Category Archives: Motherhood

a few words

So many things to say.  The first few weeks of S’s life were just so hard, I didn’t have time to come up for air, and I couldn’t bring myself to write about it.  The reality made me sad, and I didn’t want to document it.  I took no photos those first few days in the hospital when we were the most scared.

Now, though, S is doing great.  She was 7 pounds 3.5 ounces yesterday, up from a low of less than 5.5 pounds.  She takes more than 90% of her food by mouth, 95%+ most days, so I think we’ll be able to get rid of the NG tube in the next 2 to 3 weeks.  She’s also started sleeping at night, which is giving me my sanity back.  Feeding her is very time-consuming, and I’ve had virtually no free time, unless you count pumping as a leisure activity.

It’s been harder than I expected, but I know these early difficult days will pass soon enough.  It’s reassuring to see how solid and big and strong her older sisters are.


We are home!  We spent ten days and ten nights at Seattle Children’s.  Saoirse is finally gaining weight thanks to an NG tube we use to supplement her bottle feeds.  She’s now two weeks old!  It’s been a hell of a two weeks.  I can’t even begin to write about it yet.  Soon.  Right now, we’re just trying to adjust to being back home.


Saoirse Marina was born on Wednesday, 10/30 at 36 + 1.  We went home Friday, but she was not eating or gaining weight, so we are back in the hospital since Sunday.  It’s been the hardest week of my life.  We love her so much and are just so worried and hoping she will be home with us soon.

36 weeks

After my last entry, I had a couple of Bad Days.  When I’m not pregnant and wake up not feeling well, I assume I’m getting sick or ate something and will feel better either imminently, or worst case, in a week or so if I’m sick.  When pregnant, I have no idea why I’m feeling lousy or when I’ll feel better.  This time, it was a couple days, and now I’m just back to feeling large, awkward, and moderately uncomfortable, but not bad.  I’m still mostly able to sleep, with maybe one wake-up a night, which is nice.  By the end of my last pregnancy, I was up every hour to use the bathroom unless I took Unisom, so I’m kind of wondering if that’s coming this time, or what.

My parents will be getting here a week from yesterday, which will be great, as we’ll no longer have to worry about childcare if I go into labor.  Hopefully we won’t all want to kill each other by the time they go home.  If the baby doesn’t come until 40 weeks, it’s going to be a LONG visit.  She wouldn’t hang around that long, would she?  My last two surprised me.  I did not expect in any way that my first would get here early, and yet she did.  Perhaps this one will surprise me in the other direction!

In other news, I’m entertaining myself by boots shopping.  I ordered a couple pairs by Sam Edelman.  (At least one pair will go back.)

Thoughts?  I’m looking for footwear to go with skinny jeans that will also keep my feet warm.  (My only pair of maternity pants also happen to be skinny black jeans, so they will work prior to baby getting here.  The in-between post-baby nothing fits phase will be annoying, but in past, I’ve just bought stuff for cheap in larger sizes off eBay, and that’s worked out pretty well.)

In other news, I’m trying to decide whether to buy a cheaper desk off Wayfair for L, or sale-watch one on Pottery Barn, which would still be a bit more pricey.  Any desk recommendations?

I’m not getting any smaller, folks:

35 weeks

It’s funny how happy the weekly milestones make me.  For whatever reason, I’ve just had so much anxiety this time about the baby coming early.  Obviously, I don’t want her to come at 35 weeks, but I feel pretty good that she’d do very well if she did.  I think most babies don’t even require NICU time at 36 weeks, and that’s just a few days away.

I had two consecutive high BP readings at my 33 and 34 week appointments.  It’s a little unclear why.  Yes, the appointments stress me out.  In particular, my appointments are 3-part monsters these days, with lots and lots of waiting.  And above all, it’s the waiting that gets under my skin.  I don’t know why I can’t be more zen about it.  It just pisses me off.  When I had the first reading, I’d been waiting upwards of an hour for an NST after having already done an ultrasound.  And I knew I’d be waiting some more after the NST was complete.  In any case, the following week, I was worried about the BP reading, and that may be why it was high.  Thankfully, this week my BP was “much better.”  I didn’t even ask what it was.  At home, I have a very low BP (and verified my cuff with the doctor).  They have me monitoring BP twice a day and reporting weekly.  I’ve yet to even hit 120 / 80.  They initially asked me to restrict sodium, then did bloodwork, and found out (a week later) that I had low sodium, so thankfully I’m back on salt.  I am a very big fan of salt, and if the day ever comes that I have to cut it, I will be very sad.

Some days are obviously better than others, and I have my moments of extreme discomfort, but overall, I feel very good.  I’m still swimming 1500 yards a few times a week and generally feel quite fit, despite barely being able to walk.  I think I’m fitter than I was at this time during my last two pregnancies.  Being spared SPD this time has been really nice.  I do have some pelvic pain, but it’s quite minor, comparatively speaking.   Sometimes I wonder if the baby might come later because I’m feeling better, but there is a lot of time to begin feeling lousy in the next three weeks, so I guess we’ll see.

34 weeks

34 weeks!  I feel really good about this.  Every week, I feel excited and happy to have reached another milestone.  Then my mood kind of sours as the week drags on forever.

At my last appointment, I had a high BP reading for the first time ever in my life.  “High” in pregnancy means in excess of 140/90.  If you are either over 140 OR over 90, you are diagnosed with gestational hypertension.  Now, to get a good BP reading, you are supposed to first sit for five minutes.  I had not been sitting for five minutes, so the doctor re-took it, and it dropped from 130/90 (gestational hypertension) to normal.  Thank God.  If I am diagnosed with GH, the doctor told me she will induce at 37 weeks.  High BP in pregnancy is not something to mess around with as it can be fatal in the worst case or have some nasty effects on both mom and baby.  So if I did in fact develop high BP, I would go along with whatever the doctor recommended.  However, I would strongly like to not be induced at 37 weeks.  I’m worried about the baby’s readiness for birth that early – even a day or two in the NICU would be really hard, and you just never know.  And I also worry that labor would be harder if my body wasn’t ready.  (I was dilated to something like 4 cm at 36 weeks with my last baby, so probably my body would be ready, but still.)

The doctor asked me to cut sodium and start taking BP twice a day at home.  If you’re keeping track, I’m now cutting carbs, sugar and salt, and taking blood sugar four times a day and BP twice a day.  Working from home, it’s not that big of a deal, but yeah.  I’ll be glad to return to regular life without all this for sure.  (Ponder your diet for a minute and ask yourself what you could actually still eat if you cut carbs and salt.   So many things have one or the other.  Obviously, diabetes doesn’t mean cutting all carbs, but you have to be very vigilant.  For example, the large honeycrisp apple I eat for lunch maxes or nearly maxes my carb allocation for that meal.  When you add in the complication of pregnancy-induced heartburn, it gets even harder.  I feel like an old person.)

The good news is that my sugar levels are excellent, and my BP has been very low at home.  After the doctor’s visit, I was very concerned about BP, since it is so common in pregnancy, even more so if you have GD, and because it is very dangerous if it starts to climb.  But I’ve concluded it was a false alarm caused by the stress of the doctor’s visit.

We gave away or sold a lot of our baby stuff after B.  We didn’t know if we wanted another, and we knew we didn’t want one soon.  We also have somewhat limited storage space in our house – if I could change one thing, I’d have a 3-car garage.  My Dad raised me to always keep your cars in the garage, so I can’t bring myself to use half our 2-car garage for storage.  Baby stuff takes up a lot of space!  In any case, Amazon gives you a two-time 15% discount on purchases off your registry.  I finally made the first of my two discounted purchases, buying a stroller, car seat, swing, some more nursing pads, and some other items.  I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear there was much agonizing over the stroller selection.  I ended up buying an Uppababy Cruz, which was a bit of a splurge, but I’m kind of excited about it.  It’s going to be like Christmas around here over the next couple of days.

In other news, the designer of the last quilt I made (with the hearts) asked if she could put my quilt in her newsletter.  That kind of made my day!

32 + 6

I had another ultrasound to check placenta position, and according to the doctor I waited 70 minutes to see for 70 seconds (not my normal doctor), I am clear by 1 mm.  My normal doctor requires less clearance, so by her standards, I’m clear by 6 mm.  Either way, it’s good enough for me.  I do have to have a follow-up ultrasound in 3 weeks, so provided the placenta doesn’t reverse directions of travel, I’m in good shape.  Hurray for that!  I really did not want to have a C-section.

From last week, I now have once-weekly biophysical profiles, non-stress tests and appointments.  Thank God it’s only once a week and not twice as was originally stated by the nurse and is common with gestational diabetes!  Baby scored 8/8 on the BPP , of which the NST is a part.  Baby did well on the NST with plenty of movement, though interestingly, I couldn’t really feel her moving.  (She moves like crazy in the evenings to the point of discomfort on my part, so I’m not sure if it’s the way I was lying or what.)  They were all telling me this as if *I* had done a good job, though clearly it’s completely out of my control.  I had been dreading the NST, and it was nice that (a) they made me very comfortable and (b) the nurse was on the ball and did not leave me lying there longer than necessary.

Then my doctor got called to a birth and I had the 70 minute wait for a doctor to breeze through and not really talk to me.  THAT was irritating and par for the course.  So, as predicted, the whole rigamarole took half a day.  I’m doing my best to be zen about it and mostly succeeding.  The nurses / assistants acknowledged and apologized for how long I had to wait, which actually makes me feel a lot better.  That absolutely does not always or even usually happen.

From a personal comfort perspective, it was a pretty good week.  I never know how I’m going to feel when I wake up in the morning, and lately, I’ve been doing better.  Maybe it’s the gestational diabetes diet – who knows.  It could also be the Zantac, regarding which I have thrown caution to the wind and am continuing to take.  It could just be random.

I went for a walk around my neighborhood following my normal 3 mile running route one day, in lieu of swimming.  It was interesting – my belly felt very uncomfortable and fatigue from carrying my belly definitely hit me by a mile in.  But from a cardiovascular standpoint, I wasn’t really tired at all.  I wore my watch, and my average heart rate was under 100, which is pretty good considering how hilly my neighborhood is.  Afterwards, I felt sore for a couple hours and was sore again the next morning around my belly and pelvis.  Basically, it’s clear that I can’t really get in a good workout on land.  Swimming continues to make me crazy, but I do think it’s doing a good job of keeping me reasonably fit, which I think is tremendously important for my overall health (and by extension, the baby’s).

I’m about to embark on what will likely be the last five weeks of pregnancy that I’ll ever experience in my life.  My SIL was telling me she misses being pregnant so much.  I can’t relate, but I suppose there will be a sense of finality when it’s all over.  I will give birth about a month before I turn 40, just in time for a mid-life crisis.  Education complete, babies given birth to, what now?