Monday, July 28, 2008

Baby Patterson FAQ...

There are a lot of questions when you have a baby. We are asked a lot of questions, and we have a lot of questions. There seems to be a few questions that I am asked consistently, so I decided to do a Baby Patterson FAQ!

1. Q: When are you due?
A: February 12th

2. Q: Are you going to find out whether you are having a boy or a girl?
A: No. Although I am a complete control freak and a total planner, I love a great surprise! And we decided that this is one of the last true surprises in life. We'll do a neutral nursery, and I promise it will still be cute. :) And I'll just have to wait to splurge on pink or blue until after the baby's arrival! This is very unlike me, and it's going to be hard, but it is one thing that I can't control... and that's kind of nice for a change.

3. Q: Are the future grandparents so excited?
A: Everyone is beyond excited. It is the first grandchild for my parents and my mom literally started shopping the day after we told them the news.

4. Q: How are you feeling?
A: If you're reading this blog, my guess is that you already know the answer to that one. :)

5. Q: Where will you deliver?
A: My doctor is at Evanston Northwestern Hospital, so I will deliver there. It is a fantastic hospital, and I completely trust my doctor, so I'm not worried in the least. It is about 20 minutes north of our house.

6. Q: Have you begun thinking about names?
A: Of course! When I was 15! :) Now that it is "for real", as they say, Jason and I are running through the names we like together. We each veto the names we absolutely cannot stand, and make a mental list of the names that we kinda sorta agree on. As we get closer we will choose our favorites and after the baby is born we will decide together for sure. And then we'll let you all know. So no, we won't tell you ahead of time. Not even you, mom. Sorry. :) Just think how much better that will make the surprise! :)

7. Q: Do you think you will try to deliver naturally or have an epidural?
A: I have a pretty low pain tolerance. Bring on the drugs, baby! My friend, Dana, is a
Nurse Anesthetists, and she did research in her program at Northwestern (in which she graduated #1 in her class!) that you can have an epidural at only 1 centimeter dilated. I probably won't be there then, but as soon as I am, you better believe I am asking for those drugs. Can you just see me now?.... "My friend Dana said...." I'm sure they'll love me. :)

8. Q: Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?
A: I honestly don't care one bit. Most of all, I want the baby to be healthy! And I'll take whatever it is that God wants me to have!

9. Q: Do you have a feeling about the gender one way or the other?
A: None what so ever.

10. Q: Are you nervous?
A: Very. I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to raise a kind, appreciative, well mannered, well adjusted member of our family and of society in general. I want to be the kind of mother that makes herself available to listen to her children so they fell like they can come to me with whatever it is they need. And I want to have a little fun, too. Jason has that part of fatherhood in the bag. He has all the one liners and the energy to get down on the floor and rough house. I am already telling him that he'll be the fun parent, and I'll be the one that the children grow to resent. :) Hopefully that's only half true.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

5 plus children???

I have come to suspect something. Women with a lot of children (5 plus, for example) must not have ever experienced morning sickness. It is just that simple.

I know that the minute that I hold our little bitty baby for the first time, I will want dozens of children. I just know it. That is just my nature. I don't do much conservative thinking. :) I am not saying I will really have dozens (or even 5 for that matter) not only because my darling hubby is quite conservative ("How do you expect us to put a dozen children through college?!") but also because of the morning sickness. I have a feeling that little devil will stick in the back of my head for a while.

I have always wanted 3 children (Jason wants 2). Right now, I'm working on being okay with one. One blessing. One miracle. That is still a lot to be thankful for! There are some mornings when I think, "Get ready to love this baby, people, because it is about to be an only child!"

But again, we'll see what I think in February. Something tells me the morning sickness devil may win out, and someday I'll be begging Jason for just one more. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

10 weeks down; 30 to go!

Today I hit the 10 week mark. Only 30 left to go until we get to meet the baby. (And hopefully only 2 more weeks until the morning sickness (read: hell) is over!)

Wondering what that means? 10 weeks pregnant? What's going on in there? I sure am. The folks at to the rescue! (cue trumpet)

Here is what they say: "How your baby's growing:Though he's barely the size of a kumquat — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.If you could take a peek inside your womb, you'd spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin.In other developments: Your baby's limbs can bend now. His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Your baby's forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body. From crown to rump, he's about 1 1/4 inches long. In the coming weeks, your baby will again double in size — to nearly 3 inches."

Interesting, isn't it?! I wonder if the hair that is growing is Jason's signature toe head hair? I wonder if it will have finger toes like me (please God, no!) or if it will long fingers and want to play the piano?! 30 weeks is too long to wait baby, but we are being patient and loving you to pieces already!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gonna get by with a little help from my family....

If you know me, you know that there are about two things that you can always count of from me: 1. To be anal and orderly; 2. To be anal and orderly. Oh, did I already say that? Well I'm anal enough to say it twice.

Pregnant Jo, however.... not so much. Jason loves to tell the story about the night that after dinner I said to him, "Just leave those dishes, honey; they'll be there tomorrow." He about passed out. Jason loves pregnant more laid back Jo.

I, however, am not such a fan. I cannot STAND clutter. But I also do not have the energy to devote to the elimination of it that I once did. I am sure all of you already mommies are laughing at me right now thinking, "Welcome to the rest of your life, kiddo." I maintain that after I am feeling better I will find time. Maybe not as often, but I will have to find some time in there somewhere. Otherwise, I might go insane. :)

The other night I had a breakdown to my mom. I had to admit to her that I hadn't put a single shoe away since I had found out that I was pregnant. They were literally just piled on top of each other in my closet. The same when for my jewelry. Just left in a heap. Then my birthday came, and I didn't have the energy to put away my gifts so I just piled them in my closet on top of the shoe pile and closed the door. The junk mail/ magazine pile was out of control on our counter. Jason was great help with the dishes and the cooking and the groceries and the laundry, but it was all done in a very boy way. I mean no disrespect, he was an incredible help, but you should see the way that boy folds clothing. It's just not right.

I just don't have the energy for these things. I literally cannot do it. I have been so sick, and so tired all of the time. I'm ready for the second trimester. Monday night, my mom and dad came to my rescue! They showed up at our house in the late afternoon. When I got home from work that day, my mom already had the laundry sorted in piles and going in the washing machine. She'd pulled everything out of the closet, sorted it in piles, and paired all of the shoes. My dad watered our plants, changed the sheets in the guest room (from a recent guest), and Jason made us all a feast on the grill. It was such a great treat! My parents were there working for 5 1/2 hours. I wasn't kidding when I said it was a mess. Thank you Mom and Dad!!!!!

It all looks so much better now, and I feel so much better now. Everything is nice and organized again, and I have a fresh start now, so I just have to do a few things at a time each day. Somehow to me, if I have to throw up left and right all over the city, at least I can come home to an organized closet and drawers full of clean clothes. Ahhhhh. Sweet relief. :) At first site of our closet floor again, Jason said, "Whoa. The floor!"

My mother-in-law has also offered to take the train in to help me. My neighbor is constantly saying "Remember I'm just across the hall!" This pregnancy may not be a pretty ride, but I sure do feel loved.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A fun video...

My dear friend, Molly sent this to me today. I just loved it. It reminded me of when we were at the ER the other day and Jason discovered that there is free parking at the hospital on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Jason jokingly said, "Sweet- February 12th is President's Day! Free Parking for Everyone!"

I thought this would be fun to share! I don't use citibank, but maybe we should switch?! :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

A scare (with a happy ending!)

Never underestimate the power of family! My parents took us all to Green Lake, Wisconsin for an extended weekend get away together. We stayed right on the water in a gorgeous home belonging to very generous friends of theirs. We had a great time, as we always do when we are all together. Sometimes I think I revert to a kid again at these occasions- seeing who can make the biggest cannonball splash, can I dunk Jake and still have him think it's funny, "Dad, will you please get in with us!".... the whole nine yards. We play card and board games until we say, "Oh my gosh, it's __ o'clock already?!" It's a good time, and Martin Moments (as we affectionately call them) always prevail.

This past Saturday between a family picture organized by me (and my handy tripod) accompanied by the usual light hearted groans and the "are we done yets" of my family, and a spirited game of boys vs. girls catch phrase, I started bleeding. If you know me, I don't do anything calmly, so naturally I freaked out.... but my family was there for me in every way they could be. Never underestimate the power of family.

I called the Doctor on call, and she was very patient with me, asked a lot of questions, calmed my fears, encouraged me to rest and not do anything strenuous, and to go to the emergency room in the morning. I am forever grateful to her; it was late on Saturday night.

After a small walk with my ever calm Dad, where he said all the right things, just as he does in every crisis situation, and lot of good prayers and hugs with my mom who is ridiculously nurturing, I did fall asleep, wondering if I'd ever be as good a parent as they are.

Jason is very good in these situations, and almost exactly opposite from me. He never over reacts (I inevitably ALWAYS do), he never jumps to conclusions (I prepare for the worst) and most of all, he knows what I need to hear to be assured that no matter what happens, we have each other, and that everything will be okay. As my dad said on Saturday night, I am lucky to have him. No one could love me more than he.

Poor Jake and I fell from the same bush, so to speak. He was just as upset as I. Jason and Katy are cool, collected cucumbers; Jake and I are emotional, babbling fools. Still, in a scare, sometimes it's good to know that there is one of your kind out there. Thinking just as you are.

We went to the emergency room on Sunday, and after five hours of exams, ultasounds and blood tests, being wheeled here and there on the gurney ( a first for me), and waiting for all sorts of results... we are just fine! I am okay and the baby is okay. We feel so blessed.

It turns out that Jason isn't the most patient person in the emergency room. I think I'll have to add "activities for Jason during delivery" to my list of things to plan in the next 6 1/2 months. One sight at a 24 hour labor, and that kid will be toast. Bless his heart.

It also turns out that being in the emergency room for five hours on a Sunday is a little bit like being on the set of Grey's Anatomy (returning in September- yay!) There was a drunk guy next to me that got into a fight and lost 4 teeth (Emergency room nurse: "How did this happen?" Drunk guy: "I'll tell you what happened, I was talkin' $hit and some guy punched me out. I usually the dude that do the punchin', but I couldn't swing at him this time." Emergency room nurse: "Did they give you anything for the pain?" Drunk guy: "They didn't give me nothin'! Says I still have too much alcohol in my system or somethin'. (then to his infant grandson: "Don't you go off to grow up and be like your granddad!')") There was also a baby crying (poor thing) and then Jason had to chime in with his impersonation of a baby crying (strangely similar sound), there was some guy handcuffed in the bed, and a policeman was guarding his door, and there was some sort of announcement "ER ALL ALERT. CODE 888!" No clue what that means, but glad that it didn't apply to me.

All in all, not a good way to spend a Sunday, but with a happy ending. I haven't even met the baby yet, and already I am worrying like crazy. How will I ever survive it's teenage years?

A letter to my dear Oyster....

Dear Oyster Crackers,

Look, you're a great cracker. You're crunchy, you settle my stomach, you're just the right amount of salt, and best of all, I can throw 100 of you in a plastic baggie, head out the door and much on you all day long.

That's what makes this so hard. It's not you, it's me.

We've been through a lot together. Remember that time we drove back in that bumpy car ride from Jason's parent's house? Or how about the time on the dreaded morning El ride? You were really there for me those times, and I appreciate that. I won't ever forget that. You've been good to me.

Unfortunately, I think that is where it ends for us, Oyster. The fact of the matter is, I'm sick to death of you. It's hard for me, because for a while there I really thought it was the start of something long term and beautiful for us both. But recently, I'm not excited to pull you out of your place of honor in my pantry, and the thought of the taste of you one. more. day. about makes me dizzy with boredom.

I want you to be free and happy with other pregnant women. I would still definitely recommend you to other women in the future. I just cannot personally go on consuming you at the moment. Your benefits are beginning to reverse themselves on me. That is just not something that I can afford right now.

I hope to see you again some day, Oyster. Perhaps in a soup bowl sometime in my third and sturdy trimester. But until then, I am going to have to let you go.

I wish you well.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We have a heartbeat! (and a new due date)

Last Wednesday was our appointment to hear the baby's heartbeat. At first, the doctor was unable to hear the heartbeat with the little machine that they put up against your stomach. (Clearly, I am not in the medical field- pretty sure that's not the technical term, but it works well enough) Natch, I began to get nervous, but the doctor assured us not to worry, that it was like trying to find a tadpole. When the first machine didn't work, he went to get another machine. When that machine didn't work, I started to panic a little bit. I kept looking over at Jas like "What is going on!" and he just kept smiling back at me and winking, trying to assure me that everything was going to be okay.

Our doctor recommended that I have an internal ultrasound to see what was going on. The ultrasound tech assured us that she was going to be very honest with us, so that if she said it was good news, it really was good news. Sure enough, it was good news. I have never been so relieved in my whole life. We heard the baby's little heart beating loud and clearly, and very fast. It. was. amazing! We even got to see a picture of the blood running through its tiny little heart. Always the joker, Jason asked the technician if we could tell what its favorite food was from the machine too. Not just yet. :)

In the ultrasound they were able to measure the little sack, and apparently we aren't as far along as we thought we were. So we weren't able to hear the heartbeat from the machine up to your stomach thingy because it was too early. BUT- the good news is that the heartbeat was there, and strong and at the point in the pregnancy where we are, that means less than a 2% chance for a miscarriage. Music to our ears. Our new due date is February 12th. It set us back a few weeks on the morning sickness tracker. Just when I thought it was almost over. Ugh. But, I'm taking it one day at a time

The darling ultrasound tech gave us a big hug and our baby's first pictures. Upon receiving them our doctor jokingly said, "Congratulations, here's your blob." It really does look like a blob right now, but to see everything going on on the screen was fabulous none the less.