Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Family pictures

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So Trixie is doing really well in the NICU. She's almost up to full feeds (formula - boo, hope my milk comes in soon!) and last night her IV came out and they decided not to replace it and see how that goes. Which is great because it means they're pretty much just monitoring her rather than doing anything for her.

I was able to try to nurse at both her 6pm and 9pm feeds. She is definitely latching and sucking - it does tire her out and I think it's frustrating for her that she's not getting anything yet, but I am very encouraged that she is doing this much this early.

Juliana is thrilled to have me up and around, even if not back to full mommy strength. I didn't realize just how much she had missed me. And I'm getting a small glimpse, I think, of how hard it is going to be having two.


I messed up this post and tried again above...see that one!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Welcome Beatrix!

Our daughter Beatrix Rose is here! My water broke
unexpectedly last night at about 8:30pm...things
progressed pretty rapidly and she arrived at 2:37am,
just at 34 weeks!

She is 5lbs 4oz, 19 inches, a full head of hair, and
so far has been breathing on her own! She will be in
the NICU at least a week to 35 weeks per hospital
policy, but depending on how she is doing might be
able to come home after that!

Juliana so far appears unfazed by the new addition.
We will see what she thinks when a baby comes home
(instead of a puppy, froggy or teddy bear - her latest
guesses at what's in mommy's tummy).

Thank you to everyone for helping us get through these
last ten weeks of bedrest, it was not easy but I am so
grateful we made it this far.
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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Juliana and her best bud Meredith at the Adventure Aquarium

Juliana and Meredith (along with their daddies) had fun this morning at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. Here the two princesses pose for a picture on a special "throne" they have set up for that purpose!
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Saturday, March 17, 2007

An uneventful day, with music class cancelled and a whiny little girl

Enough said.

Oh, the whiny little girl was Juliana, not me, for anyone who was wondering.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A good day to stay in bed

We're having nasty, sleeting weather here, the kind of day when you just want to curl up and go back to sleep. So while I am sick and tired of bed rest, it is nice not to have to go out in this weather.

Juliana did make it to school today (although with an even later dropoff time than usual) and is now down for a nap. She probably stayed nice and dry under the raincover on her stroller, but whoever is pushing that stroller does not have such a privilege. So for today, at least, I'm glad that wasn't me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ultrasound appointment

Went in today for a growth and fluid check ultrasound and the doctor said everything looked good. Baby is growing well - I got some 3D pictures, which are the first I've ever gotten even though I'm on a first name basis with half the technicians I'm there so much.

I could see the face in 3D, and baby has lots of hair! In one picture the baby opened one eye so I could see it, which was both cool and weird at the same time. Baby also used his or her lungs for breathing during the ultrasound, which was nice to see.

Size-wise I'm about a week ahead of dates, but of course these things are not really reliable. Still, baby is a good size.

And on the plus side - this Sunday is my last progesterone shot! Whoo hoo! I am so tired of being stuck on a weekly basis...Jason might miss it though!

Juliana update

The poor kiddo has an ear infection. She took a trip to the doctor this morning and was really miserable until we were able to get some medicine into her. The doctor said if she's back to herself tomorrow morning she can go to school, so we'll see what happens.

This week has been a tough stretch for all of us - I'm at nine weeks of bedrest now and we're all sick of it. And just sick in general! Jason has really had it tough, trying to take care of her and me, with lots of pressing things going on at work.

Not too much longer now, one way or another!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm exhausted

Juliana stayed home from school again this morning. I really hope we are out of the cold and flu season soon, because she only had about a week of being healthy before getting sick again. Poor little scrap.

But this of course poses problems for us, because I can't take care of her by myself, but Jason has tons of work to do. So the partial compromise is that he does as much work as he can from home, while I hang out with her and watch endless amounts of TV, calling him if we need something.

But as the medicine kicks in and she feels better, she isn't content to just lie around and watch cartoons. She wants to run around, jump, bounce, play Legos, watch Zoe and the Puppies for the gazillionth time on the 'puter...and while I love seeing her feel better, it is showing me once again just how out of shape I have become. After two hours of this Jason took her outside and I am exhausted!

She's on her trike now and they're going to the park. Once our sitter comes this afternoon, Jason can go to work and I can take a well-earned nap!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


My thought for the day: a good babysitter is worth her weight in gold.

Juliana's babysitter picks her up from school every day (well, except when she's sick, like she is again - argh), puts her down for a nap, and then plays with her until Jason gets home from work.

She is artistic, energetic and creative, and Juliana adores her. She calls her "My Bonnie" which I think it just the cutest thing in the world. I was jealous for one nanosecond and now I am just grateful that Juliana is getting such wonderful attention. I don't know how we would be making bedrest work without her.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Amazingly enough, 33 weeks

Had my 33 week ob appointment this afternoon and things continue to look stable. Despite various contractions I am exactly where I was last week. So, good news!

Waiting for my appointment took forever, and when we were finished I was starving. So to indulge me Jason and I went out to get something to eat. It was amazing - the people! the noise! the daylight! And I didn't even feel that guilty because, after all, I had already done the stairs in the house, this was just a few extra steps.

Regarding my previous post, I did ask the doctor when I could modify my bed rest a little. He said let's stay the course (OK, he didn't actually say that...) until I'm 34 weeks and then we'll see.

So even if I do make it to 34 weeks, I'll be so big at that point I probably won't want to go anywhere, I'll be lucky to have the energy to get downstairs! I am huge!

Even though I was pregnant with Juliana, I never really appreciated what people go through towards the end. And I'm only 33 weeks! Who knows how long I will go at this point, isn't it funny? (Of course, baby could come tomorrow too....the fun of being a ticking time bomb!)

Will the leash be loosened?

I have another dr's appointment this afternoon - 33 weeks, whoo hoo! And I'm cautiously debating whether to ask if my bedrest restrictions might be lifted a little.

On the one hand, things are going so well, why jinx it? It's only another couple of weeks at best, right?

But on the other hand is both my sanity and my physical state. If you have never been through bed rest yourself, you can sympathize, but you cannot truly understand what it is like.

I've had people say to me that they wish they could just get in bed and relax for a few days - which shows a complete ignorance of what bed rest is! It is not relaxing and it is not just a few days, and you can't just get up when you want to. It is incredibly stressful and boring at the same time, I'm currently going on eight weeks now, and I'm only supposed to get up to pee. (OK, at 33 weeks that's pretty often, but even so.)

And physically, I've had a glimpse of what it will be like to get old, and it ain't pretty. Shuffling to the bathroom, hips aching constantly, no strength in my arms and legs whatsoever. HOW will I be able to take care of this child when he or she does show up? Not to mention go through labor! So I'd like to regain at least a little strength before the kid arrives.

We'll see what happens at this afternoon's appointment - if I work up the courage, or if I chicken out!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My girly girl

So now that we have Juliana I firmly believe that some girly things are just hardwired. Either you have them, or you don't. Juliana definitely has the girly love-of-clothes-and-shoes hardwiring.

Every time I order her new clothes lately, she wants to try them on. The brighter, the better. I got her a new bright yellow bathing suit and trying it on was the highlight of her evening. (Tough to talk her into jammies after that.) Today, after she spilled water on herself, she decided she needed a completely new outfit, down to a new pair of tights. Oh, and the tights. Forget about wearing pants, if it's not a skirt (or a dress) and tights, don't bother. Clearly she does not get that from me.

One thing she might get from me though is the love of shoes. She adores shopping for shoes. In pre-bedrest days, whenever I would take her to look for new shoes for her, the salespeople would all be amazed because she loves to have her feet measured, and then to try on the shoes. I would guess most kids fight this process pretty strongly, given the salespeople's reactions, but not our little girl. She sits nicely in the chair while the shoes are put on her, parades down to the other end of the store, and then runs back to try on the next pair. If there aren't enough pairs to satisfy her, the same shoes will be tried on multiple times.

Jason might say this is not all that dissimilar from my behavior in the shoestore!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Playing trains

Today Jason and Juliana brought a bunch of train stuff up to the bedroom so we could all play trains. Jason spread out a yoga mat on the floor so I could sit on it and play too - well, mostly observe.

Sitting all the way down on the floor was the hardest thing I did all day. Ligaments stretched, joints popped and I couldn't help but wince as I settled uncomfortably down on the mat. And the prospect of getting up on my own was unthinkable, if Jason wasn't there then I would still be sitting on that mat.

But the trains were lots of fun, Juliana is particularly fond of the pink train called Lady. She's the only girl train in the Thomas collection, and Juliana has adopted Lady as her personal train. It was so nice to do something "normal" together!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Field trip

Had ctx intermittently throughout the day yesterday, which has become the norm, but usually they calm down around midnight or so and last night they got worse - more frequent and more painful. I finally called the dr around 1am and they asked if I would feel better going in to be checked. I said yes so off we went to the hospital.

I showed plenty of ctx on the monitor but no change to my cervix, which is the important part. Thought for sure I'd be doing at least an overnight but they sent me home after a few hours of monitoring.

I can't help but wonder if they were a lot less concerned/cautious because of how far along I am (32 1/2 weeks). While it's always good not to be the emergency case, I'd still like to make it a few more weeks!

On the good side, the dr said the baby looks great, and actually looked like a full-termer on the monitors. She also let slip one or two comments that made us think she knew the gender...but we're not telling!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Time has officially lost all meaning

When I woke up this morning - woke up for the day, that is, as opposed to one of my zillion preggo bathroom trips - I could not for the life of me remember if it was Tuesday or Wednesday.

It slipped my mind for a while until I just looked at the Washington Post and realized it was....Thursday.

Yup, I have lost all context with the outside world, at least during the week. Weekends are different because Juliana is around all day. But during the week, once I've been for my OB appt on Monday, the rest just kind of drifts.

Not even the television schedule is rooted in reality, because we Tivo everything and watch it without commercials. (A fabulous invention, that thing.)

Excuse me now while I try to remember what year it is....

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mahjong sucks out last remaining brain cells

I have nothing of interest to post here, but I know that there are some people out there who get a little concerned if I don't post, envisioning me off having the baby.

Not the case (at least today), I've just been sucked into the black hole that is free online mahjong. And now, after playing it off and on all day, it has eliminated the last two brain cells I had left. Now there's nothing left rattling around up there. Oh well, off to play some more!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Bedtime update

Just to clear the record (at Jason's insistence) - bathtime went well, we have a clean child again! I think she came out of the bath a few shades brighter than she went in.

She wound up going to sleep around 9pm, which unfortunately is the norm these days, but after a few token howls she went right to sleep. So all in all, a success!

The Battle of the Bath

Jason is downstairs right now trying to persuade Juliana to take a bath. It has been so long since she's had a good cleaning that I wonder if there's a little miasma of stink that surrounds her and we just can't smell it.

Her teachers at school would tell us if that was the case, right?

I think Jason has persuaded her into the tub, although I'm still hearing unhappy noises. Hey, at least she's submersed in water.

Daddy may have won this battle, but the war remains to be seen - who knows what time bedtime will be tonight at this rate!

Monday, March 5, 2007

32 weeks - update

Had my 32 week OB appointment today and things are looking stable! I had been a little concerned because of the increased contractions, but apparently they are not yet having any effect.

The doctor estimated that the baby is somewhere around four and a half pounds, which is a good size. And I can testify that he or she is moving and kicking quite a bit!

When this all started back at 24 weeks I never would have thought that I would still be pregnant now, so I am grateful for that. But I'm also a bit lost - I don't know quite what to do with myself! For now, just keeping on with the bedrest and we'll continue to see what happens.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Juliana's thoughts on #2

We love to ask Juliana what she thinks is in mommy's tummy. Sometimes she says "a baby!" But other times she says "a froggy and a kitty and a puppy and a teddy bear!"

So we're not sure if she'll be surprised or not when she meets #2!

Contraction Tetris

I've been having contractions off and on for a while now, which can be pretty disconcerting depending on their severity and frequency. As I got used to it when I was in the hospital, it was kind of cool to watch it show up on the Toco monitors; it looks like a fairly perfect bell curve.

Anyway, I needed something to distract me from it, and Contraction Tetris was created. This is your usual game of Tetris, played on my cell phone, but reserved for times when I'm having contractions.

I tend to get them more frequently at night, and they usually start during Juliana's bedtime routine. We read bedtime stories up in our room now so mommy can participate - I'll be reading, say, "Curious George and the Pizza" when a contraction hits and I have to take some deep breaths.

Jason knows that sound by now, and we start the oh-so-fun process of timing the contractions to see if we need to be concerned. If I have more than five in an hour, time to call the doctor and make the trip to L&D. Luckily so far this has only happened once since I've been home from the hospital.

But after Jason takes Juliana downstairs and puts her down for the night, when he comes back upstairs and sees me on my cell phone, he knows it's Contraction Tetris. I don't know if I'll ever be able to play it again when this is all over!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Hey, it's March!

Living in my little bubble it's easy to stop paying attention to dates. But Jason pointed out to me that it's March, which is very encouraging for #2.

See, when Juliana was born, my due date was August 16. She arrived on May 31. No matter how you slice it, there's a looooong way between those two dates. But I kept hoping (fairly irrationally) that she would stay in until June 1, because the gap between June and August didn't sound as bad as the gap between May and August.

No such luck, she came early when she wanted to. (Which is kind of ironic considering these days we can barely pry her out of her crib with a crowbar to get her to school.)

But now, with #2, whenever he/she does show up, at worst we can say that the due date was April, born in March. See, sounds much better, doesn't it?

Ah, the mental games we play to make ourselves feel less out-of-control....

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Health update

I don't want this blog to turn into a running commentary on every ache and pain we all have, but thank you to everyone who has asked how we all are doing!

Juliana: went to the doctor on Monday, was given some antibiotics, is now back to her usual happy self and the drippy nose is almost gone.

Nancy: sore throat, chills, aches, etc. never progressed and in fact seems to have gone away. The power of the hermetically sealed bubble!

Jason: unfortunately still sick and miserable, as evidenced by the fact that he is going to the doctor this morning without any nagging on my part. And he's the one stuck taking care of me and Juliana, which seems most unfair.

Puppies: Harry got in trouble at the run yesterday with the dog walker, and Milo is still pooping multicolored from the crayons he got into earlier in the week.

#2: Still inside, still kicking away.

After almost seven weeks of mommy on bed rest, things are definitely falling apart at the seams a little. It's a lot to ask one man to do on his own; Jason has definitely been the essential cog in the wheel and done a fabulous job. Here's hoping the dr's can fix him quickly and things can go back to (relatively - not really) normal!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mommy sick day

Well, I finally caught whatever Jason had. Headache, sore throat, achy, chills, with a forecast of drippy nose for tomorrow (that's how his progressed). Definitely not fun, especially since there's a limited amount of drugs I can take while pg.

It is interesting that I didn't show symptoms until I went out yesterday for my dr's appointments. I do wonder if it has to do with the cold outside, going in and out of buildings, etc.

Guess it's not safe to leave the hermetically sealed bubble we call our bedroom!

Monday, February 26, 2007

31 weeks!

Just came back from an ultrasound and my weekly OB appointment. Everything looks stable, which is great! The dr's are taking me off the Indicin and we're going to wait and see what happens with contractions, if anything.

Baby is looking good and is still really active, which is reassuring on the one hand, but on the other hand, it's getting uncomfortable!

The dr's seemed really pleased that I have made it this far, which is encouraging. The next big milestone is 32 weeks, so the new countdown begins.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscar boredom

Wow, the Oscars are even more boring this year than usual. You know things are bad when Al Gore gets the biggest laughs of the evening.

On the bright side, I got a shout-out on the Washington Post's live Oscar chat:

Philadelphia, Penn.: This is really not very entertaining. And I say this as a pg woman going on six weeks of bed rest, I've been entertained watching dust bunnies....

Jen Chaney: When you can't entertain someone on bed rest, who can you entertain? Sorry you've been cooped up for so long, by the way. Hang in there, and best of luck with the baby. (Mine finally started crying. I think all the wins for "Pan's Labyrinth" cheered him up.)

You can read the chat in its entirety here, and it is far more entertaining than the actual Oscars.

Back to watching...

A Sunday Expotition

Like Christoper Robin in the Winnie the Pooh book, Jason is leading an expotition this morning. He's taking Juliana, Harry and Milo to the dog park to get the puppies some exercise.

He is a far, far stronger person than I am.

I am much happier right now being left behind in the peace and quiet of the disaster area known as our bedroom.

Legos and construction paper everywhere; various medicine bottles, as Jason and Juliana are both still sick; shreds of paper towels and who knows what, as Harry has figured out how to open the garbage can in the bathroom; a comforter covered in jelly stains, milk and other things better left unmentioned.

I think the cleaners might do an about-face and run screaming tomorrow.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

In this corner, weighing in at 30 pounds...

The 2 1/2 year old always wins. How is this possible? Short of using sheer physical size (which never goes well), small child always grinds us down.

Case in point: this morning, Jason trying to get Juliana out the door to music class. Now, he is not dragging her off for torture, or early SAT prep, or anything like that. She loves music class, especially with daddy.

But...right at that moment, stickers were the way of the world. To heck with music class, she was determined to stick all those stickers. "Juliana, we're going to be late to music class." "No, Daddy." "We're going to miss I'm So Happy." "Stickers, Daddy." "Don't you want to play with the instruments?" "Doing stickers, Daddy."

At this point poor Jason, who is sick and dragged himself out of bed to take his little girl to music class, was about to explode. Luckily there were only four stickers left at that point so by the time he calmed himself down, she was finished stickering and was ready to go.

Now, I don't want to make it sound like she always gets her way. She definitely does not; we use no, distraction and alternatives a lot. But when she digs her heels in, there is no budging.

Somewhere, my mother is laughing.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Baby dreams

I have not been sleeping well lately. Between getting bigger and more uncomfortable, and lying in the same bed all day that I then try to sleep in at night, I guess it's not really a surprise.

But one side effect has been that I remember more of my dreams, which is unusual for me. And a lot of my dreams have been about the baby arriving.

I've had at least two recently where I went to my OB's office for a weekly checkup and while I was waiting for the doctor, the baby fell out. (Now there's a picture.) The baby then flipped over and started crawling away.

I choose to take these as good signs. Baby falls out = easy birth! Baby crawls away = baby healthy!

Hey, it's my subconscious. I can interpret it however I like!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Window on the world

It is warm enough today to have my window open this morning. Fresh air, city noises...I hardly know what to do with it all. Sensory overload!

Consolation thought for the day: at least I am not on bed rest during beautiful warm weather. When that comes around, hopefully I will have a happy healthy baby to take outside!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sick Day

Both Jason and Juliana were under the weather this morning, which meant a busy morning of Sesame Street, Curious George, etc. for Juliana and Mommy while Daddy did some work from home.

I think Juliana does have one of the bugs that are always going around school, but I think she also wanted a bit of a lie-in. After we finished lunch, she told us she was ready to go to school...those night owl traits again. Jason pointed out there were only about six minutes left before school was over, and she'd go tomorrow.

Even though most of the time was spent watching the telly, I'm still exhausted! I'm definitely out of shape on this mommying business.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Second Baby Syndrome

Since the baby I'm lying here waiting for is our second, not our first, preparations have been a bit anticlimactic.

I remember with Juliana the infinite amount of research that went into choosing just the right stroller! carseat! bedding! Hours and hours, all of it backed up by the fear What if I don't choose the right one? Am I dooming my child's future before it's even begun?

I like to think now, as the proud parent of a happy, self-willed (very self-willed) 2 1/2 year old, I know better. I know that the right baby product might make my life easier, but the wrong product, or no product at all, is not going to turn my kids into hardened criminals sometime in the future, or send them to the therapist's couch. "My mommy didn't get me a Bumbo seat, and I've never been right since!"

That being said, we've perhaps gone too far in the other direction. We've been so superstitious with this pregnancy that we haven't done anything. Most of that stems from Juliana's rapid arrival - on Saturday we chose final name candidates for a boy or a girl, and on Sunday mommy's at the hospital five cm dilated. Tends to put a scare into you.

Last night I twisted Jason's arm into looking at birth announcements solely because I need a project to keep me occupied during bed rest. Addressing lots of envelopes would help to fill some time, but there was definitely a part of me that had misgivings as well when I placed an order online this morning.

But I don't think we're as behind as we might be - after all, we still have lots of things left over from Juliana. I went to create a baby registry at Babies R Us for this kiddo (again, mostly looking to fill time) and I only came up with 11 items to put on the registry.

So you know, baby, I think we're gonna make it after all.

Just stay in there!

The "out the door" struggle

Every morning it is a wrestling match to get Juliana out the door to playschool. Jason and I both understand that she has so little control over her life right now, and digging in her heels and refusing to cooperate is one way to exert control. But it is so frustrating!

Once she gets to school, she really enjoys it. It's the process of waking up, getting dressed, fed and up to school that doesn't work so well. I think she's more of a night owl like her daddy.

If only you could reason with a 2 1/2 year old!

Monday, February 19, 2007

30 week OB appointment

Just got back from our 30 week OB checkup and things look good so far! No internal changes, baby's heartbeat sounds good. Always such a relief.

Uffy (our OB) is keeping me on the Indicin, even though he admitted he doesn't know if it's actually doing anything or if it's "voodoo mumbojumbo" - at this point I don't care as long as it's working!

It's amazing to me how exhausted I get on these outings. Even though Jason picks me up right in front of our house and drops me off outside the dr's building, I am panting like a pooped puppy by the time I get to the dr's waiting room. (And I know from panting puppies.)

Some of the exhaustion is just from being big and pregnant, of course, but a lot of it is due to being so weak from bed rest. It is truly scary to me how quickly I lost whatever muscle tone I had, and even more frightening that at the end of this (whenever that may be) I will have two children to care for!

On the way home Jason went by the Starbucks to indulge me in a snack, he's such a sweetie! It was almost a relief to crawl back into the cocoon of my bed, just me, the baby and my venti vanilla creme. Right now it truly is about the small pleasures in life!

Bedrest - 30 weeks and counting!

Hello all, and welcome to our new blog!

I've been on bedrest now for almost six weeks and have made it to week 30 in this pregnancy. This is a huge milestone for us because Juliana was born at 29 weeks and spent nine weeks in the NICU at Pennsylvania Hospital. So we are in uncharted territory and hoping it continues that way!

While bedrest is not easy, it feels a lot better at 30 weeks than it did when it started back at 24 weeks. And it is infinitely better than Juliana's time in the NICU, so hopefully baby will stay put for several more weeks at least.

More to come shortly, as I figure out how to operate this blog site! Stay in touch...