Saturday, July 28, 2012

16 weeks

baby is the size of: an avocado
how far along are you: 16 weeks 2 days
what's happening with baby: baby's legs are now in proportion to the rest of her body, and her head is more erect.  her eyes are closer to the front of her head, and her ears are close to their final position.  the patterning of the scalp has begun, though hair isn't recognizable yet.  baby is growing toenails!  baby's heart is pumping about 25 quarts of blood per day (woah!)
due date: jan 10
maternity clothes: started wearing my maternity work pants, but also still wearing regular pants with a belly band.  i also got a pair of elastic-waist, under-the-belly shorts from old navy that i think i'll probably live in for the rest of the summer - they are insanely comfortable!
sleep: pretty good, now that this cold is starting to pass
best moment this week: getting the negative results on the toxoplasmosis screen.  best. news. ever.  also, i think i felt some movement last night! 
what are you looking forward to: another ultrasound and our 16-week appointment on tuesday!
food cravings: last night, i had a desperate craving for a cheeseburger.  guess what we're having for dinner today?
food/smell aversions: nothing
what do you miss: wine.  i really wanted a glass last night.
symptoms: i think i felt baby moving around last night, but i'm not sure.  otherwise, just the usual - some rlp, back pain, and, of course, this ever-expanding belly!
gender: still thinking girl.
belly button: in.
wedding rings: on

Friday, July 27, 2012

psu revisted

at first, i tried to be sympathetic.  my sister is a penn state alumna and i know how much penn state means to her.  when the story first broke last year, she was devastated.  for the sake of my sister and my friends, i tried to stay supportive of the students, all the while expressing my discontent, disbelief, and disgust at the way the administration handled everything - from their knowledge that sandusky was a pedophile to their firing of paterno.  each time i put down the administration, i acknowledged that penn state is a great university and that i support its students.

after the ncaa handed down their penalty, i continued to support the students and alumni.  i said that it's a shame for the current players who had visions of bowl games and nfl contracts dancing in their heads.  not that i don't think the penalties are fair - i absolutely do (and here's why).  but i sympathize with the plight of the current students and athletes.  

then i saw this.

and now i'm pissed off.  any sympathy i had for the students and players is gone.  all i keep hearing from my friends who are penn state alumni is "we are more than just football."  you want to prove that?  this is not the way to do it.  this is a disgrace.  this is distasteful.  penn state is better than this.  this proves everything that every naysayer has said about penn state.  this shows that this is not an academic institution but a football school.  this shows no thought whatsoever for the victims. how do you think the victims feel, knowing an entire football team, university, and alumni network are pissed off....because they came forward? 

quit showing me pictures of thon and telling me you care about the kids.  everyone knows you care about kids with cancer.  one of my sister's friends posted "caring about penn state and caring about the victims is not mutually exclusive."  no?  prove it.  show me you care about sandusky's victims, and all victims of childhood sexual abuse.  this year, make thon benefit victims of childhood abuse.

it is time to move on.  coach o'brien says it's time to stop looking at the past and look to the future.  the ncaa has handed down the sanctions and like them or not, you are going to have to deal with them.  penn state is not the only school who has been dealt sanctions, or did you forget about ohio state, who has scholarship reductions and is still banned from postseason.  the exact same penalties handed to penn state.  no, these weren't field violations (which is the argument i've seen many times as to why the sanctions are out of line), but they were moral violations that were perpetuated by the athletic department.  and that athletic department needs to be held accountable.

yes, it's a shame that the current students and players are having to pay for crimes committed 10+ years ago.  yes, the university as a whole will be affected by this.  but think about the children who lost their innocence at the hands of one man, and who weren't protected by those in a position to do so.  who have been affected by this for the past 20 years and will continue to have to live with this for the rest of their lives.

penn state, you are better than this.  you are a strong institution.  a true football legacy.  the biggest alumni network in the country.  it's time to band together.  your legacy is at risk because a few men didn't do the right thing.  be better than they were.  i am not a penn state fan, but i know you can do this. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

toxoplasmosis update

well, after 2 1/2 agonizing weeks of waiting, multiple phone calls, and lots of stress and worry, i finally got the results from the second set of toxoplasmosis blood work that was sent out to the lab in palo alto. 

yup, that's a bfn.  big fat negative.  probably one of the few times in pregnancy a woman wants to see a negative sign.  i am so incredibly relieved.

i called the office again today and when i spoke to terri (the rn who helped me fill out all the paperwork), she said she was on the other line with the lab and she'd call me back as soon as she had some information for me.  10 minutes later, she called back to say the lab faxed the results over and everything is negative - everything is fine!  she said she had decided to call because it had never taken this long to get the results back from them, and every day the office staff were asking each other if they'd seen it yet.  so finally she called.  i guess everything at the lab was backed up from the holiday, so everything was taking a little longer.  but the end result is that everything is negative and baby ike is healthy! 

in doing my research, it looks like initial igm results can be positive, indicating an acute infection.  but further testing will show that it is actually antibodies from an infection in the distant past before gestation.  all along i held out hope that this was the case - i had newer antibodies from padfoot's recent infection. 

this is such an enormous relief for me, matt, and our families.  i know my parents, sister, and matt's parents were really worried.  it was so wonderful to be able to call everyone today and tell them that we're ok.  i cried when i got off the phone with the doctor, so happy to know that our baby is ok.  this has been stressing me out so much, and i'm convinced that that's why i got this stupid cold. 

thank you guys so much for your positive thoughts, prayers, and kind words.  it has meant so much to me.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

aurora, co and the gun control debate

first off, let me just start by saying that the shooting in aurora, co that occurred thursday night was horrific.  i cannot imagine sitting in a movie theater and having some lunatic walk in and open fire.  i just...i can't.   

but this has obviously opened up that good old can of worms called gun control.  gun control advocates are pointing to it as an example that we need stricter gun laws.  gun advocates remain firm in their stance that people have the right to bear arms. 

here's how i see it.  i agree with the right to bear arms.  i think people should be allowed to own shot guns and rifles for hunting and handgun or two for personal protection.  but why in the world would a private citizen need an automatic assault rifle?  and 6,000 rounds of ammunition? 

according to reports, he bought 4 weapons - an assault rifle, 2 glock handguns, and a shotgun - within the past 60 days.  he ordered 6,000 rounds of ammuntion from the internet.  all of this was purchased and procured legally.  he applied for the guns and was approved because the only scar on his record was a traffic violation.  the assault rifle he'd purchased was, at one time, illegal, thanks to the assault weapons ban instituted in 1994, but unfortunately that ban expired in 2004 and congress didn't reenact it due to pressure from big-money gun advocates.  and i don't even want to think about how he managed to get all the explosives and incendiary devices that he had set up in his apartment. 

therein lies my problem with the current gun laws.  i get that he purchased them legally, but that shouldn't be legal.  the government will track how much sudafed you buy, but not how many bullets you buy?  it makes zero sense to me. 

the assault weapons ban needs to be reinstated - there is no need for a private citizen to ever own an assault rifle.  there should be waiting periods between weapons purchases - 30 days, at least.  there should be a way to track ammunition purchases.  i agree with the old saying - guns don't kill people, people kill people.  but the system our country has in place makes it far too easy for people to kill people.  someone this deranged and disturbed should not be able to buy 4 weapons in 2 months.  actions like that should catch someone's attention and cause a red flag to go up on this person. 

i think our gun control laws need to be seriously re-examined.  like i said, if the government can track the amount of sudafed you purchase, they ought to be able to track the amount of ammo you purchase.  same with guns - i can only buy one box of sudafed per month, but this guy can buy 4 guns in 60 days?  something just doesn't smell right here.  there has got to be a better way to allow our citizens to arm themselves, while at the same time protecting the rest of us from the ones who want to harm us.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

15 weeks

baby is the size of: an apple
how far along are you: 15 weeks 3 days
what's happening with baby: baby is moving amniotic fluid through the nose and upper respiratory tract.  baby's legs are growing longer than her arms, and she can move all those tiny joints and limbs.  baby's eyelids are still fused shut, but she can see light.  taste buds are forming. 
due date: jan 10
maternity clothes: busted out the maternity jeans this weekend.  i still fit in my old ones, but these are way more comfortable.  i suspect my maternity work pants are not far behind.
sleep: ok
best moment this week: had my first biweekly ultrasound on tuesday.  the tech said my cervix looks great so far, and is actually a little longer than normal, so even if it does start to shorten, it shouldn't be too much of a problem for me.  baby was really groovin during the ultrasound - she could hardly get her to stay still long enough to measure the heart rate!  i've got quite a little wiggler in there!
what are you looking forward to: still waiting to get the blood work back from the toxoplasmosis lab
food cravings: spicy and salty.
food/smell aversions: nothing
what do you miss: dippy eggs.  mom and i went out to breakfast this morning and i couldn't get my go-to breakfast.
symptoms: this week i experienced round ligament pain for the first time.  yeee-ouch!
gender: still thinking girl.
belly button: in.  i have a really deep belly button, so i really wonder if it will pop at all.
wedding rings: on

i seem to have developed a cold this week.  i feel like crap - congested, runny nose, sneezing, headache, and having a really hard time breathing.  after i only slept about 2 hours last night, i called the on-call service for my ob's office.  the doctor told me i could take tylenol, tylenol cold, dayquil, or nyquil.  she also suggested hot tea and hot showers.  i am drinking tea and water like it's my job.  hoping this passes quickly.

Friday, July 20, 2012

when pregnancy hurts

i always expected that there would aspects of pregnancy that would be uncomfortable.  you get swollen and your belly gets heavy and - oh yeah - there's that whole shoving a baby out your hoo-ha thing. 

what i didn't expect?  round ligament pain.  holy shit, this hurts.  it feels kind of like i'm being stabbed in my belly.  or my abdomen is being torn open.  or my muscles are tearing.  or maybe all of them all at once.  it hurts just sitting still, but when i move?  yowsa!  i've seen stars a couple of times.

apparently this lasts off and on throughout the second trimester, but tends to be the worst around weeks 14-15 (this is when the hormone, relaxin, is at its peak). 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


if you were paying attention to my "if you really knew me" post, you'd have noticed that one of the things said that if you really knew me, you'd know i was a michigan fan not only because i have family who live there, but also because i hated penn state so much that i just wanted to cheer for one of their rivals.  this is 100% accurate.

if you ever set foot in central pa, you know very quickly that you are in penn state territory.  growing up there, everyone was a penn state fan, if not a penn state alum.  we may as well have lived in state college.  penn state football was the religion, and joe paterno was the deity.  he was revered like a god.  in the eyes of most central pennsylvanians, joepa could do no wrong.

i realize now that i have never been one to like something just because it's popular.  in fact, i will often choose to take an opposite stance on something just so i can be different.  or just so i can argue.  i always thought that i chose to be a michigan fan because my favorite cousin, who i idolized, lived in michigan, loved u of m, and ended up going there for college.  as i've gotten older, though, and as i've secretly relished watching my penn state fan friends wallow in misery as michigan beat them year after year, i've started to realize that my loyalty to michigan had nothing to do with my cousin and everything to do with my chance to be a thorn in everyone's side.  i privately gloated as penn state lost games and as they played terrible football.  and i say privately because i don't like to be an obnoxious sports fan and rub it in people's faces.  nobody likes that person. 

none of this is to say that when the scandal broke about jerry sandusky i was in any way, shape, or form happy to see penn state fall from grace.  when the story first broke, i made clear my belief that joe paterno and others in administration did far less than they should have, but that i still supported the school and the students and alumni, many of whom i count as friends.  i got into arguments on facebook with friends who refused to acknowledge that their precious joepa had done any wrong.  when i made a statement that paterno didn't do enough and didn't do the right thing, one of my sister's friends, who had graduated from penn state with callie, asked if i had read the report that stated that he had done nothing illegal.  i responded that i haven't read the report, but i don't need to to know right from wrong.  but then the university fired him.  and didn't let him finish the season.  and it made me sad that he was being forced out ahead of schedule.  i mourned for my sister, who was devastated by the news.  it all seemed tragically wrong to me.

and then this past week's fbi report came out, confirming that coach paterno and the 3 others in administration had knowingly covered up the abuse for 14 years.  they had continued to let sandusky on campus, around children.  they had covered it up, all for the good of the program.  and i'm sad all over again.  sad for all the students and alumni who thought that there was still some way that they could hold paterno up to a higher standard.  and it all came crashing down.  he was just as guilty as everyone else.  he knew about the abuse and he didn't do anything with that knowledge.

there are a lot of people out there calling for a lot of things, from tearing down paterno's statue to suspending the football program.  i agree with taking down the statue.  his behavior - or lack thereof - shouldn't be memorialized.  he shouldn't be idolized.  if they want to keep it on campus, then move it to the fine arts building, so people can choose to visit it.  don't force people to walk by it and remember the many ways in which paterno disappointed them, not to mention the ways in which he let down those children.  some people argue that he did so many other great things for the university.  so what?  no matter what he did for the university, he still allowed sandusky to destroy the lives of multiple young boys.

i'm torn about suspending the football program.  on the one hand, why punish the current players for wrongs committed by their administration?  on the other hand, the penn state football program needs to learn that they have to held accountable.  that just because they bring in money for the university, doesn't mean they can be above the rules. 

it's all a big ol' mess, and having grown up in central pa makes it so much more intense.  i hope that eventually everyone can move forward.  in the meantime, i think this coming football season is going to be a tough one for everyone involved.  it'll be interesting to watch it all unfold.

Monday, July 16, 2012

if you really knew me

If you really knew me:

*you'd know that i had a crush on matt in high school, and used to write notes to my friends, planning out my future with him

*you'd know that i did synchronized swimming for 8 years

*you'd know that my biggest fears are bats and ferris wheels

*you'd know that i used to eat pancake batter as a snack after school

*you'd know that moving to pittsburgh on my own was the scariest but most exhilarating thing i've ever done

*you'd know that i grew up being a michigan fan sort of because i have family there, but mostly because i hated penn state so much that i just wanted to cheer for a rival

*you'd know that my fan loyalty has shifted a bit from michigan to pitt, but i'll always love big blue

*you'd know that cats will always be kitties to me

*you'd know that i have always cried over stupid things, like commercials

*you'd know that my favorite vacation ever was australia, and i'd move there in a second if it wasn't 24+ hours from my family

*you'd know i backpacked europe, until i got robbed and lost my passport

*you'd know i've dyed my hair almost every color except blonde and black

*you'd know that i have a sick memory for pop culture nonsense

*you'd know that in high school, i worked at claire's and got to pierce ears.  yes, claire's trusted a 17-year-old with a piercing gun

*you'd know that the best job i ever had was in grad school at a traveling day camp with the jcc

*you' know that i once dated a boy who sent me a card after i broke up with him, which would have been creepy enough on it's own if he hadn't quoted hannibal lecter in it

*you'd know that i'm freaking out while awaiting the results of my toxoplasmosis blood work, even though i'm desperately trying to hold it together

*you'd know that jagermeister is my shot of choice

Saturday, July 14, 2012

14 weeks

baby is the size of: a lemon
how far along are you: 14 weeks 2 days
what's happening with baby: baby can now squint, frown, and grimace!  kidneys are producing urine, which is being released into the amniotic fluid around her.  baby can now grasp, and can also suck her thumb!  by the end of the week, baby's arms will have grown to a length in proportion to the rest of her body.  liver starts making bile, and the spleen starts helping to produce red blood cells.  baby's hands and feet are more flexible and active.
due date: jan 10
maternity clothes: yes.  got a pair of jeans, some tank tops, and ordered a boatload of stuff from old navy from the stuff and save sale.
sleep: ok
best moment this week: when the ultrasound tech took a picture of baby waving at us 
what are you looking forward to: getting the blood work back from the toxoplasmosis lab
food cravings: spicy and salty.
food/smell aversions: nothing in particular this week.
what do you miss: booze.  i could have used a big glass of wine on monday.
symptoms: i think the bloating has finally died down and what's left is a real live baby bump.  it still looks just kinda pudgy, but we're getting there.  i am also having pretty bad upper back pain.  it started in my left shoulder blade and i thought i had just pinched a nerve sleeping or something.  but it's lasted for a week now and is beginning to spread across my entire upper back.  if i stand for more than 10-15 minutes (like cooking dinner and doing the dishes), it is excruciating.  i curbside-consulted one of the physical therapists on the floor (one of the benefits of working in a hospital) and he told me it's hormones causing my muscles to go into spasm.  he told me to have matt massage it, use a hot water bottle, and gave me some stretches to do.  oh, and i'm having some round ligament pain, too.
gender: still thinking girl.
belly button: in.  i have a really deep belly button, so i really wonder if it will pop at all.
wedding rings: on

ok, belly definitely popped this week.  it's way earlier than i expected but i've still only gained 3-4 pounds, so i know it's not just chub.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

toxo update

i saw the high-risk ob on monday.  they did an ultrasound, and so far everything looks ok, but the doctor was careful to remind me that it's still early. 

i had a long talk with the ob, and he told me that my initial blood work was positive for the igm toxoplasmosis marker, which is the one that indicates a newer infection and raises a red flag.  so they took additional blood work that they will send out to the specialty lab out in palo alto, ca.  this is the only lab in the country that analyzes blood work for toxo.  the ob told me that if the test comes back positive, they will continue to monitor with ultrasounds.  they will also treat me with antibiotics to try to help prevent transmission to the baby.

while meeting with the ob, he also told me that due to a leep i had back in 2001 to remove precancerous lesions from my cervix, i am at risk for incompetent cervix.  incompetent cervix basically means that my cervix may be weakened from the surgery, and may begin to dilate without me knowing it.  a regular pelvic exam may not catch it because the top of the cervix may begin to dilate even though the bottom appears normal.  so i will have to get transvaginal ultrasounds every other week from now through 26 weeks to monitor my cervix.  if after 26 weeks it is ok, they will back off on the ultrasounds. 

after i finished with the ob, he sent me up to the maternal-fetal medicine office to do the paperwork for the lab work.  the nurse told me that they will overnight the blood work to the lab in palo alto, and that i should have the results in about a week.  i was thrilled with a week - being that this is the only lab in the country that does this sort of thing, i was expecting 3-4 weeks.  i had to pay out of pocket for the lab work, because the lab doesn't work with insurances.  so i put $658 on my credit card and will submit the receipts to my insurance for reimbursement.  definitely not something i was expecting, but i'm willing to do it for the baby.

after we finished the paperwork, it was back down to the lab to get my blood drawn.  finally, after about 2 hours (total, not just in the lab), i was able to go home.  as soon as i left the lab, i was choking back tears, and once in the car, i was a mess.  i mean, really, it was mostly good news.  and i am glad that they are going to continue monitoring me and staying on top of any potential issues.  but it was a lot, especially with the unexpected incompetent cervix thrown in, and after 2+ hours, i was just tired and overwhelmed.  so i just broke down.  i got myself back together to call matt and then called my mom.  i held it together for most of that phone call, until telling her about the picture the ultrasound tech took (coming up).  i couldn't even finish the sentence until i started sobbing.  it was brutal.

i am scared and nervous but trying to stay positive.  during the ultrasound, the tech took a picture that was just the baby's hand.  it was fully-opened, so you could see all 5 fingers.  the tech typed "hi mom" underneath the picture.  every time i look at it, i try to remind myself that it was the baby telling us "hey guys!  i'm ok in here!  don't worry about me!" 

Monday, July 9, 2012


this past week, we sat down and looked at our finances to figure out what would work for us as far as childcare.  matt thought/hoped there would be a way that he could be a stay-at-home-dad while we lived off of my salary, but when we sat down to look at our finances and figure out a baby budget, we realized there was no way that would work.  we looked into him working part-time and only utilizing daycare part-time, but that still didn't really make sense for us.  the thing that seems to work best is both of us continuing to work full-time while the baby goes to daycare.  i know there are a lot of parents out there that hate the idea of daycare, of someone else raising their children.  but i grew up in daycare and i think it did me a lot of good.  it taught me about sharing.  it taught me about helping to take care of people.  i learned to look out for the little guy in daycare.  it made me more social.  and i never once remember feeling like the daycare providers were my "real" parents.  i always knew who mom and dad were.  there was never any confusion for me. 

so since matt and i both had off the friday before the 4th, we decided that would be a good time to tour some daycares and start making some decisions.  yes, it's early.  but we live in a big suburb outside of a huge city.  daycares fill up quickly, and we didn't want to risk finding a daycare we loved only to be told there were no spots available.  there were 6 places that we wanted to see, and 5 of them were able to see us that friday.  so we spent our day off driving around and touring daycares. 

based on some posts on hellobee and also a checklist on one of the daycare's websites, i came up with a standard list of questions that we would make sure we asked or got the answers to at each daycare.  once we saw all of them, we put everything into a spreadsheet to compare.  here is the list of questions we used:
  1. what is the cost per week/month?  
  2. what are your hours?  how much do you charge if i'm late to pick up my child?
  3. what is a typical day like?
  4. what is the adult to child ratio?
  5. does each child have their own cubby?  crib?
  6.  how often do you sterilize changing tables and toys?
  7. what is your policy regarding sick kids?  when do you call us and when do you send them home?
  8. do i have to pay for days my child is sick or on vacation?
  9. what holidays are you closed?
  10. can i make unannounced visits?  is there a place for me to nurse?
  11. what are your security measures?  how will my child be checked in and out?
  12.  does the staff have first aid training?  infant and child cpr?
  13. does the staff go through background checks?
  14. do you do cloth diapering?
those were our initial questions.  we had some others on the list that we found weren't very helpful and would be more appropriate for when we actually choose a place, like asking about immunization policies, billing procedures, and providing notice for switching daycares.  we also found along the way a few questions to add, in particular if they offer before-and-after school programs and if they provide transportation to/from our child's school in particular.

we found a few questions had pretty standard answers, especially if the program is state-certified and a member of the keystone stars program.  for example, state law mandates that in infant rooms, the adult to child ratio must be no higher than 1:4.  it also mandates that all staff have first aid training and that at least 1 in 5 staff have cpr training.  it also mandates that all staff have child abuse clearances and fbi criminal history checks.  we still asked at every daycare, because some go a step further than state law and certify all their staff in cpr, and also include fingerprinting in their background checks. 

we saw 5 daycares on our day off and had a definite front-runner, though it was more expensive than we expected, at $273/week ($1092/month).  our 2nd favorite (program-wise) was only $4 cheaper per month, but we didn't get a great vibe from the staff we met.  the 2 others were either out of our budget ($1118/month) or more affordable ($1044/month) but really inconveniently located.  the only one that was more in line with our budget at $245/week ($980/month) was also our least favorite of the bunch - it is in a community center, so there is literally no security - the doors are open to the public all day long.  it made me very uneasy.  we were able to work out a budget so that we could afford our top choice, but it would have meant making some sacrifices (which is totally fine) and it still would have been tight some months.  but we had one more place to see on thursday evening.  i had gotten a really good feeling just from my phone conversation with this place, so i was feeling very hopeful.

turns out, that last place was the winner.  when you line them all up and compare them all, it would be our 2nd favorite, but it is the least expensive of all of them at $225/week ($900/month).  we only met 2 staff because it was 6pm and most of the kids had gone home already, but they were both really nice (plus the one i spoke to on the phone, who was fantastic).  it is education-focused, which is what we wanted.  they run a before-and-after school program and provide transportation to and from what will be our child's elementary school.  they take field trips with the kids starting at age 3 (this week, they went to the aquarium!).  and their late pick-up policy was the cheapest around, too - $0.50 per minute after your scheduled pickup time, and $1/minute after closing.  most of the other places were $20/15 minutes, starting at a minute late.  oh, and they also do cloth diapering, which most of the other places won't do.

i plan to call on monday to start enrolling the baby there.  if you live in the abington area and have questions about our experiences, please feel free to email me - i'd be more than happy to send you our spreadsheet or answer any questions.  it was a daunting process, and i'm so glad we found a place that meets our financial needs as well as the baby's needs.  i think this will be a great place for baby ike to grow up in! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

13 weeks

baby is the size of: a peach
how far along are you: 13 weeks 2 days
what's happening with baby: fingerprints have formed on baby's tiny fingertips.  veins and organs are clearly visitble through still-thin skin.  baby's body is starting to catch up with that oversized head.  if it's a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries.
due date: jan 10
maternity clothes: nada.
sleep: not so good but i think it's because it's been 870-degrees this week
best moment this week: telling our families on saturday.  the picture thing didn't work out, but we still managed to surprise them!  everyone is, of course, thrilled!   i also called my grandpa to tell him, and he was so adorably excited.  we also went facebook-public, so it's been fun getting emails, texts, and phone calls!

what are you looking forward to: the appointment on monday and hopefully getting some reassurance on the toxoplasmosis thing
food cravings: spicy and salty.
food/smell aversions: nothing in particular this week.
what do you miss: hot dogs.  i was really bummed that i couldn't have one at our cookout on saturday
symptoms: bloating.  exhaustion.  boob tenderness. oh, and my complexion is a nightmare!  i'd read/heard that your skin will go back to being like a teenager, but even then i always had a clear complexion, so i was really not expecting this! 
gender: still thinking girl.
belly button: in.  i have a really deep belly button, so i really wonder if it will pop at all.
wedding rings: on

i definitely think the belly popped this week.  i have only gained 3 pounds so far, but i now have a little bump that won't go away.  it has me kind of unnerved, for some reason.

Friday, July 6, 2012


i got a call from my ob yesterday saying she needed to talk to me about some lab results.  i called her back immediately and she told me that my test results came back with a positive screen for toxoplasmosis.  she told me that i needed to call the high-risk ob at my hospital and schedule a consult asap, which would include additional blood work to be taken and sent out to california.

of course, i immediately turned to dr. google to try to get some more information.  it looks like there are two toxoplasmosis markers - igg and igm.  positive igg indicates that you have antibodies for toxoplasmosis, and it is unlikely to cause harm to you or the baby.  usually you have toxoplasmosis antibodies from a previous infection and are now immune to it.  igm means that you have a more recent infection, and puts mom and baby at a higher risk.  for mom it means a higher risk of miscarriage or other complications, and for baby it means a higher risk of neurological defects after birth. 

i am definitely nervous since padfoot had toxoplasmosis shortly after we got her. so unless i have an old infection and antibodies from our cat growing up, this is a relatively new infection.  from what i've read, it takes 6 months to 2 years to build up the antibodies.  we're looking at a time frame of about 2 months from padfoot's infection to me getting pregnant.

i have an appointment scheduled for monday at the high-risk prenatal care office.  they will do the additional blood work and send it out to the special lab in palo alto, ca.  they will also do an ultrasound to check for any developmental issues in the baby. 

i'm trying to stay positive and convince myself that this is just antibodies that i must have developed a thousand years ago from our cat growing up, but it definitely has me on edge seeing as how padfoot just had the infection.  hoping the ultrasound looks ok and the blood work comes back a) quickly and b) negative.  i'll be sure to keep you guys posted on everything and on our experience!

sources: here, here, here

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

appreciating little things

last week at our staff meeting, our boss announced that we would be getting our annual raise of 3%.  few people reacted.  some scoffed.  i cheered.  later a few of my colleagues asked why would i cheer for a 3% raise?  it amounts to, like, $5 per paycheck.  big deal. 

well, first of all, we get paid 26 times a year.  that adds up to $130 a year - nothing to sniff at!  also, we're getting a raise.  i don't care if it's 1%.  that means that our company is doing well enough that they can spare the money to pay its employees more, across the board.  in this economy, and especially in the health care field, that's kind of a big deal.  my husband hasn't gotten a raise in 5 years.  in fact, his company issued 7.5% pay cuts 4 years ago, so he is now making what he made 10 years ago! 

last summer when obama announced that federal workers wouldn't get pay raises that year, a few friends of mine who work for the government took to facebook to voice their displeasure.  bitching and moaning that they didn't get their raise for the year.  whining about it not being fair.  one of them happened to be matt's best man.  i responded to his complaining by telling him to talk to matt about how he hasn't gotten a raise in 4 years, and see if he has any thoughts about it.  that shut him up. 

so that's why i cheer for our raise, even though it's fairly minimal.  because i'm getting one.  and hundreds of thousands of people aren't.  hundreds of thousands of people don't even have a pay that can be raised. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

nursery thoughts - design elements

there are some seriously smart nursery designs out there.  designs that maximize space and put things at an easy arm's reach away.  i never really thought about the fact that some things need to be easily accessible in baby's room - diapers, wipes, etc.  i tend to be a person who tries to put things away - i don't like a lot of unnecessary clutter.  but for babies, there are certain things that just need to be easily grabbable.

here are a few great ideas that make the space look nice but functional.  i really love the first one, with the metal basket over-head.

source: from blueprintpress via hellobee on pinterest

source: from ana-white via elisa on pinterest

source: from domesticadventure via hellobee on pinterest

i plan on our baby having lots of books on hand.  i have always been a big reader, and matt is just now getting into reading.  my mom tells me that as a child, i could sit in my room for hours "reading" along with my books-on-record (remember those?).  i hope that our baby will be the same way.  there is a plethora of great ideas out there for book storage!  i definitely want baby's books to be easily accessible and to have room to stand cover-out.  i think it makes them much more interesting to look at!

source: from wonderfuljoyahead via sarah on pinterest

source: from raisingolives on pinterest

source: from lollyjaneboutique via kathryn on pinterest

and, of course, you can't have a baby closet without some adorable baby clothes dividers!  i love how you can so easily customize them to fit whatever theme/color scheme you choose!

source: from poshlittle on pinterest

source: thestir on pinterest

source: from professorpoppins via shelley on pinterest

source: from amazon on pinterest

i can't wait to start putting together baby ike's nursery!  we're definitely planning to find out the gender, so we're waiting to do any major planning until we know that.  but with all the great resources out there, i'm hoping to put together something that will be fun and exciting!

Monday, July 2, 2012

organic vs regular

for years, i have steadfastly refused to buy organic anything.  to me, it seemed like an excuse for produce markets and distributors to jack up the prices on already-expensive fresh fruits and vegetables.  i scoffed at people who switched to wholly-organic lifestyles.  it all just seemed so silly to me.  plus, my mom (a food chemist) and one of our closest friends (a food scientist) both say that the label "organic" doesn't really mean much. 

and then i got pregnant.  and i started worrying about the things i was putting in my body.  so i decided i wouldn't go fully-organic, but started buying things that are on the "dirty dozen" list as organic.  everything else, though, i still buy as regular.  basically, what's on the dirty dozen list are items that have a soft skin or a bumpy surface that you will actually ingest.  but even as i was shopping for produce using the app on my phone, it didn't really make sense to me.  how could apples and bell peppers be considered "dirty" but tomatoes aren't?  and mushrooms?  those things are like sponges!  they soak up everything!  and yet they're listed on the "clean fifteen."  but i stuck to my app and bought organic strawberries and blueberries and bell peppers.

this weekend, when i talked to my mom, she again told me that buying organic is silly, especially with produce.  just because they don't use pesticides doesn't mean that they're cleaner.  in fact, often times, their cleaning practices are worse because they don't use pesticides - they feel like they don't need to clean as well because there are no chemicals on it.  so i'm going to go back to buying regular produce and cleaning it all myself. 

what are your thoughts or organic vs regular foods?