September 16, 2015

Things James Says

This kid is TALKATIVE these days! I feel like I've said that before, but it's even more true now that he's older with a bigger vocabulary. He's a marvel to listen to.

There is it! 
James has been much more involved in narration. Instead of saying "there it is!" he (adorably) mixes up the words to say "there is it!". 

My favorite… 
Oh man. James has loved identifying colors for a long time now, and we've known for awhile that he seems to prefer orange. We watch a show on Netflix that displays the title of the episode on a colored background. Typically, he'll exclaim "Blue!" or make sure that we look. "Look, mom - green!!!" I was pretty floored to hear him say "Orange! That's my favorite color!" Oh my gosh. So amazing. The best part? He kind of shakes his head while he says it, maybe to convey how MUCH orange is his favorite color. Super awesome. So in case you were wondering - James likes orange. 

I don't want to do…
Whatever the thing is. Insert a bit of a whine. We still do a lot of transition work with him - explaining what comes next, when we're going to change activities or do something new/different. This goes a long way, but sometimes he'll still make his opinions known, that he doesn't want to do that thing. 

When we went to visit my dad in Phoenix, we took a trip to the store to prepare for our open house. James did a great job as we walked through the store, but as we got to the cashier he asked to be picked up. I guided us to an open register (all of which are numbered), and he just volunteered, "That's number 4!" Um, yes. You're totally right, kid. So I asked him some of the other register numbers, and he knew them! 10 threw him a bit, but I can understand that - those double-digit numbers are tricky. He knows and learns so much, and really often it seems to just click or absorb or gel between one day and the next. Young minds are incredible. 

September 11, 2015

We "graduated"!!! / Worries during pregnancy

Well, would you look at that. It's like this baby is illuminated by some special light in this picture! Maybe I'm crazy. That's okay.

I had a dream about his delivery last night. The biggest thing I remember is that we needed to decide on a name for the birth certificate - and of course, I woke up before we decided! So far for our kiddos, we come prepared with 2-3 name ideas, but prefer to meet the little one before deciding his name. Seeing his face and hearing his voice really seems to help.

And here I am, on a tangent.

What I *really* wanted to tell you was that - we've graduated!

What does that mean?

While we're going for a natural birth at our birth center with minimal interventions, Alan and I still opted for the 12 week ultrasound to help screen for genetic problems with the baby. This is a pretty common ultrasound, but our birth center outsources this to a provider affiliated with their partner hospital - which happens to specialize in identifying high-risk problems.

During that ultrasound, baby boy looked fantastic and the risk of genetic problems was minimal. (Blood tests from me also came back reporting minimal risks.) The doctor did note that my placenta had several "lakes" that could be a cause for concern, but I shouldn't worry - we would just monitor them as the pregnancy progressed.

Telling me there's something to "monitor" but not to worry… impossible. Lots of worry, even though I knew right away this was an issue outside my influence. Nothing I did or changed would affect these placental "lakes". Yikes, right? We didn't see anything like this with James, so I was immediately concerned.

Turns out, "lakes" are pools of maternal blood in the placenta, and they show up on an ultrasound as black areas that kind of look like bodies of water on a map. While fairly normal, if the lakes are numerous or big enough, they can potentially restrict the growth of the baby (they are essentially non-helpful parts of the placenta, not doing their job). Blood is supposed to flow through the placenta in channels, which nourishes the baby all throughout the pregnancy.

So as a result, I've had a couple more scans than the average mama, and at my last scan (around 24 weeks) the doctor mentioned that the lakes were "much less impressive" - great news, right?? We scheduled one more scan around 30 weeks to check in and make sure things were progressing as expected. That's the picture you see above, from yesterday.

And… the placenta looks fantastic! The lakes are pretty much totally gone, and baby is growing right on track. I have just the right amount of amniotic fluid in there, he's head-down and strong, and looks just as he should. Wahoo!!

So we've graduated - I no longer have to go in for scans, which is a good thing (even though this provider has been incredible in every way and a pleasure to visit!) and the best-case scenario.

Such a relief for me and Alan, and a great way to kick off these last 2 months of pregnancy.