Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our calculated risk assessment ~

M got a call today - the results of last week's testing are in...

~~our combined risk of Down's Syndrome (due purely to my age) went from 1:80 to 1:1500

~~our combined risk of Trisomies 13 or 18 went from 1:148 to 1:2800

So, it looks like NO amnio for us!! YAY!! To tell the truth, M was a lot less hesitant about it than we were, but we're all kind of relieved with these results. In lieu of the amnio, we will do another u/s at 20 wks, and one more at 28 wks, to check for heart defects, bowel obstruction, etc. The highest risk to the expectant mother with carrying a baby with one of these defects is pre-ecclampsia, so M will monitor her BP (which is normally low anyway).

YAY for GREAT news!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Today was our first OB visit!

It wasn't much, really, 'cause all OB patients start off with a visit with the nurse practitioner, but it was a start. We are 13w6d today... as I was on the way to Cary to meet M for lunch, Little Man called me from school and said he was feeling ill... so I picked him up. Well, I didn't have time to go back home, so I told him he had to come to the doctor with me. Given the nature of the visit, I chose to go ahead and tell him the truth about what's going on. He was intrigued... it was like all of a sudden this light went on and he started saying, "oh, that's why you..." and "is that the reason that...?" Amazing what he noticed and remembered!! He was fine with the addition of another child, though he was a bit disappointed to find out we think it's a girl. He said, "I just hope he grows a penis..." Oh, the things that kids say!! I'm going to go ahead and tell Middle Child about the baby on Thursday, then I'll tell the rest of the family next week and there will be no more cat in the bag!! If mom's gonna be pissed, she might as well do it now!

We went to TGI Fridays for lunch and then to the OB office; there was more paperwork to do (isn't there always?), then they took M back; they called me a while later and I left Little Man in the waiting room. Apparently part of the 1st OB visit is a physical, including a pap if that's going to be due during the pregnancy (which M's was). The NP's assistant came in and asked a bunch of historical questions, then the NP popped in to do the physical. Basically, we'll go every 4 wks until about 30 wks and then pick up the pace. I was a little surprised that they didn't even use the Doppler today, but M said she was using hers 2 days ago and everything is fine :) I wonder if I'll ever get to the stage where I'm NOT freaking out and thinking the worst??

Our next visit is June 25 (which worked out well 'cause that's Middle Child's b'day and I was planning on taking him to the mall to go shopping as that's what he asked for, so we'll go to the doctor's visit then up to Raleigh).

On a totally different front, I finally got the contract from AUC; apparently there are going to be 3 of us (me, Dr. S and Dr. M) working full time, and I'm coming in last, so I get the "almost full time" position, which will actually work very well. Dr. M isn't starting until late September, so I can pick up plenty of extra shifts until then, which will help pad the checking accounts for the surrogacy expenditures to come!! The job (normally) requires only 10 days/month by contract and even though it pays a little less, it's not proportionally less and actually works out to be more per shift!! The other benes are the same - 14 days vacation, 4 personal days, CE comp, liability and health insurance, clothing allowance, licensing, etc. The boys' dad is amenable to a change in our custody to a 7 on, 7 off schedule, so I will be able to work when the boys are at their dad's and be home when they are here! I can't wait! Actually, I start July 1... guess I need to tell L that I'm leaving CCAH. I LOVE emergency work and I am SO happy that I took this position!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Doodle-bops is a... Do you want to know? I mean, REALLY want to know??

Our nuchal translucency scan was today - it ended up being a 20+ minute u/s which was way cool, and they gave me a copy on DVD (well, they didn't exactly give it to me... I had to pay $10 for it, but it was WELL worth it!! LOL)

It was kinda funny at first - Dr. D (a real, live, board certified radiologist, NOT an u/s technician) came in, introduced himself to M and then asked who we were; so I said, "I'm S, this is my husband B and that's our baby". He asked us to clarify how the 3 of us were "sharing" this baby (I guess he was maybe wondering if B and I were adopting M's child... not sure what else he could have meant), so M said, "I'm just the incubator, this baby is genetically theirs." Once we got that issue cleared up, he explained to us what he would be looking for and the defects that could be picked up and the percentage of detection (85-95% for Down's, 80% or so for Trisomy 13 and 18) when they combine u/s and blood work results. Then he asked if we were interested in learning the gender, if it was apparent - well, uh, yeah, dude!! We came in rather hoping he could tell us!!

We finally got down to the interesting business... it was fascinating - we started out with a profile view -

Well, the doc knew in just a matter of seconds what we're having. If you know what you're looking for, it IS rather obvious - even to me... Ok, no guarantee since it's an u/s and only at 13 wks, but he said the evidence was clear, as far as he's concerned... do you want to know?? I mean, maybe it would be *fun* to make everyone else wait! As if I could keep my mouth shut! LOL But, I CAN drag it out for a while!!

The nuchal translucency measurement was between 1.1 and 1.3 mm; he said that at this stage, they don't get much thinner than that. He was looking for a value less than 2.5 mm - apparently babies with chromosomal defects tend to retain more fluid there between 11 and 14 weeks. He also measured the nasal bone - correlating nuchal translucency with nasal bone measurement increases detection of Down's from about 80% to close to 85%. Not sure why, but "he said so"! We looked at the heart which is beginning to form chambers; we saw the stomach, the bladder, watched blood flow in the umbilical cord and also inside the body; he measured the width and circumference of the Doodle-bops' head (22mm and 81mm respectively) which translated to 12w4d; the CRL was just over 66mm and that correlates to 12w6d - pretty much right on target!! We saw hands and fingers, legs and feet, facial features, the spine... the u/s lasted over 20 mins and I have it all recorded!! I watched it again on the way home, then B and I watched it on the big screen before dinner! LOL

After the u/s, we got to talking about amnio again - of course, we've been through this more than once - B and I are not too keen to take the risk, though the radiologist said it was about 1:1000 for inducing a m/c and 100% for detecting the most common chromosomal abnormalities. He stressed that, knowing what (if any) abnormalities were present would help if a decision were to be needed in the case of severe pre-ecclampsia or preterm labor... he told me that women carrying babies with Trisomies 13 and 18 are putting their own health at risk. So, B and I talked about it on the way home again; M is more than willing to go through with an amnio, as I've already told you. The radiologist told us today that HE would do the amnio if we choose to go through with it, and he seems more than capable. B is terribly concerned about the possibility of putting M's health at risk and, after seeing how much free fluid there was over the Doodle-bops today, he is leaning towards just going ahead and doing it. End result today was that we are going to wait until the results are back next week - they took a small sample of blood to run some tests - they will correlate those results with the u/s measurements, taking into account my age, and give us a calculated risk assessment for the Trisomies (13, 18 and 21). If the risk is at all high, then I guess we will be going ahead with the amnio. Now, the radiologist DID say, that if we opt to NOT do the amnio, he would like to do 2 more u/s - one at 18-20 wks and another at about 24 wks - he said that other abnormalities can become more evident as the baby grows - heart defects, bowel obstruction, etc. So, we will consider everything, talk to M and make "an informed decision." M suggested the possibility of doing a 2nd u/s at 18 wks (if we are unsure about doing an amnio), leaving us the option of still doing the amnio (they prefer to do it between 14 and 19 wks) if anything is "off"... I guess that might be a way to go...

The radiologist DID find an old spot of hemorrhage, across the uterus from the placenta. Today it measured approximately 1" x 2" so it's not huge... he said it's "old" and may be resolving. He wants to watch it... said he doesn't worry about them much the first half of pregnancy, but if they persist, they can rub against the amniotic sac, irritating it and causing it to release prostaglandins which can incite preterm labor. So, if it doesn't reabsorb or pass out of the uterus, then he will recommend M limiting her physical activity in the 3rd tri. Let's just hope for resolution.

He did ask M if she had had any bleeding; B encouraged her to tell him about the clear fluid that she passed on Sunday night. He said that was good - that as a hematoma "processes", the serum separates from the clot and can be passed as relatively clear, odorless fluid. He said that is a good sign, as it means the hematoma is resolving. When I told the WIMs about it, our resident nurse agreed. Hearing that from the 2 of them made me feel much better. Of course, the only thing I could come up with what that the amniotic sac was leaking... and that would be BAD at this early stage. But, the Doodle-bops seems to have plenty of water in the pool at this point!

Our first OB visit is next Tuesday, though I think it's just with the nurse practitioner. Hopefully we'll get in soon for a "real" doctor's visit, but I guess it's not a biggie if M is doing alright! The peri said things looked great today, and that was a HUGE load off my mind. I am going to tell our family the first week of June. I hope it goes well... but like with most other things, if they have a problem with it... it's THEIR problem, not mine. I'm happy about it... scratch that... I'm freakin' thrilled about it!!

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot... I was going to tell you the Doodle-bops gender... well, we of course will ask for further confirmation, and we will definitely have it if we go through with the amnio, but right now, we're preparing for an infusion of pink in our house!! What could possibly be cooler than that??

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Inducing lactation is going to bit a bit more expensive than I thought...

I ordered my BCPs and Domperidone from In-House Pharmacy - I've got right at 6 mos to induce lactation; I wanted to wait until we got to the end of the first trimester to order the meds - I spent $140 and I'll probably have to re-order at least once, if not twice!! Oh, well - it will MORE than be worth it to be able to breast feed the Doodle-bops!! I have the supplementation system and I *think* M is cool with pumping for us for a while... I know B is going to want to give her some bottles so he can be involved.... I can't wait!! I am SO thrilled! I do hope the rest of my family takes the news well - I'm not even looking for excitement (though that WOULD be nice), I just don't want lectures and bitching, kwim??

**Freaky stuff**

I've had a few instances these past couple of weeks, when I'm lying here in bed, waiting to fall asleep, just thinking about the Doodle-bops - and I feel abdominal flutters, like little baby kicks. So, it amuses me to consider these a result of my psychic link to the Doodle-bops (even though I'm sure it's just gas bubbles... LOL!) Well, this morning (middle of the night), I woke up to cramps low in my abdomen (cervical proximity); of course I did NOT want to think of this as a psychic link because cramps aren't a good sign. Imagine my surprise (and shock and panic) when M called me at lunchtime to tell me that she woke up at 2am with cramps and feeling "moist"!! She got up to investigate and found her sleep shorts wet with a clear fluid and a little blood; she freaked out and grabbed the Doppler - Doodle-bops heartbeat was strong and steady, but she called the OB anyway (didn't want to wait until morning and then have them say "you should have called last night") - basically they told her there was nothing they could do at this point and she should call the OB's office in the morning. They had her come in for a check and said that all seems fine- they have no explanation for what happened and said that maybe the detailed u/s of the peri on Wednesday might shed some light on the goings-on... who knows? The important thing is that the Doodle-bops is looking good!!

We talked for a while last night and she said she's going to have to find a way to keep our mother out of her house until we spill the proverbial beans; M was sick this weekend, so Mom was over helping with the kids (both furred and non-furred) - she found M's discarded syringes in the trash and asked what they were from. That was easily explained away as a clean out from crap brought home from the office - THEN Mom found the estrogen rings that were in the fridge - M played that one off as well - "hmmmm.... I wonder why I put those in there? What they hell ARE they?? I'm sure I'll remember soon." One of the knots on her hip had finally erupted (draining ANOTHER 20 or so ccs of oil...) and it started oozing when they were at the grocery store; when they got back to M's house, Mom told her that there was a wet spot on the back of her shorts - M said that she had backed into something in the produce department! Poor dear! How stressful for her! But she handled it well, considering how sick she was!! When Mom commented that I was going to "owe her big time" for feeding Binki these last 2 wks, M's first thought was "you have NO fucking idea!" Oh, well.... 2 more weeks and I will spill all. It seems that my dear sister and darling husband have decided to sacrifice me to save their own hides - they seem to be of the mind that I am the only one who really NEEDS to be there to tell our parents. How terribly thoughtful of them! We'll see how it pans out! I'm not scared! Does that make me stupid?? LOL I guess time will tell. But, just in case Mom DOES flip out, I'm going to wait until AFTER my grandmother's 90th birthday dinner... I do NOT want to be responsible for ruining THAT!

Working today was a DUMB idea! Why is it that I think I'm invincible?? Or maybe it's just that I hate to say "no" - somehow I feel it's MY responsibility to solve everyone's else's problems. That's how I ended up working every day that week before our cruise, including the day we actually left!! I really need to work on that!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Whew!! I need a vacation to recover from our vacation!!

We're finally home!! As much as I enjoyed the cruise, I'm glad to be back in the "real" world!! We did have a great time, though - all of us! Especially the 2 younger boys! They're already asking where we're cruising next year! I hate to tell them, but I doubt we're cruising anywhere that soon after the Doodle-bops gets here. Of course, they still don't know about the Doodle-bops... a couple more weeks and we'll tell them... Anyway, they did their share of fighting and other crappy stuff (Middle Child kept "ditching" Little Man for the first few days, but we got that worked through). The boys were all pretty much allowed to be on their own, so it was great fun for the younger 2 - where could they go?? (except for overboard but I steadfastly REFUSED to let my mind linger on that - though I'd be lying if I said that it never crossed my mind, especially if I went for hours without seeing one or both of them) Middle Child and Little Man both signed up for Circle C (Carnival's kids' club), they made a bunch of new friends and got to do all kinds of stuff - treasure hunts, Guitar Hero competitions, ice cream eating contests, movie night, swim time, water wars, disco night, etc. Carnival really has a fantastic program for kids! It lets the adults have time to themselves, and gives the kids plenty to do! Believe it or not, if you're not a heavy drinker, those days at sea can get b-o-r-i-n-g!!

Our cabin was nice - a double bed, sofa, dresser/vanity, mini bar, TV, balcony

The boys was a little simpler, but plenty big for the 3 of them - for all the time they spent in there. They were right across the hall from us and had stationary twin beds and then upper bunks that dropped down from the ceiling - the steward dropped one of them down the first night - of course the younger 2 fought over who got to sleep in it. I got Middle Child to give in and let Little Man have it that first night - I told them they would have to alternate, but after the 1st night, Middle Child was always up top. Apparently it wasn't an issue since Little Man never complained to me about how unfair it was, and we all know that he's not shy about complaining!!

Our cabin steward took good care of us - kept the cabins clean and stocked - and made us towel animals every night!! I fell so in love with them that I bought the book on how to fold them - I told B that the Doodle-bops will "need" towel animals in her bathroom!!

Our first day at sea, we explored the ship... B and I decided early on that we would take the stairs over the elevator - the exercise would do us good (especially with food available 24/7). Our cabin was on the Upper Deck (level 5) - the main dining room (for dinner) was on Level 3, the cafe was on the Lido Deck (level 9) along with the pools. We did spend a little time out in the sun, but it's pretty intense in the middle of the ocean. However, I am pretty maxed out on my exposure - I lay out with no sunscreen and didn't burn, even after being out there for hours at a time. Oh, well... guess I just can't get as dark as I used to!! The 2 younger boys opted out of the "formal" dinner that first night (even though dress was termed casual) - after all, with a pizzeria that was open 24/7, why in the world would you need to go to a real restaurant?? So, it was just the adults.... which turned out to be for the best!! Our table was lovely - right beside a huge circular window with a beautiful view of the sea. The party at the table immediately to our side was a group of 3 young-ish (late 20s or early 30s) "gentlemen" and 1 "lady" (please note... I use these terms VERY loosely!!) - that first night, 3 of them showed up and the 4th (male) wandered in a little later. Now, I said that dress was "casual" but the "Carnival Capers" (their onboard newsletter that was delivered to our cabin daily, listing the day's activities) also specifically said "no shorts" - this guy (with his shaved head and pierced ears) showed up in baggy shorts (the kind that almost but not quite covered his ass crack), a wife beater and some soft of sneakers (not tied, of course). His appearance really wasn't the problem... he was absolutely TRASHED. Which, in and of itself, was not the problem either - but he was loud and profane. Everything was "fuck this" or "screw that" or "goddamn it" etc. He was so trashed that he couldn't read the menu and the girl ended up just ordering for him. To top it all off, the girl vomited into her plate during the main course, and then he nearly vomited on the floor shortly thereafter. Well, we survived it, but I would have been M-A-D if the younger boys had been there. Midway through the torture, B asked our waitress (a lovely lady from Czechoslovakia) if it was possible to change tables; she told us that we could ask the Maitre 'D to switch us, and then later came back to ask WHY we wanted to move (I guess maybe she was worried that it was something that SHE had done to upset us), so B filled her in. She immediately reported it to the dining room manager, who then spoke to the Maitre 'D. Shortly after the vomiting/near vomiting incidents, the party left... and once they were gone, both the manager and the Maitre 'D came to our table to apologize and tell us that they were going to handle the matter. They had spoken to the group as they were leaving and told them that this behavior would not be tolerated as they were disturbing other guests; they assured us if it recurred, the offenders would be escorted from the dining room and refused further entry. To their credit (the offensive ones), they stayed away for 2 nights, then showed up once again, but they were subdued and unobtrusive; they didn't eat much at all - the general consensus of the surrounding tables was that they showed up as a snub to us... oh, yeah, that really "showed" us! After that, they didn't turn up in the dining room again, though I seemed to run into them everywhere else, both on and off the ship. I also want to mention our waitress' assistant - a young man from Indonesia - he was amazing as well... You know, B just doesn't like people, and he'll be the first to admit that he's an asshole, but he was SO impressed with the dining room staff that he took the time to write the ship's Captain a letter commending them (he wrote it in the tone of "one general to another") - the next day, our waitress thanked us, saying that both she and her assistant were going to receive commendations in their employment files because of his letter; the Maitre 'D came by as well as the dining room manager, who said that in the last 10 years no one had written a letter like that about the dining staff. So, we were the big shots after that and the staff really went out of their way to indulge us and the boys (when they chose to show up - I told them that they each had to come at least once, though First Born came every night - even if he DID always order the jumbo Angus burger... LOL).

Day 2 was in Grand Cayman - we had booked the Pirate excursion, which the boys enjoyed (B found it lame, go figure) - a group of men dressed as pirates took us for a mini sail on a faux pirate ship, where they issued scrub brushes and tooth brushes to the kids and made them "swab the deck"... after the fun and games, they anchored for swim time. The boys loved the ocean - it was so clear and as flat as glass. I had an upset tummy all day, so I didn't swim, but I did get a little sun time in.

After the Pirate Adventure, we took a mini tour of the island - the boys got to see the Turtle Farm through the fence (not too exciting of a tour - I've done it - they would have been bored stiff),

and we went to Hell (First Born mailed T a postcard from there) for pictures - it is MUCH more commercial now than it was the last time I was there. Of course, that's been over 20 years, so I could hardly expect it to be the same, right?? Wish I could find my pics from those days - wonder if they're in the attic?? I might have to check...

but I digress... We did a little shopping - the boys got some souvenirs, then we were back on the boat. We set sail in the late afternoon for...

Cozumel on Day 3. No excursion booked, but we picked up a snorkel package on the island; they took us to a "club" on the north side of the island (Club Cozumel Carib) to snorkel. The water was beautiful, there were tons of fish (some of the schools were borderline aggressive - swimming up and around us; cool for viewing but I was worried about them deciding to bite - flashbacks to my dive trips to Grand Cayman where my dive buddy was attacked by a school of fish - guess they're used to being fed?) but the current was too strong for B's comfort (he's cool up in the air but not so fond of water) and he bailed after the first go-round. Middle Child and Little Man did a few more passes then drifted just offshore looking for shells; First Born stayed in, fighting the current, for so long that he limped for 2 days! Silly boy!

Again, we left late afternoon; our next stop was -

Belize on Day 4... a 3rd world shit-hole. Thankfully we did have an excursion booked here - but it was a 90 minute bus ride on a crappy, hot bus over chewed up roads...REAL pleasant!! We went through the Savannah and into the rain forest - we got suited up and did the zip line traverses... it was cool; the boys loved it. Like most fun things, it ended all too soon!! And then we had to suffer the bus ride back!

Again, we left late afternoon (I'm seeing a pattern here...) and set sail for -

Isla Roatan, Honduras on Day 5 - our last port of call... another impoverished shit-hole - oooohhhhh... shades of El Salvador!! The taxi drivers wanted $25 per person to go the 5 miles to the beach!! Uh, I don't think so! So, instead, we did some shopping and got back on the boat!! B and I lay by the pool - the boys ran off to play - I didn't feel like we missed much!! I wish I had booked an excursion in Roatan, but having never been there, I didn't realize how bad it would be!!

We left Roatan fairly early and our next day was -

At sea again, Day 6. The night before, First Born had asked me to take him to the casino. I got him $100 in chips and he plopped down at a Black Jack table. After about 30 minutes, he seemed totally comfortable and I asked him if he was comfortable with me heading out, because the smoke was killing me. I came down later to see how he was doing, and he handed me $105 in chips - he was up by about $140 at that time! Amazing!! Trouble is, he has yet to learn when to quit!! He spent a good part of Saturday in the casino and in the end, had only a $5 chip to his credit. He did make a valid point, though - he didn't lose anything... he just didn't leave with any winnings! It could have been worse!! I did the majority of the packing Saturday night so we could just throw the toiletries and pjs in the bags and go - we had to get off the ship pretty danged early. In a way that was good, 'cause the drive home was pretty long.

We were up early today and finished packing - off the boat by 8:30 and in the car heading out of Tampa at 9am; we made a few stops for gas and pee breaks; picked up lunch at a Subway inside a gas station (just like we did on the way down) and were at home before 7pm. I didn't even try to unpack, though we did bring everything inside. I have to work tomorrow, but I'm off the rest of the week and will deal with the dirty laundry, etc. later!!

So, that was our "big adventure" - I'm sure we'll be taking the kids on another cruise before too long - it really was a great option and they had a wonderful time. We just need the Doodle-bops to get a little bigger! I don't want to try a cruise with a 6 month old! I'm a bit wacky, but not totally insane!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

It was STUPID of me to think...

... that working this entire week was a good idea!! I am frazzled, to say the least!! WHEN am I going to get the packing done?? WHEN am I going to get the house cleaned?? HOW am I ever going to find the time to get ready for this "vacation"?? I'm going to have First Born drop the dogs at the kennel because I just don't have the time to do it. I'm working all day, out of town, and then have to come home and do laundry, do dishes, etc. I am T-I-R-E-D!! No, scratch that... I'm exhausted (I'm even too tired to back up and put that in all caps). Oh, well... I surely do love B, but he seems to want a SAHW, yet he wants me to carry a full time job as well. I'm good, but not THAT good!

Luckily I did think to write out packing lists for the boys - Little Man and Middle Child have both pulled all of their clothes and have lists of what they're lacking so we can go shopping tomorrow after I get off work; First Born has been procrastinating in true teenage style, but has been told that he MUST have it done before I get home tomorrow. I'm sure he'll do it - he's just not gonna do it until the last minute! Typical for him... I guess that I'll try to get my own clothes packed after we get back from Walmart; not sure when B's going to pack his clothes, but I suppose I'll leave that to him to figure out. He'll probably want to take his own bag anyway - for whatever reason he doesn't seem to like to share with me. Whatever, dude... I don't have time to worry about petty shit like that.

Back to the work issue... I've had about enough of Dr. What's-His-Name and hope that I can get things worked out soon at AUC, 'cause I think my time at CCAH is drawing to a close. I love so much about it, but I just don't deal with him well - and his decision to schedule 3 surgeries for himself, on MY big surgery day, so he could come down and contaminate one of the surgery suites, leaving me with only one to work out of - smack in the middle of the day, no less... well, you could say that it pissed me off royally! Of course, me being me, I made NO bones about it - even he knew I was pissed and was smart enough to not speak to me and to leave me the hell alone. Seems like HE'S planning on staying at CCAH, but it's not entirely clear whether or not J is "reading from the same sheet of music" to quote Dr. K himself.

M seems to feel fine, though she hasn't attempted the Doppler in the last few days. Uh, hello!! WHAT?!? I'd be checking in on the Doodle-bops every single day... whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop... ok, you're doing alright - check in on you tomorrow!! She's altogether too calm for me - but then, that calmness has also kept me sane for the last 9 weeks, so it's not all bad!! We're about out of the high risk stage - our risk of m/c now is down in the single digits, so I think we're just about clear!! I can't wait until the nuchal! I hope we can determine gender; of course, that's a double edged sword of sorts, because the only way to really "know" that early is if it's a boy, and we both feel that this is a girl - but I think that's 'cause I already have 3 boys and so naturally WANT a daughter. Honestly, I'll be thrilled with any flavor of baby...

Well, I'm going to bed, 'cause morning comes entirely too early these days!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More of the same

Apparently Saturday nights are just tough at AUC - I had another no-sleeper!! I don't mind the true emergencies - what get on my nerves are the people who call in and then wait hours before showing up!! Like the twit that called at 11:30pm, saying that her beagle was in labor, and then showed up at 2:30am with a sac hanging out of her vulva, demanding a c-section. We did it, and it cost her $1,500; it's not good to piss me off!

I slept for 2 hrs after I got home, then Chris called; he apologized for being cranky this morning when I called (at his request) to make sure he was awake so he could move his car - no problem, but then I was wide awake. B was supposed to be back early from Goldsboro, so I freaked out seeing that it was 1pm and he was nowhere to be found; he didn't answer his phone, so then my exhausted mind was worrying that he had had an accident on the way home. But, by the time I got done brushing my teeth, he was calling back; he was late leaving G'boro b/c he figured I was sleeping anyway; he urged me to go BACK to sleep for a bit since I have to work days all this coming week. I dozed off just as I heard him come in the front door, and was out COLD until 6pm!! He made me dinner and now we're just chillin' out. I've got the laundry about done and need to make the boys packing lists so we can get everything together this week - I'm sure we'll need to do some shopping before we leave - I don't think that Little Man has any beach shoes and he may need a new pair of swim trunks; who knows what First Born will need?? Middle Child just got a bunch of new clothes, but he WILL need some flip flops or sandals or something of that sort.

We leave on Saturday evening to head for Tampa; we'll drive until fairly late at night and then stay in a hotel - that way we won't have to get up at the crack of dawn to head out. We can board the ship as early as 1:30pm, but there's no reason to get to Tampa too early though I guess we COULD go out to lunch or something...

Once we get back from the cruise, it's just a matter of a few days until our Nuchal!! I live for these little milestones! I'm doing alright in between, but as we get closer and closer to reaching 15 weeks, I feel less and less anxious. I still worry, from time to time, that the Doodle-bops will just fade away, but M is checking on her with the Doppler and she seems to be doing great!! We'll be 13 wks exactly at the Nuchal and there's a possibility that we MAY be able to determine gender! Oooh... think P-I-N-K!!