Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consult with potential pediatrician

Today we had a consult appointment with a woman named Dr. Penny Soppas who might end up being Sophie's pediatrician. Dr. Soppas is part of Drexel Hill Family Pediatrics and she was highly recommended by several of our friends as well as mommy websites and forums in our area. Dr. Soppas was very sweet and extremely patient. We waited a bit to meet with her and there was another couple (expecting in January) who came in to do the consult with us. We got to take turns asking her questions and it was actually nice to hear the questions of the other couple. We asked about the following and here were her answers:

Vaccines: Dr. Soppas seemed to think overall it's good to vaccinate but that if parents chose not to then, that is ok with her. She explained that the connetion between autism and vaccines is not really accurate but people have blown it out of proportion and the rumor has spread. She said it really was only one type of vaccine (MMR) that might have even had any connection but even so none was ever proven. She explained that autism is extremely hard to diagnose since it is primarily diagnosed through observing language skills and most babies don't have more than 1-2 words when they are one year old. Autism is not easy to diagnose until at least 1 1/2 years old. And, the first does of MMR vaccine is given around 12-15 months so people have assumed it was that vaccine but that is not true. Autism is largely genetic.

Co-sleeping: Dr. Soppas recommended safe co-sleeping as the best way to be close to baby and for mom to get more sleep. The concerns about co-sleeping are due to beds with too much bedding or parents who go to sleep drunk or otherwise unable to watch out for their babies.

Omega3s: Dr. Soppas recommended additional Omega3s if we were not eating enough fish. She advised either supplements or flax seed oil.

Flu shots: Dr. Soppas recommended flu shots for the mother and anyone else in the family who would be in close contact with the baby. She explained that all of their vaccines at Drexel Hill Pediatrics are mercury free except the flu shots because they come in bulk packs. We can request an individual dose flu shot which would be mercury free and she can write a script for one which we could pick up at the pharmacy and then bring to the office to take. I'm a bit nervious about flu shoots since I've never had one but it seems like we both will need to do this in January to ensure that Sophie girl doesn't get the flu as it could be extremely dangerous for her.

The other mommy asked what her experience and background was and she replied that she's been in pediatrics for 25 years and trained at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. You can't really do much better than that, in my book! Additionally, Dr. Soppas is a certified lactation consultant and is also affiliated with the Bryn Mawr Birth Center, so these are very big bonuses as well.

Overall, I was very impressed with Dr. Soppas. She was kind and answered all our questions very thoroughly and thoughfully and never seemed rushed. We spent about an hour with her, which I think is pretty impressive! She seemed very down to earth and kind and had a great attitude about things. I'm guessing that we will go with her when the time comes so apparently, all we have to do is give a call and schedule our two day old check-up for Sophie after she's born.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

First visible kicks

This week marks another big milestone as we saw the first kicks actually move my belly this week! Guess Sophie is getting stronger (and bigger)!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

24 week belly shot and a tarot reading

So, you can see that I still have my belly button (for now) but I'm definitely getting bigger. Sophie is too - in fact, in week 24 she is supposed to gain about 6 ounces. This is pretty amazing considering it took 24 weeks for her to get to be about 16 ounces...

Yesterday at my friend Stacey's lovely 35th birthday party in New York City, there was a tarot card reader who was giving readings. When I sat down with her, I originally wasn't going to ask about the baby or anything (I just didn't want to put that on Sophie or myself) but then I decided to ask after all. She had me pull 11 cards and then another 3 or 4 more about the labor specifically. I thought I'd share some "highlights" of what she told me.

First, she said that there was a lot of love for this baby (which of course, if you're family or close friends) you know is true. She said there is so much love that I'll need to set boundaries because we'll be tired and while everyone will want to help and be present, we will need to be able to set some boundaries so we can have our quiet time as a family and get our sleep and adjust. She said that the nursery is going to be wonderful and I don't have to worry about money (that should be interesting) and should "buy whatever crib and furniture I want." She saw "lavender" but trust me, it is most definitely not going to be a lavender nursery. She also said that the furniture will be used again for a second baby. :-)

Then, she said that my partner is a wonderful and amazing person (which of course if you are family or close friends, you also know is so true). She said this in such a way that was so heartfelt and genuine like she really saw what a great guy Jim is. She said the he is so excited about this baby coming and that it really means a lot to him that it is a girl. (At this point, I was definitely teary. She nailed this part!!) She said that he is ready and willing to help in any way but I have to tell him what I need because he's not a mind-reader.

As for the actual labor itself she said that it will be "easy" but also "wildly unexpected" "like when we're at a Broadway show" or something. Now... we're actually going to see Wicked on Broadway in mid-January and this is the first time I've ever seen a Broadway show so I got pretty nervous about this and asked her and she said "oh no, this baby is not pre-term but will just arrive when you are really not expecting it." She said "think like in a cab and you and the cabbie's photo will be in the paper." She also said that I am going to need about 3 weeks to get ready for the baby and that I should not work up till my due date. This was sort of interesting because I've fully planned to just work up until my due date.

Anyway, some other little points she mentioned were that she saw the labor happening on a full moon and at night. So of course, I checked the full moon for March and it's
March 3rd! Full moon for April is April 2nd. That appeals to me a bit more than March 3rd so if the labor is on a full moon, let's hope Sophie chose the later one.

Fun stuff, huh? We shall see whether she is right on any of the labor and delivery stuff but I'll tell you she nailed the part about their being a lot of love for the arrival of our little Sophie girl as well as the part about her Daddy being so amazing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy Viability Day, Sophie!

Today marks 24 weeks! This means that Sophie is technically "viable" and if born now would have a good shot of surviving.* What a big milestone! And, only 16 more weeks till we get to meet her - woohoo!

*Note, by good shot, we mean statistically about a 50% chance of surviving. SO, please don't come out yet, Sophie...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fourth Prenatal Appointment

Today was our fourth prenatal appointment at The Bryn Mawr Birth Center. It was a good visit with a new midwife, Maria, who was very sweet and kind. She said that this was a very exciting week because in four days, Sophie will be "viable" which means if she were to be born prematurely after that point, she would have a decent chance of surviving (with some major medical attention obviously). This is really so exciting to me. I remember the first time I flew alone once I knew I was pregnant and it actually hit me really hard that if god forbid, something were to happen to me, that would mean that the baby likely would not survive. It was really disturbing to me and made me very concerned and sad. Now, that she is almost "viable" I have some comfort knowing that she will likely be ok even if something unforeseen ever happened to me.

Anyway, on a happier note, Maria the mid-wife took my blood pressure, fundal height which was 24 cm (last visit (on November 5th) it was 20 cm), and listened to the baby's heartbeat (150 beats per minute). So, everything seemed good and right on track.

She also gave me a glucose drink which I will need to drink 45 minutes before my next prenatal appointment in January so that they can do a glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes. And, finally we registered for our 5 week Birth Center Birthing Classes which begin on Jim's birthday, January 29th. Exciting stuff!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Imagining what Sophie will look like

We pulled out some baby photos of us to try and imagine what Sophie will look like outside the womb. We still don't have a clue but it is fun to look at these baby pix of Jim and me.

Jen and her mom.

Jim and his mom (date March 14. I assume this is 1970 based on how little Jim looks.)

Jen and her dad at the Jersey shore (Aug 1972)

Jim and his Dad in the backyard.

Jim sleeping.

Jen wide awake looking at the crazy bunny.

Jen 1 year birthday (Dec. 1972)

Jim - 2 1/2 years old. Look at that great hair! (Fall 1972)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Loosing teeth!

What is the child doing to me? Last night I lost part of my back tooth while eating popcorn! The filling is still in it but the back tooth part is now missing. This happened to me earlier on in the pregnancy, too. When I was in Ohio and a small portion of a lower back tooth came out while chewing gum. Amazingly, neither of these teeth bit losses have hurt yet but I guess it's time to get to the dentist. I can't even imagine what Sophie is doing that is making my teeth fall out!

UPDATE: I stand corrected. According to my step-mother Kathy who is a dental expert, there is no correlation between pregnancy and tooth loss or decay. Shwew - that's good to know!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bit of a scare...

Ok, today was a bit of a scare as I fell while walking in the Penn Law school. I honestly do not know what happened, I was walking along (probably a bit too fast for a prego) and the next thing I knew, my knees buckled and I was on the floor. Thankfully, I think I was able to coushin the fall with my knees and my arm but it was very freaky. I have been reading in all the pregnany books that pregnant people are prone to falling what with their joints loosening up (due to the hormone "relaxin") and their balance off and whatnot but wow - so scary! When I came home I listened to the hearbeat and it sounded good so I think Sophie is probably ok but more than anything I was just freaked out. I need to be more careful, I guess. (Jim says I'm prone to falling anyway so he's scared to death of me falling while pregnant.) We will try to take it easier to avoid these things in the future.

On a happier note, today marks the official half-way mark - 20 weeks!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

'Aint she sweet

Today was the most exciting and happiest day since the day in July when we found out we were pregnant!! We had our 20 week ultrasound today!! It was just amazing. We are overjoyed beyond belief to report that the baby is healthy (10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 kidneys, 4 chambers in the heart, right size bones, skull, you name it!). I was also surprised to learn that the baby is already 13 ounces. (Maybe that explains why my back is hurting so much already.) Most of our pregnancy books and websites were saying that the baby would be about 8 oz now - not 13! And, the baby is extremely active and was moving and posing all throughout the "photoshoot".

We are also thrilled to let the world know that It's A Girl!!!! While I thought it was going to be a boy, everyone (and I mean everyone) else thought girl. So, Jim and all you friends and family were right! So much for my "mother's intuition"!!

Here are the ultrasound photos of our beautiful baby girl! We even got to see her in 3D! Please meet the beautiful Sophia Oxenford!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Third Prenatal Appointment

Today was our 20 week prenatal appointment (though I'm not technicallly 20 weeks until Friday). Nancy was our mid-wife this time and she was very sweet and very good. We talked about my diet (she said I'm getting plenty of protein and dairy which is great) but to add another fruit and veg into the daily intake (surprise, surprise). She said my weight gain was right on track (I've gained 10 lbs in 20 weeks) and my fundal height was also right on target. This was the first time my fundal height was taken (though we've read about it in books).

Tomorrow, we go for the 20 week fetal anatamy ultrasound (whch we requested) so we are just so excited to "see" the baby and to hopefully find out the sex as well!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

18 week belly shot

Sorta needs no explanation...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Birth Center Orientation

Tonight we attended the Bryn Mawr Birth Center orientation session which is highly recommended for all new prenatal patients. Nobody told us about this when we signed up so we were the only couple in the very packed class who was already a patient there. It was a good overview session where we learned the history and ideology of the Birth Center. We also got to see a short show featuring a live childbirth at the Birth Center and ask all our questions. It was fun to be in a large group with lots of other expecting parents who were just as "deer in the headlights" as we feel sometimes. Add to that the fact that our friends Amelia and Dan, who are expecting their third child in January and are finally moving back to the Philly area, were also in attendance with us which was a great surprise!

The jacuzzi tub in each birth center bedroom.

One of the three birth center bedrooms where I might give birth!
At the end of the orientation, we got to tour the Birth Center Birthing Rooms and I got very chocked up while in one of the birth rooms as it hit me that in a relatively short period of time, I'd be in there giving birth to our new son or daughter soon. It was a very emotional and unforgettable moment.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Baby's First 60 Mile Walk

This past weekend, the baby and I completed the Susan G. Komen 3Day 60 Mile Breast Cancer Walk in Philadelphia. It was such an amazing experience, especially to be able to do it not just 14 weeks pregnant but with my mom, my best friend, and my fellow VC Diva. I was a little worried about the baby and how he or she would do but we both did great. In fact, there was a woman on the walk who was 8 months pregnant and her biggest complaint was shin splints so I felt much better!!

"Daddy", me and the baby at Closing Ceremonies!

Go Team Earth and State

Me and the baby, Rocky, Heather and Kim at Pit 4

Thursday, September 27, 2007

2nd Prenatal

Our second prenatal appointment was today and we had a different midwife, Betsy. Betsy actually did listen to the baby's hearbeat and it was a glorious and wonderful sound. The baby's heartbeat was 160 beats per minute so of course people are saying "Oh, it's a girl with a heartbeat that fast" or "See, it's a boy." Either way, that seems like a healthy, respectable heartbeat so we are estatic.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Three Pregos

At our friend Mark's 35th Birthday Party recently, we got to see many of our friends who we haven't seen since we knew we were pregnant. We also got to find out that our friends Mark and Maeve are also pregnant (just a few weeks behind us)! Here is a photo of Maeve, me, and Amelia - the three pregos!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

"I'm Pregnant, So am I"

What a great surprsie!! This weekend, in Chicago on a trip, I learned that my colleague and friend Megan is also pregnant! She is two weeks ahead of me and it was just too cool to get to tell each other we were pregnant together in Chicago on our girls (VC Divas) weekend together. In fact, I think it went soemthing like Megan announcing once we were all there, "I'm pregnant!" and there being much screaming and happiness and hugging and then me announcing "So am I!" and more screaming and happiness and hugging and jumping up and down. Here is a photo of us at a Carribean festival in Chicago. The babies' first concert together!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

First Pre-Natal Appointment

Today was our first prenatal appointment at the Brywn Mawr Birth Center. I find it amazing that when you find out your pregnant, the midwives don't really want to see you until your 10-12 weeks pregnant. I found out when I was five weeks pregnant and so the next five-six weeks felt like eternity to me. We have so many questions to ask and yet they make you wait. Of course, you can always call and a mid-wife will call you back to respond to your questions but it is just not the same as meeting "an expert" in person and getting to ask all your nervous, new parent questions. In the meantime, we bought What to Expect When Your Expecting, Pregnancy For Dummies, and I'm Pregnant. Also, my friend Amelia sent me The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy which was great.

Overall the appointment went well but we didn't get to hear the heartbeat and it was a little rushed. But, according to Julia things seeemed ok (she did a pelvic exam) and I just needed to come back in four weeks.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Really? We're pregnant?

Well, after taking two pregnancy tests in one weekend and then going to Planned Parenthood a few days later for good measure it turns out that yes, we are in fact pregnant. Jim and I were stunned. We said we were going to start trying again but wow, we didn't expect it to happen that fast!! It was a great feeling to realize that the tests were actualy positive. (I had convinced myself that they were negative and there was only one line because the line on the right was so faint. But, after consulting a friend and Jim's reassurances that the big, bold, not to be missed line on the left was actually the one that indicated whether you were pregnant, I actually realized it might be true!) We found out while we were down the shore in Sea Isle, NJ with our friends. Here is a photo of the sunset from the deck the night we found out. What a wonderful moment!!