Monthly Archives: August 2008

16 Week Update

posted by Mel

16 week OB appointment was today. Everything is still looking good. I’ve gained 5 lbs, which I’m really happy about. It sort of happened overnight. Up until recently I’ve been worried that I wasn’t putting on enough, while simultaneously freaking out about putting on anything at all because I worked so hard a few years ago to take it off. 5 lbs seems really healthy, though. I think I’ll be in good shape if I put on another 10-15 for the remainder of this pregnancy.

Anatomical scan set for September 10th. Yay!! In two weeks, this creature in my belly gets a name and we find out whether s/he has all the essential organs.

Also, I’m pretty sure I’m feeling movement. The feeling has kind of morphed over the last week, but it is becoming a little more consistent. I don’t really get the bubbles analogy. Feels more like throbbing or pulsing to me– like there’s an alien in there. It is happening across the band of belly where we always hear the heartbeat. It happens more in the evenings and at night, and it’s very distracting. Whenever it happens I have to stop what I’m doing and focus on it. I’m hoping that once I’m used to it I’ll be able to tune it out when necessary. Otherwise it’s going to make business calls challenging.



Filed under Preggo

Snack Attack

posted by Mel

It is 5:45 AM Sunday morning, and I have been up since 2. Why? Vanessa woke up at 2 and had to pee, so of course I had to follow suit. Then I laid in bed for an hour not sleeping b/c I was starving. I finally got up and had a fig newton hoping that would satisfy me and I could go back to bed. No. I went back to bed for 10 minutes before the heartburn set in. Hearburn. From a fig newton. And still with the hunger. I gave up and have been looking for baby bargains on Craig’s List and researching cloth diapers for the past two hours. I have also consumed a slice of swiss cheese and a cup of light lemon chiffon yogurt. I am still hungry. At 5:45 in the morning. Just trying to hold out until Vanessa gets up around 7:30 and I can somehow justify the trans fat-coated chocolate donettes we bought on a whim at Meijer yesterday afternoon.


Filed under The cat will always love me

Ready But So. Not. Ready.

posted by Mel

Things are great- really. My belly is getting bigger. We listen to the baby almost every day, and the heartbeat is still there and strong. Nausea has subsided a bit, and I am enjoying pregnancy– well, kind of. Actually, I mostly want it over because we have been waiting on this baby for what seems like forever. The other day I commented to Vanessa that the first trimester had been god-awful long, and she said, “Well, yeah– it lasted two and and a half years.”

She’s right. It feels like my body has belonged to this baby for more than 2 years already. It’s not like I’m ready to eject it or anything. I would just like to finally meet it.

On the other hand, I am freaking out because I know next to nothing about what happens next. I have spent so much time focused on how to get here I could teach classes on infertility– what the possible roots are, what the different meds do, how to administer the drugs, how to badger sperm banks and nurses into giving you the information you need, how to talk to your insurance company about it. But what do I know about how to pick out a bassinet, choose a breast pump, decide on a diapering system, or properly install a carseat? Bupkiss. We are making zero progress on the baby prep front. Every time I try to research anything, I flip the f out. Don’t even get me started on breastfeeding or child birthing methods. A panic attack for another day. For now we walk into a baby store, and I have to leave within 10 minutes. It is too. much. stuff. Too many moving parts. Too many accessories. Too much plastic. Which of this shit do we need, and where the hell are we going to put it all in our tiny (by Midwestern standards) bungalo?

When we first began our baby-begetting discussions, way before we started trying for one, Vanessa had me convinced that babies don’t take up much room at all– that, if we wanted to, we could even manage one in that first 700 sq ft one-bedroom apartment we shared. We’d just slide it into a dresser drawer or something. I know there has to be a middle-ground between the baby drawer and the BABY ACCESSORIZE YOUR WHOLE HOUSE approach BRU would like us to take. I wish that middle-ground was easier to find. It sure isn’t presenting itself at retailers or in the pg magazines I’m picking up at the OB’s office.

I know some of our readers are making this work already in spaces much smaller than our approximately 10 ft by 12 ft bedroom set aside for the nursery. Big city apartment dwellers, I’m looking at you. I’m tired of looking at checklists with 150 things on them. What are the top 10 things we need to buy to be ready for this baby?


Filed under Preggo

Quad marker– the decision

We’re going with no on the quad marker. Vanessa was pretty against it, but she would have deferred to me. I was conflicted. There are so many unknowns in infertility, and I’ve become a real knowledge junkie, but knowledge isn’t ALWAYS power– just most of the time. I absolutely don’t want an amnio, but I know that if we get a poor result on the quad marker I’ll do the amnio. And I’ll be worried and resentful and feel, well, powerless. I’ve had plenty of that already.

I think I’ve convinced myself that we could love and parent a child with Down’s Syndrome. This has not been easy. Down’s would totally turn my vision of our future upsidedown. It would probably affect both of our careers, and it would completely change our retirement. But I worked with Down’s adults as a teenager, and they were all amazing individuals. I see happy Down’s children at the supermarket, in restaurants, at the mall. Most of the time, their parents look happy too. I think we could deal. I don’t know how much knowing ahead of time could prepare us for parenting a Down’s baby. It doesn’t seem like their care would be too vastly different from caring for an unaffected newborn.

As for the other trisomies– the ones where the baby is almost always stillborn or dies soon after  birth: At this point in the pregnancy, the fetus is far enough along that I think a termination could be more traumatic for me than birthing a dead child. Vanessa reminds me we could have a perfectly healthy baby, and he could get away from us at the grocery store, stumble out into traffic, and get hit by a truck. She could be well until age 5 and then get a rare childhood cancer. It’s impossible to know everything you’re signing up for when you decide to become a parent. You just hold your breath and hope.

I finally buckled and rented a doppler. It got here on Thursday afternoon, and we’ve heard the heartbeat twice. Vanessa thinks it sounds like a train. I think it sounds like when we accidentally leave Max the cat outside, and he beats on the storm door until we let him back in. It’s thunderously loud and consistent. Hearing the heartbeat makes me eager to call this baby by his or her real name, which is something I’d actually been dreading. I’ve gotten very attached to the names we’ve chosen, and I’ve been afraid of giving one of them to somebody who might not be sticking around to be born. In 4-6 more weeks, we’ll be able to use that name, and I’m actually looking forward to it now.


Filed under Preggo

Quad Marker

posted by Mel

For those who have had to make this decision– Did you get the screening? Why or why not? We have to make this decision before our next OB appointment (two weeks). Vanessa has a strong opinion one way. I am struggling with it. I won’t explain how right now b/c I don’t want to influence anyone’s answer to the question. Judgement-free zone. Anonymous comments (unless rude) are welcome.


Filed under Preggo


posted by Mel


by Tony Hoagland

<!– (from What Narcissism Means to Me) –>

This year Marie drives back and forth
from the hospital room of her dying friend
to the office of the adoption agency.

I bet sometimes she doesn’t know
What threshold she is waiting at—

the hand of her sick friend, hot with fever;
the theoretical baby just a lot of paperwork so far.

But next year she might be standing by a grave,
wearing black with a splash of
banana vomit on it,

the little girl just starting to say Sesame Street
and Cappuccino latte grand Mommy.
The future ours for a while to hold, with its heaviness—

and hope moving from one location to another
like the holy ghost that it is.


Filed under Cancer Sucks