Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Falling in love again

I'm ready. I'm ready to meet this baby and fall in love with him. In my imagination, he is cute, with perfect tiny parts and a sweet face with full cheeks. I can't wait to snuggle him on my chest and smell his hair.

I can't believe how old my other kids are. And I'm still in love with them, after all these years. It is amazing our capacity to love. In families, love only multiplies, never subtracts.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Locked and loaded...

...and ready to go! The baby is now in the proper final birthing position. He is head down and his body is lying on the left. And he has been stuck there for at least 1 full week now. For the prior couple of weeks before that, he was head down but his body swiveled from left to right, depending on which side I slept on. And before that he was flipping head up/head down. He is right on time, compared to my other children. They were all birthed from that same position. It is great that he is being so cooperative. I don't want to need a cesarean section for my 6th birth, and almost no docs will deliver a breech baby any way except a c/section.

I read something online yesterday that made me think. This gal had given birth and she had taken her heparin shot that morning, not knowing she was about to start real labor. So she was not allowed to have an epidural. That makes sense. Bleeding into the spinal area could be bad. Nobody had mentioned that yet. Good thing I read around a lot. I was planning on doing it without an epidural anyway, but that is one more thing to take into consideration if I don't get much warning of the labor.

My bag is finally packed. And I have a list of last minute items to throw in. I'm beginning to feel more organized. I even picked up extra cam-corder tapes. I love birth videos. We have a nice one of our youngest right after he came into the world. It is so precious to see his first moments again.

Today is officially 4 weeks to go. 28 days. I expect to deliver between 3 and 4 weeks from now. Time is getting close.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Struggling in the muck

My pool is finally getting cleaner. There is a layer of silt along the bottom of the pool now, but the 3-inch deep pile of leaves is gone. I figured I would have to do this all by myself. The pool man came today, I caught up with him as he was on his way out. I asked him if he vacuumed the pool and he said no. There were too many leaves. Just keep emptying the bag from the Polaris and eventually the leaves would be gone. OK, I had removed most of them by hand using the net and pole the past few days anyway, so whatever. I asked him if he shocked the pool with chemicals as well and he said yes. He says he has too many pools all in the same bad condition to spend all day vacuuming a few. I think I have emptied that mucky Polaris bag about 15 times in the past few days. Not to mention untangling it in the first place from the concrete-anchored basketball hoop that had been blown into the pool. This is the second time I have had to fish that horribly heavy contraption out of the pool. And I know I was in the second or third trimester of pregnancy the last time too. Good thing I only have 31 days to go with this pregnancy. If all this strenuous activity brings on labor things should be fine.

Oh, you ask, why is my husband not doing all this? Well, he hurt his back putting topper on our lawn a month ago. And he works from dawn till dark so forget it. Also, if the pool becomes too much of a problem, he might decide to drain the thing and be done with it. He doesn't really like the pool. But the kids and I do, so I try to take care of it so he doesn't have to think about it.

I'm looking longingly at those piccies at the bottom of this blog of the pool from June and August. I wonder how long it takes to get all the silt filtered out of the water? The Polaris is usually only running 1 hour per day. I have it on all day now and I am checking the bag every hour or 2. Also, I think by running it, it kicks up the silt into the water so the filter can get rid of it. I just finished using a house broom to sweep the silt off of the steps into the center of the pool because I don't think the Polaris reaches over there too well.

Now I just need to get the gardener to cut down the tree branch that's hanging half into the water of the Jacuzzi. It's no hurry, I guess, since the water quality is not up to par right now. But I'm determined to get my pool back by next weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today's OB appointment

The "bad" news (I use quotations because while I find it disturbing, my OB says it is standard) is that there was a trace of protein in my urine. No sugar. I looked carefully at the strip myself, and saw the one square was clear yellow, and the other square was yellow with a greenish tint around the leading edge. My blood pressure is 115/63 though, which negates any concern related to protein in the urine. As spilling protein and high blood pressure could indicate toxemia/pre-eclampsia, but that does not appear to be the case for me. So what *does* it mean? Doc says my kidneys are working overtime to filter for 2, and that they will tend to spill protein/sugar off and on no matter what I eat, and it is not related to what I eat. Not to over do the sugar, of course, but I don't have to completely stay away from it either. I mean, I HAVE to eat SOMETHING. I'm HUNGRY. OK, I'll stop shouting. But don't stand between a pregnant woman and her food. Really. ;-)

Otherwise, the baby's heart beat was 143 and the fundus measured 37 cm, still 1.5 weeks ahead. This is on par with the measurement of my youngest, who, at 2 days before his due date weighed a little over 8 pounds. That is good. Oh, and my Beta Strep was negative, so I won't have to take IV antibiotics during delivery. Yay!

I also had some questions for the doc. I mentioned the hypoglycemic episode last week and he didn't think it was a big deal. Just don't go hungry. And I asked him if I would be in danger if I went into labor so quickly that I didn't have time to skip a heparin shot. Would I bleed to death? He said no. That is not generally a problem, and if my uterus bleeds too much, they can inject some stuff called Hemabate directly into the uterus. This might be a type of prostaglandin, I'm not sure. I'll have to do a search and find out more about it.

So it was a good appointment. Baby is healthy, growing on schedule. My weight is good. Up 20 pounds since I started weighing in. I'm still on schedule for a 25 pound weight gain, which is perfect for me.

This weekend the 8-y-o and 4-y-o go to their sibling class at the hospital. They are to bring a baby doll or teddy bear for diaper changes. I am really excited about this. It seems so much more real to me with the family involved in going to the hospital to learn about the new baby. :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lamaze refresher class and belly pic

Here is today's belly pic at 35w2d, with a pic of my youngest DS.

Went to Lamaze refresher at the hospital last night. It was nice. Only a couple of hours, including a tour. I really wanted the tour because I had to switch my care to a different hospital. The one where I delivered my 2 youngest, you may recall, got rid of their maternity wing. So now I have to drive much farther, 35 minutes as opposed to 10 minutes. I guess in a pinch I can still go to the old hospital and deliver in the emergency room, but that doesn't sound good to me. So I will try to leave the house earlier in labor this time and see how things go.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Too much wind!

Here are some pictures I took this morning, all within a mile of my house.

This giant pine tree fell half into the tennis court of a local park.

Here is another downed tree in the same park.

I will have to call the electrician after the winds die down. I wondered why the light never came on last night.

Pretty dramatic walk to the bus stop with DS this morning.

Another local tree.

I noticed the neighbor did not trim their tree this year.

I can't comment directly on the wildfires ravaging the southern California area because thankfully there is no fire currently burning in my area. The smell of smoke is strong, though, and the sunlight has turned an amber color. I would like to send my wishes for everybody affected by the fires that their houses and family and friends and the brave firefighters all stay safe. :-(

Saturday, October 20, 2007

blood sugar; blogging

I have had low blood sugar episodes in the past, and they seem to come on very quickly during late pregnancy. No surprise there, with another little being sharing my blood glucose. I was at home yesterday when I felt the symptoms starting, so I went into the bathroom and used the blood glucose monitor, curious what blood sugar level trigger the symptoms of dizziness, sweating and shakiness. My blood sugar was exactly 60. An online search showed that was hypoglycemic, but not dangerously low. I ate a meal, as I was hungry, along with some candy to bring the numbers up. I still didn't feel very good afterwards, and 45 minutes later my blood sugar was up to 137. Anything under 140 after a meal is OK. This morning I checked my fasting level upon awakening and it was 82, which is perfect. I think my problem is that I am insulin resistant. It showed up on my 3-hour glucose-insulin test. I recall the second hour of the test showed elevated insulin levels, and the blood sugar was resisting coming down. The first and 3rd hour numbers were more normal. If someone is insulin resistant, or somewhat insulin resistant, their body can secrete too much insulin, and the blood sugar can dip too low after meals. Yesterday I had eaten a bowl of cereal at 6am, and by 9:15am I was hypoglycemic. I used to be able to wait until 10 or 10:30am before needing my mid-morning snack, but I guess little bub needs more food than that. And I need to remember to keep snacks in the car and my purse so I don't have any "episodes" while I am out. The good news is that I am not diabetic. And while I have relatives, my mother in particular, who have problems handling sugar like I do, nobody in our known family tree ever had diabetes. I won't rest on those laurels, though. I'd hate to be the first one.

I read an opinion article this morning about posting on sites like facebook and blogging. About how we show a whitewashed/airbrushed version of ourselves, hiding our flaws. I was thinking about that recently. Yes, this blog is whitewashed. Of course it is. It is a publicly accessible record of my thoughts and family pictures. It is sort of a diary, but even with "private" written diaries, they don't tend to remain private. I want a blog that can be read by my family members someday. They don't all know about it right now, but if something were to ever happen to me, I would hope that they would find it and find comfort in being able to read more about me. So if I leave out certain lesser incidents and thoughts that happen in my life, I think that is OK. Some things are nobody's business. And personal details of the interactions between myself and my husband, for instance, should and do remain between us. So from time to time I may post about things from my past. This will be an effort to document some of the more memorable moments of my life. I may have forgotten to mention them to my kids. Or it may be that it feels more comfortable to write about them than to talk about them. I don't want all the fun/scary stories to be lost. I hope to live to at least 90, of course, but I am not going to count on it. So in that regard, those of you who know how to contact my family, if something happens to me, please do, and feel free to tell them about the blog. Thanks.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Forgot to mention

Doc is having me start every week now. I guess because I am of advanced maternal age. So Thursday mornings are IT. And the FFN test results from yesterday are negative. That's good. I don't really want to have the bub this early. I think he must be head-down because the contractions I have cause SO much bladder pressure. Eeeek!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

OB appt update

The appt was mostly good, but a little bad, in my opinion. I spilled a trace amount of sugar into my urine. I know my body has a hard time handling sugar, and I haven't exactly been an angel about the sweets, but in 6 pregnancies, this is the very first time this has happened. I asked the doctor about it right away. He said as long as my fasting glucose is under 105 that I don't have gestational diabetes. My last 3 readings were 90, 88 and 80. On the other hand, I feel that I probably should lay off the frozen Snicker bars and other chocolate confections. It was probably a bad idea to buy them during pregnancy in the first place. I hope I don't develop GD. To do that would put me at high risk for diabetes later in life, and that is one horrible disease. I remember when I was taking differential diagnosis examinations in chiropractic college. I told a friend of mine if the question was multiple choice, choose diabetes because diabetes causes *everything*. I'm not there yet, but I had better watch my p's and q's. So that was the bad news.

On the good side, the baby's heartbeat was 146, and my blood pressure was 106 over 67 (immediately after the nurse told me about the blood sugar). The fundus measured 1.5 weeks ahead at 36cm. Doc asked me if I felt bigger this time. I said that I usually feel miserably large at the end of all my pregnancies, so it is hard to tell. He seems to be under the impression that this baby is big. I'm not sure to set much store by that, though, as I recall he may have said that in the past and it didn't come true.

They ran a FFN test again, because I have been getting a lot of contractions. And as long as they were at it, they went ahead and ran the beta strep test as well. Doc said my cervix was neither dilated nor effaced. Typical. My cast iron cervix isn't budging, no matter how many practice contractions I have. Fine with me. A full term delivery is fine. FINE! ;-D

And I had them call in the prescription for heparin and syringes. I am supposed to switch from Lovenox to heparin at 36 weeks, so a week from Monday. That way it only sticks around for 12 hours instead of 36 hours, and so it should be easier to stop the shots when I detect that labor has started. Hopefully.

Today's Joke

Here is a joke sent to me via email by my mother in Washington State.


I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?
He's all right now.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was
Sir Cumference.

The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a
little behind in his work.
To write with a broken pencil
is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take
de bate.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a
small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar got
twelve months.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a
hardened criminal.
Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be
charged with stalking.
We'll never run out of math teachers because
they always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles,
The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a
number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on
shaky ground.

The dead batteries were given out
free of charge.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could
jog your memory.

A dentist and a manicurist fought
tooth and nail.
A bicycle can't stand alone;
it is two tired.

A will is a
dead giveaway.
Time flies like an arrow;
fruit flies like a banana.

A backward poet writes in
In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your
Count that votes.
A chicken crossing the road:
poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist you
can get repossessed.

With her marriage she got a new name
and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you
A-flat miner.

When a clock is hungry it goes
back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine
was fully recovered.

A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France,
resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

You are stuck with your debt if
you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia:
The LAN down under.

He broke into song because
he couldn't find the key.

A calendar's days
are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted:
'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

A boiled egg
is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory which
was never developed.

A plateau is a high
form of flattery.

Those who get too big for their britches
will be exposed in the end.

When you've seen one shopping center
you've seen a mall.

If you jump off a Paris bridge,
you are in Seine.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair,
she thought she'd dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes
on a knead to know basis.

Santa's helpers are
subordinate clauses.
a jab well done.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Comments from the ladies

Today it started. I walked into the mommy-and-me class with my youngest and the ladies looked at my belly. One of them said, "are you *still* pregnant?? Haven't you had that baby YET???" I said, "Thanksgiving." So is that in 3 weeks? 2 months? No, closer to 5 weeks. Then another mom chimed in "you look so small." I plastered my dress to my belly to show how large the bump was, assuring her that the baby measured average like all my kids, then she said, "I mean the rest of you is so small". That one made me smile. I said "that's the whole idea. To have the baby and be back to my normal size." I know the first gal didn't mean any harm. It is just that I want to try to savor these last weeks of calm before the "baby storm" starts. And to parade my huge 8-9 month belly around town. I was thinking today of the preemie moms who miss out on that part of the third trimester. I am determined to enjoy it without ruining this special time with negative thinking. Of course I have my aches and pains. It is hard to turn over at night. I had a lot of contractions yesterday and one of my uterine ligaments was very sore. I even took the day off work because of it, and that is highly unusual for me. I have my OB appt tomorrow, so I am sure they will check things out. I might even be due for my Bstrep test. I had been avoiding watching those TLC channel shows about ladies giving birth, but with my day off and resting in the recliner, I decided to tune in yesterday. Of course, it turned out to be a most devastating show. The lady was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer around the time of her positive pregnancy test. When she was in labor, she mentioned that she was having "pregnancy pain" below her waist, and deep nerve pain of some sort above her waist. That sounded like a very bad sign. Cancer is not supposed to be painful unless it has spread. Then on the last moment of the show they said that it was in memoriam of her and she died in 2005. :-(

I need to take a new belly shot. I want one with the kid(s). I have a cute one from 34 weeks in my prior pregnancy with DS all smiles hugging my belly. He (the 8-y-o) gets SO excited about the new babies. He kisses my tummy every night when I hug him goodnight, and he says goodnight to the little baby.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Science Center Day

We had a blast at the Science Center in Los Angeles yesterday. My oldest DS turned 17 last Monday, and this is where he wanted to go. We baked cupcakes, got the gang together, and headed out. I asked DH to take care of the youngest, because I didn't want to worry about him running away in the crowd, and we were going to watch an IMAX film. We ended up watching one about Dinosaurs in 3D. I have some pictures from the science center, and a couple from DD's college apartment too. It was the first time I had been there. I had driven by in the past, but I couldn't help her move in because of my condition, and I have been avoiding long drives, too. She says she is OK there for now, but she looks forward to finding a place next year with fewer roommates (there are 10 there now counting her).

Here is the birthday boy (17) on the high wire bicycle:

Little brother (8) was also barely tall enough to ride the bicycle. He had been turned down based on height last time, so he was really happy this time.

The kids loved playing blue-screen volleyball. It is where your body shows up on a computer screen and you wave your arms around to "hit" the ball over the net. All the kids are mine except the kid in the tan t-shirt.

Here is DD's top bunk bed in her apartment. She made and hung those curtains behind her and bought and hung the little shelf on the left all by herself with the tools we bought last summer.

Here is DS (4) climbing onto the bunk:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

DS posing with Stanley Cup

Here is a piccy from my camera phone. It had a few strange artifacts, probably due to other people using flash photography at the same time, but I think DS looks SO cute in his little snow suit. He was waiting for ice skating class to start last week when they showed up with the Stanley Cup and let people pose with it for 30 minutes before leaving again. So here is my 4-y-o.

Edited to add: DS is the boy in the red cap. And the Stanley Cup was won by the Anaheim Ducks hockey team this past season.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halfway through baby to-do list

Here is the list from before:

Here are the things I have accomplished:
* finish potty training youngest DS (age 2.75) He is doing great on this. Very few accidents.
* purchase a Moby Wrap. Done.
* purchase a Miracle Blanket. Done.
* locate the newborn boy clothing, launder and place it in baskets under the changing table. Done.
* call the caterer and get things set up as much as possible for the bris (Jewish circumcision get-together on baby's 8th day). I'm excited, my favorite caterer is still in business and has me on his calendar. Yay!

Still yet to do:
* ask oldest DS to set up the bassinet again.
* pack hospital suitcase including Maya wrap ring sling and Over the shoulder baby holder ring sling. Pack baby's bag with coming home outfit.
* type up Thanksgiving recipes/menu for my mom in case I'm not available to help out on T-day.
* make and freeze lasagnas/casseroles.
* wash and install newborn car seat.
* boil parts for breast pump.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Blast from the past

Going to the Karate Tournament yesterday reminded me of old times. Soke Kubota was kind enough to introduce me, on one occasion, to Mr. James Caan, a movie star and student of his. This picture was taken of the 3 of us around 1997, after Soke and "Jimmy" Caan had a workout. Imagine my surprise when Soke gave me this signed photo to remember our fun Chinese lunch. The signature reads, "To Mary Ann, my best always, James Caan" :-D

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Went to the annual Karate Tournament today

I try to go to the Karate Tournament every year. This is the group that I used to practice Karate with before moving away from the area when I got married. These people are amazing. And none of them seem to age for all the years that have passed. I think it is because they are in such incredibly good shape from the heavy Karate workouts. Soke Takayuki Kubota was kind enough to pose for a picture with me. So here I am, at 33 weeks of pregnancy, sitting with one of the top Karate masters in the world.

For the curious, here is his official website:

Friday, October 5, 2007

OB checkup

Everything went great at the OB checkup yesterday, by the way. My ffn test was negative. Good thing I avoided you-know-what before the exam, lol. My blood pressure was around 90 over 60, typical pregnancy bp for me. The urine had no protein or sugar. The heartbeat was 150. And the fundus measured 1/2 week ahead at 33cm. So all systems are go. Doc says if we can keep the baby in until after Oct 15, he will feel *very* confident about guaranteeing the baby's health. I don't think it will be an issue. My cervix was long and closed when he checked it. And my usual pattern is lots of practice contractions, no movement of the cervix until the last week, which should be around mid-November, not mid-October.

Organized my closet today. That is where I found the potty lid. Piled under loads of junk, bags, boxes and wrapping paper tubes. Here is what it looks like now. I think I'm "nesting". :-D

I found the potty seat!

Here is the closest picture I could find on the net. My potty lid is actually from 18 years ago. I remember I had it for my oldest kids. Joseph already tried it out and I think this will help us when we are out and he has to go potty. He is doing great this week. Only about 1 accident per day. Sometimes he ends the day in the same pants he started with. I'm so very proud of him.

And he is also learning to sleep in his big-boy bed. We set up a twin mattress on the floor of his room, since he started sleeping on the floor anyway and ignoring the crib. And I read to him in a reclining position now, instead of hunched over on the floor. I think he is beginning to see how nice it is to have a big boy bed and pillow, with sheets and blankets. Except last night I still found him on the floor wedged behind his door and had to carry him to bed.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

She is starting to appreciate me

DD says that the biggest adjustment to apartment living is getting used to getting her own meals every day. Every meal. Every day. Day after day after day. I laughed. Last year she was in the dorms and could swipe her meal card twice a day for an all-you-can-eat cafeteria situation. Then she comes home to visit and after she gets her cereal in the morning, there was usually some sort of lunch happening and home-cooked meals for dinner. I always prided myself on serving decent dinners for the kids. I want them to get used to it so they will cook for their families when they are grown up. My mom did it for me and I want to pass on the tradition.

I think part of her difficulty lies in the fact that she likes to eat nutritious food. Many students simply eat lots of fast food. It is cheap and filling. But she wants to do better than that, and that takes effort, especially when one doesn't own a car. The supermarket is a few block's walk away from her apartment, and she can only buy what she can carry.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Weight is still OK

I am up 18 pounds total as of today. I was a bit shocked to step on the scale, but when I put the data into the weight tracker and saw it on the graph, I realized that I had not weighed in for 2 weeks. I had gained a full 2 pounds, but that is appropriate. With 8 more weeks to go, that keeps me on track to gain 26 pounds in the pregnancy. Baby is gaining 1/2 pound a week now and it has to come from somewhere. I guess all those frozen Snicker Bars and Dove Chocolates didn't kill my weight gain pattern like I had feared. Only 7-8 more weeks of indulgence, then I'm back on my stricter eating habits and watching my weight. Until then the mice will play....