Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy – Z3’

September 4, 2017

In Need of Nesting

When we first found out we were expecting I was filled with excited energy. I brought out all the storage containers of baby clothes from the back of the closet and started organizing, washing and fawning over how little everything was. I separated the clothes into piles, identified what we would keep, what was salvageable to be donated, and what did not survive storage. There was washings to remove old forgotten stains that somehow worsened over time, and washings with fabric conditioner to bring back the original baby softness.

This was all at the very start of the first trimester, when one is supposed to be over run with fatigue and morning sickness.

A few weeks later my energy dried up. The morning sickness hit. Not to worry, I still had time. The second trimester is when one feels the best, right? Last time around, while pregnant with Alexis and working full time I tackled our apartment, organizing old cables, bath toys, hair ties, making battery charts, battery boxes, first aid kids, etc etc. Surely that would happen again, right? It was strangely one of the things I was looking forward to with pregnancy.

Well I’m 22 weeks in, and that initial organizing of the baby clothes is all I’ve managed. The house is in disarray, worse then when we conceived. The house looks like I’m trying out for a new reality show called squatters. The closets are empty, the floors are not. I want to want to get organized, but I can’t muster the energy. Nesting was supposed to be part of the deal!

With just over half the pregnancy to go, hopefully I’ll find some motivation soon. If nothing else, to get the crib assembled and car seat installed so we can bring the baby home from the hospital safely.

August 23, 2017

Baby Gear, Round 3!

It’s time to start thinking about baby gear! Z3 will be here before we know it.

A New Baby Monitor System. I loved our old monitor, really I did, but it’s showing it’s age and barely functional at this point. The parent console often loses signal and sometimes can’t process the image feed. We’re left with a ghostly white image that lingers on the screen. I’ve gotten used to enough that I can guess what’s going on in the room. Usually. If that’s not enough of a draw back, the night time vision of one of the cameras is about half power, and whenever the parent console is connected to that monitor it picks up an intermittent buzzing that keeps me awake. Since the girls are in the shared big girl room, we’ve just been using the working camera.

A new high chair. I hated our old one. We were going to pitch it and replace it before Alexis was born, but my frugal tendencies took over and saved it from the dumpster. The padding is now ripped, so I think I can finally give myself permission to part with it. I have no idea what kind of high chair I’ll look for next aside from cheaper and simpler.

A crib. The old one is ok, but with the non standard screws I can make a case why it should be replaced. It’s also been chewed on quiet heavily, and shows the wear of having been used for two kids already. Normally I’m fine with cosmetic defects, but I know I’m going to want to take photos of a sleeping baby in her crib.

A bottle warmer. These things always seem to get so gross. Looks like each kid will be getting her own.

Another rocking chair. One can never have too many rocking chairs. The first one we purchased is downstairs in our living room, and still comfortable but showing it’s age. We purchased a second one that is currently in the nursery, but that’s in the middle of the house. And also not very comfortable, if I’m being honest. I’m thinking about getting a third one for the master bedroom since Z3 will probably sleep in there for a few months (I know, it’s a total splurge.) I figure I’ll use the new one to replace the one downstairs at some point.

I’m kind of amazed that the jumperoo is still in good shape, and Alexis’ activity gym given how Nicole destroyed hers. It sometimes feels like those are the only two things that survived. The rock n’ play is doing okay, but the fabric just isn’t as nice as it once was. Alexis’ changing pad is also in ok shape. We recently purchased a new crib mattress before moving Alexis to a twin size, so at least we’re good there.

August 15, 2017

Girl!

I am over the moon. Three girls was exactly the family I’ve been hoping for and envisioning.

I know I’m not supposed to have a gender preference. Or maybe I’m supposed to have a preference for the other gender I don’t have? Everyone around me seems to think I’ve been hoping for a boy, and were rooting for a boy on my behalf. Truth is, I’ve had my heart set on a third daughter since before she was conceived. With Alexis (Ziggy) I only developed a strong preference for a girl a week before the anatomy scan. With Nicole (Zippy) I was sure she was going to be a boy and I never really had a chance to hope for one gender or the other.

Nicole is super excited she’s having another sister. I told Alexis and she corrected me saying “it’s a boy!” I guess we’ll have to wait and see what she thinks when Z3 gets here!

Our anatomy scan went well. I’m oddly not feeling much movement this time around. The technician was surprised when I said that since Z3 isn’t in a bad position for movement. Maybe it’s just that I’m so distracted charging after my first two that I’m just not noticing the movement as much? She was quite the little active bean for the technician, quick to prove she was alive and healthy.

The technician wasn’t able to get one of the photos she was after. The hospital is trying something new where the perinatologist is on hand, so there’s no longer a need for second appointment when these situations arise. (With Nicole I had to go back in at a later date when the same thing happened.) Our technician explained the new approach up front to alleviate any concerns should they need to summon the perinatologist. I’d like to think as a third time mom I’m a little less prone to worrying, but we all know that isn’t true. Neither the perinatologist nor the technician were able to capture the structure they wanted in a single ultrasound image, but both were confident that they saw said structure and everything was developing normally so they sent us on our way.

I’m sure it’s no surprise to regular readers that I’m frugal to borderline cheap. Buying pregnancy tests in bulk, and saving the extras are well within my normal frugal tendencies. So when Domingo and I decided to start trying for a third child, I planned to use those left over pregnancy tests I had saved. We had succeeded in conceiving Alexis much sooner than I anticipated, so I had quite a few left over. The only problem? They had expired in April of 2015 and it was nearing the end of 2016.

I did some research online and the general consensus was that an expired pregnancy test was fine to use. The older the test, the more likely it had lost some sensitivity to hCG, the human pregnancy hormone. An expired test is therefore more likely to give a false negative reading. Since are few conditions where one would have hCG in their system and not be pregnant, a false positive is unlikely in general. Therefore, I concluded, the primary risk of using an expired test is that I might have to wait a little longer to find out the good news. If I was pregnant, hCG would slowly increase in my system and eventually be enough for the expired test to pick up. What’s a few extra days wait?

If only that was my experience. Instead I was treated to a new kind of false positive I had never heard of before, the disappearing false positive.

To back track a little, the main form of false positive is an evaporation (evap) line which happens when the test strip dries in such a way that the second line is visible. A tall tell sign of an evap line is the line is grey, and appears after the testing time window, when the test is dry. Generally speaking, a line within the testing window should be considered positive.

The second month we tried, the second line indicating a positive appeared at the 4 minute 30 second mark. It was a full thirty seconds within the time window. Hurray, pregnant!

I’m the kind of obsessive person who likes to go back and look at the positive test throughout the day, take pictures of it, etc. I do the same with negative tests too, minus the pictures of course. Two hours later I could only see the second line while holding the strip under a bright lamp and holding it at just the right angle. A little while later I couldn’t even see it then. I wondered if my eyes were playing tricks on me. I tried not to let my mind dwell on the second line that was no longer there. If I was pregnant, I rationalized, I’d get another positive test in the next day or two. I tested the next day, and the next, and the next. Negative across the board.

Two months later the same thing happened. This time the second line was more pronounced, and appeared at the two minute mark. It didn’t fade away into nothingness until 6 hours later. This time I was a little more mentally prepared for the possibility that I might not be pregnant.

After doing some digging online I found a line that disappeared within 24 hours is exceedingly rare, the result of a faulty test and should be considered as a negative. My frugal tendencies had lead to unnecessary heartache.

With my first, I was worried about potter’s syndrome. With my second, I was worried about spina bifida. This time around there hasn’t been something specific I’ve been worried about, just a general feeling of dread that something would go wrong. During the drive in to my doctor’s appointment on the 11th I was going over what-if scenarios in my head. What if there’s no heart beat? Would I tell everyone about the pregnancy? It was after my NT screen and would be considered a second trimester loss, but the pregnancy wasn’t public knowledge yet.

At this early stage appointments are mostly just checking vitals, chit chatting and listening to the heartbeat. My doctor had my lie back on the table, squirted the jelly on belly and… nothing. No rapid swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. Oh god, this is it. I thought. She kept moving the wand around, but we couldn’t hear anything.

“Don’t panic,” she told me. “I can hear the baby, I just can’t get it on the Doppler.”

“I think I felt the baby move a few minutes ago,” I lied. She would have to be superwoman to have the kind of hearing to hear a heartbeat not on the Doppler. I was sure she was just trying to reassure me.

“Wait right here,” it was a silly request, I was covered in gel with my stomach exposed, “let me get the ultrasound machine so you don’t have to worry.” I could feel the tears forming in the corner in my eyes. I have heard of these kinds of appointments before. They never end well.

As soon as the wand was on my belly I scaned the screen for a flicker of a heart beat. For a brief moment, Z3 was still on the screen. My breath caught in my throat. And then, Z3 hiccuped. The slight movement was enough to bring the heart into view, complete with the flickering. I have never been so relieved in my life. My doctor turned on the sound and we listened to the Swoosh Swoosh Swoosh.

“Baby was hiding pretty far back there,” my doctor told me.

I kept saying I wasn’t worried, but I’m sure my doctor saw right threw me. “Let’s take a quick look” she said, moving the wand over to show Z3’s various body parts.

We had just been discussing early prenatal testing. I opted out of the blood test which would have revealed the gender, despite desperately wanting to know. My insurance would only cover one type of prenatal testing and I had choosen the NT scan with ultrasound to confirm no abnormalities were present. Since we had the ultrasound out already, my doctor was willing to take a quick peak. I thought I saw girl anatomy, but my doctor thinks the line could have been the umbilical cord. Even if we didn’t get an early guess at gender, I appreciate the chance to look.

So far every pregnancy for me has had one big scare. With my first, we needed a second anatomy scan to verify her brain was developing normally. With the second, there were concerns I might have been worried about leaking fluid only a few weeks into viability. Z3 was just getting the scare over with early.

July 12, 2017

Another Kind of Five

Nicole’s fifth birthday wasn’t the only reason to celebrate the number 5! We’re well on our way to being a family of FIVE.

I feel like I’ve been holding on to this secret forever. When we were pregnant with Alexis, I was comfortable spilling the beans early. One of Nicole’s teachers asked me when we were going to have another and I blurted out “November” only a few days after the positive pregnancy test. We knew if something went wrong we would keep trying for a second. Nicole was too young to pay attention to just how long I was pregnant, so whether mommy was pregnant for 9 months, or 15 months, Nicole would be getting a little brother or sister eventually.

This time around things were much less certain. Given our ages, and the desired age gaps between the kids, it didn’t make sense to keep trying indefinitely. Telling the girls early meant we might need to untell them should something go wrong. I wasn’t comfortable with that, and I couldn’t risk telling other people for fear the information might reach their ears.

I’m kind of surprised no one guessed. I feel like I was showing at 8 weeks, and I’ve had all the typical first trimester pregnancy symptoms of fatigue and morning sickness. Maybe everyone around us was just being polite.

We told the girls two a week ago, so they’d know before my parents visited. I took a video of us breaking the news. After I told them there is a baby in Mommy’s tummy Nicole asks excitedly “for real?” and Alexis jumps up and rushes to me saying “let me see!” She’s actually asking to see herself on the phone I’m holding (she loves watching herself on videos) but it totally looks like she’s asking to see the baby in my tummy. Adorable, if not a little misleading.

We’ve tentatively taken to calling this baby Z3. I wanted another zi–y name to match Ziggy and Zippy, but the only thing I could think of was Zitty. Future child would have despised that nickname. So Z3 it is!

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