Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This does not bode well...

First, let me just say how much I hate people who steal pumpkins. We bought two pumpkins (a huge orange one) and a teensy white one during a trip we took to Traverse City, Michigan. Granted, they didn't cost much )the huge one was maybe $5) but we were planning on carving it tonight.

Of course... someone nicked it from our front porch last night. So we can't. Grrrr.

A few nights ago, Patrick reached over as I was getting undressed and said "oh honey, you've gotten something on your stomach" and tried to wipe it off. It is an angry, red stretch mark on the underside of my pooching belly about an inch and a half long. I'm only at 14 weeks. I shudder to think what my stomach's going to look like at 9 months. As I got horrible stretch marks during puberty on my hips and breasts, I knew it would happen, I just didn't expect it to so quickly.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This is addicting...

This is utterly fascinating.

When is this going to stop?

I spent much of the morning clutching the toilet begging God (or any other deity that would listen) to make me stop throwing up.

Granted, the vomiting isn't every day anymore, but it hurts. My abs and my side muscles ache from it - and my face hurts.

At what point does this actually stop?

I've tried to cut out all the triggers that seem to make it worse. I don't eat things that I don't like the smell of, I shower with the bathroom door open (the temperature change from the steamy shower to the cold apartment sent me reeling all the time). I don't sit in train seats with unobstructed views of the outside.

There are some things though that I have to do - namely, brushing my teeth. Once meticulous about my dental hygiene, let's say that since the pregnancy started, I've been using a lot of mouthwash. I just can't handle the toothbrush in the back of my mouth. Floss either for that point. Gross, I know - but I can only stomach brushing in the morning, and usually every single time it ends up with me prostrate on the tile floor heaving.

After hitting 14 weeks, I thought it would stop. Apparently I was mistaken.

And how is it that something so tiny can make sleeping so damn uncomfortable all the time now? I can't find a single comfortable position at night. Any suggestions for that would also be appreciated as I'll spend 10 hours in bed, and wake up completely exhausted.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Now back stateside with genetic counseling report

Sheep grazing in a peat field in Donegal County. They're spray painted like that after they're sheared each spring to provide a quick way to identify who they belong to from afar.

Meenaclady in County Donegal right across from Tory Island.

View from our bedroom in the hotel in Gweedore, far Northwestern corner of the country. Gweedore is actually a completely Irish speaking area - and English was hard to come by. The shipwrecked boat in the picture can be seen up close a few images down.

Sunset at The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland.

Looking back over the cliffs close to Portrush, Northern Ireland.

Decaying boat run aground in Gweedore (Northwestern corner of Ireland).
(If you click on the pictures, you can see them larger)
  • The trip was lovely, though it rained the majority of time we were there - and was a "bit" blustery. Think sustained winds of close to 60 mph. with gusts topping 80. We flew into Dublin and rented a car (which was "upgraded" to an SUV). Sigh. The roads there are far too narrow for SUVs, never mind the cost of gasoline in something that large. We spent the first night in Gweedore, Ireland (Gaoth Dobhair) - in the far northwestern corner. Gaoth refers to an inlet of the sea at the mouth of the Crolly River. It is the boundary between Gweedore to the north and the Rosses to the south. Dobhar is an old Irish word for water. Gaoth Dobhair translates as the aqueous estuary. The next day we slept in a little and then traversed across to Northern Ireland along the coast. Now, Ireland uses the Euro and measures distances by kilometers. Northern Ireland (part of the U.K.) uses the Pound Sterling and measures distances by miles. We had to quickly do conversions in our head as the Pathfinder only had kms on the speedometer.
  • We drove to The Giants Causeway on the northern coast, and then back down to Belfast and then through to Dublin. Our flight left early the next morning, and honestly after all the travelling we'd done. We'd upgraded to business class and we lucked out and had the new lay flat seats on American. Loved them. When we got home yesterday we just sort of chilled with the kittens, and decided to take the day off from anything strenuous.
  • Today I got the results back from my genetic testing. We have a 1 in 1,128 chance of Down Syndrome and a 1 in 10,000 chance of the other two trisomies they tested for that I don't honestly remember what were. Huge relief.
  • Patrick's taking the remainder of our earnest money to the real estate agent today. We close on Nov. 15, so it's only about two weeks away. We're hoping to move that following Saturday - so we're starting to pack up the apartment, get utilities set up, etc.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Inspector Gadget is confused.

House News

Well the inspection was this morning, and took about five hours long. *Yawn* Thankfully, Patrick went in my place and he was actually about 25 minutes late, but it was largely irrelevant as the inspector took ages to finish up. There are some minor issues with the house - including a gas leak next to the heating system that will have to be fixed before we can move in, a few gas pipes that need to be sealed off and a few more that need to be replaced. There's some minor electrical work that needs to be undertaken - splitting a few fuses, etc. The only thing that truly concerned me was the presence of asbestos tape in the basement around a few pipes. That will need to be removed soon.

There weren't any structural problems, and the roof is in good place. Patrick said that seeing the house today made him sure that it's "our" house. We've been running around all day trying to get the last documentation for the loan, modifying insurance, etc. It's been a pain, but that's o.k. The contract's under attorney review and we've got a meeting with the attorney tomorrow afternoon about that.

Pregnancy Question

Well, questions rather. Last week (at 12 weeks) they did a triple-screen for me as part of my prenatal testing. Only, I'm a little concerned as to why they did the bloodwork, when it apparently is usually given between 15-20 weeks pregnant. Is a blood test result going to come back wonky because of this and freak me out?

My regular jeans still fit, though badly. I've gained maybe 2 pounds since this started - but it seems to all be boobs and belly. Now for the way TMI part... The one article of clothing - other than bras - that I find almost completely bothersome right now? Panties. Please give me recommendations for comfortable knickers because I'm at the end of my rope. Maybe I'm just crazy - but everything seems swollen "down there" and all my underwear are chafing me raw. Irritating. Any suggestions? I tried some new cheapy Hanes barely there things this weekend - as I didn't want to spend a lot on stuff to get me through this awkward inbetween phase, but they were glorified pantyhose with the stockings cut off. Gah. horrible.

Friday, October 19, 2007


The house is a fair bit out in the burbs. 40 miles out to be exact. If it was actually in the city, or one of the closer suburbs we'd easily be paying about four times what we are for the house.

We bid $29,000 under asking, and requested a credit of 1.5% of the sales price as a credit to help cover our closing costs. They just countered with two choices: either $5,000 above our initial offer or $10,000 above our initial offer with the sales price credit for closing costs. We're taking the second option because they end up being pretty much equivalent from a financial standpoint.

I am shaking I'm so excited. And deliriously happy. We were able to negotiate only putting down a $10,000 deposit - and now have less than thirty days to come up with the remaining portion of the 5% down.

Here's a better shot of the front of the house.

The two windows on the top left would be the baby's room, the middle is the hallway and the two on the top right are our room. The bottom left two windows are the dining room, then the front door, then the two right would be the living room and then the ones with the awning on them is a den that's got windows all the way around that we'll be using as an office and as an additional guest room. There's actually a deck above the office, but it's only accessible through the WINDOW in the master bedroom. Eventually we'll likely put a door in there, but not for a bit. There's a huge walk out roof-top deck on the back of the house that's accessible by a door in the guest room.

This has been a really, really wonderful day.

I apparently got nasty with Skeletor...

Well, we're still waiting (somewhat impatiently) for a response on our offer. Our agent called us late yesterday and said that it may be mid-day today before we heard anything. I'm nervous - but trying to be patient.

I got no patience and I hate waitin' ...

The first trimester screen this morning went really well. The nuchal fold was well within "normal" range - though I have no idea what the actual number was. Baby's heart-rate was 163.

Seeing it this time - wow. Breathtaking. It looked like an actual baby and not just a blob with a head.

The baby was moving around, kicking and sucking its right thumb, then playing with its toes. For a second, it turned its back to us, and shook its bum at the sonographer. Cheeky one.

Patrick and I were laughing that all of a sudden Tom Cruise seemed a lot less crazy for having bought an ultrasound machine, because we could have sat and watched that all day.

I really liked the shot of the baby in profile - but the one she printed out was the baby looking directly at the probe. And I know I've heard other women say it before - but there's something vaguely disconcerting about the fact that your baby bears a striking resemblance to Skeletor.

We met with the geneticist for awhile about our risk factors, and then I was sent off to the lab for bloodwork as part of the triple screen. We'll get results back in about a week, but as we'll be (I hope) in Ireland at that point - we won't actually hear anything for a week from Monday.

Watching the grainy black and white images of our baby on the screen, I fell completely head over heels in love with Patrick again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well there's a red house over yonder, that's where my baby stays.

Nothing like a little Hendrix to start your morning eh?

Keep your fingers crossed for us. We just put an offer down on another house.

This one was built in 1927, and is a three bedroom, two and a half bath with a huge formal dining room, kitchen with a breakfast room, a den (which we will be treating as an office with a daybed for occasional guests), large living room with original marble fireplace, a full unfinished basement and a walk up attic. It's got a lot of cool features, such as a huge triple armoire-styled closet in the master bedroom that's all lined in cedar, arched glass french doors throughout the house, hardwood stairs and railings, etc. There's a huge walk out deck on the roof over the attached garage that is accessible from a door in what would be the guest room. The house is on a corner lot and has a huge fish pond and fountain in the large shady back yard. The hardwoods in the house are all original and in immaculate shape. The same couple has lived in the house since the 1940s, and honestly - while they took great care of the home, there is a lot of work to be done. The master bathroom will have to be gutted almost immediately. There's 1960s wallpaper up in the kitchen that will be torn down (though I'm keeping the vintage metal cabinetry), and we'll have to tear up the carpet in the kitchen. WHO carpets a kitchen anyway?

We're planning on redoing a lot of the decor in "Hollywood Regency" style - think old Hollywood from the 1940s. It will be a long, slow process but I think it will be worth it.

Outside, our first projects will be ripping down the metal awnings, and the horrendous antenna, changing some landscaping (we're not fond of the large bushes up front but those would have to wait until next spring to come out at the earliest - to keep the snow from building up around the basement). Eventually, we'd like to finish out the basement and put a family room and children's play room down there - as the basement is dry and utterly massive.

We're supposed to hear something back on our offer by 6 p.m. today. We're keeping everything crossed. We bid just about $29,000 under asking price (based on the updates we're going to have to do) and we're nervously excited. Thankfully, our mortgage broker just called to tell us that rates had dropped .125% today, so we're in better financial shape than we thought.

As the house is vacant, we also asked for closing the week before Thanksgiving. Patrick's parents are coming up the Monday of Thanksgiving week, and we'd love to be in the house (albeit in boxes) when they get up here.

We'll have to find someone to lease our apartment, as the lease isn't up until April, but we decided to go ahead with the house now and see what happens. I didn't want to be moving at 9 months pregnant.

In other news, I've hit 12 weeks. Feeling tremendously better as the morning sickness seems to have (mostly) left - and I'm not so exhausted anymore. Our first trimester screening is tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to seeing Baby G.

And I promise, I'll bust out the camera for some ring pictures this weekend.

Monday, October 15, 2007


So. This "pregnancy brain" busines...

I'm back in the office after being out since last Wednesday - and there was a cup of water on my desk that I cleverly thought - "Oh! I'll water my orchids with it."

Yeah. I did.

The arrangement of potted FAKE orchids that have been in my house or on my desk for the last two years or more.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Potentially grounded - with a side of sparkles.

I had another follow up today with the OB - my urine's finally mostly clear and just is too concentrated. Lots of floating white flakes in it - though I have no idea what they were, and forgot to ask. Doctor said he wants me drinking a lot more water and cranberry juice. No protein in the urine though, which is good. He put the doppler low on my stomach and after a fair bit of searching that freaked me out - he found the rapid whoosh whoosh whoosh heart beat. It made me cry. Again.

The pelvic was more painful than normal, but I swear to God it feels like he tries to fist me when he's doing those. Because I'm still bleeding, he's sending me to a perinatologist next week.

We're scheduled to leave for Dublin, Ireland two weeks from today. The doctor was pretty adamant that he does NOT want me going. I'm heartbroken, as it's the only time before the end of the year that we'll have for vacation - and our tickets are non-refundable. He said that it's possible he'll clear me for the trip, but not until after the visit to the perinatologist - and my ultrasound next week, and then another visit to him the day before the trip.

Sigh. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I really want to go to this trip - but obviously, I'm not going to put the baby in danger.

Oh. and I'm now sporting a new bauble. Patrick proposed. As nothing in our relationship has been traditional, he picked a very non-traditional ring. A 2.1 carat blue sapphire set in an Edwardian swirl of diamonds in 18kt white gold. The ring is from 1909 - and is gorgeous. We had to size it down from a 6.75 to a 4.75 - and while it's still a bit too big for me, I'll be able to hopefully wear it through the pregnancy. Our parents are delighted, and while we're debating whether to get married before the baby comes - at least for now they're placated.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


At first, I thought I didn't have many odd food cravings - and really, I suppose the ones I do have aren't terribly "odd" but I thought I'd take a few minutes to jot them down here before I forget.

1. Water with LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of lemons. Essentially lemonade minus the sugar.
2. Brown mustard on whole wheat crackers, or even by the spoonful.
3. Buckets of jalapeƱos and incredibly sour dill pickles.
4. fried egg sandwiches with lots of pepperjack cheese
5. raisin toast with cream cheese
6. tuna salad sandwiches on rye with extra jalapeƱos (I know, I'm weird, I liked these before I was pregnant)
7. fish sticks (this is the only one that seems really odd to me, as I haven't eaten them in probably 10-15 years)
8. watermelon

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I fell ill last Monday... at first it was just insane pressure in my sinus cavities and a fever. I missed Tuesday for work due to being out of town, and then Thursday and Friday from being sick. I finally went back in yesterday, only after having to leave by noon due to being so sick I couldn't sit still. I "worked" from home for the remainder of the day.

I have a lot of work to do - but I honestly feel miserable. The infection seems to have spread to my bladder and kidneys. It hurts - incredibly bad - to wee. And when I go, the immense feeling of pressure is never really abated because I can only go about a tablespoon full at a time. I know that I should be making the effort to actually go in the office, but I feel so wretched that I don't think I can manage it. If I stay here, I feel like I can get a lot more accomplished.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Yeah I like Texas, Ain't it fine here...

Like to pick my guitar down in Luckenbach, and drink that Shiner Bock beer...

Playing around with the pregnancy calendar today, I realized something.

Zee bebe was conceived in a hotel in Austin when I was down for my best friend from high school's bachelorette party.

So, us two native Texans technically managed to make another one.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Good news...

One snipped of good news that got relatively brushed under the rug today...

I passed the IL bar!


Stranger in a place I once called home.

I'm laying in one of two empty double beds in a sterile, institutional hotel room. It's 1 a.m., and I have so much work to do, but I simply cannot summon the energy to work on it. It feels oddly surreal to be back here, this place that I called home for two years. I know the streets so well that I can drive them absentmindedly, my brain still working on automatic mode.

I saw my old cats this evening. One is topping out at a whopping 24 lbs. and the other a "svelte" 19. They look so drastically different from my two new kittens. Then there was the inside of my old house. The drastic changes as well as the blatant reminders that some things simply never change. When I first moved here, I was full of such hope, such excitement. After tomorrow, I doubt I will ever be back. This place does not (on the whole) hold fond memories for me. I wish I wasn't here at all, but things had to be taken care of in person - and now that chapter will be completely resolved. Time to move on without looking back.

I picked up the last of my belongings from the house that I wanted, and in the stack of DVDs was the one that came with my follistim pen. He laughed and said "well, in case you decide you want to try to have kids again..." My breath caught in my throat and I was silent.

Sometimes, you can't say the "right" thing because no words, no matter how eloquently strung together would fit the situation.

I thought I would feel more passion, not in a romantic sense - but just in terms of scale of emotion. I feel rather hollow instead. Empty. Depleted.

I still want good things for him. I want happiness, love, health and good fortune. All the things that we couldn't seem to make last for the two of us.

I will be so glad that it's finally, completely over. And yet, there is a part of me that as happy as I am about that - is sad too. I failed. I'm afraid of failing again.

I think I need to go to sleep.

Monday, October 1, 2007

*cough* I hab a weally bad cold. *sniff*

I went to sleep last night at a decent hour, after a panicked run through the entire apartment trying to find my driver's license and debit card - as I'm leaving today to go out of town and had to have my DL to rent the car.

I woke up at 3:30 to go to the bathroom (something that irritates the um, piss out of me - as I was never one to wake up in the middle of the night, and now it's about twice a night) and I couldn't fall back asleep. My sinuses were full of so much pressure and I just couldn't get comfortable. I finally fell asleep at about 5:30, and the alarm went off at 6. It seems I've done nothing since then except blow my nose. The mucus - my god. It's unreal how much of it there is. My head feels like it's in a vise - and I have to fly this evening - which never feels good with a sinus infection/cold/whatever kind of plague is upon me at the moment.

I can't seem to get ahold of my OB this morning, and was wondering if any of you knew some "safe" over the counter meds I can take as I'm in a bad way this morning.