Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Catblogging - The Arrival of Omni

My husband and I decided to get another cat to be a companion for our kitty Asia since our hands will be full after Hahn Jr. arrives. We thought she needed a pal to keep her company and give her plenty of exercise since she's starting to fill out. We went to the DFW Humane Society in Irving and found the perfect kitten. His name is Omni and he's a 3 month-old silver tabby. He's has the sweetest disposition, but he also loves to play. He didn't seem to be too intimidated by Asia because he kept trying to pounce on her from around a corner. She didn't appreciate that, but she didn't clobber him either. Hopefully, he and Asia will get along.

My brother took some pics of Omni this weekend. Amazingly, Omni sat still long enough to get his picture taken. So without further ado, here's Omni.


Look into my eyes.... Yes, you're getting sleepy. Now fetch me some tuna Whisker Lickins, human.


Something's wiggling over there. I'd better go pounce on it before it gets away.

Friday, June 18, 2004

The Wonders of Medical Technology - Hahn Jr. Revealed

There's a series of tests that's administered to pregnant women in the 15th-16th week of pregnancy termed the triple test. The tests measure the levels of 3 hormones in the blood that are indicators of increased risk of cystic fibrosis, neural tube defects, and Down's syndrome in the developing baby. So I had the triple test done last week at my appointment and this week my doctor called to tell me that my results were abnormal, specifically that my risks of having a Down's baby were increased from 1/700 (average for someone my age) to 1/193.

Well, needless to say I was pretty alarmed by that news. However, the doctor said that if the test was given too early, then the results would be wrong. She had estimated my due date of Nov. 29th based on the standard pregnancy wheel which assumes that a woman ovulates on day 14-15 of her menstrual cycle. However, I knew that my cycles had been very long for the past 9 months and that I probably ovulated a week or two later. So it was highly likely that the triple test had been given too early. But she scheduled me for a sonogram so that the baby's developmental age could be more precisely calculated.

So I went in yesterday for the sonogram and it turns out that I was correct. The doctor measured the circumference of the head and abdomen, and the length of the femur to calculate the age of the baby. Turns out that Hahn Jr. is only 14 weeks old, instead of the estimated 16 weeks. Thus, I was only at 13 weeks when the triple test was given and the abnormal results are most likely false positive. So I'll have the tests redone probably in a week or two and my new due date is Dec. 11th.

But the coolest part of the whole experience was getting to actually see Hahn Jr. The first thing I could make out was the beating of his/her little heart. Jr. was wiggling around a lot, too. No wonder, because the doc was totally squishing my tummy. Below is a shot of Jr.'s foot as (s)he kicked in our direction. You can see the individual toes and the bones in the feet. Hmmm...I wonder if Jr. will have my long 2nd toe or Randy's BIG big toe.


Now here's a profile that Alfred Hitchcock would be proud of. The details are amazing. You can see the tiny nose and lips of Hahn Jr. Jr. is only about 9 cm (~3.5 in.) long at 14 weeks old right now. Teeny tiny, but he/she definitely looks like a little human. There was a second or two where Hahn Jr. looked like a boy, but I don't have the prints unfortunately. Hopefully, in a couple months we'll be able to tell. I'm not one of those people that want to be surprised after delivery. I'd like to be able to get as much shopping done beforehand without having to buy nothing but green and yellow.


Friday, June 11, 2004

Hahn Jr. Update

So I thought I'd give a little baby update, although I doubt I have many readers right now. As soon as I'm done with school, I'm planning to get back in the blogging groove. I promise! Anyway, I had my 2nd OB appointment yesterday. Nothing really happened at my first one except for a bunch of yucky tests, the details of which are not necessary to relate. But yesterday I actually got to hear the heartbeat of Hahn Jr.! It was a kind of rapid swooshing: 150 beats per minute. I haven't gained any weight yet, so after hearing the heartbeat I felt officially "pregnant." In a month, maybe sooner, I'll have to reoutfit my wardrobe.

My husband has been hoping for twins, actually praying for them, but I think that is not a possibility at this point. The doc said my uterus was too small at 14 weeks for twins and she only heard one heartbeat. I was kind of relieved because although it would have been fun (and stressful) to have two children to raise at the same time, the thought of carrying the extra weight and probably having a c-section did not appeal to me. So far my back has not been acting up and I hope it stays that way. Everything seems to be going well and I'm looking forward to starting to prepare the nursery.

I've read that the hearing of babies in utero is quite well developed by week 16. So yesterday while I was busy tending my flies, I began reflecting on the how the music I listen to might affect Hahn Jr. Would he/she enjoy the rollicking beats of "Rock the Casbah" or the Gipsy Kings, and dance along? Would the sounds of Beethovan or Mozart lull him/her into a peaceful sleep? How would he/she respond to the sound of my own voice singing? Will he/she be a music lover and perhaps develop a talent for dancing, singing, or playing a musical instrument? It's just interesting to think about how the external environment and the internal biochemical environment effect a developing fetus. But I also believe that each of us is born with distinct personalities and talents, and that our environment before and after birth can augment or attenuate these qualities. I guess this can best be summed up by "nature in addition to nuture."

Anyhoo, in 4 weeks I'll be having my first ulrasound and I'll definitely post pictures.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Rest in Peace, Mr. President, and Thank You

Although I was born in the mid 70's, Ronald Reagan was the first president that I clearly remember. I was too young to understand the ramifications of most of his speeches, but I remember being impressed with his radiant smile and gentle, but firm tone of voice. My grandfather, a lifelong Republican, donated some money to his presidential campaign in my name, and I was thrilled when I received a certificate of appreciation signed by the President himself. I was in junior high when he gave his famous speech at the Brandenburg gate in Berlin, and I was in awe at his moral courage. He said what everyone was thinking, but was too afraid to say. I will never forget his example of moral clarity.

My great-uncle recently died of Alzheimer's disease, and I remember how my aunt suffered at seeing his humorous and out-going personality diminish and disappear. I am sad at President Reagan's passing, but I'm cheered by the thought that he and his family are no longer suffering through what can only be described as a "living death." I imagine that on the other side, his personality has been restored and he might even be joking with his fellow residents of that other world.

Thank you for your service to our country, Mr. President, and may God bless you and your family.