Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We're Home and Safe

This is a crazy place to live right now. Everyone's off work pretty much for the week. My college as well as my husband's are closed all week, although H is physically located at a company near his college that was partially open for business today, so he went in for a few hours, mostly I think to have computer access without being disturbed by our cabin-fever-ridden 2 year old. I have revised my syllabi and e-mailed all my students our new schedule after missing this week of classes, so my work is done.

Instead, we're all glued to the internet. It has proven to be a much better source of information about the fires than the TV. I'm particularly fascinated by the maps. The San Diego County Emergency homepage has been publishing maps every few hours showing burned areas, evacuated areas, etc. with giant red dots over the areas of active burning. The whole thing is overlaid with the Thomas Guide coordinates so you can really follow what's going on. If you look at one of them (go to and click on one of the blue links for Countywide Fire Map Perimeter) you can get an idea of how close the fire came to our house. Without posting my home address on the internet for all to see, I'll just say that the fire came within half a green-outlined rectangle-height of us. Yeah.

I can't bring myself to watch the TV footage of people returning to their burned-out home wreckage.

Other than that, it's kind of like it was right after 9/11. No one can really bring themselves to pick up the thread of everyday life again, but this persistent state of limbo is feeling stale. We can't go outside, because the air quality is horrible. This is particularly bad for children, who are understandably uninterested in sitting around inside all day while Mom and Dad sit at their laptops with the TV turned to the news in the background. I've been pretty creative with entertaining D, but she's definitely picking up on the tension in the air and is completely and totally attached to her blankie (her lovey/transitional object). She is very clingy and not wild about the disruptions to her routine. I have no idea what to do with her tomorrow. We're supposed to be staying off the roads to keep them clear for evacuations and emergency crews, but I'm hoping that eases up a bit tomorrow so I can take her somewhere. All I can think of is the mall, but (1) many of them are outdoor malls in this part of the country, (2) the nearest one is pretty close to an area still under mandatory evacuation, (3) I bet every other parent in the county has had the same idea, and (4) if I walk any distance I start to contract heavily. I'm going to continue to brainstorm.

In other news, my brother and his wife are at an injection class this evening for their first IVF cycle. I want this to work for them so very very much. Those of you readers that are IVF or stim cycle veterans-- what would be the best thing the stereotypical pregnant sister-in-law could do for them? Send flowers? Some sort of thoughtful gift box? Keep my mouth shut? My brother's wife started birth control pills this week and progresses to Lupron injections at the end of the month. I was considering sending flowers near their retrieval time but now I'm wondering if that's the best plan. Any assvice welcome.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cities On Fire

Well, apparently Southern California's current state of being completely on fire has made the national media. At least, judging by the number of phone calls I have received today.

I was awakened at 4 AM by my neighbors knocking on my door, wondering why there weren't any lights on in our house. Everyone else was packing up. The police and their bullhorns had issued mandatory evacuations to homes just a few blocks away and the street behind our house was cordoned off. They were encouraging everyone to get out and not letting anyone back in.

So, we packed up and left. We're staying with friends about 20 minutes away from our house. Now we're wondering if this house will also be evacuated. It's going to be a long night. But, we're all safe, we had enough time to pack irreplaceable items into the cars, and we can move further away at a moment's notice.

Mr. 27 weeks is well. We "modeled" for a conference our perinatology office was holding on Saturday to teach a bunch of nurses and physicians specialized ultrasounding techniques, so I have a nice new crop of pictures. He was too smashed up against the uterine wall for my promised free 3D ultrasound, but we had a good time. My cervix still looks excellent. And we have very convincing photographic evidence of his... erm... manliness.

So, for now, just keeping my fingers crossed that our house doesn't burn down.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Better (Warning: Contains Gushing Over Daughter)

Apparently a lot of my recent anxiety had to do not with the status of Mr.-26-weeks, but the status of my 2 year old, who had outpatient surgery today. It went very smoothly (her surgeon was AHEAD of schedule) and we're all now home and recovering.

I feel much better, about everything. D was such a trooper. I'm so proud of her. She didn't shed a single tear. The nurses brought us back to meet her in the recovery room and she was just sitting there, clearly thinking "How did I get here? Where am I? What happened to the big Sleeping Table with the Strawberry Mask and Mommy in a hairnet and scrub suit? What's this tube going into the back of my hand? Why do I feel so weird?" And then we showed up, she thought briefly about crying, and we reassured her that all was well and so she kicked back and watched "Pink Elephants on Parade" from the Dumbo DVD playing on the TV. (Great choice for those coming out of anaesthesia, don't you think?)

Her nurses liked her so much she got not one, but three new stuffed animals. This was much better than previous surgeries.

Whew. Off to unwind with some suitably mindless television.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hiding Out

Still here... just in my cave. Who started the cave... was it Tertia? Anyway, I've got about 6 posts half-written, and they all degenerate into whininess, so I'll spare you.

26 weeks tomorrow. 15 days to go until our first big milestone. I cannot wait.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

For Electriclady

Phew! What a relief!

A complete and total false alarm. Dr. Favorite (my first appointment with her this pregnancy! At last, at last!) said I was the third patient this week to be diagnosed with low fluid levels by the ultrasound people, only to check out perfectly fine in the OB office. So, the usual warnings... stay hydrated, try and rest more, she asked what my lecture schedule was like these days and made sure my department was "on alert" that I may just not be able to turn up for class one day (and yes, they know...) and she asked how we were holding up.

Well, and there's that. How are we holding up? It really depends. You can ask, and we can answer, but 5 minutes later the answer may be the complete opposite. It only takes the smallest thing and H and I completely lose our grip. Deep down, I knew from the minute I heard the technician yesterday talking about low fluid levels that it was probably nothing. I'd had an upset stomach the previous day, and maybe I was a little less hydrated than usual. I also knew, deep down, that it was probably all fine again this morning when the OB office called. And yet, I was a basket case the whole day. My body was trembling from the huge volume of adrenaline I dumped into my circulatory system. I checked H's pulse while we were waiting in the exam room, and it was 110. The look of panic on his face when I told him the OBs wanted us to come in today was terrible.

We really need to find a way to get a grip. And yet, tomorrow is the exact gestational age where things collapsed with the pregnancy with D. Maybe that gives us the right to be a little fragile this week? I don't know. I just wish I could keep it together a little bit better. That may have to wait until we get past 28 weeks. But, for today, all is good. Several large pockets of fluid. Cervix long and closed. Growth is right on where it should be. The kid kicks constantly. Even my wieght isn't out of control. Why do I keep waiting for catastrophe? Can't I just enjoy this?

I wish I could have a glass of wine. I guess I'll do the next best thing and go soak in the bathtub with a Dick Francis novel.

Trying not to panic

My OB office called. They got the report from the ultrasound after the radiologist looked at it. They seem rather concerned about the fluid levels. We are going in right now to get checked again.

I've got my emergency hospital bag (whose existence has been unknown to my husband until now) and the phone numbers of people at work to call if I get hospitalized. D is napping at my friend's house. Please please please let this be nothing.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


It's been a bit of a week.

D turned 2. We had a party. It was fabulous, but exhausting.

My mother-in-law came to stay for the weekend and the party. She brought her "gentleman friend" of a little over a year to stay as well. It was hilarious watching this completely creep out my poor husband. I'm delighted that she's seeing someone. She still drives me nuts, but I believe that's the main item in her job description as my mother-in-law. (Note: where can I see a copy of said job description? I'd like to know what to expect next. After reading incoming text messages on my cell phone, of course, which did indeed happen this weekend.)

Monday D had her 2 year checkup at her pediatrician's office. They have confirmed what I already knew: D is huge. She is back on the height chart (after the incident of the 100th percentile), but they confirmed what we already knew, which is that she's an inch shy of being the same size as the average three-year-old. Well, she's always been this way, so no worries. Quite an accomplishment for my little not-quite term child.

Today was the follow-up level 2 ultrasound on little gizmo. Now weighing in at an estimated 1 pound, 9 ounces. They were able to get the cardiac views we didn't get last time, and also checked in on those wacky non-cooperators, the placenta and my cervix. The cervix is maintaining champion status, remaining longer than 4 cm, while the placenta is still marginal, but with time remaining in which it can get the hell out of the way (we hope). The technician thought the fluid volume looked a bit low, so another item to add to my worry list, but all in all a good visit. We'll get the official report in a few days, I hope, or at the very least hear about it at our next OB visit next Tuesday. We're 2 days away from 24 weeks 4 days, which is where everything went crazy with my pregnancy with D, so we were relieved to see absolutely no sign of preterm labor or a funneling cervix. I woke up in at 4 AM this morning with what felt like menstrual cramps (note: this is a sign of preterm labor) but I was able to go back to sleep knowing that I was due for an ultrasound at 10AM anyway. Today: no cramping and only the normal level of contractions, so I am calm(ish).