. And this may be a good time to mention what a good sport Chris has been through this. He held his tongue when I tried on the suit, and even after I returned it, I had to tell him, "You know, it's okay to tell me that the suit was hideous." He merely indicated that I clearly KNEW it was awful, so why restate the obvious? He's so great!

Now I can look forward to sailing the Caribbean without inadvertantly flagging down the Coast Guard. Yay! Life is good.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Preparations Are Underway

Our anniversary cruise is just around the corner, and I am PSYCHED! We have our house/pet-sitter lined up (just in case someone was considering robbing us while we're gone), we have our tickets, and now, thanks to Hurricane Wilma, we have a new itinerary!

The cruise was supposed to go to Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and then the private island. However, poor little Cozumel was pretty devastated in the storm, and the port is not open to cruise ships at the moment. Instead, we are headed to Costa Maya, Mexico. I am especially excited about this because Chris and I did this same itinerary three years ago, and although we loved it, I am completely pumped to go somewhere I've never been. My friend Susan (who was kind enough to inform me of my itinerary change) said that she has been there before and enjoyed it very mucho. I'm kind of keen to see some Mayan ruins, although I have no idea how Athena will do at such a place. We'll play it by ear.

I also have managed to purchase the world's most hideous maternity swimsuit for the trip. I vowed I would not spend more than $30 for a suit, because I am only going to be able to wear it for a week, and I never intend to be pregnant again. So there was no need for me to dump a good deal of money into this. Well, my friends, there ain't much out there for under $30. And what there IS is God-awful. Here is what I selected. Go see for yourself.

Now, when you look at the picture, you may think, "That's not so bad." Which is indeed what I thought after looking at hundreds of REALLY ugly or REALLY expensive suits. But when it arrived in the mail, I thought, "Wow. That's pinker than I thought." And then I put it on. It fits, but let's just say I am not the model in the JC Penney catalog.

Oh, and did you notice that this is just the top? Neither did I! So when it came in the mail, I thought, "Where are the bottoms?! I need bottoms!" I looked at the catalog again and dammit all to Hell, the bottoms are sold separately. So suddenly, my $30 ugly swimsuit became a $60 ugly swimsuit. And before I ordered the bottoms, I did consider sending it back, but then I still would have had no suit. My belly isn't huge yet, but it's big enough that my regular swimsuit becomes a thong now when I put it on. Again, I stress my need for bottoms. It's pretty essential... especially when you are cruising with The Mouse.

By the way, go back to that page that I linked you to for the swimsuit. Do you see that other maternity swimsuit on the right? The cute black one with the little stripe? They don't have it in my size. Just in case you were going to ask... Trust me, I checked several times hoping they had restocked for some reason.

So we'll start packing this weekend. It's gotten cold here, so we can pack shorts and sandals and ugly swimsuits early. Hopefully that means I won't be running around in a last minute rush to get packed and I can enjoy my vacation right from the beginning. And don't worry. You will hear all about it as it happens. We plan to purchase an Internet package on the ship so I can update regularly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Life in the 'Burbs

Our little town of about 30,000 people is just great. We moved here a couple of years ago after living in Raleigh for a couple of years, and although we felt like we were out in the country, we knew we had many conveniences close by. There was a Home Depot only about three miles away, as well as two grocery stores. And the downtown (all three blocks of it) had a small town charm that we loved... several antique stores, some offices, and three restaurants: a good Mexican place, a soda shop, and a Bistro. On top of that, one of the best Italian restaurants in the Triangle area is very close by. It has perhaps the most extensive wine list in the area. So really, we felt like we had what we needed. Then the movie theater and the Target were both within about a ten minute drive. So here we had the quiet of the country with the appeal of the nearby cities.

I really don't mean to write about all that in the past tense. Because we STILL have all that. But about a year ago, our area,which we were already pleased with, turned out to be the promised land... at least for us.

As odd as this may seem, the library here in our town is actually the busiest library in North Carolina. Again... that is in the entire STATE. That figure is calculated by counting circulation... how many books go in and out the doors. Seems odd for a town of 30K, right? Well, don't forget that we border Cary, which is one of the largest cities in North Carolina... and one of the richest. And many of Cary's fine citizens who live on the south end of the city limits come to our fair library because to date it is the biggest in the area. The downtown Cary library is also quite busy, but it is quite small.

So knowing this, you suddenly see why developers began to eye our little corner of the world. Perhaps only 30K people live here, but obviously people are willing to come here to visit. And within a year or so, we saw the beginnings of paradise (for us). Just as we started planning our family, we learned that we were getting a SuperTarget. Yes... Mecca was moving in. And with it was coming a whole lot of other convenience, including a movie theater and many many many restaurants. So as the business is moving in, we see our town spring to life, and we only have about a five minute drive to get to anything we want. The only way it would be better is if we could walk there.

So recently, that prosperity has come to our little downtown, and we noticed that they were building a new restaurant. The Peak City Grill sounded like it might be a little pub or sports bar, which would certainly be fine with us. But now it's open, and it's even better.

My sister was in town last night, so my mom drove in as well and we all had dinner together. With the baby, I really have to suggest restaurants that are close by and kid-friendly, but Mom wanted something "nicer." So we headed downtown to the little Bistro I mentioned earlier... good food, a more upscale atmosphere, but very tolerant of ranting toddlers. However, upon arrival, we found they were closed. It is Monday night after all... and they are always closed on Monday night. But the pregnant lady can barely remember she is supposed to go to work in the morning, none the less when the restaurants in town are open.

However, as we looked up and down the street for the alternatives, we noticed that the new restaurant was open! I didn't realize they had completed construction and were open for business, so we decided to give it a try.

Well YAY for us! This place was fabulous. The prices were reasonable based on the menu descriptions and they had plenty of specials. The kitchen is exposed to the downstairs dining area, so you know they have nothing to hide. They seated us upstairs and provided a high chair. And without going into a huge restaurant review... YUM!

My sister lives in San Francisco, so she's been living on some of the best food in the country for several years now. It's always intimidating to take someone like that out to a local restaurant... especially one you've never tried. Fortunately, she is very tolerant of all kinds of stuff, so I knew that disaster would be hard to come by. Still, I didn't even dream that I was about to have one of the best meals of my life. Food was expertly prepared and the cuts of meat we had were really phenomenal. I just can't say enough. If you live in the area, go eat at this place. If you don't live here, we'll go the next time you visit. I think I'm taking Chris there for his birthday on Saturday. I'm just so excited to have another fabulous, adult-but-okay-with-kids place so close by. I just see my property value go up and up! YAY!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Indoor Flood Zone

Chris' mother generously supplied us with a water filter system. It sits on the countertop and uses some advanced process to remove all the icky stuff from your water, a la Brita, only much better. It has a little spicket at the bottom of it and it holds several gallons of water at a time. So you dump water in the top, and a few minutes later... Voila! Drinking water so clean you can taste it.

So I bet you know where this is going. It's not really that bad, but it IS funny enough to share.

Chris is not a typical guy. When I say that, what I mean is that he actually reads the directions if not BEFORE assembling something... at least during the process. I love this about him, because when he has directions for something, he usually does it right... even if he's never attempted it before.

Needless to say, he has never attempted to put a Nikken water filter system together. So this morning after we had our waffles, he pulled it out of the box in all its little pieces and began to follow the directions. And he did a fine job... really. In fact, this is the first project he's done where there was absolutely no cursing or swearing through the entire ordeal. And despite the fact that I was hesitant to have yet one more thing sitting on the counter all the time, I must say it looks quite nice.

With the thing assembled, we headed upstairs as a family to begin our Sunday chores. They revolve around laundry, but include such subcategories as stripping and remaking beds, changing out towels, etc. Soon after we started the laundry running, it was time for Athena's nap, so Chris tucked her in and he and I got on our respective computers to pass some time and relax.

About an hour into her nap, I realized I was hungry. (An aside here: when you are pregnant, there are only two states of being... hungry and stuffed. There is no midpoint. One minute, you are content and feel completed sated, the next you feel you could eat your way through the State Fair. But I digress...) So I headed back down to the kitchen to forage for some lunch. And there I came face-to-face with about a quarter inch of water covering most of the counter and dripping onto the floor in front of the sink. By some weird luck, the only spot on the counter not affected by the mini-flood was where I had my handmade cookbook with all my favorite recipes in it. Someone was smiling down on me today, for sure.

Of course, the cause of the flood was immediately obvious: the water filter system. Apparently Chris stopped reading the directions right at the end, so he didn't realize that having the little lever in the "up" position meant that the spicket was open. Fortunately, it wasn't all the way open... just enough to let the water sort of drizzle out. And two beach towels cleaned up the minor deluge in seconds. So we're not talking post-Hurricane clean up efforts. We didn't have to call in FEMA or anything. Still, it was a sight. Spicket is closed now.

One day, perhaps we will get the hang of home ownership... The next project is to fix the huge holes in our wall where we tried to put a dog gate up and ended up merely tearing out chunks of dry wall.

Friday, October 21, 2005

And the Game Goes On...

Chris just posted a list to the comments field of my previous post, but I thought I'd bring it front and center:

Malcolm (Malcolm or Mal)
Alexander (Not sure)
Andrew (Drew)

We've been chatting a bit... and here are some thoughts on these that we've already discussed:

I have an issue with a first name that ends in "N" since our last name also ends in "N." This bumps Gavin (one of my personal faves), Ian (another name I love), and Donovan to the bottom of the list. The pisser is... all of these go GREAT with my maiden name. If only Chris had changed HIS name instead.

Malcolm - In the years following naming my dog Murphy, everyone who learned it commented "Oh, like Murphy Brown?" dammit. No TV names.

Alexander - I love this name and have lobbied for it since Baby One was of an unknown sex. However, even though it is a family name (Chris' side), he already has a cousin with the name, who may very well go on to be a professional football player. So this violates our "no names of specific family members" policy. However, that is not enough to eliminate it. And wouldn't a kid named "Lex" be the coolest kid on the block? It should also be noted that it's a very popular name at the moment, although the tendency is to spell it weird since people think that's the best way to justify the nickname "Zander" or "Xander."

Philip - Let's just say I know a Philip, and ... well... no.

Andrew - GREAT name. And millions of others think so too. I can't mark it off the list yet, though. I do like it.

Marcus - Great classic name. And we'd have a Roman to go with our Greek. However, it's not my favorite.

This leaves Bryce, Nash, and Drake. I like them all, but I have to say that Drake is really speaking to me. It means "dragon" and it reminds me of that great character from that series of books... you know... the one with the wizard... oh, what's it called? Yes, currently Drake is my favorite. How about you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Banana Fanna Fo Fanna

We are in the midst of the name game at our house. We have three baby name books (two from the library, one from our personal collection) and we have begun the hunt. I've vetoed a name or two immediately (Hannibal?! Come on!) and so has he (Geoffrey and Sting... although I really was just kidding about the last one). So far the front runners are Ian, Liam, Andrew, and Donovan. I also still like Alexander, but Chris isn't sold.

So why don't you tell us what YOU think? Any suggestions out there? Remember, the middle name is set... it's Findley. Fire away. I can't wait to hear your suggestions...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

No More Drama

Folks, pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit a spell. This entry may very well win a world record for length. I have much to tell about the events of the day. So much, in fact, that I'm not convinced today has only been one day.

When we last met, I told you about my ultrasound, the sex of my child (with illustrations) and the little calcifications on his heart. Because these calcifications are a "soft marker" for Down Syndrome, they wanted to schedule me for a Level II ultrasound (or in layman's terms, an ultra-ultrasound). Fine by me. More chances to peek at the little fellow in my belly.

So I waited all morning on Wednesday for someone to call me from the doctor's office with info on when my appt. would be. I was guessing for sometime next week. Just when I started thinking that I might need to call THEM, I got a phone call. It was my doctor's office... more specifically, it was one of the doctors. She was calling to tell me that they got the results of my AFP test and the score indicated an increased risk of Down Syndrome.

I won't bore you with the details of the test and how it is read, but you should know that this test is almost as likely to give a false positive as a false negative. It is merely a tool to determine if more testing is needed... it is by no means conclusive on its own. So, she wanted to schedule me for... you guessed it... a Level II ultrasound. *sigh* And even though I know this about AFP tests, I still found that getting results that are off of normal in any way is the single best way to terrify a pregnant woman.

Anyway, the doctor passed my file on to an appointment specialist (apparently she had it all morning which is why no one had called me yet to make the appointment) and they called me back within minutes. "Go to this office (address) at 2pm tomorrow. "

Egads! Tomorrow? Thursday afternoon? Why the rush? And dammit... I'm off Thursday morning and all day Friday! Why did they have to pick the afternoon?! So I called the office where I was to go to see if I could reschedule. No go. The next opening they had was next Wednesday, and my doctor really wanted me seen this week. Okay, now I'm scared.

So one of the ladies at work (without me actually asking her) offered to switch schedules with me so that I could work the day shift, thereby not having to come back to work after my ultrasound. Have I mentioned how great the people I work with are?!

Okay... so now we get to today. I went to work and spent all my time working desks because we were short-staffed. Ever since Friday (the Day of Bleeding), that level of work activity has been completely wearing me out. All the standing, sitting, walking, bending, lifting, stretching... it was killing me... causing great discomfort and generally draining my energy. Not today, however. Today, I felt like I wasn't even pregnant. No pain... no heaviness in the belly, and I was even breathing better. I was so excited to be feeling good that I almost forgot about my appointment. But I didn't.

I met Chris for lunch and we headed to the office together. Over lunch, we discussed some of the things that could happen today, and I relayed a conversation I had just had with my friend Staci. Staci has been my inspiration through all these difficulties with the pregnancy even though she lives almost as far away from me as possible while still residing in the continental U.S. She is my inspiration because when she was pregnant with her daughter, she failed every pregnancy test you could possibly take. She was driving three hours to Seattle once a month at least for ultrasounds while they monitored her baby for every defect known to man. And today, she has a perfectly healthy, happy, 16-month-old girl. Take that, you "soft markers!"

Anyway, Staci was very reassuring and gave me some pre-Genetic Counseling coaching, which I shared with Chris. And indeed, I was very prepared for the coaching session as a very pregnant counselor talked us through the risks. Basically, with the AFP results alone, she felt my risk factor was .4%. That's a 4 in 1000 chance I will have a baby with Down Syndrome. The calcifications, if the doctor today confirmed they were there, might bump me to 1.4%. So 14 in 1000. And I'm thinking, "Why the hell am I even here?! I wouldn't bet on those odds anywhere!" So the question of having them stick a needle in my belly to withdrawn amniotic fluid just to see if the baby really had any problems just floated right off the radar. Especially when she said that the risk of a complication with amnio is 1 in 200. I'm not seeing why I need to take a 1 in 200 chance of harming me or my unborn child just to confirm a 14 in 1000 chance. My math skills aren't good, but I'm thinking that's just silly.

Anyway, she left Chris and me alone to talk about it, and we both agreed that the only reason an amnio would even be a topic for further discussion is if the ultrasound showed some problems that we hadn't seen before. And considering how good the tech is at my doctor's office (well, in the Raleigh office... not the Cary one with the dino-sound machine), we really didn't expect to see problems.

And we didn't. What we saw, however, was extraordinary. We actually saw our son sucking his thumb. Better than that, we even got to watch as he moved his hand around in an effort to get his thumb to his mouth first, and then saw him succeed and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Our son is brilliant... even in the womb. The tech got a great picture of it, but unfortunately it doesn't scan well. Otherwise, I would have shared it.

Basically, they measured and evaluated every inch of him, which took a long time considering he's only a few inches long at this point. There was a calcification there (they called it an echo-something), but we once again saw all ten fingers and all ten toes. We saw a normal brain and a normal nose. We saw a heart that was beating well and plenty fast. And of course, we saw that little sign that confirmed once again that we are having a boy. The doctor released me saying that he doesn't feel my risk is any greater than the .4% we started with. We agreed with him, based on our extensive medical knowledge. And we are overjoyed.

So as I am driving home (Chris went to pick up Athena), I think about how glad I am that the drama is past. I'm feeling good, I have a healthy fetus sucking his thumb inside me, and life is good. I couldn't wait to get home and blog about it.

But when I got home, I went straight to the kitchen, where we keep my 13-year-old dog penned up during the day. There were two places where she had vomited, and she had also peed in a another part of the room. This was alarming enough, but then I saw her.

I don't know if I can describe this... basically... she had her head tilted all the way to the right. Her eyes were darting from left to right. And when I opened the gate to let her out, she could barely stand... and then she went the wrong way and ran into a wall. Clearly, this was not good. When I left her this morning, she was perfectly healthy. Now she didn't even seem to know where she was.

I called the vet (fortunately it was only 4pm, so they were open) and they told me to bring her right in. I carried her to the car completely convinced I would be putting my dog to sleep tonight. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the vet, and Murphy's condition was unchanged. She threw up again in the car and was clearly very nauseated.

They saw her immediately, and to make a long story short (?!) they felt sure it was a brain lesion... either a tumor or an infection. The vet started throwing cost estimates at me and explaining the sort of care Murphy would require for the next several weeks. This included a $1200 MRI to discover what was growing inside her skull.

So I'm trying to figure out what I can sell to come up with $1200. Is a kidney worth that much?! They took Murphy away to have blood drawn, which is a requirement for the MRI. I went out to my car to clean up the vomit. I returned to the exam room only about one minute before Murphy. And you will not believe this...

The technician returned with a huge smile on her face. I looked at Murphy and her eyes were no longer flashing back and forth. Her tail was wagging. The tech said that as soon as she drew the blood, the head tilted back up and the eyes stopped flicking. Sure enough, she put Murphy down on the ground and Murph came right up to me with tail wagging and no trouble walking. She followed me as I walked around the room and basically was right back to her normal self. The vet was completely flabbergasted. All she could say was, "I'm calling Neurology [at NCSU vet school] at 8am tomorrow. I have no idea what just happened."

This reminded me of an incident about two months ago when Murphy seemed to have lost the use of the whole right side of her body. I called the vet then, but within the two hours between the time I called and the time the appointment was for, the problem went away. I guessed that maybe her foot had fallen asleep or something, but now we think these two incidents are related. She will call me tomorrow after she talks to NCSU.

Mom thinks it was a stroke. I tend to agree with her. Of course, we have as much medical training as your average 5-year-old, but I still think that must be it. We'll see what they say tomorrow.

So this day has been full of ups and downs. Yes, I'm still scared that we are close to the end for Murphy. And no, I don't feel there is even a .4% chance my son will have Down Syndrome. He seemed perfectly healthy and happy. So not everything is resolved, but at least the coaster seems to have pulled into the station. May tomorrow be uneventful and boring. Amen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Think I See a Turtle There...

Well, folks. It's official. And 100% guaranteed accurate. In fact, you can see for yourself. We are having a boy. This image was taken from the bottom... literally. Think of it as having our little six ounce baby sitting on a glass coffee table and you are lying down underneath it, looking up. So you are seeing two legs, and between them... well, you know.

We had the ultrasound today to see what caused my bleeding, but they went ahead and did the full-on ultrasound that they would have done next week at my scheduled appointment. So not only do I know it's a boy (and won't he be thrilled at age 12 to know that all of you saw his genitals posted on the Internet way back in 2005?), but I have some other information, possibly scary, but probably not, as well.

First, let's talk about the bleeding. You may recall that when I went to the doctor on Friday, she performed an ultrasound machine that I believe had been used on living dinosaurs... it was that old. According to that reading, the doctor announced, "Well, the placenta seems to be where it should be." What she meant by that is that it was not over the cervix. This condition is referred to as Placenta Previa when it occurs later in pregnancy (often the bleeding occurs after week 26). If the placenta is still over the cervix at time of delivery, then a c-section is the only option.

Well, guess what! The ultrasound today showed, undoubtedly, that the placenta is draped quite clearly over my cervix. This is the cause of the blood. Now, the good news is that this is fairly common in second and third (etc.) pregnancies and often, the placenta migrates up the uterine wall as the pregnancy progresses (euw!! Gross!!). So, I am still somewhat restricted in my activity. But the doctor gave me the okay to lift up to 25 pounds or so and to do light housework (yippee). I can still work, but I should just "take it easy." Fortunately, I am looking at a rash of meetings over the next few weeks, so that keeps my activity level at work low.

The important thing is that I can still go on my cruise, assuming there is no bleeding within the next couple of weeks. So this is a secondary motivation (not that I really needed one) to really stick to the restrictions.

Now, the real purpose of this ultrasound would have been to look for possible problems with the fetus; most specifically, Down Syndrome. There are about four things they look for in the ultrasound that might indicate Down Syndrome. The presence of one of these is not much cause for concern, but the presence of all four is certainly alarm worthy. One is the presence of the fifth digit (pinky finger). One is the complete formation of the feet. So literally, they are looking for ten fingers and ten toes. Then there is something about the kidneys, which I didn't quite get. Finally, there are some calcifications in the heart that they look for. Turns out, baby boy Caran has those calcifications. But he has ten toes and ten fingers and his urinary tract looks okee dokey.

Again, one sign is not really cause for alarm, but they do have to follow up on it. Therefore, I will be getting a call tomorrow to schedule a level II ultrasound. This is basically an even better machine with even more skilled technicians. Hopefully, that will be scheduled next week. They will also get the results of my AFP test soon, and that will also provide some indicators.

So three times in two weeks I get a little peek inside me to see the newest family member. And now we know that he is a HE! So Chris is completely pleased with himself (he predicted a boy from about two minutes after the little plus sign appeared on my pregnancy test). If there is a bad side to it, it's me having to admit over and over again to friends and family that Chris was right. Again. *sigh*

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Scariest Day

Isn't it funny how you think you know exactly how your day will go, and then it takes some really unexpected turn and you have no idea where you are? Today was such a day.

I thought that tonight's blog entry was to be about the Hurricanes' season opener. Hockey is back and we are excited and we played Pittsburgh. They are a team that has Crosby, rookie to end all rookies. Just so I at least accomplish one thing I set out to do today... I'll tell you it was a great game and we won in a shoot-out. Very exciting.

Now, on to how my day was/is scary. I felt pretty crappy all day... just not enjoying being pregnant at all... bloated, crampy, icky. At about ten minutes of three, I knew I had to get back on the Circulation Desk for two hours, so I did what any smart pregnant woman would do. I went to pee. Here is where it gets scary.

Without giving you all sorts of details you don't want, I'll just say that I discovered I was bleeding. Quite a lot. So I did what any smart pregnant woman would do. I panicked and freaked out.

The true panic only lasted a moment before reason took hold, and I ran to a phone to call the doctor. I told my coworkers I would probably be leaving and they were quick to understand and cover the desk for me. I LOVE my coworkers. You couldn't ask for better people, really.

The nurse said I would certainly need to come in, but she said she wanted to confer with the doctor and then call me right back. I believe they needed to decide whether I should come into the office or go to the hospital. I called Chris to tell him what was happening and then read up on what bleeding during pregnancy meant on the internet to pass the time. The nurse called back fairly quickly and told me to come into the office. This, in itself, was reassuring.

Okay, long story short... baby looks good (I could only see the top of his/her head in the ultrasound, but saw a little reflection of a heartbeat). The placenta is where it should be (i.e. not over the cervix), but the equipment they have in the doctor's office dates back to Noah, so the pictures weren't crystal clear. There is possibly a blood clot on the placenta, which would explain the bleeding. However, it was hard to tell from the fuzzy picture. Most of the time, these clots go away on their own. Rarely, they cause the placenta to separate from the uterus, instantly terminating the pregnancy.

So, now I have an appointment for a better ultrasound on Tuesday afternoon. If all is well, it will take the place of the appointment I already had scheduled for two weeks from now for the routine ultrasound to check for problems/etc. I'll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, the doctor did not put me on bedrest... but one step up from it. I was allowed to go to the hockey game (yay), but I was instructed to get to my seat slowly (i.e. don't walk fast and do anything considered aerobic exercise), sit there, do not cheer, do not stand and sit repeatedly, and when the game is over, climb back up the stairs slowly and leave. Then, the rest of the weekend, I am to "take it easy." No lifting, exercise, strenuous activity, etc. In fact, she encouraged me to do nothing but lie around the house. I am also allowed to go to work on Monday, but no lifting, bending, etc. Not sure what I will do all day in the library with these restrictions, but I suppose it will give me a chance to clean out my email box.

So that's the news. I'm still nervous, but hopeful. Thought you all would want to know. :-)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Superdad and His Trusty Sidekick, The Noodler

In our house, we make up superhero names for each other. I'm sure you do in your house too. And if you don't, humor me. We're card-carrying Geeks here.

I do not yet have a nickname. Although I suppose "The Librarian" is as close as I will ever get to one. Chris actually thinks his should be Ultra-Super-Megadad, but as great as a dad as he is, and as fitting as that may be, that's going a bit too far, don't you think? Indubitably. So Superdad it is.

Athena has already come into a name of her own... The Noodler. She has earned this nickname from her eating habits, of course. This is a child that will eat just about anything... raw onions, whole lemons - rind and all, and who can forget the tartar sauce? But... put a noodle of any sort in front of her... egg noodles, spaghetti, macaroni, tortellini... you name it, and she will devour them. She eats other stuff. She inhales noodles.

Now, you may think that being The Noodler is only a mealtime job, but no. It requires vigorous training. So Superdad has been teaching her to wrestle the enemy to the ground at any time. We suspect this may be why she tosses an occasional noodle to the floor with such force that if that noodle were a nail, we would need pliers to get it back out of the floor.

But what I really wish to describe for you is her training regimen. This strenuous program can really happen at any spontaneous time of the day, but many times, it happens after bath time and before bed time. It is at this time that The Noodler is appropriately dressed for wrestling in a stylish footed pajama and she is ready to work of the last bit of energy she has before collapsing into her crib. Tonight, I had the pleasure of watching as she moved through the difficult and taxing exercises. And when I say difficult and taxing... I am really referring to their effect on her trainer, Superdad.

First, Superdad worked on The Noodler's flying skills. Unfortunately for Superdad, The Noodler very much enjoyed being held over Daddy as if she were flying... so much so that she began to drool quite unexpectedly. This is not the unfortunate part. What was unfortunate was that she was positioned just over Superdad's nose, and... well... the drool has to go somewhere, yes?!

So as Superdad tried to recover from the sudden reverse nasal drip, he put The Noodler on the floor beside him. He continued to lie on his back, however, and I got to see The Noodler's patented move... the Rotini Butt Smoosh. She backed her bottom right onto Superdad's face, catching him completely unaware. She sat at the perfect angle to break Superdad's nose... but of course they were just sparring... so she didn't go for the kill. However, she did wish to assert that she had won the contest, so she proceeded to bounce on Superdad's face, as if he were her excercise ball.

And what did The Librarian do? Well, I have to ask, dear readers, what would YOU do? Hmmm? Exactly. I laughed my little librarian butt off. Who knew exercise could be so much fun?