Saturday, May 31, 2008


The u/s tech also mentioned yesterday that he has hair. And that hair is floating in his amniotic fluid. I could see the fine fuzz on his head. I wonder whether it is a soft light brown like my own baby fuzz or if it will be dark like Scott's. Or even fair like my mom and Scott's dad...

She also confirmed that he is indeed all boy. A few online friends have had surprises lately and it made me second guess whether he was really a boy. I'm so attached to him as is that it would be tough to find out later that he isn't what I think he is. And all the boy clothes? Already washed and too cute to return.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Real Bedrest

For the last 3.5 weeks I’ve been off of work and on “rest.” My bp was up, my babies amniotic fluid was low and I was supposed to rest most of the day and drink a lot of fluids. I did as directed for the most part. I drank a lot of fluids, I rested a lot. But I also made trips outside the house other than to my doctor’s office – I was given permission to attend my shower and have meals out occasionally and I relished that. I’ve been doing a few things around the house – nothing heavy, just a few loads of little tiny clothes, putting away baby gear (again, all small). As soon as I feel the slightest bit weary, I rest.

Apparently that isn’t enough. I had the second of my twice weekly NST and AFI checks today. The baby kicked butt on the NST – meeting the goal (a variation of 15 in his heart rate twice in 20 minutes) in half the time. He moved well and sounded great. His AFI was just okay – to my untrained eye, it looks the same as it has looked at all of his checks for the last three weeks with small pockets of fluid scattered about his cramped quarters. But it had dropped by .2 points and my OBs partner she didn’t like the downward trend so no more activity. The technician relayed that if I didn’t stay in bed, I’d be having this baby soon. And boy did that get my attention.

So no more projects other than the blanket since I can knit while lying down. No more random trips to Target or out for dinner. Certainly no bathroom renovation. Even though I wasn’t going to do the work myself, we can’t give up the only bath/shower now since I can’t travel anywhere to bathe, even for a few days.

I really really want to make it to 37 weeks, full term. I really really want just three more weeks. He needs it. I need it. So 21 more days.

I woke up at my usual 4 am this morning and laid awaking thinking about how unprepared we are for a real baby. Sure we have most of the stuff, all washed and folded and put away even. But we had absolutely no books on child rearing, child care, etc. We had done no reading on immunizations or other issues that need decisions before the baby comes. So DH got me a bunch of books today on the way home. At least I can read in bed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Big day today **Updated with pics**

Today was a big day. I had one of my now twice-weekly NST/AFI checks at my OBs office. The lion cub did well – he actually stayed on the monitors well this time! And his fluid is still about the same – 6.5. The doc from the big hospital recommended I get steroid shots for his lungs and my OB decided that since there is no harm in doing it he would have it administered today. He said he’d held off before now because babies of mom’s with pregnancy-induced hypertension (aka gestational hypertenstion or PIH) tend to mature faster than babies of mother’s who don’t have it. And given that the baby has been coping well under these conditions for three weeks now, he thought it wasn’t necessary. But since it doesn’t hurt anything we went for it. I have another NST/AFI on Friday afternoon, after our appointment for our car seat installation.

We had our hospital tour tonight. I learned some great things – each room has wireless telemetry so even though I have to be on bp and baby heart rate monitors while laboring, I’ll still be able to get up and be mobile to work through labor. Woohoo! I’ve been concerned about it since I learned we’d most likely be induced a bit early and even if I’m not they will want me to labor in the hospital instead of at home anyway. The hospital has a bunch of birth balls in all sizes for laboring moms. The beds are transformers and allow mom’s to labor in just about any position they want. All the delivery and recovery rooms are private. The rooms for vaginal birth are awesome. The recovery rooms for c-section moms, not so much (way way “cozier”). There is wireless internet access in the lobby but not on the maternity ward. So we can bring the laptop and I’ll be able to write posts and then Dh will have to take the laptop downstairs to post and send emails. It’s not ideal but it is totally doable.

In preparing-for-baby news, I was able to return dupes to both Target (with original receipts) and BRU and get $300 in cash and credits to use to get things we actually need (instead of the 2nd tub, 2nd mobile, 5 extra fuzzy blankets, etc). I did most of my shopping last week and got the last few items yesterday (breast pump parts, basket for dirty clothes, bottles, bath towels, cloth diapers for burp rags). It feels so good to be done shopping! Now I just have to finish organizing.

Part of the shopping involved upgrading our photo and video equipment. Our brand new digital SLR arrived today. Woohoo! It’s so great – I can’t wait to play with it tomorrow. We already had compatible lenses (including a telephoto lens) from our old non-digital SLRs. And we had the right size memory card since we bought one for my brother’s similar camera when we borrowed it for our trip to Paris in October. I’m so excited to have a camera that can handle low light and the need for a fast flash. We regularly miss pictures of the nieces and nephews due to low light and it makes me nutty. I’d go crazy if that happened with our own child.

Last weekend we also got a new video camera. I read about it in the NY.Times and it sounded perfect – pocket sized, no memory cards, disks or tapes and it does really well in low light. It is so small and so easy to use I can’t imagine getting anything else. And it was cheap! We used it at my dad’s 60th bday party last weekend and I was impressed. It has 2g of memory built in, enough for 60 minutes of video and when you are done, you plug it into your computer via the built-in USB. Love it!

I’m also keeping myself occupied with knitting and sewing – for our baby and the babies of my two friends and two SILs who are due at the same time as we are. I’ve cut out two knit blankets and just need to sew them up. And I’m working on embellishing the cloth diapers to make them a bit more fun.

hat for the lion cub
Last week I started and finished a knit cap for our lion cub – I’ve made the same hat at least a dozen times for the kids of our friends and it felt so good to make one we get to keep. But I finished it so fast (waiting for just two appointments), that I had to find a new project to keep me busy while waiting. This came across my blog reader and it is just perfect. But I can’t afford $120 for yarn to make it and none of my local yarn shops carried anything as vibrant in a yarn that was machine washable and dryable (a must for a blanket for a baby I think), so I went to Michael’s and was surprised to find just what I needed.
beginnings of baby blanketI bought six skeins of Lion.Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick (pumpkin, butterscotch, grass, sky blue, fisherman, and taupe), needles and still spent half the cost of the original yarn. I started it tonight and it is knitting up quick and easy – perfect for waiting for appointments twice a week.

Since things are still looking okay three weeks after I started leave, I’m hoping I can make it four more weeks at least. Partly because my OB is on vacation for two weeks in mid-June and partly because I still have so many little things to make and do before he gets here. And I really want him to be a Cancer (like his dad) so he can wear the super cute onsie we got him at the Gap when we found out he was a boy. I’m greedy like that.

Friday, May 23, 2008

33 weeks

This week has been hectic, especially considering I’m not working. Tuesday I had a weekly NST and AFI check and all was well with the lion cub. The NST was a little tough – he didn’t want to stay on the monitor and it took us a long time to get what we needed.

On Wednesday, the lion cub was a little sluggish but met his twice daily kick count quotas. At 3:30 am on Thursday I woke up to pee and had vertigo so badly I couldn’t sit up, much less stand up or walk to the bathroom. It continued until about 6 am. The baby normally wakes me up at 4 am with lots of movement but he was quiet. Which does nothing to calm a nervous mama. DH got me orange juice at 6:30 and he obliged with his required 10 kicks.

DH and I were still nervous so we called my doc and they wanted me to come in at 2:45. We did another NST and it was much better than the one on Tuesday. The docs were both running late – they were doing a c-section (boy girl twins that were a result of IF treatment) – so Dh and I took a break and got some ice cream and ended up finding the BornFree bottles we wanted at Whole Foods.

Anyway, the docs discovered that my bp had responded too well to treatment and was now too low. The lower BP was apparently lowering what he was getting through the umbilical cord, which was thought to be causing his decreased movement. We worked out a treatment plan to find a happy medium – test BP three times a day. If it dips to 100/70 or below, skip mythldopa for the day. If it is 140/90 twice, six hours apart, take the second dose. Otherwise I am to stick with one dose each day.

Today I was back on the Penninsula for a growth scan. The kind folks at the fetal diagnostics center said he looks good – all measurements where in line with his gestational age and now weighs almost 5 lbs now. Yay! His fluid is the same as it has been for over two weeks, 6.7. His umbilical cord pressure also looks good. The doc there decided they would like me to come see them once a week for AFI/NSTs in addition to the one a week visits and AFI/NSTs at my Obs office. So from here on out we’ll be getting twice weekly scheduled checks. All the driving (25 miles each way to each appointment) is a drag but the peace of mind is worth it. The hospital OB also thinks I should get steroid shots soon – like at my next appointment. I guess we’ll see about that on Tuesday.

My ILs are coming for a visit tomorrow. I had to let them know I’m not up to my usual amount of activity or hosting capabilities but it will be nice to see them anyway.

So, we are hanging in there. And he’ll be here before we know it. It still feels like a fantasy. Even though I get to see him at least twice a week.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Showered with love

shower mosaic
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
And lots of tiny…stuff. Our baby shower was yesterday and it was lovely. Hot but lovely. I was extra cranky – I spent most of Saturday nauseous and dry heaving* which is um, not good for the old blood pressure – and was really hoping that the festivities would be held inside at my brother’s house. We got there and it was all lovingly set up outside on their patio in 85 degree heat. With misters (which my brother spent all day Saturday installing), but I don’t like getting wet. So yeah I wasn’t the most gracious guest of honor ever but we got past it thankfully!

It was an intimate family affair – about 15 people in all, including Scotty’s sisters, who flew up Friday night from southern California for the festivities and my mom’s sister, who came from Colorado.

My mom did a great job decorating with our little lion cub in mind. The decorations were all so cute – our stuffed lion collection graced the tables, the plates and napkins all had lions on them with cute little sayings, and the cake had a lion and a banner welcoming baby Kingsley. It was all just adorable.

The pile of gifts? Crazy! Two baby bathtubs, a diaper bag, a diaper caddy, two crib mobiles, butt paste galore, burp clothes, receiving blankets, almost 1000 wipes (seriously, it was a LOT of wipes), little tiny diapers, a few sweet little toys, a hand made blanket (from my mother) and just enough clothes (miraculously not all in the same size!) to get a little boy started. And Scott gave me a HUGE surprise – a digital SLR that I’ve been eying for a long time. We really wanted something that took great pictures without fail so we wouldn’t miss any great shots of our little guy. We only need a few more small things and we’ll be all set.

I sat on the floor of his room last night sorting through all the stuff. It is so amazing to me that it is our turn. Our turn to prepare as best as we know how for his arrival. Our turn to welcome a little tiny person into our home. It truly is a gift. The biggest, best gift I’ve ever been given.

*I know this can be a sign of pre-e so I checked in with my doc on Saturday night. He reviewed my symptoms and decided to take a watch and wait approach. If it was accompanied by any other symptoms or got worse I would have gone to L&D on Sunday. Thankfully when the heat broke on Sunday, it got better and my bp started coming down a bit. Our doc rocks – after our first call, he called back two hours later (at 11 pm Saturday night!) to check on me. Switching to him has been a revelation.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Testing, Testing

Yesterday was the day of tests. I dropped off my 24-hour urine collection at the lab and got another stick for my trouble. Then Scott and I made the trek to the BFH for fetal monitoring. The wonderful Susan did a amniotic fluid index (AFI) and found basically what my doc found last week -- fluid is at about 6.8. She said normal is 8-18 so we are definitely low. She also did a doppler of his umbilical cord. It was frightening to listen to -- it had a lot of breaks and flat lines that freaked me out. But once she got into the right spot it sounded fine according to her.

I was slated to come back in three weeks but she decided she wanted to advise my doc to have me come in once a week. She also wanted to do a NST on him since I hadn't felt him move much that morning. We waited while she called the doc and then called us back in to do the NST. Ah, what a sweet sound that is. I could listen to his little heart beating all day long! And as soon as the monitors are strapped on he goes wild, kicking and nudging as best he can. It never ceases to amaze me. I love his so much already. I laid there for almost 30 minutes listen to him and feeling him move and holding Scott's hand while tears ran down my face.

Today I have an appointment with my OB. We were scheduled for another NST and AFI but I think it may get skipped since we just did them yesterday. But I have questions. Loads of questions. Like, what can we expect from here on out? Can we expect a full term (even 37 weeks) vaginal delivery? Or should I be preparing for something earlier? And does his low fluid mean we need to do a c-section? Mom's coming with me so this should be interesting.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Done with work that is. Ahhh. I finally finished the last three lingering work things. I’ve been out of work for almost a week and those three things were But now they are done. Pfew.

Things on the pregnant front appear mostly okay. Last Thursday evening I had a bit of spotting and we made our inaugural trip to labor and delivery at the urging of my OB. I had a cervical check (still hard, closed, tight) and the lion cub did okay on the monitors. As soon as they were strapped on, he put on quite a show – moving all over the place.

Since then, things have been blessedly quiet. My bp has been fine, I’m exhausted and sleeping a lot, but otherwise okay. Our first check of the lion cub at the big fancy hospital is this afternoon. I’m nervous and scared so DH is going to come with me. We should get another peak at him while they measure his amniotic fluid and then they’ll check the status of his umbilical cord. I desperately hope all is well.

Coming up tomorrow is a non-stress test (NST) and results of my 24 hour urine test. Oh what fun!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Maternity leave begins now

So, I’m on maternity leave. My doc’s partner decided today that I am done with work. My bp has been rising since my 29 week appointment last week and today it hit their limit.

I guess I should back up. My bp hit their limit at home this morning and I called to find out what to do next. I was only able to get in to see them at the end of the day. Before I could get there I had some spotting and freaked out and demanded to get in right away. DH met me there and we waited for over an hour. I would have lost my mind if the lion cub hadn’t been putting on a show the whole time. I could feel that he was fine.

Anyway, there is no protein in my urine and I have no other signs of pre-e (no swelling, headache, etc). Ob decided that the rise in bp means that I need more rest than I am able to get while working so working is out. As of now. She checked my cervix and it is closed and hard and measuring fine (I forgot to ask what it was). She couldn’t find a source for the spotting. The baby is now head down and still active. My placenta is anterior lateral on my right side. She checked his fluid and it was hard to find. Uh oh. The total was 6.7 and she was looking for 10. She said it was borderline and that we could keep an eye on it weekly from here on out. If it drops to 5, that changes things. I was too preoccupied to ask how.

She has ordered a Doppler of his umbilical cord every 3 weeks to make sure it is functioning properly. I have weekly appointments for non-stress tests and fluid checks. She added a blood pressure drug to my current low dose of nefedipine after consultation with my regular OB. Normally you wouldn’t take them together but one is a very low dose so they decided it would be okay. I am to take it easy (preferably lying on my side), drink lots of water, and rest up. She said that I can attend my shower on the 18th but I am to act queen like and let people wait on me.

So, no more work. I filled out my disability paperwork and sent my last emails. My bosses are great and more worried about me and baby than any work I didn’t finish.

It isn’t what I expected today to be like but I will do whatever I need to do to take care of my boy.

Monday, May 5, 2008

sewing for me and the baby

sewing for me and the baby
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
On a lighter topic, you may have noticed that this blog is called Sarah Sews. Even though I haven't written about sewing in a long time, I really do sew. Lately it's been all about maternity clothes -- making cute tops that actually fit and don't cost a fortune and hemming too long pants.

The blue top was my first foray into altering a pattern to fit my pregnant belly. I made a top from that pattern before and decided to make it again but to add length and width to the front. Unfortunately, the day of the photo (which sucks) was about the only time it fit properly.

The striped T was my next effort and much easier I think. I used a pattern that was already suitable to an expanding belly and sewed it up in a very stretchy knit just in case. When I made it in February, it was a bit too big for even a pg belly. But almost three months later it works like a charm.

The floral top was also altered -- again I added length and width to the front piece to accommodate the belly. I also made a self tie belt to keep from looking like I was wearing a tent.

The last photo is the first of many sewing projects for the nursery. The crib skirt has been on my list since we bought the crib in January. I am storing a few boxes of extra linens under there and I just got tired of looking at them. The pattern called for a pleat that I skipped and I added 5.5" to the length so that it would reach to the floor and really hide the mysteries that lurk beneath. When it is time to lower the mattress, I'll hem it to fit. I was lucky enough to have both of the materials I used for it in my stash and I got the pattern at a Hancock's $1 pattern sale months ago.

The nursery is coming along. Luckily, we painted the room over a year ago and had most of the furniture already. On the top portion of the chair rail We used Behr's Bird of Paradise (a bright sunset orange) and on the bottom is Behr's Toasted Almond. All we really needed was a crib, a glider and accessories. The crib is Bratt Decor's Dick crib in white. The crib sheet is from Baby Gap's new line of organic mix and match bedding. I was thrilled when I saw the brown safari prints -- perfect for our khaki and orange safari nursery. I also got the sheet in brown dots. I love the way both look with the crib skirt like a spendy custom set only cheap cheap cheap for this frugal mama-to-be.

The crib is currently filled with piles of tiny little clothes, all sorted out by size waiting for the baskets that will go in the credenza/changing table.

Next up, putting something on the walls, and making a new roman shade to go with the fun brown accessories.

There are more photos on my flickr page.

Mama-to-be blues

The closer I get to meeting the lion cub, the more anxious I get.

This dream is too good to be true. And I am not lucky enough to live it. Luck this good* comes to other people.

Every hour of every day I wait for the other shoe to drop. I wonder how it will happen. How will the dream get snatched away from me? When will it happen?

I wait and wait and wait.

While I’m waiting, I wash and fold his tiny tiny clothes. And I wonder if he’ll ever really wear them. Hubby and I practice our labor coping skills, and I wonder if I’ll ever get a chance to use them.

This dream is too good to be true.

* Conceiving your dream baby, after 3 long years of fruitless TTC, on the eve of your anniversary while on your dream vacation? That is some seriously good fortune.