Week 36 - Under the Weather
August 29, 2012
What started out as a sore throat on Friday evening has turned into hacking coughs, chest and nasal congestion, and sinus pressure. Add to that the 90 degree weather, back pain in any position, frequent bathroom visits and increasing pelvic achiness…this has not been the best week. By this time, most people want their baby out to put an end to the miserable symptoms pf the late third trimester, but we have so much going on right now that I’m willing to suffer a little longer and hoping he stays in for as long as the doctors will let me, which is 40 weeks.
We’re so close to getting the office done, and even though the space is not quite ready to occupy (flooring still needs to go in, paint needs to go up), we’re moving everything out of the home office and moving in this Saturday, putting the boxes and furniture in a pile and covering it up until the office is complete in about 2 more weeks. Being the multi-tasker extraordinaire that he is, Aaron also decided that next week we should get the carpet replaced in all three bedrooms and patch up and repaint the former home office for the nursery. We’ll have to stay at a hotel for a few days to avoid any off-gassing, so I guess we’ll get another mini stay-cay! There’s quite a bit of activity going on and we’re down to the wire trying to get things organized and set up for the baby’s arrival.
Last Thursday I met with the dietician and since I’m managing my diabetes so well with my diet, I no longer have to log everything I eat or check my blood sugar level after every meal. I will continue to monitor my fasting level in the morning and do random checks throughout the day if I feel necessary and send those reports to her, but so far I’ve been doing great.
Between weeks 35 and 37, pregnant women are routinely checked for Group B Strep, which is a type of bacteria that can cause infection. Of course, with everything else I’ve had to deal with during this pregnancy, I wasn’t surprised I tested positive. It’s not usually harmful to adults and lives in the intestines, urinary or genital tracts. It can come and go, so I could test negative with the next pregnancy, but as a current carrier I could pass it to the baby and infect him during delivery. If the baby becomes infected there could be serious complications such as sepsis, pneumonia or meningitis. But the chance of this happening is 1 in 4000 as it is easily treated with antibiotics, like penicillin, that are administered by IV during labor.
On Monday, Aaron and I interviewed a second pediatrician, Dr. Guy Efron, and we both agreed that he is the one. He is the father of three children under the age of 6 with his youngest boy being 10 months old. He’s also received the honor of being Cedars-Sinai’s Pediatrician of the Year in 2008, so we feel like we’ll be in good hands with a good doctor that can also easily relate to his young patients and families.
Afterwards, I headed off to another NST. This week was just a doppler and amniotic fluid check, and everything is still looking good. The baby is still head down and as active as ever. Here are some pictures we got from this visit. In this first picture, it looks like his eyes are open and there is a weird shadow that gives him a worried expression.
Here’s another picture where it looks like he’s pressed up against a glass, puckering up.
All in all, it’s thrilling I’ll be 37 weeks tomorrow and the baby has made it to full term. Like my OB/GYN, Dr. Schneider said at my last visit, having made it this far, everything else after this is like icing on the cake. Here’s to hoping I make it to 40 weeks!
Week 35 - Mini Stay-Cay
August 22, 2012
With the due date getting ever closer, it’s been weighing on me that Aaron and I will never truly have “alone time” after the baby comes. We haven’t gone on a baby moon with the numerous doctor’s appointments and fear of being far from the hospital if something were to happen. We had maternity photos scheduled last weekend, but with the recent hot weather, unusual humidity and my increasing discomfort, we decided to reschedule for newborn photos instead and do a mini stay-cay. I’ve been nostalgic for Laguna Beach, which I went to often while growing up in Irvine, so we headed down to Orange County for the weekend.
We had a delicious brunch at Plums Cafe in Newport Beach. I’ve been pretty good about managing my sugar level, so I decided to splurge and indulged in coconut french toast loaded with strawberries, bananas and papayas. Yum! It was a short drive down PCH to Laguna Beach, and we had a nice stroll along the beach. I was a little disappointed the tide pools were not accessible due to the high tide, but it felt great to get our feet wet and splashed by some of the waves.
The rest of the weekend we just relaxed and didn’t do too much else since I’ve been getting increasing back pain. Even being in the car for longer than 30 minutes is no fun and I’ll start shifting around trying to find a comfortable position. Nevertheless, just being somewhere other than home for the weekend was great.
The last two NSTs have been fine, and we also did growth measurements on Monday. The tech did the measurements before the doctor came in, and she noted that although still growing, the baby’s growth seemed to have slowed down. However, she said that early delivery is based more on the the NST and doppler flow than size alone, and those otherwise looked good. It was worrisome to hear and I got anxious during the 45 minute wait for Dr. Platt to come in. When he finally came in to do his measurements, they were a little bigger than the tech’s, so he said not to worry and things would remain status quo.
The baby was active as usual and we were only able to get about two good photos. He likes to put his hands in front of his face and during the ultrasound I saw him put his hand…not his thumb…in his mouth. He was also making lots of facial expressions, practicing using all the muscles in his face.
Looks like he’s telling a knock knock joke. Maybe we’ll have a little comedian :-)
Week 34 - Counting Down
August 15, 2012
Yet another uneventful week where I feel like I’m just counting them down, although I’m not sure what week I’m counting down to! I keep preparing myself that the baby will likely come early according to the doctors, although he’s been doing fine. The last two NSTs have gone well, as they all have been. I was looking forward to some new pictures on Monday, but unfortunately I saw a different doctor from the other two that I usually see and I guess he felt the brief check on my amniotic fluid level and blood flow was enough. But everything is looking great, and the baby is active more than ever.
My bump is protruding noticeably more, even though I haven’t gained any weight since catching up a few weeks back. The doctors aren’t concerned that I haven’t put on more weight since the baby is growing. I met with the dietician last week and she’s glad to see the diabetes is not getting worse as it does for some people when they get further along in their pregnancy. The baby is definitely growing as his movements are more visible. It’s pretty wild to see all that activity in my belly and the weird contortions I’m beginning to see. And I swear he’s got long nails already. He’s been consistently head down near my right hip with his feet under my left ribcage, and I don’t know if he’s doing jazz hands or stretching, but whatever he’s doing feels like sharp stabbing pain on my right side.
Hopefully next week I’ll have some new pictures and we’ll see what the little rascal is up to!
Week 33 - Smile!
August 8, 2012
This week has been pretty uneventful, besides a couple of dinners with friends and a playdate with some coworkers before they go back to work this Thursday for the new school year. The nesting bug is really getting to me because I feel like this baby is going to come before his due date, so I’ve been washing a few more clothes and buying more things that I probably don’t really need.
Everything has been looking good with the last two NSTs, so Aaron and I are content knowing that the baby is doing well so far. When I go to the high risk doctors’ office every Monday, they do growth measurements every other week. This past Monday was the week for measurements so Aaron decided to come with me. The baby is continuing to grow and now weighing in at 4 lbs 5 oz. I know that as you get closer to your due date, weight is not really reliable as it is actually determined by the head circumference, abdominal circumference, and femur length. As the baby fills out and puts on more fat towards the end of the third trimester, the ultrasound doesn’t really get an accurate reading on weight. So the doctor isn’t really going by weight, but looking at those three measurements and how they compare. The baby’s head is measuring fine, but his abdominal circumference and femur length is still under the 10%ile. This has been the pattern all along, as I wrote about it back in May, but the positive is that he is showing growth with every scan.
Now that I know for sure the baby is IUGR, I asked my OB/GYN and the perinatologist if they thought I’d make it to 40 weeks because I remembered early on Dr. Schneider saying it would be great if I made it to 36-38 weeks. Both said not likely due to the issue with my placenta. In cases like mine, the placenta will likely start to age or deteriorate early, blocking blood flow and nutrients from getting to the baby. On top of that, women who develop gestational diabetes are also at increased risk for placental deterioration. I’m already high risk with placental issues detected early on, and the gestational diabetes just adds increased risk. But I’m confident things will be fine since I’m being monitored twice weekly and so far things have been looking great. I’m just not ready for this baby to come as early as 2 weeks, seeing as I’ll be 34 weeks tomorrow!
During the ultrasound, we saw hair on the baby’s head so now we know not to expect a bald baby. We could see it at the back of his head, moving in the amniotic fluid. We also saw him blinking, and putting his fingers in his mouth. Here’s a picture of his foot, at which the tech commented, “It’s big!”
But the most special thing we saw during this ultrasound was the baby smiling! Not once, but twice! I’m not sure what’s going on with the baby’s nose here because it looks huge compared to what we saw in the picture last week. Nothing a little
pinching gentle molding won’t fix reshape, haha.
We caught him smiling again!
He must have known Daddy was at this appointment. We’re all smiles, too, knowing he’s doing so great and made it this far!
Week 32 - Halfway through the 3rd Trimester
August 1, 2012
Now that the excitement of the baby shower is starting to simmer down, I’m looking at all the gifts piled in our dining room and itching to get organized. Unfortunately, our plan to move out of the home office (future baby room) and into the new office space next week has hit a speed bump, and now we’re looking at a delay of about 5-6 weeks…boo for city building departments and inspections. So until construction is complete at the new office, everything will stay put as it is. In our dining room. Which drives someone like me totally crazy. There are clothes to wash, towels and swaddles to fold away, toys to organize, a crib to set up, new paint that needs to go on the walls…let’s keep our fingers crossed that this baby doesn’t come early!
The other day it hit me that I’m halfway through the 3rd trimester because 37 weeks is considered full term, even though the due date is set at 40 weeks. That means in about a month, if this baby decides to come, there’s no keeping him in! I feel like there’s still so much to do in so little time, it’s hard not to start freaking out. We’ve done the hospital tour, met with the doula couple of weeks ago, and interviewed a pediatrician today, so I feel a smidge less anxious about everything. Over the weekend, with my sister being in town, Aaron and I took her and my parents to Cedars. It’s a large hospital with several buildings on the campus, so we took them on a brief tour up to the maternity floor, so they would know which structure to park in and what building to go to when the day comes.
I started my twice weekly Monday (at perinatologist office)/Thursday (at OB/GYN office) Non-Stress Tests (NSTs) on July 23, so I’ve done three so far. Aaron has been so great to go to all the doctor’s appointments with me, but after the first NST, I told him he didn’t have to come anymore because the visits always seem to take about 2 hours and are pretty boring. Since he’s the only one working right now, I figured he could get a lot done in those 4 hours a week instead of sitting with me for some uneventful monitoring. I just take my Kindle to read or rest during that time. One belt goes under my waist to measure contractions, and the other belt goes over my belly to monitor the baby’s heartbeat. It always seems to be on my right side. Here’s the machine that I’m hooked up to that records the baby’s heartbeat for about 30 minutes. The paper is sideways so if you turn your head to the left, the top graph is showing changes in the baby’s heartbeat with his movement. The graph on the bottom shows contractions.
The baby has been really active and with the last three NSTs I’ve had both doctors say things look beautiful. I was hoping this meant I wouldn’t have to do this twice a week and asked Dr. Krakow on Monday if it was still necessary, and when she stepped out to check my chart and review his growth, I overheard her ask the nurse right outside the room, “This is the IUGR (intrauterine growth retardation) baby, right?” That’s what I suspected all along, but this was the first time I ever heard it from the doctor. When she came back, she said even though things were looking good, because the baby’s abdominal circumference is measuring in the 5-6%ile, they recommend twice weekly NSTs as a precaution for babies that are measuring less than the 10%ile. All these measurements and percentiles are so confusing! I asked if he was considered IUGR and she kinda hemmed and hawed saying, “I don’t like to use that term because it has the word retardation in it.” Enough said. But honestly, I’m not worried since he is showing growth and I truly believe everything will be just fine.
The positive side to all the frequent visits is that I get weekly 3D pictures of the baby. And this Monday we got the best pictures ever! Look at those cheeks!
Here he is opening his mouth saying, “Hi, mommy!”
And in this one, he just looks so sweet.
It’s really neat to see the baby’s face, as he usually covers it or we’ve only gotten profile shots before. He looks so much more real and it’s amazing to see what he looks like before he’s even out. The ultrasound tech said the baby has my nose. It will be fun to see if that changes in the coming weeks, or if we start assigning more features to me and Aaron. I don’t see any real resemblance, but I see a really cute baby! I know I’m totally biased, haha. Do any of you see a resemblance?
July 31, 2012
This week I’ll do two separate posts so I can dedicate this one to our baby shower. Be forewarned that there will be lots of pictures!
Our friends Christina, Julianne and Kahi threw us a baby shower on Saturday, July 28th, and did a fantastic job planning and coordinating it. Christina and her husband, Daniel, were so kind to host the shower at their incredible home, which he designed, for about 50 adults and 20 kids under the age of six, of which 18 were three years old or younger! It was wonderful to celebrate our baby’s pending arrival surrounded by friends and family in an intimate setting. Here are the gracious homeowners and our good friends, the Montis.
Here’s Julianne and her husband, Eugene. You can see their daughter, Olivia, walking along the edge of the covered pool behind them, and they are expecting another little girl in December!
And here I am with Kahi and her fiance Jeff…he’s very tall.
There are so many great pictures to share, but I’ve tried to edit it down to a few to capture the low key and loving vibe at the shower. There was a photographer there who took some great pictures including most of the ones I’m posting, but the one below is taken by my friend, Gina. She is a photo enthusiast and has many more pictures that she posted on her blog that I can’t resist “stealing.”
We were thrilled that Susan and her husband Kris flew down from San Francisco to come to our shower. Susan, Kahi, Gina, me and Akiko…we’ve had some wild times in our post-college years and now here we are all grown up.
The Montis have the sweetest dog, Beatrice. She is so mellow while Naomi aka Omi is petting her. Omi’s mom Sue is behind her, and her dad Danny is standing in the background talking to Chiaki and Christina. Sue and Danny live in San Jose so we were happy that they also made it to the shower!
John and Tamami have a doll of a girl, Ren, who is here with Willow, Gina’s 5 year old.
I’ve known most of these girls since my USC days, and now they have kids…boys outnumber the girls here! From left to right, Julianne and Olivia, Shelly and Solomon, Juhui and Benjamin, Diane and Alex, and Christine and Yujin (her oldest Yubin is off running around somewhere).
Leslie just had a baby girl 3 weeks ago and her husband stayed at home with Amelia. I think this is the first time she’s been away from her newborn for this long, so I really appreciate her coming out, especially since she is nursing! Don’t worry…that extra beer is not for me!
Brad and Amy are new parents to twins, Carly and Cooper. Aaron has known Brad for many years, as Brad and Scott have been friends since high school.
A couple of my friends from work made it as well. When we all started working together about seven years ago, most of us were not married yet. And now these girls already have two kids! From left to right is Marky and Neille holding Cruz and Drew, and Janet and Young Bae holding Sophie and Ava.
My friend Camille’s niece looks like she’s having a good time!
Here is John making goo goo eyes at his girlfriend Sabina. I imagine him having just said, “Can you believe how many kids there are here?!” Sabina made the cute pom poms that are hanging up around the house and outside.
I look terrible in this photo, but it’s the only one I have with Sheba, who I’ve know for almost 25 years!
There were so many more people at the shower, and I wish I’d been more diligent about getting more pictures with all of them. Our friends Caroline and Ester made it all the way from Korea and Seattle. My parents were there, but we still missed Aaron’s parents who are both in the Philippines.
When we were taking this picture, I said out loud, “I really wish Nina was here.” I was a little sad that my sister, Nina, was unable to make it and celebrate with us as she lives in Connecticut and is saving up her vacation days to come out after the baby is born. So imagine my surprise when someone said, “Hey, your sister is here!” I actually burst into tears. In the car on the way to the shower, Aaron told me and my parents that he had a gift for us when got there, but we had no idea it was going to be this special. I wish I could have seen my mom’s reaction as I heard she practically fell off the chair when she saw my sister walk in with Scott.
Scott had a hand in it too, and I am so grateful for the part he played in pulling off this surprise.
We had such a wonderful time and wished there were more hours to catch up with all of our friends who all mean so much to us, and we don’t see nearly enough. Everyone has been so wonderfully supportive during the difficult, early part of the pregnancy, and I believe their prayers and thoughts were heard as things are now going better than we could have imagined a few months ago. I remember being hesitant about even having a baby shower, as there was a time I didn’t even know if I’d get this far. And we definitely missed those that were unable to attend. Aaron and I wanted everyone to enjoy hanging out and continue having a good time without forcing their attention on us while we opened gifts, so we decided to do this at home later on, especially since some gifts were already sent to us before the shower. We are so touched and overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity, and feel truly blessed as our friends and family went over and beyond in showering us with gifts. This little boy will want for nothing!
We have lots of thank you cards to write.
To top it off with a little extravagance, my sister works at Mercedes, and she couldn’t resist getting her nephew his first car!
But the best gift of all was having my sister at this celebration. I’m so lucky to have such a thoughtful husband who planned this surprise to make this day even more special for me, and for my parents. As the years go by, he continues to show his love and commitment in both little and big ways, and it only makes me love him more and confirms that I chose the right man to have a family and share the rest of my life with.