Mother of the Year, Over Here

Stop competing.

I’ve won it.

Mother of the Year.

Elle woke up with a cough Saturday morning. She was going to a birthday party with my Mom while I worked at a women’s expo (that’s a WHOLE other post). I put the cough medicine in Elle’s go-bag and it didn’t get used that day.

Sunday the cough was still around.

And sleep was not the greatest during this time frame.

Monday morning, she woke up with the cough even worse. I called Jon’s parents (remember, mine are sipping pina coladas on a beach somewhere on an island) and they watched Elle. I didn’t want to send her to school with no chance to feel better, a bunch of other sick kids running around.

They kept her well-medicated, put the humidifier in her room at their house and paid good attention to the cough.

It didn’t seem like it was getting better.

Same thing happens Tuesday morning.

And finally, this morning, I take her to their house again and on the way to work call the pediatrician’s office. I tell them that she has a cough, has had it for a few days but didn’t know if maybe the doctor could tell us over the phone a good medicine or if we should come in.

Oh, come in – they say.

So, I go to work, do the morning routine, and head back to get Elle and go to the doctor’s office.

(Sidenote: two molars popped through in the last five days as well. Medical professionals can swear this has nothing to do with anything…but…I don’t believe them).

We don’t wait at ALL in the waiting room and we’re in the room waiting for the doctor. The nurse-girl takes Elle’s temperature (99.5, slight temp still) and weighs her (22 pounds!). He arrives and listens to her (he always calls her Ellie — and calls me by what will be my married name…and I just let him) chest and breathing. He calls for the RSV test. Swab of the nose, nebulizer treatment and five minutes later aaaaannnndddd…it’s RSV.


Annnnnndddddd…it’s an ear infection!



How’d I miss an EAR infection?

And then, just for good measure (to really shore up MOTY) I ask about a sore on Elle’s…lady bits…and he indicates it’s from not changing her diaper frequently enough (I’m blaming daycare, but I’m sure it’s not just them). He also points out that her lady bits are quite red and hands me the name of an OTC cream to use to make it less red and uncomfortable for Elle.


How’d I miss ALL of that?

While all the cutesy-ness of Elle using signs to communicate is nice, learning words is entertaining and the ways we forge communicating daily are improving, it’ll be nice when she can TELL me her throat/chest/ladybits/ears hurt.

Felt SO bad that I called in and took the rest of the day to spend with her. Can you take a Mom-Guilt day? They should give you some of those at work, to use just for days like this. I’m glad I did. She slept nearly four hours this afternoon, two of them after waking up crabby-patty and letting me just cuddle her (while I watched the movie The Debt with Helen Mirren – I wouldn’t NOT recommend it, but unless you’re looking for a movie you can watch with the sound low (subtitles, yay!) and aren’t looking for anything entirely stimulating, then go ahead and watch this one. It felt good to watch a movie, even if it was out of Mom-Guilt.)

She’s in bed early tonight, considering she slept so long this afternoon.

And I’m still up, contemplating how all of those things got past me.

Either way, she’s on the mend now. The goal is to be healthy enough to contemplate attending a birthday party this weekend, but I’d hate to pass on this Mom-Guilt to anyone else.

I hear it’s contagious.



I have avoided writing about the hemangioma here, because it was a sensitive topic (not for the reasons you’re thinking) for awhile, so I just left it alone.

However, I want to write about my experience now, in the event some other Mom or Dad is interested in how to go about/what to expect if their child were to have a hemangioma – especially in a noticeable place like your child’s forehead.

Here’s the synopsis:

Elle was born with this mark on her head. It looked like it would be a ‘stork bite’ or ‘strawberry mark’ or ‘angel kiss’. Whatever, a mark she had from birth.

It continued to grow over the first three months of her life. Shortly after she was three months old, even though our pediatrician said ‘oh, it’s fine, she’s perfect’ (which, by the by, is why we no longer visit that pediatrician’s office) it continued to grow and was pushing on her eye and making her look – quite bluntly – on her way to becoming a cyclops with only one eye open.


But, then I began second guessing myself. My friend Kathleen’s daughter also had hemangioma and Kathleen had been gently nudging me to see the specialist that she and her husband had FINALLY managed to get to after a similar ‘don’t worry, she’s fine’ approach from multiple pediatrician’s.

Ultimately, the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when I asked my Uncle, Craig, for his opinion. He’s an interventional radiologist in Salt Lake and I wasn’t entirely sure if he’d have any advice. But, as I knew he would, he asked a friend of his who’s the head of pediatric dermatology at the University of Utah.

“Get on propranalol, if it’s anywhere near the eye, no reason not to,”

“What about side effects?” I inquired, as our pediatrician (the one we don’t go to anymore) had referenced.

“There really aren’t any,” I’m told. “Cardiologists prescribe this like it’s water – there are very few side effects.” (I have minced words here, so don’t take this as medical advice).

So, I make an appointment with Dr. Shwayder at Henry Ford in Detroit. It’s an hours drive, but he’s the guy when it comes to this. The best. You look at his resume — undergrad at Harvard, residency in pediatrics at University of Michigan. Yup – I’m good with his education.

Anyway, we go for our first appointment and this specialist – who is the best, I wish all doctors were like this – reviewed Elle’s hemangioma, pulled up the New England Journal of Medicine on the computer in the evaluation room and showed us the research on using propranalol, and the effects on the child in the study who they had photos of – it was amazing.

He then ripped off a piece of paper and said “Here’s the plan.” which I loved.

#1: Don’t Panic.

#2: Send Elle to a pediatric eye specialist to ensure the hemangioma is not growing into her orbit/onto her eye ball.

IF so, then schedule an MRI to evaluate.

#3: Begin propranalol at half dosage = 0.5 mL per dose, three doses per day.

This photo was taken just five days prior to our initial visit with Dr. Shwayder:

It’s crazy to me to look back just three months ago at how much the look of her face was being affected by the hemangioma.It had also begun necrosing – breaking down – in the middle, which is what that purple spot in the center is.

We went to the pediatric eye doctor – good news, it was not growing into her orbit or affecting the growth of her eye in any way. They dilated her eyes and everything, and it was all good. Relief!

We begin the propranalol, and here’s what it looked like one month later:

Her eye was opening back up and the hemangioma itself was not nearly so angry-looking with all its blue veins running into itself, all the blood flowing directly to that area.

By five months (just one month ago) here’s another look:

Still quite red and with slight swelling (you can still see to the left of it, how it’s raised a little), her eye was even less affected and the swelling was nearly gone.

By six months, here’s a look:

No longer red and angry, this photo was taken after our third appointment with Dr. Shwayder. He increased the dosage from 0.5 mL to 1.0 mL three times per day and said that the progress (regression?) of the hemangioma was ahead of schedule.

All excellent news.

In short, we’re well on our way to the thing being very nearly gone. Increasing the dosage to 3/4 of a full dose over the 1/2  of a full dose has made an incredible difference.

If you happen to have stumbled on this post because your baby has a hemangioma somewhere — insist on a PEDIATRIC dermatologist (not the botox doctor) and get on the medicine if it makes sense for your child. For us, it means that Elle – who older toddlers already point to her eye and say “Boo Boo” – won’t have to contest the way she looks at school. We won’t have to wait for the birthmark on her face to go away on its own terms — by the time she’s one, there will probably be very little left of the mark itself.

I’ve struggled a bit, certainly, with giving in to some type of peer pressure/societal pressure to have a ‘pretty’ child or so that my child isn’t ‘different’. I want her to embrace all the ways that she is the same as AND different than people…but I wasn’t willing to let her eyesight be affected, let the way that people treated her as an infant be different. Already, I wonder if she’ll be proud of the fact that she had this as a baby — like a badge of honor — or if she’ll wish I hadn’t taken so many pictures of her with it (and then posted them incessantly on facebook).

I don’t know – those are my struggles to bear and I do that because the alternative is doing nothing — and if she had any other sort of condition, I’d be seeing a specialist about that, so I’m ok with our approach on this one.

People will make comments – just last weekend a guy said “wow, your baby really fell and hit her head, huh?” and I just said ‘no, it’s a birthmark’. You learn how truly insensitive some folks are — or how comfortable within their own skin they are to be able to state the obvious rather than just stare.

I’m most glad that we are allowing Elle’s personality to be the center of her existence — and it’s a delightful one at that — instead of constantly battling the ‘what’s that thing on her head?’ line of questioning.

Anyway — there’s our little hemangioma story. Heman. Gioma. Came to stay with Elle for awhile and now he’s on his way out. I encourage anyone struggling with seeking treatment to do it — totally, totally worth finding a great specialist and the best treatment.



On Having a Baby with a Fever…

Well, this week was super exciting.


I had to be out of town Tuesday and Wednesday for work, so Elle was staying at my parents overnight Tuesday.

She’s been on the teething bender, drooling CONSTANTLY and on a 5-6 bib per day habit. But, no teeth. Not even feeling bumps along the top of her gums. You can SEE the teeth, but you can’t actually feel them. So – a long road to go still.

Wednesday on my way home, I called my Mom to see how things were going. She says “Elle’s got a little bit of a fever, I was thinking of giving her some Tylenol.”

“What’s her temp?” I ask.

“101.7” my mother responds.

“Yeah, give her some Tylenol,” I respond.

“Ok, I mean, it’s not that high, but it’s not good,” my Mom says.

Super – thanks. I’m three physical hours from home and those are your parting words.

I get home and Elle is feeling a bit better, but still out of sorts. Tired and sleeping a lot.

The next day, it’s more of the same. Her temp keeps going up, reaching 102.7 at one point. YIKES.

I’m in between doctors (seriously, I know) because I left our former doctor and made an appointment with the new one. However, when I called to get her in to the new one, he’s out on vacation this week. Of course – Murphy’s Law. So, I have to go to the doctor who I don’t totally trust. I get an appointment in the next 45 minutes. I’m scared. 102.7 is HIGH. I’m freaking out. What if she’s never the same after this, what if this fever takes the life out of her and she’s not my smiley, happy girl after this? Because she was an absolute CRANKY PANTS. She’s never been like that before. It was disconcerting to say the least.

So, we head to the doctor’s office where – turns out – my unfavorite doctor is not in this week, so it’s the nurse practitioner we’ll be seeing. Never had met her before and if SHE were the doctor, I’d still be a patient of this practice. Great bedside manner, etc.

However, because there was really no CAUSE of Elle’s fever, the NP wanted a urine sample to rule out a UTI. In the meantime, I’ve also told her that Elle hasn’t pooped in two days. She gives me a sheet on making kids poop – water, prune juice, Karo syrup, etc.

Anyway…Do you know how they take a urine sample of an infant?

Me neither.

No clue.

So, the nurse’s assistant comes in to put a ‘U-Bag’ on Elle. It’s got an opening with stickiness around it, and this big bag to collect urine. Ok. So, I lay a diaper beneath her, play with her, and wait for her to pee.

She pees, but the bag isn’t on properly, so it trickles out and on to the diaper.


As I’m yelling for the nurse for help to collect the urine, I see that Elle is straining. Yup, all I’ve got is a pee soaked diaper laid out beneath her bum, and here comes that two-day-brewing poo.

I’m proud that I didn’t totally panic in this scenario. I simply closed the diaper and let her go.

Clean her up, put another diaper on, wait for the nurse to come collect the two drops that made their way into the bag.

In the next five seconds, on the new, clean diaper, a mess of green-ness descends from Elle’s bum. Sorry – gross, I know – but it was just gross to see, too.

Now, we may have contaminated the pee that we did get. Sweet.

There was a slight amount of positive-ness (not a medical person here) for UTI, but not enough to be sure. So, the NP asks for another try. A different nurse comes in and puts the U-Bag on, in a slightly different position.

We wait. I’d just pumped Elle full of a four ounce bottle and coax two more ounces of water into her. And she peed it all out already.

And like magic, Elle feels better (I know if I’d had a BM like that, I’d feel like a million bucks afterward too). She’s happy and jumpy, etc.

So, we get sent home with pee bags of our own. I’m instructed to try to collect a urine sample, once I get it to put it in the fridge, and then bring it back to their office the following day.

In the mean time, I have a cranky-ass infant on my hands and I’m supposed to collect urine?


Good joke.

I ignore the urine collection task the rest of the day/night. I’m not going to fight that battle right now.

So, we sleep and cuddle and she eats and sleeps some more. Her temperature is now holding steady at 100.4 degrees or so.

The following morning, we wake up and I decide – ok, I’ll get some urine.

I attach the U-Bag the best way I can. I put a diaper on Elle.

I wait.

I’m thinking I’ve got it. That even though I don’t want to drive a urine sample down to the doctor’s office, that I wish they’d just call in a scrip and let us let this thing run its course. Thinking that I can’t believe that I’ve allowed this charade to go on for 24 hours. However, in the event it IS a UTI, I of course want my baby to get the proper medicine. So, I am going to collect urine. In the U-Bag. And refrigerate it until I can get it to the dr’s office.

And then, I smell it.



I know it’s going to be a mess. I open the diaper and it’s full of poop (no more constipation, at least). The U-Bag is covered in it, there’s no way to remove the dumb bag without hurting Elle OR getting my hands messy. I opt for messy hands.

And I call off the urine collection game.

I call the doctor’s office and explain – as nicely as I can – that I will NOT be collecting urine. That they can call in a prescription, or not call one in, whatever. I’m done with this game. (In my mind, I figure if they don’t give me a scrip and she’s not feeling better Monday, I’ll go to the new doctor and get a better answer).

The NP calls me back and discusses with me how Elle’s acting, how she’s feeling, what my thoughts are (awesome, I like this lady!) and she says that just to be sure, she’s going to call in the prescription. She also tells me that the rule of thumb if there were to be any more green-liquid-poo is 2 ounces of Pedialyte for every watery BM.

Good to know.

Now, call in that prescription.

Underlying all of this — Elle is teething. It’s teething that’s causing all of this. I know it. It’s my gut instinct. But, I don’t want to take the chance if my gut is wrong (it’s not) but I just don’t want to take the chance.

So, anyway, that’s too much about poo, and pee, for one day. But that was my week this week.

Jon’s home now. Which is a huge relief. Having another person to share the burden of stress makes a HUGE difference to me. You don’t have to worry about being the lone worrier — you know you’ve got a fellow worrier with you, too. Which is nice.

Anyway — there’s a post for posterity’s sake and nothing more. My first go round with a feverish baby and I’ve come out older and wiser and a bit more poo-covered than I was before.

Dinner at the Table…and Other Things We’re Trying

Just a quick capture of the things going on in the world – well, our world. It is the ONLY world, isn’t it?

Ha, right.

I know better.


I stumbled on this site the other day called “Letters of Note“. You should check it out. I’ve been happily digging through it ever since.


Elle remains sick – but is on the mend. We kept her out of school this week because we can. She seems much, much better today than she has in over a week. We returned to the doctor (who I’ve still lost faith in, but who I felt a bit better about yesterday) and he refilled our prescription for the breathing machine thing and ordered a chest x-ray to be certain it was not pneumonia. It was NOT. So, we came home. Excellent news.

Jon and I are both sick in our own ways. I found a new doctor today who I actually enjoyed and it turns out I have a sinus infection. Jon has not gone to the doctor and hopefully will get better all on his very own. We. Shall. See.


We at dinner at the table tonight! At the kitchen table, we all sat down. Elle in her high chair, Jon and I on either side. It was like a real family meal and I loved it. I think Jon even liked it and Elle thinks she’s big time stuff sitting up like a big girl at the table. It felt natural, but it’s not something we’re very good at. For one, Jon is a terribly picky eater so it’s not like I can make meals for us to have together and two, I’m on the road a lot again, so it makes those times when we can sit down quite rare. New goal: sit down at the table together AT LEAST once each week. I’d love it to happen more often, but if I can get that feeling once a week, I’ll be happy.


Among other things I’m trying…putting a baby to bed while sick. A sneezing/hacking cough attack really throws everything off. And do you know that feeling where YOU NEED TO COUGH SO SO BAD but you try not to, so it just itches all inside of your body and it starts to feel like you won’t be able to breathe if you don’t just cough? Yeah, well, I tried that twice and decided I’d go for the breathing option and take the repercussions of the coughing fit when it came to Elle’s sleep status. So far so good…but I did wake her up twice when she would have otherwise been asleep. So, that’s an adventure.


After a shopping outing several days back and stepping on the scale at the doctor’s office today, I’m also trying to not eat so much. I actually asked the doctor today what I SHOULD weigh and got an answer that I was ok with. So, the quest to lose the weight truly begins. I also had my bloodwork done to check on my good ol’ pal the thyroid. Hopefully all is fine and I don’t have to go onto a medication every day, because I’m not very good at remembering to take it. But…if it helps in fighting this battle against eating and gaining weight, well, I’m all for it.


Tomorrow I’m back on the road for a few days, so I really savor the nights when I am home. They are more regular than they used to be for sure – but I wish I never had to leave overnight. It’s the price I pay, I guess.

Sick Baby

It just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?

I hit the road this week for my first travel since returning to work and it wasn’t AS BAD as I thought it would be. I didn’t sleep well in the hotel bed, and I woke up at the times Elle typically wakes up. Ah, she has me so conditioned!

Anyway, we ran smack into baby cold season this week. If my friends’ facebook status updates are any way to tell, everyone else’s kids are sick, too, so I guess taking care of sick babies is the thing to be doing.

Jon took Elle to Dr. Haddad on Tuesday. At the time, he made one of his classic disgusted-with-Lindsay sounds from the back of his throat but he did admit that it had been the right thing to do. See, I called Dr. Haddad’s office from Indianapolis, described her cough to the nurse, and she said to definitely come in that day, and that they could see her at 2:15. So, I called Jon and asked him if he would please take her to the doctor. Begrudgingly, he did.And they gave us a breathing machine thing for breathing treatments because evidently whatever she’s got doesn’t respond to antibiotics.

But here’s the thing about that – Jon was the one to take her to the doctor, because I was still at Butler and he is still laid off and home during the day.


Like, ‘about how long should it take to notice a difference?’ ‘when should be be concerned and return to see you?’ ‘what are symptoms to look for if it’s getting worse instead of better?’ and I’m sure a gad-zillion other things that I’d love to ask if I could. I’ve reigned myself in from actually calling the office and asking the questions myself. Jon just took the doctor’s prescription and left.

Slowly and surely, he’ll remember something that the doctor said and tell that to me — but that is a slow drip and is so far spanning a week! Jon and I are so very different…in a complementary way, of course, but it’s a little bit nerve-wracking when it comes to the health of your child.

Poor baby, though, she’s just coughing and has those red, droopy eyes that babies get when they’re sick. She’s sleeping a lot – which is good. She’s started to be a bit more smiley happy baby like she normally is, but she still feels just rotten.

I hate the helpless feeling – I wish that I could just take her cold away.

And, evidently I have – heading to the store this morning to get sore throat medicine and a humidifier for our bedroom. Jon and I have both managed to conjure up sore throats in the last week.


The Induction/Labor/Delivery

Dr. Ahmad had offered up a scheduled induction on Friday, October 14 and with Jon working on the other side of the state and work becoming more and more of a challenge in the final days, it was a perfect recipe for our family.

So, we were set.

We were to be at the hospital at 5 a.m. on Friday. We would get admitted and set up, see the doctor on call and that doctor would confer with Dr. Ahmad to begin the induction.

I took a nap during the day on Thursday in anticipation of a night of light sleeping. I was going to be waking up at 4 a.m. to get out the door by 4:30 for our 5 a.m. appointment. Good thing I did, too. I managed to accidentally fall asleep for an hour during the night Thursday. But again, that was an accident. My mind was racing. With what, I couldn’t even tell you now. Wondering what the pain would be like, thinking perhaps I’d be the miracle pregnant gal who ends up thinking it’s no big thing and delivers quickly, easily and with no pain.


So, anyway, I got up at 3:30 a.m., well got out of bed at least. I seriously had tried every trick in my repertoire to sleep…flip head to the feet end of the bed; sleep on the couch; watch TV; meditate; deep breathing exercises. It didn’t matter. My mind would not be silenced. So, I got up and did my hair and makeup (why not?). I poured myself a bowl of cereal and ate my Frosted Mini Wheats. I waited until it was time to wake Jon up.

And then, as I was getting ready to wake Jon up at the designated time (with ten minutes to go before walking out the door) I get a call from a local number I don’t recognize. And it’s 4:18 a.m. I’m leaving for the hospital in 12 minutes. It’s the hospital. They don’t have a bed/nurse for me, so can I wait and come in at 7 a.m. instead of 5 a.m.? After I ask why the two hours is going to make a difference, and the nurse patiently and kindly explains to me the situation, I go in and wake Jon up and tell him he can sleep for another couple hours. I, however, do not. I sit there wide-eyed, now wondering how my day will go. This feels like a bad way to get things rolling.

I had asked Jon if he planned on showering before we left. No, he assured me. He would be getting up and going. I asked if he had picked out the outfit he was going to wear to meet his daughter – no, why would he, he wondered. I gave up. So, I wake him up at 10 after 6 and we have 20 minutes before we need to be out the door. As he’s picking out what to wear he says “I don’t have time to take a shower, do I?”

Unbelievable, men.

Yes, I tell him, go for it, but hurry.

And he does.

He hastily chooses a yellow polo short and jeans for the day with a zip up hoodie.

I have the car packed. I have a bag of snacks, I have magazines and games to entertain us. I have clothes packed for myself, for the baby. I’m ready to go.

The car seat is in the car.

I’m in the car.

Jon’s in the car.

It’s pouring rain.

We drive to the hospital.

I’m apprehensive but relaxed; engaged but disconnected, unsure of what’s to come.

We go to admitting and we head up to the antepartum area of the hospital, where they do the inductions. It’s 7:30 a.m. by the time we get into our room.

The nurse, Kay, comes in to tell us that Dr. Ahmad was at the hospital at 7 waiting for us – well, not my fault that we weren’t there.

So, the doctor on call is to do an evaluation and then call Dr. Ahmad and determine what they’re going to do to begin the induction.

Kay tells me if they go with Cervadil, it’ll be 12 hours and then they’ll see what happens. If they go with the little tablet that I forget the name of, they’ll check me in four hours and see what’s happening.

We do paperwork, we sign papers, we talk to some random doctor who I never see again. We see Dr. Pyatt who is great. I get checked by the nurse and by Dr. Pyatt.

The nurse gives me this diagnosis:

You’re a fingertip dialated and 50% effaced, -3 station.

Ok, no big deal. But, that’s a long way to go to get to 10 cm, 100% effaced, +3 station.

So, after hours and hours (seriously, four hours) of waiting (which oddly went by far faster than one would imagine) Dr. Pyatt comes in and places the tablet…down there (can’t bring myself to be any more descriptive than that and I just don’t think it’s necessary).

So, now it’s a waiting game.

Kay has told us it will be an hour before anything happens. I’m hooked to a monitor that is spitting out lines showing contractions and the baby’s heart rate. Which is fine, except that I have to pee every 10 minutes (I wish I were kidding). Because the tablet is most effective if you don’t pee for an hour afterward, I had begun practicing holding my pee as long as possible the few hours before the tablet was placed…so I got to the hour mark and had not peed. It was a huge relief both to hold it that long and to finally pee after that long.

In the meantime, my brother randomly stopped by the hospital. Which was lovely, but at the same time I was annoyed because nothing was happening, because we’d had such a late start we were staring down an after-midnight delivery and I just was waiting and having Trevor there was just – I don’t know – I wasn’t ‘there’ in my head. So, he hung out for a minute or hour or something…and then he and Jon left after my Mom arrived around noon or so.

My Aunt Jill made an appearance with snacks and drinks, which was great, too.

The contractions were showing up on the monitor now, but I wasn’t feeling much.

After the four hours of the tablet working its magic had come and gone, I was evaluated by the nurse. She reported I was now dialated to about 3 1/2, 4 and she’d guess 70-80% effaced, but to stay on the safe side would say 50% and let the doctor say for sure.

So, I get out of bed and do three laps around the floor.

I come back and Dr. Ahmad is there to check in on me. He tells me that this exam will be the worst one of the day. He checks me, reports me to be 4 cm dialated and 80% effaced. Sweet.

And then, it starts.

In earnest.

Nurse Kay reports that the reason that the exam would be the worst of the day is because Dr. Ahmad stripped my membranes (would’ve been nice to know I suppose). And all of a sudden, the irregular contractions are regular and they are coming faster and faster.

Kay has hung a bag of pitocin, they are going to move me over to labor and delivery, and I’ll get the epidural as soon as I get over there. They don’t want the epidural now because I need to be able to walk.

We wait for a bed.

And wait.

And wait.

Two and a half hours later, the contractions raging, having kicked my Mom out of the room, spent some serious time on the toilet just holding on to the rails in the bathroom, asking for the TV to be turned off so it’s at least a little quiet. I’m having Jon push as hard as he can in one spot on my back and I’m pushing against it. It’s gotten bad. I’m grinning and bearing it, but I’m now at the point where it’s not fun or funny anymore. Not much to laugh about.

When Dr. Ahmad had come in earlier, he said he was upset about the fact that we sat in a room for four hours with nothing happening. When he heard that I’d waited two + hours to get a room, he was even more frustrated with the situation.

Kay asks Dr. Ahmad if I can have Stadol to relieve some of the pain. I didn’t want pain. I wanted this epidural an hour and a half ago…and now, well, I’m at 7 cm and just now getting the epidural and moving rooms…after getting the Stadol. That took the edge right off and the epidural numbed everything.

For the record, GO WITH THE EPIDURAL. Why you wouldn’t is beyond me. It hurts and why you voluntarily put yourself in that situation I don’t know. Take the epidural. Don’t be a hero…because those of us who had the epidural, we’re wondering what you crazy women going au naturel are trying to prove.

Anyway, that’s my opinion on THAT matter.

To make a long(ish) story shorter, here’s what happened in bullet format:

– Random doctor comes in to put the fetal monitors on the baby’s head. He misses and tries multiple times. He’s the intern or resident and isn’t supremely confident, which I don’t like. But, whatever.

– Shift change has happened, so I went from Kay to some other nurse who I saw for like 20 minutes to Sue, who was with me during delivery.

– My Mom is out of the room. It’s just Jon and I and I’m glad that’s how it ended up. It’s how I was most comfortable, come to find out.

– Jon and I turn out the lights and rest a bit in the room. The epidural is a godsend and I’m tired. I didn’t sleep the night before and who knows how long it’s going to be before this baby arrives.

– Dr. Ahmad comes in and says we’re going to try pushing (what?!). I was just sleeping…

…and, there’s a crying baby in my living room now demanding my attention, so this story will be continued…

One Day To Go: Status Update

October 13, 2011: Less than 24 hours to go.

Due Date: TOMORROW. Seriously, tomorrow?! Seriously – tomorrow!!

Baby Developments: She’s got to be on the verge of about eight pounds right now…she’s ready to enter the world and we are ready to meet her!

Weight Gain: Gained back those two pounds I’d lost, so total weight gain is at like 27 or 28 pounds for the entire pregnancy.

Cravings: Not cravings so much, but I’m still on the cereal, milk, Twizzler, Sprite Zero kick. I accidentally ate an entire box of Frosted Mini Wheats in one day last week and half a bag of Twizzlers. And it pained me, but felt good too. So, the fact that after a showing like that I’m still on board with Mini Wheats and Twizzlers, I feel ok about that.

Aversions: Nothing in particular.

Symptoms: I’m peeing about every 36 seconds or so. Molly and I went to dinner (she treated as a thank you for taking family pics of them earlier this week) and I went before we left her house, then as soon as we got to the bar (a mile from their house) and again when our food came. It’s ridiculous. Molly assures me that that symptom disappears immediately and is exchanged for not being able to tell when you have to pee at all…so, there’s something to look forward to!

I am loving: knowing that we’re meeting our Minnie girl TOMORROW (or pretty quickly thereafter) and that Jon will be there and that I’m going to maximize my time away from work with the baby being here. All good stuff.

Sleep: Jon insisted I sleep last night, which is a good thing since tonight I’m sure I won’t sleep well, with the anticipation, etc., and knowing that we have to be AT the hospital at 5 a.m. So, I did sleep well last night. In bed as soon as the Tigers lost (boo) and up at about 8 a.m. That was as good as I could do today.

I miss: having a beer. It sounded really good last night. Not like I’m a lush, but having the ability to have a drink if I so desire is something that I’m all about. No wonder prohibition never worked out right…as an aside, I’ve been watching Prohibition on PBS and it’s AWESOME. I love that whole era — which is part of the reason I love Boardwalk Empire, too.

I am looking forward to: holding, kissing and loving our Minnie girl. And, revealing her name!

I am spazzing about: a little bit about how to handle the visitors at the hospital. I don’t know what tomorrow will hold and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I don’t want a parade of visitors IMMEDIATELY after she’s born. I really want to make sure that Jon and I and Minnie get some time just the three of us to savor the moments. If I have a c-section for some reason, I don’t want anyone else seeing her/holding her before I get to (other than Jon, of course). I’m just really in need of this being about our newly-formed family of three and I feel like having people at the hospital waiting will add this pressure. I think I’m prepared to handle it, but…I just don’t get a do-over on this, so I really want it to be about the three of us.

Best moment of the week: My Mom and I’s full day of enjoying each other on Saturday and Monday, when Dr. Ahmad offered up the chance to be induced this week.

Milestones: The waddle. It’s here, fo’ sho’.

Movement: Moving still, but it’s less and less as she gets bigger and bigger. This means she is SO ready to come out and play!

It’s a….: GIRL!

Exercise: Not much here at the end. The peeing every 36 seconds makes it questionable at best to go too far from facilities.

Diet: Alright.

Boobs & Belly Button: Still have an innie, which is pretty sweet. Boobs have managed to stay the same size. I went to the Motherhood Maternity store and got nursing bras last weekend, so I have that done. Got some nursing tanks too. Hopefully all the right size for these boobs which will inevitably get big as the whole breastfeeding process begins.

Goals for the upcoming week: Deliver a healthy baby, make her happy and bring her home!

3 Days, 15 Hours: The Countdown is On

Alright friends, the countdown is on!

Today’s appointment was both eventful and uneventful in that I went differently than I expected. This culminated in Dr. Ahmad asking if I wanted to go the induction route…and…well…Friday, 5 a.m., we will be checking into the hospital to begin the process of birthing our Minnie.

Yes, that’s right.


At 5 a.m.


As the ultrasound revealed last week, we have a ‘healthy size’ baby (Dr. Ahmad’s words, not mine) and since it also revealed that TODAY is 39 weeks…well…

To be honest, I’m a little bit caught off guard. I thought that we would be discussing options today. And I suppose we did.

Option #1: Be induced this week.

Option #2: Wait for spontaneous labor.

I think that the word spontaneous makes it seem more exciting than it actually is.

Frankly, with Jon working on the other side of the state, three and a half hours away and with my normally cheery disposition suffering in the last week as I reach my ‘done’ point on the pregnancy spectrum, I’m just ready to get this show on the road, be un-pregnant AND meet our Minnie.

So, October 14 she should be here. Latest she’d arrive is October 15.

I’ve already talked to my boss, let her know my last day is Thursday so I’m busily wrapping up some tasks I was procrastinating for whatever reason.

Jon and I just installed the car seat base in my car (which he’s driving this week) and tomorrow I’m dropping his car off to be detailed and cleaned up and then will install the base in his car (which I’m driving for the week).

Jon will head back to work tonight about 6 p.m. and will come home Thursday night and we’ll head to the hospital in the middle of the morning on Friday to begin this process.



I’m going to be a MOM by the time Michigan-Michigan State kicks off this weekend.


I couldn’t sleep last night. That seems to happen when Jon’s home. Having company in bed, after most nights NOT having company in bed, is weird and I feel bad because it takes me EONS to get comfortable and fall asleep. And I move around and around…so I fell asleep on the couch and then headed to bed about 2 a.m.

But, well before that, I found myself feeling…well, scared, honestly…about the impending arrival. I don’t know another word to describe it, and I really want to capture my TRUE feelings here. It’s scary. This is a forever gig – and one I’ve been waiting my whole life for and I just am scared about the unknown.

I can’t put my finger on whether I’m scared of the laboring more than the actual – ‘we’re sending you home with a baby’ – part. But, intimidated by the idea. The thought of how it’s all going to come together, the lack of control over the situation on the whole. All well beyond my comfort zone and things I’d like to control a bit more.


Dr. Ahmad did a pelvic exam today. I’m a half centimeter dilated…which I think is really just him being generous. I mean, what is a half centimeter anyway??

Anyway, he referenced my Bishop Score, which I hadn’t heard of before. Here’s a wikipedia link to more info. Based on what I’ve read just now, my Bishop Score of 5 is sort of a number that is right in the middle of being a good one for induction. Every site I checked out had a different threshold for making it an induction option. So, I’m trusting my doctor on this one. Feel like I haven’t been steered wrong yet. We’ll see.

I did just place a call to the office to ask the questions that have now popped into my head. I think I just want to know what to expect will happen when I arrive to the hospital on Friday. Again, from the reading I’ve done, it seems like doctors recommend induction when they feel as though your chances for vaginal delivery still exist, but going into spontaneous labor (as measured by your Bishop score, among other things) isn’t something that ranks really high on the list. So, we’ll see. I’m hoping to get some more insight from Dr. Ahmad or his nurse when they call back.

Baby’s heart rate is good…my weight gain, not so much. I had eaten breakfast before heading to the doctor, but that put me at 27 pounds gained total…which is SO ANNOYING. Hate being over that 25 pound threshold. But, whatever. We are nearing the end of the being-pregnant weight gain journey.


Well, we’ll meet our girl this week. That’s a for sure.



38 Weeks: Status Report aka 38 Weeks, 3 Days

October 6, 2011 aka 38 Weeks

Due Date: October 20, 2011. At Monday’s ultrasound appointment, Minnie Mason weighed in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces and was measuring at exactly 38 weeks. So, technically today could be 38 weeks, 3 days. Let’s do our count in weeks: 2. Let’s do our count in days: 14.


Baby Developments: Her brain is in super development mode…as it will be for the next several years. But, she’s mainly done adding weight and growing (thank GOD). She’ll add about a half ounce each day, so she’s probably now about 7 pounds, 6 ½ ounces. Very cool.

Weight Gain: Dropped two pounds at the doctor’s this week. Have been trying to go for walks, but I fear that I MIGHT have developed the preggo waddle. Ugh.

Cravings: Cereal, milk and Twizzlers. And Sprite Zero.

Aversions: Nothing in particular.

Symptoms: Holy back pain, Batman! The nightly course of a hot compress is doing alright, but is working less and less often. I break down every now and then and take a few Tylenol when it gets too bad. Again, I believe I may have developed a pregnant waddle. Again, ugh.

I am loving: feeling pretty/relatively prepared for baby. And enjoying time with Molly and Nolan since I’m in town. And the ability to go for walks at home. And just hanging out without much pressure to do anything.

Sleep: Hard to fall asleep, but once I get there I’m ok. And then, literally lifting myself off the mattress is becoming a matter of some muscle needs. I mean, how can one’s middle section feel SO damn heavy?

I miss: shopping for clothes when I go through a TJ Maxx, popping open a bottle of wine and having the ability to have a glass if I want. I miss not having elastic in the band of my pants, too.

I am looking forward to: meeting Minnie.

I am spazzing about: Not. One. Thing.

Best moment of the week: Getting to spend the day with Jon, seeing our Minnie girl on the ultrasound and just enjoying our time together. It was a great one day that we got to spend just the two of us.

Milestones: The waddle.

Movement: Yup, she’s moving. But it’s like she tries to stretch out and it ends up being a big old arm protruding out of my belly, so I push it back in. Hello, this is my body too, little girl.

It’s a….: GIRL!

Exercise: Walking some days, but not most.

Diet: Alright.

Boobs & Belly Button: So, went to the Playtex outlet yesterday to get a nursing bra or two. What a joke. First of all, it’s the outlet so the sales clerks are there for the pay check. They are NOT bra experts. I walk in to get a nursing bra and they don’t say anything to me. I ask ‘do you have nursing bras?’.

‘yes.’ Was the response from the oversized one.

I stand there and wonder if that means she’s going to show me where, or what. Ultimately, she points out my four options – really only two options as each comes in a lovely shade of white and beige. Grab two options to try on. They do not fit right at all…it’s like they were made for Madonna circa the early 90s…terribly pointy boob thing going on somehow.

My Mom was with me and she was purchasing some socks, so I was standing near the check out with her. The older sales clerk asked me if the bras had worked.

‘No’ I reply.

‘Well, we don’t recommend purchasing a nursing bra until two weeks after the baby is born, once your milk comes in,”



You’re suggesting to me that I not have any nursing bras on hand for TWO WEEKS while I plan on nursing my baby? What the hell, lady? Who is ‘we’ anyway? And, what is your suggestion for the two weeks…no bra? Regular bra (yeah, let’s ruin the good ones). What?

I was so annoyed with her talking to me that I just stared at her and had my own internal dialogue. It ended with ‘and I will NOT shop in this store anymore’. So, there you have it.

Oh, and my belly button is still technically an innie, but it’s stretched pretty damn thin.

Here’s a pic, for those who care…

The view from the side is MUCH more flattering than the full frontal.

Goals for the upcoming week: Clean up around the house, get some diapers, wipes, essentials organized and feel good about where I stand in the cleaning of the house. Head to the doctor and ‘discuss options’ on Monday. Wrap up the Clio Leadership Academy stuff on Tuesday.

The Weekly Visits

Well, had another weekly visit this morning, first thing.

Saw Dr. Neubeck – which is always a treat. I find him funny and engaging. I’m glad he’s been my primary doctor throughout this, it’s definitely made the pregnancy something that is not a worry on my mind in any way.

Next week, on Monday, I’ll see Dr. Ahmad. Who I like as well. I like all of the doctors in the practice – all for different reasons.

Anyway, my blood pressure was up again. I mentioned again that I see these black ‘floaters’ like bugs/flies from time to time, so Dr. Neubeck did a little checking and said that there was no constriction in my blood vessels in my eyes or anything, so he wasn’t TOO concerned about it. I had gained another couple of pounds (WTF!?) so I think that the quick weight gain here at the end is contributing more to the hike in blood pressure than anything else. Need to make a concerted effort to lead a less sedentary lifestyle.

Jon is home today. It’s his one day off from work each week. I made a point to work yesterday so that I was ahead of the game today so I could spend some time with him.

Oh, back to the appointment…(hello A.D.D.)…

So, they did the beta strep test, which will take two days to determine if I have beta strep. It’s no big deal either way, it’s just an antibiotic they’ll give to me prior to delivery so that it doesn’t get passed on to the baby. So, we’ll know next week if that was positive or negative. He also did a pelvic exam and quite literally pushed our Minnie up into my rib cage. I said “Um, you’re pushing her up — I’m going to push her back down if you keep doing that!”. He explained that it’s because she’s not engaged yet, so she hasn’t fully committed to her head in my pelvic region (while I don’t blame her, she could hurry up and decide to do that ANY time now). He called it something that started with a b…it sounded like bobbling, but it wasn’t that. And I’m too lazy to Google it. So, she’s bobbling around in there. He had me push on my stomach to feel her butt (‘she’s got a big ass’ he says…just like her mom, I respond) and then had me feel down in my pelvis where her head is. It’s definitely weird to know where her body parts are for sure. I mean, I knew where they were before, but to actually FEEL them and have a doctor make it ok to press on them (Jon doesn’t like it when I do this, but whatever).

I also commented to Dr. Neubeck that for all the things that he and his doctor friends know, they should really know a good way to get these babies to come out. His response? “Sex.”

Fine and well.

Only, did I mention that Jon is home ONE DAY A WEEK? For approximately an 18 hour stretch? Yeah, ok. Good advice. I’m going to opt for walking a lot now that I’m not on the road and I’m also going to blow up my exercise ball and sit on it all day long. Why not, can’t hurt (if all else fails it will engage my ab muscles and if it works, we’ll have a baby girl sooner rather than later!). I’m starting my campaign for her arrival now because I just am over this back pain and weighing as much as a cow.

Speaking of back pain, I am on a Tylenol regimen daily and I think it is contributing to my ability to sleep the last two nights. I’m going to keep taking it because it really seems to be providing some good back pain relief for me.

Beyond that, I’m just trying to not be too ‘nesty’ — I have the linen closets organized, under the bathroom sinks cleaned and organized. I’ve got bottles washed and dried and put up in the cupboard. I’ve got all the receiving blankets and fluffy blankets washed. Washed all the crib sheets and changing pad covers. Packed her hospital bag, my hospital bag, made a list of Jon’s hospital bag stuff and the last minute stuff that I can’t pack. We’re ready to go. Now, just need to convince this Minnie girl to get on the bandwagon.

As Neubeck said, “Women want to be in labor, want to be in labor, then they go into labor and really DO NOT want to be in labor,”.

Touche, Neubeck.