Sunday, August 31, 2008

Due Date Dud

Well, the day has come....and gone. Today is the day I have waited for for 9 months. It's 9:15 pm as I start to write this and I figure that even if I were to start having contractions right this very second, that Sadie would still not be here on August 31st. This is MUCH to my mother's delight. She has said ALL along that she didn't want her to be born until September. For some reason my mother has become obsessed with the Sapphire birthstone (also my sister's birthstone) and felt that the August Peridot simply wouldn't do. It seems she is going to get her wish. In fact, I just called her to tell her that she better be gathering the largest collection of Sapphires possible because I really feel pretty deserving of them at this point!

Anyways, here is a chronicle of things I did today to perhaps encourage Sadie to make an appearance. I began my day by bouncing on my exercise ball. I did this for quite a lengthy time while playing on-line solitaire. I wrote thank you notes to those people who have recently purchased gifts in Sadie's honor and whom I had been putting off the thank you note writing in hopes of including a picture of my daughter. I made Adam follow me around the house with light bulbs, installing them in all of the places where light bulbs were burnt out or missing altogether. I did some final rearranging in Sadie's room, including plugging everything in to all of the new outlets so that I could be absolutely certain that all the plugs were working and ready to go. I also convinced Adam to do some vacuuming after he had already emptied most of the upstairs trash cans. The two of us also cleaned off our desks and Adam spent a fair amount of time shredding those things that we did not need. Then, around 11:00 am, Adam's parents arrived. They decided to come down for the day, I think in hopes that I might go into labor. Obviously, no such luck. After visiting for a while and showing off Sadie's room, Adam's mom still hadn't seen it in person, we decided to go and eat some lunch at Buca's. We ordered eggplant parmesan and penne arrabiata. The eggplant is supposed to have labor inducing substances in it and the arrabiata is REALLY spicy! Even after filling up on those two tasty treats, Sadie does not seem like she's going to budge. We spent the afternoon back at our house with Adam showing Jerry how to play the many games of the Wii. Patty and I spent much of our time observing, but I eventually joined in when it was time to play Mario Party 8. Then, it was time for them to head back up to Louisville (right outside Canton) and Adam and I had some of the leftovers. Multiple servings of eggplant and spicy pasta and STILL nothing! Adam then headed upstairs to play World of Warcraft and I stayed downstairs to watch "Law and Order" and play more on-line solitaire.

So, for a day that I was QUITE confident I would be spending holding my new baby girl, I am left with still holding a sore belly and experiencing some tummy aches and heartburn from the spicy food! However, my dad assured me that he has read up on some new labor inducing technique that he will reveal to me tomorrow. So, since I will have met my mother's goal of having a September baby by tomorrow, maybe Sadie will be kind to me and start on her way out tomorrow! Plus, as several of you have mentioned to me via comment, e-mail, or conversation, perhaps Sadie already has a strange sense of humor and has decided that I should be laboring with her on Labor Day. If not, there's always Wednesday! :) No matter what, by this time next week I WILL have a baby in my arms! Hope you all enjoy your extra day off tomorrow!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Uncomfortable Update

Well, I had my final doctor's visit on Thursday. Before I get to the details of that appointment, though, I need to give you some additional background information about my week. On Monday we had our second and final work day. I spent much of this day getting things together and discussing plans with my team. Late Monday afternoon we (my principal and I) interviewed yet another person for my position while I'm on maternity leave. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication about his certification and he's not actually yet certified in SpEd. He's going back to school to get certified, but he hasn't even started those classes yet. Because he is not certified, this means he could only work in my room for 4 days and then the 5th day would have to be covered by someone who is certified. So, needless to say this seemed to be more wasted time. On Tuesday we actually started school. Things went shockingly well. They weren't perfect, but I had had some serious worries about the behaviors to expect from my students and I think by explaining my policies to them and the rewards they could reap by doing the right thing, they realized that the year might just go ok. Wednesday went equally well and I was impressed that the students still seemed respectful and were getting work completed. This trend continued on Thursday, but I was feeling a little more stressed out. On Tuesday night my principal and SpEd coordinator interviewed another candidate. This person was certified, but my principal had some concerns. But, at least he was certified and available. On Wednesday night, my principal and SpEd coordinator inteviewed another candidate. They liked him better, but he couldn't seem to locate his license. They offerred him the job anyways and said to come to school on Thursday with his license. When my principal arrived at school on Thursday morning she had a message from this guy saying that on his way home the battery in his car died. He no longer had reliable transportation because he couldn't afford to fix the battery right now AND his wife said that this wasn't a good enough job for him. (Now, I would think this would have been something they would have discussed before he ever interviewed, but clearly my expectations of people seem to be WAY too high). So, my day on Thursday had already been a bit stressful. My doctor's appointment was at 2:45 pm. This meant that I had to have plans prepared for Friday and potentially for next week BEFORE I left for the appointment. I had to leave before school was actually finished for the day, so I spent most of 9th period scrambling to get the final things together to leave as plans. This meant I was pretty much neglecting my job, but what was I going to do?

Ok, now that you know some background leading in to my doctor's appointment, things might be a bit easier for you to understand what happened next. My doctor actually has 2 offices - one at the hospital and one in Dublin. My appointment in December to discuss getting pregnant was at the Dublin office. Since then, every other appointment has been at the hospital office. Strangely, I was put into the same room that I had been in in December. So, my first and last appointments were in the same place. Anyways, the nurse took my blood pressure and - surprise, surprise - it was something like 138/92. The doctor doesn't like it to get higher than 140/90 with either number being higher than that. When the doctor came in I wasn't overly worried because I really felt like my pressure was up because of my stressful situation at school. Also, I told her that I was pretty certain Sadie has descended at least a little bit and that I was feeling some pretty extensive pressure in my lower uterus. She agreed that she was at least a little lower because she had to move down further on my belly to get a good read on her heart rate. Then she completed the internal exam. I am still only 1.5 cm dilated and 60% effaced. This is because, while Sadie is putting EXTREME pressure on my pelvic bone, she has yet to actually go underneath my pelvic bone. Until she makes that deeper descent, there won't be any change. So, this was obviously disappointing and then she wanted to talk again about induction. Then, she wanted to take my blood pressure again to see if it had gone down. Now, let's think - I hadn't had a great day to begin with, then I find out my blood pressure is high, next I learn that I still haven't dilated or effaced anymore, and then she wants to talk about induction, something I really wanted to avoid. So, when she takes my pressure again, there's been no change. Now she tells me that she wants me to lay down on my left side for 10 minutes and she'll take my pressure again. If my pressure's still not down then I will need to have a blood draw. Ok - let's be real. If you know me at all, you know I HATE having blood drawn because this almost always leads to me feeling faint. You already know about all of the other stressors on my mind, too, so this is clearly not looking good for me. And with no surprise to me, my blood pressure was actually up at the end of 10 minutes - 130/102. So, the doctor comes back and tells me that I have two choices. I can either go next door and have the blood drawn or I can go to Labor and Delivery and have the blood drawn there. If they draw the blood next door, she won't be able to learn the results until Friday morning. If I go to Labor and Delivery, they can get the results much quicker AND if it's determined that I do have pre-eclamsia, she will induce me on Thursday night. Now, it seems to me to be rather stupid to not just go to Labor and Delivery, even though I'm still pretty darn certain that my pressure being up is solely related to my stress caused by work. She tells me to go home and get my things and have something to eat (since I won't be able to eat anything at the hospital if she does end up inducing me). So, I leave the doctor's office not feeling too well.

Now the real fun starts - I try to call Adam. He had told me pre-appointment that he had a meeting, but to call if I really needed to talk. Since I knew we'd have to head to the hospital and he would need to leave ASAP, I called him. He wouldn't answer his phone. He wouldn't answer his personal cell, his work phone, or his work cell. This worried me a bit. Then I tried calling my mom. She had actually called and left me a message while I was at my appointment. I called her several times, and she wouldn't answer her phone either (supposedly her phone never rang and she had no indication that she had missed a call). By this point, I was in tears. I couldn't get a hold of either of the people who are supposed to be accompanying me into the labor and delivery room. So, I call my dad. He can't understand me because I'm crying. I finally calm down enough to convey what's happening and he says he'll get in touch with my mom and to try and calm down. I keep driving towards home and eventually Adam calls me back. He had turned his phone on vibrate and didn't feel it. Grrrrrrr!!!! But, he drops everything that he's doing and gets in his car to head home. Then my mom calls me. I explain everything to her and this is when she tells me that her phone has never rung. She had been at the salon to get her hair cut and colored. We both go to the same place to get our hair done, so they had no problem letting her get up and leave and they, thankfully, hadn't started cutting or coloring yet. This is also when I learn that my dad has no car. My parents decided that now that they were back in school they would take their cars to get detailed. Goodness only knows why this seemed like a good idea to them when they had all summer to do this and have it not be an inconvenience to either of them, but that's neither here nor there at this point. So, my mom headed over to pick up my Dad and then they headed to dinner. I, in the meantime, had arrived home and was waiting for Adam to get here. He began gathering up all of our stuff to take to the hospital while I continued to clean and tidy up so that if we didn't end up coming home Thursday night we would NOT come home to a messy house. Eventually we headed to Wendy's. This is the Wendy's where Adam and I went on our first date (to get some water) and where my mom's water had broken when she was pregnant with me. We thought this would be a good omen.

We all (Mom, Dad, Adam and I) arrived at the hosptial and headed up to Labor and Delivery. Since I wasn't actually heading all the way back into the real delivery room, though, I was only allowed to have one "guest" accompany me. My parents then had to go and sit in the waiting room. After not too long of a wait, a nurse came back and started asking me a million questions. She then took my blood pressure (128/80) and said she would be back soon to do the blood draw. She held true to her word. I had to give three vials. But, she listened to me and took the blood from my surface vein. This ALWAYS hurts less and usually leaves much less of a bruise. And, since I had just eaten and my blood sugar was up, it really wasn't too awful to have the blood drawn. She then brought me some water and Adam and I basically sat around and played the waiting game. I was all hooked up to monitors. I had a fetal monitor so we could hear Sadie's heart beat and then I had a blood pressure cuff that automatically took my pressure every 15 minutes. Adam took a couple of goofy pictures of me to send to my parents and we kept conversing with them through text messages. After nearly two hours of sitting around, the results of my blood work came back. Everything was normal and my blood pressure was now way down (112/74). They called my doctor. She said that I was not to go back to work since it was obviously causing my pressure to increase and that her office would be contacting me about when to come in for an induction. Then we got to go home. I had already contacted my principal earlier and she assured me that she would have the permanent sub cover for me on Friday and then let me know the plan for next week.

As luck would have it, my mom didn't have school on Friday. No reason, that was just their agreed upon schedule. So, she came over and we ran a few errands on Friday. I got an e-mail from my principal telling me that they ended up hiring the "concerning" guy, since he was seemingly the ONLY person in the Central Ohio area to not already have a SpEd job. I also did some more cleaning and laundry. Adam then stopped at Yanni's, our FAVORITE Greek restaurant, on his way home and got us some delicious food for dinner. We then watched "Dan in Real Life", one of our options available on On-Demand, and Adam removed my toe nail polish and gave me an extensive foot rub. Isn't he a NICE husband?

This morning, it looks like it's going to be a beautiful day! It's the first Ohio State game of the year, a game Adam and I attended a year ago. I think we'll continue to do some last minute tidying up and a lot of trying to relax. Maybe that will convince Sadie to make her deeper descent. If nothing else, we are scheduled for an induction to begin at 7:00 am on Wednesday September 3, so we should, hopefully, have a baby on Wednesday. We have learned that the hospital does have free WiFi, so Adam will have his computer with him and we will hopefully be able to give some updates from the hospital. In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate all of your positive thoughts being sent my way. I can certainly use them! Hope everyone has a GREAT Labor Day weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Definitely Descending on an otherwise Dumpy Day

Ok, I've already decided that I want to end this post with good news, so I'm going to start it with the frustrating news.

I get to school this morning. It was a work day. My principal finds me and tells me that my substitute got a full time job and that she is no longer going to be my substitute. Here's the worst part. To tell my principal this, she called her at school on Sunday morning and left a message. Now, I was with my principal when she called this girl on Friday and I KNOW my principal gave her her cell phone and home phone numbers to call her. Clearly this girl was embarrassed and didn't want to confront my principal, but come on! And, it gets worse. I had given the substitute the keys to my room. Did she keep them? No. Did she offer to drive them back to school? No. Did she suggest meeting somewhere to have them picked up? No. What did she do? She mailed them! Who mails keys?! So, goodness only knows if I'll ever actually get them back! Grrrr!

Continuing with my frustrations...I LOVE my team members at school. They are wonderful people with great ideas and they really and truly care about kids. The one thing I both admire and stress about, however, is how laid back our two male teachers are about everything. They had a general idea about what they were going to do tomorrow - our first day of school - but one of them didn't actually share those plans with me (I found out from another teacher) and the other one just happened to have written his schedule for tomorrow on the board. Now, the two ladies I work with were quite a bit better. They at least had some papers copied and/or power point presentations put together, but neither of them were in a particularly large hurry to get everything "finalized" either. I think this is because they are fairly used to what to expect and don't feel they need to worry. If I knew I was 100% for sure going to be there, I could relax and feel the way my team seems to feel. But, since I'm not quite sure what Sadie's thinking, I can't quite keep my cool. I did the best I could with the plans that I had and have emergency plans prepared if I should not be there tomorrow.

At 2:00, my principal came down to tell me that she had found someone to interview for my position, again, and that she would be meeting him at 2:30 pm. This was great! So, around 2:30 pm, in walks this guy. He's very nicely dressed and seems pleasantly intelligent. Then we start talking about his certification. It turns out that he's currently only certified K-12 in Phys Ed and Health. He is actually going back to school to get his special ed certification, but he doesn't even start taking classes until the middle of September. So, whereas I think students might be a little afraid of him (he does look like a very large and strong gym teacher), he can't legally work in my position for the length of time that I will be gone. Only after the interview did I find out why my principal had thought that he already had SpEd certification. My SpEd coordinator had called my principal and told her she found the perfect candidate on the Madison County substitute list. Under his certification it says, "Special, K-12, PE and Health." Now, I can completely understand why the label "special" could be misunderstood. What is meant by special in this context is that it is a special license. Very few licenses are issued for grades K-12 and those that are are for subjects like PE, Health, Band, Choir, Library, or Special Ed. However, if he were actually certified in SpEd, his listed certification would say Intervention Specialist, my actual "legal" title. So, needless to say, I got to whittle away a little bit more of my time by talking with this nice man who my district will very likely not be able to hire. Grrrrr!!!!!

Then, to top off all of this fun, I have started having a few contractions. I would imagine that this is due to the fact that I was at school today for nearly 10 hours and I am just a bit stressed out, as you may be able to tell from above. But, contractions coming are good because that means Sadie can hopefully move on out and this is actually leading to the good news bit of this blog. :)

It is clear to me that Sadie has begun to make her descent. Even when you look at me you can tell she is lower. It is also very hard for me to sit comfortably, making writing this a bit challenging. Additionally, when I am feeling her kick, it is no longer directly into my ribs. It's actually hitting me in my spongy middle! Woohoo! So, I am finally feeling that the end may in fact be very near! I don't actually have a doctor's appointment until Thursday afternoon this week, so it will still be a few days before I can give you an "official" report, but maybe Sadie will decide she doesn't need to wait until Thursday! If not, send good thoughts my way tomorrow as I start school one VERY pregnant lady! :) Take care everyone!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

39 Weeks and Counting

Well, we've reached yet another milestone today - 39 weeks. At one point I was quite certain that I would not make it to see the start of another school year from my actual school building. I had thought and somewhat hoped that Sadie and I would be at home, hanging out together as she got used to life "on the outside." But, it doesn't seem like that was Sadie's plan and as EVERYONE keeps telling me, she'll come when she's ready. My mom has even taken to repeating this gross mantra that my dad's family used to say, "When the core is rotten, the baby will fall." Disgusting, right?

Yesterday was my first "real" back-to-school day. It was a teacher work day. It was a day that I had initially been very worried about even attending and, as it turns out, clearly didn't need to worry about at all. I managed to get quite a lot done and felt pretty satisfied with my progress. For some reason, still unknown to me at this time, my substitute did not show up to the work day. When I left her last Tuesday morning (after our 4 hour meeting) she told me and my principal that she would be there on Friday. My principal called her twice during the day on Friday and left two separate messages. Again, as far as I know, she hasn't returned my principal's phone calls. This is worrying on three accounts because she either 1) has a new job and just hasn't told anyone yet or 2) is certainly not a pillar of responsibility or 3) has gotten injured or otherwise impaired and couldn't use her phone. No matter what, it would certainly have been nice to hear from her and at least have a clue as to what was going on. I've done just about everything I can to prepare my classroom and my fellow teachers for my departure, but I'm certain the transition will be a little rough no matter what. Again, though, there's only so much I can do. None of my fellow team members have a definite plan for next week and without their plans, it's very tricky for me to write plans. Hopefully they'll have something together by Monday and we can all sit down and go over the outline for the week. I know that would ease my stress level a bit more. The kids start on Tuesday and it's certainly looking like I'll be there at this point. I'm just extra hopeful that the squeals of ornery middle school boys will scare Sadie and force her to make her arrival!

Anyways, more about this 39 week milestone. I have been following weekly updates through Every Saturday I get an update in my inbox that reveals what the "typical" pregnancy should be like for that particular week. I have been laughing for the last several weeks when I receive these e-mails because my pregnancy is clearly not "typical." Here is a sampling of what today's post reads: "Your baby's waiting to greet the world! She continues to build a layer of fat to help control her body temperature after birth, but it's likely she already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of her skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath." Yes, my baby was almost over 7 pounds 5 weeks ago! I would say that Sadie is no "mini watermelon", she's a full size watermelon!

Yesterday while I was sitting in my teacher meetings and again last night while I was taking a break from walking around a craft show with my mom, Sadie decided she wanted the world to see her GIANT feet. Without even touching my belly you could see her drag her foot from left to right to left across my body. Then she would occasionally kick rapidly for good measure. My mom FINALLY got to feel her moving so I figure that is one more reason why she should feel like she can make her way out.

Well, it's ridiculously hot here already today and it's not even 9:00! Adam is off to downtown Columbus to complete a 3 mile walk for the American Heart Association. I might seriously have considered going with him had I not woken up with already swollen hands and feet. I figured that the walking could do me some serious good at this point, but with the heat and already mentioned swelling, I decided that this was just not the time for me. I have had a rather serious urge to do some more cleaning this morning which seems to be another much mentioned sign that the end is near. I certainly hope so! Take care everyone and I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is today the day?

Well, the last few days have been interesting, if nothing else. I've pretty much decided that I'm DONE being pregnant. I had my hair cut and colored on Saturday. This was the final milestone of things I wanted to have complete before the baby. I know it was a bit vain, but I also know my picture's going to be taken a lot in the upcoming days and I want to look my best! :)

Anyways, starting on Sunday I have been bouncing on my exercise ball, eating spicy foods, eating any other recommended "natural labor induction" foods, talking to Sadie about making her entrance, continuing to work fairly hard during water aerobics, and trying many other methods recommended to me. If you have "the one" guaranteed method, please feel free to share. As long as it's not going to be painful or dangerous, I'll try it!

All of this work seemed to have paid off a bit. For the last several days, even before I started the "exit procedures", I've been having cramps. These are very similar to the cramps I would be having if it were just that time of the month. After telling my mother and several others this information, the general consensus was that I must be having contractions and just not recognizing them as individual contractions. In addition, my need to go to the bathroom, both kinds, seems to have increased significantly yet again. This means I spend a great deal of time in or around the bathroom. (NOTE: I am VERY, VERY ready to stop needing to visit the bathroom with such frequency!!!!)

Then, last night, I thought we were having a break through. I woke up around 1:15 and there was no doubt in my mind that I was experiencing some contractions. My constant flipping had pretty much already woken Adam up, so he finally said, "What's going on?" I explained that I was fairly certain I was having contractions. This spurred Adam to near instant action. Everything has been ready and packed for the baby for several weeks. However, my mommy bag had yet to be packed. So, starting at 1:30ish, Adam began throwing things into a bag. I had a very thorough list that was included in one of my doctor's handouts and he kept going down through the list to make sure we had everything that it mentioned. One important thing on the list was an outfit to wear to and from the hospital. As luck would have it, all of my most comfy maternity clothes were dirty. So, at 2:00 this morning Adam trucked down to the basement and put my clothes in the wash. Isn't he an amazingly nice man? After rolling around on my ball for a while and walking around, including up and down the stairs, my contractions seemed to have subsided and I decided to return to bed. After his laundry pursuits I convinced Adam to do the same. We watched/listened to an episode of Family Guy. Adam was relaxed enough by the end of it to go to sleep, but I decided I was too hungry to be able to get back to sleep. All I really wanted was a fried egg. So, I got up, went downstairs, and made and ate my egg. Then, I returned to bed. I got back in bed around 3:30 and slept fairly soundly until this morning at 6:00 when Adam's phone alarm went off.

Now I am wide awake and ready to head out to my school. My substitute was finally hired yesterday and I am meeting with her this morning to go over what the next 12 weeks may look like for her. Then, I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. I keep hoping that she's going to say, "Wow, you're fully effaced and dilated at least 4 cm, so you should just stay at the hospital!" I'm not certain that I'll get that lucky, but a girl can hope, right?

There's no WiFi at the hospital, so it may be a while before I am able to update the blog once Sadie does make her entrance. I'll do my best to get something put up ASAP so that you are all at least vaguely aware of what's happened.

Well, I've got to go to the bathroom and then it's off to school! Keep your fingers crossed for me that today is really the day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Making Progress

We are now at 37 weeks and that means full term! Yeah! Is everyone doing the full-term dance? I got to visit the doctor and got some great news and some not so good news. First, the not so good news: my Strep B test came back positive. This is certainly not the end of the world. It basically means that I have to have antibiotics during labor. Since I will already have IV fluids during labor, adding one more fluid to the mix shouldn't be too awful. Strep B, for those that don't know, is a common bacteria that women carry. It doesn't mean I have strep throat or anything like that. It can be dangerous for Sadie, but the antibiotics should prevent her from any ill effects it could cause.

Now the good news: I have made much progress since last week. I am now 60-70% effaced and a little more than 1 cm dialated. Woohoo! They always ask me if I've been having contractions and I always say that so far I'm not feeling anything. However, when the doctor was completing her exam she commented that she could feel a contraction. So, I must be having them and just not know it yet. I suppose that's ok with me since I'm certain that my time for feeling them is most definitely coming!

As I mentioned in one of my last posts, my blood pressure has begun to sneak up a little bit. It's still not at the level where it was pre-pregnancy when I was unmedicated, but it isn't as low as it has been for 90% of my pregnancy either. Because of this, the doctor is thinking that if Sadie doesn't make her grand "exit" in the next week and a half, she will probably induce me. She says that because I have effaced and dialated at least some on my own than an induction should go well. But, I'm still hoping that Sadie will decide that she can come on her own. :)

In EXCELLENT news, I had a chance to have a half work-day at school today. We had a "Data Day" where we analyzed our state testing data. We have a second half-day "Data Day" tomorrow. These two half days add up to one full work day. Woohoo! Yeah! And, even if I should not make it to the day tomorrow, I did actually put in a full day's work today. I stayed past noon and put together some final touches on things. I learned what my schedule for the year will be and couldn't be more pleased. Here's my schedule:

Hall Duty
1st Period: Plan
2nd Period: Inclusion Math
3rd Period: Pull-Out Math
4th Period: Study Hall
5th Period: Tutoring
6th Period: Lunch
7th Period: Inclusion History
8th Period: Inclusion Language Arts
9th Period: Inclusion Science
Hall Duty

This is the schedule I was hoping for and it's worked out that I can have it! I'm really, really excited and it certainly makes me feel more comfortable about returning to school in November knowing that this is the schedule I can return to. :)

One final update...this week we are having our electricity updated in our house. We got a brand new 200 amp panel that has proper outdoor wiring coming into the panel and several new outlets being installed in the house. They are also putting in individual circuits for each of our window air conditioners. In addition, they installed an over head light in the baby's room and have created 3 working outlets for the room! (There were 2 outlets in the room previously, but only one was working). They are also making sure that all of our plugs are grounded, which will make Adam feel quite a bit more calm about all of our computer equipment. So, with new electricity flowing there's one more reason why Sadie should be able to arrive!

Tomorrow afternoon I have scheduled a car seat safety check for Adam, my mom, and myself. This will allow us to know that we have installed our car seats correctly and fix any mistakes that we may have made. Again, just one more signal to Sadie that she is welcome to come into the world.

Well, I've got to run because my bladder is screaming at me yet again! More to update later! :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Crazy Animals and Belated Birthday Wishes

Apparently August is the month for Crazy Animals! Last week I had to take Josey, our eldest cat, to the vet because he was straining to pee. We were quite worried because older male cats often develop bladder and/or kidney problems in their older age. However, this did not seem to be Josey's case. Josey has a VERY tiny bladder. In order to even see it, the vet had to hook him up to the ultrasound machine. This is actually a good thing because a smaller bladder means he is less likely to have problems, or so we've been told. However, the vet was unable to actually get Josey to pee, so this means that we're going to go ahead and treat a problem that we aren't quite sure exists. Josey has to have two antibiotic pills per day and three anti-inflammatory pills sprinkled over his food each day. Thankfully the anti-inflammatory pills can be consumed by the other cats because trying to separate food for the three of them is nearly impossible. Josey is not the ideal medicine taker so Adam and I must tag team him in order to get him to swallow his pills. We've only had one truly awful experience so far where more of the pill was dissolved on Adam's hand than was taken in by Josey and hopefully that won't be a repeated performance.

But, not wanting to be left out of the crazy animalness, Mortimer, my sister's dog, decided to do something REALLY stupid. Today is actually Mortimer's first birthday. So, he is really still a puppy. As a puppy, he likes to put just about anything and everything in his mouth and chew it to bits. Unfortunately, his "chewing to bits" did not work quite so well recently. On Wednesday afternoon James, my sister's boyfriend, returned home from work to find a rather large pile of doggy vomit. This is a bit unusual for Mortimer, so James was a bit concerned. Then, Mortimer got sick again while James was actually at home. This time the vomit actually contained blood. James was now officially worried and called my sister to inform her. Rhian has been working roadside in Camp Verde, Arizona during the week. Camp Verde is somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours away from Phoenix. Normally Rhian is picked up on Monday mornings by the work crew and is driven home on Thursday nights. However, Rhian was in town last weekend for the wedding of her college roommate and didn't get back to Phoenix until Monday night That meant she had driven herself up to Camp Verde on Tuesday morning. So, when James called on Wednesday afternoon, Rhian drove herself back down to Phoenix and met James and Mortimer at the emergency vet. The vet did an X-Ray and lots of blood work. They determined that Mortimer did not have Parvo, a fatal flu, and may have a blockage, but they couldn't tell from the X-Ray. When James had gotten home, Mortimer had managed to get into the 3rd roommate's room, Andrea, and chewed up a package of gum. This was a concern to the vet because gum can (and VERY often does) contain Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is safe for people but is almost instantly toxic for dogs. It basically shuts down a dog's liver. (SIDENOTE: If you are a dog owner and ever chew gum, PLEASE make sure you keep it away from your dog! I had never heard of Xylitol myself, but have now looked at several different kinds of gum and it's in ALL of them.) Mortimer's liver panels came back normal, though, so there was still no clear diagnosis. They ended up giving him a diagnosis of pancreatitis which is swelling of the pancreas. The vet gave him IV fluids, an anti-nausea medication, and an anti-inflammatory. They kept him over night and said they would do an ultrasound in the morning. So, on Thursday morning the vet did the ultrasound (yes - 2nd family pet to have an ultrasound in a week period!). The vet did see a rather large blockage this time and determined that the only way to remove it was through surgery. So, yesterday afternoon Mortimer underwent a pretty major surgery. He is a dachshund, so he was a long torso. He has a cut from his rib cage to his private parts where they had to cut him to get to the blockage. When they got there, they discovered that he had bitten off the foot of one of his favorite toys and then swallowed the foot. CRAZY, right? I'm posting two pictures below. The first is of the chewed off foot and the second is of my sister and Mortimer right after he came out of recovery.

Mortimer has a long recovery in front of him, but he should be doing well and back to normal within a month's time. Hopefully he has learned his lesson. I know this is not the way that anyone thought he would be spending his first birthday!

So, two crazy animal stories and you think I'd be done, right? Nope. My parents did not want to feel left out. When my mom went out of the house on Wednesday morning, she was hoping to go to a workshop. Instead, she was greeted by a sick raccoon who refused to move out of the middle of the driveway. My parents immediately called the Ohio Wildlife Center, which is actually located at the back of our vet's office, to see what they could or should do. The Wildlife center said that the raccoon likely had distemper and would not survive but my parents were welcome to bring it in. The Wildlife center doesn't do any kind of pick-up, so my dad spent the morning trying to find some place that would come and get the raccoon. This was not successful. Worthington no longer has an animal control section of their police force and everywhere else he called either wanted to charge them an arm and a leg or would kill the raccoon in order to trap it. So, my dad finally found a cardboard box and using a broom, coaxed the raccoon into the box. He then taped the box shut and drove the raccoon over to the Ohio Wildlife Center. We won't actually find out what happened to the raccoon, but since my dad saved it from death in their driveway, he should have brought about some good animal karma, right?

To wrap things up on a happy note, I would like to throw out belated birthday wishes to my husband! Adam's 32nd birthday was on Wednesday. He did have to work, but he got to have Grinder's for lunch (with me) and then dinner with me at On the Border and we watched "Pineapple Express" at the movie theater. All in all it was a pretty good birthday! And, as my Dad pointed out, we can now claim that Adam and i were 60 (our combined ages) when Sadie was (is) born! ;)

Well, hopefully all of you animal lovers out there do not have similar crazy animal stories to share and are instead preparing for fulfilling, fun, and relaxing weekends. Hopefully we are headed down that same path! Take care! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Today's Appointment and Pictures!

Today was my 36 week appointment. Boy was it fun! I had my first internal exam, to learn if I was dilated or effaced, and I didn't even get to see my own doctor! My doctor is on vacation - again! I figure since she has taken 2 weeks of vacation this summer that she should certainly be in town when Sadie actually decides to make her grand entrance. Right?

Anyways, I have lots of good news. I've been concerned that my blood pressure was up. I had problems with my pressure being high pre-pregnancy and was even on medication for it. However, since getting pregnant my blood pressure has maintained itself at a nice low level. I think this is partly aided by the fact that since I am not working this summer I have a lot less stress as well. But, I was beginning to get a little worried that my pressure was up. I've had a few headaches over the last couple of days and I've been very swollen. These are typically signs of higher blood pressure, so I was preparing for the worst. But, this pregnancy has been kind to me and my pressure was actually 120/80 which is considered normal. Yeah! I explained to the doctor that I wasn't sure if the headaches were allergy related or blood pressure related and since they haven't been a constant problem, she said not to be too concerned. She also said that because of the incredible heat and the mere fact that I am, after all, 36 weeks pregnant, that the swelling wasn't anything to be overly concerned about either. Fantastic news!

The doctor measured me and even though I have a giant baby growing inside of me, I'm actually not measuring big. I, personally, think this is largely due to the fact that I am not a small person by nature and that even though it's not feeling that way to me, I do have the capacity to carry this giant child to term. The doctor did squeeze my belly rather hard to make sure that Sadie was still head down. Sadie is still head down, but she did not seem to appreciate having her head squeezed. Ever since then she's been all kinds of squiggly and seems generally discontent with her surroundings. The doctor said that she was fairly high up still, but I said that I thought that that really depended on the moment because at times I can definitely feel her pushing down lower. She agreed that that is possible and said it wasn't too concerning at this point anyways. The doctor also revealed that I am 50% effaced. This basically means that my cervix is half-way thinned out. (Look back through previous posts for more specifics on effacing and dilating.) This is VERY good news because it's very hard to dilate when you are not at all effaced. I am not dilated at all yet, but this is ok with me since I have to make it at least another 10 days with Sadie as an internal passenger! I have another appointment in a week, so hopefully I will have started to dilate by then and things can begin moving along. I just have to start using the Think Method again! :)

Finally, to the second part of this post ... maternity pictures! As I mentioned in my last post, Adam and I went to JC Penney's on Saturday and had some family shots taken. We were told it would be 10 business days before the pictures would be available for viewing on-line, but I got my e-mail tonight saying that they were up and ready to go! Yeah! I did go ahead and change the picture that shows up on our blog "faceplate", but I wanted to share the link and information with all of you so that you can see all of our pictures too. I was really quite pleased with how they all turned out. Here are a few of my favorites:

Here is how you can see the rest:

Go to:

and enter the following:

Customer Name: Krysten Smith
Access Code: LTPP0741117018JCP


Sunday, August 3, 2008


Well, with more than a week since my last post, many things have been happening! First, something that I find rather funny. :) Sadie keeps getting hiccups! This has been happening for more than a week now and happens at least every other day, if not every day. My entire belly will shake because her entire body is shaking! I kept reading about the possibility of hiccups in utero and many people told me they had experienced them with their babies, but until recently I had not had this very unique experience. Adam and I hope to get my belly recorded on video the next time she is really hiccupping, but we'll see if she'll actually perform for the camera. :)

A second notable topic is our graduation from Baby Birthing Class. Last Monday was our last class and now we are officially "ready" to give birth! We completed a very difficult simulation during class. To test our mental and physical readiness for pain and remembering our breathing techniques, we had to hold ice cubes. That's right, Pat would say, "Contraction begins, pick up your ice cubes!" Then, as the contraction got stronger we were to grasp the ice cubes tighter. Finally, as the contraction came to an end we were allowed to drop the ice cubes. Now, I have no idea how the pain created from grasping ice cubes will relate to the pain of labor, but grasping ice cubes is really quite painful. If you don't believe me, go get three cubes out of your freezer and grasp them tightly for sixty seconds. It hurts! Adam and I learned that we definitely need to keep practicing so that our breathing techniques are more like second nature and less like a partially rehearsed routine.

A third happy topic is that my sister and James came into town last Thursday night. Rhian was in a wedding for her college roomate in Elida, Ohio. The wedding was yesterday, so she and James were in town for Thursday night and Friday morning before they had to head up to Elida for the rehearsal dinner and then, of course, the wedding. Today, after brunch, they are supposed to be coming back down to Columbus so that we can all go to the Ohio State Fair. Now, I'm confident that I won't be enjoying the fair as much as I normally do since it's supposed to be 91 degrees here today and going to the fair requires lots of walking. However, I LOVE the fair and getting to see all of the baby animals and other fun things, so I'm really hoping that that love will far outweigh any other concerns. I'll keep you posted! :)

Fourth, I got some more excellent news on the "back-to-work" front. If you've read previous posts, you know that I have to work at least one day of the 08-09 school year in order to qualify for FMLA. This is because I won't technically have worked for a full year in the district until I have worked a day of this new school year. Originally, I thought this was going to have to be August 22nd. That Friday is the district's first official teacher work day of the 08-09 school year. Unfortunately, August 22nd comes at the end of my 38th week of pregnancy. Because of Sadie's large size, my doctor was pretty skeptical that Sadie would stay in utero for that long. But, here's the excellent news! The district is having "Data Days" on August 13th and 14th. These are days where teachers can come in for half a day (and be paid) to analyze state test scores and work together to look at curriculum and different ways of teaching concepts so that we can do a better job of meeting students' needs and in turn improve their test scores. I am super excited for this opporunity no matter what, but when I contacted the lady in charge of the "official day" count, she said that if I attend these days that they could count as my official return to work for the 08-09 school year! Yeah! That means only having to convince Sadie to stay put for 12 days from now instead of 20 days. Twelve seems like a MUCH smaller number to me!

Finally, Adam and I went to JC Penney's portrait studios yesterday and had some maternity photos taken. Even with MANY coupons, this ended up being a VERY expensive process. However, the pictures turned out really great overall. We picked several different shots to give away as gifts and several more to keep for ourselves. We also purchased the $4.95 on-line package so that our photos can all be posted on-line. It takes 10 business days for them to make that happen, so I have no link to share yet. As soon as I see they are up, however, I will be most happy to share with all of you. :)

Well, that brings us fairly up to date with everything. I'm currently having an allergy attack, so I've got to go take a shower and some medicine so that I can breath and not want to scratch my eyes out! Hope you all have a wonderful and rest-filled Sunday!