December 27, 2002

"Morning" Sickness Blues

Whoever decided to call it "Morning" Sickness was a man, I think. Not that I am complaining too hard -- everytime I feel it, I just thank God that my hormones are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and I know plenty of women who have been a lot sicker than I was -- but still, this isn't a just in the morning kind of thing. I am generally nauseous all day everyday, and toss my cookies at least once a day, and generally more like 2 or 3 times a day. By my estimation (based on talks with other preggos), this puts me on the way down the other side of the bell curve -- worse off than many, or even most, but not as bad as people like my friends Nicole or Kristi, who were way out on that tail (Nicole ended up on prescription anti-nausea meds, Kristi had to quit her job in her first pregnancy). This started by the first week of October, and just finally tapered off a bit just after Thanksgiving. By Christmas, I was down to just throwing up once every two-three weeks or so. I started my second trimester 10 pounds lighter than I was when I first got pregnant, and have still not regained it all.

But for some reason, I feel compelled to memorialize even the barfing. So without further ado I present two top five lists:

Dineen's Top Five Morning Sickness Triggers
5. Too many sweets/fatty foods (and mixing them is just DEADLY, see #4 below)
4. Spoiled food or raw meat smells (I didn't do a whole lot of cooking in the first trimester)
3. Bus, Truck, or even car exhaust fumes (that one's fun -- barfing on the street!)
2. Brushing my Teeth (got me every time)
1. Public restrooms (this one's cruel -- pregnant women have to use the restroom more often than when they were not pregnant, and I would often get stuck in an awful cycle where I felt fine going in, but by the time I got through peeing I had to barf like crazy).

Dineen's Top Five Morning Sickness Episodes
5. Hitting the carpet in the ladies room at work after trying desparately to get out of there to avoid the smells. Then having a colleague walk in on me as I am on my hands and knees trying to clean it up.
4. The afternoon that I ate a late lunch of McDonalds (only place open) after eating nothing but Christmas cookies all day. It gets on the list for the sheer gut wrenching force involved.
3. The sidewalk right in front of the Farragut West Metro station (damn trucks!). I couldn't get to the barf bag that I always carry with me in time.
2. The port-a-potty at the Louisianna Ren Fest (luckily, the urinal came to my rescue, and allowed the normally difficult peeing and barfing at the same time).
1. The Atlanta Airport on my way home from visiting Hertle. The heaves were bad, the other travelers were horrified, and the only thing I could think to do was shout "I'm not bullimic, I'm pregnant" between each go. Quite comical.

Posted by Dineen at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2002

15 Weeks

Here's a picture of me at 15 weeks pregnant -- just out of the first trimester. This was taken by my friend Karyn in the 4th floor ladies room at my office as we were getting ready for the WRF Christmas party. Not much to see, belly-wise.

Week 15.jpg

Posted by Dineen at 08:08 PM | Comments (1)

December 10, 2002

December 6 Doctor's Appointment

A few things happened at my last doctor's appointment that I didn't get a chance to post because I was getting ready to travel. Most importantly, I heard the baby's steady heartbeat on the Doppler for the first time! What a neat sound. It was steady enough that I could hear it, but the nurse couldn't get a constant enough grab of the sound to get a bpm count -- I guess the baby was squirming around too much. So sorry, no gender predictions based on heartbeat speed this month. Maybe next month.

Secondly, I confirmed with the doctor that the baby will be delivered at George Washington Hospital's Childbirth Center. He told me he'd give me the info on signing up for classes and such at my next appointment (in four weeks). But of course, I had to hop online to see what I could find out in the meantime. Looks like we are going to have to sign up quickly if we want to be able to take the basic childbirth class as a weekend course and take the natural childbirth class. I am going to run the dates past Michael and get those nailed down SOON.

Back when I was getting ready to coach Keri with Sean, Hertle and I took childbirth classes at GW (imagine Allison and I walking into a childbirth class with a bunch of yuppie parents, with neither of us pregnant. We had some 'splaining to do!). My foggy recolection of that time is that the class was pretty good, and the facilities were impressive. Hertle reports that she has blocked the experience from her mind completely. From reading the website, it looks like I will for sure have a private post-partum room (yay!) and may even be able to wrangle a sleeper sofa for Mike. The normal hospital stay is two days for vaginal delivery, and three days for a C-Section. They have one of the most state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the area, though I pray to God we don't have to use it!

Mike's a little worried that GW is far from home -- it is about 20 minutes away (same as my commute to work). But I figure, as long as we don't wait til the last minute to leave for the hospital, we should have plenty of time. And it's not like a June baby is going to be born during a snowstorm, so getting on the road shouldn't be a problem.

Finally, I nailed down date ranges for my "big" ultrasound and some other testing. So more pictures should be on the way in January.

Posted by Dineen at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2002

All I ever wanted to know about vomit...

...I have learned in the past few months.
Did you know that vomit comes in layers? That is, the contents of your stomach empty out in layers. The top layer is pure liquid, and if you've been lucky enough to drink plenty of water before commencing puking, you might get away with liquid-only barf. The next layer is whatever once-solid contents you've consumed recently (and surprisingly, sometimes not so recently). The final layer -- and the only layer you get if you are unfortunate enough to not have anything in your stomach prior to vomiting -- are good ol' stomach juices and acids. If you get to this point, you are not a happy camper. This is the really loud, heaving, awful level of vomit. For me, this level is often accompanied by a tinge of blood, since by this point my throat is not happy at all.
Did you also know that there are varying degrees of effort required to vomit? With the liquid layer, sometimes its just a matter of open the mouth and out-it-streams. Very Linda Blair. The other layers are more gut wrenching and loud, and often leave me red-faced and teary.
Did you also know that vomiting with force will cause the toilet water to splash back and hit you in the face? For me, this just leads to a vicious cycle of more vomiting. I polled some folks on the pregnancy boards, and I am going to try the two best suggestions I have gotten so far: (1) flush as you go so there is less water to splash back, or (2) float TP on the top of the water to deaden the fall. I'll let you know if either works, feel free to add your own suggestions below.
Did you know the smell of vomit is difficult to remove from your hands, even after soap and water? I've learned to make sure to do a sniff test. If the soap didn't do it, rinsing my hands with mouthwash (which thankfully is readily available in the bathrooms in my office) does. Of course, better timing in getting to the bathroom in the first place takes away this concern, but that just isn't always possible.
And now you know all that I know about vomit. Aren't you glad you asked?

Posted by Dineen at 12:09 PM | Comments (1)