Friday, February 27, 2009

Poppet on Film

Our new i-mac arrived yesterday! I wanted to upload a bit of video of poppet's scan last week, but couldn't work out how to do it. I found a very inefficient way with the new computer. We have almost an hour of DVD but I've just uploaded a few minutes. Warning: it is not terribly exciting :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


HI everyone! Thanks for your input re: names. What a difficult decision. For the past few days, Rich and I have been practicing calling future poppet a specific name. Some names - which I just adore - don't seem quite to fit. I imagine our little kiddo to be both gentle and feisty, and certainly we want a name which connotes some spirit. And of course a name which fits such criteria must also be a name that is not 'too out there', not too common in the US or UK, but a name that fits both cultures. On top of that we want a name that isn't too snobby, too pretentious... and thus the list goes on.

We have it narrowed down to a few nicknames we like... Raffy/Ravi, Theo/Ted... and we're looking at longer, more adult names to attach them to. So far we really like Rafael. To be honest, it's far from our favourite name, but it's the name that so far seems to fit - especially with the Raffy nickname. We've been referring to Poppet as Raffy for the past couple of days, and I must admit that it sounds quite right.

But do keep those names coming...!!

In other news: I had my 20 week appointment today. Everything is looking very good. I've gained just over 7 pounds, my BP was 102/78, and when Deb measured by tummy it was right to my navel, exactly where it should be!1 I am amazed how much the body can care for itself even when it is being horribly sick all the time... and I am still very sick when I don't take my zofran (I discovered this the hard way when I ran out of my prescription on Monday... and thus didn't take any yesterday).

The Poppet is weighing 11oz! When I compared this to average weights at 19 weeks (the date of the scan) I discovered that the norm is around 8oz. 11oz is more in line with a 21week babe. I am of course worried that this little fellow is going to be a huge bruiser!!

Whilst all the blood work, etc. has been great, it looks as though I'll be referred to a high risk OB just to keep a check on my lupus status. I had an appointment with the rheumatologist last week who seemed to just think that I was experiencing skin lupus, and that nothing systemic was going on... and thus he didn't seem worried, but when having my ultrasound at the perinatologist's last week, they advised me to get a referral to their office. I am a little hesitant about it because it no doubt increases the chance of more interventions. But Deb said she'd speak to them... I trust her implicitly to look out for my wishes. The one thing that may end up happening, though, is that I deliver at Maine Med as opposed to Mercy. I am hopeful that it won't be necessary, though.

There were many things I was going to blog about, but I truly spend much of my day wandering around in a pregnancy fog. I must write about this... a phenomenon which involves me losing the ability to recall simple vocabulary, where my short term memory has all but disappeared, and where my motivation to work has ceased to exist.

Oh well, will try to remember what I wanted to say - tomorrow!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Boy Names...

Still feeling a bit shell-shocked about there being a little boy on his way... but just as excited as one can be. I was at the gym yesterday, watching the kids in childcare playing in the gym. One little brown-haired little boy - perhaps around 2ish - was wandering around, his little mouth slightly agape, watching the older kids playing around him. He was a little wobbly on his feet, a little lost, even, and ever so often he would have a go at kicking a ball. Then he would go back to watching everyone else... mouth open, sort of bewildered. And I though. 'there's our boy'.

We're definitely getting more used to the idea... though the references to 'him', 'his', 'he', etc. still bring about a shudder of shock!

But, the biggest thing that we're trying to contend with is a NAME! Since I had no expectation that we'd have a boy I didn't think seriously about names. I just came up with a list I sort of liked, not too much thought, honestly, and now we're stuck. not one name stands out... and we seem to have 'rules' or preferences which preclude some fairly decent names.

Here are some of the issues...

I don't like 'C' names. Rich doesn't want a name with a Royal connection (goodbye Charlie and Harry), neither of us is overly keen on Gaelic names, and we don't want a name that is too common, too posh, too 'out there', or 'too ordinary'. Oh, and a name not too masculine....

We seem to like Hebrew/Arabic names.. but need to find that goes with Oliver-Campbell.

We like names which give rise to nicknames... Nicknames we like are Sam, Raffy/Raffa, Eddie, Mac, etc.

Joel, a colleague at work, was telling me how in Japan an Uncle usually names the child, giving a name with certain meanings which the child grows up, hopefully, to embody. We rather like that idea.,,

So, friends, family (if any of you are reading) and readers... suggestions? Girls are so much easier! here's our list.. generated as I flipped through the baby name book last night.

Rafael - One Who is Healed By God (Hebrew)
Rafferty - One Who Wields Prosperity (Gaelic)
Rafi - One who is Exalted (Arabic)
Josiah - God Will Help (Hebew)
Issac - Full of Laughter (Hebrew)
Hugh - Having a Bright Mind (German)
Elias - Jehovah is my God (Hebrew)
Ravi - From the Sun (Hindi)
Xavier - Owner of a New House(!) (Basque/Arabic)
Ezra - a helper (Hebrew)
Sami - Arabic (One who has been exalted)
Samuel - Hebrew (God has heard)
Leo - Latin (resembling a lion)
Theo(dore) Greek (Gift from God)
Eben - As solid as a rock (Hebrew)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And it's a...

Hi everyone,

well, today was a pretty exciting day! We had out ultrasound at 8am. We had the sonographer we requested (the lovely Russian Dr.) and we bought a DVD to tape the ultrasound. We gave the Dr. an envelope with a pink and blue card in it. We asked her to place the 'right' card in the envelope so we could open it when we left. We asked not to be told during the scan... She was very lovely about it and asked if we would like a picture of the baby in with it. Lovely, we thought.

The scan was very thorough. Almost an hour.. perhaps even a little bit longer. She explained everything. Right from the beginning we could see a wonderful shot of the baby. The babe was lying on the placenta with their head nicely cushioned.. and, oh, so cute, the babe began to suck their thumb!! I had no idea that this sort of thing happened so quickly! What a clever baby :)

All the measurements were within normal ranges, and, in fact, everything looked perfect. The baby is measuring about a week ahead... almost 20 weeks. When it came to looking at the sex she told us to look away... We told her how we were certain it was a girl.

At the end she gave us the card and Rich and I went to a lovely little restaurant for brunch. I'm not sure how we withstood opening the card as we drove the short distance... but we did. We even managed to wait until our food arrived, though by this point I was beside myself with excitement.

A few pics of the big moment....

Some anticipatory angst...

This is the moment I spy the blue card... complete and utter shock. There was not one part of me that thought we might have a boy!!!!!

Yep, that's right, it's a.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Quick List...

1) Only 36 hours or so until the big scan! We can hardly wait! Any last minute guesses as to the sex?

2) The sickness has returned with some force.. not as bad before, but enough that it's a bit misery-making. My mum informed me over the weekend that she was sick until month six. Oh mercy,

3) I have an emergency appointment with the nurse practitioner tomorrow. Deb is away. I've been having a few lupus symptoms this past few days and lupus flare-ups can make for problems. I am certain it;s nothing to be worried about... but of course I'm a little bit worried.

4) I am really beginning to show now. I'm almost at 19 weeks (wow!) and even with clothes on I think you can tell I'm pregnant. The changes are happening so quickly now! Everyday I seem to get bigger.... AND it's already a bit cumbersome to have a bump even as small as it is. Cutting my toenails last night was quite the chore.

5) I had no idea what people meant when they talked about the pregnancy fog, or pregnancy brain. I find myself searching for basic vocabulary... my memory is terrible, and my motivation to do any work is nowhere to be found. I'd like to be sat on my ouch watching English mystery DVDs.

6) Oh, an old school friend just emailed me an idea for how we want to be told about the baby's sex. It's a lovely idea....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Tradition

In our 15 years together, Rich and i have 'celebrated' Valentine's Day precisely once. I think we went out to an Italian restaurant in 1995. Those were the days.

But we've realized this past couple of years that we don't celebrate much... not birthdays, not Christmas, not anniversaries, not big occasions or achievements. We've been wanting to perhaps change that by instituting some Oliver-Campbell traditions. See, we don't have traditions, either. With Poppet on the way we both feel all the more compelled to make up some 'traditions', Since neither of us is terribly romantic we tried to think of something for Valentine's day which would be neither too mushy nor too commercial... Our solution? To make (vegan) fairycakes (cupcakes for you American folk) for our dear friends... and us.

We made them together... Rich was in charge of the icing. He ran out of powdered sugar and thought that he could get away with not adding enough. I pointed out - after a little taster - that his butterscotch icing tasted like sweet margarine/butter and convinced him to make the effort to buy more sugar. Thankfully he did.

We had lots of making them, and of course we think about how next year we'll have a 8 month old helping us!!! Blimey.

A Valentine's Day 'Tradition' in (lots lots of) photos....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Results and Guess the Sex :)

Woo hoo... after an entire week the nurse called me today to let me know the quad screen results.

For neural tube defects we have a 1/1500 chance (a positive test is anything from 1/100) so a strong negative. The results for downs and trisomy 18: 1/10,000!! A really, really strong negative (1/200) is a positive.

It was quite a relief.

A week from Wednesday we have our big scan. I'm looking forward to it much more now.

Who wants to guess the sex?

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Two posts in one evening (I even have another brewing...)

I am still dealing with the dreaded sickness, though not nearly to the extent that I was. The food aversions are still there, too... but, again, they seem to be getting a little better - or perhaps they're just morphing.

During the first trimester I couldn't touch any of my usual foods. My staples of berries, kale, hummus, pita bread, grains, etc., were suddenly so unappealing that the very thought of them made me run to the bathroom. At the same time I longed, LONGED for certain foods... unfortunately most of them were childhood favourites mostly unavailable in the US.

I craved:

Prawn cocktail Walkers crisps (chips to American readers)
Fish and chips - sans the fish. And thus chips with lots of salt and vinegar served in newspaper wrappings.
Turkish Delight (the little Fry ones)
Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodle (these happen to be vegetarian... Pot noodles are a student staple in the UK)

There were other things.. like Digestive biscuits, English tomato soup, and so on.. but I could generally get those things from the English store in Freeport. But my desire for crisps and pot noodles was intense... and when everything else seemed wholly unappealing I was feeling a little desperate. We located pot noodles in Boston but thought it excessive to drive down there for what is, essentially, a pot with ramen noodles in.

Eventually... weeks after the cravings ended!(!) my parents sent me a parcel with said pot noodles and crisps in... as well as stacks of English chocolate. Yummy! Although Rich scoffed down the Turkish Delight and he did a great job polishing off the Toffee Crisps...

In fact it seems that Rich had similar cravings, since every time we buy some English treat - specifically to meet my craving - I am habitually too slow to eat it... Yep, Rich has been gobbling down his poor pregnant wife's pregnancy food... or, to put it another way.. stealing food from the poor baby's mouth :)

Those cravings have now lessened (though not for Rich, it seems), and I am now craving fruit.. lots of it. From the beginning apples and oranges have been my friend, and I've mostly been able to tolerate them when everything else is making me sick... I'm happy that my desire for berries has returned... though the cost of them is not making me that happy. Luckily, though, Rich seems to leave the fruit alone...

Natural Birth

Thanks, all, for your lovely comments.

As I mentioned in a comment to Fia, I had another prenatal appointment with Deb on Friday. I heard the h/b again, but the results of the quad screen weren't yet in. I'm a little nervous about it, though have to remind myself that it's just a screening. Even a negative test (1/250) only increases your odds that not all is okay. Sometimes, though, it's challenging to keep some perspective.

We also chatted about our plans for the birth. I'll have to write more about this, but we're planning for a natural birth with little to no interventions. I trust Deb's judgment without doubt, and know that she would only suggest an intervention if it were absolutely necessary. I'm lucky to have her as a doctor. Since we're attempting a natural, pain relief-free birth we've been considering different birthing techniques. I had no idea there were so many programs out there! From the Bradley Method to hypnobirthing, from Birthing From Within to Hypnobabies...

If anyone has any experience with these and other programs, I'd love to hear about it. I've heard excellent things about hypnobabies... even just the home study course.

The other thing we're considering is a water birth. Both local hospitals have birthing tubs... so it's for sure an option. On that note we need to call Mercy and Maine Med and set up some tours of their new, swanky birthing centers. We are leaning heavily towards Mercy. I attended the birth of my good friend Kate's first child, and the staff were amazing.

So much to think about...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

... a happy list.

1. I think I've been feeling some 'flutters' - the first signs of movement.
2. My tummy has suddenly expanded... in just 24 hours!
3. My busy Monday/Tuesday at work is finished for another week.
4. Kiltie, we think, knows I'm pregnant, or, in the very least he knows something is going on. Every evening and night he snuggles up next to me and lies next to my tummy,
5. I've been going to the gym regularly this past few weeks and it feels wonderful not being quite so immobile and incapacitated.
6. We're planning a Spring Break getaway to somewhere warm.. something to celebrate Poppet.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Today I enjoyed(?) my first vomit free day in almost THREE MONTHS. Woo hoo. It wasn't without awful nausea. Yesterday I experimented by not taking my anti-nausea medications - which had led to a day of continual sickness - and I woke up at 2am feeling sick to my stomach. I was glad to have my meds by my bed, and in my dehydrated, misery stricken state I gobbled it down as fast as I could. Many of you will know and appreciate how much I dislike any form of medications, and so the decision to take a class B drug whilst pregnant was quite tortuous. I soon realized, though, that without the meds it would be difficult to keep anything down, including water.

Sad that yesterday's med-free day didn't work out, I did fall back to sleep eventually and woke up a few hours later feeling not so queasy. The dehydration, though, is never pleasant, so Rich kindly got up at 6am and laid out some orange squash (an English drink) and some water on the table next to the couch. I stumbled to my now-regular spot on the sofa and managed to re-hydrate, somewhat.

Rich and I have a new Sunday routine which entails going to the gym together followed by brunch. I used to spend a lot of time grading papers in Panera Bread, and as a result frequently ate their vegetable soup. When first pregnant it was one of the few things I could eat. My friend Dave bought me 2 big vats of the soup, kindly thinking that I could eat it at home, Alas, I was horribly sick that first night, and since then I haven't been able to even drive past Panera, much less go in there. So it was with some surprise that last week, for our brunch, I started to crave one of their bagels. I knew it was a veggie soup-free day there, so took the plunge. Again, today, I fancied a bagel and also their salad with hummus...

Oddly I cannot touch hummus when it's been in our fridge. Frankly, anything I make - even my favourite salads - invariably comes back up when I prepare it and eat it at home. It's as though I have some Pavlovian response... it's very strange. In Panera I gobbled down a big salad with hummus, and at home the thought of a salad - with the same romaine lettuce and any type of hummus - makes me heave. The only foods that seem safe at home to eat are various fruits - though not all fruits.

For instance, pre-pregnancy, I ate 2 cups of strawberries a day, at least one cup of raspberries, and usually a cup of blueberries. Indeed I was hopelessly addicted to berries of all persuasions. Yet now I can't touch them unless I'm 'tasting' them in Whole Foods... I also can't touch my trusty oats/oatbran/flaxseed combination. A breakfast I've eaten everyday for at least two years.

I'll have to write another post about the foods I've been craving, but suffice to say that I have been - and continue - to battle major food aversions... including ALL protein sources, most leafy green vegetables, and even Luna bars (which I'd been surviving on the first few weeks of pregnancy).

For now, though, I'll celebrate my first vomit free day.. A day where I managed to keep down a leafy green vegetable, and a day when I didn't vomit all evening. The nausea is a bit unrelenting, and, unfortunately, the anti-nausea meds don't take it away. I did learn, though, that without them the nausea and vomiting is so much worse.

When my sister Fiona told me that she was 16 weeks pregnant before her sickness got better, I almost wept. I was only 9 weeks pregnant at that point and honestly thought that I could take no more. But here I am at close to 17 weeks - and I've sort of gotten used to the sickness. But, boy, how nice it is not to be sick today... I hope that this is truly the beginning of the end.