Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stepping Out

I ran across this site with a bunch of quotes from famous (or halfway famous) folks and was surprised by the depth of a few. 
"Before I had my child, I thought I knew all the boundaries of myself, that I understood the limits of my heart. It's extraordinary to have all those limits thrown out, to realize your love is inexhaustible." - Uma Thurman

How true. And what a wonderful discovery!

As of April 3ish (21mos, 17.5 mos adjusted), Calder weighed 22.5 lbs. At first blush, this sounded pretty good to me – but when you go to the charts, which we inevitably always do, just to be SURE he hasn’t stopped growing altogether – you find that he’s still barely *on* the charts. Thankfully, I’m at a place where I really don’t mind. As long as he isn’t totally stagnant, or regressing, I’m feeling pretty content. He looks fine to me. Sometimes, and I admit I don’t have much of a barometer, he even looks big.

At this stage, we have also fortunately wrapped up our last Synagis shot (for real this time! And thank heavens.) and we are gearing up to take the man out into the wild, wonderful world. As anxious as we are for him to experience all the world has to offer – namely kids his age and normal kid entertainment around here, like the park – we have been very cautious about popping his bubble. Calder has now been cleared by his doctors for public introduction but not for playgrounds and other spots swarming with children without any measures in place that control for whether they’re sick or not.

As we await full clearance, however, we’re going to do what we can. This past weekend we headed to the DC zoo (yes, there was lots of keeping him from touching everything at kid-height and lots of handsan involved.) At one point, as we were leaving the lions, Calder became interested in a relief about his height of various zoo animals. As he ran his hands along it, another little boy, a bit older, walked up and put his hands on it as well, getting right next to Calder – apparently too close for Calder’s taste. He leaned over and gently pushed the kid on his arm! Me being a total newbie to the play environment, I’m thinking, what do I do here? Of course tell Calder he shouldn’t do that – do I also apologize to the parent? Make eye contact and shrug, “kids?” We tried to explain to Calder the concept of playing nice. Ha. Clearly, we have some socializing to do. Other parents have assured me that no kids under 3 have manners or social skills, that Calder isn’t the only one a little clueless about or at times uninterested in playing with other toddlers.

Miss Virginia has also started to take Calder to the library two days a week for story time. At his first visit, while all the other little ones sat calmly in their parents’ or nannies’ laps, Calder sped back and forth up to the reader, craned his neck so that he could get underneath the guy (since he was reading, looking down) and gave him a gigantic silly smile. Sounds like my son.

i see a cheetah!
Things haven’t been completely uneventful on the pregnancy front, unfortunately. Though the phenomenon is tough to describe, I experienced an intense bout of what I can only call itching beneath the skin underneath my shoulder blades and rib cage. These days I relate every last sensation to my doctors, but thinking it wasn’t urgent, sent a message rather than made a phone call. A few hours later the triage nurse dialed me up and asked whether I could come in immediately; there was concern the itching was related to a condition (cholestasis of pregnancy) that could seriously compromise the baby. Fortunately, the blood results came back negative and the itching episodes ceased, eventually, so guess we’ll never know.
cherry blossoms are not to be missed
aww, mom!
too cool for school in the center
Not too long afterward, one of my biweekly ultrasound visits showed a significant shrinking of my cervix, plus funneling, which led to one doctor passing me to the next, until I’d consulted with four, resulting in increased bed rest restrictions. This precipitated a discussion about steroids and if and at what point I should receive them. The steroids are most effective two to seven days after they are administered and are typically prescribed to women between around 24 to 33 weeks pregnant who are expected to deliver within seven days. The question is, how do you make that call? As one of the doctors said to me, it really requires a crystal ball. If the woman does not then deliver within that time frame, but another assessment determines the risk remains, she can get multiple doses. But what are the risks involved? Do they outweigh the benefits? How many doses are too many? None of the four docs seemed to have very good answers to these questions, although a couple of them essentially told me what I’d been reading online, that multiple doses aren’t generally recommended, and that there isn’t enough research on the subject (a common refrain.) 
Dad flies a mean kite

Though I shouldn’t be, I’m still regularly amazed in the difference in opinion of various doctors. I saw four doctors at the same practice each with a – sometimes drastically – different approach to a concern. That's when I turn to the net. For anyone reading this post considering corticosteroids (betamethasone and dexamethasone) for possible preterm delivery, I found one or two pretty good articles that provide basics and an overview, as well as a couple studies. A few reported documented negative effects, including a discussion of women getting the drugs needlessly, one stating outright that repeat doses are not recommended, while another pointed out that the positive effects are still present via multiple doses. Then there was a site that sorta put it all together, a combined discussion of several studies.  It was a lot to think about. Ultimately, we decided to forego the drugs for now.

happy man

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