Monday, July 31, 2006

Saturday, July 29, 2006

We're home!!

We're home and all is well! All the gory details you ever wanted to know about my 3-day induction to follow. Thanks so much to everyone for your friendship and support--I definitely couldn't have gotten through the last 19 months without you...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Natalie Juliana has arrived!

[This is Alysse's friend D. posting... ]

I am thrilled to share this wonderful news just in...

Natalie Juliana arrived at 3:13 p.m. this afternoon. She weighs 6 lbs 13 ozs (length coming tomorrow) and has lots of dark hair. I overheard Natalie while on the phone with Alysse, and she is in good voice! Alysse is still in L&D waiting for the epidural to wear off, and anticipates they will be home in a couple of days.

Mazal tov to Alysse, Robert, and Natalie!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Here I go!

Well, I'm off to the hospital, feeling excited, anxious, and a whole host of other emotions. I'm admittedly a little freaked out about the induction I wanted so badly since it seems I haven't progressed at all on my own, but I am just trying to focus on the fact that Natalie will hopefully be with us by this time tomorrow, by any means necessary. My friend D will post an update--stay tuned!

Friday, July 21, 2006

We have a plan

Well, I was hoping to go into labor yesterday so I wouldn't have to make my doctor's appointments today. No such luck, but everything was fine, and they're guessing Natalie already weighs 7 pounds, 9 ounces (huge when you consider that Julian only weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces!). No cervical action yet, so we are still on for induction on Wednesday. I'll actually be admitted on Tuesday night to start the "ripening" process, then will get pitocin sometime on Wednesday when conditions look more favorable. The whole process usually happens within 24 hours. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be going to the hospital Tuesday night instead of Wednesday morning!

Oh, I got my Binsi top (style: Thankini, color: black/mystery) and skirt (style: Prima Mama, color: mars/burgundy) today, and am pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fabrics and fit. I looked at the skirt and thought I'd look ridiculous, but it's actually one of the few skirts that looks decent on me. The outfit is really cute, and DH loves it. Hopefully so will the nursing staff. Admittedly, I do feel a little self-conscious, like, "Look at me, I am too cute for the hospital gown," but hey, it's my party, right?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Perhaps out of desperation to get this thing going, boredom, or an overwhelming need to have control over some aspect of this process, I ordered a birthing outfit from Binsi. A ridiculously frivolous waste of money? Maybe. An investment in vanity? Perhaps. But after feeling that the worst part of my visit to L&D last week was having my huge arse hanging out while attempting a trip to the bathroom, and having the interns get lost under the inconveniently designed hospital gown as they fumbled around with the monitors strapped to my belly, I decided that it was worth it if it allows me to maintain some sense of dignity. And if this is going to be the last time I experience childbirth, I'd prefer it to be much different than the first. Who knows, the set may not arrive in time, I may decide that it's even more unflattering than a hospital gown, or the nurses may refuse to let me wear it (the company accepts returns), but it's nice to have options!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

About to pop

In case you were wondering how huge I am... And to top it all off, it's about 95 degrees here in NYC, as you can tell. Oh well, I'm just soooo glad I got to see Joel and his film, Mansyon, at the 29th NY Asian American International Film Festival before going into labor!

Welcome, Eleanor Grace!

Congratulations to NervousKitty on the birth of her daughter, Eleanor Grace, this past Thursday! A friend reports that mom and baby are doing well.

Friday, July 14, 2006

False alarm

Our echo this morning couldn't have gone better. After being checked out by the head of pediatric cardiology, he pronounced Natalie's heart function over the last umpteen weeks as "normal and boring," and said all sorts of moving and heartfelt things about us, Natalie, and Julian, given that he was around for the heartbreak we experienced at the end of our last pregnancy. He hugged and kissed me as he wished us the very best if we didn't see him next week. Very sweet, and of course, sent me into a major tearfest.

Next, we moved on to our regularly scheduled OB appointment, where my pressures and proteins got me sent over to Labor & Delivery with a pre-eclampsia scare. After 5 hours in L&D, it seems I am also "normal and boring," with normal pressures and no protein, and got sent home. Shoot, we were actually looking forward to them telling us we had to stick around for induction, which seemed like a very realistic possibility this morning. Obviously, though, I'm glad everything is okay with Natalie and me, and we were happy for the opportunity to become reacquainted with L&D, which was actually quite nice, and full of amazing doctors, calming nurses, and interesting young residents. Ms. Natalie still hasn't full dropped, however, and I am not at all dilated (which is apparently common in 2nd pregnancies, in which a lot can happen very quickly) so I really can't say when anything will happen. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Almost there

I'm still here, just trying to keep busy until I spontaneously go into labor or July 26, the date the OB team gave me for induction (yeah, a whole 4 days early--thanks a lot!), whichever comes first. I am feeling less hyper and upset about things than I was last week, and I probably won't bust out the can-o-NYC-whoop-ass anytime soon, since I am a mere 17 days away from my due date, 13 days away from a possible induction, and 4 days away from the point at which I gave birth to Julian in my first pregnancy. Plus, I would find it very hard to believe that Natalie is a Leo, since she has struck me as a Cancer for as long as I've known her. That means something needs to happen within the next 9 days. My main problem with waiting for labor to happen spontaneously honestly isn't impatience, I would just prefer a more controlled labor and delivery, but I'm leaning towards the wait and see approach, with the hope that fewer interventions (with the exception of antibiotics to prevent GBS infection, and an epidural, obviously) will lead to a more ideal outcome in the long run. I'll let you know if anything we find out at tomorrow's appointments changes anything.

Well, the nursery is finally as ready as its going to be, the cleaner spent the whole day here on Tuesday, I've seen nearly every film I care to see, and I spent yesterday in the 'burbs with a pregnant friend whose due date is within 10 days of mine. It was a bit of a freak show walking around town having everyone stare at us, asking double the number of questions, but otherwise we had a very nice time. The only thing left to do is pack my bag for the hospital, which for some reason, I have been putting off. I'll do that today.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I feel overwhelmed, and generally in a crap mood. Natalie and I are both fine, but I found out today that I tested positive for Group B Strep. Perhaps a "normal" pregnant woman would simply interpret this finding to mean that she'd be receiving antibiotics during labor and go on about her merry way, assuming everything would be fine, but I find it pretty hard to gloss over the truth that GBS is a leading cause of infant death, rare though it may be. Stats are pretty much lost on me, given previous experience.

To top it all off, my OB is on vacation for the next two weeks, which feels pretty disconcerting. The nurse practitioner spoke to another doctor in the practice today, who felt strongly that they wouldn't induce prior to 39 weeks, but if we were uncomfortable with that decision, they'd move it up if we scheduled an amnio to test for lung maturity before hand. They went ahead and scheduled me for July 26--what's the point? I think my body can do better than that on its own. And the amnio thing frustrates me--is it really necessary after 37 weeks, at which point I'll be considered full term?

Reality or not, I feel like everyone has disappeared and isn't taking my concerns seriously. When I spoke to the NP, I broke down and told her how freaked out I was about the GBS, after already experiencing one infant death. She was kind, but indicated that she was surprised that I was concerned about GBS, stating how common it was, etc. She must be reading from something different than what I read on the CDC website, and I felt too beaten down to argue with her. DH is set on getting an induction date settled, and wants us to go all New York high maintenance next week so we get some results. To complicate matters even further, some of what I am reading says its best for GBS+ moms to avoid "unnecessary" interventions such as induction, artificial rupture of membranes, etc. which may increase the risk of passing the infection on to the baby. Ugh, this is too much. Can't I get a break?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

36.5 weeks

DH and I "celebrated" July 4th in the most patriotic way we know how--we went shopping at The Mall at Short Hills, arguably the fanciest mall in New Jersey. I suppose everyone in New Jersey was having cookouts, because the place was pleasantly quiet and there were many bargains to be had. I got Natalie two gorgeous outfits and a pair of shoes from Baby Gap, 1 hat from Gymboree, a onesie and a t-shirt from Nordstrom, all for under $35!

On the way to the mall, I think I felt BH contractions, mild cramping, and a shooting pains in my pelvic region, that all went away in a short amount of time. However, during the brief time these false labor symptoms persisted, I was reminded about the reality of childbirth, and a mild panic set in. It reminded me of the feeling I got when I was in labor with Julian, about 4-5cm dilated, writhing in pain on the hospital bed, not having gotten my epidural yet: "This is somewhat bearable right now, but in about 2 minutes, it's going to get really bad, and I think I might lose my mind and/or die." I know I can do it, but the pelvic pressure reminded me of how soon this is actually going to happen, and believe it or not, I actually felt a little unready.

So, when we got home, I decided to take the plunge and wash all of Natalie's clothes and bedding. All three loads of it. It was then that I realized why I needed extra time off. I can only do about 1-2 things a day before I am completely worn out. DH has been great about putting things together, moving things, and helping us get organized, too. Thankfully, I am having a cleaner come next week (which, by the way, I never thought I'd do), who will be able to get everything done in one day.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

36 weeks

Only a month to go until my due date, which I'm still hoping means more like 2 weeks, since I was 2 weeks early with Julian. I feel like my body is designed to labor at 38 weeks, since I can't imagine feeling any bigger or more uncomfortable than I do now. I chickened out of bringing up induction with my OB on Friday. I know she'll just say that there's no medical reason and offer me 39, and as anxious and antsy as I feel, I don't think I'd do a good job of convincing her to induce for emotional reasons. On the outside, I am the image of calm much of the time. At least that's how my reservation and "I'll exhale when the baby's here" attitude must come off to people who don't know me well or never bother to ask how I'm really doing. (As for how DH, a Brit, is doing--the World Cup and the Tour de France are providing convenient distractions. Need I say more?)

Everything went well with Dr. G. on Friday. I think she's starting to wonder if the weekly echos are doing us more harm than good, but the truth is, I like seeing her. She's reassuring, doesn't blow off our concerns, and uses Julian's name on a regular basis. Sure, I hate going to the hospital at 8:30am every Friday, but it sure is a good way to mark the time. We also had an interview with a pediatrician that afternoon, who we really liked. Not only is she affiliated with the hospital, but she knows Dr. G., uses email, and used to see my OB's kids before she moved to the 'burbs. Overall, a good match for us.

So, I'm off work until I return from maternity leave in October. I feel such a tremendous sense of relief that I decided to take vacation until my maternity leave starts. Not only is it better for my physical comfort, but for my emotional comfort as well. People were starting to ask questions. Or not. Which put me in a no-win situation. I was adamant that I didn't want to have to answer a lot of questions, and have been very protective and low-key about my pregnancy, but when it became obvious, it was also somewhat disconcerting to have people ignore it or give me strange looks or get all twitchy around me, but not say anything. (Deja vu? Reminds me of when I returned from my first maternity leave, sans baby). With the exception of a few close colleagues and friends, I didn't hear many "good lucks" or "take cares," but I did manage to sneak out the back door before things got really uncomfortable. More importantly, this time off is better for Natalie, who deserves to be prepared for in a way that I wasn't able to fully prepare for Julian. And she deserves to have a calm, emotionally sound mom who is 100% focused on her.