March 30, 2003

Forget Kicking

Most of the movements I am feeling lately aren't really kicks. They are more like major position shifting rolls. Even though I expeect to feel it any any minute, I still sometimes physically JUMP when I do. It's that strong and that odd of a feeling. I notice it most often as I shift sleeping positions. Not unlike Tucker, when I move the baby seems to need to move around and get comfortable again. At least the baby doesn't step on my head to do so.

Posted by Dineen at 02:57 PM | Comments (1)

March 28, 2003

75% Cooked

Today's milestone is 30 weeks -- three quarters of the way to the standard full term of 40 weeks. With the grace of God, there will be a baby in our home in 10 weeks or less (12 weeks at the outside). This is amazing, and yet it also scares the heck out of me. I feel like we are so not ready. To rectify that, this weekend we plan to:
-- Finalize Babies R Us registry
-- Finalize our crib and furniture selections
-- Select paint colors for nursery (and heck, maybe even buy the paint?)
That will leave me feeling a little more in control. Of course, April is all baby all the time month, so we should be more on top of things then. But this baby is not allowed to come too early!

Posted by Dineen at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2003

Stretch Marks and All

I thought long and hard about posting this, but finally decided that my belly is what it is, a fact's a fact, and I am OK with it being out there on the Internet for all to see.

The brown permaline across my former waist is a hazard of so often wearing clothes that are just a little too tight, in my pre-baby days. The stretch marks are going to be there no matter what I do, moisturizer-wise.

So there it is. But at least now you guys know what I was talking about. (And by the way, I am currently only 5 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight!)

Posted by Dineen at 12:39 AM | Comments (1)

March 26, 2003

Doctor Merry-Go-Round

Because of the hospitalization, I was thwarted on my meet-the-other-docs-in-the-practice mission last time. But today, Mike and I went together to meet Dr. Powers. He was very nice, and took the time to actually read my chart and ask pertinent questions, so I was pleased. It appears that I am slightly anemic (no surprise there; I have a history of it), and he recommended I start taking iron supplements on top of my prenatal vitamins. (For you geeks, my crit at the beginning of the pregnancy was 34.3, with normal being around 35, but a recent repeat crit was 29). Baby's heartbeat was in the 145-150 range (still girl territory, if you believe the wives tales). My blood pressure was good (100/70), so no worries there. Fundal height right where it should be (about 29 cm). He was please to hear the baby is so active (in Mike's words, that we are giving birth to John Travolta).

Dr. Powers' assessment of my GTT was that it was probably lab error (the samples were mixed up?), and since he was adding 15% to most of the cutoffs I have seen, he said I was OK no matter which order the results were put in. I still think I want to look into seeing an endocrinologist when the pregnancy is over, but I am not going to worry about it in the meantime. Oh, and he gave us two recommendations for pediatricians in our area (including the one he takes his own kids to).

All in all, a good visit. Next stop, Dr. Wilkerson, in a mere two weeks. Wheeee!

Posted by Dineen at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2003

Tipping Point

I've never been exactly skinny -- not since puberty, anyway -- but I have always been pretty lucky in that even at my absolute heaviest, I have a decent, basically hourglass, shape. I always took the fat chicks' solace that I couldn't look too fat so long as my boobs were larger than my tummy, which allowed clothes to lay right and camoflaged a multitude of sins. At the beginning of the pregnancy, this continued to be the case, especially since my boobs grew even though the rest of me lost 10 pounds.

Recently, minimal weight gain notwithstanding, I crossed over to the other side. The belly now protrudes further than the boobs, and will no doubt just get further and further out as the preganancy progresses. I hate to be so vain, and of course it is totally worth it, but oy! this plays into all of my fat chick insecurities. I hope I can restore the proper boob-to-belly ratio as soon after child birth as possible!

Posted by Dineen at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2003

Twist and Shout

Last night the baby went just nuts in there. Shimmying and shaking with such force that it scared Mike -- he withdrew his hands from my belly with the speed one usually reserves for withdrawing a hand from a hot surface for fear of being burned. "Can that possibly be normal? Are you sure the baby isn't experiencing some sort of fetal distress?" I assured him that it was normal, but we're still going to ask the doctor about it this week.

Posted by Dineen at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2003


Last night, I just sat on the couch in my jammies, with my belly hanging out, and watched the baby move. Not felt, mind you -- I could feel it from the inside, of course, but I did my best to keep my hands off the outside so I could really watch. The little one was pretty active, and I could just see my skin ripple and undulate as the baby lolled about. I just can't get over what a miracle this whole pregnancy thing is. Truly, a miracle.

Posted by Dineen at 12:42 AM | Comments (3)

March 20, 2003

Where'd they go?

A few days ago, as I was stepping into the shower, I realized my belly has very much obstructed my view of the lower half of my body. If I stand straight up and look down, I can see the tips of my toes only, and barely. If I wiggle from side to side, I can see maybe from my mid-thighs down. No matter how I squirm, I can't see anything between my mid-thighs and the topmost curve of my misshapen belly button. I am sure in the next month or so, all visual contact with the feet will be lost, and the belly-out will be complete.

Then again, maybe it's a good thing that I have to rely on mirrors if I really want to see the stretch marks that now litter my torso below the belly button.

Posted by Dineen at 02:52 PM | Comments (3)

March 19, 2003

Careful What You Wish For...

Ever since the hospitalization, I have been worrying about the fact that I don't generally get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and haven't for most of the pregnancy. So many of my preggie friends complained about getting up several times a night, and I just didn't. And I worried that was part of why I was having bladder/kidney issues.

For the past two nights, I've been up three times. Given the sudden expansion of my belly, I am guessing the little one is just getting heavier on my bladder. I am going to bed and falling asleep after maybe two pages of reading somewhere between 9 and 10 pm, and waking up closer to 8 than 7 am, and still I am tired. But I do have this to be very grateful for: a straight shot to the bathroom just steps from my bed, and no need to cover up to go down the hall. I can (and do) practically sleepwalk it.

Posted by Dineen at 10:49 AM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2003


Doctor (not my primary; one of the others in the practice who I now REALLY hope is not on call when this baby is due!) was very unhelpful on the phone regarding the GD test results. She was so focussed at looking at just one number this one level was above accepted norms that she wouldn't or couldn't see that the fact that my numbers go upwards instead of downwards could potentially be problematic. She just told me that she couldn't explain it, that some people just trend that way. Very unsatisfying answer. Don't know what to do next (besides trying to get Dr. Miller on the phone), as my attempts to research this yesterday on the web weren't particularly fruitful. I am very frustrated right now. Great if I don't have GD, but I need to know what, if anything, this means. I at least feel like I deserve a more intelligent answer to my questions than "I can't explain it." Maybe next step is to try to get an appointment with an endocrinologist?

Posted by Dineen at 11:21 AM | Comments (1)

March 17, 2003

Lab Work

Lesson Learned: ALWAYS ask for the actual results and ranges of tests, not just whether or not they are "OK." I was told by the nurse that my GD test was "OK, even though one of the values was high." After I digested the numbers she gave me though, they don't make sense to me.

Here's my logic: You're fasting, then you drink a ton of sugar, then you metabolize it over the course of three hours. The number should spike at the 1 hour point (now that your body has taken in all that glucose), then trend downward. At the very least, maybe it makes some sense that it doesn't get to its highest until the second hour (if your body is slow to get the sugar from your tummy to your blood stream), but then it should definitely go down or worst case stay the same. Certainly, the cut-off numbers trend this way: Fasting should be less than or equal to 95, 1 hour--180, 2 hour -- 155, 3 hour -- 140. If two of your numbers are above those numbers, they treat you for GD.

My numbers, they tell me, were: fasting--81, 1 hour--128, 2 hour--148, 3 hour--156. The last number is obviously over the cut off. But this makes no sense to me -- why am I trending upwards over the course of three hours? Unless my system is REALLY slow on the uptake, that can't be right, because I didn't intake any more sugar. I am confused. If the lab results are wrong -- perhaps 1-2-3 should really be 3-2-1 -- then I am fine. If the lab results are wrong and 1-2-3 should be 1-3-2 (spiking at 2 hour, then going down a bit) then I have GD according to the cut offs. If they really are trending upwards, isn't that a problem, even if I don't actually have GD?

I put a call in to the doctor to talk about the results, since the nurse could not give me any more analysis. Long story short is that I think everything is OK, and I am just going to continue to monitor what I am eating and try not to go crazy with sugars. I only hope my questioning doesn't lead to me having to re-take the whole test!

Posted by Dineen at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2003

Hiding from Aunt Keri

This baby just refused to cooperate and let Aunt Keri feel it move. She got to see it move Saturday night (my belly was just rippling) but the second the hand went down, it was total radio silence. Once, the baby even moved while Keri's hand was on my belly, but it was too deply internal for Keri to feel on the surface. I poked and prodded, to no avail (hope I wasn't being too mean!). Silly baby.

I did a lot of laying on the couch with my belly hanging out this weekend. I can't help it; I am obsessed with having my hands on my belly (and, well, the panel on the jeans gets uncomfortable after a while). Aunt Keri says my tummy looked noticably bigger on Sunday than it did on Saturday. Oh, and that my stomach feels hard as a rock.

Posted by Dineen at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2003


Here I was, feeling all down and sorry for myself. Just got back from the 3 hour GTT (we'll have the results on Monday). Total sourpuss.

Then I felt it. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Real low, right behind my pubic bone, and very steady. How could a smile not spread over my face as I realized that I was noticing the baby's hiccups for the first time???

I have a feeling having children will have a tendency to do this to me. How can you help but smile when you sense your child near? Even when they are rotten -- and I am not so naive as to believe that this child won't of course try my patience from time to time -- they have a tendency to steal your heart, I think.

Posted by Dineen at 02:11 PM | Comments (1)

March 12, 2003


Glucose screen was elevated. I go for the full blown three hour test tomorrow. Please offer up your prayers to the sugar and insulin Gods that I won't have to deal with diabetes on top of everything else.

Update: Got my number from the screening. My venous plasma value was 169; according to a couple of websites I surfed, they order the three hour test if you are between 140-179, and take a slightly different testing route if you are over 180. The nurse put a scare in me by saying that "normal" is in the 50-60 range, which doesn't seem right given the cut off for testing is double that, but whatever. But at least I wasn't over 180. I found a good chart explaining the testing protocol on the web, and I am at the ready to fill in my numbers when I talk to the nurse about my 3 hour results on Monday. Continuing to keep fingers crossed.

Posted by Dineen at 03:10 PM | Comments (3)

March 10, 2003

Laying of the Hands

Today was the first day that someone put their hands on my belly without first asking permission. I was a little taken aback, even though the person who did it is someone I would have of granted permission to, and would likely even affirmatively say "feel this" when I knew a kick was coming.

It won't be the last time, that's for sure.

Posted by Dineen at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2003


Went to church today to ensure that we are registered with the diocese so that the baby can be baptized when the time comes. The baptism will be on a Sunday afternoon, probably sometime in late July and early August (they haven't set baptism dates in the church past June; I will snap one up in consultation with (grand)parental schedules as soon as I know the available dates).

Mike and I will attend a baptism prep class before the baby is born -- likely in April, which is turning into the "all baby prep all the time" month for us. We'll attend a second class after the baby is born, just before the chosen date.

In making these arrangements, I was struck again by how lucky we are to live in a very young, open, and vibrant parish. Everyone adores the priest, who is a true man of God and not a bureaucratic BSer like some. The laity is very involved and very nurturing -- I am already on the list to have church members bring us a meal after the baby is born to help out, and frankly I am planning on volunteering to be on the list of people providing such meals to others once I get a little more involved. It will be helpful to have this community available to us as a secondary support system for our child.

Posted by Dineen at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2003

Meet the Doc

I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier, but my doctor has a website, so you can see what he looks like (although the picture is a little distorted). Here's Dr. Miller, my primary doc. Very up on the latest and greatest of everything, very good memory for me and my charts, and very communicative. A nice Ivy League boy. He's only four years older than I am, and frankly if I had met him outside of this context we would very likely be friends.

Posted by Dineen at 02:06 PM | Comments (1)

March 07, 2003

Baby Belly

Here's the 26 week, 6 day belly. It looks bigger to me in pictures than it does in person.

Oh. And if you wanna see the rest of me:

Posted by Dineen at 01:52 AM | Comments (2)

March 06, 2003

Third Trimester!

Went to the doctor today, and was told that I could officially consider myself in the third trimester (his definition of third trimester is viability, which he says nowadays is as early as 23 weeks, but even under the old school 2/3 of the way through, I am there). It's pretty hard to believe, given how this pregnancy has just flown by. Baby was his or her usual obstinant self -- hid from the doppler, then kicked it. I warned the nurse of this pattern, and she just cracked up when it actually happened exactly as I predicted. It's amazing to me that I can already discern a personality in this little one. Also had a lovely bottle of glucola for breakfast this morning, so please keep your fingers crossed that the one hour went well and I don't have to take the more thorough diabetes test (or God forbid, end up with actual gestational diabetes!).

Other than that, it's all good -- blood pressure fine, weight fine (today I weighed exactly the same as I did at my very first appointment back in October), baby's heartrate fine, size fine, and the doc prescribed a nice maintenance dose of antibiotics to keep me clean and healthy through the rest of the pregancy (Macrobid, because I know ya'll would ask). My next appointment is in three weeks, then I start going every two weeks after that. The countdown begins!

Posted by Dineen at 11:18 AM | Comments (4)

March 04, 2003

The Kick Me Club

Karyn joined the kick club today. Baby gave her a nice strong one.

Posted by Dineen at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2003

Baby Games

This baby likes to alternately play hide and seek and kick-the-monitor.

The rules of hide and seek are: turn in such a way that it takes nurses three different pieces of equipment to catch a heartbeat, scaring the bejesus out of them. Or, hide from the first nurse so that she has to go get another nurse to help out. Kick mom when the nurses turn away in frustration so that she's in on the joke and doesn't worry herself sick.

The rules of kick-the-monitor are: Whenever nurses finally do catch your heartbeat, kick or punch the monitor. Make the transducer jump off of mommy's stomach.

Games are fun!

Posted by Dineen at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2003

Trauma and Drama

No posts last week because I was, well, otherwise occupied. Hospitalized with a kidney infection, to be exact. I went to the ER Monday night, and got out of the hospital Thursday afternoon (earlier than predicted but three days too long for my book). Babybean and I are both fine, thankfully.

Flowers I received while in the hospital. Thanks Keri and Chris and Sean and Mom and Dad!

There's more to the story. Click below to

The Story:
A week ago today, around 8 or so, I started to notice a backache, on the right side. On top of the cold I had already been fighting for a week, it made me kind of tired. I decided to take a warm bath and go to bed early.

Monday at work, my back still hurt, it was hurting to walk, and I would occasionally get a shooting pain in my right side. Ick. By 2-ish, I decided I should be sure and mention it at my scheduled doctor's appointment on Thursday. By 5-ish, I talked to Mom and, at her behest, gave myself a (light!)diagnostic kidney punch. Saw stars. Said, hmmm, I'd better go to the doctor first thing in the morning. By the time I got home from work around 8-ish, I thought I had better call the doctor on call and let them know my self-diagnosis, thinking maybe they would call in antibiotics for me sooner.

The doctor didn't want to call in antibiotics -- she wanted me to go to the hospital. So Mike and I grabbed some reading material and headed out to GW (in downtown DC) to hit the ER.

The ER was a nightmare. I told them when I signed in that I was 25 weeks pregnant, and that I was in a lot of pain that I thought was a kidney infection. They told me to just wait, that I couldn't go to labor and delivery unless I was in labor. So we waited. After about 45 minutes, I marched up to the window and said that I had to pee and it would be in everyone's best interests if I did so in a sterile cup. The triage nurse gave me a cup, and off I went. At that point, the pain was bad enough that I also threw up. I forced the cup on the triage nurse, and she deigned to talk to me for a few minutes, take my temp, etc. I told her I was 25 weeks pregnant; she didn't seem to care. I still didn't have a chart or a wristband yet, though, so they couldn't actually do the lab work.

It was a full hour before they even started a chart for me. After four hours (and maybe one or two patients called that whole time), a nurse came out and announced that every ER in DC was slammed and no one should expect to be seen for several more hours. At this point, I called my doctor's service -- we were actually considering leaving and going to a different ER back in Arlington -- and boy am I glad I did. When she called me back, she was in a panic -- where have you been? I've tried calling you at home several times. I told her I was sitting in GW's ER, and had been for 4 hours. She asked me to hand my cell phone to the front desk, and proceeded to ream out the poor woman there (who herself was 7 months pregnant, and wasn't the one who had refused to send me to labor and delivery). Lickety split, I was whisked upstairs. (In hindsight, I can't BELIEVE they didn't send me up right away. A 25 week pregnant woman walks in presenting with abdominal and back pain? Hello, shouldn't such a person be put on a fetal monitor right away? Turns out the hospital's standard practice is that any pregnant woman greater than 16 weeks pregnant is supposed to be sent to labor and delivery right away. The supervisor who kept me sitting in the waiting room should have known better).

Thankfully, Labor and Delivery was fantastic. Everyone up there kept saying "we've been waiting for you; we've been worried about you." Within 10 minutes of my arrival, we were in a private delivery suite and my nurse Florence (not Nightingale -- a nice Jamaican woman, actually -- but close enough) had me on a fetal monitor, on IV fluids and antibiotics, and had tapped me for a clean urine sample. Baby was fine, had a nice strong heartbeat, there were no signs of labor, and the baby was actively kicking the fetal monitor. Florence made up a bed for Mike, and we rested a little.

At 3:30 am, they decided to move me to regular room rather than a labor suit, since it looked like I wasn't going to go into labor (Thank God!). They made up another bed for Mike, and we rested a little bit. At 4, they woke us up yet again, and Mike and I decided he should go home and get some real sleep, since he would have had to get up to move the car in 2 hours anyway.

Tuesday was a blur. I saw Dr. Hammond, and she said they would keep me awhile. I wasn't with it enough to ask how long. Mike came to visit me after work. I mostly slept. Slept and peed, because of all the fluids they were pumping into me.

Wednesday was better. I saw Dr. Kesselman. She said 5-7 days were likely. She told me that the labs came back and I definitely had an elevated white blood count, and bacteria in my urine. They were puzzled by my lack of fever -- my temp never went higher than 99.5. I got to shower -- which I really needed -- and I talked on the phone a bit more, but slept and read a lot too. Slept, read, and peed. Mike stayed with me in the hospital much of the day, God bless him. He worked, I read and slept. Just as he was about to leave for dinner, my favorite nurse stopped him, as she had finally gotten radiology to commit to giving me the sonogram Dr. Kessleman had ordered at 7 am. Mike and I got to see the baby's perfect little nose and mouth. We watched baby breathe and swim. Baby weighed in at 2 whole pounds, and looked none the worse for wear. They also took pictures of my kidneys, which weren't nearly as interesting.

Thursday I was markedly better. I saw Dr. Miller, my primary doc. He got back further test results, and was convinced I did in fact have a kidney infection despite lack of fever (I believe his exact words were "you've got two nasty, nasty bugs in your urine"). He decided to send me home with strong oral antibiotics for a week. I go back on Thursday, at which point he will put me on low grade antibiotics for the rest of the pregnancy.

I am feeling a lot better now. I didn't go to work on Friday, and relaxed a bit longer. Also got my hair cut and nails done, since I felt so grody from my hospital time. Tried to relax most of the weekend (I barely left the house!), but also ended up doing a lot of little things to get the house in order, which set my mind at ease, which was overall a good thing. I talked on the phone a lot, trying to catch people up on my recovery, and tried to make myself drink, drink, drink and drink some more. Talked, drank, and peed.

It was a bit of a scare, but baby and I will both be fine. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers and phone calls. It really helped.

Posted by Dineen at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)