The Fertility Carousel

Reaching for the brass ring on the fertility carousel (again!). (Because I already caught the brass ring on the infertility carousel and I want to get rid of it!) Two years of trying to conceive, but I finally got baby E. Now we begin going around and around again. Infertility sucks.

Reverse the posts to view newest at the bottom (chronological order)

Friday, April 20, 2007

33 week OB appointment

Well, I had my OB appointment today. Everything looks good. The heartrate was 156. I'm measuring a bit large - but apparently my 2nd anatomy scan showed the baby was in the 59th percentile for size, so being a bit large at this point is still in line with that. And I gained 2 lbs in the last month. Still not a lot, but it's better than losing weight! So now I'm back to 9lbs gained overall. It was a pretty fast appointment since I didn't really have any questions to ask. The only other interesting information the OB tossed out was that at this stage in the game, the "take-home" rate for babies is the same now as it is at full term. Not to say that it wouldn't be better to have the baby later rather than now, but to have it now wouldn't be life-threatening for the baby.

Anyway, to sum up my appointment: All is well, and I go back in 2 weeks.

After that I'll start going weekly!! Ack! Is it really that close???

I think I've had a couple of Braxton-Hicks contractions. They were uncomfortable but didn't really hurt. But my whole belly got really really hard. It was weird. It's done it twice this week, on different nights.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

maternity coverage, Infant CPR, lamaze, and my baby shower.

Yea! We finally worked out how my job will be covered while I'm on maternity leave! She'll start in May, so with any luck we'll have 4 weeks to work together before she's on her own. She's working part time and doing most of the work from home. She won't be covering my entire job, another co-worker is going to pick up some of it, but she'll be doing the more librarian-ish parts of it which makes me feel better. Better yet, she's a friend and we used to work together, so I have no doubts about her abilities.

We went to Infant CPR last night. I was unimpressed. The teacher seemed very happy. In that fake-chirpy way that so many trainers seem to have. So happy I wondered what she was on and if she'd loan me some of her happy pills. We started 15 minutes late. She kept wandering off topic (yes, car seats are important, but that's not what we were there to learn). Class ended on time. I could have learned more by just watching a video online. In fact, that's pretty much what we did when she wasn't babbling - we watched a video. There was no hands-on practice. We were each given a baby doll to "practice" on, but oh no, don't put your mouth on it, they aren't sterile. And they weren't really CPR dummies. Just dolls. So they pretty much served no purpose whatsoever.  Now that I'm thinking about it more, the class is Infant CPR and Safety, so I supposed car seats aren't really off-topic. It was just that everything was presented in such a random way, skipping around, no particular order, no rhyme or reason, just tossing out random tidbits of information as they crossed her mind.

In fact, here's a video so you can learn Infant CPR online   - or learn at least as much as we know. We also covered how to help a choking infant, so here's a video to learn how to help a choking infant.

Just in case you live in Houston, I do not recommend the Infant CPR class at Cy-Fair hospital. I'm glad we only paid $10 for it, but I wish I felt I had learned more, had actually gotten to practice, and hadn't wasted an hour of my life listen to Ms. Happy babble on about whatever stray thought crossed her mind. I'm actually dreading the infant care class that we have signed up for, simply for fear that I'll have the same bubble-headed trainer babbling at us for 2 hours.

We have our 3rd lamaze class tonight. Everyone I know seems to think I'm insane for even attempting to avoid an epidural. Of course, they also think I'm insane for wanting to use cloth diapers. And for going to La Le.che Lea.gue meetings.

I had my baby shower on Saturday! It was very very nice. I'll have to post a pic of the cake when someone sends it to me - it was adorable and had a little baby covered in a blanket on it, in 3D. There were 2 little girls at the shower who clamoured to eat the baby's head, which was kinda cute in a cannibalistic sort of way. Anyway, there were onsies and burp cloths out on the tables and fabric paint was provided so people could decorate onsies for the baby. I think I have a pretty talented group of friends, because they made some fantastic little outfits!  The only big glitch in the weekend is that my mom's flight was cancelled on Friday night, and then her 7am flight Saturday was delayed until it was a 1pm flight and she flew into the airport on the far side of town! She ended up renting a car and driving to the shower in the clothes she'd been wearing for 2 days (good thing she wears nicer clothes to travel in than I do!). Anyway, she ended up arriving only 30 minutes late, so that was good. But the whole thing caused a lot of stress for her and for me. We did get a lot of cool stuff and some gift cards too. Mom and I went shopping Sunday and used up the gift cards - it gave me a chance to review my registries and see if I have what I need. I think I do. I think we're set - certainly with the essentials. Just need to write my thank-yous now.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

My birth story.

No, I haven’t given birth yet! This is the story of my birth. My mom wrote a letter to her sister a couple weeks after I was born and made a copy of it before she sent it. Her sister was pregnant at the time and living overseas – my cousin is about a month younger than I am.

Anyway, here’s the story of my birth… It’s almost exactly as she wrote it except without the spelling mistakes and with slightly improved punctuation :)

(Dad, any details or rememberances to add to this?)


July 5th, 1974

Dear (sister),

Just found a minute and thought I’d write. Things have really been going fast and exciting and tiring. I don’t think anybody could have told me anything to have prepared me for giving birth. Looking back it was exciting but I don’t think I thought that at the time. Well, as the story goes… Thurs. June 6 I went to the Dr. for my weekly check up and he told me to go home and pack my bag because I’d started to dilate. This alone was enough to put me in a tail spin… what if something happened at work and not knowing exactly what could happen I continued to work although I informed several people of my immediate condition and to be prepared. Although I don’t think they took me serious.

Tues. however several of the guys took me out to lunch as a farewell and while having lunch I had a funny pang and jokingly said well there’s the first… again at 3 I had another – nothing painful but something I hadn’t felt before. Before I left I had cleared my desk and made notes as to what I was doing. By 4:30 and having gotten home I knew this was it! Mark got home and for the rest of the night we timed contractions, at 3AM the mucus plug came out and I called the Dr. – very sleepily and not very concerned he told me to go to the hospital when the pains became regular at 10 min. apart. My best advice at this point is – Man – save your energy and try an get some sleep. ‘Cause you’re gonna need it later! Well, being in my excited state over the unknown near future – I couldn’t sleep.

At 5A.M. Mark got up and had breakfast. The contractions at this time were 3-5 min. but not very severe – I could still walk around. I still didn’t know whether to go in or not. By 6 they had subsided to 15-20 min. We started for the hospital but stopped by some friends’ house on the way – knowing they’d be up and getting ready for work and borrowed their camera.

Arrived at the hosp. at 7 and having been examined was admitted but was only 2 centimeters dilated. This was easy – if things stayed this way it’d be a breeze. By 9 I’d gone to 3 centimeters and my water hadn’t broken. 10 o’clock the Dr. comes in and says “you get more for your money when your water breaks” and proceeds to do so. Within minutes I found out what a contraction REALLY was. I started moaning, tossing, turning and doing everything but relaxing and breathing. Mark stepped in – got right down in my face and started doing the breathing – realizing this was the thing to do I also started. They had a machine – kinda like a microphone that when placed on the stomach amplifies the baby’s heart beat – hers had jumped to 160 – right then I knew it was a girl.

The hardest thing to do was relax during a contraction but not impossible. About 11:15 I started feeling the urge to push so I started blowing because I was only at 8 centimeters. Finally, finally, the nurse said push – I did once and they rolled me to delivery.

Next thing I knew I was being strapped to the table – didn’t even know when the did the episiotomy even thought I had no anesthetic. Mark had dressed in a gown, mask and head covering and was sitting at the head of my bed. With 2 more contractions and straining every muscle in my body I could feel her move down and out, what a relief. She came out screaming and wiggling a bright new shining baby.

Well, that’s it – hope yours is that easy. I say easy but when I got out of delivery I was trembling – couldn’t control myself, exhausted really. I felt like I’d just run in the marathon.

I can certainly see where some women go bananas during labor. If I hadn’t known how to breath and relax instead of fighting it – whew! Don’t think I can even describe a hard contraction – just be prepared!


I found some more interesting tidbits in a second letter she wrote to her sister. This one was more chatty, so I’ve just typed up the parts that are relevant to the birth and newborn experience.

Excerpts from a letter dated July 10, 1974

…The candy was delicious and probably helped put on these 8lbs I’m now trying to take off which have nicely settled on my stomach and hips. As my total weight gain was 23lbs and Jena only weighed 6lb3oz. The last week I suddenly gained 4lbs – to my horror I could just see me gaining 4lbs each week until she was born but I was told that it’s normal to gain that much in the end due to water retention and baby weight gain….

… Breastfeeding? Has its joys and drawbacks. You probably won’t have these problems. Seems not many Drs (pediatricians) are of the breast feeding school. The first comment the pediatrician made was “1 out of 30 women successfully breast feed.” Well, kinda makes you wonder how the human race ever survived. I think what he meant was today most don’t want to spend the time and have the patience to do it. Another problem came when Jena ha to remain in the hospital 4 days longer than me – don’t know if Mother or (sister) told you – she had jaundice which is yellow pigmentation of skin and eyes caused by her liver not being able t to disposed of the extra red blood cells accumulated in the womb. The treatment is placing such babies under an ultra violet light – not an uncommon occurrence in smaller babies. Well, me being away 4 days and not breast feeding doesn’t help you milk “come-in”. When she did get home I started her on the breast. The first week home she didn’t gain an oz. which she should have and the Dr. said to put her on the bottle for 48 hours to see if it was a problem with her or me. In four days she gained 8oz. He recommended keeping on the bottle. But my being determined (partly feeling inadequate), I continued breast feeding and supplementing with a bottle. By the 3rd week I was leaking like a faucet and no way turn it off. So now everything’s going fine. That first week was miserable – since she was sucking and tiring out and not getting enough to eat she’d wake up every 2 hours 24 hours a day. This is when I almost gave up. Try waking every 2 hours and not feeling like hell the next day. One thing still puzzles me with all the sterilization that has to be done on a bottle and all you do to breast feed is wash of with soap and water and then wipe off with sterilized water. This is sterile? Oh well, sure beats preparing bottles now that I’ve done both…


Wednesday, April 04, 2007


We had our first lamaze class last night. Went pretty well. I don't know that we learned a whole lot, but we'd done a lot of reading already, so some information was just old news to us. We did learn a breathing pattern and start practicing relaxation techniques, so that part was new and informative.

I'm not 100% sure I'll do this without drugs, but I'd like to. Hopefully this class will help me with that.

The teacher was interesting. She's a nurse, though I get the impression that she hasn't worked as a nurse in a very long time. She just started teaching lamaze again after not teaching it for years. She has classes in her home and they are pretty small - there are 4 couples in our class and she said that this is a very large class for her. She's also much much much cheaper than any other lamaze teacher I found even though she's teaching from the same materials they are. After going to her house, I can maybe see why - she lives in one of the biggest houses I've ever seen. She's obviously not doing this for the money. She said she's doing this because she's concerned about the amount of medical intervention that happens in births in this country - and about the high c-section rate.

She also rearranged the class schedule to work around A's school play that we plan to attend next week, so that's really great. We have a class on Thursday to make up for the one we'll miss next week.

I think I'll go to another La Leche League meeting tonight - I wasn't planning to go back, at least not until I had the baby, but tonight they're talking about slings and said they'd have a bunch of different ones there and I'd like to see them. So many are only available online, so it's hard to do a comparison and see what you might like.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Mostly just whining

We had a pretty lousy weekend.

The power went out early Saturday morning and despite assurances by the power company that it would be on by 10am, it did not come on until 10:30 pm. It was out for over 14 hours. Nice, eh?

Just to make things more fun, my stepson was sick with a cough and a fever - and how much fun is it to be 12 and be sick in a house where there's no TV?? He didn't complain much, but still, it sucked. (We did offer to take him back to his mom's where there was electricity, but he said he'd rather stay. I take it as a sign of how ill he was feeling - willingly foregoing television?? Yikes! He's better now though.)

AND we were supposed to have an electrician out to do some work… since an electrician, oddly enough, needs electricity to do his work (or at least to check his work at the end of the job), we have to reschedule… but when? Next weekend is Easter, the weekend after is the baby shower and both my mom and R's mom will be staying with us, so it'll have to be the weekend after that. April 21st. Ugh. So far away.

Anyway, Sunday was a lazy day too, but at least A could watch TV and we could all lounge in air conditioned comfort. It's not so hot that most people would *need* to have the AC on already, but it was very humid and somewhat warm, and damnit I'm pregnant and I get freaking hot! (Did I mention that one of the things the electrician was going to do was put a ceiling fan in our bedroom? I really want my ceiling fan and I'm feeling quite cranky about it. Box fans are just NOT the same.)

Highlight of the weekend: going to S.onic for slushies.

Now for the non whining portion of this post:

I'm fine (just cranky), the baby seems fine and is moving all around. I forgot to mention last time I went to the OB that the baby's heart rate was 160.

That is all. Carry on.

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