Monthly Archives: May 2013

V-Day is here!

cheerful-babyWhat is V-Day, you ask?

Viability Day. Today I am 24 weeks pregnant, which means that if I were to go into labor and deliver today, my baby would have a ~50% chance of survival, and most neonatal intensive care units would be willing to accept my baby as a patient and try to save its life.

It’s hard to pinpoint the gestational age of the youngest baby ever born, since those estimates are dependent on mom’s testimony as to her LMP and/or ovulation date. Some babies that have been listed as having been saved at a certain age were conceived via IVF, wherein the “age” given is really the gestational age rather than the age from LMP that most doctors use—so we’d have to add on 2 weeks to get a more normative age. However, it seems that babies have been saved as young as 21 weeks and some change, which is less than 20 gestational weeks, so that’s pretty incredible.

That said, most hospitals have guidelines on when they will attempt to save a premature baby’s life, setting 23-25 weeks as the minimum limit. Neonatal intensive care is incredibly expensive, and survival rates prior to 23 weeks are abysmal, so I kind of get it even if I don’t like it.

In any case, there is something comforting about reaching the point where I know that, if I go into labor prematurely, all is not lost and my baby has a chance (especially since my baby is measuring a week ahead in spite of its gestational age). For the next two weeks, my baby’s survival odds will increase by 2-3% per day until they reach 80%. For one more week, the odds will increase by 1-2% per day until they reach 90%. After that, things slow down quite a bit, topping out at 95% at 30 weeks and 98% at 34 weeks.

So here’s to you, Ivytine*, for getting closer and closer to the point where you can be safe outside of your mommy!


* Since we will name the baby Ivy if it is a girl and Constantine if it is a boy, we have taken to calling it “Ivytine,” which sounds like a delicious beverage, or maybe an addictive substance. 😉

Categories: Babies, Labor & Delivery | 2 Comments

Sewing Cloth Diapers Part III: Mint-Colored Diapers

Today I finished my mint-colored diapers with the white lining:

Altogether, I made 5 newborn mint-colored diapers and 10 one-size-fits-most mint-colored diapers. (The newborns actually still need their top “male” umbilical snap, but I’m going to wait until all of my newborn diapers are done to take those to my tailor and have those applied).

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Categories: Cloth Diapers | 3 Comments

Review: Buying a Maternity Formal from JJsHouse

When I mentioned to my SIL that I would need a maternity formal for our other SIL’s wedding on June 1st, she recommended I try JJsHouse. I looked through their maternity formals and found a dress that I really liked:

JJsHouse Maternity Formal FrontJJsHouse Maternity Formal Back

What I Wanted

What really attracted me to the dress were those cute gathers in the front of the dress. I thought, “Those will look so adorable over my 24-week baby bump.”

My SIL’s wedding colors are cobalt blue and yellow, and I can’t do yellow, so I ordered the dress in royal blue. I also thought that a full-length gown would be a little overpowering for a sunny June wedding, so I had it tailored to be knee-length, I had myself measured by a professional tailor prior to ordering the dress, and found that most of my measurements fit their size 12 measurements (which is my normal dress size anyways), so I went ahead and ordered a size 12. I paid extra to customize the hem to a shorter length. Between customization, S&H, and foreign transaction fees, I paid a total of $159.62 for this dress. And if the dress had been tailored the way I wanted, I would have considered that a good deal.

What I Got

This is what arrived in the mail yesterday. Notice anything missing?

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Categories: Maternity Clothing | Tags: , | 1 Comment

21.5-week Anomaly Scan

Nothing new to report. No sign of birth defects. I am still team yellow.

The images were better and clearer at the 15.5-week scan than at this one. Baby is still measuring almost a week ahead. If they were going by the ultrasounds, they would put the due date at Sept. 14. However, since I am sure of my LMP and ovulation dates, I refuse to budge from my Sept. 20 due date.

Categories: Ultrasound | 2 Comments

Five Movies Featuring Pregnant Characters That I Love

Would you mess with a pregnant woman with this look in her eyes? Oh, hell no you wouldn't. If you did, you would die. Vidya Balan as the pregnant Vidya Bagchi in the Indian thriller *Kahaani* (2012)

Would you mess with a pregnant woman with this look in her eyes? Oh, hell no you wouldn’t. If you did, you would die. Vidya Balan as the pregnant Vidya Bagchi in the Indian thriller *Kahaani* (2012)

Seeing pregnant women portrayed in film and television usually makes me cringe. If the woman isn’t dying in childbirth, she’s having an evil baby, or maybe an alien baby. Pregnant women in film and television also have the tendency of having unbelievably fast labors, water that breaks in a dramatic gush, of being forced to give birth in cars or in stuck elevators, etc. It’s unrealistic, it’s frustrating, and it’s insulting.

Here are a few films involving pregnant characters that do not make me cringe, and are decent films to boot:

Fargo (1996) ~ Frances McDormand won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her turn as North Dakota police chief Marge Gunderson in the Coen brothers’ offbeat “homespun murder story.” Marge investigates a series of grizzly murders while smiling through a polite and bubbly “Minnesota nice” accent—and she happens to be quite obviously 7 months pregnant and not making a big deal about it. Just a pregnant woman doing her job, being police chief, catching serial killers, stopping guys from loading legs into wood chippers. The way the world should be.

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Categories: Parturition in Film/Television | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The Other Halfway

A pregnancy isn’t really 40 weeks. It’s 38 because the first two weeks you aren’t even pregnant.

Today I am 21 weeks pregnant, which means my baby’s gestational age is 19 weeks, which means I have reached the true halfway point. So yay for me.

Not much new to report. Though the substitute doctor was nice enough, he was over an hour late to an 8:45 AM appointment (!), and I had an appointment at a temp agency at 11:00 AM, so this was a bad day for my doctor to be so late. Though he was cute, he was nowhere near as cute as Sark. (Because that’s what really matters in a doctor, right? ;))

He wants to see me again for a “social follow-up” on the 29th. I’m not sure if that means he wants to get to know me better or he wants to talk about my “social stressors,” i. e. my separation. I’ve made the appointment, but if I am working by then, I’m canceling it. There’s no way I am taking more time off work than I need to.

I’m a little stressed on top of everything else right now because the Social Security office has canceled my daughter’s SSI for June on account of them losing the paperwork I submitted. My experience with SSI has been that once they cancel your payments for a month, it doesn’t matter if it was their mistake, nor does it matter how many caseworkers you meet with or appeals you file; you will not get it for that month. At best you will get a double-payment the following month. That will still leave me needing a way to pay my rent on June 1st, so I really hope I’m working soon. (Yes, I could call my stepmother and borrow the SSI money for a month until they get my case straightened out, but I was hoping to avoid having to borrow any money from her.)

I just finished finals. I have a few papers to finish and then I will throw myself entirely into my job search. I did well on all of the temp agency’s exams, so I am hopeful they will put me to at least earning some income soon. They sounded optimistic as well.

I can now add “acid reflux” to my still-short second trimester symptoms list. It’s irritating but manageable.

What I have coming up:

  • May 14th — 21-week ultrasound
  • May 31st – June 3rd — Traveling to Georgia for sister-in-law’s wedding
  • June 13th — Seeing my one-and-only hot doctor for a routine 2nd trimester check-up, as that is when he is back in the office. I’ll be 25-almost-26 weeks
Categories: Prenatal Care, Second Trimester Symptoms | Leave a comment


Today I am 20 weeks pregnant. If all goes well, I am approximately halfway to holding baby Ivy or Constantine in my arms, and a mere 3-4 weeks away from the point where baby could potentially be saved if born premature.

I continue to deal with my separation. Everyone I have talked to feels that I am doing the right thing given the circumstances. I have my up days and my down days. Husband says that he doesn’t want to lose me, but shows no interest in making the changes to his life that I’ve asked him to make. I’ve reached the sad conclusion that he doesn’t love me anymore. He says he does, and I have no doubt that he has strong feelings for me, but he is completely uninterested in translating those feelings into action. And that isn’t love.

I just keep trying to think positive and visualize. Me, my daughter, my baby, the job I want to have, making a daycare routine work, living in a clean and uncluttered apartment. I’m going to make it happen.

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Categories: Cloth Diapers, Personal, Second Trimester Symptoms, Separation | Leave a comment

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