Category Archives: Pregnancy


The last couple of weeks have been uneventful. I’ve been working about 20 hrs/week and then running little errands most days. During the day, I usually feel pretty good. However, at night I’ll often start getting cramps (like menstrual cramps) and my legs are getting tired of me lying on my side the entire night.

Thursday Night/Friday
Thursday night around 1:30 I woke up with a fair amount of nausea. I tried to ignore it but it wouldn’t go away. Eventually I went downstairs and drank some juice thinking that the nausea might be hunger induced. However, that didn’t seem to help. The nausea started coming in waves which made me wonder if it was a sign of going into labor. I’d read a couple of chapters and then the nausea would get bad enough I’d have to put the book down and wait it out before I could start reading again. For a while I contemplated seeing if I could time it like contractions but eventually decided that would be pointless :-) Since I had created a Twitter account recently, I decided it was as good a time as any to start complaining to the world.

After a while, the nausea subsided but I started getting pretty bad cramps. They were bad enough that I wasn’t able to concentrate on my book. I decided the best way to soothe them would be to take a warm bath. Unfortunately, this would mean running water in the bathtub which I was fairly certain would wake up Jaeger. However, I was getting desperate and decided to hope that he’d sleep through it. No such luck. A while later Jaeger popped into the bathroom and said that he noticed on my twitter feed I had mentioned feeling nauseous and should he be preparing to go to the hospital. I found it very amusing he had read my twitter feed before coming into the bathroom. In his defense, running the bathtub water had woken him up but he just happened to glance at the twitter feed before coming in to see what was happening.

Around 5ish I felt good enough to try sleeping again. The cramping didn’t go completely away till around 6 but it was better than it had been. Since I had gotten very little sleep, I decided to sleep in later than I usually do. Eventually hunger drove me to get up so I went downstairs and emailed my boss telling her I probably wouldn’t be working much that day. Jaeger requested I call my doctor to make sure this wasn’t some sort of Gem-only labor progression. Dr. B thought it was unlikely the symptoms I described would have caused me to dilate further but she also felt it was worthwhile to come in and make sure. I got an appointment for 11 that day which was good but messed up plans I had to go back to sleep. At my appointment, they put me on the contraction monitor for about 15 minutes and I had one significant contraction (which is about what I currently average). Like always, Calvin’s heartbeat looked really good. Dr B also checked my cervix and nothing had changed so she sent me home and I took a 3 hr nap.

Sunday, I had great plans for many errands.

I successfully managed 1 hour of fairly strenuous exercise. I felt pretty good about it as I hadn’t exercised that much at one time since coming off bed rest. I was getting ready to start working when Jaeger side-tracked me with tax related questions. It started off innocently enough, we were missing the 1098 form for our 2nd mortgage from our credit union. However, after spending almost an hour going through every folder I could think of, I headed to the credit union website hoping to find a way to either download the form or re-request it. After looked at the FAQs, I learned that they weren’t required to send us a 1098 form since we paid under $600 in interest. We had paid the 2nd mortgage off earlier in 2008 and it turns out we were just under the the limit. After going to a couple of other sites to verify we could still use it as a tax deduction, I forwarded Jaeger the appropriate amount The next tax hurdle was a couple of charities I had given to. One of them hadn’t given us any tax documentation while another claimed I had given them half of what I had recorded. I’m still waiting for information back on those two mysteries.

By the time Jaeger finished taxes, I decided it was too later to work after all. Jaeger inquired if I would be interested in hiking Rabbit Hill. I was a little dubious but decided it would be worth trying. We drove separate cars to the trail so I could leave early if it was too much for me. Somewhat to my surprise, I made it up to the bench at the end of the Little Thompson Overlook Trail. Pre-pregnancy I would have scoffed at considering this little trail a victory but my outlook has changed quite a bit since being on bed rest.

After getting back to the car, I took off and headed to the library. It was after closing but since it was one I had worked at fairly frequently, I had the code to get in. I think my favorite time in a library is when it’s completely deserted. It seems to get a mysterious vibe when everyone else is gone. It’s a place and time when I expect impossible things to happen :-) I picked up my holds and then contentedly wandered through the stacks until I decided I really did need to return to the real world.

Monday (today)
I had another doctors appointment and nothing had changed. Several weeks ago Dr L wanted to schedule an induction when I was at 39 weeks (this Thursday). Both she and Dr B are concerned about the risk of infection since I’ve been dilated so long. I’m a little dubious about inducing since other than being dilated, I’m perfectly healthy. We talked about it and at that point decided it could be pushed to week 40 if my CBC came back normal.

We hadn’t heard anything about the blood test results so I had assumed it came back normal which Dr. B confirmed. So, I’m now on schedule to be induced March 26 if he doesn’t decide to come before then. During the conversation Dr B mentioned I would come in and get put on antibiotics for 4 hours after which they would induce me if labor hadn’t started by itself. I was confused as I had never heard that antibiotics could induce labor so I queried why labor might start by itself if it hadn’t already. She clarified that the IV wouldn’t start labor but that walking around might. I didn’t bother to tell her I had been on a fairly decent hike the previous day and sincerely doubted walking around a hospital hallway would help if that hadn’t.

While I am still a little uncomfortable with being induced, I feel that 40 weeks is a good compromise between my reservations and my doctors’ concerns. It’s also nice to finally have an end in sight. Much of my pregnancy was fairly routine but the roller coaster during February combined with the expectant boredom in March makes me ready to be done.

Normal Life

I have been officially cleared by my doctor to go back to my “normal” life, assuming my normal life doesn’t take me very far from Longmont. The problem is figuring out what a normal life is at this point. My doctor believes that Calvin might show up anytime now (she was surprised he didn’t decide to make an appearance this last weekend) which makes it difficult to do anything that requires planning.

Yesterday, I talked to my boss about returning to work. I’ve been working 10 hrs a week since I’ve been in the hospital. We decided to up that to 20 hrs this week and see how it goes. At this point, I’m having a hard time sitting up for more than a couple of hours at a time so it’s nice to have the flexibility to work from home so I can take breaks whenever I need to.

I’ve also slowly started exercising again. Before going on bed rest I was a fairly vigorous exerciser, usually doing some combination of aerobic and weight lifting for 70 minutes a day (though broken up into morning and lunch exercises). However, being 36 weeks pregnant and on bed rest for 4 weeks has taken its toil. I don’t get out of breath but I start getting cramping in my side if I try doing too much too fast. I’ve started doing some strength/pregnancy exercises and a limited amount of walking. Last night Jaeger and I took a short (0.3 mile) walk around our neighborhood which was about as much as I could handle. This morning I walked the little loop twice and I just finished another 2 loops which puts me up to 1.2 miles today. I feel really pathetic since I use to walk 2+ miles during my 1/2 hr lunch but I know I need to give myself some slack.

The rest of my week has consisted of running little errands and relaxing whenever I start getting too tired. My doctor has made a big deal about making sure I’m well-rested so I’m trying to be good and not overdo it. I’m mainly limiting myself to one excursion a day. Today, I got my hair cut and eyebrows waxed since I figured this might be my last chance for a long time :-) I keep meaning to try to stop by Costco as I need to restock my frozen fruit supply but I haven’t been ambitious enough for that yet.

At this point, we have all the basic necessities we need for Calvin, at least the ones we know about. In addition to basic necessities, I’ve been researching 529 plans and child care options.

The 529 options seem pretty straightforward. I’m waffling between Utah’s or Colorado’s plan. With Colorado we get a tax break but their expense ratio is around 0.75% whereas with Utah we don’t have a tax break but the expense ratio is 0.34%. Colorado is more expensive because they are partnered with Upromise which allegedly allows you to earn 529 money by buying from various merchants, etc. Personally, I feel it’s a bit scam-like and I’d much prefer a cheaper option without any sort of reward program. Jaeger and I need to sit down and discuss what options we like the best. Because of the difference in expense ratios, choosing either Colorado’s or Utah’s plan is more of a toss-up than I expected even after calculating the state tax benefit. Thus, it’ll probably come down to which investment options we like best.

Child care options are no where near as straightforward as choosing a 529 plan :-( I’m planning to work around 20 hrs a week and needing daycare around 16 of those hours. At this point, it appears I have two options: pay for someone to come to our house to take care of Calvin, or pay for full-time daycare even though I only need part-time. It turns out that most daycare facilities will not take infants part-time. However, after calculating all the taxes we would need to pay for a part-time in-home babysitter/nanny, paying for full-time daycare is only a little more expensive and would provide a lot more flexibility. There are a lot of pros and cons to each that Jaeger and I need to look at. Unfortunately, if we want to put Calvin in a good daycare, we need to reserve our spot several months in advance. Both options are depressing as they will consume 55-60% of my take home pay.

With all the projects I’ve been working on I have less free time than one might expect. However, I have managed to get through several amusing books in February (and started a couple that weren’t worth finishing). I’ve mainly been sticking to historical romances or cozy mysteries but made a quick excursion this week into contemporary romance. Yesterday, I finished reading Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise. Previously, I had read a book she co-authored with Bob Mayer that I found quite amusing called Agnes and the Hitman. It was a nice blend of romance and cozy mystery. However, I was dubious about trying out one of Cruise’s straight romances. Somewhat to my surprise, I really enjoyed Bet Me. Sometimes the characters were a little silly but they never devolved into the complete idiots that characterize many chick-lit heroines. The only downside to the book was I ended up craving donuts due to several near-pornographic descriptions of food. Unfortunately, that craving still hasn’t left me. A couple of weeks ago my doctor was berating me for not gaining enough weight but since I gained 4 pounds last week, I’m not sure I can justify a donut excursion.

Week 36

I’m now official on week 36 of my pregnancy. Back around four weeks ago, it seemed unlikely that I’d make it this far. As I mentioned before, I was in the hospital the first two weeks after which I released to bed rest until this week. I’m going off my medicine tonight so it’ll be interesting to see if anything happens. My doctor implied she has had cases of preterm labor before where they managed to stop the labor and then later had to induce labor because the baby decided it didn’t want to come out after all.

Other than the constant stress of uncertainty, nothing particularly interesting has happened recently. My normal routine is to work a couple of hours each day (I can do much of my work remotely). Then I work on whatever other projects need to be done such as trying to help our local academy pick out their own library system, shopping online for stuff we still need for Calvin, and other small projects. Somehow this manages to fill up most the day until Jaeger gets home from work.

Just this week, I handed in my summary of the library software options our academy has and have finished buying almost everything I “need” for Calvin. This has left me with a little more free time than normal which I’ve used reading, watching TV online, and napping. I’m getting big enough now that it has become tricky to sleep at night. I think one of my problems is I haven’t quite figured out the knack to using multiple pillows. Most nights, I’m still down to one for my head. Jaeger can work very well as a pregnancy pillow but has the annoying habit of moving around too much at night :-) (On the other hand, I’m afraid my tossing and turning is reducing his sleep as he’s waking up by himself at bizarrely early hours these days.)

Last night, I went to the second infant care class I had signed Jaeger and I up for. Last week was the first session and I had been unable to attend due to bed rest. However, I figured last night was close enough to 36 weeks that I could probably risk it. I don’t think I really learned much new that I hadn’t already learned from either books or videos. I found this pretty comforting as perhaps it means I’m not quite as clueless as I feel.

Today, I ventured out by myself to the store to pick up some baking supplies. It’s been driving me nuts being unable to bake for so long. Come to think of it, that might be why I wasn’t gaining enough weight (a little over a week ago my doctor was very distressed to learn that I hadn’t gained any weight for about 6 weeks). Since coming home, I’ve been trying to eat more (Jaeger went out of his way to buy me high calorie food including dark chocolate covered almonds :-) ) and I am once more gaining a good amount of weight each week. I have plans to make Almond Toffee today and possibly Sweet Rolls for Saturday morning if I manage to avoid labor for that long.

My plan for this coming week is to continue taking it pretty easy. My doctor told me I shouldn’t attempt to go back to work and instead should make sure I stay well rested. If Calvin has decided to avoid making an appearance by next Thursday, I think I’ll start up my normal exercise routine again. The weather is so nice right now I really want to go out walking but I have been on bed rest so long I doubt I could get very far.

I haven’t yet decided what my plan is if Calvin hasn’t shown up after week 37. It would be ironic yet somehow appropriate if Calvin has changed his mind and decided he doesn’t want to venture out into the world after all.


I hate uncertainty. This is unfortunate since my life has been full of uncertainty since I went into pre-term labor on January 31. In some ways, actually going into labor was always going to be an unplanned occurrence. After all, very few babies are born on their due date. However, I dealt with that problem by determining the likely range of dates Calvin would be born on. Based on all the stats I could find, it was likely he was going to be born at least a week after his due date. Based on Jaeger’s birth and my feeling that Calvin wanted to be early, I decided I should also allow for him to show up as soon as he was technically full-term (3 weeks before his due date). As a result, I created my plans with the expectation that Calvin would be born sometime between March 5 and the first part of April.

I set up a marathon of meetings and classes to be sure that by the end of February, Jaeger and I would be in the position to be “perfect” parents. We’d already taken the Bradley childbirth classes and infant CPR/First Aid. In addition, I had signed up for baby care and breastfeeding classes. I scheduled almost every Wednesday night in February to talk to Jaeger about various things I/we felt needed to be done before Calvin was born (guardians, wills, after-birth work schedule, etc). In addition, my baby showers were planned for February and I was planning to pick up any necessities I still needed for Calvin after they were over.

Then Calvin decided he wanted to come a little early. One of the clearest thoughts I had in the hospital the Saturday night I went into labor was, “No, he can’t come yet. We don’t have our wills prepared.” Very quickly it became apparent that I was likely going to be in the hospital until Calvin was born which could be any day. This was ruining all my plans. The only coping strategy I could come up with was to completely ignore the future and instead focus on the moment and being glad that Calvin was still inside me for a little longer. Anytime I thought about the future it looked scary and uncertain so I immediately blocked it from my mind.

After two weeks in the hospital, when Calvin was 34 weeks, Calvin was at a stage where Longmont United would most likely be able to take care of him so PSL in Denver let me go home on bed rest. Once home and it became apparent that Calvin might not show up immediately, I decided it would be worthwhile to try to think about a future that might be a week or more away. Thus, on the couch with my Internet accessible computer and phone handy, I started trying to arrange all the loose-ends that my unexpected trip to the hospital had left dangling.

I started thinking about the future that might exist in a couple of weeks and it scared me. I know nothing about infants. Absolutely nothing. I know almost nothing about children except what I can remember about myself. I had read some parenting books before I had gone into labor but these last couple of weeks I read several more books and watched a DVD on infant care that Jaeger checked out from the library for me. A couple of nights ago I lay awake worrying about where Calvin would sleep. We have a bassinet in our bedroom but our bedroom gets down to 60 degrees at night (our heating/air conditioning system has issues with the 2nd level) and I don’t have the foggiest idea how to get the temperature up to a suitable level for an infant. My mind flittered between massive layers of clothing to putting the space heater we have in the basement up in our room (though I’m not sure about the safety of that).

Today was my first official day off strict bedrest. My doctor informed me that I should still take it easy but it was probably okay if I puttered around the house as long as I didn’t over-exert myself (she really emphasizes the importance of being well-rested before baby arrives). I’m still dubious about climbing stairs so I spent most of this morning on the couch like I have for the past week. I briefly got up and opened our front door to see if any of the numerous items I ordered for Calvin had arrived yet. They hadn’t but it gave me a chance to see what a beautiful day it was outside (our living room blinds are broken so they can’t be pulled up to see out the window very well). I decided that I should find some way to get outside for a couple of minutes.

Since I was hospitalized, I haven’t been outside for much more than 5 minutes. Once when Jaeger was working from my hospital room, he did manage to coax a wheelchair out of the nurses and was able to wheel me outside. However, at that point it was uncomfortable to sit up for more than a few minutes at a time so we had to go back inside fairly quickly.

After lunch, I went out to the garage and discovered a sleeping bag that I often keep in the car during the winter just in case I ever got stranded. I dragged the sleeping bag, a fluffy romance book, and my ever-present water bottle outside and lay on the grass. It was incredibly relaxing. I lay on the grass outside reading and occasionally putting my book down to enjoy the beautiful day.

While sunning outside, it occurred to me that all this stuff I’m worrying about now will eventually be irrelevant. I started day-dreaming about being able to walk around the neighborhood with Calvin in his stroller and once again going on epic day hikes with Jaeger while he carries Calvin around in our spiffy baby backpack.

I need to starting thinking about the future again. Not just the future within the next couple of weeks. The future when Jaeger and I finally bring Calvin home and we can start learning the best way for us to be a happy family together.

Home Again

I’m home :-)

After it became apparent that Calvin wasn’t going to insist on being born immediately, one of the nurse practitioners looked into my options for either going home or going to Longmont Hospital (LUH). Apparently there’s some sort of insurance issue where Denver couldn’t release me directly to Longmont Hospital. Instead, I would have to go home and then if I felt my contractions increasing, I would need to go to the hospital and get admitted if appropriate (or they might just give me a shot and send me home).

After talking to LUH, the nurse practitioner learned that the soonest Longmont would feel comfortable taking me versus flying me to Denver again was at 34 weeks. I was dubious about going back home on the edge of what LUH felt they could handle. I talked to my obstetrician and she said that at 34-35 weeks, there was roughly a 50% chance they would go ahead and let me labor at the hospital but then would fly Calvin back to Denver. I didn’t like this idea at all since everyone agreed that babies who need to be transported to a second hospital tend not to do as well as if the hospital they are born at can support them. However, Jaeger was going a little crazy trying to work, commute to Denver to see me, and then go back to Longmont to sleep every night.

Tuesday night my monitor showed more contractions than the nurse practitioner felt comfortable with (they seemed fairly mild to me but I guess I’ve always had a hard time gauging them). She and my night nurse popped in my room to check how I was feeling and see if they needed to give me another shot. The nurse practitioner asked me if I felt like getting another exam to see if my cervix was continuing to dilate. This seemed reasonable especially since we were going to have to decided whether or not to go home soon and obviously further dilation would be a bad sign. Somewhat to our astonishment, she discovered that my cervix was pretty long, the baby was “way up there” and my dilation had decreased to under 3 cm. (Later, one of the nurses suggested that LUH had just messed up my initial exam and was crestfallen when I informed her that they had also checked me when I had first arrived at Denver and also decided I was 4 cm). All in all, the results seemed very positive. I had been a little afraid I had continued dilating without realizing it.

Thursday, when I was officially 34 weeks, we talked to one of the doctors in Denver. She said the most likely reason Longmont would fly young babies to another hospital was if the babies needed extra help breathing. She suggested that we could either wait till 35 weeks before going home, thus giving his lungs a better chance to develop, or we could do another fetal lung maturity (FLM) test to see where his lung development currently was.

After talking it over, Jaeger and I decided to go with the FLM test in the hopes of getting a little more data. I had the test that night and they had the results back to me within two hours. When I was first admitted to Denver they had done an amniocentesis and at that point the test showed him at around 13 mg/G (anything under 39 is considered immature and anything over 55 is considered mature). In spite of the steroid shots I had received earlier, it sounded like none of the nurses expected to see enough improvement to consider his lungs mature. However, the test results came back at 55.86 mg/G, enough to be considered mature. Naturally, we can’t completely rely on test results to predict how he’d do once he was born but it seemed another positive indicator. With the combination of my cervix no longer continuing to dilate and his lung maturity looking pretty good, Jaeger and I decided that it would probably be okay to bring me home.

Friday morning a doctor stopped by and officially ordered that I could be discharged. I informed Jaeger and he made plans to swing by after lunch to pick me up. Right before he was getting ready to leave home, I started panicking because Calvin was really acting up. He was moving all over the place and it was irritating my uterus enough that I was having trouble figuring out if I was just feeling movement or something else. After about a half hour of scaring Jaeger, everything calmed down to a level I felt comfortable telling Jeager to go ahead and come pick me up.

Jaeger arrived at the hospital and packed up my room (amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in 12 nights). The nurse arrived to discharge me and ran through the list of things I was and was not allowed to do (the “not allowed” list was much longer). Then Jaeger and my nurse wheeled me and my stuff out to the car. We had an uneventful ride back to Longmont, stopping by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription before heading home.

It was really nice to get back home. I don’t think I realized how much I wanted to be home till I actually got here. I spent the evening lounging on the sofa and then slowly made my way up to bed (I’m only doing one set of stairs a day and that only because we don’t have a shower on the main floor). I had to wake up every 4 hours to take my pill but other than that, the night was blissful. It was also great to be able to lounge in bed without worrying that someone was randomly going to pop into my room to check on something :-)

It’s very good to be home.

Weekend Excitement

For the past few weeks, my life has been very busy. I had a huge list of things to do such as working with Jaeger to create wills, buying life insurance, and generally making sure everything was ready when Calvin decided to arrive. According to all the stats that I could find, Calvin would most likely be born “late” after his due date (1st time baby, boy, Caucasian, etc). However, I had a weird feeling that he was going to be early so I wanted everything ready by the beginning of March which was when he technically became full-term. Similarly, I was trying to get all my major projects at work finished before March so we could hopefully make a smooth transition to supporting only critical issues.

Last Saturday morning I got up to exercise and then sat down to eat breakfast and surf the Internet. One of my tasks was to figure out how many weeks pregnant I was before showing up to church. Everyone keeps asking me this and it’s very embarrassing not to remember (one person told me I’m not allowed to forget until my second pregnancy). Once I verified that I was officially 32 weeks pregnant, I settled back to read some blogs.

Early in the pregnancy, I had stumbled across the Alpha Mom Pregnancy Calendar. The author is a writer who was experiencing her second pregnancy. I found her entries a lot more snarky and fun than the general week-by-week pregnancy guides. I hadn’t read it for a couple of weeks so I started by reading some back weeks and then came to her entry on week 32. In it, she discusses her first emergency visit to labor and delivery because she was excreting pinkish fluid. It turns out that it was “just” a UTI. However, she pointed out that if she hadn’t gone to the hospital, she would have been up all night worrying anyway. Later in the comments, a labor and delivery nurse mentioned that while paranoid mothers may be a little annoying at times, they are vastly preferably to those that think something might be wrong but don’t come in till it’s too late to do anything about it and end up with a dead baby.

Following breakfast, I went to church and had my normal stressed experience trying to make sure everything I was involved in ran correctly. This week was especially exciting because for a while, I thought our laptop had disappeared and I wasn’t sure how we were going to show the PowerPoint slides for the music/sermon. Like normal, it all worked out in an end. After church was over, I breathed a big sigh of relief and wandered back home to enjoy the rest of my “day off.” The rest of the afternoon was great. Jaeger and I lounged around together and I basically did a whole lot of nothing.

Around 6pm, I noticed that I appeared to be getting some “Braxton Hicks” contractions again. However, I’ve been having these very frequently for the last month so didn’t think anything of it (I should have paid more attention to this article about them). They seemed a little tighter than normal so I took a bath which my doctor had previously told me would help my body relax faster. It didn’t seem to help but it doesn’t always so I just resigned myself and went to bed. However, after laying down, I started getting a weird dull ache, very much like the beginning of menstrual cramps. I hadn’t specifically noticed these before and wondered if I should perhaps call my doctor. It didn’t hurt very much but after reading the Alpha Mom blog earlier in the day and consulting a pregnancy book about what was considered “normal,” I decided that I should call my doctor even if I did feel silly about it.

I went downstairs and decided to call the hospital first. I figured that staff at the hospital were obviously already working so if it was something extremely silly, they could tell me and I wouldn’t have to bother my doctor. They said I should go ahead and call my doctor so I did. Dr. L said that was I was feeling was probably normal but it didn’t hurt to quickly run to the hospital to get it checked out. I interrupted Jaeger in the midst of watching a TV show, told him was I was feeling was probably nothing but that the doctor suggested I swing by the hospital to get checked out. I felt very silly on the way to the hospital for making a big deal over what was probably nothing. Since it was around 10pm by the time we got to the hospital, we had to go in the emergency entrance. I felt even sillier when the receptionist inquired worriedly if I need to wait for a wheel chair before going up to L&D. I told her I was fine and I’d just walk (though at the time, I didn’t realize what a long trek it was from emergency to the L&D floor). We got to the secured L&D entrance and they buzzed us in. One of the nurses met us and I explained why we were there.

The nurse took us to their triage room and left me with instructions to get into one of the hospital gowns. Both Jaeger and I were flummoxed trying to figure out how to put it on but we eventually managed. The nurse came back and hooked my up to a fetal heart rate monitor and a contraction monitor. This is where our life became much more interesting than I was expecting.

Up to this point, I had been in very little pain so I expect the nurse also thought that we were being a little paranoid. However, once I was hooked up to the monitor, it became apparent that I really was having contractions and they were getting stronger and closer together (about 3-5 minutes apart). I don’t remember when but at some point they also checked my cervix and discovered I was 2 cm dilated. The nurse called my doctor and hoping to slow the contractions down, they gave me a shot (I believe it was Terbutaline) and then sat back to wait a couple of minutes. They also instructed me to drink about 1 L of water in 30 minutes. The shot was having no effect. They gave me another one which was also useless. At this point, the nurse appeared to start getting quite nervous. She called my doctor again and they started me on an IV of magnesium sulfite. My doctor arrived, checked me and discovered I was around 4 cm dilated (though my cervix was still pretty thick).

The medical staff were worried about how fast I was progressing and decided that I needed to be sent down to a hospital in Denver immediately as they apparently expected I was going to give birth that night/morning (I later learned that Longmont can’t handle infants younger than 34 weeks). After talking to Jaeger later, it appears that I was the only one that didn’t expect the imminent arrival of Calvin. Perhaps I was so oblivious because I figured there wasn’t much I could do about any of this other than stay calm. My denial also might have been due to still not feeling any specific pains during my contractions. I had it stuck in my head that I couldn’t really be in labor until it started hurting.

It took a while to arrange everything but eventually the helicopter arrived and Jaeger was given directions on how to get to the hospital. They bundled me up onto a narrow bench of a bed and wheeled me through the circuitous Longmont hospital corridors. We got to the helicopter and they lifted up my plank and slid it into a slot designed for it in the helicopter. I was amazed by how small the helicopter was. My bench/bed slid into the front section of the helicopter so I had an amazing view. It was my first helicopter ride and in spite of the situation, it was pretty incredible. The one downside to the ride was that it was pretty windy so the helicopter was constantly rocking back and forth. In my head I kept hearing, “rock-a-bye baby in the tree top, when the bow breaks . . . “

We got to Denver within 10-15 minutes and hovered for a few seconds while the pilot tried to stabilize the helicopter enough to land. Then they had to call the elevator to come up. The elevator rises out of the helicopter pad and apparently at some time in the past someone had sent it up without prior authorization while a Blackhawk helicopter was landing. Unfortunately, it hit the tail and caused major damage to the helicopter. After that, they wait until the people on the helicopter pad request the elevator before sending it up.

I was wheeled through more hospital corridors and ended up in a labor room being transferred to a labor bed. Several nurses made the comment that I was way too chipper for the medication I was on and the state I was suppose to be in. When they checked me again, it appeared that I was holding steady at 4cm. After that, there was a whole lot of hustle and bustle while they tried to stop the labor. At some point, they must have decided that labor wasn’t imminent after all. About an hour later, Jaeger showed up. I had been told that in the next 45min-1 hr (around 3AM) they would wheel me in to get an ultrasound. However, that didn’t happen so Jaeger and I fitfully dozed until 7:00. Just as I was calling to see if I could get a snack (I was starving) the nurses came back into the room and wheeled me out to get my ultrasound.

The ultrasound looked really good. Calvin was head down and my water hadn’t broken (though later they kept referring to my water as “bulging” and made it sound like they expected it to break at any moment). They estimated his weight (4lbs 11 oz apparently) and took a sample of amniotic fluid to check for infection and his lung development. I got wheeled back into my room and Jaeger and I explored the joys of ordering hospital food.

Throughout this time, the medical staff seemed to think I wasn’t exhibiting nearly enough side affects for the amount of magnesium sulfite I was on (Calvin also continued to be way more active than they expected. Throughout this entire experience he was obviously still enjoying himself immensely). They upped the dosage and told me to only drink sparingly to avoid diluting them medication (or something like that). That was really hard for me because my throat was extremely dry and I felt like I was dying of thirst.

We called our mothers to let them know our status and I emailed Susan to let her know that I wouldn’t be coming in to work. Jaeger went back to stock up on some more essentials and then returned for several hours. After discussion, we decided it didn’t make sense for him to skip work since it wasn’t apparent when/if I was going to continue labor so he went back home to sleep.

At midnight I received my second steroid shot. Monday the results from the amniotic fluid came back. Calvin’s lungs were right on target for his gestational age which unfortunately meant he wasn’t ready to be born yet. However, the fluid itself looked very healthy and was free of infection. Later that day I was excited to be taken off the magnesium sulfite and instead started taking Procardia orally. This meant that I had fewer things stick into me though I still had to be on an intermittent IV for my antibiotic in case I was Strep B positive (which I later turned out to be but they switched me to oral medication for that too). As the magnesium cleared out of my system I slowly realized how fuzzy I had been for the past several days. Apparently I was still acting fairly coherent to those around me but once off, I could definitely feel my head clearing up (though being able to sleep some of the previous night probably also helped :-) ).

Since Tuesday I’m been in a holding pattern. Jaeger comes and brings me takeout at night and then goes home to sleep. It’s an exhausting cycle for him :-( I spend my days emailing cancellations to various people, making alternative arrangements for stuff and doing some work. This hospital has excellent internet connection so since Tuesday I’ve been able to work about 2 hrs a day. When I was told that I was going to be on bed rest for the foreseeable future, I thought I would be bored out of my mind. However, strange as it sounds, I don’t really have time to be bored. Every 2-4 hours a nurse will come in, check my vitals and administer various pills. I also have to be on the fetal heart rate and contraction monitors for at least an hour 3 times a day. In between that I will work and nap and suddenly my day is gone and Jaeger has arrived with food.

Yesterday we learned that Longmont officially will take me back at 34 weeks. However, if Calvin has any complications, he would get shipped back here to Denver. So, it sounds like the tentative plan for now is to transfer either back home or to Longmont hospital sometime around 34-35 weeks assuming Calvin hasn’t decided to be born before then. I’m a big planner so taking this one day at a time is hard but I’m trying to stay calm and let things happen as they occur.

Taking it Easy

Up till now, aside from general stomach ickiness and an expanding waistline, pregnancy hasn’t changed my lifestyle much. Sure, sometimes I go to bed around 8:30pm. However, I suspect pregnancy may be a convenient scapegoat rather than the real cause of this phenomenon.

On Christmas Eve, I stumbled over an ethernet cable and managed to break a small piece of my big toe. This effectively put a stop to my normal exercise routine. Last Monday, I cautiously started doing my morning step aerobics. Step aerobics are much easier than walking as it doesn’t require bending one’s toe if you’re careful. I felt a little more out of breath than normal but put it down to not exercising at all for almost a week and a half.

Tuesday I got up and exercised again. Tuesday afternoon I got what felt like a Braxton Hicks contraction except it stayed tight for most of the afternoon. I drank plenty of water and squirmed around in my office chair but it didn’t go away. I was trying to figure out whether or not this was a problem. It didn’t hurt at all so I decided this was probably just some weird variation that I hadn’t run into before. On the way home, I called mom to talk to her and casually mentioned the weird tightness. She told me to call my doctor so I did. My doctor said I should go home and lay down and do nothing for the rest of the evening and give her a call in the morning if it still hadn’t gone away. I called Jaeger and told him he was responsible for dinner and then got home and laid down on the couch. He fixed a very nice meal.

The next morning I felt normal again but decided I should skip exercising. I haven’t had a reoccurrance of the multi-hour tightening but in the afternoons, after a simple endeavor such as climbing the stairs, I can immediately feel it tightening up again. I find a smidgen alarming since Calvin won’t be full term till early March.

Cleaning the house last week took almost twice as long as normal because I kept sitting down waiting for the tightening to stop. I’m seriously thinking about paying a house cleaner to come and clean house for the next several months. I still feel in great shape so it’s a little exasperating that this one little thing is keeping me from my normal activities. However, Calvin will be here soon enough. I certainly want to avoid anything that would put me on bed rest. I’d go insane. I just have to keep reminding myself to pay attention to what I’m doing instead of blindly charging ahead :-)


Up until around Thanksgiving I had nothing new worth posting. Since Thanksgiving I haven’t had time to post anything :-) However, the numerous airport delays I’ve experienced today have given me ample time to relax and write a couple of paragraphs. At first, the delays were almost nice as it allowed me a chance to do absolutely nothing. However, now I’m ready for my journey to be over.

Everything is going well with the pregnancy. Towards the beginning of November I had my 20 week anatomy scan and learned that we are having a boy. His name is Calvin. The pictures from the 13 week ultrasound were much clearer than it was in the 20 week. It must have been because he was bigger and it was harder to get all of him within the screen. I know the ultrasound tech isn’t allowed to say anything indicating whether or not there is a problem. However, throughout the process she kept saying things like, “and your 13 week ultrasound was normal?” The first time didn’t make me nervous. However, around the third time she asked I started to get worried. I’m still not sure why she was asking but at my latest doctors visit they confirmed that everything on this ultrasound did look normal :-)

I started feeling little flutters of movement around the middle of November. However, within just the last couple of weeks, I’ve started seeing him move. It’s odd, yet comforting, to see my stomach ripple. This usually happens as I go to bed and so Jaeger hasn’t had much of a chance to observe this yet. Up till just a couple of days ago, Calvin mostly moved when I got up or went to bed. However, yesterday he was very active in the middle of the day too.

Bethany, Jaeger’s sister, is getting married right after Christmas so last Monday I had to go shopping for an appropriate dress to wear for the wedding. I had really been dreading the shopping experience. In my unpregnant state, I enjoy shopping, especially at a thrift store where it turns into a treasure hunt. Since becoming pregnant, shopping has become much less exciting. However, my shopping experience Monday turned out to be great. There were quite a few “normal” dresses that fit me. In fact, I somehow managed to fit into a normal, non-maternity, size 6 dress. It was a little tight around the bust but I could have worn it. My main problem was finding a dress that didn’t show too much of my breasts. By necessity I’ve had to become a little less self-conscious about showing cleavage Apparently, maternity outfits assume you want to show off your newly enhanced cleavage. However, I did manage to find a couple of dresses that I felt comfortable in. The dress I finally bought didn’t even cost as much as my Jaeger’s tux rental did :-) Of course, I haven’t shopped for shoes yet so that’ll probably eat up all the difference.

I’m still not use to the idea of being pregnant. Most of the time I just feel like I’ve gained a lot of weight. I assume at some point my disbelief will lift and this will start feeling like reality?

Childbirth Classes

My husband and I unexpectedly attended our first childbirth class Sunday night. I’ve been debating what type of childbirth method I want to learn. As previously discussed I’m probably going to get an epidural. However, I still want to be as prepared as possible for the labor experience.

After considering the pros and cons of Lamaze, Bradley, and Hynobirthing/Hynobabies, I decided that parts of the Bradley Method were exactly what I was looking for. Truthfully, the McMoyler Method most closely fits my birth philosophy and I’ll probably end up ordering the video. However, I wanted an in-person childbirth class that Jaeger and I could go to together.

I really like that the Bradley Method takes a holistic approach to birth. I feel like most of the other childbirth methods ignore the pregnancy until you get to labor. However, the Bradley method starts out by discussing good nutrition and exercise. Everything I’ve read implies that labor is one of the most grueling experiences a woman will ever go through. With that in mind, it seems training and getting/keeping your body healthy would be essential aspects of any labor preparation.

I don’t like how negatively the Bradley method perceives modern medical practices. One of the common lines I continually hear is that women have been giving birth naturally for thousands of years. True, but a lot more women and babies use to die than do now*. Like many things in life, I think you need a good balance between “natural” births and medical interventions.

Given my conflicting feelings about the Bradley method, I wasn’t sure it would make sense to take the class. Saturday night I got online to explore what classes were available if I decided I did want to take a Bradley class. Of the three instructors in our area, one taught Saturday mornings which wouldn’t work for me and the second one was out on maternity leave until April. There was only one other class offered within our area. I emailed the instructor to see what her class schedule and openings would be like. Sunday morning I checked my email and the instructor had responded that she had a class starting that night. I talked my conflicting feelings over with Jaeger and eventually we decided to go ahead and attend the class.

The class was pretty much what I expected, both in terms of hopes and fears. Overall, I think it will be a good experience. I’m also planning to take the birthing class offered through the hospital in order to give me a better idea of their standard approach.

*According to The Best Birth by Sarah McMoyler since 1900 there has been a 90 percent drop in infant mortality and a 99 percent drop in maternal mortality.

Awkward Stage

At 17 weeks, I think I’m in the awkward stage of pregnancy. In my first trimester, as long as I ate constantly, I rarely threw up but I did have the general miserable feeling. I heard this would likely go away in second trimester and I would start glowing. In fact, several people have claimed that I’m glowing now but I think it’s their imagination. It wasn’t until around week 16 that I started feeling normal again. However, “normal” now feels strange. I’m back to the strange feeling that I’m not pregnant after all. Allegedly I might feel baby move any day now but so far nothing (though I understand this is normal with first babies).

This awkward feeling extends to my wardrobe. A couple of years ago I lost about 20 pounds. Once my normal clothes were too tight, I switched to my bigger, older clothes. In fact, this might be the first time since my teen years that the clothing manufacturers and I agree what the waist to hip ratio should be. Previously, it was the rare pair of pants that didn’t require belt. However, the days of my larger clothes fitting are almost gone. I’ve slowly started to ease into maternity clothing. However, I’m still too small for most of them to fit comfortably.

Monday I went shopping for maternity clothing. I’ve already determined that the thrift stores have almost no maternity clothing. I don’t remember the last time I paid more than $20 for a single piece of clothing and I had no urge to start. However, maternity clothing is expensive. Fortunately, I found a used maternity clothing store called Fuzzy Kiwi. It has odd hours but my day off was Monday so I managed to get down there to view their selection. There were still too many items that fit awkwardly on me but I did manage to buy a couple of items that look decent, or will soon. The prices were more than I’d pay at a thrift store (and I did go over the $20 mark for some dresses) but it was still significantly cheaper than new. I stopped by Target on the way home and was pleasantly surprised to find a good pair of maternity work pants for a very reasonable price. (I mention that I don’t believe in paying too much money for clothes but I also like high quality clothing which usually has meant avoiding Target/Walmart/etc. Thrift stores provide much better quality clothing at cheaper prices).

Hopefully, I have enough clothing to last me for a couple more months. While I know I’m going to need more clothes, I doubt I’ll look forward to clothes shopping until after baby has arrived.