Friday, October 14, 2016


The other week I was talking with Tad's occupational therapist about various things and at one point I told her how Tad was never really cuddly, not even as a baby--when he nursed he would push himself as far away from me as possible while still staying latched on.

She suggested that maybe I think of it less as him pushing me away and more that he just needs that extra resistance/sensory input of pushing into something. I feel like this is not just a good explanation for his nursing acrobatics but also for his behavior in general. He pushes me (literally and metaphorically) because he knows I'm not going to move.

And it does help, to think of it that way, but at the same time it doesn't change much. It doesn't change the fact that it's utterly exhausting when you're the one solid thing in a universe that somebody else finds utterly confusing and unpredictable.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pregnancy info dump 23-27 weeks

Previous pregnancy posts: 7-15 weeks and the anatomy scan.

23 weeks:

I had an appointment with J the nurse practitioner (not to be confused with M the nurse practitioner). There was also a student nurse there who came in first to do her own exam. I suspected based on movement patterns that the baby had flipped head-down since the anatomy scan and the Doppler did pick up her heart rate fairly low. Neither of the NPs made an official guess about her position, though. The student nurse measured my fundal height, which might be the only time this pregnancy I get a proper one with a tape measure and everything. :p Dr. B always just eyeballs it. (Or hands it, I guess? Since he's doing it more by feel than anything else.) Then she asked if I had any questions and I apologized that I did not, since if I did I would have loved to give her the opportunity to practice answering them. (I have had a fondness for students ever since Tad was delivered by a resident. Ask me questions, students! I have things to teach you!)

J the NP came in after that but that was very brief since of course she was just double-checking that I didn't have any questions or issues left over. I mentioned that I was tired but "I think that's more a side effect of my first pregnancy," gesturing to Tad. (Who was sitting in the next chair over playing on the tablet.) She thought that was pretty amusing.

24 week belly shot with toddler photobomb

27 weeks:

I had my 1-hour glucose test at this appointment. Conveniently, Dr. B's office allows you to take the drink home with you, refrigerate it (maybe this is why I find it so much less gag-worthy than most other people report?), drink it, and then report the time at which you drank it to the receptionist.

I think I timed to to be something like 45 minutes before the start of my appointment so it must have been a speedy day because Dr. B was already in the room by the time the medical assistant came to draw my blood. He suggested distracting me by doing the Doppler at the same time, so that's what we did.

Baby was indeed head-down, as I suspected, but kind of oblique, with her head on my left hip and her hindquarters over on the right side. Her heart rate was in the 150s, which is about where it usually is. During this time Dr. B referred to the baby as "he" a few times but I didn't bother to correct it. Meanwhile, Tad was quietly playing games on my tablet but as soon as the Doppler found the heartbeat he looked up curiously. I said something like, "Can you hear baby sister's heartbeat?" and Dr. B apologized, saying, "See, I told you I was going to forget." I said that "I don't mind if my gynecologist is a little bit forgetful" and he laughed and then told a story about his dad, who was also an Ob/Gyn, having a patient say hi to him out in public and replying, "Oh, hi, [name], I didn't recognize you with clothes on!" My Dr. B was 13 at the time and basically died of embarrassment to have his dad talking about such things.

Me: "I think we all find our parents embarrassing when we're 13."

Dr. B: "What I can't figure out is why my daughters find me embarrassing."

Having been a teenage girl, I can totally figure that one out. :p

After that we sat down and I talked about some preliminary birth related questions. First I mentioned that labor with Tad had been pretty fast and asked what my guidelines should be for going in. I can't actually remember what they were (oops) but I do remember he said, "The part where you get to the hospital at five or six centimeters, that's when I should leave." (Last time, as you may recall, he left for the hospital when I was at eight and that turned out to be not enough warning!)

We also talked about the postpartum hemorrhage I had last time and I asked whether he thought I should add a provision to my birth plan for doing Pitocin immediately rather than taking a wait-and-see approach. He said, "I think that would be a good idea," which is remarkable because pretty much every other time I've asked for his opinion he's said something like, "We can work with whatever you prefer." I find it reassuring that he's taking hemorrhage prevention that seriously, since it still kind of unnerves me almost three years later (despite the fact that it really was a pretty small hemorrhage and easily resolved).


Tune in next time to find out whether or not I passed that 1-hour glucose screen!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Things I want to remember: 33 months

1. Tad's articulation is improving lately, which I appreciate because his primary method of verbal communication is still "Unleash torrents of unintelligible gibberish with a few recognizable words interspersed."

But it also makes me all sentimental that he's gradually losing his baby-isms. For example, "nammie" has become "banammie" and "peer" has become "peeda budder." (You never would have known to pull this out of the cupboard if my kid walked up and asked you for "peer," would you?)

Tad's first pony ride with bonus Baby Sister bump.

2. You can tell that I have been carrying him less (because carrying around his baby sister is more than enough work for my spine and pelvis right now!) because he has picked up the phrases, "Wait! Come back!" and "Follow me!" (Though he sometimes phrases that as "Okay, ehrybody, follow me!" which makes me think he heard it somewhere else as well, since I do not refer to him as "everybody.")

He also says "I be right back" when he leaves the room, which is adorable except when he's going somewhere he shouldn't be!

The county fair wore him out so thoroughly
 that we put him in the carseat, drove home, and
transferred him to bed, where he slept another 2 hours.

3. Another of his new favorite phrases is "Don' worry" which is pretty much my signal to start worrying, especially when I overhear him saying it apropos of nothing obvious.

This is honestly pretty tame for him

4. Sometimes when I give him something to eat or drink he says "Gank!" before stuffing it into his maw. Maybe I'm just desperate for affirmation, but I enjoy these little displays of gratitude. :)

Creative fine motor activity with salad tongs,
farm animals, and the lemonade cup from the fair.

5. At the beginning of July we went to a wedding and Tad learned how to "dance" (bending his knees so he can bob up and down, really). This skill disappeared for a while afterwards but then reappeared later, possibly due to watching a lot of Phineas and Ferb episodes that involved singing and/or dancing. Now he bobs his knees up and down AND does hilarious robot-like arm motions. It is excellent.

6. He is now tall enough to drink out of a drinking fountain--and he's had the necessary comprehension of the steps involved for quite a while already. This is also hilariously adorable and convenient to boot, since it was hotter than Hades here up until about a week ago and I don't always remember to bring enough water for both of us.

7. One day, for no apparent reason, he ran up to me, threw his arms around my legs, and said, "Aww, so happy!" For real, moments like that make all the challenging stuff a little less overwhelming.


This is kind of a seven quick takes post, but I have no idea who hosts those these days and am too lazy to Google, so no link for you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


The other day I was telling a story to Tad's occupational therapist and she laughed and said I ought to write a blog.

I did not tell her I already have a blog because I have too many real-life people reading here as it is. :p

I do have a post about Tad about 50% written, and I really want to do another pregnancy update (short version: baby is still doing great but A LOT has happened since 19 weeks) but life just feels...complicated...right now. It is hard to write lighthearted updates when I'm not really feeling them, but it is impossible to write about the things actually on my mind. So the poor blog gets sadly neglected.

Anyway, there is little point to this post considering how few people read the blog but then again if I'm just talking to myself I can say whatever I want, can't I?

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 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.


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