Friday, September 28, 2012

35.5 weeks update...with pics

Thanks for all of your thoughts about last names. Great food for thought. Will and I will continue to discuss and we'll let you know what we decide on : )

In other news, the most well-monitored fetus in NYC continues to do well. She passed this week's biophysical profile with flying colors and she did well at her non-stress test today as well.

I'm now on 7 units of amount that seems to be steadily creeping upward as my pregnancy progresses. At some point (maybe soon?), I'm told my insulin needs will stabilize but so far, my fasting numbers look ok for a bit but then start rising again, necessitating another insulin increase.

I've been switched over to heparin from the lovenox I was previously taking. It was a bit of a fiasco - first because my doctor didn't specify a dose (the Rx read "take 1 dose twice a day"), and then because the pharmacy dispensed heparin preserved in benzyl alcohol. According to the FDA, this preservative is contraindicated in pregnancy as well as for infants and pediatric patients, something my OB says she had never heard of (Oops!). So this took some monkeying around, but I am now on a preservative-free version. The heparin is a lot of liquid volume - or feels like it anyway - compared to the lovenox, but the needle (an insulin needle) is smaller and easier to deal with, which is nice. The 12 hour administration schedule is a bit of a drag but no big deal really.

I saw the OB this week, and will do so weekly for the duration. She checked my cervix and said it is high and closed but softening. Baby has not yet descended. She will check me for Group B Strep next week, and in the meantime I'm on a garlic protocol that my doula says will make it less likely I'll test positive. Google it if you's a bit gross to me, not to mention pungent, but hey, if it works... And this may not affect Group B Strep, but at the very least I'm assured I'll have no vaginal vampires : )

Still hanging in there else-wise. I am starting to really slowdown and my legs are really uncomfortable and crampy, it seems no matter what I do. I am supplementing with magnesium and calcium, getting massages from Will, and soaking them in a hot bath at night. This part of my body will so appreciate this child being born!

We are busy still trying to get Ms. Magpie's room all cleared out so that she can have her own furniture, clothes, and decorations. Five years of infertility have made what was once deemed the nursery quite the storage room. But we're getting there! And in the meantime getting the rest of the apartment super organized as well. When you live in a very small space, you have to be very thoughtful about how much to keep and where to put it!

Here is the babe this week, in 3-D. I wonder if seeing all these pics will help me recognize her better when she comes?

Magpie at 34 weeks 4 days, her hand up at her mouth


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What's in a name?


Will and I have been working hard to come up with an official name for Magpie. We have a short list of first names, mostly based on family names across the generations. We have two runners up, either of which would make a fine first name, we think. I expect we will decide soon(ish) on it. And I think we are in close agreement.

The bigger problem is with her LAST name(s).

Will and I do not share a last name. I was in my mid-thirties when we married and already extensively published under my maiden name, and beyond that, my name felt, well, like mine, and I didn't want to give it up or feel any need to do so. And so I kept it. And now I have twice as many publications and my psychology license all in my original name.

Will has his own name, of course. Which he is rather attached to. And he has also published and has his medical license under his name.

And now awesomely, unbelievably, here comes Magpie.  

And we have to figure out what her last name will be.

Will has apparently always assumed that our child's last name would be his last name. And I assumed we would do something more egalitarian.

The three "more egalitarian" options are:

(1) Magpie Mo'slastname Will'slastname (with Mo as one of, or the only, middle names)

(2) Magpie Mo'slastname Will'slastname (both as last names, but no hyphen)

(3) Magpie Mo'slastname-Will'slastname (hyphenated)

or (less egalitarian)

(4) Magpie gets Will's last name and my last name is left off entirely.

We briefly considered all three of us hyphenating and having the same last name, but I don't think Will is willing to do this, so it's a no go. It would be a major hassle anyway, honestly.

Some of the practical considerations are:

(1) What name combo will make traveling (especially internationally) easier? Will having my last name as a middle name or as one of the last names help, especially if Magpie and I ever travel alone?

(2) What name combo will make education easier? Will having my last name as a middle or last make it clearer to teachers who I am, what role I play for Magpie, etc.?

Emotional considerations include:

(1) Is a hyphenated name or compound last name weird or burdensome for a kid to have to carry around? (Will thinks so.) Will my kid be the only NYC kid with a hyphenated or compound name? Our last names, by the way, are two syllables each, and 13 characters in total (including a hyphen if we used one, so not so long)

(2) Would a hyphenated or compound name, on the other hand, help convey to our daughter her heritage that stems from both of us and our extended families?

We are somewhat at an impasse on this, with Will wanting to go the conventional route, and me not so sure.

So we are curious, what do you guys think? Those who are parents and have a different last name from your spouse/partner, how did you make your decision on your child's last name? And what about your kid's friends? How many of them have a dual last name (either hyphenated or not?)

Really trying to be thoughtful here and welcome  your thought process on this (whether you're a mom yet or not!)


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Growth scan, BPP, and pic at 34 weeks

Magpie is now 34 weeks gestation (and change).

She is in the 35th%ile for weight - I think they said she weighs about five pounds, which my providers are very happy about, given the gestational diabetes.  And she passed yesterday's biophysical profile with flying colors - practicing breathing, kicking, having a good (but not too much) amount of amniotic fluid - another sign that the GD is not raging too much out of control).

That's my girl!

She is also kicking up a storm these days. Her head is down and her feet are up under the right side of my ribs now. She also seems to like to do what Will and I call "butt thrusts." Maybe it is the downward dog yoga position?

We also got another 3-D picture of her while we were at the growth scan. Magpie is looking very much like my husband Will. In fact, Will can do a Magpie impression by puffing his cheeks out that looks dramatically similar. It's quite something. My impressions only make me look silly, but don't resemble her in the least. Perhaps she will be a Daddy's Girl (not surprising. Moxie the Boxer is definitely also a Daddy's Girl).

Here she is, in all her glory...

Magpie at 34 weeks, 2 days

Magpie in a hoodie. Thanks, Will!

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Conversation 6 weeks before due date

Mo: So it appears we may be having a baby in a little over a month. Does it feel real to you?

Will: No. Not at all. I really cannot fathom it.

Mo: Doesn't feel real to me either.

[sit beside each other in silence on the couch for a bit]


Mo: Do you think that's how most first-time parents feel?



Mo: Or do you think we're sort of fucked up because of our history?


Will: I think it's probably common, but I also think we're pretty fucked up.


Mo: Probably, huh? I guess it will feel more real after she gets here.

[sit beside each other in silence on the couch, holding hands]

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Coming out on Facebook

I took a big gulp and posted a picture and pregnancy announcement today on Facebook.

Hopefully this won't kill the baby.

I wasn't inclined to do this, but it seemed strange to just start posting baby pics 6 weeks from now. Especially after our loooonnnng infertility struggles, people wouldn't be way out of line for wondering if we'd just finally stolen a baby.

Which of course we've considered, but luckily (oh so luckily!), it looks like we won't have to do.

Assuming she makes it out ok. Which is something I still worry about a fair amount, but try not to dwell on.

She is alive right now - I can feel her squirming around. She passed her non-stress test with flying colors this morning. My blood glucose fasting numbers still seem really not ok to am waiting for a call back about that...but hopefully she'll hang in there regardless.

I will be 34 weeks pregnant tomorrow.

I can't believe it.

And I really can't believe that it seems like we're going to have a baby in a little over a month.

How did we ever get so lucky?


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Monday, September 10, 2012

Catching up a bit with belly pics

Posted by popular demand...definitely still growing...

Kissing a shark in September at 32 weeks

28 weeks
Hiking with Moxie in July at 24 weeks

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Insulin...and the start of nighttime feedings already?!

Just to keep things interesting, I started on a long-acting form of injectable insulin late last week.

I saw my OB, who blessedly came back from her two-week vacation, and she agreed with me (and the nutritionist....and some of you...) that my blood sugar was not adequately controlled - most particularly the fasting levels, which were often mid-90s, with occasional spikes into the low 100s.

So insulin it is. I started on a low dose - 2 units - last Thursday night.

And instant amazingness!! My fasting numbers were great!! Around 90. Sometimes in the high 80s! (The goal is below 95.) All my post-prandial (after eating) levels were also awesome!

Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Enter the next major snafu...


Ketones: they look pretty, but are not a good thing at all.
I started having ketones in my urine, which means I am breaking down fat instead of glucose for energy. The highest levels were first thing in the morning (often measuring "moderate," but once measuring "large"--akkk!), and there were small amounts present when I tested throughout the day as well.

I tried reading up on this and found that ketones + baby = badness, particularly for later intellectual functioning of said baby. Many websites referred to this information...but I couldn't find any actual research discussing exactly what we were talking about here - how severe are these cognitive problems? what levels of ketones in the urine are an issue? Is a day or two of high ketones dangerous or is it more a problem over the long haul? Who knows... because failed me, or I failed to use the right search terms.

I do know that my OB has gotten very aggressive with me all of the sudden, which is both comforting and a little alarming. I saw her last Thursday. And she wanted to speak to me Saturday and then again yesterday on the phone. She also wants to talk tomorrow. And she wants to hear every glucose number throughout the day and to hear about the ketone levels. And she has upped my antenatal monitoring to twice a week. And I'm referred to an endocrinologist, who I will be meeting with this Friday.

So yeah, based on her behavior, this is clearly something not to be messed with. (Not that I'm messing with anything; I'm truly trying my darndest. I just have been trying to figure out how worried to be).

Right now I'm experimenting with adding a middle-of-the-night snack to see if it helps with the ketones.  It is pretty weird to set an alarm for the wee hours of the morning and to then get up and eat. And my heartburn...well, yeah, not so great.

Will has set an alarm that actually talks, because he was worried I'd be so disoriented with just a tone that I wouldn't remember why it was going off. So at 2am or 3am, suddenly this mechanized voice says, "It's 2am, time to get up and eat your yogurt." It's rather strange, but effective. Who knew I would be doing middle of the night feedings for the baby already?! The midnight feedings helped some the first couple of days, but not enough. I was still testing positive for ketones.

This morning, I thought I struck the magic point finally - no ketones!!'s fasting glucose was a smidge high again at 95. Aaargh.

I am feeling a bit exhausted and also somewhat mystified and frustrated. But I will get this under control, no matter what it takes. I will do anything to try to help this little one be as safe and snug as possible until she's ready to join us.


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