Friday, April 27, 2007


Today is the day I have been anticipating, dreading, looking forward to since I got pregnant. 25 weeks, 2 days. Last year, on July 4, I was 25 weeks, 2 days pregnant with Eliza. And I lost her. It was the worst day of my life. But this year, on April 27, I am 25 weeks, 2 days pregnant with Vivian. And she's doing great. She's big and strong and active. I'm on medication, and my blood pressure is behaving. There is no sign of the horrible swelling that I had last year. I have energy, and am sleeping pretty well. At this point, there isn't much more I could ask for.

We had our ultrasound on Wednesday, which was a huge relief for me. The doctor was very thorough, and looked hard at the blood flow through the umbilical cord, which looked good. He thinks that Vivian is actually big for her gestational age, already 1 lb., 15 oz. For comparisons sake, Eliza was only 1 lb., 2 oz. when she was born. So Viv is growing big and strong. All of her measurements are in the 80-95th percentile (except for her legs, only 54th percentile. Well, looking at her family, I guess it makes sense that she'd be big all over, but with short, stumpy legs).

And tomorrow starts a new phase, one that I'm really looking forward to. Our next milestone is 28 weeks, when, if something happened, and Viv needed to be born early, she'd have a pretty good chance, not only of surviving, but of surviving without major health issues. We'll have another ultrasound then, and another chance to see how Viv is doing.

We're in a good place, and I'm excited to move forward.

Baby Vivian is flexible!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


This has been a weird week for me, emotionally, and it's only Tuesday. Sunday was the Arthritis Walk, which was great, but it was a very early start. Rich & I had to be at my office at 5:45 a.m. to get my intern set up for media pitching, and then we drove over to the Wadsworth Theatre for the walk (this is after Richard had a long evening pub crawl that I picked him up from at 12: 30 a.m.). Vivian was very active all morning, to the point where it stopped being amusing, and just started hurting. By the time we left, we were exhausted.

That night, as we lay in bed, we talked about my upcoming ultrasound on Wednesday, when I'll be 25 weeks along. We lost Eliza at 25 weeks, 2 days, which is where we'll be with Vivian on Friday. All of a sudden, I was reliving the whole experience again in my head: the drive to the ER, the mediflight to Reno, the horrible moment when the doctor told me she was gone, everything. At first, I just had tears, but then it became violent sobs, and I was practically screaming. I felt bad for Richard because my emotions just came out of nowhere. It didn't last long, but I felt like there was so much grief and anger pouring out of me that I didn't even realize was buried there.

Yesterday was a bit strange because Vivian was oddly quiet for most of the day. Her bouts of fairly regular activity have been my emotional saving grace, because they have reassured me that she's healthy and strong. But yesterday was weird. I kept telling my self that she had been so active on Sunday that she needed a chill day, just like I did. I came home from work and figured I'd have some chocolate, as a sugar rush usually perks her up. But nothing. I was trying to stay calm, but with this week being what it is, it was awfully hard. I decided to lay down on the couch and just relax, and see how she did a bit later, after I had dinner.

At this point, I must have fallen asleep, but my dream was so realistic, that I didn't realize it. In my dream, I was sitting on the couch, watching tv, when I noticed that my hands were swollen. Very swollen. Swollen in the same way that they were last year, where the backs of my hands were so puffy I couldn't see any bones or veins at all. I started tapping the backs of my hands to check the puffiness, and I was thinking, "it can't be happening again." I must have woken up, but I still didn't realize that I had been asleep until I looked at my hands and saw bones, and veins and no swelling. I took my blood pressure, just in case, and it was fine. Just a bad dream. I made dinner then, and sure enough, 30 minutes later, Vivian started to kick. Not super strength, but enough to reassure me that she was ok.

This morning, Baby Vi is back to her highly active ways. After Friday, everything will be new. I won't be able to compare anything, since it will all be new. I hope I'll be able to calm down a bit. Until then, I'm just focusing on Vivian's kicks and turns and even hiccups. They are her way of letting me know that she's doing just fine.

Friday, April 20, 2007

back to normal?

It's true. Richard is finally back from his journeys, and now has no work travel scheduled for the foreseeable future. I can't tell you how happy this fact makes me. Rich is not only my husband, but he is also my best friend, and everything that we've gone through over the last year has brought us even closer together. And when he's gone, I realize how much I depend on him to keep my spirits up. All this traveling has been hard on both of us, but it's over now, and we're both very happy about it.

Baby Viv continues to be very active. This week, our cat Doyle has decided that my stomach is a great place to knead and lie down on. Vivian is not really on board with this. When he lays down on my tummy, she starts kicking back. This doesn't seem to bother Doyle, so I'm caught in the middle -- cat pressing down, baby kicking up. Ouch. Next Wednesday, we have another ultrasound, so we get another peek at Viv. It's a scary time, but I seem to be doing really well, so we're doing our best to keep our spirits up.

This Sunday is the Arthritis Walk, and it seems to be going really well, despite the likelihood of rain. Yes, I work at the AF, but I'm also raising money in honor of my friend Carolyn, or Caro as we call her. Carolyn was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age 3. JRA meant that she couldn't sit on the floor with her class, tie her own shoes or lift her arm to brush her hair. This disease ravaged her body, but not her spirit. For the last 13 years, she has dedicated her life to helping others living with arthritis.

Carolyn is now leaving the Arthritis Foundation staff to become a full-time mom. Currently 8 1/2 months pregnant, Carolyn has had a difficult pregnancy. She has had to stop taking many of the medicines that help her everyday, as they could impact the baby growing inside of her. Arthritis affects 1-in-5 people, including 300,000 children. If you'd like to help me make a difference, you can make a donation to my walk campaign by going here.

And finally, this Saturday, Allison, Jeff & Evan head out to Phoenix for a consultation with Barrow Neurological Institute. Hopefully, they'll get good news about Evan's tumor, and be able to set up a date for surgery. If you get a chance, visit Allison's blog and leave her a message. Allison, you'll be in our thoughts.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Donuts & Babies & Crafts, Oh My!

Richard was gone again this weekend, this time to Portland. It's the second to the last trip this spring, so I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And he did get on a early flight yesterday, so we actually got a real weekend night together, which was nice. After a very large dinner at the Brite Spot, we came home to a fantastic, if odd, dessert.

I bring you, a Voodoo Donut special, direct from Portland, OR, the Bacon Maple Bar.
Sooo goooood. I first got excited about this donut after watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, Pacific Northwest special. I know it sounds awful, but, as Richard said, "it tastes like breakfast." It's like pancakes and bacon, when your bacon slides into your syrup. Magnificent. I was almost afraid to eat it, but I'm so glad I did.

On babies (or rather, baby), Vivian is more active than ever. On Saturday night, after a lovely warm bath, I was lounging on the couch in my bathrobe, when I started to feel her kick. I looked down at my stomach, and my robe... jumped. I was in shock. I opened my robe to look at my belly, and again, it jumped. Vivian is officially kicking so hard that she can be seen (and felt) from the outside. I was so excited, I called Richard just to tell him. I think that for the rest of the evening, I just sat and watched my tummy dance.

Of course, on Sunday, when Richard came home, Vivian was much calmer, and not jumping around like a latter-day David Lee Roth. He really wanted to feel her, and she was just not cooperating. But about 1/2 hour after the Bacon-Maple Bar, she started twitching. I called him from the spare room where he was throwing darts, and told him to put his hand on my stomach. Sure enough, about 30 seconds later, she let loose a couple of karate chops. The look that came over Richard's face was amazing. I almost started to cry, I was so happy.

Vivian's dancing made me so happy, that I actually broke out the crochet hook, which I haven't done in several months. After digging through my stash, I decided to crochet the Princess sweater from Candi Jensen's Candy Babies in chocolate brown with baby blue accents. I finished it yesterday.

So yay for Baby Viv! And yay for Voodoo Donuts! And yay for my craftiness coming back!

Friday, April 06, 2007

A new use for those little blue pills

from The Business Online
Viagra is tested on pregnant women to cure labour problems
By : Catherine Boyle

VIAGRA is being tested on pregnant women as Pfizer, its manufacturer, tries to expand the $1.6bn (£800m, E1.2bn) market for the blockbuster drug.

The trademark blue pill, which originally underwent trials as a treatment for angina, is being tested as a remedy for high blood pressure in pregnant women, as well as those suffering from pre-eclampsia, a serious condition associated with premature deliveries of babies.

Pfizer could file for approval for use of the drug as a treatment for pregnancy-related conditions in late 2008, which would have the potential of adding hundreds of millions of dollars to sales.

It would be the latest proposal in a line of alternative uses for

Viagra. The worldwide patent for Viagra expires between 2011 and 2013, and Pfizer want to maximize sales while it has the chance. Researchers at Pfizer and elsewhere are experimenting with use of the drug in treating strokes, pelvic pain and heart failure.

The latest trials are being conducted at the Rambam Healthcare Campus in Israel on women in weeks 24 to 33 of pregnancy suffering from high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia.

Doctors believe that Viagra will widen the blood vessels that deliver vital nutrition between the mother and the foetus. This would make babies less likely to be born early or underdeveloped.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most common health problem associated with pregnancy, and causes complications in 2%-3% of pregnancies.

Pre-eclampsia occurs in approximately 5% of all pregnancies, and is twice as likely in first-time mothers. Together, these disorders kill 76,000 women and newborns each year. The cause of pre-eclampsia has yet to be proved conclusively, but there is a link between the condition and high blood pressure.

Very interesting. It makes sense, since Viagra helps improve blood flow, that it would help improve blood flow to the baby through the placenta -- the major issue underlying preeclampsia. If Pfizer is really pushing to get approval in fall 08, then it could be available for me when and if we decide to add to our family. It would be nice to have something in the medical arsenal that could actually prevent preeclampsia, instead of just treating the symptoms.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


As of tomorrow, I'll be 22 weeks pregnant, and it's really starting to sink in. Just three more weeks until I hit 25 weeks, when I lost Eliza. And it seems to get harder every day. I have more anxiety, and more depression, even though physically, I'm doing great.

My blood pressure is doing just fine, thank you, and only the slightest swelling in my fingers (engagement ring had to come off, but wedding ring is hanging in there for now). Baby Viv continues to kick and do flips like she's in training for the US Swim Team. But I can't help the anxiety and bad feelings that creep in to everything I do.

I'm hopeful that once I get past 25 weeks, that some of this malaise will also pass. At that point, I will be more pregnant than I have ever been. And that will be a milestone.

Here is a photo I've stolen from the fabulous Ellen, of L.A. Is My Beat, because lord knows I don't take enough photos. Progress on the pumpkin quilt is being made, slowly but surely.