Posts tagged ultrasound

34 Weeks and Hanging in There

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Well, we’re 34 weeks along and things are really starting to heat up. We had another trip to the hospital last week because you apparently decided to rebel against our grounding you. Late Tuesday night, mommy started feeling more painful and intense contractions. She waited a couple of hours, trying to fall asleep and hoping they would subside, but they didn’t. So around 3:30 a.m. she woke me up out of a dead sleep by saying, “We need to go to the hospital.”

When you’re not ready for it, that’s probably one of the worst ways to wake up. I mean, if it were a few weeks later and we knew you were about to come, then I’d be more ready for it. But at 33 weeks, we had gone to bed just like any other night, expecting to wake up like normal.

We called the doctor and she said to come to the hospital right away. I admit that during those few minutes of calling for a car and throwing a few clothes in a bag, I was thinking, “is this it?”. We got to the hospital and they put her in triage where she’s already been twice before. They performed some tests, hooked her up to the fetal monitor, and gave her a couple of IVs and basically said our doctor would be in between 8 and 9 to let us know where things stood and whether we could go home or whether she would have to be admitted to labor and delivery.

Finally, the doctor came in around 8:30 and said she was about one centimeter dilated and that they would need to admit her for 24-48 hours and give her some medicine to slow the contractions, as well as some steroids for you to help your lungs develop. I guess that disqualifies you from professional sports in the future.

We then had to wait a couple of hours more for a bed to come available, so the doctor told me to go out and get mommy some breakfast since she hadn’t slept all night. I went to Starbucks for coffee and a diner for breakfast and brought it back and we ate in the little room in triage. Finally, a room opened up and we were taken down the hall.

At first, she had her own room, and was able to pick out the bed closest to the window, where she at least had a good view of the Upper West Side.

The view from our hospital room (day)

The view from our hospital room (night)

They put her back on the fetal monitor and she had to take the medicine every six hours. At that time, with mommy in good hands and sleeping, I went home to take care of Buddy and get things taken care of at home for a couple hours. Her contractions weren’t getting better, so they switched the dose to every four hours. I came back and brought dinner and at that time, she had a roommate who was in for a scheduled c-section. It was pretty awkward walking in with food from our favorite Thai restaurant and eating it while this other girl was in early labor awaiting a c-section and unable to eat or drink anything. But it was delicious. I stayed there with her for a few hours until she was ready to go to sleep for the night and then I went home to sleep since I couldn’t sleep there.

The next morning, I got up and went back to the hospital, and shortly after that, we found out that they were letting her go home because the contractions weren’t getting any worse and weren’t causing her to dilate any more. We were very relieved. By that time, the first roommate was gone and there was a second who was on full hospital bed rest and only 23 weeks along. She was pretty young and by herself, so we definitely felt bad for her, but we were ready to go home for a few more weeks.

Mommy is still on bed rest for two more weeks until we reach 36 and you’re considered full term. She still has to take the meds every four hours day and night, and has strict orders to come back to the hospital if things get any worse. We have a little system through the night where she sets her alarm for 2 a.m. and I set mine for 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. so she doesn’t forget to take her pill. It’s pretty annoying that we can’t just sleep through the night, but I guess it’s getting us ready for when you are born and we have to feed and change you at all hours.

In the past couple of days, the contractions seem to have slowed down a little bit, so that’s a good thing. They’re still a little more intense than they used to be though. Mom is getting really bored and restless from being confined to the bed or couch non-stop, and I certainly can’t blame her. I’m trying to do my best to take care of her, cook for her, clean the apartment, and keep her occupied. Yesterday, she was lamenting the fact that she hasn’t even changed out of sweatpants the past three weeks, and I tried to point out that she had in fact changed into a hospital gown for a couple days, but that didn’t seem to help. We just need to make it through the next two weeks and then she can go out and do whatever she wants because if she goes into labor then, you’ll be full term.

While mommy's on bed rest, Buddy watches the Westminster Dog Show

We had another doctor appointment today and she checked the cervix and everything looks great. She said to keep taking the meds until next Sunday (week 35), and stay on bed rest until the following Sunday (Feb. 27), which will be week 36, but otherwise, she was very optimistic about you making it to full term! She said you might be a little on the smaller side, but that’s certainly nothing to worry about. You’re healthy and that’s the biggest thing. Last week when they checked, you were about 4 pounds, 11 ounces, so you will probably put on at least another pound before you’re born.

Another thing we have been worried about is not being able to deliver in the  birthing center, which is one of the main reasons we switched to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital. That has been our hope and goal all along since we’re going natural, but our doula told us that only about 30 percent of people who want to actually end up getting in. We were supposed to take a birthing center class yesterday that’s a prerequisite for getting in, but since mom’s on bed rest, we couldn’t go. She even called the doctor on Saturday to ask if she could make an exception for her bed rest so we could go, but she said absolutely not. But today, our doctor said that if she makes it to 37 weeks (they don’t accept anyone before 37), she will get us in and won’t tell them that we didn’t take the class. So that’s what we’re shooting for now – 37 weeks, which will be March 6, one day after my mom (your grandma)’s birthday.

Mommy’s dad (your pappy) is coming to visit and help out this week from Tuesday to Saturday, so we’re thankful for that. His help and his company will be very much appreciated…she’s probably getting tired of just seeing me and nobody else every day. I’m going to Chicago on Wednesday for some work meetings, but I’m just making it a day trip instead of the three days that it was supposed to be. I’m thankful that my boss is understanding enough to let me participate in the other two days by conference call.

We are trying to remain positive about everything and just pray that God has everything under control. I think today’s appointment really helped for some good news. If anything, this whole situation has really reminded us that it’s not in our control, no matter how good she eats or how much we prepare. Sure, we can do things to prepare ourselves, but your birth is truly a miracle of life that is fully in God’s hands.

The contractions seem to build up and then die down (compared to previously, when they were just sort of uncomfortable). In finding the positive side of it, mommy says this could help when she’s in real labor, since this time has allowed her to practice her breathing techniques and feel what it’s like when the contractions are coming (obviously on a much lighter scale right now).

She’s really doing a great job of handling it all and preparing for motherhood. I think you’re pretty lucky because you get to be born to a great mom who really loves you and has worked really hard to give birth to you fully healthy and fully developed.

Should be only a few more weeks!

Keep growing!

Love,

Dad

33 Weeks and You’re Grounded

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Well, you’re 33 weeks now and your immune system should be developed and you have rapid brain growth going on right about now. I can tell that by the way you’ve been kicking. We’ve even started playing a little game where I try to follow your foot or hand as it’s pushing against mommy’s belly. I push down a little bit and then you move somewhere else and I follow…our first game of hide and seek. You’re pretty good at getting away from me and hiding.

Mommy has been on bed rest for two weeks now. She’s about to go crazy and I don’t blame her. She has barely left the house (except to go downstairs to get some fresh air) and all she’s been able to do is sit/lay around all day. My work has been nice enough to let me work from home last week and this week, and it’s nice to be here to keep her company. Thankfully, the contractions aren’t doing anything and we have placed you under strict orders not to come out yet. In other words, you’re grounded for at least three more weeks. I hate to do it to ya since, you know, I haven’t even had the pleasure of meeting you yet, but we need you to be healthy and have fully developed lungs.

On Saturday, we met our doula, Tonya. Mommy had already met her when she hired her, but it was the first time I had. She came over to our apartment to meet with us and talk about our hopes and plans for the birth. She seemed really nice and knows what she’s doing, so she should be a great asset for the birth.

How she feels about bed rest

Last night was the Super Bowl. Our last one without you. It was a good game and the Packers beat the Steelers. Your grandparents aren’t happy about it because they’re Steelers fans, but I was rooting for Green Bay because of Charles Woodson. He played for Michigan in the mid-90s and is one of my favorite players. By the time you’re able to realize what football is, he’ll probably be going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Since mommy is on bed rest, I have become a cooking and cleaning machine. For our Super Bowl party (which consisted if just us), I made pulled pork, which brined and slow cooked for 24 hours, as well as bourbon and brown sugar baked beans. It was amazing, and the best part was that the smallest pork shoulder I could find was 8 lbs, so we have leftover pulled pork to eat all week. I also made chocolate chip blondies for dessert. I can’t wait to cook for you!

It’s sad that football season is officially over, but now we can look forward to March Madness. College basketball season is winding down and this will be the last sporting events we get to watch without you.

This Friday, we have another ultrasound to see how everything is progressing and make sure you’re still doing well. Every appointment we’ve had so far has shown that you’re growing and developing perfectly! I can’t wait to get another ultrasound picture of you to see what you look like!

Well, it’s time for me to go to bed, so until next time. Keep growing!

Love,

Dad

The Big Reveal

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A beautiful spine

We tried to find out your gender a week ago and we were all excited to tell our family and friends. We were getting ready to see my parents the next day and were planning a perfect way to surprise them with the announcement in person. But then you moved around too much for the doctor to be able to see and we were left waiting for another week.

We were a little bit disappointed, but then I realized that it just gave us another week with something to look forward to.

This morning we went to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital for the anatomy ultrasound and after a few anxious moments, we found out that you’re no longer just our little baby. You’re our little baby girl!

Looks like you have mommy's nose

Mommy has been thinking all along that you would be a girl. I don’t know if it’s because she wanted a girl, or if it’s because of all the old wives’ tales or if it was just a mother-daughter connection, but she was sure of it all along. The only moment of hesitation was last night when she had a clear-as-day dream that you were a boy. But I immediately dismissed that because when your cousin Gavin was about to be born, mommy had a dream that he would be an Asian genius.

As for me, I’ve been completely split about whether I wanted a boy or a girl first. Part of me wanted a boy because I think that’s what all guys want first. A boy as the oldest child can protect his younger sister(s). But part of me wanted a girl because there aren’t any other granddaughters in the family. If you were a boy, you would be the fourth one on the Barnes side.

Once I found out that you are a girl, however, I was ecstatic. You’re daddy’s little girl and I can’t wait to raise you and teach you all about life and Michigan football and boys and everything else.

Obviously, since I’ve never been in this position before, I can’t speak from experience, but it seems that there’s something more special to a father about a daughter than a son. I like the way that the politician and writer from the 1600-1700s, Joseph Addison, put it: “Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters, there is something which there are no words to express.”

No words to express, and yet here I am trying to write about what it will be like to raise you. I know that a young girl is so delicate and precious and it’s a huge responsibility as a father to raise her in a way that allows her to flourish. While it’s a huge responsibility, I can’t wait to dive in and take on that responsibility head-first.

There are those kicking legs

A part of me is reflecting on the kind of world I’m bringing you into. A world in which terrorism has forever changed the way we go about our daily lives. A world in which millions of people are struggling to find jobs and hold onto their homes. A world in which our president cares more about his own celebrity than the safety and well-being of our country. And yet, with all of the peril we face right now, I can’t wait until you’re born so I can show you all of the beautiful parts of life.

In what I think should be one of the top albums of 2010, the Arcade Fire sings, “So can you understand why I want a daughter while I’m still young? I wanna hold her hand and show her some beauty before all this damage is done…”

That’s how I feel right now. I can’t wait to show you the sunrise or the ocean. I can’t wait to teach you how to love and to dance with you at your wedding. And above all, I can’t wait to be your dad.

Pablo Gives us a Wave

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The 12 week pregnancy post is a little bit delayed and will probably be posted in the next day or two due to my being in Buffalo all weekend. However, to kick off the 12th week, we do have a nice surprise for today…more pictures!

We decided to go back to the doctor today to get everything checked out again because we had a few concerns. Thankfully, the doctor said everything looks great and healthy with no complications.

We were really happy to be able to get another look at the little one, who we are now affectionately calling Pablo. Yeah, that’s right, Pablo (more on that in a minute).

We saw it moving and heard the heartbeat again (Carrie said it was a fast heartbeat, which usually means it’s a girl…is that true?). It was moving both legs and arms and the doctor said it’s about three-and-a-half inches long, which is three times bigger than it was two weeks ago in the first ultrasound! That’s amazing that it can triple in size in two weeks.

The best part of the visit was when it gave us a wave (left). We were excited to see all five fingers and I’m pretty sure I even saw it give a thumbs up for Michigan’s win over Notre Dame on Saturday.

You can’t really tell in these pictures, but from the way it was moving, it’s legs look really long. I’m convinced it’s going to be a 6’5″ receiver in about 18 years.

The other really cool thing is that you can see the facial features…eyes, nose, mouth and ears already and it’s only been around for 12 weeks!

Now onto the Pablo story. It has nothing to do with the national immigration debate (although maybe fitting, since I was born in Arizona) and everything to do with food.

Carrie’s first real pregnancy craving has been tacos. We make them all the time (and no I’m not talking about Taco Bell; I’m talking real tacos with doubled-up corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, lime, etc), which is fine for me, since I like tacos too, and our neighborhood is all Dominican, so the grocery store on the corner sells pretty much all hispanic food.

The inspiration for the baby-in-womb name...doesn't that make you hungry?

A couple weeks ago when Carrie’s cousin Travis was in town, we made amazing shredded pork tacos and when Carrie went to bed that night she couldn’t sleep because she wanted more tacos. She woke up and wanted more tacos. Pretty much all she could think about was tacos, so we decided the baby must like tacos, and therefore, should have a Mexican name (in the womb). So we settled on Pablo.

I’m not really sure why that was the one that stuck out, but it also fits since one of the best players on my favorite baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, is Pablo Sandoval. That also means the baby’s nickname is the Kung Fu Panda, since that’s Pablo Sandoval’s nickname.

So anyway, we are excited to end the first trimester and move onto the second. I know Carrie is for sure, since everyone says the morning sickness and constant tiredness get better in the second trimester. Stay tuned for the next pregnancy pic and note to the baby in a day or two. Time to go make some tacos.

A Peanut Seen and a Heartbeat Heard

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There are few things that can get me up in the early hours of the morning. Chief among those things is golf and apparently I can now add babies to the list. We trekked down to midtown on the East side for an 8:15 a.m. appointment…the first ultrasound. I had no idea what to expect other than the awkwardness of being a guy in a woman’s lair.

Thankfully, after a frantic search for a Starbucks (and coming up empty and having to settle for Oren’s Daily Roast) there was hardly anyone else in the waiting room when we arrived and we were ushered back to a private room pretty quickly. The nurse got to work right away and the image of Baby X flashed onto the monitor. It was our first look at the peanut-sized (and shaped) living being incubating inside Carrie’s uterus. It was both exciting and emotional, especially when she turned on the sound to hear the heartbeat, which sounded more like a string of firecrackers going off than the typical sound of a heartbeat that you hear on TV shows and movies. But it was the best sound of firecrackers I’ve ever heard.

The first ultrasound

As I sit here looking at the souvenir printout of the baby that she printed out for us, it really sheds a new light onto the issue of abortion in my mind. I just cannot fathom how somebody can look at this knowing that it is a part of the two of you and is being intricately woven together over a period of nine months, and decide that it’s not worth keeping. Of course, my situation is much different than that of many who get to this point, so my feelings of love and compassion for this peanut I’ve only seen in a 2″x 3″ picture don’t reflect those of everybody else, but it just goes to show how amazing the miracle of life really is, how it’s so far beyond our control, and how life really does start at conception, rather than birth.

The only awkward part of the experience was while waiting for Carrie to get her height, weight and blood pressure measured, I was standing next to the bathroom door where other women were passing by with their urine samples. I may have gotten a few dirty looks, but hey, I just saw my kid for the first time, so I don’t care.

The doctor we met with after the ultrasound was very nice and not like the doctors I’ve been warned about in the fatherhood books I’ve been reading. She welcomed my presence in the room, talked to me, and asked if I had any questions or input. Apparently some doctors barely even recognize that the guy in there with his wife or girlfriend. This one, however, seems great and Carrie seemed to really like her. She could be the one delivering the baby (she’s one of four doctors in the practice) so it should be an exciting time over the next seven months!

Nine Weeks and a Big Head

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Hey little guy (or girl)! My book tells me you’re only about an inch big and you weigh less than a quarter of an ounce right now but you already have your arms, legs, fingers and intestines and your heart is starting to beat. And your head makes up half your body right now!

We have our first ultrasound on Friday so we will get to see you for the first time. I can’t wait! Maybe then it will really set in, because I don’t know if it really has yet…it still doesn’t feel real, except for mommy’s constant nausea and insane appetite. Seriously, she can out-eat me right now, although sometimes she gets so grossed out by what she’s eating that she has to go lay down, and then 10 minutes later she’s ready to eat something else.

We just had our first fantasy football draft of the year tonight and i think I got a fairly decent team. Hopefully you like football, but we’ll love you even if you don’t. Although if you become a Notre Dame fan or Ohio State or even somehow Michigan State, it might make that a little harder. Just kidding, we’ll love you no matter what.

Ok, that’s it for now. Looking forward to seeing you on Friday!

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