Thursday, January 27, 2011

Give them and inch...

Got an email from the hubby yesterday. He had jury duty summons, didn't get picked (much to his dismay), and got home early. Let the dogs out of their crates, he and the kid went upstairs to play on the computers or something, and he came back downstairs to this:

Dogs are not allowed on the couch. Mostly. They smell and no matter how often you bathe them they make the couch smell like dog. That's just the way it is. Especially when the dog is like 65lbs. More dog = more smell. That's Jaynie making use of the unloved couch. He may have thought that the couch was getting lonely with everyone upstairs, who knows. If we are in his presence and he wants on the couch he always asks by placing his head on the couch. He rarely if not never will just jump on. If he does it means he's pretty damn desperate for couch lounging time. No, I don't know what causes this need but I can understand it. He's not allowed up there without permission though and he's more often than not, refused. We caught him on the couch twice that afternoon. This time and then once more after I got home and was working in the kitchen. The back of the couch faces the bar in the kitchen so I couldn't see him. When the hubby came back downstairs he busted him. Funny too, normally when we see him he knows he's busted and just gets off the couch. This time he must have been pretty dead set on couch lounging time because he just gave us the droopy eyed look you see in the picture. Didn't even bother to lift up his head. Kinda like he was saying "It's not like you guys were using it".

Yeah, like he owns that couch...spoiled little shit.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's all a numbers game...

You'll have to forgive my pregnancy centered blogging for the next 26 weeks or so. My body is no longer mine, it's just on partial loan while I incubate the newbie. I have been subjected to yet more maternal-fetal tests and am reminded how pregnancy is much like gambling, specifically craps. The worst odds in the house and it can all be completely reduced to numbers. Especially when of 'advanced maternal age' ie over 35. The chances of miscarriage: 20-35%, chance of Down Syndrome 1 in 190, birth defects 1 in 400 at age 35 1 in 400 at age 40, risk of autism goes up 18% with every 5 years mom increases in age. I'm sure I could go on but quite frankly reading these statistics is depressing. Realistically the percentages are still good that my baby will be perfectly normal. If I don't miscarry. I have a multitude of friends with both success and disappointment stories. Many have had at least 1 miscarriage before a successful pregnancy. I have 1 friend (parents of my kid's classmate) who recently had a baby with a chromosomal defect. It wasn't Downs but he does have a few issues that will need physical therapy. So I suppose the statistics are great, as long as you aren't that partial one percent right?

We have crossed a few hurdles already and I'm thankful for every one. First off was getting pregnant. Our first was a total fluke so I didn't figure we'd have too much of a problem repeating the oops. Wrong. I'm sure age had plenty to do with that too, it's been almost 10 years since that last pregnancy. Damn we're old. We tried for over a year and then decided to try Clomid. I've had a few friends try it, none have actually gotten pregnant when using it. It does carry a risk of multiples so there is that. The women I do know who used it have all gotten pregnant eventually. One several years later on her own, the others the month after stopping the Clomid. This is what happened to us. You only take the pill for 6 consecutive months, then you stop. We got pregnant on month 7. No multiples, thank gawd. The first hurdle after conceiving is having a viable pregnancy. That means it's in the uterus (ectopic=bad) and it has a heartbeat. I had a co-workers wife who got pregnant at the same time as I did with my first pregnancy. We went for our first ob visit in the same week. Mine had a heart beat. Hers didn't. They had to do a D&C. Really tragic. Needless to say when I went in for my first ob visit this time around, high up on my list was to hear the heartbeat. This being 10 years out from the last we didn't even have to do the doppler thing, I got an quickie office ultrasound. Got to see and hear the heart beat, measure the fetus, and determine the age of the pregnancy (which I was off on calculating) at that point (7 weeks). Freaking awesome and I mark that as the first hurdle post conception.

The next hurdle was the obvious 12 weeks. Highest chances of miscarriage occur then, my chances of keeping this one inside for the duration of baking time went up as of 1 week ago and, of course, continues to go up as time passes. It's a numbers game, remember? As a bonus of the whole advanced maternal age ob's send you to a specialty clinic along with their routine care. This specialty clinic has genetic testing and it does the testing for chromosomal abnormalities. You sit with a genetic counselor and he/she goes over all the genetic abnomalities and your liklihood of having them go wrong with you kid. You go through your race/lineage, any issues your relatives have had and it takes forever. You would not believe what tests they have available now. We opted for only one test because we're a 'mixed race' couple. I'm only half white, my moms from the Philippines so we're a mutt family. It lowers your risk of a ton of genetic abnormalities, kinda like a pound puppy as opposed to a pure bred.

We opted to do the ultrasound at 13 weeks known as the nuchal translucency. It measures the fluid at the base of the baby's skull (profile) and if it's thick it's indicative of a chromasomal abnormality. There's a blood test also but it's to be compared to another blood test taken at 15 weeks so we won't get results from that test for awhile. We did the ultrasound today and everything looks good. Normal amount of fluid at the baby's spine. Hurdle #3 jumped. Downs is a super big deal for us. We aren't rich and we don't have an at home parent. I have no idea how other people can raise a Downs child but we know we just can't do it. It's one of those make or breaks in life and the sooner we know the better. Others would handle it differently I'm sure but we have discussed it before, we just could not hack it. I have the option of asking for a amniocentesis, the only for sure way of ruling it out but again, it comes with it's own risks. I will only do an amnio if all other tests lead us to believe we have a problem. Today's visit put our minds at ease. It's not a for sure thing but it doesn't open up other questions either and I'm good with that. I'd show you the ultrasounds but it's really really hard to make out the baby because it was super active. Back arches, kicks and punches and rolls, the ultrasound tech had a rough time getting a profile picture so she could get the measurements needed. I can make out the baby but I think anyone that isn't as adept at reading ultrasounds would be hard pressed to see anything at all. Next ultrasound is at 18 weeks and that's when we'll probably find out the sex and it'll be much easier to discern a whole baby.

Hey, other good news on my end of the deal, my nausea is almost completely gone and I have yet to gain any weight. I already had too much extra, I'm thinking my body is smart and utilizing what it already has. Don't worry, I still keep myself well fed but the nausea kept me from over eating. I'm going to try and keep up with that theme and not go overboard. I love my food but I am too old to be packing it on.

So all is well so far in old preggers mom land, wish me luck going into trimester #2, it's really the only decent trimester there is!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

12 down, 28 to go. Maybe.

Weeks that is. I am now into my second trimester which at my advanced maternal age means I've made it through the very high risk time. Not that something still can't go wrong, it's just more likely now that I'll make it to the end with a live product. My first pregnancy lasted 39 weeks which is why there's a maybe in the title. I think it's not so much a function of fetus being ready as my body kicking it out. I'm 5 feet tall and by the time I hit 39 weeks I look much like Violet Beauregard after the dessert part of the bubble gum (name the movie). Not a pretty sight. I didn't even go into labor at 39 weeks. My water broke and nothing happened. It was kinda like my body was done but the kid had no intention of leaving. Let's hope we don't have a repeat of that or it'd be an immediate c-section. I don't want to be eviscerated again. As common a practice as it is I did not enjoy it at all. Yeah yeah I got kid out of (not quite right but almost) blah blah blah but it was still another week in the hospital. A week from Hell and I managed to have a nice little nervous breakdown. That nobody noticed. Seriously, the healthcare system is severely lacking here. 2 years healing with severe post partum depression and again, no health care worker or doctor noticed. Now you know why I don't want a repeat evisceration. I mean c-section. Yeah same difference right?

Barring all that drama though my primary job in life right now is to continue on as I've been doing so far. You figure for a minimum of 40 weeks my body is not my own. I am an incubator at the whim of whatever hormone my body decides to pump in volume at any given point in time. My first pregnancy I only had a food craving once somewhere in my second trimester. I suddenly was drinking milk by the gallon and I hate milk. It lasted a few weeks and was really weird. This time around I've been getting random food cravings like daily. I know it's one of those pregnancy norm things but I find it really strange. One day it was asparagus. For the whole day. Oddly I did not get asparagus that day but I did eat a lot of veggies. The veggies have been a go to thing also. Fruit to a lesser degree too. This is a good sign I think since only once was I craving french fries. I rather that kind of balance than the opposite right? It could be worse, I could be all into fried foods and sweets. I've been on the big side of pregnancy though (6-9 months) and I do not have any room for excess fat. I'm waaay too short for that luxury. Violet, you're turning violet! I understand all you really need though is an extra 100-300 calories a day to grow one of these suckers. I figure with my 'advanced age' (I love that term) and consequent decreased metabolism I was probably already getting enough as it was. So I've tried to keep it the same just spread out more through the day. Seems to be working so far. We'll see how long that lasts...

28 more to go, I'll be going to the maternal fetal specialists next week because, you know, advanced maternal age...wish me luck!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Where the heck did my sunbelt go?

I'm not a snow person. I don't do skiing or snowboarding, sledding doesn't really float my boat either. Driving in the snow sucks ass and damn snow is cold. I was born and raised in San Diego and it was good. There was no snow unless you got some wild hair up your ass and drove to it. I remember doing that once or twice in my life. Like I said, snow doesn't really do it for me so I didn't go out of my way to find it all that often.

By some set of unfortunate events when I was 20 and (sadly) married to my first husband I found I was living in Maryland, DC area. They use heat pumps in those homes because (get this) it doesn't get that cold in the DC area. I think we got 4 feet of snow the first year I lived there. Did you know heat pumps don't work in the snow? Yeah, found that one out the hard way. I've been leery of the cold ever since and consequently make it a point of staying in the sunbelt for the rest of my life.

Well apparently San Antonio is just mostly in the sunbelt. You know, like during the blazing heat of the summer. The first year we moved here there was a ton of rain that winter (06) and it got cold enough to ice over some. Really neat looking, not too bad to drive in. Mostly because 1)They shut the freeways down and 2)I wasn't driving a Jeep back then. Word to the wise, unless you're a young male adrenaline junkie or an older male denying the reality of age then you really shouldn't be driving a Wrangler. They are suicide machines and manuals (like the one I drive) combined with the ever so smooth suspension are just about the most uncomfortably rides a vehicle could possibly come up with. Seriously, just avoid them like the plague they are.

This year we have some rain (nothing like 06) but damn has there been some cold spells. Like as in right now, DAMN IT'S FREAKING COLD OUTSIDE. Seriously, it might as well be snowing. It'll be below freezing tonight and the next 2 nights. In the 20s tomorrow night. THE TWENTIES. News flash, that's too fucking cold. Just sayin'....

I had to buy a new temporary wardrobe as of late (you know that whole round baby belly thing) and I mostly geared it toward when I'd be big. You know, this summer. Where less clothing is better. Thing to note, a woman's body changes faster with a second pregnancy. I will be 12 weeks tomorrow (insert excitement here peeps, 12 weeks is the magic number for out of the super danger zone of dropping said fetus from uterus too early) and where as I have not gained any weight (insert more excitement here) it's been rearrainged to the belly. Jackets may still fit but they don't zip up anymore. And here I thought I was going to get off easy with the whole 'limit to the new wardrobe'. I shouldn't need to buy a maternity winter coat if my third trimester is in the midst of a Texas summer right? RIGHT? Apparently not. Dude I just can't take the cold and good lordy be it's fucking cold out. The upside is that I've always wanted a double breasted pea coat. Now I have one! It's kinda nice too since it's cut in such a way that you can't really tell it's a maternity coat. That much fabric just looks like a short woman bundled from the cold. I told y'all I was going to enjoy this pregnancy right? I decided that wearing what made me happy was a priority in that enjoyment. Plus somebody stole my sunbelt.

I'm kinda pissed here, where did my warmth go? And whose ass do I have to kick to get it back? Freaking Texas.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ever seen a cow hit by an SUV?

Don't worry, I have no photos for this blog post. I figured I get that out there from the get go.
First, a wee bit of background. We live in suburbia in the 7th largest city in the US. Sadly this particular city has deep ties to it's Podunk roots so we still have no fine cuisine and a plethora of cows, goats, and redneck morons well within city limits. There are 2 loops that run through San Antonio, and inner (410) and an outer (1604), we live just outside of the 1604. Freeways in Texas have these things called access roads. They're basically 2-3 lane roads that run parallel to the interstates in only the direction of that side of the road. So if you want to turn around you have to go under or over the freeway to do so. It's kinda like what Mega blocks are to Legos. If you can't handle driving on the freeway just take the access roads. Same thing just goes a bit slower. They're also what we fall back on when there's ice on the roads and they shut the interstates down. There's a reason for this back story, promise.

We live far enough out that our hood used to be a pretty damn large ranch. Basically what the rancher (who as I understand is a very hard man to deal with) did was sell all of his land except what boarded the 1604 to home builders. Excelent business move (barring the real estate crash which screwed him, hehe) since once all those homes were built there would be so many families there that the commercial real estate bordering the 1604 would then be worth a small fortune. In order to not have to pay insane taxes though the rancher has continued to live on the land he has left and keep a very small herd of cattle on it. Realize that the traffic here, while not city insane, is still considerably more than your normal ranch sees. Plus the access roads may not actually be freeway but people still haul ass on them. I know I do at least 50 when I get on them. Do you see where this is going?

We moved here at the end of 2006 and we don't see the cattle on the land that often and we have never seen one on the road. This evening me and the kid were on the way home from the grocery store and both of the access road lanes were closed off with at least 5 emergency vehicles all over the place blocking it off. We were shunted to the left turn lane (where I was turning left anyway, you know, where the ranch is) and of course we look over to see what idiot hadn't figured out how to drive (San Antonio drivers are worse than any I've ever seen, seriously). We then saw a cow (still alive) sitting down with it's legs tucked under it and a large rope of blood hanging out it's mouth. I have seen all kinds of animals hit by cars when I worked in a stream of vets offices as a vet tech. I mean I've had a Canadian goose that was hit by a truck (survived, I don't know how), a chinchilla hit by a car (survived briefly which was a miracle unto itself), and a multitude of dogs and cats hit by cars. I always found it disturbing to one degree or another as one would expect. This though, wow. I don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones or just the fact that the animal is just so damn big but wow. That was freaking DISTURBING to see. I had to make an effort to not fall apart since I was, you know, driving. And you I'm not a large animal person. I've worked with horses and they're ok, I can handle them sorta but they still intimidate me. But cows, I've never touched one and never felt the need to. It's not like I've found them to be sweet adorable cuddly animals that break my heart to see hurt (like smashed kittens on the road, you know) but this was just awful. I think I'm going to have nightmares about this one and it wasn't even dead! I mean I don't know if they were going to have to put it down or not but she was 'with it' when we drove past. Damn I hope they at least shoot her up with some pain killers...muscle relaxers..some better living through chemistry. The SUV that hit here was oddly not totaled, not sure if it still ran though. Must not have been going as fast as I normally go on that road. I swear if I hit a cow in my Jeep I'd have rolled it a few times. I think I'll be going slower on that access road from now on....

PS if you're from San Antonio and get offended by the fact that I call it podunk you need to get out more. And yes, I am not from this city, I'm from a real city. SHOCKER. Don't expect you moronic comments to be posted, I just delete comments made by podunk rednecks.