August 03, 2014

Pictures

I was going to write another post but then realized I hadn't put up the pictures I had promised. The days fly by in a blur! Life with a toddler and a newborn is even more chaotic than I had expected. Chaotic, but wonderful.

Without further ado, photos of Mr. Z:

In his going-home outfit.

I love how his eyes are open for this one. Interestingly, Miss A's eyes were open for this pose, too. For both of them, it was the only pose in their entire photo shoots where they didn't have their eyes closed. I wonder if it's something about the pose that makes them open?

His sister is a blondie (like their dad), but he has a full head of dark hair, like his momma.

July 26, 2014

He's Here!

R and I are thrilled to announce that Za.cha.ry arrived as scheduled this morning via a C-section that went very well. So far, his temperament is proving to be very much like his dad's - he is mellow, quiet, and rarely makes a fuss.

Mr. Z had been measuring in the 80th percentile range for abdominal girth, so I was a bit concerned that the gestational diabetes was making him pack on more weight than usual even though my numbers have been fairly easily controlled. He wound up weighing in at less than Miss A did on this date (both were delivered at exactly 38w0d): 7 lb. 7 oz. compared with her 7 lb. 12 oz.

Apgars were 9/9. However, his initial blood glucose level was described as "borderline" at 49. They want it to be at least 40. A repeat test was down to 46. When they tested for a third time, after our first nursing session, he was holding steady at 46, so they said there was no need to test again unless we wind up having difficulty feeding him. The second and third nursing sessions we did went well, so hopefully re-testing won't be necessary.

I'm a bit more mellow and calm myself this time around. With Miss A, I didn't sleep at all that first night because I was worried that she might stop breathing (not because of a specific medical issue, just paranoia on my part). This time, caring for an infant in the hospital while R's parents watch our active toddler feels like a vacation, and I plan to try to get some sleep tonight. I do still check frequently to make sure he's breathing, because he's so much quieter than I remember Miss A being, but I don't feel quite so terrified about it.

We're still in a state of disbelief that we now have two children. Two!, when for so long it seemed like having even one was a pipe dream.

Pictures to come, probably in the next few days...

July 24, 2014

Counting Down the Hours with Mixed Feelings

Kiddo is still incubating. We are down to the final hours - as I type this, his arrival should be about 49 hours away at the most. We are scheduled to be in the OR for another C-section at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday.

Last time, with Miss A, I was so excited about the idea we would hopefully finally have a baby that I wasn't really focused on anything else, and I couldn't wait for her to get here.

While I'm certainly eager to meet this little guy, this time around there are other feelings rising more to the surface. I know how high-strung I was during Miss A's pregnancy, but in reality, while there were certainly a lot of scary moments and uncertainty in the first trimester of both of these pregnancies, I have loved just about every moment of being pregnant.

I'm not sure that we will try for a third. If I was 10 years younger, the answer would be "probably", but since I'm not (I turned 40 a couple of weeks ago), we're at the "probably not" stage. Actually, R would tell you that we're at the "definitely not!" stage, but I haven't reached the point of absolute certainty about it yet.

And so, given those things, I am feeling a bit melancholy about this pregnancy coming to an end.

We're also reaching an end of an era in being a family of three. We have so much fun with Miss A, and she gets so much attention from both of us. In the evening, we both encourage her in eating her dinner, we both help her brush her teeth and give her a bath.

Now we will have to divide and conquer. I know it will be an adjustment for her to not have the full attention of both of us. It will be an adjustment for us, too. But I know we'll all figure it out.

I'm also a bit nervous about this kiddo being a boy. That's ironic, because when we were expecting Miss A, my mindset was all about a boy, and finding out that she was a girl threw me for a loop. But now I'm used to having a girl, and a very girly-girl one at that, which is something I am definitely not.

Even at 2 years and 4 months, even with most of her toys being things like blocks, Legos, and toys with gears, with very few pink toys and only one doll (which it didn't even occur to me to buy for her until she was nearly 2), and a playroom that has very little pink in it, she loves pink, tea parties, fancy dresses, and pretty shoes. She has even recently insisted on wearing her Christmas dress (with its crushed velvet top and poufy taffeta skirt) to day care and to my birthday dinner. The day care teachers said she absolutely loved wearing her dress and insisted on keeping it on all day rather than changing into the other clothes we had sent with her, even though it is 110 degrees where we live.

So I have learned to embrace the girly-ness, and I even enjoy tea parties now.

But it will also be good for there to be a bit more testosterone in our world. Aside from one male dog in our household, R is surrounded by females - my mom, me, Miss A, one female dog, and two female cats. It's amazing that the guy is still sane... :-)

My next post will hopefully be a birth announcement. Stay tuned!

July 01, 2014

The Countdown Begins

It's still kind of hard to believe, but we are less than 4 weeks away from delivery. If Kiddo does not arrive on his own before then, he is scheduled to arrive on July 26. That is 38w0d, which is exactly the point at which Miss A arrived, of her own choosing.

With Miss A, I was sure we would have to go all the way to our scheduled day, which was 38w4d. She surprised us by coming 4 days early. With this Kiddo, I have a feeling he may be earlier than 38w0d. But then again, based on our history, that will probably mean he goes all the way to the 26th.

At the NST on Friday, I was having contractions. They were very mild, but I could feel them, and there were more of them than what I had with Miss A at that point in her pregnancy (1 contraction during the NST that I could not even feel). I've had more contractions here and there since then that I can definitely feel, but nothing on a regular basis. So that's part of what's making me think he may arrive early.

Also, he started to move down a couple of weeks ago and has pretty much stayed there. That's making me have to visit the restroom frequently, but I can certainly live with that. I really can't complain much about pregnancy at all - amazingly, my swelling (I'm 34w3d) is practically non-existent, which is even less than I had with Miss A.

The biggest challenge I'm having at the moment is that we live someplace where it gets ridiculously hot during the summers. I'm used to it, and it usually doesn't bother me at all, but being pregnant, the heat makes me light-headed and gives me tunnel vision if I'm not careful. So I'm trying to stay under ceiling fans all the time and avoid going outside during the warmest part of the day. At Miss A's annual cardiology appointment yesterday (it went fine), it started to get warm inside the exam room, and I had to go stand in the hallway where it was cooler for a little while. Hopefully my body will revert back to being able to handle the heat after delivery.

I am definitely a bit more relaxed - or maybe just too busy to be as obsessively stressed - this time around, but I still have my moments of nervousness. And I still repeat in my head the same silent prayer/request I constantly used with Miss A: Please, dear God, let this end well.

June 17, 2014

Whew, what a month!

It was the Wednesday before Mother's Day when Miss A had the accident that led to one of her teeth having to be pulled, which I wrote about in my last post. The poor thing hasn't been able to catch much of a break since then, although I'm hoping that now (please don't let this jinx it) we'll have a quiet period for a while.

She went back to day care that following Monday. That Wednesday night, a week after her accident, she developed a fever. We wound up in the ER with her on Friday night because her fever spiked and she was still screaming and crying an hour after it came back down with the help of medicine. She was finally able to go back to day care on Tuesday.

After three days of normalcy, that Friday (the start of Memorial Day weekend) she came home from day care with a stomach bug that was going around.

The stomach bug led to another problem we've not had to deal with before: constipation.

We kept pushing water, which she drinks pretty happily. We tried the Pedia-lax liquid suppositories, 2 nights in a row. They made her cramp up and scream for an hour, but nothing else. We tried to offer her "soda" - prune juice mixed with water so that it had bubbles in it and looked like R's Coke. We offered apple juice, too.

Did I mention that we apparently have the only child in the world who does not like juice or soda?

Finally, on our third trip back to the pediatrician in a week, he suggested we give her Miralax. That took 2 days, but it finally worked. It was around this time that I also came down with bronchitis and a sinus infection and had to spend as much time as possible in bed for about a week, because I was too weak to sit up for more than 30 minutes or so at a time.

So the week of Memorial Day, she was home all week until that Friday. When R went to pick her up that Friday afternoon, the lead teacher alerted him that she thought Miss A might have a urinary tract infection based on complaining about pain as soon as her diaper got wet and suddenly refusing to sit on the potty. (She had loved to do that up until this point.)

Back to the pediatrician we went.

Do you know how difficult it is to get a urine sample out of a barely-2-year-old? Seriously, I think it is the most frustrating thing I have experienced in my brief 2 years as a parent. After 6 days of dealing with that, I was in tears, too.

She would not sit on the potty. She would not sit with her naked bottom on my bare, cross-legged lap (the specimen cup tucked underneath her). Bribing with cupcakes did not help. Having her take off her diaper and stand there in the bathroom, in hopes she would just eventually go and we could shove the cup against her legs and catch anything we possibly could did not pan out.

Zip, zilch, nada - it's amazing how much bladder control a toddler can have when it's the exact opposite of what you want them to have.

Back to the pediatrician we went. We were going to have to resort to having him get a sample via a catheter, which was an experience I was hoping to spare her. It did not go well. He was not able to get a sample.

After another 4 days of her complaining and crying any time her diaper was the slightest bit wet, we wound up going the route of a plastic specimen bag that adheres to the appropriate area via a semi-sticky piece of foam and catches the urine in the attached bag. The reason the pediatrician didn't take that approach to begin with is because it's not a sterile approach (I read online that up to 75% of samples can be contaminated), so kiddos oftentimes wind up having to be treated when it's really a false negative.

Yea - finally success! Or so I figured, because there was a blue line on her diaper. I thought since that was the case, she must have filled the bag with enough that it overflowed into the diaper.

Ha! Silly, optimistic me.

There were literally all of about 3 drops of pee in the bag itself. The diaper was definitely wet, and the bag was still adhered to where we put it, so clearly there was something we didn't do right. I didn't have much hope for the lab being able to get enough of a sample off of that, which was the point at which I wanted to just break down and cry. But we went ahead and took it in anyway.

Imagine my surprise when the doctor called a few days later to say they tested it and she didn't have a UTI. So, yea for that!

Thankfully, she seems to be making progress. She's not complaining about wet diapers anymore and even asked to sit on the potty twice tonight, and stayed there (her naked little bottom on the seat, rather than in a diaper and sitting on the lid) for 2-3 minutes each time.

She's weaning off the Miralax, and so far her BMs are still normal. But the stomach bug really did a number on her GI system, because she's still consistently passing a fair amount of loud, stinky gas, which she never did regularly before this. Hopefully that will continue to improve with time, too.

And we're seeing progress on her mouth - last week, she finally started to drink out of a straw again, and this weekend, she began experimenting again with using her remaining front tooth to tear a piece off a slice of bread. Next week, she'll have an impression taken in order to get a fake tooth made. We don't want her to have to live with the gap for the next 5 years.

Here's hoping the next several weeks will be more calm than these last several have been!

May 14, 2014

Ouch! Miss A Has Another Accident

When I was pregnant with Miss A, a male co-worker told me how his only goal when his daughter was born a year or so prior was to keep her alive. I laughed and commented that I hoped to aim a little bit higher than just "alive".

Now I'm beginning to understand the wisdom of his words.

Miss A is just shy of 26 months, and already she has had a broken wrist and now has had to have one of her top front teeth pulled. If she continues to have injuries at this pace, we are in for a heck of a time!

This latest mishap occurred last Wednesday afternoon, at day care. Apparently, she was running around and collided with another little kiddo. In the process of trying to recover from that, she tripped, fell, and slammed (and I do mean slammed) into one of the little tables they sit at to eat.

I arrived to pick her up just a couple minutes after it occurred. There is nothing that prepares you for having your child open his or her mouth and seeing blood-covered teeth pointing in directions that teeth should not be pointing in.

She must have hit the edge of the table at an angle, because one of her top front teeth remained all the way down, but the bottom of it was pushed back toward the back of her mouth to the degree that it popped out of its socket and could not be re-positioned and salvaged. The dentist said it risked becoming infected within a couple of days and that an infection would damage the adult teeth that are just starting to solidify from a gelatinous texture right above it, so we agreed that the best course of action was to remove it.

The tooth to the outside of that one seems to have been shoved back up into the gums a little bit. He said the nerve may die and the tooth may discolor, but he thinks she'll be able to keep it. The other front tooth should also survive the incident, but it will take a while to look normal again - it was pushed a fair ways up into the gums, and the bottom of it is pointing out a bit now, so that tooth seemed to move in the opposite direction of the other one.

Miss A's poor little face is also horribly bruised, mostly on the right side. (It was the right front tooth that had to come out.) She has a dark blue/gray line of bruising that runs literally from the corner of her eye where it meets her nose, down to the corner of her mouth. Then there's more bruising to the side of her mouth and on her chin. She's very fair-skinned, so the bruises show up even more than they would on someone with less pale skin. She literally looks like she's been beaten up. When we go out in public, I feel like having her wear a sign that says "My parents don't beat me, really they don't..."

The bruising was more than the dentist expected, so he had us take her to the pediatrician to confirm that she did not have any facial fractures. Thankfully, she didn't.

I have to hand it to Miss A, though - she is quite the trooper. She had a couple doses of Advil the night it happened and the next day, but other than that, she has not asked for any pain meds. She's had to adjust the way she eats and drinks, but she's figured out how to put food on her molars in the back of her mouth so that she can still chew them up. Fortunately we had started to transition her to drinking out of an open cup without a lid about a month before this happened. She is able to do that quite well with very little spilling, which is helpful since sucking on a straw is probably going to continue being too painful for at least another week or two.

In a few weeks, we'll go back to the dentist so that she can get an impression made for a cosmetic fix. I don't know exactly what it involves yet or how it works, but we'll find out more details then. The dentist said it would be okay to leave the gap where that tooth was until her adult tooth comes in 5-6 years from now, but I don't want to do that to her. Right now her 2-year-old friends don't know enough to tease her about it, but I could see that changing as she gets a little bit older.

Boys are supposed to be even more rambunctious than girls, so if this is what things are like with Miss A, I can't imagine what sorts of calamities we may have to deal with from Kiddo #2!

Speaking of, we had our most recent checkup today. I'm 27w3d, and Kiddo's estimated weight is 2.5 pounds. So trucking right along. Twice-a-week biophysical profiles/non-stress tests start at 32 weeks, and then things should move quickly from there.

We're in the neighborhood of about 10-11 weeks away from delivery if all goes smoothly. It still seems very far away, but I have a feeling it may pass quickly. Hard to believe!

April 27, 2014

Gestational Diabetes...Or Not?

Since I had gestational diabetes with Miss A, this time my doctor had me test during the 24th week.

I was hoping that maybe somehow this time it would be different. But not surprisingly, I failed again. Normally I'm a pretty good test-taker, but this is one that seems to have me beat.

Overall, my numbers were a bit better than they were with Miss A. Then again, I also tested 2 weeks earlier, and I realize that pregnant women's insulin resistance increases as pregnancy progresses, so who knows if my numbers still would have been better if I hadn't taken it earlier this time around.

I went straight for the 3-hour test, so that I wouldn't have to drink the stuff for the 1-hour, fail, and then drink it again for the 3-hour.

My fasting level was 97. In men and non-pregnant women, it's supposed to be 99 or less, but in pregnant women, they want to see it at 95 or less. So I was just slightly off. My 1-hour was the one that was most out of range - I think it was 214, and it's supposed to be 180-something. Then the 2-hour level is supposed to be 155 or less, and I was at 177. I don't know what the 3-hour level is supposed to be, but whatever it is, mine was in the normal range at 86.

I met with the nurse practitioner at my doctor's office on Friday afternoon to review what I need to do to test at home. I decided to eat the way I normally do this weekend so that I could see just how far off my numbers are when I'm eating like I typically do, rather than guzzling the equivalent of 2.5 cans of Coke in 5 minutes.

So far, it turns out that when I'm eating like I normally do, my levels are just fine.

My fasting has been at 91 both days, and most of the tests I've done 1 hour after the start of eating have been below the 2-hour limit. (The glucose level is supposed to be 140 or less after 1 hour and 120 or less after 2 hours. Most of mine have been less than 120 after just 1 hour.)

As I said, I know insulin resistance increases throughout pregnancy, so I will continue to monitor for the duration. With Little Miss, minor tweaks in my diet - making sure I was including an adequate amount of protein at each meal, mostly - was all that was necessary to keep my levels within range. Hopefully that will continue to hold true this time around.

Other than that, we're continuing to do great, aside from me being annoyed by the fact that I'm now (as of yesterday) 25 weeks and still don't look very big.

When I went to the lab to take the test, I was wearing my regular jeans and a regular shirt. The tech who was checking people in looked at me and said "You're pregnant??" even though it was all over my lab orders. (I also had lab orders for a couple of other things at the same time, and all of them referenced my pregnant state.)

And then my mom felt compelled to share this little gem the other morning. It's her version of a compliment: "You're doing really well. If someone didn't know you were pregnant, they'd just think you were fat, not pregnant." R choked on his smoothie.

I'm still trying to figure out how looking fat is better than looking pregnant...