Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pregnancy info dump: 7-15 weeks

This is probably going to be super boring, but I'm not writing it for your entertainment; I'm writing it to alleviate my second-time-mom guilt over the fact that I haven't been faithfully penning monthly pregnancy updates. :)

***

I had my first appointment at 7 weeks along. My favorite medical assistant (we'll call her N) did my intake and teased me a little about not bringing Tad along since she wanted to see him. (The appointment was late afternoon so it worked out that Scott could watch him after work.)

Then I had my appointment with Dr. B, who walked in cheerfully saying, "So, you're pregnant!" It was a bit disconcerting because I kind of expect the doctor to tell ME that the pregnancy thing is working out. :p

Then he went through his usual list of questions: Was the pregnancy planned? Were you charting your cycles? When do you think you conceived?

(He is the most NFP-ish non-NFP doctor ever, seriously.)

I was pretty sure that my due date based on conception lined up with my due date based on LMP closely enough for it not to matter, but I got a quick ultrasound anyway. Transabdominal u/s ended up working well enough for our purposes (always a relief!); baby had a good strong heartbeat and was appropriately sized for her gestational age. (In other words, she didn't look like much at that point!)

Dr. B also commented on the fact that I had a really large cyst on the right side, but it hasn't been mentioned since so I assume it went away.

***

I had some pretty heavy spotting right after the 7-week appointment but didn't bother calling about it because really, I'd seen the heartbeat a day or two earlier; would another ultrasound give much peace of mind?

Then around 9 weeks I had spotting again and at that point I had hit my limit of fretting about the baby so I called and made an appointment. I got N for intake again, which was nice, and then one of the nurse practitioners for the appointment itself.

Baby looked great on ultrasound; I could tell right away that she'd gotten a lot bigger and she had a good heartbeat again. (Side note: 9-week fetuses always make me think of the worms from Worms World Party--big head, squiggly body, little hands waving around nearby in a detached-looking way...)

To shorten a boring story, turns out the spotting was caused by a bacterial infection so that was pretty easy to resolve once we figured out a breastfeeding-safe antibiotic regimen.

That week was, I think, my first experience of mom-of-two guilt (which NEVER STOPS, incidentally). First I felt like nursing Tad was probably causing the spotting and I was a terrible mom to the new baby for not just weaning him on the spot. Then I worried antibiotics were going to cause IRREPARABLE HARM to my poor nursling and why did I get pregnant when he obviously wasn't ready to wean?

***

Two weeks after that (I was getting quite spoiled by biweekly appointments) I had my regular 11-week checkup. Dr. B started off trying to find the heartbeat via Doppler. When he didn't find it in a few seconds he reassured me that we could try an ultrasound if Doppler didn't work. And then he tried for a few more minutes, and still no heartbeat. So we went across the hall and took a quick peek and immediately could see the baby vigorously swimming around, but it still took a minute to find the heartbeat. (Me: "Well, movement generally correlates with being alive.") Then we found it, got it up on the screen for about 30 seconds...and then the baby disappeared entirely, along with her heartbeat. (Still being small enough at that point to swim off to the other side of my uterus and hide from the ultrasound.)

Afterwards, Dr. B very contritely said, "I hope I didn't freak you out. The manufacturer tells us not to use [the Doppler] until 12 weeks but I usually can find it." I reassured him that I wasn't too freaked out and the baby was totally just being difficult. (I mean, she was.) He still repeated a couple of times over the course of the appointment, "I'm sorry if I freaked you out."

After that I had a pap smear (I feel like I should be anti pap smears in pregnancy--a lot of the crunchy people I know are--but I'm totally That Person who never goes to annuals so I kind of don't have a leg to stand on there)--chaperoned by N the medical assistant. She commented on how nice it was to see Tad, since I hadn't brought him to either of my previous appointments, and I joked that I did it just for her.

Dr. B commented (as he was doing a pap smear, mind you) that he always loves to see his patients' babies growing up, and one time years ago he was borrowing a video on robotic surgery from another OB and he went to the office and saw a sign saying that children were not allowed (he quoted the sign in detail from memory so apparently it made an impression) and he thought that was just not right, to not have children allowed to come to an OB's office. (And then he almost ran over Tad with his rolling stool because Tad was getting in the way...so apparently he means it when he says he likes kids around. :p )

***

The subsequent 4 weeks were very boring, obstetrically, and my 15-week prenatal was correspondingly boring. We actually found baby via Doppler on the first try. We talked about how I was starting to maybe feel movement and how it was normal for that to be irregular until closer to 20 weeks. We talked about how I'd had a terrible headache the previous week and Dr. B suggested checking to see when the air filters needed to be changed--at which point I remembered that we'd had the windows open that whole week and only shut them when the weather turned rainy, so of COURSE I was having pollen-allergy-induced headaches! That solved the headache problem completely (at least so far, 15 weeks later...) so this is why brainstorming is a good thing. :)

***

Now we will leave off this boring narrative and pick up again with the post-anatomy-scan narrative on another day.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Seven Quick Takes: Things I want to remember/31 months

I started this post probably 4 weeks ago and then my computer stopped booting and I had to cash out my hoarded spending money and buy a new one. But here you go anyway.

The other day I was thinking about how newborns and how terrible they are and then also thinking about how happy I am that I blogged when Tad was a newborn because I can remember things that would have otherwise gotten lost in the haze of "SWEET JESUS THAT WAS TERRIBLE."

Anyway, 2.5 is definitely...a phase of disequilibrium, let's say. Not sure if all 2.5-year-olds are like that or if mine is just especially fractious because I am too large and cumbersome to take him outside as much as he'd like. (Also there have been heat indices in the 100s and I like to repress Tad's individuality by keeping him NOT heatstroked like all the boring sheeple.)

So I am going to blog random cute things lest I remember this phase of life as being almost entirely terrible as well.

1. One of his charming new habits is repeatedly hitting me with his head (and he has a giant, hard head!) whenever I am in the same room as him. I have started attempting to redirect his impulse for physical contact by offering a "big hug."

So now, once in a while, he will run up to me and instead of ramming into my thigh will hold out his arms and suggest "Big hug!"

I oblige, of course.

He still nurses a LOT but shots like this are rare
because he finds electronics very distracting.
2. Sometimes he runs up to me, throws himself into my lap, and announces, "Gotchu!"

Always, little buddy, always.

He was helping taste-test the frosting for Daddy's birthday cake.
(Lemon. He approved.)
3. How he sometimes says "Goomooring, shun-shun!" when I come to get him in the mornings because I sometimes say "Good morning, sunshine!" to him.

Sleeping "in" a sidecar crib. As you do.
4. How he sometimes wakes up with handprints on his belly because he likes to sleep with his little butt in the air and his arms underneath his body.

I have no idea how sleeping on top of those books was comfortable
but he stayed in there for over an hour.
5. How he sucks in his lower lip when he's excited so it has the effect of this hilarious little bucktoothed grin.

Playing with the train table at our local library.
 I am pretty sure the tablet pic is grainy enough
that you can't figure out where we live. :p
6. He likes to draw pictures on his magnadoodle (and when I say "pictures" I mean random scribbles) and then announce, "Goodbye car!" "Goodbye anmul!" "Goodbye paddaput!" (Platypus is his favorite animal.)

7. The way he pronounces "upside down" as "uhshash dow." ("Outside" is "ohshash" so the "dow" part certainly helps figure out which one he means!)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Seven Quick Takes: Still phoning it in but at least I have an excuse edition

I am pretty sure virtually all of my regular blog-readers saw this on Facebook yesterday but for the sake of posterity I'll announce it here too. Behold, my reason for not blogging in almost 3 months!



This is Baby Sister. She's due around October 24 but I have very little attachment to the concept of due dates considering I myself was 10 days late but Tad was 20 days early--so basically the entire month of October is blocked out in my mental calendar.

I plan to give her a different nom de blog at some point but I am apparently completely unable to be decisive about names right now. And it might be slightly more important to decide on her real-life name first. :p

Since she's sucking away all my brain cells (the few that her older brother left behind) I'm just going to blog in boring and annoying detail about the anatomy scan appointment, okay?

***

I was expecting the appointment to go suuuuuper long but it actually didn't. It was scheduled for 3:00 and I have ultrasound pictures with time stamps starting at 3:01:45 so we obviously didn't wait long for that. Then the boys got sent to the waiting room while I was weighed and had my blood pressure taken and stuff. I joined them just long enough to get vaguely bored and think about reading a magazine and then we got called back to the exam room and I read half an article about carseats before Dr. B came in. I think we ended up leaving around 4:00.

***

Now for details!

Baby was sleeping at first, with her legs crossed, so the tech (let's call her M because that's what her name starts with) said she thought girl but she wasn't really sure. We also found out at that point that she's currently breech, but nobody is concerned about that at 19 weeks. She's about 9 inches long from head to foot (and 10 ounces); she is plenty small enough to turn around.

M also had a hard time taking pictures of baby's heart at first because again, sleeping. M tried jiggling my belly a few times to wake her up but to no avail. So basically the opposite of her brother but still difficult. :p Once M took pictures of her brain she woke up and started moving around so we got to see lots of shots of her adorable little toes poking away while the tech took various measurements of her heart and kidneys and the blood flow in her umbilical cord and whatever. Then since she'd uncrossed her legs we checked again and this time the tech was much more confident of her "girl" wager. (And I was pretty confident too though admittedly I've only seen one boy on ultrasound before.)

***
I've been feeling her move since about 14 weeks and consistently since about 18; I assumed this was just my second time mom expertise. (With Tad it was more like 18/24.) But no, turns out she just has a posterior placenta. Oh well. I can feel smart about other second-time mom things.

***

Baby Sister measured right on track with her due date, which seemed to please M. This is the same lady who gave me a hard time when Tad measured 10 days ahead. She gets a bit hung up on her measuring skills, maybe.

Of course, Tad ended up weighing 8 lbs at 37 weeks so maybe her measuring skills are really accurate! Dr. B noticed that factoid in my records when we were talking after the ultrasound and seemed mildly concerned. Like, we might end up doing a growth ultrasound later on if we have any grounds to suspect baby girl is measuring big after all.

(She'd have to be measuring VERY VERY big before I'd consider changing my birth plan, and Dr. B doesn't seem the type to jump straight to induction, for example, just because baby's measuring a bit above average. I guess if a growth ultrasound comes up as a serious suggestion and not just musing we'll have an involved discussion of what he thinks will be gained by having that estimate.)

***

When Dr. B first came in he asked if we knew whether it was a boy or a girl and we reassured him that we were not trying to keep it a surprise.

"Usually I don't even look," he said, "so I don't accidentally slip up. Plus *I* like to be surprised. So when the baby is born and I announce the gender you can laugh at me and say, 'Yeah, we already knew.'"

***

Tad was remarkably well-behaved at the appointment considering we'd roused him from a nap for it. Mostly he played with the toys they have in the office. This makes me vaguely uncomfortable but I figure playing with toys at the Ob/Gyn's office is better than playing with toys at the pediatrician's office--if he's sick, I purposely don't bring him to OB appointments but I do purposely bring him to pediatrician appointments! So the germ factor is maybe a little different.

Scott reports that during the ultrasound he actually spent most of the time ignoring the little bead maze he'd dragged along and alternating between looking at the screen and looking at me. He didn't say much; at one point he announced "One two free four fibe!" because he saw letters and numbers on the screen (he thinks they're all numbers) and near the very end he said, "See wotta bubbles."

In between the ultrasound and the appointment with Dr. B he traded his bead maze for a car and spent most of the time we were talking driving the car around and ignoring the grown-ups talking.

Nevertheless, as he was getting up to leave Dr. B made a point of saying to Tad, "Will you come see me again next time?" It's really cute how excited everybody at the office gets about seeing him. There's a particular medical assistant who absolutely adores Tad and asks after him in detail. (Like, she asked if he was feeling better because he'd missed out on my 16-week appointment due to a stomach bug. *I* hadn't even remembered he had been sick!)

***

Physically I've felt really good so far this pregnancy--much less queasy than with Tad, and I never even threw up with him so that's setting the bar pretty high. I do get lots of indigestion if I don't eat tiny carefully spaced meals and dizzy if I don't drink enough water. Both of which would be super easy to manage if I didn't have a two-year-old perpetually stealing my snacks and cups. :p Oh, and my back hurts (and sends shooting pain down my legs, THANKS SPINE BONES) if I am on my feet a lot. I ought to figure out how to do belly wrapping with my ring sling since I can't really spend all day sitting down with my feet up because, again, two-year-old. It's probably better for me to get the exercise anyway.

Mostly I'm just really, really, really tired. And overwhelmed. I'm not sure how much of that is the toddler and how much of that is the pregnancy-hormone-induced spike in my usual low-level depression and anxiety stuff. I do seem to remember sitting around eating ice cream and fretting a LOT during my pregnancy with Tad, when I did not have a toddler to wear me out, so perhaps I'm not cutting myself quite enough slack for the mental health stuff.

***

Visit Kelly for more Quick Takes!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What We Eat Part 4: In which I'm totally phoning it in

I am going to blame the lateness of this post on the fact that these receipts got buried under some tax documents and not on the fact that I'm lazy. Though the latter is probably closer to the truth.

These groceries and planned meals are for the week of February 24 through March 2.



One of the ways you can tell I was not even trying anymore: We got scones during our first Kroger trip and then a few days later walked over there solely for a free yogurt and a not-free Snickers. I should probably just add snack food into my grocery budget so I don't buy dumb stuff with my last $3 of the month.

Menu:
Wed: Farfalle
Thu: Chicken/broccoli pasta
Fri: Salmon, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Sat: Spaghetti and meatballs
Sun: Leftovers
Mon: Pork stew
Tue: Chicken rice soup

I think at least 4 of those meals are repeats from earlier in the month. I did summon the energy to make meatballs with the spaghetti in an attempt to inject some variety into our life. (Usually we just have meat sauce.)

Anyway, the total for this boring week was $44.42 plus $4.27 of WIC stuff. This makes the total for the month come to $199.72 from the "food" budget, plus $5.18 "pocket money" and $35.08 in WIC foods. So if you wanted to eat a luxurious diet of not-enough-fresh-veggies just like me, you could probably do it for $250 a month or so.

Anyway, I hope somebody enjoyed this series even though I was terrible at keeping up with it. Maybe I'll try again in another 3 years.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What We Eat Part Three: But Not The Tomatoes

I am really terrible at keeping up with this series. Oh well. This post covers the week from February 17 to 24.


The "vinegar" on the Meijer receipt was actually cooking sherry. Though I do need some vinegar.

We got the pretzels at Aldi because we were taking Tad to the on-site childcare for our Financial Peace University class and didn't know what the snack situation would be. They had snacks, so Tad had pretzels for breakfast most of the week.

Also, eggs were back in stock but also up to 1.79/doz. Boooooo.



I realized as I was bagging up my groceries at Aldi that I'd somehow forgot to include tomato sauce on the list (I planned to make spaghetti). I thought, "Oh well, they're the same price at Kroger, I'll just get some there." So Tad and I walked over to Kroger before dinner. There are two separate receipts because I wanted to make sure the right fruits and veggies got put on WIC.


And then Scott had to walk back later because I forgot the tomatoes again. 

Altogether it added up to 53.05 in food purchases + 7.61 in WIC.

The menu for the week:

Wednesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Egg salad for lunch; Salmon, mashed potatoes, and cauliflower for dinner. (Side note: Roasting frozen cauliflower doesn't work nearly as well as fresh.)
Saturday: Lemon-chive pork chops, succotash
Sunday: Chicken thighs, rice, green beans (I planned to have leftovers on Sunday and cook this on Monday, but turns out we didn't have enough leftovers)
Monday: Stroganoff
Tuesday: Leftovers

I also baked some awesome whole-wheat bread and cooked a big batch of yogurt.

We did not get any free food except for Tad getting popcorn and cookies at FPU.

See you next week (hopefully!) for the fourth and final installment!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What We Eat Part Two: Soups and Free Lunches

This week's receipts:


We walked over to Kroger last Saturday for an impromptu ice cream and root beer date. This came out of our "pocket money" instead of "food" but I'm counting it anyway since we did eat it.
The "produce" in the upper right was a bag of seconds-quality apples. They were still good.


Not pictured: A Dollar Tree receipt. I got three 12-oz bags of frozen strawberries for (you guessed it!) $3.

I'm finding my groove with the cash envelopes; the biggest snafu this week was that Aldi was OUT OF EGGS. I got WIC eggs and really should have gotten another dozen since I had some cash left but I couldn't bring myself to pay 2.39 for a dozen eggs. We've been eating peanut butter toast and stuff to fill in the breakfast gap.

Anyway, that adds up to 47.13 that actually came out of our "food" envelope and 18.69 of WIC/pocket money stuff.

Now for what we actually ate:

(On Tuesday I made cupcakes for Mardi Gras, which was not on last week's list. The frosting didn't turn out well at all because I didn't have powdered sugar and the recipe for granulated sugar frosting I found online was apparently not a good one.)
Wednesday: Broccoli cheese soup. Tad happily announced "Yogi!" when he saw it but alas, broccoli soup does not taste like yogurt and he thus refused to eat it.
Thursday: Roast chicken, rice, green beans
Friday: Cheese pizza. Again. We like pizza, okay?
Saturday: Chili and cornbread.
Sunday: We had lunch meat sandwiches at "coffee and donuts" after the TLM. Also leftovers for dinner.
Monday: Zuppa Toscana. Also, we went over to Scott's parents' to sled before the snow melted and Scott's mom gave us a big dish of leftover chili because it had been contaminated with gluten or something like that. Apparently she and I had the same idea about cooking chili. :)
Tuesday: Chicken riffle soup. At this point Scott commented on how much soup we'd been eating lately.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

What We Eat Part 1

I last did a series like this back in 2012, when we had 1 fewer person in our family and I was shocked by eggs costing 1.49/dozen. Those were the days.

I have been meaning to revisit the topic for a while but procrastination got in the way. Then Sheila did a similar post so I am going to jump on the bandwagon.

Normally I would not have 5 different receipts to photograph but this week was SUPER busy so I kind of squeezed grocery shopping in around other things. In fairness, the two trips to Kroger were on foot and the second Aldi trip was a quick stop on the way back from something else so I did not waste as much gas as you might imagine.



This was also my first try at a cash envelope system (thanks a lot, Dave Ramsey), which was a total pain in the butt. I allotted $55 for groceries because that was what we had left after doing boring stuff like paying the rent. I ended up stealing 12 cents out of my toiletries envelope for a total of $55.12 for a week of foodstuffs. The $5.38 chicken package was the smallest one in the cooler, okay?

There was also $9.69 in WIC purchases but I'm not sure that would be a 1:1 conversion for somebody without WIC. For example, I'd probably just buy more oatmeal instead of getting Cheerios.

Now for the menu:

Breakfast: Tad and I have fried eggs and oatmeal/cereal pretty much every day.

Lunch: Grownups eat leftovers and Tad eats either leftovers or peanut butter bread depending on what we have.

Dinner:
Wednesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce
Thursday: This pork stew, more or less
Friday: Cheese pizza
Saturday: Chicken parmesan (with ground-up oatmeal in place of bread crumbs)
Sunday: Leftovers
Monday: TBS
Tuesday: Rosemary pork, mashed potatoes, green beans

I also made a batch of homemade pudding on Wednesday because I felt like it and made a loaf of sandwich bread on Friday. Scott made some stovetop popcorn for us on Friday night.

My main failing this week was not buying nearly enough fruit. If I had tried harder I could have made dinners cheaper and squeezed out an extra few dollars--e.g. having rice or biscuits with the pork instead of mashed potatoes would have allowed me to buy a bag of apples. Oh well. We won't die of scurvy before next Wednesday. (And if we do start losing some teeth I can always use the rest of our WIC fruit/veggie allowance.)