Moving Anatomy

In the morning of April 29, 2014, we went to Desert Perinatal Associates to see Dr. Wilkes which is the doctor who works with my midwife Kathya

We were called in to see the genetic counselor Tracy first.  She talked about the amniocentesis.  I asked if there was a blood test instead since my friend Carrie told me about it.  She told us about two tests.  One is called the Panorama test which is a blood test that I take.  The other test (which I can’t remember the name) takes both parent’s blood.  Ivan doesn’t like getting his blood drawn, so he thought I should do the Panorama test.  I don’t mind getting my blood drawn at all.

Ivan and I went back to the waiting room.  I used the toilet while waiting to be called.

My name was called and we went to a room.  The lady asked if I needed to use the restroom.  I said I already went.  Conveniently, there was a restroom that connected to the room we were in. 

The lady was getting everything ready for the ultrasound.  I asked if there were going to do a transvaginal ultrasound.  She said the regular and a transvaginal one were being done today.  I asked Is the transvaginal necessary? and she said it was to measure my cervix.  She gave me a sheet and said to undress from the waist down.  She said the doctor would be along in a few minutes.

Jen waiting to do her anatomy ultrasound

Dr. Wilkes’ nurse came in.  She is a tall, pretty blonde.  She was young probably in her mid 20’s.  She did the ultrasound to check the baby’s anatomy.  She said the baby was stubborn because he kept moving around.  My family is quite stubborn, so that makes sense.

Baby's Nose and Lips

We saw his spine and his nose and mouth.  She kept pointing out things and we just had to nod since we weren’t really sure what we were looking at, while she was a trained professional.  She asked if we knew if it was a boy or girl.  Ivan said Yes, it’s a boy and she confirmed that she did indeed see a third leg.

Ultrasound for a baby boy

She asked about the due date.  I told her that I got another ultrasound and they said I was 9 days earlier.  They were still basing my original due date of Sept. 7th.  She said that the baby was 13 oz which was right on track.  His heartbeat was 161 bpm. 

She printed a picture of the baby with it’s arms up and put pictures of the ultrasound onto a CD for us to take home.

Next, she did the transvaginal ultrasound.  I read an article that a lady sued the doctor because she felt like was being raped when she got the transvaginal ultrasound.  It’s not anything to be scared about.  A probe which is covered in a condom and with gel on top is placed inside the vagina.  She checked my cervix.  The ultrasound only lasted a few minutes and it doesn’t hurt at all.  She told me that Dr. Wilkes would be in to talk to us soon.

Dr. Wilkes came in and sat down.  He had the brightest sneakers on that you could probably see from 2 miles away.  He was the happiest doctor I’ve ever met.  He was excited that we were having a baby.  Ivan thought the doctor was so happy that it was actually him having the baby. 

He told me that my cervix was long, so I didn’t have to do another transvaginal ultrasound.  He said everything looked fine.  He said I should come back in 6 weeks to do a interval growth ultrasound and a fetal echocardiogram.

Next, I went to have my blood drawn for the Panorama test.  It was three vials of blood.  It hurts a little when the needle goes in, but after that it’s fine.  It doesn’t make me feel faint.  The test results will come back in 7-10 days.

Ivan has been on a salad kick lately.  My favorite salad is definitely the watermelon feta salad that he made on May 1, 2014.

Watermelon Feta salad

It’s so refreshing and tasty.  It’s a great summer salad.  He got the idea to make it since the restaurant Forte has a Watermelon Feta salad on special.

Later that afternoon, I went to get a facial.  I was lying down with my eyes closed.  I felt bubbles, but harder than usual.  I put my hand on my stomach and felt the baby kick or hit my stomach.  I think he was saying Is anybody out there? like in the Pink Floyd song.  It was really cool to feel the baby moving. 

I felt even more movement later on.  It’s such a great feeling to know he’s moving and kicking inside.  We were going to see a comedy show.  The baby kicked me hard which made me jump a little.

The doctor’s office called on May 2, 2014 and said that the results of the alpha-fetoprotein test came back negative.  The test checks for spina bifida and anencephaly.  The baby has a 1 in 4,300 chance of getting spina bifida.  It was good news and the results came back really fast.

I took the quiz Are You Having a Boy or a Girl? that I saw online to see if it would accurately guess I’m having a boy.  It did guess that I was having a boy. 

I still wake up once or twice a night to go to the toilet.  It’s annoying, but even more so if I wake up Ivan which has happened once.  I do try to be as quiet as possible when I head to the bathroom and get back into bed.  I usually go right back to sleep.

I’ve been getting tired during the day and I usually take a nap.  I took a nap once for 2 hours and it didn’t effect me that night.

I went to see my chiropractor Dr. Simoncelli on May 5, 2014.  He said I was crooked, so he adjusted me and hopefully I’m back to normal.

Ivan and I have been wondering what the baby is up to.  We imagine he’s taking a bath with his rubber ducky when I’m showering.  He could be reading a book or just taking a nap.  I talk to the baby even more now since he’s been moving.  The baby books say that after 20 weeks the baby can hear you.  I’m sure he’s been listening our voices, to the music we play, Ivan’s piano playing and my singing. 

My fingers have been really numb when I wake up and sometimes it hurts slightly.  I told my doula Shannondoah this when I saw her for my hypnomassage on May 7, 2014.  She thinks that I have a pinched nerve caused by the way I sleep.  She showed me how to lie differently on the pillow.  I did switch to my old pillow since a few weeks ago we bought pillows that claim to “never go flat”.  I have noticed recently that my right ear lobe is tender to the touch.

The body pillow arrived in the mail, but it doesn’t have a pillowcase.  The pillow is almost as tall as me!  I have used it twice at night, but it’s hard keeping the covers on me and the pillow.  It gets cold and the nipple pain will return which wakes me up.  So, I have been thinking of wearing a tank top under my shirt which may help with the cold.

The doctor’s office called again about test results.  I called and the nurse said that everything was low risk.  I said that they already called me with results.  It was the second part of the test that tests for Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, Patau syndrome, Turner syndrome, Triploidy, Vanishing twin and sex chromosome abnormalities.  It also confirmed that I was having a boy.  It’s a relief to know that everything is good with my baby. 

Last week, we got the nursery painted Sleepy Blue on two of the walls – the last wall will have wallpaper on it.  The last 3 days, Ivan and I (well, mostly Ivan) have been putting Ikea furniture together.  I hand him the screws and parts while he puts it together.  The nursery now has flooring that was put in today.

Jen at almost 22 weeks

I’m now almost 22 weeks and I’m feeling great.  My mid and lower back have been hurting me.  The chiropractic adjustments and the massages help it out.  I pee a lot more frequently now.  I guess the most annoying thing about pregnancy for me has been getting cold and my nipples getting hard and it’s painful.  Even just drinking a smoothie or cold water can do it.  It’s weird that I wear a jacket sometimes in the house, but it definitely helps when I start getting cold or to help warm me up. 


Birthday Food

On March 7, 2014, I went to see my chiropractor Dr. Simoncelli to tell him how I’m doing.  I wasn’t sure if I would be adjusted again.  I think I have it figured out.  Dr. Simoncelli talks really soft and it seems like he’s telling you a secret and only talking to you.  I don’t think he’s trying to put me in a trance anymore.  I told him my lower back felt a lot better.

Chiropractic table

I laid down on the chiropractic table.  The doctor cracked my back in two places and also my neck.  He also had me stand against a long pad that was on a wall and he cracked my back again.  He said I should come back next week.

I found out that my insurance did go through and it’s only $5 for the co-pay for each visit.  That’s great news!

It was my birthday a few weeks ago on the 4th.  Ivan’s mum and dad got me a funny pregnancy coloring book and an organic mommy care pack.

Mambino Organics Mommy Care Pack

I have been using the new belly butter which has a toner oil to be put on after.  The belly butter is greasier than the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter, but it smells fruity.  The organic belly butter is thicker and is made from mango, African shea and cocoa butter.  The toner oil has pomegranate, African shea and orange oil.  That’s why I think I smell like an orange after.  Ivan really likes the smell of it.

Ivan and I threw a birthday pinball pot luck party at our house on March 8, 2014.  It was a fun time playing games and eating.  My friends are awesome and bought gifts for me and for the baby.  The baby’s not even born and he or she is getting gifts already!  The baby got a bird hanging decoration for the nursery and lotion, bath gel, shampoo, tender tush and Gentle Baby essential oils.

I sent my midwife Kat my daily diet report which I kept track of for a week.  She thought that I wasn’t getting enough oils and protein.  She laughed when she saw I put Ew! next to the liver section.  She recommended that I have a smoothie everyday with nuts, milk (almond, goat or cow) and flaxseed oil or coconut oil.  I’m glad that Ivan makes great smoothies (he’s seriously known for them!), so he has been making me a smoothie everyday to ensure I get enough protein.

On Sunday March the 9th, Ivan and I met up with my big family for my birthday dinner.  I decided on Carmine’s at the Forum Shops since it’s a great place for groups to share food.  We got lots of food including a platter with different pastas and a big plate of my favorite dish penne alla vodka.

The HUGE Titanic at Carmine's

For dessert, we got the humungous Titanic dessert which has vanilla and chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, a brownie, chocolate sauce and nuts.   They sang Happy Birthday to me.  I had to snap a picture before blowing it out.  It was so delicious especially the chocolate ice cream and the brownie.

I have been feeling weak lately.  I try to lift things and they feel heavy now when they wouldn’t normally.  My midwife Kat said that my bones would be softer and it would be easier for me to bruise.

I have felt like my hands have been swelling up lately since my wedding ring seemed tighter than usual.  I have now switched to wearing my engagement ring which I actually think is prettier, so it works out well.  I wake up and my hands are numb.  Eventually, I won’t be able to wear any rings.

I talked my friend’s wife Shannon who’s about to give birth anytime soon and she said it started with her hands being numb and then her hands swelled up.  I already thought I had small, fat fingers.. they’re going to be fatter soon.

I saw my chiropractor again on March 14, 2014.  Before he does an adjustment, I take a deep breath and then exhale.  He did things to help with my sinuses.  He also pressed on my sinuses which hurt, but not sure it would help.  Dr. Simoncelli said that women who drank caffeine and took medication during pregnancy had a higher risk for their baby getting autism.  I’m not trying not to take my allergy medicine unless my allergies are really bad.

Ivan and I went to the Vegas Seven magazine 4th anniversary private party at Brooklyn Bowl that night with Maria, my cousin Charisse and her boyfriend Kia.  We got a free game of bowling and 4 drink tickets.  Sadly, I didn’t have a drink.  I do miss drinking.  But, I know it’s better for the baby not to drink.

We ate at their restaurant which has food by Blue Ribbon.  The fried chicken is so freaking good!  Kia wanted to get dessert.  I love dessert and we usually don’t get it since there’s no room left to put it.  Kia ordered the chocolate chip bread pudding.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

It was simply heavenly!  Wow, it was the best bread pudding I’ve ever had.  People like to feed pregnant women.  It’s so great!!  I love food.

The last couple of days I’ve been really tired, so much more tired than usual.  Sometimes I will take a nap during the day.

I’ve been debating on mentioning this.  It’ s a little embarrassing since it’s about nipples.  I KNOW that other women have experienced this since I’ve talked to family and friends about it.  When I get cold, my nipples get really hard and my left one hurts so bad and it’s so painful.  It was hurting so bad one day that Ivan and I were walking and I was walking too slow that we had to go back home since Ivan thought it would take us an hour to do a 30 minute walk at my current walking pace.

Usually rubbing my nipple or putting a cloth with hot water on it helps make the pain go away.

So, I’ve been a lot better at drinking a gallon of water a day.  I hate going to the bathroom so much, so that’s why I don’t drink a lot of water.  But, I know it’s good for me and the baby that I get enough water.  I go to the bathroom a lot anyway since I’m pregnant.

My allergies have been killing me the last two days.  I actually haven’t resorted to taking my allergy medicine.. but I might have to soon.  It has been super windy which is probably why my allergies are tripping.

Jen at 15 weeks and 1 day

I’ve been feeling great and I’m now 15 weeks and 1 day.  Sometimes I say I’m fat and it bums me out, but I’m not.. it’s just my belly expanding for my baby to grow in.

I have been craving bagels for some reason.  After my eye appointment today, I saw Einstein Bagels and had to stop in.  I got a blueberry bagel toasted with cream cheese.  It tasted soo freaking good!!

Spicy Banana Love

I have been waking up in the middle of the night to go pee.  Not every night, but every now and then.  It’s annoying since I have to get out of my warm bed to pee and hope that I’ll be able to go back to sleep.  The trick is not to turn on the light in the bathroom, otherwise that usually wakes me up more than I already am.

I went to Lab Express to do my lab work.  It looked like somebody peed on the chair that I had to sit on to give my blood.  But, then I thought it probably wasn’t pee since it was a round yellow stain.. which could mean.. not sure, but I didn’t really want to dwell on it.  I gave a bunch of blood and then I had to pee in a cup.  I’m becoming a professional at peeing in cups.  The lady said to fill the cup half way or as much as you can.  I almost filled it all up. 

I can taste spicy food more now.  I think I have super tastebuds now.  Ivan and I ate at La Comida recently and I could taste even the smallest spiciness in the food.  I try to stay away from spice.. but a little is okay.

Ivan and I have been walking more.  The books recommend 30 minutes of exercise a day.  We’ve been walking for 30 minutes along the wash near our house. 

Runkeeper tracks your walk or run

I like the free app Runkeeper which tracks how long I walked, where I walked and how many calories I’m burning.

On January 31, 2014, Ivan and I went to Target.  We bought some pregnancy clothes for me.  I couldn’t find any good jeans, but I got a pair of sweatpants and lots of shirts.  Ivan thought it was a good idea to buy shirts that are big for me, but I’ll be able to fit into later on since my belly will be so big.

I went to the bathroom at Target and I dry heaved since it smelled like the sewer in there.  I almost puked.  Certain smells can get to you when you’re pregnant.  We have a new all purpose cleaner for our countertops in the kitchen.  I hate the smell!  My sense of smell seems to be more magnified now.

On February 1, 2014, I took Prenatal Yoga at Belly Bliss.  It was different this time where the teacher taught us yoga on chairs.  This type of Yoga is especially good for women in their third trimester of their pregnancy.

She showed us a move that will help prevent us from getting varicose veins and is good for stretching..  It’s good to do for 10 minutes a day for varicose vein prevention.  You have a chair facing you while you’re laying on your right side with your legs under the chair.  You place your left leg on the chair – I put the leg up to my knee, but whatever’s most comfortable for you.  Repeat on the other side.

One girl was 37 weeks and about to give birth in 20 days or so.  I don’t think I will be doing Prenatal Yoga at 37 weeks.  I probably won’t want to do much exercise then.

Thank goodness Ivan eats healthy which makes me eat healthy.  Today, he made a cauliflower Indian dahl for lunch.

Cauliflower Indian Dahl

I started doing the Post-its Project (It’s free to spread love!) which I saw on the Las Vegas Bucket List meetup group.  It’s for the month of February.  Put positive messages or quotes on a post-it note and place it somewhere for somebody to find like the gym scale, magazines, bathroom stalls, books, etc. 

Ivan and I went to the mall today.  I decided to promote this blog on the Post-its.  Here’s one of the notes I left on this Super DOMO at IT’SUGAR Candy Store at Town Square mall.

Post-its Project note on a DOMO doll

Hope somebody comes to the blog and says hi after seeing the note.  I’m hoping this makes people smile.  It’s good to spread love and happiness.

The house is filling up with flowers again.  We got Italian flowers with a funny note. Davide had to put down his banana pizza when he heard the good news!  I guess there are still lots of Dave the monkeys are there that I didn’t know about.

More flowers and congratulations from Hungary and from a drunken monkey named Daibhead from Ireland.  One of the cutest flowers came today from Dawid from Poland. 

Smiley congratulations from Poland

He told me to remember the Polish tradition: The more Bananas you eat, the healthier the baby will be!!  I better start eating more bananas!

Flowers and Cookies

Our house is filling up with flowers!  I got flowers from Big Dave’s cousin Dafydd from Wales on January 27, 2014 and then more flowers from Big Dave’s cousin Le Darv from Barcelona, Spain the next day.

Flowers from Le Darv from Spain

There must be lots of Dave the monkeys around the world!

I felt really nauseous on Monday, but still no puking so I do consider myself lucky.  Nobody likes puking especially me.. so I’m glad I haven’t been.

I met up with our midwife Kat for my first prenatal visit on January 28, 2014.  It’s great that she comes to your house for all your visits.  I had to pee in a cup to check my protein and sugar.  She made sure I was feeling alright.  I told her about my nausea and said that eating an egg helps right when I wake up and also eating small meals throughout the day should help.  She recommended the Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet.  She said I should print it out and laminate the pages.  Then, I can mark off what I’ve eaten each day.  I’m definitely not eating enough of the right foods.

Kat said my uterus is expanding, so that I might be feeling pressure which I have been feeling cramps.  She told me to lie down and we would see if we could hear the baby’s heartbeat.  Sometimes, you can this early.  She put a cold gel on me and put the doppler below my stomach and tried to find the heartbeat.  We couldn’t hear anything.  Maybe the baby is being cheeky and is hiding!

She gave me paperwork to get lab work down for Prenatal Panel (Complete blood count, ABO Group & RH Type, Antibody screen, Rubella Ab IgG, RPR, Hep B Surafe Ag) plus HIV I&II, UA and Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy.  We made an appointment to meet up next month.

I received a thank you card from the doula Briana Mager.  It thanked us for meeting with her and hoped that she could be a part of our journey and make our birth an enjoyable experience.  A very nice touch.

Today, we met up with a doula named Erica Delmore.  I saw her picture on DoulaMatch and it must have been a really old picture. She originally wanted to meet up at a cafe near our house.  But, we had a handyman coming by around the same time.  She came by the house early.  She was very nice.  She had a folder filled with information and pricing of her fees.  I think all midwives should have paperwork to give clients since it’s professional.  We asked her lots of questions.  We want to find a doula who knows hypnobirthing.  She didn’t know much about hypnobirthing except she knows the teachers who teach it in Las Vegas.  She’s only been to one of the hypnobirthing classes.  Meeting with Erica just made me think of Shannondoah the first doula we met with.  She’s super friendly and she knows hypnobirthing.

I was researching questions to ask doulas during consultations and it said you need to like the voice of your doula.  They will be talking to you a lot during your labor so it does make sense.

I asked my sister-in-law Kara to bake me her famous chocolate chip cookies.

Kara's famous chocolate chip cookies

She told me she would bake cookies for me anytime during my pregnancy.  She’s so sweet!  They are delicious!!

Ivan and I talked about it and decided to go with Shannondoah Dartsch.  I gave her a call and told her we were choosing her to be our doula and she was really excited.  We’re going to meet up to discuss packages further.  She will teach fear releasing as part of the package which will help me since I’m scared of the pain during labor.

I just received even more flowers this time from Doove from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Flowers from Doove from Amsterdam

He wanted to send bananas, but he couldn’t find any online to send.. so he sent some beautiful flowers.  I think the flowers are getting better each time!

Bad skin, Sore boobs and Protein

I wanted to talk about the symptoms I’ve been having that make me think I am, in fact, pregnant.

I have been getting bad acne… my skin has not been looking good.  I do get pimples on my chin, but it has been coming two at a time and more frequently.

My back is sore.  My boobs have been real sore and I feel like they’re getting bigger.  Also, my clothes seem to be tighter.  My jacket seems to be too small now.  I’m almost sure that my stomach has gotten bigger.  I feel bloated and bigger.

A few weeks ago, I felt nauseous.. but thankfully, no puking.  I wonder if I will get morning sickness.  Of course, we’re still not sure I am pregnant since the test at the doctor is tomorrow.  I am positive that I am since my period still hasn’t come.

I told my husband Ivan that I am putting him in charge of me getting enough protein during my pregnancy.  Since we’re pescetarians, this will involve foods like tofu, nuts and edamame.  Lately, he’s been on a kick of making salads.  Here’s a tasty kale salad with nutrional yeast (which makes it cheesy) and dried cranberries that I had the other day.

Kale salad with dried cranberries

I’m glad that I’ll be seeing the doctor tomorrow.  I better start writing some questions that I have for him.