A Change in Plans

Pregnant people visit the doctor a lot. Each time, we go in, pee in a cup, get our blood pressure checked, and a few other things. Most of these visits are short.

Last week, I went in for my usual visit, plus an ultrasound. The doctor expressed some concern; my blood pressure was too high, and it wasn’t the first time. He asked me to come back Monday to check on it.

I felt like crap all weekend, and I knew blood pressure was to blame. Headaches, slightly blurry vision, fatigue, swelling. These are all signs to watch.puffer-fish2 Heck, check out my 33-week picture. You can see it in my face; I look like a blimp.

Still, I felt better Sunday and felt hopeful Monday that all would be well. No such luck. My BP had increased from an already high 150/80 to 180/92.

So the doctor put me on strict bed rest. That means I can’t go anywhere except the doctor, now twice per week. I can shower and use the bathroom, but otherwise, I’m supposed to be horizontal.

While bed rest sounds like a vacation come true, lying about in a horizontal position gets old quickly. Besides, I have six weeks until my official due date. Not only does this mean I haven’t finished preparing clients for my leave yet, but …. “So I’m going to be on bed rest for four to six weeks?”

“Oh you won’t make it four weeks,” she told me. “You’ll have the baby before then.”

It might happen naturally, my body deciding it’s time to evict the creature causing the problem. Or, the doctor will induce me, if my lab work begins to show organ problems, in order to protect my health.

The good news: at nearly 34 weeks, the baby will be fine. Heck, my dad was born a month early at nine pounds with no problems. This one is nearly 5 1/2 pounds already.

At each doctor’s visit, they’ll check me, hoping that the horizontal position will keep the blood pressure down for at least a couple more weeks. Otherwise, I might go in for a regular checkup one day and come out with a baby. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, this throws off our timetable for the announcement of the baby’s sex. Here are your guesses so far:

chartMost of you seem to be going with boy, based on:

  • How I am carrying
  • The fact that I experienced no morning sickness
  • My hips (thanks, grandma)
  • Some other sorcery I don’t know about

In case you’re interested, the Chinese gender predictor calendar is going with girl.

Well, you’ll find out which of these obviously scientific guesses is correct — on Saturday.

You know, assuming I make it through Thursday’s doctor visit without having a baby.


The Gender Secret

Leo popped the question one day in bed: How about if we find out the gender of our baby, but we don’t tell anyone?boygirl

At first, I wasn’t sure about the idea. If you’re going to find out, why not share it? But his plan started to grow on me. As we executed it, we realized we have several advantages:

  • Driving our moms crazy. (Obviously this ranks highly on the “pro” list.)
  • Knowing what to expect so we can prepare.
  • Limiting the amount of clothes we receive. Both moms are eager to dress our infant. But they grow so quickly. We don’t need too many 3-month-old-sized overalls or frilly dresses.
  • Preventing an overabundance of either blue or pink anything. Same with toys. There is no such thing as a “boy” toy or “girl” toy. But toy manufacturers seem to disagree.
  • Adding an air of mystery and fun to the baby conversations.

That last one has been the most surprising. It’s fun to watch people guess based on who-knows-what sorcery. Most people seem to guess based on how I’m carrying the child. Given that my mother carried all four of her children differently, I find this amusing. Another camp says we “slipped up,” and referred to our child more than once as one sex or another. Or did we? 🙂

But now, it’s almost time to reveal the truth. Starting today, I’m making the big list of guesses. Send me your guess via email, Facebook or text message.

On Feb. 1 we will announce whether Baby Suarez is a boy or a girl!

The Baby Showers

Babies mean stuff. Whether you like it or not.

As many of you know, I don’t like too much stuff. Enemy, thy name is clutter. I worked as a professional organizer for awhile. It was a great opportunity to see how Americans and our mass consumerism culture often lead to an emphasis on stuff rather than experiences as a way to rank ourselves and give life meaning. And later that stuff gives us stress. So we call a professional organizer.

My personal rants aside, Leo and I did realize we needed at least some essentials before bringing a kid home from the hospital. Like some clothes for her or him to wear. A car seat. A crib, and diapers. That’s about it. But of course, that’s not much fun for friends and family.

Enter the baby showers. My family in Ohio threw me one after Thanksgiving, and my friends and family here threw me another earlier this month. Between the two, we are nearly all set for baby’s arrival. And I have to say I feel very blessed to have so many generous and wonderful people in my life. Thank you all.

A Life's Journey