Things and Such.

by Alexa on February 9, 2012

—Simone turned FOUR yesterday, you may have noticed. We are having a big party this weekend, and you can expect quantities of pictures and maybe some weepy maternal sands-through-the-hourglass-of-time talk to follow. FOUR! FOUR?

—This pregnancy is taking place almost exactly four years after my last one, only behind by a month and a half, and it is odd to be pregnant during another presidential election year. I now firmly associate watching primary coverage with pregnancy, and suspect I’ll come over all nostalgic in 2016. Maybe I’ll feel phantom kicks every time I see an electoral map?

—Speaking of, I am finally starting to feel the baby move daily. Not a lot, or consistently, but it is helping my anxiety to become more a whirr than a roar.

—I have had more energy and been in a much improved mood ever since Chinese New Year on the 23rd, so I am giving all the credit to The Year of The Dragon. It is said to be particularly lucky. After last year, The Year of The Crying Woman, I am fully prepared to enjoy the spit out of it.
(I don’t actually believe in such things, but this would be such a happy, convenient belief that I am trying to will it into existence.)

—19 weeks!

—My actual delivery date will depend upon a lot of things, but it will definitely be before the end of June. Now that it is February, June does not sound nearly as far away as it used to. I can’t make up my mind whether this relative closeness is a relief or a cause for panic. Both?

—Gestationally speaking, Simone was born about six weeks from now. HOLY HOLY, you guys.

—With the twins, I had pelvic bone separation, a painful condition that makes walking, putting on pants, or attempting any movement that requires the lifting of one leg without the other excruciating. To my surprise and extreme annoyance, it started much earlier this pregnancy, and I wince and waddle everywhere I go. I am now in physical therapy as a result, and actually quite enjoy it, mostly because this therapy takes place in a warm pool. The one problem is that exercising in water is misleading. It feels as though you aren’t doing much of anything at all, but your muscles beg to differ later on. Worst of all is that upon getting out of the water you rediscover gravity, and are transformed into a you-sized quantity of Ununoctium. Usually I can barely hoist my way up the stairs and out of the pool, where I find everything that had stopped hurting when weightless has taken up bothering me again with redoubled effort.

—Last time after my session I was in so much pain that traversing the parking garage to my car took geological time, and brought me nearly to tears. I had to pick up a prescription before going home, and I’d been counting on also picking up some of my new favorite thing in the whole world, namely Haagen-Daz Pineapple Coconut ice cream. Alas, when I’d finally shuffled my way to the ice cream aisle, I discovered they didn’t have any. That, I am ashamed to say, brought me the rest of the way to tears.

—If you haven’t had Haagen-Daz Pineapple Coconut ice cream, you should just skip the rest of this post and go find some. Here is the flavor’s official page, with a place at the bottom to punch in your zip code and locate the nearest store stocking it. Go there now.

—I’ve had a cold, which did disgusting things to my throat, thus acting as a trigger to my gag reflex, and the night before last, Scott and I were stricken with a dramatic and cleansing bout of food poisoning.
HOWEVER, aside from these temporary setbacks, I have been spending much less time on the bathroom floor in the last weeks. I’m not yet able to wean my Zofran dose, but I am feeling leagues better, in sharp contrast to my last pregnancy, when I actually got worse around this time—possibly because I was already gigantic and consuming anything at all presented an organizational challenge (I was measuring full term when I delivered, and that was in the second trimester). So far this pregnancy I’ve had terrible nausea with very little vomiting, followed by improved nausea with lots more vomiting, and now, at last, rare(!) vomiting with nausea that sometimes disappears altogether, as long as I take my meds. I can enjoy food now, provided it is the perfectly right food consumed at the exactly right time in the precisely correct quantity. Those conditions are demanding, yes, but when they align, it is GLORIOUS. At my last appointment I had finally moved the scale a pound over my pre-pregnancy weight! (Though I’ll bet the vomitous fiesta of the past few days has undone all my good work.)

—Given my lack of weight gain so far, I would like very much to know where my body is getting the extra materials to construct new edifices: I have a belly in the strangers-feel-free-to-comment category, and what’s more, my bosom has developed a horrifying case of gigantism. As I recall, my 19 week bra size was as nothing compared to my postpartum size last time, and I have now progressed to an F/G, as in FFS, what am I Going to do when my milk comes in? I mean honestly. Will upright locomotion even be possible?

—I’ve been having contractions since about 16 weeks, and after a week of this they checked my cervix, which was still appropriately long and closed. (Of course it was also curvy and oddly situated enough to inspire interested murmurs, as per usual.) Long cervix or no, the contractions rather terrify me, if you want to know the truth, and all the uterine irritability has earned me weekly 17P shots for the duration. I think the contractions have lessened quite a bit since I started the injections, but it is possible I am imagining things, as it has only been two weeks.
My doctor had originally decided I wasn’t a candidate for the 17P, and I was on my way out when another doctor, who’d seen my chart, decided to amend the plan. Her thinking was as follows: When I came in at 22w2d last pregnancy, I was having contractions and my cervix was soft. That was when we found out Ames had died, and the contractions and such were attributed to that. You know the rest of the story—contractions continued, cervix shortened, water broke at 24 weeks, labor at 25 and 5. While there is no reason to think that Ames wasn’t the reason for everything, the fact is that I still presented with contractions and a soft cervix at 22 weeks and progressing preterm labor with cervical changes afterwards, and here I was this time at 17 weeks with contractions, so better safe than sorry.
Funnily enough, they won’t let you give the injections yourself, even though it is essentially a once-a-week version of PIO. I discovered this because my insurance won’t pay for a nurse to come and give me the shot, as is usually done, so I have to go into the clinic once a week—which is fine! But attempting to make things easier I offered to just do the shots myself, and the nurse looked at me like I was crazy.
“You can’t!” she said, “It’s not like Lovenox—these have to be given with a bigger needle, in your backside.” I assured her that I was well aware of that, that in fact I’d given myself eight weeks of daily intramuscular progesterone post-IVF, but she only looked more horrified and unconvinced, so I dropped it. I’m pretty sure I came across as some sort of deviant sharps enthusiast.

—I’d just like to point out, again, how truly inept my body is at pregnancy. It regurgitates its nutrients and thickens its blood, and then its joints slip apart and its child-bearing organ nervously contracts at the slightest provocation. With a bit of help from medical technology and/or pharmacology (and this time the help was only secondary, the result of chemical prodding for an apathetic thyroid), my body makes perfectly lovely, healthy babies…and then immediately sets about trying to kill them. It seems vexingly contrary. I hope the 12 weeks of progesterone suppositories, 20 weeks of 17P, daily Lovenox injections, baby aspirin, etc. etc. MY GOD etc. will be enough to appease it this time.

—If you follow me on Twitter you know this already, but at an ultrasound a week or so ago we found out that the baby is really and truly a girl. We are pretty excited, over here. Another thing you may have seen on Twitter is an ultrasound photo—a very alarming and ghostly-looking ultrasound photo that I assure you was an extremely charming and adorable ultrasound MOMENT, during which my newest daughter yawned widely:


I know. A little chilling at this time of night, but if you check again in the daylight I think you’ll find she’s pretty cute.

Leave a Comment

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

sharah February 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm

The pelvic separation kicked in WAY earlier with my second as well. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m six months after delivery and still not completely healed. Better (much!) but still not back to what I consider “normal.”


Jen February 9, 2012 at 10:00 pm

So glad to hear baby is doing well and that you are feeling at least marginally better. Sending good thoughts your way!


Cara February 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Love the yawn. I think she’s saying: “Things are totally chill in here, Mom. Don’t believe that cranky old uterus.”


wombat February 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Oh no, the pelvic separation. Had it terribly with my first pregnancy, took the better part of a year postpartum to heal. I had heeded all the advice to be cautious with physical activity, so I stopped running and doing decent ab exercises. Second pregnancy, I decided to take the exercising down only one notch, didn’t worry about heart rate, or bearing down, etc. and OK’d it with my OB. I had zero issues with pelvic separation. That probably won’t be helpful for you at this point, but I think my lack of trunk/ab exercise is definitely what did me in the first time around.

Also, so happy for your healthiness so far.


Red Stethoscope February 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm

It’s 11:30 p.m. here, and that yawn is still the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!


DRM February 9, 2012 at 10:31 pm

“Deviant sharps enthusiast” has me smiling as much as the tiny yawn. Big smiles for you! And a very Happy Birthday to Simone!


Tamara February 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm

This whole pelvic separation business is not the kind of news I like to read about. Eeee… So, is that, like, EVERY pregnancy? Does no one talk about this in real life to spare us the worry of this pain?

Am now off to convince my husband that there is some ice cream that needs to be purchased while I lay around and moan about future pelvic separation pain.


It Is What It Is February 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Wow! I don’t Twitter so I didn’t know you knew it was a girl. Congratulations!

I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a little PTSD as the 22 and then 25 week marks pass. Not only that, but you will have this completely new experience of pregnancy extending into the 3rd trimester. It must be hard for those thoughts to co-exist (the worry and the unknown).

As I consider another pregnancy myself (my donated embryo transfer is on Saturday), I wonder how I will get through it knowing I will have a preventative (vs. emergency) cerclage with the possibility of being vertical (not on bed rest) longer than on bed rest (5 months + 1 wk of my prior pregnancy). It is something I’ve wrangled with a lot.

Wishing you smooth pregnancy days, weeks, and months ahead. (post an obligatory belly shot, please :)


Kimberly February 9, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Happy birthday to your big girl! Four already? Time flies! Glad to hear an update on your new Little Miss. Hopefully she’ll decide to sit tight for a few more months!


Allie February 10, 2012 at 2:48 am

Oh my goodness! You’re having a baby girl!

I don’t know why this is all I can think to say…I’ll blame the late hour and the wine.

Congratulations to you and Scott. And also, happy birthday to Simone! Your family is lovely in so many ways.


Swistle February 10, 2012 at 4:58 am

“A little chilling at this time of night”—ha ha!


SarahB February 10, 2012 at 5:02 am

Cute baby! Also, while I love pineapple coconut too, it is the absence of chocolate chocolate chip that sets me off. In your case, I would have been weeping too.


Anita February 10, 2012 at 6:13 am

The ultrasound is adorable!!! And she looks just like Simone! (I mean that in a beautiful way, not an alien and i can’t see skin way.) One can imagine a snuggly, sweet baby who looks very much like Simone.

I feel like I need to justify that in my daughter’s ultrasound, I saw that she has very high cheekbones and everyone thought I was crazy. I was right.


Jen February 10, 2012 at 7:29 am

So glad you’re back. I love your writing.


(another) karen February 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

“Yawning.” Yeah, that’s what she’s doing. Yeah, that’s it….


Ari February 10, 2012 at 8:17 am

Loved your blog and loved your book! I have you on my Google Reader and rarely comment on blogs but I just wanted to say that I am so excited for you :) and that in the Jewish tradition, when we meet a pregnant woman, we say, “B’shah Tova” instead of “Mazal Tov” or “Congratulations”. “B’Shah Tova” literally means “It should be in a good time”. And when I read your post today, I immediately thought of how wise this saying was. I wish you a very very heartfelt and hearty “B’SHAH TOVA” – your baby should be born healthy and *in the right time*. Feel good!


Heather February 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

I am glad you are doing well, considering everything. I pray it continues to go well. I hope Simone has a wonderful party. The ultrasound picture is lovely.


Jen February 10, 2012 at 8:50 am

Heh, “Deviant sharps enthusiast” Heh. Who isn’t though, really??!

Glad things are going well…well-ish?


Courtney February 10, 2012 at 8:58 am

So glad things are going well.

I associate the immediate post-partum period with the Olympics. My daughter was born January of 2010, coinciding with the Vancouver Winter Games. I generally don’t like to watch the Olympics, but it was all that was on at 3am when I was trying to stay awake and nurse my infant, so I watched.

I’m pregnancy again now, and relieved that since I’m due in May I can hope and dream that 3am feedings will be a thing of the past before the London Summer Games start and the end of July.


Lydia February 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

Love the update. Here’s to June! Hang in there (insert picture of kitten hanging from a tree branch).


electriclady February 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

I myself always associate childbirth with the death of Anna Nicole Smith, which happened while I was in the hospital recovering from my C-section. Hotel room ODs and disputed paternity suits, you know, nice wholesome stuff. I think that’s what the beatific lady on the cover of “What to Expect” is thinking about.


Jane February 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

I’m happy she’s healthy and staying put. Unfortunately, her picture looks disturbingly like Munch’s “The Scream”.


a February 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

So are you going to get a copy of that Munch painting and tell her that it was based on her ultrasound picture?

She is awfully cute…


Alexicographer February 10, 2012 at 11:58 am

I do think she is beautiful, yawn and all (really, there is nothing more charming than a yawning baby, is there? Though a giggling toddler comes close). And the whole sharps thing made me laugh. Really? Really? I can give myself PIO shots in the dark in a tent, and you can tell your nurse I said so. Glad, though, that they are being what sounds appropriately pro-active with the 17-P, and sorry to hear about the bone separation. I didn’t have that but hear it’s brutal. Could you spend the rest of the pregancy in the pool? Might be hard on the skin, but otherwise, such a comfortable spot.

Hmmm. Maybe we can invent a low-gravity resort for pregnant women (in the 1%) and make a fortune.

My son learned to nurse during the NCAA basketball playoffs (which are big in our neck of the woods and were on as background, not so much my thing but a compromise that allowed DH to keep me company) and I told my husband DS would perpetually associate breasts with basketball. DH’s reply, “What’s not to like?” or words to that effect.


jadine February 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Supremely cute!


norah February 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

You know, for someone that I do not know, you make me cry a lot. I’m so so so happy and excited for you, and so glad that despite the many inconveniences you are going through, it’s going well. Congrats and good luck.


Sarah February 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I am glad you are feeling a bit better (I didn’t gain weight until 20 weeks, with meds., and was likewise perplexed/disturbed as to how I was so huge, where did it come from?) and I hope that things continue to improve on that front. Pelvically speaking, I just hope it doesn’t get too much worse.

She is beautiful, at any time of day.


Laura Lou February 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I’m so sorry about the pelvic separation. I had that too and it was so, so painful. I went to a chiropractor though, and she did a lot to help keep that area in alignment. I found I could move around a lot more easily if the bones lined up the way they should, even if they later slipped around a bit. Hope that things heal up for you and congrats on the TWO! girls.


Cathy Strickland February 11, 2012 at 12:00 am

Beautiful! I LOVE your writing and am so happy for you and your family:)


tree town gal February 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Treasure the ultrasound of our newest little girl who is going to just sit tight until Momma tells her it’s a good time… and I too thought a tiny bit about Munch but only for a fleeting second… :}

And 4 years… how lovely… how in the hell did that happen? Today my 3.5 yr old said “laughing is so happy!” which of course made me think of our wise Simone’s comment. Think of you all daily – weird but true. Gentle on yourself…


MJ February 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I’m afraid that I saw Munch as well, but it’s a cute picture anyway, and I am delighted for you. But checking on the pineapple coconut ice cream led to the horrible finding that Chunky Monkey is not on the product list! What will I do? And given my age, no one would believe that pregnancy is the reason for my weeping.


MJ February 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I just realized that it’s a Haagen Dazs page, not Ben & Jerry’s. Crisis averted.


Carla February 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Beautiful baby…yawn and all! She is very expressive, just like her mama!


Karen February 13, 2012 at 10:38 am

Glad things are on the up and up. I just love the “GOOD MORNING!” caption on the ultrasound. Is that a fist pump that I’m also seeing? I can vaguely imagine her cheering on something with gusto! :) I have a feeling she looks very much like Simone.


Life of a Doctor's Wife February 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

Beautiful ultrasound! I had no idea babies YAWNED in utero! How cool.

And SISTERS! What wonderful news!!


Wiley February 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm

If you do come up with a good pregnant weight gain technique, pass it on.

Love the update!


loz February 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Oh, how lovely! Congratulations on a second daughter and on your big girl turning 4. Something about 4 seems to feel intensely not-my-ibaby-anymore so it’s wonderful you have another to look forward to.

Now for the assvice :)

Re: contractions, I had them (branxton hicks I guess) from 8 weeks in my second pregnancy (twins), albeit with no apparent impact on cervix (but then they only measured it twice, both by abdominal u/s, not exactly accurate, so who knows?).. OBs were concerned but had no solution. Our midwife put me on a high dose calcium and magnesium supllement and the contractions pretty well vanished until labour was induced at 36w4d. Added advantage was no leg cramps! For the latter alone it was worth it.

Re: pubic symphasis dysfunction – I think my case was milkder than yours but I found a sacro-iliac stabiliser belt h(elasticated thing w velcro tightening straps that sits over the sacrum and under the belly) elped enormously and was the only reason I could hike around the neighbourhood the day I was induced. You’ve probably already tried it if you are in PT but if not maybe worth discussing with therapist? I used it after birth too.

So glad you are feeling a litte less nauseous.



Marinka February 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Excuse me, but there is no Haagen Daz flavor that I haven’t tried.

happy birthday to Simone! 4!


Sarah February 14, 2012 at 7:27 am

My assvice – is the pelvic separation the same as pubic symphasis dysfunction? I had PSD when pregnant (same symptoms – lots of pain anytime I had to lift one leg at a time), and what helped was seeing a chiropractor about once a week. I could walk much more easily after each session, and I knew when I was due for another session when things got very uncomfortable again. The not-being-able-to-walk after physical therapy doesn’t sound good. Also, I found that the treadmill at the gym made the symptoms much worse, but the elliptical was fine.


jen February 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Another girl! How exciting!


Rebecca Michael February 17, 2012 at 9:08 am

Just started reading Half Baked last night and LOVE it so far! Imagine my surprise when you mentioned Riverside, as my 23.1-week daughter was just released from their NICU before Thanksgiving, after spending 133 days there. Didn’t know you were from MN to had to find out more about you!
Best of luck with this pregnancy – I hope it’s LONG and uneventful!


Serina February 20, 2012 at 2:32 am

Alexa, both of your little girls are gorgeous! That pic is awesome!


Lily February 22, 2012 at 3:12 am

Yay to a yawning girl:) She will be as strong-minded as Simone, I think


Jerilyn February 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

Your comments about associating pregnancy with presidential primary coverage really hit home. For me, I associate maternity leave with the summer Olympics and Democratic/Republican convention coverage. I hadn’t thought about it, but I bet I’m going to get all weepy this summer, thinking of my daughter as a tiny newborn whenever I see Michael Phelps swim!


Jen March 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Oh, wow – four! Hope you all had a wonderful party. I hope everything is going well for all of you. So excited to learn about little sister.


Sleeping Mom March 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Wishing you well on your pregnancy!


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