Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Matt

If there's one thing I'll miss about my pregnancy it's how it brought Matt and me closer together.  I've heard from so many people that you only have your first once, how exciting the time is, to enjoy every moment of it, but I never was able to appreciate that until now, in the sunset of my pregnancy.

Seeing Matt download audio books on happy babies, or practicing swaddling on that damn stuffed frog, or take my hand protectively as we cross the street, have made my heart swell: I have never been so in love.  He will be a soothing source to our (probable) Scorpio baby: his calming demeanor coupled with his/her passionate intensity.  That's what I like to think anyway.  Two nights ago he told me he hopes our child is feisty like his/her mother, and I know I couldn't be with anyone better: someone who actually appreciates I go from tears to snark in twenty seconds flat.  Someone who enjoys putting up with me.  Someone who never makes me feel "less than" for my shortcomings.  

I know he will be an amazing father, and I cannot wait for the ride of our lives to begin. 

Matt figuring out the infant car seat and the car seat base.
 (I still don't know how they snap apart.)
With disrupted sleep and a long commute, I'm lazier than ever.
Matt has been doing much of the cooking and I just had to snap a photo of this:
toothpicks in my chicken sandwich.  

Using the last of our summer basil he mad a rustic bruschetta.
Lounging on the couch in dirty sweats I hardly thought I was worthy.
And again, a "10" for presentation!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Leech Baby!

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked about my butt boil.  I’m truly touched.  My gluteus maximus is truly touched.  You have been so kind to us both!

So my butt boil (coded “boil of the buttocks” on my office visit receipt – I can’t make this stuff up) is a measly nothing compared to its former self.  My GI does not think I have a fistula and it was a freak occurrence.  I pray and shimmy my behind to the butt gods!  She warned me repeatedly about flare-ups post-birth, however, which is very common, and ordered some blood work.  Today she called me with the results, and I can only say the following: I have a leech baby.

“Your albumin levels are exceedingly low,” she said.  “My what?” I said.  “Your albumin levels.  And protein.  Basically your general nutrition.  Since you refused to get on the scale at your office visit, can you tell me how much weight you gained during the pregnancy?”  My response: “I’m not sure; I stopped looking about 1.5 months ago.”  (Hells no I wasn’t going to burden myself with that information!)  Her response: sighing (although I really do believe she was sort of tickled at my idiocy).  “Well,” she continued, “with Crohn’s and your surgery you’re already not absorbing enough nutrients, but now the baby is sucking everything else.  I’m sure the baby is fine, but I wanted to ask how you’re feeling.  It’s rare to see numbers this low.  I’m going to fax them to your ob/gyn.  It’s nothing to be terribly concerned about; basically, the baby is like a parasite, getting all the nutrients it can.  I’m very glad you got pregnant at a time you were feeling well; this is why you have to start off on the best possible footing.” 

My response?  “I have a leech baby!” 

I wrote this to Matt saying to feed me a Cornish game hen tonight with a side of steak.  His response: “With the baby coming we cannot afford that but I’m sure Penny will let you have some of her special lamb dog food.”  No one takes me seriously!

Now, I’ve been pretty tired the last couple weeks (this week it’s hit pretty hard), but that’s normal, and sleep is starting to be disrupted, and I’m busy at work.  I told Matt that I am surely the world’s most amazing pregnant lady since I’m not only pregnant, but pregnant with a leech baby, and still am out and about.  (He has yet to email me back after that one.)

Speaking of leech babies, our child has had many nicknames throughout the pregnancy.  There was “monster baby” when we thought he or she was going to be a ten pounder.  There is “alien baby” because we believe all newborns look like extraterrestrials.  Of course, “Cletus the Fetus” was a popular one.  The other day, after getting a higher heartbeat for the baby, I asked my ob/gyn if there was a cause.  “Did you just eat breakfast?” she said.  I said I had a banana and she said, “Oh, you must have a monkey baby!”  She then got terribly flustered and apologized about five times for calling the kid a monkey baby, and all I could think was, “Look, lady, monkey baby is probably the best thing it’s been called this whole time.”

Today our baby is considered full-term.  And I just can’t wait to meet that little sucker.

(Get it?!?!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

One month left!

35 weeks!  (In the work bathroom..what else?!)

A somewhat Crohn’s related post!  I know, I know – what’s Crohn’s again?  First, let’s get to the good stuff (because Crohn’s, any way you slice and dice it, is never the good stuff). 

I’ve been measuring three weeks large (now I’m not sure how they can ascertain that with a tape measure of my jelly belly, but alas…) so Matt and I paid the ob/gyn a visit this past Monday for a measurement ultrasound.  Matt, who has been downloading audio books purporting to make your baby smarter (and who knows what else) said he wants a child no less than nine pounds (as nine pounds is the optimal weight for a smart baby…obviously).  Now, that skinny monkey isn’t birthing anything, so I’m not sure where he gets off.  And lord knows I’ve got some bajunk-a-junk hips, but let’s not get excessive.  On Monday, slightly before I hit the 35 week mark, the baby was measuring at 5.5 pounds, with an estimated birth weight of upwards of 8.5 pounds.  I can handle that.

On another positive note, the nursery is completed!  We went as clich├ęd as one can go when a baby’s gender is a mystery and did the room up in yellow and green.  Here are some photos!:

Matt chose and applied the decals.  Half because he should have some say, and half because I'm lazy.

And here he is holding a swaddled frog.  He loves that frog.  First it went with us to the breastfeeding class, and now he practices his swaddling on it.  Look how he cradles it. least he's getting into it and all...

Today we had our first run to the hospital.  I hadn’t felt the baby move since yesterday (sorry, Mom, whom I spoke to on the phone this morning and didn’t want to alarm) and as the Eagles game started I told Matt we needed to call the doctor.  (Perfect timing on my part, if I do say so myself.)  Now, I’m not a hypochondriac or an alarmist, but every appointment they’re dishing advice about “kick counts” and it’s hard to count how many kicks you’re feeling when you feel, well, nothing.  The baby’s movements have been getting less frequent and more subtle due to the lack of space to move around in, but they just gosh darn fizzled out.  I tried everything: ice cold water, lying on my left side, half a box of Joe-Joe’s (Trader Joe’s version of Oreos – the sugar was to kick-start the baby, I swear!).  After a good 12 hours of lazy baby we made our way to the hospital where everything was absolutely hunky dory.  “It seems you have a happy baby,” said the doctor.  Oops.  “Better safe that sorry!” she said and then exclaimed, “Wow; you’re having a lot of contractions; did you just feel that?”  Lordy I am not in tune with my body (or apparently baby) at all; what contraction?!  Although contractions at 35.5 weeks are completely normal, that’s what made Matt and I hightail it home to finish the nursery.  Up went a mirror, and I washed all the baby’s clothes and bedding. 

Now, no Crohn’s post is without the icky, so let’s get started: a couple weeks ago I thought I had finally entered the holy grail of expectant motherhood: I thought I had myself a big ol’ hemorrhoid.  The first thing I did was thrust my butt into my beloved’s face for a look-see.  This happens more than you know.  He diagnosed an “internal hemorrhoid” after some Googling.  Two days later the thing started (bear with me here; this is educational!) seeping.  Oh lord no.  With a maxi pad on my butt I called the doctor who said to come in. 

“It’s like…a boil.  An abscess.”  We obviously immediately dubbed the affliction “Kathryn’s butt boil”.  She said it could be nothing; an aftereffect from an ingrown hair (no Brazilian waxes here).  So she took a sample, and off I went.

Now, earlier this week I have been feeling a fair amount of discomfort: my jelly belly is now rock hard (the only time in my life I’ll have hard abs), cramps are frequent, insomnia, and my stomach is a mess.  Being 35 weeks pregnant I think this is somewhat normal, and I’ve been traveling and eating out (restaurant food and stress) so of course things are a bit off.  But on Wednesday the practice called and said the culture was odd in that it showed bacteria that is only found within the GI track.  “You need to call your GI; this could be a fistula.”  Well, smack my hiney, the Crohn’s is back!

As I write this (Sunday) I’m feeling better and carefully monitoring the butt boil (it’s the same if you cared to know, and of course you cared to know).  I have a GI appointment this week so we’ll see; I was a woe-is-me sob fest mid-week but now feel defiant, or at least adopted an eye-rolling, “Well, isn’t this lovely” sort of attitude.  This pregnancy was a proverbial piece of cake; minimal fatigue, no morning sickness, little swelling, and I frankly don’t get what all the fuss is about (I’d like to think I’m pretty hardcore, but Matt obnoxiously reminds me because of my size carrying a baby is easier than my petite counterparts, which I feel is absolutely true, but gosh darnit, give me some credit here!).  So if my body is going to poop out in the home stretch, so be it: I think I’ve been pretty lucky so far.

Here's to the next month!