Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On the other side of the curve.

This morning, I had my 20 week checkup. I also brought with me a special guest. He's about 37 inches tall and was fascinated with the buttons on the exam table and wanted to get his blood pressure checked.  Yes, Toddler T made his first appearance at a doctor's appointment. He walked right up to the front desk and loudly announced, "My mommy has a baby in her tummy and my baby is coming at Christmas-time." This made both myself and the receptionist laugh.  He then accompanied me to get weighed.. (ugh) and was very curious about the orange 'juice' that I got.  He didn't quite get that it was medicine, so when we returned from the appointment, I promptly put it on a high shelf. Little did he know, that that 'juice' was the key component of my glucose tolerance test. This time, the nurse told me NOT to skip breakfast and that the drink is best cold. I honestly don't remember it being too bad from the first time so I'm not too worried about it. 

The visit itself was FAST. Like in and out in about 7.5 minutes. Was this because the doctor was efficient or because Toddler T was rolling around the office on the doctor's stool? I'll never know. It was sort of an odd appointment for several reasons. First, the doctor was the one that was paged down to the ER when I was readmitted for blood loss. He was the doctor that I had my post-surgery follow up with and he was the one that assured me that A. my ectopic was a fluke and B. I would go on to have as many children as I wanted.  Our personalities don't exactly mesh, but I know he's a smart guy. He seemed to remember me or he quickly scanned my chart. He gave me a big congratulations and said he was happy to see me after coming through the ectopic. I almost wanted to ask him to scan a little further, because after he last saw me things got a little nutty. But, I didn't because he was being nice. He commented that Tiny T had a great heartbeat, strong and steady. He told me to take Tylenol for my back, visit a chiropractor if the pain was too unbearable and reviewed my recent blood work as perfect. 

Then we discussed delivery. The doctor commented that Toddler T was delivered via C-section because he was a big baby for my smaller frame and that we would monitor the size of this baby to determine whether or not I'd have a repeat c-section or VBAC.  I almost laughed right then and there and really wanted to ask him to keep flipping through my chart. Not only am I not on board with a VBAC, BUT the previous doctor suggested removing my remaining fallopian tube at the TIME OF MY REPEAT C-SECTION. It was a little annoying, but I feel confidant that I will not get talked into a  VBAC. 

You might wonder why I am adamant about having a second C-section.  Well, I will tell you. First, I am aware that it is major surgery and that recovery time can be longer. I am also aware of the fact that this country has a very high rate of C-sections. I also realize that it is very realistic that many women may choose and be successful at having a vaginal birth after Cesarean.  BUT, I have had a lot of surprises come my way this past year. I'm sort of over them. We have had to make quick decisions on where Toddler T was going to stay and who was going to watch him during the past two hospitalizations. Things did not go smoothly for a very long time and I'm too anxious for the unknown. I fear going into labor only to wind up with an unplanned c-section, which was exactly what happened with Toddler T. I This is why I needed to know if Tiny T was a Mr. or a Miss.  This is why I want to walk into a hospital and into an operating room instead of how I've gone in the last 4 times. Scared, weak, sick and sad. 

Hopefully, no one challenges me too much on this. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We've gone public....

It took 20 weeks, seeing some of my extended family in person and waiting to have the anatomy scan to put our news out there for the world to know. It was really more of a formality, as most of the people I see on a regular basis were aware of my growing stomach. Nevertheless, it was nice to put out that Facebook announcement. I bought a shirt for Toddler T that said "BEST BIG BRO" and before dinner, I was able to get a really cute picture of him wearing it AND smiling. I posted it and it has been really sweet to read comments and well wishes. This IF thing can stick with a girl, because, as soon as I hit POST, I felt conflicted. While I couldn't be happier sharing our news, because I know the path we have taken, I felt such a heightened sense of loss for those still fighting the fight. I can remember scrolling through my news feed and feeling blindsided by announcements of friends or friends of friends. It felt like such a slap in the face even though I knew that no one was trying to hurt me with their news. Even tonight, I wonder if there is someone who is hearing of my news and feeling that same sense of dread or panic or sadness or outright anger.  I hope not, but I understand if they do. It makes me want to put an asterisk under my post with a note that explains what exactly we've been through in the last 18 months. 

I'm sensitive in a way that I have never known before and I am grateful in a way that I've never known before.  

I am also relieved to have had a fantastic anatomy scan. I was happy that the same doctor who preformed my CVS test was the one who would be reviewing my ultrasound. After the tech finished up her part, he came in to go over everything with us. The first thing he said was , "Don't worry, I'm not coming at your with a needle this time." It was nice to be so much more relaxed this time. I've always had a small fear of spina bifidia and I asked him if he would be able to detect any spinal deformities. He  very matter of factly responded, "Your baby does not have spina bifidia. Your baby looks perfectly healthy." He told me that he didn't expect to see me again and wished us well. Dr. CVS then printed out some 4D pics for us to take home. If you want my honest opinion, they aren't my favorite. In fact, we opted not to show them to Toddler T because they looked a little scary. My absolute favorite is the profile shot of the face. I have one from when Toddler T was 20 weeks and honest to God, he still has the same exact profile. We'll have to see if Tiny T's profile matches the ultrasound one day!

Oh, and before I forget..... we got further confirmation of our CVS testing results.

Gender guesses anyone?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Two Unplanned Doctor Visits in One Day.

For Toddler T and not me.

This little boy will be keeping me on my toes. Something has happened when he turned three. He has leapt out of toddler-hood and into full fledged, "I'm a big boy now."  Some of these new skills are adorable, trying to dress himself and some are frightening, "No mom, I CAN swim. Don't stand near me."

Today, it was just an accident. We had gone to the mall as it was pouring rain and going to the pool was out. We finished up our shopping and were eating pizza when he fell. I'm really not quite sure what happened. He was sitting across from me and was trying to get from one chair to the next. He lost his balance and couldn't get his hands out in front of him. A kind man attempted to help him out of the chairs as I was trying to get myself over to him. Unfortunately for this kind Samaritan, his act of kindness, freaked out poor Toddler T. I go over to him and sat him down on my lap in an attempt to survey the damage. The crying was loud and the teeth were bloody. 


A mom from the next table over handed me some napkins and I got a cup of ice. We packed up and headed to our car. I called his pediatrician's office and they sent us right to the pediatric dentist. Poor Toddler T, thought that we were going back to the emergency room and said it was scary there. He started to calm down and then started to fall asleep in the car.  This concerned me a tiny, tiny bit.

We were seen right away at the dentist. Dr. Jeff stopped his lunch break to see us and could not have been any sweeter to Toddler T. Next up was an x-ray.  Toddler T had not yet had his first set of dental x-rays and it was clear that I could not go with him.  I got a little nervous but my little boy walked off like a champ. He was exited to come back to see me and show me his new toy car from the prize box. The good news is that there was no major damage and we'll follow back up in a two weeks. The dentist asked if he showed any other symptoms of hitting his head and I did mention the sleepiness in the car.

That answer sent us straight over to the pediatricians. I felt a little silly as I really chalked up the sleepiness to it be somewhat close to nap time and a natural reaction to have cried his eyes out for a good ten minutes. But, a bloody mouth and sleepiness earns a small child a full once over. Once again, he was given a clean bill of health. I took him home and gave him Motrin and woke him up one hour into his nap.  Tonight we tried to get him to rinse with salt water... it wasn't great, but could have been worse.

Tomorrow we are headed to see his first movie and hope the day is much less eventful.

Monday, August 13, 2012

You're My Home

Five years ago, Mr. T and I danced that most perfect Billy Joel song and started off our wedding reception. We knew that in the short future we would be moving out of the city in which we met, lived, got engaged and married in and moving to his hometown. I can honestly say it was the best night of my life, because without Mr. T, there would be no Toddler T and no Tiny T on the way.

We were married on August 11, 2007 and two days later left for our honeymoon in Belize. Then Hurricane Dean came and we were forced to evacuate 5 days in.  Hanging out in a boarded up Belizian  airport in the midst of a hurricane, hoping that American Airlines does not leave you hanging, is the epitome of romance.

Several months later we moved of our row house rental and having been unsuccessful in finding a permanent home, moved in with my in laws. We transitioned to living in Mr. T's childhood bedroom and our dear cat, suffered a nervous breakdown. All in all, it was really a non-issue and 5 months later we moved into our home.

Once we were settled in our house, life fell into a routine. Toddler T arrived and well, if you've been reading my blog.... you know the rest.

Which brings me to the past few days.

Mr. T and I returned to our Charm City and celebrated our anniversary at the same restaurant where we went the night we got engaged. It was delicious and I left very full and teetering in my too high heels. How the pregnant celebs do it, I'll never know. (Walk in too high heels, not feeling full. I mean, we know that they never over-eat!) The next day we picked up a miniature version of our wedding cake and brought it back to my parents' house to continue the celebration. Toddler T thought he was a part of our 'Wedding Party', because he was eating wedding cake.

We had decided that it was time to tell Toddler T our news and planned to do it tonight after dinner. 

Six months ago, I would have that this night would never happen. 

After dinner, I sat down with Toddler T and Mr. T turned on our video camera. 

I told him that we had news and that he was going to be a big brother. I then went on the explain, that mommy had a baby in her tummy but that the baby wouldn't be big enough to come out until Christmas.  He then went on to list all the things he would do with his baby. In no particular order they are:  Dig, hold the baby, teach the baby to use the drill, teach the baby to climb the ladder, give the baby all of his old baby toys and so on.

I'm honestly not sure how much of this he retained or will sink in. I know it is very superficial to him. But we took one more step and tomorrow he will tell his friends his big news.

This coming weekend, he'll get to share the news with his cousins and the majority of my family. Mr. T and I will get to share if we are welcoming a Mr. or Miss T to the family.

Exciting times for all.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Jersey Girl

Today, Toddler T and I had a visitor.  My oldest friend, Matron of Honor and Toddler T's godmother came for a visit. We have known each other since the 4th grade and while pursing different colleges, career paths and geography, we have remained close.  We can tell stories about our siblings, parents and cousins and the other knows all the key players and 'get' all the dynamics. We both know that there is no shame in finishing an entire meal (french fry crumbs and all) and THEN stopping for desert. We can laugh at the same stories told thousands of times and cringe at reliving our adolescence together.  

What would we cringe over?  I'll share an example.

For the better part of our 8-9th grade years we both had a larger than life crush on the same boy. He was a few years older and we truly both believed that the sun rose and set because he was on this planet. He also lived in our side of town and whenever our parents would drive past his house, we would practically break our necks trying to catch a glimpse of him in house, yard, whatever.

We were shameless, but never thought we were so obvious.

Turns out, everyone was on to us.

Turns out, her dad had a trick up his sleeve.

While driving past HIS house. 
Her father stopped the car. 
Put it in park.
Got out.
Walked and faced HIS house.
Began to bow down in honor.


The shock. The Fear. The Horror. The DREAD

Please, Please get back in the car. We couldn't speak.

Then as if nothing had happened. Mr. Best Friend's Dad, walked back to the car.
Put his seatbelt back on.
Put the car in drive.
And drove us to Best Friend's House.

This is only one of a million stories that we share. And today, we got to hang out. She brought me cookies from an Italian Bakery, New Jersey Style. Sprinkles, dipped in chocolate and Heavenly. She and Toddler T got into a tickle-fight. We had a chance to go out to lunch (and eat every.single.thing on our plates) while Toddler T went to Nannie's house.  It made my heart happy to spend the day with someone who has been such a constant part in my life.

If only we didn't live two hours away from each other.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'll admit it, I was looking for a pat on the back.


I can't escape it. 

I've been pretty candid about it. I gained approximately 60 pounds with my first pregnancy. Sometimes, I felt devastated about this fact at my check-ups and other times, flippant. I only remember one truly obnoxious comment from a doctor. It went something like this, "You're not eating ice cream every night, are you?" It stung. It made me feel like one of those moms who pour grape soda into their 4 year old bottles.... not good. But whatever, I dealt with it. By Toddler T's first birthday I had lost all but 5 lbs. A long year of emotional hurdles led me to gain back about 10. But again, I dealt with it.

I was upfront with my new group. I stated my concerns. I asked for guidance about how best not to do that again. The nurse gave me a weight gain total of 15-25 pounds for the entire pregnancy. I almost wanted to laugh a little. But didn't and left her office armed with my list of NO foods. I will say, I have stuck to that list about 95% of the time. Last month, I had gained 4 pounds from the previous month. But, this was before I got THE LIST OF NO.  This month, I gained 1.5 lbs. I'll admit. I was happy. Very happy. 

Then the doctor came in. She is nice, she is upbeat, she is to the point. She commented on my tan. Said that the baby's heartbeat looked good and then asked if I had any questions. I asked if I seemed to be on track with the weight gain guidelines. She answered, "Well, You have gained more than I would like to see." 

What? What? That couldn't have been what she said. Right?

I suddenly felt like an outraged Honors student who had been denied an extra point on her extra credit question.  

How could she say this? Didn't she have my old flow sheet. Couldn't she see that by this time, with Toddler T, I had already gained 16+ pounds. Didn't she see that I always gained 4+ pounds in between appointments? Didn't she KNOW that I have been avoiding sugars, chips, and almost every food on THE LIST OF NO???

I guess not.

Perhaps my problem was asking. Perhaps I should just keep my mouth shut and let the next doctor mention it, if he is concerned. But I didn't, I guess I just wanted to hear, "Your weight is looking good. Keep up the good work."

I know this is trivial. Everything else is going fine, Tiny T has a strong heartbeat and I'm looking forward to the 20 week ultrasound. I left, scheduled my next appointment and declined ice cream for dessert tonight.

In funnier news, Toddler T has been watching the Olympics here and there. While swimming at my parent's pool, this past weekend, I told him that he was getting to be such a great swimmer that Michael Phelps better watch out. We then pointed out who Michael Phelps was and didn't give it much thought. Tonight, at my in-law's pool he learned to dunk himself and do a VERY rudimentary crawl. To be honest, he looks like he is half drowning. BUT, anyway.  After one dunk/crawl, he popped up and proudly announced, "Just like Michael Phelps." It was pretty funny.

I wish I could bottle his confidence.