Saturday, December 26, 2015

2 months of Evie!

Evie news

  • Evie has now doubled in size. Looking back at her pictures from a month ago I can't believe we thought she was cute. She looked like a creepy mole rat (sorry baby). Although now my baby's rolls are getting out of control :(
  • Evie started smiling at around 7 weeks. Still not great at talking but she will smize you all day.
  • After lecturing us multiple times on resisting the urge to feed Evie warm milk, we found out that Grandma actually sneaky-feeds her warm milk all the time. So now Evie will throw a hysterical fit when fed cold milk
  • We're pretty sure God made babies super cute so that the parents would resist the urge to kill them when they are waking up three times a night
2 months old! 




Evie's favorite things ever are LIGHTS (dun duns!) She will stare at them alll day





Cancer
The good
  • Really blessed to have an amazing husband. I AM REALIZING IT MORE NOW. 
  • Also super blessed to have all the family support and friends :)
  • Done with the first 8 weeks of drugs! Onto 12 more cycles/weeks of the "gentler" drug
  • Side effects have been super minimal. I mostly just feel out of it day of and have been generally fine after that. Was able to go to work for a bit before going out officially for "maternity leave"
The bad

  • Some bone pain due to my neulasta shots to restimulate my white blood cell production after chemo wipes it out
  • Worst part was the beginning when getting the diagnosis and starting treatment a week postpartum. AC out of my ACT chemo regimen went pretty well for me but by my last one I was getting super grossed out just thinking about it :(
  • Sooo many drs visits. And I thought pregnancy was bad. On the bright side, I am even more familiar with online shopping and learned how to crochet in my copious amounts of idle time during chemo
  • Not being able to breastfeed anymore was really sad :(. Breastfeeding was something I was dreading the most after giving birth but Evie was a really good latcher and fed really well from the first day. I breastfed for the first two weeks and then stopped as soon as chemo started (for obvious reasons). In some ways it was good because Evie was a pretty good sleeper thanks to not having to wake up every 2 hours to eat from the boob. But it was super hard emotionally for me to give it up :(
The ugly
  • The steroids I get to keep the chemo side effects at bay make it impossible to lose weight :(. So all leftover 13 lbs of baby weight, you and I are about to get REALLL familiar until April. 
  • Yes, this is the worst part - because yknow, priorities. :D

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Evie's birth story


 Evie is now almost 5  10 13 days old (this is how bad I am about getting pictures off our phones)

I am finally starting to feel a little more human - at least enough to go online. On another note, after 9 days of this nonsense I'm pretty sure the chinese confinement period was created to keep new mothers from feeling human for as long as possible and for the grandparents to steal the baby from you while they force you on bedrest.

SO BEFORE I FORGET (because I'm already starting to), onto the documentation of Evie's birth story.

----

After we got the ultrasound for the mass in my breast and the radiologist told us it was probably cancer (but before biopsy and results), we immediately scheduled an induction date for Evie. Fortunately she was 38 weeks and a day by then so we were only a few days off from 39 weeks where she would be considered full term. We scheduled the induction date for the following Tuesday and I spent the next few days downing as many vitamins and tea as I could handle to get over my cold. Fortunately I was able to get through my congestion by induction day and I just had an annoying cough left. I think the cough helped me push but was a HUGE pain in the ass AFTER the baby was born cause coughing would hurt everythingg.

Induction day
We were supposed to go to the hospital at 9AM and the OB told us to call an hour before to get a room but when we called at 8AM apparently there had been a baby explosion at the hospital and they were OUT OF ROOMS. We definitely pulled the cancer card there and they put us at the top of the list for us to go in at 3PM (otherwise c-section deliveries usually get priority). Everything was packed for the hospital and in the car so we didn't have else to do but try to speed this baby along. So we went on a longass walk for two hours where my pregnant self had to rest every 30m on whatever sit-able surface we could find. They tell you not to eat before induction in the case you should need an emergency c-section so by 12PM I was super super hangry. FORTUNATELY we called the OB and she said I could eat so I inhaled whatever first store we came across on our walk around Cupertino (happened to be Ike's) and was a far more reasonable human being after that.

At 2PM we headed over to the hospital, checked in, and they put us in this dungeon-esque room to get me set up. I basically just had to change out of my regular clothes and into this lovely pink backless hospital gown, and get hooked up to a couple monitors to monitor my contractions and the baby's heartbeat. After an hour they moved us into a bigger room with a window (thank god cause that dungeon room was pretty depressing) and then the needles started coming so then it became far less fun. So first was a blood draw for something I can't remember anymore, and then they stuck the IV in for the Pitocin and saline to keep me hydrated. The IV was by far the most annoying thing about labor as they left it in there overnight and it was super uncomfortable.

The fun part. Before anything happened. 
First dungeon-room we were in
Bigger room- Eric with his dinner that I could stare and watch him eat D:
IV started - I hate this thing. It was far less fun from here on out

Because I was already 3cm dilated and my cervix was all nice and soft, I could go straight into Pitocin which causes contractions and didn't have to go through an overnight stay where they put a pill in your cervix to chemically induce it to ripen. I had read that Pitocin contractions sometimes hits the mom super hard at 20m but after about an hour I still wasn't feeling much. About an hour and a half in I started to feel cramps that feel like light menstrual cramps and it was totally manageable as I just sat there and watched Netflix.

Around 9PM the cramping got a bit worse but as long as I was sitting on the exercise ball and moving around it was also still totally manageable

By 10PM the contractions were getting pretty strong. Enough so that I had to suck it up during each contraction but felt nothing inbetween contractions. At this point the OB came in to check on me and cheerfully said everything was moving along and she'd come break my water in the morning. I was back to my hangry self and my reaction was IN THE MORNING?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! I didn't want to ask for an epidural until I was getting close to not being able to stand it anymore as I hear it can slow labor down but by 10:30 I was like well, it's not TERRIBLE but noooo way am I sleeping through the night with this pain to make it to the OB coming in in the early morning to break my water so I asked for the epidural.

Good thing I asked for it then cause right after that the contractions started coming in strong and it was getting pretty painful. The anesthesiologist came in, ordered Eric to sit in the chair in the furthest corner in the room and explained the procedure to me. He mentioned it should be pretty easy cause I'm pretty skinny and then made a fingernail indent where the shot would go. Then he scrubbed down my back with sterilizer and gave me the local anesthesia shot. That stung a bit and basically felt like what you'd expect, a shot in your back but after that it was fine and I didn't even feel the epidural catheter go in. There is a risk that your epidural drains to whatever side is tilted lower so he told me to flip sides every now and then to make sure the anesthesia would be equal on both sides.

Somehow the epidural was only hitting my left side as I could feel my left leg go numb but holyyy shit I was still feeling the contractions on my right side. I was getting a lot of back pain too which I later found out was due to Evie being face up instead of facing my back. At this point I was shaking violently, which I've recently found out my body does when it gets hit with a ton of unexpected pain, and scaring the crap out of Eric. After 15m of lying on my right side desperately hoping the epidural would drain into my right side I demanded the anesthesiologist come back in and fix it. At this point my water broke much to my surprise. Oh also at this point they had also put a catheter in me so I don't end up peeing all over myself. Needless to say, you pretty much lose the ability to feel shame after going to the hospital. I used to worry about pooping during labor but really couldn't have cared less through the whole process.

After the anesthesiologist fixed my epidural catheter by pulling out a bit (turns out it was a little too far in and only going into my left side) I stopped shaking and felt SUPER relaxed. The nurse came in to check and confirmed my water had broken and I was fully dilated. I asked her if the baby had hair and she sadly told me no BUT THANKFULLY THAT WASN'T TRUE. She was going to have me do a trial push to see if the baby progresses but did a quick check and was like "NOPE, baby is too far down and coming now, I'm calling the dr, DO NOT PUSH". I could still feel some pressure (like you have to poop) but didn't feel the need to push or anything so I was totally fine just lying there enjoying my pain free moments.

The OB arrived 15m later at 12:30AM and we started pushing. It was pretty much the most anticlimatic thing ever. By this point I couldn't feel my left leg at all and had also lost the sensation of pressure as the anesthesiologist had given me another dose when he came the last time. Pretty much pushing was just them telling me I was having a contraction based on the monitor and I'd haul myself up into a "pushing" position (basically an ab crunch) that I vaguely remember them teaching me in birthing class. Then after 3 big breaths and 3 pushes I'd flop back down and the OB and nurse go back to discussing where they've been the past few years until the next contraction showed up on the monitor.

This went on for an hour during which I REALLYY wanted to take a nap and remember thinking "I thought pushing was supposed to be fast". The OB and nurse were very supportive and kept telling me good job and in my epidural-induced euphoria I happily accepted all the compliments. Then halfway through the nurse told me that she could now see a silver dollar sized circle of the baby's head and my reaction was "THAT'S IT!?! I'M GOING TO BE HERE FOR A WEEK". An hour later I pushed my last push and Evie came out and the plopped her onto my belly/chest area for skin to skin time. She only squeaked once and I remember poking at her wondering if she was alive. Also I could only see the top of her head so I had to ask Eric to take a picture of her so I could see what she looked like. Evie immediately started rooting and it was super easy to ignore whatever else they were doing to me down there (delivering the placenta and stitching me back up since I tore a bit, but no episiotomy!) and I didn't feel any of that.


video


From there they finished cleaning me up, weighed the baby, and Eric finally got to hold her after an hour. My labor was technically 3.5 hours as they count it from the time of cervical change to delivery which is SUPER short for a first time baby especially for induced first time baby. I also found out later that I was super lucky as most babies who are in the position Evie was in end up with an emergency c-section.

My mom and sister showed up to see the baby and after a couple hours they wheeled me into the mother/baby room and we signed papers and were pestered by nurses until 5AM when they finally let us sleep.

With a-ma and a-gong at the hospital


So baby spawn, that's your birth story! We love you sooo soo much and you are pretty much the most adorable baby ever :) - we may be a little biased.

1 day old - first football game with daddy

1 day old - first football game with daddy

6 days - Happy almost week old baby!

6 days - i dunno...

9 days - selfies with mommy

9 days - selfies with mommy

10 days - Dressing her up is the entire reason why we had her. 

10 days - First halloween!

10 days - First halloween!

13 days - wide awake at 1AM. Daddy is not pleased. 



Sunday, October 25, 2015

week 39

Written at week 39, posted post baby

---
This past week has been pretty crazy.

Happenings so far:
  • I am now ~3cm dilated
  • the OB says my cervix ripened (.. why do they use such terms...) 
  • got diagnosed with breast cancer so this spawn is getting induced and evicted Tuesday October 20th so mommy can start treatment ASAP
As both a pro and con... everything is happening so fast that I'm not really quite able to process everything. So let's just get it all written out and I can process it later when I'm not feeling as overwhelmed.

Cancer diagnosis
  • Found a lump in my left breast early Oct. It was fairly small and I could only feel it when lying down on my right side
  • Told my OB the following checkup (the week after)
  • She scheduled me for an ultrasound (mammograms are not allowed for pregnant women given the radiation)
  • Got the ultrasound scheduled for the following week. While ultrasounds are not as good as mammograms at catching small calcifications, they are pretty good at determining whether a mass is a solid mass or fluid filled (cyst) and also getting a look at the shape and size
  • [Tuesday] Radiologist found the 1.3cm mass, really did not like the look of the mass nor the look of the slightly swollen sentinel lymph node, and straight up told us that it was probably cancer. Scheduled me for a core needle biopsy for the next day. Have to give the radiologist props cause the front desk wasn't able to fit me in until the following week (which would be this coming week) but she kept following up until they got me in the next day. We preemptively scheduled an induction for October 20th with our OB just in case. Baby will be exactly 39 weeks on that day and therefore considered full term
  • [Wednesday] Core needle biopsy 
  • [Thursday] Radiologist called with preliminary results which were showing that both the mass and lymph node were testing positive for cancer. Onward with induction plan! 
  • [Friday] Got pathology report - no idea what stage the cancer is at yet. We know it's at least a stage 2 given that my lymph node is basically all cancer now (:( goodbye lymph node I never knew I had :(). It's also an estrogen fueled cancer which means that while I've probably had it for a while, the pregnancy flooded my system with estrogen which basically poured gasoline on the fire. In good news, it looks like it responds well to treatment and I'm pretty lucky to have caught it now given that most people don't catch lumps (because all boobs get lumpy) during pregnancy anyways.
  • [Friday] Went to visit OB to get final pap smear before induction. She scheduled me for an appt with a surgical oncologist for that afternoon so we went in for a consultation. Thank god for medical teams who are proactive because if left up to me, who knows when I'd snap out of this enough to get stuff started
  • [Friday] Met with surgical oncologist at El Camino Hospital. She was super nice and explained current plan. Right now the plan is to:
    • Next Tuesday - get baby induced for delivery
    • Friday - have an entire fun filled day of every screen/test possible (PET scan, MRI, mammogram)
    • Get treatment plan and cancer staging based on results
    • Start chemo in 1-2 weeks
    • Chemo for 3-4 months (or whatever the treatment plan ends up being)
    • Surgery discussions after chemo
Cancer so far - things I've learned

Biopsies
  • Biopsies fucking hurt like HELL. Google AND THE RADIOLOGIST both lied. I got a core needle biopsy which is worse than a fine needle aspiration (core is bigger needle) but much less invasive than a surgical biopsy. First they have you lie down in the hospital gown with whatever side breast/shoulder exposed. Then they use the ultrasound and pen to mark up the spot they'll be injecting the needle. Then they clean you up with that orange antiseptic stuff and use towels to block out everything but the area they will be working in. After that they inject you with a few shots of local anesthesia per site (I had two sites - the mass and the sentinel lymph node). After that they use the ultrasound to guide in a spring loaded needle to the biopsy site, take a picture on the ultrasound right before they use the spring to snip off a piece of tissue for sampling. You get to watch the ultrasound and feel the recoil of the spring in addition to hearing the snapping sound. They took 5 samples from the mass and 3 from the lymph node
  • Supposedly I would feel "a little pinch" when they inject the local anesthesia and then I should only feel pressure after. Well they failed to mention that the local anesthesia is NOTHING like "a little pinch" and that you can still feel each sample slightly even after. While the first couple shots were OK, on the third one I was sobbing and shaking like a wuss. 
  • It's almost A WEEK since the biopsy and I'm still getting random stabbing pains from the biopsy location on my boob D:

Baby news!

So, induction - not ideal but at the same time we're so excited to finally meet baby spawn! Initially I was planning on attempting to go the natural birth route - or at least going as far down that path until I wussed out and couldn't take the pain anymore - for a few reasons:
  • I hate needles and the epidural needle seems to be the king of all needles
  • I've heard of epidural migraines and also back pain that can potentially persist through the rest of your life and that sounded not worth
  • recovery time is usually much faster after natural birth than with an epidural
  • epidurals tend to slow labor down
  • people give birth naturally all the time!... right?....:(
However, given the change in circumstances I'm 100% going to go for an epidural now for the following reasons:
  • Getting induced means I'll be getting hooked up to an IV of Pitocin which is a drug that stimulates contractions. Supposedly Pitocin contractions are far worse than natural contractions as they come much faster and your body doesn't produce the natural endorphins it would normally produce when you naturally go into labor
  • Still recovering from a cold (I really hit the trifecta of diseases this time around with cold, imminent labor, and cancer) and I will do anything to avoid a C-section right now with everything else coming up. I'd rather have the drugs so I can save up my energy for pushing and minimize the chances of going down that route. 
  • Baby spawn is measuring at a good size of under 7 lbs :)




Monday, October 12, 2015

week 38

Hello there spawn,

It is now week 38 and you are starting to overstay your welcome.

---
I was told that the last month would be the most uncomfortable. Secretly I thought to myself, HOW BAD CAN IT BE?! I get to sit at home and do ALL the things I've always wanted to do. Now that I'll be on maternity leave, it'll be like vacation. Turns out, waiting around for the baby occupies about 80% of your time and the other 20% is just you mustering up enough strength to waddle from one room to another. I can literally do one activity a day before giving up on life. And usually that is only because my mom hauled me out to the supermarket.

During this last month, EVERYTHING hurts. My finger joints hurt whenever I bend them. The belly is really heavy and the 6ish lb bowling ball resting in my pelvis makes me feel and move around like I'm 60. I can't shift weight onto one leg without shooting pains going up my back. And every now and then the spawn likes to suddenly remind me that she possesses a knee or elbow and will abruptly stick it in my side causing me to double over and have to stand around massaging back the awkward lump until she's satisfied I've noticed her appendages. Pretty much every position is super uncomfortable - I found out when I literally wanted to die at the movie theater watching The Martian and the poor people sitting around me had to deal with my constant fidgeting.

My one saving grace was when one day, out of sheer desperation, I stole my sister's exercise ball out from her room. OMG, that thing has been a lifesaver and my only regret is that I didn't steal the ugly space-eating thing out of her room earlier. I pretty much just roll around on this now and it's been amazing for letting me stretch out my legs/pelvis without killing me not to mention it's the only thing that is comfortable to sit on (oh, you don't believe me, but you will).











Wednesday, September 30, 2015

week 36

What's going on:
  • Maternity leave has started - I don't know what to do with myself anymore. :(
  • Baby has dropped - meaning her head has dropped into my pelvis. There wasn't much physical difference since I feel like I've been carrying pretty low through this whole pregnancy. That being said I had a sneaking suspicion she dropped since it's felt a little strange for a few days. The best way to describe the feeling is it feels like the baby is now a sack of rocks hanging out in the bottom of my uterus :D
  • I am 2cm dilated and the Dr thinks the spawn will be coming 1-2 weeks early. NOW eric is freaking out and thinks it feels too "real"
  • Total weight gain: 28 lbs so far!
  • Hello stretchies. They have arrived to plague me to for the rest of my life. 
Ever since second trimester, baby spawn has taken a liking to the right side (and only the right side) of my belly...
Don't worry, I'm wearing pants. They're just blocked by my giant belly

Saturday, September 19, 2015

week 35

Today I attempted to bake and got tired when taking out the sugar.

Welcome to week 35.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

week 34

Whooooo! Week 34!

Updates:
  • No more echogenic bowel! Good baby. 
  • Spawn is measuring in at 5 lbs 5 oz. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS BUT I HOPE SHE STAYS UNDER 7.5 LBS :(
  • 2 more weeks until maternity leave!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

week 29-32

Huehuehue.. so I'm not very good at updating this..

Week 29
Current status:
  • Glucose test - Normal, no gestational diabetes! I immediately loaded up on ice cream
  • Liver test - Normal, however my allergen count seems high so I seem to be having an allergic reaction to something D: 
  • Overall feeling - Pretty miserable :(
So far in this pregnancy I think I've had is pretty easy. I mean first trimester was pretty bad with the morning sickness and all but from hearing other stories, it sounds like I had it about average. Echogenic bowel was the major scare (and still persists) but given how the rest of her stats look fine we're less concerned about it as well. Second trimester was totally fine - my day to day was more or less the same as before pregnant with the exception that I suddenly had only three outfits to rotate through per week. My weight gain has been pretty average and hasn't been hard to manage and I haven't developed any stretch marks as of yet (fingers crossed). My bladder actually hasn't been affected nearly as much as I thought it would have been and I have been able to eat/sleep just fine.

 HOWEVER

This rash/allergic reaction has been totally miserable :(. My skin now looks worse than Eric's 29 years of eczema and the worst part is the inability the sleep at night thanks to the itching. I guess this is prep for when the baby comes and needs her tiny stomach filled every 2 hours so she can poop. I highly recommend for all pregnant moms in their third trimester to not be working so you can spend your days napping and refusing to leave the house. Apparently making a baby is exhausting for your body because I've never needed naps like I do now.

SO SPAWN, in the past couple weeks you have successfully done the following things to mommy:
  • Slowed my digestive tract down to oblivion (thanks a lot.)
  • Grown so much bigger now that you're crowding mommy's organs. I am short of breathe ALL THE TIME and constantly hungry but can't eat very much :(




... where did all my organs go..

Week 32
The rash has miraculously started to go away and my life is sooo much more pleasant now. It's still really hard to sleep at night mostly because everything hurts but at least I am no longer dying like before! I feel like I've literally been growing by the day and my stomach is now getting really tight and uncomfortable. Also, baby spawn's movements have graduated from kicks to a lot of elbowing/kneeing. My favorite thing now is to press on the top of my stomach and feel her shift her little feet around uncomfortably (sounds super creepy I know. )

Baby shower this weekend! Baby spawn, you are so so loved and your room is now about to explode with all the stuff you has.
PRESENTS! Can you feel my excitement?



Daddy is not so good at taking pictures  

BUTT PASTE. I'm so classy.




Thursday, August 20, 2015

The time I thought I was going into labor

Last night I had my first set of (what I think are) Braxton Hicks contractions.

I've only had one major scare during this pregnancy and that was at around 27 weeks. I woke up one night with REALLY bad stomach aches and somewhere in that semiconscious-amplified pain I was totally convinced I was going into labor. So Eric had to deal with me rocking back and forth sobbing while he frantically googled what to do. After about 15 minutes of this nonsense I finally woke up all the way and realized "huh, this pain feels awfully close to food poisoning...". So anyways, 20m later my body did what it needed to do and I was perched contently on my side of the bed playing hearthstone while Eric hyperventilated into a bag next to me. Apparently he was all ready to drive me to the hospital because I was all crying about how I was in labor or something. Silly Eric. Obviously it was just food poisoning, I don't know why he was overreacting.

Last night however it felt more like menstrual cramps and after going through about 15m of them let's just say, the future is looking bleak. Between that and googling "c-section" I'm about 90% convince I want to be knocked out for the entirety of labor.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

week 27-28

Hello third trimester!

Recap:
  • Weight gained: 20 lbs O.O... but honestly, not as bad as I thought.. I had low hopes in being able to regulate my weight gain to something normal.. 
  • Second trimester feels: felt pretty normal up until the last couple weeks
  • Clothing: growing faster than I can shop. To all you pregnant women, get some stretchy maxi skirts as that's the only thing that's lasted so far. Also just don't get pregnant during the summer, it's miserable. I've realized that month before the due date where I'll be on maternity leave is totally necessary and will be glorious because I can just hang out in my giant XXL warriors tshirt and eric's basketball shorts and not have to worry about clothes. 
  • Baby Spawn: 2 lbs 8 oz at the last ultrasound check in! All measurements look normal and fine. Sometimes in the morning we can play together now. And by "play together" I mean I lie there and we poke each other back through my belly. 

The past couple weeks have been by far the most uncomfortable weeks of this pregnancy. Somehow the little spawn inside has turned my entire body into a furnace and I've broken out in all sorts of rashes/hives/general intense itchiness :( It's getting pretty hard to sleep as the itchiness keeps me up through the night. I think the lack of sleep coupled with work somehow caused me to LOSE 3 lbs when I hit the third trimester. Eric is freaking out and now has made it his personal mission to constantly offer me food. To rule out my liver, my OB got another blood test going to test for liver status. Luckily I was already going in for the glucose tolerance test so they just drew it all at the same time.

The glucose test is a super boring test where they test for gestational diabetes. You aren't allowed to eat anything prior to the test (so get a morning slot) and they recommend you allocate about 2-3 hours for it. You'll go in on an empty stomach and they draw some blood immediately. Then you drink some super sweet beverage and get your blood drawn two more times in the next 2 hours. They basically want to see if your body breaks down the glucose fast enough.

I got that clear one on the very left. It tastes like a sweeter flat sprite
So even having read all of this prior to showing up, I was not prepared for the SIZE of the glucose liquid bottle. I thought it would be smaller like that deceiving picture posted up above but it ends up being around the same size as a mini bottle of sprite. It doesn't taste too bad... for the first 25% of it.. the super sweet stuff gets hard to choke down after that. Having gone in with an empty stomach, I immediately got a sugar high then crashed and was sleepy for the next couple hours. If I fail this round then I have to go back in for an even longer session (3 hours) and then they'll verify if I have gestational diabetes or not.

We also went in for another ultrasound due to baby's echogenic bowel. Bowel is still slightly echogenic but the measurements are all fine and there are no other markers. Most likely case is that this is a healthy baby BUT JUST BECAUSE THEY WANT MY MONEY TO BE SAFE, we get to go in again in 6 weeks for another ultrasound. So all in all, I think we'll end up with two more ultrasounds than usual.

I didn't want 3D ultrasounds because they seem creepy. But they didn't ask me so we got it anyways!
Side profile of baby spawn!

 Countdown:

  • Third trimester started! OB visits will now increase to once every two weeks instead of four
  • 7 more weeks til maternity leave!
  • 11 more weeks til the baby gets evicted!





Monday, July 27, 2015

week 25-26

Updates on the spawn:

  • The kicking has gotten a little out of hand. In fact, sometimes she squirms and that is the WEIRDEST FEELING EVER because you can literally feel some hard thing squirming by your hand. I realized that childbearing is actually really creepy. During the opening scene of Jurrassic World where the dinosaur cracks out of its egg I leaned over and whispered "OOO JUST LIKE THE BABY" and now he's also appropriately creeped out.
  • Nighttime seems to be her favorite time to play. Eric likes to groggily reach over and slap his hand on my tummy in the middle of the night to feel her dance party-ing away. He calls it "father daughter bonding time". I call it "shit. gotta start reading up on sleep training ASAP"
  • She's getting big! According to google she is now around 14 inches and almost 2 lbs. I am hitting 3rd trimester next week and this past week was the first week where I started to feel "heavy". In practical terms, it means I'm finding myself embarrassingly short of breath walking up half a flight of stairs and the tummy is definitely feeling like a real impediment now rather than an extra large dinner. Also my lower back/butt/and calves are much more sore from walking than ever before. 
  • Viral infection blood tests came back negative so we can officially rule viral infection out for that echogenic bowel
  • Up next:
    • Glucose tolerance screening (ughs)
    • Birthing classes (ughsx2 but eric is really excited)
    • 3rd trimester checkups and screening to see how that echogenic bowel is doing
Babymoon!

Since Eric and I never actually went on a honeymoon (we traded it for Series A funding and a family trip where we awkwardly juggled the asian parents) he planned a babymoon for the 2.5 of us. After much agonizing, we decided to go to the exotic land of Los Angeles. It was between that, Hawaii, or Mexico. After reading that pregnant women are EXTRA DELICIOUS to mosquitoes we opted for LA. Also we had a wedding to attend so that worked out perfectly! I told Eric to just plan it because I'm tired of planning things as my day job and also cause I'm lazy :D. Baby daddy did a pretty good job - we ended up spending a couple days each in Santa Monica, Downtown LA, and Laguna beach.



Ramen! Despite my newfound intolerance for garlic
Before wedding. I love my "food baby/buffet" sweater. It hides all the babies real or otherwise.

Hello 26 week bump!

Dying in Downtown Disney from the 90 degree weather. Good thing we didn't go adventurous and attempt anything hotter. 
Digging a hole for my belly so I can lie down in the sand

Eric insisted we wear this stuff in socal.. also, augh, i've gotten so large
Dinner at Laguna Beach


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Week 23-24

Second trimester is a pretty boring trimester. Not much happens other than the steady growth of my belly and a whole lot of kicking. SPEAKING OF KICKING, I've decided to write an in depth description of what it feels like since Google failed to make it clear.

Kicking 101 (with baby spawn)
  • When it started: I could feel fluttering around week 16. Now at this point, when they say "flutters" that is what it feels like. They could be phantom for all I know but it feels closest to that feeling of super nervousness and your stomach is fluttering. Sometimes if I placed my hand hard on my belly I could ALMOST make out the fluttering underneath.Of course Eric was convinced he could feel it due to his "special bond" with the baby
  • Hard kicks: That started around week 17. It was pretty surprising as I was just sitting there and then suddenly it felt like part of my tummy spasm. The mom can definitely feel it more than anyone else as you feel it both on the inside as well the gentle bump outside the belly.
  • Week 20-ish: Definitely not gentle bumps anymore. I was able to see a couple times outside my belly whenever the baby kicked. There is a "tv remote test" where you balance the tv remote on your belly and watch when it moves as the baby kicks. Half the time my labored asthmatic breathing made it look like the baby kicked. Eric was actually able to feel the kicks at this point.
  • Week 24: BABY HICCUPS! So for the past week or so I've been feeling what feels like light kicks to my butt/cervix (not that I actually know where my cervix is located, I just imagine that it's my cervix). They are pretty annoying and come regularly for a little while. I'm pretty sure those are hiccups and the baby apparently spends half her day hiccuping. 
24.5 weeks... it definitely looks like there's a baby in there now.. 
Geez baby, you have a lot of stuff for someone who isn't even born yet. All thanks to your aunties.

With week 24 finishing up, the baby is now viable! She now has a 50-80% chance of survival outside the womb :). Week 24 is also the cutoff date if anyone wanted to terminate a pregnancy (:( :()


COMPLETED WEEKS OF GESTATION AT BIRTH
(using last menstrual period)
CHANCE OF SURVIVAL
21 weeks and less0%
22 weeks0-10%*
23 weeks10-35%
24 weeks40-70%
25 weeks50-80%
26 weeks80-90%
27 weeks>90%
30 weeks>95%
34 weeks>98%







Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 21-22

HOW I'M FEELING
  • Fat. Hitting 15 lbs this week and I feel disgusting. Definitely NOT "cute" and "glowy"
  • The frequent bathroom trips have begun. For the record, turns out it's not that you have more pee, but more like you feel like you need to pee more frequently only to have a tiny bit come out (I don't know why that wasn't obvious to me before). Eric now regularly hears me scream "THAT'S IT?!!" during my frequent trips to the bathroom
  • 11PM seems to be when the dance party in my uterus begins. I think this baby is a night owl :(
BABY HAUL.

Things we've bought:
  • Maternity spanx - buy it, wear it, don't leave the house without it. OK that's an overstatement, I don't even wear it that often. However, as I'm getting bigger and it's getting warmer, I find that I am unable to pull off anything of jersey material without unsightly bulges appearing everywhere. On the downside, I am SUPER WARM now that I'm pregnant and spanx doesn't help. The warmness has been pretty much the most uncomfortable part of pregnancy(second to morning sickness). Rings are out of the question now just because my hands are so warm even my loose rings get stuck when the temp rises and I drink/eat cold stuff all day now to keep myself comfortable - something I never really cared for before. 

  • Baby crib - Pottery Barn Larkin crib 
    • Originally we just wanted to borrow/take someone else's because I couldn't care less about used baby things. But then we found out our only option was a dark cherry color and then I suddenly cared. So we ended up buying the Larkin crib from Pottery barn for a couple reasons:
      • It's "convertible", which means you can buy add on pieces to turn it into a toddler bed and then a full sized headboard. I'm not really sure how useful that will be especially if you end up having multiple kids. But given that the price is about the same as if I were to just purchase a non-convertible crib, I gave up on my dreams for an overpriced tufted crib and went for this instead (D:)
      • I liked a crib that has a backing against the wall (vs just backing on both sides). This one had the cleanest lines compared to others

  •  Baby crib mattress - Colgate Eco Classica III Dual firmness Eco-Friendlier Crib mattress, Organic Cotton Cover. 
    • Because this kid is Eric's kid so I just assume it will need some kind of natural fiber, firm, orthopedic, blahblahblah mattress. Of course if she takes after me she won't care so no harm done. On my side, I just wanted to make sure the mattress doesn't have a plastic cover because that doesn't seem safe to me and my logics.
       


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Week 20 (updated)

Hello day 140 aka halfway mark!

In baby specific news,

IT'S A GIRL! :) :) :) 

Will post all the NSFW pictures of girl parts later.

---
Update 06.14.2015

So it's a girl! When we first got pregnant I said I wanted a girl. I mean sure, they can help out baby # 2 (HA) and etc but really because they are so much cuter to dress up :D. To spite me/make me not feel bad if it was a boy, Eric said he wanted a boy but really he doesn't care.

So the first sonogram at 14 weeks the sonogram technician said she thought it was a girl from what she could see but "don't go buying clothes". At the 18 week sonogram with the OBGYN, the dr thought it was a girl as well but that was due to the absence of boy parts which could still mean some poorly endowed boy - also her sonogram machine sucks. At the most recent 20 week sonogram with the fancy hospital equipment, they confirmed it was a girl with a sonogram of girl parts! For those of you who think sonograms still look like a bunch of bubbles (my mom included), they look for 3 lines in the sonogram depicting the female parts. Baby spawn did a really good job showing the goods this time.

It's a girl! Daddy doesn't like this picture being public. hahahaha sorry baby girl :D

3rd sonogram. 3rd picture of baby spawn sucking on thumb. This one is a fatty.

Hi baby girl!
The 20 week sonogram is also known as the "anatomy scan" where they look for all the vital organs of the baby. Scan takes FOREVER (okay, like 30m but it's boring) as the sonogram technician prods you with the sonogram wand. All the major parts checked out (brain, heart, 4 chambers of heart, spine, arms, legs, feet, hands, measurements, etc) but they did notice 3 soft markers. Soft markers are basically markers that don't indicate anything concrete but *could* be correlated with some more serious problems. These tests are newer as technology has advanced aka, our parents didn't have them
  1. Small fluid bubble in the non thinking fluid part of the brain (or cyst in the brain) - about 50% of normal adults have it and it means that either Eric or I probably have it as well. It may go away over the baby's development in the womb but even if it doesn't, it won't affect the baby in any way
  2. Small calcium spot in the heart - very common in Asians. As with the cyst, it may go away in the next few weeks and even if it doesn't, baby will be fine
  3. Echogenic bowel - this one caused the most concern. It basically means the baby's bowel is brighter than usual meaning some kind of calcification. They view it by turning the sonogram down to the lowest setting and seeing how it compared with the spine brightness. You can kind of see it in the last sonogram posted above.

    Any echogenic bowel can mean a few things:
    1. Trisonomy 18 - aka, an extra chromosome 18 that happened during development. This is unlikely though as it also causes physical malformations and the baby's formations looked normal
    2. Down syndrome - since it's a "soft marker" it doesn't actually indicate Down Syndrome by more like... x% (some low number I can't remember) of babies with Down Syndrome also have an echogenic bowel
    3. Cystic fibrosis - unlikely as Cystic fibrosis is genetic and has to have both parents test positive for it. My test was negative
    4. Viral infection - potentially I caught something and am showing no symptoms but the baby would have it as well
    5. Nothing (most likely) - Baby has some kind of digestion blockage or I had some slight internal bleeding and baby swallowed some blood. OR, sonogram machine was too sensitive
So in any case, I'll be going in for a blood draw to test for viral infections and have another sonogram scheduled in four weeks. We also went in for genetic counseling where I was mesmerized by her genetic tree drawing shorthand. My chances of Down Syndrome based on my first trimester screening had put me on the lowest probabilities  so even with the new soft markers the chances are 1/10,000 so we're not going to go for an amnio as the risk for miscarriage or damage is much much higher (1/300).

Overall we're feeling fine :). For some reason I guess the genetic counselor thought we'd break down in tears or something (she kept asking if I was OK o.O) but we figured the chances of it being something severe is actually pretty low and even if it is, we'll handle it as it happens.

Baby stuff hoarding! This corner of the house makes me so happy






Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 18-19

The past couple weeks have been crazyy. So Baby Spawn, this is what you have been up to these two weeks in the tummy.
  • Grandpa's Chen's funeral :( - you got an honorable mention as a great grandchild so you better not disappoint!
  • Uncle Johnny's wedding :)
  • kicked Daddy for the first time! He's been super jealous that Mommy has been "hoarding all the kicks"
  • Auntie Betty (aka "your favorite aunt" as she wants to be known as) wanted in on the action so you obligingly kicked her as well. So sweet.
  • went in for your week 17 checkup in the belly. Heart rate was around 155 (or 165, I don't know, I wasn't paying attention) and according to the OBGYN's crappy sonogram, she still thinks you're probably a girl. Although that is in the absence of a boy parts and not actual visual confirmation. 
Tomorrow is your week 20 anatomy screening with the hospital's fancy sonogram. That means, GENDER TIME!!! So please be a good little spawn and show your goods tomorrow - no need to be shy.

all the aunts-to-be

with nai nai

new auntie for you!