Sunday, April 21, 2013

What Else Is New?

Well, for starters I'll give you my latest belly pic. I feel like some weeks I don't change at all and then others I'm growing like mad. This pregnancy is so different from my other two, it's pretty uncanny. For starters, I began the pregnancy 10 lbs lighter than with the other two. I've also be insanely conscious about not gaining an extraordinary amount of weight. I was very careless with both of my other pregnancies and wound up gaining 50 lbs with each. For someone who started off already overweight, that's just way too much. And then afterward I'm not the kind of person who breastfeeds and loses it all. When I breastfeed, my body holds onto every pound as if it were gold. It's an incredible struggle to lose anything when I'm breastfeeding. *shakes my fist at those women whose weight drops off when they breastfeed* Anyway, I did eventually lose the weight, but it was a lot of starvation to do it. My body can only take about 1000 calories per day if I'm trying to lose weight, otherwise I gain. It's so hard being short...

Luckily I started off this pregnancy with 3 months of nausea. That definitely helped! Not only didn't I gain in 1st trimester, but I lost about 3 or 4 lbs. Baby grew, mommy didn't. Score! Now that I'm hungry all the time, I'm very aware of how much food I'm putting in. I still have to be really strict about my calorie intake, or I'll gain a lb in one joke. Now that I've reached 20 weeks (almost 21) and have only gained about what I lost in 1st trimester, I'm planning on 1/2 lb a week in gain. That way I will have only gained about 10 or 15 lbs by the end, which is appropriate for someone who has started off overweight. Plus the fact that I know how much weight I lose when I give birth - just about 10 lbs per baby, including the baby. So after I had Tzipora, I lost 10 lbs in that first week or so and then plateaued. With the twins I lost about 20 lbs and then plateaued. So if I can gain only about 10 or 15, then I will have lost the necessary baby weight and not have to starve myself down to a normal weight postpartum. YAY!

In other news, we spent last Friday on lockdown so that the Watertown (and Boston) PD could catch the marathon bomber suspect. It was an incredibly tense day, and honestly I was terrified enough to not even want to go outside! So forget about being told to stay in, I didn't want to go anywhere anyway. Of course we had to prepare for the Sabbath anyway, so we were kept busy. We are all so grateful for the tremendous effort that all of the first responders put in. I drove by the Watertown PD today and saw that people had hung up balloons and signs outside the gates. It was such a nice feeling to see that. I know a bunch of people on Facebook wanted to send the police pizzas after the suspect was taken away - and I believe at least one person did. I live in such a great community, can't you tell? You can't keep Boston down!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon

Every year the third Monday in April is Patriot's Day here in Massachusetts. It's also Boston Marathon day. I seem to forget this each year and have to be reminded that I won't be able to cross Beacon St. This effectively limits where I can go in the city. I do have a test tomorrow, but I decided to take a chunk of time out of my day to go visit some cemeteries down south near the border of Rhode Island where I wanted to take pictures. I headed out just after lunch, and it took me about an hour to get down there. I did my thing, and just after 3pm I headed back to the city. On my way back nothing seemed amiss. I felt like I drove past more police cars than usual on the highway, but nothing out of the ordinary. There was one police car with what was more like a van than an ambulance that passed, both with lights and sirens. I shrugged it off and made my way back home. There was no more traffic than usual, and I had successfully avoided all of the marathon craziness.

I get back home, and Dovid is sitting on the couch not feeling well. I took his temperature and then spent nearly half an hour trying to get him to take some Tylenol. *grumble* When I had finally gotten most of the correct dose in him, I looked at my phone and saw a text from a friend of mine. "Oh my god please tell me you're ok" Umm...what? I looked at it with one eyebrow raised and replied "I'm fine, why?" It's not like I was missing or something... I had been on Twitter earlier in the day, so I couldn't imagine why she was freaking out about my safety. Then I log into Twitter and see numerous tweets sent to me from various friends:

"some jackass blew up the boston marathon finish line, you want to stay well away from the whole area, will be clogged up with EMTs"

"Are you alright?!"

Then from the friend who had texted me who was obviously more than a little worried. She only got more worried when I didn't respond right away:

"hey are you okay? I heard something about an explosion in Boston.."

"Has anyone heard from Elana recently?"

"God I wish I had Elana's phone number or address or something right now.."

"I won't be okay until I know that Elana is okay.."

"Watching the news, scanning every face, praying that I see Elana just so I know she's okay.."

Yep, those are all from the same person. I logged in just in time to see that last one and was still clueless as to what had happened. I got a lot more "I hope she's ok" type tweets just after that, but luckily by then I was online and could put everyone's fears to rest. I'm also lucky that Shmuel made it home before I even found out about it, otherwise I would have been worried sick. I'm actually a bit surprised that the T was running, but I guess he got lucky, too.

I'm still in shock that anyone would set off explosives at the Boston Marathon. It's completely ridiculous that this would happen in the place I've called home for over a decade. I consider Boston to be exceptionally safe, and now? It's unthinkable! I'm just lucky I don't ever have anything to do with the race. I don't live near the start or the finish lines, though the runners come right through my neighborhood, and I could technically walk over and watch them run through. I never go out to see them, and I don't think I've ever known anyone who's actually run it. But I'm in the minority with that. People all over Boston are looking for family and friends who might have been in the area.

I feel like this can't have been my city. MY city! Twitter's exploding with #PrayForBoston and other such hashtags. And I just can't even connect that this happened in my Boston. My home. This is where I raise my children! Parents took their kids as a treat to see the runners finish, and they were treated with two bombs going off, injuring several dozen people and killing at least two. One of them was an eight-year-old child. Who would do this? And why? It just doesn't make sense to me...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Squishy Baby

We got to see our cute little baby girl on ultrasound today. Yep, she's still a girl, no doubt about it. Shmuel got the eye of doom when the ultrasound tech showed us the tushie shot. I went "yeah, that's a girl" and gave him a look. The ultrasound tech was like "yep, it have a girl already?" and I nodded. She asked "do you have only girls?" And I shook my lonely boy. Poor Dovid. Well, he will just have to remain outnumbered for now.

She is definitely a cutie, though. I think she has the Chana B pouty mouth going on here. Can't wait to see who she looks like!

While the main part of the ultrasound at 18 weeks is usually to check growth and structures, our ultrasound had all that plus an in-depth look at baby's heart. A week or so ago I checked her heartbeat with a doppler. I had done a lot more exercise that day than I usually do - out shopping and cooking. When the day was over and hadn't felt the baby as much as I had the previous days, I was worried and used my doppler to find the heart rate. I could tell that the heartbeat was somewhat irregular and incredibly fast - somewhere between 210 and 240 bpm or so. I made sure to rest extra and then retested in the morning. No longer irregular, but still definitely over 200. So I checked again that night, same thing. At that point I would have sworn it was going above 250. The next morning it was regularly irregular. Like going beat, beat, small pause (repeat) - almost like a missed beat, but maybe not quite enough time for one. But this time it was super slow - like 110.  The day after that I was finally able to go to the midwife's office, and it was around 150 but still regularly irregular (beat, beat, beat, pause, repeat). Since we already had this ultrasound scheduled, and since there's nothing they can do about it so early, we waited the week to see what her heart looked like structurally and to determine what (if anything) was causing this irregularity.

Fast forward to today, B"H her heart looks structurally normal. We could see that it was beating irregularly, and everyone from the ultrasound tech to the MFM doctor agreed that her heart was having what's known as PAC's (premature atrial contractions). The doctor explained that most likely it's because all of this baby's "wiring" is brand new and hasn't matured enough yet. So, we're going to keep a watch on it. I'll have another ultrasound in two weeks to check that and also check my cervix again. (Cervix was looking fine today.) I was also given permission to go back on the beta blocker I was using to control my migraines before pregnancy. This might even help the baby get her heartbeats on track, but the big side effect that they want to check for is IUGR (growth restriction). I use the lowest dose, so hopefully it won't affect her, but they need to make sure anyway, and I'm not going to turn down a perfectly good ultrasound opportunity.

In other news, I just started my last clinical rotation of nursing school, and it's on the maternity floor at the hospital I go to. So far I've only been on the floor one day, but I actually got to participate in a birth (and hang with the mom postpartum). It was pretty sweet, and probably the best clinical day ever.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Passover Keeping Me Busy

Sorry I have been so terrible about posting, but Passover, among other things, has made life a bit crazy. I'm just about to start my last clinical rotation of nursing school. I get to spend the next 5 weeks on the maternity ward where I'll be delivering this baby! YAY!

Speaking of this baby, we've had some concerns over the last week and hope to get some answers at our fetal survey ultrasound this Friday. I'll keep you guys informed on whatever happens.

And now, for the newest belly pic. I do actually look bigger than I did 2 weeks ago, so that makes me happy. Enjoy!