Hold Please

Work. Woooooork. My apologies for being incommunicado this week but work things y’all. In technical speak, they went kablooey. Only time for quick updates:

  • Jas has, for the past two nights, woken us up around 4 in the morning with incessant, loud meowing. I think maybe something’s scaring her?  I walked around with her this morning, kissing her little head and rubbing her back, trying to find something that looked out of place or unusual. Couldn’t find anything (to be fair, I also didn’t look that hard at four in the morning). Luffy, on the other hand, just thinks she’s hungry and announcing her woes.
  • We got the crib mattress in! I got it unwrapped and into the crib yesterday afternoon. Then I put Jas in it – you know, to visualize a small infant in there. And to see what she’d do. It’s the small things really.
  • We’re going out of town this weekend for a friend’s birthday party. There will be lots of booze and food and festivities and I will …. try not to scare the children in a bikini. And also try to stay up past the hour of 10pm.
  • So after I got all uppity last week about the weather – we’ve had a cool front here and it’s been absolutely wonderful. Humidity is still high (as evidenced by my hair which is a giant wave of frizz right now), but I’ll take mid-80’s and humid over 100’s and humid any day.
  • Little Dumpling’s good! He’s kicking away in there and I think he got his first case of the hiccups last night!

Aaaaaand that’s all I’ve got folks. Back to the trenches.


Feel free to panic

I had my last second trimester check-up yesterday! It all went very well, although I’m waiting for the results of my glucose challenge screening test to come back. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the numbers look good and I can continue to eat chocolate and cinnamon rolls and ice cream a healthy and balanced diet. Little Dumpling is doing well in there, as far as we can tell. His heart beat was superb and my fundal growth is on track. He had a great time yesterday, what with all the sugar I had to consume, and on an empty stomach, for the glucose challenge. He partied it up in there.

And now, in response to my post title, there’s a key phrase up there in the first paragraph: “last second trimester check-up.” You see, as of Monday, I am officially in the third trimester, by any and all measurements. Holy cats, y’all. I mean, I know I was impatient at 25 weeks, but now…. NOW…. oh dear.

We bought his car seat about two weeks ago. I ordered it online after price shopping and was beyond excited when it was delivered. I promptly opened it up and then freaked out because THERE IS A CAR SEAT IN MY LIVING ROOM. For a child. An infant! Nope, nope, too real and with that I repackaged it and put it away for my mental health safe keeping. Then, we went and bought a crib and a changing table over the weekend. We assembled the crib Tuesday and I swear I’ve been focusing on Jas’ reaction* to the assembled thing because that’s the only way I can keep from freaking out over the fact that THERE IS A CRIB IN MY HOUSE. An assembled crib. Lacking a mattress, but still, a crib. Again, holy cats.

There are other signs, little clues:

  • The baby registry I have at Amazon rounds down how many weeks you have left (for instance, half way through week 20, it will say you have 19 weeks left to go), which seemed fantastic a couple of months ago. It now says 12 weeks left to go, which doesn’t seem to compute.
  • Yesterday, my doctor told me what my travel cut off is and I was surprised to realize that it’s actually not that far away. He also mentioned that I only have one check-up left before I start coming in every two weeks.
  • I have baby showers penciled in and people are starting to ask where we’re registered.
  • Everyone, and I mean everyone, is asking about his name. Do we have a name picked out? What are your favorite names? Does he have a name? A name? A name? NAME?
  • At the lab yesterday, another pregnant woman walked in to take her glucose challenge test as well. While she looked much more pregnant than me, I was shocked to overhear that she’s actually several weeks behind me.
  • While not exactly a scientific measurement, advertisements are now displaying events that take place after Little Dumpling’s due date.

All of these little things add up to one thing: I might actually have a baby. And soon. Really soon! See post title; panic at will.

*Absolutely adorable, by the way. She was fascinated by the whole assembly process, probably because it involved a very large box. After we finally got it assembled and left to go relax a bit, I overheard sounds coming from the bedroom. I went back there to discover her balancing in the middle of the crib (with no mattress, mind you, so she was just hovering on the frame). She then leaped for the railing, perched for mere seconds, before bounding off and scampering down the hall. I closed the door.

Furbaby Situation: An Update Part III

Little miss Jas had her re-check with the vet last week. She was not pleased at being taken back to the vet (again!), but she tolerated it well enough. I was a tad worried because I was taking her by myself this time and, thus, was the only one available to wrangle her into her carrier. We have an unusual carrier that zips from the top, which I love for many reasons, but also presents a challenge while trying to get her in it because she has three potential escape routes. I walked in the door Thursday evening and she jumped off her perch, stretched, and came to greet me. Using the advantage of surprise, I scooped her up and deposited her into the carrier, zipping it up before she even had a chance to meow in protest. So props to me!

Anyway, her re-check went swimmingly. They checked her thyroid, just as a precaution (because thyroid problems could masquerade as heart problems and she’s just so young to be having heart problems). They took x-rays again, which came back looking clear and normal. When they took her x-rays last time, they showed them to me, but I didn’t really know what I was looking at. I didn’t get to see a “normal” x-ray and then her bad one for comparison. This time though, the vet brought up her old x-rays as a comparison to the new ones and I was floored by the difference. To be perfectly honest, I’m glad I didn’t know how bad they were because I would have freaked out (even more than I was freaking out). I’m shocked she pulled through, that’s how dire her x-rays from a month ago looked. The poor baby had maybe, maybe, 40% lung capacity since even the “good” lung wasn’t at full capacity.

In the couple of weeks since we started her on the ACE inhibitor, she’s completely turned around. In fact, she’s doing so well that it makes me realize just how long she must have been dealing with this. I’m happy to report that she is once again her curious, perky, vocal self (I can 100% attest to this as I spent a good half hour in the wee hours of the morning listening to her mrowr and browr to herself this morning). Her prognosis is good and she’ll just need check-ups (with blood work) every six months to monitor her condition.

Yay Jas!! So happy to have you back!!

Switching gears to our other child, Luffy and I purchased the car seat this weekend! Momentous occasion! If only I could pop the champagne in celebration! Mind you, we don’t yet have a crib or a changing table or a diaper bag (or diapers), but I’m still feeling awfully accomplished.

In a flurry of activity, I went from having exactly zero showers lined up this time last week to having three lined up course of the week: my friends decided to host theirs late September (after adorably shooting for the first weekend in August), my mom decided to host a family get-together in my hometown, and my exercise circle is throwing me one in late August! Whew! So much love for Little Dumpling!

One last story to round out today’s post: I had a very #youknowyourepregnantwhen moment today.

I went to Target during my lunch hour, technically for hand soap, but came away with so much more, as per usual. On an end cap, I noticed that Milano started selling these little to-go packages of their cookies. I love me a good Milano cookie, but not really enough to buy a whole package. The to-go package had precisely three cookies and was impossible to pass up.

They were so irresistible, in fact, that I devoured all three cookies. In the car. In about two blocks. And then I got heartburn. #sademoji

25 weeks and impatient

I do love a nice, round number – 25 seems about right. 25 weeks down, 15 to go. It’s sort of crazy once you pass the 20 week mark and suddenly the countdown becomes shorter than the count-up.

Little Dumpling and I are doing wonderfully. I’m getting rather impatient for the third trimester. I keep thinking it will be next week (because 13 + 13 = 26) or I guuuueeeees maybe the next (because 13.3333 + 13.3333 = 26.6666 and fine, you jerk, you can round up), but for some reason it appears to be week 28.  I’d like to point out the fact that at 28 weeks, I only have 12 weeks left (or 30%) and something is clearly wrong with that math. This is what happens when someone decides to take something that lasts 40 weeks and divide it by three. Why not four? Or two? Or eight? I mean, we could have had nice even quadmesters or something, but no.

(On a side note – I just spent a good fifteen minutes trying to figure out why, exactly, pregnancy is divided into trimesters. I failed, but I did stumble across an article from American Pregnancy Association stating that the third trimester starts at week 26. Take that Baby Center and Mayo Clinic and all the other resources out there that say 28!)

Ahem – where was I?

Oh yes, Little Dumpling and I are doing great. Luffy finally felt him move, just a bit, Sunday evening. We were lying in bed and Luffy laid his hand across my stomach. Little Dumpling kicked several times, but I think Luffy may have only felt one or two. Still though – yay! As for me, I’m feeling him move a lot. I keep thinking he’s kicking strong enough to see from the outside, but have yet to prove that to myself (except for those corner-of-my-eye movements that are totally him!!!). I’m also getting a little antsy about getting everything ready for his arrival. Which is kind of crazy given I’m only 25 weeks along – 15 left to go remember?? I vacillate daily between relax, we have plenty of time and OH NOES I HAVE WASTED 25 WEEKS AND WILL NEVER GET EVERYTHING DONE IN TIME!!!!! When I get to that point, I remind myself that, really, Little Dumpling doesn’t need a whole lot to get a great start in life.

Luffy’s parents gave us a few outfits this past weekend, along with newborn mittens and socks. All of it is entirely too precious and I would have washed it all immediately if I had the right detergent. We let Jas sniff around in the gift as well (tbh, she was mostly interested in the bag) before we were completely terrible parents (both to Little Dumpling and Jas) and put the socks on her. She was …. not pleased. Totally worth it. I tried to console her with the tidbit that I hear firetrucks are totally the next trendsetting fashion statement and her picture might land her in Vogue. She didn’t believe me.


Furbaby Situation: An Update Part II

Well I finally have some good news to share on the furbaby situation: Jas seems to be responding very well to her heart medication (an ACE inhibitor, for anyone curious).

She’s been on it for almost two weeks now and has made several improvements. Her appetite has returned and, although she’s still not up to eating her meal in one sitting (like she used to), she does at least finish all of her food and seems eager for her next meal. She finished all of her salmon last night. She’s playing with her toys again, climbing into the tub again. She’s also sleeping with us, or at least visiting us at night, again. She’s vocal and perky and her eyes are bright (with some new gray furs in her face, I might add). She greets me when I come home and has resumed curling up for a nap in her normal spots (the kitchen window, for instance).

She had her blood work done last Friday and that came back looking just fine, thank goodness. (According to the drug info, the ACE inhibitor paired with the diuretic greatly increases the odds of complications, so we were glad to see that she seems to be handling it well.) The vet wants to see her back in another week or so for a second round of x-rays to judge the amount of fluid remaining in her chest cavity. She might get to come off the diuretic at that point, if she’s looking good.

We’re just so happy to have our darling girl back. As cliche as it sounds, I appreciate so much more, having thought we might lose her. Every time she decides to curl up with me, I’m reminded how lucky I am. Every time she visits me while I’m getting ready (a morning ritual of hers), I’m reminded of how much I missed these little routines and her presence. Every time she stretches out or curls up, I think back to just a few short weeks ago, when she could hardly do anything but lay in distress, and thank our lucky stars that she pulled through.

She’s by no means out of the woods yet and a diagnosis of heart disease isn’t the greatest outcome, but I’m so happy she’s doing better.

Furbaby Situation: An Update

It’s been a while since I updated you on Jas’ health. To be honest, I kept putting it off because I kept hoping that the next visit or test would give us a conclusive answer to her troubles. However, we still don’t really know much.

When we last left it, Jas’ aspirated fluid was headed for a lab for further testing and we were weighing the decision to get an ultrasound of her chest. As I’m sure you all realize with this sort of stuff: all of this takes time and there are plenty of delays as this needs two days and that needs to be scheduled in advance and we should hear back from them in three to four business days. I kept wanting to remind people that we were talking about her lungs and her breathing – THESE ARE VERY IMPORTANT ITEMS/FUNCTIONS!!! Ahem. So as Jas’ breathing got more and more labored, I got fed up with waiting for the lab’s results and decided to call (last Wednesday) to schedule her for an ultrasound. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, maybe the wait is just really long), the first available time slot for her was (last) Friday morning. I’m grateful for even that appointment because they moved other appointments around to get to her.

Her lab results came back last Thursday, while we were waiting on the ultrasound appointment. They offered a small amount of good news in that the lab didn’t find any malignant cells in the sample. The lab also suggested an ultrasound for the next step, which we had already set up for the very next morning. Perfect. We dropped Jas off at the vet early Friday morning for her ultrasound. The receptionist told us that we’d have results back the same day, or possibly Saturday. However, when the vet called later that day to tell me Jas was ready for pickup, she said that we’d have results back the following week (see above: time and delays). Preliminary interpretation by the sonographer revealed fluid build-up around Jas’ heart as well though. This was something the vet wanted to tackle immediately and thus she prescribed a diuretic to help relieve some of the pressure.

Over last week and weekend, Jas slowly made improvements. As I alluded to, I was seriously concerned for her at one point (Tuesday night, to be specific – I called the vet the next day to request the ultrasound). However, that was her lowest point. She seems to have stabilized some. She’s eating regularly (albeit only a little at a time). The diuretic seemed to really wear her out at first, but her energy levels have somewhat returned. At first glance, she seems perfectly fine, but there are little things we notice now. She doesn’t run or chase her toys. She rarely jumps up on anything (her tower, the bed, the counters, the tub). When she does jump, she hesitates for a good 30 seconds as (I assume) she gauges her body and whether she’ll clear the jump. But overall, she’s perky and vocal and her usual self (er, a somewhat more reserved version of herself – like she’s aged five years overnight).

We got her ultrasound results back on Monday. They were inconclusive, although ultimately rather bleak. The cardiologist noted abnormalities in Jas’ heart muscle, consistent with congestive heart failure, as well as a potential mass in front of her heart (though not conclusively a tumor, the cardiologist noted it could just be inflammation and fluid). However, in the cardiologist’s opinion, the abnormalities in her muscle weren’t great enough to be the complete source of the problem. The cardiologist also noted the fluid around her heart, which is really the biggest worry right now because the three primary causes of pericardial effusion are congestive heart failure, neoplasia (a specific type of cancer affecting the heart), and systemic infection. The cardiologist suggested starting Jas on a heart medication, as well as sending her x-rays to a radiologist for professional interpretation to hopefully answer the question about the mass. Our vet suggested holding off on the heart medication until we got a report back from the radiologist.

Which brings me to today. The vet called and had Jas’ report from the radiologist. Again, no definitive answer. The radiologist also noted a questionable mass, but remarked that it could just be a semi-deflated lung from surrounding fluid buildup and pressure. The radiologist also recommended heart medication.

So now we’re to the try-this-and-see-if-it-works stage of diagnosing her. With no definitive diagnosis on the table (and it’s not like we can open her up to see!), we’re going to treat her as if she has heart disease. She’ll get a medication to lower her blood pressure to make it easier for her heart to work. She’ll also continue to get the diuretic to pull the fluid out of her chest cavity. In a week, we’ll do blood work to make sure the heart medication isn’t killing her kidneys (literally, which shudder). In three or so weeks, we’ll do another chest x-ray to see if the fluid has drained from around her lung. If so and if she’s stabilized further on her medication, we’ll consider heart disease as the official diagnosis. If not, it’s likely a tumor invading her lungs and heart.

Which leads me to the future, or more specifically, our outlook for Jas’ future. She’s Siamese (as you can probably tell), which gives her a typical life expectancy of 15-20 years. At just five years old, I envisioned Jas around for many, many, many more years. This health scare has obviously changed that expectation. Even in the best case scenario (which, at this point in time, is heart disease), having heart problems at such a young age doesn’t bode well. And thus, Luffy has started to gently prepare me for the fact that my darling girl might not live to celebrate her 15th birthday, or even her 10th birthday. As he reminded me, we’ve already had five wonderful years with her and she’s truly done so much for me; any more time is just gravy – icing on the cake – a cherry on top.

PS (to end on a lighter note): back when we first found out Jas might need an ultrasound, I was scheduled for my Level II scan for Little Dumpling the very next day. I kept joking that I should bring Jas to the appointment and be like “oh yeah, here’s my cat – if you could just scan her too, that would be great! kthnx!”

Peace of Mom

So between Little Dumpling’s heart and Jas’ lungs, it’s been a whirlwind and somewhat scary couple of weeks. While I was fairly positive regarding Little Dumpling’s prognosis, there have absolutely been moments (multiple moments) when I truly feared for Jas. (Being pregnant doesn’t really help as it takes mere seconds for my calm, collected self to disappear and despair to set it.) Just last night, as I watched her pull deeply to breathe while laying down, I feared that she might not make it through the night. When I told Luffy that I was going to make a little pallet for myself in the living room (I wanted to sleep closer to her), he gently chided me and then drug our mattress into the living room so that I could watch over my baby. I have contemplated taking her to the emergency vet several times over the past few days, endlessly debating the she-looks-ok-but-what-about-now-or-now-or-now.

So you can probably imagine my deep relief when I pulled into our driveway after class Monday night and saw my mom’s car. Unbeknownst to me, she had planned all along to be here for Little Dumpling’s Level II scan Tuesday morning, for moral support. Then, when Jas starting going downhill, she decided to throw her plans for a surprise out the door (although it was still completely a surprise) and quite literally show up at our doorstep Monday evening. She wanted to check on her babies: me, Little Dumpling, and Jas.

Having my mom here brought me so much strength and peace. I instantly felt calmer (although still emotional) with her here. I had no fear going into the scan and was delighted that she got another opportunity to see the little boy. (Plus he’s grown so much since she last saw him!) We oohed and awed over him as he filled the screen and then breathed a sigh of relief together when the doctor assured us that everything looked just fine. Then, while I headed off to work*, she stayed at our house all day, keeping an eye on Jas, feeding her treats and noting when she ate. Such a relief. I selfishly wish I could have her here all week, just for extra peace of mind.

When I think about her visit, I get so overcome with emotion. I’m so grateful she made the drive to be here. I’m so grateful for her soothing presence during these worrisome times. I can’t thank her enough for everything and each time I try to I break down crying because it just means so, so much to me.

*Times like these are when I’m so conflicted about working outside of the home. To people like my boss, a pet’s illness is a mere inconvenience. Therefore, he doesn’t understand when I drop everything to take her to the vet or want to work from home to keep an eye on her (as if the mere fact that I’m present will keep her from going downhill). And yet, I’m also glad that I have somewhere to be and something to keep my brain occupied. I analyze her every breathe when I have too much free time and despondency lies that way.