Monday, February 23, 2009

A Close Up Look At Baby Luns

This morning, Michael and I got a close up look at our little baby when we had our 12 week ultrasound -- our last of the first trimester, which ends next week. Although we were told we'd have to wait until week 18 or 20, we discovered that the office had failed to schedule me for a routine prenatal test that would give us the opportunity to get a glimpse sooner. Naturally, we scheduled it right away. It was a wonderful experience. In spite of all the books I've read I wasn't quite expecting to see our baby looking as "baby-like" as he or she did. All along I have pictured our baby much in the way he or she appeared in our last ultrasound... How Baby Luns has grown!

The baby seemed very peaceful and didn't move at all so it made it much easier for us to get a good look. We had the chance to get a close-up of his or her little face, nose, legs, arms and feet. Its hand was up at its face as though it was sucking its thumb. (I really hate to use the word "it" but when I wrote "his or her" it made the sentence nearly unreadable.) I can't wait to find out what we should call our baby... but for now seeing his or her face was the perfect medicine for all that's been ailing me. I recently decided to stop taking all my medicines and I am just trying to pray through the morning sickness, which was not helped by nearly 24 hours of being in the car this past weekend travelling between Virginia and Tennesee. I'm hopeful that I'll be like "most women" who see an end to the nausea at the end of the first trimester. Right now, I feel invincible! I just keep picturing that precious face. It makes it all much more bearable. Couldn't wait to share these pictures with all of you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

2nd OB Appointment

Well, today, Michael and I went to our 2nd OB appointment and we had the good fortune of having Vanessa with us on account of the President’s Day holiday. Sadly, we did not get another glimpse of our little munchkin but we did get to hear our baby’s heartbeat again and Vanessa got a chance to listen in on her baby brother or sister for the first time. Apart from that, the appointment was very uneventful… save a conversation I had with the OB about the most prudent delivery options we should be considering.

Dr. B became the 2nd OB who has told me it will be medically necessary to have a Cesarean to deliver our baby this coming August or September. Given the injuries to my spine, my past medical history, and the unlikelihood that the doctors will be able to get a needle into my spine that would allow me to stay awake, the doctor recommended that I consider going under general anesthesia (translation = totally unconscious). He explained that they would be able to get the baby out in 1-2 minutes and that the anesthesia wouldn’t have an affect on the baby unless the surgery took 8 minutes, which it shouldn’t given that I’ve never had abdominal surgery before. I really was not prepared to have this conversation, which I assumed would be much further off. However, I guess now is as good a time as any to start praying for guidance from God on this.

I should explain that I am not one of those women who are terribly distraught by the proposition of having to give birth by Cesarean. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I always suspected it would be necessary given everything I’ve been through with my spine (surgeries, accidents, etc.). That said, I also didn’t grow up dreaming about having major surgery to deliver my firstborn -- or that I would be prohibited from holding him or her right away. If we do end up taking the doctor’s advice, it may be much longer before I could hold my baby. It’s also hard to imagine going to sleep and not knowing what events will follow (not that we ever really know what the future has in store anyway but it certainly makes me feel less in control and reminds me that I’m not and God is). This all obviously makes me a little sad (not that God is in control, but the negative aspects that surround this type of birth plan). There is just so much to consider in terms of risks and benefits. Right now, my doctors have made a good case that this would be safest for our baby, which is my top priority right now. Michael and I will certainly be praying very hard about this and trusting God with all we’ve got. In the end, God is in control and the sooner we accept that, the better able we will be to deal with whatever comes our way.

As for the morning sickness, the doctor prescribed another medication that I am hoping will help as I have still been feeling as green as Kermit if not greener than last week. I was also given a referral to a pulmonary specialist to try to get my asthma under control. Breathing has been as much of an issue these days as getting and keeping my food down.

So far pregnancy has been a very trying experience but I know God will grow me and Michael through it... as well as our baby (haha). For all the downsides, I could not be happier. Speaking of growing… I got fitted for my bridesmaid’s gown for my good friend Emily’s wedding this June. Apparently, I will be doing a lot of growing between now and then! How wonderful and terrifying!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Rough Week

Some pregnant women positively glow! Believe me, I know. Just recently, four of my closest friends gave birth and I have five more close friends who are currently expecting the arrivals of their little bundles of joy. Other pregnant gals, who are not so lucky, don’t have that tell-tale rosy complexion to boast of. Some of us (like me) are positively green. As Kermit the Frog once eloquently put it “It’s not easy being green.” (Pregnancy also makes a woman very punchy, it appears. I am living proof. Not that I wasn’t a corn-dog to begin with…)

Week 9 (the completion of my 8th week – for those of you who are confused by the strange “pregnancy math” which counts pregnancy 2 weeks before conception – and my pregnancy counter which suggest that I’m as bad at math as you already suspect I am) was the roughest yet. Aside from coming down with the worst flu imaginable, I have been adverse to just about anything that resembles food and unable to digest what little food I could tolerate swallowing. It has been a trying time indeed! But I was thinking to myself today, as I trekked back from physical therapy (my first time leaving the house on my own in a week since I came down with the flu), that I can think of no better reason to be feeling this bad. It’s definitely worth it!

As if feeling bad was not enough, I have never looked so bad in my life. (This increases my belief that our baby is going to be a girl as I’ve heard the old wives tale many times that girls steal their mother’s beauty!). It's not that I've gained a lot of weight (the idea of which, amazingly doesn't scare me in the least, in spite of the fact that this is the thinnest I've ever been. Seeing my weight go up would make me feel better as at least then I'd know that the baby is getting all that it needs from the very little I've been able to digest.) It's not even that I lack a rosy glow or that I look more akin to an alligator than an apple. After going through 2 ½ large boxes of tissues in 2 ½ days, I can tell you that as cute as having a little baby bump may be, it is not cute to have half a nose. I am surprised I have one left at all! What remains is red and lined with deep scratches and dry peeling off skin. Not a pretty sight…

Constant nausea and the feeling that no amount of rest can ever fully satisfy my need to sleep has not given me great incentive to dress up or make myself presentable as I am usually inclined to do. On Friday night, Michael and I took Vanessa to get a bite to eat. I was dressed… comfortably (lol). I heard the waiter ask Michael how many kid’s menus he needed. I wasn’t in the best mood that night so I just shook my head, a little annoyed. (It’s not like this hasn’t happened before and well… I wasn’t wearing makeup or heels and I AM pretty short). Well, yesterday, we found ourselves far from home at lunch-time again and decided to go to Chili’s to get a quick bite. As I stood by Michael and Vanessa’s side I heard the waitress ask “kid’s menu?” Michael said yes. I assumed it was for Vanessa. You can imagine my reaction when I sat down to lunch next to Vanessa to find that we both had matching kid’s menus and crayons of assorted colors. My mood was a lot better so I laughed it off and took advantage of the opportunity to order a 5 dollar meal that I knew I was just going to waste anyway, just as I’ve wasted just about every other meal that’s been put in front of me these last few weeks. A little red hooded sweatshirt went a long way. It was a little inconvenient to find that I had not been entrusted with a butter knife but it certainly added some humor to my day. At least I don’t have a complex about getting old… :)

Being pregnant has really made me laugh at my preconceptions about what this experience would be like. I had always joked with Michael that I was looking forward to pregnancy as being the first time in my life I could eat whatever I wanted (not that I am one of those girls who perpetually diet or anything). But it was our joke. I never could have imagined that I would dread having to eat or feel sickened at the thought of my favorite meals. I’m Italian, afterall. I love food! It is upsetting to feel so averse to just about everything. I’m told that after the 3rd month I should start feeling better and be able to keep down more of what I eat and what our baby needs. In the meantime, the prenatal vitamins fill in the gaps created by the impending nausea and I do my best to eat as healthy as I can (when I can).

We have now entered month 3. Our second prenatal visit is in a little more than 2 weeks. I wonder if we’ll get to see our little baby again… Our baby, in case you were wondering, is now the size of a kumquat! Just yesterday, he or she was just a little grape!

We’ll keep you posted!