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September 24, 2003

Final Departure: October 7

Today our OB, Dr. Parl, determined a final departure date for little baby Kate. If she doesn't make her way into this world on her own in the meantime, her arrival will be induced on Tuesday, October 7. This date doesn't fare well for the three-quarters of us who guessed her arrival after the 7th, but there are a handful of potential winning guesses -- including the one posted by Ken's brother Kevin for October 7th.

Ken updated Kate's website with the new arrival date, which is also reflected in the countdown clock. Only 12 days to go? Ha! At this point 12 days seems like 12 days to long. Dr. Parl did tell me though to go to the hospital if I go into labor sooner and not to try to wait it out until the 7th. He's got quite the sense of humor, huh?

September 23, 2003

Today's Baby Forecast - Less Fluid With A Percentage of Sporadic Contractions

A quick update -- today's visit to the specialist was fairly routine. Ultrasound revealed lower fluid levels (AFI level at 16cm, it was 29 and 20 on previous visits). Blood sugar levels have been normal but the doctor wants Jean-Marie to continue monitoring after every meal (blech!). Kate is still growing and was estimated to be between 7 and 8 pounds now.

We learned that the sporadic tightening around Jean-Marie's abdomen area is not gas or Kate pushing her feet or other body parts against Jean-Marie's belly as hard as she can. Instead, they are Braxton Hicks contractions. The only reason why we now know what they are is because one happened during the sonogram today and the tech pointed it out. Jean-Marie said that they have been happening more and more frequently which (we were told by the doctor) jump-starts the dilation and effacement process. We have another visit to our regular obstetrician tomorrow, so we'll see if the contractions have had any effect.
Posted by Ken at 06:00 PM

September 22, 2003

In defense of the belly

Yesterday, Ken and I met my mom, my grandmother (a/k/a Mimi) and my brother John for dinner at Padrino's in Hallandale Beach to celebrate John's 26th birthday. Mimi wandered around a bit in front of Padrino's while we waited for our name to be called. While roaming she overheard one woman tell her friend, "Look. She's having twins." Thank goodness Mimi was there to come to my rescue. She told them that I was her granddaughter and that I was expecting a little baby girl. In retrospect, "little" may have been pushing it but at least she straightened them out.

I really wonder how many other women go through the same "multiples" comments as I do, especially when they are so close to delivery. Is it that other women forget how big their pregnant bellies got? Or did they never really realize how large they were in the first place? OR am I just freakishly large and in denial? Either way, I hope that from now I show a little more compassion to the big-bellied pregnant women I meet in future.

Big-bellied pregnant women unite!

By the way, here's a picture taken yesterday at my mom's condo following dinner at Padrino's but prior to birthday cake. Therefore, no excess cake eating has been used to alter this image.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 01:19 PM

September 20, 2003

Car seat inspection

Saturday's car inspection was one of those times I was kicking myself afterwards for not taking pictures during 'the event.' Whether you had your car seat installed or not, it appeared the inspectors had a 'system' they followed. Thus, they wanted to pull the car seat out completely and start over again.

Easier said than done. I had the seat so firmly (securely) installed into the back seat they could not get it out. Two inspectors wrestled with it, and 15 minutes and two broken nails later the seat was wrangled free. Despite having a car seat with an adjustable leveler built into the base, the inspectors opted to use cut pieces of foam pool tubes to make sure the seat was properly leveled horizontally. Overall, the process took 20 minutes; it was free; and now we know without a doubt it's installed correctly.

If anyone in the South Florida area is looking to take advantage of this free child seat inspection process, locations can be found by visiting the NHTSA web site. I would highly recommend it.
Posted by Ken at 02:25 PM

September 19, 2003

23 Long Days Remain

If you were to ask Jean-Marie how she feels this week, the answer would more than likely be "uncomfortable." It's been a week of soreness and immobility as Kate 'moves into position'. Perhaps Kate's wriggling around so much because she knows the time in her comfortable 'digs' comes to an end soon and she will have to face the outside world.

This weekend I'm going to have the car-seat inspected to make sure it's installed correctly. There are only two connectors when securing the car seat using the LATCH system so I'd feel like a real dummy if I messed that up. We'll find out tomorrow :)
Posted by Ken at 10:01 AM

September 15, 2003

Is Kate's Arrival Predicted In The Stars?

Every Monday Ken forwards to me my MSN.com horoscope for that week. This week's had me busting out laughing. The planets are urging me to express my new, bigger, and much bolder ways. And, I have an even better chance of finding my feet this week. Since losing sight of my feet months ago as my belly grew and grew, there's only one way "finding my feet" is now physically possible.

Should I be taking this potential forecast of Kate's arrival a little more seriously?!? Only time will tell.

Greetings Taurus. Here is your horoscope for the week of September 15th through September 21st:
You continue to feel in top form, and full of the potential that is urging you to express yourself in new, bigger, and much bolder ways. Jupiter in Virgo is fabulous for giving you that extra inch of enthusiasm with which to fulfill your dreams. You have an even better chance of finding your feet this week as Mercury the planet of commerce and communications begins to move forward once again. Whereas you may have felt as though you were on shaky ground, from now on each step will feel a lot more firm.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 11:14 AM

September 14, 2003

False Alarm For Ken

Leg cramps at night are not uncommon for pregnant women. I've had quite a few in the past several months. But none can compare to the one I had last night in the middle of the night in my right calf muscle. Generally, I can flex my leg and then climb out of bed to walk it off. Last night, though, I was on my side facing toward the inside of the bed and the leg that was cramping was the bottom leg. Now that I'm so large it takes quite a bit for me to roll over and climb out of bed. Tried as I might, it wasn't working.

So I started howling and calling Ken for help. I told him I was having a cramp in my calf and asked if he could help me flex it and rub it for me. He got the flexing part right but then he started rubbing my thigh. "No, my calf Ken." Then he rubbed my hamstring. "No, my calf Ken." I think he may have even followed with my knee and my foot. I couldn't help but start laughing. Then he started laughing. Finally I just asked him to help me roll out of bed so I could walk off whatever cramp was left and take a regular middle of the night bathroom break.

This morning when I woke up I asked him what the deal was. Why did he rub every leg muscle but the one that was in so much pain? He said that when I woke him up howling and calling his name he thought I was in labor and he starting going through the hospital checklist in his mind. Now that I know he has a hard time finding my calf from his elbow while he's half asleep, I'm thinking I may want to type up the list and put it on his bedstand. It might even be smart to put "Jean-Marie" as one of the items that needs to be packed in the car, just in case.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 09:50 PM

September 13, 2003

If I had a hammer... I'd hammer in the morning... I'd hammer in the evening

Okay, so this did not even require use of a hammer to assemble, but the changing table is finished. Jean-Marie caught me mid-installation with this action-shot (this is about as much action as you are going to get when putting together a changing table). The drawer sticks a little bit when you open and close it, but we are hoping that it will wear itself in with daily use.

The car seat did not require any assembly, but we were quite stumped how a baby actually fits into the darn thing. There are all sorts of straps and pads -- and all I could think about was how uncomfortable it would be to wrangle an infant into place. I'm sure all will become clear when Kate is here, but in the meantime, you can see the car seat in the vehicle with our Winnie-The-Pooh-Placeholder-Baby :)
Posted by Ken at 08:21 PM

September 12, 2003

Weekend Work

This weekend we will reach the official 30-day countdown for Kate's arrival. Since Jean-Marie and I think Kate is coming early, we are knocking off some of the final preparations ahead of time.

Jean-Marie already has her hospital bags packed and the car seat is installed and ready for our trip home from the hospital. The changing table arrived from Babies-R-Us this week and I need to assemble that this weekend. Also on the agenda is putting together the stroller and making sure we know how to use it :) Most of our baby supplies are ready, the webcam is up and running... all we need now is Kate!
Posted by Ken at 04:28 PM

September 09, 2003

Oh Sugar, Sugar

We had a visit with a diabetic counselor today to discuss Jean-Marie's blood sugar levels and another ultrasound to double-check the polyhydramnios diagnosis from Friday. Overall I would classify this as a good visit for several reasons:

  • The amount of amniotic fluid went down
  • We learned that Kate grew since Friday to 6 lbs, 10 oz
  • Overall Kate looks healthy
  • Jean-Marie's blood sugar levels were normal for the visit
We really worked ourselves into a tizzy over the weekend because we didn't know much about polyhydramnios and all the research we found made us assume worst-case scenarios. For our own stress levels, it worked out for the best that we didn't know the original Amniotic Fluid Index (AFI) last Friday -- it was 29cm (high) -- whereas today it dropped to 20cm (borderline). It's great that it dropped, but being borderline requires that it be closely monitored with frequent ultrasounds.

The blood sugar news was also good, but the inconvenient part of this process requires Jean-Marie check her blood sugar levels 4x per day and adjust her diet to avoid excess carbohydrates and sugars until Kate gets here.

We have another doctors appoint tomorrow (Wednesday) so we'll see where we stand with a potential due date. If you haven't already, there's still time to make your final guesses on Kate's arrival date... hopefully she will arrive sooner than later, we are ready to go!
Posted by Ken at 08:59 PM | Comments (1)

September 05, 2003

Doctor Doctor Give Us The News

This past Tuesday we had our regular doctor's appointment with a bunch of new developments to report, especially for those of you participating in the guess Kate's weight, height and birth date contest. After failing another glucose test the doctor decided it was time to send me to a diabetic counselor so I could learn to more closely monitor my sugar levels as well as my diet. This discussion also took us down the path of Kate's potential for high birth weight as it relates to gestational diabetes. And after I mentioned all of the comments I regularly receive from the armchair obstetricians about how big I am, he pulled out his little tape measure and concurred. As a precautionary measure he order a sonogram to see how little Kate is doing.

Today I had the sonogram and it was what we had suspected. Our little Kate is our pudgy little Kate. She's currently weighing in at 6lbs. 6oz., which means she's about 2 weeks and a few days ahead of the norm. The other reason why I am so seemingly large is because I also found out that I have polyhydramnios, an excess of amniotic fluid. It could be nothing or it could be something, which is why the doctor will be closely monitoring my size with frequent sonograms. Take what you want from this information but I'm guessing she's going to make her way into this world a little earlier than suspected. We're scheduled to have another sonogram in 2 weeks to determine her size and the amount of amniotic fluid again then.

Although you can't see it in this ultrasound picture, the tech also said that our little Kate has lots of hair. I guess that old wives tale about the heartburn IS true. With the frequency and potency of my indigestion, I'm expecting a baby Sasquatch to tumble out.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 04:14 PM

September 04, 2003

Baby Shower Games

Click here to see all entries Guests at baby showers are often subject to strange little shower games, and the guests at Kate's shower were no exception. Jean-Marie came home that day with a bunch of little pieces of paper in the shape of what looked to me like very odd little alien people from an X-Files episode. (Luckily I'm not being given a Rorschach-type test to determine my capabilities as a father.) I later found out that guests were given the challenge to turn a blank white piece of paper into a little paper baby -- one that would one day resemble Kate -- without using anything but their bare hands to create the shape. As you can tell everyone was really quite inventive. Take a look at all of the entries and tell us which one you would've picked as the winner.
Posted by Ken at 07:01 PM | Comments (1)

September 02, 2003

I Wish All Chairs Were This Comfortable

After weeks of waiting, the glider we selected finally arrived. This was a snap to put together, and it is incredibly comfortable. If Jean-Marie has to put in long nights in this chair there's a good chance she may not want to go back into a bed! Hopefully I can steal away a few feeding sessions so Kate and I can hang out in this comfy chair :)
Posted by Ken at 10:13 PM