Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm a nerd!

I started my final grad course last Wednesday night. Yes, big old pregnant me, waltz into my last graduated course at Rutgers! There was no way, regardless of baby, that I was not going to finish my degree. I was really nervous that my professor was going to be one of those femanazis who could give two shits about pregnancy, and only cared about class attendance. Luckily, I knew I was okay when the professor greeted me with "Oh, how cute! A pregnant lady!". I did feel slightly awkward when she offered me the desk and the front of the classroom...since she didn't think I would fit in the desk. I wish I would have thought of the logistics though. Have you ever seen a 30 week pregnant lady attempting to fit into a school desk? Yes...I still fit, but I swear I only have a week or two at the most! When I went to class last night I noticed that there's a wheelchair accessable desk top pushed into the corner. I'm thinking before February is finished, I'm going to have to whip that desk out. The prof said she had no problem accomodating me, since the class runs through the end of April, and I'm kind of due early in the month.
All in all, the class seems really interesting. I can't believe I'm so close to finishing. I really love learning, regardless of the pages I have read and papers I have created. I'm still on the fence about whole doctorate thing. I think it would be really cool to keep at it, and get my Ed.D (doctorate in education). It also would be cool to have the title "Doctor" on all my mail and letters. It's a lot of work, but I think once graduation comes in May, I'll take a year to think about it. Plus, I figure I should give the kid some attention, and not just have my nose shoved in a book or typing on the computer.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yet one more reason why I love my husband...

To say that this pregnancy was a surprise was an understatement. I mean, really who gets pregnant less than a year after nearly succumbing to a blood clot, and spending the year on class X medication?? Who gets knocked up that easy? ME! I kept telling Bry that it would take some time. I mean so many friends and online friends have told me story after story about waiting and charting and so I expected it to take few months. Not less than one.
The reason I write this is because from the very earliest conversation about "oh shit, I'm late, we might be pregnant!", Bry has been a dream. His humor has kept me sane and calm, even thought I know deep down he's freaking out. I guess that's one of the reason why human gestation is 9 months. It takes that long for it to really sink in, and get quasi-comfortable with the idea of becoming a parent.
While there are many reasons why I love my husband, this newest reason only adds to it. While I could comment on the mom to be spa day he got me for Christmas that includes facial, massage, and both mani & pedi, or the comments he makes daily about how beautiful I am (Even in a t-shirt, and sweatpants). My newest reason may sound silly, but I love how involved he is in picking out things for the baby. I'm not just talking an Eagles onsie or responding "sure Jac, whatever" when I ask for his opinion. He actually cares! With that Baby Bargains book by his side, he has been the King of our Babies R Us registry. He's checked and updated it more than me! He was the one that told me the orange (yes... orange) stroller and carseat I loved had been discontinued, but not to worry because he added a green polka dot one that he knew I would love just as much. He found the cool retro looking high chair. He even added more crib sheets, because he wanted to make sure there were enough.
I love this man and I know he's going to make a great daddy.

Monday, January 14, 2008

How Golden were those Globes this year??

I may be the only person who actually enjoyed the Golden Globes this year. I am a pop culture WHORE! Really, I know way too much about celebrities and Hollywood and watch award season with eagle eye year after year. I guess I get it from my mom. I remember from as long as I can Entertainment Tonight being on in the early evening. I'll admit it, because we live between NYC and Philly we get both sets of channels. Do you know what that means? In 30 minutes I can watch Access Hollywood, Extra!, Entertainment Tonight, and the Insider! I just flick back and forth and I get my entire fill in 30. Okay, so not my entire fill. I check out Perez, TMZ, and People dot com daily sometimes more than once. I should clarify that my pop culture interest does not stop with celebrities. I am a sports nut too, and I also read sometimes, actual books not just Entertainment Weekly. (Yes, we get that magazine and I eagerly come home on Friday to read it!) .
So back to the Globes, though I admit I miss the pre-show Melissa and Joan Rivers interviews and the gorgeous and sometimes hideous fashion ensembles. I would have loved to see what Johnny Depp would have worn this year! I'm thinking he may have just worn a something he swiped from Sweeny Todd set. I bet Amy Adams, Kiera Knightly, and Ellen Paige would have looked ethereal in flowing frocks. Lord knows who would have been on the best dressed list...Angelina is always up there. But alas, no red carpet and so no pretty dresses. But as we lost the dresses, we also lost the dumb ass speeches. Really people who win, do you even know one member of the Hollywood Foreign Press who voted for you? Do you really remember those "little people" who helped to get you to the award? I especially am glad not to listen to those speeches from the "people who didn't think they had a chance to win, but really they knew they were going to win, and so they kept a little speech written in their pocket just in case, but again, they don't think they have a chance to win"_UGH!
Instead, I choose to watch Ryan Seacrest and Guilana (I married the Apprentice) give something resembling a commentary, announce the nominees, and then without much fanfare, announce the winners. No acceptance speeches, no political stances, no awkward situations were the band plays before the speaker is finished. Just winner and congrats! I almost forgot the best part, in only 1 hour-----60 minutes---the entire lot was given! BRILLANT!
My only regret is offering apologies to Steven Spielberg. He's now going to have to wait until next year to get the Cecil B. DeMille award. Honestly Steve, thanks for taking it for the team.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Into the 3rd Trimester!

Today I had my monthly OB appointment. It's so cool when the doctor takes the doppler and places it on your belly so you can hear the heartbeat. Everything is looking good....big but good! I wonder how big this kid is going to be. People have been placing their bets on my online baby pool, and only two guesses are under 8 lbs! Honestly though, what is scaring me more than the size of the kid, is the diameter of the kid's head and the width of his/her shoulders. I know he/she is going to have the shoulders of a linebacker and that scares me!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Where does the time go?

My due date is exactly 3 months from today. On April 9, I am due to deliver a child! I honestly cannot believe it. The time has honestly flown by.
On Friday, I met with the hematologist for another follow-up. He had taken a bunch of blood in October to test and make sure that all my clotting levels and the like were normal. I got to my appointment about 20 minutes early. At exactly 1:15, the nurse took me back and drew some more blood. She took my blood pressure, and then weighed me. She showed me to the room and asked me which specialist I was seeing. I should have known when she commented, "Oh, you know how his schedule goes!", that I would be waiting. Thank God there were magazines, be it 5-9 month old copies of Time, and Money, at least there was something to kill the 1 and a half hours that I spent waiting! He's lucky I like him!
So, the doc came in, did a little examination, checked my last set of bloodwork, and gave me the great news.....everything is NORMAL! I never thought hearing the word normal would make me feel so good! Basically, he thinks that since all these clotting issues have been ruled out, it only makes logical sense that birth control caused my P.E.!
When I was finished, he commented that he wanted to see me post-partum. I scheduled an appointment for May and it was so surreal. As the receptionist repeated the date and time, I caught myself gasping as I remembered in May I would have a child! I will be a Mom the next time I go to the hematologist! WOW!

Friday, January 4, 2008

From blood clot to baby...the whole story.

I mentioned in my first blog that I would tell the story of my blood clot sometime. Today, I had my finaly hematologist appointment before the birth of baby, so it really made me reflect on my whole ordeal. I guess I should put my story in print.
In the summer of 2006, I decided to work the extended summer program in my school district for the pre-school handicapped class. The summer was going great. I had two classes of really adorable kids, 2 wonderful aides, and looked forward to a nice change of pace. These feelings of ease and relaxation were quickly replaced with anxiety and fear as the third weekend of July rolled around.
As we did many weekends in the summer especially, we'd make the trip down from our place outside Trenton to visit Bry's mom and go the beach. As we went to the beach on Saturday, July 15 my chest was really uncomfortable. As I attempted to lay on my towel in the sand, it felt like someone was standing on my ribs. I also noticed that when I took a deep breath in or laughed or coughed it felt like I had a side stich. Being a former distance swimmer, I knew those pains quite well and just figured I pulled a muscle. We went back home and relaxed. That night, I attempted to sleep on the couch the pain continued to intestify. I couldn't get comfortable and felt like my muscles must be spazzing. As Saturday night transitoned into Sunday I promised myself I would head to a doctor if the pain continued. I kept popping advil and early Sunday afternoon we made the trek back home. The side stitch pain remained, varying in intensity, and it felt like I had a huge knot in my shoulders. Being the awesome husband that he is, Bryan took to massaging my shoulders with Flex-all. When I asked how big the knot was in my shoulder, he commented that he couldn't really feel one. Looking back now, I realize that should have been a sign for me. Exhausted, I popped a few more advil and attempted to get some sleep. Around 1 am, as my night owl husband watched t.v. downstairs, I woke up with the most horrible chest pain I have ever felt in my life. It literally brought me to my knees. I SHOULD have went to the ER then, but my brain starting to question the pain. Was I being hyperchondriac? I popped a few more advil and then pain lessened. I then found a position on my stomach, with my arm across my chest which helped ease the pain. I got a few hours of sleep and woke, and got ready for another day of pre-school.
July 17, 2006 is a day I will never forget. As I made the 40 minute commute to school, the pain came and went. At one point, I remember taking my left arm and reaching it across my body almost touching the passenger seat door trying to stretch out what I thought was a muscle cramp. I get to school and immediately strike up a conversation with the school nurse. She eases my fears, saying it sounds like a muscle pull or spasm, and recommends taking Advil and using a heating pad.
Somehow I make it through until 12:30 and get back into the car to head home. I'm still in pain, but still exhausted. As I get home, I search the web for a new doctor, since we'd just moved. I call up someone who says they can see me August 10. Yeah! Sign me up?!?
Distraught and exhausted, I took another dose of advil, pulled out the heating pad, and fell asleep.
About 2 hours later, I woke up and the pain was there...still...strong...and uncomfortable. When I woke up, I just knew in my gut, something was wrong. I skimmed through the internet again and found a doctor's office just around the block that had walk-in hours from 5-11 p.m. Wearing a pair of grey cotton shorts, and a Roxy t-shirt I drove around the block to the office and walked in exactly at 5. I filled out the appropriate paperwork and signed in listing my symptoms as chest, neck, and shoulder pain. I was surprised when they took me back quickly.
I met Dr. Young, a new member of the practice fresh from her residency in family medicine. As I spilled out my symptoms, she nodded and said that it sounded like a muscle spasm or pull. She had the nurse do an EKG in the office to rule out any heart issues. After that, she came back and said that everything was normal, however she wanted me to go to the Emergency Room for a chest x-ray just to be certain.
As I walked out to the car, I started to cry. I got on the phone and called Bry who started giving me a hard time. Did I really need to go to the ER when this was just a muscle pull? he asked. I asked him to come home and come with me, and lucky for me, he did.
By the time we got to the ER it was about 6:15. Bryan asked if he should call my parents. Why? I asked. Everything will be fine.
After getting triaged, they moved me back to a curtained room, took some blood, and got me ready for x-rays. The nurse was great, telling me how it sounds like a muscle pull and to stop worrying. After a few hours and bad t.v. the nurse came back with some muscle relaxers and stronger pain pills. She also checked my lungs again. It was during this time as I was suppose to take a deep breath, that I noticed the expression on Bryan's face change. I could hardly breathe in deep without a sharp, shooting pain in my side. With each supposed deep breath, I would cringe and almost cry out. As the nurse walked away, my usually joking husband looked at me with a worry in his eyes as he said, you're really not okay are you?
It was around 10:30 by now and I was hungry, exhausted, and still terribly uncomfortable. I also felt bad for Bryan because he was still in his suit and loosened tie. The nurse came in again mentioning that the lab results would be in any minute and she started to talk about what I would do once I got home. The conversation stopped when the physician assistant walked in with a nervous look in her eyes.
"The bad news is the the d-dimer test is positive. You have a blood clot in your lungs, and need to be admitted ASAP".
Excuse me?
The nurse was giving me discharge instructions. Everyone said it's muscular. I have school tomorrow. I never get sick! What are you talking about, a blood clot!
Immediately I started to cry and Bryan looked dumbfounded. After moving me to a closed room in the ER, waiting for a bed upstairs, Bryan called my parents. Luckily, they only live an hour away and even more good news, my sister who was in medical school was on a break and home too. The three of them hauled ass to the hospital.
Immediately, they reviewed my chest x-rays and saw two clots, one in each lung. Two Pulmonary Embolysms. They started me immediately on i.v. heprian to thin my blood to help weaken the clot.
Around 12:30, they found a bed for me and it was around that time my family came to. I couldn't believe it. I was never sick! Hospitals were for sick people, why me?
Bryan made a run to Wendy's and seriously a cheeseburger has never tasted better! Around 1:30, my parents and my sister left to stay at our place while Bryan set up camp next to my bed on a metal framed chair.
The next few days were a blur. Every four hours my blood was being taken. Between chest x-rays, ultrasounds of my heart and legs, and even a cat scan, my head was in a frenzy. How did this happen?
I met with a hematologist, a cardiologist, and a pulmonlogist. They probed and prodded me as they asked any number of questions. I went from the girl looking for a primary girl doctor, to the girl who might need a crib sheet to keep all their names and specialities in order. The overwhelming thought was birth control was the culprit, however they didn't want to rule any other things out, so more tubes of blood were collected. It also was decided that I did not present typically most likely due to my lung capacity. My blood oxygen level never went lower, even though there were clots in both my lungs. They attribute that to my years as a distance swimmer. Thank you Seton Hall!
I don't know how i.v. drug users do it. My arms looked like a mine field and by Friday it took them 15 minutes to take a vial of blood! Once I became therapeutic on the heprian, they started me on oral blood thinner, coumidin.
I spent Monday evening through Sunday mid-morning in the hospital. I did not go back to working that summer school, and instead spent the rest of July and August recovering from the ordeal.
So for 9 months, I went to various hematologist and cardiologist appointments. I remained on a daily dosage of coumidin and waited to figure out what caused the P.E. At some point they thought I might have a clotting issue called: elevated levels of anticardiolipid antibodies. The good news is that there are relatively few side effects with this disorder. The bad news, the side effects that do occur are primarily associated with pregnancy, specifically late term miscarriage. During these few months on the coumidin, thinking I had elevate anticardiolipid antibodies, I worried if I would ever be able to get pregnant and carry a baby to term.
In June, we set up an appointment with a high risk OBGYN. While we weren't ready immediately to start trying for a baby, we wanted to know what risks he felt were there for us. It was also during this time my hematologist abruptly left the practice leaving me without a hematologist Bryan found this OBGYN because he has a history of working with women with clotting issues. We met with the Doctor, he basically said that if I were his wife, he would have me off the coumidin, so that weekend I stopped.
Amazingly, less than 2 months later, we're spending a Sunday afternoon down the shore, buying pregnancy tests so know one we know will see us, and low and behold, we're having a baby!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

God Bless baby Jack

My online friend and fellow blogger Megan recently lost her infant son Jack to moebius syndrome.,. It honestly breaks my heart to think how short his life was, yet I was truly amazed with Megan and her husband P.J.'s continued faith.
Please keep Jack and his entire family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.