Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

Still Cozy At 35 Weeks

We had another NST and a BPP ultrasound today and the results were consistent with the previous tests. Agnes didn’t perform perfectly for the NST, but she also didn’t fail. I think at this point the doctors are just watching for any changes in the more negative direction; everyone seems resigned to the fact that Agnes’ NST will be non-reactive. However, one good thing that happened is I had several strong contractions while I was hooked up to the fetal monitor (wait, it’s good, I promise). The doctor said they were able to observe results as if they were conducting a contraction stress test, and Agnes reacted well during the contractions! Her heart rate didn’t slow down after each contraction, which would be an awful result. So, we’re hanging in there.

Some other faintly rosy findings at today’s test were the ventriculomegaly seems to have stopped becoming worse. Now, granted, Agnes’ head is super low down which makes it hard to get a clear enough picture for taking measurements. But the ventricles measured around 1.2 or 1.3 cm which is actually less than the largest measurement ever taken. I think one of them was up to 1.6 cm some time last month. So that’s good. Also, the amniotic fluid is still more than it was a couple weeks ago, but it isn’t more than it was just last Thursday. Also, the S/D ratios for the umbilical cord are currently holding near the top of the “normal” range of measurements, which is also good. Remember, this measures how hard the placenta is working to pump oxygenated blood and nutrients through the cord and into the baby. A measure of 4 is the top of the normal range. A number higher than 4 indicates the baby is maybe not getting enough oxygen and nutrition from the placenta. The doctors think an elevated S/D ratio is maybe the reason Agnes has intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR).

They didn’t check Agnes for growth today, but she was approximately 3 lbs 14 oz on Thursday, so I would expect her to be really super close to the 4 lb mark by now.

She’s still moving a lot, but I’m starting to feel pretty horrible. I think the knowledge that she could be delivered any day is making it harder for me to deal with the aches and discomforts of late pregnancy. If I knew for sure I was still five weeks from delivery, I would have an easier time sucking it up and just dealing with it. But as it is, I feel really whiny and weak to deal with my body’s discomfort. Plus, I’m starting to have more contractions, which is related to the exorbitant amount of amniotic fluid I’m carrying with Agnes. The docs say a high volume of fluid can make the uterus more irritable and contract more. So, that’s nice to hear. Not.

Anyway, we’re still hanging tight, staying cozy, biding our time. The docs want to deliver Agnes at 37 weeks ideally, which would be the week of June 17. So, we’ll see if we can make it. At the rate things are going now, I think we will make it to 37 weeks unless:

-Agnes turns in a clearly and unarguably failing performance on an NST,

-or an ultrasound reveals she has stopped growing,

-or if I don’t feel her moving at least 10 times in an hour,

-or I go into labor naturally. If this happens, it’s bound to be dramatic with all that fluid. Yippee. I hope it doesn’t happen in the middle of the night at least. Please.

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“Chocolate Gelato Saved My Marriage!”

HAhahahaha, have you ever seen this before?

This is kind of an inside, running joke between me and Jeremy. This ad is so ridiculous. Ha ha. Ha. Okay.

Anyway.

Mmmm….

chocolate gelato close up

The gelato was so good. So so good. I cooked the custard yesterday and this afternoon Jeremy was kind enough to give it a spin in the ice cream maker for me. After a couple hours to ripen in the freezer, it was delish after dinner tonight.

chocolate gelato

When I did kick counting this afternoon, Agnes must have been asleep or something because I only counted 6 kicks for the 30 minute time frame. Agnes has never given me a count in the single digits, so I was a little worried. Especially since I took my hands and jiggled her around a couple times to wake her up. When I finally decided to throw in the towel and give up counting, she started moving right away. The little stinker. Here I was wondering if I should call the doctor even though the count was technically higher than 4, though much much lower than I usually get. And she was just being ornery.

On top of that little scare, I also felt icky today, like one giant contraction was gripping my uterus most of the day. I couldn’t even try to keep track of how often I was feeling contractions, because I never really noticed that I wasn’t having one, which seems to me to be a prerequisite for noticing when a new one begins. Whatevs. I know I’m not in labor, just feeling icky. The discomfort level is relatively minor, plus all day the intensity of contraction never increased. Plus I have none of the other usual signs of impending labor. Diagnosis: indigestion with a side of big fat pregnant body.

But now I feel amazing, because chocolate gelato came into my life. This stuff was so chocolatey: for one half gallon the recipe has 1 cup of cocoa powder plus 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. I can’t believe that much chocolate even fit. It was a miracle of cooking chemistry. And speaking of cooking chemistry miracles, have you ever whisked egg yolks with granulated sugar? They get so thick! You could spread that stuff on toast! How does that even happen?

Anyway, I plan to be enjoying the rest of my chocolate gelato in the next few days as preparation for Agnes’ arrival. My unofficial prediction is that the NST on Thursday will precipitate her debut, but of course I hope I am wrong. If she can at least make it to Monday, she’ll be 35 weeks and everyone would be much less anxious should she make an appearance outside her womb. Plus if she stays cozy for a few more days, she gets to enjoy chocolate gelato-flavored amniotic fluid! Yummy!

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7 Quick Takes: May 18

1. I’m linking up with Jen Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary for the weekly Friday quick takes. Even though today is Saturday. Because I keep forgetting to do the quick takes link up and this week I decided, “better late than never.” Which is not ever the way I think in real life, but when it comes to blog posting, why the heck not? And yes, I did use this as one of my takes. neener, neener.

May 18 2013 0022. I baked a chocolate cake today. I was super excited to bake this cake because I got a cool cookbook at the public library called Vintage Cakes and it is just full of awesome cakes like ladies used to make in days gone by. This cake is called “Grammy Cake” because the author’s grandmother used to bake it all the time. It sounded really awesome. See, my cake probably tastes really awesome, but it looks really dumpy because I didn’t sufficiently grease the flutes of my fluted tube pan. I think all cookbooks should be updated so that where they currently say, “grease a 10-cup fluted tube pan,” it would be updated to say, “grease the buh-jeezus out of a 10-cup fluted tube pan.”

May 18 2013 0043. We have a couple rooms more or less finished. The family room on the lower level is all tricked out with our brown sofa to replace the 80’s upholstery sectional that was in there before. We also moved the daybed in and set up some of our attractive matching bookcases. See the vintage 1960’s wood paneling? Classic.

4. I picked up a gelato cookbook at the public library the other day, too. I’m totally going to make some gelato with my counter-top ice cream maker machine. I need to go buy the rest of the ingredients but I’ll probably make some gelato next week. I can not wait. I think I’ll make chocolate flavored gelato. I’m so excited!

5. This past week I’ve been scoping out area rugs at the local discount groceries-and-more store. The rugs were really cheap and if you decided you could go home with one of the limited selection of patterns, you could snag a super deal. I actually tried to purchase one of the remaining rugs yesterday, but apparently the store only takes cash or Discover Card, and I didn’t have quite enough moolah in my wallet. So I had to leave it behind. I went back today, and just as I had feared might happen, all the rugs are sold out, except for one natty looking brown rug that might actually be too big for my needs anyway. Double bummer. So it’s back to the brainstorm. We need a rug for the office, and we don’t want to spend a lot of money…

6. Baby girl hasn’t been quite so active today during my official kick-counting time blocks. Each time has been fewer than 35 kicks. But that’s still more than 4 kicks, which I guess is the magic number for the okay/not okay changeover.

7. We went to the local Farmer’s Market today and it was extra special neato. I even got to buy some tokens with my EBT food assistance card which meant I didn’t have to shell out actual cash for anything we bought! We bought a bunch of kale, some beets, a loaf of artisan bread, a dozen multicolored eggs, and some tomato plant starters. I’m really excited about the market; there is a great variety of merchants and the offerings are only going to become more prolific as the season continues.

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Moving Slowly

We’re all moving slowly around here, at least that’s what it feels like. We spent the past three days moving bookcases around to room after room trying to find where they fit. Then we started unpacking books. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of helping us move out of a house, I will say we have a lot of books. A LOT of books. So that went slowly. Jeremy also shifted around our box piles to make it easier to get around the room, but what his work really did was disguise our unpacking progress.

Moving Slowly.

We also began painting the little room that will be our office. Taping the edges goes slowly, but luckily the actual painting went quickly on this room. We bought fresh paint for this room, and we went with the “premium” grade for maximum coverage. So worth it. But we have all this office furniture ready to be placed in its final destination, and it’s just sitting around being moved from one room to another.

So it feels like we’re moving slowly.

Then there’s me, trundling around like a huge pregnant lady. I feel pretty useless right now since I can’t lift anything heavy, or work for very long without a rest, or do anything risky like stand on a two step ladder. So my contributions to this whole moving in project seem minimal. Plus my doctor has me keeping a record of how many times I feel baby movements throughout the day. Three times a day I have to lay around for thirty minutes concentrating on how many kicks I feel. Then I have to write down that number on a chart the clinic gave me. I’ve found that I can’t even read a magazine or anything while I do this because then I lose count. So I have to just lay around doing. absolutely. nothing. for 90 minutes every day.

Moving slowly.

Except baby girl is the only one who has it kicked into high gear. Was it this morning, maybe? I counted 60 kicks in one thirty minute period. Go, girl.

I better go count some kicks now for my record. Tomorrow hopefully we’ll finish the office painting and be able to load in all the furniture. That will really feel like good progress because we’ll also get to unpack some books into that room. Then we’ll have something completely finished!

Okay, I’m off for the night.

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