My mutant belly/Mommy is NOT an ice cream cone

Filed under: symptoms,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on July 16th, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

I’m 19 weeks along now, and we noticed yesterday that we can see my stomach pop out a bit when the baby kicks! It’s very cool. What was a little bizarre was when we observed that my belly button does this weird in and out thing with some of the baby’s movements. If only Anya hadn’t stretched my stomach out beyond repair!

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been having a bit of a run-in with Anya over the past few days. She has decided that it is funny to lick me. I have countered with the opinion that this is, in fact, GROSS, but she’s still going with funny. I’m not sure what inspired her to do it the first few times, but now she’s totally doing it for the reaction (and I have to admit I have been reacting). Ignoring her would probably stop the behavior after a little while since there’d be no reaction to reinforce the licking, but I’m not sure ignoring it is the way to go in this case. It really is quite disgusting, and I would like her to stop immediately, not after several times of licking me without getting a response. She’ll apologize after I firmly tell her “no licking” and start walking away from her, and she’ll tell me she’s not supposed to lick, but then she does it again anyway. She doesn’t do it to Lex, just me. Aren’t I lucky?

Fourth of July Update

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor,funny,photos,symptoms,tmi — by Lauren on July 4th, 2008 @ 11:35 pm

Happy Fourth of July from us!

A rare family photo!

We’ve been having a great time taking advantage of the summer!  Playdates, dance class, story time at the library…so much to do, so little time (to blog)!  I’ll have to post a video of Anya at her “ballerina class” very soon – it’s just too cute, and she loves it. She’s still a little wobbly on her feet and doesn’t really run, jump, or climb, but she’s getting better and more adventurous. She does love to walk up and down the stairs (while holding my hand) instead of crawling, and always reminds me to hold the rail.

Anya has been busy doing all sorts of other things, too.  She definitely knows her colors, or at least the main 8 that show up in her Crayola box plus pink and white.  Her teacher at day care told me a cute story:  She had been working on the color yellow with the class, and was showing the kids a series of yellow objects, asking what color for each one to get them to repeat yellow.  The teacher decided to hold up an apple just to see what the kids would do, and all of the kids said yellow, except for Anya, who shouted, “RED!!!”  Apparently Anya’s excitement was very comical.  Anya still loves to draw and paint, and if you ask her to draw a circle or a line, she does a pretty good job.  Her favorite is still polka dots.

This week we gave Anya one of her 1st birthday presents – a toy baking set – that we had set aside originally because we thought the pieces were too small.  She has been SO cute with it, baking cupcakes for her dolls and feeding them all sort of things.  Watching her pretend is still so much fun, and she’s such a little mommy to her dolls.  It was hard not to crack up this morning when she put her bear on the floor and said, “Here baby girl, change your diaper.  That’s better.”

Anya still talks up a storm, especially at home, and if she’s not talking, she’s singing.  She knows almost all of the words to several of her favorite songs, and she can fill in the words to even more.  It always amazes me when she can supply words to a song that she’s only heard a couple of times.  She absolutely loves music, and she’s always asking us to sing songs to her (or play them on the “puter”).  What’s funny is that whether she’s talking or singing, she speaks with a very strong NJ accent.  “Twinkle, Twinkle” will sound something like this:

Twinkle twinkle little stawe, how I wunda whatchoo awe
Up above the world so hoiy, like a doymind in the skoy

I know that I have a little bit of an accent (and it’s gotten so much worse since we moved back here…grrr), but hers is like a caricature of a Jersey girl, it’s so extreme. Some of it MUST be due to imperfect pronunciation of certain sounds, but it’s still kind of cute.

We’re so happy that Anya is back to kicking us out of her room at bedtime. Two books, two songs, and then it’s “Music off. Crib…go to sleep. Away, Mommy!” She still only sleeps about 10 hours at night, but her nap now lasts about 90 minutes on an average day. It’s nice that she’s cooperative about sleeping, because Anya’s been very sensitive (or ornery, cantankerous, take your pick) about pretty much everything else of late, and she’s a total drama queen (“I’s yelling!”). The way she can turn on and off the tears on a moment’s notice can be very aggravating for us, and her frustration tolerance is very low these days. I think she’s having a little bit of an internal struggle over her desire to be a big girl and still wanting to be a baby. Sometimes she insists on doing everything herself – especially when it comes to meals – and other times she loses it if we don’t help her immediately. She’s also been doing some serious testing of limits. This has been a trying time for all of us, but still, it’s hard not to adore a kid who can exclaim “OH BOY!” with 100% sincerity.

This post is already quite long, but bear with me a little longer – we have another kid to discuss 🙂 I had two appointments this week, one with a new gastroenterologist and one with the OB-GYN. I went to the gastroenterologist to get a second opinion, and though I’m having a lot of guilt about leaving my current doctor, I plan to go to this practice full-time. This doctor felt that I needed to switch to a different medication, one that is essentially the same as the one I’d been on, the only difference being the, um, delivery method (Look, I have colitis. This is my life.). My current doctor didn’t want to put me on it because he said that he was concerned it could somehow stimulate labor. This doctor pretty much thought that was nuts. My OB-GYN wholeheartedly agreed. I’ve been on it for three days and have already shown some significant improvement.

Our prenatal appointment went well. We only saw this doctor once when I was pregnant with Anya, and though he’s a little weird, he’s very thorough. He found the heartbeat right away, and it was loud and strong. I’m 17 1/2 weeks along, I’ve only gained 7 lbs, but I’m measuring right on target. I don’t think I’m quite as big anymore as I had alluded to recently, but I had a really bad week, colitis-wise. I was very concerned about the effect the colitis has been having on this pregnancy, with all of the cramps and the weight that I had lost this past week. The doctor had a lot of suggestions for additional supplements he’d like me to take which he feels will help with the colitis, and wants me to come back in two weeks to be rechecked. He feels that overall, things are going well with the pregnancy. I’m pretty sure I’m feeling kicks now, but they only happen here and there, so it’s hard to be positive.

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday!

16 weeks scan

Filed under: doctor,photos,symptoms — by Lauren on June 26th, 2008 @ 9:56 am

Here’s our newest munchkin:

I ended up getting an unscheduled scan yesterday afternoon.  I had been considering calling the doctor for a few days because I hadn’t felt the baby move in several days and I was 95% sure I had been feeling movement last week, but kept deciding against it since it’s still pretty early.  Then yesterday I woke up with some low cramps that wouldn’t quit and didn’t feel digestive, so that, combined with some other circumstances, prompted me to call to see if I could just come in to have the baby’s heartbeat checked.  The office staff agreed that I should come in, but said I’d have to see the doctor, not just have a nurse use the Doppler.  The doctor found a strong heartbeat after about 15 very long seconds, but didn’t like the cramps I had described so she sent me for a scan to check my cervical length.  Thankfully, all was fine, and the very nice technician let us take a bonus peek at the baby.  She couldn’t get a clear view and wouldn’t say so confidently, but she thinks the baby is a girl.  We have our Level 2 scan in four weeks, so hopefully we’ll be able to get a definitive answer then.

The downside of this story is that there is no explanation for the cramps, and though they seemed to lessen in the early evening yesterday, they were back this morning.  I’m starting to feel that although they aren’t the “urgency” cramps I usually get with a colitis flare-up, they must be related, especially given how often I’ve been in the bathroom over the last 36 hours.  Maybe this is just how colitis and pregnancy interact – I can’t be sure, since I got through being pregnant with Anya with no symptoms whatsoever.  It might be time to accept that this pregnancy is going to remain somewhat uncomfortable unless I can find a way to beat this flare-up.

12 1/2 (13 1/2?) weeks pregnancy update

Filed under: doctor,photos,symptoms,tmi — by Lauren on June 3rd, 2008 @ 10:48 pm

So…yes, we’re pregnant!  Woohoo!  We are all so excited here.  We’ve posted a couple of times over the last few months about the pregnancy, but we had kept those posts hidden until now:

Maybe baby #2?
Not so faint anymore!
Just in case you weren’t convinced…
It’s nice to meet you!
Update – 8 (almost 9) weeks pregnant
How we told

We had our nuchal translucency last Thursday, and it was a very positive appointment.  The technician couldn’t find the subchorionic hemorrhage, which suggests that it is no longer there.  She also didn’t find any evidence of an amniotic band, just a small separation between the sac and the placenta that will likely fill in by 16 weeks.

The test itself went well.  The nuchal fold measured 1 mm, which is VERY small (the technician said over 30 mm is the level where there would be a concern).  The little peanut was somewhat cooperative, although the technician had to poke me in the belly several times to get the baby to roll the right way.  We got to see a few good shots of the face and the little feet and hands (which it couldn’t keep away from its mouth):

Baby Friedman sucking its thumb

The technician thinks the baby is a girl.  I’m not sure what she is basing that on, since she never really got a good “head-on” (tush-on?) view, but we’ll find out for sure at the end of July when we have our Level 2 scan.  The only other notable news from the appointment is that I’m measuring a week ahead of where I should be.  She remeasured 4 or 5 times, and each time she got 13 weeks, even though it should have been 11 weeks, 6 days, putting my due date at December 5th instead of December 12th.  What does this mean?  Nothing, right now, other than I’ll probably end up having another big baby.  There’s no way my dates are off – according to the scan’s due date, I would have ovulated before my last period had ended completely, and that’s really not possible. The neonatologist who evaluated the scans from the NT and took my blood was very thrown off by this discrepancy. She couldn’t decide which due date to use for the test and had what felt like a 10 minute argument with herself. Ultimately she decided my regular doctor had locked me into the December 12th date, so that’s what we need to stick to for now.

I’ve only gained maybe 2 pounds, but I’ve definitely popped…

Big baby bump

We have our next prenatal appointment on Thursday.  Things are good these days – I’m pretty much over the first trimester fatigue and nausea, and I’m starting to get an appetite again.  Hopefully this colitis flare-up will soon be taken care of and then I can focus on enjoying being pregnant!

Update – 8 (almost 9) weeks pregnant

Filed under: doctor,photos,symptoms — by Lauren on May 7th, 2008 @ 10:05 pm

Baby Friedman the second – I’m sorry we’ve been neglecting you on the blog! We love you and are so anxious to tell everyone about you.

So far, things are going well. We had our second ultrasound last weekend. The baby’s growing nicely (I’m actually measuring a few days ahead) and has a strong heartbeat. The subchorionic hemorrhage is still there, so I’m going to have another scan in two weeks to follow-up again.

I had my second pre-natal appointment with the OB-GYN today. He was able to pick up the heartbeat using the Doppler – not bad for 8 weeks, 5 days. He said we’ll keep my due date at December 12, regardless of variations from ultrasound to ultrasound.

The only major pregnancy symptom I’ve been having has been exhaustion with a capital E. There are some afternoons where it’s nearly impossible to keep my eyes open and I conk out in the playroom until Anya starts yelling “Wake up Mommy!” I’ve had some nausea and threw up once while I was sick with a cold last week, though I blame that equally on the congestion. I don’t have much of an appetite and even when I’m hungry, there’s nothing I’m particularly interested in eating.

Unfortunately, I started having another colitis flare-up during Passover (I officially HATE matzah). I’ve been extremely anxious about how this is going to impact the pregnancy, plus it makes me feel generally lousy. I saw my gastroenterologist today, and he had a lot of reassuring things to say. After his examination, he thinks that it’s only the lower left side of my colon that is currently irritated and he feels confident we’ll be able to get this under control without needing to turn to steroids. I also asked him about the swelling and slight pain I have on my left side. He thinks there are two problems: 1. A small hernia which he says needs no treatment at this time and 2. Possible kidney distention, either from the pregnancy or the colitis pressing on the ureter. He’s sending me for an ultrasound of the kidney to rule out any serious problem. The doctor isn’t too worried, so I’m trying not to be.

There is no question that I look pregnant, especially after I eat. I feel that my friends, family, and colleagues at work MUST suspect something, but no one has said anything yet. I’m pretty much out of clothes that don’t get stretched out by my belly. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to get through the next three weeks without breaking into my maternity clothes!

Not so faint anymore!

Filed under: doctor,photos,symptoms,tmi — by Lauren on April 3rd, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

This is test number five, taken this morning:

I think we’re convinced I’m really pregnant now 🙂

After 4 seemingly positive tests, I finally called my OB-GYN yesterday to make my first appointment. After talking to Lex (who is currently in CA) on Tuesday night, we decided that if the test still came up positive Wednesday morning, I should call. I’ve had two weird symptoms that we wanted to ask about, the first being the cramps I had last week while we were in Houston. I was convinced they were menstrual cramps and that I was just going to get my period earlier than I had expected. They lasted about 5 days and then subsided. Apparently this isn’t actually that unusual. The other symptom was really bizarre looking, to say the least. On Tuesday night I was shocked when I looked in the mirror and saw that my stomach looked like I was about 5 months pregnant. I showed Lex via video chat, and his eyes practically fell out of his head. We were pretty concerned at first – and there was no way we were going to be able to keep Baby Friedman 2 to ourselves for now if I looked like that – but I believe the technical term for the problem is bloating. It seems to have resolved itself.

All done! (I hope)

Filed under: doctor,funny,moments,symptoms — by Lauren on February 3rd, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

After vomiting and explosive diarrhea in the beginning of the week, fevers and an ear infection at the end of the week, little to no appetite the whole week, and three trips to the pediatrician in four days, it looks like Anya is finally on her way to being healthy again…well, except for a cough she doesn’t seem to be quite past yet. We had a couple of scary moments, like when our least favorite doctor at our practice told me that Anya’s tears, color, wet diapers, and alertness were good signs that she wasn’t getting dehydrated even though she had constant diarrhea and wasn’t drinking, and then in the next breath said I needed to take her to the hospital for IV fluids (We didn’t – I nursed her more often instead). It was also less than ideal when she kept refusing to eat anything – even blueberries! – and didn’t pee for more than 6 hours on Friday night. When we saw our favorite doctor on Saturday morning, he discovered she had her 5th ear infection since her birthday and put her on another round of Augmentin. While we weren’t thrilled to have her on antibiotics again, the medication is definitely what got her starting to feel better again.

It wasn’t our best week ever with Anya – I’ve never seen her so miserable, not even when her bottom molars were cutting through her gums. Thankfully, though, there were a few good times. She started playing a fun game this week. She “hides” something behind her back and asks “Go?” (as in, where did it go?). Then she pulls it back out with a big grin and says “Theah-tis” (There it is!). This is a source of seemingly never-ending amusement. My favorite moment of the week occurred on Wednesday, which was the BIG diarrhea day. Having to go so often gave Anya many chances to practice telling us when she had to poop, something that has been a potty-training challenge for her. That morning she was sitting in her high chair, when she suddenly turns to me and says “Poop! Potty? Diaper. All done!” The whole thing took place in a span of about 6 seconds. It was so funny, especially since her eyes got very wide just before she said “diaper” and when she said “all done” her little arms were stretched out as far as they could go. You could practically hear her saying, “Mommy, I have to poop!!! Will you take me to the potty? Uh-oh, I went in my diaper. Oh, well, all done!”

If anyone who reads this is sick or has sick kids, I feel for you, and I hope everyone is feeling better soon. I’ve had enough of Anya being sick. I usually don’t mind the winter, but this year I can’t wait for it to be “all done!”

2 pieces of good news

Filed under: news,symptoms — by Lauren on August 5th, 2007 @ 8:42 am

#1 – I am going back to work in September! A fantastic part-time teaching position in the Manalapan school district (where I attended elementary and middle school) more or less fell into my lap. It’s a resource position in a 6th grade classroom, teaching only two periods in the afternoon. I wouldn’t need to be at work until noon, and I’ll be able to leave by 2:30. I’ll get to spend the whole morning and most of the afternoon with Anya, but I’ll still be able to teach. My mom is going to watch her two days a week, and we enrolled her in one of the local Goddard Schools for the other three. A lot of what I’ll take home from my salary is going to end up paying for day care, but that’s okay. I don’t consider the real benefit of this job the money; it’s more about getting my foot in the door so that when I’m ready to go back full-time, I already have experience with the district. The job doesn’t provide any insurance benefits since it’s considered a .372 position, but it is on a tenure track and it applies towards a pension. I’m very excited about this, and I think day care is going to be a positive experience for Anya.

#2 – Anya is finally back to nursing 100% of the time! No more formula! I’m still taking the medication that had been upsetting her stomach, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering her anymore. We decided awhile ago to try introducing breastmilk on post-medication days very slowly, one breast, one feeding at a time. We started with the last feeding of the day and worked back to the morning feeding. Well, as of last weekend, we finally cut out the last bottle of formula, and Anya has been doing wonderfully. Poop Watch 2007 is officially over – and I hope I never need to see my breast pump again!

I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell

Filed under: doctor,symptoms — by Lauren on June 16th, 2007 @ 11:24 pm

Actually, Anya has a fever – her first – and the cure was Tylenol and lots of rest.  She was fairly cranky today, understandably, of course.  We learned that taking her temperature under her arm is significantly inaccurate – 97.4 vs. 101.5 done the old-fashioned (read: rectal) way, at least with our thermometer.  We also discovered that one of the nurses at our pediatrician’s office is a moron who could not figure out what the proper dose of Tylenol for an 8 month old is.

Anya probably caught whatever I’ve been battling since Thursday even though I haven’t had a fever (but boy, does my throat HURT.  It is hard to sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” over and over again when it feels like your tonsils have been replaced with rocks.)   The old wives out there would have you believe that she’s running a fever because her top two teeth are starting to come in, but our doctor says teething can’t cause a fever.  Whatever the reason, I hope she’s back to her usual sunny self tomorrow.

A little more tummy drama

Filed under: doctor,symptoms — by Lauren on May 14th, 2007 @ 8:21 am

I started nursing Anya again on Friday.  It seemed to be going well, although at night we had a questionable diaper.  She also started coughing, but we weren’t too concerned.  Saturday morning I nursed her, and she proceeded to throw up all over my chest and the bed.  Not spit up, THROW UP.  We joked about her growling making her look possessed, but this was a total scene out of The Exorcist.  It seemed like whatever she had eaten had quadrupled before coming back up.  After cleaning the both of us up, we gave her a break and then I finished nursing her.  Not too soon after we were done, she did it again, and when I yelled to Lex to come in she did it some more.  Lex said he was afraid she was going to drown in the ever deepening puddle that was building around us.

As I changed into my third pair of pajamas of the morning, Lex called the doctor.  He said to get her some Pedialyte (by the way, there’s no need to buy the flavored kind; Anya had no problem with plain stuff) and bring her in later that day.  Aside from the coughing and vomiting, Anya was fine – she had no fever and was laughing and giggling.  The doctor said keep her on Pedialyte for a few hours, and if she kept it down we could try the soy formula again (in case it was the meds or the lactose).  We gave her a little that afternoon, no problems, and she took about 5 oz. before bedtime.  After she had been asleep for an hour, she woke up crying.  She coughed, and when I checked the monitor it became obvious that she had vomited again.  We ran up to check on her and just could not believe how much she had thrown up.  She was covered from her head to her stomach.  I scooped her up and consoled her, then got her into a bath while Lex cleaned up the crib and phoned the doctor on call.  She said start with the Pedialyte again in about an hour, but if she threw up again we should take her to the ER.  While on the phone with Lex’s parents, Anya started retching again, and though not too much came out, since her stomach was already pretty empty, we chose to play it safe and take her to the hospital.

At the ER, they gave us more Pedialyte and took some blood.  They eventually let us go home with instructions to only give her Pedialyte until we spoke with our doctor in the morning.  That process took about 5 hours, bringing us home again around 3 am.  Anya woke up at 5 am (she had been sleeping in the car seat in our room, since her crib was not yet ready for use again).  We gave her about 2 oz. of Pedialyte in small amounts over the course of the next hour an half, with her falling asleep on my shoulder in between.  At 7:30 she woke up for the morning, and we gave her another 2 oz.  When we spoke with the doctor, he said it sounded like she was doing well, and that we should continue with the Pedialyte every 3 hours and call him at 1.  Since Anya still was keeping everything down at 1, he said we could try breast milk again at her next feeding.  I suppose the one positive thing about her throwing up the soy formula was that we couldn’t blame her being sick on the breast milk alone.

To be safe, we started by giving her milk I had pumped from before I started taking the meds.  She took 2 oz. with no problems, aside from being pretty annoyed that we weren’t giving her more than that (we supplemented with Pedialyte).  She got 3 oz. more a few hours later, and since none of that milk came back to visit, I nursed her before bedtime.

So far, so good.  She’s still got a significant cough and she’s starting to sneeze up some clear mucus, but on the vomiting front, things are much improved.  We’ll see what today’s diapers bring.

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