Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The mystery illness continues

A month ago, Amalie's pediatric gastroenterologist put both Amalie and me on a dairy-free diet, in the hopes that it would stop baby's bloody poop. At first things seemed to be going better: the blood waned, then stopped for a couple of days. But then we tried starting Amalie on rice cereal, and the blood returned with a vengeance. Twice. And then, after we stopped the cereal, the blood remained.

This made no sense to me, so we visited the specialist again. Duh, it turns out that non-organic rice cereal contains soy. Why the heck do they put soy in rice cereal??!? I thought it just contained rice. It is likely, then, that Amalie is also allergic to soy. The next step in solving the mystery is to eliminate ALL commonly allergenic substances, including soy, and slowly replacing them in my diet to see what evokes an allergic reaction.

We are now dairy, soy, gluten, egg, peanut, tree nut, and shellfish free. Ugh, that doesn't leave much that I can eat--rice, rice, meat, fruits, rice, veggies, and rice. Unfortunately, it appears that soy is a hidden ingredient in many things, and every day I discover one more thing that I'm still consuming that is off limits: toothpaste, my calcium supplement, Pam cooking spray. Sheesh. But I think I have corrected all of my errors now, and I am waiting eagerly to see if Amalie's blood dissipates. So far it hasn't. In addition, Amalie is becoming increasingly fussy when she breastfeeds, as if she is in pain. She's scheduled for an x-ray later this week, and the doctor has finally agreed to give her a colonoscopy if the blood does not clear up from this new diet. I'm getting a little panicked about her discomfort and what could be going on inside of her. If only we could bear this pain for her!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Every day is a day of thanksgiving for us. We are thankful for our sweet and much beloved son and daughter, and for the changes that they have brought to our lives and to us.

We are thankful that we awake to this shining face every morning.

We are thankful for every day that little Peanut lives, grows, loves, cries, stomps...

We are thankful to live with her through times of learning, times of pain, and times of peace.

We are also very thankful for everyone who has graced our lives, no matter how briefly or sporadically. You are all important to us. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One roll forward, one roll back

This past Sunday Amalie rolled completely over from her back to her tummy for the first time. She's been working on rolling for several weeks now, but just couldn't figure out how to surmount the obstacle of her bottom arm. Way to go, Peanut! She also makes crawling-like motions (especially with her legs) when she is on her tummy. It is possible that she'll figure out this crawling thing early, even though the rolls came a little behind schedule.
Unfortunately, we have been unable to surmount a much more daunting obstacle: the mystery illness. We have switched my diet to dairy-free and replaced Amalie's formula (she usually gets one bottle per day from Dad) with this awful amino-acid based formula that smells and tastes, strangely enough, like the sugar beet plant near my childhood home. (Aminos are nasty. I used to work with powdered amino acids in my old pharmacy compounding days, and they are like a buffet from a bad dream. A feast of rooty, poo-ey, earthy surprises.) But the changes have produced no detectable changes in Amalie's condition, at least not yet. If anything, her diapers are a little bloodier than they were, and she is becoming slightly more uncomfortable every day.
The pediatric gastroenterologist urges patience, as it takes several weeks for cow milk proteins to clear the body. But it is a wait that no parent wants to make. What if we are wrong about what is causing the blood? Does she really need to experience this discomfort for two weeks? I have begun cutting soy out of my diet too, in case she's also allergic to it.
If Amalie's condition does not improve soon, I think we'll be back in the specialist's office, demanding a scoping and allergy tests. We'll figure this thing out as quickly as we can.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Poor baby... mystery illness

For about the past ten days, we have been finding blood in Amalie's stools: first just tiny little bits, but then more. As the blood increased, so did baby's discomfort.

Three visits to the pediatrician and one visit to a pediatric gastroenterologist later, the most likely explanation is that Amalie has an allergy to cow milk protein. The best way to test this hypothesis? Two words: elimination diet. Hers and mine.

One does not realize how ubiquitous cow milk proteins are in a typical American diet until one has to avoid them. I originally figured that heck, regular milk can be replaced by soy milk, butter and margarine by vegan "butter-like" spread, and cheese by no cheese, and that will mostly do the trick. But then I realized that most baked goods have dairy in them. And then I started to read labels. Off limits: processed lunch meats, hot dogs (even Hebrew Nationals!), all of the chips in the house (ranch, sour cream and onion, cheddar), pesto sauce, biscuits and all of the other breads we own, chocolate (duh!).

Amalie's health is well worth the sacrifice. Happily, there has been no blood today. I hope we've found the problem, or that she just had gastroenteritis from a tummy bug.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Learning, growing...and growing teeth

Our little Peanut is rapidly approaching four months of age...I can hardly believe it. We have watched her gain an understanding of cause and effect as she frantically kicks at the kickpad on her Gymini and learns how to shake a rattle properly for the first time (no, it does not have to be bashed on the forehead!). She is making all kinds of new syllables and noises, including an awesome gurgling noise.

On our trip she rolled onto her side...once. Now she is doing it regularly. She hasn't made it all the way to her stomach by herself yet...darn that pesky trailing arm!

I believe we are on the verge of an additional milestone...teething. Yikes! Amalie is drooling like Taughannok Falls, she is chewing on her hand (and us), and she is being difficult when we try to feed her. Tonight we gave her a frozen washcloth and she chewed on it frantically. I guess this means we're in for some difficult nights soon!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Baby's first trip

At 3 1/2 months old, Amalie is at a wonderful age for traveling. Although she will not remember the sights and sounds like we will, she will at least tolerate the journey in relatively good spirits. We figure that as soon as she's crawling and walking, she will want to plan her own travel agenda, which will make carrying out our agenda a little more difficult.
The plan was to spend three days in Seattle, drive along the coast of Oregon and Northern California, and then finish up in San Francisco for two days. In the end we could not adhere to the ambitious schedule completely, so San Francisco got shortchanged. However, we had a fabulous time meandering at our own pace.
She fared well, consisdering that we drove 1,100 miles over 9 days. A bit of diaper rash and a little fussiness about riding in the car near the end were the only outward signs of road wear. We slowed our pace and tried to give tender bottoms as much airing out time as possible, and the rash cleared by the time we flew home.
Here is Amalie with Jon in Seattle, aboard a state ferry to Bainbridge Island.
Pike Place Market is a massive open-air market in downtown Seattle, famous for the fish vendors who toss their wares through the air, but offering much more. Think giant farmer's market, arts and crafts show, and Renaissance festival all wrapped up in one. This giant piggy bank houses donations for the poor, but it also doubles as a photo op for little ones.
From Seattle we traversed southern Washington, all of the Oregon coast, and northern California via Highway 101. Along the way we encountered sea lions, lighthouses, spectacular ocean cliffs and roaring waves, and giant, majestic redwoods. It was cold and windy along the Oregon coast, so we had to limit the length of each outdoor excursion. However, we saw plenty of breathtaking scenery and met many wonderful people along the way.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finding her voice: Ten weeks

Once Amalie started smiling and gazing at objects, she went through about a four week period in which she was satisfied with her behavioral repertoire and kept things pretty much the same. I wondered when she would decide to start interacting with the world directly. Then, almost right on her two-month Birthday, she began reaching for objects and making verbalizations that were more than just grunting and crying.

I took this video with my phone when Amalie and I were in my office a couple of days ago. Amalie was getting fussy (she doesn't much like office visits!) and I was about ready to pack her up to go home...but then she started "talking" to her little stuffed bunny. I almost perished from glee. My heart wants so badly to know what Amalie has to say to the world.

Amalie has the most delightful personality. She has several different types of smiles, including an "ecstatic" smile that involves a wide-open mouth and a head tilt, and she uses them often. She seems to have a robust sense of humor and loves it when Dad and Mom make fools of themselves.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Two months old and starting to "talk"

Happy two month birthday, Amalie! In the past few days, our little girl has begun sleeping for six-hour stretches at night (woo hoo!). Also in the past couple of days, we have seen an upsurge in cooing and babbling. Her favorite syllable is "awr" (while pursing her lips), but there are also some "guh"-type sounds. We can tell when she is about to speak, because she really concentrates as she works up to it.

Here she is "speaking" to Mama:

The mobile is still a huge hit. (Kimono outfit courtesy of Great Uncle Rick and Great Aunt Nancy.)

She is also starting to hit and grab on to things if we put them right in front of her hand. It is difficult to tell if she understands what she is doing yet, but it is funny to see her punch a dangly toy (she has TWO elephant toys that make chiming noises when they're hit) over and over as she smiles in delight.
Unfortunately, another new development is increased reflux, which means that furniture, clothes, and Mom and Dad are covered in spit-up, and Amalie is uncomfortable after she nurses. We're hoping it will pass eventually.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hey, there's a world out there!

Amalie turned six weeks old this past Wednesday. I have to say that the past week-and-a-half has been rewarding for Mommy, because little girl has started noticing things outside of herself. At four weeks she started really, truly looking into our eyes, and at 4.5 weeks or so she gave us her first smile in direct response to our voices and gazes. Now she smiles reliably to us and to her favorite visual stimuli.
The most popular is her Zanzibar mobile. The zebra and elephant are particular favorites. Jon jokes that the mobile is like "baby heroin", because it is guaranteed to make her smile and gawk unless she's in complete meltdown.
The other favorites are black and white patterns. She has flash cards and a Powerpoint filled with black and white clip art. She takes note of any high contrast stimuli, including the ceiling fan and picture frames, if they're dark enough. She loved visiting Grandma Driscoll's art studio yesterday.
Mom report: I am experiencing some anxiety over all of the things that are on my "to do" list for work that aren't getting done. I feel like I have snippets of time that could be used for writing my grant proposal, but my cognition and motivation are impaired by the sleep deprivation and my new "milk truck" role.
I understand completely that it is silly to worry about the "to do" list when I should be relaxing and enjoying this special time with my daughter. I think that the drive for productivity has been so ingrained for so long that it cannot be separated from my identity, at least not very easily. After all, it has served me well professionally. This will be an opportunity to grow, to think about how I frame my life priorities. Amalie and Jon are always going to be first, which will mean NOT having guilt about making work second. Guilt is a fascinating phenomenon that reveals much about the person experiencing it, including assumptions that we make about our world, baggage that we carry from earlier in life, expectations that we have and assume that others have for us.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy One Month, Amalie!

Amalie turned one month old yesterday. Jon says "she's one!", and I say "she's thirty!". Every day has been its own adventure, so I like to commemorate all of them.

At her one month pediatrician's appointment, she officially weighed 9 pounds, 0.5 ounces. This puts her in the 50th percentile for weight (she was in the 25th percentile at her 1.5 week visit), which is welcome news to Mom, who has been constantly worried about milk supply. As for length, she is closer to the 75th-90th percentile at 22 inches.

The pediatrician remarked that Amalie is particularly alert and focuses well visually. With those gigantic eyes, I would hope so! My mom said that I was highly vigilant and wide-eyed when I was a newborn too.

Important landmarks: her umbilical stump finally fell off at 2.5 weeks, and she got her first "real" bath. Note how curly her hair is when it is wet!

At around the same time, she really started unfurling and playing with her hands. The pediatrician says this is unusual for an infant this young. But Peanut certainly does have amazingly large hands and long fingers! Some say "basketball player", others say "piano player". I did both of those things as a kid, but I also played bassoon; and given that I was recruited by the band teacher to play bassoon because of the size of my hands, then perhaps Amalie will be similarly charged.

Amalie's been using her arms and hands for a while, and I think she really started hitting me out of frustration (with a fist) if I did not get her situated for nursing quickly enough when she was only a couple of weeks old. However, at about 3.5 weeks, Amalie found a new use for her hands that unfortunately hurts HER: she grabs her very thick hair, pulls, screams in pain, but does not yet know how to let go. So we have to disentangle her. This originally worried me a bit (signs of impending stereotypy?....sometimes I wish I didn't know any psychology or neuroscience), but then Kristine relayed a far worse tale of her son Cooper, who grabbed something MUCH more sensitive when he was about the same age. I guess it's a good thing Peanut is not a boy.

Right at the week 4/one month point, Amalie demonstrated her first social smiles. She's been smiling in her sleep for a couple of weeks, and she began sleep-laughing about three or four days ago, but the actual waking smile, in response to our voices, just started a couple of days ago. It is fleeting and infrequent, but it is the most wonderful thing to see after several weeks of blank stares. I've tried to catch the smiles on film, but fleeting as they are, I'm mostly getting the tail end of them. Here are some attempts:

Not many have made comments about whether Amalie looks like Liam. They are definitely unique, but I notice that she looks like Liam in some of his photos when she is nursing. It's the profile from above, and I think it is particularly the nose and the double chin that I'm reacting to. Given that that specific view is one that only I can have, I can't really get a second opinion.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

She's gaining weight!

Yesterday's pediatrician appointment went well for Amalie: she gained 5.5 ounces in four days. This means that at her current weight of 7 pounds, 7.5 ounces, she has surpassed her hospital discharge weight. Jon and I have both noticed that her face is fuller than it was at the beginning of the week. So for now, it looks like I'm making enough milk for her.
Amalie is still a good baby. She loves to sleep at night, and we really only have to get up once to feed her. Last night she gave us five hours of sleep in a row. Then, during the day, she's a voracious little shark. I've learned that I can pump in the middle of the night to create a "strategic reserve" for when she is in shark mode. It's barely enough to keep her happy.
Her eyes have started to focus on more specific targets, including our eyes, and she's started learning a little bit of control over her hands. It's fun to watch her play with her hands while she's nursing or when she is awake and alert!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The first week

Happy one week old, Amalie! This is a photo of her in one of her favorite configurations: scrunched up like a little frog and swaddled up like a chunk of sushi. Of course, given that it has become so hot here this week, she is in actuality spending more time in her second favorite configuration: practically naked.

Amalie's a good baby. She does get fussy around matters of food, and she seems to think about food all the time. We took her to the pediatrician on Monday, and he told us that she has lost a little weight since she was discharged from the hospital (she's 7 pounds 2 ounces now), so we need to bulk her up. I've been trying to let her dictate when and how much she eats...which basically means that she snacks for 45 minutes, sleeps for 5, fusses, then snacks for another 45.

The transition to parenthood has been a surreal one for Dad and Mom, but I think we're doing as well as can be expected.

Poor Angus, on the other hand, is having some difficulty accepting our new addition. He is torn: he wants to hang out with us and rub his face on us and the furniture like he usually does, but he is terrified of Amalie and must suppress the urge to flee in order to do so. It's like I told Jon: he has realized that on the Driscoll totem pole, he's basically the sneakers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Introducing Amalie!

Amalie Maren Driscoll was born at 12:53 p.m. on July 17, 2009. The c-section was a bit delayed (only by a few minutes), but once it was begun, it went incredibly smoothly. I had a fantastic surgical team, including the anesthesiologist, the attending nurses, and Dr. Baer himself. The procedure took maybe ten minutes (not counting the stitching afterward), and it was almost completely painless. Weird with the tugging and pushing sensations, but very, very easy otherwise.

I was overwhelmed with joy the moment I heard Amalie cry. She did it! After that, nothing mattered. As I stared at the ceiling while Jon and Amalie retreated to another part of the OR for her assessments, I was filled with an elation the likes of which I have never felt before. Nothing could touch me.

Here she is!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One more day... (39 weeks)

In precisely 24 hours, our dearest Peanut/Amalie will be entering the world. Will you look like you did ten weeks ago, or will you look different? Will you be healthy? Will you like what you see? We will see!

We love you! Dad and Mom

Saturday, June 13, 2009

First real contractions

They came last night (Friday)--two that were less intense, 20 mintues apart, and then one really long (nearly a minute in duration), painful one six minutes later. I was in a state of disbelief after the third one: Peanut, didn't you know that we have this thing scheduled?? I also started to panic a bit about all of the things that I have not finished for work, so the evening turned into a flurry of email/document-creating activity and packing for the hospital.

Of course, that third contraction was the last one, and there have been no serious ones today. False alarm. Dr. Baer doesn't want me to come in unless the contractions are regular. So we will relax and enjoy one more day of pre-baby life. Time for a silly movie. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thirty-eight weeks and the name is set!

We are so, so close now: the c-section is a week from Wednesday. I cannot wait to meet this little girl for real! She is still kicking and thrashing about like crazy, especially in the early evening and when Mom takes Tums.

Finding the appropriate middle name to go with Amalie was more excruciating than was deciding on the first name. I'll spare everyone the details, but suffice it to say that Jon and I 1) are poor decsion makers, and 2) have fairly different tastes in names. Last night we planted ourselves in front of our laptops (again) and swore we would come away with our choice before the night was over. I thought we would tear our hair out by the time we were done. In the end it was Jon who saved the day. He went back to our family trees and found a name that was not only highly utilized by my Danish ancestors (he counted 13 occurrences between 1530 and 1820!), but also held a host of profound meanings and ties with more current family members. And it doesn't sound too bad to boot.

The name is Maren (pronounced "mah-ren"), and it means "wished-for child". It is also an oceanic name, which pays tribute to Jon's seafaring Irish roots. Finally, it is a derivative of Mary and Marie. Mary was my maternal grandmother, and Marie is Jon's mom's middle name. How could we ask for more?

Amalie Maren Driscoll, we're ready for you now!

Monday, June 8, 2009

From Mareike

We have recieved many, many wonderful gifts over the past few months. This is one of them. I thought it would be a good one to share with everyone as the time draws near.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

And she shall be called Amalie (37 weeks)

Happy Full Term, Peanut! You've done it!

I would be thrilled if she would decide to come today--Jon and I are both ready to have her here. Unless she initiates the process, we're looking at 13 more days: she is scheduled to be delivered at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17.

The name game continues. However, in part out of a desire that our child not be referred to as a legume postpartum, we have decided upon Amalie for the first name. Jon found the name when he was researching our family trees; Amalie was the wife of one of my German ancestors (on my mom's Brunkhardt side). It means "eager"and "hard worker". I am more fond of the name as a first name than Jon is, so expect Jon to hold more sway in the choice of a middle name. The frontrunner is Tora, which means "thunder" in Norse. (Expect the other options to be relatively loud and raucous as well.)

Peanut's Aunt Merritt (Jon's sister) called us on Monday to inform us that her children, Skylar and Riley, are sick with Fifth disease (a viral rash). We were exposed to both of them during their incubation period, so she was concerned that Peanut was in danger. However, a quick blood test revealed that I am immune (must have gotten sick with it at some point in my lifetime), so all is well. Fifth disease is extremely dangerous in the first half of pregnancy--it can easily kill a fetus--but it is much less dangerous later in development. Still, I am relieved that we will not have to worry about it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Time for serious preparations

We are at t minus 2.5 weeks until Peanut's c-section. Classes are over, grading is done, and my remaining administrative tasks (associated with professional connections, not school) are only filling a part-time slot in my life right now. My semester-long sabbatical has officially begun.

Finally it is time to enter into Babyland!

We are well outfitted for Peanut's arrival already, but everything is in disarray, and we really need to do an inventory to see what we are missing. We have begun to tackle the nursery, which had become random storage. We removed everything and cleaned it thoroughly. Lizz's fabulous murals are in good shape, so all we needed to do was gently clean the walls. Furniture-wise, we added a couple of storage pieces to what we already had, so that we could accommodate cloth diapers and diapering supplies, toys, and some clothing.

Both of our carseats are hand-me-downs; one is new enough that we can still use it, but the other one may be past the safe six-year mark. Earlier this week we pulled the seats apart to clean them. And of course when any soft, ergonomic surface appears on the floor, guess who has to give it a try...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The home stretch (35 weeks)

I would never have imagined such a smooth pregnancy for Peanut; every week she aces her biophysical exam, looks fabulous on the ultrasound, and impresses Sue (the ultrasound tech) and Dr. Baer. The polyhydramnious has subsided. Last week Sue announced that Peanut was head down and had dropped. This latter fact does not have any bearing on Peanut's delivery, as our little one will be arriving via trapdoor; however, it is reassuring.
On the other hand, this has been a difficult pregnancy for me physically. The hiatal hernia makes me feel like I have been punched in the stomach all the time, so I am out of breath and almost never hungry. There is also the usual pregnancy stuff: sore hips, acid reflux, sleeplessness, and other common things that I won't mention. Every week I say to Dr. Baer, "She looks done enough to me--let's get her out". And he laughs.

We bought a fetal heart monitor (not a Doppler or an ultrasound, just an amplifier), because the days when Peanut does not move much throw me into anxious fits. It was around this time with Liam that my blood pressure started to really spike, my body started to swell, and my former OB started to talk about inducing labor. I recall that time as my "naive period", when I could have done something to save Liam if I had known what was to transpire. And guess what: my feet have officially started swelling. I think it is time to break out Jon's blood pressure cuff and stethoscope.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A new cousin for Peanut

My sister Lisa and I discovered we were pregnant about eight weeks apart from each other...and both of us with a girl. As you can probably imagine, Grandpa and Grandma Larsen are beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of having TWO new grandchildren at once.
Faith Randall Carlson entered the world in the early afternoon of April 28, 2009. She weighed an impressive 8 lbs., 11 oz. She is a miracle in and of herself, because she was conceived when her father Kevin was in kidney failure and waiting for a donor kidney. Her middle name, Randall, is an homage to Kevin's brother Randy, who provided Kevin with one of his kidneys last December.

Faith with Lisa, settled in for a Mother's Day nap.

Faith and Kevin sharing a moment together at home.
Welcome, Faith! We hope to introduce you to your new playmate in five weeks...or sooner.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thirty weeks and growing...

Peanut is getting checked out every week now: quick ultrasound, amniotic fluid measurement, biophysical profile. It is relatively early in the pregnancy for such frequent appointments, but I think Dr. Baer wants to be careful. No protests from the parents in this case!
In week 28 the ultrasound technician started detecting extra amniotic fluid around Peanut, a condition called polyhydramnios. It is not bad yet, but if it continues, I might expand at an even greater rate than I am already! I know I haven't gained that much weight, but I'm pretty sure I'm "more huger" now than I was at 30 weeks with Liam. The extra fluid will not harm Peanut, especially because she will be delivered via c-section (the condition is associated with an increased risk of cord prolapse during labor).
Along with the beach-ball-ization of my midsection, I have been experiencing more intense kicks by Peanut, often in the guts or the bladder. The kicks correspond with Peanut's presumed hunger and responses to food--she still kicks the most for Tums--and with changes in my position. Just like her brother, she hates it when I prop a book on her in the evenings. But Jon loves it, because then he can witness the kicking for himself.
Last week I had a terrifying dream that I lost Peanut. The content of the dream was centered around the aftermath...Jon and me standing in the rain, next to a dark sedan, at a park or cemetary with an expansive lawn framed by weeping willows. I know the dream is a reflection of my increased anxiety that something will go wrong. When the anxieties start to mount, I like to repeat the mantra I first heard from another grieving, expecting parent: "Most babies live."
On a happier note, we are making some progress with the nursery. We've removed and washed all of the cloth and softer items, and this weekend we'll hopefully get around to cleaning all of the surfaces. Baby clothes are all washed and categorized by size, and baby book is on order.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's like meeting her for the first time (27 weeks)

Pregnancy can seem like a pretty abstract concept, even when your belly is the size and consistency of a watermelon. Is there really a child inside there? The moving and kicking isn't enough to make the reality of it hit home. However, I have to admit that seeing Peanut's face on the 3D ultrasound today made me realize that we might actually have a baby soon. A baby like the babies that people carry around in strollers and backpacks; a baby that makes poopy diapers and wears outfits with little critters on them.

Here she is! I think she has Jon's nose and my chin. Hello, Peanut! I promise we will have a name for you soon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Twenty-five weeks and asserting herself!

Peanut seems to have hit a serious growth spurt the past few weeks. I am now large enough that sleeping has started to become a logistical challenge: every hour-and-a-half I wake up to flip over or visit the restroom, because whatever I have been sleeping on (especially hip-wise) is sore. However, turning over is not so difficult yet that I weigh the pros and cons of just sleeping on the sore side, so for that I am grateful.
At 22 weeks Jon was first able to feel Peanut's kicking, and now Peanut is big enough that I can see her movements from the outside. She is an active little critter! And more than that, she is exquisitely sensitive to any changes in her environment, be they mechanical or chemical. For example, antacids seem to make her kick. I suppose her favorite food will be Tums! Another example: earlier this week when I was startled awake by my alarm clock, two seconds later Peanut began thrashing like she had been startled too. I guess adrenaline also crosses the placenta! Based on her fitfulness in the womb, I predict that Peanut will either be really bright or really bratty...or both.
It has been difficult to wait for the next round of ultrasounds. I like being able to see that Peanut is doing ok, and just hearing her heartbeat is not enough (although she did hiccup for the Doppler at our 25-week appointment, which was pretty cool!). We are only two weeks away from the big 3-D ultrasound, which should net us both photos and a video--I can't wait.
The past few months have been extremely busy, and as such we have not made any progress on the naming or nursery preparation front. But it is Spring Break now, so once my grading is done, Jon and I will start cleaning, arranging, and washing clothes. Thank you to Merritt, Bob, and Wendy for the fabulous hand-me-downs!