Last week Tuesday, Ringo went to the vet for his bi-weekly cast change. He had an infection between his toes from no air being able to get in. They treated the infection and re-set the cast, this time with a gap at the toe so that air could flow. However, in the following two days, Ringo did nothing but cry and whine. The cast, frankly, looked too tight and he was irritated. I called and spoke with the vet, and he gave me some anti-inflammatory, anti-itch medicine for Ringo. But, by Friday morning, Ringo still wasn't happy. So, I took him back to the vet and they took the cast off, took x-rays, and re-set the cast. (Of course, I cried in the vet's office and said I just wanted them to make him feel better.) This time, there was another infection at the top of his leg (the earlier one in his toes was healed). Also, we learned from the x-rays that Ringo's bone was crushed into four pieces, not just snapped with an even break as we had previously thought. (The x-ray from the top shows just one break, but an x-ray from the side showed that there are four breaks--three in the last metacarpal and one in the second-to-last.) So, Ringo has his fourth cast on, which is a little shorter so that the latest infection is exposed to air and we can treat it. In two weeks, the vet will reassess, but he thinks it will probably be four more weeks until the cast comes off for good. Poor little Ringo.
On to other topics, I have totally given up sleeping on my stomach (as if I could now!). So, to prevent myself from sleeping on my back, which is a no-no, and to be a little more comfortable in bed, Nicholas and I have devised this fort: a king pillow on either side of me so that I can prop up my knee and my belly. I used to sleep with one flat pillow on my stomach. Look how high-maintenance I have become!
And for the belly pictures... The bottom one was the one from 15 weeks and the one on top is from today at 25 weeks. Ten weeks makes a big difference! Wow! Baby continues to kick and squirm, I am getting that dark line on my skin from my belly button down, and I have switched from reading aloud "Little House on the Prairie" to "Emma" because I decided that I needed to be entertained, too!
I had the blood glucose screening today to check for gestational diabetes. I don't have it, which I am happy about. Baby's heartbeat was a slower 135 beats per minute today, which is still in the normal range of 120-160 and still amazing to hear. I am up six more pounds this month! Whoa! For a total net gain of twelve pounds. The doctor was happy about that, and thinks I need to gain at least eighteen more. I am now somewhat worried about gaining too much since that six pounds really snuck up on me!
I had a list of questions for Dr. Chwe including an alternative to the fish oil supplement I am taking for the extra DHA, which is super gross when I burp it. He suggested Expecta. I also asked about some pressure I was feeling (which he said was normal), when I need to start counting Baby's movements (he said about 29 weeks), and about some exercises and their safety. We also discussed the "birth plan," which we decided was so mainstream that we don't even need to write it down--that each decision can be reconfirmed during labor and delivery.
I picked up the child birth class schedule, and there are about five that I would like to attend--the breastfeeding one, the "pregnancy in the third trimester" one, the "taking care of your baby" one, the infant CPR and other safety one, and the comprehensive one. Now I just need to schedule them all for both Nicholas and me!
I am 23 weeks, 4 days today, and I'll say that pregnancy is treating me well right now. I have nothing really new to report. I'm still getting heartburn, but if I avoid acid-y foods, that isn't too bad. I have been taking iron pills twice a day since my last doctor's visit and that seems to be keeping my energy levels up. I'm walking Puck at least once a day, doing yoga a few times a week, and generally eating and sleeping pretty well. Baby is squirming and kicking a lot, but not all the time.
I have given up on my book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding." I made it to about page 200 of 400. My doctor said that it makes women feel guilty if they aren't able to breastfeed continuously forever. And he was kind of right. I started out liking the book; it gives you tips on how to position the baby and what to expect, as well as support people or resources to contact when in doubt. The book also has lots of testimonials and statistics about how good breastfeeding is. However, it does seem to chastise those who do not breastfeed beyond a year and makes some claims that finally made me give up on the book. Here is an excerpt from the chapter "Making a Choice":
The young child who is separated from his mother exhibits all of the classic symptoms of grief. He may cry unconsolably or withdraw into unnatural quietness. Regarding this separation anxiety, Humberto Nagero, Professor of Psyciatry at the University of Montana, points out: "When the child is confronted with the mother's absence his automatic response is an anxiety state that on many occasions reaches overwhelming proportions. Repeated traumas of this type in especially susceptible children will not fail to have serious consequences for their later development.... No other animal species will subject their infants to experiences that they are not endowed to cope with, except the human animal."
Can anyone say, "Guilt trip"? After the breastfeeding tips, tricks, talk, and troubleshooting, I decided that I can decide how to live. (Caveat: I plan on breastfeeding, and I expect to be able to. But no one can forsee what may happen or when the right time to stop is.)
I finished "The Official Lamaze Guide" a while back, and I liked it, in general. It supports the idea that a woman's body is made for giving birth and gives lots of testimonials, examples about, and encouragement for natural childbirth. This is not the breathing techniques that is stereotypical Lamaze. In fact, the book says the breathing is not what Lamaze is at all, and does not mention it beyond saying that. I like, and will hold on to, the empowerment that I think it intends to give women. I did not like, and I will leave, the demonization of the medical establishment. If the authors had it their way, I would have a midwife and have my baby at home in my family bed where my baby would reside with Nicholas and me until she was ready to leave...be it in six months or six years. (Caveat: I think midwives are fine, but I will be more comfortable with a doctor in a hospital. Also, I am interested in and plan to attempt natural childbirth, but we'll see how it goes. I feel like I'll have lots of encouragement and lots of confidence in this choice. However, if I feel like drugs are the right way to go once I am in labor, then I am not going to refuse them. Dr. Chwe and I have discussed this and he feels that as long as I have an open IV port, he'll feel secure in case there is an emergency. And as a friend of mine said, "It doesn't matter how they get out, just as long as they do so safely!")
I am now reading "Baby 411" along with the weekly "Your Pregnancy Week by Week" and the monthly "What to Expect When You're Expecting." I also have an academic paper from Bill about hypnosis as a means for controlling pain during labor. And, actually, it reminds me a lot of the lessons from the Lamaze book (power of positive suggestion) and my yoga classes (mind over matter). More on all that later!
Well, I'm feeling pretty good! The baby has apparently learned to jump in-utero because I can now see the movement as well as feel it inside and out. When I take a bath and lay back, the baby's kicks make ripples on the water's surface. Pretty amazing! She is moving a lot now. I feel her at various times throughout the day. This is a picture of me with Ringo and Puck on the couch watching the Orange Bowl. I was taking a break from ironing.
Ringo has about five more weeks to go according to our regular vet. We had his splint re-set yesterday, and he seems to feel pretty well. Not walking him is really hard on him and on me. He cries and I cry, but we are making it. He soon forgets that I was gone once I return.
Below are a sequence of belly photos. Nicholas and I dropped off a bit on regularity, and perhaps because of that, our distance is also off. But you get the picture...I am getting huge!!
The crib we ordered came today! We are waiting to put it together until we get my desk and shelves out of the baby room, though. We also ordered the bedding (via eBay!). We are going with the "Sweet Lambie" nursery from Pottery Barn. We thought we could do browns and creams and pink accents. Then we can swap out for blue accents if we have a boy later. So exciting!!!