Wednesday, September 26, 2012

BEST Ultrasound EVER

I know it's so soon after my last post, but this one is HAPPY!

I work in a teaching hospital.  One of the perks is finding out about unique opportunities.  Today, I was an ultrasound "model" for teaching midwives, residents, family physicians, etc.  These folks had come from GA, SC, and a couple of other places for this teaching.  My very dear work friend, Beth, tagged along.  It's good she's so tiny because there were 5 other people in the room.

The instructor had asked up front if I wanted to know the gender.  I said I need a confirmation, but I thought it was a boy.  She did a scan first before her students came in.  First thing, he showed himself to be all boy.  As he's been at the previous ultrasounds, he was incredibly active.  At one point, the instructor asked if we had a name.  She wanted to do the mother thing of yelling, "Kelly Merritt Sanders, be still!"  (That's not his name).  He'd flip from side to side just as they'd try to measure a leg bone or head circumference.

I know I'm not medical, but I've seen a lot of things in the NICU and PICU.  I also have my own experiences.  First off, I wanted to know if there was a Corpus Callosum.  They all looked at me like I was an alien.  I said, "my daughter didn't have one."  They couldn't visualize it at this point, but other brain structures that were supposed to be visible at this point were.  Also, some structure, whose name I can't recall, was there which rules out complete ACC.  I don't really fear it, but it was a fluke in Olivia, so why not ask?

Next, there was a lot of looking at the heart.  We saw all four functioning chambers.  She'd stop on the valves and freeze the frame to show them working.  She ticked off the major vessels.  I asked, "Could you tell if it's a hypoplast?"  I got the weird eyes again and one of the group asked where I work.  She said that yes, they should be able to tell that and it looks good.

We saw two kidneys, a stomach, a great umbilical cord with three vessels, and a beautiful little hand waving hello.  He also gave a thumbs up!  The last thing I asked was about gastroschisis.  Woohoo!  He has an intact abdominal wall!

This was the most detailed and technical ultrasound I've ever had or seen.  I'm so, so glad I was able to have the opportunity.  I know there are still many things that could happen or show up later.  It doesn't matter.  He's a beautiful squirmy shadow and I can't wait to meet him!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Seasons Change

We are a couple of days into the official season of Autumn.  Life is like nature in its changes.  They come inevitably and although we know to expect them, it's still sometimes a shock.  I almost always say "Fall" instead of Autumn.  As I drove north on Highway 52 toward the church where Olivia is buried this morning, it was clear why.

When I awoke, the temps were low.  I don't mean a comfy 60 degrees.  It was around 48-50.  After the harsh heat of our long summer, it was welcome!  I actually turned on my heat in the car for a few minutes.  Driving up the long highway that heads into the Blue Ridge Mountains, I could see tinges of gold and red in the trees the further I went.  There were leaves falling all along the way.

It was an absolutely gorgeous drive.  I was going up this morning to take Olivia's fall flowers.  Although I know that there's only a shell of her in that grave, it is always highly emotional going.  As I go through this pregnancy, my emotions are heightened about her as well.  Today those emotions sprang forth like Old Faithful.

As I trimmed the foam so that the flowers would fit, I attached a magic wand and the ever-present crown.  I also thought of the many things I would love to say to my daughter.  She'd be almost 13 now!  I did talk to her.  I do most days, but today's thoughts and chat were more intense.

Olivia had many challenges in her life.  She required assistance with everything physical.  You know what?  It didn't matter at all.  She was absolutely perfect to me.  She was the most beautiful, loving, funniest little girl I have ever known.  Every time she flashed that beaming smile at me, I melted.  I miss that smile.  I miss my girl.  I miss her more than it should be humanly possible to feel.

I think the changes my body is experiencing are a little like fall.  I know they're coming.  I don't know if they'll be sudden or gradual.  I love each season and anticipate the next with excitement.  Today marks 16 weeks in this pregnancy.  I look forward to each week as a milestone.  I eagerly await his arrival.  My biggest regret is that he'll never know his sister.

With all that said, I am going to sit outside in the beautiful sun and read a while before I go to work.  I need to distract my mind from its whirlwind of thoughts this morning.  Happy Fall to all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fat Cat

I put my cat on a diet.  Sookie was a rescue from a local animal shelter.  She had lots of treatment before she came to me.  Still, at that time, she had a runny eye, scratch on her nose, and was mostly fur.  I think she's the equivalent of the poor man who wins the lottery.  She came here and found abundant food, no need to forage or hide in nature and love.  That poor man finds himself not living on Hamburger Helper, but instead filets and creme brulee.

She's so fat now that she has a belly that sways when she walks and a double chin.  A while back, I bought the auto feeder because I was tired of her waking me up early because she only had a crumb of food left. She became a snob and would only eat when there were whole pieces filling the bowl.  God help us if there were broken pieces or the 'dust' like that's left at the bottom of a cereal box.  That auto feeder was my mistake.  I had no idea exactly how much she was eating.

I know this may seem hypocritical coming from a woman of substantial girth.  I have to say, I've lost and gained about 150 lbs in my lifetime.  I think I'm the perfect person to put a cat on a diet.

I went all out and bought the Royal Canin Lite formula.  It's pricey.  I'm measuring out amounts to feed twice daily.  I'm hoping it works.  Else, she'll be bigger than I am at full term.

Friday, September 7, 2012


This is probably the longest lapse since I started this blog.  I have so many thoughts racing through my nog on any given day.  It's like a pinball machine in there!

My cat is a regular landing spot for the thought ball bouncing around.  The fact that she mews loudly and regularly could have something to do with that.  When I got her from my friend Jill, she said, "I think she's going to have a lot to tell you."  Well, it's been nine months and the damn cat talks more than ever.  If an animal can be spoiled, then she is.  She quietens right down when one of us picks her up and cuddles her.  Maybe, just maybe, she was a warm up to the baby I'm growing.

The baby is probably the most frequent hit for the ball o' thought.  I think about the baby constantly.  I rub my growing belly consciously and unconsciously.  I look at my ultrasound photos so often, if I were an artist, then I could draw them from memory.

There are other, darker thoughts in there.  Those are ones I keep to myself mostly.  I have fears and worries.  Some of those are completely out of my control.  Others are ones I could change if I worked at it.  Regardless, I struggle to keep those at bay because I don't want that negativity surrounding my baby.  See, he's still tops on the list.

Food is the final thought.  I think about it when I wake up and as I go to sleep.  In those 18 or so hours in between, I'm fighting nausea, still, to the point that actually eating is a challenge.  I long for the good days of pregnancy when food is a treat again.

I'm heading to those thoughts of medium rare filet mignon now.  The cat is stretched across both my feet and will loudly object to my movement.  Goodnight, my friends.