Saturday, May 31, 2008

Homecoming!

Miles Linus is home! He is just so darn cute, I had to litter the post with pictures. For even more (yes, there is more), here is the updated link to the smugmug albums: http://haywoodjb.smugmug.com. (I recognize this is more for family and any obsessed Miles Linus fans. It's tempting to put them all on the blog, but I'll spare you the overly proud mama post.)

It's been a couple of days since we have been home, but we haven't had much sleep, hence a lack of posts. Going to and from the NICU was exhausting, but feeding and pumping around the clock is even more exhausting. Plus, I don't get out of the house like I did when going to the NICU all of the time. Because Linus (oops, Miles...he'll go by both I guess) is so small, I have to pump after each feeding and have taken on a full time job as walking zombie milk machine. There is something quite appealing, now, of the cultures that are okay with the women walking around sans shirts. It would make my life a lot easier.

Here are some shots of us leaving the hospital, and a video of our first at home diaper change. (The changing pad location is no longer our coffee table; you must remember we were not prepared to bring home a baby for another 6 weeks! Miles Linus slept through the entire assembly of his chest of drawers / changing table today.) video

Some random thoughts on my post-pregnancy (note: this is not meant to be commentary on what every pregnant woman feels/experiences):

  • You really do get labor and delivery amnesia. Just a distant memory...especially when you see a face like this staring back at you every day:
  • Caring for a baby is just as tough as they make it out to be, but worth every single moment. And by "no sleep," they really mean NO sleep. You have to get cat naps when you can: (please note that the hairy chest is NOT mine! ha ha)
  • Selling a condo and buying a house after you actually deliver is not recommended. Yup! We sold and bought while caring for a preemie in the NICU. Try squeezing in looking at houses in between NICU visits was not in my discharge paperwork. It got to the point that I had to go topless in the back of my father-in-laws van and pump on the way to see houses. Love the in-laws to death, but I realized at that point that there was not one shred of privacy that I was able to maintain. Needless to say, Eric had to assuage my exhaustion and crying spell so I could press on and look at houses.
  • Speaking of breastfeeding:
    • breastfeeding a preemie (or perhaps any infant?) is not completely intuitive. For me, it has been agonizingly hard at times, but the private time I have with Miles is priceless.
    • breastfed baby poop doesn't smell! (But it looks like mustard.)
    • not all women get the insatiable hunger with breastfeeding. My appetite has strangely waned, and I am back on a bagel and limeade diet.
    • breast feeding has contributed to one heck of a body. Interestingly, there really was more than 4lbs 9oz of baby lost on the day of delivery. I had lost well over 10lbs with the birth, and within days am happy to report that I am less than 10lbs from pre-pregnancy weight (not pre-pregnancy fitness). I do attribute this good fortune to being in pretty good shape prior to pregnancy, great genes, and (sadly), having 6 fewer weeks of pregnancy (something that I would not opt over a full term baby if I had the choice).
  • Strangely, I have noticed a "linea negra" on my belly. I guess it was there all of the time, but it didn't appear until recently. Don't know what it is? This is when the "mom" in me is going to tell you to get out the encyclopedia (or just Google it).
  • Little boys really do like to christen you whenever possible. Miles even did it to the nurse at the pediatrician! He's all boy...and even loves the whole "hands in the pants" thing (thanks Grand Nana for the preemie outfit, half of which is seen here.)

A fun hiccups video!

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Eric's Second Post (secret)

I am now trying to figure out our new camera. It takes some great pics, but I am still figuring out all of its subtleties. Please be patient with me as I have no talent at these kinds of things...



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Please tell me what I can do better other than 1. Have better sound, 2. Get movies while Miles is actually doing something, or 3. Have some with him at home

"I'm 'out' like a preemie..."

That is our new favorite phrase. For anyone who has ever dealt with a premature baby, you can attest to the fact that they love to sleep. It is amazing how instantaneous deep sleep happens for the special "ultra little ones." This, of course, makes sense given the fact that they were supposed to be sleeping for an additional "x" # of weeks (6 in Miles's case). Now, we wake them up every 3 hours, make them work for food, prick their heels, do physical therapy on crooked feet, try to initiate breast feeding, change clothing, etc. It's a lot of stimulation, and if they are not sneezing, hiccuping or putting their hands in front of their faces (all signs of over stimulation), they are fast asleep, not even disturbed by the chaotic noises in the NICU.

We had hoped to have Miles Linus home with us for Memorial day, but he is having some trouble maintaining his temperature, and his darn bilirubin level has gone back up. We are hoping the phototherapy is not started again, as it means he'll be there longer, and it also makes it harder for him to be alert for feedings, but we trust that whatever the neonatologist says is backed by sound information.

Again, thank you for continued support. It's overwhelming. We have been lucky to have had many of our meals taken care of (one of the biggest helps!), and hope that soon we'll have Miles at home to thank you all in person!

Until next time, we are "'out' like a preemie..."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday pictures


Overwhelmed, yet? I am sure it will get worse once we get our new camera...

Miles is doing well...just needs more time to grow.

More pics found at:

http://haywoodjb.smugmug.com/gallery/4988068_UZvDJ#299002080_5673r

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eric's First Post

This is Eric's first attempt at blogging, and since I am an awful writer compared to the prose of my eloquent wife, I will try to post a video or two. We will have a better camera soon so expect some much better stuff. Once he is home, the quality will be better as well.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Miles's 4th day

First, a warm thank you to everyone for their prayers, thoughtful messages, and eagerness to help out as Eric and I are just about thrown into the biggest challenge of our lives. We were a bit eager in thinking that Miles Linus would be home Sunday or Monday, but it appears he'll be hangin' out in the NICU for an undetermined amount of time. Each baby is individual, but the general NICU rule of thumb is: expect him home around his due date. Great. There are the 6 weeks of my maternity leave! He is off oxygen, and does not require any medication. He is still on IV nutrition, but is gavaged fed whatever I can produce at this point. Miles is already concerned about the ladies (he has a hot 2lb girl in an isolet next to him. We call her Kitty Kat because she cries like a kitten), and decided he wanted to tan. So, he is under the bili lights until his jaundice clears. (The little velcro sunglasses he wears are way cute).

Given that I have been discharged, Eric and I are trying to be at the NICU as much as possible. He feeds every 3 hours, so 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm, midnight, 3am...he feeds. And in between? We are driving back and forth to the hospital, and I am pumping what I can to give him. Currently, I am in the waiting area downstairs, trying to catch some downtime before I hole up in the pumping room again. (Too much information? Be glad I haven't gone into the labor and delivery story! I am more than happy to share 1 on 1. Let me just say that my pregnancy was *rough,* but I was blessed to have an incredibly fast and clean labor/delivery from what the critics say.) We are trying to follow lactation's recommendations and avoid introducing a bottle as long as possible and we are working on latching-on like it is my job. Well, it is! He is slowly catching on...but I guess he thought he had another 6 weeks before working so hard.

Again, thanks to everyone for their help. We were so lucky to have CD and KM on the "labor team." Most importantly, my husband has been amazing through all of this. For a kid hoping the child would be born at 2 years old so he could skip that scary "infant stage," he is taking on to being a father of a premature baby quite well. We have both confirmed that we are more and more in love with each other than we have ever been.

I am glad that my in-laws came right back down, along with my mother, from lands far away...and they had just been in town a week before! We appreciate all of the support, and know that it is going to be a tough couple of weeks, but we feel blessed to have such great friends.

Given the insanity of our schedules trying to care for a premature baby that is not in our home, we will have limited access to e-mail, internet, and phone as we cannot use them in the NICU. Please don't take any lack of communication personally.

We'll post more pictures, and hope that sooner than later, we can have a "coming home" picture!

Friday, May 16, 2008

First picture

Right after he made his appearance at 12:36am. 4lbs and 9oz of pure hotness.

More pictures of the night can be found at:http://haywoodjb.smugmug.com/Births

Better pictures to follow.

And Miles Linus Heintz makes THREE

More details to follow, but unexpectedly, Ali started leaking amniotic fluid. A few hours later, she delivered a 4lb, 9oz baby boy named Miles Linus Heintz! More news to follow. Baby is doing well in the NICU, and Ali and Eric are already learning what it means to be sleep deprived.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Appendix A: Shower Video Footage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQcL7tByngQ

I don't even know how this was taken (Sully's camera?), but it is for all of you requesting preggo shots. You can get the full "bus/cow" experience (there are a slight few who understand that reference due to a recent e-mail chain of fun), and how shocked we were at receiving the print as a gift.

This is an Appendix to the shower post, so no gratitudes (although, I am thankful the AC at work is on high), but I would like to mention that there have been 2 people who have guessed the Welsh middle name--and they did not conspire together--they don't even know each other. Unfortunately, it may not be the one making the cut.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Scrumdiddly

CD was kind enough to send on some of the recipes from the shower. I love tea sandwiches, and with my inability to eat large foods at one time, they are perfect for preggos!

TEA SANDWICH SAMPLER

Cheddar and Chutney

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 T mango chutney such as Major Grey's
  • 16 slices (2-1/2-by-2-1/2-inch) dark pumpernickel cocktail bread, such as Rubschlager
  • 4 oz aged sharp cheddar, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Spread a thin layer of chutney on 1 side of each bread slice. (You will use 1 T per sandwich or 1 1/2 t [1/2 T] per slice of bread.)
  • Top 8 slices with a layer of cheese (about 1/2 oz per slice) and close sandwiches with remaining 8 slices of bread. Let sit about 30 min before serving to allow flavors to meld. Serve sandwiches whole, or if you like, slice each sandwich in half on the diagonal.

Lemon, Cucumber and Hummus

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 slices white bread
  • 1/2 medium English cucumber (about 5 oz)
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 6 T hummus

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Use a rolling pin to flatten each slice of bread.
  • Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice cucumber into paper-thin rounds, about 1/16 inch thick. Place slices in a medium mixing bowl, and toss with salt. Place cucumber slices in a colander or sieve set over a mixing bowl; let drain for 15 to 20 min.
  • Meanwhile, using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice lemon into paper-thin rounds, about 1/16 inch thick, removing any seeds as you go. Set slices aside.
  • Spread 1 T of the hummus evenly on one side of each slice of bread.
  • Lightly blot cucumber slices with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Shingle cucumber slices over hummus on 3 slices of bread—you should use roughly 10 to 12 slices on each sandwich. Top cucumbers with a layer of lemon slices (about 4 slices per sandwich).
  • Close sandwiches with remaining slices of bread. Trim the edges again. If making tea sandwiches, cut each sandwich into 4 squares, and serve.

Tomato, Avocado, Pesto


INGREDIENTS

  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Pesto

INSTRUCTIONS

  • (There were no instructions for this tea sandwich, but my guess is to spread pesto on bread, put some avocado and tomato on it, too!)

Lemon-Tarragon Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lbs grilled chicken
  • 3/4 C finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 C plus 3 T mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C finely chopped red onion
  • 2 T chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t grated lemon peel
  • 12 slices rye bread with seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mix celery, 1/2 C mayo, onion, tarragon, lemon juice, and lemon peel in large bowl to blend.
  • Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes; stir into mayo mixture
  • Season with salt and pepper (can be made 4 hrs ahead. Cover; chill)
  • Arrange 6 bread slices on work surface. Spread with 3 T mayo. Divide salad among bread slices. Top each with lettuce and second bread slice. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

SALAD RECIPES


Bowtie Pasta Salad

  • Combine 2/3 C balsamic vinegar, 1/3 C olive oil, and pretty much add to taste: minced garlic (~2 T),
  • cut-up sun-dried tomatoes (~1, 12-oz jar marinated),
  • cut-up artichoke hearts (~2, 8-oz jars, marinated)
  • cut-up fresh basil (1/2 to 3/4 cup-ish).
  • Let it sit for an hour or so before you make the pasta.
  • Combine the topping over 1 lb. cooked bow-tie pasta and top it off with crumbled goat cheese.
Cous Cous (this is "the staple" dish of all of our friends, started from JW many years ago in grad school. You can add/delete ingredients to make it your own. E.g. Eric hates chickpeas, so we also add chicken)

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 T olive oil, and 6 T olive oil
  • 1 (14.5oz) can broth (chicken or veggie)
  • 1 t cinnamon (or more if you like it!)
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t ground red pepper/cayenne (add more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 (10oz) package cous cous
  • 3 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 C shredded carrots (we use broccoli slaw a lot...take out purple radicchio)
  • 1 C dates (pitted and chopped)
  • 1/3 C pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 T cilantro (or more if you like)
  • 1/4-1/3 C blanched or toasted almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Finely dice green onions. Cook white onion part in 1 T olive oil for 5 min (reserve green part for later). You can also toast the pine nuts and almonds at this stage, too.
  • Stir in broth, cinnamon, 1/4 t black and red pepper. Bring to boil.
  • Add cous cous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 min
  • Whisk together 3 T white wine vinegar, 1/2 t salt, and 6 T olive oil in small bowl
  • Fluff cous cous with fork; put in large bowl. Toss in sliced green onions, chickpeas, carrot/slaw, dates (chicken if you wanted). Add salt to taste.
  • Add vinaigrette and toss again.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and mix.






Eric and I are still getting over such an amazing weekend, and I just wanted to express my gratitude yet again.

I am reaching the limits of my body's ability to function normally, and am really feeling 34 weeks pregnant (and the weight of 25lbs+). I find my belly rubbing on lots of unexpected areas--like the closet door, and it keeps stretching to lengths unimaginable. Oh, someone at work said, "you're doing the pregnancy waddle, now!" Hmmm...not sure how I like the word "waddle." Although, this was the same co-worker who told me I was finally "filling out." Not sure how I feel about any of the word choices... I can now say I know what it is like to retain water, and as the day progresses, have swollen feet, hands, and am working the "fat face." But, I can really feel Linus's body in my belly, and am willing to sacrifice being a cute pregnant woman for the health and growth of this baby any day! I am finding it harder to do daily walks and/or yoga, mostly because of sheer exhaustion. I am reminded of my first trimester in not being able to eat a lot...but instead of a lack of appetite and nausea, I have a normal appetite, and no pre-meal nausea, but the second I eat, am full and have felt sick to my tummy many times. I think it is related to Linus's tush pushing on my stomach. Knock on wood, I have had no heartburn!

Gratitudes:

-I am really thankful for a wonderful referral to a graphic artist who developed the best thank you notes and announcements for us! I'll post examples, soon, along with her information in case anyone is interested.


NAME CLUES

There have been some interesting guesses for the name. I guess Eric is 98% sure on one of them, now! I can say that no one has guessed the actual name, but someone has guessed some of the name that will probably not be chosen...but she has not posted it on the blog, and e-mailed me her guess. She is a clever one...(and tres talented at quilting. See? There I go again with my French).

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

No, it wasn't a shower, it was a heavy rain of "Baby Linus Love." This weekend Eric and I were blessed to have Eric's parents, my mother, and a long-time friend of my family (essentially family) fly in for the weekend to share in a wonderful shower put on at CD's house. I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing the day was--the weather held out (okay, it was hot and humid, but no tornadoes or thunder storms--that was later in the night), CD's house was decorated just deliciously, and there was an intimate group of people who mean the world to Eric and me. First, the food. A sampling of tea sandwiches, salads, fruit, the classic cous cous dish, and all decorated with little tins of oat grass that CD grew. It was straight out of a magazine. (Recipes are going to be requested.) Next, the games! Shlotty and CD made 2 clever games to play. The first was "match the baby picture with the adult." There were some great pictures of many of my friends and family and their corresponding baby pictures. It was hard! Eric got me wrong...I couldn't believe it! He thought I was the new Ms. San Francisco (RS); you cannot mistake her dimples, even when she was a babe. Well, Eric did. (I don't even have dimples!) Then, there was the "match the star with their corresponding baby's name." E.g. Frank Zappa and...Moon Unit; TomKat and...Suri. Those who have an affinity for US Weekly definitely had a leg up. MBMPHPA and Sully dominated. What was neat was that the games were in color, and had one of our favorite Charley Harper prints printed on the top. "Prickly Pair."

And then the gifts. It was overwhelming, and I am not just talking about the "volume" of gifts, but the thought and time people took to put together amazing gifts that had special meaning. Even though many people could not make the shower due to being so geographically "challenged" (Aunt T and Aunt S, Ms San Francisco, Studs, great grandparents, great grandaunts, old college friends and other family friends), their presences were surely felt. It was great to see that most people were mindful of not going overboard with wrapping, and used creative things like blankets, or no wrapping at all. Plus, we are collecting items for a time capsule, and people came up with the most creative items for us to include! (e.g. a picture of a gas station with the current gas price, a cloth grocery bag, a print out of the year's top stories, political cartoons, The Biggest Loser information, etc.) I'll do a time capsule specific post at some point as this one is big enough.

The generosity of people is overwhelming, and we are appreciative of every gift. I thought I would highlight a few below...this is no indication of our "favorite" gift, as they all are amazing, but I could rival any dissertation with writing about this event, and you all can only take so much Ali Blogging!

Note: I did not take pictures of the event, but when any of those cross my path, I will share. I just took pics of some of the gifts at home.

Here is an example of one of the creative gifts in thought and packaging. The family friend (GD) who came with my mom from MA for the shower (she has known my family since I was in utero), decided to give Linus a little taste of the Bay State. She picked up items from across MA, and made little tags to identify where the gifts were from. She kept all of the items in the original packaging that was given at the store (yay for the "green" aspect, too!), and put them all in a brown paper bag with the following front:

First stop: my hometown of Westborough, MA (yay for the 1st Boston item!):
Next stop, Beantown! (I guess the MGH gift shop is "the best" for shopping...and the clothing says 100% natural all over it, if you cannot see.)
Let's go back in time to Old Sturbridge Village. This has meaning as I used to go to a camp at OSV with GD's son.
Finally, the trip ends in the Berkshires; some of the most beautiful parts of MA:
For anyone who knows about our wedding, they will know that Studs and Ms San Francisco got Eric and me North Face pullovers with "Team Heintz" printed on back. Well, there is a new member to "Team Heintz," and they were quick to make it official (please note that the onesies are organic! And, we have 2 sizes so the boy will be a member for that much longer.)Along the lines of friends making things for gifts, Schlotty surprised us all with a HANDMADE QUILT!!! Even more, apparently Mr Schlotty helped as well! If you know Schlotty, you probably aren't surprised as she is Martha Stewart Jr (and not Jr as in Junior Varsity...she is a Division 1 starter Martha Stewart), but the quality and thought that went into it was stunning. She also reused the baby shower invite to write a note about the quilt (yay reusing!), and let us know how there were parts that were recycled and "organic." I want the adult version! It is so soft, and a perfect floor blanket for Linus to have "tummy time."Here is the invite she used (the invite was drawn by my brother)Speaking of my brother, his wife, Aunt T, gave the cutest basket of "green" products, clothing, and the cutest toys. She is a massage therapist, and also included a baby massage book! I tried to recreate the basket, but it looked much better how she had it arranged. And continuing on the sister-in-law theme, another one of my sisters-in-law (SIL) gave us the cutest box of gifts, including our first wooden toys. They are from 2 companies that are mindful of non-toxic paint, and "eco-friendly" toys. Interestingly, my last SIL was the one who gave us "Egypt" (the cloth monkey highlighted in an earlier post). Kind of neat that all 3 of them have gotten us toys!Below is just a picture of all of the cute toys we have so far. Do you notice the "things that make you go awww?!?!" Oh yes...we got some Animalz. As if the shower wasn't enough, CD found 3 of the cutest Animalz and had them as decoration at the shower! (She also made sure our baby is not going to go w/o diapes and got us a BUNCH of eco-friendly diapers.) Okay, these still make my heart flutter b/c they are so cute. We also got a bunch of hard cover books for Linus's library. Funny, but there has not been 1 repeat in terms of the books we received! Many came from a family friend up north. See if you remember any from your own childhood...Speaking of my childhood, my mother included in her lot of gifts some old clothes from when I was a baby, as well as from when my brother's were babies! Some of the clothing is over 30 years old, and much of it is knitted by my grandmother. Plus, she included my baby silverware. I love hand-me-downs, and these items will stay in the family for sure.
And if you think 30+ years is old, take a gander at the following items that are just about 60 years old! My paternal Grandmom sent down my father's receiving blanket given to her by MY great grandmother, and a quilt made by my Great Aunt Mabel. They were gifts she received from her own shower. She included a hand written note pinned to the blankets, which will be kept as well so this all can be passed along in the future. Oh, I had tears. They are in amazing shape, and the receiving blanket is what Linus is going to go home from the hospital in, now. The quilt is adorable, and I am just so touched that I was given such amazing pieces of my family's history. My other grandmother, Nana, sent an amazingly thoughtful gift (as if the jogging stroller wasn't enough!) She did a bunch of research and sent a huge pile of cloth diapers with information about a woman in Maine who just started her own cloth diaper service. How neat!
And I thought one of the gifts from the soon-to-be Grandma Heintz was great: a "Red" onesie from Gap. If you don't know, their "Red" line donates profits to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. We do know that the 60 year old receiving blanket is going to the hospital, and we finally got our diaper bags from soon-to-be Nana Deysher to put it in. They are both from LL Bean, but you can see which one is the "dude" bag. Finally, the Charley Harper theme of much of the party was extended when we opened up TWO certified Charley Harper prints from the soon-to-be Heintz Grandparents! We were shocked. The two they selected both have special meaning: "Birdie" reminds us of Eric's paternal Grandmother, and the "Coniferous Cardinal" one reminds me of New England, and us of the cardinal couple that is in love with each other, and with our deck! And if that wasn't enough, the last gift we opened was a joint gift from a bunch of our friends. A gift card to frame art, and...a SIGNED PRICKLY PAIR print! There was some concern that 2 of the same print may have been purchased between all those getting prints, but it couldn't have worked out better. We got our top 3 favorite Harper prints. What is even more amazing is 1) the Prickly Pair is discontinued, and 2) Eric and I were just about to order these prints ourselves. Now, we have a trio of our favorite prints to go up in a nursery or kid's room! I love that they are authentic, and will be something to pass along to our kids and their kids, etc. Art is very important to our family, and this was a truly thoughtful and meaningful gift.

Gratitudes:

Is this part even necessary? We are so thankful for this weekend. Thankful, blessed, excited...and even a little overwhelmed! By the way...this child will be the best dressed thing on the block for about 6 months. We do not need to purchase another piece of layette for this boy from 0-6 months!

I do want to acknowledge that earlier in the week my friend Sour Kraut went above and beyond and organized a work shower. I was STUNNED, and completely taken aback. She lured me into the conference room with the temptation of free food leftover from some "meeting." Well, there was food, but there was also the entire company! I got amazing gifts, and it was a "green shower," despite many people's confusion as to how to accommodate. It was so much fun! One funny part was that there was our 1 male employee (who actually just left to start med school...not because the shower scared him) who just played along with such a great attitude. He did take pause when they started measuring my belly, and I sort of did it for him (it's not like they were measuring my cup size!). Anyway, there were "green" party favors, lots of lemonade homemade treats, and wonderful gifts. I had to share a picture of some additional cute "organic" gifts that Sour Kraut and some others all went in on...

Name Clues: Well, Eric is now 82% sure of one of the names. I know, a whole 2%! Here is another clue:

-One of the middle names is Welsh and has been anglicized and is now used more as a girl's name.

Monday, May 5, 2008

We may have to add "Trebek" to the name list...



THIS...IS...JEOPARDY!!!!


Anyone else absolutely love the show? How about the ridiculously sexy picture of Alex Trebek I found on the net? (Please inject a lot of sarcasm right about now.) We continue to vascillate between 2 names, and are not going to consider Alex and certainly not consider Trebek for Linus's name, but there is Jeopardy related news happening in the Heintz household.

Bad News: Even though I thought the HS girls' state track meet was the last thing to take my husband away from me for the next few months, I was wrong. He is heading to OH at the beginning of June.

Good News: 1) He is going to Cleveland, OH. I know, not what you would initially think of as "good news," but for 1, his family lives right outside of the city, and 2) he is heading up north because he got selected to move on to round 2 of Jeopardy casting! He apparently passed the online test to a point that he is flying up to OH to take the next round of testing. He takes another written test, and if he passes again, he goes on a "mock" trial of the TV version to see if he is "TV" worthy. Any suggestions on how he can win the hearts of the casting agents is welcome. How fun!

I better not deliver early...moving into week 33 at the beginning of May makes me realize how close to delivery I'll be June 11 (when he goes). So, anyone who is close to Atlanta is on baby duty while Eric is gone. I am not delivering a baby alone!

No more real baby updates. Just plumping up, getting less sleep, and constantly pushing Linus's heel away from my right ribs.

Gratitudes:

-I am so thankful for some of the recent girls' night adventures.
-I am thankful that I am not on bedrest, and seem to be maintaining stable BP.

NAME CLUES:
First, I would like to note that Eric is now going to be the final decider of Linus's name. I know with time, I won't like either choice more than the other, so Eric is going to sit on it for a week or two, and perhaps make the final decision.

Clue: Only 1 of the names has a "last"ing family connection.

Clue: The 4 names (2 first, 2 middle) have the following origins: Greek, German, Welsh, Latin

Thursday, May 1, 2008

STOP THE PRESSES!

“STOP THE PRESSES!” Anyone who can place the movie gets a huge prize. And by prize, I mean a *huge* virtual preggo hug. Here is the actor connected to the quote:



(Bonus points for anyone who can tell me who "played" his "twin" in the movie, and what the name of the stolen gem was.)

My doting husband dropped a bomb on me yesterday--a big, dark chocolate, delicious, theobromine bomb. Before your mind goes straight to the commode, let me assuage your fears in that the topic is not W.C. related (that was first trimester fodder, folks). Epidemiology is publishing the following study in their May 2008 edition:

Chocolate Consumption in Pregnancy and Reduced Likelihood of Preeclampsia


As a responsible public health champion, I am including reference information and an abbreviated abstract so that all my other public health peeps don’t think I am delusional and wrote this on my own in some sort of insomniactic rage. Although, I am delusional in that I made up the word "insomniactic." I am not adhering to any sort of reference style (I have had enough of AMA and APA), and am adding my own commentary in black italics. Tres professional, eh? (There I go again, pretending to know French.)

Chocolate Consumption in Pregnancy and Reduced Likelihood of Preeclampsia
Triche EW, Grosso LM, Belanger K, Darefsky AS, Benowitz NL, Bracken MB
From the aYale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT; bDivision of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; and cDivision of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of California, San Francisco, CA.


BACKGROUND: Preeclampsia is a major pregnancy complication with cardiovascular manifestations. (The fear of becoming preeclamptic can send a hormonal preggo into extreme fits of anxiety, looking for any sign of kidney failure—swollen face, hands, feet, and extreme headaches or spotty vision…) Recent studies suggest that chocolate consumption may benefit cardiovascular health.(The recent study suggestions are immediately embraced as undeniable truths by any hypertensive preggo who has been told to steer clear of chocolate due to the potential for the caffeinated properties to encourage an increase in blood pressure.)

METHODS: We studied the association of chocolate consumption with risk of preeclampsia in a prospective cohort study of 2291 pregnant women who delivered a singleton livebirth between September 1996 and January 2000. (Just know that the study design is not the ideal randomized controlled trial, but that the study sample is pretty large, and the study period is relatively good in length. How did they recruit for this study, and where can I sign up?) Chocolate consumption was measured by self report in the 1st and 3rd trimesters, and by umbilical cord serum concentrations of theobromine, the major methylxanthine component of chocolate. (Self report isn’t the strongest measurement, but the umbilical cord serum is a much more concrete, less subjective measurement. I believe that theobromine levels are higher in dark chocolate, too.) Preeclampsia was assessed by detailed medical record review for 1943 of the women. We derived aOR and 95% CIs from logistic regression models controlling for potential confounders. (Don't worry about understanding adjusted odds ratios and confidence intervals. Trust me that they did the right kind of stats for the measurement.)

RESULTS: Preeclampsia developed in 3.7% (n = 63) of 1681 women. Cord serum theobromine concentrations were negatively associated with preeclampsia (aOR = 0.31; CI = 0.11-0.87 for highest compared with lowest quartile). (Basically, eating chocolate during pregnancy may not be such a bad thing after all.) Self-reported chocolate consumption estimates also were inversely associated with preeclampsia. (Hallelujah!) Compared with women consuming under 1 serving of chocolate weekly, women consuming 5+ servings per week had decreased risk: aOR = 0.81 with consumption in the first 3 months of pregnancy (CI = 0.37-1.79) and 0.60 in the last 3 months (0.30-1.24). (Not only is consuming chocolate negatively associated with preeclampsia, but the suggestion is that a good 5 servings a week is potentially advisable!)

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that chocolate consumption during pregnancy may lower risk of preeclampsia. (Hooray!) However, reverse causality may also contribute to these findings. (Let’s just ignore the “may” and this last sentence.)

You may be thinking I am just chocolate crazy. In fact, I am really not that obsessed with chocolate at all, but when something is taken away from you, you find yourself wanting it more. It’s the way I feel about exercise (and my pre-pregnant body) right now. I have never wanted to break out into a full on sprint on a walk before, but have found myself itching to bolt during my walks and run even just for 100 yards to remind myself of what running feels like. Don't worry Mom! I am not going to do that. (I know you would be worried with my admitting this.)

I am in no way interested in going to the local wholesale club and stock piling my pantry with chocolate, but I would just like to enjoy an occasional bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream without having my doctor scold me. In all honesty, I really do enjoy dark, DARK chocolate; just a square at night now and then will satisfy my palate. I have been cleaning up my diet to reflect the way I ate prior to becoming pregnant and being sick for 18 weeks, so this “no chocolate” phase hasn’t been a terrible thing, but now that there may be some protective effects associated with the dark delight, I think I’ll introduce small amounts back into my diet.

Life is all about moderation…(and patience).


Gratitudes:

-Eric and I have received an unexpected gift from my parents...originating with my grandparents. This was actually a 2nd unexpected gift of this kind, and we decided that we need to "pay it forward" and will be using the majority of it to both donate to organizations we feel passionate about (we immediately called NPR with a donation--how coincidental that it is their spring drive!), and figure out other unique and meaningful ways we can"pay it forward" in the world. We feel thankful that although not swimming in our own coin vaults like Scrooge McDuck, we are able to take a step back, and really think about how we are going to distribute this gift to others.

-I am thankful that my husband's track season is coming to an end. He leaves me again for 2 days for a state meet, but will be back this weekend. I love how dedicated he is to his coaching, but my patience with sending him off for a few nights is wearing thin. I admit it!

Nixed Names: There was some confusion from my last post. The 2 remaining names have never been uttered on these posts. Emery and Eli were the last "nixed names." As I explained in one of my comments, we have 2 pairs of names...let's say "A" first name with "B" middle name (1st part to the pair) and "C" first name with "D" middle name (2nd part to the pair). A,B,C,D are not arranged in ANY OTHER WAY. So, we have 2 names...get it? Both names are a first and middle. So, now we'll do clues instead of nixed names:

1. Of the 4 individual names (remember, we really have 2 choices / pairs, but there are 4 names total), 2 of them start with the same letter. And NONE of them start with a vowel.