Monday, February 03, 2014

My mother's words

So, this post is going to talk a little about my third (and hopefully last) ultrasound, and it will contain an ultrasound picture, but not till near the end.  I'll give fair warning, and if you're not in a place for that sort of thing, please take a break and give yourself a hug from me.

When I was a kid, and even later, in college and law school, I would periodically feel overwhelmed by all my school work, all the papers due, and I would start to freak out a bit about whether I could accomplish it all in the amount of time that I had.  And I would share this fear with my mother, and she always said basically the same thing: "Don't worry about getting it all done.  You'll get it all done.  You have never not gotten it all done."  She would go on to point out that I might have to stay up really late, I might not get to do anything fun on the weekend, but that I have always completed my assignments on time.  And there was no reason to think that this time would be any different.

That is one of the things I loved most about my mother - she understood that to comfort me, she had to be logical and remind me of my past history and experience.  She could have just said, "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get it all done."  Or "I believe in you, you'll get it done!"  While those other sentiments are nice, they are easily dismissed as just the kind words of a mother.  Instead, she pointed out the simple truth - I always got my school work done on time.  No reason to think this time was different.  And it was hard to argue with my previous experience.  I miss her.  I try my best to say the things to myself that I think she would have said, but sometimes it's hard.  How did she know me so well?  How did she always know the right thing to say?  I hope I'll be the kind of mother to Manuji that she was to me.  One of the things I always found so amazing about her is that the things she knew I needed to hear were different from the things she knew my sister needed to hear, and she tailored her style to fit her children's needs.

I've been freaking out a little for the last week or two about how much Jeeves and I need to accomplish before Manuji is born.  I even made a spreadsheet.  It seems overwhelming.  It's not just the stuff we have to get for him, or the birthing classes, or the figuring out life insurance and wills, or day care.  It's one other giant shadow - it's moving.  We live in a smallish one bedroom apartment.  Back when we thought we were having the bean in January, we figured it would be fine to live here with a baby for a few months before our lease was up.  But our lease is up before Manuji's due date - we have to be out of here or renew our lease for at least a year by May 1.  Neither of us want to stay here for a whole year with a baby.  So we need to find a new apartment, a 2 bedroom apartment.

If you're not from the area, I will just tell you that NYC is notorious as being a really unpleasant place to look for apartments.  Everything is expensive, small, and usually snatched up quickly.  We spent several weekends 4 years ago looking for the apartment we're currently in.  It was not fun.  And then there's the moving.  The moving!  I hate hate hate moving. 

So, I've been freaking out a little about everything we have to do.  But I keep repeating my mother's words in my head, that this time won't be any different than all the other times - that we'll accomplish what we have to accomplish.  


I've been suffering from some pretty epic heartburn.  To back up a little, when Mom died almost 8 years ago, I started suffering from heart palpitations.  Eventually I went to a doctor, and then a cardiologist.  They were diagnosed as premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).  Super common.  Usually benign, but sometimes harbingers of bad stuff, so I had to have a bunch of tests done, and everything was fine.  The cardiologist thought it was just a stress/grief reaction, and advised me to try and ignore them as best I can.  So I did.  And then in 2009, about 3 years after they started, they just... stopped.  No idea why, but I didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Then, in October 2011, after planning our wedding (which was great, but stressful) and starting library school, they started again.  And lasted until January 2012, after I graduated school.  So, it appears that my PVCs are definitely a weird stress reaction for me.  

I knew when I got pregnant that there was a good chance they would come back, because a) it can be a stressful time; and b) I have way more blood going through me right now and heart palpitations are actually a common pregnancy symptom.  Sure enough, I would very occasionally have a heart palpitation after my first trimester ended.  But in the last two weeks I was having more, and I've noticed that I only seem to get them after I eat a largish meal.  The problem is that I am hungrier than ever and I want to eat LOTS of food when I sit down to a meal.  

Well, I've combined a bunch of things - Tums, making sure I am sitting fully upright while eating, and either standing or walking after a meal, not drinking anything while eating, and eating many small meals throughout the day.  It's a little sad only because I still want to stuff my face when I'm hungry, and instead I have to take a break for an hour and then eat some more [I learned this lesson the hard way after eating a piece of chocolate cake after a big and filling lunch and spending the next hour in misery].  But it seems to be working really well so far - no acid reflux (gross, ouchy, and unpleasant), no heart palpitations (not gross or ouchy, just weird and unnerving).


Ultrasound news ahead!

So today, another snowy day in NYC, was our follow-up scan to check Baby Bun's feet.  I thought it was going to be a detailed anatomy scan, but they were apparently satisfied with everything they saw 10 days ago, so other than making sure his heartrate was good, they just check his feet.  Unfortunately we had the bad tech again.  When I say bad tech, I don't mean she can't do her job - she seems perfectly adept at running the ultrasound machine.  I just mean that her bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired.  She spent a ton of time on Manuji's right foot (the one they were still unsure of last time).  But she didn't tell us anything.  Not a peep.  

Then she went to see Dr. G and said that the doctor would want to scan me herself.  Dr. G came in and started looking.  She pretty quickly said she thought the foot looked more normal this time than last time.  Then she went back to looking and was silent.  It was nerve-wracking.  And Jeeves and I could both see that in some of the pics, the foot looked a bit clubbed.  In the end, Dr. G decided that the foot is normal.  She explained that she thinks the appearance of club foot is positional - when Manuji rests his foot on the uterine wall (which he really loves doing), the foot looks clubbed.  When he pulls it away and it's free-floating, it looks completely normal.  Dr. G said that with club foot, the foot will never look normal.  She said worse case scenario, if it is clubbed, it's slight, and it's a completely isolated anomaly because everything else looks perfectly fine on him.  She doesn't see the point in us having any more scans done - it will probably continue to look clubbed against the wall, and normal when not.

I know I used to think ultrasounds were very exciting and cool and I wanted them all the time.  Now that I don't need the reassurance that he's still alive down there, and after all the anxiety of the last month from the club foot debacle, I'm definitely over ultrasounds.  It's really fun to see Manuji, and I can't wait to meet him, but I'm hopeful that this will be my last scan.

He was moving around a lot (I had a pint of chocolate milk before the appointment and he was super into it), and the weirdest/coolest part was that when I saw him kick in there, I could feel it, too.  That was a first.  He also pointed/shook his finger.  I think he was pointing at the ultrasound tech and telling her to knock it off.  Here he is.



  1. Sounds like continued good news Meg! So happy for you guys! Hope that apartment hunting goes well!

  2. So glad that everything looks great with Manuji! And I think your mom's advice is the best kind of advice!

  3. AW loves chocolate milk! Sweet little boy!

  4. You mom sounds like a great advice giver. She would be telling you that you will find a great 2 bedroom apartment. Too funny that you made a spreadsheet! But seriously, you'll get enough done and the list won't mean much once you have Manuji in your arms.

  5. Can you see his ear in the sonogram?? Is that a BABY EAR?! OMG.

    Your mom sounds like such an inspiration. I think having a mom like that, someone to emulate, is going to make you a more mindful mother, which is always a good thing. You're also so thoughtful that I think being a mom will come naturally to you. And Jeeves is so good to you he seems a natural caretaker, too :) Manuji is in good hands. As for apartment-hunting and moving? In the city?! I am sending you such luck. Eek.

  6. Anonymous4:40 PM

    So excited to see continued good news! And I love your mothers words to you, I have no doubt that you will carry her spirit into your love for little manuji. And on another note - ready Billy Lynn on vacation, so amazing. Reading the Legend trilogy now and am loving it! You need to post more book reviews soon :)

    1. Yay, Sarah! Your wish is my command - I just posted another book review. I am SO glad you enjoyed Billy Lynn - for some reason I can't convince anyone to read it! Their loss! And yes, Legend is super fun and I really think the ending is so, so much better than just about every other dystopian trilogy. Glad you are enjoying it.