Thursday, April 30, 2009

No One on the Corner Have Swagger Like Us

The modern English language never ceases to amaze me....all of a sudden a new word infilitrates our vocabulary and pop culture. The newest addition that drives me crazy: swagger, swagga, swag, etc. According to the Urban Dictionary, swagger means "to to move with confidence, sophistication and to be cool" or "to conduct your self in a way that would automaticaly earn respect."

I know I am not hip enough anymore to say something along the lines of "Don't be hating on my swagga!" But then again maybe I am lacking in the swag department....I just don't have enough swagger to pull off saying the word swagger....

Every other pop or hip hop song on the radio today has some variation of the word swag in the lyrics. The American Idol judges are referring to swagger in their critiques now. Apparently Danny Gokey has swagger now?

Little did I know how much this word has taken hold....I guess CNN is not immune either:

So aparrently even our president "has his swag on." I am in disbelief right now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Perks of Having Babies....

You can put them to work! I have my own little 13 month old housekeeper.....He has spent the last hour playing with a broom he found in our storage closet....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kirch Developmental Center

Another 8:30am doctor appointment.....I am still NOT a morning person. Ugh! But these early appointments allow Chris to come with me so I cannot complain. This morning, we had an appointment with Dr. Sulkes, a developmental pediatrician at the Kirch Developmental Center. I am so glad that I can finally say this: this doctor is great!! I have not been terribly impressed with the care we have been receiving with the perinatal group....basically because I feel like they are not keeping us in the loop as adequately.

Dr. Sulkes made every effort to answer our questions and give us information. He even looked up the results of the fetal MRI for us! Besides explaining what the Kirch Center is all about, he gave us straightforward information on what to expect in our situation regarding hospitalization and surgery. Most importantly, he reassured us that despite most likely requiring a surgically placed shunt early in life, Ashlyn should have no problems with walking and talking. With the issues at hand, she is at risk for developmental delays, but that does not mean she will never meet such milestones. Plus, the Kirch Center will provide "Early Intervention" to help facilitate her developmental progress.

Now for newest information about Ashlyn's beautiful brain.....The fetal MRI basically shows ventriculomegaly of the lateral and third ventricles, which we knew. The images show that the amount of subarachnoid space is within normal limits, and the corpus callosum is visible and appears complete....both good things. The radiologist's report agrees with what our ultrasounds have shown...that it appears to be due to some sort of blockage or narrowing in the aqueduct of sylvius (called Aqueductal Stenosis). The MRI does not indicate that there was the presence of any brain mass (tumor) causing the blockage. They cannot rule out that there is a webbing in the aqueduct causes backup of CSF in the ventricles. So basically.....not a whole lot of new information. Kind of reinforces the diagnosis we have been given. But overall it is reassuring in the fact that no other issues were is still looking like an isolated birth defect at this point (phew).

I have decided that I need to get a medical binder for Ashlyn together before she is born. So I am going to request at my prenatal appointment on Friday that I get copies of all ultrasound and MRI reports. Why didn't I think of this sooner?!

I am currently 34 weeks 1 day pregnant so that means that it is possibly that in less than 3 weeks Ashlyn will be here! That is if delivering at 37 weeks is still the plan (hopefully we'll find out on Friday). In the meantime, I still have so much to do (some things more important than others)!!

  1. NICU visit
  2. Tour of Strong L&D
  3. Meet with Pediatric Neurosurgeon
  4. Pack my hospital bags (bags for Chris and Braeden too!)
  5. Pre-register at the hospital
  6. Fill out short term disability forms
  7. Prepare Ashlyn's medical binder
  8. Install car seat bases
  9. Pick out our double stroller
  10. Get house "baby ready"
  11. Find out if the glider chair is still under the mountain of clothes I have neglected to put away....consider unburying it before Ashlyn arrives
  12. Put batteries in all the baby bouncers and swings
  13. Find a house flag that says "It's a Girl"
  14. Pick up last minute baby supplies (still need NB size side snap t-shirts, mittens, hats, etc)
  15. Get Ashlyn her own medical supplies (ie, thermeter, nasal aspirator) and label so she and Braeden don't share germs
  16. Store away any of Braeden's too small or out of season clothes and accessories
  17. Find a 12month size "Big Brother" onesie or t-shirt
  18. Get new jump drive for digital pictures and videos
  19. Upload all the videos from my iFlip so that I actually have space to record baby videos
  20. Get the guest bedroom mom ready
  21. Stock the freezer with easy meals
  22. Install ceiling fans in bedrooms (prevents SIDS)
  23. Don't forget Chris and my anniversary on May 17th!!

This list is seriously making me want to go lie down and nap. So much too do...and did I mention Chris is going to be out of town for 4 days at a conference (May 3-6)....Can I start maternity leave now?!

(Cartoon courtesy of

Monday, April 27, 2009

Braeden and the "Pretties"

Too bad I can't take credit for the beautiful tulips....they came with the house, but at least I haven't killed them in almost 2 years! Chris and I weeded and added mulch yesterday....and my back is still killing me!



Sunday, April 26, 2009

Daddy's Little Helper

Braeden tried to help daddy with the gardening today....too bad he couldn't lift the shovel!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dancing Baby

Braeden continues to work on his hip shaking abilities....Here are some of his latest dance moves caught on video. I could not for the life of me get him to dance to Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow...but for some reason he went crazy for The Wallflowers One Headlight!

Next, Braeden dances to Jack Johnson...It takes him a little while to get into it, but when he does he really gets his hips moving!

Parenting Do and Don'ts

I had to post this cartoon...Apparently when Chris was a baby, there were mitigating circumstances that required putting him to sleep in a dresser drawer! Thankfully, my in-laws have a pack and play at their house so we don't have to worry about this being an issue anymore!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Susie Homemaker

No, not me....I am definitely not Susie Homemaker....I am talking about my husband! He is great cook, and tonight he made a delicious dinner of scallops. Mmmmmm. I feel guilty, I can cook spaghetti with meat sauce, tacos, and on rare occasion my special cheesy lasagna. He makes these elaborate restaurant quality dishes. I have probably forced my husband into learning how to cook out of necessity. Now that we have babies, take out every night is not an option!

Check out my man cooking dinner....Pretty sexy even though he is wearing his William and Sonoma apron like a superhero cape....It's SuperDad!

NST and Impromptu Ultrasound

This afternoon I went to my first ever non-stress test sans Braeden and hubby. The doctors have decided to do weekly NSTs because of my blood pressure being elevated and the fact that this pregnancy is already complicated to begin with. During an NST, they look at baseline fetal heart rate, the variability of the fetal heart rate, accelerations or decelerations in the fetal heart rates, kick counts (you have to press a button whenever the baby kicks), and contractions. The NST is considered reassuring if the baby has two episodes of accelerations during the 20 minutes of monitoring.

The very nice nurse hooked me up to the monitor (just like the one you get put on when you are in labor) and positioned me comfortably on my side reclining in a chair (so much better bedside manner than at the fetal MRI last week!). Right off the bat, Ashlyn had a beautiful acceleration. Good, I thought, this should be easy! Unfortunately, she proceeds to start having decelerations soon after that....She would drop lower than her baseline fetal heart rate, but very quickly recover. I read online (since I didn't end up getting a great explanation as to why this was happening) that these variable decels can be related to the baby movements or to cord compression. Sometimes the decels correlated to when I indicated that I felt a kick.

Toward the end of the 20 minutes, there was only one good acceleration so the nurse tried some manual stimulation by pressing on my uterus. This did help Ashlyn have another good acceleration. No contractions at all during the test. The nurse took the tracing to show the doctor in the office because of the frequency of the variable decels. Here is part of the actual NST tracing from today:

The nurse came back pretty quickly and asked how I would like to get another picture of my little girl. Another ultrasound? I just had one last Monday! Of course, I did not complain...I love getting ultrasounds and seeing my princess. I had to wait 5 minutes, but they squeezed me in for an impromptu ultrasound. I was nervous worrying that something was really wrong causing my baby to be distress....but the nurse was very reassuring. The ultrasound checked out according the tech after she reviewed the results with the doctor. According to the tech, they were just checking the amount of amniotic fluid, which was completely normal.

During the quick ultrasound, I watched as she measured the ventricle size again....We are up to 19 and 22 mm (up from 16 and 19 mm one week ago) and 7.8 mm for the third ventricle (up from 6.6 mm...keep in mind this is the ventricle that is barely visible on an ultrasound normally). No one commented on this significant increase in one week, but it is obvious that this is a problem that will keep getting worse in a short period of time. The head circumference was not measured this time around...but her head is starting to look bigger than normal on the scans....

Luckily, in 4 weeks I will be 37 weeks and if needed Ashlyn can be delivered so that she can be monitored on the outside. I was content of waiting as long as possible before delivering...but now I feel like it might be in her best interest to come out earlier so evaluations and interventions can be made. It makes me nervous knowing her ventricles are getting further dilated causing fluid to accumulate in her brain. As the pressure in the brain increases that is when you have to start wondering what kind of non-reversible neurological damage has been done....This just keeps getting harder and harder to deal with. I know we can handle it, but I just wish that my daughter did not have to go through all this. For goodness sakes, she is not even born yet.....I just want her to have a normal life because that is what every child deserves.

Here is the latest picture of Ashlyn Grace:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fetal MRI

Yesterday, I got a call that prior authorization went through with my insurance so I was approved to get a fetal MRI. Imagine my surprise when they gave me an appointment for today!

I met Chris at Strong at 10:30, and his first comment was "this place is a zoo." Indeed it is....thus why I have qualms about delivering there and why I did not even consider working there as a nurse!

After we found our way to radiology, I got checked in and escorted to MRI. I am asked if I am claustrophobic..."nope, I don't think so" I respond. I had to answer a zillion questions regarding whether or not I have a body full of favorite question was if I had a penile implant! I think they should just have a metal detector in the doorway to MRI...I mean if you had a penile implant how forthcoming would you be about that revelation?! Needless to say, I am not metallic and was cleared to get the scan.

I had to change into scrubs pants and a gown...but the tech let me keep my shirt on (wish he made me take it off'll find out why in a minute). He told me to take off my bra because of the underwire ( T.H.O.)...yet he never mentioned that I needed to remove my jewelry. Luckily, I noticed my wedding ring right before I sat down on the MRI table...

I had to say goodbye to Chris...he wasn't allowed to come with me. : (

They led me to the MRI machine. As a nurse, I have taken patients to get MRIs on numerous occasions so I wasn't freaked out by the contraption. I was give ear plugs because it gets pretty loud during the test. Again, someone asked if I am claustrophobic. My response: "I guess we will see in a minute...." I had to lie on the hard flat stretcher, and the techs put a board on top of my belly, which Ashlyn immediately started kicking at. I asked how it is possible to get a good image if she keeps kicking, and I was told that it is very difficult, but they will do the best they can.

So they start the scan, and I start to think that maybe I am going to be claustrophobic after all...After 5 minutes the techs come back. The guy tech thinks it will be funny to tell me it is all done. "Is it really?" I inquire. Um, "nope, just kidding. We have to reposition you." Ugh, what a douche...Back into the lemon squeeze machine (as I have nicknamed this torture device)....They proceed to take about a zillion scans moving the table a teeny tiny bit each time.

I was very uncomfortable lying flat on my back. Being pregnant, you are actually not supposed to lie flat on your back after like 20 weeks because it puts pressure on your vena cave (a big blood vessel). So pretty soon, I started feeling short of breath. I was freaking out a little bit because of how tight I felt in the machine. Plus my arms were flat against my side restrained in place by a big band...definitely not a relaxing position. I caught myself hyperventilating a few times and had to force myself to slow my breathing down. It felt like the room was about 200 degrees....Glad I declined that extra blanket that was offered to me! They had put a sheet over me, which I began to try to discreetly pull down with my restrained hands. I was working up a sweat...there were actually beads of sweat running down my face. Yuck! I was kicking myself for keeping my shirt on...great, I thought, now I have to go home in a sweaty shirt....

Periodically, I would let out a little whimper or moan on accident...but never once did the techs ask if I was okay. Even when my respiratory rate was accelerated, no one bothered to check to make sure I wasn't having a panic attack (or worse!). Whenever I have seen MRIs performed on conscious patients, the techs have talked to the patients over the intercom to tell them what is going on, reassure them as needed, and check on them. Only once did I hear anyone over the intercom...Right before they started just to tell me what I already knew...they were starting the test. Geez...I understand the test is difficult as it is a fetal MRI and as the secretary divulged over the phone not something they do very often...but come on! Show a little bedside manner!!

Throughout the entire test, Ashlyn was kicking like crazy....especially during the scans. I think she was responding to how loud the noises were! It took close to an hour (all the while I am lying on my back totally freaking out) when they finally had enough images.

They pulled me out of the lemon squeeze machine and unrestrained me. Yay, I am free! I ripped the sweaty discombobulated sheet onto the floor and sat up a little too fast. I could not wait to get out of the hospital....I had just about enough for one day! I was quite shaky and sweaty. I glanced down to see the river I left on the stretcher underneath me. It took me probably close to 5 minutes to get my shoes on because I was quite felt like I was trying to walk after being a boat.

One of the techs escorted me back to the locker room and proceeded to point out every restroom on the way. I know I am pregnant, but come on...I can hold it a little longer....just let me get these sweaty nasty clothes off lady! I spotted Chris is the waiting room, and the look on his face was priceless...obviously I looked just as disheveled as I felt.

I proceeded to the locker room and looked in a mirror...yup just as I thought, I was quite a sight....I pulled off the damp scrub pants and take a look at the swamp ass (awww, old cross country lingo!)! I snap a quick picture for posterity:

I finished getting dressed and quickly shuffled Chris out of that place. His dumbass remark of the day was something like this: "Why are you so sweaty?" Hmmmm....why am I sweaty? Hmmmm...maybe because I was violated by the lemon squeeze machine for close to 1 that can't be it....I was off making sweet love with those ever so dreamy MRI techs....geez, I have heard enough stupid questions/comments for one day....
I have to work tonight, but I doubt I will be able to sleep before my shift starts....I am all wound up after this day. Now that I am free from the torturous lemon squeeze machine, I cannot stop thinking about the results of this MRI...what they could find. Most likely, it won't show anything new....but at the same time, I realize how serious this test is. As I was told, they don't do very many so obviously this is a diagnostic test reserved for only certain serious situations like ours....makes mama nervous.....I was trying my best to stay optimistic...but now that we are at the high risk group and getting all these fancy tests, I am starting to take on a new that is not as easygoing and positive. I am starting to prepare myself for the worst just in case....I know I can handle whatever the outcome may be, but I cannot help stressing over the fact that we won't know until after she is born what her quality of life will be....Yet again, the watching and waiting is getting the best of me! Off to wait for the fetal MRI results....

Storks Don't Really Deliver Babies?! Damn....

Since, I am pretty sure the whole stork thing is a myth...I have to start coming to terms with the dreaded c-section birth. Because I have complained enough about not wanting a c-section and contemplated all the risks (blood loss, shock, infection, anesthesia complications, problems for Ashlyn with breathing...I could go on and on....), I have decided to try to think of the benefits of having a scheduled c-section to make myself feel better. Let's see if writing this list will give me a change of heart....

Warning: This list might get graphic.....words like "vagina" and "fecal incontinence" will be used!

  1. Obviously, the main benefit is that it will be the best possible birth for Ashlyn. We want to make sure she avoids any unnecessary trauma that could occur during labor and a vaginal delivery.
  2. If her head is really as big as the doctors I really want to push a bowling ball out of my "area"?! I tore pretty bad when I delivered Braeden, and his head was average sized. Plus, 10 cm dilated is not that much....check out a ruler, you'd be surprised! All I can say is OUCH! Furthermore, imagine how much stretching would have to be done to accommodate a large'd have to do lots of kegels to get your vagina back to its natural size and shape (if that is even possible). I don't want to be one of those women who go to Dr. 90210 for vagina surgery!
  3. It will be nice having a date scheduled in my planner to work around. No guessing as to if my baby will be born on time or late....All I'll have to do is look at the calendar and know Ashlyn's birthday is X number of days away. I will have advanced notice as to when I should get the nesting done. I can plan a spa day a few days in advance...get a pedi, mani, wax, get my hair done, prenatal massage.....momma needs to be pampered before she turns back into a postpartum zombie! Having a date in mind does give you some sense of control....Although, I am sure once you are lying on the OR table that feeling of control goes right out the window!
  4. I was thinking to certain days that would be convenient to have the c-section. For example, 39 weeks is would be Monday, June 1st. Since I am taking the full 12 weeks off for maternity leave that will give me the entire summer off (assuming I don't go out of work earlier than necessary). I also thought that 38 weeks would be good too....It would be Monday, May 25th (Memorial Day). That means most of my family would not need to take off of work. But I am not sure if they would schedule a section for a holiday....Then I thought, well the day after Memorial Day would be good too. We could go to family picnics on Monday as a last hooray before the big day. If they decide to take her out at 37 weeks (no earlier please!), that would be the day after Chris and my anniversary....not exactly ideal, but it would be a great gift nonetheless!
  5. Labor....I guess I won't miss it after all. Before the epidural, I was miserable. Contractions suck, and the pressure was unbearable. Seriously, all I could do was cry and sit on the toilet because it was the most (relatively) comfortable position I found.
  6. 8 weeks (as opposed to 6 weeks) short term disability pay!
  7. No need to worry about pelvic floor damage, which can cause urinary and fecal incontinence (yuck) and sexual problems. No bladder or vagina prolapse. No tearing or episiotomies to worry about. And no hemorrhoids that can be aggravated by pushing.
  8. A planned c-section is a much safer route then trying to deliver vaginally, only to end up with an emergency c-section. Let's try to make my delivery as emergency free as possible please!
  9. We will have to stay in the hospital 3-4 days. At first I thought this would be a negative, but then I recalled day 3 when I was home with Braeden. Chris decided it would be a good idea to leave his wife and newborn home while he went to get a haircut (although looking at the postpartum pics from the hospital...he did in fact desperately need a haircut!). Little did he know while he was at Supercuts hoping that he would get the hot hairdresser (yes, I can tell if he gets the hot one....he always is much more satisfied with the way his hair looks...), mommy was home in agony thinking she was going to die. In fact, my milk was coming in....I had no idea it would feel like I had the flu....I was shaking, had the chills, and was in unbearable pain. Thankfully, my mom was with me....Chris would have never lived that one down if he left me truly alone. By the time he came home, I was sitting in the reclining chair topless, boobs bigger than Dolly Parton's, tears streaming down my face, a bag of pees in my crouch pleading with Braeden to just latch on! We were quite a sight. At least if we are in the hospital, it will nice to have nurses and lactation consultants there to help me through the torture.
  10. More on the 3-4 days in the hospital. If Strong's rooms are anything like Highland's, the postpartum suites ALMOST feel like a hotel. Granted the sheets are scratchy and there is emergency equipment hiding in the hanging pictures and cabinets. I can bring a laptop, dvds, magazines, and be able to veg out when the baby is sleeping (assuming we get to room in, and she isn't still in the NICU). No need to worry about housework, making dinner, grocery shopping, etc, etc, etc for 3-4 days! That is the kind of vacations mommies like...but we could do without the whole surgery part....
  11. I won't have to deal with icing my vagina...kind of awkward when you have visitors coming in and out of your hospital room!
  12. I will admit it....It is a vain reason, but Ashlyn's head might be a little bigger than normal, but it will be perfectly round as opposed to the cone head babies who are delivered vaginally! She will also avoid the bruising and redness on the face that can occur with a vaginally birth (Braeden was pretty beat up when he was born!).
  13. Mommy might look a little prettier postpartum if she does not need to labor and push for hours...Well, I will probably be less sweaty and disheveled....but I might be more puffy from the IV fluids.
  14. I will gain perspective for my career as a nurse. When often get surgical patients in the ICU so I will be able to understand better their concerns and physical pain that is experienced postoperatively.
  15. The recovery will suck....but at least I will get the good drugs. Right? They don't just give you ibuprofen after a least I hope not....I'm hoping for a PCA pump with something good like Dilaudid or Morphine for at least the first 24 hours!
  16. It will be interesting to see how Chris does in the operating room....I just hope he doesn't pass out. Still, it is sad that they will only allow 1 person in the OR. I wish my mom could be there too.....At least (I think) they will allow her and Chris go right to the nursery with Ashlyn.

So that is a pretty long list....Granted some of the benefits are stretches, I am starting to come to grips with the inevitable. At least, with it being scheduled, I can prepare myself adequately.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"More Please"

Well...Braeden isn't quite that polite....but he does know how to communicate that he wants more! Here is a video from our Olive Garden lunch date today when he got to try his first chocolate mint candy:

My Guys!

Look MeMe and PaPa....Your birthday gift to Braeden is a big hit with my guys!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Our Latest Science Experiment

Braeden and Mommy inadvertantly performed their own little science experiment....Call Braeden a modern day baby Alexander Fleming because he has discovered penicillin! He left his sippy cup in Mommy's blackhole of a car. Finally, Mommy got around to cleaning her car out and discovered the moldy, nasty cup making her vomit in her mouth a little. Needless to say, Braeden is down a sippy cup now! Don't worry Mommy documented the discovery before chucking the cup for good:

My Hygienic Little Boy!

Braeden loves to brush his teeth! After I do a good scrubbing, he will continue to brush his teeth for a good 5-10 minutes! What a hygienic boy I have....although I am sure that will come to an end before I know it....

Monday, April 13, 2009

32 Week Perinatal Appointment

We had to get up bright and early today for our 8am doctor's appointment and ultrasound. My first thought for the day....who the hell scheduled the appointment this freaking early (Braeden had a bad night...he has a cold and did not sleep well)! After rushing to get myself and Braeden ready, I was out the door by 7:30am (albeit sans makeup and doing my hair), only to find 390 was backed up already. Traffic stresses me out in general....but when I have to be somewhere on time, it really irritates me! By the grace of God, we got to the parking lot at 8:02am without mommy having a major meltdown or getting a serious case of road rage.

Chris drove separately and also got caught in traffic so he was 10 minutes late. While we waited for his arrival, I gave a urine sample and then proceeded to throw up my breakfast (fruit and orange juice....nasty!). I guess the stressful morning affected my sensitive stomach.....

They called me back for my ultrasound soon after Chris met us in the waiting room. The ultrasound tech took all the necessary measurements, but she didn't really make any comments (technically the ultrasound techs can't tell you much of anything anyway). According to the measurements, Ashlyn weighs about 4lbs 9oz right now! What a big girl..she is right on target to be over 8lbs like her big brother. The tech also said that the amniotic fluid levels were within normal limits.

During the scan I studied the measurments, and I did notice that one of the ventricles measured over 18 mm now (the other was over 14 mm) and the third ventricle measured over 6mm....which means that the ventricles are increasing in size at a faster rate now. The various head measurements were listed as 34weeks 5days and 36weeks and 2days, while I am 32 weeks pregnant.....her head is continuing to get bigger than expected....

After the ultrasound, we went back to wait to meet with the doctor. After showing off for all the other patients in the waiting room, Braeden had a mini meltdown when we would not allow him to tackle another little boy. Chris took him to the hallway to let him roam around and burn off some energy. Finally after waiting forever (actual time...probably 30 minutes), I was called in for my appointment.

First, my blood pressure and weight were checked. For some reason the tech checked my weight twice....I think she just had a "case of the Mondays"...hopefully she wasn't trying to torture me! BP was 142/80....still high. Ugh.....When I met with the doctor she said that right now, my BP does not seem to be related to preeclampsia (phew) because there is no protein in my urine and my 24 hour urine screen was normal. But I do have to watch out for the warning signs....headaches, epigastric pain, vision changes, etc. However, it is recommended that I do biweekly non-stress tests from here on out just to make sure Ashlyn is doing okay in there! So next week I will go for my first non-stress test.

I saw one of the resident doctors first. She was very nice and friendly, and she didn't mind when Braeden wiped his grubby yogurt melt covered hands all our her white coat. She checked the fetal heart rate, which of course put Braeden in a trance and then made him dance once he heard a beat! My fundal height measured right around 32 1/2 weeks. She told me that my 3 hour glucose tolerance test was normal, but that a high 1 hour can indicate a level of insulin resistance so it is possible that Ashlyn will be on the bigger side.

She asked some of the routine pregnancy questions, and then asked if I had any questions. Duh...."can you please tell me the results of my ultrasound please?!" "Oh let me look in the computer here......when was this ultrasound done?" "Hmmm...Around 8:15am...." Seriously, does this doctor's office not communicate effectively or what? It seems like the practice is kind of scattered and rushed....The doctor told me that she would go over to where the ultrasound office is and get the results.

20 minutes later she returned. I would complain that it took her so long, but she brought one of the SPA attending doctors with her so I figured we were waiting to meet him. This guy had the worst stutter....I am not trying to be mean or anything, but at first it was very offputting. But he seemed like a good guy and was very knowledgable. I have to give him credit for how hard it must have been for him to pursue a career in medicine...but it still was hard to take him seriously when he could barely spit out the word "ventricle." I am such a bitch....I should keep these thoughts to myself from now on I think!

So basically, he tells me that in fact the ventricles are getting bigger faster. But he says that in the 3rd trimester that is expected as fluid continues to build up. The head is also getting bigger faster, and he expects it to get too big to deliver vaginally. He basically told me that unless I go into labor prematurely in like the next couple of week, I am more than likely going to have a c-section. We will try to wait until 39 weeks (June 1st), but it might be necessary to go as early as 37 weeks pending an amnio to check for lung maturity. As far as if Ashlyn will need a surgically placed shunt, he says that it is usually only the extreme cases where a shunt is placed right away...but we will not know for sure until she is born.

We will be getting a fetal MRI, which could possibly give us better insight into the situation (more than likely it won't tell us anything new though). The secretary just has to work with my insurance before she can schedule a date. Luckily, I already called my insurance and know that they will in fact cover it for a $40 co-pay. I will get an ultrasound at every doctor's visit from here on out. I go back on May 1st for my 34 week appointment. After that, I will go in every week until I deliver.

Now, I am feeling overwhelmed with everything again. Things were looking reassuring with the last ultrasound, and I was optimistic that I could have her vaginally with no complications. Now, I know that is not necessarily the case....Some women (who are crazy) prefer to have scheduled c-sections, but I am seriously stressed over that possibility. My labor and delivery experience with Braeden was very fulfilling. Granted, I labored forever, needed pitocin, freaked the crap out of Chris, ended up with an epidural, and tore my va-jay-jay....but I felt so proud and accomplished after he was born. Words cannot explain how empowering giving birth vaginally is....and I just cannot imagine feeling that way after having major abdominal surgery! I want to do what is in the best interest of my baby girl...but I still cannot keep myself from whining "I do NOT want a c-section!!"

32 Weeks Belly Pics

I am getting so huge that I can no longer take a self belly pic so Chris had to help me out this week! To be honest, I feel much bigger than this picture shows if you can believe it! And check out the classy stain on my boob....nice!

Warning....This next belly pic is a little graphic. Do not scroll down if you have a weak stomach! Whoever thinks pregnancy is sexy is seriously delusional! I just need to document how my belly button is getting close to popping....that never happened when I was pregnant with Braeden. And as you can see those alleged stretch mark creams do not work! Do not waste your money! You are either lucky or not in the stretch mark department, and apparently my pregnancy luck was all used up when I avoided morning sickness in the first trimester....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!

The Easter Bunny visited my family today!! Check out Braeden's Easter "basket"....Mommy did not like the selection of baskets this year so she recommended the Easter Bunny get this wagon that was onsale at Target instead. Easter Bunny also remembered to bring Mommy, Daddy, and baby sister Ashlyn baskets with goodies!
P.S. More pics to follow....

"Look Ma!"

"Look what the Easter Bunny brought!"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Braeden's Latest Trick

I finally got around to taping Braeden doing one of his most recent tricks. Around his first birthday (March 16th), he learned that he is 1 year old! What a smart boy....I am such a proud mommy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Notice of Eviction

Dearest Ashlyn Grace,
I am issuing 60 day notice for EVICTION. Tenant will have 60 days in which she can either gather her belongings and promptly vacate the premises, or wait until the final day. After which, she will be physically removed from the property.

She's being evicted due to breech of contract and destruction of property. Expansions only to the FRONT of the house, within reasonable limits, were discussed. Not only have these limits been exceeded, but additions to the back of the house were also made! Remodeling and gutting of the home was never approved, nor was changing the initial layout and base structure. And due to property damage, there are now leaks in both the upper AND lower levels of the home.

On top of which, the landlord has received numerous complaints about nightly disturbances. After 60 days from this day that she doesn't comply with the notice will result in immediate and forceful removal at my discretion.

Love, Mommy

P.S. This eviction notice was blatantly stolen from a random online message board....I do not know who the original author is, but I am definitely not the first uncomfortable, desperate pregnant lady to steal their very accurate and well written letter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Bunny

Braeden met the Easter Bunny tonight!

No News = Good News

I have yet to hear from my doctor's office about the results of my 3 hour glucose tolerance test from last week. So that must mean I passed, right? No gestational diabetes....yay!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Cleaning....Or Nesting

Am I in Spring cleaning mode....or could this be an early onset of nesting?! Work put me on call tonight so I decided to kick off Spring cleaning. Chris and I focused on tidying up the office and bathroom and attempting to do the mountain of laundry that covers the basement floor (FYI: the basement floor is still buried by dirty clothes....).

Despite my lack of energy (which I attribute to the pregnancy and raising a wild 1 year old boy), I was on a roll acting all Monica-esque (Friends fans will understand that reference). My new obsession is the Greenworks line of cleaning products, and I am contemplating splurging on a nicer vacuum cleaner. Within the next week or so, I hope to have my house much more organized, spotless, and laundry-free. After the inside of the house is done, I plan to get the outside spruced up and actually open the pool this year! Let's see if my urge to clean continues or if this one evening cleanfest was a fluke....


It is April 7th....and it is snowing. Gotta love Rochester, NY weather.....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What's Next a Muzzle?

I bought Braeden a leash. I do believe that was the hardest sentence I have ever had to type.....

For as long as I can remember, I have vowed to never put my child on a leash. Afterall, I didn't birth a beagle; I have a human baby. I even have a hard time when I see a cat on a leash. I am still torn about baby leashes, but I suppose I have had a change of heart....Here is why:

1. Handholding is hard to do with someone who barely clears your knees.

2. I am NOT going to be that parent that lets her child run free like a wild animal. Plus, now that I am hugely pregnant, I do not have the energy to sprint after my child who is making a beeline for the street, the cute little girl's pigtails, or what may or may not be a discarded crack pipe at the local park (ahhh, the perks of city living...FYI mom that was a totally hypothetical situation....I think I stole it from Look Who's Talking).

3. I am all about letting Braeden "self explore" (no...not like that). In Little Gym, we are supposed to let our babies learn by exploring on their own. I think it is important, and I am lucky that Braeden has never been overly clingy. I encourage Braeden to lead the way when we are at the park, and it is always fun to see what he is drawn to (the sea gulls, bark chips, other people's strollers). But it just is not responsible to let him take the lead in the middle of a busy playground expecially near roads, piers, and crowds of sketchy individuals. The leash allows me to give him about 2 feet of independence, but I am always right there to maintain his safety and intervene in a flash.

4. At this age, I don't think leashes are that bad. When he is taller and follows directions consistently, I will untether my child from my wrist and let him free. But until then, my curious little guy makes mama nervous.

5. You know I didn't get the standard baby leash....I got the super cute monkey backpack harness. It is not just a leash...It is a stylish baby accessory.

6. Only on rare occasions will Braeden be put on his leash....mainly just for trips to the park and when exploring the great outdoors. I felt kind of embarassed having my little man on a leash while at the park today so who knows if I can brave the other moms' judgmental glares (paranoid much?) in the future.
7. Look how cute he looks:

Best News Ever....

After my torturous 3 hour glucose tolerance test, I had been fasting for 12 hours, which when you are pregnant that is like equivalent to 3 weeks I think. So of course, I headed right to a drive through for lunch. I was on a mission to go to Tim Horton's to get one of those new wraps, and imagine my complete and utter joy.....when I found out that Tim Horton's is now half TH and half Coldstone Creamery! What a great much better than those joint KFCs and Taco Bell me and my dad used to get a kick out of when I was younger.

It was like a mirage...but instead of being parched and in the desert, I was starving (figuratively, not literally) and in heaven! Of course, I could not turn down the ice cream....Probably not the best idea, I could possibly be facing gestational diabetes and here I am ordering a "love it" portion of the cheesecake fantasy. But I am rationalizing it as my last supper kind of a thing just in case I do have "the diabetes."

Better news....I just googled Coldstone Creamery to check the locations. And it looks like there will be a CC coming to Greece!! Just 2.62 miles away according to mapquest! Now I am just saying a little prayer that my 3 hour test puts me in the clear to OD on as much "gotta have it" sized cones as I want for the next 9 weeks or so.....after which the postpartum diet will begin :(

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's Day

My April Fool's Joke did not go over very well....I pranked my mom, and she was not amused! Being pregnant I used the easiest available prank at my disposal....telling her my water broke, and I was on my way to the hospital. Instead of being keen to the date on the calendar, she tells me she is on her way to the hospital right away to meet me there. By the time I was able to say "April Fool's", she was probably already in her car! She ended up hanging up on me and later informed me it was not in the least bit funny.

I know I know....if I were closer to my due date it would be one thing, but since I still have two months to go, I should have figured this prank would not go over well. But I couldn't use my standard April Fool's Joke I play on my mom....pretending I got myself knocked up out of wedlock (well I ruined that one when I actually did get myself pregnant with Braeden before Chris and I tied the knot...).


Braeden is working on cutting tooth #7! 2 weeks before his 1st birthday, he was still working on his 3rd. Check out the progress of his upper teeth. Thankfully he is looking less like a vampire everyday (the middle 2 came in after the outer two)!