Brain Dump: Seven Not Quick Takes

Things have been busy, but I don’t want to forget some things that have happened lately.

1. We took a trip to Leavenworth a few weeks (ok, a month) ago. Our plan was to go snow shoeing around Lake Wenatchee, but we got totally derailed. In the past, Eliza has been quite tolerant of long car rides and cruising around in the ergo, napping on the go, generally allowing us to do whatever we want. (We are perfectly aware that this was incredible luck.) Because of a lot of holiday travel and work and early pregnancy fatigue, we hadn’t been able to go on any winter adventures so far this season. Last year we took her snow shoeing and hiking and camping quite a bit, and I’m sure the several month hiatus got her out of the groove of such things. Not to mention, just her age – she is in that difficult range of high mobility, and relatively low verbal ability. She understands a lot but can’t say that much, and gets frustrated very easily. Totally normal, but I suppose that makes the prospect of being stuck in a car seat or toted around through places she’d rather run and play a little more challenging. So, we had to bail on the snow shoeing, and ended up moseying around town for a few hours instead. This was actually kind of great, because I never ever make time for that kind of excursion. Like, I don’t think I’ve EVER intentionally done the tourist thing. We did that, then stayed a delightful bed and breakfast (Autumn Pond) where E FLIPPED because the room was decorated with stuffed bears and ducks. On Sunday, we let her play in the rapidly melting snow (I will never be able to understand Washington’s microclimates, I swear to god) and moseyed around town a bit more before heading home. It wasn’t the weekend we planned on, but was great nonetheless.

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2. I talked about all this on twitter yesterday, but it’s sort of insane so it’s going here too. Someone at work got diagnosed with whooping cough, and chances are reasonably good that I was in contact (i.e. close-ish proximity) with them while they were contagious. So I called my OB yesterday, was given kind of a wishy washy response about maybe getting re-vaccinated at the health department, and then called my GP instead. See, I can’t remember when I got my last TDap. I KNOW. I am, let’s say, 95% sure it was in 2010, but it’s plausible it was before that. Basically, I was sure enough that it was within five years of when I was pregnant with Eliza, but I am no longer sure enough. Hearing this, my GP was like “GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE” and stayed open an extra half hour to give me a shot, and preventative antibiotics. While I was there, the doctor started explaining that one of the concerns with a pregnant lady getting whooping cough is actually that the severe coughing can irritate the uterus into premature labor. And followed that up with the craziest story I have ever heard: the youngest preemie so far at our NICU here was born at 24 weeks and change (now is two-ish and totally fine) when his mother had a coughing fit in the midst of swimming laps. The baby was born in the caul, in the pool. The baby was then transported – still in his amniotic house, still attached to mom – to the hospital, and transferred to an incubator. Now, I haven’t verified this story (what, I’m not an investigative journalist OR a doctor) (well, not that kind), but is that not INSANE? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I have a mental image – a CARTOON – of a [perfectly healthy and happy] tiny baby, floating in his amniotic sac, floating in a pool, next to mom. Who is also floating, just for good measure. I know that cannot possibly be accurate, but there we are. I plan to ask my OB next week if he has a) heard this story, b) if it’s true at all, and c) if it’s even plausible.

3. Speaking of babies and my OB, I had my appointment with the perinatologist last week. Spatula 2.0 appears to be perfectly healthy, developing normally, all organs the correct size, shape, and location, etc. This was what we expected based on the first ultrasound at my OB’s, but was still nice to hear. That means that we are still dealing the single umbilical artery, but it is definitely isolated (i.e. not appearing in conjunction with any other malformations or abnormalities), so the associated risks are less severe. The baby and I will be monitored a little more closely towards the end of gestation, because the SUA causes low but significant rates of fetal growth restrictions and earlier labor, but I don’t think any of that will start happening till 36 weeks or so, even. Some of the outcomes that were freaking me out when I originally wrote about this are still statistically relevant to this situation, but I’m feeling pretty at peace with the whole thing now. It’s all low percentage stuff, and there isn’t anything I can do about any of it, and applying all those statistics to myself specifically is both scientifically absurd and completely unproductive. So, moving along, etc.

4. We still haven’t even started talking names for this kiddo. It seems so far away, but we have three months. Plenty of time, but not if we don’t actually make an effort! My sister in law is pregnant right now too, ~ six weeks behind me (but had her last baby four weeks early!), which adds an interesting monkey wrench to the name game. They just found out they are having a girl. I am not sure if they will tell me their name choice when they make it or not. We have similar naming styles, though, so just knowing they might have the same names floating around on their list is weighing on me. Not that we have a list, hah.

5. Eliza. Oh, Eliza. I am hoping I can muster up the focus to do an 18 month state of the bear address, but my track record lately has been pretty terrible. She is SO FUN, and also SO CHALLENGING. Well, not that challenging really, in the grand scheme of toddlers, just more than she has been. Also, she bites now, and I think that means karmic retribution is a real thing.

6. Work stuff is happening over here. It looks like I will be promoted from post-doc to staff scientist in the next month or two (YAY), but also go from full time to part time because of funding issues (BOO but also YAY). The place I work has much higher overhead costs than academic institutions, so the cost to cover employee salary/benefits/etc. is a good bit higher. Going from post-doc to staff approximately triples those costs (because of the cost to the company of benefits, more than salary, it’s not like my salary triples, HA), so a lot more grant money is needed. This all means that I will have about 50-60% coverage, i.e. that I can work about 50-60% of full time. That said, I have that much coverage lined up for about five years. Before the economy took a nose dive, this would have been phenomenal and I would have been hired full time no problem, but now it’s much harder to gamble on me being able to fill out my dance card. The timing of this is obviously kind of great, though. If this pregnancy is like my last one, in another two months I will be completely exhausted and struggling to make it through an 8 hour work day. Then in three months, I will get actual maternity leave (ok, short term disability, but it’s SOMETHING and it’s PAID), and then be able to work a reduced schedule and spend a bit more time with my kiddos. None of this sucks. Being part time, at least till the end of the year, sounds like a boon, and there is an excellent chance I’ll be able to find new projects to get involved with, and more funding. Or that I will love the flexibility of working a little less. We’ll see how it all turns out.

7. Here’s me today (26w2d), being pregnant.

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19 Responses to Brain Dump: Seven Not Quick Takes

  1. Anne says:

    I can’t wait to hear what your OB says about that baby story. It just seems like something that would be totally known/easily googleable if it were real, you know? How could that have not been NEWS?

    Unrelated: Gosh you’re a cute pregnant lady.

    • snoozical says:

      I knoooow! I am a terrible googler, but didn’t find a news story. Maybe I’ll see if Nic the Internet Ninja can find anything. And SURELY my OB will have heard it, if it’s true.

  2. Jesabes says:

    So glad everything is going swimmingly with the pregnancy. (I swear I didn’t even do that on purpose, it just CAME OUT. I did decide to KEEP IT on purpose, though.)(Swimmingly!)

  3. Jess says:

    Of COURSE your Ergo is green. I’m just saying.

    • snoozical says:

      I am very consistent/predictable. Possibly I haven’t bought a Beco yet because it doesn’t come in green.

  4. K says:

    Oh! I’m so happy to read all of these updates!

    I’m just still really befuddled by floating baby in a floating sac next to floating mom. It’s like my brain refuses to understand how this can be a thing. Kind of like the Filet O’ Fish.

  5. I went to Leavenworth for a wedding a million years ago with a boyfriend who was from Seattle(ish.) I remember leaving his suit at his parents house (although I can’t remember why it was my fault) and him having to wear a polo shirt to the wedding. I’m sure he remembers none of those details.

    Also, that photo makes me think of your sly pregnancy announcement at The Blathering, which makes me happy.

    • snoozical says:

      I forgot Kevin’s tie for a wedding once and we had to borrow one and then we almost missed the ceremony because neither of us knew how to tie it and oh, so much drama. WEDDINGS.

  6. HereWeGoAJen says:

    That is the craziest birth story ever. You are staying out of swimming pools just in case, yes?

    You are a lovely pregnant person.

    • snoozical says:

      Well, my plan was to start swimming once I can’t run anymore (ie, soon). I have always had a fear of my water breaking in the pool, for some reason, but this obviously trumps the hell out of that.

  7. Erica says:

    I miss the Ergo. Such cute pictures, both of them.

  8. Erica says:

    Look at your sassy pregnant self. Happy Green Stuff Day and two-months-until-our-birthday day!

  9. Carmen says:

    I shall be doing nothing but sitting around waiting to hear what your OB has to say about that story. Wouldn’t that be a cool story to be able to drag out when women start talking about their birth stories? (Obviously not the early birth, NICU part, but the swimming pool, floating part.)

  10. kathleenicanrah says:

    ooh ooooh. that is a creepygreat birth story. I so want to know what your doc says.

    I had a client go into labor in a water aerobics class I was teaching. She didn’t even really KNOW she was in labor, she just kept kind of grabbing at her back in a way I found suspicious. I secretly starting counting how often/far apart she was grabbing her back and then said “umm, hey, I’m no expert at the having of the baby stuff, but I kind of think you’re in labor.” She stayed the whole class (which freaked most of the other clients out, but I thought was kind of awesome) but then when she got out of the pool things escalated quickly (ouch ouch ouch style) and I called her husband to come get her. She goes to the hospital and they check and see that her water has broken. She is like, “umm no it didn’t, I would have noticed” and they ask if she’s taken a bath or shower that day (no and no) and then a nurse says “I don’t want to be rude, but you are wearing a bikini. Your water broke in the pool.”
    Gaaaaaaaaaaah. My job is weird. And awesome.

    • snoozical says:

      AHHH that is CRAZY. What’s the protocol on that, finding out someone’s water broke in the pool? Is that like a biohazard sort of situation??

      • kathleenicanrah says:

        they had to “shock” the pool with a bunch of chemicals– I feel like most pools are probably full of way grosser things, but still. HORK.

  11. Carolyn says:

    Glad to see things are going well. I am asking Justin, his wife who is the NICU nurse at Kadlec, to get more details on the story of the pregnant lady and the pool. Tell the guy with the whooping cough…next time warn the pregnant lady!

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