Archive for March, 2009

27 Weeks, 2 Tax Returns and 1 Butt Sweater

March 31, 2009

Today marks week 27, hooray!


Since we failed to update last week, here’s a picture of the number 26 too.


The week-by-week websites say Little Cap has developed the sense of taste and currently has the lifetime maximum number of taste buds. Mmmm, amniotic fluid… hope it’s yummy. One week to the big 28, I can almost taste it.

This weekend I had a few brilliant moments of bed rest productivity and completed our federal and state tax returns. Never before has something so mundane made me feel so accomplished.

Saturday was a mighty social day at Bed Rest Central with visits from the Hoves and Eva. I was surrounded by conversation, it felt like everyone was talking so quickly! Country music was involved, it was great.

Yesterday I welcomed a dear visitor, Ilona,


who you might recognize from the day we together suffered death by donut (she seems to have made a full recovery). Sadly, Ilona left for her homeland today. I try to think of how excited her friends in Germany must be for her return, but that doesn’t really help. We will miss you Ilona!

Week 26 also brought about ATTACK OF THE CROCHET HOOKS.


I attempted knitting, but I found it too hard holding the needles while reclining. I picked up my crochet hooks… and then I couldn’t stop. So far, this butt-sweater/soaker/diaper-cover for Little Cap has come of it.


I’m sure there will be more, the hooks are calling to me.



Adventures in Bed Rest Central

March 24, 2009

Today was a big day at Bed Rest Central for me and Little Cap. Or rather, NOT at Bed Rest Central. We left the house today for the first time in two weeks. And boy was it bright! I like to think I get a lot of sunlight in the living room, but it was overcast in Chicago today and yet I felt a little blinded.

Our friend Jen picked me up and took me to the appointment since Eric couldn’t get from school to Hyde Park to UIC fast enough after school. I had to remind myself that it was a doctor’s appointment and not a fun outing, that is to say, it was a nice ride.

At the doctor’s office (actually, massive “outpatient center”) I checked in for my appointment and was directed over to phlebotomy to drink syrupy orange stuff for the gestational diabetes testing.


The stuff was gross. It was like orange pop that had gone flat and then someone tried to remedy it by quadrupling the amount of corn syrup. The original directions I had for the test said you could drink water during the hour between drinking the prescription strength sugar rush and getting blood drawn. Unfortunately I was told today, “Take nothing by mouth.” That left a bad taste in my mouth. Literally.

I returned to the waiting room for the appointment. (Side note – since I see a high risk Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist now I get to wait in the “Fertility Center” waiting room. This cracks me up since getting pregnant was no problem, it’s the staying that way that’s getting tough. It also makes me cringe and want to hide, thinking that my very obvious tummy might be taunting those who ARE having trouble conceiving and are stuck in the waiting room with me.) At this point Little Cap started some kind of sugar rush induced tantrum/disco dance. I might have giggled had I not felt icky from the orange stuff and more than a little self conscious in that waiting room.

I never expect to be called back on time at the doctor’s office, but I was! Unfortunately Eric hadn’t arrived yet. He caught up with me in the exam room before the doctor arrived but after the usual pee-in-a-cup, get weighed and take your blood pressure. All of that went well.


When the doctor came we got to hear Little Cap’s heart and it was beating happily along in the 140s. And it was really easy to find, that’s always nice. The doctor said I should still remain as horizontal as possible, but she did say I can sit up a bit and once the weather’s warm I should go sit outside for a couple hours. Clearly she cares about my sanity as well as my health! Eric plans to get a lawn chair so I can park myself outside the door. Other people in our building already feed the squirrels everyday so I think I will have to content myself with crocheting and waving at those passing by. I can’t wait! She also mentioned that some restrictions might be lifted at 28 weeks. That sounds nice, but it also assumes I would be brave enough to actually take advantage of a looser bed rest regime. Since this seems to be working, I know I will be leery of changing. She also said that if there are any signs of pre-term labor they’ll give me steroid shots to help LC’s lungs develop faster. We’re still hoping for 36 weeks and calmly getting the stitches out before any kind of contractions. But we know we’re not out of the woods yet and are very thankful things can be done to help!

At the end of the appointment I got very dizzy, hot and faint feeling. I asked the midwife who was passing by if it was a normal reaction during the gestational diabetes testing. She said a lot of people get dizzy and some really nauseated. Thankfully I was saved that part, but I really thought I was going to black out while we were scheduling the next appointment. The feeling passed quickly. By the time we were waiting in phlebotemy I felt pretty good. The blood draw was uneventful with a very good technician who was also good at making conversation to distract me. Always a plus. He also thought I was Ukrainian. I will take that as a compliment. (I think he was Jamaican.)

So, we had a good day here at Bed Rest Central. I’m exhausted from all the moving about. Hopefully we will have lots more good days (without much movement) for two more weeks and then it’s back to the doctors! Little Cap is presently giving me some swift kicks in the side. Please keep praying that he remains inside for a good 11 more weeks (at least!).


99 Days and Counting

March 23, 2009

If you check the ticker (on the right) on the day of this post, you may notice that we are now in double digits as to the days before Little Cap’s due date!  Elizabeth had a doctor’s visit today that I hope she will tell about in an update.  Keep your toes crossed.

25 Weeks and 1 Month of Bedrest

March 18, 2009

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We have now achieved 25 weeks of gestation.  The little fellow is kicking right along, and he will have another doctor’s visit on Monday, where we expect to hear he needs continued rest and butter (no, the butter recommendation came from Big Yia-yia).  Our major goals are 28 weeks and then 36 weeks.  Those are milestones for viability and superior health.  One month of bedrest down, possibly four months to go – ouch!

As Elizabeth informed you, representatives from the Minnesota parentals made an official visit this past weekend, and now we’re loaded with consumables.  Tonight we had a chicken, mushroom, and broccoli pasta bake that was quite tasteful.  On the weekend of Western Easter we expect the Kansas representatives.  Then a San Francisco consort on Memorial Day, a Washington D.C. contingent on the weekend of Pascha, and a wild card visitor on April 2nd.  Those dates are not in order, and I don’t think I can put them in order without thinking too hard, but that is to say – people are helping us through our months of house arrest by making visits, and we are thankful.

We’re also thankful for our gift of Netflix.  We received our first DVD not long ago, and we watched it over the course of three evenings.  It was Andrei Rublev (205 min).


We have appreciated a couple of Russian films: The Italian and The Island, and we heard this was an Orthodox themed film.  It was created in the 1960’s and had a delayed and difficult release in various cuts.  We didn’t really know what to expect, but after a single viewing we were very disappointed.


We now own The Island, and in comparing it to this film, Elizabeth noted: , “In Andrei Rublev, the monks never pray.”  While the movie seemed a jumble overall, including unnecessary violence done toward live animals, this might have been the most striking aspect of the film.  I’m sure it deserves a second viewing before receiving strong criticism, but it seemed to reflect less the life of a monk than the life of the time (15th century Russia).  Elizabeth is adamantly opposed to a second viewing at the present time, whereas I think she’s seen The Island three times (a major feat, you must understand).

Next on the list?

1. I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting: Cables, Bobbles, and Lace

2. Iron Man

3. The Art of Quilting

4. Burn After Reading

Try to guess whose movies are whose!


Party Time at Bed Rest Central

March 18, 2009

Last Thursday my Mama and AK came to Bed Rest Central. And they BROUGHT THE PARTY! They cooked, cleaned, laundered and most importantly they entertained me to no end. There were never-ending Text Twist games, multiple movies, an audience for Little Cap’s daytime aerobics and constant conversations. We watched Roman Holiday, The Business of Being Born, and Becoming Jane. My favorite was definitely Roman Holiday, but the movies are different enough that picking a “favorite” is a little odd. I especially liked it when the princess and the reporter fought off the “plain clothes” guard at the pier. Especially when the band kept playing providing a soundtrack to the madness.

AK and Mama also filled the freezer with all kinds of wonderful to be consumed in the weeks to come. They even provided a big pot o’ Irish stew to enjoy on St. Patrick’s day. (Along with chicken wild rice soup, lentil soup, meat loaf, cake, banana bread, pasta sauce, sandwich fixings and cookies – these women could not be stopped.)

Our skills in setting the camera’s timer and posing leave a bit to be desired, but we did get this shot:


Eric even got a chance to escape while I basked in familial company. It’s a special treat since he has voluntarily joined the ranks of those on apartment arrest when not at work, church or running errands. He’s done it for the sake of my sanity, but it was really nice to know he had a chance to preserve his presence of mind too. On Sunday my Mama got to join Eric at church. While I know they were here to take care of me and the Little Cap, it was nice to know she got to see a bit of Chicago beyond the walls of our apartment.

Little Cap put on quite a show for his Yia-yia and Great Auntie flipping vigorously enough to be felt and seen.


24 Weeks and 4 Months of Netflix

March 10, 2009

number_24 9_tv_show_24

Today is a happy day because our Little Cap has made it to 24 weeks of life. While not yet at the age of maturity, he has reached the age of viability. I may be in the same boat, since I heartily enjoyed Mad Max 2, The Road Warrior two days ago, thanks to our sister-in-law’s surprise gift of Netflix (conveniently running out when the baby is supposed to arrive).

gibson1 <—– the Road Warrior, aka the Colonel

I’ve so far watched (instantly): Dr. Strangelove, Mad Max 2, The Natural, and Network. And we received our first DVD in the mail today – Andrei Rublev.

After watching movies four days in a row, I tonight (voluntarily!) put the Netflix reins into Elizabeth’s hands, where they are sure to inflict less pain on that poor, tortured Netflix pony. I knew this would happen…

Elizabeth has been secluded in what she calls “Bed Rest Central,” and I call “The Living Room Sofa Bed.” Several visitors have come, and this weekend we are expecting her mother and aunt. On the weekend of Western Easter, we expect my parents, and out of town guests will be arriving at other times in the near future. She will benefit greatly, I think.

As should be expected, we have been doing very little exploring (rather: none). My primary tasks as of late have been to keep the house in relatively decent order and to keep the gestating one fed. There’s surely something alive inside her, as I watched her tummy ripple and bulge in different places this afternoon. She may be housing an entire soccer team, though it doesn’t yet appear to be the case (in terms of capacity).


Bed Rest Date Night!

March 10, 2009

After the doctor’s appointment on Monday I was a bit dismayed that the bed rest orders remained the same. Only get up for the bathroom and to “grab something to eat”. The doctor said, “You can sit up to type, but you know, not really sit up. Just prop yourself up and make sure you’re reclined.” I am longing to make dinner and wash the dishes. Yes Mama, I am longing to wash the dishes. This is getting hard! But Eric and a seemingly never-ending set of helping hands is making it absolutely doable. The hope of a healthy Little Cap (and a healthy fear of the NICU) will keep me horizontal as long as necessary. His kicks are also wonderful company throughout the day and they have gotten strong enough to not only feel, but SEE. Now that is weird. And wonderful.
Last night we ordered Thai food and watched a movie. As Eric has conveyed, I am not much of a movie type. (That may be an understatement.) However, I am now convinced that they are useful for feeling as though I’ve left the apartment, and to help a few hours go by quickly. We logged into our new Netflix account (courtesy of our Kansan siblings, thank you!) and tried out one of the “instant view” films.
We chose “The Natural”. I liked it! And not just because of the adorable batboy and charming hats.


The story revolves around a small town baseball player simultaneously making a comeback to the game and his major league debut. It also involves a bat carved from a tree that was struck by lightening, a bit of romance, and heavy use of slow motion. I love it when sports movies use slow motion. Eric gives me some good natured teasing for getting so drawn into these emotionally manipulative efforts of the film makers. He won’t change me. Movie makers of the world listen up: be it a grand slam, a hail Mary pass, a three point buzzer beater from downtown, or any other game clinching moment, please never give up on the glory of slow motion. I’m serious.
There isn’t much more to report from Bed Rest Central, but this weekend promises some very special visitors, so stay tuned for special reports.


23 Weeks

March 4, 2009

Little Cap is officially 23 weeks today! The week-by-week baby guides also say it’s the beginning of month six. (All of that dating is really confusing to me.) More exciting is that LC weighs over a pound now and should double in weight by the month’s end. Wow!

Yesterday’s ultrasound went really well. The cerclage and the bed rest are working just as hoped and we didn’t need to start any new interventions. For now I need to stay stitched, horizontal, hydrated and out of the hospital! We have another appointment next Monday.

There was one other bit of news at the ultrasound appointment that we weren’t exactly planning on…


When we got our first ultrasound (at 21 weeks), we told the ultrasound technician that we didn’t want to know the gender. She heard that and was ready to comply. There were moments while I was watching the little capper flip around that I thought I might have seen something, but I tried my best to not be imaginative and to look away if I thought I would find something out. We left that appointment knowing nothing.

However, when we left that appointment, we were directed to go to the ER, not home. When the residents at the ER looked over our ultrasound images, one came in and asked, “So, you’re having a boy?” Not knowing anything previous to this, we told her we didn’t want to know, and she promptly shut up. Apparently, Elizabeth didn’t take any hints from this, but I sure did. After that I began using the pronoun “he” more frequently, and so did Elizabeth. After all of the messes at the hospital, we decided it would just be easier to have the gender confirmed. At our last ultrasound visit (Monday), the technician didn’t need to do anything more than a wand ultrasound to look at the cervix, but she happily showed us (and photographed) our baby’s privatest part. I had to cover the screen, however, to protect the Little Cap’s honor and dignity.

So, we have a little boy swimming around, and we hope to have a young man one day, as well. I know you’re dying to see his little peepee-doodle, but for legal reasons I must decline.