Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Citizenship, where are you having it question

So a lot of people have asked where we're going to have the baby. We're living in the US but we're both from other countries. The baby will automatically have US citizenship when s/he's born here, but we will immediately register the baby with our embassies so that s/he will have citizenship of our countries as well. That way we shouldn't have any trouble bringing the baby with us to meet the grandparents and whatnot.

In terms of where locally, we're still sorting that one out, see previous post, but we're narrowing that one down.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A craving once forgot...

Right, so another exception to the idea that I'm off red meat - I've been craving roast beef with horseradish and Yorkshire pudding. Wouldn't that be heavenly. Do I know anyone in the area that cooks like that? Or maybe a restaurant?

Oh yeah, and had a BLT for lunch and that was pretty darn wonderful as well. Whole wheat bread, a bit toasted, with some barely pickled pickles. Yum. Hooray for the deli downstairs where I can buy a hot lunch without setting foot outside in the freezing cold.

the confirmation

So, as I suspected, I'm looking for a new healthcare practitioner and place to deliver the baby. (Spoiler alert - I think I've already found one but I'll get there...)

Monday was the day of my second prenatal checkup. I had my BP taken by a nurse practitioner, and that's still normal thankfully. I'd been having headaches and I was worried it wasn't just coffee withdrawl. Then the obstretician came in.

At this practice, they have a pile of doctors and they encourage the pregnant ladies to try to have at least one checkup with each of them, so we get to meet them all... in case one of them is on call when we go into labour.

So this new guy comes in and introduces himself. We chat for a few minutes, and he lets me know that my recent tests and sonograms all look good and normal. He asked how I'm feeling and I said other than this nasty cold, I'm feeling normal and good. He said so no nausea, no fatigue? I said normal, sorry to confuse you by saying good! I explained that I figured that nausea and fatigue is normal so why complain about it.

Then he said something that gave me a transition to confirm my understanding that all patients at this practice deliver babies at Hospital A. He said yes, except premature babies go to Hospital B. I asked what Hospital A is like, if it's a fairly normal western hospital set up with separate labour, delivery and recovery rooms, or if it has a birthing center. He confirmed the former.

I asked if women in labour at Hospital A are allowed to eat or drink during labour, as I'm told this is important in maintaining your strength. He said it's up to the attending doctor, but that he doesn't allow women to eat and only drink a little liquids in case she has to have a c-section.

I said speaking of ceseareans, could he say what his rate of c-section babies is, or what the rate is for the practice or Hospital A. He said his own rate was 37%, like that was no big deal, and that he wasn't sure but he thought that both the practice and Hospital A had similar rates.

At that point I just wanted to get out of there! I started nodding and smiling and thanking him for his help and getting ready to leave. He reminded me that he was supposed to check the baby's heartrate with the fetoscope - very cool! So I let him do that but got the heck out of there after that.

I asked at the front desk about the practice mentioning having nurse midwives on staff on their website, and I was told, yes, that's the nice practitioner you saw last time (I've seen her a few times and she even remembered me when I reminded her of my maiden name, she's lovely). I said can I have her deliver my baby? But apparently this nurse midwife doesn't deliver babies. Surreal. I thought that was the what midwives do? I guess not...

So I went home, continued having a nasty cold. Watched this minor local event on CNN all day Tuesday and then was still feeling nasty and sick on Wednesday so I stayed home. Wednesday, I started Googling and found a few birthing centers. I called the closest one and quizzed them on their policies and practices, and really liked what I heard. I've made an appointment to see them for my next checkup - it will include an orientation and tour of the birthing center. I can bring DH and my doula if I want too!

So I'm a happy camper. We have this amazing, inspiring family in the White House, and I am on a path towards having the birth I really want to make happen.

As promised: photos

Right so I must be pregnant or just a bit nuts to be posting this, but DH was kind enough to indulge me by taking these this evening.

From body changes

I'm somewhere around 13 or 14 weeks pregnant, depending upon whom you ask. So I'm barely showing - what's showing is the fact that I was a little high from my ideal weight before getting pregnant and now can't diet. Nor do I have any energy plus have been blessed with the weird and random cravings... I haven't actually gained any weight according to the scale, but I think it's just compensated by muscle loss as I've not been for a run in ages...

From body changes

Friday, January 16, 2009

And in other news...

I got a letter from the Canadian govt today stating that I've been approved to sponsor my husband for immigration. I wasn't really concerned about whether or not I'd be approved, but it's the first confirmation that they have received the application.

And oh, yeah - yahoo! We're on our way to Canada. Happy dance. Of course, now they have to evaluate him, and our presentation of our relationship, but I think that's unlikely to be questioned. We've demonstrably been living together for ages as a married couple, and I've shown them that I've already sponsored him for his immigration to the US.

I realized last night on the phone with my cousin that now 2010 is next year. NEXT YEAR I'll be packing up my stuff and moving to Vancouver, looking for a new home and *sniff* a new job. But with a baby in tow who will need to learn to say eh!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Funny pregnant lady story #1

So when making the cunning plan to get pregnant, I started reviewing the fairly long list of prescription drugs I was taking. It's a long list, you know, for a healthy youngish person, at any rate. I was taking a lot of prescriptions.

Obviously, the Pill was the first to go. But then, there were several other drugs that were known to cause birth defects, and I stopped taking those early on. Then I went to the pharmacy and asked them to look at the things I have prescribed to me, and tell me what they recommended I stop taking. Basically, the pharmacist said "everything except those eye drops you take for seasonal allergies!" Wow. I hardly ever use those, too.

So I stopped taking all of these things. I guess the pharmacist didn't make a note of our conversation, because I guess about three or four months later, I got a phone call from the pharmacy. Nice young man asks if I've had a problem with the pharmacy, or a complaint, or if I've moved. What I heard of course is we're checking to see if you're still alive and maybe can woo you back with some excellent coupons.

(I explained why I'd not refilled any prescriptions in ages, he wished me luck and we bid each other adieu.)

I'd never gotten one of those are you still alive calls, from credit card companies, banks or pharmacies. Kind of nice that they care.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Here are two sonograms from the visit we had with the sonogram people last week.

From Sonograms

I like the above because he's wiggling some limbs around. Maybe. Or is that infrastructure that I'm looking at? Whatever, it looks like there's something going on...

From Sonograms

I like the above because it looks like he's bouncing on the trampoline or something. Cute little bugger!

Thank you!

Well, the universe has come through for me again. I asked for midwife or birthing center recommendations, and a good friend of mine has come out of the woodwork to tell me she's almost finished becoming a certified doula. She even offered to provide services for free - I responded that we should at least do a trade - don't tell the IRS. Thank you universe.

Thank you for the reading suggestions and thoughts about WTEWYE. It's funny - I've probably read more than half of it now and keep finding it's very... calm. For example, they go to great lengths to tell you it's normal to be constipated, it's normal not to be, it's normal to be not interested in sex, it's normal to want nothing else... I have to admit, I skipped the chapters at the end about what can go wrong. I read a few paragraphs of them here and there and said oh forget this, this is making me anxious. So I've shaped the book into what I need right now I suppose.

Thank you all for your outpouring of congratulations, love, support and laughter (I know, really, those of you who knew me 15 years ago have every right to be shocked). We're delighted with the happy news and glad to finally feel ready to share it.

Of course I wanted to tell the world the day the first home test was positive, but, again, apparently I'm superstitious and wanted to wait awhile. Telling more folks at work in a couple days...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

And beyond that, the important bits

Right, so to be completely clear to those about to visit this page for the first time:

I'm 12 weeks pregnant. The baby is due around July 26 2009. My husband and I are delighted. We've just had the first ultrasound last week. It was amazing.

My little brain is getting used to the idea of being a mother. The effect is hard to describe - at once making me ecstatic, extremely happy and so freaked out, I'm nauseated.

Most people at my job don't know the news yet - I'm going to wait a few more weeks I think before spreading it around. Your discretion is appreciated.

A little to do list...

So, future posts:

- Going to scan and post the blurry surreal ultrasound. The ultrasound printout isn't that interesting. I wish I had remembered to ask if I could get them to save some of the video. It was unspeakably remarkable to see this little guy (or whatever) moving his arms and legs around. I hadn't realized at 11 weeks, he'd be moving around so much.

- At Frac's suggestion, going to do some photos of the changing body thing. There's so far a little of that, not too much, but definitely more to come...

- Should write up something about how the first trimester has been so far. Briefly: nauseated, constipated and tired. All within normal parameters. Saltine crackers are my friend. And crepes. Oh how I love the crepes.

- Lists of cravings and aversions would be fun. Actually I'll do that now:

All alcohol but red wine (not drinking any but want to)
Red meat
Fish (not shellfish, just fish) (I'm taking EFA supplements to make sure I'm getting the important omegas)
Things with the potential to be slimy or smelly like boiled eggs

Simple carbs (doughnuts, crackers, cookies, bagels)
Dairy (cheese and milk and yogurt - strangely, considering what an ice cream freak I am, I'm not dying for ice cream these days)
Fruit and veg, especially the Cosi Signature Salad which was always my fav but even more so now.
Gyros (you know, lamb and tzatziki in a pita, maybe with some tomato) (I guess lamb is really red meat... well, whatever... this wasn't promised to be rational)

Oddly, I haven't had a lot of urge to eat chocolate lately. Normally I have difficulty limiting my chocolate intake, but that hasn't been the case lately. When I was starting to feel nauseated, I bought a container of candied ginger covered in dark chocolate, thinking this would be a nice treat and help calm the stomach. It's still more than half full and I haven't hidden it away or anything.

doctors and nurses and midwives oh my!

So now after the pregancy movies, and reading partway through Ina May Gaskin's Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, I'm pretty darn sure I don't just want to go to the fancy hospital that the rich white folks with insurance go to in DC to get cut open. I am looking into options for birthing centers - I'd love to do a home birth but that can be noisy and we have such a tiny rental apartment that I'm concerned we both don't have enough space nor enough auditory privacy to pull it off. Birthing centers sound good. I'm going to query my OB/GYN a bit about their claim to have midwives on staff and what the implications of that are.

Thus far, I've always been pleased with my OB/GYN but I guess I've never had such an important decision to make before. I don't think I just want to accept the western medical tradition's word on this one. So we'll see.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions wrt birthing centers in the DC area? My insurance apparently will cover it instead of a hospital birth which is pretty cool. My insurance also covers gender reassignment surgery so it's actualy pretty decent insurance for this country...

Pregnancy movies

What we've watched so far:

Juno is a movie both my husband and I'd wanted to see for awhile... It arrived at the top of the Netflix list and we sat and watched it Christmas Day. What a fun film. I'm sorry she chose the closed adoption option, but there you go. We're still laughing about how everything assumed it wasn't the guy's fault, that he didn't have it in him to initiate having sex. Which is actually kind of sexist when I read that line, but it didn't come across that way in the movie. And I love Allison Janney - I didn't even realize she was in the movie until we started watching it.

The Business of Being Born was recommended to me by my chiropractor. I was skeptical about the talk show host Ricki Lake being someone with a message in which I was going to be interested, but I was completely wrong. Let's back up.

I always figured if I did have a baby, I'd want to be medicated as much as possible and a cesarean section actually sounded preferrable than the torture of pushing a human out of my bits. Well. The more I learned about c-sections and the recovery time, I realized that didn't sound fun at all. So, still, epidurals sound like a great idea.

But I thought - there are people against epidurals. I should probably find out why. So I did a bit of reading. Hearing that epidurals mean you can't independently change position or move around during labour didn't sound like a good idea. Hearing that they may actually slow things down and increase the likelihood of a c-section made me think that maybe drugs aren't such a great idea.

I wasn't sure where to go next with how I want the birth to happen, but I remembered my chiropractor recommending TBOBB movie and that it was an examination of hospital versus home and natural births.

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it was a life changing movie. Well, first it showed a number of natural home births attended by these wonderful, calm, competent midwives. Each time a baby popped out, I cried.

Ok, so news to me: lying on your back with your feet up is about the hardest position from which to push out a baby. There are other things you can do to manage your pain, like sitting in a warm bath, moving around, massage, rather than taking drugs.

Anyway, great movie. I'm glad I got over my cynicism about the talk show host thing. I have a new respect for Ricki Lake and I really appreciate the work she did to make this movie.

Any other pregnancy movies I should or shouldn't see? I don't have a queue of them persay but I'm open to suggestions!

A Little Catching Up To Do

So the fall semester of classes was very busy and I wound up not posting anything further until now. It was a good fall. I bought a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting and read the first few chapters, when I felt I could get away without studying.

I could have read the whole book but made myself stop. Superstition strikes again.

We kept trying to get pregnant, and each month, I was disappointed. Then I kind of forgot to be obsessed with the topic and got on with my life.

My husband was leaving to visit his family at the end of November when it occurred to me that it had been awhile since the olde monthly visitor. Took the home test and got the word that I am indeed knocked up! A blood test with the doctor confirmed it a few days later.

I did my final exams and went for drinks with my classmates after the last exam - told them I'd been on a round of antibiotics and couldn't drink as a result.

I accidentally leaked the news to all of my husband's friends by sending a text with the news to a phone he'd borrowed while traveling - I thought he'd delete the message but he didn't, and returned the phone. The friend who loaned him the phone put it together and told all of their friends the news!

I had my first prenatal exam right before Christmas and waited until Christmas Day to tell my family the soon to be big news. The funniest response was my dad...

Me calling on Christmas morning: So are you ready to be a grandfather?

Him apparently not having considered this question before: Noooo.

Me: Well, you might want to get used to it...

Him passing the phone to his partner: She's pregnant.

He got a cup of coffee and collected his thoughts. When he got back on the phone, he was much more enthused and awake.

Much more to tell, a bit later...