March 31, 2013

bump.

I finally got around to taking a picture of my bump.

Please ignore the messy hair, no make-up, and double-chin that I'm sporting. 


Someday the nugget will see this picture, look at me, and say "What the HECK were you thinking?!"

The nugget also likes to play this game... She spends aaallllllllll day sleeping, lounging around, conserving energy, and then, right around bedtime, BLAMO!! she's awake and ready to party.

March 28, 2013

I love the internet.

So, ever since last week's super-informative trips to the doctor, I've been trying to figure out exactly which heart defects our sweet baby nugget has. I realize that I could have just called the doctor's office and had the answer in a minute, but I don't usually get off work until 9, and I never remember by the next morning.  And I don't like talking to people.  And I love to Google things.  Anyway, thanks to the wonderful, all-knowing internet I've finally figured it out!! (Sort of, I guess I could still be wrong.)

Our sweet little drama-queen baby nugget has a double-outlet right ventricle and a ventricular septal defect.

Double-outlet right ventricle (DORV) is a congenital heart defect in which both the pulmonary artery and aorta come from the same pumping chamber. This causes problems in the body because the right ventricle pumps oxygen-poor blood, which means that's what the aorta is carrying to the rest of the body (instead of the oxygen-rich blood it would get from the left ventricle).

from childrenshospital.org

DORV always includes a VSD [we already talked about that one here], and that helps out, because it allows the oxygen-rich blood to mix into the right ventricle and then be carried to the body. Unfortunately, there's not quite enough oxygen-rich blood getting to the body, so the heart ends up working even harder than it would normally have to.  There is also usually increased blood-pressure in the lungs because the pulmonary artery receives more blood than it should.

Even after reading all about this defect and the risks and problems associated with it, I'm still not totally freaked out.  I mean, I'm sure I will be a absolute mess once everything's actually happening, but right now all I can think is how lucky we are to know about our little nugget's problems this early so we, and the doctors, can prepare for everything.

I also spent some time looking at pictures of babies after having heart surgery, just to prepare myself, and while it is so sad to see such tiny little bodies hooked up to so many different things, I wasn't shocked by the visual.  I know it will be different when it's my own baby, and all I can do is look at her lying there and pat her sweet little hand.  But I'm still so grateful to live somewhere that can provide the care that she'll need.

If you want to learn more, or if you just don't understand what DORV is from the way I explained it here, you can find more information and pictures on the Scripps website.  Or you can Google it for yourself.  But, please, don't freak out when you read about all the complications and problems that can arise from this kind of heart defect.  A lot of the more serious things that can happen are things that our baby will never have to deal with because her heart will be fixed before it can start causing those problems. 

We are still very optimistic about the nugget's condition.  She's a drama queen, for sure, but we'll wait to deal with that once she starts talking  :)


March 26, 2013

pregnant lady problems.

[These are all pointless complaints that I want to keep track of to show the nugget someday.  You don't have to read them.]

As soon as I'm fully dressed [we're talking buttoned my pants and everything] I  immediately  have to go to the bathroom.  And if I don't, the nugget takes it upon herself to not-so-gently remind me - by kicking me straight in the bladder every few seconds.

Who am I kidding?  None of my pants button-up anymore.

I wake up at 5am, regularly, because the nugget has decided it's the perfect time to practice her Thriller moves.  The problem?  Even after she's settled back down I can't fall asleep again.  And then, just when my body has relaxed enough that I can mayyyybeee get into that half-asleep stage, she's back at it.

My feet swell.  A lot.  It's gross, and it hurts, and it takes a full day of just laying around for them to feel better.  [Not for the swelling to go down, that only takes a couple hours.  Don't panic.]

I can't comfortably cross my legs.

Sometimes I tell the nugget to stop kicking/punching/kung-fu fighting my displaced organs and she listens.  She listens so well that I won't feel her for hours, and then I start to freak out and beg her to do something, anything, just so I know she's still there.  She also listens to that, and the cycle repeats itself.  My only comfort is that, while she does seem to have too much of John's loophole-finding skills in her, she may actually turn out to be a very well-behaved baby.

Getting dressed has become a legitimate chore.  There has always been too many layers, and now elastic bands and pant-expanders, and camisoles, and extra-long shirts, and belts to prove to the world that I still have some flattering attributes...  It's a work-out.

Baby registries are the worst.  How am I supposed to know what kind of bottle she'll like or how big her baby-sasquatch feet will be?  I also hate Target.com.

Another qualm with the baby registry is that we don't really know when the nugget will get to come home.  Or how big she'll be when she does.  I'm assuming that babies recovering from open-heart surgery tend to be a little on the small side for a while.  But then I look at my baby pictures, and even sickly I would have been a mammoth.  So I decided to be optimistic and act like I'm going to bring home a normal-sized baby, maybe four to six weeks after she's born.

I'm hungry all the time.  Especially in the morning, when just the thought of food makes me feel queasey.  And at night, when I'm too tired/lazy to get anything to snack on.

The nugget went straight from practically motionless to training for the 2024 Olympic diving team.   Really, I think I just missed out on the whole "fluttery" stage of her movements.  Nothing feels much different than it always has, she's just getting stronger.

I can't shave my legs in the shower.  I have to be sitting, and it takes twice as long.  I don't even want to think about shaving once my belly gets really big.

I have to sleep on my left side, snuggling with a body pillow to support my belly and legs, with another big pillow behind me to support my back and deter me from rolling over, and a huge blanket wrapped around everything to keep it all in place.  John loves it.

I have to go to the bathroom all the time.  Which I expected.  But I have to use the bathroom at all sorts of strange places.   And since we've already discussed how difficult getting dressed is, now we have to add getting re-dressed in a dirty, smelly public bathroom at Balboa Pier.

Snacks are only allowed to be healthy.  Apple slices and carrot sticks instead of Snicker's bars and potato chips.  Peeps don't count, they're 95% air.  Same with Slurpees.  And water instead of soda and juice.  Water is the least delicious beverage ever invented.

March 20, 2013

a science lesson.

The dog is sitting on the other side of the door breathing REALLY HARD, just to make sure I know how much he wants to come in and pee on all my stuff.  Can someone please tell me why he didn't move out with Tyler?

We have some news about Baby Nugget.  We actually have a lot of news about her.  She's kind of a big deal.  And a drama queen.

Are you ready for a science lesson?

On Friday we went in for the anatomy ultrasound with a perinatologist, just as a precaution, to check baby's stats and growth and make sure everything's where it needs to be and doing what it should be doing.  Unfortunately, they spotted a little trouble in her heart, so we went back on Monday to see a pediatric cardiologist and to have another ultrasound, this time with an echocardiogram for a more detailed picture.  It's a pretty cool thing.

What they found is that Baby Nugget has two heart defects.  One is called a VSD, which is basically an opening between the ventricles [lower chambers of her heart] that allows blood to pass through freely, both ways.  This one is the most common congenital heart defect, and can sometimes repair itself.  The other options are applying a patch between the ventricles through a catheter, or if it's too severe they would repair it through open-heart surgery.  [These are some pictures from the Mayo Clinic's slideshow.]

This is a healthy heart.
This is a heart with VSD.

The second defect is a little trickier to explain, and I can't seem to find any pictures.  A healthy heart has two arteries: the pulmonary on the right side and the aorta on the left.  Baby Nugget got a little confused while she was growing her heart and decided to just put them both on the same side.  Silly girl.  So while her blood is pumping just fine through her body as long as I'm doing all the breathing, once she takes her first breath that little mix-up will start to cause a lot of problems.  To repair this defect, she will definitely need open-heart surgery, immediately after birth.  They'll have to reroute the artery that's on the wrong side and possibly replace her aorta, because it's a little smaller than it should be.  The doctors are all really nice when they talk about this and really emphasize the fact that knowing about it now makes in about eight-thousand times easier to prepare for her upcoming birth and surgery.

Fortunately for us, we live in a time when doctors can monitor these issues on a regular basis and perform fancy surgeries to fix what's wrong before it causes any permanent damage to her development [hopefully].  We're lucky that we moved to Las Vegas, where we have access to a children's hospital that specializes in heart care.  Sunrise is the only children's hospital in the region that is equipped for pediatric open-heart surgery.  As much as we might have thought moving in with my parents was a backwards move, we are in the best place possible for this adventure. 

And that's exactly how we're looking at it.  As an adventure.  So far there's no reason to believe that this is a genetic condition or that it's being caused by anything else [we are waiting for results from a test for Down's Syndrome and that kind of condition, though].  We've met with a genetic counselor and she doesn't see any correlation between this and anything else we've told her about our family histories.  Sometimes these things just happen, and sometimes they happen to us.  But John and I both know that Heavenly Father wouldn't have sent us this special little nugget unless He knew we could handle her and love her just like He does.  We can, and we will.  And we'll have some really great reasons for why there's no money to buy her a car for her 16th birthday or pay for her college.

Aside from all of that, Baby Nugget is doing great!  She's right on track growth-wise, has all the right numbers of fingers and toes, and works night and day on her dance skills.  She is, however, a little camera-shy, and likes to keep her arms up in from of her face during ultrasounds, so all the pictures we have of her little face are too blurry.  That, and I think all babies look like creatures from the black lagoon in ultrasound images.  Or else I would post a couple pictures worth looking at, instead of just those hearts.

Ugh, ok.  Fine.  Here's one that actually kind of looks like a human.  Just don't make fun of her distinctly "Woodbury" nose... she'll grow into it!


We are very optimistic about all of this.  We really don't want all of our friends and family to feel like they need to walk on eggshells around us.  If you have questions PLEASE ask us!  It might not be something we've thought to ask the doctors yet, so really, any questions at all, send 'em our way!  And if you know anything about these heart defects, or know anyone who's been through all this, tell us about it!  We want to be open about everything.  We want everyone to know that we're doing ok, and we're confident that in a few short months we'll have a beautiful baby girl to show-off to the world.

March 18, 2013

... and counting.

John has been accepted into four different law schools!!
 
          Penn State,
          UNLV,
          Indiana University,
          and University of Utah!!

We're pretty excited to know that come August we'll be headed somewhere, and now we have some real ideas of where exactly that might be.  Utah is at the top of our list right now.  It's a great school, and not tooooo far from home :)  Definitely a plus with our sweet girly nugget on the way!

There are still about seven schools that we haven't heard from, so we'll wait and see what they have to say before we make any final decisions and send off those seat-deposit checks!

We are so excited to start a new chapter of our life together [even if it will be crazy-hectic until we figure out baby's quirks and preferences!].

I'm so proud of John and his determination to go to law school.  He worked so hard up in Idaho to make this possible, and I'm just in awe of his brains everyday.  I'm so grateful to have him in my life, and to know that he's mine forever.  I think I'd be lost without him.

And, because no post is complete without a completely unrelated ending:

There is an owl outside our bedroom window...  random.  But I'll definitely take a muffled "hoo hoooo" over a piercing "cock-a-doodle-doo" at seven in the morning, any day!  :)

March 14, 2013

nap training.

Who says you have to wait until you actually have a child to start training them to take naps??! Baby girl and I are tackling this like old pros!

But seriously, I should really stop taking three-hour naps in the middle of the day. It makes falling asleep (and staying asleep) that much more difficult. So unless I'm on to some kind of new parenting trend that encourages teaching babies in-utero, I should probably focus more on getting our lives ready for the Baby Nugget.

Step 1: Clean and organize all our - ok, MY - junk.
Step 2: Figure out the difference between onesies and bodysuits.
Step 3: Research all ninety-seven million different types of baby gear.

Hmm... that's already kind of daunting. I'll probably have to take a couple naps just to make it through step 1.

In other news... John got accepted into TWO law schools today!! I'm so proud of my Johnny Monster! It's also nice to know that we will, officially, be going somewhere in August. Now we just have to wait for more answers to decide exactly where that will be.

March 10, 2013

uni-bed.

It's normal for a married couple to sleep on the same bed. Unfortunately, the beach house only has two rooms with grown-up beds. The room that John and I are in is the "kids room"... complete with Mickey Mouse pillows on the matching twin beds.

The first night we were here I really loved sleeping in my own bed. Even if it was so tiny. It takes me so long to get comfortable anyway, that knowing John wasn't there to shuffle the pillows or tug on the blanket was heavenly. Unfortunately, we've gotten really dependent on each other's body heat, and were both freezing all night.

So last night, as we're lying there shivering and talking - four feet apart - John got up and says "I wonder how hard it is to move this bed."

Not hard. Not hard at all.

Now we have an almost-full-size-bed, with a crack down the middle. And sleeping close together made it much warmer last night. But I did wake up to John using my "belly support pillow" for his head, lying awkwardly diagonal across both beds, and snoring.

I like him.

March 5, 2013

and finally...


That's right!!  Come the end of July, the world will be just a little bit prettier  :)  We are so excited!  [Mostly I'm excited to finally hit up the fabric store for my dream baby quilt!]  I think John was a little bit disappointed that his guess was wrong, but he quit the habit of calling the baby "he" right away!  Now we call her Girly Nugget.  That will probably stick through grade school.

It was a looong day waiting to reveal our news, but thank-you all so much for being patient!!  We can't wait to share even more about her  :)

March 4, 2013

oh, baby.

We finally got in to see the baby-doctor today.  And I'll be honest, I was a crazy mess of a person until about 3pm when it was all over.  But everything went well.  The baby is right where it needs to be, I'm not too fat [yet!], and we get to have an ultrasound to check the gender TOMORROW!!

Since I don't really have any news beyond I'm still pregnant to share with you, I'll tell you a funny story that will embarrass John.

During the physical the doc checked the baby's heartbeat.  She was talking the whole time about all sorts of tests and stats and facts about babies and pregnancy, so unless you were paying attention you wouldn't have seen her grab the fetal heart monitor and slather it with goop.  [But I was naked on a table, so I was paying pretty close attention to everything.]  It didn't take her very long to find the little nugget.  And let me tell you, after three months of only being pretty sure there's still a baby growing in there, that was music to my ears.  Until she put the monitor away and John says, "What was that sound?"  Yep.  That's what he said.  Can't even recognize his own offspring's heartbeat.  Sheesh. 

They also took a handful of blood samples to run tests today.  It was the first time I've had blood drawn since I was nine.  I did not like it.

We came home with a stack of information and magazines to look through, and a handful of coupons - which are the best part!  So I should probably be looking through those instead of reading all the old wive's tales on how to predict the gender!  Haha.  But, just for the sake of having making an "educated guess" let's take a look:

                    • Carrying High or Low:  I'm just guessing here with low.  That'd be a BOY.
                    • Baby's Heartbeat:  155 today, which points to GIRL.
                    • Craving Sweet or Salty:  I ate a whole bag of chips last week.  That's all BOY.
                    • Chinese Calendar:  BOY.
                    • Mayan Calendar:  GIRL - but they haven't been the most reliable lately.
                    • Morning Sickness:  For me, it felt awful, but I'm a wuss.  We'll still say GIRL.

Hmm... that didn't really help, did it?  I guess we'll just have to wait and see tomorrow!

Oh, but I'm sure you're all curious what our guesses are!  John says BOY, but I'm leaning towards GIRL [that's probably just wishful thinking after walking through Target and Baby Gap the other day!]